For anyone still questioning the power home staging has on vacant rooms, here’s more proof that furnishing an otherwise empty listing can have an incredible impact on how that home is perceived by potential buyers. This vintage charmer built in 1944 with a family room addition added by previous owners is a perfect example!  (Click on Photos to Enlarge!)

Living Room to Kitchen

Left in need of repairs by the former tenants, the sellers first updated each room with fresh paint, a positive selling point. Choosing a warm, neutral color-scheme including a gorgeous shade of deep gray for the kitchen to help the original, freshly-painted crisp white cabinetry and trim stand out created the perfect backdrop.

Helen Forte AFTER Kitchen

New carpeting was installed in two of the three bedrooms and vintage light fixtures that came from a home the owner’s son was remodeling kept the costs down and added character to the space. Embracing the covered patio and promoting it as an entertainment/gathering completed the new look.

Home Staging Expert™ and Realtor® Helaine Forte with Coldwell Banker in Sonoma, California staged the listing, adding a nice mix of furnishings and accessories to prevent the look from feeling too ‘staged’ and added bright pops of color to bring the home back to life. Choosing burnt orange swivel chairs and a periwinkle blue sofa made the living room feel young and cheerful and helped to highlight the living room. The bedroom ceiling was painted periwinkle blue to give an otherwise one-dimensional space some personality, and furnishings were streamlined as to not overpower the space. Bamboo chairs, a picnic table, lanterns and greenery emphasized how this space could be fully utilized and turned it into a positive selling point!

Helen Forte AFTER LR Straight

This listing is now staged-to-sell and looks move-in ready! Helaine and the homeowners did a beautiful job, don’t you agree?

Helaine Forte

For further information, or if you are looking for a Realtor® with incredible staging skills in or around Sonoma, California, please contact Helaine Forte, COLDWELL BANKER BROKERS OF THE VALLEY at 707-337-3415

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How Often Does the Average Homeowner Paint?

painting corner
According to an HGTV study, the average homeowner will spend $6500.00 on upgrades during the first year of buying their home, but will wait another 5.5 years before updating again for something even as simple as a fresh coat of paint!

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Interior Design vs. Home Staging: What exactly is the difference? (With Photo Examples!)

People often ask me the main differences between Home Staging and Interior Design, or even Interior Redesign, so I thought I would post my official response.

Home Staging is essentially the art of preparing a home to sell. The goal is to appeal to the most potential buyers as possible for a quick and profitable real estate transaction. The basic idea when staging a home is to play up the positive features of the space.

Interior Design, or even Interior Redesign for that matter, is the practice of working with a homeowner to personalize their space for the way they live and intend to use it, and to emphasize their own personal style.

When I am staging a home to sell, I am much more concerned with how a potential buyer will view the space than how a homeowner is currently living in it. The goal is to sell the home quickly for the highest price, so that is where I concentrate my efforts. When I am redesigning a space, the homeowner’s style, needs, and opinions are my top priority. The objective is to please the owner and make the home functional for them and pleasing to their aesthetics.

As a Home Staging Expert™, I do get a lot of requests from people to come in and ‘stage’ their home, even though they don’t plan to move. Clients who ask me to come in and redesign their space are typically former staging clients or have been recommended by former staging clients. They like the look and they would like me to help them get the same feeling in their current home.

I charge exactly the same for redesign as I do for home staging. The only difference is that I do not do any shopping for my home staging clients, but I am often asked to shop for my redesign clients and they are charged accordingly. While I am usually in and out of a home staging job in a day, my relationship with a redesign client…while it can sometimes be completed in a day, depending on the project…might last for weeks or even longer.

Both Home Staging and Interior Redesign are intensely creative and very case specific undertakings that come from two very different perspectives. One is not equal to the other. The home shown above is a perfect example.

In this case, I was called in to stage a property that had been professionally decorated by a certified interior designer a few years before. The designer had created a space that was pleasing to the homeowner…heavy lace draping, seating to induce comfort and conversation, a table to display personal photos and mementos, etc.

Of course, staging the property meant undoing much of the design. The goal was to show off the soaring ceilings and gorgeous view, one of the attributes that prompted the current owner to purchase the property to begin with, bring in more natural light, and create visible square footage by implementing a more open and inviting furniture arrangement.

The changes I made, while perhaps more subtle than many staging projects I have taken on, are still quite recognizable and a wonderful example depicting the principle characteristics of Interior Design vs. Home Staging. To get a better idea of the changes I made and the difference between the two, click on the photos to enlarge.

*All Photos the property of Lori Matzke and Center Stage Home, Inc. Photos may not be republished/reprinted without permission.

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Staging Cold Rooms for Warmth

free living-room-1298533_640 (1)

A warm and inviting space will always entice potential buyers in during the cold winter months. And warming up a space is very easy to achieve through color and texture.

Choosing shades of brown, cream, or gold for paint or as accent colors can help set the stage. You can turn up the heat a notch by accessorizing in brick red or burnt sienna.

Take the idea one step further and include a mix of textures, from soft and cuddly, to sleek and sensuous. You can achieve this by mixing a few silky pillows in with a fuzzy throw, or adding a thick, wooly rug for instant snuggle quality.

The key is not only to stage the property and highlight its best features, but to create a mood that makes a potential buyer want to curl up right there and settle in for good!

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2-Day Home Staging Workshop – TORONTO, ONTARIO

\”Carole Sherkey & Mary Helen Rosenberg\”

2-Day Home Staging Workshop – February 3 & 4, 2014

Taught by long-time Center Stage Home™ Affiliates, Home Staging Expert™ Certified Trainers, and two of my most favorite people, I might add, this is not a class you want to miss!

Carole Sherkey and Mary Helen Rosenberg are the owners of Stage to Sell. These two pack a lot of style and business experience in their punch and have been proving my ’avoid-business-partners’ theory wrong for years!

When I first met this dynamic duo way back when, they just wanted to do a little staging in Toronto. Maybe on the side. Just, you know, here and there. But just a few years and thousands of staged rooms later, and you can see why they are now considered the premier staging and home staging training company in Canada!

Please stop by, check out their website at www.stagetosell.net and see if you can still get in on the workshop they’re holding in Toronto! They’ll teach you twice as much and you’ll be ten times happier you did!

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Winter Home Staging – Bringing in More Light

"Ballard Design's SACHA Mirror placed just off the window helps reflect even more light into this dining room!"

“Ballard Design’s SACHA Mirror placed just off the window helps reflect even more light into this dining room!”

Light, bright spaces SELL! To prevent the dark and dreary days of winter from sabotaging your best staging efforts, follow these simple steps…

1) Encourage more sunshine! To bring in as much natural light as possible, take down
heavy window treatments, remove screens when appropriate, and give the windows a
good cleaning.

2) The most well-lit rooms have a good balance of natural, overhead, and surface lighting
to ensure an evenly lit space. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!

3) Need to lighten it up even more? Use brighter bulbs! A higher wattage bulb will throw
out an even brighter light! Just make sure to use a proper wattage for the light/lamp.

4) Reflective surfaces are sure to make a dark room sparkle! Mirrors, glassware, shiny
artwork, and glass-topped tables keep a space feeling light, bright, and inviting.

*Ballard Design’s SACHA Mirror, shown here, was placed just off the window and helps add dazzle and daylight to this dining room!

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