Feature article

Home staging trends for spring summer 2023

Appeal to this season’s buyers by personalising the character of your homes.

As an agent, you're more aware than most the way home staging and styling can make a property shine. And the more informed you are about the latest interior design trends, the more value you’ll add for your vendors.

To help you plan for the season ahead, we’ve spoken to a range of interior designers, home stagers and stylists about the latest interior design trends which they’re seeing in homes and the features that especially excite buyers.

While we have 18 more specific, actionable tips below; overall, the sentiment was that it comes down to encompassing seasonal trends, but also aligning with the house’s character.

Bayleys agent, Kathryn Robertson agrees. A good home stager will pay attention to the changes in season and the era and style of the house, recognising what’s unique about the house, says Kathryn. And they’ll bring in furniture that aligns with the era of the house. She says she and her stylist, Lisa Hubbard have great synergy. They walk through a home together and talk about what they need to do.

And the catchphrase from a number of designers including Lou Brown’s Hayley Brown and Bibby + Brady’s Victoria Bibby? “Add texture, texture, texture”. Try layering it through fabrics, rugs, bedding and even panelling to achieve a sense of unique style.

Our tips come from: Jilly Greene, from Stage My Home (Jilly), Hayley Brown, interior designer at, Lou Brown Design (Hayley), Victoria Bibby from Hawkes Bay interior design studio, Bibby + Brady (B+B), Nikki Bernie, Managing Director at DMI Homestagers (DMI), Lorraine O’Connor, Narrative Home Staging (Narrative), Brenda Walters, Director, at interior design and property styling company, The Joneses (The Joneses), Lisa Hubbard, head designer at Style by Design (Lisa), and Bridget Poppelwell, beautifully curated interiors by POP. (POP).


The latest colour palette for a contemporary home with lots of wood accents is warm colours which bring a sense of joy and optimism. Think whites and neutrals with warm undertones, to complement wood accents. Blue and green tones also work really well with wood and Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural colour palette. (B+B)

The latest colour palette for older, character homes is muted tones like dusty pink and sage green alongside rich, deep colours like plums and steely blues. Don’t be afraid to embrace these colours and saturate the room. (B+B)

Add texture and detail where possible. Villas will usually have wainscotting panelling on the walls, but this kind of detail is no longer just associated with these traditional homes. It’s being brought into modern homes too, and is a great way to add character to a plain wall. (Hayley) From a furnishing perspective, use natural leathers and sheep skins for texture – even in summer, a Wilson & Dorset natural sheepskin can elevate a room. (POP)

Scandinavian aesthetics and the minimalist look are on the way out. Vendors and buyers are looking for a more personalised touch, wanting a distinct and timeless ambience. (DMI)

Wallpaper remains very popular. Using something a little unique can really make a big impact. Narrative Home Staging says a deep dark blue shiplap (vertical weatherboards) wall with a railing below and then a very textured wallpaper above creates an immediate ambience. The Joneses say people are also going crazy with elaborate toilets, putting in wide striped wallpaper, a forest look or birds, and then using velvet accents, like a stool in deep green velvet or blue.


Bedding can make a big difference. In summer, fold the duvet back to the end of the bed, and layer a summer weight blanket, quilt or coverlet under the duvet and over the top sheet. Sheets should ideally be 100% linen or crisp cottons. Bedding in fresh whites and sage greens look great. (B+B)

Anchor the bed with a big pendant over it, and get rid of light switches on the bedhead wall. Put them inside bedside tables instead. (Hayley)

Replace timber bedheads with cushioned, fabric ones – these give a more luxurious look (Jilly).

Have a mix of plants (real and faux) in there, you could try a big faux palm tree and fresh flowers for open homes. (Narrative)

Every teen bedroom should have a separate study area that’s clean and uncluttered, to help families visualise the space. (The Joneses)

Have good toys in childrens’ bedrooms. This means that any visiting children in the open home will immediately warm to the house. (Lisa)


Lighting is huge and the trend is industrial and the good news is, this works both in older villa style homes and contemporary homes (Narrative). Dated light fittings can be refreshed by replacing shades with Japanese paper or linen spheres in as bold a shape as the room can carry. Keep it consistent, with the same type of shade throughout the house. (POP)

For artwork, go big and effective. If there’s art over the fireplace, make it big and to scale with the fireplace and the rest of the room. Kiwi artwork always goes down well (Narrative). Don’t hang the art too high, it should be at eye level. (Jilly)

Furniture should be enduring. There’s a departure from that culture of “fast furniture” as homeowners are prioritising pieces that exude a sense of longevity and authenticity. (DMI)

Break up a large room with a velvet curtain. A curtain with bumph (a fluffy material to help with noise cancellation) between layers, can be hung from the ceiling in a recessed track to create a separate room in an open plan space. People love seeing that flexibility. (Hayley)


Consider presenting a living room with a contemporary feel. Rather than pushing all the living room furniture to the edge of a room and leaving a cavernous space in the centre, pull the furniture in closer to create a layout that’s more social and functional. Ground this with a large rug. (B+B)


Use outdoor rugs to transform a deck and have some fun with colour. (POP)

Create an outdoor setting with impact by using top quality furniture. Think high quality wooden table sets, good wicker chairs, or low white tub chairs with colourful cushions. (Lisa)