7 Tips for Staging Difficult Spaces
One of the critical reasons to stage a vacant home is to give perspective to buyers. Empty rooms are lifeless question marks in buyer’s eyes, so merchandising the space becomes essential!
Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal, a New York City based staging company was given one of the toughest vacant staging assignments I’ve ever seen, so I just had to share it. This 3-bedroom, 4,000 square foot loft in Tribeca was on the market three months without an acceptable offer.
The loft sold at FULL asking price 22 days after Donna staged it!
Check it out…
This was the loft space as you walked in the home and as you can see the large columns are distracting and overwhelming. The space appears dark, lifeless, cold and definitely not easily able to arrange furniture around!
1. Create Groupings
Strategically using area rugs, Donna separated the large space into groupings. A central living and seating area between the columns draws the eye to the seating area and away from the columns.
Entryway/Living Room After
2. Use Reflective Surfaces
The large and well placed mirror brings the eye further into the room immediately while extending the more narrow space. Using a light palette, reflective surfaces and mirrors, the space appears more open, light and inviting.
Here is a view from another angle where you can see how open the space was and how difficult it would be to fit all the represented living spaces in this one great room.
Not only did she fit a living grouping but a dining area off the kitchen as well.
3. Use Furniture to Separate the Space
What do you do with a small, seemingly un-useful space off the living area when you’ve already established plenty of seating arrangements?
Separating the space with a bookcase, it becomes an office with a view!
4. Proper Scale Needs to Always be Considered
Filled with large, empty space this loft needs properly scaled furnishings to first “fit” between the beams in the living/entry area and now larger pieces to match this large space below.
The cabinets are artfully arranged to add color and symmetry.
5. Know Your Buyer Demographic
Staging for Families
Since the buyer demographic for this space was a family, Donna incorporated that lifestyle in her merchandising by turning this cold Den space into a bright, kids play area.
Notice how the brick wall in the vacant space appears to be a detraction while once it’s staged becomes an asset.
“Artful staging can turn even negative architectural elements into positive assets!”
6. Use Great Art to Elevate the Space
At this point you’ve probably noticed the amazing artwork that serves to elevate the space and give personality right? Well Donna cleverly partnered with an art gallery to complete her staging vision.
This bedroom is tricky because all you notice is the long, unsightly heater under the windows.
Second Bedroom Before
Using a highly textured area rug, soft textiles and amazing artwork the space becomes a girls dream bedroom!
Second Bedroom After – Girl
Third Bedroom Before
Third Bedroom After – Boy or Guest Room
7. Never Leave Anything Up to the Buyer’s Imagination
Frankly, any kitchen unstaged with cleared countertops will look cold, sterile and bring the eye to the worst architectural feature (in this case the overhanging light on the island). The “cleared counter top” look is NOT a staged kitchen!
Color was essential to move away from the hospital feel and the contemporary barstools draw the eye away from our light fixture while providing the sleek, cool feel associated with this space.
Empty bedrooms add nothing to a buyers decision. They become quick “walk-on-bys”
Add the color, textiles and life…now the buyer lingers.
Another view of the master bedroom and incredible artwork!
Thank you Donna for sharing your talent! Staging is essential for buyers to really “see” the value in a home…otherwise the seller is leaving cash on the table.
Not all professional stagers are equal! Our HSR Certification training was the first and one of the only staging and redesign training programs that has been third-party, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association, so invest in the best!
Ready to Become a Successful Home Stager and Redesigner?
20+ Reasons Why HSR is Your Best Choice for Staging Training…
A lot of training companies will call themselves the “world’s best” or “accredited” but you have to dig deeper to find out the facts and make sure you invest in the best partnership for your business! I know it’s confusing, so I recently put together this video in hopes to explain the HSR point of view and my philosophy on what makes us the best choice.
