Selling Your Home? Essential Spring Gardening Tasks You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Spring is a time when the garden comes to life. The snow, ice and miserable weather is (hopefully) a dim and distant memory. If you are planning on putting your home up for sale around Easter, now is an excellent time to restore order to your outdoor space and ensure it is looking in tip-top condition by the time prospective buyers come for a look around. So what are the essential gardening tasks that need to be tackled in the springtime*?

Spring Gardening Tasks for Selling Your Home | Staged4more Home Staging & Design

Order Bulbs and Seeds

Early spring is the time to order new bulbs and seeds for the garden. Certain bulbs can be planted in the spring for a summer flowering season, so if you get in early, you will be able to enjoy a colourful festival of colour in the summer, which will help to make your house a lot more attractive to potential buyers. If you or a family member likes to grow you own veggies, now is also the time to order seeds – just make sure you buy from a quality supplier. 

Clear Up the Borders

After a long, cold, wet and miserable winter, most people’s gardens are looking in need of a lot of tender loving care. If you haven’t done so already, clear up the remains of last year’s bedding plants and throw them on the compost heap. Next, clear out the dead leaves lurking in the borders, cut back dead bits in perennials and give everything a thorough tidy up.  You can buy some great outdoor plants from Glut* that will help make your garden look even more beautiful.

Essential Spring Gardening Tasks for Selling Your Home | Staged4more Home Staging & Design

Fertilize the Borders

Early spring is the ideal time to dig the borders and prepare them for new bedding plants, bulbs and seedlings. As long as the ground is not still frozen, wait for a bright day and get out there with a heavy-duty garden fork. Take the opportunity to introduce organic fertiliser: rotted horse manure, chicken manure, compost, or recycled green waste will all add essential nutrients to the soil.

Essential Spring Gardening Tasks for Selling Your Home | Staged4more Home Staging & Design

Eradicate Garden Pests

Garden pests don’t disappear over winter – they just hibernate and wait for the warm weather to return. If you inspect your perennials closely, you might be able to spot colonies of slugs, snails and aphids lurking out of sight. It is also a good idea to check roots of any bedding plants left in the borders and pots: vine weevil larvae often pass the winter in the remains of bedding plants. If you find any pests, treat them with pesticides or parasitic nematodes. 

Essential Spring Garden Tasks for Selling Your Home | Staged4more Home Staging & Design

Fix Fencing and Trellis

A poorly maintained garden looks shabby and is off-putting to buyers. Most buyers want a garden they can enjoy without spending too much energy. After all, they might have a ton of decorating and remodelling to do when they move in. So gardening is probably not high on their list of things to do. Spring is the ideal time to fix any broken fencing or treat wooden structures with preservative. Once you get these jobs out of the way, you can concentrate on taking care of the plants. 

Gardening needn’t be a chore. Fit in a few gardening sessions when the weather permits and before long your garden will be a wonderful selling point.

*This post is sponsored by a UK company. While there may be UK resources mentioned, you can find equivalent resources here in the US.

Photo credits 1 Garden Gate eNotes 2 Sunset Magazine 3 sbmagContemporist

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Update the Curb Appeal of Your Home Sale

As the housing market continues to bounce back, it is becoming more and more competitive for sellers. Help your home sell faster by captivating buyers at first glance with impeccable curb appeal. Here are seven ways you can make your house stand out from the competition:


Unless there's snow on the ground or it is dead winter, there is no reason your landscape shouldn't be lush and colorful. Incorporate color with annual plants, planting them throughout the yard as well as in window boxes and in pots flanking the front door. You can find fairly inexpensive options in your local big box stores like Home Depot. 

Landscape designer Sherri Silver recently told that planting artificial flowers is never acceptable. If it's too cold for plants to survive, Silver recommends adding fresh mulch to garden beds to brighten them up. Be sure to pull any weeds and get rid of any dead leaves and debris before your first showing. You can also chat with your local nurseries to determine what plants are the best for your local area.

Check out: 20 Easy and Cheap DIY Ways to Enhance the Curb AppealCurb Appeal: 20 Modest yet Gorgeous Front Yards


In order to make your home memorable for buyers, you have to think like one. Look at the exterior of your home with a critical eye, making a list of anything that doesn't look as good as it could. Are you missing a few roof tiles? Is your landscaping covered in dead leaves and debris? Does the front door look dull? Make note of anything that needs to be cleaned, repaired or replaced.

