I stage all my listings, unless the property is in need of so much work that staging it would be like putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig. But I don’t use professional stagers: I use my client’s own furniture and then bring in whatever I think is needed to complete the picture. Here’s an example of a recent listing where the home owners were completely open to persuasion. We painted the room in tapestry beige and put in new carpet in an off white. (The original room colour was blue; so was the carpet.)
They wanted a new bedroom set anyway, so they picked one out at Simply Wood. (I introduced them to Steve and Brian, who run the family business, They used to have their storefront next to an antique store I owned in Westboro many years ago and they make fantastic furniture.)
The owner fell in love with the colour and ordered the entire set in that grayish green matte finish called “khaki.” (If you click on the pictures, you can see the details more clearly.)
Which was serendipitous, because I’d already picked out two cushions at HomeSense to go with their rusty red tub chairs, and they just happened to have that same shade of green in them as well as yellow, dark brown, and pink. I added an off white $ 60 king-sized quilt from HomeSense (ridiculous price) plus another neutral pillow (a linen look with big brown buttons); two quilted beige shams I brought from home, and two of their pillows.
Those are artificial flowers from HomeSense sitting on the chest of drawers with a piece of the owners’ art. The flowers cost around $ 25; I loved the hammered metal vase.
The guestroom was an even less expensive makeover. We chose a Benjamin Moore paint colour that had a bit of a greenish tinge to go with the bedding I’d already picked up at Quilts in Carlingwood–two twin-sized quilts for the grand total of $59!
I liked the black and white flowers that were part of the design and found a pair of black and white rectangular pillows at HomeSense with a sort of Moroccan print that I thought would work well with them.
It was a nice surprise to open the quilts when they arrived–I had to custom order them to get a pair– to discover they had black and white piping and a black and white graphic design on the reverse side. The gold coloured lamp is from home; once again, the little pot of herbs is artificial, also from HomeSense.
Then there was the living room. Once again, the owners wanted to buy new furniture and already had two peach-coloured arm chairs that had a hit of blue-grey in them. I found some cushions that had that same shade of grey in them (again at HomeSense) as well as peach, gold, and yellow and suggested they consider purchasing a grey couch. They ended up buying a charcoal grey couch and armchair, and this is how the room turned out.
The vases on the mantel are also from HomeSense (they were around $ 12 each), as are the white ceramic dogs in the cabinet. ( I bought them with a view to re-using them at our Homes with Woofs event in June!) Once again, all the greenery is fake, but it looks real, and works nicely with the pared down elegance of this lovely room.
I knew we’d nailed it when one of the realtors who came to my Agent Open House said he loved the living room and felt like it was inviting him to come in and sit down. By using the original paint colour and finding throw cushions to work with it, we were able to have a big impact on a small budget.
The last room I’d like to show you was one of the bathrooms. It was styled in the eighties and has a kind of blue-gray decorative tile with a pink and cream graphic design, very understated. I found a shower curtain at Sears (regular $ 49.99, marked down to $ 9.99) in that same blue-gray colour and grabbed it. That small touch, moving some art around, plus adding a sleek new light fixture from Living Lighting (around $ 180) really transformed this room!