The Difference Between Home Staging & Interior Decorating

When homeowners hear the words “professional home stager”, they frequently think it means the same as “Interior Decorator”. They assume that the two terms are different ways of saying the same thing. But that assumption is incorrect.

Although professional home stagers and interior decorators use the same tools, their goals are completely different. The two professions employ color, décor, furniture, and lighting, and they both work with houses. However, the contexts of their operations are dissimilar.

While interior decorators focus on the homeowner’s needs, focusing on the owner’s needs will interfere with a professional stagers’ effectiveness, points out California Realty Group in Corona. Knowing the difference between these two professionals can help homeowners determine when they need each one.

Here is everything you need to know about the difference between a home stager and an interior designer.

What is home staging?

What is home staging

Home staging is the process where a professional – the home stager – uses interior design principles to make a home that is on sale more attractive to prospective buyers. The stager uses the instruments of interior design to highlight the strengths of the home, accelerate its sale, and make it sell for more. Home stagers are marketing experts who utilize interior decorating tools.

What is interior decoration?

An interior designer personalizes a space and adapts it to the needs and preferences of the owner and users of the space. He or she incorporates the homeowner’s aesthetics and personality into the home until it becomes a true reflection of the owner’s style and lifestyle. Interior designers try to make the home more enjoyable for the owner versus trying to make it easier to sell.

Home staging and interior decoration: The similarities

Home staging and interior decoration The similarities

Home staging and interior decoration are similar in the following ways:

  • Both professions apply design principles to reach their goals
  • They both aim to improve the appearance of a room
  • They both utilize colors, lighting, furniture, décor, and home improvements
  • They endeavor to create a pleasant and well-balanced environment
  • Home stagers and interior decorators must be aware of current design trends

Home staging and interior decoration: The differences

Home staging and interior decoration The differences

Home staging and interior decorating also have significant differences.


  • The goal of interior design is to enhance the beauty and functionality of the space for the enjoyment of the people who use or live in it. It looks inward. Interior design allows a homeowner to express their personality, taste, and style.
  • Home staging works to capture the attention of buyers. It crafts the home into a reflection of the target buyer’s idea of their ideal home. Unlike interior decoration, it uses neutral design selections that appeal to a wider audience. Home staging also tries to make the homeowner more money.

Core Expertise

  • The interior decorator is an expert at understanding the needs, desires, and aspirations of the occupants of a space. He or she also tries to understand how people’s use of a room will impact the materials in the space.

As a result, interior decorators may vary their choice of materials and the arrangement of the space depending on whether they are working for a family of five or young professionals without kids.

  • Home stagers are experts at understanding the competitive landscape of the real estate market and how buyer preferences are constantly changing. They seek to know the features buyers want the most in their homes.

They create a psychographic profile of the target buyer and design the home in a way that corresponds to that person’s ideas. They aim to make the buyer fall in love with the home.


Home staging and interior decorating Duration
  • Interior design projects take weeks or months to complete. This is partly because of the back and forth involved in the process. First, the interior designer creates two design concepts based on the client’s ideas, and then he or she waits for feedback before making adjustments to the design concept and implementing it.
  • Home staging is referred to as “interior design on steroids” because the process takes days. Since the focus is on the dominant home design trends favored by homebuyers, there is less need for back and forth consultations. Additionally, because speed is essential when trying to sell a home, professional stagers do not have the luxury of time.


  • Interior design costs more than home staging. The cost of an interior decorating project can be anywhere from $2,000 to $11,000. The typical hourly rate for interior designers is $70-$80 and some interior designers will charge based on the square footage of each room they are decorating.
  • Home staging costs a lot less than interior decorating, partly because home stagers will often use the homeowner’s existing furniture and décor. Additionally, home stagers usually have a warehouse of props they use for designing a home and do not need to buy new items for each project. The average fee for staging a home is $1,100, but it can get up to $1,600-$2,400 when staging an empty house.

In conclusion, home staging is about helping a home sell faster and for a higher sales price. However, interior decoration is about enhancing the homeowner’s enjoyment of their home.

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