A Huge Undertaking with Staging

Last August, a neighbour stopped me on the street and mentioned to me that she was going to replace all her carpet with a laminate floor since she was planning on listing her house within the next year. I was nervous to say anything since I wasn’t sure she was even really asking for my opinion, but I knew laminate would be a waste of money for the price point of her home. In her price range, buyers would be looking for hardwood, not laminate. I think after the shock settled in, she began to ask all kinds of other questions on how to prepare her home. After bringing in a Realtor, we made a list of what really needed to be done to get top dollar since they had the time to do everything.

They had already decided they wanted to replace their 30+ year old carpet upstairs, put hardwood on the main floor and paint the entire house.  I normally don’t go through all these renovations since I usually never have the time/budget or the homeowners don’t want to make these changes. I have to be respectful of each client’s ability, budget, willingness and timeframe.

Exterior Upgrades

While the weather was still warm, they replaced the entire roof and did any other outdoor maintenance.  We also took lovely exterior photos to showcase their inviting pool and gardens.  These photos were ‘just in case’ there was still snow on the ground when they listed. This is a great tip for anyone who is thinking of selling their house in the future.  Take photos of your gardens, interlocking stones, landscaping or anything else special about your property without people or pets in them.

As it happened the homeowners found their dream home and bought it right away, which ramped up the ‘staging’ process. Thankfully I had all the appropriate inventory to bring in quickly. 

Hardwood Floors on the Main Level

The carpet was over 30 years old and the homeowners definitely wanted it removed.

All the furniture had to be moved so the old carpet could be ripped up and then the new hardwood floors were laid. What a difference!

The whole main living area looked amazing with the new hardwood and the lighter taupe walls were neutral for buyers. They were willing to buy some end tables and a coffee table since they knew that they would use them in their new house. Having the house professionally painted ensured a perfect job and it also went much faster with a team of painters.  Time is money when putting your house on the market.

It’s amazing how updated it looked just by removing the valance and hanging side panel drapes for softness.

The ivory area rug helped make the room cozy and it divides the long room into zones. Bringing in a few more ‘transitional’ accessories made the room look more contemporary but it still worked with their traditional furniture.  Always think who your buyers are going to be so the house appeals to them as well.

Rearranging their furniture and removing one of their chairs opened up the space. Look how nice the floors are.

I’ve said this many times…decorating and staging are very different.  This room was a personal space for the homeowners’ so it had to be toned down.

Having one large piece of artwork with bold colours made a bigger statement than several smaller pieces.  The bold colours in the dining room balanced the red sofa in the living room.  Buyers are not buying the furniture but you want a nice cohesive look. I carried the colours throughout the whole main floor.  Notice the large accessories and matching drapes to living room ones

Furniture Placement

I really wanted to rearrange the furniture so the fireplace was also a focal point.

The walls were painted and the blue carpet was replaced with hardwood.  The wall sconces were also replaced.  Once the furniture was rearranged the room had a completely different feel to it.

Notice how all the accessories pull the colours together.

I wanted to incorporate the tile around the fireplace since they were not replacing that. 

Instead of fighting with the fireplace, I enhanced it with a similar shade in the drapes.  Having the bold black sculptural mirror above the mantel really gave the ‘wow’ factor and it accentuated the black of the fireplace doors.  Now the TV and the fireplace are the focal points of the room.  The TV also covers a lot of the tile as well.

The Power of Paint

Very little was done to this eat-in kitchen but it’s amazing how paint can make a huge difference.

Keeping the upper and lower levels of the walls the same colour opened up the space. We pulled the taupe colour from the tile instead of the tan and it made the tile look brand new. Simplifying the space by removing the valance and the hanging light fixture also made the room feel more calm.  Less is more when staging.

New Carpet

The old gold carpet on the stairs and in the 4 bedrooms upstairs were all replaced with a nice plush carpet and under pad.  We couldn’t believe how nice it felt to walk on.

We all have a ‘catch-all’ room where everything seems to collect after the kids move out 🙂

It’s important for buyers to visualize their children living in the house so we set up the bedrooms to appeal to the masses. I always have fun staging kid’s rooms.

I would have loved a room like this when I was a little girl.

This room only had an air mattress in it which made it hard to decorate around.  Again, I wanted it to appeal to a young family.

Bringing in a single bed and using their bookcases help show buyers where they could place their furniture.  Adding drape panels really make the window look larger and it’s also a great way to add a pop of colour.

We didn’t have any dressers, but their bookcases were the perfect scale and colour for the room.  You just need a few pieces to show the potential of a room. I used the blue from their bookcases as my colour inspiration.

Adding a few fun props is all you need to make a room memorable.

The master bedroom is a very important room.  It needs to feel luxurious and calm.

We predict that the buyers will be in their 30’s so I wanted to make the room appear more contemporary.  The new carpet and wall colours set the tone.  The homeowners bought new linens since they knew they wanted them for their next house. I was able to bring in lamps, drapes, cushions, and accessories to complete the room.  Notice how we didn’t need the headboard since we had the long canvas above the bed. This is a much more contemporary look.

Even the antique dresser had a facelift by adding a new mirror and accessories.

It Still Has to be Functional

As much as I would have liked to showcase the 4th room as a bedroom, the homeowners really needed to keep their home office. We also didn’t have another bed to bring in. 

Now you can really see how large the room is with the new carpet and lighter wall colour. We removed some of the pieces from the desk so it wasn’t cutting the room in half.

This room is a now a blank canvas for buyers and the homeowners can still function in their home office while their house is on the market. It’s important to be respectful of the clients as well.

It was very exciting for me to see this house in the final stages since so much work went into the transformation.  Through the entire process, they kept saying how this wished that they had done this years ago so they could have enjoyed their efforts.  I’m sure it won’t be on the market long. 

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