• Staging A Seattle House With Old Charm

    The Green Lake neighborhood is known for its charming houses. This particular house had great bones to it and we just wanted to update and prepare it for sale. 

    Our solution:  painting the walls in a beautiful neutral warm color. We selected Camouflage paint by Benjamin Moore. The second step was to select furniture pieces that were more modern. After updating the house with paint and preparing it for the market, this house was ready for the targeted buyers, who we had identified as a young professional couple.

    Green Lake Staged living Room

    • This living room was narrow, especially since the front door opened into it in the middle. Therefore, we decided to face two love seats in front of the fireplace which showcased an ample sitting area for this space. The sofa table also suggested an entry space. Our choice of incorporating a geometric mirror added interest and emphasized the fireplace as a focal point. 
    Staged Living room in green lake house corliss ave N
    Camouflage Wall Paint
    • This room previously was painted in a loud orange. Camouflage paint created a peaceful and tranquil bedroom. It also worked with the wood floors and the white painted trim. We kept it neutral by selecting a neutral bedding. A bit of black accent color made everything pop.

    Basement turned into a home office

    • This space was a wasted space in the basement by the storage area. It was spacious enough that we decided to add a function to the area so the home buyers could envision a use for the space. The result was a welcoming home office. 


  • Green Lake Craftsman House In The Heart Of Tangle Town – Staged&SOLD

    Few weeks ago I got a call from a home seller, who wanted us to meet her at her Green Lake house located in the heart of Tangle Town. Living in Green myself, I know this area is filled with beautiful Craftsman houses. As I walked up the stairs, I glanced at the beautiful leaded windows and I knew that this house is going to be special, and it was. 

    The current homeowner had made beautiful and thoughtful updates while keeping true to the craftsman details and the feel of her house. But now it was time for her to downsize and wanted to sell her home. Not working with a home stager before, at first she was nervous that we might turn her house into something that wasn’t. She feared that her home might be designed either too stuffy or too modern.  As home stagers, we understand that and we come across anxious home sellers. We’re able to put her at ease quickly our as we shared with her our vision for and how we like to prepare her beautiful Green Lake house for the market. 

    This was our action plan:

    • We felt very comfortable with working with the existing wall colors. This would meant saving on money and time
    • Select and bring in neutral furniture pieces to offset the darker blue wall colors
    • Create a transitional design
    • Create a guest bedroom in the basement. Originally this space had a proper bedroom, but the current homeowner took the door and one of the walls out to create an open space. We felt we should still showcase this as a bedroom and home office. 
    • Make the media/TV room a bit more hip and modern, since we knew the targeted buyers will be young families
    • Angle the master bed since this positioning worked the best for this room
    Green Lake Craftsman House In Tangle Town
    Green Lake Craftsman House In Tangle Town

    When the homeowner came by to check the staging, she was full of praises. She loved her home and was excited to show it to her agent. And these kinds of reactions is what we strive for. This is what the listing agent wrote about this house:

    Located in the heart of Tangle Town overlooking ‘Keystone Place’ park this Seattle Bungalow has it all: Leaded glass, hard wood floors, period tiled fireplace, updated kitchen & baths. Large light filled living room with views of the park, opens to large dining room. Two bedrooms on main with full tiled bath. Lower level with bedroom, family room, laundry & storage. Off street prkg, sweet yard & patio. Walk to eateries & shops, or Green Lake. Recent upgrades; new stove/ref, heat pump, insulated attic. Huge attic development potential.

    This Green Lake Craftsman home was SOLD in just days for more than asking price and with seven offers.

  • What Women are Looking for When Buying a Home

    It seems that builders should pay MORE attention to what WOMEN want in their homes! 

    According to study done by Coldwell Banker in March of 2012, “both men and women rely on how they feel and how their life style fits into a home when they are shopping for a place to live in.”  This is why at Seattle Staged To Sell, we have been emphasizing through our designs and blogs, the importance of creating a unique life style for each home.


    men and women

    In addition, studies show that both men and women are looking for different features in their future homes, but women are the primary decision makers when it comes to purchasing homes. 

