HomeHome Updates: Tips & Ideashome staging ideas5 Expert Home Staging Tips

5 Expert Home Staging Tips

Posted on June 24, 2023 by KylieMawdsley

HOME STAGING: Linens, Photos, & Personal Items

The goal of home staging is to appeal to as many buyers as possible with the hopes of making MORE money and a quick sale. So, while you may think that your bong collection, nude self-portraits, dog fur accent rug, and blow-up doll will add value to your home – trust me, they won’t. And yes, these are just a few of the bizarre things that I come across in my home-staging adventures (I could write a book).

Before - Oak cabinets with cathedral top

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So how DO you appeal to as many people as possible? Well, you grab a bottle glass of wine (which is what I did after meeting with those clients) and you keep on readin’…



Nothing makes a potential buyer feel less at home than a space that’s personalized to the people living in it. And while these small things might not seem like a big deal to you, in terms of psychology, little details can add up.


If you have a monogram on your wall or as an accessory on a bookshelf, pack it away. This is like putting a stamp on your home saying ‘IT’S MINE, ALL MINE!!!’

family photo gallery wall above buffet with home decor. Kylie M Interiors Canadian e-design, edecor and online color expert

If your kids have their names in vinyl, wood, or artwork on their doors or walls, take these down as well. Buyers need to picture themselves in these rooms and shouldn’t know your kids by their first name.

Best teal paint colour, Sherwin Williams Cloudburst and White Dove. Kids girls room with accent wall and hanging chair. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant


This also includes the outdoors (for those of you with your last name nailed to your front door or on a curbside sign). Remember, your curb appeal is the first impression that buyers have of your home – help your potential buyers picture themselves living in your home!

Bella Blue, medium toned blue-green on front door, Half Moon Crest gray-green exterior painted siding, white trim, front porch, Kylie M Edesign

And don’t forget to paint your front door a beautiful paint color


Personal paperwork isn’t just about clutter, it tells a story about the people who live in the home. This includes degrees, bills, trophies, and anything that has your name, credentials, or otherwise on it. Nobody needs to see what you owe on your Visa bill or how smarty-pants you are with your degrees and diplomas.

This next photo shows an office that’s not ready for showings (I get anxiety even looking at it)…

Tips and ideas for mass appeal for Home Staging

Now HERE’S an office that’s ready for a big sale!

Wainscoting, panelling Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, warm gray greige, White Dove walls, home office. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy update and consultant

Whether you need to invest in a paper shredder or packing boxes, get rid of paperwork and excess visual clutter. If you use a corner of your kitchen counter or a corkboard for bills and misc. papers, clear those RIGHT off and get back to the basics.



You may think that your nappy ole robe hanging behind your bathroom or bedroom door isn’t going to be noticed – it will be. Robes, slippers, and towels that have been used are super personal items when viewing a home – personally, I twitch a little when I see these things.

Nobody wants to see your bathrobe.

Budget friendly tips and ideas for home staging. Bathroom

Just because a room isn’t updated, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tidy! 

There are a multitude of sins in this loo…

  • Towel hanging on a ring (looks like a daily use towel to me)
  • A towel hanging over the door
  • Bath mat that isn’t just for show (the worst)
  • Shampoos (boutique shampoos for staging are okay)
  • Razor

This bathroom is a MUCH better example of simple home staging that shows off the space itself…

East facing room with paint colour.Bathroom remodel, Moen Glyde fixtures, Bianco Drift quartz countertop Caesarstone, subway tile wall, Gray painted vanity by Kylie M Interiors E-design

See the FAB before and afters here

Sherwin Williams Alabaster warm white walls in bathroom, dark gray hexagon tile floor, walk in shower, Evergreen Fog green accent wall behind vanity

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Alabaster



When staging a home, only the VERY ODD HOME can pull off a patterned or colored bed cover or towels. Most bedrooms and bathrooms best suit white linens, or at the very least, solid-colored, light, neutral linens.

The staging in this next bedroom is pretty ambitious for the average homeowner. However, it’s a great example of layout, decor, colors, and textures with MASS APPEAL in mind…

Dunn Edwards Faded Gray similar to Benjamin Moore Silver Satin, off white warm gray, primary bedroom, home staging ideas, blue accents, rug on wood

The decor and linens in this next bedroom aren’t fancy, they’re neutral, simple, and straightforward…

Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray best wa

This next bathroom is a great example of clean, white towels and simple decor. We painted the vanity and tall cabinet to update the space (previously an outdated wood finish)…

Benjamin Moore Kitty Gray painted oak wood vanity in bathroom, terra cotta tile, orange peach floor Moderate White paint color walls. Kylie M Interiors

Ideas to Update Beige Carpet & Tiles

How to Update Your Wood Cabinets Without a Drop of Paint!


  • Throw pillows are a great place to add some color – assuming it coordinates with the other finishes/fabrics in the space.
  • Throw blankets, either on a sofa, chair or the end of a bed are good for adding pops of color. Again, make sure the color you choose makes SENSE, otherwise it should be neutral.
  • Some rooms can handle drapes in the right color, although neutral is ‘usually’ best.



Depending on how long your home sits on the market, it can be annoying to tidy up for every showing. Instead of trying to find a home for all the bits and pieces that gather on counters and side tables, have a box or basket that you toss YOUR daily living pieces in that you don’t want buyers seeing (deodorant, half-eaten loaf of bread).

Clear a space in a closet or cupboard and tuck this basket away when you have a showing. When you’re done, bring it out and unload it until the next showing!

