DIY Home Staging Tips
With so many people working from home now, one sweet spot that's bound to be noticed as part of your home staging is a place for fixing a cup of joe.  

A coffee station adds a degree of charm and character to a house on the market. It looks welcoming. It helps people remember your home because it's unique. It gives you a chance to dress up some unused space of a room like a home office or game room. 

While some people might be put off by a bar cart stocked with bottles of alcohol, a coffee cart is likely to appeal to everyone. 

Another way a coffee spot can improve your home staging is that you can use it to highlight local attractions or places of interest. A menu from the nearest coffeehouse, or mugs from a local tourist attraction will remind people on a home tour of the nearby amenities. 

Lastly, if you own a fancy coffee-making machine, here's your chance to brag about living the good life in your home. A common expression in home staging circles is, "People buy the lifestyle." 

Creating a coffee station is simple. Here are a few suggestions to get you on your way.  

The essentials

What goes into creating your coffee bar depends on whether you will be using it yourself, or just designing it simply as a vignette to set a mood. It doesn't need to be so supplied that people on tour can brew a cup for themselves. In fact, I don't recommend that. 

You can stage your coffee corner to look like what anyone would expect at an upscale coffeehouse, or you can limit it to the bare essentials that simply suggest. It depends on the space you are using, the market your home is attracting, your budget, and how much fun you want to have with this little project. 

You can skip the fancy accessories with your set-up.
A tray and a simple, strong color scheme make this arrangement look finished. Photo: House on the Way.  

To qualify as a memorable coffee-making spot, a group of assorted cups on a rinky-dink mug rack won't impress today's caffeine-crazed Americans. A basic setup would be some matched cups, a few coffee-drinking essentials, and some kind of coffee pot or carafe. Add whatever frills you think are appropriate to your space and the style of your home. 

A tea-making display is even easier to arrange
than a coffee station, and it's just as appealing.  

As an alternative to a coffee bar, you could stage a tea service area. An assortment of tea bags, a pretty teapot, some teacups with saucers, a sugar bowl, maybe a creamer, and you are all set. 

Note: Whenever I stage with items that are small enough to be stolen, I am not above using a dot of hot glue to attach them to something too large to disappear. 

There is no shortage on the market of coffee-making accessories, from grinders and roasters to measuring scoops, tumblers, and flavorings. Stage with what you already own, and keep small items to a minimum or replace them with disposable look-alikes like the dollar store spoon in my tea tray photo. A big coffee canister and a few cups might be all you have room for. Aim for some things that are especially attractive or unusual.  Dress it up with a tray, plant, napkins, or coasters. 

Don't own an impressive espresso machine or the latest Keurig? No problem. A simple French press or pour-over carafe works just as well. If you are staging an empty house, you can find cheap coffee makers at thrift stores and big-box discount stores. And if your home decor is kitschy 50s style, a vintage percolator might be an interesting prop.      

This arrangement is the perfect size for most
kitchen counters. Photo: Funky Junk Interiors

Where it goes

The most logical place to stage your coffee station is the kitchen. A home office is also a natural spot. If the master suite is big enough to accommodate a coffee station, that would make a lovely addition to bedroom staging. If the family room is also a game room or media room, that's a possibility too. 

I've blogged about how to stage a bar cart, and many of the same principles apply: Use large objects that have some personality, and avoid clutter. Most kitchen coffee stations will be part of the built-in cabinetry, but in other rooms you might be starting off with a cart or a table. 

The current trend in high-end kitchens now is away from walls of cabinetry and more towards stand-alone cabinets, tables, and other furniture for a curated look. So, a shelving unit or cart dedicated to coffee making could be just right for your kitchen if it doesn't crowd the room.   

If your floorplan includes a built-in bar where shelves are lined with liquor bottles, why not convert it into a coffee corner for a safer, more family-friendly setting? If you have an armoire that once housed your television, or a china cabinet or hutch that you inherited and want to update -- these are candidates for handsome coffee stations. 

What to avoid

You do not want to create a nuisance for yourself. The coffee station you arrange should make it clear that this is not a self-serve station (unless you want it to be). Single-serve coffee makers are so popular now that it would be easy for you to arrange disposable cups and paper napkins, but that is not the look of smart staging. You're not marketing your home like it's the breakfast bar at Comfort Inn. 

Keep the setup small, unless the room you are staging is large or you need to fill a big, empty area. 

Promote your local coffee cafe
by staging with their cups.

There are literally billions of coffee cups available with entertaining messages printed on them. Because they might be too distracting to people touring your home, I would keep cups with jokes and quotes and silly pictures to a minimum. Don't use souvenir cups from your travels. Instead, use cups embossed with your own town's name or its claim to fame. Of course, you won't want to include cups with any quotes or images that might be considered vulgar, religiously themed, or politically charged. There are too many other generic but gorgeous designs out there! 

If you don't find coffee cups with the name of your town, or its local attraction, or the best coffeehouse in town, you can have whatever message you want printed on your custom coffee mugs. Because it benefits you in negotiations and for safety reasons, it's best if people shopping for a home don't have information about you as the seller. So, I would not print any family name on the cups. 

If you set out cookies or other edibles, you are implying that coffee is available, so limit the display to make it clear this is not snack central. Don't use fake foods like plastic muffins or croissants. Don't laugh. This was a popular home staging practice in the last century. 

A tray or basket always works to neatly corral
a grouping of items. You don't need 
to supply everything needed for a 
 full-fledged coffee break. Photo: Driven by Decor

I really like this coffee station. It's dramatic
and clean, but packed with details. It doesn't take up
much space but manages to squeeze in three
different coffee pots, cups, beans and 
condiments. Photo: Jenn Woodhouse

This tidy, colorful setup would be perfect for a staged 
kitchen or home office. Photo: Apartment Therapy 

Get the look, get the book

If you want more ideas and inspo for staging a coffee spot in your house, you'll want to visit my Pinterest Board for coffee stations, where I have over 50 photos to get your imagination perking! And for everything you need to know to get your home sold quickly for a price you like, download my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar.  You can begin today increasing the value of your home using what you have. I've done the homework for you!