    Therefore, it is essential for builders to pay attention to what women are looking for when shopping for their ideal home:

    • Spa like bathrooms – even if a bathroom is small in size,  up-to-date fixtures will help to create a spa feel. Don’t underestimate the visual power.  A master bath with double sinks (hers and his) is priceless. 
    • A kitchen is the heart of a home and an important room in a house. It should be open, updated, well lit, and organized. Color is very important for a kitchen. Make it inviting, warm and fun. An open floor kitchen plan is the most popular. And let’s not forget about the importance of under cabinet lighting. This is very essential. 
    • Entertainment spaces are a priority for most women. They want to know how well they will be able to entertain their friends and families. Open floor plans are very popular among women home buyers.
    • Storage is queen for women. When it comes to storage, more is BETTER! Built-ins, cabinets, and large closets are a good thing. There is never enough storage. Turn every dead space into a storage space if possible. 
    • Laundry rooms that are conveniently placed and are bright; when possible, a laundry room with a window is priceless.
    • Mud rooms off of garage areas are also another popular spaces for women home buyers since these offer a place to store coats, shoes, rain gear, dog leashes, mail etc.  All the things that become scattered throughout the home can be contained in one practical and handy area. 

    So a friendly reminder to our builder partners, when you are building the next house, make sure you put lots of emphasis on what WOMEN want to see in a home. 

  • All Year Around Garden & Curb Appeal

    Just because it may be wet and cold outside, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have outside focal points and interest in your gardens.  Nor does it mean that you can’t achieve an attractive curb appeal. It’s easy to have a year round garden here in Northwest. There are many steps that you can take and there are an abundance of plants and shrubs that you can choose from to brighten up your winter gardens whether you are selling your home or staying put. 

    Here are a few simple and quick tips that can help to add interest to your winter gardens and liven up your curb appeal during these dark and cold months:

    • First of all and most importantly, don’t forget the power of mixing and layering different evergreen plants. I’ve applied this same approach for my own garden and the result is quite dynamic. These plants usually come in different shades of green and a collection of them are always refreshing and beautiful. Also, when you are buying plants, keep in mind how they look in the fall. Some bear beautiful berries or their leaves or bark may take on fall colors such as some Dogwood trees 

    winter gardens for homes for sale

    • Winter Daphne shrubs are some of my most favorite shrubs. They are evergreen and during the winter months they bloom and the scent is heavenly. Their leaves can be variegated and are beautiful year round.
    Tips on winter curb appeal for homes for sale
    Winter Daphne is not only beautiful but the scent is heavenly.
    • Hardy Cyclamen are wonderful perennials and so easy to take care of.  When all the flowers are dying out and little else is growing, these small precious flowers bloom and add soft colors that brighten up the garden. They love the cold and snow. I like the fact that they easily multiply. Plant them under trees, in the shade or on the banks. The flowers might be small but the impact is big.
    winter garden tips for homes for sale
    Hardy Cyclamen are one of my favorite winter flowers 
    • Annual Cyclamen are a cousin to Hardy Cyclamen. These flowers have larger blooms and the colors are much richer. They are a perfect plant choice for your pots.
    • Hellebore plants are just fantastic. Whether you put them in pots or in the ground, these flowers will surely create visual interest to any spot. Hellebore flowers come in different colors including deep purple, light purple and white.  

    There are many other plants and shrubs that you can add to your garden to create interest and color. You can find out more by visiting your local nurseries. The plants and flowers mentioned above are a good and easy way to start this project. 

    Create a year round garden and enhance your home’s curb appeal. This way, you’ll enjoy and get more out of your garden.
  • Seattle Home Staging – Preparing Houses For Sale

    Seattle home staging prepares homes for sale and helps home owners to achieve their sale goals and sometime even surpass it.

