Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Staged Home

Adding a little interest and sparkle

The living area

The old bench and leaning art and windows give a loft like feel

I've been busy staging a 2 bedroom Live/Work Condo/Townhome for sale.  This home has 400 sq feet of commercial space on the ground level with separate parking and entrance.

The first step in staging a home is knowing your market. The target market for this home is a self employed young professional.  An Accountant, Psychologist, Lawyer, Interior Designer etc. Young, because it is a tall house, lots of stairs and not suitable for young children and pets.  I wanted to create a young, urban vibe, so I staged it in a Loft Style.  A few antique pieces, large art, some old windows leaning against a wall.  We didn't furnish the entire house.  Just added pieces to "suggest" a layout. 

The living room is a living/dining combo, and has a bit of an awkward layout.  I looked at previous listings and they show the space NOT being used to it's advantage. I wanted to show buyers how their furniture could be laid out to make good use of the space.  The TV is usually the first thing buyers are concerned about fitting into a living/family room combo.  By placing the long antique bench along the one wall, this presents the impression that the TV can fit there nicely.  It is easy now to picture the TV on this wall without having to ugly up the room by placing a large TV.  The other issue is the kitchen has plenty of space for a large dining table, and most people would dine in there, however, should a buyer wish to have a more formal dining space, I created a "dining area" at one end of the living room.  Instead of dressing it for dining, I used 2 interesting chairs and a large old table, perfect for creating the "impression" of a dining room, but also a great place to have a work area for a laptop. (remember we are targeting a young business owner who needs a place to throw his/her work in the living room.)

So essentially what I have done is.
  • Added a few interesting furnishings to add PERSONALITY
  • "SUGGESTED" where the TV can go
  • Created the "IMPRESSION" of a dining room, where there really isn't one.
  • Gave it a bit of a LOFT feeling with some old worn pieces.
  • Emphasized the NEW with perfectly painted walls, polished floors, windows and bathrooms.
  • Created a sitting and dining space OUTDOORS.
  • Added good ART to make it look more upscale 
  • Created SPACE by NOT adding too much (no sofa but is clear where it can go)
What I have done goes against most "STAGING" rules.  When I stage a home, I like to add a personality to the place. I like to give it a LOOK. I dress it for the buyer I believe (and the agent) is going to want to live there. This house is in a niche and limited market, it needs and EDGE.

Main entrance.  Antique bench with large vibrant art in the small entry

I added a large desk and two armchairs to create a desk area, but also to suggest that this area could be used for dining.
A tray with wine suggests "entertaining"

A simple scheme using white, grey/taupe and art and a few accessories

This is my Felt Art piece "White on White" It worked well on this wall

And a few accessories to create a little "wow factor"

The deck was dressed with a pair of old shutters to give it personality and bright pillows.  We want to create a welcoming area to entertain and dine.  This terrace is off the 2nd floor living room.  Since there is no yard, it was key to make this outdoor space really work.  The railing is lined with flower pots.
A couple of Muskoka chairs and a Dash and Albert Outdoor rug

The entire house has a bit of a masculine feel.  In the bedrooms I used pretty linens from Pine Cone Hill and Ralph Lauren to balance the grey walls.  And I always use white down Blankets on the beds.
You only need the bare minimum.  Bed, nightstand., lamp

2nd bedroom.  It was stark until I added the blue pillow

All the art and Bits are leaning.  Not one hole in the walls to repair.

The large deck is right outside these patio doors.  I used the red outside and in to link the 2 spaces.

And if you think the furnishings look familiar, you are correct.  Some is from the Razmataz shop, and the rest is from my cottage (waiting for it's new home).  Rather than put it in storage, I backed the truck up and unloaded it here to stage this house.  I always tell homeowners to scrounge staging pieces from wherever they can.  For instance if you have miserable dining chairs, ask a relative to switch their better ones for a little while.  BORROW, don't BUY?

So, I was most excited for the agent to see it today after the carpets were cleaned, and the painter left and all my work was completed.  And to plant the FOR SALE sign. You can imagine my HORROR as I pulled into the complex this afternoon to see that the same house 5 houses down was having a FOR SALE SIGN installed on their lawn.  I haven't seen inside it.  My staged house is priced 5K higher.  We shall see if our STAGING works.


  1. Looks great, fresh and clean. I love staging homes, it's so much fun.

  2. Good luck and make sure you let us know. I think it looks fresh and spacious. You have done well. Now go have a sticky beak at the one up the road. ;-)

  3. Good luck! I bet your staging turns out to be worth 5K. I'm pretty sure it would swing it for me.

  4. It looks great! I love the outdoor dining space and the pussy willows - very nice. You should go to the house down the street and stage for them too. And post before and after pics :>)

  5. It looks great! But then you do have such a creative streak. Well done!

  6. It looks great. I love your felt piece and the pop of red in the window frame. It will be fascinating to see how it sells.

  7. delightful!

    I'm sure the neighbors will sneak down soon to check you out and be envious.

    I was happy to see your felted piece again, always a favorite of mine <3

  8. Dreamy. I love your eye for things that dont look "staged" Looks like real life living.I love it!

  9. Congratulatons! It is staged well.
    You are practically a gay man.

  10. It's a lovely home! The outdoor seating looks so beautiful! Have a fabulous day, Kellie xx

  11. GOSH!..Chania I wish you'd come south and stage my home, not for sale but just for enjoyment.
    How soon till the move to Florida?

  12. Very nice. I agree adding a little splashes of color and personality really sets it apart. I can't wait to hear the reaction.

    Best of luck,

  13. If it makes you feel better, I used to always choose the better looking condo when I was a young single professional. It didn't matter if there was a cheaper unit down the street. Those were usually outdated. Busy with work, I just didn't want spend time redoing a home. Of course, I was an emotional buyer and if a well-staged home spoke to me, I would get it if it was in my price range and fit my space needs. Good luck with this.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania