Home Staging Tips and Advice

The pros and cons of furniture rental

By Kerry Derwent-Robb

If you only stage furnished homes, it's a no-brainer. You don't need furniture just a few accents and accessories you can use (or rent to sellers) as part of your staging. But most of us do both furnished and vacant home stagings. And those vacant homes need furniture.

So most stagers need to make a decision to rent or own furniture.

Renting furniture has some clear advantages. You don't need to have a huge investment up front; you don't need to store the furniture or transport it to the home; and that convenience allows you to focus your time where its best spent staging the home.

But rental furniture can be limiting, and a lot of home staging professionals find rental furniture to be unattractive. It tends to be neutral, often blandly contemporary, and it can be hard to find a perfect piece for the striking look you envision. Most rental companies require a three-month minimum. And in the long run, you'll pay more for each piece of furniture than you would buying it.

So owning your own furniture can seem attractive. You can save clients money by not restricting them to the three-month minimum. You get to pick pieces which appeal to your design sensibility, and you'll save on the actual furniture. In fact, the "don't pay a cent" offers can make you think you'll make a tidy profit. But consider the additional work and costs involved which cut heavily into your profit. You need to rent storage space. You need a truck to move it as well as a driver (and all the costs that entails, including insurance.) You bear the liability for moving the furniture into people's homes (as well as the aching muscles). And if a piece isn't being used, it's costing you money to store it. In fact, many home stagers find that buying furniture simply sinks them into debt and leaves them with a warehouse full of furniture.

You may be able to find suppliers beyond traditional furniture rental companies. Used furniture, antique shops and furniture retailers have more variety, and may consider renting floor pieces but they won't necessarily offer the conveniences of full fledged rental companies.

So, considering the pros and cons, renting furniture may seem like your best bet.

But wait.

There is another alternative, which offers advantages over renting furniture and owning your own.

NextStage Furniture offers the benefits of owning your own furniture without the costs associated with storing it or the liability associated with transporting it and moving it into a home.

You can own an entire home's worth of furniture for a fraction of the cost. And better yet, you can store it all in a corner of your garage, and transport it in the back of your car.

How's that possible? NextStage is cardboard furniture you can easily carry and set up in minutes. Yet it's strong enough to sit on or lie on. And with custom coverings and accessories, you can use it to stage any style of home.

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