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— by Hana LaRock

5 Staging Theme Ideas for Your Next (Virtual) Showing

Given the current situation, it may be some time before you’re showing homes again – at least, physically. Many real estate agents have adapted to work life during COVID-19 and the restrictions on showing homes, by settling up virtual walkthroughs while updating their listing photos and descriptions). As virtual walkthroughs and/or videos will be your biggest “in” right now, it’s important to think about how you can do your best to stage a listing at a time like this. 

Even if you are not able to stage a home yourself now – and, even if you have no desire to become an interior design expert on top of your real estate career – learning some interior design basics will help you be a little more knowledgeable when life gets back to normal, especially for clients who take this into consideration when choosing their home. And, if you’re familiar with how to do virtual stagings, the silver lining to the hard times we’re experiencing now is that you can really cater the listing to your clients’ style. 

Knowing what your clients’ interior design style is can help you cater to them when it comes time to show, and a virtual staging means you can really take it up a notch.


1. Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern seems to be the go-to style as it comes very naturally to most of us in the States. Mid-Century Modern came about, well, in the mid-century, and adapted pre-war/post-war ideas with styles that German immigrants brought over. It can almost be described as a retro/cozy, yet simple style. These days, there’s been different interpretations of this style, but ultimately, some of the main features are:

  • Classic look with functionality as key
  • Clean lines, no fluff
  • Organic shapes
  • Modern furniture and decor
  • A range of neutral to bold colors and traditional and non-traditional materials
  • Velvet much?

2. Rustic: Cabin

These days, many people are getting “back to the land”. With more and more people working from home, people can choose to live further from major hubs, and buy property in nature. This is why a rustic/cabin style is becoming very popular, especially for those that can’t get that far away. Rustic – the true name – is inspired by the outdoors, encompassing natural materials like raw wood, canvas, and leather. These rooms should provide a feeling of warmth, and remind the dweller that they are disconnected. 

  • A fieldstone fireplace
  • Leather sofas
  • Plush or sherpa blankets/rugs
  • Furniture made from raw wood 
  • Soothing, dark tones
  • Large decorative pieces

3.  Rustic: Farmhouse

Farmhouse and rustic are often used interchangeably. Farmhouse styles takes elements including organic and rugged features laid out in a warm, inviting space, using features like distressed wood, traditional farmhouse furniture, carefully laid out pieces (like vases), and unique touches to remind you you’re in a French villa or on your favorite southern cooking show. Nowadays, people are putting a modern spin on these styles, with modern country/modern farmhouse themes taking over. These take classic styles and combine them with industrial and Scandanavian touches featuring high and low contrasts. 

  • Exposed wooden beams and other wooden elements
  • Simple accessories, like baskets, natural-fiber rugs, and dried lavender with some mismatching
  • Large windows and bench seating
  • White and beige colors with calming accent colors, such as light yellow or blue

4. Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic is the vintage, cottage-like style that may be like something you’d find at the Palace of Versaille. After all, this style has elements from vintage French design. It’s almost a mix of farmhouse and vintage, using antiques, traditional decor elements, including furnishings that appear to be aged. To some, it may be described as “pretty” and some styles may even look like a dollhouse. But, don’t think that “vintage” and “antique-y” means old – shabby chic is a trendy interior design theme that’s becoming very popular, especially as it’s combined with other styles. 

  • Adorned vanities
  • Lace
  • Floral accents and fringes
  • Weathered and worn pieces
  • Raw wood
  • Soft palettes
  • Some natural elements and mixing and matching of accessories

5. Industrial

Warehouse and factory feels define an industrial interior design style, and it’s become very popular in homes these days. Whether you’re looking for an art-museum vibe, a city penthouse vibe, or even something steampunk, industrial themes encompass a number of different ideas. Typically, it’s characterized by minimalist and spacious rooms, with metallic features, edgy shapes, and an overall sleek design.

  • Exposed brick walls
  • Bare tubes and pipes
  • Edison bulbs
  • Vintage pieces
  • Artwork and plants
  • Dark colors with bold-colored additions

These are just a few of the interior design styles that exist, but there are at least dozens out there and then variations of those. Here, a few we left out are urban, bohemian, nautical, and contemporary days. And, you’ve probably noticed that most homes use a combination of different interior design styles that work together to achieve the desired look. Some rooms may also have completely different themes.

As a real estate agent, it’s helpful to have an idea about interior design, as you’ll have clients that care much more about what they can do with the inside of their home versus the outside. And, as we don’t know how long it will be before we can do physical showings again, learning some ways to spruce up your virtual walkthroughs with staging tips can be very beneficial.

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