Sometimes the Dreams That Come True Are the Dreams Your Never Even Knew You Had

Now that the Christmas season is behind us, the dawn of a brand new year has come, which means new goals and dreams for our future.  What are the dreams of your future?

home stager dreams via 

Ten years ago, I dreamed of spending my time doing something I truly loved.  Something I was passionate about.  That all started with a love of homes. A love of houses, real estate, interiors, renovation, paint colors – all those things and more.  But I had two degrees in the field of psychology.  What on earth was I doing dreaming about the places where we live, and how to make them everything we desired – a place of comfort, a place of peace, a place of solace and respite?




So I jumped on the crazy train and threw off the chains of my schooling and decided to pursue my passion for Home Staging.  I never could have dreamed where that train would take me. A few weeks ago, I found out that I won two national home staging industry awards.  The first one is for Top 10 Home Stager of the Year:


home stager of the year award



The second one is for Top Ten Redesigner of the Year:

home staging redesign award


And to top it off, I was honored at being elected a Regional Vice President of the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA). When I told Mr. Man and the kids, they immediately said, “You mean assistant to the Regional Manager!”  If you never watched The Office, you may not get the reference, but they thought it was HILARIOUS.

Anyway, I’m thrilled by all of this good news and thrilled to offer you the chance to pursue YOUR dream of a career in home staging and design – even if that’s not what you intended 20 years ago.  Guess what?  DREAMS CHANGE.  And that’s totally OK.




I have four just TWO spots left for my January 29-31 course, where you can become certified as an Expert Psychological Stager™.  I believe there are four people who are DESTINED to chart a course that will change their life – I’m not sure who of you will have the courage and the drive to make the change, but I can’t wait to meet you in January!!!  Don’t let your dreams just be dreams – sign up today:


The Decorologist on Color Placement – It’s More Important Than You Think

I just staged a property to sell in a high-end suburb of Nashville.  The realtor who hired me sent some preview photos last week, asking what color the dining room should be painted.

DSC_2362 before

Let me put you in my shoes – what might you do to make the biggest impact (for the least amount of money) in showcasing this dining room? What kind of impression would you want to make on homebuyers?

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Staged for Success (And You Can Be, Too)

Over the weekend, I wrapped up my Expert Psychological Stager™ certification course after spending three intense days with 22 amazing women.  We worked hard, but had a whole lot of fun!

expert psychological stager-course- training


Mortgage professional, Joe Repass of F&M Mortgage in Brentwood, TN, hosted our group and provided morning snacks and a catered lunch on the first day of training.

joe repass mortgage lender broker


In addition to training materials, everyone received paint fandecks from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams and a copy of my new book, Psychological Staging – The Home Staging Secrets of The Decorologist. I also debuted my Psychological Staging Color Boards for sale.  I’m excited to be able to offer an easy way for Home Stagers and Realtors to choose the right paint colors for their staged homes without having to be a Color Expert!  Stayed tuned for more info about their availability soon . . .



To break up a long day of learning on Friday, we had a private lunch at a local favorite, The Puffy Muffin.

home staging certification


Nashville is a great city for foodies, with no lack of great dining.  Friday evening, we hung out at Urban Grub in the trendy 12th South Neighborhood.  The food was world-class, and the conversation amazing!  Here’s a selfie we took that night:

urban grub nashville Expert Psychological Stagers™ Karen Hattan, Allison Lynch, and Kristie Barnett 


Saturday culminated in hands-on stagings of two homes that are going on the market.

staging training


Half the group worked on one house in the morning, and the other half worked on the other house in the afternoon.



It was so great to watch them all apply what they had been learning over the last couple of days in real-life staging situations!  They did such amazing work.

home staging



home staging






My trainees came from seven states – Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, and of course, Tennessee. The entire group of women gelled so well, and we really got to know a lot about one another in a short amount of time.

expert psychological stagers


They all passed the course with flying colors –  these women are staged for success!!!




I never could have pulled it off without Allison.  I don’t know what I’d do without her!

kristie barnett


We’ve been inundated by requests for information regarding the next course we are offering January of 29-31, 2015.

bedroom staging


If you want to change your life and follow your passion for home staging and interior design, this just might be the chance you’ve been waiting for!

Expert Psychological Stager Logo


Location yet to be determined, but it will be in the Nashville area. For the first ten people that sign up,  you’ll get our Early-Bird Special of $1599.  After then the course will be $1799 until we fill up.  CLICK HERE to sign up now!  For more information about what the course includes, see this post.

Home Staging – What NOT to Do

I spent much of the Labor Day weekend preparing the presentation and manual for my Psychological Staging Training in a little over two weeks. In reviewing and gathering old staging photos to use in my presentation, I stumbled on a blogpost I wrote over four years ago that I thought I would share with you guys.  I think you’ll get a kick out of it:


Did you know that staged homes sell for about 15% more money in 1/4 of the time of unstaged homes?  Good home staging is a must in today’s difficult real estate market.  You have only one chance and about 15 minutes to make a prospective buyer fall in love with your home.  With fewer eligible buyers, you have to make every showing count – big time.


The following photographs are “befores” of some of my early clients’ homes.  All of my clients are wonderful and talented people – but everyone needs a little help to make the sign in the front yard go from “For Sale” to “Sold.”  Names are withheld to protect the innocent and the unstaged.

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Home Staging Comes Full Circle

Over five years ago, I staged an occupied home in Franklin for some friends who were moving out-of-state.  It sold to a family who were new to the Nashville area.  The new homeowners soon contacted me about helping them decorate their “new” home.  It was a fun experience working with two different clients with different furnishings in the same house!


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I Just Can’t Stage Them All

Over the last year, I have found myself having to turn down too many home staging jobs because I’m so booked up.  So many Realtors and homeowners need help getting properties ready to sell, and they need help fast.

home staging training

The Decorologist

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Staging the Icon Highrise in Nashville

Have you ever dreamed about living in a swanky downtown highrise like the Icon in Nashville?  Imagine – living right above all the coolest restaurants and the nightlife, plus a killer view from every vantage point . . .


 Nashville’s Icon in the Gulch


A few weeks ago, I Speed Staged two condos in the Icon – one right after the other.  I snapped some pretty good photos of the larger of the two condos and thought you’d like to see them.  Let’s start with a couple of the “befores.” This is the previous view of the kitchen and living room area.  It’s VERY important that the seller opens all the window shades for every showing, of course.


before staging

The bedroom kinda resembled a cell block before:

before bedroom

before staging

The office/den looked a bit off-kilter, like they had just moved in the sofa and left in the middle of the room.

before office

before staging

Allison and I got at it – moving around furniture, pulling out accessories from cabinets and closets, and packing away anything that didn’t play up this fabulous highrise condo.  When you have lots of gray (walls and concrete floors), punches of color are helpful.  We used color to move the buyers’ eyes across the space and to features we wanted to highlight.  Here are the after photos:

staged highrise


staged bedroom

staged dining area


staged kitchen

modern sofa

If I were young, single, and childless, this is definitely where I’d want to live!  How about you?