Staging Your Home on a Budget: Rental Furniture to the Rescue

Staging Your Home on a Budget: Rental Furniture to the Rescue

If you're like most homeowners in the Austin area, you want your urban oasis or Hill Country hideaway to stand out. Whether your goal is to entertain guests, host short or long-term visitors, prepare it as a rental property or list it for sale, or update the home for your own personal enjoyment, staging is a proven strategy to boost luxury and livability in your Austin-area home. Even if you're working within a budget, you can still achieve high-end results by leveraging clever staging techniques, cost-effective DIY methods, and strategic furniture rental to reach your staging goal. Below, we explore how to effectively stage your home without sacrificing quality.

Home Staging Basics on a Budget

Why stage your home?

Staging highlights your home's best features. Does your house possess an exceptional floor plan, large bedrooms, or living spaces tailor-made for entertaining? Staging showcases these and other highlights, ensuring you, your guests, or anyone else is comfortable.

The staging process also allows you to overcome any shortcomings your home might have. Give small rooms the illusion of living much larger. Brighten up tired or dull spaces. Update underused or dated flex areas with a new look and purpose.

In addition, staged homes live better, allow for effortless hosting, and are far more photogenic. Many of the most significant changes you can make are inexpensive.


Few things impact a home's overall look and feel more than having less stuff—excess or oversized furniture and clutter. A clean, uncluttered space presents larger and more inviting. This step is cost-free but can significantly impact your home's look, feel, and overall value. If you are staging to sell, you'll also want to depersonalize.


A spotless home suggests a well-maintained and cared-for property. Invest time in thorough, regular cleanings or hire a professional cleaning service to visit your house every few weeks. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas—kitchens and bathrooms—as well as those areas where dust and debris collect. Together, cleaning and decluttering are the absolute cheapest ways to make the biggest staging impact in your home.

Neutral Colors

Toning down vibrant paint colors on walls and ceilings in favor of neutral tones like beige, gray, or white gives your house a model-home vibe at a nominal cost. Neutral colors create a blank canvas, focusing on the property's layout, functionality, or boldness with how you furnish or accessorize each space. If you're spending money on staging, this is a cost-effective way to give your home a fresh, modern look.

Light It Up

Good lighting can make a space feel warm and welcoming. For the most inexpensive path, replace any dim bulbs or clean light fixtures, and consider adding lamps in darker areas to brighten the home. If your budget allows more investment, consider strategic updates of key, outdated lighting fixtures, such as those in your kitchen and bathrooms.

DIY Home Staging Techniques

DIY home staging can be fun and cost-effective if you prefer a hands-on approach. Here are some DIY tips to consider:

Repurpose Existing Furniture

Rearrange your current furniture to improve flow and functionality. Moving a piece from one room to another can make a big difference. Not enough to give your furniture a change of scenery? Recast outdated sofas and chairs as wholly new pieces using slipcovers. Employ a similar strategy by refinishing worn wood tables or chairs.

Use Mirrors

Mirrors can make small spaces appear larger, brighter and far roomier. Place them strategically to reflect light and open up the room. In addition, add height to a room by way of a towering bookcase, elongated accessories (tall display branches in an equally tall vase), or ceiling-to-floor drapes to make vertically challenged rooms feel taller.

Create Vignettes

Small groupings of furniture and decor, known as vignettes, can add charm and interest to your home. Consider a cozy reading nook with a chair, lamp, and small table or a welcoming entryway with a bench and artwork. You can often create a designer-worthy scene with your own items.

Affordable Staging with Furniture Rental

For high-end appeal without the high-end price, consider renting furniture. Rental furniture allows you to showcase each room with stylish, cohesive pieces without the expense of purchasing new items. Here's how to do it effectively:

Highlight Key Areas

Focus on staging the most critical rooms first—the living room, bedrooms, and dining area. These spaces often determine your and your guests' comfort level within a home (and are the areas potential buyers pay the most attention to).

Choose Versatile Pieces

Opt for furniture that can work in multiple settings or select pieces that complement what's already there. A well-chosen sofa, elegant dining set, or chic bed frame can dramatically enhance your home's appeal. Or, choose to improve an already great (or slip-covered) sofa with two rental chairs and zero long-term commitment.

Accessorize Wisely

Add touches like throw pillows, area rugs, and artwork to create a polished look. These items can often be rented along with the furniture, providing a comprehensive staging solution. Need table settings ahead of a hosted or holiday event? You can rent those too.

Quality Over Quantity

Having a few high-quality pieces is better than filling the space with cheap furniture. Select items that elevate the overall aesthetic of your home, even if it's just to create dramatic vignettes in a few select rooms. Remember, staging your home on a budget doesn't mean compromising quality. With thoughtful decluttering, a few DIY tricks, and strategic use of rental furniture, you can give your property a new look and feel.

Interested in Learning More?

Whether to rent or buy furniture ultimately depends on your circumstances and preferences. Renting offers unparalleled flexibility, access to premium designs, and cost-effectiveness for many scenarios, making it an attractive option for many.

The Elite Austin process includes consultation, estimate, hands-off design, delivery, and installation of designer-selected furnishings so you can focus on living your life and not managing the minutia.

Of course, should you develop an affinity for the furniture, rest assured that each item is available for purchase. Elite Austin offers a turnkey purchase service for those seeking permanency. With this service, you can effortlessly achieve a fully furnished and personalized home without the usual hassles associated with the design and procurement process.

At Elite Austin, our process revolves around you, the furniture, and an unparalleled concierge-style service. We firmly believe everyone deserves to feel at home, whether that home is temporary or permanent. Our commitment is to provide a transformative experience for your home, ensuring that it becomes a space where you feel comfortable, regardless of your specific needs or the duration of your stay.

Discover the exceptional service and personalized touch that Elite Austin brings to the furniture and design process, allowing you to create a home that resonates with your unique style and preferences. Contact the Elite Austin team today.

*Header photo courtesy of Elite Austin’s website

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With Elite Austin, the process is all about you, the furniture, and the concierge-style service. The team looks forward to learning more about your project and creating an innovative design solution that meets your needs.

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