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Serious Photo Eye Candy and 5 Hot Staging Tips

Designed to Sell

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

In this post I'm serving up some serious "staging eye-candy" that I pulled from my home staging group this last month.  While we ooh and ahh at these photos, let's learn a thing or two about the design principles each stager followed that made their spaces such a success.

Here's 3 ways to get a lot of great ideas from these designed to sell spaces:

  • Notice the how the stager draws the eye around the room using color
  • See how the home stager expertly merchandises the space with accessories
  • Imagine what these spaces would have felt and looked like empty...yuck

Okay, now that you're ready to check out these rooms with your expert eyes as a learning activity, let's indulge and get inspired!

Big Style Staging

For those folks who think stagers should stick to only beige, I would disagree.  Navy has been the new neutral these days and in the living space above, Gina Gailing a South Florida home stager and long-time, HSR member showcases it beautifully!  

Staging Hot Tip

Using a dramatic, on-trend rug to cover some "not-so-attractive" tile floors is a great idea!  Imagine this room of dated, white tile without the rug...

Staged by Daniela Rocha

Another colorfully staged living space but this time with the not-so-neutral but ever popular yellow.  This is a log narrow space, so Daniela uses brighter color to draw the buyer's eyes to staged area starting with the living space.  This makes it so you focus separately on the "parts" of the room rather than seeing it as a long, narrow whole space.

Staged by Dora Design

I love the feel of this living space by HSR grad and phenom, Dora who is a Bay Area home stager whose business has taken off since the moment she got her HSR home staging certification!  She truly knows how to design to sell homes.

What I love about her work, is that she always keeps her inventory on-trend and fresh looking.  For instance, a hot new trend is adding details to furnishings or furniture embellishments.  For instance, check out the back of these chairs and do you notice the leather and buckle detail?

Now look at the pillows above and see how she mirrors that detail in her pillows?  It shows her extreme attention to even the smallest of details to pull together a GORGEOUS look.

Staging Hot Tip

Buyers are there to critique and notice even the smallest of detail in a space, so DELIGHT them with your details!  After looking at the 10 homes in their search, they will remember the uniquely and tastefully detailed home.

Let's Talk About What "Designed to Sell" Means...


QUICK!  Before scrolling to the "after" photo below, ask yourself what you would fix for these home owners who want a fresh new design for  their kitchen...

After - Designed by Lindsey Machado

Wowza!  Lindsey Machado hits it out of the park with this kitchen design.  You may have thought that you needed to fix the tile flooring (that probably runs through the entire house) but Lindsey repeats the tone of the floor in the island and bar stools which actually helps to improve the look of the floor.

Staging Hot Tip

When you can't change a fixed item in the home that has a bold color tone you're not super fond of...embrace it!  By repeating that tone in on-trend items you are actually making it cool looking.

You may be saying, "Audra, this is not designed to sell, so why is a home stager doing interior design work?"

My simple answer is "Why not?  She was trained and certified  in both staging and design through my HSR Certification program, so is comfortable tackling both for her clients".

Here's the deal...when you do a stellar job for a staging client (like the stagers above), it's VERY common for that seller to want you to help them with their "move-in design".  That is why getting trained in both staging and design is important...your clients will want you and you don't have to say no when you have a bullet proof process for tackling design work.

Staging is "designing for the buyer" while interior design is about "designing for the home owner" and in both cases, we are creating beautifully tailored spaces for the people we are "designing" for.  

Staged by Michelle Middel

The above photo is the perfect example of why "not all vacant staging is equal" and you "always get what you pay for when it comes to vacant staging".  This oversize space needs oversize furnishings.  Large, luxurious furnishings cost money.  You should always be pricing your vacant stagings with size and luxury-level in mind, so that you can afford furnishings like Michelle's above.

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing small, scale furniture in a grand scaled just looks weird.

Michell Middell wisely staged this space absolutely to scale AND even used a huge rug to emphasize the large scale layout.

Staging Hot Tip

Furnishings with bold pattern have a lot more "visual weight" so they appear more large-scale.  The ottoman above is the perfect example this and it anchors the space nicely.

PS - I go over all this in my "Design Modules" 🙂

Staged by Michelle Middel

I could not resist throwing in this amazingly, serene bedroom that HSR Grad Michelle also staged.  Her spare use of color makes us love it even more.

I particularly LOVE how she layered not one but two throws on the bed!  What do you think?

Staged by Nicci Nolan Wright

There is something about the composition of this photograph and space that makes me swoon!  Maybe it's the repeated, various black and white patterns Nicci used or the way she draws the eye away from an otherwise unsightly fireplace...but the combination is very cool.  Designed to Sell AND designed to photograph.

