Thinking about selling your home? You’ve probably heard of the standard home-staging “must-dos”: give your walls a fresh coat of paint, remove family photographs, fix obvious flaws, declutter. But beyond that, what makes a home look and feel fantastic, and — even more important — sell quickly?

Whether your home is decorated to perfection or you need some quick updates, combining common-sense staging strategies with a Zen-like approach could make a world of difference in how quickly (and for how much) your home sells.

Are you ready to infuse a little positive energy into your home-staging efforts? Here are some thoughts and tips to help you not only tackle the obvious, but also make some subtle yet important adjustments to your home-staging game plan.

1. Keep It Fresh

This sounds obvious, but it’s an important factor in home staging. Take a light and bright approach in every room. Bottom line: If it looks old or feels dirty, clean or replace it. You want anyone who walks into every room to not be turned off or have to use his or her imagination too much.


  • If you have an older bathroom, regrout and try reglazing the tub or surrounding tiles, and replace the hardware.
  • If you have an older kitchen, replace your cabinet fronts or have them painted. It’s a fraction of the cost of buying new ones.
  • If you have a dirty rug, replace it with a new, inexpensive rug, such as one made of sisal; it’s worth the small investment. Don’t think that no one will notice, or that a potential buyer will give you a hall pass because it’s not part of the sale.

2. Honor the Value of the Home

This is the time when that temporary dividing wall or oversized furniture needs to be reconsidered. You want to show the best your home has to offer. Walk into each room and ask yourself: “What’s great about this room?” Is it the closet? Windows? Beamed ceilings? Your staging efforts should capitalize on those features.


  • Edit your furnishings to visually expand the space and showcase (or, at the very least, don’t hide) architectural features.
  • If your pantry or other storage areas are exceptionally spacious, remove bulky items to show off the generous size.
  • If your home has large windows, don’t hide them with heavy drapes.

3. Show the Possibilities

Show buyers the potential within each space. They like to know that they have options. Your home will stand out from the competition if you creatively utilize spaces and elements within your home that add more functions, such as storage, work and play areas; these are must-haves for many homebuyers.


  • If you have a small space or nook, place a desk there for a home office, or create a play space for kids.
  • If you have a challenging space with no room for storage furniture such as a bookcase, artfully hang floating shelves with a few curated books and framed art.

4. Add Some Personality

The standard staging advice is to stick to neutrals for paint color and décor. While this is true for most of the home, a punch of tasteful color or unique piece of furniture can add much-needed personality and interest to a plain space. The key is to be selective and minimal with your colorful, distinctive additions.

Make sure they also complement the rest of the space and don’t detract from the positive attributes in the room. Potential buyers will remember the home with the kelly-green armchair or classic navy powder room, but not the one(s) with the ivory walls and beige couch.


  • Add a pop of color to a room by incorporating one or two colorful accessories or small pieces of furniture.
  • Mix and match modern and vintage furnishings to balance the look of a room.
  • Add a dramatic light fixture to a plain space.
  • Paint a powder room a dark or dramatic color and update the fixtures.

5. Remember: Happy Sells

When you think of a “happy home,” the terms bright, sunny, neat and uncluttered might come to mind. But what you really remember is a generally positive feeling about that home: cheerful, inviting, warm and peaceful. A home’s energy is felt by anyone who walks through the door.

By the time you’re ready to sell your home, you’ll probably identify some spaces that have been neglected for a while. Throughout your staging process, ask yourself: “Am I giving renewed life to the space? Does this room feel happy?”

This is the mantra in home staging: happy sells. Your positive attitude — keeping it fresh, honoring its value, showing the possibilities and adding some personality — will create positive energy. And that’s what will attract buyers to fall in love with your home. Check out our photo gallery above, and send us your tips!