I’ve gotta be honest. I get a little frustrated when I am mentioned in the same breath as some other stagers. Now, in all fairness, these other stagers who will remain nameless are just fine, and are probably better business people than I am.  But they just stage. They have dining room chairs, living room sets, beds, things you hang on the wall and decor and they put it where those things should go in a home and it looks just fine. I have those same things, but I don’t just plug them in. I work really hard at elevating the space. THAT is the difference between me and Stella Home and other stagers.

Business born out of passion

Then it occurred to me. I’m not a stager; I’m a frustrated interior designer. This means I spend too much time and money on each stage to make it unique, comfortable, and unexpected. I want the spectator to walk in and really be uplifted, pleasantly surprised, comfortable and excited at the same time.  

“Please be different”

Recently I staged a house that had already been on the market for a whole listing period. The house was staged, and in a great neighborhood but the house did not sell. The sellers hired a new listing broker and that listing broker called me with this request: please be different from xxx staging and yyy staging. He was referencing the company that staged the current house in question and other staging companies he has worked with before that have been, well, underwhelming at best.

This listing is newly constructed, over $1.5 million, and very well curated. He wanted the staging to match the house. I understood the assignment and welcomed this request. When I first walked the house with my biz partner we agreed the staging wasn’t objectionable, it just didn’t pop. The main thing that stood out to me was the need for the right artwork.

Highlight what’s unique

This house had a glorious amount of wall hanging or gallery space. I immediately envisioned large-scale artwork donning these gorgeous walls, and not just any wall decor but authentic created art. Of course my collection includes just the right pieces.  

I also wanted to capture the incredible light that came through this house. The owners spent a lot of their budget on windows and glass openings. That had to be highlighted. The previous stager used heavier darker pieces. I thought pieces that let light transfer through and that were lighter in the space, would showcase the open light and fill the spaces much better.

Color was really important too. The accents in this house were black metal but it was used sparingly and elegantly. All of the windows were also framed in black metal. I wanted to speak to that element without going heavy. I used black metal accents that were light and paired with wood, which mimicked the beautiful light oak, wide plank floors. I paired black elements with pastels to play with the light.  

See the difference?

Here’s a little more of what I did to this space.

I really loved how this space turned out. Staging for some businesses is, well, a business and they do a great job at that. I create temporary interior designs. 

You can see more of my style in  my previous stages and judge for yourself.