S5E4: Mastering the Art of Real Estate Staging & Interior Design with Ruth Krumbhaar

Real Estate Staging & Interior Design

Real Estate Maven Ruth Krumbhaar Shares Her Winning Formula for Staging and Interior Design

Today, Ruth Krumbhaar returns to the podcast to generously share her real estate investing wisdom and unique staging and interior design insights with us. As you may recall from our last episode, Ruth is a successful therapist, coach, and part-time real estate investor who’s built a reliable source of passive income through her investments.

However, while our last conversation focused on many of the technical aspects of real estate investing, today’s episode explores the softer side of real estate as we dive into the world of design and home decorating. Specifically, Ruth is here to share her distinctive approach to sprucing up investment properties, including Airbnbs, long-term rentals, and homes she intends to flip.

In this episode, we discuss the balance between budget, trend awareness, and tenant preferences that forms the cornerstone of Ruth’s process. We also delve into the importance of knowing your audience when it comes to decorating a property. In addition, Ruth explains how a touch of whimsy can transform an Airbnb property from forgettable to memorable.

And if you’ve ever wondered where to find the best decor or how to balance high-end and affordable items for a cohesive aesthetic, Ruth has you covered. Indeed, you’ll gain insider knowledge on how to shop savvy, mix and match classic pieces with modern accents, and curate a unique look that stands out without being generic.

Later in the episode, our conversation shifts to the practicality of design. Because good design isn’t just about how a space looks, but also how it functions. For example, Ruth and I talk bathroom renovations, room refreshes, and the vital importance of a welcoming entryway. We also discuss the value of investing in quality pieces, the significance of an elevated element in every room, and the benefits of staying in your own Airbnb to gain a better understanding of your guests’ needs.

Lastly, Ruth shares her thoughts on how to undertake a themed decorating project without overdoing it. The key, according to Ruth, is finding the right balance and knowing when to pull back.

Ruth’s philosophy is that your home should bring you joy—and she’s here to help us discover how to do just that. Whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor, a curious novice, or simply interested in decorating tips for your own home, I think you’ll find this episode to be a treasure trove of creative insights and practical advice.

With that, I hope you enjoy mastering the art of real estate staging and interior design with Ruth Krumbhaar.

Episode Highlights

  • [00:04:00] Ruth shares her decorating philosophy and why she always starts with a blank canvas when designing a space.

  • [00:14:06] Why every room doesn’t necessarily need a showstopper when it comes to home decorating.

  • [00:20:09] How Ruth determines her decorating budget and where she shops to find cost-effective, quality items.

  • [00:27:51] Tips and tricks for decorating an Airbnb for functionality and style.

  • [00:38:12] Why flipping a property requires a slightly different design approach than decorating a rental property.

  • [00:50:20] Ruth’s advice for handling home renovation projects, such as updating a bathroom or kitchen, and why a good contractor can make a world of difference.

  • [01:01:32] Tips for updating a space where you’ve grown tired of the décor, and why hiring a style consultant can be a worthwhile investment.

  • [01:07:35] What Ruth believes are the most important items to invest in when decorating your home.

  • [01:15:59] Why practical designs can actually boost your return on investment with an Airbnb property.

  • [01:20:30] The importance of understanding local real estate laws when investing in a rental property.

Links Relevant to this Episode & More Tips from Ruth

Windows: MilGard is a good and a reliable company offering a range of styles.

Hardware: Emtek sells high-quality products at a reasonable price.

Faucets/Fixtures: Grohe fixtures are stylish, high-quality quality and less expensive than designer fixtures.

Railings: AGStainless railings are gorgeous and don’t rust.

Doors: Eto Doors offers great designs at an affordable price point.


  • Lower End: Granite Expo, Best Tile, Uni Stone and Cabinet, and Floor and Decor (be careful not to buy the cheap, trendy tile; you will see it everywhere).
  • Medium: Floorcraft
  • High End: Galleria Tile near the Design Center

Favorite used furniture resources:

Fun resources in Los Angeles:

Other inexpensive ways to add style to your home: 

  • Plants
  • Bohemian pieces like the African JuJu hats
  • Forage for wild grasses and then spray them with hairspray so they don’t create a mess
  • Go to book sales and buy old books for your shelves (and to read)
  • Treasures from trips (I always buy textiles when I travel and use them as table cloths, decor, blankets, pillow covers, etc.)

Enjoy the Full Episode

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