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  • The Importance of Investing in Staging

    When home sellers begin the process of putting their homes on the market, it can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many decisions to make, and it can be hard to decipher which choices will aid your sale the most. Whether or not to stage your home is an example of one of these decisions. It is an investment to stage your home, but in most cases it makes a huge difference. Staging affects important factors that are key to a successful sale–time duration and the price and number of offers.

    With this condo in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, staging proved essential.

    Capitol Hill Seattle Condo Living Room City View for SaleOur staging design.

     

    In this particular condo, each room was painted a different color of the rainbow. The neon wall colors were both distracting and alienating. When we went to stage this condo, one of our employees claimed that they would never live here. However, by repainting the entire condo and staging it in a sophisticated eclectic style, we were able to draw the focus from the walls to the stunning city view. By the end of the stage, our design changed our staging assistant’s mind.

    before & After photo Capitol Hill Condo Seattle For Sale

    In the bedroom, we toned down the bright red walls and created a space that buyers could imagine themselves relaxing. We kept it simple by using grays and blues set against white bedding, but retained the bold feel by incorporating geometric prints and by mixing textures and textiles.

    before & After photo Capitol Hill Condo Seattle For Sale

    Instead of keeping the living and dining room as completely separate entities, we brought them together to enlarge the space. By making the walls the same color and by creating a cohesive design, we connected the two spaces. We utilized the extra wall by creating a home office to maximize the condo’s potential. By using simplistic, yet unique furniture, we created a fresh and updated look to attract buyers.

    before & After photo Capitol Hill Condo Seattle For Sale

    We updated the dining room from a rainbow to a sleek, modern design. We created a gray scale look with pops of color through black Eames chairs set against a white modern table and a monochromatic striped area rug. The touches of color in the floral arrangement and the walls echoed the colorful bistro set in the balcony. While each space remained a separate entity, the rooms flowed well into each other

    before & After photo Capitol Hill Condo Seattle For Sale

    In the kitchen, we painted the walls white to neutralize the space to make it easier for homebuyers to envision living there. To add interest to the new monochromatic look, we used bold patterns in our accessories to radiate a hip atmosphere.

    Capitol Hill Condo for Sale Seattle City View

    By the end of the stage, we transformed a rainbow condo into a sophisticated living space. By neutralizing the condo and replacing the color and texture through accessories and accent pieces, we created a relaxing city oasis that attracted many interested buyers. After we finished staging, even our staging assistant was ready to make an offer!

     

  • We Are Featured in a Houzz Editorial

    Seattle Staged To Sell Seattle Home Stager Featured in Houzz Editorial Importance of Staging

    We were recently featured in a Houzz editorial on the importance of home staging!

     
    In Karen Egly-Thompson’s editorial, Houzz guides home sellers on the investment of home staging. Egly-Thompson shares tips and explanations so you can get the most out of your investment:

    Staged for Success: The Case for Hiring a Home Stager

     
    “Before listing your home, tap into the talents of a home stager. You may sell your home faster and at a bigger profit. Home staging has become an increasingly formidable force in helping people sell their homes more quickly and for more money. Its overall goal is to help prospective home buyers emotionally connect with a space, hopefully leading to an offer to buy. Home staging isn’t limited to just high-end properties. It has become a norm for homes at all price points. While staging may seem like an additional hassle and expense, the investment can pay off. Here’s a guide to home staging, including the benefits, process and reasons to stage your home if you’re considering a move…”
     
    Click here to read further.

    
    				
  • Soft Neutrals and Touches of Metallics Add Sophistication to This Hip Condo

    The Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle is a happening place and a sought after location for living.

    Lumen Condo is one of the popular condominiums in the area. Since it is located close to Amazon and the B&G Foundation, we knew that our targeted buyers would be young professionals. To attract this group of buyers, we designed a hip urban modern design. We kept the walls white for a clean, fresh feel and used a blend of soft neutrals to create an air of sophistication.

    Lumen Condominium staged condo The view from Lumen Condo shows off its close proximity to Seattle’s downtown and Amazon’s headquarters.

     

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    With an open floor plan, it is essential to divide the rooms into different zones. Here, we created a living and a dining space. Having an area rug anchored the room and defined the living space while it kept the room open. The hanging carpet echoed the shag rug and added color, and the use of soft neutrals warmed up the room.

    Lumen Staged Condo

    In the bedroom, we used a patterned area rug and pillows to create a cohesive and fun look. The patterns in gold tones added urban elegance.

