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Home Staging and Zoning


Techniques > Home Staging and Zoning

Description | Discussion | See also



Divide your rooms and home into distinct zones in which different activities can take place.

Design the furniture and decoration in each zone to optimally match the activity and to signal that this is a distinct zone.

Typical zones include:

  • Welcoming reception area inside front door.
  • Art galleries in rooms and corridors.
  • Chatting space, standing or seating, in odd corners around the house.
  • Larger relaxing zone in the main lounge for hosting guests.
  • Eating zones in the kitchen, dining room, lounge or elsewhere.
  • Zones in the kitchen for preparing, cooking and washing.
  • Private zones for contemplation, sleeping and other personal activity.
  • Garden zones for sitting, playing, growing.

Zones can be indicated by a combination of:

  • Furniture, such as chairs and tables.
  • Paintwork that suggests the theme of the zone.
  • Visual matching, including with color, style and proximity.
  • Other decoration, from artwork to flowers, that reinforce the theme.
  • Carpeting or hard flooring, perhaps changing as a zone is entered.
  • Pools of light that create focus.
  • Decorative items (such as plants) at boundary points.
  • Different artwork styles, positioning differently.

Make zones distinct with:

  • Spaces between them.
  • Walkways from one to another.
  • Similarity within a zone (furniture, hues, shapes, etc.)
  • Difference between zones.
  • Separate lighting styles.

Make the zones all work together (rather than being a mismatched collection) with:

  • Similar tones across zones (eg. pastel)
  • Similar furniture styles (eg. art deco)
  • Wall hues that match and connect all the zones they enclose.


When you create zones, you focus on what people do rather than the shape of the house. Zones make a house into a home by showing how it can be used. They also make it seem bigger as you can have quite a few more zones than rooms.

Move sofas and furniture away from the walls. This may seem counter-intuitive when you are trying to create a sense of space, but zoned clusters are often better. Face chairs inwards, to create conversation space.

Beware of trying to paint walls differently in each zone, especially in a smaller house, as many wall changes makes each zone look smaller and the house rather cluttered. If you use the same paint across multiple zones, this makes it all look bigger and creates a unifying base. A light, neutral hue often works best, with perhaps occasional feature walls and areas to highlight key zones. Deeper tones make a zone seem more intimate.

When placing decorative items, threes are good. Try to create triangles that enclose or signify key spaces.

See also

Space, Light, Composition


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