I get it. You're staging your home for sale, but when you look around at your furniture it doesn't look like a model home furniture.

No sweat.

You can stage with whatever furniture you already own and still keep to a budget. There's a current trend that will save your butt.

It's eclectic mixing of decor styles. So, smile! I'll show you how to use what you have and maybe add some thrifted pieces so buyers will get the message that your home is stylish and welcoming.

Professional decorators have always used this approach to make their clients' homes look layered, curated, fashionable, and personal. Now it's your turn.

It's easy to mix decor style when you've grasped the basic guidelines.  You'll make that model home look boring!

Four tricks of the trade 

Your first trick is to enlist the aid of paint. Paint some mismatched pieces of furniture or accessories all the same color. I once staged a vacant home with a collection of second-hand furniture, all of which we painted white. It was a cottagey look that reflected the nature of the property. The white colorway looked completely intentional rather than like a fallback option.

Here's a happy mix of different styles
and eras from Danielle Oke Interiors.
Antiques cozy up to modern upholstered
pieces, Asian rattan,
and a glass and brass table.
Secondly, stage so that most of the decor of your home fits one particular style. Ideally, it will be a style that fits with the character and architecture of your home. Some decorators recommend an 80/20 rule. The formula is 80 percent of your furnishings are one style and 20 percent are random styles.

That's fine if you already know your style, have the furniture to match, and if it's not a style that is off-putting to any class of buyers. Millennials generally don't want traditional (grandma's) furnishings, and retirees, for the most part, aren't fond of a hard-edged industrial look.

Don't stage a girly bedroom on one side of your home and a man cave on the other. Mixing pieces from both rooms will make your home feel less specific and also larger. If your man objects to a fluffy, white rug in his personal space, remind him that's it's just temporary.

My third tip is to limit the attention-grabbers in your rooms. If you have lots of one-of-a-kind pieces, add some generic textiles, and a few identical items as props or accessories to make the decor seem less disjointed. You can always remove the unique pieces for a more stripped-down look, or replace them with more common objects. If your unusual pieces are large -- a baby grand piano, for example -- make it the focal point of the room. Buyers will have a crisp recall of your property after touring a number of homes that day.

Finally, use cross-pollination to bring a room together and keep it from looking like a garage sale. Need examples of cross-pollination? Lampshades and lamps that are similar in color and style throughout the room. Pillows that match. Pairs of furniture, like matching end tables or side chairs. Picture frames across the space of a room that are identical even though the artwork is different.

What not to do

Resist the temptation to place all of one style in one room or one area of a room. That's deflating the whole appeal of an interesting mix. If you have a Colonial chest, top it with some batik pillows. If you have a mid-century-modern chair, set it on an Oriental rug. If you have a sh shabby chic headboard, cover the bed with a trendy geometric patterned duvet.

Starting with an ordinary bedroom and what
could be considered old-fashioned furniture,
this room gets its upbeat look from
some modern art and ethnic textiles.

Don't use too many colors. Work with one, simple color scheme for the whole house. This system works well whether we're talking about wall colors, flooring, window treatments, or upholstery. Your color scheme should revolve around three colors.

Wood tones should stay in the same family. All stained pieces could be dark like ebony, a blonde like some oak, or a reddish tone like mahogany, or a light brown like walnut.  Aim for a consistent look in all your stained pieces,  whether flooring, furniture, or wood trim around doors and windows. If you have to stain some furniture legs, for example, chances are they will look good in your new home as well. A dark stain gel will cover prefinished stain work.

Why mix things up?

It's a great time to be a home seller staging her own home on a budget. Current trends are on your side. Chances are you can tweak the things you live with now, the things that you love (and even the things you don't!).

An eclectic mix is going to reach out to a larger number of buyers because everyone will see something he or she relates to. Your mix-up of styles, done right, will hit all the bumpers. That's pin-ball talk, not automotive.

So, forget the old rules of matching everything. Have fun with your staging. And don't forget to check out my homestaging eBooks to see where you need a crash course to make your home The One that sells.

Top Photo: Inspired Room; Photo Below: Better Homes and Gardens