Home Staging Terminology

With all the different home staging terminology and different levels and types of services surrounding the home staging industry, I’d like to bring clarity to the words and phrases you may hear and define them for you. Please reach out to me if you have questions about any of these home staging definitions.

Color Consultant

A Color Consultant works with a homeowner or investor to find the perfect color combinations for both paint and materials selection. This may or may not be in conjunction with a Home Staging Consultation.

Home Stager

A Home Stager makes you money as they find every way to squeeze out equity dollars found in the home. A home stager empowers homeowners and investors to make choices for the most return on investment (ROI) through a Home Staging Consultation. Home Stagers offer a variety of services with varying fee structures for both occupied and vacant properties. A home stager makes you money.

Home Staging

Home Staging may also be called real estate staging, house staging, interior styling, property staging, property styling.

Home Staging is the act of preparing and showcasing residential or commercial property for sale. It is a two-part process:  Preparing a property involves all or part of cleaning, de-cluttering, updating and repairing. Showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. 

Home Staging Consultation

This may also be called an Occupied Consultation. 

A home staging consultation provides comprehensive visual marketing recommendations. This is a service, generally 1-1/2 to 2 hours long, where the homeowner is given very specific instructions for how to prepare and then showcase their occupied property. The home stager may or may not “showcase” a room during this time frame.

Interior Decorator

An interior decorator makes things pretty and caters to the owner’s personal taste through home decoration. An interior decorator costs you money. 

Interior Designer

An interior designer in the State of Florida must be licensed to conduct business and officially use this title. An interior designer works besides an architect speaking the same language to construct either commercial or residential property. An interior designer draws, seals and signs building plans. They understand all the inner workings of the construction process.

Occupied Home Staging

An occupied home staging occurs when a stager goes hands-on at the property location to showcase it. Some home stagers bring their own enhancements to the home, others use only what is available from the homeowner. Some homeowners may have been provided a shopping list during a home staging consultation for items that are used to showcase the home.

Photo Prep or Photo Preparation

A photo prep session takes place after the preparation phase of an occupied property has been completed. This is a hands-on session where the property is showcased and items are placed appropriately for listing photos.

Property Preview

A property preview is done in advance of a proposal being provided for vacant staging. This term is completely different from a Home Staging Consultation. This may involve taking a few photos and measurements for creation of the furniture plan to stage a property. A small fee may or may not be charged for this service as this generally is a 15 – 20 minute service to work up a proposal to stage the property.

Property Stylist

This term is interchangeable with an interior decorator or home stager or interior stylist. A property stylist showcases a property for a homeowner to either live or sell.


This is a coined-term for interior decorating using the homeowner’s current belongings. Depending on budget, new items may or may not be purchased. The stylist “shops” the home and breathes new life into the home with items that are already found within the home.

Soft Staging

Soft staging is staging using no furniture. Vignettes are created for the bathrooms and kitchen counters. This type of staging adds warmth and helps deaden the echo of an empty house.

Vacant Home Staging

The process of an empty house being showcased for sale which involves creating a lifestyle for the buyer demographic. This is accomplished by bringing in furniture, artwork, accessories, rugs, linens, bedding, pillows, throws, lighting, greenery or floral and arranging these items to demonstrate the best use of space, showcasing the architectural features of the home. Vacant Home Staging brings the “wow” factor to an otherwise non-descript space and invokes an emotional connection for the buyer.


A group of similar items used in staging to invoke an emotional response for buyers to connect. An example is a tray, wine bottle, bottle opener, and wine glasses. This grouping collectively is called a vignette.

To learn about the services that Foxy Interiors provides, click here.

Want to learn more about the home staging industry, the Real Estate Staging Association is your first priority.