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Home Staging Certification Training advice, videos, resources, tips and tools. Information that goes into the HSR Certification program. Great free information too!

Home Staging Props for An Easy Update

Essential Home Staging Props for Every Room of the Home

A key part of home staging is modernizing and the most effective way to modernize a space is to add some key staging accessories that help to update each room.  Usually the home stager after the walk-and-talk consultation will create this home staging props shopping list for the seller.  Better yet, the home stager can simply shop on the seller's behalf to purchase items that will go a LONG WAY in updating the home and attracting that best offer possible.

My Expert E-Designer has curated a 20-page, shopping list of essential home staging props for each home that goes on the market inside the Expert E-Designer HSR Template Library, so if you're one of my Expert E-Design students, go ahead and add it to your account.

We've also added this curated client presentation with shopping links to the home staging course under the Successful Consultations section.

Let's take a look at the essential home staging props room-by-room...

Home Staging Props Every Seller Needs

Every home can benefit from a new door mat, more greenery, mirrors and what I call "staging trays".  

The 62 inch circular mirror can work in any home and multiple spaces to add additional light, use over a fireplace, in an entryway or go over a bathroom vanity.  At only $60 bucks at Target, this mirror which has over 1000 five star reviews is a steal!

The banana fiber pouf or stool is another extremely versatile item that can add much needed texture to any space for a mere $30 bucks at Ikea.

Essential Kitchen Home Staging Props

Most kitchens lack warmth and personality because they are filled with hard finishes.  Never clear every counter and try and sell a bare kitchen!  Since the kitchen is a huge selling opportunity for the home seller it becomes even more critical to carefully stage counter vignettes that add texture and warmth.

I personally love the look of layered cutting boards sitting upright on a kitchen counter, a bowl of fresh fruit and brand new woven dish towels.  White accessories denote cleanliness, so using white home staging props will help to make the clean connection for buyers.  These small, inexpensive additions go a long way in creating a clean, natural atmosphere.

Check out how these simple kitchen home staging props along with paint completely transform this kitchen my sister's staging company, Pacific Home Design in Santa Cruz designed:


Essential Bedroom Home Staging Props

Bedrooms are so personal, that it can be discomfiting walking into another person's boudoir for a buyer...especially if the bedding is old and tired looking.

Adding white bedding enlarges the space and gives it a fresh, clean feel in any bedroom.

Essential Bathroom Home Staging Props

Bathrooms are similar to bedrooms in that they are intensely personal, so using white and having it immaculate will never scare off buyers.  Use a tray to anchor a vignette on the counter.  Fresh white, fluffy towels stacked by the tub and greenery gives the space that spa feel.

This luxury white towel set for under $35 bucks is an essential for every bathroom in the home and with over 1300 positive reviews as an Amazon Prime Choice, it's a steal:  https://amzn.to/2Af5yCA

Perfect Coffee Table Vignette Home Staging Props

Building beautiful vignettes or what I call "emotional connection points" in each room of the home takes an extreme eye for design.

In our Staging Essentials Client Presentation that we've just added to both the Expert E-Design Training and the Home Staging Certification course, we built a perfect coffee table vignette that is easy for clients to purchase and build on their own.

Home Staging Props for Living Spaces

What room can't benefit from a large jute rug, fresh new pillows, more lighting and fiddle leaf tree?

These simple, yet updated staging accessories are usually the missing  piece in a living space.  Make sure to go large on the floor rugs, so that every front leg of your furniture touches it.  This rug on Overstock is priced right at $200 while the 5 foot fiddle leaf tree with great reviews on Amazon is under $100:  https://amzn.to/2ZGZk9k

Etsy is my go-to place for awesome pillows, so have fun exploring various shops for that perfect, pillow combination.  This Etsy shop had this luxury set of pillows for sale for only $115 which is a steal for this kind of quality and size.

Even if the home seller is on the tightest of budgets, these many items valued in total at around $2000 will make a $20000 difference in the value of the home.

Buyers are looking for stylish decor and statistically will pay more for homes that have updated decor, so spending a bit on these versatile accessories will be an investment in the sale of the home.

If you're an HSR Member, go ahead and download the full Client Presentation with Shopping Links and add that to your Consultation for your home sellers...cheers!

If the idea of shopping for all these great things to use to help sellers get the best price for their home interests you...then consider becoming a home stager by taking my free course below...

Could Home Staging" be a Career for You?

Don’t miss this..!!

  • 7 Key Questions to Ask Yourself
  • What the Cost is to Starting this Business
  • Do You Have the Personality for This Industry?
  • How You Know If You Have the Design Talent?

