Staging a home for sale… that’s empty. Part 2


  Are you a real estate agent that wishes homes would show better?

Are you a homeowner trying to sell your home but not quite sure how to go about staging it?

Do you wish you knew how to portray your home to make it look the very best it can be?

If so, this post may be for you. 🙂

 Awhile back, I posted that I was staging my mom’s empty home that’s currently for sale.

Part One was HERE

When I started pulling things out of my truck and hauling them into my mom’s place, it felt so… odd. These were MY things. Not my mom’s.

And it was shocking. After seeing the rooms so bare and empty, even one thing in the room caused your eyes to refocus in a very different way. You REALLY saw objects.

 So whatever I used, I had to make sure they were pretty to look at. I love this vintage mix master with the heavy porcelain bowl. And it was perfect for the kitchen.

This experience was interesting. The more I attempted to make an empty home look lived in, the stranger everything looked. It was so painfully obvious that it was empty, so overdoing some rooms while others had nothing didn’t work.

 Loose sanded down palette boards simply placed overtop a little bench created some extra instant warmth to this area.

So, I took a different approach. I placed ‘suggestion’ items to bring warmth back into the spaces. It left you with the feeling of the house saying, “This is what I could look like if you bought me and loved me back. You just wait and see!” 🙂

Pickets by their lonesome encouraged you to elevate your eye towards these vaulted ceilings

And yes, there were indeed moments of sadness. (she passed away in March) But it wasn’t long before I switched gears into design mode and went with it. I was on a mission to make my mom’s house sing. One last time. 

Two funky drawers took the place of the microwave. And hid alllll the paperwork for the home sale. 🙂

I realize staging an empty home is VERY different from decluttering a full one. I think both scenarios bring issues into play. But it’s my belief that if you wish your home to look it’s best, depersonalizing and decluttering are VERY important. This home looked HUGE with all the roomy closets and living spaces! And newer too.

From hereon out, I’m going to allow the pictures to do all the talking.  I created an online magazine spread for the benefit of our real estate agent as well as a means of an online portfolio for myself so I can show what I can offer others.

Enjoy. 🙂


Click HERE for the fullsize online YUDU magazine spread.

And I have to just thank Layla from The Lettered Cottage. When I saw her magazine spread for the cottage she decorated, I ’bout died. I had no idea this format was available to us. Thanks for your never ending inspiration you offer my way, Layla!

What do you think about this format for helping to sell a home?

Yup, it’s still on! Click HERE to enter!

Are you a part of the fun? 

We’re all purging as a group effort and offering up daily de-junking tips on Facebook. 

Join in the BAD JUNK Challenge!

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Categories: Family

21 thoughts on “Staging a home for sale… that’s empty. Part 2

  1. Donna, thank you so much for this! We are currently working on getting my parent’s home ready to sell. We have stripped the wallpaper, patched walls, changed out flooring, and so much more and yet it is now devoid of any sort of personality when it used to be so full of life!

    I will take these great hints and do something similar. I believe it will really make a difference, so thank you very much for this!

    Kat 🙂

  2. It looks great Donna… very professional. I hope your agent makes lots of copies available for people to take home from the showings. We were given a mini “book” of the house we bought… loved that idea.


  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, Donna. But you did good by her by breathing life back into her lovely home. You certainly have a decorator’s touch, girly. It all looks so very welcoming. And thanks for the tips. We have a rental house we need to sell in 2 years after our renters move on, so I’m gathering all the ideas I can…. 🙂

    xoxo laurie

  4. I think you did a wonderful job bringing warmth back into the house. Everything looks so pretty. Love the mantel. As a buyer though, I’d want more information about the house. Such as square feet, electric or gas, age of the home and stuff like that. Is there a way to add more information?

  5. I think you added just the right amount of funky coziness to your Mom’s home. I’m sure she is looking down & giving a big thumb’s up! The pictures are a breath of fresh air from the usual realtor’s photos… they definately make the home feel more inviting. Good luck with a speedy sale! 🙂

  6. Wow. This is perfect. A great way to highlight an empty home, but make it “homey”, too. Yes, the house is singing again. I’m sure this wasn’t the easiest task. I always love looking at your designs.
    Becky C

  7. The home looks fabulous!! You filled it perfectly with wit and charm! The magazine spread is lovely! Really shows off the beautiful home and your mom would be proud, I am sure!!
    And it is one gorgeous home. For it is definitely more than a house since you put your touches into it. Well done!!

  8. You did an amazing job! I love the magazine spread and even empty the house has warmth and charm, something that is hard to imagine in a completely empty house. As a former Realtor and stager (who dealt with many very unimaginative clients), I can say you did this perfectly. I’m sure your mom would be super proud of how beautiful you made her home.

  9. It’s absolutely beautiful! Just the right amount to get someone begging for more!!! I want to walk around inside NOW!

    The photos are so pretty! I mean that’s the word. Pretty. And stylish. And clean. Oh so clean! You are amazing! Once again! Adding old country charm to this more modern style home! I hope your phone starts ringing off its hook!!!


  10. Now there is a fun business to start…’Staging For Sale’ and taking nice photos like that for the realtor will sell houses fast! Great idea.
    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom, you can know how proud she is of you! Nice job. It must have been hard to be alone there.

  11. I am very sorry about your mom Donna. I am sure that she is smiling down on you and your son and all that you have accomplished. What a wonderful tribute to put your touch into her home, even if you have to sell it. That must have been hard at times but you did a wonderful job!

