• The Story of my Garden – A Seattle Home Stager’s Personal Journey

    Our almost postage size Seattle garden is a special and personal place for me because it tells a story.  Our story.

    It all began in May of 2002 with the planting a cherry tree in honor of my late nephew, Zhubin, who left us much too soon.  A very special person, Jarrett, who also is no longer with us in this world, planted the tree.  Since then, our small garden has become a place of remembering and reconnecting in a spiritual way for my family. 

    In August 2000, I moved with my family from England and I wanted to bring part of England with me.  It was a difficult move for me and the idea of being away from my family, friends and the UK, was heart wrenching for me. But I made the decision early on that I was going to make the most of my new situation and create a cozy home for all of us in our new city – Seattle. Once I made that decision, I didn’t look back.

    In 2001, we bought a Craftsman style house in a triangle. One side of the triangle is in the Wallingford neighborhood, while the other two sides are in Green Lake and Fremont. It took about 10 months to renovate the home. From the start, I knew that I wanted our home and garden to reflect our lives in UK and our Persian heritage. So, it is not surprising that we have an English Cottage style garden. 

    My daughters and my late nephew were born in England so the English daisies in my garden are the reminder of that. In the front of my house,  Parrotia Persicas, a tree native to Iran, reminds me of the country that my family left behind so many years ago because of the revolution.

    Whether it is in my own life or in our house and garden, I believe in structure.  But in the midst of all the structure, I like chaos.  This holds especially true for our garden. I have driven many gardeners crazy with this approach, but this works for me.  I am told that I have an “interesting” way of mixing colors. I suppose that comes from my design background along with my total respect for Mother Nature. I don’t believe in following a color formula when it comes to our garden, since Mother Nature has taught me that I don’t have to.

    Shades of green on green add interest and movement for the eyes. Together they make one statement, and yet individually, each plant has a voice of its own.  Everything is growing within each other as though the leaves are whispering in each other’s ears. I often wonder what stories they are telling each other. For me, this sense of collectiveness creates a beautiful and strong dichotomy – a loud but a hushed sense of harmony for both the soul and the eyes. When a flower’s end comes, next to it, another flower is waiting anxiously for her turn to burst out with color. A pleasant reminder of the cycle of life. 

    A home stager Seattle garden
    These past few years we have been able to harvest about 35-45 pounds of cherries and share it with everyone. Last year, the majority of the harvest (of what the birds and raccoons allowed us to have) went to a local soup kitchen.

    The most sacred and cherished plant in our garden is the cherry tree that we planted to honor my late nephew. In the first year, our cherry tree fruited 21 cherries. My sister was the first to count that initial batch of cherries.

    At first she counted only 20 cherries which made her sad and disappointed. I helped her to count the cherries again and this time, we found cherry #21 which was hiding under a leaf, being shy as it was the smallest of all the cherries. My sister re-counted the cherries for the third time to make sure there were 21 of them. At that moment, the smallest cherry became the most noble one. 

    She shouted for joy and opened her arms toward the sky to thank the universe for her gift. You see, Zhubin was 21 years old when he took his own life. By fruiting 21 cherries, the cherry tree that was planted in his memory was letting my sister know that Zhubin was in a better place where there was no more pain. Most importantly, our tiny cherry tree was, in its own way, gently teaching my sister that Zhubin was still with her and with us. This simple gift has been very comforting for all of us, but especially for my sister. 

    Our garden might be a small one, but it tells a bigger story – a bit of a sad one, but at the same time, a moving and amazingly uplifting story. Another beautiful dichotomy.

    Passerby’s have stopped me to tell me that for some reason, they feel moved when they walk by our garden.  Some say they make a point to walk by in order to feel the energy and see what new flowers are popping up. Several have even left kind notes with similar messages in our post box. Their kinds words and their ability to sense the energy of our garden moves me very much. I’m humbled and honored. 

    Everyone is welcomed to our garden. I love it when people come and linger.  I love it when the birds, bees and butterflies come and find food, water, and shelter there. I love it when the different raccoon families climb our cherry tree and pick those plump red fruits together as a family. 

    But more than anything, I love it when my sister comes and tends to the garden.  She comes for her son’s birthdays and his anniversary. This is her way of caring and connecting with her son. For her, our small garden is a hollowed ground and it all began with us planting a tiny cherry tree in her son’s honor. 

     To find out more about Zhubin’s life story and his foundation, please visit

  • 2 Common Home Staging Myths

    Do you ever wonder how some myths start and evolve? I am not sure myself, but as a professional home stager in the Greater Seattle Area, I still find that I have a need to educate home buyers and realtors and bust the home staging myths one by one!

    Two Home Staging Myths:

    Myth #1. Empty rooms appear bigger, since vacant rooms look like they have more space

    This is one of the biggest home staging myths of all. Rooms actually look BIGGER rather than smaller when they are staged. It is all about having correctly scaled furniture for each room and this is true for everyone. In the same way that you shouldn’t stage big rooms with tiny furniture pieces, you also shouldn’t stage smaller rooms with oversized furniture pieces. 