Even though the large, round mirror has been so popular and overplayed...I still can't get enough of it.  What about you ?  Hint - Tons of these mirrors were at High Point and Market so I guess I'm not alone:-)

Staging Hot Tip

While staging, never forget that your first audience is your online visitor who only sees your composition through a photograph.  Stage for the photograph as well as the walk-in visitor and think about letting the photographer in on your vibe.

Staged by Melissa Mendelson

I have so many amazing photos to share but only so much time, so I will wrap it up with this living room staged by Melissa Mendelson.  Imagine if this room were would be so vanilla!

Melissa spices it up with lots of texture and detail. I love how she repeats the tone of the wood floors in the retro, leather chairs which by the way, draws the buyer's eyes to those fabulous focal point windows.

Staging Hot Tip

All of my members know one of my design mantra's and that is to "find the focal point and make it fabulous!"  It looks like the room above lacked  the standard fireplace focal point but this is not a problem for Melissa who emphasized the windows instead.

Well my beautiful friend, I hope you enjoyed those designed to sell photos and staging tips as much as I loved sharing them!  
If you're reading this and thinking about becoming a home stager and using your gift for design to transform spaces...then watch my free video about how to become a home stager below.

Could Home Staging" be a Career for You?

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Wow! The certification is very in depth, way more than I was thinking. I will have to say "I really got my money's worth"!! You (Audra) cover every little thing. I'm very pleased with everything. My husband is also! He brags about me every chance he gets. We are really looking forward to starting up our own business together. I hope to be able to employ my two grown sons and my husband one day. I t may just be sooner than we think! That would be my dream come true! A BIG THANK YOU Audra! You are awesome!

Carol Church - Decorating Chick, LLC

I have been in the home staging industry for almost 10 years and until recently I didn't think having formal training was necessary. Audra provided me with invaluable advice in terms of marketing strategies and alternative revenue streams! I cannot wait to implement what I've learned and grow my business! Thank You Home Staging Resource!

Jessice Lynn Smith - Spotlight Staging & Design

HSR's certification training exceeded my expectations, it is a very complete training and covers everything, the business part, marketing and the staging/redesign part. I feel way more confident now. Honestly, before I started the training I had no idea how to begin my business! Now I feel confident and have no doubts that I will be successful! Thanks Audra!

Flor Lydna - Transformations Home Staging

I've been staging properties for the last 3 years and have always wanted to go deeper in this business. Until now, I didn't feel I had enough training to turn my love of redesign into a real business. HSR has given me the training, the forms and the confidence to move forward. I can't wait to see what is ahead!

Susan Daddono

Amazingly helpful! It was easy to follow the program, and Audra was delightful to listen to. I highly recommend this training for anyone with a passion for design and home staging.

Christine & Paula - Design Sisters Home Staging & Redesign

The HSR training provided us with all of the information and tools we needed to make a successful start to our business. Thank you Audra!!

Melissa Hagen & Sara Jeffrey - The Staging Company

The HSR training is amazing! Lots of valuable information has been covered. very organized in terms of the flow of the material. Moreover, having all the forms and instruction is a treasure to an organized business kick off ! Audra, I am thankful to you for all you have done over the past years to give Home Staging a national and global reputation and credit that it deserves.

Atusa Darani - Atusa & Company

I can not say enough good things about this training. I know a lot of people say that and it's so very true. Can't even imagine how many hours Audra has put into this EXCELLENT training. Definitely worth the price! I would have NEVER had the confidence before to make my dream come true. Now I can honestly say I do and more than I ever thought I could. Thanks Audra for this AWESOME training and the confidence to be able to follow my dream.

Andrea McAtee - McAtee Staging & Redesign

I really enjoyed the HSR training. I learned so much and gained confidence in my decision to follow my design passion. Audra and her video tutorials were entertaining, packed with information and kept me focused on each lesson. I cant wait to get started with my new business. The resources available thru HSR are invaluable and worth every penny!

Lucy C Maehl

Audra, (and team ) I would like to thank you but words will not convey. I have always worked in a creative businesses and bought /refurbished many homes. I am always the go to friend for design advice and I too pour over local real estate, yet I had never thought of staging ( vacant's ) . After starting this course I can see the need in my area and I am hopeful that with your amazing training and CAN DO ATTITUDE I can make it work... thank you....

Dana Denton - A Bungalow Design

I just completed the HSR training which is by far the best certification program out there!!! I researched a lot of the staging training companies, and you will not receive all of the knowledge that Audra shares in any other program. You get so much information and resources that it is mind blowing. I can't wait to get my business up and running!!

Cristy Smith - Elan Staging & Redesign

I have been staging for over a year and I learned so much more than I ever knew about the business side of staging. I also learned about working in a more professional way with my clients. I was good at staging before, now I am going to be GREAT!

