7 Expert Home Staging Tips You Can Do Yourself

Quick and simple upgrades for your house—whether you plan on selling soon or not.

When you're putting your house on the market, preparation and presentation can be the keys to boosting your home's value and selling it quickly. While curb appeal improvements can help, interiors are always the most important selling point.

"Most buyers today shop for homes online, making a home's web appeal just as important as its curb appeal," says Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow's chief marketing officer. "To sell a home fast, you want to attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Featuring high-quality, staged listing photos and videos are a great way to boost your home's virtual appeal and help it stand out in today's competitive marketplace."

Home staging doesn't have to be a costly, time-consuming process—especially if your house is already in good shape. "You want buyers to be able to easily envision themselves in your home, so it's important to declutter and remove personal items that might cloud that vision," says Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, a Zillow expert​.

And if you don't plan to sell your house anytime soon? These home staging tips can still help you create a beautiful, organized home for your family and guests. If you're ready to give it a go, check out these tried-and-true tips from interior design experts and real estate agents, according to a survey by Zillow.

01 of 07

Add Mirrors

Silver mirror with overlapping circles as border over fireplace mantle, decorated with 2 small terra cotta planters and small decorative items
A mirror not only adds some style to a space, its reflective quality can open up a room, making it brighter and seem less cramped (even if it’s tiny). “If you lack artwork, consider picking up a sizable mirror at your local home store,” Christina Salaway of Eleven Two Eleven Design says. “It will make your space feel more curated and designed.”. William Abranowicz

A mirror not only adds some style to a space, but its reflective quality can also open up a room, making it brighter and seem less cramped (even if it's tiny). "If you lack artwork, consider picking up a sizable mirror at your local home store," Christina Salaway of Eleven Two Eleven Design says. "It will make your space feel more curated and designed."

02 of 07

Replace Window Treatments

Living Room with light gray couch, 2 white chairs and white coffee table, corner green plant, and sheer white curtains
Photography by Jaka Vinšek / Styling by Liz Chancey

If you have old and heavy drapes, toss them for something more modern and breezy. "Simple, functional window coverings on opened windows allow a space to breathe and appear visually larger and more open," says Kelly. Choose floor-length curtains and hang them near the ceiling—instead of at the top of the window frame—to make the room appear taller.

03 of 07

Buy Crisp, White Towels

White and Gray Folded Bath Towels on Bathroom Counter with Mirror

To stage your bathroom, go with monochromatic hues. "Put all-white towels in your bathrooms," says Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interiors. "Colored towels don't feel spa-like and they can seem dingy and add heaviness to a space. White towels feel fresh and clean." You can't go wrong with Parachute's classic bath towels, or check out some of our other favorites.

RELATED: Why You Should Only Ever Buy White Bath Towels

04 of 07

Upgrade Rugs

living room with 2 small brown coffee tables holding candles, books, and plants; couch and chair in background
Hannah Busing at Unsplash

"Buy rugs that actually fit your rooms and your furniture," says Salaway. For a living room rug, avoid one that's too small; make sure at least the front legs of your couch or chairs are touching it. The right-sized rug in a complementary style to the room will make the space look larger and feel more "pulled together."

Shop for an affordable rug online.

05 of 07

Reorganize Bookcases

three white bookcases with books and assorted objects on the shelves
William Abranowicz

While you're tidying everything up, give your shelves some style. "Remove 25% of your books entirely, and then rearrange what's left so that some books are vertical and some are stacked horizontally," says Salaway. "Place a couple of trinkets within the bookcase to function as accents and bookends. This will add character and personality to the room while also lightening up your bookcases."

RELATED: 22 Ways to Arrange Your Bookshelves

06 of 07

Deep Clean

white bathroom with gray cabinet, white sink, plants, and white accesories
Getty Images

No prospective buyer wants to walk into a house with a dirty bathroom or scuffed-up walls (and likely neither do you!). Take time to clean every room in your house, but beware of cleaning smells.

"Don't overpower homes with scented items," says Christina Esala of Tierra Antigua Realty. "They will think you are hiding something. Instead, make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and leave it on the counter for future buyers." Even if you're not currently selling your house, this is one home staging trick your family will appreciate.

07 of 07


Red and gray living room with gray couch, wooden floor, overlooking patio through sliding glass doors
Carolyn Barber/Getty Images

We know you went to great lengths to make your home your home, but now that you're trying to sell it, keep in mind that not everyone has the same tastes. "Take out personal photographs and everyone's clutter," says Thee. "You want the potential buyer to be able to envision their lives inside the house."

If not selling your home anytime soon, then go ahead and let your personal style shine.

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