Check out:  Photos: Before & After: Exterior ; The Secrets to Being the Most Gorgeous House on the Block


A well-lit yard changes the welcoming aura of a house. Take an inventory of your landscape lighting including replacing any bulbs and cleaning the fixtures to ensure your lighting scheme is balanced and polished. If extreme weather has gotten the best of your fixtures, replace them with new outdoor lights or you can spray paint them for an affordable fix. Create a few focal points with lighting, drawing attention to the front door and landscape features such as a unique tree or sculpture.

Check out: 6 Ways to Improve Curb Appeal ; 20 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal ; The Secrets to Fabulous Outdoor Lighting


The front door sets the stage for whether or not buyers feel welcomed into your home. It is also the first thing the buyers see! If your door is over 10 years old or has excessive wear and tear, now is the time to upgrade to a new door.

In terms of picking the right colors, I say keep it simple. Pick one that will be welcoming and noticeable. If the surrounding walls are dark colored, pick something bright for contrast. My go-to colors for doors are generally red, black and gray. 

Check out: Make an Entrance: 10 Welcoming Front Door Paint Colors ; 12 Best Paints for Your Front Door55 Different Front Door Inspiration Ideas {in just about every paint color possible}


Replace your house numbers if they are difficult to read, dingy or faded. Consider hanging them in a different spot where they will be more visible. If a potential buyer has trouble finding your house because they can't see the house number, you may have a strike against you from the start. When selecting new numbers, consider the style of your home and get numbers that complement that style.

powerWASH WINDOWS & exteriors

Sparkling clean windows and exterior surfaces are a must when welcoming potential buyers into your home. If hiring a professional isn't in your budget, you can mimic their technique to get similar results. There are a lot of guides online you can find to learn how to do it safely. Powerwashing, if done properly, can make a HUGE different. Just look at the photos above, from this Buzzfeed article.


Sweep dirt and debris from your driveway and hose it off using the highest spray setting. If it still looks stained, rent a pressure-washing machine to scour away stains and refresh the look of your driveway.

Photo credits 1 Woo Home 2 Angie's List 3 Cottage and Vine 4 Yahoo: Homes 5 the Garden Glove 6 & 7 Buzzfeed 8 Better Homes & Garden

This post is an update of a previously published post in 2013. You can find the original post here.

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It is St Joseph's Day and Spring Sale is Here!

EcoJoe, the Eco-Friendly St Joseph Statue Home Selling Kit

It's St Joseph's Day and we've got a sale for you!

From now to 11:59pm 3/26, we are throwing a 20% off store-wide sale! Just use the coupon code SPRING15-20 when you check out.

A little bit about EcoJoe...

I launched EcoJoe officially in fall 2009. The whole concept to manufacturing to market process took about 1 year. EcoJoe is the first sustainable and eco-friendly St Joseph statue home selling kit on the market. I worked with a design firm to come up with the graphics, the brand attitude and the packaging. During the process, I learned a lot about developing a product, packaging design, working with artists, overseas manufacturing, copyrights, and sustainable practices.

The practice of burying a St Joseph statue to sell homes has been a long-standing tradition, I felt that it was time to update it and modernize St Joseph himself. After all, he is pretty important.

Real estate in general can also be a very wasteful and un-green industry. It is my hope that EcoJoe can bring awareness to being green in real estate. EcoJoe is not only the hardest working saint in real estate, he's all natural, won't harm the earth!

Interested in wholesaling EcoJoe? Get more info here.

Wishing you a HAPPY SPRING!

Have you checked out our new and FREE 10-Step Home Staging Plan email coure? You can download it here.

How Much Does It Cost to Stage a Home for Sale?

Costs of Home Staging // Staged4more Home Staging & Design

"How much does it cost to stage my house?" This is the #1 question on every realtor's and home seller's mind.

This really comes down to your local economy and where your price point is. Staging a starter home versus a high end luxury home is two very different packages and two very different price points. Since there is no industry standards on pricing or business practices (meaning every stager may offer different packages or services), it is difficult to just come up with a $ figure. But I can show you the breakdown of our proposal so you can get an idea of how a home stager puts an estimate together. I had covered the types of home staging services in a previous post, you can refer to it here.

