Home Staging and Design Hot Tips Archives - HSR Home Staging Certification Training
Category Archives for "Home Staging and Design Hot Tips"

Great tips about home staging! Home staging tips and tricks.

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:-)

Dorm Room Staging


Sending kids off to college can be tough...I know as I will be doing that next year and am already completely dreading it!  It's even tougher on the child and moving into ugly, boring and sterile dorm rooms does not make it any easier.   That's why I love this story about DORM ROOM STAGING  that I wrote for the National Association of Realtors staging blog which featured yet another way for stagers to do amazing things in unique locations!

Penn State wisely contacted HSR Certified Carolyn Plummer of Carolyn Plummer Designs and home staging based in Harrisburg, PA for a solution to boring dorm spaces and you won't believe the transformation...

Before Photo

After Photo -  Carolyn Plummer Designs

I absolutely love how Carolyn softens up the space with an on-trend color palette that pleases both boys and girls along with a TON of textures and cozy rug, pillows and throws.  Imagine previewing colleges with your child to find this staged dorm space as an option vs. the typical un-staged space above it?

The builder was ecstatic with her work and these staged spaces put Penn State on top of their college recruiting game!

Here's some more photos but to read the WHOLE story, CLICK HERE.

Before Photo

After Photo - Carolyn Plummer Designs

The builder also used these photos in their marketing materials...in fact, the developers of this housing unit were so impressed with the job Carolyn did, they kept the furnishings for the model unit.

They’ve since rented out all of the units through the next three years—wow!

As a contributor to the National Association of Realtors staging blog, my favorite thing to do is to brag about the incredible talent of my HSR certified home staging members.  I also find it so interesting to watch the MANY different directions home stagers take their business because there are so many niches available to them.  

I will share Carolyn's behind the scenes Member Success story soon but here's what she had to finish with when she shared her dorm room project with me...


Fortunately, I was very blessed to have had your amazing training and gain credibility through projects, presentations, etc.  Audra, you gave me the confidence and the knowledge to be successful…….I just can’t thank you enough!!!! 😊

Carolyn Plummer Carolyn Plummer Designs

Thank you Carolyn for sharing your story and talent to encourage others!   This is an amazing industry because of people like you.
If you're reading this and thinking about becoming a home stager and creating your own story...then watch my free video about how to become a home stager 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?

More Stories from HSR Certified Home Stagers...

6 Ways to Bring Fall into Your Home


I absolutely LOVE this time of year because it brings a season of reflection, gratefulness, togetherness and helps me to refocus on what's important for next year.  Fall is also the perfect time of year to bring the outdoors in and make your house feel like home.  In the past, I've told you about my unconventional Thanksgiving traditions but here are other ways I embrace the season.

Here are 6 hot tips for getting your "Fall On":-)​


Bring Trending Fall Colors into Your Space...

In my Expert E-Designer training we added a new living space board that really embodies the colors of fall:

Inspired by the warmth and vibrant colors of Fall (as well as our Colors of the Year 2019), our newly launched E-Design board captures the ambiance of the season. Orange, brown and creamy colors are balanced in this living room space to create a warm and a welcoming atmosphere.

The super popular, Pottery Barn sofa and chairs provide a nice neutral place where the autumn pillows can make their statement (and you can swap them out easily from season to season). The canvas tree art and birch wood logs are a great way to invite the outdoors in and capture the feeling of fall throughout the space.


Take Time to Be Grateful and Focus on the "Good Stuff"

I get it, sometimes life has a way of beating us down.  I can get hundreds of client compliments and then there's that one negative that can HAUNT me.  How do I refocus?  I think about all the good stuff in my business and life.  I focus on simply...being grateful.

Sometimes this means I get off of social media and don't watch the news for a few days to re-calibrate.  It's okay that I'm not instantly responding to Facebook requests.

To avoid burn-out and to really enjoy the changing of the season, I need to reflect on the positive.

Click to Tweet
  • Focus on what's working in my business rather than what's not
  • Focus on the things I like to do in my business and think about outsourcing the stuff I don't
  • Think about all the beautiful people in my life and send them good thoughts and prayers
  • Remember that my gifts are meant to be shared and being thankful for those gifts

November is the time to rethink what I'm doing in a positive way as I prepare for a holiday of Thanksgiving then Christmas.  


Dial-In Your Dining Room Table

Since I don't have a lot of storage space in my home, I love the idea of taking my existing decor (that I love) and redecorating it for the season.  HSR Grad Kellie Carroll of KMC Redesign Studio shared these photos of how she redecorated her table for the fall...I LOVE IT!



Make a Statement Piece

 You can create a unique and beautiful succulent topped pumpkin arrangement in minutes (or buy one on Etsy for $75). With a pumpkin or gourd, a variety of small succulents, tacky glue and some moss, you can create this arrangement for your home for under $25. This beauty can be used through Thanksgiving and can be replanted in another container for the next season.

HSR Grad, Kristine Ginsberg of Elite Staging and Interiors​ shared this post on Instagram of her pumpkin centerpiece:



Get Cozy with Hygge Design

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.  As a design style, think of sheep skin rugs,  a warm throw blanket, pillar candles, a fire in the fireplace, hot tea and furry slippers.  If those items don't make you feel like fall, I don't know what does!

