If you are staging your own home you face some challenges that professional stagers don't face.

You probably haven't taken an extended online course in home staging, or even attended a weekend crash-course in staging.

And you probably don't own a warehouse full of spiffy furniture and accessories to tap into.

But when you are a DIY home stager you have advantages the professional ones don't have.

You can use your own furnishings.

You can work with your own timeline.

And you can save money.

You might even have fun and learn some new tricks to make your next home look and function better.

The benefits the pros have don't have to be obstacles to you doing a successful staging of your own property. There are ways you can imitate the results that good professional stagers get.

Imitate the training 

I frequently see photos of professionally staged rooms that miss the mark. I don't want to bash the industry as a whole, but I think that just because someone is accredited by a staging school or organization doesn't mean that she or he has the imagination, experience, talent, energy, connections, or resources to make your home as handsome and sell-able as you could.

Using your own belongings, selectively chosen, to stage your home will save money 
and let you enjoy your home while it's on the market. Photo: Alice Lane 

Having lived in your own home, you know what's both unique and less-than-ideal about it. Most of us know what everyday traffic patterns function best with our floor plans. You probably know from rearranging your own furniture over time what looks best. You know the rooms that get the most compliments from visitors. You know what you like about your home, inside and out.

By reading my homestaging eBooks and my blog, you can zero in on what gaps you see in your staging education. If there are certain rooms that seem problematic, you can do a search right here to read in the archives about how to stage them to sell. Look in the sidebar labels to see what topics interest you.

You can also study my Pinterest Boards, where I've carefully curated images and stories specifically targeted to help DIY stagers. These Pins are not just pretty pictures and impractical or obvious advice. They give you the guidance and encouragement you want, whether inspirational or hands-on tutorials.

Imitate the inventory

So you don't have stacks of dining chairs, rows of dressers, and shelves full of fluffy pillows to dress your home on the market. You have what's worked for you. It probably just needs some editing and some refreshing.

These are the four steps to take to when you are staging with your own furniture.
New slipcovers  and some paint can pull 
together a mismatched dining set. 
Photo: Pink & Polka Designs, where
Kristi makes custom slipcovers in 

Wilmington, North Carolina 


Decide what pieces are the best looking. Most of us have too much furniture.

Choose the pieces that make your home look like it is lived in by prosperous people, not down-and-outers.

Anything that looks like its best days are over needs to go into storage or repaired or repainted or cleaned or sold or donated.


Decide into which rooms these best pieces will go. Don't assume that furniture needs to stay in its present location.

Sometimes a love seat will work better in the master bedroom than on the sunporch. Sometimes a bookcase will look better staged in the front entrance than it does in the already-crowded home office. Think outside the box.


Decide which accessories are the most flattering. Once you have located the major pieces, you can add the minor pieces like end tables, coffee tables, side chairs and rugs. Then choose the wall art, tabletop[ props, lamps, and  window treatments that help that help sell your home by making it look newer, cleaner, prettier, and more stylish.


Decide if you need to supplement any furniture or accessories by buying, making, or borrowing. Here's where a friend with a fresh eye and maybe a  talent for decorating comes in handy. Lacking that, train your eye by studying professionally designed rooms in shelter magazines and decorators' portfolios on their websites. Just by browsing these images you will become a better judge of what needs tweaking or embellishing in your own home. Trust me on this.

Get the look, get the book

Don't let the lack of professional experience or training deter you from staging your own home. Start planning your staging projects and you'll get the results you want -- a home that sells quickly for a price you like. Begin your planning by downloading my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar.