Best Eames Chair Replica Options Perfect for Staging or Staying!

Eames chair replica ideas

If you’re looking for a way to give a home an inexpensive update, changing out some smaller furniture pieces like chairs is a good strategy to pursue. Whether you are staging your home to sell, or decorating because you’re staying for a while, choose the best Eames chair replica for an affordable way to capture the MCM (mid-century modern) vibe without having to spend a lot of money.

Mid-century modern is a style that lends itself to a wide range of ages of home. From the late 40’s to contemporary builds, you easily can fit this versatile style into your space.

MCM furniture can be great for smaller spaces because the simplicity and visual lightness of the designs helps the room maintain an airy feel. This is one reason why I love these pieces for staging, since buyers love open and airy rooms!

Even if you’re not sure if you know what an Eames chair is, I guarantee you that you have seen Eames chairs and Eames-inspired designs! Eames refers to the brothers Charles and Ray Eames, and while they are known for many different chair designs, the look we’re talking about here is a chair with a sleek, somewhat shapely plastic seat and legs made of wood, with the added geometric element of metal bracing for the legs.

Scroll down to take a look at some of the best affordable options so you can get the cool Eames look for a fraction of the price.

Best Eames Chair Replica Options

Here is a list of some of the best ones you can find on Amazon right now.

Flash Furniture 2 Pack Alonza Series Peach Plastic Chair with Wooden Legs

These are interesting because of the color, and overall they very much capture the classic look that we’re after.


Here’s another color option for this chair:

UrbanMod Mid Century Style Urban ‘Easy Assemble Furniture with ErgoFlex ABS Plastic and ‘One Wipe Wonder’ Cleaning Comfortable Dining Meets 5-Star Modern Chair, 4, White

Here is an armless version of the chair in classic white, and seriously I do not think you can beat this price for a set of 4 (!!) chairs.

These also have a weight rating of 330 pounds, which is pretty hard to find. As a home stager I need to make sure the furniture I use is safe for anyone who may want to sit down for whatever reason during their home viewing. I always try to shop for chairs rated for 300 pounds, so I can tell you it’s actually kind of difficult to find, especially in an inexpensive set that’s as attractive as these chairs are.


DHP C013701 Mid Century Modern Chair with Molded Arms and Wood Legs, Black “Eames Chair Replica”

I don’t know about you, but my biggest problem when shopping for replica Eames-style chairs would be choosing a color. I love this black design. This one has a weight recommendation of up to 200 pounds.

And last but not least, check out this super sweet red one:

What Makes The Eames Chair Design So Popular?

For one thing, the chair design is a brilliant study in contrasts. The shapely seat that conforms to the human body contrasted with the angles and hard lines of the legs. The sleek plastic material contrasted with the beauty of the natural materials in the legs, and the contrast of the wood with the metal.

It’s also about the simplicity and as I mentioned above, the visual lightness of the design. These work well in a wide range of room sizes and eras. They keep the room’s open feeling because the legs are rather dainty and delicate. However, the design is also extremely strong and sturdy. And whether you choose a design with or without arms, these are also quite comfortable to sit in.

Mid-century modern pieces fit in well in homes from the original era in which they were designed as well as subsequent eras right up to brand new construction. You can picture these in a suburban atomic ranch or a brand new downtown loft. (Note: They may not fit in so well in a super traditional home, or what I like to refer to as the Home Alone house. If you say Home Alone house to someone, they instantly know what type of home and decor you are talking about.)

Anyway I hope you’ve found some great new chairs 🙂

Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

    Brass Fireplace Screen: An Easy Way to Update Your Space (Inexpensively)

    brass fireplace screen in living room

    As a home staging consultant and instructor, I am always thinking about the best ways to update a room while realizing the most bang for your buck. A brass fireplace screen is a surprisingly effective change that can transform the feel of a room.

    It’s as easy as opening a box and setting the new screen down in front of the fireplace. This makes it one of the absolute easiest things you can do (check out our best home staging accessories list for more).

    And think about the visual space that they take up — they’re as large as a piece of artwork and they make a natural focal point in a room. But for some reason it’s a part of the room that doesn’t get a lot of fanfare when we talk about decorating.

    When you choose a brass fireplace screen, the finish will automatically draw the eye toward it, since humans love “shiny objects,” and this will serve to help highlight the fireplace area even more. This is great for staging, since we want buyers to focus on the home’s desirable features, but if you’re not staging it’s also a nice way to help direct attention toward a focal point.

    You can use brass in any home style. Just choose the screen’s design wisely. Here are some of the ones I spotted. Some of these are versions of much more expensive ones that I’ve seen at higher-end stores, but these Amazon ones will work nicely.

    Brass Fireplace Screen Options for Any Home Style

    Now, since I said “any” home style I will probably have someone message me saying that isn’t really true, because what about this type of home or that type of home, and I get that, there are always special cases. So maybe we should say that these are brass fireplace screens for virtually any home style.

    Also note that when I say brass, I mean a brass or gold finish. Beware of tacky overly yellow brass finishes though. I recently returned a lamp to Amazon that was supposed to be a brass finish and it was just sooo not a good kind of brass. I have been lamp hunting for weeks and thought I’d found the perfect one, but that’s for another post! Ok let’s get to it.

    Pilgrim Home and Hearth Pilgrim Bedford Brass Fireplace Screen 18311, Brushed

    Note that the brushed brass finish makes this one look a little less blingy. Also, it’s a fairly elaborate design, so you want to make sure it’s not visually competing with other items but instead is given its own visual space, otherwise you might end up with too much going on.

    Deco 79 Metal Fireplace Screen, 50 by 35-Inch

    I kind of love this one and I think it could work in a pretty broad range of home styles.

    Deco 79 Tall Silver & Gold Decorative Screen w/ Herringbone Pattern, Modern Style, Gold

    Herringbone or chevron-type patterns have been a little bit overexposed in the last few years but I do think this could be a good look in a lot of home styles. It’s a classic and this is one of the least expensive ones on the list.

    MyGift 3-Panel Vintage Gold-Tone Scrollwork Freestanding Metal Fireplace Screen

    What do you think, is it too “scrolly” for you? I think this one would look really pretty in a lot of more traditional-style homes. It’s another one of the less expensive options here.

    Tangkula Fireplace Screen, Contemporary Chevron Freestanding w/Sturdy Wrought Iron Frame, Gold-Tone Fire Spark Guard Gate w/Metal Decorative Mesh for Outdoor or Indoor Use

    Here we have another chevron type of pattern, and I wanted to include this one because it’s the flat style (unlike the one above with three sides) — this takes up less space and in some cases it can help the room feel slightly more open. In my own home, I changed to a flat style screen and I was shocked at home much of a difference it made. Something to be aware of. You can hardle ever go wrong with chevron pattern although I would caution you not to overuse it. It seems like some people get addicted to it!

    Uttermost Rosen Antiqued Gold Leaf 34″ H Brass Fireplace Screen

    This would fit right into the look of a traditional style home.

    Christopher Knight Home Howell Single Panel Iron, Gold

    I like this one for almost any home. I love how simple it is, but then the scrollwork feet give it a little something extra. It king of gives you something for everyone, it’s simple, clean, classic, traditional, and slightly ornate… what do you think? The price is super reasonable as well.

    Brass/Gold Finish Fireplace Screens (Not So Much for Staging…)

    I’m going to add a couple more that are much more taste-specific so not as suitable for staging, but perfectly wonderful for your own style of decor.

    MyGift Peacock Feather Shaped Brass-Tone Metal Fireplace Screen

    This one was too good not to include. There are some nice photos of this screen in customers’ actual homes if you check out the reviews. 

    MyGift Decorative Gold Wrought Iron Fireplace Screen Gate with Door Cover and Silhouette Tree & Bird Design

    I know people who would love love love this type of brass fireplace screen although it’s not something I would personally choose I can see the appeal.

    Deco 79 Lovely Traditional Metal Brass Fireplace Screen, 33″ H x 39 L, Textured Black and Gold

    This one is not strictly a brass fireplace screen, but it does have a brass/gold finish as a key component of the design. I wanted to post another take on a tree design.

    MyGift Art Deco Starburst Style Freestanding Brass Fireplace Screen

    This one probably has a wide enough range of people who’d like it, so it could be on the “good for staging list,” depending on the room. I was on the fence about it though. I do think it’s very interesting but definitely not the brass fireplace screen that I’d choose.

    Final Thoughts

    As you can see, there’s a brass fireplace screen (or a gold-colored one) to suit any type of decor that you may have in your home. It’s an easy update that can transform the look of your fireplace, help show off this nice feature in your home, and add a bit of extra visual interest. A fireplace screen is a utilitarian object that has a lot of decorative impact, and it can even have an effect on how spacious the room or fireplace seating area feels. I hope our list has given you some options that you like. No matter what your budget looks like, there’s a stylish and attractive new fireplace screen waiting for you!

    Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

    If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

      Intro to Home Staging | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 1)

      Free Home Staging Course - School of Home Staging

      Free Home Staging Course Unit 1

      Intro to Home Staging

      When I wrote my first home staging training course material back in 2005, staging was a lot less mainstream than it is now.

      Since this free home staging course is written for anyone to be able to get a complete staging education, you may find that some of the information presented seems like common knowledge to you if you are already familiar with the concepts.

      If you fall into that category, then congratulations, you have a head start! I know you will still find some useful nuggets of info.

      If you’re totally new to home staging, don’t worry, by the end of the course you’ll be more knowledgeable than many working in the field.

      Staging homes is easy once you understand the thought process.

      I plan on teaching you to understand it, so that you never make the kind of obvious mistakes that you sometimes see in homes that are professionally staged. Even though this is a 100% free home staging course you can learn enough to stage even better than some pros already out there getting clients.

      But getting back to the common staging mistakes, I’ll mention more of those as we get further in.
      home staging course

      There may be some debate about whether or not a single individual invented home staging.

      My belief is that home staging is a natural process to go through when getting ready to sell, so it seems hard to believe it was invented by one person.

      It’s a lot like washing and cleaning up your car so you can get a good price when you sell it, or putting on a nice suit when you?re going to a job interview.

      It just makes sense.

      Home staging has become the norm in residential real estate.

      HGTV and print media have educated the public fairly well at this point, which has made it much easier to convince sellers that they should stage.

      And who doesn’t want to get the highest possible price for their home?

      It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one way to be a home stager.

      When you’re faced with staging a vacant home, that’s a pretty straightforward situation where you will come in with furniture and decor and work your magic.

      However, a lot of homes will be occupied, so that’s where we will focus much of our attention in this no-strings-attached free home staging course.

      Don’t worry if you don’t have everything figured out before you start. A lot of the fun of staging is that you get to use your creativity and create solutions on the fly.

      Let’s move on to the first part our our free home staging course, a quick overview of the reasons why we stage.

      Why Stage Homes?

      As I mentioned in the previous section, we stage homes so that we can attract buyers and get the highest price.

      It does take some effort to properly stage a home and some sellers may be resistant to the idea. They might think it won’t make that much of a difference so it isn’t worth the trouble.

      Lucky for us, staging is a lot easier to sell than it was a decade ago, since more of the public has become hip to the idea.

      Some buyers can visualize a home’s potential and see through any existing distractions like screaming paint colors, strange decor, clutter, pet odors, 1970s linoleum, etc.

      But the majority of buyers simply can’t, and a bad first impression can be very hard to overcome.

      These days, you might not even get buyers to come view the home unless the online photos look appealing.

      That’s why staging is more important than ever.

      Once we have potential buyers looking at the home, we need to make sure the home looks as desirable as possible.

      We can’t hide the flaws, but we can downplay them. We can accentuate the home’s best features.

      We can engage buyers with a compelling picture of what life would be like in this particular home.

      Home staging that’s done properly helps give buyers that emotional response that tells them, “This is the one!”

      Home Staging Helps Sell Homes in Any Market

      Homes should be staged no matter what kind of market you’re experiencing.

      Sometimes a market can be so hot that sellers may come to the conclusion that staging isn’t necessary since everything is getting multiple offers and selling for asking price or higher.

      Still, why not stage? Your sale price could be $15,000 over asking instead of $3,000 over.

      Here’s a quick note about my neighborhood here in Portland not long ago, a house up the street sold for more than $50,000 over asking.

      I believe smart home staging played a major role, as the house conveyed the highly sought after urban farmhouse vibe to a T.

      Right now, the market here (and in many other areas) is transitioning from a multiple-offers-over-asking climate and heading toward longer listing times and even price reductions.

      It’s been years since I’ve seen price reductions around here. And it’s been a change that started taking hold pretty quickly.

      As a rule, staged homes will sell faster and higher in any type of market, so it can help make homes less susceptible to weakening conditions.

      The point is, no matter what the market is doing, you should always stage!


      Exercises and assignments are not required as part of this free home staging course because this is all self study, with no instructor guidance. However we do recommend completing them to get the most out of this training.

      Go to a home search site and enter your own zip code. Take a look at what’s on the market and start looking at average-priced homes.

      It could be $400,000 where you are or it could be $120,000 so just pick a price range that represents nice-looking starter homes.

      Look at individual homes in detail. Check out the photos and just start making mental notes about what works and doesn’t work. Notice what jumps out at you and what you might do differently. Spend 20 to 30 minutes and try to look at five or more houses.


      Depersonalizing a home is an important step to take because it allows buyers to see themselves in the home.

      When you depersonalize, you turn the home into a blank slate where buyers can imagine spending their lives.

      Family photos, mementos, and other highly personal items can be a distraction and actually block a buyer’s mind from engaging with the home the way you want them to.

      It’s easier to form a connection with a house and start thinking of it as a home when we have properly depersonalized it.

      Think of it as a way to create universal appeal.

      We’ll get further into how to depersonalize later in this completely free home staging course, but the main items we’ll remove include photos, highly taste-specific artwork, religious items, and mementos.


      This is going to seem like a random exercise but trust me, it will help hone your staging instincts for working with occupied homes. Walk around your home and try to view it with fresh eyes.

      Start at the entryway and tour the home as if you were a buyer. See where your eyes rest as you view the home – objects on the coffee table, pictures on the wall, furniture placement, decor, and everyday life stuff like mail or books that may be in view.

      Think about each item and whether it’s something that should stay or go if you’re staging.

      I know we haven’t discussed the specific staging steps yet, but I want you to just go with your gut feeling.

      Just think about the psychology of staging. This is just to practice starting to look at a home as a home stager.

      It’s kind of challenging to do this with your own home. Try to spend at least 15 minutes.

      Free Home Staging Course Unit 1 Assignments

      (Once again, our free home staging course has no instructor and these assignments will not be reviewed.)

      1. Choose three homes in your market and do an in-depth assessment of each one. You can use online photos or you can attend an open house.

      2. Create a list of pros and cons for each home. For each home, make a list of five personal items that should have been removed so that buyers could more easily see themselves in the home. If the home has been staged, make some notes about what the stager did well, and if you see room for improvement please include these details. For each home, choose one feature that sets it apart from the others in a positive way. Also choose one issue that makes it slightly less desirable than the others

      Move on to the next lesson in our free home staging course.

      Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

      If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

        Common Home Staging Problems | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 2)

        home staging problems

        Home Staging Course Unit 2

        Common Home Staging Problems

        For the next part of this home staging course we’re going to go over some of the most common issues you will come across when staging occupied homes. This is where we get into issues like clutter and outdated decor, and when you learn how to tactfully these situations and correct them, real estate agents will love you.

        If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.


        Many homes have too much day-to-day stuff in sight, such as mail, coats and hats, items on nightstands, counter-top clutter in kitchens and bathrooms, you get the idea. People have these everyday items sitting out in plain view because we get used to them and we use them all the time.

        Clutter can also include knick-knacks, pet items, piles of old magazines, collections, toys, and more. When we stage, we need to find places to put stuff away in cabinets or drawers, and possibly start boxing things up in preparation for moving.

        Organization and decluttering strategies could comprise a course on their own so I will not be attempting to teach these methods. If you’re not a natural organizer you might want to look at some books on the topic so you can help your clients with some pointers. What we want for staging is a kind of semi-minimalism. I say “semi” because just saying the word minimalism can be interpreted rather harshly by some, like an all-white room with a chair, a book, and a spiky plant in the corner. We want it to be more interesting and more comfortable than that, but we want to get rid of distractions and everyday real-life stuff.

        I’m not suggesting that you do the actual decluttering for them, just be ready with ideas and make sure you’re specific when letting the clients know where the trouble spots are.

        Too Much Furniture

        There?s no magic rule that I can give you as part of this home staging course to determine how much furniture should be in a room. It depends too much on the shape of the room, window placement, room function, and other features like stairways, fireplaces, or other built-in features.

        You will know when you walk into the room whether it feels a little crowded.

        You?ll also be able to tell that there?s too much furniture if it forces traffic patterns that are awkward.

        A good rule of thumb is to have two feet of space around each piece of furniture in a grouping such as a seating area.

        If you?re dealing with a situation where there is not enough furniture for the space, try to arrange it so that you spread the visual weight evenly around the room.

        You don?t want one side of the room full of furniture and the rest of the space is empty.

        Try to space things out in a way that makes sense in terms of usability (even if nobody is really using it) while distributing the visual weight around the space.

        By visual weight we mean the way elements pull our eye, how much they ?register? when we look at each item. What you want is to create visual balance.

        Remember that visual weight is not tied directly to the size of the item.

        It?s better to err on the side of having a little too much space rather than too much furniture.

        You can have buyers store excess furniture in a basement, attic, or storage unit such as a POD that they may be using for their move anyway.

        Outdated Decor

        Sometimes you run into very dated d?cor. Depending on the budget and how extensively you?re staging, you may have to find ways to minimize the problem areas instead of replacing them altogether.

        A good example would be kitchen flooring. You may not have the option of getting new flooring (although this is a relatively inexpensive high-impact change you can make) so instead you?ll have to try to take the focus away from it.

        You can do this by highlighting the positive features in the kitchen, such as a beautiful view of the garden or spacious counter tops. You can put a pretty throw rug down that works with the existing color of the floor but also gives your eye a more pleasing area to rest.

        I?m not saying that we can completely take the attention away from the problems.

        Problems will get noticed. But we can try to minimize their impact by giving buyers plenty of good stuff to admire in the home.

        It’s like, “Yeah the 1970s avocado and brown linoleum is an eyesore but look at all this counter space… and the view of the garden….”

        Sometimes you can spruce-up dated drawers and cabinets with some new knobs in a finish like brushed nickel that will work with nearly any d?cor.

        I like these bin pulls for giving older cabinets an easy update.

        Dated furniture can be given a quick makeover with some new pillows and a cozy throw, if you don?t have the budget to swap pieces with rented furniture (or your own items).

        Not Enough Light

        In home staging, light is probably your best friend. Look at the window coverings to see what changes can be made in order to get more light.

        Natural colored linen or linen-like curtains can give a home a quick update, allowing light to filter in while maintaining privacy at night.

        See if there is excess foliage outside windows. Branches can be trimmed to let in more light.

        You can also add mirrors to help lighten things up.

        Unflattering Paint Colors

        Believe it or not, you don?t have to paint every room white in order to attract buyers.

        In fact, white rooms often come across as cold and boring. Painting everything white is a home staging mistake that a lot of house flippers and brand new stagers make.

        Here’s the reality:

        Color helps sell homes.

        But if the bedroom is hot pink, I mean yes that might be a little much.

        A red lacquered accent wall in the living room may be a little over the top. (I depends on the space though.)

        And the brown walls in the dining room, well, might be a little unappetizing.

        Hopefully your sellers will be OK with painting, should the need present itself.

        When suggesting new colors, try to make choices that will have broad appeal. I would generally avoid stark white but you should definitely think about warm antique white and cream shades.

        Earthy pale greens like sage or muted minty tones are often very pleasing. We?ll get more into color choices in a bit.

        I’m going to add another common problem here, which is bad faux finishes. Faux finishes in general can date the home but the problem gets even worse when you come across poorly-done faux finishes. Have clients paint over these.

        Try not to offend them as it’s obviously something they’ve liked while they’ve lived there, and maybe they did the hard work of applying the finish. And it is hard work!

        Talk about refreshing the space, enhancing the light, neutralizing the decor… try to use wording that will be gentle in letting them know that it needs to go. But get them to paint over it.


        Last but not least, we have to deal with odors. This is more common as a home staging problem than you might expect, unfortunately, and not a very comfortable one to discuss. This can be an issue related to pets, diapers, cigarettes, garbage, or even mold or mildew.

        Mold and mildew can be a serious issue that should come up during a home inspection, and it may indicate current or past water leaks that are not something that we?ll be trying to cover up.

        I just want to be clear about the fact that we aren?t concealing problems with the home. If you do notice a moldy odor you can just ask the sellers if they?re aware of it.

        They may not be, since they have probably grown accustomed to it. It?s something you should discuss in case they do want to address it in terms of making repairs.

        Pet odors could be coming from the litter box or from carpets.

        You may have to troubleshoot the problem on the fly and then talk to the sellers to arrive at a solution.

        It could mean that they agree to hire a carpet cleaning service.

        Maybe you tell them that one thing you recommend to all cat owners is to make sure the litter box is cleaned at least once per day, or more frequently if there are multiple cats.

        It might be that you leave them with a new bottle of Febreze. It just depends on the situation.

        For garbage odors, you can leave them with (or ask them to purchase) some scented trash bags and an air freshener that can be placed by the trash can.

        You?ll have to try to navigate the topic of odors as tactfully as possible, but remember that you?re not doing your job fully as a stager if you avoid these conversations.

        It?ll make sure a huge difference when you fix it.

        Location Problems

        Many homes have location problems and of course there is only so much you can do about them.

        Here are some issues you’ll deal with as a home stager.

        It’s a Little Noisy

        Road noise is one of the most common issues, and there are a couple of things you can do. If the noise is mainly an issue outside on the porch or deck or in the back yard, you can add wind chimes or water features like a tabletop fountain.

        If the noise is noticeable in the house, you can keep the windows closed that are closest to the source of the noise.

        I disagree with the tactic of trying to cover up such noise by playing music during showings. To me that crosses the line, because in that scenario someone would have to have music on all the time in order to deal with the issue.

        Adding a fountain or a chime is just a way to put other ambient sounds into the mix so that there are other sounds to focus on, and these can easily be running all the time in the background.

        I think it?s different to have to play music all the time; it?s just not practical for people.

        One thing I hope you come away with through this home staging course is a sense of ethics. You need to be fair and make sure you?re giving buyers a fair chance to assess whether they can accept the home?s flaws.

        Minimize those flaws, but don?t try to cover things up.

        It Doesn’t Have the Best View

        OK, moving on to another common location issue: unsightly views.

        By this I mean when there is an ugly commercial building behind the home so the view from the backyard is not the best. Or if there is, and sometimes this happens, a neighbor who does not keep things up.

        Or there is a deck with a view that?s just undesirable for whatever reason. I looked at a home once that was really lovely except for one thing ? the upstairs bedrooms had a view of some dumpsters located at an adjacent multi-unit property. My agent was like, “Just don’t look that way.” Not really practical.

        You can get some baby trees and plant them along the fence line. You can put up a trellis or an outdoor folding screen on a deck.

        You can try to redirect attention toward something attractive like an outdoor seating area with some pretty glass globe string lights decorating the space.


        Home Staging Course Unit 2 Assignments

        1. Search for homes in your area or any city where you feel like browsing online.

        Find homes in starter to mid-range prices and look at interior photos. Look at five or more homes and try to come up with a list of at least ten problems that you can see in the photos. Identify the problem and how it will affect a buyer?s impression of the home.

        Please list the home?s address and zip code and the problem that you see. You do not have to include photos but you are welcome to.

        An example answer would be: ?512 Oak Street 97206 has a cluttered living room with dog crates taking up a lot of floor space and the room seems small. The home also has clutter on the kitchen counters so it looks like preparing food would be very cramped.?

        2. Imagine you?re in a client?s home and there are a few delicate topics that you need to address. Think about ways to tell the client these three things: there is a cat box odor, the bathroom has too much grooming stuff on the counter-top that make it look very small, and there is a ?favorite chair? that is taking up too much living room space so it should be put in storage.

        This isn?t something you need to turn in but I want you to come up with two ways of saying each of the above, tactfully, to your imaginary client. Make one statement very gentle and one a little bit more firm. You may need to tell clients these things a couple of times to get the message across.

        Write down your statements for each situation and practice saying them out loud. Look at yourself in the mirror while doing so, and make sure you?re conveying confidence in your body language while being kind and understanding.

        People can be sensitive when they feel they?re being judged so this can take a little practice to get just the right tone.

        Practice until you feel like you?ve nailed it.

        Now let’s move on. We’re going to get right into some home staging tips.

        Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

        If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

          Home Staging Tips | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 3)

          Tips For Home Staging - SHS

          Home Staging Course Unit 3

          Home Staging Tips for Color and Interior Design Principles

          This section will be all about home staging tips related to color and design. This unit will help you with some of the aesthetic decisions you’ll make when you stage homes, and we’ll get into some of the best decor tips for making irresistible interior spaces that will activate buyers’ senses and help them start connecting to the home.

          If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Part 1 of our home staging course.

          Color & Human Response

          Humans are extremely responsive to color. We have direct physical and psychological responses to color, so when you?re staging a home, you need to understand these principles. This section ties in to home staging psychology, one of the most fascinating aspects of this field.

          There are plenty of books on the topics of color psychology and using color in decorating (I have read and recommend the one above), and we could go into great detail here, but I want to give you the most important home staging tips about color that will be useful to you in your everyday staging projects.

          Generally speaking, warm colors (pink, red, orange, yellow, and yellow-green) are associated with energy, excitement, activity, and sometimes happiness and love.

          These colors can convey a physical sense of warmth.

          Cool colors (blue, blue-green, blue-violet, gray) are associated with water, snow, and sky.

          These colors can convey a cooling sensation.

          Cool colors are calming, soothing, and restful.

          There are variances within each hue such as cooler oranges and warmer blues, but the primary hues will fall into the category of warm or cool.

          Greens and violets can definitely vary quite a bit in terms of being warmer or cooler.

          Grays can be quite warm but generally they are classified as cool.

          Brown and beige shades fall into the warm category.

          Make sure you stick with very light shades when you?re choosing room colors for home staging, since a color can look a lot darker on the walls than you thought it was when you looked at the paint chip.

