Using Area Rugs In Home Staging

 Area rugs are a great tool in staging when used properly.  We have all shapes, styles and sizes in our inventory

(did you know we have 4500 square feet of showroom & warehouse space for our inventory?).  


Here are some tips to keep in mind when working with your clients:


goodrugplacementArea rugs should be used to create a grouping or “ground” a space such as the living room seating area or under a dining room table.
The space in the above photo was created by Michelle Lynne Interiors Group and is a great  example of this.



good example2

Size does matter.  Make sure the scale of the rug is appropriate to the space it is being used in.  Do not “float” rugs in the middle of a room. 

This traditional room was staged by Michelle Lynne INTERIORS using our own inventory.


bamboo rugNatural materials such as jute or sea grass are a very easy way to use area rugs in most style homes.



 Area rugs can add warmth to an otherwise stark dining space.  Our photo showcases that point well.

This dining room was staged using a combination of our inventory & the client’s furnishings.


                        If you would like help preparing your listings for their best showings or you would like to check out our fabulous inventory of rugs available at our showroom, please give us a call.  

My contact information is HERE.






Differences Between Decorating and Home Staging

Decorating your home and staging your house are often thought of as being very similar when in reality they are HUGELY different.

When decorating, your personal design style tends to come out in the furniture, fabrics, colors and accessories that you place throughout your home. 

If you are staging your home to sell, you don’t want to “decorate”  to your liking – you want the buyers to be able to see themselves and their items in the space.


Below are some examples of the differences between home staging and decorating:



 Black and white photos are a great idea for decorating your home.  However even though these kids are cute, they won’t help sell your home. 

Personal touches are not appealing to a potential buyer so they should be minimized.



Themed rooms for children are creative and exciting when decorating your own home.  When staging to sell your home,  it is about the potential buyer,

not yourself or your family.  Try and keep furnishings and window coverings simple and universal.



Staging is all about showcasing the space's assets.  This kitchen staged by Michelle Lynne INTERIORS Group is a great example of how this can be done in a neutral, yet attractive manner.

 Staging is all about showcasing the space’s assets.  This kitchen staged by Michelle Lynne INTERIORS Group is a great example of how this can be done in a neutral, yet attractive manner.

 dos for selling 2

Less is more in most cases, but DEFINITELY  true when trying to sell your home. 

This kitchen staged by Michelle Lynne Interiors Group is an example of how all the clutter (including countertop appliances) is taken away and the space looks clean lined and “not lived in”.



I hope briefly going over  the major differences between home staging and decorating are helpful in your next venture!   However, there are so many more that I didn’t even get to mention, so please give us a call for your next project as soon as possible so you don’t make any mistake between home staging and decorating!

Click HERE to contact us today!


Using Professional Photos in MLS Listings

So I think I take pretty good photos…have a creative eye and a fancy camera.  But I leave my so-called-talent for our vacation photos because when it comes to showcasing the interiors, I leave it to the professionals.  And here is why: 

This first photo is my shot.  First of all, I was distracted by my growling stomach after installing this staging and neglected to turn the lights on.  DUH.

Staged without Professional Photo

Staged without Professional Photo


And here is a professional, who was probably well prepared with snacks prior to arriving to shoot the space.  And talk about a fancy camera….  I believe this work was done by Shoot2Sell.

Staged with Professional Photo

Staged with Professional Photo


Next, this is my shot of a formal living room.  I did remember to turn on the light, and it’s not a bad shot…although now that I look closely, I see the pulls from the ceiling fan.  Sigh. That should have been edited out.

Formal Living Staged without Pro Photo

Formal Living Staged without Pro Photo


Now check out what the professional was able to accomplish.  I mean really they’ve even got the aforementioned ceiling fan AND the view into the master bedroom down the hall.

Formal Living Staged with Pro Photo

Formal Living Staged with Pro Photo


Selling a house is one of the largest transactions many of us will ever make so don’t rely on amateurs, spend a couple of extra bucks (you’d be surprised at how affordable it is) and get the best shot of your space.  90% of buyers start their shopping on line, so ensure your listing stands out above the others who didn’t use a professional photographer.  

If you need staging or a referral for a photographer, contact us now!

Should I Use Alcohol In My Staging Projects?

I’ve been asked the question about using alcohol in staging projects quite often, and my answer is always the same:  IT DEPENDS.  Yeah, I know, I should be a politician since I’m not really answering the question, but let me give you some ideas as to what I believe it depends on, then you can consider me for public office.  Or better yet, your stager.  

Most importantly, I believe you should stage TO the demographic of the buyer that will be interested in that specific property that is being staged.  

To do this, you should look at the neighborhood first:  

    • Is it a family-centric neighborhood?  
    • Arts district?  
    • Collegiate vicinity?  
    • Religious corridor?
    • Young singles & marrieds?
    • Geriatric community?

You can tell a lot simply by driving the neighborhood and looking at things like the foot traffic – are there younger or older people out walking / jogging?  Are there kids riding bikes in the street?  What sort of shopping is nearby?  Are there sports flags hanging from the porch flagpoles?  Are there neighborhood signs up advertising local events and what type?  And what is the financial state of the people who live there?  Are there broken down vehicles parked in the front yard, because you don’t want to stage with Pabst Blue Ribbon to meet that demographic.

You also need to review the layout and space of the property you’re staging.  Is there a pool?  A game room?  How is the outdoor area set up for grilling, etc.?  If it’s a very small space that doesn’t look like it would host a great party, then you wouldn’t want to set the stage (pun intended) for a party because buyers will get conflicting messages.  Is there a built in wine rack?  What about a wine cellar?  

So let’s say, you’re in a neighborhood of young singles & marrieds, that is very close to night life and hip shopping venues, I’d say you can probably use some liquor in your stagings and not offend anybody.  Especially if the property has a pool and a killer patio or a rooftop deck or a huge kitchen that opens into a great room with a big screen TV – get the drift?

Now, you don’t want to go crazy displaying a nightclub level of alcohol inventory, but you can set up a small vignette that provides the idea of having some fun in the space.  Here is one that we staged this week…we’ve got two liquor bottles, and lots of glasses…plus the lemons in the beverage dispenser to add some color and height.  I don’t think this is offensive, even to a tee-totaler.  And once you walked past this set up, the next room you would see was the sunroom and the view to the awesome pool area, so we’re creating the image of a LIFESTYLE that comes with this house.  

Staged Bar Area by Michelle Lynne

Staged Bar Area by Michelle Lynne

Ultimately, you also have to wrestle with your own beliefs and value system, and I’m not saying staging with or without alcohol will make or break the sale of the house so you don’t need to FEEL that if you don’t put alcohol into a property, you’re doing the client a disservice.  I live in the middle of the Bible Belt and could probably talk to half a dozen of my highly successful local colleagues in the staging industry and they would all have a varied opinion on it.  This is just my take.  Feel free to leave your thoughts below!  


Selling a Naked House? :/

Before selling your home, or considering why it hasn’t, there are many things you should look at:  (In order to prove a point, I’m going to ask a couple of personal questions, I’m sure you can handle it! ;)

Do you put on deodorant in the morning? (If the answer is no, I’m not sure you’re on the right blog! ;)

Do you look different when you clean your house vs. going out?

Do you clean your home before having people come over to visit ?

Do you clean your car before selling it?

People make judgments about a lot of things based on first impressions, smells and looks included . If your house is on the market it is competing with other houses, and the best looking ones are the ones that sell fastest, and for the most money. Staging is an investment that pays, and is always cheaper than a price reduction. 80 percent of our staged homes sell in 30 days!  Contact us for more information and pricing!


Keep the “special” day stuff, pack the rest…

Do you have plates, towels, bath salts, etc. that you ONLY use for special occassions?  I know I do! I usually only use the expensive stuff (or beautiful items we registered for before getting married) for special times, when the in-laws are in town, or holidays!  These things can come in handy when staging your home to sell!

