Update: This Airdrie listing is officially sold after being conditionally sold the weekend it was listed.
Staging comes with so many different types of homes, tastes, styles, and furniture. You never know exactly what you are about to walk into (the reason I love Occupied Staging – always an adventure). This is why we always do consultations prior to staging. In the case of this Airdrie home, the consult was all that was needed! The homeowner had done a wonderful job decluttering and cleaning before I got there, and had lovely transitional furniture that was in great condition.
At first glance it is easy to think, this place looks nice – I am not sure they need to change anything! But when you put your buyer hat on and really look around at what each piece of furniture means and the story the decor tells, and the lifestyle the layout boasts, there are things that are needed to put the listing’s best foot foward – detailed below.
The kitchen was spotless with completely bare counters. Many people who stage their own home do this, and this ‘after’ shows you why not to. The kitchen is the biggest selling point of a home, and people need to feel warm and welcome in the space. Completely clear counters is not only unrealistic but it is cold. I recommend the following:
- Coffee station: Having a section of the counter dedicated to a coffee maker, some mugs, and a few related accessories.
- Jars: Having jars allows people to see that there is room for storage on the counter and that it can actually be done with taste and look nice.
- Utensils: Everybody has utensils beside their stove, so this is telling the story of functionality
- Island Decor: Having something on the island gives a focal point to the room, which grounds the space for buyers when they come in. Sometimes I will do place settings in front of the barstools instead, depending on the island, but for this a large plate with decorative balls was perfect.
- Remove all other clutter, cleaners, towels, and appliances.
Who else is obsessed with these chairs? The homeowner actually asked me if they should swap them for more neutral traditional fabric chairs! I told them absolutely not and their taste is impeccable – keep them! These really were used to amplify the space and very little else was needed. We pulled the centerpiece from the living room to bring in some colour (and because dining tables always need a centerpiece) and the area really stood on its own.
In a perfect world, we would have had drape hooks on the wall to hold the drapery out of the way. You do not want buyers having to move your drapes to get outside, and you don’t want them blocking any light or views. But the drapery was in great shape and time was limited so they still were an asset as-is.
The living room had a very heavy brown leather sectional and an area rug that was not quite big enough (very common) to support it. This was emphasized by the fact that there was no coffee table – and so everything just seemed to be pressed up to the walls. The homeowner sent me a few coffee table options over email post-consultation, and found this one which worked perfectly and was inexpensive.
We actually swapped the console and the buffet so that when you walked in from the dining room you saw a slightly lighter piece of furniture, as the buffet was quite heavy next to the couch as a first impression. Thankfully the vanity and buffet were matching and were lovely pieces, so this was an easy and painless change.
We also removed the “live laugh love” wall sticker from above the console. I always recommend removing phrases from walls if possible as they are distracting and catered to a specific taste. We kept the ‘family’ stickers up because the mirror spacing looked out of balance without it and moving the mirror wasn’t an option at the time.
The homeowner had styled the surfaces on her own and did a wonderful job, so nothing had to change there!
A tiny detail that made a huge impact in this room was the faux fur area rug at the foot of the bed. This is actually 2 very small mats that I found in their basement near the end of the consult and suggested they bring up to overlap. The reason it makes an impact is because it cools down and modernizes the creams and grounds the ottoman.
We also noticed that all of the drapes were strung incorrectly, with the seams on the end facing out. Once we noticed this we saw it on all the drapes and so the homeowner re-strung them all before photos. This may seem small, but it is something that people would notice is ‘not right’ and you always want to minimize those.
Other than that we adjusted the large fireplace furniture to the left which was previously on an angle, revealing more floor space – a must.
This room was tough, and the homeowner knew it. There was way too much large furniture for the size of the room – this photo actually makes it look pretty spacious. However, the furniture was too heavy to move and they had nowhere else to store it. In fact, they hoped the buyer would buy it with the house! So I suggested we simply dress up the bed, add a nice throw and tray combo, and leave a note for people in showings to read that it can come with the house – taking the attention off of how cramped it felt.
Fresh and clean, a few small accessories and some rolled towels are usually all you need for bathrooms. If it has a big tub I also like to recommend candles to ‘set the mood’.
This family was extremely close and their 3 boys liked to sleep in the same room. This is wonderful and adorable, but it is hard to show. Three beds in one room made it feel small and told the story that there ‘wasn’t room for your kids,’ even though there was an unused guest room across the hall.
When staging for sale, you need to take your family’s comfort into consideration and prioritize your sanity over how it looks. In this case, the kids needed to stay together and so we rearranged the furniture to accommodate. At first, the bunk beds were right in front of the window, and the small bed was almost in the way of you walking in. Val (their amazing realtor) pulled out a notepad and we sketched out a few floor plan layouts on the spot to see how to best showcase this room. We landed on what you see above. It was the only way to let all of that natural light in and keep all the boys in the same room comfortably, and I think it makes the room look pretty big!
We also pulled out the dressers from inside the closet and made a little ‘desk’ out of them, which worked perfectly for while they were living there. We took down some of the wall stickers (people often worry they will pull paint), and the homeowner tidied up before photos (a great feat with 3 kids in 1 room! #supermom).
Upper Laundry & Bonus Room
The homeowner told me that they had just taken down the art at the top of the stairs – I said put it back up! We want to draw peoples’ eyes up the stairs and welcome them to the second floor. Once they get there, though, they walked into a very sparse room. I recommended they start with adding a coffee table (again, with 3 young kids these are often the first things to be removed from the house, so when selling they need to be brought back in to fill space and complete the look). I also suggested they also take the rather large fake tree from the main living room downstairs and bring it up to where it was needed more. A few small styling items and this room was photo-ready.
The laundry room was cleared of clutter, a picture was added, and bada-bing bada-boom it was also photo-ready.
Deck: Outdoor Living
Lastly, but certainly not least, the deck needed a few small changes to make it that ‘summer loving’ outdoor space. We moved the firepit over to the built-in benches under the pergola and brought the bbq back up in the deck (where it had previously been down on the grass) – making the deck area a stronger selling point.
All in all the home was lovely and it is no wonder it sold so quickly!!!
Photos: Urban Measure
Realtor: Val Laferrière
Realtor Listing Blurb:
“This beautifully upgraded home has 9 foot ceilings, eight foot doors (perfect for the vertically gifted), walk-in entry closet, hardwood floors, and a large backyard for all your friends, family, and fur-babies. The kitchen is perfect for those who love to cook or if you just need the space for the mess you’re bound to make, with: a gas stove, quartz countertops, large island, stainless steel appliances, large cabinetry, under counter lighting, glass backspace, pantry, and a large dining area that leads right out to the deck! Spacious living room with a gas fireplace and maple banisters leading upstairs with a spectacular carpet feature. This 3-large bedroom house has a bonus loft with a view of the neighbourhood. The master room fits a king bed, ensuite with bath oasis with a walk-in closet. The second bedroom with a king bed suite, third bedroom with a walk-in closet and a 4-PC bathroom between the bedrooms, with the laundry conveniently placed upstairs.”