5 Staging Props You Need to Stop Using … Now!

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  1. Thank You, Justin-

    These are all spot on. The blow-up beds always look wavy, and not crisp. The dead animals just creep me out; their cold, glass eyes follow me around a room. I also have just never understood the whole word thing either.
    I’d like to add to your list the small fake plants. Why all the plastic when a living plant can be bought for 4 bucks at TJ’s. Our homes in Seattle aren’t staged for more than 2 weeks, almost any plant will survive that long in low light.

  2. Theresa

    Agree with some but faux fur (pillows, throws, not taxidermy) is big and most people love the warmth and texture. It is not real and people know this. Air beds, I can’t really see budgeting for a full bed, box spring and mattress and moving of same for the average home. For a luxury property, I agree that a real bed is preferable. This may make staging cost prohibitive in many markets.

  3. Beverly Carlson

    I have never seen a stager put a dead animal on the wall; those are the seller’s trophies! As far as the teepee, I don’t stage with much children’s items, but a teepee is much cuter than toys, books, posters, and other hanging things everywhere.
    If you are going to gripe about a blowup bed, I suggest you look at mine. They are propped up yes, but seriously, the house was empty before; no one should be messing with the beds. True story, I went to pick up a bed in a pickup thinking I had put a real bed in the house and then when I got there it was a blowup and I could have just put the whole bed in my trunk. So blowup beds depend on the stager. Not every house sells in 2 weeks and silk green plants are so much better than nothing green. Remember the house was empty before! I use fresh flowers for the first open house, but flowers are expensive in Texas!

  4. Carla

    This seems more like personal opinions and not based on facts. The entire tone of this blog screams bad attitude; my opinion. A sheepskin, empty bottle of wine, a child’s teepee and word art are hardly “offensive”…just because these items – clearly – get on one person’s nerves, doesn’t mean they’re offensive. Could mean someone is overly sensitive, though.

  5. Rachel

    Let’s be honest, all stagers would love to use high end furnishings and accessories, however the client’s budget doesn’t allow for this in many cases. That being said, using an air mattress is a great alternative and keeps the client within their allowed budget. In my experience, I have NEVER had a client complain about the use of an air mattress.

    One other point, I don’t think the word art is going to be the reason for not buying the pink bathroom home…

  6. Jacqueline Balcells

    Relax… take a breath…. don’t be offended by everything you see or you’ll give yourself a heart attack!

  7. Susan

    I respectfully disagree. If people are so offended by a bottle of wine that it will turn them off to a house, they may be living in the wrong place. I may not put out a bottle of wine in my home state of Texas, where there are lots of Southern Baptists, but I certainly will in the state where I now reside, where folks seem to *really* love their wine. I agree that wine in the bathroom is just tacky unless you are specifically going for that feel (no pun intended!).

    Dead animal parts. I agree that animal heads, skulls and stuffed animals are never appropriate. Most fur is faux, and it is often very hard to distinguish real from fake. Fake animal fur is almost perpetually in style and can lend a warm and cosy feel that few other materials can match. In a mostly monochromatic room it adds a wonderful bit of texture as well.

    As far as the word art, that is a very popular way to decorate now and really speaks to the under 40 crowd in particular. It fits right in with hardwood floors and grey or greige color schemes. As an agent, I keep a few on hand for homes I am selling to add a nice warmth and to send a subtle message. A couple of my favorites say, “Home Sweet Home” and “Home Is Wherever I Am with You.” I love to study how our brains work, and such things as word art really can have an impact on our subconscious. I put motivational signs in my kids’ bathroom in hopes that they will read and internalize it as they are brushing their teeth, or yes, even going to the bathroom. They certainly won’t do affirmations on their own (again, very powerful!) but reading them is almost as good.

    With the tipis, it really depends on your market. Here where Native Americans make up 0.1% of the population or less, it probably wouldn’t be an issue. In New Mexico or Arizona I would definitely reconsider. Though personally I think it shrinks the space. If the corner needed anything (doubtful, and certainly not in the article’s picture), a child-sized reading chair would be more visually pleasing.

    I guess it all boils down to knowing your market. But to be honest, I feel that most of the things you mentioned are either neutral or positively perceived in many markets.

  8. Dave

    Well, that was a waste of time…..dead animal parts. Really, come on man!

  9. Lee

    Well, I always tell my clients that have animals mounted and displayed in their homes to make sure that they are dead first. Seriously, it really depends on the area and type of home that you are marketing (and if it has acreage on which to hunt). The “dead animals thing” is an over generalization. I often use photos in my marketing and it works.

  10. Christine Elsasser

    While I agree with some of your comments (mostly the part about you get what you pay for) I think you’re way to easily “offended”. Staging sets a tone in a house. The comfy faux fur pillows, throws, and maybe rugs are to exude the feeling of comfort and coziness. I would never use dead animal parts (as you suggested), nor have I ever seen dead animal parts in my 20 years of staging. The wine thing? That’s ridiculous. There are way more important things to worry about when selling a home.

  11. Christine Elsasser


  12. Linda

    And here I thought the article was going to be on towels tied together with silk ribbon or raffia and artificial wreaths on the front door regardless of season…

    Let’s face it. Certain markets can and will tolerate certain design styles. Cabin in the mountain? I don’t imagine a seller will be turned off by fur–on or off an animal. Kid’s room? Motivational or word art is certainly appropriate and usually gender neutral. Wine on a bar? Come on, it’s a BAR, it’s not like someone is going to use it for a Smoothie Station. Personally, I try to minimize the alcohol in the same way I try to minimize or remove religious artifacts. You want to appeal to a broad base and lessen anything potentially offensive. Air mattresses? Not wonderful, but as many others have said, not everyone has the budget for anything else. Checking on them from time to time and using flattened boxes on top and with thick bedding can help to disguise the hollows. I’m also an author, so I get that the writer of the article needs content to write about, but I don’t think you can use such a broad brush when it comes to staging.

  13. Years ago, unbeknownst to me, I had a problem with number 3. The Sellers were cowboys and the “odd” object on the fireplace hearth was a skull. I put the house on tour for feedback as to why it wasn’t selling, and turns out everyone knew what is was, and said it had to go.

  14. Kerry

    As a buyer I have walked out of for sales with dead animal heads on the walls. Hey, some of us respect all of God’s creatures and find it horrendous.

  15. Ted C

    Makes me want to stage my house with a teepee. The idea of “Cultural appropriation” is ridiculous.