Casual Living and Dining Areas

5 Budget Friendly Home Staging Tips

5 Budget Friendly Home Staging Tips

Every home seller wants to get an offer quickly and for a great price. I mean, who wouldn’t? Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you’ve got one foot out the door, moving on to the next adventure. It’s just that silly little detail…selling your current home…that gets in the way for most of us.

So let’s talk about how to get that offer, and do it in a way that won’t cost you thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars.


Home Staging does make a difference!


5 Budget Friendly Home Staging Tips


Think about what you would do if you were going to sell your car. Let’s see…you would most likely get rid of the mess and clutter…then you would thoroughly clean it, maybe pay to have it detailed. A thorough check of the vehicle would probably be in order, and small repairs made. Once it’s bright, shiny and looks awesome, you put it up for sale

Well, selling your home is no different, and you have a lot more invested in it than in a vehicle.

We’ll assume for this discussion that your home is squeaky clean, inside and out. You’ve done the appropriate painting touch up or re-paint, inside and out. And, small repairs have been done. Whew.




Before we get to the details of the 5 home staging tips, remember these all-important thoughts:

  • You are staging your home to sell it, not decorating it for yourself

  • Staging and Decorating are two different approaches

  • Less is more


now you’re ready for 5 budget friendly home staging tips 



1. Make sure that the first areas a potential buyer sees are stellar.

Typically there are three:  the Porch, the Entry & the Living Area

The Porch

Welcoming Front Porch


Create a welcoming ‘hello’ for showings with the use of color and accents, perhaps some furniture if the porch is large enough. (show photo examples of simple, clean porches)

A punch of color can be added by painting the front door an accent color. Take your cues from the exterior colors and finishes of your home, as well as the interior color palette. Here is a link to some front door photos that I think you’ll find helpful

A new porch light and house numbers will add style and flair to any porch, large or small. Home Depot always stocks a variety of budget friendly choices.

A pair of weather resistant chairs is always a good choice, and you might be surprised at how budget friendly they can be…stylish, too. I’m a fan of Target  for these types of decorative details. They look great and the price is right. Add a small accent table to complete the look.

A pot or pots of natural greens, perhaps flowers if in season, can be a wonderful touch IF you are willing to keep them watered and trimmed. Otherwise, let this one go. Dried up, withered flowers and greens are worse than nothing at all. Cheap plastic flowers are worse. Enough said.


The Entry

There are so many variations in the entry area of homes I’ll keep my home staging tips of a general nature. They’re based on the hundreds of homes I have been in over the last 20+ years as an Interior Decorator and Home Stager.

Use this combination of entry pieces and you will have a welcoming, uncluttered space that will guarantee buyers will want to see more:

1) One piece of accent furniture + one item on the wall (mirror or wall art) + one entry rug

2) Three decorative pieces placed on the accent furniture if applicable (console table, for example).
Vary the height, shape and function of the 3 items and place them as you see in the photos above…1 item that is taller, like a lamp, along with 2 other that are of a unique shape and size.

Keep the entry area clean and uncluttered, particularly for showings.


The Living Area

How to decorate and stage the Living Area

You want a buyer to step into the living area and want to see more. How do you do that?

This can be a tough one because we all have our own lifestyle preferences. Some homes have w-a-a-a-y too much stuff in the living area, and some homes look mighty sparse in that department. Most of the time it’s the former, so my comments will be geared toward that delightful group of home sellers.

Do this first: take a picture of your living area from several different angles. Then take a few minutes to study them. I’m not sure why, but seeing a photo is more enlightening than standing in the space and gazing at it. I think we get to the point where we don’t really see what’s in the space after living in it for so long.

So back to those images…what do you notice about them?

  • Do you see a bunch of stuff (one of my favorite terms) hanging on the walls?
  • Perhaps a bit of clutter? More than a bit??
  • Are there some extra pieces of furniture (seating or accent) that are not needed? I see this a lot…a bit of this and that is added to the room over time and eventually there is much more than there should be. Be honest. You might be tripping over this stuff, or walking around it, and don’t even realize what you’re doing.

