Home Staging CertificationInterior Decorating CertificationColor Consultation Certification Courses

Decorative Art Study and Career Building for the Creatively Inspired

The Staging and Decorating Guild (formerly The Home Stagers Guild) is a comprehensive training school located in Atlanta, GA, which offers Home Staging Certification, Interior Decorating Certification, EXPRESS Decorating™ (Interior Redesign), and Color Consultant Certification courses. Founder and Instructor Melanie Serra and business partner Karla Urbizo, mentor and train the creative and the passionate in launching and establishing a successful career in home staging and interior decorating. (EXPRESS Decorating™)

Live Classes held in Atlanta, GA and Orlando, FL

decorating and staging class

4-DAY EXPRESS Decorating™

This Home Staging Certification and Interior Decorating  (EXPRESS Decorating™) Certification curriculum provides each student with the knowledge and training to learn how to become a home stager and an interior decorator. You will walk away with all the tools needed to own and operate a successful home staging and interior decorating business.


  • Design 101
  • Placement Guidelines
  • EXPRESS Decorating™
  • Art of Accessorizing
  • Power of Staging
  • 8 Step SDG Staging Method
  • Pre-Staging Process
  • The Consultation
  • Decorating to Sell
  • Business of Staging
  • Marketing Your Business
  • Social Media and Your Business


The tools in this Color Consultant Certification Course will refresh basic color knowledge, with emphasis on color schemes, identifying undertones and selecting a paint color for unusual architectural or structural features. Join the many certified interior designers who now have color skills that add an edge to their decorating business.


  • Psychology of Color
  • Color Theory
  • Paint 101
  • Working with Color
  • Color Harmony
  • Picking Paint Color
  • Creating Mood with Color
  • Developing a Color Scheme
  • Developing a Color Palette
  • Color for Staging
  • The Color Consultation
  • Working with Clients

Online classes held in the comfort of your home.
No travel required.

online decorating class

On-line EXPRESS Decorating™

This Interior Decorating  (EXPRESS Decorating™) Certification curriculum provides each student with the knowledge and training to learn how to become an interior decorator. You will walk away with all the tools needed to own and operate a successful interior decorating business.


  • Design 101
  • Placement Guidelines
  • EXPRESS Decorating™
  • Art of Accessorizing
  • 8 Step SDG Staging Method
online marketing class

On-line Marketing for Stagers & Decorators

Learn how to live your dream by laying the foundation for marketing your business. We know you’re driven by your passion and it’s our passion to give you all the tools you need to achieve your marketing goals.


  • How to set your business up for marketing success.
  • How to research your competitors.
  • Use Sensory Marketing to appeal to your clients.
  • The 5 Faces of Marketing


The goal of the SDG™ training program is to provide a fun and comfortable classroom setting in which students learn the basic fundamentals of home staging, interior decorating, color, and everything related to those three areas. Our courses are designed to allow students to tap into their creativity and feel empowered to apply such learnings for personal growth or to own and operate a successful home staging and decorating business. Upon graduation, each student will receive a certificate of completion and will become a member of The Staging and Decorating Guild™. They will also be eligible to receive one year of free advertising on our website directory.


frequently asked questions

What sets The Staging & Decorating Guild™ training program apart from other training programs?

Founder, Melanie Serra has over 25 years’ experience and is a leader in the Home Staging and Decorating industry.  In 2017, Melanie and her new business partner Karla Urbizo revised and updated the curriculum, taking it to a whole new level. The SDG program is unique and unlike any other in the industry. It incorporates all segments of the business to include the Elements and Principles of Design as well as business startup strategies. The interactive studies provide students with hands-on training in real homes to promote, stimulate and enhance creativity. The program provides each student with the knowledge and tools to own and operate a successful business so that they can confidently hit the ground running upon completion. In 2021, they launched an Online Program with the goal of providing an at-home learning environment. 

What is the course fee?

The cost of the 4-day Staging & Decorating Guild Training is $2500 and $1295 for the 2-day Color Certification Course. The fee is nonrefundable but can be applied to a future class.

The EXPRESS Decorating™ online course is $550, Decorating to Sell: Home Staging course is $450, Marketing for Stagers and Decorators and Business Fundamentals for Stagers and Decorators are $175 each.

Do I need to have a degree in interior design?
No, you don’t have to have a degree in Interior Design or any other previous experience in a design field. However, you should have an “eye” and a flair for decorating and be passionate about interior design, decorative style, and home furnishings.
Will I receive a certificate of training?
Yes, upon graduation each student will receive a certificate of completion and will become a member of the “Staging & Decorating Guild.” You will also be eligible to advertise your business on the SDG directory.
Do I need to have previous marketing or business experience?
No, you do not have to have previous experience in business or marketing practices. You will be taught and guided in “start-up” business practices and principals, including naming your business, business licensing, bookkeeping, office practices, marketing strategies, establishing service fees, and implementing systems to handle growth.
How can adding home staging/express decorating services benefit my existing decorating business?

The SDG training provides students with the knowledge and training to become more confident and successful. Clients love the process of EXPRESS Decorating™ (Interior Redesign) and Home Staging, because they see instant results in one day or less.  Express decorating also validates their personal taste and style without breaking the bank!  By learning how to “use what the homeowner already has,” both you and your client will experience a quicker turnaround time from conception to completion on each project.  The benefits are instant gratification along with instant income! No more waiting for weeks or months to receive payment and commissions on lengthy projects.