          This is due to the changes in how we perceive the color in a large area like an entire room. It just looks different on the two-inch square that you see on the chip.

          So, factor this in when you?re selecting colors and always err on the side of lighter rather than darker. An exception would be when you?re really trying to make a room look smaller, but this isn?t usually the case in home staging.

          Let?s talk more about specific colors and how you can use them in your staging.

          Home Staging Tips: Using Color in Home Staging


          Green is associated with nature and it makes us feel calm. Strong green shades like grass green or emerald should be used sparingly, as accents, and are especially appropriate for bedrooms due to their soothing effect.

          Pale, earthy greens like sage shades can be used for walls in any room.

          Keep wall colors light.

          Clare Color Genius – Take the quiz to find your perfect paint color!


          Red is a high energy color, and as such, it is appropriate to use in smaller doses for staging.

          Areas like dining rooms where you want to encourage social interaction are great places to use red.

          I like using red in the more problem rooms such as a dated kitchen or bathroom where you really want to lead the eye away from trouble spots.

          When you use red in three small areas in a space, it helps move the eye around and can make the space seem more alive.

          In a kitchen I might use a red teapot, a red (or partially red) throw rug in front of the sink, and a vase full of red flowers such as dahlias.

          The key to using red is to use it strategically to say ?look here!? ? be aware of the attention it will attract, and use it to achieve your staging goals. If I really want someone to focus on the beautiful fireplace, I might think about how I can use a pop of red to make sure it isn?t missed.

          In bedrooms, red can lend a romantic vibe. This can be fine for staging, as long as you keep it from being over the top. Remember, small doses.


          Yellow is probably the color associated with happiness more than any other hue. It?s also very easy to overdo it with yellow, so it?s another one that I would suggest using strategically in smaller doses.

          Yellow is definitely a go-to color when you want to add a sense of light to a space. It?s the color of the sun so we automatically make the association with daylight.

          I like using it subtly such as in a throw pillow, fresh (or good-looking faux) flowers, or artwork. It?s great for cheering up a laundry area.


          Orange works much like red and yellow but it can be trickier to use successfully. One reason is because orange isn?t high on most people?s list of favorite colors.

          I would definitely use prints that feature orange, and orange accents like a big bowl of oranges (especially if you?re lucky enough to have an orange tree on the property and you want to highlight it as one of the home?s nice features), flowers, candles, or throw pillows.


          When you ask people what their favorite color is, blue is the most common response. You can be pretty comfortable that when you?re using blue, people are much more likely to love it than dislike it.

          Strong blues are great where you want to give a cool, calm feeling, and are best used as accent colors. Pale blues are very pleasing to the eye and can be used in any room.

          In a bathroom, pale greens and blue-greens can convey a serene, spa-like feeling. Pale blue bedrooms look like a relaxing space for relaxing and resting.


          White is a nice background where you can make your colors pop. Avoid using too much white, since it can come across as dull, cold, and lifeless.

          Use white in conjunction with color so that your spaces feel happy and alive.

          Warm whites are the best shades to go with ? colors like antique white, cream, and into the light parchment and linen shades.

          White is popular for just about any room in the house, especially kitchens and bathrooms as they give you a fresh, clean look.


          Natural shades are very pleasing and will impart a warm, satisfying feeling. Humans love natural materials. Use light tan shades for walls and make the space come to life with pops of color.

          Choose linen-colored throw pillows or bedding to convey a pleasing, tactile sense that will be very appealing to buyers.

          Even if buyers don?t actually touch anything when viewing the home, the look of natural materials (like these gorgeous baskets) is so enticing that it works psychologically.

          I?m not suggesting that you decorate with beige and khaki, but use these peaceful colors in conjunction with your accent colors to give the eye a pleasing balance of liveliness and comfort.

          What are the Best Home Staging Colors?

          Want some home staging tips that you can literally take to the bank?

          Here?s some recent data about color and home sales straight from Zillow:

          • Blue bathrooms in shades like powder blue and periwinkle can boost a home?s sale price by an average of more than $5,000.
          • Cool, natural shades are also desirable for bathrooms.
          • White bathrooms are not as desirable, with an average of $4,000 taken off the sale price.
          • Grayish beige exteriors (greige) sell better than medium brown or tan.
          • Front doors painted in shades of navy and slate can add about $1500 to the sale price.
          • Terracotta dining room walls can take about $2,000 off the sale price.
          • Dining rooms painted in slate, pale gray, and navy can add about $2,000 to the sale price.
          • Yellow kitchens are not as popular these days. It can take around $800 off the price.

          Home Staging Tips: Decorating and Style

          Let?s go over some key decorating points to keep in mind for home staging.

          Buyers want lots of space in a home. They want rooms that feel open and airy.

          Go through the home and find all of the ways you can create a spacious, open feeling.

          We already talked about removing clutter and excess furniture so let?s talk about other things you can do.

          Closets & Cabinets

          Closets are important areas where you should create space.

          Closets are a huge deal, and nobody wants a closet that?s going to be a challenge due to its size.

          While you can?t do anything about the size of the closet, you can make them feel as spacious as possible.

          You can do this by having the sellers organize and thin out their wardrobe.

          Seasonal items that aren?t needed can be packed and stored in preparation for moving.

          Encourage sellers to find ways to make more closet space through organizing, storing, or possibly even donating stuff.

          Cabinet space is also important and buyers may peek in to make sure they seem roomy. Make sure all storage areas look like they are sufficient by avoiding an overstuffed, unorganized look.

          Aside from the space issue, any kind of disarray is undesirable in staging.

          Buyers will want to check to make sure the home meets their needs right down to whether it has enough cabinet space or not.

          Define Spaces

          When you have a very large living area with undefined spaces, it may make the room seem more functional if you separate the spaces by using different paint colors, such as an end wall painted in an accent color.

          You can accomplish the same separation with area rugs.

          Having two well-defined areas can actually make a large random-feeling room seem larger and more useful.

          Light & Space

          Make sure you keep the window treatments nice and light as much as possible, so that you can bring the outside in and add light and an airy, open feel.

          Large mirrors can help create space, especially when they are positioned so that they pick up reflections of daylight coming in through a window.

          I like using modern, semi-abstract landscape artwork on walls because it?s not going to put people off, and it also adds a sense of space to the room.

          Choosing Accessories & Decor

          As far as decorating style when it comes to home staging tips I can give you, stick with a tasteful and up to date style that isn?t too taste-specific.

          I often refer to Pottery Barn style as an ideal for appealing d?cor that appeals to a wide range of people.

          Classic, yet current.

          I?m definitely not saying that your items have to be from Pottery Barn.

          Note: I like doing staging shopping through this cash back program; I like the quarterly checks that come from things I was going to buy anyway.

          I?m a big fan of Wayfair, Saks Off Fifth (here’s a free shipping coupon), IKEA, clearance, Wisteria sale and clearance, and places like Ross for accessories.

          Be sure to mix in accents in trendy prints or colors. You can liven up a blah sofa with fresh throw pillows. I've gotten gorgeous, beautifully-made pillow covers from this shop. There’s nothing more affordable for a high-impact update.

          If mismatched furniture is an issue and you?re not able to swap for new pieces due to budget or time constraints, slipcovers might be an option.

          A quick word on kitchen staging: please don’t use this type of artwork when you stage a kitchen. It’s a clich? that needs to be retired.

          Putting It All Together

          When you arrange furniture in a room, be sure to keep things balanced.

          There is not a one-size-fits-all home staging tip that will apply in every situation, but when there is an imbalance, you?ll be able to see it and correct it.

          Trust yourself when you think something isn?t quite right. When in doubt, less is usually more.

          Lighten and brighten areas that are too dark by using light natural paint colors.

          You?ll create an open feel while maintaining warmth when you stick with shades like straw, cream, and linen.

          Mix in natural textures by using baskets?and tactile fabrics. Add shiny items like candle holders / candlesticks or vases for contrast.

          Finally, make sure each room has a distinct purpose when you stage.

          A bedroom used as a sewing room or office is OK (bedrooms used as bedrooms is the ideal way to stage) but when a room looks like a multi-purpose craft room/guest room/workout area, it starts to be less attractive.

          You want each room to make an impression.

          A dining room that?s also a shipping area for a home business is going to be less appealing than a dining room that just looks like a beautiful dining room.

          Yes, it is possible to see past some of the current uses for spaces, but it really helps buyers see the home?s lifestyle potential more clearly when we keep rooms clearly defined.


          1. Find a room in your house that you can stage. Practice with hands-on activities like rearranging items, placing throw pillows, or making the bed as attractively as possible.

          You don?t have to physically make every change that would be helpful, but go through the steps in your mind. Think about the paint color, the artwork, and the personal items that would need to be removed. Get some practice in styling by rearranging and editing objects on tables, night stands, or dressers.

          2. Go through some real estate listings online. Do a search for starter homes in your area and go over the photos of each room. Look at the rooms the way buyers will.

          Make a list of all of the changes you would make, including anything you think would be reasonable to do for staging such as painting or changing light fixtures. Be sure to make notes about the homes best features as well as features you want to de-emphasize.

          6 Interior Design Principles You Need to Know

          Let?s go over some of the important information you should be familiar with when it comes to interior design.

          This is going to be a quick overview with home staging tips that will give you a good basis for understanding how to make good decorating and design choices.

          My personal belief is that if you?re interested in home staging, you probably already have a knack for it and understand good decorating in an instinctual way.

          My dozen or so years as an instructor has shown this to be true time and time again.

          I?ve never had a student turn in bad work.

          And in many cases, the student turns in work that looks like it could be in a magazine.

          This is just because people who are drawn to home staging are drawn to it because it taps into their natural abilities.

          Even if you are a Realtor interested in becoming certified, I would feel confident in saying that you probably already have a knack for putting a room together.

          And Realtors look at so many homes that you can?t help but develop a good eye after a while.

          Having said all that, let?s get into some design principles.


          Balance in interior design refers to the idea of using the visual weight of objects in a room to create visual balance. Balance is one of the ways you can give the room a sense of things just looking right.

          Sometimes when things feel off, something isn?t quite right and you?re not sure why, it?s probably balance.

          You will most commonly use symmetrical balance and asymmetrical balance. When using asymmetrical balance, it?s all about using unlike objects that have the same visual weight.

          home staging bedUnity

          Unity is a way to give a home a sense of flow and harmony throughout each room.

          This isn?t something you?ll have total control of as a home stager, since you?re going to be working with a lot of design choices that have already been made.

          Color is one of the ways a home can have a sense of unity. If one room is painted hot pink and every other room is done in earthy neutrals, that?s going to be shocking space to walk into.

          If all of the rooms are painted in bold colors then the hot pink makes a lot more sense.

          As a home stager you might not be painting every room.

          But if you keep unity in mind, you might be able to make and jarring transitions a bit more subtle. In this example, you might be able to lessen the shock of the hot pink by adding some bold punches of color in other rooms.

          Or in the hot pink room, you might be able to calm it down with some neutrals in other elements like artwork, bedding, rugs, etc.

          And of course they could always paint the room! You can use unity as a reason, instead of having the homeowner think you are questioning their taste.


          Humans like visual rhythm. It helps the eye move around a space and creates some visual interest.

          Two ways you can use rhythm are with color and with what we call progression, which is basically a series of identical or similar objects that range in size.

          Emerald green throw pillows and an emerald green vase on the mantle would be an example of using color to create rhythm. An arrangement of small white, blue-green, and orange pumpkins creates rhythm through progression.

          Use rhythm in small doses.

          Scale & Proportion

          This principle is exactly what it sounds like. It?s about putting the right size pieces together, and making sure your furniture is the right size for the room. Make sure the coffee table looks like it?s the right size for the sofa.

          Don?t put a tiny table in a family-sized dining area. It isn?t difficult to discern problems with scale and proportion, and it comes down to common sense in most cases, more than having to do with special home staging tips or formulas. Trust your eye.

          Contrast is another way to add some visual interest to a space. You can use color, form, and space to create contrast.

          When you put contrasting items together, what you?re doing is highlighting the differences between them, which in turn enhances each one and makes them look better.

          Use contrast in small doses or the space can become too busy.


          Emphasis is about choosing a particular focal point for a room.

          You can use design elements to draw attention to an area like a fireplace, giving the room a focal point, and in the case of staging, emphasizing a desirable feature at the same time.

          With these home staging tips, you’ll be able to stage any home with confidence.

          Home Staging Course Unit 3 Assignments

          1. Find three rooms in your own home or in a friend/family member?s home that you would paint if you were staging it. Working from a photo of each room, explain why a color change would be an improvement, and choose an exact shade that you would use when you repaint.

          Try to pick a Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams color as these are the two most commonly used by painting companies.

          2. Discuss the use of color in the room below. What would you change, add, or remove? Is it appealing as-is? Aside from color, what staging steps would you take?

          home staging assignment

          Now that we’ve covered home staging tips for color and decorating, let’s move on to the next part of the course ? our home staging checklist.

          Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

          If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

            Home Staging Checklist | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 4)

            Home Staging Checklist - School of Home Staging

            Home Staging Checklist – SHS Free Staging Course Unit 4

            Our home staging checklist will walk you through staging any home.

            If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

            Home staging checklist for outside areas and curb appeal

            • Tidy, trim, and mow all lawn areas and beds.
            • Patch bare spots in the lawn and make sure the grass gets watered so it’s nice and green.
            • Remove branches that might be blocking windows, lake, mountain, or other nice view sight lines, or giving the yard an overgrown look.
            • Add some pretty potted flowers near the front door, if seasonally appropriate.
            • Make sure the porch, deck, and walkways are washed and free of leaves.
            • Put away yard tools, empty pots, toys, trash cans, and lawnmowers.
            • Make sure the pets are picked up after. Hire a pooper-scooper service if necessary.
            • If the front door is painted and could use a new coat, consider using red if it works with existing house colors. Red front doors look great and convey an energetic feel upon entering.
            • Make sure the exterior, porch, and deck areas are spic and span and free of cobwebs and dust.
            • Make sure outdoor light fixtures are in good working order.
            • Remove cobwebs and clear any corners where leaf debris may accumulate.
            • Think about hiring someone to pressure wash your hard surfaces and give the house a soft wash – choose your service carefully so you’re using a company that won’t cause damage to your home. Read reviews and see how long they’ve been in business.
            • Consider an updated mailbox and house numbers.
            • Add fresh new doormats outside front and back doors.
            • If the home has a large porch, make sure there’s a seating area or porch swing.
            • Make sure the pool and hot tub areas are clean and free of leaves.

            Home staging checklist for throughout the house

            • Put away clutter.
            • Remove excess furniture.
            • Clean thoroughly. Hire professionals if cleaning is not your strong suit.
            • Paint, if needed. White and neutral colors work best, and the paint should be in good condition and look fairly fresh.
            • Replace window coverings, if needed.
            • Put away seasonal items that aren’t needed, along with valuables, wardrobe items that aren’t needed, and knick-knacks or excess artwork/decor.
            • Make simple updates like new switch plates or cabinet pulls.
            • Depersonalize
            • Straighten books on shelves and please remove books about controversial topics and books about dealing with health problems, divorce, or other serious life concerns that buyers do not need to be thinking about as they tour the house. Yes, everyone does face life difficulties, but in staging we are creating an environment that doesn’t need to contain reminders of life’s challenges. We want to focus on the positive.
            • Remove plants that aren’t thriving, add new plants if desired.
            • Use psychological staging to edit or add.
            • Make decor updates like throw rugs and pillows.
            • Add vignettes.

            Now let’s get into the room-by-room home staging checklist:

            Entry and living areas

            • Remove any clutter that may accumulate near entryways such as shoes, coats, leashes, and mail.
            • Edit and arrange decorative items on mantle and tables.
            • Make sure artwork is appropriate and that the space has been properly depersonalized.
            • Arrange throw pillows and style other accessories as needed.
            • Add flowers/plants.


            • Make sure countertops are clear of clutter. Leave only the most essential items in order to accentuate counter space.
            • Remove refrigerator items like magnets, photos, lists, etc.
            • Place a pretty bowl of fruit on the counter.
            • Update dish towel and throw rug if necessary.
            • Organize cabinets and other storage areas.
            • Make sure there are no trash odors.

            Dining room

            • Make sure the dining room is functioning as a dining room and not a multi-purpose room. No sewing machines, printers, bill-paying stations, or spill over from the kitchen like bulk packs of cereal and paper towels, or occasionally used small appliances.
            • Set the table as if a dinner party is happening. (Silverware can get stolen easily, I hate that it’s an issue but it’s something to think about, so you may want to skip using it.)
            • Check to make sure artwork is appropriate and the room is depersonalized.


            • Replace shower curtain, rug, and towels if necessary.
            • Remove all clutter and personal items from counter tops. Keep grooming items in a drawer. Zero people want to see your toothbrush and shaving stuff!
            • Make sure everything is sparkling clean, including grout.
            • Keep all step stools, kids’ bath toy baskets, laundry hampers, etc. out of the way (ideally, put away in a closet) to maximize floor space.
            • Create a spa-like atmosphere with luxury towels, pretty soaps, etc. if desired.


            • Update bedding if necessary. A new duvet cover can do wonders – you don’t have to buy a new sheet set if you have a white or neutral set in good shape, just go for a new duvet cover.
            • Remove all clutter and make sure the room is depersonalized.
            • Make beds neatly and style with throw pillows.
            • Edit and style decor items on dressers and night tables.
            • New nightstand lamps can give you an inexpensive update.


            • Remove seasonal items (winter coats etc.) that aren’t needed.
            • Create space by editing and organizing.
            • Make sure items are neat and tidy.
            • Create more space by packing up items and putting them in storage.
            • Make sure closets appear spacious, not cramped. Do this by paring down to only what you need during your listing period, which will hopefully be a short time frame due to these staging tips!
            • The more stuff you can put away in a POD or storage unit, the better.


            • Have the sellers keep litter boxes clean – scoop at least once per day.
            • Avoid smoking in the house. Nothing will put buyers off like the smell of cigarette smoke.
            • Air out the house.
            • Use Febreze as needed.

            It can seem like a lot but try not to skip anything on this list. Each small detail adds up to an overall impression of your home, even the smallest details that buyers may not even consciously recognize can contribute to the level of appeal your home holds. You’re creating space, order, a sense of calm, a sense of contentment, and you want buyers to walk away with the feeling that things in the home have been taken care of and that life is good and secure in this house. You don’t want chaos or a sense of things being ignored and not cared for.

            Now that you have the home staging checklist, we’re ready for step-by-step instructions for how to stage a house.

            Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

            If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

              How to Stage a House | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 5)

              Real Estate Staging Classes

              Home Staging Course Unit 5

              How to Stage a House

              Here is the general step-by-step process for how to stage a house. This is the process for working with occupied homes.

              If you?ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

              Whether you’re a homeowner, a new home stager, or a real estate agent, these steps can serve as your overall staging plan.

              For occupied homes, you?ll need to remove extraneous furniture and deal with clutter. Edit and organize furniture and other items.

              Home sellers should take this opportunity to pack items that aren?t needed while the home is listed for sale. I always like to tell sellers that staging is the first step in the moving process, and it really is. It’s the first step in detaching from the home and moving on to the next one

              If a home is vacant, some of these steps won?t apply. For a vacant home staging you?ll either be bringing in rented furniture or pieces from your own inventory. You won?t have to worry about depersonalizing or dealing with clutter.

              Here’s a step-by-step list for you to follow as you learn how to stage a house. This will all become second-nature to you in no time once you’ve gone through the process a couple of times.

              How to Stage a House: Exterior

              Curb Appeal

              Use these curb appeal ideas and get started at least two to three weeks before your expected listing date.

              Curb appeal is one of the key components of how to stage a home.

              Make sure the lawn looks good.? Start watering a couple of weeks ahead of your target list date.

              Fill in any bare spots with a product like this.

              Trim branches. Trim any branches that give the yard an overgrown, dark, or unruly look. Trim branches away from windows to let more light into the home and look more inviting overall.

              Add color. Depending on the season, you can add some colorful bedding flowers or flowers in large pots near the entryway. This will help make the home look bright and cheerful, adding visual interest and some pop to the front.

              Get a new door mat. If the door mat looks worn at all, get a new one. If you get one that?s a little on the larger side, it can make the entryway feel more grand. Find one that looks classic, avoid the ones that are too cutesy.

              Give surfaces a good wash. Exteriors get dusty. Crevices can collect small bits of leaf debris, spider webs, and pollen. Give everything a good wash with your hose. If needed, concrete areas like driveways, walkways, and retaining walls can be freshened up with a good power wash.

              Upgrade the mailbox. We get used to everyday things as simple as a mailbox. But if you really look at it, is it attractive? Is it a wasted opportunity to improve the overall look of the home? Little things add up. A new mailbox with a brass finish can give the home a classic look, and our eyes do like shiny surfaces. If it?s a street mailbox, does it give a good impression? Is it a wacky ?art project? style mailbox that may put off buyers? Has it been hit by a car? These may be slightly extreme examples, but don?t overlook the mailbox.

              Make the most of the porch. If your home has a porch, even a small one, make the most of it. Buyers love porches. Put a swing, some furniture, or at least a nice outdoor chair out there and make it look enticing.

              Make sure the buyer?s eyes are drawn to the lovely porch area, which will get them thinking about how nice it would be to pass the afternoon there, reading a book or chatting with a neighbor.

              Spruce up the front door. If you have an HOA, the rules may have some bearing on what you can do with your front door. Front doors need to look nice. If the door needs fresh paint, make it happen.

              Red front doors are popular and they tend to stick in buyers? minds. Make sure it?s super sparkly clean (glass panes, doorknob, etc) and finish it off with a lush, abundant-looking wreath.

              Pick up clutter and toys. Sometimes items like leashes, toys, and garden tools tend to accumulate around porches or sometimes front yard spaces. Pick up any extraneous items and keep things put away and tidy.

              Take down political signs or flags. Nothing more needs to be said about this one. It?s important to your home sale. A home with political signage can turn into a drive-by for a significant percentage of people, and that?s not what you want.

              Paint. If the home really needs paint and you have the budget, get a few bids from painting companies in your area. Talk to your Realtor about whether the improvement to your curb appeal/listing price makes painting a good investment or not.

              How to Stage a House: Interior


              Do a thorough job and remove family photos, etc., as well as any other personal items and mementos.

              In addition, I encourage sellers at this point to paint over personalizations like names painted in kids? bedrooms.

              I know it?s a little sad, and sellers may not be thrilled about the idea.

              But you want buyers to picture their own child in the room, and it can be a little bit of a mental obstacle when it says ?Madison? in giant letters.

              This depersonalization is a very important part of the staging process.

              Deep clean

              Make sure the home gets a thorough cleaning. Have the sellers hire a service to do a deep cleaning if they don?t want to do it. It will be well worth the money. Everything needs to be deep cleaned ? we want a fresh and sparkly vibe.


              If any painting is being done, make sure it is completed before you move forward. Make sure the painters understand your time constraints and keep them to the schedule that you’ve agreed on.

              Home staging psychology

              Use your knowledge of home staging psychology to go over the home carefully.

              Make any changes you feel are necessary in order to create the kind of good vibes we?re after.

              (We’ll cover home staging psychology in the next unit.)

              Rearrange and replace

              Switch furniture, make changes to d?cor, create better flow by moving furniture, add new throw rugs, towels, shower curtains, mirrors, or other items you?re adding/updating/replacing.

              Make it pop

              Add accents like fresh flowers, plants, a bowl of fruit, a wreath for the door, etc. and create any vignettes you may be using.


              Vignettes are fun little arrangements you can use in a home to help activate the buyer?s imagination.

              Here are a few examples:

              A teapot and tea cup arranged on a tray on the bed with a newspaper or a novel.

              A pitcher and a bowl of lemons set up on the kitchen counter as if you?re getting ready to make lemonade.

              I love this idea especially when there?s a lemon tree in the yard.

              A dining room set up with a centerpiece and pretty place settings as if a fun dinner party is about to happen.

              The key to using vignettes is not to go overboard. It?s nice to have a scene like this to help get buyers to think about day to day enjoyment of the home.


              Think about one vignette that would help accentuate one of your home?s best features. Set it up physically, if you can, or go over it in detail in your mind.

              How to Stage a House: Vacant Homes

              If you?re staging a vacant home, in many ways you have an easier task than working on an occupied home. You won?t have to worry about clutter, personal items, or furniture that may be a little too snazzy for most people?s taste.

              In this course, I?ve tried to gear the material toward occupied homes since this is one way you can get started as a stager if you don?t have your own inventory of furniture and accessories to work with.

              If you do have your own inventory, that?s great! If not, you can build it up over time or you can deal strictly with furniture rental.

              Furniture rental companies have really started catering to the home staging industry over the years. You can rent items by the piece or in packages.

              Prices vary so much by company and by city so it?s not feasible to give you pricing, but it?s very easy to look into companies in your area.

              CORT has nice pieces for staging and you can find them in the following locations:

              San Antonio
              New York
              Las Vegas
              San Diego
              San Francisco
              Oklahoma City
              El Paso
              Salt Lake City
              Washington DC

              They?ll bring the furniture to your location and set it up where you want it. It?s a pretty easy way to go.

              You can also look into any local companies that you have in your area.

              Let them know you?re looking for a company to work with for staging, so they know you?ll be a repeat customer. It?s always good to develop a relationship with places that will value your business.

              Unit 5 Assignments:

              1. Find space in a room where you can create a vignette. Pretend the home is for sale and you want to help draw buyers in to the home and what it would be like to enjoy their time there.

              2. Now repeat the above exercise in a different area. Try to use different kinds of spaces for these two vignettes, such as one exterior (weather permitting) and one interior, or if it is all interiors then use different rooms.

              3. Find three homes for sale in your area that are in need of curb appeal help. Get a photo of each home (or save a link to the listing) along with a written explanation or list of issues to improve and how you would address them.

              4. Find three examples of homes for sale that have home staging psychology problems that can prevent buyers from connecting with the house. Make a list what the issues are with each home and be as thorough as possible.

              Now that you know how to stage a house, we’ll get into home staging psychology so you can take your knowledge to the next level.

              Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

              If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                Home Staging Psychology | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 6)

                Using Psychology in Home Staging

                Home Staging Course Unit 6

                Home Staging Psychology

                Let?s get into one of my favorite topics: home staging psychology.

                If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

                Once you understand the psychology behind home staging, you?ll instinctively know what changes to make in any home.

                You can follow the checklists and step-by-step instructions, but my goal is really to give you such a deep understanding of home staging psychology that you won?t need to follow a guide.

                Buyers want a home where they can feel secure and happy. We all know how stressful and chaotic life can be at times so when we?re home, we really want a place where we can be at peace.

                We want a happy place for family life, growth, enrichment, and fulfillment. When we stage, we want to tap into these desires.

                It?s important to remember that all of the little details are important because they add up to create an overall picture of life in the home you?re presenting.

                Our brains are always picking up subtleties that we may not consciously recognize or see as significant at the time.

                The more detail-oriented you are, the more effective your staging work will be. Here’s an in-depth discussion about home staging props and the importance of every small detail.

                Using Psychology in Home Staging

                Please note that we?re not going super in depth into each facet of home staging psychology since I?m trying to distill the information for you and give you the key points.


                Buyers like homes that are light and bright.

                An abundance of daylight makes people feel good and it conveys a sense of health and contentment.

                Light is related to growth and vitality, and human moods are closely tied to lighting conditions.

                Lack of light conveys negative feelings.

                The words sad, dreary, gloomy, cold, and unhealthy come to mind when thinking about dark spaces.

                Always think about the light when you?re staging. The more daylight, the better!

                Ways to get more light into a home:

                Open up windows, clean windows, paint walls lighter colors, add reflective surfaces or mirrors, trim hedges and trees away from windows


                Buyers want homes that feel spacious. Open spaces in a home help create a calm feeling.

                When rooms feel crowded and small, it can make people feel confined and even anxious.

                Too much visual information can make a space feel overwhelming.

                It?s better to err on the side of under-decorating vs over-decorating. Make sure you maintain a spacious feeling throughout the home as you stage.

                At the same time, it?s important to avoid leaving rooms empty.

                Rooms can actually feel smaller when they?re empty. Adding furniture gives context to the space and gives a sense of human scale.

                Make sure you choose pieces that aren?t too large for the room.


                Color psychology is one of the major tools you have at your disposal as a home stager.

                Color can make rooms feel larger, smaller, brighter, happier, the list goes on.

                Since we already covered how to use color in home staging we’ll move on to…


                Sense Appeal

                Another powerful way you can engage buyers is by activating the senses.

                In addition to a dazzling visual experience, you can use fresh flowers, subtle room fragrances, and tactile surfaces in natural materials to get buyers? senses working, just to name a few.

                You can also make sure there are no negative sensory experiences such as pet odors or squeaky doors.

                I like to bring in something that grows in the yard that will help paint an appealing picture of life in the home.

                Lavender and roses are two of my favorite fragrant flowers that can help buyers get hooked.

                Imagine walking out into the back yard and cutting fresh bunches of lavender? we want to encourage buyers to have such pleasing thoughts about the home.

                We?ll talk more about sense appeal in the how-to section.


                Needless to say, we want our staged homes to be full of positive vibes.

                Light, color, sense appeal, and space all contribute to the positive feeling we?re after, but there?s another aspect that we can?t overlook.

                This often comes down to very small details like the books on the shelves, but negative feelings can come across from bigger issues like a lack of cleanliness, a sense of things not being properly maintained, sickly looking plants, or any other signs of neglect.

                Signs of marital problems are also pretty easy to pick up on.

                Your books are often a good clue as to trouble in the house, whether it?s health trouble, relationship trouble, or any other serious problem your family could be dealing with.

                These are life issues that we all deal with at one time or another, but to keep the mood in the home as positive as possible, we?ll do some editing.

                I toured a home where the couple was clearly having problems, and you could see signs (literally) everywhere from the refrigerator to the master bedroom that looked like couples therapy exercises.

                Many of us have been in that spot and I?m definitely not judging the situation, but when buyers see clues like that they can start to be affected by a feeling of negativity or unease.

                Buyers want a home that?s filled with happiness and love, not conflict, difficulty, and pain. People pick up on more than you might think.

                Positive vibes!

                Unit 6 Assignments

                1. Stage a room in your home or a friend/family member?s home. Edit/add accessories, furniture, d?cor paying special attention to home staging psychology. Attention to detail is key so make sure everything is just right.
                2. Find home listings online and look through photos to identify issues and mistakes having to do with home staging psychology. Find 10 examples and list the problems and how to correct them.

                As you can see, home staging psychology is one of the most fascinating and fun aspects of this career.

                Up next, we’ll start getting into how to start a home staging business.

                Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                  How to Start a Home Staging Business | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 7)

                  How to Start a Home Business: Business Structure, License, Insurance

                  Home Staging Course Unit 7

                  How to Start a Home Staging Business?

                  When you start thinking about all of the steps to starting your business, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus.

                  The key is to break it down into small pieces that you can complete and then move on to the next piece.

                  So in this part of the course we’re going to go over how to start a home staging business.

                  If you?ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

                  My goal is to keep you on track with action steps that will lead you to an up-and-running business.

                  In my experience as a home staging instructor, I know that one of the common problems students face is that they want to have all of the answers before they get started.

                  So let?s get this out of the way right now.

                  It?s not possible to answer every question about every potential scenario that you may encounter as you start running your business.

                  You have to trust that you will be able to figure things out as situations arise.

                  You don?t have to have it all worked out in advance ? trust yourself and trust the process.

                  You WILL be able to handle it.

                  And even in the event that you make a wrong turn along the way, this is just how life works. You learn from mistakes and move on. So please don?t weigh yourself down with ?what if? thinking.

                  Action Steps

                  Here is your plan for how to start a home staging business, in a nutshell:

                  Ready to start?

                  Work on Your Home Staging Skills

                  Make sure you are confident in your skills before you start getting clients.

                  The best way to do this is to study the material, complete the exercises, and stage every room that you have access to.

                  This is a simple but important part of how to start a home staging business ? make sure you’re ready so that you’ll be confident when working for clients.

                  The more you stage, the better you will get and the faster you will be able to work.

                  The first time you?re presented with a room that?s in need of staging, you might not know how to jump in and tackle the trouble spots.

                  After you do it a few times you will develop your eye and a system that works for you.

                  You may end up using a process that differs from the steps I?ve listed for you.

                  As long as you get it done in a way that makes sense for you, that?s all that matters.

                  I?ve had students stage a friend?s house, a neighbor?s house, and even lobbies and offices at work.

                  A commercial space like a lobby might seem like an odd place to stage, but you?re practicing a lot of the same skills. I’ve had students do it this way. I had one student use a space at her church to do her practice staging.

                  So, spend some time staging anywhere they?ll let you.

                  Make sure you take before and after photos. Get in the habit of having a camera handy when you’re about to approach a staging project.

                  Before and after photos are one of the most important parts of your marketing.

                  Don?t think too much about it, just shoot before and afters every time you tackle a new room, or even a corner of a room. You may not end up using all of them.

                  It?s more important to have quality rather than quantity when it comes to your portfolio, so only use the best photos.

                  The goal is to practice sizing up rooms, making decisions, and developing your hands-on systems for editing and arranging. If you get to the point where you?re having dreams about staging, congratulations! You?re definitely a home stager.

                  If not, don?t worry, it?ll probably happen at some point.

                  How to Start a Home Business: Business Structure, License, Insurance

                  Business Structure

                  This is the part where you get to make some decisions like whether you want to become an LLC or operate as a sole proprietor or partnership if you have a partner.

                  (There are other business structures but these are the most common ones to consider at this stage.)

                  Please note that I?m not a legal expert or a professional business consultant.

                  Business structure rules and regs and fees vary from state to state, and I?m definitely not an expert or even very familiar with all situations for every state.

                  Listing every state?s requirements I beyond the scope of this course. I hope you understand.

                  A sole proprietorship is a great option if you are getting started and plan on doing consultations at first, without any hands-on work. It?s great because it is easy to get started and you can always file the LLC paperwork down the road.

                  It is easy to set up as a sole proprietorship because, depending on your state, you may not have to file any forms to get started.

                  With a sole proprietorship, your personal assets are on the line in the event of an event like a lawsuit. You and the business are one and the same. That?s why I suggest using a sole proprietorship when you aren?t doing any hands-on work.

                  An LLC (Limited Liability Company) will give its owners protection in case the business is held financially responsible for anything.

                  You can use one of the online services that set up LLCs for a fee, or you can get on your state?s Secretary of State website and find out which forms you need to fill out.

                  Some states may be easier to navigate than others, and you may decide that a service like LegalZoom is well worth it.

                  In my opinion, another benefit of the LLC structure is that you?re creating an asset that you can sell one day. If you operate as a sole proprietor and your business name is Mary Smith Staging, that doesn?t give you anything to sell at some point, if you desire, because you literally are the business.

                  On the other hand, say you build a business called Napa Valley Home Staging LLC. One day you want to sell so you can retire. Now you have something you can sell.

                  Just to make sure you have this information clearly explained, I?m going to turn it over to the legal experts for a second so you can read this quick article.

                  Business License

                  Your local municipality may require a business license. A business license is basically a way for the local powers that be to make sure that the business you?re running is appropriate as a home business according to zoning laws.

                  Since you?re not doing anything on the premises except keeping an office, there should not be an issue about business activities that are not allowed.

                  For example, some areas may not allow a home business that has clients stopping by. Other areas do allow client visits, but only up to a certain number per day.

                  They also want to make sure you?re not employing a large staff or doing anything industrial or noisy.

                  Applying for a business license for your home business is largely about making sure your neighbors aren?t going to be inconvenienced by your business activities.

                  The other reason cities have you get licensed is so that they can tax you on your business income.

                  Where I live, you can make up to a certain amount per year without having to pay tax.

                  Some areas don?t require a business license for this type of business.

                  These rules and regs vary so much from place to place that I can?t possibly give an accurate overview of how it will work in your exact location.

                  In my 15 years or so of teaching experience, I know that students have reported back to me that it was pretty easy and straightforward in most cases.

                  It might be helpful to do a quick search right now to see what you need to know. Just search your city or town name + business license and you should get the info you need.

                  You?re probably going to fill out a fairly short form about your business and the activities involved, and there will be a fee involved that it usually in the $30-75 range.

                  If you are in Canada, here is a business start-up checklist for you.

                  Get Insured

                  There seems to be a lot of concern among students about getting insurance. If you are doing hands-on staging work then you definitely, definitely need insurance. You don?t have to join any kind of staging organization that collects yearly dues just so you can get insurance.

                  I am a huge fan of being very well insured. Things don?t usually go wrong but sometimes they do and in that event you want to be protected. This is extremely, extremely important if you are operating as a sole proprietorship.

                  An LLC is designed protect your personal assets, but LLCs are not bulletproof.

                  Make sure you have insurance before you start. Don?t skip this part.

                  home stagingHome staging insurance is just a type of business insurance, it?s not very hard to find. Insurance agents are basically salespeople. If they have the right thing to sell you, they?ll do it.

                  So call up your agent that you use for your auto, home, or renters policy.

                  Tell them you?re looking for business insurance for a home staging business. This may or may not involve you having to explain what?s involved in home staging.

                  If it helps them understand it, tell them it?s similar to being an interior decorator.

                  Home staging is becoming pretty mainstream so they may know exactly what kind of insurance you need without any explanation.

                  If they don?t have a business policy, ask them if they have a recommendation for who to call. Insurance agents are salespeople and networkers so they should have a name to give you.

                  I have never heard of a case where this method didn?t work, but if you get stuck on this part, please email me and I will help you get on the right track.

                  Now that we’ve covered the first steps for how to start a home staging business, are you ready to move on with more about how to become a home stager?

                  We’ll get into fun stuff like business cards and getting your home staging website set up.

                  Move on to the next lesson.

                  Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                  If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                    How to Become a Home Stager | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 8)

                    Eames chair replica ideas

                    Home Staging Course Unit 8

                    How to Become a Home Stager

                    This is going to be a short section about how to become a home stager.

                    Keep taking steps ? that’s what this is all about.

                    If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

                    So far we’ve learned all about why we stage homes and how to do it. You understand home staging psychology, and we’ve gone over our checklist for staging any home.

                    You’ve done the work and practiced and started putting together some before and after photos of your home staging work.

                    And your business start-up steps are underway!

                    So let’s just talk about business cards for a minute. This is a good time to go ahead and order them.

                    How to Become a Home Stager

                    We made some steps in the last section with your business start-up.

                    To become a home stager, you have to stay on track and get these action steps done so you can get your phone to start ringing.

                    Get a Logo Designed for Your New Business

                    A professionally-designed logo is not a requirement. There are free logo tools that you can use and they’ll give you nice results, though it takes a little bit of time and figuring out the tool itself sometimes.

                    There are affordable ways to have a designed create one for you. You can fill out this form to have a designer start working with you ? just submit your design preferences and company info, no credit card required to get started.

                    Order Your Business Cards

                    how to become a home stagerThe next thing to get started on is business cards.

                    Once you get your order placed you?ll be looking at some turnaround time so you can get the ball rolling on the cards and then move on to the next step, or give yourself a break for a couple of days.

                    You’ve earned it!

                    If you have the budget to hire a graphic designer to create cards for you, that?s wonderful!

                    This section will probably not apply to you since we?re going to talk about getting business cards from an online service that allows you to design your own cards on their platform.