Tricia Bass - Tricia Bass Beautiful Homes

Going through the HSR certification training has been a total game changer. I have gained so much knowledge, not just about staging but how to run your business. The staging part I had down pat. However, I know now that my business would have suffered on the marketing (web design, presentations, bold, etc) end had it not been for HSR.

Amy C. Scarborough - Happy Is The After

Audra's HSR program is amazing! It's very detailed and is something I wish I had found years ago if I weren't to afraid to follow my passion. I took my time getting through the material but remembering my "why" pushed me past my fear. Now, as an HSR grad, I am confident I have the tools to be successful...I'm ready! Thanks Audra.

Chanell Miller - A.L.O.F Home Interiors

Taking the HSR certification training was a great boost for my business! There are so many ins and outs to this industry, and as Audra says, why reinvent the wheel? I'd rather focus on delivering results for my clients than being bogged down with administrative setup tasks. Thanks Audra!

Rachel Jennifer - Rachel Jennifer Interiors

Audra's HSR program is amazing! It's very detailed and is something I wish I had found years ago if I weren't to afraid to follow my passion. I took my time getting through the material but remembering my "why" pushed me past my fear. Now, as an HSR grad, I am confident I have the tools to be successful...I'm ready! Thanks Audra.

Kara Whisler - Midwest Mod Interiors

HSR's training and certification program was exactly what I needed to help me turn my design hobby into a business. Audra's wealth of knowledge and experience is invaluable, and I am so glad I chose this program to jump start my home staging business.

Elizabeth Pollard - EP Home Staging

I can't say enough good things about HSR training. Its a pleasure to have joined such a complete program. So much material is at your finger tips to make even a beginner like me succeed.

Charlotte Bullock - Bullock Design and Staging

The HSR training has been phenomenal! The thorough and easy-to-follow videos, readings, and handouts have helped me feel very prepared to launch my staging and redesign business, even with very little prior staging/styling background. Well worth it!

Brooke Craig - Brooke Craig Interiors

I absolutely loved your training. I feel very confident about staging now and feel your training has equipped me to be successful. You have given so many wonderful and useful business advice as well. Loved taking your class!!

Kelly Rhee - Pink Diamond Staging & Design

I am incredibly thankful for Audra and Home Staging Resource. I knew HSR was the right choice after watching the introduction video and learning about the program. HSR is not just a home staging training. When taking the course through HSR, you will learn smart home staging and redesign strategies and tips, you'll gain a wealth of knowledge on how to structure your business properly, and you'll learn how to implement marketing strategies that work for long term success. After taking the training and as I move into my new career as a home stager and redesigner, I feel excited, confident, and empowered in my ability to build and grow my business so I may share my passion and love for design with my clients.

Elizabeth Anne Shea - Gardenia Home Design

HSR training is comprehensive, professional and not for the faint of heart. This program not only trains you on the fun design side but takes you into a realistic, functional marketing program that will make your business not only successful but optimal for resale down the road. Thanks for all the information and all the possibilities that await me.

Mary Redwine - Rain Tree Staging & Design

Very updated and clean/bright and love that we can customize it!

Andrea T Turner - Decor By Redesign

I had previously purchased training through another company and was still struggling on how to fill in some holes that I did not have information on. Then I found HSR. It covered EVERYTHING that I needed to know and answered questions that I did not even know I had. Audra's training was extensive and thorough with no subject left untouched. Her passion for helping home stagers is obvious and the ongoing support available is amazing! Now I feel that I have everything I need to transform my business in to the dream I have had for so long!

Diane Mayo - Creative Interiors

Audra's program is fully extensive, with a plethora of real-life examples to learn from. She doesn't hold back on any industry secrets and really shows examples of great staging and explains road blocks, and pitfalls to avoid. She really covers everything and makes it fun and easy to follow.

Jenine Porvin - Modern Desert Interiors

The HSR program was extremely comprehensive. Audra provides everything imaginable to set the foundation for a successful staging and design career. Her expertise in business, marketing, and the digital world makes this program stand out.

Julie Martin - Haven Staging & Design

I just completed my training! I must say, this training was very informative, very information packed, and very helpful. You would be hard pressed to find a comprehensive step by step guide to setting up your own business anywhere like this! Guys, this is your business wrapped in a bow! Can't get any simpler than that! Thank you Audra 1000 times over!

Jacqueline Tillery - JST Real Estate Interiors

Audra has sincere passion and dedication to the staging industry as demonstrated through her training. I chose to embark on this journey with Audra as a trainer because I like her realist approach to business, her positive attitude, and attention to detail in her training materials. Education and learning is a necessity for me as I am curious by nature. Audra far exceeded my expectations as I learned more through her course then I could have anticipated. Thank you, Audra.

Amy Beers - House of Sheldon

This training was so much more then I ever imagined it would be! The information on how to market and brand my business was real eye opening for me.

Caryn Irwin - Staging & Design Caryn