Staging a Porch: Before and After

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What’s wrong with this picture? Many times, staging is simply looking at your house through the eyes of a visitor who imagines herself living there. Of course, the visitor is a potential buyer, and you want your house to invite her to envision how her life would be like if she moved in. There is no magic to staging. It can be as simple as rearranging the furniture. Here’s how.

Which porch makes you feel like you could sit down and have a chat? In the top photo, a visitor is excluded from the scene. As you step on to the porch, the back of the closest rocker is to you — excluding you from the scene. And, the setting directs your eye right past both chairs to the neighbor’s porch. Of course, the neighbor’s house is not part of the sale.

The goal with this porch is to capture a sense of hospitality and evoke a cozy setup for a leisurely afternoon that is missing only one thing: the visitor. Clustering the rockers at the far end of the porch and placing the table in between them creates an evocative setting. Like a stage set, this little scenario is ready for socializing. It is a self-contained scene that keeps the visitor’s attention on the porch — not wandering off to the neighbors. The potted plant adds a splash of color, reinforcing the outdoorsy appeal.

In learning to stage yourself, you have a variety or resources and media to choose from. There are many free resources on the web and on television that can guide you in staging your property. For more complete, step-by-step instruction you may want to consider purchasing a do-it-yourself staging guide or product that will teach you the “Why’s” and tell you “What is wrong with this picture,” and how to fix it. Knowing why you are making each change is important in learning how to successfully stage your own home.

Kathey Carter is the Creative Director for Katchart LLC. For more information, go to