vignettes – economical and effective staging for vacant homes


Liz Jenkins


A lot of times when I look at staging a vacant house, it can get somewhat cost prohibitive to fully stage everything. It’s the biggest problem for many home owners and realtors – who’s going to pay for it.  Staging can be done on the cheap but unfortunately, often a cheap stager can make a cheap looking house. BUT, a creative stager can make a place look fabulous on a budget but being selective . . . and using vignettes.

The rule of thumb is to highlight any great features, do the main living area, entry areas, dining room and eat in areas, bathrooms and the kitchen. I recently did a vacant house here in Franklin, TN. Very nice home that had been on the market a while when it was occupied. The owner had a lot of stuff in the house which made it very difficult to actually SEE the house. Now that it was vacant, I went in with the realtor and we did some key areas as it was going back on the market. We were on a very tight budget so we went with some vignettes.

I relate a vignette to what you might see in a shop window – a small display that highlights a certain space. I didn’t fully stage each room – just a portion – to give a feel for what the room could be and how it could be used. This can also give some scale and proportion to the room. I was really pleased with how this turned out, and so was the realtor and her client – which is what really matters.

Here’s some photos that show the whole room, then focus in on a vignette.  You can see the vignette in the corner of the living room.  Using vignettes to highlight that cozy corner works on many levels – it creates a feel for the whole room but also highlights the windows and the fireplace.  We didn’t have the funds for the whole room (or the whole house) but using what I had and a bit of creativity really brought this space to life.

gallagher livinggallagher living vignette