An Expert's Guide to Staging Your Home

Photography by @CanonSawyer

“Staging a home,” Volume 7 member Tina McMackin Sharp of Sharp House Staging reminds us, “is more than just rolling a new coat of neutral paint on the walls.” And in considering her gorgeous transformations of listings, you’ll find she’s absolutely right.

A little over ten years ago, Tina started her company after a phone call from a realtor friend with a high-profile client. Now, with hundreds of staged (and subsequently sold!) houses under her belt, Tina and her team are the pros of staging, styling and leasing furniture in North Texas. Just ask her loyal clients, who report that homes staged by Sharp House Staging receive tremendous feedback and higher offers – in less time than their un-staged counterparts to boot!

“First impressions are everything – and with homes, whether they’re for sale or for showing off to guests, it’s no different,” says Tina. “I’ve staged homes that have sat empty on the market for up to a year.  When the homeowners decided to have me stage the homes, many sold within 1 week, some with multiple offers.” How then, we asked Tina, does she create that amazing first impression? Whether you’re a realtor considering the investment of staging your listing or a homeowner looking to pick up on the tricks of artfully arranging your own home, keep reading for Tina’s tried + true tips on zhushing like a pro!

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The Art of Simple

It’s consistently shown that well-staged homes sell faster than cluttered or empty homes. So, whether you’re seeking to grab the attention of buyers or friends, remember that less is more and set to work creating an orderly, de-cluttered environment. Start with getting rid of old magazines and that pile of clothes you’ve been meaning to donate. Clear off bathroom counters of products; return shoes to the closet; put away dishes and pantry items in the kitchen. This is a simple exercise that will give new life to any home.

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Go With the Flow

One of the reasons a well-staged home sells faster than its unstaged or cluttered counterparts is because a well-staged home encourages potential buyers to envision living in the space: where they’ll eat dinner, how they’ll position the couch, where their kids will do homework. Not all buyers can picture these important activities for themselves in an empty house! It’s amazing what furniture can do, so don’t be afraid to add some and don’t be afraid to change it up! Re-orient the couch, opt for a round dining table – think about how your house flows and honor it! You’ll be thrilled with how filling an empty corner or trying a new orientation of furniture will make it feel like a brand new, even better space!

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Don’t Forget the Details

As always, the devil is in the details. It’s certainly what makes a home look magazine-ready! So whether you’re sprucing for an open house or seeking to elevate your everyday experience in your home, don’t overlook the details. Add flowers, artfully arrange your hand + dish soaps on a tray, stack your books according to color. Creating little moments goes a long way!

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Set the Stage

Part of staging a home is seeing how spaces can be used – even overlooked or forgotten spaces like foyers and small patios. Maximize your house by giving these spots special attention. Find an entryway table and accent it with a gorgeous stool; give your patio a new lease on life with comfy outdoor furniture and a lively orchid!


An Eye for Art

One of the easiest ways to elevate your home is to fill the wall space. It’s a must for staging a house and making a house your own – and I’m a big believer you don’t have to drop thousands to do it. Unless you want to, of course! Take the time to hang your favorite pieces to finish out your space – whether you’re adding a small oil painting to a bathroom, a statement-making oversize piece to a bedroom or a gallery wall in a special nook!

Bonus Tips:

Add greenery + florals. This is a great way to fill empty space and add life.

Separate open spaces and create defined areas through rugs.

Pack some personality. Don’t be afraid to accent your home with things you love.

Reach out to Sharp House Staging for a design proposal and don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you!