Luxury Home Staging Demystified: Elevate Your Property to New Heights

An image of a virtually staged living room of a beach house
Lifestyle changes often drive the decisions of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) when purchasing a property. And when it comes to effectively showcasing the desired lifestyle to potential buyers, luxury home staging is unmatched. 

In this article, we will take a deep dive into luxury home staging, covering the following topics:

Understanding the Current Luxury Housing Market

The housing market today is a dynamic and intricate landscape, shaped by various elements including high interest rates, inflation, heightened demand, and a limited supply of homes for sale. These circumstances have created a perfect storm, resulting in soaring property prices and a marked reduction in affordable housing options.

In fact, the share of homes within reach for the average household hit a record low of 15.5% in 2023, down from 20.7% the previous year. 

To add to the challenge, the median home price has skyrocketed to $431,000, representing a staggering 31% increase compared to pre-pandemic prices. Luxury homes, in particular, have experienced an even more pronounced rise, with prices skyrocketing by 40%.

Amidst this backdrop, the luxury real estate market has experienced significant growth.

According to Redfin, a notable 8.2% of homes are currently valued at over $1 million, nearly matching the all-time high set in 2022 when 8.6% of homes reached this mark.

This surge in luxury home values is even more staggering when compared to the pre-pandemic era, where only 4.1% of homes achieved such high valuation levels.

With luxury homes claiming a larger share of the market, the demand for effective strategies to showcase these properties is on the rise. According to Michael Altneu, Vice President of Global Luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, "standout staging and marketing" play a pivotal role in achieving selling success in the luxury real estate market.

While home staging is undoubtedly a dependable method, it's important to note that settling for any run-of-the-mill staging won't cut it. To truly make an impact, you need the expertise of a luxury home staging specialist.

Which Properties Benefit from Luxury Home Staging?

To answer this question, we first need to define which properties are considered luxury. The valuation threshold to be considered part of the luxury housing market can vary based on various factors such as location, market conditions, and regional standards. 

According to the National Association of REALTORSⓇ, the benchmark for luxury residential real estate is typically set at over $1 million.

Based on the December 2023 Luxury Market Report, the median threshold price for luxury homes stands at $925,000, while the median sales price of luxury homes is $1,300,000.

However, the definition of a luxury property can vary greatly across different markets and regions. That’s why Redfin defines luxury homes as those estimated to be in the top 5% of their respective metro area based on market value.

Certain metro areas boast a higher percentage of homes valued at $1 million or more. Notable examples include San Francisco, CA (81.2%), San Jose, CA (79.6%), Honolulu, HI (38%), New York, NY (28.6%), and more. This means that the luxury threshold in these areas is much higher than $1 million.

However, in areas like Detroit, MI, where only 0.4% of homes are valued at $1 million or more in 2023, the threshold for luxury homes will undoubtedly be below $1 million.

Despite the variability in luxury thresholds across different markets, it's worth noting that the nationwide median sales price of luxury homes in 2023 remains above $1 million. Redfin reports a notable 9% year-over-year increase, with the median sales price reaching $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2023.

How to Achieve Maximum Impact with Luxury Home Staging?

Luxury Virtual Staging of a formal dining area

Any skilled real estate agent understands that every property has its own unique story to tell.  In the realm of luxury real estate, the narrative often centers around crafting a captivating tale that embraces a specific lifestyle — one that radiates opulence, sophistication, and exclusivity.

And that's exactly the objective of luxury home staging—to meticulously curate and arrange furnishings, decor, and accessories with precision, resulting in a sophisticated and aspirational atmosphere.

When executed effectively, luxury home staging should highlight the unique features and qualities of the property, evoke an emotional connection with potential buyers, and ultimately enhance its market value.

In terms of return on investment (ROI), the Real Estate Staging Association survey conducted in 2021 provides valuable insights. According to the survey findings, an average staging investment of 1.3% yielded an impressive over-list ROI of 7.1%. 

The 2023 Profile on Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides further evidence to support this notion. In line with the previous findings, the report reveals that 44% of buyer's agents experienced an uptick in the dollar value of offers for staged homes.

The report also emphasizes a decrease in the time spent on the market for staged properties, with 21% of sellers' agents reporting a significant reduction.

