Staging Your Home to Sell over the Holidays

December is fast approaching and soon radio stations will be broadcasting – much to our chagrin – Christmas music 24 hours a day. While this is a time of parties, entertaining friends & family and gift buying – it’s also the time when the real estate market cools off. The number of buyers  normally does diminish however the ones who are shopping are very serious about finding a home. This increases the importance of a home’s overall appearance is as it’s marketability will be key to getting home buyers interest online and keeping it when buyers visit.


If you are selling over the holidays then its important to keep decorating simple with key accessories designed to accentuate focal areas..When buyers go through a home during the holidays, they shouldn’t be overwhelmed with holiday decorations. Not only does it make rooms feel smaller and more cluttered but too many decorations can also make buyers uncomfortable – especially if they don’t celebrate Christmas.

Our top decorating tips while your home is on the market:

Holiday Decorating does not replace Home Staging: It may be tempting to forgo a home staging consultation and just put out holiday décor, thinking that its a cheap way to stage but this could have a negative impact on the marketability of your home.  Any kind of decorating, whether it’s for the holidays or just in general, is just that – decorating. It’s not staging and it doesn’t and shouldn’t replace this important step in the home preparation process. We have discussed in other posts why decorating and staging are dissimilar but the key thing to remember is they have different goals. Decorating is about tailoring a home or room for yourself or your family while staging is all about making your home more marketable to home buyers. Can you use holiday décor for room décor over the holidays? Absolutely. But all decorating should be done with your prospective home buyers in mind – not you.

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Home Staging is real estate marketing for your property. Holiday decorating shouldn’t be considered its replacement.

Keep Color Palettes Simple & Cohesive:  We recommend keeping it to a maximum of 2 main color palettes (ideally one if possible) and separate them by floor, to accentuate and complement your existing décor. Pair gold or platinum with whites, creams or rustic wood hues and use a pop of color like silvery blue or red to make each space memorable.  Remember, as much as it is the holiday season, your house is still up for sale and buyers need to be able to appreciate your home more than the decorations!

General DR
A pop of color in any space,  goes a long way when used effectively. Add the pop in a table centerpiece or in a piece of artwork hung on a focal wall for best results.

Think Simple & Stunning for your Décor: Instead of all the wreaths, garland swaging and crowding of decorations on every surface, focus instead on staging impact areas. The Christmas tree will be a major focal point place so place it in a spot that naturally draws the eye yet does not block windows or architectural focal points (like the fireplace). If possible, decorate the tree with a simple color scheme and add lots of silvers or golds and glass or rustic decorations in with the main color.  Then use this color palette as the inspiration for the rest of your décor pieces. Dress table tops with tiered centerpieces that add height and add layers to your mantle (remember to keep it to groups of 3’s for balance & symmetry). By choosing select areas to accentuate you still emphasize great room features and infuse warmth and welcome for your buyers without overwhelming their senses.

A simple color palette combined with decorating strategic focal points will add that holiday sparkle without overwhelming a room.

Be Scent Savvy: As much as you can, try to keep scents natural as many people have allergies these days. Try some candles with simple scents like vanilla & cinnamon and stay away from floral scents that are traditionally heavy. In centerpiece bases, layer in some coffee beans – they give a wonderful natural aroma to the air – and naturally cleanse the space they are in. Infuse the air with the scents of greenery – either from your tree or with some boughs mixed into your mantle styling or table centerpieces. It’s easy – and fun – to make your home smell inviting!

Brighten up Spaces with Mirrors & Lamps: During winter, days get shorter and sunshine isn’t plentiful. To keep your home cozy & bright, layer in mirrors and table lamps around key pieces of furniture to make buyers comfortable. We love mirrors because they reflect any décor in the room and hanging them over key focal points like mantles, sofas or beds makes the most of these high impact areas. Lamps flanking important furniture pieces add lower level lighting and make rooms look inviting even when its dark or dreary outside. Add them on sofa tables in hallways or on top of desks in the office or basement for that extra special touch. Remember, you want buyers to be visually moving in so the more you can do to make them feel at home is ensure every area is light and bright.

Space Plan Effectively: Home buyers want to see spacious rooms so space planning is an important part of any successful staging plan. Overcrowding rooms with extra furniture, décor etc. may be great for family gatherings over the holidays but to prospective buyers, it will only make your home look cramped and small. Work with a professional stager to create a customized room layout that incorporates holiday elements but still keeps rooms feeling as open and airy as possible. Editing furniture – especially if you are bringing in large décor items (like your tree) and removing pieces will keep rooms looking spacious for your buyers.

Keeping rooms looking as spacious as possible during the holiday season is important!

Keep Lawn Decorations Packed Away: As much as the blow up Santa or sleigh with light up reindeer are your favorites, these big decorations take away from buyers noticing what your home looks like. So instead of lawn decorations, focus on a simple holiday lights and add planters with mixed greenery, birch branches and berries for a simple & classic look over the holiday season.

Layer in Texture: Layers of texture is one of the key ways to add softness and warmth to any space. We traditionally recommend during the holidays to layer in accent pillows  and throws with different textures that will soften seating areas or beds. Keep the colors of these elements neutral – whites or creams – as the texture will make these design elements stand out. This adds coziness to any space and makes it very appealing for buyers over the winter months.

Layer in texture to make rooms cozy and welcoming. From fluffy pillows to cozy throws these soft décor items will enhance any space. On table tops mix rustic woods with sparkle and layer in candles with greenery. Details matter!

Remember, as much as the fall real estate season is cooling down over the holidays, there are still a fair number of buyers who are shopping for homes. By keeping your holiday décor simple, tasteful and welcoming you will ensure that your home’s overall presentation remains highly marketable and appealing.

Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is the premier home staging company in the Waterloo Region. Experts at maximizing the presentation and marketability of any home, we specialize in staging vacant properties and builder model homes. For more information on our staging & design services or to book a consultation, visit our website or follow us on our Facebook Fan page. LD-CORP-RIB-FNF-BUSLOGO2013-001-01 - Copy

4 thoughts on “Staging Your Home to Sell over the Holidays

  1. Great post! I love the idea of staging for Christmas, and I love your thoughts about keeping it very simple. I would also add that, in the unfortunate case the home is still on the market after Christmas, be prepared to get right over there to take the holiday deco down!
    Love your ideas for the mantel and centerpieces!


    1. Simplicity is best – especially when it comes to balancing holiday decorating with keeping your home show-ready for buyers. I completely agree that once the holidays are over that the all the decorations should come down if the house is still listed for sale.

      Glad you liked the decorating ideas – feel free to share some of your own as well!


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