Home staging is the art of making a house as desirable as possible to potential homebuyers. Good staging helps buyers picture themselves living in your listing almost instantly.

After one open house or walk-through, the right staging can have a handful of people ready to make an offer.

According to Digital Third Coast’s latest design trends study, which is based on 2018 Google search data, most of the nation is hooked on bohemian (14 states), Scandinavian (11 states), farmhouse (10 states), art deco (5 states) and modern (4 states) design, while some states stick to a distinct, regional style, such as southwestern.


The farmhouse look has gained popularity, especially in the southeastern region (think Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper style.) If you’re going for a farmhouse look with one of your listings, check out the tips below to make it staged to sell.

1. Focus on the basics of staging

Before you start to think about what creates a farmhouse look and what doesn’t, get the basics of staging out of the way.

Before you style the room, make sure your sellers:

The idea is to make the house look spotless with a sense of awe and excitement.

2. Rearrange the furniture

The next thing to do is rearrange the furniture. Farmhouse-style homes are known for their open layout. If the sellers have made it hard for two open spaces — like the kitchen to dining or dining to the living room — to flow together, this isn’t a staging detail to overlook.

Make your space feels as open as possible. Play with different ways to set up the couch, and consider rearranging the furniture in the master bedroom too. Anything you can do to create an open, inviting feeling helps.

3. Put reclaimed wood pieces front and center

Mae Chevrette / Flickr

As you’re rearranging different things throughout the house, take note of any items with or made of reclaimed wood that you find.

Maybe the coffee table is a beautiful wooden creation or the bar stools have a nice vintage look to them. These are things that scream “farmhouse.”

Stage them in a way that makes people pay attention. Put the coffee table in the center of the living room or bring the stools around so they’re noticeable as potential buyers walk into the kitchen.

Wherever the wood pieces go, they need to catch the eye and make a statement.

4. Make the shelves more welcoming

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

Another farmhouse staging tip is to use open shelving. Take a screwdriver to all the cabinets in the kitchen and get to work removing the doors. You don’t have to do this on any floor cabinets, but it’s a great touch to do for all the top shelves.

Also see if you can incorporate more shelving into the kitchen and living area. Consider hanging potted plants on a wooden shelf if there’s room on one of the walls. Or place a bookshelf in the corner of the living room.

Such simple touches do so much to transform a home. Before you know it, the listing starts to have more life and character as you continue staging.

5. Spend some extra time in the kitchen

Open shelving does wonders for the kitchen, but the house staging efforts in this room shouldn’t stop there. The kitchen is truly one of the most important parts of the home. There are many ways to make this area feel cozy and farm-like.

First, buy linen cloths, and hang them on the oven handle, or fold them on top of a counter. Get a basket with fresh fruit, and make use of mason jars too. The basket should be made out of wood, or you can invest in a few woven baskets if you find them.

Like any other open house or showing, pop a few cookies in the oven before your potential buyers arrive. Even if not all the cookies are eaten, everyone is sure to be impressed by this nice touch.

6. Use classic farmhouse colors

Try to use classic farmhouse colors throughout the whole house. The most common of which are neutral tones like creamy whites and beautiful grays. A touch of green here or a hint of blue there doesn’t hurt either.

The point is to make everything feel clean, consistent and comforting. You want the people who see the listing to be impressed but also picture themselves living in the home.

Color doesn’t have to be a huge deal, though — it’s a simple staging trick to use if you know what you’re doing.

Swap bold pillows for light-colored covers, and add a bit of green in the kitchen to make the space come to life. Use calming blues in the beds and baths, and add a touch of tan or gray wherever you can.

7. Play up the barn door

Wikimedia Commons

Maybe the house you’re staging doesn’t need to be completely transformed into a farmhouse style. It may already have something on this list, and if it has a barn door, even better.

Barn doors are one of the most telling features of farmhouse homes. Beyond that, they’re absolutely beautiful!

A barn door just makes you want to go into the kitchen, the dining room or the master bathroom. Wherever it’s placed, it offers the perfect balance of creating privacy and saying “come on in.”

Make sure it’s sliding smoothly, and there are no paint chips or dents on it when you’re home staging. You want to be able to play it up as you show the home, and the proper preparations will help you do just that.

More selling tips and tricks

Who knew that becoming a real estate agent would also mean you’d have to be a bit of a home decorator? You don’t have to stage every listing you get in a farmhouse style, but it does help to know how to stage in general.

Staging makes the selling process go smoother. It creates interest in the buyers and a sense of confidence in the sellers. Not to mention, it helps you turn a bit of interest into contract negotiations!

For more staging tips, check out the following articles:

 Joy Bender is the digital marketer at Aumann Bender & Associates with Pacific Sotheby’s in the San Diego area. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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