The Power of Staging a Home

An empty home offers a bland, cavernous glimpse at bare walls and forces you to roughly estimate what each room could hold.

An occupied home shows what it would look like if someone else moved all their belongings into your house.

A professionally staged home presents a version of the home that bursts with potential, offering an approachable vision of how the house could be embraced. It transforms the house into a template that can only be enhanced by a potential buyer’s personal touches. It invites the imagination and prompts an emotional connection.

Justin Riordan, the Creative Director of Spade and Archer Design Agency, kindly articulates his thoughts on the importance of proper home staging:

“Staging can be downright creepy. A buyer walks into a house and it seems like somebody lives there and yet it doesn’t. The quickest way to tell a potential buyer that the staging is not real is to use imitation items. We never use fake plants, food, electronics (like TV’s and computers). The more fake items (or fakery) used, the faster the buyer will know that nothing they are seeing is real.

“The purpose of staging is to help make the house stand out. If the staging overshadows the house, then it fails. Think of it this way, your house is the super star, the staging is the backup singers, cute, but not the main attraction. We never use items that are emotionally evocative. They pull the emotional attention away from the house. Emotionally evocative items fall into five categories: Religious Items, Political Items, Scented Items, Items with Fur, and Vice Items.

“Light is the single most important item when showing a house. ‘I wish this house was darker,’ said nobody, ever. People in Portland crave light, we give it to them. We remove window coverings, pull up blinds, and turn on all the lights before a showing.

“When staging your house, it is important to remember: Of all the people that might buy your house, you are not one of them. Your stager is not designing to your taste, they are designing to appeal to the most people possible.”

For more of Spade and Archer’s design philosophy, visit or call 503-841-7506.