Not sure? I’ll give you some help. If you think that a particular piece might not be needed, it probably isn’t. Remove it.


In general, the Living area should have:

  • Seating that is size appropriate for the space – that could mean a sofa and pair of chairs/love seat, a sectional, perhaps just a love seat and a pair of small accent chairs if the space is small.
  • Some type of accent or end table(s)
  • Perhaps a coffee table (or similar)
  • Area rug, if appropriate
  • Wall art over the sofa + on one other wall, on 2 walls if the room is large
  • TV with console, if the room is used for that purpose

Overall, keep the space furnished as it was intended to be (a living area), and don’t clutter or overcrowd the space.

NOTE:  You can use these budget friendly Home Staging tips in every room of your home. The individual pieces will vary with the function of the space, but the overall guide applies.

We’ll talk about a couple of specific things you can do with art and color in our next budget friendly home staging tips.


2. Add one new accent color to your home.

It’s not that hard to do, and doesn’t cost a lot of money. What color should you add?

An easy way to see your options is to use paint color. For example, you can go to and find a shade that is similar to your wall or palette color(s). Click on it and you will see that color, along with several others, usually a contrasting color. That could be an accent color for you to introduce in your home.

This can work for any color, even an accent color you already use. Just find the closest match on their color chart (or the actual color if you use Sherwin Williams paint) and you’ll see some neutrals and other colors that would look great with it.

Most paint manufacturers also offer collections of colors, so that is another simple way to find an accent color for your home.

Once you decide which accent color you will add, you can:

  • Add a couple of accent pillows
  • Find some pretty colored glass or ceramic decorative pieces
  • Add or replace an accent rug
  • Swap out a piece of wall art

All of these suggestions are budget friendly and won’t break the bank if you shop at stores like Target, Homegoods, Kirklands, etc.


3. Add 1 new piece of wall art in the Living Area

Coastal Style Decor in the Living Room

Freshen up your space with a new piece of wall art, or move your art around and bring in a piece or two from another room in your home.

Remember, these are budget friendly home staging tips, not must-do’s. If the art in your living area looks awesome, is hung appropriately (not too high, please) and fits the style and color palette of the space, kudos to you!

But if the area could use a fresh new look and you want to add a ‘wow’ factor, consider a piece of 40×40 canvas art that compliments the style and color palette of the room. You’ll probably spend less than $100 and the result can be awesome 🙂


4. Take inventory of the lighting in your home, specifically table and floor lamps

Do they work? Are they clean and in good condition?

You can totally change the vibe in a room with a really cool lamp or two, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Again, sources like Homegoods, Target, or online sources such as (always at the top of my list…they have everything) offer many different style choices at $50 or less per lamp.

Go through each room in your home separately and take stock of the lighting. You may need to add a lighting source. It is critical that every room in your home has enough working lighting to show a buyer what the space looks like.

Always turn on all the lights in your home before a showing if possible. Don’t assume that the buyer’s agent will do that…most of the time they won’t.


5. Give your home the ‘sniff’ test

Seriously. The best way to do this is to have a guest over who does not live in your home or is not there all the time. Ask them to honestly tell you if your home smells like something other than ‘pleasant’. You probably won’t smell anything because you live there and are immune to the scent(s).

If you need to address a particular scent or odor, be sure to eliminate it, not cover it up. That can be even worse. It could be pet odor, musty smell, medical odor, or other. Here is a very helpful resource for you that addresses all types of household odors.

Once your home is nice and fresh smelling again, it would be okay to add a subtle air freshener that has a fruity scent, never floral or too sweet. There are many different kinds available…I like to use a plug in scent. It’s not over powering but I can always catch a light scent of it when I come in the front door. Nice.

These 5 budget friendly Home Staging Tips should set you on a positive path to selling your home quickly and for a price that will make you smile!