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Staging or Decorating, What's the Difference?

I am often asked, when staging someone's home, "What is the difference between staging and decorating?" . While the differences may be subtle to the average onlooker, they are critical. Decorating is personal, it is a design specific to the homeowner's taste, style, and living choices. Staging is designed to showcase the home's features like unique architectural elements, room size, flow from one space to another. Recently, I was staging a large home for an elderly couple who found that they could no longer maintain so much space. While they initially seemed open to staging, they were very resistant to my suggestions. They didn't understand why I would want to move a large piece of furniture out of their living room when they have lived with it there for years. My explanation to them, that staging for living and staging for sale are very different, and we need to open up the space, and draw attention to their beautiful fireplace and mantle, gave them an "aha" moment. We talked about the need to "show what we are selling", which is the fireplace, mantle, and large family room, not the furniture that was crowding the space. Consider how you live in your home, then peruse MLS photos awhile. You will probably not notice that furniture in well staged homes is not necessarily placed where the homeowner would have put it, but you will notice that the room is balanced, the features of the room stand out, you are drawn in. That is the difference.

Charles Eames, the famous American furniture designer and architect, once said, "Design is a plan for arranging elements in a way that best accomplishes a particular purpose." Staging is a form of interior design whose purpose is to draw buyers in, create a feeling of desire, and comfort, and entice them to imagine themselves in the home. A well staged home does just that, and results in quicker sales, and higher offers.

That is a purpose worthy of great design!

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Amy Fedosky is a professional home stager, and mother to 3 boys and 1 girl. She loves travel, watching her kids play sports, chocolate, and a good glass of wine. Amy has lived in Rowlett for 28 years, and has been staging in the Dallas area since 2011.

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