Home-staging Tips with Penny Bergstrom of Delicious Decors

This week, our blog features home-staging advice from Penny Bergstrom, a professional home stager who also provides interior design, remodeling and photography services through her business Delicious Decors. Penny provides services to homeowners and developers in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Malibu and Los Angeles, Ca.

Penny is well-known for her inviting, livable clean designs with just the right pop of color.

Penny’s Tips:

  1. Hire a professional home stager. For a very small fee, a home-staging consultation is worth its weight in gold. The home stager will walk through your home with you and make recommendations for you to implement yourself. A fresh set of eyes from a professional may be all you need to get your home market ready.
  1. Declutter. Take a walk through your home and remove everything that doesn’t have a purpose. Once you have done that, do a second walk through and remove one more time.
  1. De-personalize. Remove all personal photos, chachkies from vacations, gifts, etc. Folks need to be able to visualize themselves living in the home, not you.
  1. Paint. The least expensive way to freshen up a room is a coat of paint. Stick with neutrals, but that doesn’t mean white. Soft tans with white trim are very popular for wall color.
  1. Re-think furniture arrangement. The way we live and the way we show a home may be two very different things. Arrange furniture in a fashion that keeps the room open, flows easily and makes the space look larger. We may want our “extra seating” for practical matters while living in the home, but often some of this furniture should be removed for showing off the property.

For example, look at the two pictures below. They are pictures of the same room used for different purposes. In the picture on the left, the family had converted the family room into a dining room. In the picture on the right, we reclaimed the original purpose of the room for staging purposes.

Family Room Before

Family Room Before

Family Room After

Family Room After









  1. Wall art is extremely important. Once you have decluttered, de-personalized and perhaps re-arranged furniture, remove all art and start over. Re-hang only neutral art (no religious art, “extreme” art, etc.). Strategically replace your art one piece at a time thinking about scale to the area, color and reflection in the case of mirrors.
  1. Bedding is 80 percent of the bedroom since it is the most visual piece in a bedroom. Purchase new bedding for each bed. New bedding will update the room and freshen the look. The same goes for decorative pillows on sofas and chairs throughout the home.

According to Penny, staged homes sell up to 80 percent faster than non-staged homes. Staged homes also sell, on average, for 10-15 percent more than non-staged homes.

Even if your budget doesn’t allow for the full services of a professional home stager, you can benefit from a low-cost consultation. A little money spent well before your home hits the market can result in a faster sale and net more income from your home.

Over time, we often don’t notice problem areas or clutter in our homes as much as prospective homebuyers who have never been to our homes will notice. Your goal is to make prospective homebuyers feel at home in your home, even before they move in. A beautifully staged home invites potential homebuyers to linger and to dream a little.

Here’s another example of the difference that can be made through staging. We took down heavy draperies and added more lamps for better lighting. We also swapped out dark furniture for lighter furniture and grouped the furniture to promote a better flow in the room.

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room After









Penny has many before and after photos on her website, Facebook page and YouTube channel for idea mining. You’ll be amazed at the difference a few details can make.

Thanks, Penny!




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