Earning Trust in a Staging Consult

Initial Consultation

When I first met this client, she had just finished painting the entire house based on colours that a professional decorator had told her to paint.  It was extremely hard to earn her trust and convince her to repaint certain walls all within a few hours of meeting her.  She loved all her paint choices and was very happy with the other decorator’s plan. She even showed me the plan with great pride.  You have to remember, it was the Realtor who wanted me there, NOT the homeowner.  I was going against everything she had been working towards for several months and I wasn’t sure if she was going to work with me at all.  As a stager, I have to please the Realtor since they are the ones who usually hire me, but I also have to make sure the homeowners are willing to do what I suggest.

Staging is not just about moving furniture and putting pretty things in a house.  It’s about dealing with real people and real emotions!

Furniture Placement

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Immediately I knew the furniture in the room had to be flipped around.  You always want to be greeted by a soft inviting sofa instead of a TV.  It only made sense to have the longest furniture on  the longest walls.  Once all the ‘little’ pieces were removed we switched her navy chair with her lovely ivory chair from another room.  The homeowner bought new tables and lamps that she wanted to take with her to the next house which really helped tie things together.

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The TV looks much better in this corner.  The biggest change was painting over the yellow walls.  I couldn’t make the yellow walls and the burgundy sofa work together.  You want the colours to be as nuetral as possible for buyers.

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The fireplace is now the focal point.  I found it challenging to find artwork and accessories to complement the burgundy sofa.  I wanted this house to appeal to buyers in their 20’s or 30’s.  Staying with the modern gray and white accessories not only changed the look of the sofa, it made the house feel larger and more current.  I also brought in a much larger modern area rug to give interest since there wasn’t much pattern anywhere else in the room.  You want a room to be neutral but NOT boring.

Less is More

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Once the yellow wall was painted, we removed the yellow drapes and area rug and we could continue with the colour palette from the living room.  Similar to the living room, I added pattern on the table and artwork for interest.  Adding the large palm tree added elegance and life to the room.  When you use a lot of gray in décor, it’s important to add greenery to keep it from feeling too ‘industrial’.

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Once the wall unit was removed, the room felt huge.  The homeowner wanted to remove the table as well  since she hated it, but I wanted to keep it to show the scale of the room.  Completely empty rooms always look smaller!  I was inspired by her new light fixture.  Buyers will notice the modern accessories in the room more than the actual table and chairs.  They are not buying the furniture but they are buying a ‘perceived’ lifestyle.

Working with Colours

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Fortunately after so many years in the business, I have artwork and accessories to suit just about any room.  I love how this accent wall looks with a few added embellishments.  This room is a wonderful retreat.

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Since this house is suited for a young family, I wanted the bedrooms to appeal to children.  Instead of fighting with the bold yellow walls, I needed to embraced them.  I used my artwork as the inspiration and then continued adding  more youthful and fun elements that had the same intensity.  I think this room turned out very well..

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Whenever possible, show all the bedrooms with beds in them.  She removed all the previous furniture and brought in this desk from the other room.  It’s o.k. to break up furniture sets.  We brought in a single bed and then I dressed the room in youthful linens that had both the gray and the yellow to tie everything together.  The turquoise in the linens also give another pop of colour to tone down the yellow.  It’s not always necessary to repaint every room, but it’s important to work with the colours and make the rooms look their best.

I’m very happy to say that the homeowner loved the end result.  I really appreciated her trusting me enough to work on the new plan and we worked together very well.  She put in a lot of hard work but it paid off when the amazing Realtor brought multiple offers right away.  Great job everyone!


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