The magic of the Before and After Photo… seeing what once was… and then seeing the final results. For most people, they probably don’t give it much thought or they might think, ‘Okay, well, the BEFORE picture shows a vacant room and the AFTER picture is furnished.. big deal’. But for a Professional Home Stager, it’s a flashback of the culmination of the dozens of decisions that all contributed to the final picture. And many times, the choices had to be changed due to an unexpected repair or expense that altered the Staging budget.
But how does it all start and where do we begin the process? Hands down, without a doubt, it all begins with COLOR.
- Color is paramount for e-v-e-r-y decision..
- for every selection..
- for anything: the walls, the floors, the furniture, the accessories..
- and yes, even the landscape material if you’re adding new plants or doing some exterior painting. (Check out my previous blogs for more info on landscape and exterior color: “Power of Exterior Color” and “Curb Appeal with Landscape Staging”)
They all have to be chosen carefully when staging a home to sell. But they can’t be chosen in isolation. We have to make sure that one thing will work with the next thing and the next thing.. from room to room.. to be inviting, to create an emotion. It’s a domino effect.
In this staging, we thought they were planning on painting the kitchen and bathroom cabinets white, which would have given us more choices for the wall colors. But then the landscaping and deck painting took a priority over some of the interior plans, and budget, so we had to rethink the wall colors to enhance the unpainted cabinet colors.
For the bathrooms, we now had to add the original wood stained color into the equation, along with the countertop, sink, tub, shower tile, and floor colors.
For the Kitchen.. we had to choose a color that would enhance the wood tone cabinets, with a (different) wood tone floor color plus the ceramic sink color, the appliance colors . . .
and ALSO work with the Great Room carpeting, the brick color of the fireplace, plus the brass insert.
We had contemplated painting the fireplace bricks white.. but we decided against it and I’m glad we left them natural. the bricks are nice; they have a lot of character, texture, and depth, and the color is kind of earthy and rustic.. not obnoxious.
It just meant that keeping them that color would add them as an additional major player in the color selections.
The brass fireplace insert, which is dated, became a bit of a conundrum.. I have to admit I lost some sleep regarding what to do: paint it black/remove it/replace it.. but I decided to keep it in its original vintage glory and declared it my “Embrace the Brass” Campaign.
This inspired me to find a beautiful vintage ceiling mount light cover (at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore) to replace the existing Foyer ceiling light.
This ‘new’ vintage lighting addition would become a new member of the “Embrace the Brass” Campaign. It’s a beautiful piece that caught your eye when you walked in, and that was true to the age of the home. It was a quality vintage piece that cost $3.00!! but it made a considerable difference in the Foyer, as you entered the home.
It actually enhanced the fireplace and the fireplace enhanced ‘it’. Small details matter and make a big difference. I was grateful to the wonderful Realtor who was handy enough to install it for me!
Back to the color puzzle.. so many different surfaces that had to be considered ..but we needed to find just the right colors that could meet the challenge for a harmonious co-existence. There could only be one color choice for the main living areas (Kitchen, Dining area, Great Room) .. but it ALSO had to be compatible with the Hallway/Foyer colors, which needed to be lighter due to the lack of natural daylight.. and then THAT color had to then be compatible with the Bedroom and bathroom colors. I also needed to be especially cautious of choosing colors that could sabotage the end result with their subtle, and sometimes sneaky, undertones. THIS was an absolute priority and could not be overlooked in this case. Because of the warm wood tones and the ‘orange’ fireplace brick, I had to be especially careful not to choose a color that would expose a pink undertone, but that could still have a bit of a caramel tone to it.. but that also wouldn’t clash with the brass fireplace insert. LOTS of thought, visualizing, color checking, rechecking in different lighting (daytime and evening, ie, natural light and artificial light). Are we getting dizzy yet?
The goal is to create a harmonious symphony of colors and textures that weave and flow together throughout the home. It’s soothing, it’s comfortable, it directs the eye to the focal points, the architectural features, and the home’s amenities. It’s easy if you have carte blanche and can do whatever you want.. but it’s much more challenging, and it’s also much more satisfying, when we have to come up with solutions that require a lot more creativity when working with what a client has, within a Client’s budget, and making it work.
And this is why I love my job so much. In just a few days and a small amount of money, BtR transformed a vacant home that had lots of potential and wonderful selling points, but lacked the emotion and the ingredients to showcase the lifestyle. Were all those decisions worth it? We quickly got our answer: Once the home was ready to be Listed, the Realtor increased the Asking Price by $10,000 over the original planned price >>which resulted in several Offers within a few days >> they were quickly Under Contract with an Offer that was $5,000 over Asking Price! (but technically $15k over the original planned Listing Price)
To sum it up.. Allie:
1. Honored The Homeowner by:
- Visualizing the end result
- paying attention to every detail, with every decision, to make sure the home was optimally marketed for the targeted demographic, and
- staying within the Homeowner’s budget. This saved them:
- money .. and ..
- stress .. by getting it sold fast.
And because The Homeowner believed in The Power of Staging.. of being Proactive .. and of packaging and presenting their property as a quality, well-cared for product, they didn’t have to worry about:
- it lingering on the market,
- or having the expense of continued carrying costs(mortgage, insurance, utilities, etc),
- or dealing with the hassle of continual Showings or unnecessary Price Reductions.
BtR bloomed their equity so they could move on with their lives .. with more money in their pocket.
2. Allie honored the Realtor by: Helping to advise the Homeowner with choices and decisions .. Furniture selection and placement that highlighted the focal points/selling points .. Increasing the home’s value..Getting the home camera ready which enhanced his Listing with beautiful photos that received instant action, Showings and Offers.
3. But in the end, it was Allie who was honored to be an important and effective team player in getting the house sold quickly and profitably.
Delighted Clients, a Happy Realtor, and an excited new Homeowner! BLOOM That ROOM told the story.. and it had a very happy and profitable ending. Emotions Sell. Staging Works.™
GET STAGED . GET SOLD™
bloom that room