Model Merchandising that Sells

Without giving away our ‘special sauce’ we wanted to share some of the most important design features that we address when merchandising a model home. As a builder, you will want to ensure your merchandiser understands these and is executing accordingly. Effective model merchandising helps homes sell.

Creating a model home that entices potential buyers is more than just choosing the art for a bedroom or placing furniture in such a way as to make a room look bigger. Effective model merchandising goes beyond aesthetics. It’s about understanding the prospective homeowner’s desires and demands and how to create a design that portrays them. Not just in the furniture, art, and accessories, but in the detailed planning of the entire layout. Just like successful companies throughout history, who your buyer is and what they want, they often don’t say.

Important Design Features for Effective Model Merchandising

Scale and Space Planning

Knowing how the potential buyer might typically use or envision each room and space is important to understand before diving into design. A home’s flex space might be best used as a study or reading room for the active adult buyer. Conversely, a growing family might use the space as a craft or playroom. Once each room’s function has been determined, furniture placement and the size of each piece is vital. Positioning the furniture perfectly and scaling the pieces appropriately promotes good flow and enhances the size of the space. It also allows for the prospective buyers a myriad of ways to envision themselves living in that home.


Louisiana model home with whimsically designed craft room including chalkboard wall and build in storage.

Louisiana model home showing flex space designed as craft room including chalkboard wall and build in storage, perfect for a growing family.

Personality Details

Every home needs personality, but more importantly, a personality that accurately portrays the prospective buyer. This is the third layer principal. It begins with researching and gaining extensive knowledge about the potential buyer and their wants and needs, as well as the location of your community. From there, subtle design details that depict the buyers’ hobbies and the home’s location create positive memory points. Be it pictures of a nearby landmark, thoughtful coffee table books about the surrounding areas, or even a themed child’s room pertaining to activities offered in the community. This is the third layer principal in action. Effective merchandising conjures the lifestyle dreams unique to the potential buyer you’ve worked hard to understand.


Utah model home displaying that buyer profiles interests and location.

Creative Use of Color

Color is an effective and inexpensive way to transform the look and energy of a room, so be sure to consider how you want visitors to feel when touring the home. Lighter shades create an open, airy and calming feel, giving the illusion of a larger space. Bolder colors can create a vivid effect when used in a smaller setting. In a larger space, dark or bright paint colors draw the eye to focus on a particular feature or architectural element. Accent colors or designs on walls, ceilings, doors or shelving are all unique areas to add a daring and dramatic effect with color.


Denver, CO multifamily model uses bright colors to provide depth and texture.

Lighting, Lighting and Lighting!

Seize the opportunity to let interiors shine. Simple solutions such as keeping windows clear of bulky furniture, not allowing drapery to move too far into window space and keeping blinds open will add loads of natural light and make a room look brighter and bigger. Decorative lighting, such as floor lamps or table lamps, can pack a punch by creating character or highlighting a unique piece of art or accessory. And, as far as overhead lighting – don’t skimp! Use classic or stand-out dramatic light fixtures to finish off a design statement unique to your particular potential buyer. Be sure to avoid using what you like, rather use what dream you hope to inspire.


NJ model takes advantage of natural light and the illuminating NY skyline.

Timeless Trends

Design that is “too trendy” can cause potential homeowners to shy away as they develop a natural fear that the home isn’t meant for them or their family. While recognizing this, buyers do demand updates and would like newer features within the interiors. Finding the balance between “new” and “too new” can be a challenge. However, if the design succeeds at incorporating timeless trends or eclectic touches, it evokes a sense of comfort and home, while still feeling that exciting edge of new and trendy.

As an interior design and model merchandising firm we know it’s vital to work hand-in-hand with the builder to fully understand and meet the demands and desires of the target demographic. Keeping this in mind, we create designs that resonate with prospective buyers, which in turn leads to successful sales. To find out more on how we can merchandise your models to help them sell, please contact us today. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.