best home staging books

Best Home Staging Books of 2020

For some reason home stagers lover books. Both to read, and to use around their clients houses to help set the vibe of the property.

I love a good home staging book myself, and have a collection of dozens on my bookshelf that I have read over the years. I’ve included many of the tips and tricks I have learnt within these books in the home staging courses I teach.

So coming into the end of 2019, I’ve pulled together my list of best home staging books you need to read in 2020.

Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day

EVERYONE hates clutter, and this is especially so when viewing a house for sale. All home stagers will know the importance of declutter, so Real Life Organizing by Cassandra Aarssen is one of the best home staging books for any aspiring or professional home stager.

This book is a #1 Amazon Best seller and has a whopping 315 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing, averaging to 4.5 stars.

Cassandras book teaches you handy tips and tricks to make a house clutter free, including:

  1. Building a Kitchen Command Centre
  2. Organize children’s toys easily
  3. Keep the home office tidy and paperwork manageable
  4. Creating a “kids cupboard” in the kitchen
  5. Create an IN/OUT system

The tips and tricks in this book work for everyone regardless of your own organizing style. As home stagers you can also take some of the rules, and dismiss the rest, as home staging work is only ever temporary. For the advice that you can’t use in your home staging career, you can definitely use it in your personal life.

What I personally loved about this book was that it didn’t present you with an unattainable, ‘Pinterest’ or ‘Instagram’ facade. It’s down to earth, and easily understandable by anyone.

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life

Elements of Style is written by popular blogger Erin Gates (yes, the books gets its name from the popular Elements of Style blog) and features beautiful full-color photographs to keep you inspired.

The chapters in this book each focus on a different room of the house, making it a sort of encyclopedia you can open and turn to any time if you are stuck for inspiration with a particular room. Every room is covered from the entryway, to the nursery, to the backyard.

I liked how this book is packed full of practical advice, so much so that you’ll be eager to have your next client meeting to start implementing some of the tips you will pick up.

There are some sections which seem to be common sense, and you might want to skip over, but every book is a bit like that at times I feel. There are lots of personal stories and anecdotes, and while not a hard-hitting home staging business or interior design manual, it does make a great coffee table book to pick up and flick through over a cup of tea.

Tip: I personally have used this book at a few of my clients homes. The black and white spine makes it really stand out in the bottom stack of books on a coffee table or entertainment unit.

Although we’ve put this book on our list of best home staging books that you must read in 2020, if you budget is tight, and you want some SOLID education, then it may pay to skip this particular book. If you’ve got $20 or so to spare, and like a light read, add this book to your cart today!

Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves

Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms is a great guide for ANYONE who wants to add a bit of class and restyle their home. Home stagers will love this book as it will teach you how to make little tweaks here and there to create a big impact on your clients homes. Sometimes all a room takes is a well arranged tabletop, coffee table, or bookshelf, to improve it 100%.

Sometimes moving heavy furniture can be avoided by knowing how to work with what is already there.

This book earns a place on our list of the best home staging books simply because it teaches you how to make big differences to rooms, without a big amount of effort. Although this sounds lazy, if means we can make a difference to our clients houses quickly and without calling in the heavy man power to completely re-do a property.

The one complaint that I, along with a few others, have about this book is that there is a lot of emphasis on arranging a space to be captured well for a photograph. It’s no secret that what works well for a photograph, might not work well to live in.

So with that in the back of your mind, this book may or may not be for you. For home stagers, capturing great photographs is absolutely vital for our customers as it is often a buyers first impression of the property, which is why I have included it on this list.

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave

Homebody, by Joanna Gaines, is currently the #1 Best Seller in the Home Decorating category. It has a whopping  ratings, most of which are 4 stars or above.

I love this book and recommend it to any home stagers I meet who are wanting something easy to read that can be picked up for either 2 minutes while the jug boils, or for a 2 hour stint on a lazy Sunday.

When I bought this Homebody, I could tell it would make my 2020 list of the best home staging books. It makes a beautiful coffee table book, and also makes a great Christmas gift for any home stagers you know.

The book divides the house into different rooms: Living, entry, dining, bedrooms etc, and each room has a short “troubleshooting section” where Joanna spends time explaining common pitfalls that can keep the room from looking its best.

My one issue with this book is that it features a lot of black and white monochromatic imagery. Probably not the perfect choice for those that enjoy bold/bright color schemes.

Home Staging For Dummies

I tried to avoid listing Home Staging For Dummies on this list, because it just seems so cliche, but not through list of the best home staging books will be complete without it. The book claims to “shows you how to make improvements room by room and generate a higher profit in the most cost- and time-effective way”, and it does just that.

The book teaches you what buys want, and how you can best show it to them. You’ll also learn:

  • How to avoid common staging mistakes
  • Create curb appeal (first impressions)
  • When you should call a professional, or when you can DIY
  • View your home as prospective buyers would like to see it
  • Turn your bedrooms into desirable spaces
  • Create a beautiful entryway for early impressions
  • Tips & tricks to avoid breaking the bank

The book itself is pretty bland (the only color page is the cover), but the words on the page are top quality. You can tell a lot of care has been put into writing this book, from people who have been-there, done-that.

If you are NEW to home staging, and have never actually staged a house, this book could be a good first step. If you have been home staging for 12 months or more, and done 6 or more jobs, this book may be a bit basic. You’ve probably picked up a lot of the skills and knowledge through trail and error.

At under $15 books, this book is worth a ready if you want to go back and refresh your basic knowledge.

MARKETING: For the staging + design industry

Let’s be honest, there is no point in learning home staging if you don’t understand a little bit of marketing. You need to be able to attract clients, and for that reason, this book is the best home staging book when it comes to the marketing/business side of things.

You can find MARKETING: For the staging + design industry on Kindle for nice and cheap (about $12 last time we checked), and although it only has half a dozen ratings, we found it to be a good read. At just 155 pages, it doesn’t waffle and isn’t filled with fluff. You can easily read it over a weekend.

I don’t think it has been created by a large publishing house, as you might find some of the links in the ebook no longer work, but there is a lot of good advice that will help any beginning home stager or someone who is considering home staging as a career.

Staging is Murder

Yes, this book is listed in the Mystery, Triller & Suspense section on Amazon.

No, it won’t teach you anything about home staging.

BUT I couldn’t resist including Staging is Murder simply because the lead character is a home stager! If you are reading this list of my most recommended books for home stagers, you are no doubt a home stager yourself, or looking to buy a gift for someone who is. And for this reason, we feel if you want to take a break from reading how to run a home staging business, or looking through books for inspiration, you can kick back and relax with this non-fiction murder/mystery.

The summary is this: Laura Bishop (the lead character) is a home stager, and she has just got her first job in a 19th-century mansion. While visiting the mansion a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at her feet. From here on out, staging the mansion becomes the least of her worries.

 

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About The Author

Jackie Riley

The Home Staging Institute offers courses and products that help people set up and run successful home staging businesses. The Institute was set up in 2007 by successful home staging business owner Jackie Riley. Today, the institute has students in many countries around the world, including America, Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France. Since 2007, thousands of people have graduated.

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