Live Webinar: "Staging Your Confidence" with Annie Doherty & Elaine Penhaul

Here you can watch the replay of the webinar organised by the HSA with Annie Doherty of House Doctor and Elaine Penhaul of Lemon and Lime Interiors about Confidence, recorded on the 19th November 2020.

Please note: sharing and reproduction of the videos are not allowed.

The Home Staging Association Podcast Recording How a Staging Business Grows: The Story of The Property Presenters

Here you can watch the recording of the Podcast the HSA did with Amanda Green & Leigh Davies of The Property Presenters.

Please note: sharing and reproduction of the videos are not allowed.

The Home Staging Association Podcast Recording The Art in Staging with Kerry Hussain

Here you can watch the recording of the Podcast the HSA did with artist Kerry Hussain.

Please note: sharing and reproduction of the videos are not allowed.

Latest Lighting Trends - Winter 2020

As the clocks go back and the days become shorter, darker mornings and evenings will return and less natural light will illuminate our homes each day. In these cold and dark winter months, it's more essential than ever to invest in excellent lighting features to brighten your days and your home. From glass chandeliers to metal sconces to extravagant lamps, here are our top lighting picks for Winter 2020.


Organic Materials
A trend popular across the entire interior design world, using natural materials like wood and stone are seriously on-trend. Utilise this feature for modern chandeliers with a rustic touch or combine with beautiful linen shades for table and floor lamps. These organic pieces will add a natural yet unique look and feel to your rooms keeping them grounded in earthy tones. - Large Round Wooden Orb Chandelier - £549.00 - Terracotta Two Tone Stone Textured Lamp with Beige Shade - £64.00


Modern Brass
Brass light fixtures deliver a modern take on traditional metals. With a choice of matte or high shine finish, the warm tones of brass pendants and chandeliers add a subtle but elegant aspect to your rooms. Pair with natural materials and textures like marble and dark woods for a sophisticated yet warm feel as we head into the cold, winter months. Trident Brass Ceiling Light Pendant - £90 - Brass Wall Light - £145.00

Feature Pieces
Bigger is better as we head into the winter months. Rather than being a purely functional aspect of your home, lighting is a major design element within your rooms. Make a feature out of big, dramatic, bold pieces like oversized ceiling lights and extravagant table lamps to add a touch of modernity to your space while creating plenty of light for dark winter evenings. – Large Industrial Pendant Lamp Fresy - £134.10 – Helston Chandelier Large Ceiling Light - £425.00


Lighting can be the missing link which ties a room together, as you can manipulate your home's atmosphere through where you position your lights and which fixtures you use. Combining functionality and art, utilise your lamps, lampshades, chandeliers and even bulbs to create a statement as they illuminate your home.

Listening to Client Needs – The Turing Collection

When the concept of sort style and stage was created, this was on the basis that at our core was a passion for everything house and home. This passion remains to this very day. Having been a developer, landlord and property stager in all its guises (property staging, home staging and virtual staging) our business continues to grow.

We are thrilled to be launching our first furniture collection - The Turing Collection. This came about because of our clients were asking for something more – so we stepped in and began on our journey developing a collection. On that journey, we had the needs of our clients in mind - those:

- developers who recognise the need to separate themselves from the crowd and offer an innovative turn key solution to their buyers
- inventors who seek a quality product which in turn increases their rental yield whether they are in the build to rent, landlords as well as serviced accommodation
- home owners who seek to create their forever home

The Turing Collection is aspirational, high quality and incredibly versatile and ticks all the needs of the above clients. It’s also scalable or can be tailored to suit each particular client's need.

Our Founder, Ceri Owen, says:

"This is an incredible moment for our business - it has been a long time in the planning. We've been listening to our clients and are incredibly proud to be launching our first furniture collection - The Turing Collection. We hope that you too will fall in love with this high quality, scalable and aspirational design. "


If you’d like to learn more about this fabulous collection please reach out to

Mastering "Juggling" with Natalie Evans of Little Barn Door

I have never been a fan of the term, “juggling”. Never….I’m not a clown in a circus - I am just a busy business owner with family commitments, which doesn’t mean my actions resemble the comical movements of a red nosed circus character.

But, with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, I find myself slowly becoming the master of it.

I don’t have a red nose or giant shoed feet - but I am “juggling” questions, activities, insecurities and responsibilities, all flying in from different angles and needing equal attention to keep everything moving.

  • Should I post a blog?
  • Should I downsize my storage?
  • Is my instagram post insensitive?
  • Is there anything in the pipeline?
  • What time should we do phonics?
  • How am I going to get junior dairy free milk?
  • Is my business about to fail?

All questions that people all over the world are asking as they try to work, housekeep, homeschool and stay safe.

But, what is the right answer?

There isn’t one. Everyone’s situation is so so very different and I would love to tell you that I am writing this because I, super positive Natalie (from Little Barn Door) has the solution - but no.

I’m writing this, so that if you too are learning to juggle, you can have peace of mind that I am right here with you.

Remember to breathe, remember to take gratitude in the small things around you, try to cut costs (where possible) and be present - whether that is as a business or in a room with your children.