Primary bedroom, Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White, best off-white beige paint color on walls, White Dove trim and ceiling, white linens, toss cushions, wicker lamp, ikea side tables, Kylie M Edesign (2)

The 10 Best Off-White Paint Colors

Will this be a huge PITA while you’re selling your home? Yup, but the better your home looks, the sooner it might sell!



There’s a SUPER fine line between what is just enough and what is TOO MUCH when it comes to family photos. It is OKAY to show that human beings live in your home, however, there are limits…

Living room layout with 2 chairs, family photo gallery above TV cabinet and home decor that has reclaimed wood

For home staging, it’s best to replace these family photos with more generic images (i.e., local black-and-white landscape shots).

  • Avoid family photos in the master bedroom, living room, or on mantels.
  • Limited amounts of photos are okay in a family room, office, kids’ room, or hallway…focus on the word limited.
  • No nude baby shots, wedding, or pregnancy photos – toooo personal. Sure, your boobs looked FABulous when you were prego, but not everyone needs to see them (wink wink).
  • If you have frames hung on the wall that will leave damaged drywall if removed, consider putting a landscape/city/generic photo in the frame.

Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White in bedroom with neutral bed linens, home decor, gallery wall. Kylie M client photo

The linens and decor are great, however, the photos are way too personal for mass appeal/selling

Sherwin WilLiams White Duck in open layout living room and dining room. White tongue and groove painted ceiling with beams. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Simple yet homey decor does the trick


  • Look on Pinterest to see how to do a proper photo gallery. A well-placed photo gallery wall can ADD to the appeal of a home, particularly for the 20 to 50-year-old market. We had a photo gallery going up the stairwell in our last home and it added IMMENSELY to the visual appeal of our home as potential buyers said, ‘I’ve always wanted to do that!’ However, if you can’t do it the right way in the right spot – just don’t do it.
  • Make sure to use modern frames and mats – no outdated school photos in plain oak frames (you are so busted). The look of these dates a home, regardless of when a home was built.

Living room Benjamin Moore Grant Beige with photo gallery, before Kylie M E-design, Online paint colour expert

5 Ideas to Update a 1990’s Home

Benjamin Moore Ballet White, best warm opff white, red oak floor, White Dove trim, gallery wall in staircase, two storey entryway



Nothing’s worse than using a room for something that it wouldn’t normally be used for. Again, if you’re living in your home, fill yer lil’ boots. However, for selling, you might need to make yourself uncomfortable for a bit to show each room as it should be used.

Benjamin Moore Simply White warm white on north-facing walls and ceiling beams in dining room.

Sometimes simple is SMART – especially when your walls are Benjamin Moore SIMPLY White!

If it’s a dining room, make sure it’s set up as a dining room (not an office). If it’s a bedroom, make sure it’s set up as a bedroom (not as a storage room). When a prospective buyer walks through your home it should be obvious as to what the function of each room is (regardless of how you live in it daily).

Ronei artist, acrylic westcoast ocean landscape painting. White oak flooring, Benjamin MOore White Dove walls. Open layout dining room and kitchen, Kylie M

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore White Dove

Barn doors painted gray blue green blend Magnolia Day to Day, office built in cabinets painted Teak Cups Magnolia. Whitewash oak wood floor. Kylie M Interiors Edesign CLIENT PHOTO

If you have a home with an entryway that opens right up into a living room and/or has no closet, adding a fake entryway and storage is a great way to impress potential buyers…

Show buyers how they could use the space.

no entryway, hooks on wall with board and batten, gray wash wood floor. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray paint color on walls.

Exposed brick wall in entryway area with black door and wood flooring. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, consultant for best paint colours from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin online

Even a simple coat rack can make a big difference! 

In a highly unrealistic world, homes would be emptied and staged with the right furniture and accessories. However, in the REAL world a) not everyone has money to rent/buy the perfect piece of furniture b) it can be challenging and expensive to live in a staged home if you are in a slow housing market and don’t sell quickly (and have children and/or pets) c) not every town has a business that rents furniture/accessories that aren’t butt-ugly or insanely overpriced.

Dunn Edwards Foggy Day lightened similar to Sherwin Drift of Mist, wood floor, open concept dining and living, Dune trim, Home staging ideas

The above furnishings are ideal for staging, but not realistic for most homes and families.


  1.  Budget-allowing, purchase the pieces you need to make the room suit its original function – second-hand can work great, especially if you don’t plan on keeping it (you can resell it once you’re done with it).
  2.  If you don’t have the budget to buy anything, it is better to have NOTHING than the wrong thing. That’s right, it is better to leave the room empty than to show it set up with the wrong function. The wrong function can leave buyers confused and can upset the natural flow of a home

It’s better to have NOTHING than the WRONG thing



You HAD to see this one coming. And I can’t stress it enough – DECLUTTERING IS KEY. Even if you don’t have updated furniture and decor, decluttering what you do have – both personal and impersonal, is a great way to prep your home for sale.

If you don’t have time to declutter every surface and room, focus on your 5 KEY ROOMS; these are the rooms that can make or break a sale.

Home staging ideas, paint colours, tips by Kylie M Interiors. Paint colour Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray with neutral bed linens

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray

On the other hand, if you have time, but you don’t have space for boxes, do you think buyers would rather see surfaces covered in clutter or a closet jam-packed with boxes? If I’m considering my future home, I want to see the surfaces in my home without being distracted by someone else’s clutters (functional or not).



These 5 Rooms Matter the Most When Home Staging

4 Budget-Friendly Home Staging & Update Ideas

The Best Light Neutral Paint Colors For Home Staging


Check out my affordable Online Decorating and Color Packages!

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (7)


Chat soon, 

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign


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