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Creating a hip home isn't just about projects that involve power tools and paint brushes. As any of you who have ever watched Design Star know, a space really doesn't look done until it gets staged. Before we had our launch party at Hillcrest (actually, hours before) I was running around town going from store to store buying staging items to fill in some of the blank spots throughout the house. I really felt like someone on the show who has hours left to get just the right pieces to complete their space and get them all set up the way they like it. The stores that I chose to shop at were Target, Home Goods, and World Market. I felt like they each have items that would be interesting and economical enough that I'd find everything I needed between those three. We also incorporated some of our own furniture pieces and other accessories to save money. Anyone who knows us knows what a sacrifice that has been to lose a couch, a bed, a table, and a few other pieces in the name of staging. We really feel like it's worth it though. We feel like it's really important to highlight some areas of the home as well as give people an idea of how to use some of the more challenging spaces, such as the master bedroom with a loft:
As you can see from the photos above, there isn't a lot of floor space to work with at the bottom of the stairs. It would be difficult to fit a bed there and have room to get out of it without hitting your head, so we opted to make the loft space the sleeping area. We feel like it's important to be one step ahead of any potential home buyers and problem solve for them. So, we put a bed in the loft, then added a little reading nook in the space below to show one way that the room could be used. Now, let's get a little closer to see what we did to fill in the spaces even more.
To dress up the reading nook, we added a decorative pillow from Target to the chair (from Crate & Barrel), and a bookcase (from a garage sale!) with a stack of Elle Decor magazines, dish of chocolates, radio, desk calendar, and framed bulletin board made with burlap, chicken wire, and mini clothespins. The pictures on the bulletin board are the fronts of some pretty birthday cards from friends. The bed is made using Threshold sheets and a white pintuck comforter & sham set from Target, a silk throw pillow from West Elm, and a breakfast tray from Target with Travel & Leisure and Martha Stewart Living magazines as well as a decorative mug also from Target set on it. By no means are these spaces perfectly filled in, but what's in there does give it a much homier vibe to the space. In addition, on the wall opposite the chair, we placed a tall wicker hamper just outside of the bathroom area. Speaking of the bathroom...
Even though the bathroom looks great on it's own, we thought we could dress it up a little by adding some plush white bath towels, a matching white hand towel, and a hand soap & lotion set (all from Home Goods). For open houses, we even fill the tub with water and sprinkle rose petals all over the top for a spa-like effect.
Moving on from the main rooms upstairs, we'll take a look at the living room.
We brought in one of our own couches to stage the living room. The green color fit in with the color scheme and the size was just right to sit across from the fireplace and fit between the front windows. Again, we wanted to show any potential buyers that an average sized couch would fit nicely in the room allowing plenty of space between it and the fireplace. We just dressed it up with pillows from West Elm (the two larger ones) and Target (the three in the center). The quirky bug pillow also helps to bring in some of our other accent colors that we have in the house.
For the fireplace, we purchased a vintage mirror and just set it up on the mantle (although we are now thinking about hanging it on the wall). Adjacent to the fireplace are some great built-in cabinets. Admittedly, this space was empty until recently until a walk through a T.J.Maxx inspired us to make some small purchases to bring in more color and added interest. On the top are a green owl and coral colored bird. Inside are teal colored glass bows, a jar with seashells, a large seashell, and a few other knick-knacks. Again, the point is to layer the space and unify it with accent colors that are used in other rooms. Speaking of other rooms, let's peek around the corner and check out the dining area and breakfast bar:
The dining room is a great open space adjacent to the kitchen. We added a table to the area to show that there's plenty of space to walk through with a table there. Usually, the table is used as a display area with information about our company and also has snacks and drinks there as well for anyone who comes through for a showing. The table settings that you see above are there for the purpose of listing photos. Showing an empty table in the middle of a room isn't very exciting to look at and doesn't necessarily draw you in, so I set up four place settings with colorful dishes and mugs to make the picture pop. I also did the same thing at the breakfast bar area. Aren't those stools so cute? They were a great find at the Re-Store that we painted the tops of. The dishes are Fiestaware in Peacock Blue, Shamrock, and White. The glasses are IKEA and the mugs are from World Market. Are you starting to notice how the accent colors really unite one room with the next? Well, since we're so close, let's check out the star of the show - the kitchen!