  12. Your mom’s house looks great – I’m about to sell a house and we’re doing some renovations – will have to keep some of your ideas in mind! Thanks for stopping by from Margos place! Nice to meet you! Keep up the great junking!

  13. Perhaps it would alleviate some of your discomfort if you thought of this as a public declaration of your love for your mother. Because the love DOES show here, Donna, and it will attract people without them even being conscious of it. Love always does, yes? 🙂

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Staging a home for sale… that’s empty. Part 1

Any real estate sales folks out there? Lovely folks wanting to sell their home? Potential future stagers? This one’s for you!

I’m off today to play.. for a good cause. A few of them to be exact.

 Most of you that are avid followers, already know about the passing of my wonderful mom. Well, ultimately, that leads to the family selling her lovely condo.

( for newbies, you can read what transpired HERE) And updates are on my off topic blog HERE. I’m sharing this so others in the same situation can go forth knowing it WILL be ok.  {hugs!} )

 So, I came up with the bright idea to create a blog on her home with pretty pictures, reflecting a different spin on how lovely her place is. General listings just don’t capture what I have in mind. So…

Today I’m going to lightly stage up an empty home and produce a photo shoot.

And gutting sections of my own home in the process. 🙂

All in the name of an inspiring idea, potential leads to other like minded work, a new portfolio piece, and the best of all… creating  a photo memory blog of her home one last time.

Which also leads me to gutting out the camping firewood and salvaged palette wood in my truck that has been residing there forever. Ah yes. One step ultimately always leads to another (billion). The hayfield lawn will have to wait for it’s turn this round. I’m a little behind in all things homestead you see.

So, stay tuned to see the less junky side of my decorating.

Well… NEARLY is close enough, right? 🙂

I’ve also been working very hard on a portfolio of my own home I’d like to share with you next week. You haven’t seen this type of setup on my blog yet, so I’m sure it’ll give you yourself more fuel to create and dream your way into your own given passion.

Join me on this new little endevour, won’t you? Let’s go stage a home!

One slightly less junky artifact at a time. 🙂

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36 thoughts on “Staging a home for sale… that’s empty. Part 1

  1. ack – lovely! I lost my dad this summer too & its the moments we savor & tidbits of home that bring such vivid memories – what a fabulous idea to stage and capture that on your blog! I’m very looking forward to seeing your less junky decorating (what? could it be? doesn’t EVERYONE love junk like us?) I wish I could be there to help out!! What a fun team we’d be I do think!

  2. I do believe you hit the nail on the head!Right up your to speak!!Sad it has to be done..but do it your way..I do believe it will work!!!
    I will be praying and following you!

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  3. Donna can’t wait to see how you stage an empty house…hard enough to stage one that is furnished, but I love the idea that photographed correctly it can give a buyer a vision of how this house can be a home.

  4. I love this idea! what a great tribute to your mother. I too, lost my mom this year so understand what you are going through.
    I am a home stager here in Buffalo, NY and love my job so much! Always so fun to see what you can do with a property. Keep going girl, you’re mom is proud of you.

  5. This is such a great idea Donna! I know it’s going to be very healing for you and when you are done you will have such a sweet momento that you can look at and enjoy great memories of you and your mom! Thanks for sharing this journey with the rest of us and know that we are blessed by it too!

  6. How awesome you’re on this one!

    Oh my gosh… my house is officially GUTTED. I took all my ‘good stuff’ and I use all my good stuff. LOL

    Time to houseclean when I get back home. The dust really shows now. What was that about a billion steps again?!?

    It’ll all be worth it in the end. 🙂


  7. Your mama’s home is beautiful….what a great way to say goodbye to her home.

    I’m working hard organizing all my decor stuff into seasons and types in an upstairs room which will eventually be my cra(p)ft room. I want to be able to quickly see what items I have for a photo shoot or holiday. Like shopping my house!

    Anxious to see your vignettes and staging….they’ll be marvelous I’m sure 🙂

  8. What a lovely cottage home. I’m eagerly awaiting your part 2 of the post…I love staging very relaxing and fun.

    I’m sure it’s going to be a bittersweet journey for you, but thank you so much for letting us (your readers) walk along beside you.

    Losing a parent is always so very heartbreaking…I bet there will be a memory in every corner.


  9. Kim, out of nowhere it hit me today what I was really doing. A few tears later, I was up for paying my last tribute to my mom the best way I know how. To simply make the home she loved beautiful.

    She always enjoyed it when I came over and staged an area on a complete whim. She had a new look every week. She was a great sport about it because she knew how much I enjoyed it.

    I’ll share more on all that in another upcoming post.

    Thanks for asking!


  10. I lost my mom 22 years ago. My dad is a hoarder, haven’t been allowed in his house for 15 years…so I know my time is coming to clean up and stage one of these days. I’m so excited to see what you’re doing!! I love all that you show us!

  11. Realtor here! I can’t wait to see what you do. I love your photos anyway and the outside looks great. Your realtor will love you.
    I did it 7 years ago this week when I unexpectly lost my Mom…a mere 7 weeks after my stepdad of almost 30 yrs. passed. 2003 was a stinker of a year for me! We do survive.
    Big hugs,

  12. I, too, agree that it will be beautiful … looking forward to the reveal! Thank you for sharing such a sentimental time in your life. Take care, Becca

  13. I love your name…love it, love it! And very much inspired by your goal and concepts. Hats off to you with your courage and dedication on doing your Moms home. Looks like a lot of love selections going in. Such unspecified beauty.

    Gloria @ Jazz It Up!

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