Another great reason to choose HSR as your trainer of choice! The Home Staging Resource was the first truly, Accredited Home Staging Training Provider by an independent, third-party who has audited our training (the Real Estate Staging Association).
Home Stager Success Story – Stager Turns Online, Trade Furnishing Company
I love this story because it represents so many stories I hear from HSR Members who get calls right away and have immediate success…
Can you imagine just starting the HSR Certification training and getting a call from a builder to stage a model home? Here’s a quick video and encouraging story of how they handled it…
What makes the alliance with HSR and DesignMeBuyMe.com even more exciting to me is that my wife and I both got our start with HSR. The HSR program and lessons truly gave us a solid foundation and allowed us to apply what we have learned and in turn create a multi-million dollar business!
Back in 2006 when we joined HSR and completed their program, our very first job was to stage two 5000+ sqf homes top to bottom for the parade of homes. Without thinking, we were so excited and we accepted the challenge just to find out shortly after that we only had 48 hours to get it all done.
We were in way over our heads, but we had to get creative to get it all done. So we decided to take all the furniture out of our personal home to get started on house number1 I do not recommend this!! Unfortunately all of our furniture only furnished the 1st floor of the parade home, so we had to reach out and two of our best friends loaned us all of their furniture for a week just so we can get one house completed……good friends!
By the time we started house 2, we were out of furniture and good friends it seemed J so we contacted local furniture stores and asked if we could use some of their furniture. After getting multiple “No thank you” answers we finally found a store to lend us living room, bedroom and game room furniture. As relieved as we were, the furniture we used was all very high-end which made it very stressful for us to move and place.
All that being said, we won 1st place in the Parade and both houses sold within a week. In addition, all of our furniture and some of our friends furniture sold as well.
The money we got paid for staging was certainly great but to also have additional income from furniture sales made the entire process even better.
Since all of the furniture that we sold was originally purchased at retail prices, our overall profit margins were relatively small.
Prior to starting DMBM my wife and I went to Furniture markets in an attempt to open up our own vendor accounts. We quickly realized that as an independent homestager/designer we were treated a little differently – the first question we were always asked was “Do you have a store?” Our answer was no, which meant that we automatically got placed in the least favorable pricing category – Designer Pricing
Designer Pricing basically means – higher product cost, higher shipping costs and minimum order requirements. In addition, most vendors have opening orders that have to be met which can range from $1000 to $20,000.
Now HSR Members can access the DesignMeBuyMe.com website and offer “To the Trade” pricing to their clients because of our special relationship with HSR!
Every year I go to the RESA Convention and every year I get ten times more done in my business the months following that inspirational event because it is so motivating! I really can’t say enough about this event, so I thought I’d bullet point some key reasons to attend (and use to convince your spouse the importance of you going!)
- Barbara Corcoran – Need I say more? It’s incredible to me that RESA was able to get her to speak and I can’t wait to see what kind of wisdom this amazing woman has to share!
- Training Times Ten – Yep, you will learn so much at this event on so many different topics! The experts are hand picked and are the best of the best!
- It Will Fire-Up Your Business – I promise you will walk away feeling invincible and capable of tackling the toughest projects, clients and marketing activities!
- You Will Make LOTS of Friends – Staging and design can be a lonely business, so coming to this event allows you to connect with peers, network and make friends that will also hold you accountable and encourage you all year round.
- Early Bird Pricing Currently, Las Vegas is a Cool Place to Visit and the Great Food – Okay, I listed three more fantastic reasons that not everyone is aware of…in fact, I think I gain five pounds from the amazing food that is served at the RESA Convention every year.
For past and present HSR Grads, I have a special video invite just for you…
Why Using a Professional Home Stager and Stylist SAVES You Money…
In this video I go over the ways a home stylist can save clients money when shopping for home furnishings, as well as my top five favorite “to the trade” shopping sources online….
I hope you enjoyed my top five shopping resources video and will use a home stylist on your next design project!
XOXO – Happy Staging!