Once again, we are working to address potential problems that someone may see. The kitchen isn't as large as something more modern, but we found creative ways to get the most use out of the space as possible. We added a pegboard (painted in the same color as the bar stools) and also added custom shelving to the subway tile wall. The reason that the shelves are custom is that we wanted to marry design and functionality equally, so we measured the space to come up with as wide of a shelf as possible that would fit in the center of the wall while accommodating the cabinet door clearance to open without hitting it. There was no store that carried shelves in this dimension, so we decided to go the extra mile and have some built just to fit this space. As for the display items, we just chose some things to hang on the pegboard to give a few ideas for its use such as a couple of frying pans, kitchen utensils, and silicone pot holders. The shelves are holding dishes (the same Fiestaware that was on the table and bar area) as well as IKEA glasses, a mixing bowl from Crate & Barrel, and some old dessert bowls from Outback Steakhouse! We wanted to layer in some color, but not so much that it would look cartoonish. We felt that the clear glass helped balance things out.
Now, let's take a closer look at the cabinets.
We decided to accessorize the inside of a couple of cabinets for a little surprise to anyone who is looking at the house in person. Anyone out there open cabinets while touring a house? It's just nice to see a little something special instead of just white painted shelves. These unique cabinets also have open shelves on the bottom, so we had an opportunity to have some fun there. We got some cute, colorful cookbooks and kitchen accessories like a nesting doll measuring cup set and a mini colander. It also helps to show that these spaces can be used to display decorative and useful items at the same time. Who doesn't love that? Everything here is from World Market, except for the trifle bowl, which comes from Target.
Lastly, we'll show you two small spaces that have very practical uses, but can't be overlooked - the mudroom and half bathroom:
The mudroom is such a cheery room, isn't it? Who wouldn't want to sit down in there to put their shoes on before leaving for work in the morning? We had this bench and shelving unit custom made for the space using an inspiration picture found on Pinterest. We wanted something simple, but functional. The bench allows space to sit and take your shoes off, while providing a nook to put your shoes away. The shelf has multiple hooks to hang coats, scarves, backpacks, lunch bags, etc. and the baskets provide storage for gloves, mittens, scarves, etc. without cluttering up the space. We think that hanging a few items from the hooks, placing baskets on top of the shelf, and putting cushions on the bench really brings the room to life. The baskets are from Target, the cushions are from World Market, and the bags and scarf are our personal items.
The half bath is quite a small room, but still provided another opportunity to bring in some color and tie it in with the other rooms. Even something as small as a colorful hand towel or a bar of soap (which smells amazing in person, by the way) can draw your eye in to the picture or make you want to actually step inside in person rather than just walking by. The towel and soap are from Home Goods and the soap dish is from Target.
Well, that about does it! Every room in the house isn't included, but you get a good idea of what we've done. We try to focus on the most important living spaces and give them some extra attention. We also try to unify spaces by using the same color scheme throughout. We know that this house and what we've put in it isn't for everyone. It's colorful and fun! The great part about staging is that none of it is permanent. We can add, take away, or switch out accessories whenever we feel it's necessary. For open houses, we like to add fresh flowers in some of these rooms to bring more life to the house and engage people's sense of smell. We also offer more food and drinks for these occasions. We like to go the extra mile whenever we're able. When someone walks through one of our houses, it isn't just another house tour, it's a whole new experience. We also know that we can (and may) do even more. The living room would look great with an area rug, some art on the walls, and curtains. The dining table might look nice if there are place settings there all the time. The bedroom bookcase would be more interesting with more stuff on the shelves, etc. It all comes down to two factors: personal preference and budget. Some people opt not to stage at all. Sometimes all that is put in a room is a rug (really, we've seen it!). It really is up to each seller's comfort level. There are people out there who would like to stage a house, but have no idea where to start, or how to shop. Well, if that's you, we're here to help!
We're now happy to offer staging services to any homeowner looking to sell, a realtor looking to partner with someone to help take their listings to the next level, investors who need help with final touches on flips, or builders who need a whole model staged with the latest and greatest from top to bottom! Please feel free to contact us if you're interested in a staging consultation at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-348-9045