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37 Home Staging Experts Share the Secret to Appeal to Buyers in Your City

What is the best way to stage your home? Redfin asked 37 experts all over the U.S to share their secrets.


When staging your house, how do you appeal to every person who will walk through your doors? Sure, you adore your black marble countertop and blue walls, but what will the buyer’s think? While it’s impossible to cater to everyone’s different preferences, there are some overarching similarities to appeal to many buyers – simply based on your location.

Redfin sought out home staging experts to share with you their secrets to appeal to buyers in 37 cities across the United States!

Los Angeles, California: Modern decor and art

The most important trend in Los Angeles for the last few years has been a move away from traditional furnishings, to a transitional look which incorporates modern element.  Modern decor, especially modern art, now works with every style.” – Meridith Baer

Photo By Meridith Baer Home
Photo By Meridith Baer Home

San Francisco, California: Natural interior and modern art

Buyers in the San Francisco Bay Area love a classically modern home with eclectic touches. They are knowledgeable about the latest trends and appreciate quality furnishings and high-end design. Natural interior elements, original art and modern decor are incorporated into each home we stage. This offers the “WOW” factor that is highly appealing to buyers and allows them to mentally unpack while touring the home.”  – Halcyon Home Staging + Design

Fresno, California: Clearly designated spaces with a touch of elegance

Potential homebuyers in the Fresno, Clovis area are impressed by a modern, yet comfortable-looking home. They appreciate an up-to-date appearance with touches of elegance and clear designated spaces such as a home office, or a cozy patio area outside. We like to stage these areas to show a home’s maximum usability. Staging spaces for work and play in a home definitely attract buyers.” – Selling by Design-Staging

Denver, Colorado: Stylized bar carts

One small touch that gets rave reviews when staging homes in Boulder Colorado: a perfectly styled bar cart either in the dining or living room! It sets the tone for entertaining with ease. It has a fun, upscale feel and people can imagine having friends over.” – A Change of Space

Washington D.COversized artwork is a must

In Washington D.C., monuments and museums are a part of everyone’s daily ‘visual vernacular’ living in our nation’s capital. Eyes here become accustomed to oversized art, despite the small size of most homes. With that concept in mind, we find using oversized art is one of the keys to setting the tone for the luxury staging that our clients require in a market where the average priced home starts at $500K. D.C. Metro area buyers view approximately 8 to 10 properties an outing, therefore, it makes sense that seeing a colossal octopus or a mural-sized sunset helps buyers remember our staged properties above all others.” – Masterpiece Staging + Design

Miami, Florida: Bring in light, trendy furniture, and warmth

“The first and most important step for a good staging is to understand the space –  to feel it, to mind its age and the neighborhood that it’s in. Once that step is reached, the staging should be easy and inspiring enough to attract potential buyers. Every space either in a house, a condo or an office is different! The modern style can be projected as simple and cold, however, a good staging will always bring its warmth and comfort. Good staging will showcase the room’s focal point because every room has a focal point! Lastly, the staging has to be balanced with color, pattern or texture.” – Clara Godbey Home Staging + Organizing

Atlanta, Georgia: Minimalism is a must

Home staging here in Atlanta has taken on the always emphasized ‘less is more’ concept. We are creating clean lines with neutral furnishings and minimal decor in our stagings from condos to high-end luxury homes in all price ranges. Atlantan’s are taking de-cluttering to another level so much so that they are moving out of their homes in some cases just to have the property staged. Agents and sellers are asking for staging that literally blends in where we are utilizing hushed tones of complex grays, sand and various shades of blue in pillows and artwork for some subtle pops of color.  Minimalism is in and grandma’s furniture and collectibles are out!” –No Vacancy – Home Staging Services

Honolulu, Hawaii: Combine coastal and urban flair

“Our staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming and attractive home. It’s about creating a feeling, a sense of lifestyle, selling a dream. Our staging techniques are a fusion of Coastal, Island and Contemporary styles with an urban flair, inspired by the colors of the ocean, which are appealing to the buyers of the Hawaiian Real Estate Market.” – Inouye- Interior Decor & Luxury Home Staging Hawaii

Chicago, Illinois Show multi-functionality of rooms

“In Chicago, having smaller-scale inventory that is appropriate for condominiums, townhouses and apartments is a must. Along those same lines of smaller spaces, it is important to show multi-functionality of rooms. For example, a family room could be staged with a seating area and play area for children, or a bedroom that functions as a guest room and office help buyers see the duality of the space.” – Haven Home Staging and Redesign, Inc.

