How to Combine Different Design Styles

When staging an occupied home vs. an empty home, there is always the extra challenge of working with the homeowners furniture and figuring out what accessories to bring in to tie everything together.  I always start with the furniture placement so I can see what stays and what needs to leave (if possible).

Something Had to Go

There were  too many sofas in this room.  The ivory sofa under the blanket matched the blue and ivory chair better, but it was too long for the space.  We decided on keeping the green velvet tuxedo sofa instead.  I also didn’t want the large TV blocking the beautiful bay window.  The beautiful fireplace is the focal point so it needed to look it’s best.

The large ivory area rug softened all the colours and helped define the space.  I was so happy to be able to use this true mid-century bookcase that has been in my family for generations.  It completely matched the era of the house and all the other wood features.  The shelving unit anchored the starburst mirror and gave me a surface for more decorative accessories.  Also notice how good the closet doors look since they were put back on.  You don’t want to be looking a coats while sitting in your living room. I accentuated the bay window with cushions for extra seating. Since the window is another focal point, it was also necessary to lengthen the drapes.  Adding blue and white cushions with the gray throw blanket blended the colours of the blue chair.

Focal Point

I love the contrast of the soft lush live fern with the stunning stone fireplace.

The little ledges on the fireplace where barely 4″ deep so it was a struggle to find accessories that were large enough for impact, but still narrow enough that they didn’t fall off.


To keep the room feeling light and airy, I replaced the ceramic jugs with coloured glass and graceful silver dollars and brought in silver/glass lighting.

The Artwork Saved the Day

I’m sure everyone laughed at me as I was doing a little happy dance in the store when I finally found this piece of art.  Not only did it pull all the colours together, but it also blended the styles of a green velvet tuxedo sofa, a blue chinz oversized chair, a chrome/glass coffee table and a traditional country style dining table. Suddenly everything worked together. Casual elegance all the way!

Interestingly enough, the day before I bought this artwork, the new Benjamin Moore 2020 paint colours came out and this is their new colour palette! It had the perfect green as the sofa and all the shades of blue as well.

This artwork also tied everything together and helped fill in the area behind the sofa.

Lighting Sets the Mood

The homeowner wanted to take her chandelier and had already bought this silver drum with over 100 crystals hanging inside. Once it was installed it really set the tone of the space.  That is why I used so much coloured glass and silver in my accessories.

The large 60″ X 40″ artwork was enough to look at in the dining room.  A soft gray runner for texture and more blue glass with some greenery were the final touches.  Please remember to keep your artwork large or at least a large grouping of smaller pieces.

Feel Good Rooms

This room was set up for when the grandkids came to visit.  When staging your house, you sometimes have to live differently for a short period of time to showcase the rooms.

I wanted to use the crib in the other smaller bedroom and just keep this room for a young child/teen.  I was able to use the homeowners duvet but then added all the other furniture and accessories.

By moving the bed up against the wall with the window, I was able to add all the fun and bright cushions.  It also made the window look larger since the bed filled the gap under it.

Every time I walked into this room, the cheery colours put a smile on my face.  I brought in this painted rocking chair for a bit more colour since we didn’t have a dresser to use, but buyers can definitely see the full potential of the space.

How Cute is This?

This furniture was too dark and heavy for the smaller bedroom so the bed, night stand and rocker were removed.  We also removed the top of this dresser so it wasn’t overpowering in the room.

The crib from the other room makes this the perfect nursery.  The bottom of the dresser also serves as the change table.

I wish I had a photo of the expression on my husband’s face when I brought this changing pad home!!!  I had to tell him quickly that it was just a prop for this staging.

The homeowner’s favourite colour is green so that is why I used it for the accent colour.  It also flowed nicely from the other rooms. I just can’t get enough of this adorable bunny artwork.

Loving your job makes it so much for more fun!!!!

Switching Things Around

I found it interesting how strange it felt for the homeowner when I moved the bed into another position.  This is so common since most people get used to their furniture in one position and find change hard.  EVERYTHING I do in a staging has a reason and EVERY piece of furniture has a purpose!   With the bed along longer wall, buyers can see that a larger bed will fit in the room.  It also leaves lots of traffic flow to the closet.  Also notice the new pretty light fixture that she picked out.

I balanced the room by adding the gray mirror, gray end table and gray chair. The bed works in front of the window since the headboard is still under the window.

Since the ceiling light fixture had lots of bling, I brought in this pretty mercury lamp for a little bit more sparkle.

This house was transformed in such a short period of time thanks to so many in her community and close friends. Everyone wanted to give a helping hand, which says a lot about the homeowner!




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