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!


Organizing Countertop Makeup

 I was working on the master suite of one of my redesign clients a couple of months back and noticed that the convenience of her makeup on the bathroom countertop was creating some visual clutter in the space so I decided to organize it so that it was still functional while also being aesthetically pleasing.  This is a combo that makes my OCD and my pragmatic nature very very happy. 

Below you’ll see what I saw.  It’s your typical acrylic makeup holder that you can buy at any corner drugstore.  Yes, it’s FUNCTIONAL but it hurts my head to look at it, especially as we’re rocking the design in her master suite to read with a five star hotel vibe.  This isn’t cutting it.

Makeup Organization BEFORE



An easy solution for your makeup brushes and other cylindrical beauty items?  A short vase filled with coffee beans.  Notice we’ve got the brushes, eyeliner, mascara, lipliner AND her foundation submerged into the coffee beans…which gives off a lovely aroma whenever they are mixed about.  And the tweezers are perched on the outside lip of the vase so they don’t drown in the beans.  I purchased a lovely mirrored box and put the rest of the items in there, and while it’s difficult to see the interior, there is PLENTY of space for her items.  Yes, they are neatly arranged for the moment, but they would all still be very accessible when rushed and things get tossed and scattered.  I shot these pics with my iPhone and can’t find the photo with the box closed and the countertop nice and tidy, but we’re coming to the close of the project and will have some professional shots to display soon.  Stay tuned….




I enlist a similar organizational tactic at my house…granted I have a LOT of makeup (especially lip sticks & lip glosses!) so I have to keep my “daily favorites” in the countertop access.  My not-every-day items are stored in the drawers and cabinets below and out of sight until it’s time to go glam.  What do you think?  Need help organizing your daily task items so you’re not stressed out by the visual clutter?  We can help!

Staging to DWELL: Entryway Apothecary (Winter Style)

Yes, it’s true.  This IS the second blog within a week.  It’s a modern day miracle but I’m diligently working on becoming a better blogger and providing some interesting content.  So if you have any requests or suggestions, don’t hesitate to note in the comments – I’m all ears!  In the meantime, let’s get down to business and get caught up on my entryway apothecary deco.  (If you missed it, the Halloween and Christmas deco were featured HERE and HERE.)

I wanted to find something that was winter-like, but real snow was out of the question as the hubs insisted we keep the heat on throughout the winter months.  I didn’t argue.  Instead I found some winter blue spheres, edited my Christmas potpourri to remove the overtly sparkly pieces, and added some eucalyptus.  Looking at this photo, I’m going to remove that cross on the wall and put it somewhere else as soon as I get home today, it’s throwing off the balance of the space.









So stay tuned…I’ll be back with what is hopefully something interesting.  And if you want some random updates in the meantime, you can always “Like” my Facebook page.  Check it out HERE.

Staging to DWELL: Aaahhhh Apothecary

OK OK…so I’m a little late with these photos. I’ve added apothecary jars to my entry chest and have had fun with various decor. I had some fun at Halloween to kick off the new pieces (did you see that post? if not, click HERE) and now that it is uh, FEBRUARY, I’m sharing what I had at Christmas. With a little luck, I’ll have my current photos up for you before say, Easter? :)

So without further ado, except to get your expectations in line that this ain’t no Architectural Digest photo styling, here is what we had at Christmas to welcome our guests:







Kind of fun, huh?  And super simple if you’re a D-I-Y kinda person.  But if you’re not, call me and we can come by and fancy up your space for the holidays (you can find contact info HERE)  Or, not for the holidays.  I promise to get today’s entry apothecary deco posted soon!

Staging to DWELL “Street Cred”

Street cred.  Short for Street Credibility and defined by the Urban Dictionary as “Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments.”  (It can also be defined by how many years in prison you’ve spent or how many tattoos you have, but we’re choosing this definition for our purpose today.)

So, street cred (as defined above):  We got it.  And today I’ll show you how we got it for our Staging to DWELL service:

Y’all know the little ol’ Texas baseball team, the Texas Rangers, right?  Yeah, that’s right, the 2 time defending American League Champions….tx-rangers

So I’m sure you’re wondering “how in the world does Staging to DWELL correlate with baseball??”   Well, I’ll tell ya.  We had the privilege of staging two of their town homes to DWELL for their new players relocating to Dallas.  Yeah, it’s only temporary housing and not a big mansion that they’ve purchased for their permanent residence, but if our staging is good enough for the Texas Rangers, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?

Here are some photos and if you want to see more of these spaces, as well as our other work, you can click HERE for our You Tube channel or visit our website at bymichellelynne.com.

