The Basics: Styling and Staging 101

Welcome to class. "Styling and Staging 101"

These are two of the most common design services client's ask me to help with and while they are different, the end goals are the really the same: to optimize the functionality of a space and/or to create a more pleasing aesthetic. Staging just has a more generic and mass-audience appeal and styling is client-based: taste and style specific.

Regardless of which of the two I'm asked to do, here are my three go-to basic rules. Cat's outta the bag.

1.) All major pass-thru's need to be a minimum of 3' wide. Anything less is too cluttered or oversized. A major pass-thru is a walk-space between furniture or walls where there would be a typical flow of traffic (see floor plan on right).

My oh-so-wise brother-in-law taught me how he likes to test this with his supposedly fail-proof method. 

This is my brother-in-law, Destin. In his spare time he enjoys long walks through his living room, looking like he just got off a horse. You know, to ensure the pass-thru's are wide enough.

So when you hire me to stage or style, this is how I'll be walking through your home. Just kidding. Maybe.

2.) Remove decorative accessories that sit on the floor. I'm not talking about furniture or pretty large vases or whatever, just clutter. Yes, I know. You love those baskets filled with fake flowers or that tiny little rocking chair with an old teddy bear in it. Or, my favorite (thank you Dallas Texas), the massive longhorn skull and antlers (Are they called antlers? Sorry to my husband, he'll shame me later for not knowing) sitting in a corner. Just.Say.No.

3.) Just because it's a wall does not mean it needs something hanging on it. Stand in your living room or bedroom and look around. Do you have decorative pieces hanging on every single wall (other than curtains or tv)? Most people do, don't worry, people will still like you. My rule of thumb is to have at least one wall with nothing hanging on it (again, minus curtains or tv). This helps to balance out spaces and relax the eye when looking around. This is a super important one for home staging -- people looking to buy your home are just glancing around and cluttered walls are a huge deterrent. Walls and wall decor are directly in their line of sight and it makes rooms look much smaller than they actually are. Let's not do that, shall we?

Well, that's it folks. If you're a skimmer like me, here's a summary: walk through your house like you just got off a horse, say no to little teddy bears in rocking chairs, and take down your 15 framed quotes or flower paintings on your walls.