15 Jan Staging a home
In case you didn’t realize it, I’m sharing my fellow blogger Pam Lamp’s article this week about a fabulous home stager she interviewed who is making magic wherever she pulls out her bag of tricks. Really hope you’ll follow Pam’s fantastic blog, Who I Met Today.
Sun streaming in the huge windows, I peek around the stylishly appointed condo overlooking downtown Nashville. The owner doesn’t sleep in the perfectly fluffed bed or relax on the sleek white leather couch. He won’t drink the wine invitingly arranged on the dining table, nor will he use the neatly folded towels on the bathroom tub.
He’s moved on – literally – and now Angela Ewing arrives on the scene to work her magic. Chatting in the modern, upper floor condo she has staged, Angela tells me she loves crafting “pleasing interiors and spaces people want to spend time in.”
Once homeowners and their belongings move out and are ready to sell, Angela and her creative talents step in. Working with a number of real estate agents in the Nashville area, Angela’s job is to furnish key areas of homes, townhouses, and condo units from top to bottom. Her goal is for prospective clients to walk in the door, fall in love with what they see, and, of course, want to buy the property.
Besides placing lovely couches and chairs and tables in pleasing layouts, the Studio Art major and her crew set the table for an elegant meal, adorn bathrooms with scented lotions and soaps, and plop bowls of fruit on the kitchen counter. “Today’s popular open floor plans and large master bedrooms are challenging for many people to decorate,” Angela explains. Staging helps a person walk in a home and imagine how the property will work for them.
Several years ago, a friend admired Angela’s well put together home and sense of style. The friend insisted Angela come work at her staging company, a relatively new concept at the time. Agreeing to give the opportunity a try, nine years later Angela now runs her own business.
“Sellers hire stagers for design and psychological reasons,” Angela tells me. They want the buyers to love the home when they walk through the front door. “Hopefully prospective buyers will feel like this is the dream home they’ve been looking for,” she continues.
Angela begins the staging process with a sweeping assessment of the property. “The style of the home, the location in town, and neighborhood demographics dictate the staging,” she explains. As I look around at our lovely surroundings, Angela says she wanted to keep this particular unit sleek and sophisticated for “the high-end, modern building and its probable clientele.”
Nowadays, staging a home – either from a completely blank slate or by supplementing your own furniture and decor – is a part of the selling process. But the monthly fees are not inexpensive. Most people are watching their budget, and Angela is quick to let them know which rooms will provide the most impact. “I typically concentrate on living areas and master bedrooms and tend to skip the secondary bedrooms, closets, and laundry rooms,” she says.
Staging from 20-40 homes at any given time, moving the necessary furniture in and out of homes and condos is a well-performed dance. Inventory is constantly circulating, coming out of that house, going in to this one. I wonder if Angela ever gets to a job and doesn’t have anything left in inventory to suit the space’s requirements? “Somehow, someway I always have what I need, ” she laughs.
“My husband describes me as a borderline hoarder,” she chuckles. Her warehouse looks different every day, filled with items to meet a range of styles and color schemes. She constantly has her eye open for great finds and shops “absolutely everywhere” – Target, furniture stores, online, thrift shops.
Angela’s warehouse, in a revitalized section of town, is stocked with couches, chairs, dining tables, and beds. But it’s also filled with lamps, rugs, books, quilts, picture frames, wine glasses, paintings, electronics (non-working). Anything and everything to make it easy for a potential buyer to imagine himself living in the styled home.
As common and routine a practice as home staging is now, I remember the days when staging was not a thing. Buyers wandered through an empty house with nothing to focus on except the scratches on the walls and floors, nicks on countertops, and rips in the wallpaper.
According to real estate studies, homes sell for higher prices and move faster when staged. “When a home is staged, the eye travels to the things the buyer likes,” Angela points out. “By the time someone notices the flaws, they are already in love and ready to forgive the imperfections.”
Angela – and the owner – feel good about this condo’s finished look. “And that’s what I love about my business,” she says. “Being completely in my creative zone, designing, organizing, and then seeing a client happy with the finished product.”
My thanks to Pam for contributing this great article about staging with Stylish Retreats! She’s a fantastic writer with a great sense of curiosity about people and their passions. As a former news reporter, I feel like we are kindred spirits!
And to reach Angela for staging information, she can be reached at 615-708-0941 or angelaandthestagers.com.