                    I have gotten good results from Zazzle and 1-800-Postcards?and OvernightPrints. I also like a lot of the designs on

                    With the exception of Zazzle, where they seem to have an endless list of attractive but non-categorized designs, you can sort by category so you can look at interior design or real estate designs, or pick something classic and non-industry specific.

                    Another option to consider is to get a logo made at this time.

                    You can get a logo and business cards at the same time from a company like this one for a reasonable price.

                    If you have some before and afters ready to go, you might think about getting a marketing postcard made at the same time.

                    Postcards have replaced pamphlets and brochures in a lot of ways, and you can use them for sending to agents as well as handing out with your business card when you meet people.

                    It can be like a mini version of your portfolio and services presented in a concise postcard format that can have a huge impact in just a few seconds.

                    You can hand someone a business card so they have your contact and website info to look at later. But a postcard tells your story and shows your work. It?s something you might want to consider.

                    OK time to move on 🙂 Business cards are the easy part.

                    The next step in how to become a home stager has to do with something a bit more involved: your home staging website.

                    But the nice thing is that getting a website is a LOT easier than it used to be and I have some great options for you no matter what your start-up budget looks like.

                    Move on to the next lesson.

                    Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                    If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                      Home Staging Websites | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 9)

                      home staging websites

                      Home Staging Course Unit 9

                      Home Staging Websites

                      Right now we’re going to talk about something fun and crucial to your business, which is your home staging website.

                      If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

                      How to Build Your Home Staging Website

                      You have some options when it comes to your website, including hiring a firm to build your site, using WordPress and creating your own site, or using a website builder such as Weebly.

                      Hire a Website Designer

                      Recommended Website Designers: Mark Brinker & Associates, Deluxe

                      Just like with the business cards, if you have the budget to hire a designer, that?s great! Please vet them carefully and make sure you look at websites that they?ve built recently. Also, make sure they are responsive to your needs and easy to get in touch with. You don?t need any kind of elaborate functionality so don?t let them oversell you.

                      Please note:
                      I have a web designer I can recommend who will build you a beautiful site without spending more than you need to. If you?re interested in going this route, contact them right here at Mark Brinker & Associates in Sterling Heights, MI.

                      Another company to look at is Deluxe. You can get started with it online and they also have a website builder. (I have not used the website builder myself.)

                      If you?re going to put your own website together, you have some excellent options available. Back when I started out teaching, options were extremely limited and DIY websites were a bit on the rustic side.

                      Thankfully things have evolved and you can now choose from a range of very slick, professional-looking DIY options for your home staging website.

                      Use WordPress

                      The first way to go is to get a domain name and use a platform like WordPress.

                      If you?re not familiar with the platform, you can take a look at the WordPress home page right here. Please note that there are two versions of WordPress.

                      One is, where you can set up a free site but you will NOT be able to use your own domain name.

                      The one you want is, which has the custom domain capability. WordPress is definitely a viable option, however it will require you to learn a few things.

                      You need to know how to buy a hosting plan, configure your domain name DNS settings, and install WordPress. Then you will need to learn how to use the WordPress platform, which I would equate to learning intermediate Microsoft Word skills.

                      It?s not difficult, and there are tutorials online for everything you could ever want to do with WordPress. As far as the domain and DNS setup, I?m including a WordPress tutorial at the end of this section.

                      Use a Website Builder

                      Recommended Website Builder: Weebly

                      Another option is to use a proprietary website builder such as Weebly.

                      From my experience, Weebly is the best way to go for a home staging website since you don?t need the ecommerce capabilities of other web builder platforms like Squarespace.

                      I believe Weebly is more user friendly, and you can get a plan very inexpensively (just $5 per month as of this writing).

                      Weebly sites can be quite gorgeous as you can see from the theme gallery right here.

                      Again, you don?t need a website to do anything very fancy, but you do want it to be responsive. Responsive means it will adapt to the viewer?s device, so it will look good on phones, tablets, and computers.

                      You also want a nice gallery section for your portfolio.

                      Other information that needs to be on your site is your contact information, business hours, services offered, and a bio or about page.

                      People like to know who they?re doing business with, so don?t hesitate to talk a bit about how you became a home stager, what your hobbies are, how long you?ve lived in your area, etc.

                      We?ll go over writing your website copy in a few minutes. Two things you need to know about are basic search engine optimization and copywriting.

                      Update: SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting

                      One thing about the world of website building is that it’s constantly evolving.

                      I don’t want to confuse things here in terms of giving you too many options to choose from for getting your home staging website up and running. But, I do think this is a really good solution so I’m going to add it here, at the risk of, like I said, giving you too many things to consider. (I apologize for that but I’m trying to be thorough.)

                      I recently had a chance to help set up a friend’s home staging website using hosting from SiteGround with WordPress automatically built in as the content management system.

                      All we had to do was select the specific “managed WordPress hosting” option and make our payment. The domain name purchase was part of the transaction, which makes it easier. The domain name was about $15 for a year of registration. The hosting package is very inexpensive.

                      With the SiteGround managed WordPress hosting package, you don’t have to go through the WordPress setup tutorial that I have detailed below ? WordPress is already setup for you.

                      As you get your site started, you’ll be presented with some ready-made theme options that look gorgeous and professional right out of the gate.

                      There are interior design-specific themes that work well, and this is what I did with my friend. I have to say that we were delighted with the ease of the process and the lovely results. You can customize the site and add your content/text with a drag-and-drop builder called Elementor. I had to watch a couple of short videos to get a feel for using Elementor but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it.

                      Here’s what it looks like to use Elementor so you can get an idea of whether it’s for you or not.

                      Here is the WordPress Setup Tutorial

                      WordPress Setup

                      An easy way to start a website is by setting up a WordPress site. This is the platform of choice for some of the internet?s most popular sites, and once you have your own WordPress site you will understand why it is so popular.

                      Just follow these steps to get your new WordPress site set up:

                      First, you will need a domain name and a web hosting package for your website. A domain name will cost you about ten dollars per year and the web hosting will cost less than ten dollars per month.

                      When choosing a domain name, think carefully about the image you want to convey. It is also advisable to get a dot-com name rather than any of the other extensions such as dot-net or dot-biz. We’ll get further into it in a sec.

                      Web Hosting

                      Recommended Website Hosting Company: JaguarPC

                      Once you have purchased your domain name you can move on to shopping for a web hosting package.

                      You are looking for what?s known as a shared hosting plan. A shared hosting plan simply means that your website files are stored on a server that also stores the files for other websites.

                      The company I like to use is called JaguarPC ??you can get a discount through this link.

                      After you purchase the hosting package, you will receive an email from your new hosting provider that will give you the necessary account details including your sign-in information and your nameserver settings.

                      Go back to your domain name account and look for a link that allows you to modify nameservers.

                      The site may use the wording ?DNS settings.?

                      You will be able to enter two nameserver settings in the blank spaces provided; copy and paste them from the email you received from the hosting company.

                      Be sure to save your settings before you leave the page.

                      Finally, sign in to the cPanel portion of your website. Just type into your address bar and you will arrive at a log-in screen.

                      Once you are in, you will see a screen full of different icons much like the ones on your computer?s desktop. This is the back end of the site where you will be able to set up email addresses, check traffic, and a lot more.

                      For now, scroll down the page until you find the Fantastico or Softalicious icon and click on it. You will see WordPress listed on the left side of the screen. Click on WordPress and then go ahead and do a new installation.

                      The WordPress installation process is self-explanatory. Pay attention to the prompts and make sure you remember your user name and password. Where it says “install in directory” you want to remove the default entry and leave it blank.

                      The installation only takes a minute or two. Once this is completed, your new site is ready to go.

                      Domain Names

                      You can simplify this process substantially by getting your domain name and your web hosting set up at the same time through JaguarPC with a discount on your hosting through this link.

                      Also, their customer support is above average and they’ll take care of you if you need help.

                      (I ask for help all the time even though I’m pretty familiar with this stuff.) 🙂

                      Domain names are important because that?s going to be how you get found.

                      Ideally, you want a domain name that short and easy to remember.

                      Think about how it will sound when you mention it in conversation.

                      You want something easy to say and easy to spell. Not that you?d use a corny name like this, but just to illustrate:

                      Your domain name is

                      I mean, it?s cute? but when you want to tell someone how to look you up, you have to say ?It?s, Kute with a K not a C.? It?s a nice idea on paper but a little awkward to deal with in practice.

                      Try to keep it short and sweet. I am still a purist when it comes to domain extensions, and even though endings like ?dot io? or ?dot design? are gaining ground, nothing beats a good old dot com.

                      It?s true that it can be tough to find the ideal dot com. Names are taken, and plenty of great names are being held, unused, by domain collectors. If that?s the case with the name you want, you can always look up the owner and make an offer.

                      You can also add your city name/nickname to the dot com to find one that?s available. Around here, people add Portland?s airport code PDX, so you get

                      I know that?s not done everywhere, but it works here. (I have no idea who owns that domain name.)

                      Personally, I?d rather use something like ? than ? but you may see it differently. I think I?d avoid anything over about 20 letters; again, the shorter the better.

                      If you?re using a website builder like Weebly, be sure to have your name ready. Check it first on a site like Google Domains to make sure it?s available.

                      Please do not use GoDaddy; they are overpriced and they try to upsell you ridiculous and unnecessary add-ons.

                      Wrapping Up…

                      I hope this wasn’t too much information for one unit. If you’re not familiar with websites already, it may take a second reading to get it all to make sense.

                      The key is to first choose what kind of site you want: professionally built for you or DIY.

                      If you want to build your own site, decide on using WordPress or Weebly.?

                      If you want to use WordPress, decide on a managed WordPress hosting solution like SiteGround, or go with a self-install and use JaguarPC.

                      The pricing is very close and even though I like JaguarPC, since I just found out how easy SiteGround is to use, I would probably go with them.

                      The next thing we’re going to talk about is home staging business marketing, including copywriting for your website, SEO, and networking.

                      Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                      If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                        Home Staging Business Marketing | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 10)

                        Managing Home Staging Fees

                        Home Staging Course Unit 10

                        Home Staging Business Marketing

                        In this section of the course, we’ll cover a lot of important ground that ties directly to your success, which is home staging business marketing.

                        If you’ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

                        This section will cover copywriting and basic SEO for your home staging website, as well as networking and marketing ideas that don’t require a big budget.

                        Copywriting 101

                        When you?re writing your website copy, it?ll be helpful for you to have an understanding of copywriting so that you can more easily connect with potential clients.

                        You can also opt for a writer if you have the budget.

                        Places like Upwork are full of great writers and they aren?t too expensive ? it?s a competitive field, and if you post a job and have a reasonable budget available you will probably receive a dozen proposals from qualified writers within a few hours.

                        If you?re doing it yourself, here are some things to keep in mind.

                        People want an easy-to-read, conversational style when browsing websites.

                        Avoid long paragraphs.

                        Stick to 2-3 sentences per paragraph so there will be plenty of blank space for the eye to move around, which will make reading easier.

                        Keep it professional but conversational. Try to make it sound like you?re talking to someone in person.

                        Also, keep in mind that when people are visiting your site, they?re really looking for the answer to one main question ? ?What can you do for me??

                        They want a problem solved.

                        So always keep your client?s needs and wants at the forefront when you write, and find ways to let them know what they will gain by working with you.

                        In addition to getting all of the benefits of home staging, let them know why they should choose you. Put some personality into the site. Keep it professional.

                        People will find ways to connect with you when you?ve made it look like a real person is behind the site. They?ll choose you over other stagers for all kinds of reasons.

                        It could be because you?re a native of the area and you?ve been decorating for two decades, because they like your smile (choose a great headshot), they think you seem nice, you remind them of their sister, you never know.

                        Make sure you explain your service and how it works. Make sure people know that it?s an easy process that?ll help them a lot once they make that initial contact with you.

                        Be sure that your contact info is easy to find on every page.

                        Here’s a classic copywriting book if you want to learn more:

                        Should You List Your Home Staging Fees on Your Website?

                        There are different schools of thought when it comes to listing your fees on the site. You?ll have to decide what you?re more comfortable with.

                        home stagingIf you list your fees, you may be giving people sticker shock too early in the process, before they?ve talked to you and before you?ve had a chance to connect and win them over.

                        But you might prefer to weed out the people who aren?t comfortable with your fees.

                        If you don?t list your fees, you may be scaring off people who will assume it?s too expensive and won?t contact you to find out.

                        It?s harder to put the brakes on a potential transaction once a client has actually called you and initiated the process, and if they have no idea what your fees are, they may be reluctant to get into a potentially awkward spot if it ends up being too expensive.

                        You can try it both ways if you aren?t sure. Experiment. Why not? It?s the best way to see what works best for you.

                        You can also choose to give a quote only after an in person meeting at the home, not over the phone.

                        This is of course the safest way to go, since you won?t have any surprises to deal with, but you may end up going to client meetings without winning the job.

                        This is just part of the job in many business models and you?ll have to account for time spent this way when you determine your overall fee structure.

                        Another option is to post a fee for a service like consultation but not for your hands-on home staging services.

                        That way, clients can call you for a consultation and potentially end up hiring you for hands-on staging after you?ve met with them. Once you?ve built a rapport with them through the consultation, they will be more likely to hire you for a much more expensive service.

                        SEO Basics

                        Search engine optimization is something you need to have a working knowledge of when you work on your website copy. There are lengthy courses, free and paid, if you?d like to get further into it, but for this course I?m going to give you the main points.

                        First, you need to be specific in your wording so that the search engines know what your site is about. That means you want to have keyword phrases like ?Denver home staging? rather than just ?home staging? which is too broad of a term.

                        You want people in your area to find you, so make sure you have specifically mentioned your city or town on the site, as well as other areas you serve.

                        Sticking with the Denver example, you can say ?Home staging in Denver, Lakewood, Arvada, and Golden Colorado.?

                        If your service area covers various cities or suburbs, go ahead and list them.

                        Next, be sure to do so only in small doses. While you do want to give search engines the clues they need about who you are, what you do, and where you are, you also need to make it readable.

                        The days of ?keyword stuffing? are long past, and a search engine like Google can spot it a mile away if you?re overusing keywords in the hopes of getting ranked higher.

                        Something like ?Jones Home Staging is a home staging company in Denver offering home staging service to sell your home for more money? is definitely going to be frowned upon.

                        So, make it sound good for humans while giving the engines what they need.

                        A safe ratio would be to use your keyword once every 300 words.(The ideal ratio is often debated in the world of SEO but trust me, it’s much better to be on the safe side and avoid “keyword stuffing” ? overusing your keyword ? or else you could find that your site is penalized by Google. Use natural-sounding language and you should be fine.)

                        Use your keyword once in your site title and once in your site description.

                        Ideally, each page should have at least 400 words of copy. Once per page, put a keyword in bold or italics.

                        All of these are referred to as on-page SEO techniques. Make sure you have good on-page SEO when starting out.

                        There are other aspects of SEO that you won?t have much control over as you get started, such as having quality sites link to you and having hundreds of social media likes and shares. We?ll work on that in the social section coming up.

                        Here is a good free course if you?d like to know more about home staging business marketing by using SEO.

                        Get Social

                        Social media is one of the best ways for you to find clients.

                        There are principles that apply to social media marketing no matter which platform you?re using. You need to post regularly.

                        Make interesting posts that your potential clients/followers will find engaging or helpful. Also, you need to engage with others. Comment on people?s posts, share things, like things.

                        Be yourself and be genuine. Think about it as mingling more than selling.

                        I would recommend using at least two of these platforms.

                        • Instagram (a course like this one can help you)
                        • Nextdoor (this one is a must)
                        • Facebook
                        • Twitter
                        • Pinterest

                        Nextdoor is kind of like a neighborhood-specific Facebook. Basically what you do is set up a personal account and then start chatting with your neighbor about things going on where you live. Put your business name in your profile so people can find it if they want to know more about who you are.

                        You can easily position yourself as an area expert on staging-related topics like home selling tips, decorating, organizing, etc.

                        With Instagram, create a business account and put up your portfolio photos and other real estate and home staging-related photos.

                        Dog and cat photos are OK now and then! 🙂

                        Use hashtags to help people find you. For example #denverhomestaging

                        Pinterest is not one of the platforms I would use primarily, but it definitely won?t hurt to put an account together for your business. All social media account help add credibility and trust factor to your business, when used appropriately.

                        Always be professional in your social media posts and interactions.

                        Start Networking

                        In addition to your online networking, you can also start getting to know agents.

                        home staging business marketingOne way to do this is by going to open houses. When you walk in, introduce yourself to the agent and hand them a card.

                        Chat with them for a minute if they seem like they have a minute.

                        Don?t tie up the agent when there are potential buyers that they need to be tending to.

                        Another way you can network with agents is by joining your local Realtor?s association. Most associations have a level of membership designed for businesses that are related to real estate, such as home stagers, mortgage brokers, etc.

                        Here is an example of an affiliate membership sign-up page. As an affiliate member, you can participate in events and functions that can get you mingling with agents in your area.

                        If you?ve gotten some postcards made, go ahead and send some to every real estate office that?s within your desired service area. Just write a quick note on it and drop it in the mail.

                        Keep it up with these techniques and before you know it you?ll have a list of Realtor contacts that?ll steadily build over time.

                        Home Staging Business Marketing Ideas

                        • Craigslist
                        • Social media
                        • Letters/postcards to Realtors
                        • Meeting Realtors at open houses
                        • Ads in neighborhood newspapers
                        • Magnetic sign for your vehicle
                        • Use a company like eReleases to put out a press release
                        • Yard sign placed temporarily where you?re working
                        • Neighborhood bulletin boards (find them at coffee shops etc.)
                        • Sponsorships with youth sports organizations like Little League (as a baseball mom I personally love this one)
                        • Sponsored posts on Facebook or Instagram
                        • Word of mouth ? talk to people, let people know you?re a home stager

                        We’re going to move on to our final section which is all about home staging fees, consultations, and managing clients.

                        Tell the World about Your Company with! All new customers get $130 Off the Newsmaker distribution. IGNORE our normal rates because they’re being BLOWN AWAY for this special promotion!

                        Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                        If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                          Home Staging Fees and Clients | Free Home Staging Course (Unit 11)

                          Staging Certification for Realtors - SHS

                          Home Staging Course Unit 11

                          Home Staging Fees, Consultations, Managing Clients

                          In this section we?ll get into one of my favorite topics ? the part where the money starts rolling in. We’re going to talk all about home staging fees, consultations, client meetings.

                          If you?ve missed the beginning of the course or just want to review, go back and check out Unit 1 of our home staging course.

                          Home Staging Fees

                          When thinking about your home staging fees and how to set them, first you need to know how much money you want to make per month. Let’s go through the issue of fees step-by-step here…

                          How to Set Your Fees

                          When it comes to setting fees, there is no magic number that I can give you. I can give you a method for determining your fee structure, however.

                          The key to good business is to make sure you are creating a win-win scenario for you and your clients.

                          You get to make a living doing what you love doing, and your clients get useful information that will help them with their home sale.

                          Both parties need to feel like the exchange was fair.

                          Make sure you get paid what you?re worth and remember that you?re helping your clients make thousands of extra dollars when they sell.

                          Remember the value of your service.

                          Living expenses vary depending on where you are located. You might need to make $3500 per month for the lifestyle you want, or it might be more like $7000.

                          If it?s $7,000, you need to have 20 work days where you earn $350 per day. $350 per day is two billable hours at $175 per hour.

                          Keep in mind, only a portion of your work day will be actual billable time. You have to answer calls and emails, network, spend time marketing, maybe update your site, post a Craigslist ad, just to name some of the ways you?ll commonly spend your time.

                          Use a realistic formula such as two to three billable hours per day to determine your earning capability so you can decide on an average hourly rate or fee structure.

                          Home Staging Fee Formula

                          If I want to make $5,000 per month, this how I?ll work out my pricing structure.

                          I?m starting with the assumption that I?ll work 20 days per month. $5,000 divided by 20 days comes out to $250 per day.

                          If I think it?s reasonable to bill two hours per day, I would arrive at $125 per hour as a basis for my fees.

                          I could do two consultations in a day for $125 each. I can use that $125/hour guideline to determine my fees for large jobs.

                          If I think a hands-on staging job will take me 5 hours then that gives me a fee of $625.

                          Personally, I do not break down home staging fees with my hourly rate for clients.

                          I would present it to them as a flat rate, and I would round up a little bit to cover my travel time and the possibility that something unexpected will happen that will take extra time. I would take that $625 and make it $650 to $700 when I submit my proposal to the client.

                          The hourly number is just a guideline for you to help arrive at a fee, it is NOT something you need to disclose to a client.

                          To me, that?s an invitation for them to watch the clock and make sure they get their money?s worth as if you?re an hourly worker.

                          Again, you are NOT really an hourly worker since you work plenty of hours that technically are not paid hours. Therefore, the hours that you bill need to pay enough to sustain your business.

                          You?re providing expertise that?s extremely valuable ? don?t forget that.

                          You also have to make sure your pricing is in line with what others in your area are charging. Depending on your area, your hourly guideline number could be anywhere from $50 to $200.

                          You can always adjust your fees so just do your best to come up with fair prices and move them up or down as needed.

                          Also, when you?re starting out, you may not work quite as fast as you will after you have worked on several jobs. You might make mistakes with your quotes when you?re starting.

                          That?s just part of the process so don?t stress about it. You need some experience before you can really develop a feel for quoting accurately.

                          Managing Home Staging Clients

                          Now for the fun part. Once your phone starts ringing, congratulations, you?re in business!

                          There is no perfect way to teach this material ? it takes some experience and you have to be willing to jump in and trust yourself to develop your system for handling clients. If you have decent people skills then you can do this.


                          You?d be surprised at how many people don?t know the basics of professionalism. This includes business owners.

                          Let?s go over this just so we?re on the same page.

                          When clients contact you, do your best to answer the phone or return their call or email as soon as possible.

                          If they?re asking something that will require a detailed answer and you don?t have time right away, at least touch base with them.

                          Tell them you received their request and you?re going to get the information back to them when you?re back in the office, or first thing tomorrow morning, or whatever the case may be.

                          Let them know you?re paying attention.

                          A lot of business gets lost because of poor communication skills/lack of proper prioritization.

                          Always be polite and diplomatic.

                          Do your best to exceed your clients? expectations with excellent service, attention to detail, and quality work.


                          Always be prompt. It?s not acceptable to be late for a client meeting. It?s much better to arrive 15 minutes early ? but don?t knock on the door 15 minutes early! Find an out of the way spot to sit in your car. Try not to look suspicious 🙂

                          When you go meet clients, be sure to have a professional appearance. I were a client I would expect no more than casual attire like jeans and a nice top from a home stager, because they could be in between doing hands-on work that day. You can use your judgment on that, but always be neat well-groomed.

                          When you enter the home, try to find nice things to say about the house as an ice breaker and as a way to start building some rapport. There?s always something nice you can honestly say about a home. Be genuine.

                          Shake hands, make eye contact, smile.

                          home staging courseYour job is to gracefully guide the meeting so that you get things done efficiently.

                          If you?re there for a consultation/DIY staging, once you have some small talk out of the way go ahead and ask them if it?s OK to start in any room.

                          That way they can take care of anything that needs to happen before you tour the home.

                          Unless they tell you to start in a particular room, go for the kitchen since it?s one of the most important areas.

                          You can collect your fee and the beginning or the end of the appointment. It?s up to you, but don?t leave without getting paid.

                          When you collect upfront then you can go through the appointment knowing that you don?t have to worry about that part, and my opinion is that?s the best way to go.

                          If you?re there to discuss hands-on work, ask them to show you each room and then you can sit down and talk about how your service works. You have the option of writing up a bid (proposal) on the spot or getting it back to them in a day or so.

                          I personally like to deliver the bid on the spot because I think it?s better to keep the process moving along while you have them in front of you.

                          Be confident and personable. It?s OK to be nervous, that?ll go away before you know it. Just do your thing and be genuine.

                          (Read this.)

                          If you?re REALLY nervous, you can have someone go with you as your assistant.

                          Why not?

                          You can have them hold your tape measure or take notes.

                          Home Staging Consultations

                          There are two kinds of consultations that you?ll be doing.

                          Hands-On Consultation

                          First, there?s a consultation where you will discuss your hands-on service and how it works.

                          That?ll cover things like whether you?re renting furniture or not and give you a chance to make notes about what you?ll need and what the job entails.

                          As part of this consultation you?ll also discuss whether the homeowner will be doing any work in advance of your hands-on appointment, such as painting or a professional cleaning.

                          During this meeting, you?ll get as much of those details settled as possible. If work is being done, set up a time to return for the hands-on work that?ll be after the other workers have finished.

                          Some of this may have to be done on the phone or via email, it just depends on the situation. Keep in communication with the client during this time so they know you?re ready to go as soon as the house is prepped.

                          DIY Consultation

                          A DIY consultation is when you go through the home and make your recommendations to the homeowners. They complete the work on their own and they pay for a fee for your recommendations. Essentially, they?re paying for a thorough to do list.

                          You can either do it ?walk and talk? style where you go over everything and they take notes as you go, or you can make your own notes to yourself and prepare a polished report that you deliver later.

                          My preference is the walk and talk because I don?t like being responsible for the computer work involved in making a polished report.

                          Others see it differently.

                          You can decide on this as you get started.

                          If you do prepare a report, make sure you have accounted for that time, not just the time spent at the home.

                          DIY home staging consultations are a great way to get started as a home stager because it?s a way that you can get even more practice with looking at real homes before you tackle hands-on work. It?s also easier.

                          You don?t have to coordinate anything like furniture rental or painting or handyman projects. You don?t have to worry about having any inventory or your own, and to be honest, if you?re doing this as a retirement business you may not want the physical work of hands-on staging.


                          Your proposal or bid for the job is your estimate. It takes some practice and experience to become really proficient with estimating, and when you?re starting out just chalk up any misquotes as part of the learning process.

                          Typically when starting out you will err on the side of paying yourself too little.

                          It doesn?t take many of those before you figure things out though.

                          The only loss is your time, and it?s not even a loss in the sense that you?ve still gained the experience.

                          As I mentioned earlier, I like to submit a proposal on the spot. This is because I think it?s better salesmanship to keep the client in front of you and close the deal right then and there.

                          When you go buy a car, the salesman doesn?t tell you he?ll get back to you tomorrow. It?s not exactly the same thing as a car, but it?s the same in terms of keeping the client focused on the deal you?re making.

