In a recent post I shared how we shouldn’t take our natural decorating talent for granted. This cartoon made me laugh because it’s exactly what I was talking about.
A woman on the psychiatrist’s couch asks, “How can I relax when I know the couch would look so much better in the opposite corner?”
Natural born home stagers and decorators can’t help noticing their environments and wanting to fix them!
It’s an uncontrollable impulse that can be distracting. Or liberating— if instead of ignoring or suppressing it, you actually embrace your decorating talent.
An Amy Preiser article in Harpers Bazaar, 12 Problems Only People With Great Taste Understand, outlined some pretty funny (or potentially awkward) situations we home stagers and decorators get ourselves into.
Here are my favorites:
“You walk into any store— low or high-end— and your favorite item is always the most expensive one.”
Boy, can I relate to that! That’s been true for me for as long as I can remember and it really doesn’t matter whether I’m in an office supply, clothing, or furniture store.
That doesn’t mean I buy the most expensive thing, but my eye is certainly drawn to it. Actually what I find especially fun about home staging is the challenge of doing more with less.
“You can’t visit certain family members at home because of an overwhelming desire to move their sofa to the opposite wall. And you don’t want to start that fight again.”
Furniture in the wrong place makes me antsy, but what’s worse is too much clutter. I’m seriously on edge when I visit certain relatives. Lots of reasons, but the clutter makes it even harder for me to stay calm and grounded!
How about you?
“When you say ‘Thank you, you shouldn’t have!’ you mean it. Really. They should not have. This gift is going straight to the Goodwill.”
Can you relate to this one? I always feel funny before and after the holidays when the media is filled with re-gifting stories. I almost never re-gift. If I think something is ugly, I’m not going to give it to a friend or relative! It’s going straight into my donation bag for Goodwill or a Woman’s Shelter.
“Ugly” is a highly subjective term of course.
It’s not my taste and the person who gave it to me meant well. I know that someone else will love the item. So why not pass it along as a free gift to someone who needs it more than I do?
I do not hang onto gifts just so I can put them out for show when someone visits. That’s how your home fills with unnecessary clutter and stuff you don’t like.
Instead, I live by the William Morris sentiment,
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
You’ve wondered if your friends like you, or just the amazing things you’ve helped pick out for them. So often, those coffee dates turn into ‘want to pop over and check out that shop? I’m in the market for xyz…'”
This one I don’t mind at all! I love shopping for home decor items with someone else’s money. My clients pay me to shop for them. For friends, I’ll do it for free as long as it doesn’t become a habit every time we get together, or they just assume I will shop with them.
When I visited my friend in Seattle recently, we picked up some great stuff for her new home. It was fun to help her redecorate and transform her space. After shopping, we moved her art and furniture around.
I enjoyed our decorating time together and I was happy to help transform her space. Especially since she had spent quite a bit of time playing tour guide for me.
Home stagers, please share in the comments whether you can relate to any of these situations or add to this list. I know others will appreciate your contributions. I know I will!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
Debra Gould has been a home stager since 2002. In addition to developing theStaging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, she is the author of the best selling Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.
Gin Treadwell says
This article made me laugh! Um, yes, yes, and yes on all points made! And I have donated MANY a gift to Goodwill!
Debra Gould says
Gin, thanks so much for commenting! Glad I could brighten your day.
I really relate to this post, I’ve been rearranging furniture since I was 7 years old. Years ago I accepted a new job (not in staging) based on being able to rearrange the office furniture layout. I am always mentally rearranging furniture when I go to someone’s home.
Debra Gould says
Thanks for sharing Claudia! Based on what you shared, you might also enjoy this story, Addicted to Decorating or Born To Be a Stager? at
Jennifer Joiner says
I am not a home stager (yet) but I so enjoyed reading this because it depicts exactly how I feel! It’s good to know I’m
Debra Gould says
Hey Jennifer, thanks so much for commenting! You’ve come to the right place!
I hope you’ve joined my email list so I can let you know when I’ve posted new stories. I also offer many free reports that you might find interesting as you get ready to become a professional home stager! Have you seen my free quiz to test if you have the eye of a home stager? You can get it here.