Tips from a professional home stager


All the home’s a stage. Set it for drama.

Portland’s Rebecca Chute of Transformations Design has staged new and old homes for sale since 2003. Trying to appeal to a wide range of buyers, she warns, can result in bland design that appeals to no one.

“In this market, the people buying tend to be creative types,” she says, “and they don’t want a generic look.”

Chute targets buyers with “lifestyle merchandizing” selected from her warehouse of furniture, accessories and art. Cost varies according to number of rooms being staged and time on the market.





A few tips:

  • -Clear the clutter. The most obvious quick fix bears repeating.
  • -Ditch the June Cleaver act. Home-baked cookies smell suspicious.
  • -Red dining rooms are the new cliché. Consider rich grays or browns.
  • -Accent walls look dated. Ditto painting every room a different color. Subtle variations of the same color look fresher.
  • -Mix vintage and contemporary. Buyers want to see art.
  • -Pulling furniture out from the walls, even a few inches, creates illusion of more space.


$1,200 average; transformationsdesign.com