                          Keep reference sheets with you for furniture rental pricing if that?s going to be a factor. Try to size up rooms as you tour the home and come up with an estimate for each area.

                          Take notes as you walk through. Be sure to notate anything that would need to be done in advance, like painting a wall or changing a 1970s light fixture.

                          List rental fees along with your staging fees on the proposal, and make sure you clearly mark the items that need to be done prior to your staging work.

                          When you give the homeowner your proposal, they?ll either take a look at it on the spot and want to move forward, or they will look at it later or think about it.

                          If they want to move forward, set up an appointment to come back and do the work.

                          You may not be able to do that if there is other work to be done such as painting, but even in that case you can make an appointment for a week or two down the road so that you have something concrete set up.

                          That appointment can always be rescheduled if the painting takes longer. You can tell the client that you require a deposit to keep their spot in your schedule, with the remainder due on the day of service.

                          The idea is to get a firm commitment so you know the sale is made.

                          If they need to think about it, that?s understandable, just be gracious about it and let them know you?ll check in with them in a couple of days.

                          Based on their response, you can get a sense of whether they seem interested or not.

                          You can also leave them with a list of references such as previous clients who are happy with your work (once you have them).

                          If there is furniture rental involved in the project, make sure the recurring rental fee is understood. I like to have clients confirm this with an initial or signature on your proposal form.

                          Home Staging Contracts

                          You need a very good contract if you?re doing hands-on staging. Do not do any work without having a signed contract. This maybe the most important part of the entire business, and it?s an investment you will need to make. Have a lawyer draw up a good contract for you.

                          We do not provide a contract with the course for legal reasons.

                          home staging courseMake sure your contract clearly states what services you are providing, what the recurring fee will be (if any), staging fees, responsibilities of both parties, date service is to begin (and end, if applicable), and what you?re responsible for.

                          (For example, you do not clean or do repairs.)

                          You may also stipulate your business hours so that your clients know when they can expect to be able to contact you.

                          State your payment terms and forms of payment that you accept.

                          Include any additional fees that you will add, such as an extra fee if you are putting items in boxes for the client, fees for coming back to reset items that have gotten out of place or rearranged, etc.


                          You may find circumstances arise that cause you to add a new thing to your list of contingency fees.

                          Definitely include specific details about financial responsibility in the event of damage to furniture or accessories. If you are using items from your personal inventory, you should include a list of items and their replacement value in the event that things are broken or lost.

                          Make sure the client signs off on the list of items and the financial terms for loss or damage.

                          Invest in a strongly worded contract.

                          Here is an example of a home staging contract.

                          Hands-On Staging Jobs

                          You can choose to arrange painting and any other work that needs to be done, however, you?re taking on additional liability if you do so. My recommendation is to start out simple and as you gain experience you can add to the service that you coordinate and manage.

                          Make sure the house is clean. Be clear about the fact that you are not a cleaning service and that the home needs to be spotless for the staging to be the most effective.

                          Encourage the homeowner to declutter. Have the homeowner put away valuables or anything extremely fragile.

                          Tell them this is a good idea for staging and for showings.

                          It?s very unlikely that the homeowner will accuse you of taking an expensive piece of jewelry or some other valuable, but as you may have gathered by now, I am a big fan of being protected from such situations.

                          You can name some specific things that should be packed away before you start working, such as a doll collection or artwork that isn?t appropriate for staging.

                          When the house is prepped and ready for staging, set up a time when the homeowner or the seller?s agent will be present to let you in so you can work.

                          If you?re moving items that need to be packed away or put in storage, make sure you have an understanding with the homeowner beforehand as to how this will be handled.

                          You?re not a packing service, so make sure they have reasonable expectations as to where the extraneous items will be placed. It?s OK if you?re taking on packing things in boxes, but make sure there are appropriate supplies provided or included in your fee.

                          Be professional and stay busy while you?re working in the home.

                          Hopefully you will be left alone to work in peace, but if not, it?s perfectly OK to request some space if you have people hovering or being chatty.

                          Just tell them you can work more efficiently that way. Most people will know enough to let you be in the first place.

                          Get your work done with the workflow that you?ve developed over your practice sessions. If you have helpers, make sure they understand what they?re supposed to do and what they?re supposed to leave to you.

                          Be respectful of people?s homes. Don?t put nails in walls unless you have asked permission. This is a pet peeve of mine.

                          I think it?s extremely disrespectful to make any permanent alterations without a clear conversation ahead of time.

                          Go out for a lunch break if you need to, but make sure this is understood.

                          You don?t want clients thinking you left a job looking half done and that you?re not coming back. Make sure someone will be there to let you back in.

                          Collect your payment on the same day. If you?re charging them for leased items, get the first month?s rental fee along with your staging fee.

                          Home Staging Furniture Rental

                          There are three ways you can handle furniture rental.

                          You can build up your own inventory of furniture and accessories that you rent to clients as part of your service. It can take time to build your inventory unless you have a very large start-up budget.

                          You could start with the goal of having enough to furnish a small condo and then add items as your business earnings allow. You also need to rent a storage area unless you have a large space that would be appropriate for furniture storage.

                          You can opt for renting furniture from a place like CORT and include it in your fee. This allows you to easily choose the items and coordinate the delivery time.

                          The downside is that it puts you at risk financially since you are responsible for the rental fees and any damage that may occur.

                          You will add your time and expense to the client?s fee, of course, but since you?re carrying the rental expense you need to make sure your client pays you in a timely manner.

                          You can also have the client take care of renting the furniture on their own, so that you don?t have to take on the liability or the expense.

                          This is advantageous because you?ve lowered your risk, but you do have to make sure that the homeowner gets the right items.

                          With CORT, you can use a referral form like this one to get a little bit of a commission back. Make sure you?re managing the selection of items and the delivery time.

                          When the delivery people arrive with your furniture, they will put the furniture in the rooms you designate for each item, so you don?t have to worry about being stuck with a lot of heavy lifting.

                          Please note: confirm this beforehand just to be sure, although I?ve never experience any trouble with furniture placement.


                          Recommended billing software: FreshBooks.

                          Make sure you get paid. Get paid in advance. If you have an ongoing billing situation such as a client leasing furniture and/or accessories, bill them in advance for the time period that follows.

                          When they have an accepted offer on the home, they may want you to go pick everything up so they won?t have any further expenses.

                          This makes sense, but you may want to suggest that they keep the items in place until they are sure that the sale is going through.

                          Ask any Realtor how often home sales fall apart, even at the last minute. The answer is: all the time!

                          It would be a lot more expensive for the seller to have to have everything put back in place if the sale falls through.

                          Use QuickBooks or FreshBooks for your invoicing. FreshBooks is extremely easy to use and you can send email invoices in a matter of seconds.

                          I like the feel of it better than QuickBooks but it?s just a matter of preference.

                          I do suggest you use one of these to keep your bookkeeping on track. It?s too easy to lose sight of your income and expenses otherwise. Make sure you get paid.

                          Now that you have finished our course material, you can go ahead with our home staging certification if you desire.

                          Congratulations on taking this step toward your fun and lucrative new career!

                          Note: There is no charge for the course, however, we’ve had folks ask about contributing just because they like what we’re doing. We appreciate that support so much. Our mission is to make this rewarding career a reality for anyone who wants to pursue it.

                          Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                          If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                            Home Staging Certification Course Reviews

                            Home Staging Certification Courses

                            Home staging is an excellent, well-paying business to be in if you love home decor and real estate. No matter what the housing market is doing, there will always be job security for home stagers since home sellers now know that staging is the best way to make the most money from their sale. If you want to become a home stager, you’re probably looking around at different training programs and home staging course reviews that will help you choose a school.

                            What is Home Staging Certification

                            Before we go too far let’s quickly discuss certification and what it even means. Since there are no industry-wide rules and regs in the staging business in terms of who can call themselves a certified home stager, certification can mean a lot of things.

                            It can mean that you took a 3-day seminar. It can mean that you took an online course. It doesn’t mean necessarily that you passed any particular educational criteria or skills assessment that is determined by an organization or entity that oversees the home staging business.

                            Do You Need to Have a Home Staging Certification?

                            No, I always tell students you most definitely do not need it. We offer certification here at SHS because students often find it helpful to have that feeling of being “official” ? but it’s not a requirement. Any school that would tell you otherwise is simply misleading you. Keep that in mind as you shop for your program.

                            Home Staging Course Reviews

                            Nobody can determine which program is best for you. It comes down to financial considerations, logistics, available time frame, and whether you’re seeking an in-person program or an online program.

                            Here are the programs I would suggest to you.

                            School of Home Staging

                            Our home staging certification online program is an affordable option if you want your certification quickly and for an affordable price.

                            QC Design School

                            QC Design School has high-quality materials for you to learn from, a convenient online format, and certification. Payment plans make it easier to fit into your budget. I really like that this course gives you a lot of quizzes and assignments to complete as you progress through the material. And if you like having physical learning materials (actual books) then this is the best program. They also send you a cute starter kit.


                            Here we have one of the oldest schools in the business, very well-respected and of course huge name recognition in home staging circles. This is the program I’d go with if you really want an in person setting because it just suits your learning style and you don’t mind devoting a few days to it in one intensive seminar session rather than smaller doses of learning spread out over your ideal timeline. I like smaller doses myself but the intensive format works really well for many.

                            Staging Diva

                            Here’s the last one I will recommend to you and it does not offer certification. However, as we discussed above, certification isn’t a requirement by any means. The Staging Diva course offers something more important and that is the ability to really go out there and make good money in this business. If you’re someone who has had trouble with getting paid what you’re worth, this program will take care of that. It’ll teach you how to market yourself and avoid a lot of mistakes home stagers make on the business side of things.

                            While home staging certification reviews can be helpful in deciding on a program, the decision is ultimately a very personal one. I hope this article has helped you choose the right program for you.

                            Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                            If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

                              The Best Home Staging Accessories

                              The Best Home Staging Accessories - School of Home Staging

                              I talk a lot about the importance of adding pops of color to your staged homes. We’re going to go over some of my favorite home staging accessories that can add some visual interest to the rooms you’re staging.

                              If you don’t have color then you probably have a bland, lifeless space.

                              Some people in real estate, including flippers and some agents, think the palette has to be kept as neutral as possible so that the home is a boring, plain-looking study in shades of gray.

                              Or beige.

                              At least beige has some warmth to it, but still. Please, don’t follow this philosophy. I always say humans love color and it’s really true. We like nature and things that remind us of nature!

                              I’m not saying to go overboard with it but definitely use pops of color in your staging.

                              And add natural materials when you can.


                              Plants let you add color in a way that people respond to viscerally, bringing the outdoors in. Plants also add visual interest through their leaf shapes and textures, and they can be used to help differentiate different areas in a space.

                              IKEA always has a wonderful selection of artificial and live plants and the prices are great.

                              I like to grab small ones also, such as a dainty succulent in a pretty pot. These are great for adding interest to little spaces like a bathroom shelf or a side table.

                              Large plants should be used sparingly so you don’t accidentally give the home a jungle vibe. Don’t be “the plant house” but do use plants in your staging.

                              In addition to green plants you can also add flowers in a room or two.


                              Flowers are one of my favorite ways to add color to any space. Not just color, but joy.

                              They instantly make any room feel happier. You can use either fresh or quality artificial flowers.

                              These are some inexpensive artificial bunches that I like to have on hand (click image for purchase info):


                              Throw pillows not only add some life to your decor, but they can also provide an instant update to any room. This is great for staging with existing furniture that may not be the most current-looking pieces.

                              You can change the look of neutral-colored furniture and add in just about any colors you want using pillows.

                              Here are some trendy ones that work well.


                              New doormats at the front and back doors definitely make a difference. A nice fresh doormat with some color is an easy little update to make.

                              Avoid cutesy ones. Stick to classic.

                              I really like this one from Rejuvenation; it will look great with a variety of home styles and a little pop of red is appealing at the entryway.










                              New throw rugs are always a great way to refresh a space, but the fact of the matter is most nice medium and large-size rugs are a bit of an investment.

                              You can, however, liven up a kitchen or bathroom with a new rug without spending much. Small rugs are an excellent way to add color, including colors that are a little more bold, while with a larger rug you have to be more careful with your color selection.

                              If you’re working with dark or dated spaces a fun, bright little rug can attract attention and help update the look. (In conjunction with other accessories, decor, and color choices.)

                              Here are a few that I like for staging. These are good for small live spaces, hallways, baths, or kitchens.

                              I personally stick with rugs that have minimalist or geometric design elements because they’re more versatile. And again, avoid cutesy.

                              Rugs don’t have to be all about adding color. As mentioned earlier, humans also love natural materials and rugs are a great way to incorporate this element.

                              Natural materials add a warmth and texture that will enhance the feel of a room.

                              In conclusion, please resist taking the easy way out by staging with a blah, neutral palette. It takes more thought and skill to use color effectively. And of course for staging, we definitely want to make sure we’re not going overboard.

                              It’s true that people (buyers) can be put off by rooms full of color gone wild.

                              But when you add in some bright splashes of yellow, blue, red, green to your base layer of whites, grays, and neutrals, you will end up with a much livelier, more appealing space that will attract more buyers.

                              Interested in a home staging career? Check out our free home staging course.
                              Some recommended products may use affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

                              If you have a moment, please let us know what challenges you have faced when seeking home staging training. We are always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

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