Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

Hi, Welcome to Our School of Home Staging!

After a successful, 12+ years run as a home staging company in San Francisco Bay Area, STAGED4MORE is now an online school that focuses on home staging education for home stagers, home sellers and real estate agents.

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How to Mix and Match for Maximum Impact : Finishes

How to Mix and Match for Maximum Impact : Finishes

When I stage homes, I generally play it a little safer with the furnishing and accessories choices because I want to appeal to a broad range of buyers. I may inject some personalities by playing up the accessories and colors, but in general, it has to be pretty broad stroke so that we are not turning any potential buyers off. However, in your home, you can do whatever you want. I especially love when homeowners mix and match finishes and patterns to bring out their personalities and highlighting characters of the home. Ultimately, the design ideas for your home are limitless.

In this particular post, I’ll touch on mixing finishes (because mixing patterns deserve its own post!) to create maximum impact in the home.


Harmony may sound like one of those woo-woo words, but no matter what type of room you are creating, achieving harmony is the ultimate goal. Whether you are staging for sale or decorating your home, harmony is about bringing different elements together and making them work with each other. When you have a harmonious room, the room will feel balanced, energetic and instantly puts the visitors at ease.

Harmony is defined as the pleasing agreement of parts or combination of parts in a composition. Harmony involves the selection/design of elements that share a common trait, however, Harmony becomes monotony without Variety. Common traits orientation colors or values shape/size materials variety: the extent of the differences in design elements — visual interest is enhanced by introducing dissimilar elements and spatial arrangements. (source)


You can mix in lots of different textures, like matte finishes, rustic wood finishes, glossy flooring, copper fixtures and paper containers, into one scene. But notice how there are common factors that help to unify the space and pull everything together. Color is usually the easiest way to tie the whole room together. Pick one central color (black, in the 2 examples above) and bring in other finishes as accents, like marble, bronze, wood, to add impact & visual interests.


You know how movies have different genres? Like romantic comedies, drama and horror. It is the same as decorating & styling. No matter what your style is, boho, modern, traditional, or whatever label you identify with, success is when there is a central, cohesive theme throughout. It can be a color story, like you have one main colors and 2-3 accent colors throughout the home. Or it can be your furnishing pieces, how you place them together. Overall, you are building a lifestyle, a tone, a mood in your home, an atmosphere.


Remember the statement about harmony in the beginning of the post? I actually love this statement about harmony, even though it seems a bit stuffy. It is important to curate your pieces that share a common trait, like a common color, but you want to be aware of picking too many of similar items which will create a monotony, i.e. boring. By layering different finishes together, like matte, shiny, rustic, etc. and play with the spaces, you can really create a room that wows.


What did you think of my how-to? Add your tips here in our Comment Section below!

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