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    The seating area had a mixture of textures and fabrics to add interest and visual weight to this hip design.

    06

    We created the dining zone near the large windows to face the city view and added pops of color both on the table and the wall. The wall art brought the metallic details from other parts of the condo into the dining space creating a cohesive look.

    In this open floor plan condo, we defined different zones but kept the space connected through metallic accents. To make the metallics stand out, we mixed together soft neutrals. We also layered a variety of natural textures to add further interest to this design. This strategy kept the staging both sophisticated and hip for our youthful targeted buyers.

     

  • Mixing Natural Textures in Eclectic Design

    Traditional Home Exterior

    This traditional home in the Denny Blaine community in Seattle is framed by gorgeous trees all around. Mesmerized by the trees, we decided to take the surrounding nature and incorporate it into our design by using different natural textures to compliment the hardwood wood flooring and trimming.

    Eclectic Dining Room

    This dining room had unique parquet hardwood floors. We added an area rug in a soft blue color to compliment the warm tones of the wood. The different patterns layered together worked with each other to grab the buyers’ attention. However, the simplicity of the contrasting patterns kept it classic and tasteful. The Eames dining chairs kept the home updated with an eclectic look, and their wooden legs echoed the floor. We used a darker wooden dining table as a focus to bring together the dark wood trimming on the door and windows and the lighter colored floor. The accessories in the room recalled the hardwood flooring and the trees outside through their woven and branch-like textures.

    home-office

    The home office had wood paneling on the walls as well as hardwood floors. The walls and the floor consisted of different types of wood, which, already created a layered sensation to the room. We took this attribute further, and placed an animal hide rug of a darker and warmer hue to anchor the room. By using an animal hide, we added another natural texture. Furthermore, we hung wall art on the wood-paneled walls of tree stump rings to reincorporate wooden textures, but with a consistency different enough to add interest. The layering of the different tan and cognac tones and textures blended beautifully together. This decor made the green leaves of the trees stand out and become part of the interior design.

    Mixing different natural textures is a terrific way to highlight your home’s original wood, to compliment your landscaping outside, and bring its beauty into your home decor.

     

  • Soft Colors and Neutrals Update Craftsman Home

    stained glass window stairway entry craftsman home

    Of all of the homes we have staged, the entry of this luxury craftsman home is one of our favorites. The details of the stained glass window inspired our color palette and design style. Its soft colors complimented the dark wood trimming and neutrals throughout the house. A stained glass window is classic and timeless, and we wanted to bring these qualities into our design while keeping the style updated.

    luxury remodeled craftsman home kitchen

    In the kitchen, the wall color and countertops created a fresh, modern feel to this newly remodeled home. The neutrals, paired with the dark tones of the island, kitchen table, and trimming made this room timeless. Furthermore, we used accessories that echoed the stained glass window in the entry.

    large-kitchen-1

    The glass and blue-green vases, napkins, and cups harkened back to the stained glass further emphasizing the original details of the home.

    large-dining-2

    The dining room’s wall color also reflected the blue-green hues of the entryway, so we brought in neutrals and a dining table to match the house’s original dark trimming to create balance within the room. We added the animal hide area rug for added interest, which brought everything together.

    Our eclectic design of this beautiful craftsman home united the traditional and the updated elements of the renovated home. By using the entry way as our inspiration, we incorporated the home’s unique arts and crafts charm to imbue our staging with a classic vibe while we used a mixture of transitional and contemporary furniture for an eclectic design. SOLD.

  • Beautiful Waterfront Views Inspired Our Staging Design

    Waterfront Home Exterior Lake Sammamish Bellevue

    This luxury Bellevue property, priced at $2.6 million, is located on the shores of Lake Sammamish. With this water front home, we wanted to incorporate its stunning views into our staging inspiration. We decided to bring a casual beach vibe into the design while keeping it classic. To accomplish this, we selected natural textures, used the views and landscaping to decide our color palette, and integrated nautical themes into our pieces.

    Living Room Waterfront Bellevue Property Lake View Water View Lake Sammamish Bellevue

    This living room brought the orange, green, and blue tones found outside into the home. This created a sense of cohesiveness that utilized the house’s natural setting as part of the design. By placing colorful pillows on neutral sofas, we tied in these colors in a balanced way. The dining room wall art and accessories echoed these colors, adding to the flow of the space. We used rustic woods for the coffee table and accessories, which alluded to beach driftwood.

    Traditional Home Office Bellevue Washington Luxury Home
     
    This home office had a traditional feel due to the dark wood window trim and built-in shelves. We catered to this style in our design through the desk, chair and accessories, however we also managed to bring natural textures into this room by placing the sisal area rug.

    Home Office Water View Lake Sammamish Bellevue Luxury Home

    With the desk facing Lake Sammamish, we managed to make this traditional piece to correspond to the scenery outside. We brought the colors from the deck into play through the desk chair and carved wood duck. The open book reflected the hues of the water and trees outside.

    Home Office Homework Space Lounge Area Coastal Style Bellevue Waterfront Home

    For this homework space, we brought in the nautical theme through accessories and color palette. The pillows and the wall art referenced the beach, and the bamboo tied into the texture of the shell illustration and, once again, referred to driftwood. The blue chair and desk accessories balanced out the room.

    Dining Room Waterfront Property Lake Sammamish Bellevue Water View

    With the dining table and floral arrangement, we, once again, drew the gorgeous view into the home.

    Master bedroom waterfront property Lake Sammamish Bellevue

    For the master bedroom, we mixed textures for added interest meanwhile we used pieces that tied into the rest of the house. The leather chair reincorporated the nailhead detail from the home office and the carving of the bed frame was similar to that of the desk. The area rug married the grays of the bedding with the mixture of blues and greens of Lake Sammamish to create the ultimate relaxing setting.

    boys-room
     
    Even though this kid’s room did not have a water view, it still embodied the coastal vibe throughout the house. We accomplished this through the sailboat, whale, and fish motifs throughout the room.

     

    By using this luxury house’s natural surroundings as our style inspiration, we created a cool and casual lifestyle that the homebuyers could easily envision themselves living in. SOLD!

     

     

     

  • A Heartfelt Letter from Our Mercer Island Home Seller

    house staging in seattleor some home sellers, it can be difficult to sell their home and close a chapter of their lives. I think most of us can identify with this since we all have gone through similar emotions for one reason or another. This was true for this Mercer Island home seller, our dear client Andrea. 

    For myself, as an example, it was hard to replace the baby cots with “all grown up” beds as my daughters were getting older and growing. And I know that when I have to downsize my house as the kids leave home for college, it is going to be hard for me to let go and sell our home. It was also hard for me to close my mother’s house door for the last time and pass the keys to the new home owners. Selling homes is an emotional process for all of us. 

    Every corner of my house has a special memory for me. Each of these memories is with me EVERY DAY, when I am walking up and down the stairs or going into the different rooms. When I enter the room of my oldest daughter who just left home for college this fall, I can’t help but to remember her first bed spread that we helped her to choose for her all grown-up bed or the blue ceiling that she loved so much when she was young! With my second daughter, even though she doesn’t play kitchen or house anymore, I still like to keep some of these items in-tact and tucked away in our “Secret Room”.  I do this for my own sanity’s sake. Every now and then I pop my head inside to remember again. I AM attached to my home so I do understand where others are coming from.

    Seattle home staging company

    I suppose it is this understanding and being able to put myself in the same shoes as other home sellers that helps me to earn the trust of those who are attached to their homes and find it hard to let go. Andrea was one of these home sellers.  Through patience and real listening, I was able to gain her trust and I wrote a blog about the experience.

    Andrea wrote:

    Dear Shirin,
     
    I want to thank you again for doing such a fantastic job of decorating the house today!  I so appreciate all the thoughtful decisions you made; the result is a home that really looks warm and inviting and I’m certain will be admired by everyone who sees it.  Your advice to let go was very sound.  Yet I also feel that you heard me and incorporated some of my preferences – I appreciate that.  To decorate an entire house in a single day seems nothing short of miraculous!  I’m amazed you were able to do this, especially given all the attention to the function and proportions of each space.  You really have a great sense of proportion and arrangement, and I’ve learned a lot in this brief time we’ve worked together. 
     
    My heartfelt thanks, Shirin – it has been a pleasure working with you.  I’m looking forward to everyone enjoying the result of your efforts.
     
    All the best,
     
    Andrea
     

    She sent me this email after she saw her house staged. As a home stager, I live for emails like this since connections are the most important aspect of my work. I know it was hard for Andrea to trust me and to let go. Her trusting us and her real estate agent produced the result that she was seeking. Her house was sold basically in ONE hour!

