Friday, May 29, 2009

Staging An Occupied Home~Interiors by Design

This is the home we staged last week. I am just experimenting on making a slide show with SmileBox and you are my Guinea Pigs.

Staging an occupied home presents challenges that a vacant home does not. You have to work with what they have, keep the home livable, and bring in things from the warehouse to enhance it. All this happens after an extensive consultation and "to do" list for the homeowner which includes items for removal, cleaning up, de-cluttering, new purchases, repairs, etc.

In the best of all worlds, they follow my written instructions to the letter and everything goes according to the design plan I have worked up from my photos. Often we come and find things not exactly the way we had hoped and then the order of the day is ~ adjust and smile.

We decorate the entire house in one day. It is hard work but very fun too. I could not do this without the help of my assistants, Emily and Maureen. They are the best! Nor could I do it without the technical assistance of Jim who helps me move all the heavy things to the houses and de-stage it when it is sold.

Once the written report is done I take that and my photos and begin the process of deciding what I have that will work in each room in the house. The tricky part is coordinating a feeling with color, texture, art work , accessories, floral and plants, linens, dishes, etc. that will pull the house together.

For this house we brought over two very full van loads of accessories from our warehouse. I spent about $50.00 to buy things we didn't have, but that is normal now that we have a pretty substantial inventory. There were years when most everything we made went into the inventory. As it turned out I didn't even use the items I purchased this time but, that is OK...there is always another house. (Hopefully!)

What made this home more difficult was the colors in the main rooms are so muted. As an example the sofa is a salmon and muted blueish gray, patterned fabric. It is very hard to make that "pop" as the overused term goes. One of the best colors for making a house come alive is red and that just would not work in this house. Also things like wallpaper in the dining room remained in place although removal was recommended. The chandelier, a favorite treasure brought from their larger home was installed here but is way over-scale for this room. That meant finding dishes from our collection that were the right colors to blend with the living room and somewhat plain, and having a shorter centerpiece than I would normally use, so it wasn't nearly touching the light fixture! The challenge is in making something better of what exists. That is redesign in a nutshell. Every detail has to be considered. So, come on in and take the tour!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:
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Since most of my photos are taken for inventory control so I can remember what I have taken into a house, I wanted to add just a few of the photos taken by the agent's photographer for the brochure. They are great as they are a little more inclusive and not such close-ups.

Our objective is to make the house look inviting and spacious and well cared for by the owners. We also try to make it look like real people live here so it does not have the sterile quality of a model home. We want the prospective buyer to think they would just love to live here where everyday is restful and wonderful! We realize they have probably been working like crazy to get their home on the market too, so when they come here we want things to look and feel done! We want them to feel like they would be leisurely stepping up...!

What do you think? Did we do it?


Connie said...

Oh, my....I'll say you DID IT!!!! I wanted to move in immediately. And I'm still trying to convince you to let me be one of your assistants. My price is exactly on par with my skill level--free ninety nine! I just want to learn from the master! :)

You girls did a great job! And I loved the slide show. It was perfect. Thanks for sharing, Bon.

mandy* said...

Wow! That house looks amazing. I would buy it!

The Hopkins said...

Beautiful slide show Bon - you are the master!! Count me in as one of your biggest fans!

Marie said...

Bonnie, how wonderful that we were able to take a glimpse into some of what you do! I'd say you do it VERY well. I think that home looks beautiful and I would buy it if I could! Well done YOU!!

BECKY said...

YAY Bonnie!! You did an awesome job of staging this home!!

You definitely have the eye for playing to the strengths and minimizing the weaker areas!!

And your slide show is lovely!!
Thanks so much for sharing!! Would love to see more befores and afters anytime!!


BECKY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bonnie said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I was thinking about maybe doing a post early next week with some of the before photos so you can see the transformation. Then as a long range goal, maybe some of my favorite from the past with a slide show just for fun.

Thanks again, glad you liked it.

Bonnie said...

laura.elizabeth said...

Mom, I love it. This looks fantastic- the slide show and the house! I love the flock of flamingos in the first few slides. Overall I think smile box is a good way to go. I love it!