Stay positive and stay safe,


Dressing Your Table for Christmas Day

Just as important as decorating your house, decorating your table for the all-important Christmas dinner is an essential part of festive home design. With some unique and special touches, your dining table can become a central feature of your room and set the atmosphere for the big day.


Garland Runner
Rather than a traditional table runner made of cloth, opt for the much more festive option of a garland. Use tinsel or a fir tree garland (real or fake) draped along the centre, plus add some pinecones and cinnamon sticks for a truly Christmassy feel.


Dried Orange Slices
Why not add some dried orange slices to the mix? Not only will they brighten your table, but they'll also make it smell warm and fruity. If table gifts are your thing, tie your dried orange slices onto the presents for a more interesting addition to your wrapping than paper labels. Fun, festive and fruity!


Don't Just Decorate the Table!
Add a special touch to your chairs as well as your table by adding fir tree wreaths, reindeer ornaments and raw-edge ribbon to the backs. Plus for festive practicality as well as festive cheer, write the names of your guests on tags to show where they'll be sat.


Go Vintage
Though your day will be filled with new memories and new gifts, add some old with vintage additions to your table. Hunt down antique baubles, vintage style paper and a retro nutcracker or two for a classic, elegant spread.


If you can't find the perfect pieces to decorate your table with, take the holiday season to hone your DIY skills and craft the exact accessories you're looking for - dry your orange slices, cut your fir-tree garland and create your own ornaments. However, you decorate your dining table, make it look, smell and feel unique and beautifully festive to compliment your Christmas dinner.

Bringing the Outdoors Inside

Is there something missing from your room? A pop of colour? A touch of vibrancy? Add a house plant! Indoor plants are organic, free form and clean, whether you choose small succulents, ornamental orchids or potted trees, and their life span are much longer than that of cut flowers.


When choosing a plant to suit your room, it's important to take a few things into account. First, the container: consider that the pot you place your plant in should match the plant itself, as well as the room it's in. Second, remember that your plant needs light, so place it in a spot that looks good for you and does good for your plant! Finally, and most important, what plant should you choose? Here are my personal recommendations for your new house plant.

Areca Palm

  • Areca palms start small but grow big – make sure you have a pot big enough to house your palm
  • Make a statement - their elegant, long leaves add a tropical vibe to any room


Boston Fern

  • Perfect for your bathroom – Boston ferns love humidity, so they'll work excellently in your shower room or downstairs loo for a beautiful burst of green colour
  • Clean the air – like other house plants, Boston ferns clean toxins from the air to purify your space



  • An inexpensive addition – as Monstera are fairly inexpensive to buy and grow quickly, they'll soon be an excellent statement feature in your home
  • Instantly recognisable – Monstera have become popular in recent years due to the iconic shape of their beautiful leaves


So, for your next home accessory choose a house plant. It will freshen up your home, improve your air quality and can even aid in reducing stress!

Crafting a Cosy Fireplace

Those warm and cosy winter nights are just around the corner and decorating your fireplace will make your living room even cosier. Not every house has one, but any mantlepiece, shelving or side table can be accessorised using the same principles!

Candles Galore

Some fireplaces are merely decorative, so adding candles will add fire to your fireplace in a toned down, cosy way. Not only will they look good, but they'll also smell good! As we head into the festive season, choose warm cinnamon or fir tree scents to really create some Christmassy vibes.

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Choosing a specific colour or colour theme to decorate your fireplace is the easiest and most effective way to create a mood in your room. Aside from the classic Christmas green and red, introducing white to your mantlepiece with white candles, stockings and garlands creates a clean, modern take on a festive colour palette. Plus, it will feel as though Jack Frost has swept some winter snow into your home.

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Flowers and indoor plants are the obvious choice for brightening up any surface, making it feel fresh and smell delightful. But Christmas calls for something a little different. Adding tiny Christmas trees to your mantlepiece are a unique and extremely cute way to make your fireplace full of festive cheer.


However you decide to accessorise your fireplace this festive season keep it warm, cosy and personal to you. As the focal point of your room it's important that your fireplace and mantel reflect you, and make you happy within your home.

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Home Stager

So, you’ve found the perfect property and you’re ready to sell.

“It’s been done up beautifully,” the estate agent tells you, “this will fetch a magnificent price.”

No doubt you’re aware that with the help of a home staging company you can maximise on offers. You would be silly not to turn that “magnificent price” into the highest bid you can get.

However, as real estate guru Elaine Penhaul highlights in her upcoming book Sell High, Sell Fast (which I got to read a snippet of early, lucky me!), staging for a sale is a relatively new idea, and as such, choosing the right professional for you is no mean feat.

If you find yourself ready to use a home staging business for the first time, there’s three pillars to picking a successful team. Qualification, price point, and deal-sealers.

First things first. Establish which businesses operate in your area. There’s a fantastic tool for this on the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland website.

Once you’ve racked up a few prospective businesses, investigate their sites.

A huge mistake first-timers make is confining home staging to interior design. Steer clear of this misnomer! Home staging is a property marketing tool, not just a service for acquiring an aesthetically appealing home (though that’s part of the fun!).