So in order to meet all these targets, successful luxury staging should always:

1. Showcase Unique Architectural Features

In the world of luxury staging, one of the primary goals is to effectively showcase the unique architectural details that set high-end properties apart. It's all about shining a spotlight on these distinctive features and creating a cohesive visual experience that leaves a lasting impression. 

However, there's a common mistake to avoid: choosing furniture that competes with the space. No matter how designer or expensive, such pieces can actually detract from the desired effect we're aiming for.

Here are a few examples of how luxury staging can effectively highlight architectural details:

  • Showcasing Beautiful Arched Windows: By placing elegant curtains or drapes that frame the arched windows, luxury staging draws attention to their unique shape and adds a touch of sophistication to the space.
  • Accentuating Ornate Moldings: By selecting furniture and decor that complements the intricate moldings, luxury staging brings attention to these architectural features, adding depth and visual interest to the space.
  • Enhancing Statement Staircases: Luxury staging can utilize stylish rugs, decorative lighting, and carefully placed artwork to accentuate the beauty and elegance of statement staircases, making them a focal point of the home.
  • Illuminating Unique Nooks and Alcoves: Luxury staging can incorporate cozy seating arrangements, decorative lighting, and curated artwork to transform tucked-away nooks and alcoves into inviting and visually appealing spaces, highlighting their architectural charm.

2. Elicit a Strong Emotional Response

When selling a luxury home, it's crucial to recognize that lifestyle changes play a pivotal role in the decision-making process. Buyers will consistently prioritize homes that align with their desired lifestyle.

And this is precisely where staging plays a crucial role. The objective is to present buyers with a glimpse of the lifestyle they could embrace. According to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) 2023 Profile on Home Staging, 81% of buyers’ agents agree that staging made it easier for their clients to visualize the property as their future home. 

When it comes to luxury home buyers, what exactly are the amenities and features they value the most? The Coldwell Banker's 2023 Global Luxury Market Insights report sheds light on this, highlighting the specific spaces that demand extra attention when it comes to staging:

  • Indoor-outdoor spaces
Luxury virtual staging of a pool area

When potential buyers envision themselves living in a luxury home, they often seek a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. A well-staged pool area can evoke a sense of relaxation, leisure, and resort-like living, ultimately enhancing the overall lifestyle experience that the property offers. 

In addition to the pool, other indoor-outdoor areas that you should consider staging in a luxury home include the patio or terrace, outdoor kitchen or BBQ area, outdoor lounge or seating area, and outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

  • Chef’s kitchen

A chef's kitchen, not only a coveted feature in luxury homes designed to meet the needs of culinary enthusiasts and professional chefs alike, but also serves as a central hub for entertainment.

When staging a luxury home with a chef's kitchen, it's important to highlight these impressive features, showcasing the potential for gourmet cooking, entertaining, and creating culinary masterpieces in a space that exudes style and functionality.

  • Home office
An image of a luxury virtual staging of an office space

The home office has become an essential space for many, especially in light of lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic. As remote work and flexible schedules continue to shape our lives, a well-designed home office has become a must-have feature in luxury homes. 

When it comes to staging a luxury home with a home office, it's important to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space that showcases the potential for productivity, organization, and work-life balance. Incorporating ergonomic furniture, ample storage solutions, and stylish decor can help buyers envision how this space can seamlessly integrate into their desired lifestyle.

3. Highlight Function and Purpose

In the realm of luxury homes, expansive square footage and unique room configurations are often the norm. Although these features can initially appear overwhelming to potential buyers, it is the responsibility of home stagers to present the functional space layout and demonstrate how to optimize it. 

Home stagers also have a knack for unlocking the hidden potential of difficult spaces — whether it’s transforming an awkward corner into a cozy reading nook, or staging a small and irregularly shaped room to highlight its versatility.

4. Achieve Cohesion

When it comes to luxury home staging, creating cohesion is the name of the game. And the real secret sauce to achieving it is consistency.

Luxury home stagers work their magic by establishing a seamless flow from room to room. They make sure that everything from the color palettes to the materials and design elements blends together effortlessly. The result? A space that feels connected and purposefully designed, where every nook and cranny tells a story.

