Things We’re Doing To Stage Our House

People have been asking us what we’ve been doing to “stage” our house. Short answer: not much. Well, besides generally cleaning things within an inch of their life and stashing some items in the car a la this method. But we haven’t put any large furnishings in storage, repainted any walls or ceilings, removed any personal items like photos or wall art, or done any of the other tricks that we’ve heard through the HGTV grapevine (though I’m sure a professional stager would probably advise us to do some – if not all – of those things to some extent). We figure if people see a house that’s clean yet personalized and obviously well loved and lived in, it might be more interesting than a house that has been stripped of all personality and evidence that it has been enjoyed and appreciated. At least that’s our point of view at the moment. And thankfully we’ve had a few really promising showings so we’ll keep you posted if our approach ends up working out.

That being said, there is one pretty obvious change that we did end up making. We took a good hard look at the rug in the kitchen…

… and decided to nix it.

Even though that’s an old “before” photo from our old camera above, we realized the Company Store rug that graces our kitchen floor was doing us a disservice when it came to selling. It not only covered up the hardwood floors (hello selling point!) it also made the space feel less open in person (by creating a big definitive rectangle on the floor). Sure we loved it for the fun texture and softness underfoot, but because people aren’t buying a rug (they’re buying a house), we realized it was probably a smart call to roll it up and stuff it under our bed. Here’s what the room is looking like these days (this pic’s taken with the new camera, hence the longer shot, different lighting, slightly different angle, etc):

You’ll probably also notice that we removed some of the cute kitchen-y items on the counters to declutter things and show off another selling point in there- our granite counters. After all, we’re definitely not peddling a cutting board or a bowl of tomatoes, so we want to be sure the real features of the room are the ones that get noticed.

Oh, and our bathroom caught the rug-removal bug too. Gotta show off that marble tile, right? (Don’t worry, we bring out our rug friend when we shower so we don’t bite it on the aforementioned marble tile).

Maybe if none of our upcoming showings work out we’ll decide to try a few other “staging” tricks. Do you guys have any house-selling tips (or superstitions) that you wholeheartedly believe in? Or anything that you don’t think is worth the trouble?


  1. says

    I think your house is staged perfectly fine the way it is. I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘no personal items’ theory. Sure you don’t want to walk in and see a cluttered mess of pictures, but that doesn’t mean that things like the wall of photos/art in Clara’s room should be taken down. I think that any of Sabrina Soto’s rules could be broken, if done tastefully.

    When we were selling, the only rule we followed was to move our cats out for showings. We just moved them out entirely before our place went on the market to not have litter boxes around and also so that we’d be comfortable having people come when we weren’t there. I don’t trust strangers around my babies! :)

  2. Melissa says

    I think a house that smells like yummy baked goods sells best. Put some cookies in the oven. They smell great, and southern hospitality never hurts.

    P.S. move that house on over to central Alabama and it’s sold! I’ll take it! :)

  3. says

    I don’t have any tips (we just bought our first house a year ago, and I just realized that I only set foot inside one of the houses we considered, and that was the one we bought). I think the kitchen does look a lot more open without the rug, though, and of course it shows off the wood. Good luck!!

  4. Cheryl says

    Someone, please, buy their house so they can start blogging about decorating again and making their new house a ‘home.’

  5. Sarah says

    Love the staging tips. I think the rug removal made a big difference. So have your recent prospective buyer known about your blog or not? I’ve been wondering!

    Also, if The Nate Show doesn’t air in Richmond how do you plan to view it today! Can hardly wait!


    • says

      Hey Sarah,

      We disclose the blog to every potential buyer because we figure they have a right to know that pics of the house with our furniture will remain online. Thankfully everyone has been excited so it has been a non issue. As for the show, we thankfully have a technologically advanced relative who is sending us the episode online. Here’s hoping we can post a clip for people (just have to get clearance from the show).


  6. says

    I think your house is fine for showing as-is. The houses on HGTV garbage stacked in their dining room and blood red walls so they tell them to tone it down. You’ll be just fine :)

  7. Jen K says

    I totally agree with your approach. We are doing the same. We are leaving some well placed personal touches as is. Including our 1 year old’s toys. We are however making sure they are tidied up in nice looing boat bags. I make sure Teddy’s head is poking out to say hi. Maybe a sentimental mom will fall in love with our place because of some of those touches.

  8. Carolyn H. says

    Wouldn’t it be great if the right buyers moved in: people who wouldn’t mind doing a guest blog post about how they’d made your old house their home? Maybe it’s something you could offer up casually after the sale’s been made… You wouldn’t want to pressure anybody, but for many people it’s a chance to show off “the new place” would be a nice addition to a housewarming gift.

  9. says

    We just sold our place after almost two months on the market (and only two showings). Not sure if what we did helped or not, but we buried a statue of St. Joseph in the front garden, cleared out all our pets and burned some scented candles before showings, and had fresh flowers in the house. We also did some serious decluttering – filling up two or three big rubbermaid bins with personal effects and photos, and moving out a few pieces of furniture to open up some rooms. I think you made a good call on pulling the rugs, your floors are really shown off that way! Good luck!

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