In simple terms, the purpose of home staging is to prepare a home for sale while interior decorating is about adding personal style. Understanding this important distinction could mean the difference between selling your house fast and for top dollar vs. having a house that sits on the market with little attention. The following are five key distinctions between the two to keep in mind when preparing to sell your home in today’s competitive market:

STAGING: Neutralizing a home’s decor by removing the personality of the homeowner to attract and engage a broad buying audience no matter what their taste or style.

DECORATING: Creating decor and style focusing on personal taste and preferences.

STAGING: Utilizing modern and neutral colors for the walls and furnishings that are clean-lined yet stylish to appeal to buyers and allow them to envision themselves living in the space.

Home Staging Before & After

Living room staged by PJ & Company Staging & Interior Decorating

DECORATING: Using on-trend designs such as beautiful wallpaper patterns and bold paint colors to add distinctive style and personality.

STAGING: Strategically editing and decluttering the items in a home so they won’t distract from the home’s features and floor plan.

DECORATING: Using decorative accents and accessories to enhance the style of the room.

STAGING: Removing tired furniture and updating the decor with neutral style furniture and modern accessories.

Staging Living Room

Living room Staged by PJ & Company Staging & Interior Decorating

DECORATING: Investing in custom design to give your home a unique look.

STAGING: Making a home look fresh, bright and inviting by cleaning it well, fixing anything in need of repair, letting in the light, and adding welcoming touches such as flowers or candles.

Dining Room Staging

Model Home Dining Room Decorated by PJ & Company Staging & Interior Decorating

DECORATING: Creating an overall design theme like the Coastal style pictured above, by adding color, lighting, furniture and accessories.

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Patti Stern Interior DecoratorAbout the Author
: Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home-staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. She also developed an award winning staging program for luxury home builder, Toll Brothers.

Patti has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV. She is a regular contributor to the National Association of Realtor’s Blog, “Style, Staged and Sold.”

For more information, contact Patti Stern at 203-640-3762 or