Home Staging: The Right Balance of Depersonalization

Article by Jeremy Gilhousen  |  General Manager – Onstage Home Staging

One of the most common recommendations made when you put your home on the market is the need to depersonalize. But how important is that? And how extensive and how neutral does your home need to be? Does depersonalizing mean removing every shred of proof that you and your family ever inhabited the home?  Stripping all photos from every wall and surface, as well as packing up any personal mementoes, souvenirs, and collections? Is a neutral sterile space really the most engaging for a buyer?

The answer is…You bought the home, You lived in the home, You loved the home. Stripping a property of all your personality can be a big mistake. This is especially true in the Portland market where people are buying a home in a specific neighborhood because of the lifestyle and atmosphere of that neighborhood. Aren’t you part of that lifestyle?

Consulting with a staging professional to help you determine just how depersonalized your home needs to be is just as important as consulting with your Realtor as to how to best price your home. Your home-stager gets to act as your most picky buyer and point out objects, art, and other décor choices that may be distracting from the selling points of the home, as well as give you permission to keep your award for father of the year on your desk.

New construction, extensively renovated, or otherwise vacant properties often face the opposite challenge. The structure itself might have beautiful finishes, but the feel of the property can be cold and maybe even unfriendly. Bringing the right kind and right amount of personality to the house is the key to creating that inviting tableau that generates interest and offers.

click to enlarge


Some ways to create personality and warmth:

  • Books Large art books, and an array of hardcover books sprinkled throughout add color and texture.

  • Smaller Framed Photos – There is nothing wrong with the occasional family vacation photo in a bookcase. Just avoid large portraits and photo collage walls.

  • Unique Art – Artwork that is of correct scale, and that fits the style and mood of the neighborhood helps create or accentuate a focal point.

  • Texture – Accent Pillows, plush throws, and unique upholstered items create that extra special “feel”.

  • Plants – Live plants in good health, or good quality artificial plants contribute to the sense of comfort and beauty.

As with so many things, moderation is the key to success when preparing your home for sale. A well-staged home should present as one complete package: warm, inviting, and beautiful. It should have enough personality to engage buyers, generate excitement, and make them fall in love.


Since 2004 OnStage has become the Pacific Northwest’s premier home staging company. We offer beautifully crafted and totally customized designs to help market and sell your home. Our team of expert designers have staged thousands of properties, and have help sell over $1 billion in Real Estate. Our mission is to leave a lasting first impression with each potential buyer maximizing your offers and selling optionsRecently awarded RESA’s distinction as the #1 staging team in North America.

Web   |   Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Houzz   |   Contact Us


 Article Photography credit:  Spin

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *