Bedroom Staging 101: Data-backed Strategies for Real Estate Professionals

A bedroom that's been virtually staged in the Scandinavian style of interior design

With one-third of our lives devoted to sleep, the bedroom is pivotal to our concept of a “home”.

In the art of home staging, this significance is echoed: NAR’s 2023 Profile on Home Staging reports that the primary bedroom is a key focus in 81% of staged homes—surpassed only by the living room. 

However, recognizing its importance and effectively showcasing the space to potential home-buyers are two different matters. In this article, we’ll help you avoid common pitfalls and stage your bedroom effectively for a successful sale.

Here's an overview of topics we'll cover:

Bedroom Staging Ideas and Tips

Staging a bedroom is relatively simple once you identify what buyers are looking for and what will make it stand out in the market. We’ve narrowed it down to 3 key concepts to help you achieve just that — creating an illusion of space, adding visual interest, and embracing the technology.

1. Make the Room Feel More Spacious

When it comes to primary bedrooms, every potential buyer is on the hunt for a spacious and comfortable space that feels open and inviting. If your bedroom is already generously sized, you're in luck, but it's still important not to do anything that might visually shrink it.

Neurological research has actually found that when we encounter tight or cramped spaces, our brains instinctively want to exit - and that's the last thing we want the potential buyers to feel! So, with that in mind, here are a few pointers to help make your bedroom appear more spacious and pleasing to the eye:

  1. Declutter
A master bedroom digitally staged in a minimalist way

A bedroom that's crammed with furniture and knickknacks, with every surface occupied, automatically appears smaller than it actually is. This overwhelming visual clutter not only hinders buyers from accurately assessing the space, but it also instills a sense of unease and chaos. 

Pro Tip: Thoroughly clean the space to declutter and eliminate potential buyer distractions. Cleaning not only removes clutter but also prevents buyers from fixating on minor, insignificant details.

Research in neuroscience has also revealed that when our brains are exposed to environments with excessive clutter, they have to exert more effort to concentrate on tasks, leading to feelings of fatigue. To prevent overwhelming potential buyers, it is crucial to selectively choose items for the space in order to create a sense of calm.

To achieve this, remove any unnecessary furniture pieces and personal items. The goal is to create a blank canvas that allows buyers to envision themselves living in the space. If your personal belongings are still prominently visible, it can make it challenging for potential buyers to imagine the bedroom as their own.

The same principle applies to your closets. Avoid overcrowding them as it gives the impression of insufficient storage space. Leave a few clothing items on the hangers, but avoid overwhelming the space with excessive clutter. Strike a balance that showcases the available storage while maintaining a neat and organized appearance.

A walk-in closet virtually staged
  1. Choose a neutral color palette

When selecting a color theme for a bedroom, it's important to consider what will appeal to a wide range of people. Opting for a trendy, moody color may not be the most suitable choice, as it can overpower the space. 

The ideal approach is to embrace a timeless palette that creates a calming and bright effect in the bedroom. This is particularly important  if your bedroom is on the smaller side, as lighter colors have a tendency to visually expand the space.

  1. Get the furniture scale right
A master bedroom that's been virtually staged

If your bedroom is generally large and/or has high ceilings, then it makes sense to go for an imposing bed that complements the proportions of the space. Choosing a smaller bed in this context will seem wrong, even if you can't pinpoint exactly what feels off. 

Conversely, if you’re dealing with a smaller space, pay attention to what kind of a bed you choose. Look for a bed frame that is slightly elevated from the ground and features visible legs. This design choice can effectively create the illusion of added height in the room, making it feel more spacious and airy.

Pro Tip: Make the bed the focal point of the room by strategically placing it for maximum visual impact. Position it against a prominent wall or in the center of the room. Consider placing it with the headboard against a visually appealing backdrop, such as a feature wall or large piece of artwork.
  1. Don’t neglect the vertical space

Achieving the impression of higher ceilings can work wonders in opening up a space and creating a sense of grandeur. One clever approach to accomplish this is by changing the position of your curtains. 

Instead of simply hanging them at conventional heights, consider mounting them closer to the ceiling or even right on the ceiling itself. This strategic placement can visually extend the room, giving it an airy and spacious feel. 

  1. Let the natural light in

Having good natural light is a fantastic selling point for any property. In fact, a study conducted on the Chinese real estate market reveals that people's preferences for indoor sunlight levels play a significant role in their real estate choices, ultimately leading to higher property values.

Not only does natural light impact property valuation, but it also unsurprisingly affects our moods. Another study reveals that the natural lighting conditions of a home significantly influence our perception of happiness and sadness. Homes with increased daylight entering the living space have the greatest positive impact on our emotional well-being. 

Additionally, ample natural light has a remarkable way of making any space feel larger and more spacious. 

To increase natural light in a space, keep windows unobstructed with curtains drawn back, opt for sheer curtains, use a light color palette, and incorporate mirrors and reflective surfaces.

  1. Include reflective surfaces
Master bedroom virtually staged

As mentioned in the paragraph above, mirrors can be invaluable allies in your quest to create a brighter and more spacious bedroom. Utilizing their reflective properties, mirrors effortlessly bounce light around the room, amplifying the overall brightness and adding a sense of depth to the space. 

2. Add Elements That Spark Interest

Striking the right balance is key: creating a blank canvas for potential buyers to visualize their future while infusing the space with interesting elements. We want to avoid a bland space devoid of personality. So you should try to introduce elements that will capture their attention, ignite their imagination, and leave a lasting impression on their minds.

  1. Add pops of color 
A master bedroom that's been virtually staged neutrally with pops of blue color

Pick an accent color that speaks to you and sprinkle it tastefully throughout your space. Whether it's through bedding, accent pillows, artwork, or small decor pieces, let that color pop and add personality. Just remember not to go overboard and overwhelm the room with too much of it. Find that sweet spot where the accent color adds that extra oomph without stealing the show.

Here are some bedroom color suggestions based on the moods they can create:

  • Blue: calmness, wisdom, serenity, peace
  • Purple: relaxation, imagination, introspection, calmness
  • Brown: comfort, resilience, safety
  • Green: balance, inner peace, joy
  • Pink: love, kindness, innocence, optimism
  1. Bring in a mix of textures and patterns
A master bedroom that's been virtually staged n a traditional style of interior design

When it comes to styling the bed in the primary bedroom, don't stop at just incorporating an accent color. Get creative and have some fun by playing with layers of textures and patterns. This little trick can work wonders in adding depth and dimension to the space, making your bed a focal point that exudes style and comfort.

Besides the bed, you can also introduce different textures and patterns through an area rug or curtains. An area rug, in particular, can easily define a space and instantly add a cozy effect. When it comes to placing a rug under a king size or queen size bed, a good rule of thumb is to ensure it extends at least 18-24 inches from the sides and foot of the bed.

  1. Engage every sense

The majority of our advice so far focused on the visual aspect, which makes sense as we take in 90% of information that way. However, that doesn’t mean that we should neglect the other senses, as that can give you an edge over the competition. 

While it has been widely believed among realtors that the smell of freshly baked cookies can create a strong emotional reaction in potential buyers, recent studies have challenged this common assumption. Rather than creating a welcoming atmosphere, these overpowering aromas can overwhelm buyers, diverting their attention from the main focus of viewing the home.

Instead, opt for simple scents that evoke freshness, such as:

  • Citrus
  • Pine
  • Jasmine

Another great idea is to have soft music playing in the background which can instantly set the right mood and create a welcoming atmosphere. According to NAR®, the most popular songs for house showings feature Fleetwood Mac, Ed Sheeran, Van Morrison, Michael Bublé, and even Post Malone. 

  1. Add fresh flowers and greenery
A master bedroom that's been virtually staged in the Scandinavian style of interior design with pops of green

We’ve already established how the color green has a calming effect and brings a sense of serenity and happiness, especially in a bedroom. One way to incorporate green into the bedroom is through house plants.

One study examining the influence of houseplants on moods found that simply being in a room with plants for just 5 to 10 minutes can uplift our spirits. So, if you want potential buyers to feel at ease, it's time to pay a visit to your local plant nursery and bring some natural goodness into your space.

  1. Set the mood with ambient lighting

Don’t rely solely on the overhead lighting, as that can create harsh or unflattering shadows. You want to introduce additional light sources to create a layered and more balanced illumination. Consider incorporating nightstand lamps, floor lamps, or wall sconces to provide a softer and more flattering light.

Also be careful when choosing the light bulbs, as you can create dramatically different effects depending on whether you choose warm or cool light bulbs. I recommend using warm light in the bedroom as it can invoke coziness and comfort. 

3. Embrace the Latest Technology

Technology can be a valuable asset when it comes to selling a home. While physical staging is already a great way to make your house stand out in listing photos, there are other strategies you can employ to maximize your home's appeal.

  1. Explore virtual tours

While listing photos can showcase a property effectively, they do have one limitation - they are static. However, data reveals that incorporating 3D or virtual tours can greatly enhance buyers' understanding of the layout. 

In fact, a 2023 Zillow survey found that 72% of buyers prefer virtual tours over static images, with 67% expressing their desire for more listings to include them. Interestingly, the majority of buyers in their 30s and 40s (52%) even prefer virtual tours over in-person viewings, showcasing the growing popularity and effectiveness of this technology in the real estate market.

By including virtual tours in your listing information, you can achieve two coveted objectives that every realtor desires: generating more leads and refining the list of interested buyers. These two outcomes hold significant value in the real estate industry, making virtual tours an essential tool for any successful realtor. 

  1. Consider virtual staging
A primary bedroom that's been virtually staged

There are instances where traditional staging may not be feasible or practical due to budgetary and time constraints. This is where virtual staging comes into play as a cost-effective and time-saving alternative.

Virtual staging is increasingly popular among buyers, with a significant 49% of buyers' agents emphasizing the importance of including virtual staging in listings, according to NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Staging.

The best part is, you have the power to digitally eliminate any outdated or clunky furniture pieces and swap them out for more attractive alternatives. This means potential buyers won't be instantly turned off by something that's ultimately irrelevant as they browse through property listings. It's a simple yet effective way to create a positive first impression and keep their attention focused on the appealing aspects of the space.

How to Stage a Children's Bedroom?

A Child's bedroom that's been virtually staged in the Scandinavian style of interior design

Staging a children's bedroom requires a balance between creating a playful and inviting space while still maintaining a clean and organized look. 

While staging a kids' bedroom, you can still apply the majority of the tips mentioned in this article, such as decluttering, maximizing natural light, and highlighting the bed. However, there are some specific differences and additional factors to consider when it comes to staging a children's space.

To begin with, you can introduce more color in the space. Introduce vibrant accents through bedding, curtains, rugs, or wall art to create a playful and visually engaging space.

To add a touch of whimsy, include age-appropriate toys and hang fun posters. These elements will not only make the room more appealing but also showcase the potential for creativity and imagination.

Bedroom Staging Before and After Example

An image of an empty bedroom, photo before virtual staging

With its empty and uninviting state, this bedroom lacks the elements that would capture anyone's attention. Due to its unfurnished state, this room may appear smaller than its actual size. The presence of short curtains further contributes to vertically shortening the space, creating an even more constricted feel.

After photo f a virtually staged master bedroom

Our designers made some fantastic changes to this space through virtual staging. They opted for a neutral color scheme to create a calming and cohesive atmosphere. The bed became the centerpiece, featuring layers of textures and a pop of bold accent color that instantly draws the eye. Adding a patterned rug brought in some visual interest to the room.

One significant improvement was substituting the short curtains with floor-to-ceiling ones, creating the illusion of a taller space. The nightstands were thoughtfully adorned with minimalist lamps and carefully chosen decor pieces. They also introduced a lovely plant to add a touch of vibrant green.

The overall effect achieved is truly a testament to the power of effective staging, elevating the room to a whole new level.

Related Article: 15 Virtual Staging Before and After Photos That Will Amaze You

FAQs on Bedroom Staging

How to stage a nightstand?

When staging a nightstand, keep it minimal and functional. Clear the clutter, stick to essentials like a lamp and/or some books, and maintain an organized and tidy appearance.

Should you stage a guest bedroom?

According to the 2023 Profile of Home Staging, guest bedrooms are considered the least important room to stage by buyers' agents. While leaving it empty is an option, keep in mind that staging can still be an effective strategy in capturing the attention of a specific audience. If you choose to stage it, you can still follow the general bedroom staging tips, such as decluttering, sticking to a neutral color palette, and paying attention to the lighting, just to name a few. 

How to make a fake bed for staging?

To create a fake bed for staging, start with a sturdy base, such as wooden pallets or even some robust boxes, and add an air mattress pad for comfort. Wrap it with a fitted sheet, arrange pillows, and add decorative bedding. Consider using a bed skirt to hide any exposed edges. With these simple steps, you can quickly and convincingly create the illusion of a well-made bed in a staged space.

How to stage a small bedroom?

When staging a small bedroom, the main objective is to create an illusion of spaciousness. To achieve this effect, it's best to eliminate unnecessary clutter, opt for neutral colors, use appropriately sized furniture, maximize natural light, and incorporate reflective surfaces. These strategies work together to create a sense of openness and airiness in the small bedroom.

Final Thoughts on Bedroom Staging 

Staging a bedroom requires finding the right balance between creating a spacious and minimalistic feel while also incorporating visually striking elements that capture the interest of potential homebuyers. 

Yet, it would be remiss to underestimate the power of technology in the real estate realm. With virtual tours, buyers can now immerse themselves in exploring homes from the comfort of their own spaces. As for virtual staging, it presents itself as a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to traditional staging methods

About is America's #1 Virtual Staging provider serving Real Estate professionals since 2019.

Excellent  4.9 out of 5


Create a FREE
Virtual Tour

Get Started

Try Virtual Staging

Create an account, upload your photos and supercharge your Real Estate listing
with Virtual Staging.

Get started →