When Home Staging, Match Your Home To Its Surroundings

We go on many home staging consultations and see many “mistakes.” Aside from the typical mistakes people make when trying to sell their home, such as displaying personal photos and having too much clutter, we sometimes encounter people who seem to be in denial of where they live. A recent example of this is a home we saw in an affluent, wooded town. As you can see from the before picture below, the home owner had decorated the home as if it were a tropical coastal vacation home. The artwork was of sea shells, coral and beachscapes. There were large sea shells and pieces of coral decorating many surfaces of the home, with bowls of shells on almost every table, and ceramic fish hanging on the walls of his bathroom. The furniture was made of bamboo with a tropical print on the upholstery. This home owner spent half the year in Florida – not a surprise. It was obvious he would rather be there, not here.


To turn this tropical feeling living room into one more congruent to a New England location, we put the bamboo furniture in a screened-in porch and replaced it with a different sofa from an overcrowded upstairs bedroom. The rich wood tones and clean lines of the coffee table and end table, which were rented from a furniture rental company, add the traditional/contemporary mix consistent with the rest of the home. The blue pillows tie in with the surrounding blue walls, and the deep red accent pillow adds a pop of color. Now, a buyer can imagine spending time in this living room, instead of being put off by the worn outdoor furniture and mismatched seaside art.

Aside from this example, we have seen homes decorated in a country style complete with rooster and hen art and baskets as accessories in city condos. We have also been in homes that feel as if they are in a foreign country. Along with being very taste specific styles, which limits the number of buyers who will be attracted to your home, they make buyers feel that the location of the home is not favorable.

When a home does not feel congruent to its surroundings, buyers feel off balance. The golden rule of real estate is “location, location, location”. If they walk into a home and find décor from another region, buyers cannot “mentally move in.” In home staging, it is important for buyers to be able to connect emotionally to your home. If you do not deliver what they want, they will keep moving on until they find a house that makes they feel “at home.”

Stager's Tip

Incorporate fresh flowers in your home that are native and currently in bloom in your area. If you can’t cut them fresh from your own yard, buy them from a florist or grocery store. If they are currently in bloom, it shouldn’t cost too much, and it looks beautiful!


The fresh hydrangeas were perfect in the kitchen of a gorgeous waterfront property on Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA.

Call us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you at 781-489-8489.