Some More Recent Stories from Home Stagers...

Essential Home Staging Props for Every Room of the HomeA key part of home staging is modernizing and the most effective way

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This April 22nd Virtual Happy Hour video continuing our series on how to pivot your business and do remote design and staging

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We are in Week 5 of our Virtual Happy Hours where every Wednesday at 3pm, we drink, laugh, learn, inspire and create

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In our April 8th, Virtual Happy Hour I gave a detailed presentation PLUS resource links and "copy and paste" scripts on exactly how you

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In my last Virtual Happy Hour (free Wednesday, learning happy hours I've been doing since this crisis hit that you're welcome to

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In the March 25th Virtual Happy Hour, I did something a bit different and that is I created a one-hour workshop on

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As promised in my earlier letter providing staging business advice on how to handle Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we held our first "Virtual Happy

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I've thought long and hard on how to approacheverything we are seeing on the news regarding Covid-19 in a positiveand productive email

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I just finished a live webinar on "How to Make Money Doing E-Design for Clients" and the response was AMAZING!  If you

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Part of being a Total Design Freak (TDF) means you love, love, love to see gorgeously staged homes designed to sell...right?:-)In this

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This post contains a couple Amazon affiliate links:-)

8 Reasons to Add Holiday Design to Your Staging Business

holiday design

8 Reasons to Add Holiday Design to Your Business

Are you a holiday junkie like me?  If so, then why not add holiday design services to your business?

You may be asking, “Audra, why should I add holiday design services to my business?”  Well, here are 8 reasons why expanding your business into holiday design could be good for you along with Christmas trees from my 8 holiday styles so pick your favorite (they can all be found in my Houzz>Holiday Style Ideabook)…


It’s Fun!

If you are one of those people that LOVE the holiday and LOVE designing your home for the holidays, then this service is a no-brainer.  Here’s a secret for you…not everyone loves or even likes to decorate their home for the holiday BUT they know they should, so they are your perfect client.



It Fulfills A Need

Is it just me or does it seem like the holiday season gets shorter and shorter every year and I never have enough time to fit it all in?  I know I’m not alone and people would love a service that works with them to dial in their holiday home while saving them time.  We are in the era of “outsourcing” and now more than ever people are paying others to do the work they don’t have the time for.


It Attracts A Higher-End Clientele and Easily Leads to Much Broader Design Projects

The very nature of holiday design is to save clients time by doing the design for them, so typically the folks who don’t have that kind of time but do have the money are in a higher-end, income bracket.  What do this mean for the designer?  It means you’ve just created a wonderful referral source for multiple design projects.



It Attracts a Regular Clientele

The beauty of a holiday design service is that those client’s whom you did an excellent job for the previous year, will invariably have you come back every year!  You only need to cultivate a handful of client’s to have regular, steady business every year.  In fact, a stager friend of mine says that she earns almost 15% of her business yearly on only a few, holiday design client’s that LOVE her.



A Holiday Design Service is a Great Hedge to the Busy, Spring, Staging Season

Sometimes I hear stager’s complain that their staging business really dips during the holidays, so having a steady, holiday design clientele that keeps you busy, year after year, makes perfect sense!



It’s Impossible for People to Be Objective About Their Holiday “Stuff”

Yep, they are emotionally attached to some Christmas decor that really should have gone by the wayside long ago.  They wonder why their home doesn’t look very good during the holiday season and many times it’s because of these older, cheaper items they just don’t have the heart to let go of…sound familiar?  An expert, fresh set of eyes is such a huge benefit to sorting through home decor and getting the look we really want for our holiday home!



You Save Client’s Money by Re-purposing

Home Stagers and Designers have the uncanny ability to “see” interiors in creative ways and part of that skill-set goes toward Re-purposing items to their best showing.  Why pack all of your current decor away before decorating for the holidays when you can easily to the gorgeous decor you already have and “holiday, bling it up!”


Not Hard to Market a Holiday Design Service If You Know How (That’s What My Training Teaches You!)

An hour-long training that walks you through the entire process, gives you the FAQ and Price Sheet for your website, a Pre-Appointment Form so you ask the right questions up front and trains you on how to market this valuable service is available!

Invest in your business this holiday season!

Click Here to Find Out More About the Holiday Design Training!

Home Stager Branding


Home Stagers have such a uniquely cool business model because each job they complete becomes an instant marketing referral source for their business IF the stager brands it well. This is just one of the many reasons I always say that staging is a better business model than interior design.

