9 Home Staging Tips You'll Want to Try (Even if You're Not Selling Anytime Soon)

home staging tips
ETHAN PINES

Getting your home ready to sell is no easy feat. From clearing every nook and cranny of clutter to upgrading every room with a fresh coat of paintand thoughtfully arranged furniture, it can seem like the list of to-dos is never-ending. That's where bringing in a professional home stager can be incredibly helpful. But even if you're not selling your home at the moment, there are some helpful interior design pointers you can steal from home stagers to help make your space even better.

Here, home stager and interior designer Meridith Baer reveals the design secrets that are worth taking the time to try, even if a home sale isn't on the horizon. After furnishing more than 1,800 properties totaling over 7.6 million square feet in 2023, there's no better person to ask than Baer. Read on for her top tips.

1. Boost Curb Appeal 

From lush greenery (Baer especially loves potted plants!) to a fresh, new mailbox, there's no denying the impact of a stylish front entrance. "I like to think of it as a room in a sense," she says. "It's another space to live with."

For her own country home, Meridith decided to hire an artist to give her front door a weathered look. "The rest of my house is smooth plaster, so I just wanted that door to have some character," says Baer. 

home staging tips

ETHAN PINES

2. Reimagine Room Layouts

It comes down to two things: How do you use the room and how many people do you need to accommodate? "For example, my favorite thing in the world is to sit in front of my living room fireplace with a girlfriend," Baer says. "In this case, I go for the most comfortable chairs, so if you keep the use of the room in mind, the rest will fall into place."

home staging tips

ETHAN PINES

3. Go for Statement Lighting

Lighting can make or break an interior. Baer recommends installing dimmers on overhead light fixtures, so they can be adjusted according to how the room is being used throughout the day. "It's a no-brainer and makes such a difference, because you can play with the mood," Baer says. Visually appealing table lamps are worth considering, too: "Interesting lamps at different heights are probably one of my favorite decorative objects."

home staging tips

ETHAN PINES

4. Embrace a Neutral Palette

home staging tips
ETHAN PINES

Any realtor will confirm that refreshing your rooms with neutral paint colors is the best approach for luring potential buyers. But it's also a no-fail option for homeowners who enjoy rearranging furniture and decor from time to time. 

The best neutral hue to try? Baer is partial to Sherwin-Williams's Emerald Interior Collection in High Reflective White. "I love a warm white, because I enjoy moving and trying things in different ways. I find that if the room is generally neutral — a very, very soft white — you can make anything work."

5. Clear the Clutter

Clutter can take away from a room's overall aesthetic, and it prevents you from using a space to its full potential. The solution? "Get rid of as much stuff as possible," Baer says. "Ask yourself: 'Is this something I really love? Does it have personal meaning to me?' And if it does, keep it."

home office
ADRIAN VAN ANZ

6. Display What You Love

home staging tips
ETHAN PINES

At the same time, there's room to show off your personal style. "How do the things in the room relate to one another?" says Baer. 

That's the trick for figuring out the pieces of art and decorative objects to showcase in any space. "My favorite look is eclectic — a mixture of things," she says. "If you love something, then it's going to work with other things you love, so be honest with yourself about what you like and don't like."

7. Create Additional Storage

Potential buyers are keen on finding a home with ample storage. If your space is lacking closets and cabinet space, consider a sideboard. "I put sideboards wherever I can for storage, and then make them more attractive with table lamps," she says. They're a great solution for storing things like extra dishes, napkins, flatware, you name it.

a living room with a large window
CASSANA

8. Add Style to the Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are key areas in a home. To make them shine, aim to keep decorative accessories to a minimum, Baer advises. "There's nothing like fresh white towels in the bathroom, and I personally love orchids in a kitchen." She also suggests treating a kitchen like any other room — try hanging art or even a mirror."

a kitchen with a bar and chairs

IBI DESIGNS

9. Bring in Natural Light

Sheer or linen window treatments that make it easy for natural light to fill a room are best, says Baer. In some cases, depending on the nature of your home, you can even do away with curtains or blinds. "I would rather just have windows be windows," she says. "It doesn't give you that claustrophobic feeling."

a bathroom with a tub and sink

ILLUMIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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