Category Archives: Home Staging

Low Cost, High-Impact Staging Ideas that Work

Staged Dining Room

Are you looking for affordable ways to spruce up your home to sell fast?

The right home staging can make your home ‘pop’ with potential buyers and bring top offers.

Here are some small things that will make a big difference when staging your home.


  • Light the way to fast sales! If your porch light looks dated, replace it. Be sure that the bulbs are replaced; often this is the first thing buyers see when they pull up the driveway of your home.
  • Crank up the curb appeal. Take a look at your front door, a new layer of paint can give it wow appeal. Trim the bushes; brighten up your landscaping bricks with a power washer; add fresh pots with flowers on the doorstep; and finally crown with an eye-catching welcome mat.


  • Neutralize. The first impulse when buying a home is to personalize a space. You want to do the opposite to sell your home; look around and try to neutralize the space. Remove family photos; take the kid’s pictures off of the refrigerator; paint over those marks on the door showing how tall your kids are. You want the buyer to envision that it’s move-in ready and they fit right in.
  • Clean up the clutter. Buyers want a feeling of space. Visually do an inspection of your home. Clear off countertops; tidy up the inside of cabinets; clean out the closets; put extra items in storage, donate, sell or toss them.
  • Pour on the elbow grease. Now’s the time to really make your home shine. Scrub baseboards; polish stainless steel; clean, scrub, shine, and make everything sparkle like new.
  • Cash in by dressing up cabinetry. A budget-friendly way to instantly brighten up your kitchen is to paint wood cabinets and add knobs and handles. A new coat of paint can make worn, tired kitchen cabinets look new again.
  • Beautify your bathroom. If your tub or toilet is dingy looking, you’ll turn off buyers fast. An inexpensive way to fix this is with an acrylic tub surround and liner. Clean the grout between tiles and remove debris in drains. This will give a fresh, clean look to the bathroom. Also, if you have bathroom carpet, remove it and replace with new vinyl or ceramic tiles.
  • Light it up. Set the mood with lighting. Make sure there is enough light flowing through the home. This doesn’t mean turning on every light in the home. Instead use floor and table lamps and open curtains to create a soft, warm ambiance.
  • Odors STINK when it comes to selling your home. The biggest culprits include stale air, food, pets, mildew, and smoking. Open windows to air out your home and use air filters to break up and neutralize odors in the air. Products like Febreeze can freshen up curtains or furniture. Then remember to light a softly scented candle on the day of showing. Be cautious about this though, sometimes strong scents can be as big a turn off as bad odors; you might want to consider using an “air sponge” which will neutralize the offensive odor.
  • Add eye candy. When your home is ready, adding little touches like bowls of fresh fruit, a vase of flowers or plants can add warmth and colour to any room.

Finally, consulting with a home stager can provide a wealth of ideas. A home stager can recommend more effective furniture arrangements, paint colours, and tips/tricks to make your home visually appealing.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to selling your home fast!

5 Biggest Home Staging Mistakes That Cost You the Sale

House For Sale

Are you putting your house on the market? As I’m sure you’re aware, first impressions are vitally important to prospective buyers.

From the moment people walk in, they start making a decision about your home and what it would look like if they lived there.

So how can you make your home an inviting space that buyers love? The answer is home staging.

There is a big difference between a staged home and one that is on the market that hasn’t been staged.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when trying to sell a home without the benefits of staging.

  1. Cluttered Space

    Clutter gives the buyer a feeling that there is not enough storage space in the home. So it’s really important to put away unneeded items while you are showing your home.

    Everything from countertops and tables to bedrooms and even the garage needs to be cleared away of clutter and unused items.

  2. Dirt and Grime

    No one wants to move into a dirty, poorly maintained home. Taking the time to make every surface sparkle is critical. Bathrooms should be spotless, free of mold, mildew and stains.

    Give some extra attention to the kitchen too by paying close attention to the appliances, especially the fridge, garbage area and cupboards.

  3. Unpleasant Odors

    One whiff of a foul smell can make a buyer turn their nose up on a home. Sometimes we are so used to the way our home smells that we don’t recognize odors. Sometimes sellers try so hard to make their home smell nice that strong candles or air fresheners can offend buyers too.

    Making a home have a neutral, clean scent is the best way to go. Worst offenders are pet smells, musty/stale air, and cigarette smoke. Other offenders can include mildew or even strong food smells such as fish. If in doubt, have a friend walk through your home and give it the sniff test.

  4. Too Hot or Cold

    Buyers want to know that the home will be comfortable. This includes knowing that it’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Be sensitive to this and set the temperature accordingly when you are showing your home. Fans can help keep air flowing through the home.

    If windows are drafty, make sure to seal them with caulk or replace them if budget allows. If it’s summer, keep it pleasantly cool but don’t blast the AC and freeze your buyers out. You want buyers to linger and feel at home in the space.