If you aren’t intrigued or impressed by a home stager’s website, then don’t go any further!

A website is the storefront of the E-high street. Don’t see anything you like? Keep walking. The same applies online.

When you find a staging website that piques your interest, remember our three pillars.



If you want to be extra secure in your choice of business, keep a lookout for stagers who have invested in education.

Not only will these home stagers have an excellent knowledge of their field, easily establish your needs, and have a wealth of case studies that match your situation; the best picks will be accredited.

The HSA is debuting the UK’s flagship staging accreditation course in 2020. This will show customers the industry’s crème de la crème.

Always look out an HSA Accredited badge or dispensation. They won’t be hard to find - home stagers will be waving it like a victory flag.

It’s always important to get a background on the stagers you want to hire. As aforementioned, home staging is a marketing tool - not just an interior design service. The best businesses will have a solid history with the property.

While you’re swotting up on your candidates’ backgrounds, you’ll want to ask how long they’ve been operating.

It goes without saying: the longer the better. This applies to most services! More experience converts to more practice, statistical insight, and (hopefully) more cumulative successes.

While we’re talking about success, a great technique for measuring prospects against your own needs is by way of a case study.

Elaine Penhaul puts this perfectly in her book:

“An experienced stager will know that their strongest marketing tools are their case studies and statistical evidence they have collected from the work they’ve done.

“They should be prepared to share all of this with you.”

Put shortly, if the business you’re eyeing up is holding something back, head for the hills. Why wouldn’t a stager be avid to show you their finest work?

Finally, a sure-fire tactic to ensure you’re aligned with prospects: ask them if they’ve worked on similar projects to yours.

Imagine, you want to shift a gorgeous, Georgian townhouse and your home staging crew turns up clutching beanbags, a mini-fridge, and several posters for Rod Stewart’s A Spanner in the Works Tour ‘95.

Nobody’s happy.

Please, please, please! Ensure you and your home staging team are on the same page.


Price point

Let’s be blunt. Property is intrinsically linked to people’s wallets.

From the most astute property magnate to the humblest first-time seller, if you’re picking out a home stager, you’re going to focus on cost.

An upmarket stager might have an intimidating price tag but, as studies have shown, home staging can increase a home’s value by up to 8% in the UK. For the average house, that’s an increase of over £18,548.

If you’re selling a house somewhere around average for the UK, that’s great! There will be a glut of home staging businesses operating within your margin.

Don’t be fooled into thinking every stager is used to working in the same price bracket, however. As Elaine suggests in Sell High, Sell Fast:

“The staging needs to match the property value.

“If you’re selling a multi-million-pound property, you need someone to handle a project in a property of this value.”

Wise words! If you’re selling with Knight Frank or Savills, one of their team will be able to suggest a high-end stager that suits your needs.

One final note for this pillar. Home stagers can charge in a variety of ways, so make sure to establish how they’re set to work out the project’s cost.

They might charge hourly if so, ask for a rough estimate of the project’s time frame. Or, they might do the legwork for you and give you an upfront cost for the whole property.

If the price is linked to property value, Rightmove suggests that home staging costs shouldn’t exceed more than 2% of your property’s value.



We’ve hit the third pillar. As the name suggests, deal-sealers are the extra frills that increase your quality of life during a move.

If a home stager comes recommended by a trustworthy agent, that’s a nice assurance. However, if a stager is suggested by more than one agent, that’s a deal sealer!

On this note, it goes without saying that a staging business belonging to the HSA UK & Ireland is a must.

Maximising your property’s sale price is, of course, a high priority. Your home stager should feel exactly the same way. If they can provide a clear, concise plan for increasing your house’s value, that’s a sure-fire deal-sealer.

Should a business know their plan of action before you’ve even discussed money, they’re clearly invested in achieving the sale. It’s a sign of quality and professionalism.

Now, this last deal-sealer is a real treat for sellers with a million things on their plate.

Elaine, once again, is to thank you for this superb suggestion. Ask what your candidates can do to help you with the move:

“[This] could be anything from sourcing a removal team to recommending storage facilities to move you into your new home unpacking boxes and placing items within forty-eight hours.”

Increasing your home’s value and alleviating the stress caused by the moving process? Smells like a deal-sealer to me.


In Summary

Home staging if a fantastic opportunity for anyone that needs to market a property stylishly, efficiently, and to the maximum value.

Although the concept is relatively new in the UK, if you keep the three pillars in mind when selecting your perfect staging business, you’ll be leagues ahead of the competition.


Remember the highlights:

  • Make sure your stager is accredited by the HSA UK & Ireland. Education is key to a successful business, and thus, a successful sale.
  • Ensure they have experience in your price range and property type (no beanbags or Rod Stewart paraphernalia in my Georgian townhouse, thank you!).
  • Expect the utmost when it comes to making your life easier. Moving house is not easy. A great home staging team will take on a sizable chunk of the burden.


Happy home staging!

For more expert advice on property marketing, grab a copy of Elaine Penhaul’s best-selling book Sell High, Sell Fast: The homeowner’s guide to selling your biggest capital asset for the best possible price here.