Saturday, December 13, 2008

Designed to Sell Meets Designed to "Live"

Living Room South Wall-After Photo
As stated in my profile, I have a organization and staging business that I run while Dear Son is in school. Here is one of my latest projects.

This client had a new home and wanted some ideas on decorating. She was frustrated because they had a beautiful home but somehow, it just wasn't coming together. She had purchased and returned many items when finally she called me to help her stage her home. She wanted to surprise her husband when he came back from a business trip. Staging is not only for selling your home, but even better when you want to live in your home. In the same way you might go to a new hair salon for a new hairstyle, staging allows you to show off your home to it's best ability and to show off your own personal style. Sometimes, we have all of the right things, we just need help in pulling it all together. This is how I did it.

In the before photos, the room isn't very inviting. The curved sofa is against the wall with a baby rocker. On the east wall, the cat condo sits in front of the window and the chair sits in the corner of the room making conversation with someone on the sofa difficult. The bookshelf leans against the wall but doesn't relate to the living room and there isn't any flow or continuity from the living room to the dining room.

On the plus side, the furniture is nice. The client stated she didn't care for the sofa and she would be fine if we replaced it. The house had recently been painted so every room is ready to go. All of the paint coordinates with the furniture and the client has nice accessories. Most of the errors, so to speak in this room, have to do with furniture placement.

Living Room South Wall with Sofa Before

Living Room East Wall

Living Room West Wall
I had her send me some photos of her home and asked her a few questions to determine her decorating preferences and style and to learn how she wanted the rooms to feel. I asked her what items she wanted to keep and what items she wasn't attached to. From there, I created a staging plan. I did all of the following in four hours. In every case, I used things she had in other parts of her home or in her basement. In addition, I made some suggestions on other things she could add to each of the rooms. Working with the client, I made all of these changes in one four hour session and we didn't spend one dime. In the end, I made some suggestions on things she could add in each room and showed her some photos of what to look for when she went shopping for those items.
After Photo of West/North Wall.

By far the most dramatic change to her home came in the living room. By simply moving the furniture and using accessories found in other parts of her home, I was able to create a beautiful living room filled with colors she liked and accessories she chose herself. I simply put her things together in a different way. The curved sofa or "floating" sofa as it is called, was moved away from the wall (hence the name, "floating" sofa). The round coffee table complements the curved sofa. The matching chair pulls out the color of the woodwork and wrought iron railings of the staircase. The red pillows and red vases complement the room but more importantly tie the living room and dining room together. The circular or round shape is repeated throughout the room. In addition, I have attached a few before photos to show you where she was using these items before staging.

After Photo of East Wall.

Before home staging:
-Console and mirror were used in the foyer. (After staging, moved to living room east wall.)
-Coffee table was being used in the family room. (After staging, moved to living room.)
-Pillows were on a bench in the master bedroom. (After staging, moved to sofa and dining room chairs.)
-Ottoman was used in the master bedroom bath. (After staging, used as an end table.)
-Glass table top was on an end table in the basement. (After staging, used as a top to create an end table with the ottoman.)
-Living room centerpiece was on a sofa table in the upstairs hallway.
-Red vases and accent pieces were stored in the basement.
-Candleholders were from the master bedroom dresser top. (After staging, they are on the console table in the east wall photo.)

After the living room was completed, the homeowner only needed to purchase two items. I recommended a tall wrought iron lamp for the southwest corner of the room and a circular glass top for the end table. (We had used a rectangular top from another end table in the house until she could purchase a circular one.)

Dining Room: In the before photo-there is a picture on the south wall, to the right of the window. The tulips flowers on the dining room table are too "light" for the room meaning it's a spring time flower in a bold room. The deep red color dictates a more appropriate flower. The red placements on the table are too formal with the rustic wood table and leather chairs.

Dining Room Before
Dining Room After

In the After photo, the placemats have been removed. We used a centerpiece that is more appropriate in scale to the room. I recommended some flowers and a vase from Pottery Barn to replace the centerpiece. The new centerpiece is a white birch vase with deep red mums in a tall vase. You can see the pillows have been added to the dining room chairs in the corner. These pillows are similar to the ones in the living room. What you can't see is that the picture has been removed. A mirror has been added to the west wall (still needs to be hung). I added red glass accessories to the table beneath the mirror however you can't see that because the mirror was waiting to be hung. I also recommended that a wrought iron fixture with red and brown colored crystals be added to add some sparkle. The client later added a linear wrought iron fixture which complements the room.
FOYER-These are pictures of the foyer. In the before photo, the rug was too small and the foyer was cluttered. To remedy this, the clutter was removed and a larger rug, that was more appropriate in scale was used. The homeowner already had this rug, but didn't know where to put it.
Foyer Before


Powder Room Before (without the rug).

Powder Room After (With the rug from the foyer.)

Master Bedroom-The Master Bedroom was fairly simple. I added the homeowner's previous red bedding, which she had stored in the basement, to add some color to the room. It makes the room look a little more polished.
Master Bedroom Before-

Master Bedroom After-See below.

The homeowner loved the changes. More importantly, I used nearly everything she already had and things that she picked out previously. I did all of these changes in one "four hour" session. More importantly, she called the next morning and said her husband returned from his business trip and was "blown away" with their new living room. He liked it so much, they hired me to do the rest of their home. I have since made furniture and design recommendations for the rest of their home and they have purchased many of the items I recommended. The husband commented that they had tried using two different designers to help them pull together their home and yet they liked this the best.


Poppy Q said...

You made the house look lovely there dream mom. I love house makeovers and decorating, although I wouldn't really know where to start if I had to do it myself.

You have yourself a nice wee weekend, and we hope you get a little treat for yourself.

Julie and poppy Q

Anonymous said...

come to my house!

jeanie said...

You do have a real gift!!

I think I need you too.

I love that you have done so much with what she already had, and I hope that word of mouth makes your business boom in the next year.

bettyb said...

I really liked what you did. Too bad you're so far away but it's something that I can talk to my clients about. I am a realtor and I am constantly looking for information for my clients.
Betty B

Anonymous said...

I expect you will get several referrals from this house. You did an absolutely fantastic job. What a difference.

If I win the lottery, I'm going to fly you out to do my home!

Catherine said...

Consider doing internet consulting in your field using photos on a fee basis. You are very good, Dreammom.

Jenny said...

You're quite talented! I just popped over from 5MFSN and I so wish you lived near me! I could really use some help from a decorator.

Anonymous said...

Great job! You don't happen to live in the Twin Cities, do you?

Some unsolicited advice - if you are going to be a bathroom photographer, put that toilet seat down!

I hope your business continues to go well.

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