    It truly was a pleasure and an honor to work with such a thoughtful and gracious home seller such as Andrea. 

  • Tips on Selling and Staging Your Home During the Fall Season

    staging tips for the fall season
    Fall is here. Is your home ready for the potential home buyers?

    Selling and staging your home during the fall season? Follow these simple tips to ensure a successful outcome.

    Usually, when the holiday season is near, the real estate market tends to slow down. Some people believe that not very many people are looking for homes during this time of the year and delay trying to sell their home. However, some home sellers need to put their homes on the market for a variety of reasons. Thank goodness for that too, because there are also those home buyers who are still looking for their new homes during the holiday season. I know, because this was my own scenario 10 years ago when we moved in the fall to Seattle from the UK and we needed to find a home fast.

    Fall home staging tips

    The good news for home sellers who have to sell their home during the fall is this: the home buyers who are looking for homes during this time are serious home buyers and this is the main reason for home sellers to do their best to create cozy and inviting spaces by following these tips:

    Curb appeal and more curb appeal

    1. Rake the leaves and make sure the path to your house is clear and open.
    2. Trim and cut back any dead shrubs and/or flowers.
    3. Add seasonal flowers like winter pansies and colorful mums.. You can also add some evergreen shrubs such as certain grasses. Visit local nurseries to get some ideas for your own climate.
    4. I like the idea of displaying some pumpkin by your front door if you have a porch or the space. Pumpkins add color and interest for the months of October and November. Avoid a Halloween theme.
    5. Don’t forget the power of beautifully potted plants.
    6. And don’t neglect the back garden.

    Carry outside fall colors inside

    1. It is always a good approach to bring outside inside. Fall colors are rich and beautiful. Who doesn’t like to look at a maple leaf with all those rust, orange and bright yellow leaves. Tips for fall home staging
    2. Bring these colors in with your candles, cushions and throws. A display of a bowl of nuts or ornamental small pumpkins is cheerful. 
    3. Potted mum are also wonderful for the inside of your home. They make wonderful centerpieces. 

     

    Show off your fireplace

    1. If you have a fireplace, make sure it is clean.
    2. It is easy and inexpensive to update the fireplace screens. By investing $50, you can pick up a new and attractive screen from Home Depot or Target.
    3. Place wood in your fireplace to suggest a warm image of sitting by the fire.
    4. Soft and cozy throws on a chair or sofa next to a fireplace add the element of comfort at this time of the year. 
    5. Never ever leave your home with the fireplace on. This is NOT safe. Your agent can turn on the fireplace during the open houses. 
    Fall season home staging tips

    Lighting

    1. Days are getting shorter and it is very important to add light for safety and for ambiance. 
    2. Keep the accent lights on for all of your showings. Remember that real estate agents don’t have time to turn on every bedside or floor lamp.
    3. Having some lights on makes it safer for the agents and home buyers to enter without tripping on anything.
    4. Use up-lighters to brighten up the dark corners.

    Scents:

    1. Stay away from scented candles. Even though their beautiful scents might seem tempting to add, remember that scents are very personal and not everyone will have the same reaction. In addition, there are some people who are allergic to certain scents. This is true for me. When I was looking for my own home, as soon as I walked into a home where the agent or the home sellers were burning scented candles, I would immediately leave the house, regardless of how much I wanted to see the inside.
    2. If you want to add some scent anyway, just add some vanilla drops to a pot of water on the stove over low heat or on the heating elements of your oven about two hours before your showing. But be sure to turn everything off and remove the pot before you leave the house.

    Keep in mind that home buyers tend not to stay inside cold homes for very long. Since the temperatures drop during the fall season, adjust your thermostat to a comfortable setting. Remember, a comfortable temperature and adequate lighting is essential when it comes to selling and staging your home during the fall season. 

    Photos Source: BHG

  • The Home Seller who Finally Learned to Trust the Home Stager

    home sellers who finally learned to trust the home stager

     ften times I come across of home sellers who are either so attached to their homes that is really hard for them to let go or home sellers that just can’t fully trust other professionals to help them with preparing their homes for the market. Both of these types of home sellers can create problems and sabotage their own success.

    Even though more and more home sellers are informed these days about the benefits of home staging and how important it is to get “me” out of the picture and instead concentrate on the potential buyers, there are those home sellers out there who are not quite there yet.