    As a Seattle home stager, I get the opportunity to stage many condos, townhouses and homes with small square footage or houses that have small bedrooms or living rooms. We select the right scale of furniture that is best suited for these rooms. This way, we take out the guess work for the potential buyers like “can I fit a sofa in the room?” or “can I entertain my guests in this small living room?” or ” how am I going to fit a dining table in this small space?” 

    There have been times when home owners have asked us to stage only one of the bedrooms that were exactly the same size. But when the staged room appears bigger than the other room after staging, the realtors have to put silent cards on the empty room walls saying “This room is exactly the same size as the staged 1st bedroom.” Since 95% of the home buyers view homes online, it is even more important to stage the smaller rooms. 

    This Seattle condo in the lovely Capitol Hill neighborhood has a small living room. Since we knew that the potential buyers were going to be a young and professional person or couple, we wanted this space to appeal to these types of clientele.  We knew that the buyers of this house were the kind who look for a “hip” place that they can relax in as well as entertain. Therefore, we selected a modern full sofa and a large ottoman as a coffee table since an ottoman can also be used as seating. We added interest and more function to this small living room by using the big wall to create a bar and additional storage.  Because of staging, the potential buyers of this Seattle Condo could see for themseleves that not only could they relax comfortably in their new home, but they could also entertain their friends and families. 

    Staged Seattle condo
    839 sq/ft Seattle Condo Listed at $269,900

    Myth #2. It is not worth it to stage homes with lower listing prices.

    According to NAR, the National Association of Realtors, more than 50% of home buyers are first time buyers. In addition, today’s home buyers, thanks to home and garden programs like the ones on HGTV, are more educated in home-buying and desire to a purchase a home that offers more.

    Again, as a Seattle-based home stager, I know that there are many condos, townhouses and homes in the Greater Seattle area that are listed below $500,000. Once these homes are staged and showcased, they sell faster and for more money.  

    The above condo in Capitol Hill is listed for $269,000. But now that this small condo is staged, the potential buyers will see a grander space that they can visualize themselves living in. This condo feels and looks larger and more exquisite because this message has been set for them through staging. The vacant condos in this area will add even more value to this staged condo and therefore, they will help this condo to sell faster.

    Two home staging myths are now busted. 


  • Are You Selling A House OR Home? Part 2

    In the previous blog, Are You Selling A House OR Home? Part 1″, we explored the difference between the two and why selling a home is a more successful approach than selling a house. When selling a home, you are also selling a lifestyle.

    Now that we have an understanding of the difference, I now want to help you stage a lifestyle in a way that enables you to meet to sales goals and perhaps even surpass them.

    Staging tips for creating a lifestyle:

    Exterior/Curb Appeal 

    A well maintained and manicured garden gives the impression that this house has been loved and cared for.

    • The garden, both front and back, should be immaculate and trimmed.
    • Avoid beauty bark and opt for dark rich brown mulch.
    • Invest in some attractive pots with seasonal flowers.
    • If you have a front porch, create an inviting seating area appropriate for your house. 
      Curb Appeal for homes for sale
      This house was painted, the steps were power washed, and the garden was tidied up. No surprise that this house was sold in two days with two offers in a tough real estate market.
    • Backyards should have matching patio table and chairs.
    • Include colorful cushions, if possible.
    • Read one of our previous blogs for more helpful tips for improving curb appeal.


    Create a beautiful and inviting transition from the street.

    • A console table with flowers, lamp, mirror or wall art as well as a carpet or runner will add interest and softness to the hallways.

    Living Room

    Most home buyers see the rooms as what they are and NOT as what they can be. Help them see how well they can entertain their friends and family in the home.

    • Select furniture in the current style or what is appropriate for the style of the home.
    • Create a flow and tie different spaces together by using a unified color scheme with accent colors in pillows, accessories, and artwork.
    • Use the right scale of furniture to create elegant conversation areas.
    • Arrange furniture to create comfortable walkways without blocking the views. Maintain access to outdoor spaces, such as a balcony, open.
    • Use sheers if the views from the windows are not ideal. You can also create a green screen by planting bamboo plants just outside the windows. This creates interest, allows light in, and keeps the buyer’s eyes focused on the inside instead of the neighbor’s neglected house.
    staged living room by seattle staged to sell
    The inside of the house got the same treatement. The carpets were shampooed, the walls were painted, and the rooms were staged and ready for the home buyers.

    Dining Room

    Again, show the buyers that they can have a dinner party for their family and friends.

    • Use a dining table that is proportionally correct for the room with matching or complimentary chairs. 
    • If your dining room table has extra leaves, take one of them out. The focal point should be the size of the room and not the size of the table. This is another reason for the importance of having a correctly sized dining table.
    • If the space allows it, add a sideboard or buffet with lighting and a center piece.


    Create a spa statement vs. a honeymoon suit.

