Peeling Back The Layers Of An Onion:

Sometimes staging a house is like peeling back an onion.  As you start to remove layers of ‘stuff’ you begin to see what you have to work with and all the beauty of the home.  It can be extremely stressful for homeowners to go through this process alone.  In this case we had a wonderful team of movers, the help of an organization company, painters, cleaners, the very hands-on Realtor Patti Smith, myself and yes, even our husbands were there to move stuff and shampoo carpets.

Where to Begin:

Fortunately I’ve been doing this for so many years, so nothing surprises me anymore!!!

The first step was create a plan for everyone on the team to follow.  I made it clear what I wanted to stay in the house, and what needed to go into storage.  The client is moving across the country so things needed to be packed properly.  There were many discussions of what was being sold, donated or packed up. This all takes extra time since she wasn’t just moving it temporarily. I needed to make sure that I incorporated all the pieces that she wanted to take with her in my plan to keep the rental and moving costs down.  Since these are big decisions, it always takes way more time than people predict.

Furniture Placement:

I love it when I can get an overhead view of a room so I can really choose the best furniture layout.

The client wanted to take both the loveseat and the sofa so we moved the loveseat to another room so this room wasn’t cramped.  Notice things like the different artwork, drapes, area rug, new chair and accessories.  As soon as the TV was moved to the corner fireplace, the room felt much larger. I love how the round table softens all the angles of the space.

One of the biggest challenges with this house was the abundance of plants.  Plants, plants and more plants were everywhere and each one was special to the client and had a story to it.  They had to be incorporated into the plan. Many were also given to friends and family members for safe keeping until the move.

I brought in accessories that were not as personal that would appeal to the masses.  When you have such high ceilings, people tend to hang their artwork higher.  It’s better to keep the artwork lower so it doesn’t get lost visually.  I love how the natural light flows in now with the new drapes. Removing the shelving unit from the window also brightened the room.

It’s all the little details in the accessories that tie a room together and make it interesting.

Use What You Have:

The client didn’t want to take the big wall unit or the pilates machine so those were sold.

This shelving unit used to be in the living room full of plants.

I replaced the wooden bar stools with black metal ones since they complement the shelving unit and  add dimension to the room.

Once everything was removed, buyers can see the full protentional of this amazing space.

A few strategic accessories were put on the counters for pops of colour.

Create a Lifestyle:

It’s important to show buyers that they can dine in style with family and friends in this open-concept living.  I found these chairs in the basement so I used them since they were more modern looking and they went with all the other metal furniture that was brought in.  It’s so much fun finding treasures like this.  They are a nice contrast to the wood.  I brought in extra large artwork that also tied in with all my other art.

The royal blue runner was the perfect pop of colour to enhance this stunning candle lantern.

Look how everything flows so well from room to room.

Create an Atmosphere:

Every square foot counts so you want to create rooms that will appeal to the masses.  Even though this loft is on a different floor, everything is visible from the main level so it’s important that the colours flow as well.

This loveseat used to be in the living room.  She needed to keep the book shelves, so they were put here to show buyers that I could be little library or TV nook.

All her books had been packed up so we just dressed the shelves with decorative accessories.

Notice how the blue is seen from each floor.

Don’t Fight It, Embrace It:

I was a little bit concerned how I was going to ‘neutralize’ this room since I knew it was not going to be painted.  I thought of bringing in tan/gray/white/black linens and neutral artwork but I felt it would just look boring and that I was trying ‘too hard’.

Instead, I decided to embrace the fun and youthfulness of the room.

By adding other saturated and bold colours, the deep raspberry walls are not just part of the ‘story’.

The colours all work together thanks to the fun and cheery artwork.

The white shears and white coverlet help give some relief to the eye.

Elegant Retreat:

My automatic reaction when I walked into this room was to move the bed to the wall facing you. However, after lots of measuring we realized that would not be possible due to the fact that she has a very large head and foot board which take up the necessary inches.  The angled doors wouldn’t be able to open with her large bed.  So the next best thing was to remove half of the furniture and make the room feel as elegant as possible.  Not all buyers will have such a large bed. I was able to use the extra furniture in the basement.

Rooms look and feel larger when you can open the doors fully.  Removing the dresser behind the door really helped.

The room now feels spacious and refined with the added accessories like the mercury lamps, and graceful branches in the floor vase.  The luxurious satin linens belong to the homeowner.

A Pleasant Surprise:

To be honest, since I knew there was so much work to do upstairs in a short time period, my goal was to just remove everything from this room and leave it as a blank canvas for buyers.

After digging around a bit, I could see some things we could use, but again, it’s like an onion peeling back the layers. I saw a chair with fun fabric, a navy sofa and the chaise.

Once everything was removed, we had just enough to create a cheery and happy family room.  This adds so much value to the house.  You can’t help but feel happy with these cheery colours.

 

We didn’t have a TV for the stand but this artwork had all the colours from the fun round chair.  Sometimes, I have to remind myself that we are ‘staging = creating enough of a visual for buyers to fill in the  gaps in with their imagination’ and not decorating.

Showcasing the ledge and the feature wall with accessories makes the room more memorable as well.  I was just grateful to have more rooms to disperse all the client’s plants.

Team Work:

As I mentioned at the beginning, I can’t take all the credit for this Staging.  The homeowner worked extremely hard and Patti went way above and beyond with her long hours and putting this great team together.  I know it must have been hard for the homeowner at the beginning to even imagine that this could happen in just 1 month, but with all the different pieces of the process and a good plan to follow, it fell into place perfectly.  I couldn’t be happier!  Great team work everyone!!!!