As social distancing orders push videos and virtual reality to the top of agents’ marketing toolbox, staging — now more than ever — can make or break a potential buyer’s first impression of a home. Luckily, a full revamp isn’t needed to create an eye-catching space — the careful incorporation of a few, trending decor pieces will help buyers imagine your listing as their new home.

According to design firm Dash Hudson’s latest report released on Wednesday, homeowners are spending their time creating magazine-worthy interior and exterior spaces, as they anticipate spending the rest of 2020 at home.

“With limited travel opportunities this year, North Americans are embracing the staycation—and home decor brands have stepped up to meet demand,” the report read. “From interior improvement projects to dream landscapes, decor fans are loving the inspiration they get on Instagram, and it’s reflected in their spaces.”

Based on social media engagement data from North America’s top 10 decor brands, Dash Hudson found that homeowners are favoring bold color schemes for living rooms and kitchens, as they keep bedrooms soft and neutral. Outdoor spaces are getting more attention as well with family-friendly seating.

Keep it simple with black and white

Getty Images and Dit26978

Since January, engagement for black and white decor posts rose 32 percent year over year, which equals more than 213,000 likes, comments and shares.

While most homeowners are unlikely to go for a bold design change like the one above, the most liked posts from companies such as Ikea and Pottery Barn show that homeowners are loving geometric bathroom towel sets, black accent walls, and sleek, black and white modern living room seating.

“Black and white is a key trend for 2020 and likely to transcend the seasons,” the report read. “Everyone from the chic minimalist to the bold maximalist has been trying their hand at the contrasting combo and it shows no signs of slowing down.”

Warm neutrals continue to rule the bedroom

Getty Images and JGI/Jamie Grill

Although homeowners are more willing to experiment with bold designs in the kitchen and living room, Dash Hudson said warm neutrals are still a fan favorite for the bedroom. Engagement for posts with dreamy, neutral bedrooms rose 8 percent from 2019 with a total social reach of 12 million.

Thick, wheat-colored blankets, plush floor rugs and neutral patterned pillows were a favorite — a quick and cheap swap for sellers looking to up the comfort factor of their bedrooms.

“When your home becomes your office, your bedroom becomes a much-needed sanctuary,” the report explained. “Beds and bedding have been hugely popular and the micro-trends within the category come as no surprise: calming hues in soft white and neutral palettes are the big winner this year.”

Velvet is here to stay

Getty Images and Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

Velvet reemerged as a home design favorite in 2017 and its popularity hasn’t let up. Engagement for posts with velvet seating inched up 5 percent year-over-year with nearly 62,000 comments, likes and shares. Velvet couches, loveseats and chairs are the most coveted options; however, if couches aren’t in the budget, homeowners are loving velvet pillows and throws too.

“Decor brands have been [instagramming] plushy velvet pieces for months and fans are loving them,” the report read. “Jewel tones including blues, greens, and yellows are among the most talked about [options].”

Lounge outdoors with modular seating

Getty Images and Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

To fulfill wanderlust, homeowners are spending more time transforming their backyards and patios into private oases. Engagement for posts with modular seating has risen 17 percent year-over-year with a total social reach of 3.8 million. Most homeowners are keeping it simple with large, comfy outdoor seating sets, while some are going the full monty with new grills, fireplaces and pools.

“As restrictions start to ease, and friends and family can get together again, loungers are becoming a smart investment for outdoor gatherings,” the report explained. “Modular sets are an easy, safe space to have loved ones over.”

Email Marian McPherson

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