Modern interior of open space with design modular sofa, furniture, wooden coffee tables, plaid, pillows, tropical plants and elegant personal accessories in stylish home decor. Neutral living room.


Apartment Staging: Do’s and Don’ts

Updated December 22, 2023

Home staging has already become a standard practice for those selling their homes, but did you know that apartment staging is also becoming one of the multifamily property trends to watch for rental units and apartments in multifamily communities? Choosing an apartment to buy or rent is a big decision for potential residents. Apartment staging allows potential renter or potential buyer to get a sense of how their new living space will look and feel and also help them cultivate a sense of connection with the vacant unit.

What may seem like the ideal setup in a cozy loft in New York, may not necessarily work in a 400-square-foot Chicago apartment. Giving prospective tenants or prospective buyers a visual sense of the interior design and how to best utilize available square footage through physical staging or virtual staging software is the future of apartment living. Doing this can really help prospective buyers take that step to make the apartment their new home.1

Staging a cozy and lived-in atmosphere in what would otherwise be a series of bare white walls, hardwood floors, and wall-to-wall carpeting has its limits. The property manager or apartment owner should be looking to strike a balance by creating an intimate yet inviting atmosphere when they are in apartment staging. “Wow factors” like great views, fantastic locations, and amenities apartment security solutions should also be played up.

The goal is to generate a neutral sense of comfort and possibility so that prospective residents can project their lifestyle into the staged apartment space you’ve helped set up. According to real estate agents across the country, staged homes and apartments not only sell faster but also help increase sale prices by up to 20%!2

Do: Declutter and Depersonalize

Create a clean, easy-to-navigate environment with minimal accessories and furniture by focusing on three to five statement pieces per room, such as a tasteful floor lamp, throw rug or sofa set in a living room. This helps create a pleasing atmosphere and a sense of flow. Don’t forget about buyer or resident demographics, so that your apartment staging represents the kind of lifestyle that appeals to potential renters or buyers.1

  • Don’t leave personal pictures or bulky items (like books, piles of paper, or large appliances) in a highly visible or inappropriate space.

Do: Choose Neutral Over Bold

Use minimal, proportional, and functional furniture pieces with small pops of accent colors like blues and greens to appeal to a wider range of potential renters or potential buyers. Small things can make a big difference in home staging and interior design, so use colors that work well and complement one another.3

  • Don’t over-furnish rooms with too many items or with particularly heavy or brightly colored furniture. You’re selling the apartment not the furniture in it!

Do: Consider the Layout

Highlight how versatile and multifunctional the space can be. Think of staging a large area, such as a dining room, for eating but also as a work space. Demonstrate how the rental unit‘s potential can be maximized for potential tenants or buyers.

For small spaces, prospective residents can benefit from being able to visualize how a space can be easily modified and used for dining, living, and working. Thinking about a small space dynamically allows prospective renters or buyers to imagine a number of different possibilities depending on their lifestyle.

  • Don’t style large and open areas to focus on just one purpose.

Do: Create Space

Create the illusion of space with natural light wherever possible, and in darker areas, use soft, white light bulbs to brighten things up. Use staging to break up empty spaces with rugs, furniture, and accents.4 In smaller rooms, use mirrors to help the small space feel more open and inviting to a potential buyer.

  • Don’t use heavy or dark paint, busy wallpaper on the walls, or poor lighting. It makes a room feel smaller and darker.

Do: Think of the Details – Imply a Lifestyle!

Whenever possible, property management should try to make the rooms feel luxurious regardless of their size. Small touches like textured neutral throw pillows in the bedroom, or hanging white robes and tasteful soap dispensers in the bathroom, can help residents imagine themselves living the good life in their future home.

  • Don’t leave prospective residents imagining what might fit in the living space or what their life could be like in the apartment. Give them an image and a lifestyle that they can project themselves into.

Thinking Beyond the Apartment Unit

While the new apartment unit is ultimately the end destination, it is also important that common and shared spaces around the apartment community are staged to appeal to prospective renters or home buyers whenever possible. Property management should make sure that the lobby and any outdoor spaces feel warm and inviting. This includes amenities in the apartment building, like apartment parcel lockers, that can be customized to match your property’s aesthetics and branding.

Electronic locker solutions can also help potential residents feel more secure in choosing your community, as a parcel locker can both secure residents’ packages and allow residents to safely retrieve deliveries at their convenience.

Why Apartment Staging Is Important

Staging not only increases the perceived value of the rental unit it also allows potential tenants to better “visualize” the space and how their things will fit, both in person and in online images on the property website or other apartment listing sites.

Apartment staging also helps prospective residents emotionally connect with the space and the property they will make into their home. Most potential renters or potential buyers are committing approximately 40% of their income to the space and will be living there for anywhere from 6 months to 6 years – establishing that emotional connection is key to closing the deal!

Ready to design your customized locker solution? Try our Virtual Locker Configurator tool to envision a locker system that meets your property’s unique needs.


  1. Tan, Hannah. “Essential Apartment Staging Tips & Tricks You Need to Know, According to the Pros.” Redfin Blog. April 18, 2022.
  2. Stern, Patti. “Why Staging Matters, Even in a Seller’s Market. National Association of Realtors.” September 27, 2021.
  3. “11 Tips for Staging Your Apartment.” 2nd
  4. Diehl, Emma. “Apartment Staging that Sells: 10 Pro Techniques to Get the Best Offer for Your Unit.” August 29, 2019.