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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 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...

A Letter to the New Stager


I love to share stories of encouragement and success that so many of my HSR members and grads have had in this incredible industry!  This story is a bit unique because it starts with someone who had the odds stacked a bit against them (healthwise) and ends with a Facebook Post, to the New Stager by this amazing HSR grad...enjoy! 

In this staging success story, I'm featuring Lindsey Childs of Navy and Gray Designs, a Middle Georgia professional home stager and designer.  Typical of all of my stories, I'm going to sprinkle in gorgeous photos of her work which was a success story in that it sold in 6 days!

When Lindsey first signed up for my HSR Certification program back in August of 2017, she had some big, legitimate concerns about starting a business...

In her "Getting to Know You Form" she mentioned that she had started a business but was not successful because she didn't have a blueprint for success.

"I have tried to start my own business before, in a different line of work, but I was missing too many pieces. I need that "business in a box" so to speak. With a someone telling me what steps I needed to be taken."

Before Navy and Gray Designs...

"I was laying in bed dealing with an autoimmune disease, and ran across Audra's Home Staging Resource was a BAM moment and I knew that Home Staging would pull together all the random talents I had.  I also knew that I had the 'eye'".

After Navy and Gray Designs...WOW!


"I have always had an eye for design, but i didn't think that could make a living from it.  Every house/apartment we have had I have staged.  I staged our last house and we sold it to the first buyer!  Then as we renovated our current home, I realized just how much love design, the process and the end result."

Before Navy and Gray Designs

"After reading over Audra's website, I discovered how I could create my own business and still be there for my family.  Setting my own schedule is gold, especially having an auto immune disease.  It was the perfect fit for my lifestyle and talents."

After Navy and Gray Designs

"The HSR Certification Training gave me a good basis of what staging was and how to go about creating a business....Navy and Gray Designs is much more today than I thought it would be when I started."

Before Navy and Gray Designs...

"I have staged vacant houses, but also found a love of Redesign.  Coincidentally, Redesign is a huge portion of my business.  And with the skill set combined with staging, I bring a lot to the table when it comes to selling investment properties." 

Audra Side Note - This is why you should get trained in BOTH staging and redesign as a business model:-)

After Navy and Gray Designs

Finally, Lindsey had this advice to say to new stagers on Facebook this week, so I had to share it to encourage you all...

When she created that post, she included a picture of her new moving truck and cool is that?

What will your story look like?  Join me for a free live webinar to see if this industry is for you...

I love to share stories of encouragement and success that so many of my HSR members and grads have had in this incredible industry!  This story is a bit unique because it starts with someone who had the odds stacked a bit against them (healthwise)…

Surprised by Success

Is your staging business success surprising you?  It should be. 

We are in an unprecedented housing market where homes that are staged are selling for a lot more money (according to the recent 2018 home staging statistics of over 4200 homes).  When sellers see their updated and beautifully staged home sell for 20-50K makes sellers and real estate agents big believers in the benefits of staging!

In this post, I'm going to share two stager's stories of being surprised by success in the form of two emails I received recently from new HSR students who are just starting their home staging career.

Andrea McAtee, a HSR Certified Professional Home Stager out of Lincoln, NE tells her story...

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "when you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life", oh how true this is. I remember being 7 years old, wanting to rearrange my parents living room cause I knew even then, it could look so much better. At 12 years old, embroidering on my pillowcases, because they needed sprucing up. When I turned 16, and received my first paycheck what was the first thing I buy?  Canvas art, because I had nothing on the walls in my bedroom.

Years later in my 30's, relatives would invite me over to give them ideas on where to put things, shelves, artwork, etc. Still had no idea I had any talent, or could ever make this a career it was just something I did for fun.Within the last few years staging has really grown in popularity, and I thought to myself why NOT make this a career. So doing a google search one day I came across, "The Home Staging Resource" I signed up for their newsletter, attended a few webinars, and knew right away this was the place for me. I took the online class, and received my certificate. I am now a certified professional home stager for Lincoln, NE and surrounding areas. I don't think I have ever been so excited, well except for maybe the birth of my children, and getting marred. 🙂

Andrea's First Vacant Job Before She Even Finished the Training!

Here's the recent email I got from Andrea about her first, very fast success...

Hi Audra, my business is doing great so far even got my first vacant project before I was done with the course, just like you had said. I really didn't think it would be this easy. My first Facebook ad went out and I don't think it was a week later a lady messaged me needing help selling her home. It had been on the Market since December, the family had already purchased and moved into a new home. So the need to sell was pretty urgent.

I met with her that week for a consultation, rented furniture and staged that next Saturday, they had the first open house after staging that Sunday. There was only 1 person that went through that home however is now pending contract. I am completely amazed!

The home hadn't even been on the market a month after staging. My confidence is through the roof, the client couldn't be more than pleased. I now have another staging project at the end of the month for a $5000 square foot home.


Thanks so much Audra for the amazing training you provide, I tried to start this business about 10 years ago and just couldn't get it going. This has always been my dream, I remember taking a couple of your webinars and thinking oh my goodness yes I did rearrange furniture in my bedroom, everything you talked about really resonated with me and life couldn't be better.

Jil Young, an HSR Certified Home Stager out of Goldsboro, NC sent me this email about her struggle and success...

