Update: The property sold in less than a week for more than asking, with multiple offers.
I was brought in for a staging consultation by Travis Munroe, one of my regular realtor clients, to give recommendations on his client’s downtown penthouse condo. The client had many high-end furnishings, but there was little cohesion between them. It felt more like an art gallery for each individual lovely piece, but less like a stylish comfortable home.
The initial consultation evolved into a hands-on styling day as we moved furniture around and planned out the best layout to showcase the large open space without it feeling awkward. Travis and I both rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
After the 2-hour hands-on consultation and an additional 2 hours the following day for final styling, the home was photo-ready and suited the amazing views buyers were coming for. The house was listed for $40k more than it had previously been with another agent – and with the staging, it could be.
The dining room had a bit of an overhaul.
- Do you see that beautiful grey mirrored buffet against the wall? That used to be in the breakfast nook (and was quite cramped). We worked with the homeowners to empty it out completely (it was full of fine china) and move it over to the dining room where it had room to breathe and could catch the light coming in from the large windows opposite.
- We then rotated the dining table and moved it into a more central location so it could ground the dining room area in this large open concept condo. By doing this, the chandelier was off-center and so the handyman came in to recenter it above the tables new location (which we believed is where new owners would prefer it – as we were showing it).
- The artwork above the buffet was brought over from another room, and the homeowner’s decor was used to style.
- Just off to the left between the two windows, we hung a large mirror and placed a bar cart under it. This we styled with crystal glasses and a decanter. We used this as a key vignette to tell the story of the transition from dining to the sitting room. These vignette story arcs are important for open concept homes.
Breakfast Nook & Kitchen
The breakfast nook was extremely crowded and it was difficult to get around all of the furniture, so our main focus was clearing it out and making it look larger.
- As mentioned, we moved the buffet into the dining room. It used to be on the picture wall and pushed the table out into the walkway. By removing that we were able to move the table back in under the light.
- We hung a large piece of art that was previously in the dining room to fill this large, now empty, wall. This wall also used to have a few small shelves and birdcages hanging on it so we removed all other decor to keep it clean and not distracting.
- I added a bowl to the table which the homeowner found red apples for to tie in our new pop of red.
- The winerack, admittedly, didn’t need to be there, but in person, that corner felt quite empty – I would rather have had a silk plant to bring some greenery in, but we didn’t have one at our disposal.
- Lastly, I decluttered the display case and styled it with what I could find around the house to give it purpose.
- The kitchen was packed with stuff, like any great grandma’s home would be, and so our goal there was just to make it clean and clear.
This living room didnt have the proper furniture to show off the individual spaces and purpose. This wall is the only wall in the space that can be used for the TV, as all of the others are full spans of windows (even better). So we had to show the buyers that this was indeed the family room area that they would be curling up to watch TV in.
- The fireplace didn’t have chairs in front of it, and so it was lost in the corner as an add-on, rather than a dedicated focal point and ‘room’ of its own. So we added 2 chairs. We placed them facing out to act more as a seating area than a ‘sit around the fireplace’ area since the walls closed in on either side and it would feel too cramped. This at least provided a place for the buyers to picture themselves reading and drinking coffee near a warm fire.
- We pulled a small side table from the guest room and a spare lamp that was in storage to place next to the chair. We piled a few books on the lower shelf, and this wrapped up our reading area story.
- For the family room area, there used to be a chaise lounge and a chair (which you will see in the next section). However, since this was the only TV wall, we needed to use the couch to designate it as such. Originally this couch was facing the opposite way, back to back with the chaise, which made for an awkward use of the space. By rotating it towards the tv, it acted as a ‘wall’ to divide the area into separate uses, and wrapped around the TV to create a cozy area.
I love this room. I truly wish I had gotten a before photo of this space, but alas – my hands were busy styling! There was a piece of art on a stand in the corner already and this really inspired the look – almost like a beautiful art gallery in which the view was the main attraciton.
- We took the chaise that was originally in front of the TV and positioned it under the large window on the far side of the condo. It was a perfect low-profile piece of furniture that allowed us to create a seating area without blocking any light. I styled it with a few throw pillows to make it look like a cozy place to sip a cocktail (from the bar just to the right) and look out over the bow rover with unobstructed views.
- I brought in these 2 stunning occasional chairs from another room and used them to complete the seating area, as the style matched the chaise so perfectly.
- The space was very large, and thankfully the client had a very large coffee table. We floated this coffee table between the chairs and chaise. The purpose was not to be a coffee table per se, but a statement piece on its own – similar to a large table in an estate entryway. I would have liked a large tray and some more grand decor, but we did manage to find this beautiful silver bowl in the back of her china cabinet.
- The desk to the left in the first picture was originally floating by the pillar and so we brought it over to show buyers that there was room for a workstation in this grand sitting room. We styled it with a beautiful lamp and a chair from the sewing room which suited the colour scheme.
- Lastly, we had to do something with the back of the couch which was now becoming an unwanted focal point by the pillar. The client did have a few (3 to be exact) random more modern (black metal) furnishings and so we grouped them next to the pillar for a small vignette with silk flowers.
This bedroom had a beautiful view from bed – can you imagine waking up to the river and park every morning? Stunning. Most of what we did in this room was editing artwork – there were beautiful pictures of her family, but these can never stay up for staging your home.
- We removed all of her many family photos from her walls and had them patched and repainted where necessary. We left only 1 artwork above the bed and a few on the opposite wall around the TV.
- The large dresser was on an angle in the corner. This made the room feel smaller and wasted square footage so we straightened it against the wall.
- I cleared off both dressers and left just lamps for staging (as we were running short of decor).
- The bed was made using her beautiful quilt which tied in the dark furniture.
- Out of frame, we used a really unique console table which was originally in the hallway to sit under the TV, and a mirrored jewelry stand to the right of the dresser to help bounce some light around.
The master bathroom was very cluttered when I first got there and with no natural light, we really had to be conscious of what was staying out. The client also had no room left in her storage and so we were limited to what we could hide in her closet and in cabinets (tidy).
- There was a removable large shelving unit between the two sinks full of trinkets and toiletries. Removing this made the bathroom feel much more spacious and gave room to breathe.
- There was more artwork around the bathtub above the towel bars, which I removed. It is important to remember that sometimes ‘styling’ means no styling at all. I folded her lightest towels over the bars. In hindsight, I should have only done the right side.
- The countertop was cleared off almost completely the than soap, a mirror, and a glass jar in the corner for some decor.
Bonus: Exterior Balcony View
And there you have it!
This beautiful condo in the coveted and quiet La Calle building was fully staged and the client and her family were beyond grateful and so impressed with what we managed to do with their belongings.
Not shown: A guest room which was being used as a sewing room. We added lots of art and kept the sewing station in working order as per the client’s request. We removed a large TV on the wall and Travis’ handyman patched and painted those holes. Because this room wasn’t one we were able to fully style and furnish, we were able to pull the best pieces out for use elsewhere.