Category Archives: Home Staging Projects

Staging Your House To Sell

I recently had the privilege of doing a staging consult for a wonderful client named Karen. It was a 3 br 2 ba 1,200 sqft 1956 home which is similar to ours. Let’s get to the great before/after shots!
They had already painted their cabinets and it just needed some decluttering.Karen did a great job cleaning out the cabinets, drawers and countertops so they would look spacious and organized.
This room was by far my biggest challenge. I really wanted to make the fireplace the focal point, but since the TV couldn’t be moved it seemed impossible. I suggested they borrow a dining set so that buyers could visualize a dining area.
After MANY furniture arrangements, we decided to break the room up into different sections. I suggested they put the big couch and several other pieces into storage and then we worked with the rest and it turned out great!
This laundry room was a bonus, but it was hard to see past all the clutter.
They had already painted the dark wood paneling a light gray which looked great. I just asked them to pack up the shelf and clear the space.
The master bedroom needed some breathing room, so I asked them to move out the laundry sorter, a dresser, nightstand and tall jewelry box.
So much better! Karen already had those yellow pillows that had never been used that she got at a garage sale.
This was their little boys room that was the same size as the master, but you wouldn’t know it with all those toys!
Ooh, ahh. This room reminds me of my favorite childhood book – The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room. All this room needed was to center the bed, remove a few pieces of furniture and organization.
Their little girls room was the smallest bedroom. The toddler bed worked to our advantage making the room appear bigger. I asked Karen to work double-time and pack up everything she could in the closet.
They removed some pieces of furniture and I suggested they keep the rocking horse, chair and rug. Just look at that closet transformation!
This giant wicker storage unit was crowding their main bathroom like you wouldn’t believe. It was there when they moved in and they simply hadn’t thought to remove it.
Wow – look at that nice, open bath! One tip I tell my clients is to leave the shower curtain partially open for showings because it opens the space.
Finally we have the backyard. The porch needed decluttered and that awkward, overgrown birdbath had to go!
Not only did Karen relocate the birdbath to corner of the yard, but she laid fresh mulch and created these adorable planters. The best part is that they can take these with them when they move. What a great outdoor living space!

This is a great example of staging using what you already have. The furniture arrangement and decluttering made a huge impact! So what do y’all think of this staged home? What’s your favorite room transformation? Any other Berenstain Bears fans out there?


Staging a Vacant Home

A common misconception with staging is that it requires you to buy all new furniture. I always try to use my creativity in finding ways to use whatever the client already has before purchasing new items. I like to think of staging as a puzzle that I get to piece together, and my goal is to keep the cost down while still staging a house that will sell!

In some cases, if the client has already moved out of the home or if it is a foreclosure, the best solution is to rent the pieces you need. I recently had the opportunity to help stage a vacant home.The above pic is of the den which was located right off of the kitchen and eat-in area. This space has tons of potential, but very well may have been overlooked by perspective buyers. The fireplace isn’t highlighted as the focal point and without any furniture it’s hard to picture what you would use this room for.After some simple staging, can’t you just envision yourself cuddling up with a good book by the fireplace on a cool winter day? We got creative and used a mirror that was supposed to go with the master bedroom dresser to go over the fireplace and reflect light from the picture windows. We also grabbed a couple of chairs from the formal dining set because the armchair didn’t seem like enough. Notice how the professional photographer highlighted the high ceiling and view of the backyard with the angle?Next up we have the master bedroom, or as this pic shows – a big empty room that’s hard to visualize anything in. Remember me emphasizing the importance of each room having a purpose? If you walked through this house, logically you would know that this was the master because of the size and the master bath being attached to it. However, you wouldn’t visually know how your king-sized bed or furniture would look in the space. Is there room for a sitting area? My job is to answer those questions in your mind through staging.Now when you walk into this room you can immediately know that there’s plenty of room for a king-sized bed (the focal point) and dresser. The furniture actually makes this room look bigger rather than smaller and the few simple pieces help the mind visualize a beautiful master space.Finally, we have the living room. This was the biggest transformation in my opinion. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door and therefore your first impression of the house overall. Before staging you have a view of the backyard and barely notice the fireplace, not to mention the high ceilings.Now it’s been transformed into a beautiful living space. We flanked the fireplace with the couch and chairs and added a mirror to make it the focal point. The rug and few accessories help warm up the space and highlight the hardwood floors.This is the view potential buyers will see when they first walk into the house – beautiful! All the furniture was rented from a furniture rental company. This is a wise investment in getting your house to sell if it’s vacant. We only staged the main rooms on the first floor which give enough of a visual interest to buyers. If your house is not vacant, however, it is very important to stage every room, closet and drawer.

This was a great example of staging a vacant home. In some ways it can be easier starting with a clean slate like this – no decluttering or depersonalizing. Thankfully, all the rooms were painted neutral colors so that wasn’t an issue either. Which room transformation is your favorite? Has anyone out there had any problems selling a vacant home? Do you think staging made a difference in this house?

Accessorizing To Sell-Part 2

On to another couple of areas I staged. This was a nice master bath and the homeowners had already cleaned and decluttered making my job easy peasy.All it took was getting rid of the few personal photos and replacing them with a lush bamboo plant. I love adding live plants (not fake, they are dust magnets!) to every room possible because it adds life and color to the space. I also suggested they replace the outdated facet hardware. You can do this cheaper than you think if you check in the clearance sections at Home Depot or Lowe’s, or try of the most neglected areas of staging is your backyard. Many of us don’t spend much time in our outdoor spaces, so we don’t think about staging them. The homeowners had a nice patio set, but had it pushed up against the back of the house along with several toys. Keep in mind that with the blinds and curtains open for showings, your backyard will be on full display.I simply moved the patio set out and staged it with a couple of fun margarita glasses and some Italian soda. You can also set the table outside and have fun with a brighter color scheme. What would your backyard look like if you were hosting a dinner party or barbecue on a nice summer night? You want perspective buyers to envision having parties of their own in that space.As my hubby delicately pointed out, there were no dramatic before/after pics of this staging project. I just know that I learned a lot even on a simple job like this with a very small budget and that the staging that was done got excellent reviews from perspective buyers. I’m excited to share the many staging opportunities I am seeing in Nashville – it’s amazing what you can find while traveling!

Accessorizing To Sell

I thought it would be appropriate to write my first real blog post about the first home I staged. I must preface this by saying that when I walked in the front door it was already super clean and decluttered, so the hard stuff was already done. All it needed was a little depersonalizing and some accessorizing (or drama as some high-spirited HGTV designers might say).This room looked good overall – neutral wall color, hardwood floors, updated modern light fixture and furniture. Lucky for you, I have staging hawk eyes! I began by decluttering the buffet table and taking down the too personal Biblical wall quote.Setting the table is a great way to add warmth to a dining room. Here I used white square plates and bowls from Wal-Mart, lime green napkins from Target, wine glasses, fresh lemons and votive candles as the centerpiece – simple!The next pics of the foyer show an excellent example of depersonalizing at its finest! The home owner was obviously a beautiful bride, but potential buyers would walk in and stare at that picture instead of the house.I hid away the personal pictures and baseball caps hanging on the key rack. I also added a lamp and moved the wreath to where the picture had been to be more visually appealing.Stay tuned for Part 2 of this staging project. I’m also taking my blog on a road trip to Nashville for the next few days, so we’ll see what kinds of staging adventures await for us there!