Wednesday, January 30, 2013

5 Tips for Staging a Room

Staging is the most time consuming yet rewarding part of decorating a room.

I can blast through a store and buy a dozen things in 5 minutes flat, 
but when it comes to placing those things in a room - I'm more like a snail.

Today was a perfect example of my signature snail-stylin'
I literally spent 3 entire hours styling my friend Suzannah's living room before her gorgeous home was photographed for a feature in the Oregonian (congrats Suzannah!!!)

I brought over some accessories from my home, because her house is so new that we just needed a few things here and there.

Take a peek for yourself what an incredible difference a little staging can make in the feel of a room:
Before                                                                                      After

Adding some things, subtracting others - shelving is the ultimate opportunity to add style to your home.
Don't be afraid to place a mirror in your shelving - it adds light to a dark space.

Before                                                                                      After
This one was a toughy. I really scratched my head on how to utilize this console table. There's a pesky thermostat behind the lamp so placing a mirror or art was limited - 
so I placed a round mirror to direct the eye up to add some height to this space. 

Add some pretty books and throw in a cute handbag and voila - a useful space!
Before                                                                                      After
I made such small changes to this mantel but look how elegant the space feels after - 
just swap out dark art for a light reflecting mirror and add some flowers for color. 

When in doubt, Decorate in "Moments of 3"

I like to call accessories or groups of things a "moment"
 because it should mean something to you when you look at it.
It should make you pause and smile because it looks so good!

So for example:
 3 frames grouped together = one "moment of 3"
The votive + orchid/books + mercury glass grouped together = another separate "moment of 3" 
and lastly the mirror one it's own with the other 2 "moments" = the third "moment of 3"

Before                                                                                      After
This space just needed a few accents - this is George the dog - he normally lives in Jack's room

I went to every part of the living room and made purposeful and elegant moments through accessorizing. Each space your eye travels to should look polished.

Don't be afraid to take the time required to stage your home - here are some tips I use when decorating:

  • using the rule of "moments of 3" when I'm stumped (see pic of mantel for description)
  • don't shy away from moving things around - take it out, put it back, take it out, put it back
  • steal things from rooms you don't go into as often so your main rooms are polished instead of unfinished
  • step back from your project and walk through it several times to give yourself a fresh eye
  • if you're having a party (or photo shoot...) borrow accessories or furniture from friends for the day - because then it's FREE!


  1. You are very talented!

  2. What a great friend you are! Decorating, offering tips and items. I staged my home to sell a few months ago, and wow! What difference it made!

    1. Thanks, Yvearl! Don't you wish you could always keep your house as clean as it was staged? UGH I so wish!!!

  3. gorgeous! can't wait to see her house in the oregonian!!

    1. I know! I want to see her tutorials too!!!

  4. Wow, this looks lovely! I'm not sure I understand what you call "moments of 3" and what is a moment, but I definitely feel a call to go shopping for adorable little accents and mirrors.

    1. Thank you, Pech! A "moment" can be thought of as just one statement piece or group of accessories that have been placed together to look good with one another.

      I like to call it a moment because it should mean something to you when you look at it - it should make you pause and smile because it looks so good!

      So on the mantel, the frames are one individual "moment" because they've been grouped together.
      And the orchid and books are another "moment" of things grouped together.
      The mirror is it's own "moment" because it's such a large statement piece.
      And when it's placed with the other two "moments" (or groups of things) it becomes a larger group of 3 moments.

      Thanks so much for asking - I had a feeling I hadn't explained it well, so I think I'll go back and edit!

  5. Suzannah's house looks wonderful! You did a great job staging!! :-)

  6. This is great! Love how you took the "before"s--my vague, desperate attempts the night before!--and make them chic! I definitely learned some things and am excited to keep working as I get my own neat goodies!

    1. Not desperate at all!! It takes soooooo much time to collect things you're just getting settled into your beautiful house!!! I also just happen to collect a ton of stuff. I believe it's called... hoarding. hahah

  7. Hi!
    I stumbled across your blog a while back looking for Portland peeps and I'm so glad to see that you are posting more! I am in love with those bookshelves. And yes, decorating in groups of three always works. My husband makes fun of me because I've said that to him so many times!

  8. Hi there! Love the staging! People forget this can, in and of itself, be one of the most important design elements!! Love your style. I tried to join. I will try back later too. I have a blogger blog that people sometimes struggle to subscribe too as well so I feel your pain!!


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