Walk through / consultations: $150 per hour

This is pure labor & brain picking. During the consultation session, I do a walk through with homeowners or agents to go over what needs to be done to prepare their homes for sale. This can range from color consultations to how to physically rearrange the existing furniture for a better traffic flow. During the walk through, I also candidly answer any questions the sellers or agents may have. 

There are a lot of studies done by agencies like, HomeGain, HomeAdvisor, where the home staging costs came out to be less than a $1000. (In National Association of Realtors' 2015 Profile of Home Staging, it states that the median dollar value to stage a home is $675 for each home.) That's because most of these studies does not include investment for services like painting, basic landscaping, etc., or just by including a home stager's consultation time. These numbers do not include actual investment of hiring a home stager to do the work. 

Hands on home staging services: Occupied / redesign & vacant home staging

Generally in our estimates, labor consists of roughly 65% of the total investment. This includes:

  • Design time: 1-2 hours

  • Prep time: 6-20 hours depending on size of the project. This includes pulling inventory, shopping if needed and packing everything for load out. 
  • Moving: Unfortunately sofas don't move themselves. From our studio to on site, move in, with a 2-3 people team, roughly comes out to 8-12 man hours. Sometimes may be longer if we are staging a high rise condos where we may need to take several elevators up and down, or the doors are too small where we had to take off the doors. 
  • On site design & installation time: 2-3 people team, roughly total of 10-22 man hours
  • De-staging, packing and moving out: 2-5 people team, 8-18 hours
  • Restocking inventory: 4-8 hours depending on the size of the projects

Other Pricing Models

% of listing price

I have seen a common number of expecting to invest 0.5% to 1% of your listing price on home staging. So for a $800,000 listing price, you are looking to spend around $4,000 to $8,000 for home staging services. 

By Square Feet

This is not common but I have seen it on the marketplace where home stagers would charge $x.xx per square foot. 

Staged Home by Staged4more Home Staging & Design

Ultimately there are a wide variety of business models out there. Many stagers like me choose to invest in our own warehousing and our own inventory. This means high overhead: we have to invest in time to learn furniture trends, visit furniture trade shows, establishes relationships with vendors, bring in employees or independent contractors for maintenance, upkeep and organization. We also have to invest in tooling, shelves, racks, packaging materials, etc. to protect and store our inventory.

Many choose to rent furniture from furniture rental companies like Brook Furniture, CORT Furniture, etc. Me & Yi Hsuen made the conscious decision of investing in our own inventory and warehouse because we feel that

a) We can offer more flexible packages to our clients.
b) We are not at the mercy of the furniture rental companies, where we have to meet minimum rental pricing per month. The contract also often has a 2 or 3 months minimum.
c) We can offer more diverse inventory. Most rental companies only a certain number sets of furniture. They also often do not include bedding, lifestyle accessories, etc.

All these business decisions impact bottom line and profit margins of the home staging business and subsequently impact how each home stager estimates the costs of home staging. It is up to individual home stagers to make decisions on how they want to run their business.  

Do it yourself?

If hiring a home stager is not in your budget, or you already have a well-put together interior or know how to style your own home, you can also considering the do it yourself route. Ultimately it is up to yourself to decide if the staging fee saved is worth your time and effort. The hours you invest on staging your own house can add up fairly quickly: project management, picking materials, shopping for inventory, actual staging, etc. Hiring a home stager for an one-day installation may be more efficient than do it yourself. You can invest your time saved elsewhere.

But the decision is always yours. If you choose to do it yourself, and want a little more guidance, we have put together a free email course by breaking the process of home staging in 10 steps to help sellers & agents to stage their own listings. You can download it here.

Pricing is often a hot topic amongst stagers and realtors. What is your experience?

Have you checked out our new and FREE 10-Step Home Staging Plan email coure? You can download it here.

Q&A: "What Home Staging Training, Courses or Certifications Would You Recommend?"

Q&A: "What Home Staging Training, Courses or Certifications Would You Recommend?" // Blog by Staged4more Home Staging & Design

I recently received this email through our Yelp page:

"hi there,
I have a question that I was curious if you could help me with. I currently own a hair salon in Northern California and wanted to do home staging/interior design/ professional organizing on the side. As I'm doing my research online I noticed that you don't really need a certificate of any sort? I still would love to tak some classes but don't know what is reputable and what is not? I was curious if you had suggestions on good classes, offerd any or possibly where you went? I live far away so am not a competitor by any means. Was referred to you by a realtor friend in the Bay Area. Would love your suggestion. Thanks and have a wonderful day."

