Faith in Staging

My least favorite part of staging and decorating homes is selling myself and my vision to the homeowner.   I realize it is absolutely necessary, but I know they can’t see what I’m seeing in my mind’s eye and that can be frustrating.  My best days are those when I do a staging (or decorating or color) consultation, and my client says, “OK, I trust you.  Let’s do it.”  That’s exactly what this homeowner said to me when she hired me to stage her home for sale.

  The ranch-style home had a living/dining room combo that wasn’t working very well – it was primarily used as an office space and repository for “stuff.”   My client had to trust me when I told her the wallpaper and sponge-painting had to go, and that the rooms had to be repurposed.


Staging a home to sell requires re-thinking how rooms are used.  By making this room the dining room, buyers can envision large family gatherings and relaxed evening meals.



The former dining room was small, and the wallpaper made it look even smaller.  No one likes having to remove wallpaper, but it was critical for staging this home.



The dining room is now a music room, which buyers could easily envision as an office or sitting room – now they see the flexibility they couldn’t see before.



You’ve probably heard that kitchens sell houses.  Dark, dated cabinetry makes for a dark, dated kitchen.  People are terrified of painting wood cabinetry, simply terrified.  But perfect faith casts out fear!


When I explained what needed to happen in this kitchen, my client said, “OK, I trust you.”  This is what that trust got her:


Wood paneling.  By now, you should all know how I feel about that.  If you don’t, please read this.




I developed a plan for this difficult room – it has four openings that connect major areas of the house.  And again, my client had faith.



When I told my client we needed to take the teenager out of the master suite and move the masters (she and her husband) from the basement room with no windows into the teenager’s current room, she said “OK, I trust you.”




A lot of hard work went into getting this house ready to sell.  But the homeowners had faith – faith in their Realtor, faith in me, and faith in the staging process.  And lest I forget, faith in God to help them move on to the next phase of their life journey.

The benefits of faith:  their home is currently under contract and will be closing within a week!   If you are thinking of putting your house on the market, contact The Decorologist today.

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36 thoughts on “Faith in Staging

  1. Karen says:

    Yes, I did have faith in you and loved everything that you did. But like you said, a lot of the faith was in God that he would get us through this stage and on to the next.

    By the way, even our teenage son said he liked what you did with his room.

  2. Amy says:

    Kristie, you are so right! My mantra is, “Yes, Kristie!” Our house sold after ONE showing in a difficult market. What is the point of hiring The Decorologist if you aren’t going to do what she says? 🙂

  3. Jamie says:

    I simply can’t believe all the before and afters, but the kitchen? WOW. Amy makes an excellent point – why bother with a stager if you’re not going to follow her advice? I don’t care what my house looks like as long as someone buys it!

  4. Kelly says:

    What a fanastic job Kristie! Very, very nice! Be sure to carry these before and after pics with you to show clients- they will ‘sell’ you in a minute.
    Have a great weekend!

  5. jenny says:

    I am SOOOOO HAPPY to hear this house is under contract. I have never seen the before and after pics. The transformation is amazing. I have actually experienced this myself !!!!! You are one awesome visionary!

  6. Kelly Berg says:

    Great job, Kristie. Yes – I can tell a TON of hard work went into this job. They certainly hired the right person!
    Happy weekend.

  7. jilly says:

    Honestly, if I had been that client I would have changed my mind about moving and staying. What a beautiful job you did with all the rooms. You have a gift♥


    blessings, jilly

  8. Naomi ( says:

    Kristie you are amazing! I agree it’s hard when you have a vision but have to sell it (and yourself) to a client. Next time, just refer potential clients to this post to show them what they can achieve! Love seeing your work. Naomi x

  9. Carol-Anne: Use the Good Dishes! says:

    Great job on this! I, too, am a Stager and find it frustrating when people just won’t let go….even though they are obviously leaving this house!
    My question for you is, how do you convince the seller to let you do before & after shots? My Agents are nervous about me even asking! They’re worried that people will be embarrassed by the ‘befores’. Do you have experience with this?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      as part of the staging consultation, i ALWAYS do before photos. you see, i write up a report of recommendations for the client – and when i get home and look at the rooms two dimensionally, I always see things I didn’t notice while onsite. also, as part of my service, i take “after” photos for the agent to use on mls. so i always have both before and after photos, but i don’t identify the clients in any way.

  10. Leif Swanson says:

    Kristie, kudos on a superb staging transformation!
    You are so lucky the sellers put their home in your hands.
    You helped them sell the house quicker and for money.
    I preach the importance of staging on my blog
    I have some readers who think I’m picking on people for their wood paneling or floral wallpaper.
    Selling your home is a business decision. Buying a home is an emotional one. You want buyers to be excited about your house.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      So nice to hear from you, Leif. You have been on my blogroll for some time now! I love looking through the photos you post – I have a few that rival yours, I can assure you! You are right – it is often difficult for sellers to separate emotionally from the home they have been living in, but it is so necessary in getting it sold!

  11. The Mom says:

    Okay. Okay. I think you have convinced me. I have a den with stained (dark blue/green) western cedar (rough finish) plank siding. I need you to come over and consult with me. The room also has a (gag) popcorn ceiling, but is seriously vaulted and the estimates for removal have run anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for the ceiling alone…money I do not have. Can you come over and tell me if I need to paint and what to do with the paint issue (for the walls). Can you reply to my email so that we can discuss terms, etc! I need HELP!

  12. melissa says:

    I just shared this post with a friend because she has horribly outdated paneling in her basement that so far I have not been able to convince her Ex-husband needs to be painted. AND the dark cabinets in the kitchen need to be painted. This post was perfect for her to see. Hoping it changes Ex-husband’s mind! (but not going to hold my breath on that one…)

  13. CathyBB says:

    Hi, Kristie. I found your site when my Google search turned up your mystery party, which was just full of fantastic ideas – I can’t thank you enough for sharing it! =)

    These pictures are AMAZING and the post on why men fear painting wood was hilarious! I always tease my husband about our “House of Oak,” as I call it – I had NO idea he was not alone in his weird fear of painting wood!

    Keep up the good work!

  14. Home Staging MN says:

    I will right away grasp your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me understand in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  15. ann says:

    I am about to help a friend update her whole home for selling and this sight was inspirational! What an amazing job you did. So glad I came across this. Thank you

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