Home Staging

Staged to Impress: A Room By Room Guide to Staging Your Home for Professional Photography

By November 19, 2018 No Comments


A photo is worth a thousand words. The right photography will make your home be much more appealing to renters.

Real estate is currently in a digital age. This means you need quality photography to market any property. Before you hire a photographer, you need to make sure your home is staged to impress. While it’s important to accurately present your home, you can add some eye-catching staging to help your home stand out to potential guests!

We get it. A home that has been lived in isn’t always ready for photos. But there are tips and strategies to help transform any home. Staging smartly will help you sell your home quickly for the highest possible price.

Don’t forget, when it comes to real estate, the eye buys! There’s no doubt that staged homes sell faster and this is the same for attracting vacation rental bookings. With this in mind, here is a room-by-room staging guide.

Before You Stage Each Room

Before we go into specific tips for each room, there are a few general tips you can follow. Be sure to:

  • De-junk and remove clutter. Take out any personal items, such as family photos or irreplaceable things you may have in the home. The Re-Use It Centre and Re-Build It Centre in Whistler can take anything in good condition or you can sell it/give it away on Craigslist.
  • Do a deep clean of your home, make sure every inch of the home is spotless.
  •  Ask some real estate professionals or friends for their advice. Sometimes homeowners are oblivious to the issues or highlights of their own space.
  • Have someone go through your home and look for any deficiencies that may need to be addressed before the photos are taken.

Living Rooms

The living room is where travelers will spend most of their active time in your home. What’s the first thing guests would notice if they walked into your living room? A room overcrowded with furniture?

When it comes to interior photography, consider the overall flow of your home. A well thought out furniture plan is key.  You don’t necessarily have to purchase updated furniture or choose a particular color scheme, although sometimes doing upgrades will be worth the rental return and pay dividends for years to come. Start by arranging the furniture to open up space. You want renters to see the potential of the space.

Ensure that no doors or windows are blocked. This can detract renters from seeing how bright, open and inviting the space is. When it comes to living rooms, less is more.

Remember, living rooms are usually the heart of the home. Families spend a lot of time entertaining, playing and conversing with each other. Make sure that there is ample space to foster these activities.

If the photos of this space make people want to sit down and hang out, you’ve done your part! Here are some specific tips to help you stage your living room for photography.

  • Remove unnecessary furniture.
  • Arrange furniture to open up the space.
  • Place couches and chairs in a conversational way.
  • Use light and airy curtain colors.
  • Opt for simple art that matches a theme.
  • Tuck away those pesky cords and wires.
  • Store family photos away.
  • Declutter coffee tables or TV consoles. One or two books or decorative pieces is good.


You may have heard the expression, “Kitchens sell homes!” The kitchen is a key area of the home since people can often end up socializing in here. They want to be able to envision themselves making memories here.

Your kitchen must be in “show ready” condition to increase the likelihood of a booking. Here are some ways to wow buyers with smart kitchen staging.

  • Make sure your appliances are clean and easily accessible.
  • Try to make your countertops as clear as possible. Removing all items except for a toaster and coffee maker will create the illusion of more space.
  • Accent a countertop with a bowl of fruit (real or fake).
  • Are your cabinets stained and rugged? A fresh coat of paint can do wonders.

Also, consider laying out a wine, cheese, charcuterie and grape spread. Not only with this add a pop of color to the photos, but it will also show potential renters that you take the time to do more than what’s expected. While home-sharing has become a dominant way for tourists to travel, there are many that still may hesitate to book someone else’s home for their vacation. Added extra little touches like this for the photos will make your home more attractive to bookers and also put some people more at-ease by helping to convince them that you are the right host for their magical Whistler vacation.


Alas, the bedrooms. The bedrooms should be the ultimate haven for your home. Even if it isn’t, it should appear so in photographs. Sure, the master bedroom will need the most attention, but don’t neglect the others.

If you’re using a spare bedroom as a storage closet, it’s time to tidy up. Rearrange this space to look like a functional bedroom.

Staging a house may require you to give up the home office or for a little while. Presenting rooms as bedrooms can make a huge difference in property value.

When buyers view photographs of your bedrooms, you want them to see comfort. Bedrooms should not have electronics or appliances. Think about creating a neutral, comfortable and tranquil room.

Use appropriate bedding to help highlight the rooms. Each room should have different bedding to help renters be able to distinguish the rooms and beds. For bunk beds, make sure the duvet covers match each other and the beds are very neatly made-up. For the master bedroom, use appropriate decorative bedding that matches the rest of the décor in the room. No floral bedding that looks like it’s from a motel in the 90’s! Make sure there are enough pillows per bed: 2 for singles, 3 for doubles and 4 for queen/king beds. In the master bedroom, more pillows, a throw blanket and breakfast tray with a tea pot, some fresh fruit and baked goods looks help make the room look luxurious.

Here are some other specific staging tips for the bedrooms.

  • Remove TV remotes or cable box clutter.
  • Move bed by the window or largest wall, not pushed in a corner.
  • De-clutter the bed-side tables, a lamp on each table and maybe one other little decorative piece is good.
  • Make sure there is enough art in the room, don’t leave feature walls blank. This will make the room look empty and barren.

Dining Room

The dining room is one of the more simple areas to stage, but there are a few key components to consider. Aside from just the dining table and chairs, consider whether you need to put in a new carpet that flows with the décor in the rest of the space.

Additionally, the lighting and lighting fixtures more specifically can make a huge difference. By upgrading an outdated dining room light fixture, you can really make the space look more modern and appealing.

Consider the number of chairs for the dining room table in relation to the overall sleeping capacity. While you may not have enough chairs at the table for everyone, make sure there are other chairs available elsewhere in the home. This is a practical feature that guests will appreciate.

Entryways or other Special Features

Whether it’s the entryway of your home, a large foyer, or other major feature such as sweeping staircase or beautiful view, make sure you appropriately highlight what’s special about your home.

The entryway should be practical for guests to use and draw renters in to entice them to see more. Your entryway is often the path into the heart of the home. This area can lead renters to fall in love with your property.

Is your entryway dreary and boring? You’ll want to brighten things up to make a lasting impression. Work on making this space clean, bright, and cheerful.

Is there is a spectacular private hot tub or another unique home feature? If so, make sure you draw attention to this. Ultimately, when most people envision themselves staying in a vacation rental, they think of a unique and modern space. Their ideal stay is something that they wouldn’t otherwise experience. If your home has these types of features, it’s important to do your best to highlight them to attract more bookers.

Is Your Home Staged to Impress?

Don’t invest in home photography until your entire home is well staged and completely ready for photos. Often times this will require some minor décor and art upgrades. If you have outdated art from pre-2000 era, it’s time for an upgrade. Featuring nice modern art, which is relatively inexpensive, can make a world of a difference.

We hope that this room-by-room guide gave you ideas for staging your home. Use this to help you evaluate your home, one room at a time.

Don’t get fooled into thinking that you have to spend big dollars to make your home photo-ready. These days, interior design is all about minimalism and comfort. Your ultimate goal is to make more money by appropriately featuring your home to attract more guests to rent your home.

Looking for more advice on renting your vacation home? We provide our home-staging expertise to our clients and can help you out!

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