I get similar inquiries a lot, so I decided to make this one public since this particular inquiry cover several misconceptions that often cause home staging businesses to fail.

It took a lot of hard work for me to build my business, I know how discouraging and heartbreaking it can be to feel that you are not succeeding in business. I hope my answers can help others to avoid some mistakes that I've made.

Staged Home by Staged4more Home Staging & Design

Here is my A to the Q:

Hi there,

Thanks so much for writing. I may be a little bit harsh and long winded on this, but I do feel these are important points to consider before you invest time and money that do not get you the results that you want:

  1. Getting into the home staging business is pretty easy, as your research will probably tell you. But sustaining a business is hard, as you probably know from running your hair salon. If you already own a hair salon, are you ready to take on another new business? Even if it's "on the side?" Are you ready to take attention away from your core business? I think that's something you really need to think about. I have done freelancing visual work while I'm running my home staging business. It is exhausting even though I love it. But physically it is not sustaining and it is not a long term plan. 
  2. What kind of home stager do you want to be? Regardless of renting furniture from a third party vendor or not, you will still need to invest in home accessories, soft goods, etc. Where will you store your inventory? How much are you prepared in investing in inventory, shelving, bins and moving materials? 
  3. Will you have enough support? No matter how organized you are and how supportive your team are of you, running 2 businesses at one time means both businesses will suffer. Your attention will be diverted and at times you may feel that you are failing at both. Or worse, you may almost killed off your original business in the process of launching the new one. I've seen this happen many times in real estate. Many people do real estate on the side as agents, and they never establish themselves as a full time agent unless they really, really, really want it. Most part time agents do not produce. When they do produce, they are not as experienced as full time real estate agents.  
  4. Home staging / interior design / professional organizing are actually 3 different businesses, so which one do you want to do? Just because as a home stager I pack bins, organize props, teach clients how to edit their styling, doesn't mean that is professional organizing. Home staging and interior design are also two different disciplines. Home staging needs to be fairly neutral and appealing to a broad range of visitors, whereas interior design need to only appeal to the home owners. The project scope of home staging is generally fairly short with limited homeowner input, but in interior design, you may be dealing with home owners for several years on one project. So defining what works for your personality, your interest is very important. 
  5. About certifications: Yes, you do not need certifications for a career in home staging.  In regards to suggestions for classes, frankly I don't know. I've been staging since 2006. While I have done most of the courses on the market like ASP, ASPM, CSP, Dewey Color System, IRIS ( Interior Redesign Industry Specialists, now defunct) early on in my career, that was several years ago. These courses probably have changed by now.

    While I appreciate all the education I have received through these schools, my best lessons came working in the field. You as a hairstylist probably feel the same way. So that brings me back: what is your why? If you are looking to make more income, it is much more easier to just get a part time job. If you want to do it because you love the industry and want to get more experiences, I'd recommend working for someone before you venture into a new business. That may be more manageable for you since you already have a business that you need to run.

Ultimately it is your decision on how you would like to build your career. I've also written 10 Ugly Truths Before Becoming a Home Stager that describes the home staging business in more details. There are a lot going into sustaining a business and making it successful. I would recommend if you are serious about becoming a home stager, shadow a few seasoned ones first, and then decide if it is for you. 

I know this answer is probably way longer than you had expected, but I do feel that it is important to consider these points before you want to jump into a new career. I hope my answers are helpful. 

What did you think of my advice? Do you have anything to add? Leave them in the Comment section below!

Have you checked out our new and FREE 10-Step Home Staging Plan email coure? You can download it here.

Selling Your Home? 5 Minor Fixes That Improve Your Sale Price

This is a sponsored post provided by an UK sponsor, so some of the links may contain websites from the UK. However, you can easily find US alternatives by searching for them on the internet.

Selling Your Home? 5 Minor Fixes That Improve Your Sale Price // Staged4more Home Staging & Design

When it comes to selling a home, not every homeowner has the resources, time and passion to do a full renovation. While forgoing the renovations will inevitably mean a lost opportunity in terms of profits, there are minor fixes a homeowner can do to recoup some of the lost value. Outside of staging a home with fresh, matching furnishings, plants, fixtures, and décor here are 5 fixes to improve a home’s sale value.