Indianapolis, Indiana: Showcase greenery and natural texture

“Indianapolis is a uniquely cosmopolitan city in the sense there’s still plenty of nature that has been preserved within the city, as well as the surrounding suburbs. It’s not unusual to pass a few farms on your morning commute into the city or to see a Maserati passing a tractor on the highway. As a result of this diversity, buyers are naturally drawn to greenery and texture in homes. I receive quite a few requests for roughly textured, imperfect wood pieces in a diverse range of homes, from the modern farmhouse and rustic industrial style homes to mid-century modern homes as well.” – Elephant in the Room Home Staging| Redesign

Kansas City, Kansas: Embrace the “modern farmhouse” look

Some of the latest staging trends in the Midwest include the “modern farmhouse” look. White kitchens are still the rage warmed with brass and gold details from hardware to light fixtures. This new version of a transitional home features texture including hand-scraped wood floors, cabinet to the ceiling, and a huge return to the classic subway tile with interesting sizes and textures to feel more modern. Marble countertops and quartz seem to appeal to most buyers keeping up with the lighter and brighter interiors.  Although gray still remains a very popular neutral color for staging, the new “black” coming along is actually white! “-Kansas City Home Stagers

Louisville, Kentucky: Transitional and contemporary decor

“Louisville has been a conventional city but it is spreading its wings culturally, socially and physically. This vibrancy is mirrored in the home with a transformation from traditional design style to transitional and contemporary décor. Staging has to morph homeowners’ traditional styling into a fresh, upbeat design scheme to inspire today’s Louisvillian buyer.” –Home Detailing

New Orleans, Louisiana: Balance bright exteriors with neutral interiors

New Orleans is well known for its Creole cottages and historic mansions with colorful architecture mixing all possible styles. Homes have a bright explosion of colors from the outside and as a staging expert, my purpose is to bring the tranquility from the inside. Beige, neutrals and whites are extremely demanding. The transitional trend is the ideal combination of the styles that houses need. The buyers like the warmth and comfort of the traditional style, which is balancing the color boom from the outside and the contemporary clean look. It’s extremely important is to pay attention to our New Orleans artists’ work, since locals love to display their unique art pieces in their homes. ” – Hom Staging

Baltimore, Maryland: Soften steel with raw elements and warm lighting

Baltimore is historically known as being a city of industry. Developers now are salvaging original steel and using it in these new construction homes for railings, beams, even fireplace mantles. While that might sound a little cold and unwelcoming at first, that’s where we come in and try to soften the industrial look with some raw elements like reclaimed wood and pair that with some chic warm lighting. Once the finishes and fixtures are selected, we then go and stage the property with a mix of contemporary and traditional furnishings. It’s best to try to appeal to all audiences to get the home sold faster and make the potential buyer aware that they are able to make what they want of the home without being stuck with one style .” –Domus Design & Staging

Boston, Massachusetts: Place furniture away from the walls

One of the ways I like to make a room look larger is to furnish the space by floating the furniture away from the walls creating conversational settings. Many of the properties I stage in and around the city of Boston have a smaller square footage to work with. You would think spreading out the furniture close to the walls would make a room feel larger, but actually using this floating technique will open up the room making it feel more spacious.

A popular trend I’m seeing in and around the city is staging with a Scandinavian influence. We love to work with a home that has white walls and light-colored wooden floors where we can use clean lines and a simple staging setting with soft color accents.”- Boston Modern Staging

Detroit, Michigan: Oversized art and rustic accents

“With the revitalization of Detroit and the popularity of ‘loft living’ we have found that rustic accents and oversized art are important pieces in our staging arsenal. These are very appealing to a younger buyer who is the targeted consumer in this type of construction. Scale for these same spaces is usually smaller and more casual.” –Impact Home Staging Experts

Ann Arbor, Michigan: Buffalo Checks, textured throws and vintage pillows

“Here in the Midwest, the mindset is more of practicality and function of space. For the kitchen, laundry, and mudroom areas, ceramic plank flooring is a practical alternative to real wood floors. It gives the look of hardwoods but with the durability and ease of maintenance of tile that can take the abuse from the snow and mud that’s trekked indoors. Neutral grays continue as a top choice for wall colors, but the trend is adjusting to warmer taupes and shades of blues for upholstered furniture, area rugs, and accessories. Finally, buyers love buffalo checks, textured throws, and vintage design-inspired pillows.”- Bloom that Room