In my HSR home staging Certification training I talk about the importance of leaving your mark, so that the home buyer knows that the home has been carefully prepped and curated for their arrival.   

In our Facebook Stagers Connect private home stager group we collaborated on the unique ways we "leave our business mark" in the homes we stage and I thought it would make for a wonderful post to inspire others in their stager branding and marketing....enjoy!

Shirley Borloz of Signature Staging in Nashville, TN cleverly adds her business name and information in a stack of books vignette....how cool is this?

Angie Creech Design used a different variation on that the book stack by adding a frame behind it and layering it over a cutting board with her business cards.

Sarah Williams of Finishing Touch Design out of Redlands, CA creatively leaves her mark in a couple places in the home.  Starting with the front entry, she has a custom door mat with her business name and will then place her business cards and marketing postcard on a table in the home...

Dani Powers of Taylor Made Staging and Design varies her calling card vignette by season...below she has a fall centerpiece with her cute signage and business cards.

Kandice Lee Designs, a home stager out of Denver CO said that since she leaves a peice of her heart in every home she touches, her signature item is a pink heart shaped stone on her business cards to show buyers the love that went into that space...very clever!

Melissa Raab Mendelson, a home stager in the Chicago Area goes one step further by creating an eye catching vignette and adding her calling card, framed postcard with brochures and business cards.

Sarah Beam of Altogether Lovely keeps is simple but adorable on the kitchen counter.  I also like how she includes her photo on her business cards to make her staging and branding that much more memorable and personal.

Susan Vaneria of Fresh Spaces out of Hartford, CT also uses the kitchen counter with a cute printable chalkboard of her business name and stack of cards.

Mallory Johnson of Nine Elements Interiors out of Twin Cities changes up her approach depending on the home and here she uses a tray vignette that can be moved strategically to different locations in the home.  Again, she's very smart to have a photo on the business card which again personalizes her brand to her prospective clients...

Mitch Bage of Maison De Campagne a home staging company in League City, TX uses a more subtle approach but I kind of love it...

I hope these different marketing calling card ideas inspired you in your own business!  We are "creatives", so it's always exciting to see how each person manifests their creative branding in a home.

XOXO-Happy Staging


Canva Templates for Stagers


Those that know me, also know that I have a HUGE problem with home stagers having to reinvent things for their business...  

There's A LOT to know in this industry like extreme design expertise, real estate knowledge, where to shop for that perfect XX, small business know-how and marketing, etc...

Why is it that every other staging trainer makes it so that stagers have to recreate the wheel when it comes to creating social media posts, realtor presentations, brochures, flyers, staging reports and contracts (among all the other stuff we create for our business)!

Okay, enough ranting...let me get down to the cool stuff and a free give-away just for you:-)

We are in the image industry, so everything that represents us like our marketing materials, business cards, website and all of our handouts have to look FABULOSO...right?  

Word docs and Picmonkey are just not gonna cut it these days, so that's why Canva is the answer and...

I've just added direct links to all my Canva Templates in the HSR Members Training Area since Canva now allows me to share my cool creations directly to your Canva account...woot!

(If you don't know what Canva is my friend, then I just unleashed the beast in you because you will LOVE it!  It's a FREE marketing creation platform that is TRULY amazing, so go to Canva.com to check it out)

Now my HSR members can take my Canva Staging Checklist and completely change the colors...
Changing colors with canva
Or edit all the text, photos and add their personal branding, as well as change the fonts SUPER easily...
changing the font
I've got a 10-Page Statistic Driven Canva template for home stagers to use in their Realtor PowerPoint Presentations:

A 10+ page slide presentation on the Statistics and Benefits of Staging

I've got Canva templates for home stagers to give their Real Estate Agent Partners in order to make them look great:

Help your agents stand out in their listing presentations!

I've got a fantastic hand-out to give to home sellers, agent partners or have on your website as a give-away (in exchange for their email):

Change out the logo to your own and you're all set!

I've got OODLES of gorgeous staging statistic imagery in a Canva template form, so  home stagers can put them on their websites, brochures or even use in their social media...here's just one example:

Swap out the background image, etc.. to re-brand this easily!

My HSR members are NEVER looking at a blank page or reinventing the wheel with their business, so that they can focus on what they do best...stage and transform homes!

Now, I've got a freebie for you just so you can see how incredibly useful these templates can be in your marketing and branding.  Simply swap out the before/after photos to your own and use this in your social media or on your "Vacant Services" page on your site.  

Just answer the quiz question below and get my Canva Template link to the imagery below for FREE!

