We Gave a Home Stager $150 to Shop on Etsy — These Are Her Gorgeous Finds

published May 2, 2024
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Woman in blue jeans sitting on the bed in a yoga pose in front of a laptop
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Home staging is proven to help homes sell more quickly and for higher prices, but the practice still gets its fair share of backlash. Staged spaces are often criticized for frequently favoring white or neutral paint colors, and are labeled “sterile” or “soulless” because furnishings and decor are chosen to appeal to a variety of tastes. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Professional home stager Joké Durojaiye, founder and CEO of Genesis Home Staging in Washington, always tries to balance making spaces appeal to a wide range of buyers with bringing in personality and warmth. One way she does this is by working in materials like wood and cotton. “I love to incorporate natural elements into my designs for a rich sense of dimension, texture, and nature,” says Durojaiye. “These are all the unsung heroes of design that subtly shape our surroundings and enrich our lives.”

With an abundance of handmade goods, Etsy is a go-to source for pieces that can invoke a sense of warmth and life. Armed with a $150 budget, I asked Durojaiye to shop Etsy’s offerings and share her favorite finds. She did go slightly over budget, but her picks are so pretty that I think you’ll allow it. Check them out if you’re looking to bring some natural elements into your own space. 

The first thing Durojaiye added to her online cart was this gorgeous African mudcloth throw pillow cover. Throw pillows are a designer’s go-to for injecting personality into a space, and this handmade piece is not only pretty to look at, but also adds texture. “The African mudcloth, with its bold black and white contrast on luxuriously textured cotton, infuses an aura of refined opulence into any space,” says Durojaiye.

When staging, finding art that is eye-catching but not overly personal can be tricky, so this subtly beautiful, one-of-a-kind wall decor is a winner. “Rustic live-edge cedar roots framed in cedar continues the narrative of nature plus rich texture,” says Durojaiye. 

The perfect companion to the black and white mudcloth pillow, Durojaiye snapped up this rich rust-colored 20-inch pillow cover. “The terracotta square pillow paired with the white and black lumbar pillow offers a variety of shapes and heights to create layers and contrasts that will bring any sofa to life,” she says. “The combination of these two pillows made from natural fibers plus the terracotta hue honors the earth and brings in a little bit of the outdoors.”