In this staging transformation, my sister Corrine McKendrick of Pacific Home Design a Santa Cruz staging company is REALLY good at adding Hygge  to the homes in the mountain region of Santa Cruz.​

BEFORE Staging using Hygge

Layered rugs, sheepskin furs on chairs, knobby pillows, wood in a basket ready to furn and a cozy throw over the couch literally make me want to sink into this home!
Here are some of my favorite Amazon throws to complete your fall look:

Click to go to Amazon

Click to See on Amazon

Click to go to Amazon


Tap Into Your "First Sense"

Out of all of our 5 senses, the sense of smell gives us the most nostalgia.  Create that nostalgia for your family this season by using fall candles.  Fall has it's own intoxicating smells and scents of the season.

Just by lighting candles you can cozy up your home and fill it with smells like pumpkin pie, freshly picked apples, sage, nutmeg or other favorite seasonal scents. If you’re not a fan of scented candles but still want the ambience, battery operated timer candles are the way to go!

My favorite candles are at Anthropologie because they smell amazing and last forever.

Click for Anthropologie Source

I hope you enjoy your entire holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's and spoil yourself a bit. 

For more on how I spend my Thanksgiving holiday, check out my Unconventional Thanksgiving post below...

I absolutely LOVE this time of year because it brings a season of reflection, gratefulness, togetherness and helps me to refocus on what’s important for next year.  Fall is also the perfect time of year to bring the outdoors in and make your house feel like home.  In the past, I’ve told you about my unconventional Thanksgiving traditions but here are other ways I embrace the season.

The Hot Tips I Learned at RESACON


I had more fun at the last RESA Convention than any other time!  I also learned a thing or two and shared it in the quick Facebook Live video below...enjoy!


I kicked off the RESA Convention by treating all of my HSR and CCE Grads to a Happy Hour reception in a private party loft suite.  Boy those ladies can drink their wine:-)!

Here's a fun video of that event...​


Finally, I asked people to share some of their RESA Convention Lessons Learned and here they are:

Kelly Harbal

Have an accountability partner, focus on long term goals for your business and profit first

Learned inside tips on different e-design programs. Tips on how to use the platforms.

Theresa Ceglio

Know Thy Numbers! 2 ways to grow your profit is to grow your income or reduce your expenses, preferably do both!

Debbie Boggs - Are You Profitable

Jodi Copeland

I learned to become more visible, use 30-60 second videos on all platforms. And put my logo on a t-shirt and stage it in a master closet, place my logo on wine bottle labels, water bottles...

“Drive Awareness and Sales with Content Branding Videos” by Johnathan Miller and Shari Auldridge.

Susan Thompson

Lamps & lampshades are difficult to store & transport. Trying to match up the lampshades is even harder when the base is stored on a different shelf. One tip was to remove the shade, harp & finial from one lamp and only the shade from the matching lamp and store those two shades together, (hopefully they nest). Then when it comes time to find the matching lamps you will be able to locate the other lamp much easier.

Bringing the Mojo: Everyday Staging Hacks, Tricks and Tips

Cindy gasior

Guidance on how to increase my profit by analyzing my inventory investment, budgeting, setting aside a portion of my cash inflow for operating. I have a tendency to over reinvest my profits - these formulas will give me the structure I need for discipline and then larger profits. I also found very helpful the concept of adjusting my pricing according to my inventory supply and project demands. Of course - Vern Yip's reminders about design measurements and ratios in addition to his color trend forecast was wonderful

Profit first Ryan Marsh Vern Yip

Debbie Marchica

The financial responsibilities of having a business. I had attended a business class that was offered free of charge by the State of California": Equalization Board, a week before the convention. The presentation at RESA by David of Synergy Staging on the business portion was even better.

The Business of Staging

Karen Gray Plaisted

Carry a box of Crayola crayons in your tool bag to touch up nicks and scratches on frames etc. If you have old books that you have read but can use in your stagings spray paint them white with chalk paint, two coats will do! A video of 30 seconds to a minute of what you do will help drive traffic to you. Have a GoPro with you. If you spend money on video production use on various platforms. Edit and reuse make the most of the money you spent

From Bring on the Mojo presented by Carol Clark From Driving Awareness and Sales by Jonathan Miller and Shari Auldridge

Audra Slinkey

Indeed.com is a great place to post your job listing for free to attract and hire good assistants. It also pre-screens them by making them answer a series of canned questions.

Veteran 6+ Year Home Stager Interactive Group Session - Comment by Michelle Minch

For those of you who missed the RESA Convention and want to see a quick video of some of the hot tips I learned…here’s a Facebook Live video I created about that event.

3 Ugly Truths About Home Staging

3 Ugly Truths About Home Staging


I wrote an article recently in the National Association of Realtors, Styled, Staged and Sold blog that got a lot of interesting and conflicting comments from agents and stagers.  In the article, that you can read here,…I talked about the importance of being of honest with sellers in the 2015 real estate market and to tell the ugly truths about staging and selling.

The comments came fast and furious.  One of the commenters didn’t like the “angle of the before photos” because it wasn’t EXACT, so she did not think she would use a stager…huh?!!  This kind of nonsensical thinking is still out there when it comes to understanding what staging does and does not do for a home.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Home staging is not rocket science, it’s pure economics…when you use an expert to improve the look of a product, the demand thus price goes up.

The article was a follow-up on my 3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Staging article that has been shared a TON by stagers and agents, so thanks so much!  I’m reminded that I need to educate sellers and agents like never before about home staging!   Together, we can do so much!


This season’s real estate market promises to be an exciting one, so buckle your seat belt folks…


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