Historic homes are absolutely beautiful and it is imperative to maintain and showcase the character in them. That said, historic homes were built for simpler times. Fewer bathrooms, less space, smaller bedrooms… and so staging needs to draw the eye where you need it to go and compliment its surroundings.
Listing: Historic Inglewood House
I was hired to do a complete occupied stage with decor rentals. What that means is the owners had minimal decor of their own and needed me to come in and bring my own accessories and wall art. In this case, we also had to bring some furniture and rugs as well to fill the space.
My favourite part of this stage was actually the most challenging. The house had a large narrow flex area in the basement. It used to be the office, but the office made more sense on the other side of the basement where it was a little smaller and had a more natural barrier. The first thing that comes to mind is a workout area. However, the homeowners had a huge elliptical upstairs in the guest room that they could not move down the stairs yet. And so we needed to keep that guest room as the workout room (which I staged to show as a zen yoga area as well). So what else could this space be? The area that this house was in, Inglewood, was a thriving, youthful, and creative area – known for its artistic flair. So I leaned into that by designing a creative studio. I brought in a small desk (to fit down the narrow stairs), a tufted chair, and an area rug to ground the space. From there I styled it with my sewing machine, balls of yarn, and yards of fabric – even styling the sewing machine! I also brought in my bust with a kimono draped over the shoulder to play a part in this fashionista’s dream workroom. The yard and fabrics were placed in beautiful baskets on the existing floating shelves, and I finished it off with a round wooden mirror. It is my favourite room in the house.
The upstairs landing had a bookshelf but was otherwise missing any use and personality. I brought in and styled a rocking chair to show that the space could actually count as usable space and not dead space at the top of the stairs. I also pulled all of the books off of the shelf and reorganized them by colour to make it look less busy and more ‘#bookgoals’. You can see a timelapse of this on my instagram feed.
For the rest of the house, it was more or less just adding photos and decor throughout. We chose colours that would compliment the brown since the owners were not able to get to painting them (my recommendation to freshen and lighten the space). Blue, teal, and yellow were chosen for toss cushions and throws, and artwork in subtle blues and creams went up on the walls.
Lastly, we put down a mandala welcome rug to give a warm and welcoming first impression.