Ask Michelle Featuring: 

Andrea Dussault, founder of Striped Lemon Home Staging and Styling.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got started and exactly what you do.

My family and I relocated to Charleston 5 years ago and we just love it here! I started Striped Lemon Home Staging and Styling last year (with a LOT of support and help from my family and friends) after I realized how much I missed the interior decorating business that I left behind in CT.  I knew I wanted to get back in the industry somehow, and then started learning about home staging.  After some market research and an intense certification program, Striped Lemon was born! I’m so energized by the real estate market and truly enjoy working with homeowners, realtors, and builders to assist them in getting the biggest return on investment for their homes.  I also work with homeowners that aren’t selling, but rather need a little styling help with their new or existing home.

Top 3-5 quick tips you would use to stage a home for showings.

According to the National Association of Realtors, “a staged home sells 67% faster than a vacant home and an average of 6% more than asking price.” My job is to reduce the average days on market and increase the average sales price of every home I stage. Some of my quick tips with any staging job include:

  1. Understand the current real estate market in order to appeal to the widest range of buyers.
  2. Find the focal point in each room and determine the best furniture arrangement in order to highlight every square foot of space!
  3. Keep the palette light and neutral, and add pops of color in wall hangings and accessories.
  4. Always add art, lighting, throw pillows, and plants.


Top 3-5 ways to declutter a home quickly.

  1. Move anything blocking views or traffic flow.
  2. Remove any dying plants both inside and outside.
  3. Weed out items on bookshelves (not every shelf needs to be filled).
  4. Clear appliances and other items off kitchen counters.
  5. Remove all personal items, photos, degrees, etc.


Top 3-5 decorating tips to keep a home looking decluttered and fresh.

Did you know that buyers spend an average of 6 minutes in a home but form an opinion in the first 15 seconds?! It is extremely important to ‘edit’ the clutter in order to help buyers see the beauty in your home.

  1. Paint! There’s nothing more pleasing than a fresh coat of light, neutral paint on the walls.
  2. Keep toys and other small objects in baskets that can be neatly tucked away.
  3. Remove excess furniture or break up furniture sets.
  4. Remove all traces of pets.


A must have tip, item, motto you have for your home.

A must-have item in any home … plants (faux or real)!



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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.