Recently, a friend asked me what the difference was between Staging and Decorating because she thought my house was nicely decorated but I was a stager…
Excellent question, I thought; this is what I told her:
Decorating is applying an individual and personal style or touch to your house; it’s personal because what you love might not be your girlfriend’s cup of tea or your husband’s must have for his man cave.
The colours have to work together with the upholstery and the furniture to create an atmosphere or ambiance for your vision.
Usually, this involves a larger budget and it normally is not very time sensitive, meaning it can take some time to come together; fabric needs to be ordered, wallpaper hung and furniture selected. You might have to find some pieces that need to be custom made or one-of-a-kind antiques – all this will take time. You could hire someone to do a renovation, move a wall or remove one, depending on the style you are trying to achieve.
Staging, on the other hand, is not meant for the homeowner; it is meant for a prospective buyer by using the buyers’ eyes. Using lifestyle selling techniques a stager creates a broader appeal of the property. They are selling the space and not the contents! Staging is universal – while every stager will have their personal way to do the job the result will not vary that much (the price you have to pay might though, depending if the stager uses only your own furniture and accessories or brings some in).
Living in a staged home will require some adjustment for the owner and their family; it won’t be easy but it will be for a very limited time and serves a distinct purpose, namely getting the house sold quickly– in fact, when you decide to stage, you have mentally already sold your house!
Staging is not ‘fluffing’ by removing clutter and packing away personal items. It is rearranging, refreshing, reducing and editing a space to help secure an acceptable offer from a buyer. In that respect, it is a budget-sensible project with a much tighter deadline – staging usually costs less than the first price reduction you are considering taking because your house is sitting and not moving!
So, if you are selling your house staging is a necessity – decorating is a luxury!