Texas Ranger Townhome #1 Living, Dining, Kitchen View

Texas Ranger Townhome #1 Living Room Close Up

Texas Ranger Townhome #1 Dining

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Living Room

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Dining & Kitchen

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Dining Close Up

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Master Bedroom

Why Should I Stage My House – Part II (SELLERS)

If you’re wondering if investing the time or money into staging your house for sale, here are more points of what is in it for you as a seller:

  • Packing / donating / selling the items you don’t want to take with you NOW will alleviate stress when you’re moving because a lot of the work will already be done.  And a de-cluttered, expansive looking house will provide your potential buyers with more room to see their own stuff in the space instead of trying to peer around your excess.
  • The faster the home sells, the fewer mortgage payments the homeowner will have to make – especially if you’ve already purchased your new home.  Check out a home staging calculator HERE and do the math for yourself.
  • The internet is the new “first impression”.  Your listing will look better than the competition and will move your home up in the list of “must see” properties.


Here is an example of a real MLS photo before and after staging…which would get YOUR attention better?

Original MLS Photo
MLS photo BEFORE staging
MLS Photo AFTER Staging by Michelle Lynne
MLS Photo AFTER Staging by Michelle Lynne

Why Should I Stage My House? (SELLERS)

I’m often asked this question by sellers:  ”Why Should I Stage My House?” and it usually has to do with the investment.  Come on, you know we’re all pinching pennies when we’re selling our homes…wanting to get the most money offered and give the least amount of allowances.  But let’s walk through a couple of reasons that impact your pocketbook in a positive way:

  1. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the averaging staging investment is 1-3% of a home’s selling price, and generates a return of 8 – 10%.  Do the math:  $350,000 listing would cost roughly between $3500 – $10,500 and yields $28,000 – $35,000.  Now, I’m not a math whiz, but that makes pretty good sense to me.
  2. Did you know the cost of staging may be a tax deduction?  Of course, check with your tax professional but you can point them to IRS Publication 523 to determine if you qualify.
  3. The more organized & attractive the home shows, the more desirable people will perceive it to be.  For example, a well organized pantry isn’t going to sell the house alone, but it does contribute to the confidence level the potential buyers will have in the care & maintenance of the house while you owned it (“gee, if their pantry is THIS organized, I’ll be they really maintained the HVAC system, watered the foundation regularly, blah blah blah).
Staging isn’t just about making a house pretty.  Staging includes the preparation and the merchandising of a property and should be done prior to listing a home.  Stay tuned, we’ll be back with some more reasons why you should stage your house, but in the meantime, here what could have been an MLS photo (before staging) and what actually was the MLS photo (after staging)…which would attract YOU to visit the property?
Formal Living Before Staging
Formal Living After Staging by Michelle Lynne

Lease Your Missing Piece

Lease Your Missing Piece

Ever walked into a listing and the homeowner had a great sense of style or the house presented well, but it just needs that missing piece? There are times when listings are presentable and would appeal to many buyers, but one room may have an oversized sofa or may be missing a badly needed dining table. It is very difficult for many buyers to see a property beyond its esthetics and focus on the bones of the property. It is even more difficult for a buyer to see oversized or undersized furniture in a space, and understand that the space is sufficient for them. Therefore, lease your missing pieces for each room to help buyers see the full potential of that property.

Real estate is all about selling square footage. If buyers can’t see it, they can’t buy it. Getting that optimal missing piece is then key to selling that listing. There’s nothing like having a huge sectional in a room that barely has sufficient walking space or having a large formal dining room that has a small kitchen table in it. Buyers also love to buy a lifestyle! So, sell them a lifestyle! Lease the missing piece that will add value to each space. Make the buyer fall in love with the idea of living in that space with that furniture.

So, what do you do when you need that missing piece? You contact us! We have furniture for lease. That’s right! You can get the best sofa or table from us. Just visit our showroom and pick out what’s missing in your listing. It’s that simple! Don’t leave your listings with missing pieces. Lease today!

Lease Your Missing Piece



Lease Your Missing Piece

So, you’re house is all ready to be placed on the market. You’ve cleared the clutter. You’ve removed personal items. Your furniture presents your house in the best possible way to potential buyers. But, there’s a missing piece! Your dining room doesn’t have a table because you used it as a play room instead. Or, maybe your family room had a huge sectional to seat your family, but it really is too large for the space. This happens all the time because the way you live in a house is not the same as how you sell your house, and that’s ok. It’s ok because you can lease your missing piece!

What you need to do now is focus on getting that missing piece! Having the appropriate furniture for each room helps buyers know the purpose for each room without guessing. If a buy has to guess, then you’ve probably lost that buyer. So, make it simple. Fill in the missing piece and get your house sold! Real estate is all about selling square footage. If buyers can’t see it, they can’t buy it. Getting that optimal missing piece is then key to selling your house.   

Buyers also love to buy a lifestyle! So, sell them a lifestyle! You can lease your missing piece, which will add value to each space. Make the buyer fall in love with the idea of living in that space with that furniture. So, what do you do when you need that missing piece? You contact us! We have furniture for lease. That’s right! You can lease the best sofa or table from us. Just visit our showroom and lease your missing piece. It’s that simple. Just ask us for the details and we’ll get you setup.