Las Vegas, Nevada: Integrate pops of metallics and mirrors

“In the city of Las Vegas we see staging and home décor moving away from the traditional style and toward a more contemporary and modern style of design. With all of the glitz and glamour on the Las Vegas strip we like to use pops of metallics, mirrors and gold accents to “wow” our buyers. In staging, we have to design our homes to appeal to the most buyers so we tend to use a very neutral palette like grey and white and then add pops of silver, chrome, and gold in our art and accessories, trays, vases, accents and mirrors to make a space feel much larger. By doing this, we are able to add a little glam to every staged home so buyers can fall in love with the space and see it as their next home.” – Intuitive Solutions Home Staging

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Use neutral colors and natural elements

“In Albuquerque, buyers are looking for an updated, modern feel while still keeping a bit of the enchantment of the southwest in the design, so we use a lot of neutral colors and natural elements. We use neutral colors like white, cream, tan and gray and natural elements like sticks, palms, cactuses, and greenery to add texture and interest to the space.” – Sucasa Staging

Raleigh, North Carolina: Don’t neglect the outdoors

“Raleigh is considered a hub of the South and with four moderate seasons, outdoor living is a crucial part of enjoying life in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Always consider how important staging your exterior spaces are when selling your home. Many sellers focus on the inside of the house, and neglect the exterior living spaces. Front porch, rear deck, screened-in patios are all very important aspects to consider when staging your home for sale and allowing buyers to visualize the true potential that your home offers.” – Showhomes Raleigh

 Columbus, Ohio: Use unique pieces to create emotional connections

“Downtown Columbus is in the middle of a revitalization, with historic beauties being brought back to life for a new generation of buyers. Buyers are drawn to comfortable, transitional furnishings mixed in with unique pieces that pay homage to the past – like leaning a leaded glass window on a mantle, placing a framed historical map of the neighborhood in a foyer or putting a cool old rotary phone on a desk in the office. These unique touches make staged properties stand out and create emotional connections for buyers.” –Sanctuary Staging

Home Staging Columbus Ohio
Photo by Sanctuary Staging

Cleveland, Ohio: Create height on counters to add drama

“Cleveland, also known as the ‘forest city,’ often has gray skies, so our rooms need extra color to really enhance them. Many of our homes are older and smaller (not that we don’t have great big homes too!) but simple white towels in a bathroom don’t do it! I like to add height on the counters to add drama then tie in color with art, towels, shower curtains. You can even add things from nature. And remember to add emotional connection items (lightly scented candles, soaps, potpourri, and reed diffusers), which create ambiance!” – Helpful Home Staging

Home Staging Tips Bathroom
Photo by Helpful Home Staging

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Utilize furniture arrangement to showcase the outdoors

“Buyers in Oklahoma just love the feeling of a cozy and spacious home. They also enjoy having the outdoors come inside. With this in mind, as I am staging a home, I work to give homes an open feel by using furniture placement and strategically placing accessories in areas that will lead the buyer’s eyes to the outside space or to an interesting aspect of the home. This creates a larger appearing living space. Furniture arrangement and styles can lead to a cozy feel by the use of different textures and colors. All houses are different, with their own personalities, but sometimes buyers need the extra punch of home staging to help them see the potential of a “house for sale”… as “their new home.” –McKasson Interiors

Portland, Oregon: Add industrial pieces + Moroccan rugs

“The Portland market is known for being pretty hip, so I like to add industrial pieces with more classic sofas and chairs. When staging with bookshelves, desks and/or coffee tables and side tables, I like to use pieces that have reclaimed wood or pipe/metal frames that give it a more modern edgy feel. Also using Moroccan style area rugs and textiles are well received in the Portland market right now.” –Furnish Staging

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Hardwood floors

“Buyers in Philadelphia love homes with hardwood floors because they are timeless, look great, can outlast carpet, are easier to keep clean since they don’t hold allergens or stains like carpets and are an attractive selling feature no matter the price point of the home.”  –Organized by Design

Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaJuxtapose modern design with historic decor

“Pittsburgh is a city rich in history, with beautiful old homes and unique architecture. Buyers really respond to a mixture of vintage pieces (especially furniture) mixed with contemporary textiles and decor. For example, we may pair a graphic printed throw pillow and sheepskin with a vintage Eames-style lounger. I feel that buyers respond to spaces that illustrate how to live a modern lifestyle in a historic Pittsburgh home. ” –Adobe

Home staging secrets
Photo by Tara Bennett

Providence, Rhode Island: Remove dated items and add personality

“A staged room needs to be three things: on trend, warm and purposeful. Remove the most dated item in a room and replace it with a current top-selling piece or accessory. Remember you are selling a home – not a hotel room. Add a few well placed personal touches, define a room’s purpose to one job, and take that desk out of the bedroom.” – Ready to Show It

Home staging tips by U.S city
Photo by Ready to Show It


Charleston, South Carolina: Arrange open floor plans and showcase luxury touches

“Charleston, SC home buyers want to see luxury finishes that are both functional and comfortable – large showers with overhead rainfall; kitchens with an abundance of natural light; and light fixture packages that complement the architecture of the home.  The most preferred colors in new construction, updating materials, and paint are neutrals mixed with whites.  Popular accent colors are all shades of blue.

