Thursday, January 30, 2014

Staging - Using What You Have

Sometimes the people I have the opportunity to work with move into their next home before listing their current home.  That means that many of their possessions get moved out and pieces that don't work in their new place stay behind.  

That's where we come in!  

Check out how we prepared this house for the market by creatively using what was remaining in the home.


For this living room, we pulled furniture from other spaces to give the room a sense of purpose. 


We swapped out a bed from the spare room to give this master bedroom purpose and function.


Smaller scale furniture and clean surfaces make this room look bigger and more inviting.


A smaller bed in this room makes it feel more spacious (check out the hardwoods now).

We were busy in other rooms too...

In the end, after finding a perfect place for the art, accessories, and furniture, the house looked beautiful! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Staging in the Kitchen

In real life, kitchens need toasters and microwaves and canisters of cooking utensils.  In real life, our kitchen counters are littered with yesterday's mail, bags of bread, and the milk we have yet to put back in the fridge.  However, when it comes to home staging, that all has to go away.  That's right...staging is NOT real life.

When I work with clients in kitchens, we're constantly finding a place for all the items that normally have a spot on the kitchen counter top.  We're putting it all away.  It's amazing how quickly a kitchen transforms when all the other (normal) distractions are out of site...









Counter tops that are clear and empty really show off a kitchen.  Now, when potential buyers view the home, they'll notice the spacious counter space, and not yesterday's mail.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Goodwill is Great for Staging

Almost every property I stage has a set of build-ins or bookshelves that could use a little pizzazz.  That means that I'm constantly building my inventory of staging items that I can add to some bookshelves.  One of my favorite places to shop for staging accessories is Goodwill.  Although I don't find something every time I pop in, every once in a while I find something that will work, like these candlesticks (3 for $5)...

These guys were probably OK, as is...

but I wanted to give them a little update with this Metallic Glaze.

After giving them a light sanding, I started applying the glaze.

Since it's a glaze the drying time was pretty long.  I ended up waiting a day between each coat.

Once they were dry, they were ready for a bookshelf.

 I love their shiny, modern feel...not bad for $5 and some paint.

Friday, January 3, 2014

5 Standards in My Staging Toolkit

Carpenters have toolboxes, parents have diaper bags, ladies have purses, and home stagers have a bag full of items for making a home look its best.  My staging bag is filled with all kinds of tools and items that make my job easier and the homes I'm staging look even better.  Here are a few of the items that are staples in my staging toolkit...

Permanent markers, furniture sliders, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, and string.

Cleaning Supplies

When I'm staging a house my number one focus is making it look buyer-ready, and a house is not buyer-ready until it's spotless.  That means that I've been know to scrub out bathroom sinks and shine up the surfaces of a home before my job is done.  No, it's not glamorous, but I'm all about making a home look incredible, and if that means that I have to roll up my sleeves and use a little elbow grease, that's OK with me.

You bet that I was on my hands and knees shining up this floor before the Open House.

Light bulbs

I can't tell you how many light bulbs I go through when I'm staging a house.  It's so important to make sure every room is filled with bright light.  Think about it, it's pretty hard to buy a house if the rooms are dark and dull, right? That's why I carry a huge stash of light bulbs that I can swap out of existing lights (for a higher wattage), or new bulbs for lamps that I'm adding to a space.

Permanent Markers and Shoe Polish

There's not a single staging project that I don't use a permanent marker or some white shoe polish.  That's because they're both perfect for touching up paint on furniture pieces or accessories. It's amazing how quickly an item can be changed from drab to fab with a little permanent marker.

I used a black permanent marker to touch up worn edges of this leaning bookshelf.

String & Twist Ties

I include string and twist ties in my staging toolkit, as well.  They're both great for solving staging problems.  MacGyver had his duct tape and I have some string and twist ties for getting me out of any staging emergency.

Twist ties saved the day on this project when I needed to tie the window treatment's strings up and out of view.

Furniture Sliders

I'm constantly moving around furniture in the homes I'm staging. There's nothing that makes the job easier than furniture sliders.  I also love them because they protect my clients' floors when I'm moving furniture.

Every piece of furniture was moved (thanks to sliders) to showcase the fireplace, large living space, and view in this living room.

As a child, I always loved the way Mary Poppins pulled a coat rack, tape measure, mirror and lamp out of her carpet bag.  Actually, come to think of it, maybe home staging was her true calling.  Sometimes I feel a little like Mary Poppins with my bag full of tricks...if only I could get a mirror to fit inside my staging toolkit!