Anatomy of a home staging install. It’s a lot more than just styling.

As I was unpacking boxes, making beds and running upstairs and downstairs at an install the other day I wondered  how much time I actually spend fluffing cushions and placing accessories – the fun bit in other words!

Well, I’ve totted it up and this is my answer. 10% of every install is spent styling with accessories. Everything else? Well let me explain….


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10% : Waiting for the truck

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If the house is vacant I sit on the floor or take ‘before’ photos. If the house is partly furnished, I never quite know how much my clients have put into action before I turn up. Sometimes I have to move a few things round or sweep ‘mess’ into the corner so that the delivery guys can do their job when they arrive.

10% : Unpacking accessories

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The accessories are delivered to the kitchen in boxes. I unpack everything onto the kitchen counter

5%: Placing artwork, bedlinen and lamps into the right rooms

All the bedlinen, bedlinen inserts, artwork and lamps are delivered to a central spot so I place them in the right rooms and make sure I have enough pillow and doona inserts for the beds.

15% :  Troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting can be anything from: “Imogen, where does this go?” to dining tables and sofas not fitting up stairs, dirty or damaged stock, not enough inserts for beds, walls being built in a different place than I was told (happened only last week), wobbly lamps, waiting for a swap and lots more. The light above was broken when a sofa was carried up a tight stairwell.  I raced down to the property manager and negotiated a spare that the delivery guy fitted for me.   Problem solved.

20% : Making Beds

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For some stagers this is their favourite bit. Not for me and especially not in  35 degree heat. It doesn’t matter how good I get at making beds or how many new techniques I learn, it still takes a long time!

10% : Cleaning furniture

I select furniture from a large warehouse. It gets dusty so once all the furniture is in place I go round cleaning everything and removing all my ‘stuck’ stickers. If there are footmarks on the floor this needs a wipe. I’m usually the last point of contact before photos and first open house so I need to leave the house show ready.

20% : Hanging Artwork

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For larger projects I recommend that the artwork is professionally hung but I still hang lots of artwork too.  Measure twice bang the nail in once to paraphrase a popular saying.

10% : Styling with cushions and accessories

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At last!  As much as I’m itching to start styling during the above process it’s a good idea to wait and do it all at the end.  Whilst selecting I have a pretty good idea what will go where so the styling is moving it into position then swapping things around a bit until it looks right.


So there you have it – the anatomy of a home staging install. There’s a lot that goes on before the fun bit.  However, the really fun bit is how the house looks at the end of the install and the feeling when the house sells. And selling houses is what it’s all about.


I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you are looking at staging your house to sell then I’d love to help. Contact me through my website or on 0432994056




4 thoughts on “Anatomy of a home staging install. It’s a lot more than just styling.

  1. You’ve drawn such an accurate picture, Imogen. The 90% starts from the initial discussion with the client and builds and builds up from there. It can become frantic but so rewarding when you know you’ve done your best work and when the house sells – that’s the real reward.

    1. ib69 says:

      Thanks for commenting Lorna. Yes, doesn’t matter how long we do this – it’s always the biggest buzz when a house sells

  2. maree quinn says:

    Great post Imogen! We all live for the 10% don’t we, my fav bit is handing over the keys to the new owners!

    1. ib69 says:

      Yes you have a lot to do before that final fun 10% too! Handing over the keys must be pretty special

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