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Turning Taste-Specific Décor Into a Market-Ready Listing

Identifying and addressing taste-specific décor and design can cause a lot of anxiety for homeowners preparing to sell, especially if the home will be sold while the owners are still living there. However, being new to these key steps in the home staging process does not have to prevent you from a market-ready listing.

While “taste-specific” is a common term in home staging and residential real estate, let’s start with some key definitions.

  • Taste-specific: When I say “taste-specific,” it is always in relation to how current homeowners have uniquely designed, decorated and filled their home so that it feels like their home. That emphasis is intentional. When you look around your house, you see all the meaning, memories and money that you have invested over time.

  • Market-ready: The décor in a house that is market-ready has typically been evaluated and updated to ensure that it appeals to a broad audience. The goal is to make it easy for prospective buyers to picture your house as a place ready for their tastes to flourish.

4 Popular Examples of Taste-Specific Décor

What says “home” to one family may seem off-putting to another, which is why home staging helps properties sell faster and for more money. I have designed and staged hundreds of homes and have noticed four categories of “most frequently seen” taste-specific décor in homes.

  1. Saturated color palettes. Your vibrant purple living room may be full of cherished memories, but that wall color does not appeal to many home buyers. Even when a purple-lover is touring through, saturated colors often make spaces feel overwhelming.

  2. Lawn ornaments. Gnomes, statues of children, pink plastic flamingos – sometimes viewed as whimsical, other times not so much. You have no idea who will be pulling up for a showing, so preparing your home’s exterior to create a welcoming first impression will be invaluable.

  3. Religious symbols, political signage & personal collections. This may seem like a disparate list of categories, but they all convey a part of your individual or family identity. Your collection of cat pictures or firearms has a lot of meaning to you, so consider taking this time to carefully pack away objects of personal significance so that you do not risk any damage during public viewings.

  4. Family photos…especially large pictures in public spaces. Keep in mind that the pictures in your MLS listing will be viewed by hundreds, if not thousands, of strangers online. Remaining anonymous to prospective buyers during the home-selling process is for your benefit, too.

Preparing Your Market-Ready Listing

“Market-ready” doesn’t mean you have to eradicate all taste and personality. Interestingly, I’ve found that artfully done pieces, such as a black and white photo of a couple holding hands (taken at a distance) can enhance the experience of buyers touring through the private areas of a home.

There is always décor in your home that can be both personally meaningful and non-taste-specific. I work closely with clients to identify these items in their living spaces. Then we make sure the items are deployed to showcase the property’s key selling features. I have been known to move a striking piece of artwork into a highly visible position over a living room fireplace or homeowners’ plants into a new space to bring out the vibrancy of the room.

For help identifying what is taste-specific in your home today and to discuss how to move quickly toward market-ready, contact me online at Show House Home Staging, email me at or call me at 781-718-4327.

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