Online Staging Goes The Extra Mile
Is it really worth it to Stage in this hot market? Well this house sold immediately for $101,000 over asking. I’d say it’s definitely worth it!
I was called by Realtor, Patti Smith of Keller Williams Integrity to help with another online staging. We have worked together for almost 15 years while I was doing in person Stagings. Since COVID I have done several online staging’s with her and they have all sold immediately over asking price. It’s just a different way of working together. Over the years, I have guided her on what inventory to buy since she likes to bring in her own inventory. Buying the ‘right’ inventory is key. She now has ‘rooms in box’, which makes it much easier than always trying to reinvent rooms. The challenge is having the right inventory to blend in with the homeowners furniture and style without it looking too different.
I may only be doing ‘online’ Stagings right now but Realtors and homeowners know that I am extremely involved. I am CONSTANTLY facetiming, zooming and and texting photos back and forth. I’m there every single step of the way.
The Story Behind This Staging:
In this case, the homeowners were in their 80’s and were moving into a small apartment and leaving this large 6 bedroom house behind. Before ANY staging could take place, so many decisions had to be made about what pieces will fit in their new apartment, what can be donated to their church and children and what goes to the curb. The clients hired Darling Solutions to help with the sorting and decluttering. You can see in the photos, that it would have been too overwhelming for them to do that on their own.
The clients were moving out before the house was being listed which makes it much easier, but it also meant that some of the key pieces of furniture were going to be removed. I spent many hours reviewing all the photos and figuring out what was the best way to use the left-over pieces and what room the furniture should be moved to. I wrote a very detailed report so the movers could move the furniture to the appropriate rooms without any guessing. You don’t want to pay for them moving things twice!
This is where my excellent relationship with Patti comes in. I know her high expectations and we can almost finish each other’s sentences. I knew she would want to showcase every single room in the house. She never does things half-way. This project was more complicated than normal with all the extra circumstances, people and phases involved. No two Stagings are the same.
Even before the clients moved out, all the behind the scene work was being done. I spent many hours on the phone with Patti letting her know exactly what inventory to take in and where to put it. Again that is the beauty in knowing what she has available to work with. Patti spent endless hours gathering everything and taking loads of inventory to the house. Trust me, it’s hard work! You always have to take more than you need so you have options to pull it all together. Each time she went to the house, it was like peeling layers of an onion away and actually being able to see what we were working with. We were always Facetiming so I could see the progress as well.
The Transitions of Each Room:
It would take way too long to explain each step for each room but you will appreciate the before, the during and the end result. The photos say it all! Remember, we were limited to what furniture we had to work with and no painting was done. Patti did bring in a cleaner once the staging was complete.
I felt fortunate that I have already been in this model of home so I had a very good sense of what the room sizes were and the layout.
This is actually a main floor bedroom but since there are 5 other bedrooms we felt it was more beneficial to stage it as a home office. Home offices are obviously making a huge comeback due to COVID.
All this furniture was brought in from other rooms of the house. Patti brought in the artwork and accessories.
Formal Dining Room:
The clients were using this room as their formal living room and they were taking everything with them. Since we didn’t have a dining table, we left this room as a blank canvas.
Modern artwork neutralized the brown walls. This house is open concept and very large so it’s best to let the buyers decide what colour they want to paint the entire house.
The clients turned this room into their dining room since they had such a large table and hutch etc. They took all this furniture with them so we felt it was better to showcase this room as the living room. In most models of this home, there is a fireplace where they had their hutch.
We were able to use all their furniture from another room in here. They took their leather matching leave seat but these two chairs where in other rooms so they finished off the look.
Since all the kitchen counters were green, I didn’t want to bring in competing colours. Keeping everything tan, black and ivory throughout the main floor keeps it nuetral for buyers and is a safer way to go but certainly not boring.
This area is normally for eating but they had invested a lot of money into building this built-in bookcase with a fireplace. They created their living room here. I just felt it was the smallest room in the house so it should be turned back to an eating area.
They had this round table in the basement and Patti brought in the chairs. We Staged the built-ins with decorative accessories. The space feels larger and the patio doors to the garden are more accessible.
The clients took all their bedroom furniture but we were able to scrounge enough pieces from other rooms in the house to create a fully furnished room. Figuring out the furniture placement with what we had was definitely the most challenging aspect of this Staging. There were many days that room and furniture pieces were floating around in the my head lol.
We were very thankful for the movers who carried all the heavy furniture from downstairs. Keeping this room light and airy made such a huge difference. Since the vanity in the master bath was green, we sparingly used green accents in this room but focussed more on the yellow. Ideally it would have been nice to have the shelves removed, but that would have meant painting this entire large wall so it’s easier to just put a few accessories on it.
I love Patti’s end table and lamps. Her oversized bold and cheery artwork really gives a punch to the room.
Notice how the yellow and green were carried right through the to master bath.
You can see if this house had not been staged, it would have been extremely confusing for buyers to figure out which room was which, just by looking at photos.
All this furniture was taken with the clients.
This was the desk that was moved to the main floor office. It’s amazing how you can dress up a desk to make it look more like an executive office.
This is one of Patti’s ‘room in a box’ including the raise airbed, linens, lamp and artwork. The movers moved the end table and dresser in from another bedroom.
This bed was moved down to the master bedroom. The tall dresser was moved to the pink bedroom next door.
The long dresser and mirror were moved to the master bedroom downstairs. We were able to keep this daybed and turn this room into a child’s room.
We had to somehow incorporate the pink blinds. The costs would have been too much to repair, paint, add rods and drapes. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles. At least buyers can have some privacy until they know what they want to do with window treatments. Who knows, they may love the pink blinds?!
It’s little things like area rugs and a few accessories to create a vision for buyers. We didn’t have a dresser for here, but these white bookcases from other areas in the house work just fine to show buyers where they can put their furniture.
We were lucky they kept this furniture here so it was just a case of adding brighter linens and artwork. We needed this gray desk chair for the office upstairs so we were able to use one of their old kitchen chairs.
This is a tiny long narrow bedroom. The large wall unit on the left hand side was moved upstairs and the wall unit in the main floor office. Again, thank goodness for movers!
Since they already had this single bed and night table, it would have been a shame not to showcase this bedroom as well. Every room is valuable and furniture helps show the scale of the room.
Having a finished basement is a real bonus in a family home. Especially when it’s this large with a full bathroom and two bedrooms. There open family room is huge and can easily be a great TV room and rec area for the kids.
This was really just a storage room for the homeowners. You can see that this is the round table that we used upstairs in the kitchen eat-in area. The little white bookcase were used in the child’s room upstairs.
We had originally thought of just completely emptying this large room since this furniture was being donated to their church and we didn’t have living room furniture to bring in. Patti was determined to make it work and donate the furniture after the house was sold.
She covered all the furniture with sheets and added a few cushions. That’s determination!
I’m really proud of this online staging and teamwork with Patti. I have to admit it was a bit overwhelming at the beginning just by looking at the photos but I’ve been doing this for so many years, I KNOW what looks good in photos and where to prioritize.
This was a huge undertaking and NOT all Stagings are this involved. If you want more information on how I can help you Stage your house/listing online, I would love to talk to you.
Disclaimer: The ‘before’ and ‘during’ photos were taken by Patti Smith. The professional ‘after’ photos were taken by PREPsolutions.ca
Heather Maduk 613-302-4020
Owner of StyledandStaged.com and StyledHomeLiving.com