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As home stagers, we are sometimes accused of staging all the personality out of a house. In the 1980s, when home staging first started becoming a ‘thing’, it’s true that the trend was for neutral floors, white walls and generally neutral everything throughout.

This is a real image of a staged home in the Eighties.

Bland and boring was definitely the order of the day, though when you think about the décor in those days – bright color everywhere, pink and peach bathroom suites, flowery wallpaper borders and some very garish accessories– perhaps it’s understandable!

Who remembers this kind of ‘fashionable’ home decor?

However, home staging has moved on. It’s far more sophisticated in 2020, and having a home with a bit of personality definitely doesn’t have to mean it’s ‘unsaleable’.

Here are my top DOs and DON’Ts for home staging in the 21st Century:

  • DON’T just paint every wall white– choose a sophisticated, subtle color palette with different but complementary shades for each room.
  • DO clear away anything you wouldn’t see in a show home: toys, pet paraphernalia, laundry, coats and shoes, all these things need to be put away out of sight.
  • DON’T have carpet in your bathroom – the 21st Century buyer won’t be impressed!
  • DO replace any carpet in high traffic areas that is over 10 years old, or five years if you have pets and/or children.
  • DON’T choose patterned carpets – this is one area where boring is best!
  • DON’T keep your collection of teapots, stuffed toys or scarily realistic dolls on display. Time to pack them away for your (hopefully) forthcoming move.
  • DO set the dining room and kitchen tables for ‘action’, using good glasses, flowers and placemats.
  • DO be careful with strong colors and prints: they can overwhelming. Keep them for small items like throw pillows or rugs, which can be very effective.
  • DON’T forget the bathroom when you stage – stage it with special toiletries and hide away the Pantene, the Colgate and the half-used soap
  • DO visit local show homes for more ideas for staging in the 21st Century, and browse through Pinterest, which is a fabulous free source of inspiration. You can even create your own boards to keep your ideas together in one place.
  • DO consider calling in a home staging professional. Selling a home is a stressful, busy time. Having a professional take on the task of staging your home to sell takes away a huge amount of that stress, especially as we do this stuff every day and know what buyers are looking for, rather than just making a good guess.