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  • Jodi Maturo

Why Staging is Different than Interior Design

Understanding the Strategies Behind Staging

It’s a common misconception that interior design and staging are essentially the same service. While they certainly have some common ground, they have very distinct differences. In staging, nearly every design decision has a "why" that is founded in sales strategy. While staging is as equally pleasing to the eye as interior design, it is still a separate art, aimed at convincing buyers that they must own this home. Today I’ll lay out for you how staging differs from interior design and how our approach to staging is quite strategic.

Staging Before and After photos of a bedroom

1. Opposing Objectives – In interior design we seek to create an environment that matches the homeowner’s style. You should feel at home in your space and be proud to show it off to friends and family. In staging, we often remove some of the owner’s personal aesthetic and instead strive for broad universal appeal. Why is this important? You want to cast the widest possible net in your search for a buyer. Unfortunately, sellers often unintentionally exclude some buyers from the buyer pool when the home’s look is too specific or targeted to a unique taste. This can be challenging for most homeowners to understand, because it’s hard to fathom that their personal taste isn’t equally appreciated by everyone. The professional stagers at Jodi Maturo Design know exactly how to achieve broad appeal, so don’t worry if you’re feeling unsure of how to do it yourself.

2. Tricking the Eye – Even though we incorporate visual interest in interior design plans, this is a much more critical step in staging. Stagers will place color, texture and art in places to draw the eye. This is not only done to help the buyer notice an important feature of the home, but it is equally important to draw the eye away from the home’s downfalls. That being said, it’s essential to always be ethical about a home’s issues. A professional realtor will guide you on how best to disclose any concerns about a property. Staging is not meant to hide defects, but merely attract more attention to the positive features of your home.

3. Design with Purpose – Staging isn’t just intended to be beautiful; it’s meant to help a buyer understand exactly how to use every corner of the home. That’s not always as clear as you might think, so stagers will tie an intentional purpose to lots of little spaces, helping a buyer visualize their new life there. A well-staged property isn’t just pretty –– it leaves the buyer dreaming of how they themselves will enjoy each individual area of the home. For instance, instead of an empty arm chair in the corner of the master bedroom, we might transform that corner into a little reading nook complete with a cozy throw blanket, a classic novel and a pair of reading glasses.

4. Visual Stimulation – Photos are typically the first thing a buyer sees before a showing is scheduled. You want the home’s photo “preview” to be nothing less than compelling. While we almost never think about photos in interior design, it is certainly top of mind in staging. A professional stager from Jodi Maturo Design considers the furniture layout of each room and stages it to allow for more beautiful photography. We also work with color to stimulate the eye. Quite often, our stagers use vibrant color as accents in accessories to give photography a power-punch of visual interest.

5. The Vantage Point – With interior design, we think about a person being immersed in the space, living there day after day. Yet, in staging, we have a very limited window to win over the buyer. During most showings, a buyer will walk through your home relatively quickly, often times just peeking into each room from the doorway. The view from the doorway is almost always the vantage point we care most about in staging. The best art, furnishings and accessories in that room should all be visible from the room’s entry point. That can mean reorienting furnishings and rearranging a room to look its best from this one key angle. Remember, we may only get a few seconds before the buyer walks on to the next room, so we make each room compelling at first glance.


If you’re looking for professional staging support in the Denver Metro area, contact Jodi Maturo Design LLC to schedule a consultation. We are just a call or text away at 303-378-1220.

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