Now, let's talk about design styles. The choice really depends on who the target buyer is. According to the Coldwell Banker's 2023 Global Luxury Market Insights report, it seems that high-end property buyers still have a soft spot for neutral color palettes. It's like a timeless trend that never goes out of style. These neutrals create a beautiful backdrop that allows buyers to envision their own personal flair and style within the space, making it feel like home.

5. Engage All the Senses

When you step into a luxury home, it should be more than just a tour—it should be an immersive experience that engages all your senses. 

Enhance your luxury home staging by incorporating soft background music and refreshing scents that put your clients at ease.

As the buyers move through each room, they should discover a captivating visual experience, with layers of textures carefully incorporated to add depth and intrigue to the space. From plush velvet cushions to smooth marble countertops, every surface beckons to be touched and explored, enhancing the tactile experience. 

This multi-sensory approach to luxury home staging can transform a simple walkthrough into an immersive journey that leaves a lasting impression on potential buyers.

Consider Luxury Virtual Staging for Your Property

An image of luxury virtual staging of a dining area

When it comes to selling luxury real estate, we’ve already established that “standout staging and effective marketing” are crucial. But what if there's a way to achieve both objectives in one go, while saving a significant amount of money compared to traditional methods? If you're skeptical about using virtual staging for luxury properties, let us explain why it should definitely be on your radar.


One of the standout advantages of luxury virtual staging is the boundless creativity it offers. Unlike traditional staging, which is limited by physical constraints, virtual staging allows you to experiment with various styles, furniture arrangements, and design elements. From contemporary chic to cozy traditional, the possibilities are endless. You can curate the perfect ambiance that highlights your property's unique features, catered to your target audience.


When it comes to high-end property buyers, privacy is a top priority. With the lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic, remote work has become more prevalent, leading many buyers to seek out secluded locations. However, staging these private spaces and coordinating movers can often be a daunting task. That's where virtual staging comes in, making the entire process effortless and painless.


Traditional staging comes with a hefty price tag, and it's not just the cost of moving furniture. According to a 2023 article, there are several financial factors to consider. First, there's an initial consultation fee that ranges between $300 to $600. On top of that, you can expect to pay $500 to $600 per month per staged room. 

To make matters more challenging, most professional home stagers require a minimum three-month staging contract, even if your home sells quickly. And keep in mind, these numbers are for regular staging. When it comes to luxury staging with larger square footage and high-end furniture, the costs are bound to be even higher.

While staging does have the potential to positively impact the offer amount, the majority of buyers' agents only report a 1-5% increase in dollar value for staged homes, according to the NAR's 2023 Profile of Home Staging. In other words, any gains you make from staging often end up being spent on the staging itself.

Virtual staging offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional staging, as it involves a one-time payment based on the number of images you want staged. Unlike traditional staging, which incurs ongoing monthly costs, virtual staging allows you to have complete control over your budget. You can choose to stage as few or as many images as you need, without any additional fees per room.

This pricing structure makes virtual staging a highly affordable option, especially for luxury properties with larger square footage and high-end furniture. The cost of virtually staging a house usually ranges from $72 to $360, which can vary based on factors like the number of photos you want to be staged and the specific provider you choose.


In addition to its cost advantages, virtual staging also allows for easy updates and modifications. If you decide to change the furniture, style, or layout, it can be done quickly and conveniently without any additional expenses. This level of flexibility ensures that your virtual staging always reflects your property's best features, without the need to spend extra money on rearranging physical furniture.

Pro Tip: To provide potential buyers with an informative and immersive experience, consider incorporating floor plans and 3D tours alongside virtual staging. This winning combination allows buyers to better visualize the layout and flow of the space.

In Conclusion…

In conclusion, luxury home staging is a crucial strategy to elevate your property in the competitive luxury real estate market. With soaring property prices and a growing demand for high-end homes, showcasing your property in the best possible way is essential.

Luxury virtual staging offers a cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional staging, allowing for easy updates and modifications.

So, don't forget, by investing in standout staging and marketing strategies, you'll be able to attract potential buyers and ultimately increase the market value of your luxury home.

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