1. Plumbing Fixtures – If not in our own home, we have all experienced a toilet that runs constantly. Barely a moment goes by but the sound of leaking water can be heard, throughout the house. But before you rush out to the hardware store and spend a whole bunch on a replacement toilet, take the time to understand if it is an issue with the toilet, or the toilet flush valve. If it is the later, then it is a relatively inexpensive fix that you can do yourself. Remember even simple fixes can go a long way.

2. Steam Cleaning – Matted carpets do not do much to create the impression that a house has been cared for. Hiring a carpet cleaner to come into the home to do a steam cleaning will go a long way to removing stains from carpets, and making them look refreshed. This simple trick will not only remove the matted sections long enough to sell the house, it ensure white and off white carpets are their natural color again.  

3. Painting – Neutral Colors – One of the easiest ways to spruce up your house for sale is to do some painting. On the exterior focus on the doors and window frames, and if the house is wooden on the outside, consider painting the whole house in a neutral color. This will help to boost the curb appeal of the property. While beige may be boring it should win the color argument inside the house. It is simple, clean, and matches any furnishings. Most importantly unlike other colors, every homeowner knows it is easy to paint over.

4. Outdoor Tidying – One of the best ways to add value to your home and prepare it for sale is to improve its appeal from the street perspective. This means taking the time to prune the trees, cut the lawn, and shape the edges of the garden. Planting a few extra well-chosen matching plants and installing planters on the step also goes a long way towards making the house show well.

5. Removing Extra Furnishings –The only thing worse than having a house without enough furniture, is having a house with too much. If the house looks cluttered then it will feel small. The end result is potential buyers will question the value that your desired purchase price offers, leading to discounting of their purchase offers. 

Photo credits 1 Remodelista 2 Apartment Therapy 3 Domaine Home 4 HGTV 5 Freshome

What did you think about these 5 tips? Add your own below in our Comment section.

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Meeting with Prospective Home Stagers

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Meeting with Prospective Home Stagers // Staged4more Home Staging & Design

In real estate, time is of the essence, it even says so on the purchasing agreements. Having well-defined goals will help you maximize your home staging investment. Regardless what kind of home staging services you are purchasing, you should do your homework before meeting with prospective home stagers. This will help you decide who to hire, what to screen for and ultimately save you valuable time and money down the line.

To create the best environment that best serves your listing, home stagers need to know who your potential buyers are, how they may use the space and what are the lifestyle trends are. This is part of the buyer psychology and sales process. 

To help you prepare for your first call or meeting with your prospective home stager, here are the questions you should be able to answer about your listing before your meeting:

1. What is your budget for staging?

I generally give prospective clients a range of what home staging may cost for their listing. There are many factors that influence the pricing, such as location, age of the home (older homes have smaller doors, so sometimes we may have to take doors off to move furniture in), floor plan, the amount of inventory that I have to bring in, prep time, etc. So it is usually best practice to provide prospective clients a range for pricing.

What I often find is that most homeowners have a base line pricing for their staging needs, but sometimes the budget expectations can be unrealistic. If the price quoted by the home stager is more than what you had planned for staging, do a little research to see if your budget is realistic and on par with the market rate. If the price is within market rate, discuss with the stager to see how they can work with your budget. Most stagers will work with reasonable budget expectations.

2. What is your timeline? 

When are you going on market? Knowing your repair and work timelines is important because it will dictate when home staging will take place. Work delays are common, so it is important to make sure your home stager know the range of dates that you are looking at. During peak seasons, we often get booked 2+ weeks in advanced. If the client missed their ideal booking time, they may have to wait 2 weeks for our books to open up. It is important to make sure that the prospective home stager can accommodate your timeline. 

An example of vacant home staging.

An example of vacant home staging.

3. What kind of home staging service are you looking for? 

These are the 3 most common and major kind of services a stager will provide (These are general terms. Depending on the stager, you may see hybrids or only certain types of services.)

Vacant home staging services: You have already moved out of your home and now the house is vacant. A home stager will move in all the furnishing, lifestyle accessories, artwork and soft goods (textiles, bedding, accent pillows) to create a welcoming space that will be attractive to your buyers.

Occupied home staging services (sometimes also called redesign): You are living in the home while you are selling. Generally, home stagers would bring pieces like accessories, artwork, furniture, etc. into the home on a needed basis and work with homeowners’ existing pieces.

Consultations: These can range color consultations, finishes selection, and home staging walkthroughs where the home stagers will walk through your home with your, provide you with a list or a comprehensive report on what needs to be done to get the house ready.  

Depending on your needs, you can always ask what other services the home stager provides. Knowing the scope of your project will also help. 

4. Does every room needs to be staged or just the key rooms?

If the home owner is budget conscious, I always suggest staging the key rooms, which includes basically the main / common areas plus master bedroom (or en-suite if it is available). This will keep the cost down for staging and still make an impression on the buyers.

5. Who is your buyer? is this the best stager for the type of buyer?

Depending on who your buyer is, the staging will need to have the look and feel that appeal to your buyer. If your listing is in a trendy area, it may not be ideal to have a stager who is used to staging traditional homes. You can generally figure out who the potential buyer is by looking at your current neighbors, who they are, what kind of work they do, what kind of lifestyle appeals to them, what type of magazines or furnishing they have in their homes, etc. Then take a look at the portfolio of your prospective home stager and determine if he or she is the best fit. 

staged home // staged4more home staging & design

Lastly, there are no standards for pricing or required licenses, education in the home staging industry. When you are in the process of hiring a home stager, ask as many questions as you can to make sure you are completely comfortable with the home stager and with the process. Read our blog here if you are interested in hiring a home stager.

What did you think about this post? Do you have any additional questions to add? Leave them in the Comment section below.

Have you checked out our new and FREE 10-Step Home Staging Plan email coure? You can download it here.

Contemporary or Modern? Your Guide to Making Sense of Design Styles for Home Staging

There are lots of design styles out there, and new ones develop all the time from current lifestyle trends. These design movements have names like American ColonialModernArts and CraftsShabby ChicVictorian, and more. At this point, you’re probably pausing to think something along the lines of, “Wait, is it modern I’m looking for, or contemporary? What is the difference anyway?”

If this dilemma sounds familiar, you’re not alone. There are a lot of terms that get thrown around with interior design; some of them are so similar that they’re practically indistinguishable, while others are actually subgroups of larger design styles. 

Since the goal of home staging is to appeal to as many people as possible, I would recommend going after larger design styles instead of focusing on more narrow ones. I'd also recommend shying away from anything niche or aimed at specific ethnic groups, such as Bohemian, Asian, African, etc. These are all fantastic when you are decorating your own home, but such a specific style, even in just one room, may alienate too many buyers. 

Styles that have wide appeal such as Transitional, Traditional, Contemporary, etc., work very well for home staging. Styles specific to the architecture of the home can be a little tricky. For example, while Craftsman furniture may work perfectly for a Craftsman home, would Victorian furniture work for a Victorian home? Not so much for today's buyers.

The styling of your staging will be based on two major factors: location of your listing (neighborhood, lifestyle trends, etc.) and architecture of the home (arts & craft, modern, etc.).


According to Design Shuffle, the Traditional style uses the antique furnishings, rich colors and symmetrical room layouts first created in 17th-19th century European and American designs. Formal in feel, Traditional rooms are very balanced and often use pairs of chairs, lamps or tables. 

Another element of the style is the use of detailed ornamentation; nail head trim, crown molding, button tufting and other finishing touches are used lavishly. (These details are often also used in original and innovative contexts in the other design styles.)

Designers to know: John Fowler, Michael S. Smith, Mark Hampton

Magazine to know: Traditional Home

Also check out our Home Style -- Traditional Pinterest board here


The Modern style took the first step away from the ornateness and formality of the styles that came before it. It technically encompasses a lot of smaller movements, including art deco and art modern. 

After Mid-century Modern exploded on the scene, clean lines and industrial materials became the face of the Modern style. Open space, bare windows and white-walled rooms are dotted with molded plastic, leather, chrome and glass furniture to create the bare, serene feel of modernity.

Designers to know: Mies Van Der Rohe, Karim Rashid

Magazines to know: Modern Magazine, Dwell

Also check out our Home Style -- Modern Pinterest board here


The photo above is the South Place Hotel in London, designed by Sir Terence Conran's firm. We actually used this hotel as a case study on styling tricks learned from hotel designs. You can read the blog here.)

Contemporary style is sometimes confused with Modern style. The basic difference is that they are of two different time periods. Modern design  specifically refers to 20th-century designs for example, Eames chairs. Contemporary is what is happening now. It can be confusing, since most people use the word modern when they mean to describe Contemporary. This mistake is also made frequently in major magazines.

