I’m often asked what my style is. As a newbie stager, that question always tripped me up. Now that I’m an older and wiser stager I know how to better answer this question: It’s not what my style is that matters… It’s what the house’s style is that matters. I’ve written about staging and some of the tricks I’ve used before. But it’s important, no it’s a mistake to impose a style on a house. The house tells you what it needs and wants. Now certainly, the goal is to elevate the styling but always meeting the house where it is. Ultimately that’s the right call for your home and your wallet.
My goal is to listen to the obvious concerns of sellers regarding appeal to the masses. Of course, I don’t want to turn buyers off. But I often stress to my sellers that replacing a perfectly good light fixture or completely changing the paint palette of the house (which is very expensive) isn’t always worth it because it’s something the buyer will want to choose anyway. Rather than making changes for change’s sake or trying to cover up the home in some way, I lift the home to a new level.
What am I talking about? Let me explain.
Sometimes I’m hired to stage a home that isn’t on trend aka outdated, and/or a house that has bold and outdated design elements. Or sometimes it’s just a blank potentially boring design. I don’t hide these things or act like they aren’t there by covering them up using trendy modern furnishings. I use a mix of what might be expected and introduce what elevates and modernizes the style. I work off of a thread of ‘what is’ to create a design of ‘what could be.’
Let’s look at an example
This home had some very lovely space, but lots of beige brown dark wood and big hard light fixtures throughout. I chose to work off of that vibe. I chose playful colors and leathers to complement the library-like feel.
Another example is this foyer
This foyer had outdated wall treatments and large crystal french palace-inspired chandelier fixture. The homeowner was ready to repaint and replace this very expensive light fixture. In fact, this house had been on the market before I staged it with no offers. Homeowners were ready to do anything they needed to to sell it. I recommended I work with what they had. I used Chinoiserie framed wallpaper panels and glass and brass foyer table to make the opening of this house sing.
This is a condo I recently staged for a homeowner that was concerned that all of the condos in his complex all had the same finishes, light fixtures flooring and it was just boring and he needed to stand out. He asked what colors he should paint the walls and what type of light fixtures he should buy, My answer, neither. I used the plane white background to launch super saturated pops of color.
Check it out.