13 Home Staging Secrets

Highlight your home's strengths, downplay its weaknesses and appeal to prospective buyers with these secrets.
Gray Bedroom With White Bed and Colorful Throw

Blue-Gray Traditional Bedroom

Don't be afraid to use dark paint in a small bedroom. A deep tone on the walls can make the space feel more intimate and cozy.

From: Designed to Sell

Use Color Creatively

Color can be incorporated in many ways, so don't be afraid to use it creatively. From unique pieces of art to decorative pillows, a pop of color can really catch a buyer's eye. 

Light Blue Living Room With White Fireplace

Clutter-Free Living Space

The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner's furnishings, and the house looks much bigger for it. You don't have to whittle that drastically, but take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without.

From: Designed to Sell

Conquer Clutter

Throw out old belongings that simply add to a clutter-filled home.

Less Is More

Too much furniture is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make. Consider arranging a few core pieces in your space and see the difference.

Float Furniture

Neutral Living Room With Neutral Furnishings

Staging Furniture

There's a common belief that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn't the case. Instead, furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in a room is obvious. Not only will this make the space more user-friendly, but it will open up the room and make it seem larger.

From: Designed to Sell

Pull furniture away from the walls to create groups within a room and to help with the traffice flow in and through the space.

Mix It Up

Neutral Sitting Area With Armchair and Artwork

Rearrange Furniture

Give yourself permission to move furniture, artwork and accessories among rooms on a whim. Just because you bought that armchair for the living room doesn't mean it won't look great anchoring a sitting area in your bedroom. And try perching a little-used dining-room table in front of a pretty window, top it with buffet lamps and other accessories, and press it into service as a beautiful writing desk or library table.

From: Designed to Sell

Shake up the room's style and attitude by periodically moving furniture around and incorporating old accessories into your design in a new way. 

Orange Crafts Room and Work Space

Eclectic Orange Crafts Room With Vibrant Artwork

Deep pumpkin-hued walls invoke creativity in this project room with plenty of counter space, plus cubbies for sewing or scrapbooking. Two nooks (with built-in desks) and a large project table provide room for everyone in the family to have their own personal workspace. An enormous corkboard over one of the desks offers a place to pin up ideas, works in progress, or favorite family photos.

Repurpose Unused Rooms

Make that junk room into a dreamy crafts room.

Let Light In

Letting outside light in can brighten the space and make the room feel larger.

Neutral Bedroom With Ambient Lighting, Series of Frames Above Bed

Lighting Tips for Staging the Perfect Bedroom

One of the things that make homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. To achieve this look, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures for a total of 100 watts per 50 square feet. Don't depend on just one or two fixtures per room – make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).

From: Designed to Sell

Light It Up

Most homes are improperly lit. Aim for 100 watts every 50 square feet in layers of ambient, task and accent lighting.

Staggered Wall Hangings in Neutral Dining Area

Dining Room Artwork Displayed Creatively

If your home is like most, the art is hung in a high line encircling each room. Big mistake. Placing your pictures, paintings and prints in such stereotypical spots can render them almost invisible. Art displayed creatively makes it stand out and shows off your space. So break up that line and vary the patterning and grouping.

From: Designed to Sell

Rearrange Your Art

Displaying art in traditional ways -- in a circle at the same height around the room -- can make it invisible. Leave the stereotype behind and display art in surprising ways. 

Paint It Black

Looking for a chic, dramatic style? Try freshening your furniture with a coat of black paint. 

Coffee Table With Decorative Accessories

Grouping Accessories

Mixing the right accessories can make a room more inviting. When it comes to eye-pleasing accessorizing, odd numbers are preferable, especially three. Rather than lining up a trio of accessories in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point. Scale is important, too, so in your group of three be sure to vary height and width, with the largest item at the back and the smallest in front. For maximum effect, group accessories by color, shape, texture or some other unifying element, stagers suggest.

From: Designed to Sell

Accessorize With Threes

Odd-numbered groups of accessories, especially threes, tend to be more eye appealing.

Modern Kitchen Table With Red and Orange Floral Centerpiece

Raid Your Yard For Floral Arrangement

Staged homes are almost always graced with fresh flowers and pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. Budding magnolia clippings or unfurling fern fronds herald the arrival of spring, summer blooms add splashes of cheerful color, blazing fall foliage warms up your decor on chilly autumn days and holly branches heavy with berries look smashing in winter.

From: Designed to Sell

Bring the Outdoors In

Head outside and grab some greenery from your yard to bring a fresh look indoors.

Make an Entrance

Creating a warm entrance to your home is welcoming to your guests.

Next Up

Attract Buyers With an Inviting Atmosphere

Warm up your home's appeal during cold-weather months.

The Buyer's Field Guide to the Open House

Arm yourself with these expert tips and advice when braving the Sunday open house. Learn more on HGTV.com.

Real Estate Survival Guide: Seller's Checklist

Refer to this 10-step checklist to get you through the home-selling process.

Take Your Open House to the Next Level

Up the ante on the traditional way of showcasing your home.

Adapt Your Home to Its Selling Season

Play up your home's amenities for the season in which you choose to sell.

They're Just Not That Into Your House

Just as in dating, wooing homebuyers unsuccessfully can leave you wondering what went wrong. But don't take it personally!

Get Your House Ready for its Close-Up

Make a good impression on potential buyers with these tips for staging your house and preparing for a sell.

How to Make the Most of Your Open House

Set your house apart with these simple tips.

Staging Tips for Selling During the Holidays

Before you deck the halls, see which holiday decor can help you sell.

7 Tips to Fix Up a Foreclosure (Without Breaking Your Budget)

Maximize your profit by flipping a foreclosure home with these cost-effective, buyer-friendly tips.