Hi Audra,

Thank you for offering such a great Home Staging Resource program.   It is amazing what I have learned through your program the last past 30 days! I attended a 2 year design program years ago but never was able to wrap my arms around the business launching of a company. You have amazingly defined a methodical process that allows me to proceed forward with a new confidence...

I was invited to lunch to meet a friends friend who is Real Estate Agent. I'm new to this area and I wanted to hear about her Real Estate business. I had my business cards, knew my scripts and had a copy of my Client staging report "Simply Staged to Sell". By the end of the lunch the Real Estate Agent asked me if I would be willing to partner with her so she could add this crucial additional service to her marketing package to have the completive edge over others. I said YES!

How cool is that?!  What will your story be...

FREE VIDEO!  Could a Career in Home Staging Be For You?


  • What background should you have?
  • How much money do home stagers make & what to charge
  • What are the typical start-up costs and first steps?

This housing market is hopping and here are two stories with before-and-after photos from two new HSR members of success…

Home Stager Interview

In my training, I walk people through how to discover the right business model for their situation.  Why do I do this?  Because everyone who joins the HSR Home Staging Certification training has different business goals and reasons for becoming certified in home staging and design.  

Below is a very cool home stager's story because her business evolved with her family situation...

Leslie Anderson with her now grown kids who help her with the business:)

When Leslie Anderson of Leslie Anderson Interiors, a Washington DC home stager started her staging business her goal was very part time in order to focus on her kids. 

Here is her story and her GORGEOUS staging work...

home staging before and after washington DC 1

What was your life like before becoming a home stager?

Prior to starting my Home Staging business, I was a stay at home mother of three children. I spent most of my spare time volunteering for the local public schools and helping friends decorate their homes! One day I was helping a friend get her house ready to go on the market and I decided to look into home staging as a career. That is when I started researching online courses such as Audra Slinkey's Home Staging Resources.

home staging before and after washington DC 4e

How did you get started in your business?

When I decided to become a home stager it was important to me to become certified. I looked at many different options and was most impressed by the Home Staging Resource's program. I was excited about how Audra's experience and background helped her build her program and the quality of the materials her program offered (including a website) to get my business up and running as soon as possible.

How does your business look today?

I am so excited about how far my business has come. I started out doing this as a part time business while my kids were still home. In the last year, I have been able to work full time and have moved my entire inventory into a new warehouse and office. It makes such a difference! It has given me the ability to become so much more efficient and sales are increasing daily!

home staging before and after washington DC 4

Any advice you would give someone thinking about getting into the industry?

I took my time in getting my business up and running as I am the type of person that likes to make sure that everything is in line. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably get the ball rolling a bit faster than I did. I like to perfect things and I have now realized that part of perfecting your business is to allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.


What has been one of the secrets to your success?

Not only did Audra's program help me get my business up and running quickly, it has also helped me grow my business each year. Audra continually adds things into her program to help stagers increase their revenue streams in different ways. I always have access to new ideas and marketing materials which is so important and helpful to me as a single business owner!

Now Leslie has her own storefront and warehouse...woot!!  I'm so proud of her and I bet her kids are too.  Thanks so much Leslie for sharing your story!

What will your story be?

FREE VIDEO!  Could a Career in Home Staging Be For You?


  • What background should you have?
  • How much money do home stagers make & what to charge
  • What are the typical start-up costs and first steps?

I love sharing HSR Grad business success stories!  Leslie Anderson’s business journey evolved with her lifestyle changes and it’s super cool to see.  I also show you her gorgeous photos stage house right!

2018 Outdoor Trends

2018 outdoor trends

I just wrote a post for the National Association of Realtors on the "2018 Outdoor Trends" and I had to share it on my blog as well because it's my own project!  I learned a lot about outdoor trends and I have a whole new respect for my design clients who go through large-scale remodel projects like I did!

>>Click Here to see my NAR article, "2018 Outdoor Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations"

Here's the behind the scenes scoop on my project, as well as some lessons learned...

My goals for the project were to create an extension of my living space seamlessly.  I chose finishes, fixtures and furnishings that all have an indoor look. 

Below is the before photo looking out of my kitchen dutch door into my side yard...

We knocked down the kitchen wall and opened up the space...

Home Staging Resource After Photo

I have 3 sports fanatics (my husband and 2 teenage sons) living under one roof and we always argue over the remote, so an additional living space and outdoor dining area was essential!

Before Photo

I also like to entertain and cook outside, so an outdoor kitchen area became another focal point.  To give the outdoor space more of an "indoor feel" I enclosed the back wall around the outside kitchen area.

After Photo - Home Staging Resource

Home Stagers Need to Know that...

Outdoor living spaces are increasingly becoming more valuable to a buyers perspective.  In fact, in a January, 2018 FreshHome Article entitled, "Which Home Improvements Have the Best ROI in 2018" Outdoor Living Space was #2!

"According to a recent survey, 51% of home buyers find outdoor living space the most attractive quality when searching for their perfect home, more so than open floor plans and curb appeal.

Having recently completed my own outdoor remodel design job, I can say it has absolutely changed the way we live!

As a writer for the NAR staging blog, I like to talk about trends and share my members stories.  Here’s a post I wrote about my own outdoor design project…

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