It's all about helping you make your dream of staging a reality!  Hope you love the template and hopefully I will see you in my next FREE, live webinar...



PS - In full disclosure, I am a Canva Affiliate since I LOVE that website.

Staging Pricing Pitfalls

Staging pricing is one of the most confusing topics in our industry because we are dealing with a very complex product...the home.  I've seen long-time, veteran stagers make pricing mistakes, so my hope is to "lift the lid" on this topic and cover some of it here and a lot more on my free, live webinar next week:-).
staging pricing webinar
Here are the 4 out of the 10 mistakes home stagers (and designers) make when they create their services and pricing list...to see the last 6, click on the image above and join me on my Pricing Webinar.


They Don't Set CLEAR Expectations


This may seem like an obvious one but I'm constantly seeing service details left out of the pricing list of stagers and designers.  "Consultation" is a VERY broad term in this industry and one person's may be a 15-minute, assessment while another's is a 2-hour walk through with a staging report...would you agree that those are VERY different priced services?

What happens when we ASSUME?  Why let your client assume anything from your service list!  Be crystal clear in what you're delivering, have a equally clear contract and you will alleviate most every problem that stagers encounter (which are usually misunderstandings based on "assumptions" anyway).

After Staging by HSR Grad, Roxanne Flett...WOW!


They Price Too Low

So many home stagers believe that clients purely go off of price when choosing a home stager, so they price too low in order to win the job.  While some uneducated clients will choose solely on price, most people are savvy enough to recognize that staging is an art  form and "you get what you pay for" when it comes to the staging design work done in the home.

Audra Slinkey Pricing Quote

The "low ball stagers" are usually not invested in their business or HSR Certified.  They think "staging would be fun" so they  just think they will charge what their hourly was in their last position...ugh!   

These untrained stagers would also not know how to shop wholesale, not understand the real estate market, not have those valuable vendor relationships, a good contract, understand client phraseology, have insurance or be in business by this time next year so never fear the "low ball stager"!


They Negotiate or Discount Their Pricing

This is an honest mistake I see even the most veteran stagers make when it comes to their business.  By nature, we are creatives...not hardened, "salesy" negotiators.  The "typical" successful skill set needed to be an AWESOME staging artist usually comes from the right brain, so it's easy for us  to "cave" when a savvy, negotiating agent wants to "value down" a stager's pricing.  Please trust me on this...DON'T DO IT.

Audra Slinkey quote on pricing2

Having said that, I do believe that you need to have a "Good, Better, Best Pricing" when it comes to vacant homes since that allows flexibility in pricing for the budget minded.  I will get into a lot more of that in my live webinar next week, so I hope you can join me...

staging pricing webinar

I also think there are ways to be "flexible" in your pricing that doesn't diminish your pricing credibility like wavering and discounting does...and this brings me to another pricing mistake:


They Don't Stair-Step Their Pricing

Not everyone has the budget to have you in their home, staging it for days, so that is why it's always good to have a stair-stepped price model that allows for the "Do-It-Yourselfer" who can take your detailed Staging Report and do the work.  

Before Staging...

I always say that successful staging requires 4 things to work...

  • Objectivity - This is why the home seller who is connected to their home emotionally, can't stage it.
  • Extreme Design Expertise - The HGTV, design magazine, change their rooms up, design addicts who LOVE all things design have been training themselves through their passion for years.  That's the Extreme Design Expertise it takes to stage beautifully.
  • Time/Energy - Home staging is a full-time job and that's why a busy agent who may have the top two qualifications doesn't always have the time and energy to do the work.
  • Valuable Vendor Partners - It is "who you know" and in staging, there are a myriad of vendors we cultivate from retailers, to furniture wholesalers to the people who do the work (painters, general contractors) that make our jobs seamless.

After Staging by Roxanne Flett

Looking at the 4 items above, if the seller has the time and energy to put into the staging, then a stager can have stair-stepped pricing and simply provide the objectivity, extreme expertise and vendor list in the Staging Report.  This is what HSR Certified stagers are trained to do and they have access to a large, staging report model that works really well in the home!

Hopefully that gives you some food for thought on pricing.  I'm going to continue this conversation in my next, BRAND NEW, live webinar, so I hope you can join me!
staging pricing webinar
Staging pricing is one of the most confusing topics in our industry because we are dealing with a very complex product…the home.  I’ve seen long-time, veteran stagers make pricing mistakes, so my hope is to “lift the lid” on this topic and cover some of it here and a lot more on my free, live webinar next week:-)
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