Buyers want an open floor plan, but they get confused on how to layout furniture. Builders and sellers need to furnish the open living, kitchen and eating area at a minimum in vacant houses. Sellers are selling square footage; they should never show wasted space.” – Carolina Spaces

Home staging South Carolina
Photo by Carolina Spaces

Nashville, Tennessee: Clean lines and musical decor

“Buyers prefer clean and simple lines in decor, so our staging color story is grounded in neutral backgrounds with pops of color, drawing the focus to the features of the space.  And because we are Music City, it is appealing to buyers when we include art or accessories that gives nod to our musical heritage.” Superior Construction and Design

Memphis, Tennessee: Showcase your entryway

“Southerners are known for our hospitality. Bee Inspired Staging pays particular attention to entryways in our staging projects. The entry is a house’s greeting. It sets the tone for the house and grabs the buyer immediately. When staging a foyer we like using soft lighting and greenery to bring life into the entrance. We usually hang a mirror for reflection or a beautiful painted canvas. To complete a foyer vignette, adding interesting accessories.” –Bee Inspired Staging

Entry way home staging
Photo from Bee Inspired Staging

Houston, Texas: Stage a room as a home office

Real estate developers all over Houston are building new construction properties with the inclusion of home offices fit for the most executive type and real estate investors are renovating homes, tearing down walls and opening the main living area to one large open space where we as home stagers will the include the addition of a staged home office in that space. Buyers here love it and it has become so essential to staging in Houston that homes without it could potentially risk the possibility of losing a potential buyer to the home that will include it. Staging that appeals to young professionals sells homes in Houston!” – Home Staging for Houston


 Salt Lake City, Utah: Adding rugs, art and small objects that feel personal

“The most successful staging is making a space feel like it hasn’t been staged at all! Making the space feel lived in and cozy is really important. Adding rugs, art and small objects that feel personal like books and knick-knacks helps buyers to imagine how they could live there with their own things.” – City Home Collective


Burlington, Vermont: Maximize light by removing valances

“In Burlington, there is not a lot of sunlight so it’s important to maximize light that comes through the windows. This means, removing all valences and stacking drapes on the walls rather than over the windows. In addition, cut shrubs and outdoor plants so they don’t block out the sunlight. The key to staging a home is to showcase the house, not your things. If items are too unique or unusual, buyers will remember the stuff, not the house. If they don’t remember the house, they won’t buy it.“- Design Matters


Alexandria, Virginia: Paint walls a light gray

“Buyers in The Alexandria, Virginia area tend to prefer a neutral palette. Light gray walls are very current; it opens the space and provides a great backdrop for furniture and art. We love using Sherwin Williams Gray Screen SW 7071. Every property we stage using this color looks great and sells super fast!” – Design Box


Bellevue, Washington: White, light and bright is the goal

“White, light and bright is our goal. We stick to neutrals, wonderful textures and small pops of color. Buyers want help figuring out spaces so we show how a room can be laid out or even reinvented. Perhaps a space off a kitchen was an eating area but now we create a small family room or sitting room. We make certain we create a clean, fresh look for every any space.” –Open House Staging

Home staging tips Bellevue, Washington
Photo by Open House Staging


Seattle, Washington: Up-cycling industrial objects

“The Pacific Northwest is known for its dedication to green building and eco-consciousness. One of the staging styles we find to be a must-have, is the up-cycling of found or industrial object into art or usable furnishings. This aesthetic appeals to a broad variety of people, whether it be first time home buyers or those in the luxury home market. These items make a statement and ensure conversation.” – Rosichelli Design

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Add pops of white

“Milwaukee area homes have lots of stained wood and brick! But to keep with the trend, we suggest adding pops of white. For example, painting a staircase or railing. With brick, unless it is our signature Cream City Brick – we recommend painting fireplaces white and leaving mantels a natural wood. Keep it trending Milwaukee!” – Milwaukee Home Design and Organizing

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