Another way to think of it is, pack everything you wouldn’t take on vacation!  Imagine enjoying a “vacation” in your home, and pack anything you won’t need during the selling season.  If you happen to be staying in a five-star hotel, there would be fine crystal, china and beautiful linens.  Usually there is no clutter left around, and minimal decor.  Choose your best, and most up-to-date items, and part with the rest.  It will save you time later!  You should pack it up, or give away if you no longer need it, find it useful, beautiful or meaningful. Underfurnished houses allow buyer’s to imagine their own items in the home, and thus getting emotionally attached. ;) 

If you’re not sure if your furnishings or accessories are “up-to-date,” tour some model homes in your area.  Notice how things are placed with just enough to make a suggestion of easy, and elegant living.  They usually make it look as if anyone could move right in; that should be your goal when staging your home!



Home Stager vs Interior Designer

 A Home Stager… 

has the responsibility of transforming your home to sell fast and at the best possible price. They package your home into a marketable product and make every attempt to work with the furnishings you already own. A well-staged home will grab the attention of the greatest number of potential buyers. At the end of the staging process, you have a home that suits the personal preferences of your target market. 





An Interior Designer…

has the responsibility of making your home functional and comfortable. They consult with you to get an understanding of your behavior and then develop a game plan that meets your specific needs and desires. To accomplish this the designer will bring in new home furnishings and change the layout of your home. At the end of the design process, you have a home that you love that suits your personal preferences.






Important Note: A Home Stager is your best option to sell your home quickly and cost effectively.


An Interior Designer can choose to be certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

The NCIDQ is an independent non-profit organization. They are completely objective and their mission is to protect the public. They establish the standards for required skills of an Interior Designer.

Home Staging is a growth industry and is an unregulated field. There is no organization comparable to the NCIDQ that sets rules for identifying qualified Home Stagers.

Some Home Staging courses do offer certification to their students.  As a result, there are many types of certificates out there. It is not necessary nor required by law for a Home Stager to have any of these certifications. Some Home Stagers are self-taught and others may get training. An individual’s level of expertise in Home Staging is dependent upon their motivation and devotion to mastering staging techniques.  My personal fave is The Academy of Home Staging…but as an instructor, I’m probably a little biased.

Stay tuned for the difference between an Interior Designer and a Re-Designer / Decorator / Interior Stylist….





Are Outdoor Living Areas Important in Home Staging?

Outdoor living areas ARE a luxury, especially as these cooler temperatures arrive, and by staging these spaces, you increase the perceived square footage & value of a home.  This means higher offers and more money in everybody’s pocket.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when staging the outdoor living areas to sell:

  • Integrate the interior with the exterior design by keeping the color palette cohesive to make both areas feel bigger.
  • Stage the exterior so it can be viewed from the inside – inviting the buyers step outside and spend more time envisioning themselves living there.  
  • Consider hanging a chandelier instead of a ceiling fan outside, for added elegance and higher perceived value.
Each area of a home for sale is important to create the story of the lifestyle that is being sold along with the property.  Outdoor spaces offer the possibility of leading a desirable lifestyle filled with friends, family and fun.
If you would like help preparing your listings for their best showings, please give me a call – you can find my contact information HERE.



Using Mirrors In Home Staging


A well placed mirror can visually expand and brighten a room.  We use mirrors regularly and in all shapes and sizes:  square, round, oval, rectangular & decorative shapes such as a sunburst.  We both lean them against and hang them on walls; however it’s imperative that wherever mirrors are used there is an attractive reflection.
  • In a dark hallway, hang multiple small to medium sized mirrors to lead the eye down the space…just make sure there is no reflection of an ugly closet door.
  • Lean a mirror against a wall in the master suite to make it look bigger and brighter – plus it’s actually functional when getting dressed.
  • In a formal living or dining room, hang a large rectangular mirror horizontally to reflect the lovely front yard landscaping.  
  • Lean a mirror against a fireplace mantel – so long as it doesn’t reflect the uh, ceiling.  You have to be strategic with this option.
Mirrors should assist you in directing the buyer’s eye to what you want them viewing…and not distracting them from what they are actually buying:  The Property.  Need help?  Click HERE to call us!