Is this a lucrative career?

Yes, this career can be VERY lucrative!  As in everything in life, it all depends on your talent and most of all on how much time you devote to your new craft. We cover all areas related to your new career. If you apply all of the principles of Decorating, Staging, Business, and Marketing, you will set yourself up for success!

Your home staging fees can range from a few hundred dollars, for an initial consultation to thousands of dollars for full occupied staging or vacant staging (furnishing an entire home.)

Can I work at this part-time and still make money?
Yes, you are your own boss and can work as much or as little as you like. However, keep in mind that the more you market yourself, the more appointments you will book and the more money you will make. Success depends on your vision and the professional goals you set in place.
What is the dress code during the training?
Dress is business casual. However, it’s important to maintain a professional image when working in client homes.
What do I need to bring to class?
Please bring a writing pad, a pen, and a smartphone or camera. You’ll want to begin to build a portfolio by taking pictures of the jobs that you stage during your training class.
Where are the courses held?

In-person classes are held in Atlanta, GA, and Orlando, FL - Exact class location TBD. For the convenience of those looking to learn at their own pace or from the comfort of their own home, we also offer online classes

Is this course a good fit for me if I am only looking to decorate my home?

Absolutely it is!  We will teach you a step by step process to ensure the most amazing and rewarding results and the best part is that you will be able to incorporate what you already own in a whole different way!  You will be able to confidently select color schemes, rearrange your furniture, create a shopping list of the items you will need to complete your look, accessorize beautifully, etc.  By using our Express Decorating system, you will ensure a well-balanced and optimal aesthetic!

Are home stagers in demand?

Now more than ever, there is a strong and high demand for home stages. The demand is growing steadily which makes it a good, solid career choice for the future, whether that future is a hot or cold real estate market. Home staging works in both! In the past few months, buyers are even putting offers on homes they haven't even seen, just by looking at pictures of homes that are posted online, which makes staging all the more essential.

How important is the Marketing class?

Customer engagement is essential to the success of your new decorating and staging business. Learning how to set your business up for marketing from the beginning is essential to convey your message and attract potential customers. This course will walk you through the 8 Building Blocks of Marketing and help you uncover the 5 Faces of Marketing to keep your customers busy beyond store hours. It will also touch on the importance of building a brand and then nurturing the customer relationship for years to come.

Rave Reviews

"You are one of the warmest souls and coolest chic’s I’ve ever met! Thank you so very much for all the work you have shared this week, you are talented, and I feel blessed to have worked with you and met you!"


"I thoroughly enjoyed your classes, Melanie!! With all of the choices for Home Staging training out there, I feel I definitely selected the right class. Not only did we learn about the nuts and bolts of home staging, but you prepared us for setting up our own businesses as well."


"I often reflect on how meaningful and affirming your color course was for me; you’ll be glad to know I’m still using your textbook as my #1 study guide. What you gave me in that three-day course has led me on a long-envied path and I am eternally grateful to you for it."


"I just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed your redesign and home staging training. I was extremely fortunate to be able to train with you one-on-one and pick your brain. The lessons and material provided have been invaluable as I start my own decorating and staging business."


"Thank you so much for the personalized time you gave me these past few days! I’ve enjoyed every part of the course, especially being with you. Thanks for everything. What I learned will be valuable to my business in so many ways."


"The Staging and Decorator Guild gave me the knowledge, confidence and skills I needed to make my dream become a reality. I learned so much from my classes and your positive attitude gave me the confidence I lacked. I came with most of my ideas and a business name, many ideas and I was ready to learn."


"Melanie, Thanks so much for the fabulous course.  I learned so much and enjoyed every minute!  I feel I have everything I need to get my new business going.  You have such a gift for both learning and design.  You made each day fun and informative."

CH-Atlanta, GA

"Words really can't describe how blessed I feel to have had the opportunity to be your student. Thank you for following your passion and saying "Yes" to God. You have been so generous in sharing your love for design with others."


“Melanie,  I am so very glad I made the right choice in choosing your home-staging/redesign training program. Your handbook and presentations were so well prepared each day. And the hands-on field projects were great learning experiences."



Upon completion, you will have learned…

  • How to tap into your creativity to make money doing what you love.
  • Everything you need to start up your staging and decorating business. We provide you with sample tools and templates.
  • How to market, promote and grow your business.
  • Fundamentals of Interior Decorating, as it pertains to Home Staging and EXPRESS Decorating™ (Interior Redesign).
  • Essential business fundamentals to keep you going.
  • How we work with interactive classroom studies along with field projects in which we work and train in real homes with real clients.
  • Systems you can incorporate to handle growth and keep you at the top of your game.

Students receive both classroom and hands-on-training.

  • Principles of interior decorating
  • Elements of redesign – EXPRESS Decorating™
  • How to select color
  • How to read a room and create themes
  • Accessory and art placement
  • Merchandising and much more!

Business Fundamentals Including

  • Marketing strategies
  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Public relations
  • Public speaking and other marketing tips to operate a successful home staging and interior decorating business.

Do you have what it takes to be a home stager?

Watch the video below.

Find out if you have what it takes to enter an exciting career as a Home Stager and Interior Decorator.

Sign up for a FREE Membership to the SDG to take the quiz.
All we need is a name and an email to let you in.

find your decorating adn staging passion

Your dream job is just around the corner;
let us help you find your true passion today!!