    • I often come across master baths with champagne bottles and glasses. AOVID this.
    • Home buyers will pay to buy homes where the bathrooms offer a spa feel where they can envision themselves relaxing and being pampered.
    • Use orchids, plush and fluffy towels, some shells and star fish and an assortment of sponges to emphasize the upscale amenities. 
      Staged bathroom for house for sale in seattle
      Clean and tidy bathrooms are a must for any home for sale.
    • Leave the champagne bottles and glasses for the Las Vegas honeymoon suites.


    Bedrooms should be showcased as comfortable sanctuaries where home buyers can see themselves resting at the end of the day.

    • Use attractive bedding with lovely and soft textures. An elegantly dressed bed will speak volumes about the lifestyle of the home to the home buyers.
    • Headboards with matching or complimentary side tables and matching lamps are essential. Make sure the bedside lamps are proportional to the side tables.
    • If there is space for an accent chair or the room has a lounge area, make sure to showcase it by adding a comfy chair or chaise. 

    By following these steps, you will be successful in staging the lifestyle for your home and this will set you apart from your competition. And as I stated in the previous blog, this is when the SOLD sign goes up.

  • What Today’s Home Buyers Want

    Home buyers in this market generally tend to buy homes that are ready to be moved into right away. They don’t want to deal with any renovation projects before occupying their new home. staged homes by seattle staged to sell Moving into a new house is expensive and most home buyers prefer to save their money for bigger renovations later, like a basement remodel.

    Think about the condition of your home. Do you need to attend to some projects before putting your house on the market? Don’t know where to start or which project to tackle?  Here are some general areas to look at to help you determine which improvements will give you the best return. I’d like to emphasis again, that these are general areas and you should discuss this with your Realtor and home stager. This list is a great start to get you thinking and moving in the right direction.

    Landscaping & curb appeal – remember that first impressions are everything

    • Weed and remove any plant debris
    • Prune trees that block the house and the windows; natural light means $$$seattle's home stagers
    • Re-sod the grass if it is needed and keep it mowed as long as the house is on the market
    • Add flower pots at the front door
    • Add seasonal flowers; group the flowers for greater impact and stick with 1-3 colors only
    • Stay away from orange beauty bark and opt for rich dark brown mulch; this will make all the flowers and plants to pop out


    • Hardwood floors are all about condition, condition, condition 
    •  Home buyers LOVE perfect hardwood floors
    • Shampoo carpets and replace the worn out one
    • Choose warm neutral color carpets and low pile
    • Replace/repair worn out linoleum

    Painting – Interior

    • Touch-up trim, doors and ceiling as needed 
    • If the doors are painted shut, unstick them
    • Rich neutral colors are best choices for paint
    • Paint over old water stains
    • The walls should be painted if there are nail holes and marksA seattle home stagers tips

    Painting – exterior

    • Sand and repaint any cracks
    • Repaint or re-stain the front door
    • Repaint fence
    • Three colors for a house is best; one for the body, one for the door, and one for the trim
    • Remember:  it is not about you, so paint the house in a color that appeals to most home buyers

    Kitchen and baths

    • Replace old counter tops; there are companies now that will lay new surfaces right on top of the existing one which involves less labor and thus, saves money
    • If the budget allows, replace appliances that look old and change out the non-working ones;  check out your  local discount appliance stores as they often sell appliances with minor scratches or dents at greatly discounted prices
    • Paint kitchen cabinets and get new and updated hardware
    • No leaking faucets

    You might also find our previous blog about 2011 HomeGain stats about the best home improvements with the best ROI. Remember that during your consultation, your home stager will help you to determine what are the most important projects for YOUR house.


  • Our Staged Seattle Homes with Stunning Views

    Since 2005, we have had the privilege to stage countless homes in the Greater Seattle Area and all of them have had their own unique charm. This month, our home staging company is turning seven and we wanted to share some stunning water views from a few of our favorite homes with you in this blog. 

    staged mid-century modern home by seattle staged to sell
    Magnolia Mid-Century Modern Home with the views of downtown, Puget Sound, and the Olympics Mountains

    This Magnolia house was especially stunning amongst all the Tudor style houses, which is a typical style for this particular Seattle neighborhood.


    Staged Magnolia Mid-Century Home in Seattle, WA
    This Mid-Century Modern house sat pretty on top of the Magnolia Hill

    West Seattle water view home staged by seattle staged to sell
    West Seattle Mid-Century Modern home on Marine View Drive



    Staged Pine Lake home in Sammamish, WA by Seattle staged to sell
    Pine Lake home in Sammamish, WA


    Staged Mulkilteo home on Loveland Ave Staged by Seattle Staged to Sell
    Mukilteo home on Loveland Ave with amazing views


    View Ridge home in Seattle, WA staged by Seattle Staged To Sell
    View Ridge home with the views of Lake Washington


    Staged Matthews Beach house in Seattle, WA staged by Seattle staged to sell
    Matthew’s Beach House with the views of Lake Washington


    Staged house in Sheridan Beach, Seattle WA by seattle staged to sell
    Sheridan Beach home with the views of Lake Washington


    Staged Bellora condominium in Beltown Seattle, WA
    Bellora Condominium in Beltown, Seattle