    One of our Mercer Island home sellers, Andrea, fell into the second category.  She had a hard time letting go and trusting us. The interesting point here is that she had called us on her own and prior to hiring a real estate agent. She was informed enough to know that her house had to be staged, but she also had her own ideas.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the Greater Seattle Area, Mercer Island is one of the most affluent communities and has highly rated public schools. Many families try to buy homes in Mercer Island because of their great schools. Andrea, who had amazing taste, had made all the right choices for renovating her Mercer Island home. Each of the bathrooms and the kitchen were inviting and glamorous. 

    The problem was, Andrea, had her own ideas about the staging, such as not wanting pillows on the sofas and wanting black and white prints for the walls. She also was determined that we should use a single bed in one of the bedrooms that in my opinion, needed to have a queen size bed. She told me over and over that a queen size bed would not fit in the space. But to Andrea’s surprise a queen bed did fit in this room easily and we showcased it as a beautiful teen room. For this house, it was very important to showcase another bedroom with a queen size bed vs. another twin bed.

    Mercer Island home staged kid's room in Seattle WA
    This house showcased a room for a younger child and one for an older child or a teen. By creating different options like this whenever possible, you are showcasing the possibilities to the home sellers and this is a wise approach.

    As a professional home stager, it is my job to help the home sellers achieve their sales goals and sometimes, I have to start by earning their trust bit by bit. After all, I do understand that homes are the biggest investments of most home sellers. I visited with Andrea several times and discussed my ideas with her. I also let her know that NOW it was not about her anymore, it was about the home buyers. I asked her for the trust and reminded her that she has hired me for a reason and she should let me do my job. She wanted to come on the staging day and help me stage her home but by the end of our second visit, she knew that as home stagers, this is not how we work. 

    Mercer Island home staged house by seattle staged to sell

    Andrea took a leap of faith and entrusted her beautiful house into our hands. On the first day, approximately 80 agents came through the house and the first agent who came in had a written offer for the full asking price. Andrea’s house was basically SOLD in ONE HOUR!

    I really enjoyed working with Andrea and staging her home was just a delight. As a home stager, I earned the trust of this home seller and this was the key to this happy ending. By trusting us, Andrea allowed us to stage her beautiful home for the home buyers by finally having peace in her heart that her staged home was going to look different from the way she had decorated her own home. As a home stager, the greatest honor that home sellers can bestow upon us is their trust and this is something we treasure.

     

  • As Professional Home Stagers, We DO Walk the Walk & We De-Clutter

    Recently, we left our SODO warehouse and moved into a different space. Our new warehouse is much larger, has an office and is much more accessible from all of the freeways. It would would have been much easier for us to pack everything and just move it all into our new warehouse since the additional space was more than enough to accommodate it all. But as professional home stagers, we do walk the talk and we de-cluttered our warehouse!

    Most of us have had to pack and move to a new home, and some, like myself, even had to move to a new home in a different state or country. Some people, like empty nesters, may have to downsize while others, such as families with small children, are moving into larger homes. Regardless of whether you are moving into a smaller or bigger space, it is always essential to de-clutter your items. 

    As a home stager, we continually have to shop and add to our inventory. Different homes require different types and styles of merchandise and we always need to freshen up our designs and follow some of the new trends and colors. 

    When I began the Seattle Staged To Sell company, I had this philosophy that whatever items we were not going to use or were not in that mint condition that they needed to be, we’d donate  to our favorite charities. This not only has been good for us as company, but it has also been a way to give back to the city that we love to live and work in.

    As a home stager, I sometimes come across resistance when I tell my clients, the homeowners, that they need to detach and de-clutter their home before putting it on the market. Often I hear stories about why they should keep this collection or that piece. For these clients, I take my time and help them realize that they are selling their home and not their furniture or collections. 

    And it never fails — when the homes have been de-cluttered, the home owners fall in love with their home again and feel a sense of peace. A de-cluttrered de-cluttered  home is truly a sanctuary.

    Warehouses are the second home for professional home stagers. Not only do we spend a lot of time there, we also spend a lot of time handling our inventory.  When we pack and donate the pieces that we loved and have used over the years, we know that these beautiful pieces have served us and our clients well and it is time for them to go to someone else’s home where they can continue to be appreciated.

    For us to be efficient home stagers and to be able to create beautiful staging designs, we need to have our own warehouse in perfect shape and this means that everything has its own place and we can easily see and locate each item.

    Therefore, when we as professional home stagers provide advice to our clients, we also walk the walk and follow that same guideline!