Types of Staging—Which Works for You?

Home staging is a relatively new industry within the realm of interior design. The service is used primarily by homeowners and real estate agencies who want to sell a property. These owners and professionals contact home stagers to get their spaces ready to show—either through in-person open houses or high-quality photography for online postings. Home staging is an excellent way to begin a career in design, and you can do this work as part of a large agency or on an individual, contracted basis.

There are several types of home staging, and if you’re new to the field, you might be trying to find your niche within the market. Below, we have laid out the pros and cons of the four separate services: occupied staging, vacant staging, full-service staging, and what we like to call “work with what you’ve got” staging.


Occupied Staging: This service occurs while a person or family continues to inhabit the space. The stager will likely oversee the removal of clutter and rearrangement or installation of furniture. This is often the least expensive type of staging, as you will have the homeowner’s materials to work with. However, this option may come with some logistical issues; if certain pieces do not fit in with your design concept, you may need to secure a storage facility for the duration of the staging process.


Vacant Staging: This service occurs when you are staging a vacant home. All furniture and supplies will need to be provided by you, the stager, but your design concept does not have to account for in-house residents. This type of staging is most often commissioned by real estate agencies, who often have larger budgets to work with.


Full-Service Staging: Most popular with vacant stagings, this type of design process requires you, the professional, to provide every piece of furniture and decoration. These pieces are often rented to the seller for the duration of the staging process. This is one of the easier methods for design process, but it requires a lot of resources. Often, this service is provided by larger, established design firms.


“Work With What You’ve Got” Staging: This service is, essentially, the artful rearrangement of furniture and supplies the homeowner already has. This type of staging is efficient and gets homes on the market fast. It is affordable for everyone, and it is less stressful for both the seller and the stager. However, the results are not as drastic or effective as they might be with a full-service staging.


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