The Contemporary style often continues along the same lines as modernism by using lots of space and making simple, bold arrangements. However, contemporary designs sometimes borrow the organic lines, details and materials of past styles as well. Currently, I am seeing a lot of reclaimed woods, farmhouse-modern types of interiors and the use of industrial elements in today's Contemporary designs.

Designers to Know: Sir Terence Conran, Philippe Starck, Michael Graves

Also check out our Home Style -- Contemporary Pinterest board here


According to Interior Design Pro, Transitional style blends Contemporary and Traditional designs into a harmonious look. So think classic furniture shapes and styles mixed with current materials and finishes. For example, an antique Louis chair might be reupholstered in a graphic print. 

Occasionally this formula is reversed, and contemporary furnishings are given a traditional fabric treatment. Another popular variation on the style is mixing traditional furniture with bold, modern art.

The Transitional style works really well because not everyone wants to live in a traditional interior, even though the architecture of the home may be traditional.

I've also discovered that today’s buyers respond well to the Transitional style, because it can go both more contemporary or more traditional. It's also fun to mix vintage items with the new. This design trick is done very well by Pottery Barn.

Designers to Know: David Hicks, Nate Berkus

Also check out our Home Style -- Transitional Pinterest board here

Other Popular Styles

These particular styles may be appropriate based on the architecture of the home. 

Mid-Century Modern

According to Design Shuffle, Mid-century Modern is characterized by simple, clean lines and organic forms and textures, and is the most popular manifestation of the Modern style. Especially associated with American and Scandinavian design, the style features a lot of walnut, teak, chrome and stainless steel. Many famous pieces of furniture emerged from the period, including the Saarinen Tulip Table and the Eames Lounge Chair, and they’re still wildly popular today.

This style became popular again thanks in large part to the hit TV show Mad Men. I have also seen many Eichler homes styled with mid-century modern interiors.

Designers to Know: Lloyd WrightCharles and Ray Eames


This style is seen very often on design blogs like sfgirlbybay. While it is popular there, it mostly works in more Bohemian and hipster neighborhoods. You also want to be careful when you are styling that Eclectic does not look too cluttered in photos. Eclectic style is very similar to Transitional style, except that it borrows from any and all styles to achieve a diverse mélange of other looks. It also uses bright colors and patterns. For example, an Eclectic living room might feature antique portraiture, French countryside chairs, a modern rug and Chinoiserie cabinets. The style is prevented from being too chaotic by using similar colors, shapes or textures throughout

Designers to Know: Sheila Bridges, Kelly Wearstler

Also check out our Home Style -- Eclectic Pinterest board here


The Scandinavian influence is also very popular on design blogs. Scandinavian style is much more than IKEA. It’s simple and minimalist styling, with white walls and floors, and soft color schemes.

In essence, according to World Guide, Scandinavian style refers to the design movement that emerged in the 1950s in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, as well as Finland and Iceland. Typical for Scandinavian design is beauty radiated through light color, the ample use of wood, and minimalism and functionality.

I personally love the black and white, comfortable and simple styling, but it can feel too bare at times. I personally have not seen this type of styling much in the United States but have seen it done in Europe very well.

A Word on Matching Interiors with Architecture Style

There are a few more styles I didn't cover, such as Arts and CraftsCoastal, Lodge Style, etc. These are very specific to the home's architectural style and will work very well if staged this way. However, I personally do not recommend staging traditional homes like Victorian, Edwardian, etc., with traditional furnishings. Most buyers today want modern interiors and just a nod to the home's original history. They may want to preserve the home's architectural style but generally would not want to live in a Victorian-era interior. I have seen some amazing modern interiors in Victorian homes, like the photo above. The owner kept the original fireplace, molding and hardwood floors but used contemporary furnishings and modern decor to update the interior. I especially love the bold color choice in the adjacent room.

A few more resources if you want to dig a little bit deeper on design styles:

*This is an update of a previous guest post written by Alyssa Ennis

Photo credits: 1 Traditional Homes 2 Domaine Home 3 Conran & Partners 4 Pottery Barn 5 Brit + Co 6 Domaine Home 7 That Nordic Feeling 8 Domaine Home

What do you think of this style guide? Did I miss anything? If so, comment below to add yours.

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