  5. Keeping it Too Dark in the House

    A dark and dreary home doesn’t show your property off in its best light. Take time to walk through your home and see ways you can add more light. Keep the lights on in the house and consider adding extra spotlights or lamps. Make sure the windows are clean so the sunshine comes through them.

Avoid these pitfalls when selling your home by hiring a home staging professional that can take care of all the details so you don’t have to frantically try to remember everything during this stressful time.

Having a staged home sells fast with offers that are sure to make you smile. And if you need help with your staging needs and live in the Calgary area, give us a call for a free consultation!

8 Tips to Hiring the Right Home Stager

Janet and Jackie Staging a home in Calgary

So you listed your home on the market with your real estate agent. Now what?

First impressions are important to impress buyers. You want to make your home look warm, inviting, and stylish. Hiring a home stager makes your home more attractive to buyers.

Staging your home means that your home will sell quicker at a higher selling price.

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell 80% quicker, and for up to 11% more money than non-staged properties.

Here are some things to look for when hiring a home stager:

  1. Find someone you feel comfortable with. Are they easy to communicate with? Ask them why they feel the suggestions given will make a difference for you. Do you feel confident about their abilities?

    Rapport is important. You want someone who is calm, confident, and easy to work with. Don’t be afraid to interview several people till you find the right one.

  2. Schedule a Staging Consultation or Quote. During a staging consultation the home stager will go through every room of your home offering suggestions of what needs to be minimized, decluttered or in some cases renovated.

    A home staging quote is for the physical staging of a vacant or occupied property, these are typically homes that do not require a lot of preparation prior to selling. In an occupied property (if rentals are required) it can usually be tied in with the consultation.

    If you are living in your home during the sale process or if you want to know what types of things need to be updated or renovated prior to listing your home, a Staging consultation is definitely the route to go.

    Based on their expertise within the market and your community, the staging company will show you ways to improve the saleability of your home in the priority areas, while keeping within a budget to maximize your Return on Investment.

  3. During a home staging consultation, you can ask if the home stager plans to use your existing furnishings, buy new pieces, or if you will you need to rent. Keep in mind that if you are staging a vacant home you will need rental furnishings.

    Will you have to paint or get new carpet? Can they redesign your home to have a fresh look using existing pieces you have? After a walk through, the home stager will create a plan for what changes they will make to your home.

  4. What is their approach? Ask for the typical steps they go through in a home staging. Find out costs, timelines, and what they will expect of you.

    Remember that cheaper is not always better.

  5. See what you can find out about them on Google. See if you find any good or bad reviews. What do others say about the home stager on Yelp or Google Reviews?

    Also look what clients say about them on their website.

  6. Ask for some references. If they have a proven track record they won’t be shy about sharing the names of satisfied clients whom you can contact.

    Call them to see what it was like working with them and how they felt about the quality of their work.

  7. Check out their online portfolio. Most reputable staging companies have a portfolio on their website that you can review before making an appointment.

    Seeing before/after pictures of the work they do will give you an idea about their skill.

  8. Will they be available to you during the process? Can you text or call them with questions? Are they super busy and hard to reach? What is the best way to contact them during this process?

If you live in the Calgary area, Jackie and I would be happy to discuss your home staging needs!

Eight Rules to Designing an Eclectic Look

Colourful Pillows on a Sofa

Would you like to break out of your design box and try something new? Maybe it’s time to experiment with an eclectic look. Here are some tips to pull off an eclectic style that works.

First let’s take a look at what eclectic is not. It’s not a random gathering of furniture, art, and design elements with no rhyme or reason. It is a fun, imaginative grouping of unrelated style furnishings that are pulled together by scale, colour, and/or theme.

If you are tired of boring décor that looks the same, then an eclectic style may be just the thing to showcase your unique expression and personality in your home.

Here are some decorating rules to help you create an eclectic look:

PLAY – Give yourself permission to go outside of your comfort zone and see what works. Sometimes trial and error leads to brilliant discoveries.

HARMONY – Find a common element that you can carry throughout the room. Whether it’s a texture, colour, or scale – you can create harmony by finding something in common to display in various pieces. Sometimes choosing the right pillows or decorative cushions can be just what you need to make uncommon items feel related. Together art and accessories can be used to help unify the space.

COLOUR – Let your imagination soar as you expand your palette. Everything does not have to be in a one or two colour scheme. An inspiration piece can serve as a guide to couple vivid colours together for an exciting visual display.

FOCAL POINT – Pull your design together by having a focal point such as a piece of artwork or a major furniture piece that draws your eye to it when you enter the room. For example a vignette of vases at varying sizes, heights and colours can add a striking focus point to a room.

BE A MIXOLOGIST – Dare to match stripes and floral, place soft fuzzy pillows next to a rough bristly lamp shade, try luxurious silks next to worn leather. Let fabric, texture, and patterns be notes in the visual symphony you are creating.

THEME – Furniture can be pulled from various styles as you tell a visual story with a theme. Find an emotional feeling you want to evoke. Use the elements of the room to make a big statement that paint a picture.

RULE OF THREE – In design it’s smart to limit the amount of varying elements to 3. Use no more than three unique colors, textures, styles.

PERSONALITY – Make the room be a direct expression of something authentic for you. Be creative and add a personal touches that make the room unique with an inspired design that suits you to a “t”.

Check out this quick video we put together showcasing an eclectic, modern dining room:

Good luck to you as you explore your daring side and create a beautiful interior that expresses your creative flair.

3 Simple Steps to Staging Your Kitchen

Show Home

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home. That’s why when it’s time to sell your house, staging your kitchen properly can make a positive impression on potential buyers.

The goal is to make your kitchen look spacious, clean, and inviting.

Here are some tips for staging your kitchen to look its best:


Decluttering your kitchen will help buyers to see your kitchen as spacious. They want to make sure there is enough room in cabinets and countertops.

Here are key places to declutter:

  • Pantry. Place pantry and food items in attractive bins. By grouping loose items together you give the impression that there is plenty of space.
  • Countertops. Remove all but 1 or 2 small appliances such as mixers and coffee makers from counter tops and relocate them to your pantry or inside the cabinets. Be sure to put away knife blocks. Not only are they clunky, but some cultures look at knives as unlucky.
  • Drawers and cabinets. Place seasonal or rarely used dishes, utensils, and pans away in storage. Organize and clean your cabinets. You don’t want them to look overstuffed and untidy.
  • Bulk heads and space above cabinets. Don’t make people think about the dust that could collect up there. You want the space to feel airy, open and clean.
  • Dishes. Never leave dirty dishes in the sink. Put away clean dishes. Remove the dish drying rack from the counter. Tuck all dish soap and sponges away from sight.
  • Fridge. Take all the magnets, calendars, and other items off the fridge. Clean the front and the inside of the fridge. Consider throwing away old, unneeded food items so the fridge looks spacious.

Step 2: CLEAN

Buyers love a sparkling clean kitchen that smells fresh. Scrub, polish, and dust everything from top to bottom.
Here are some reminders for things to clean:

  • Appliances. Potential buyers will open your appliances, especially if they are being sold with the house. Having an immaculately clean fridge and range makes buyers feel like you took time to clean and maintain the kitchen. Pull off the stove knobs and polish them too.
  • Scent. Be sure the kitchen smells tidy and fresh. An air purifier can help remove unwanted stale odors and bacteria from the air leaving the kitchen smelling clean.
  • Sinks. Make that stainless steel sink & faucet shine like new. Norwex is an awesome environmentally friendly cleaning paste that will clean absolutely anything like new.
  • Sink cabinet. Nearly every buyer will peak under the sink to make sure it’s clean and neat. Keep this area looking spacious and uncluttered. Remove all items except for a few essential things. Put in new cabinet liners.
  • Extras. Scrub baseboards, cabinet faces, inside cabinets, and on top of them too. Sweep and wipe down the corners.


The trick with decorating a kitchen is to help them see the space as a light, bright, warm and inviting, without feeling cluttered.

Here are some tips to showcase your space as stylish and modern:

  • Cabinet knobs. If the kitchen is dated and you don’t have time for a makeover, try changing the old brass knobs for some nice brushed chrome pulls or new knobs.
  • Lighting. Change out the dated lighting fixtures for some new track lighting. Rona, Lowes, and Home Depot have great pricing for easy change outs.
  • Backsplash. Adding a new back splash can instantly update a kitchen and give you a huge return on investment.
  • Decorative accents. Don’t overdo the “Staging” in a kitchen, a few well-placed accents with pops of colour is all you need. For example an accent rug, artwork, or a utensil holder can add splashes of colour. Adding a bowl of fruit, flowers, plant, or wine on counter can make the space feel warm and inviting. Don’t forget to change the flowers regularly so they look fresh.
  • Air fresheners. Overwhelming scents can be a turn off for buyers. If you use an air freshener, I recommend a clean, neutral scent.
  • Curtains. If you have heavy curtains, consider replacing with a window accent that lets in the light.
  • Paint. Give your kitchen a fresh coat of neutral paint. This brightens the kitchen, updates it, and makes it look more attractive.

Staging your kitchen is easy! It’s as simple as declutter, clean, and decorate. Follow these kitchen staging tips and tricks and you’ll be on your way to getting top dollar for your home sale!

If you’re too overwhelmed and busy to stage your kitchen for ideal showings and live in the Calgary Alberta area, feel free to give us a call.