Bob Timberlake for American Heritage Custom

Special Designs by Bob Timberlake

How to Stage a Home


Home staging ideas header

Modern kitchen

For years, the kitchen and great room have fought for prominence in the minds of house hunters, designers, and home builders. But when 2020 came around both spaces are pulling their punches.

New home construction is shifting away from the once-ubiquitous great room design. And that shift can make it a challenge to update or show a home that was originally focused around a large, open living space, says some realtors.

Home Making
Finding the right house is just the beginning. These articles help you tune into what's trending so that you can help sellers set the stage and buyers transform the house into their perfect home.


  • Start with Curb appeal
  • Plants
  • Can we Paint?
  • Take it Outside

The downside to the great room house has always been that you walk right into the living space.The idea is to remake this room bt show homeowners "how to create a sense of entry." Some techniques for this include expanding the entry space vertically and creating a more classic foyer to better welcome visitors. Budget a problem? A rug, small table, and wall mirror can serve as an entryway focal point.

First Impressions

First impressions matter, so make your home stand out the instant buyers pull up to the curb. Some upgrades can be done in a weekend and will cost more in sweat equity than actual dollars. A few suggestions: rent a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime from your siding, roof, fascia and gutters.

Paint the front door and/or shutters a bright color, but make sure it coordinates well with the rest of the home's colors. Replace old house numbers, lighting, the mailbox and welcome mat. Clean up the edging around flowerbeds and lay down fresh mulch. Fill in empty beds with small shrubs, seasonal flowers and greenery.

Even if it's the dead of winter, get a pair of urns or large planters and fill them with small evergreen shrubs and cold-hardy annuals. If you have window boxes, fill them with fresh greenery too. If your porch or stoop has room for furniture, add a couple of chairs to expand your outdoor living space.

Plants to add?

Boxwood When you're ramping up your curb appeal, start with evergreens that give structure to your yard. Boxwoods make great foundation plants and come in many sizes, so you can also add them to beds and borders. Mix in annuals and other plants with year-round interest, says Julie Arnold Camp, a realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Metro Brokers in Atlanta. "Annuals give color during the length of the listing. Using pots is also a good idea to add seasonal color, or to add color to an area that has no interesting character." Tip: flats of annuals are usually cheaper than individual plants.


A few gallons of paint can go a long way in making a home more chic—and the cost can't be beat. Covering a 12-by-12-foot room with two coats will cost you about $50 to $100, including supplies. A home's interior painted in a pale yellow, or even beige, gives possible buyers an idea what the can do with the space. Reserve darker or trendier colors for accent walls or to highlight details such as a fireplace or an arched doorway. Common color picks for accent walls are dark red, green (not lime green, though), or a stone gray. Or instead of introducing a new color, use the paint in the rest of the room as a guide, choosing a color that's three shades darker. .

Red room paint idea

Don't forget the Outside

  • Walk around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded any trash or items left about, or move them to the garage or, if applicable, take them to the dump.
  • Check gutters and roof for dry rot and mildew. Make sure they are swept and power washed.
  • Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as little planters, flower pots, charcoal, barbeques, toys, etc.
  • Examine all plants. Plants are like children…they grow so fast. Prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows: "You can't sell a house if you can't see it!"
  • Remove any dead plants, weed all planting areas, and put down fresh mulching material, maybe some colorful flowers.
  • Keep your lawn freshly cut, edged, and fertilized during the growing season.
  • Check the condition of the paint on your home, especially the trim and the front door. The first impression, or "curb appeal," is very important.

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