Staging an Empty House

Staging an empty house can be a real challenge because of the incurred costs. You can rent furniture monthly from certain rental stores but then you still need to dress the beds, add artwork, lamps and accessories. Having a mattress without anything on it doesn’t do anything except show the scale of the room for buyers.

When Styled & Staged was called in to stage a very sparsely furnished house I was worried about how I was going to make it work within a budget.  I was SOOOOOO happy and relieved when the homeowner told me that this was an investment property for him and I could take whatever I wanted from his own house to stage this one. This however, took a lot more work trying to coordinate all his furniture (that was in another house) as well as my rental inventory. I was only going by photos that he sent me from furniture pieces in his house.  I couldn’t tell the scale so it was nerve wracking for me..  It was necessary to have a moving company move everything between the two houses plus set everything up.  They also helped me unload all my inventory which was awesome!  There was a lot of pressure on me to make sure I had EVERYTHING to furnish and style an entire house in one morning. There were no second chance since we only had the truck for 3 hours. It’s all the behind the scenes work, that makes it possible.

This bungalow with a loft was designed for baby boomers so I wanted to stage and style it accordingly.

VRS Moving Company did an amazing job. They were fast, friendly and extremely helpful! I would definitely recommend them! Thanks Victor for your help.
BEFORE there was only a sofa, a lamp and 2 chairs in the main living space so it really needed more furniture to show buyers the full potential of this amazing house.
AFTER – bringing in the dining table, dining chairs and coffee tables really showed the scale of the room. Adding the artwork and accessories pulled it all together and made it feel like a ‘home’.
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AFTER – since there is no chandelier and the cathedral ceiling is very high, I intentionally added extra tall candlestick holders and pedestal bowl to add height.
AFTER – buyers can see the full potential as well as the architectural details.
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AFTER – when you have a large round glass table it’s good to fill it up with soft items like greenery. Since the ceiling was so high I also added tall candle holders and chunky pillar candles for extra height. Anything low would have looked silly in this space.
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AFTER – Ariel view of the living/dining room from the loft

The back room only had an empty TV stand but as soon as I walked into it, I saw the potential.  If I owned this house, I would spend all my time right here.  I love the trees and privacy of the deck.

The previous renters used this room as a TV room but there was a better TV room elsewhere in the house and I wanted to keep it a bit more formal since it was off the formal living room.
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AFTER – we moved this nice executive desk that was sitting by itself in another bedroom to create a home study. We brought the corner unit that was just sitting in a hallway to create a library affect and the chair was brought from the homeowner’s other house to create a lovely sitting area where you can enjoy nature.
AFTER – adding a leather dining parson chair added formality and elegance to the desk. Bringing in all the necessary inventory really completed the look.

Kitchens are extremely important when selling your house.  They have to be spotless and inviting.

BEFORE – I was concerned with the island in the middle of the room since it made the space very cramped when you opened the fridge or dishwasher. When I realized it wasn’t fixed to the floor and there was no damage underneath, I immediately wanted to remove it.
AFTER – it instantly opened up the room and there was already so much counter space and storage that it really wasn’t necessary. Since the island is portable, buyers could always use it as an eat-in area with bar stools if they didn’t have a table.
BEFORE – this room just felt cramped with the oversize island.
AFTER – the open space makes it easy for a couple of people to work in the kitchen and the eat-in area is practical and it showcases the bay window.
AFTER – by removing the island we also opened up the traffic flow into the living/dining area.

The guest room on the main floor was a blank empty canvas for me to work with.

BEFORE – this is the desk that we moved to the study. Notice how much better the desk looks with the formal chair than it does with this ‘office’ chair.
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AFTER – the paint color was lovely for a guest room so I knew I could work with it. We had to bring in a bed and end table. I wanted this room to appeal to both males and females so I added neutral accessories. Drapes that go right to the ceiling add elegance. Since the ceiling was so high in the living/dining room I wanted to keep the airiness in the other rooms where the ceilings were the normal height.
AFTER – it’s the little details like the pebbles in the lamp that goes with the artwork, the shade that goes with the linens and the same colour accent pillow as the wall colour that pulls things together.
AFTER – I really wanted it clear for buyers that there are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms so I coordinated each bathroom with a bedroom.

Master Bedrooms and en-suites are so important for buyers.  You really want to make it feel like a ‘retreat’ at the end of the day.

BEFORE – the only things that were in this room were the bed and a highboy dresser.
AFTER – the homeowner bought a bed-in-a-bag and that completely transformed the room. These sets really make it easy to pull a room together. We also brought night tables and the chair from the his other house.
AFTER – I was able to bring in metal artwork that had the same leaf pattern as the linens, matching artwork and accessories for the dresser.
BEFORE – this huge en-suite was completely empty.
AFTER – bringing in large artwork, a brown shower curtain and red accessories coordinate with the master bedroom for a nice flow.
BEFORE – this loft overlooks the whole main floor. The only furniture in it were a student desk and chair.
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AFTER – I immediately knew I wanted to turn this into the family/TV room. The homeowner brought his sofa, end tables and chairs. It was easy for me to bring in the accessories. I wanted to make sure the colours flowed to the downstairs since you could see the loft when you looked up from the living room.
AFTER – we didn’t have a TV to put in this room so I created this vignette so buyers could see that the cable hook up was here and that this would be the logical place for a TV.
BEFORE – there was nothing wrong with this room but it didn’t have any ‘wow’ factor in it.
AFTER – this room actually looked larger with the desk from the loft and it shows how practical the room can be. A few simple additions of pillows and metal artwork create a fun room.
AFTER – adding the same colours as the adjoining bedroom make it obvious to buyers that these rooms go together.

I can’t thank the homeowner enough for trusting me to do whatever I needed to do.  He was willing to let me use the furniture in his own house and pay for the rental truck. It was such a great experience. Let’s sell this house!!!!!!

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