Favorite part of staging-the projects!

My company’s main client are sellers with vacant homes for sale.  In addition to using my inventory, I purchase new items for every property I stage.  People always say “I thought you already had everything to stage my house”. Well I do to some point.  Every house is different.  I have yet to stage two houses that are identical.  What does this mean?  It means that most of my furniture will work in most homes, but the artwork and accessories have to be chosen specifically for each home.  There is usually a quick turnaround needed between the time I meet with the sellers, and the time they want it completed.  So when I can’t find something I am looking for…….its project time!  I have made slip covers, turned a coffee table into a bench, painted custom artwork and even made an upholstered headboard out of a door (see below)!  Creating something for a house is probably one of my favorite parts of staging.


         I had this hollow core door in my garage for a few years.  Originally it was meant to be the top for a desk, but I was afraid if I pushed down on it to hard, or threw something down, I would put a hole in it.  But I just couldn’t throw it away.

         This was my first attempt at an upholstered headboard.  I think it turned out pretty good for my first try!  This project was so cost effective.  I already had the door, leftover foam from another project, and the quilting batting.  All I had to buy was the fabric, which was on sale for 50% at JoAnn’s!



         Because I was using leftover foam, it didn’t quite fit.  But nobody sees this part since its covered up. So it didn’t matter what it looked like.  Next came the batting.  I used a spray adhesive to attach the foam and the batting.  Again I had to fit the pieces I had like a puzzle.



         Then came the fun part;  attaching the fabric.  Even though I got it on sale, I didn’t want to make any mistakes and waste it.  There isn’t a pattern but there is a visible weave so if I pulled it too tight on any side, it would show.  I used a staple gun to attach the fabric.  Because the door is hollow, the staples don’t like to hold very well.  So it is best to also glue it down, after all of the staples are in place.  I planned on adding fabric covered buttons to finish it off, but I couldn’t get the fabric to push down into the mold.  The holes are already drilled through the door, so I can add them another time.



         Here it is, finished and in place.  It should be hung higher, but that’s a whole nother story. Something always seems to go wrong on staging day, and the headboard was the problem child on this one. The tables were also a project, but I forgot to take before photos.  They were originally a dark wood with brass hardware.  I had gotten the two end tables/nightstands from another staging project about three years ago.  While shopping for this home I came across the console table at the end of the bed.  It matched my set perfectly!!


Top Five Home Staging Suggestions (Ok their five and my five)

If you have watched any of the home staging shows on HGTV and other networks, or talked to a Real Estate agent, you have heard the normal top five things to do when selling you home.  That list includes:

1.  De-clutter-Remove all unnecessary clutter that you don’t need every day.  Those things include the pile of mail on the table, the stuff all over your kitchen counters, etc.



2.  De-personalize-Remove all or most of your personal photos.  When buyers walk in and see your family plastered all over the walls, they feel like they are intruding.  You want them to feel like they can feel like they can move in and make a home for themselves.

3. Make sure the home is spotless-Nothing is worse than viewing a property with a filthy bathroom!  People will look in your oven and fridge, especially on second and third showings.

4. Minor repairs-Make sure all small repairs are taken care of.  A kitchen cabinet door falling off its hinges tells the buyers that you are neglecting the home.  It screams if you are not taking care of the small things, that you are also not taking care of the major things.

5. Remove signs of pets. This includes the pets themselves and all of their belongings.  You may have the cutest dog in the world, but for someone that is scared of dogs, or allergic to cats, your pets can risk the sale for you.


Ok so here is my top five:

1. Paint.  White walls do not work in most homes.  Unless you have a contemporary black and white thing going on.  It is no secret that women buy homes. They want a home that feels welcoming and cozy.  Most buyers will repaint at some point to make the property more their own, but buyers want a home they can move into, that will work for them while they take the time to personalize it.  If a buyer walks into a house with all white walls or horrible paint colors, they will walk right back out due to the overwhelming amount of painting to be done.


2. Lighting.  You don’t necessarily have to replace your current lighting.  Make sure every fixture whether on the ceiling or a lamp on the table, have the brightest bulbs possible.  Also make sure the shades are clean of dust.  In addition to this, make sure the window treatments are all the way open for every showing, and that all of the windows are clean.

3. Pet odors.  Just removing your pets is not good enough.  Clean all the carpets, window treatments and furniture.  Then use a plug in air freshener.  Do not use air fresheners or anything else to cover up odors.  It doesn’t work!

4. First impressions; inside and out. Be sure the yard is in good condition.  If it is winter, be sure the sidewalk, steps and driveway are clear of snow.  In the spring and summer months make sure the yard is mowed, bushes are trimmed, flower beds are weeded and there are no toys strewn everywhere.  On the inside be sure whatever room they walk into makes a great impression as well.


5. My final tip is of course to hire a professional stager!  Even if it is just for a consultation. She/he will be able to give you proven tips specific to your home to get it looking its best.  A consultation will be your design plan in an easy to follow list.  Or better yet, hire her/him to do the work for you.  In addition to all the suggestions above, you will probably need your furniture rearranged, artwork chosen and accessories placed to show off your property’s best features.  A home stager can do that for you in much less time then what it takes the average home owner.




Staging makes a difference

The number one thing I hear from sellers is that they don’t want to put another dime into their house.  They have already put so much money into it over the years and they are just done with it.  This is completely understandable.  However home staging is the icing on the cake to the work you have already done.  Take this home for instance:


The sellers decorated their home to their taste, which we ALL do.  They had decorated in a traditional style, which worked for them, but it was turning off home buyers.  When walking into the room it was very dark.  Red paint also scares buyers off because of the work that they know will need to be done in order to change it.  Here is the room after:

 livingafter2sold (2)

This home was on the market vacant for 2 years before staging.  After the recommendations by Bella Traverse Design and Home Staging, this home sold in 2 months!

While you don’t want to spend any more money on your property when you sell, isn’t it worth it to not have it sit on the market for so long?

Inexpensive Artwork

In one of my recent home staging projects, I needed a very inexpensive option for some artwork to hang over a sofa.  I used things that I already had, but I only paid about $15 for the materials.





These are 3 canvas’s wrapped in fabric.  I had purchased the canvas with the intention of painting on it (ha ha), and the fabric I picked up at Kohl’s.  They had their shower curtain samples in the clearance section.  I only paid $6 for it!  I knew I would find a good use for it.  I just cut it up and hot glued it on. The sofa below is burgundy, and the walls were painted a soft gray.  My artwork tied them together perfectly!

Great Furniture for Vacant Homes for Sale

I was in Vegas last week for the RESA Conference.  I am the West Michigan Chapter President for RESA (Real Estate Staging Association).  We were there for training, networking and learning about new products to use in our businesses.  The coolest thing I saw was cardboard furniture!!!!  This is a great product for staging all of the vacant homes we have in Michigan.  They are lightweight and simple to put together.  They have a few slipcover choices, or you can custom order, using your own fabric!  The company is Next Stage Furniture.  Below is a picture of their sofa.


http://www.NextStageFurniture .com