    When you are preparing your home to put it on the market for sale, you need to keep these facts in mind:

    1. Your home will be competing fiercely with the other houses on the market. Homes going on the market is like being on a beauty pagent and the prettiest one wins. Ask yourself, do you want to sell your house or do you want your house to sell your competition? Home staging makes the difference.
    2. 95% of home buyers look online before deciding to come in person to view the houses.  The SOLD sign goes up only after home bueyrs have visited the homes. Home staging creates beautiful online photos and entices home buyers to come in and take a look. 
    3. 85% can’t visulaize how to see themselves in the homes for sale. Home Staging defines the rooms for the home buyers and takes out the guessing game out. 
    4. Empty rooms look smaller than furnished rooms. Home staging not only defines the spaces, but it helps to showcase the size of the rooms. 
    5. Vacant homes stay on the market an average of 165 days where the house price has been reduced several time and in addition the upkeep cost of the house is ongpoing while the house stays on the market. Home staging reduces the number of days on the market or DOM since the national average of DOM for staged homes is 29. We, as a Seattle based home staging company, are proud to say that the average DOM for Seattle Staged To Sell is 19 days. Home staging is an investment and NOT an expense. 
    Seattle staged to sell home staging statistics.
    Our 2012 home staging stats have us jumping for joy!

    These before and after photos of  Seattle staged homes speak volumes of the importance of preparing homes for sale with home staging. 

    • Home Staging prepared and transformed this forgotten basement into a cozy media room. Do you think homebuyers would have been able to imagine the  possibilities  and different functions of this room without home staging? The answer is NO! Home staging parepares and defines every space of the house. Remember every space matters.

    Seattle home staging transforming homes
    The before and after photos shows how staging transformed and prepared this basement for home buyers.
    •  Home staging transformed this unidentified and small room into an inviting and cozy kid’s room. A well prepared house for sale sells faster by crushing the competition. 
    Seattle home staging transforming seattle homes
    Unidentified room was transformed into a cozy and inviting kdis room.
    •  Before home staging, this kitchen was dull and dark. After home staging this beautiful mid-century kitchen was transformed and the cabinets became one of hte higlights of  this house. 
    Seattle home staging company
    This kitchen looked tired and dark. Home staging transformed this space.
    •  Every room in this house was painted in strong and dark colors, which suited the home seller’s taste and life style while they lived in it. However, home staging created a cohesive and well identified bright rooms.
    home staging transformed this seattle Queen Anne house.
    Home staging transformed these rooms into cohesive and bright ones.

    These house transformations and results make home staging an investment and it is cheaper than the first price reduction. Be an informative home seller and hire a professional home stager to prepare your home for the market. Let the competition sell your and not the other way around. 



  • 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,

    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. 

  • Realtors Who Stage Their Own Listings Might Not Be Using Their Skills & Time Wisely

    As a Seattle home stager, I like to stay informed about Seattle real estate and this means attending some open houses. I find it interesting to see how many homes for sale are staged and how these homes have been prepared for the market. I’m happy to say that I am finding more and more homes being staged. Even though most of these are staged appropriately, sometimes I see homes where the staging is quite not right. One such home, a Green Lake Tudor style home, is still fresh in my mind.

    This Green Lake house was only one block from the actual lake and this is a huge plus for a Seattle home. The house, though it was charming from the outside, told a different story from the inside. These are the problems that I saw right away with the staging:

    • The furniture pieces were in wrong scale. The dark brown full sofa, two matching large arm chairs and wide coffee table overwhelmed the living room.
    • The small dining table on other side of the room was dwarfed by the over-sized living room.
      Staging tips by seattle professional home stager
      A correct furniture scale is one of the most important aspects of home staging.
    • The living room was dark and adequate lighting was missing; the dark brown leather furniture compounded the problem.
    • A too-small piece of wall art was hung from the largest wall of the room. 
    • The bedrooms were missing bedside tables and lamps.
    • The master bedroom’s blow up bed was totally deflated and it made the whole room sad.
    I tired to look for a business card to see who had staged this house, but then realized that this house was staged by the real estate agent and this is when the warning signs went up for me. Don’t take me wrong, I know of some savvy real estate agents who also have professional home staging business and they do wonderful work. The key word here is PROFESSIONAL. Being a real estate agent and having a home staging business with full time professional home stagers is a wonderful venture. The problem is when a full time real estate agent tries to stage their own listings with few pieces of furniture that they have collected and keep in their basements or garages.
    Two weeks after coming across this house, I received a call from Michael Ackerman, one of my real estate clients from CBBain. He wanted me to stage his upcoming Green Lake listing.  Michael’s listing just happened to be right across the street from this house and it was a Tudor style home as well.
    Michael’s home sellers were worried about the sale of their home since the house across the street was not selling. I promised them that their house would be beautifully staged for the targeted buyers. Our staged home was sold in one week for the full asking price. Four weeks later, when we de-staged the house, the For Sale sign was still on the yard of the house across the street with an additional red sign on the side indicating REDUCED PRICE
    As we drove away, I wondered how much this butchered staging ended up costing the home owner.  The home sellers who hired us to stage their home invested $2,750 in the staging of their home, which was far less than $20,000 price reduction plus the up-keep costs such as mortgage, taxes, …..
    Staging tips by seattle staged to sell company
    YOU as a home seller have a clear choice. Make it right from the beginning  
    and team up with a full time real estate agent and a professional home stager.
    My advise to the home sellers:  when it comes to selling your home, one of your greatest investments, look at the bigger picture. Spending an average of $2,500 for staging should not be considered a cost, but rather an investment. Hire a real estate agent who is a savvy marketer and who puts all his/her attention and focus on the selling of your home. 
    A price reduction is painful. Avoid it by teaming up with full time real estate agents and professional home stagers.  A successful sale demands it.


  • Want to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar? Then Don’t Sabotage Your Own Success!

    Recently, one of my real estate clients asked me to meet her at the townhouse of one of her clients for a pre-listing consultation.  The home owners had tried twice to sale their home previously without any success. They wanted to try again to sell their home since they had a new baby and they wanted a larger house with a garden.

    Home staging consultation can turn the past failures into successThis urgent need to move and their past failed attempts to sell their house made me feel that these home buyers were very motivated and ready to take our advice. However, this was not the case.

    After meeting with the homeowner (the wife), and touring the house, I helped them identify the problems and then came up with the solutions.

    The challenges that these homebuyers had to overcome included:

    • The house was on a busy street
    • Most townhouses, the competition, have three bedrooms; this townhouse had only two bedrooms
    • No outdoor space
    • Very, very, very small dining space
    • Laundry room was in the garage 
    • Too many and over-sized furniture pieces 
    • Overstuffed closets                                          

    The features of the house:                                              

    • Light and bright
    • Large kitchen
    • Nicely sized garage
    • Two bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms
    • Beautiful bay window
    We could not do anything about the busy road or the number of the bedrooms, but we could do a lot inside to minimize the downsides and enhance the features in order for the homebuyers to be able to envision themselves in this house. The instructions were simple:
    • Remove the china cabinet that blocked the bay window.
    • Replace the cabinet in the living room that the TV was placed on with a smaller table that was sitting in their bedroom.
    • Move the couch to the larger wall and borrow or buy a coffee table. A living room without a coffee table and large sofa screams “RUN AWAY” to the homebuyers. 
    • Replace the dining table and four chairs with a smaller table and two chairs or a bistro table.
    • Start packing winter clothes to create room and space in the closets.

    Most of the time, homeowners feel energized and empowered after consultation visits. But this was not true for these homeowners. The real estate agent, my client, told me that the husband doesn’t want to tackle most of the suggested identified projects such as removing the large furniture pieces. 

    Sadly, homeowners like these who want desperately to sell their homes, but for some reason, refuse to follow professional advice to prepare their homes, are the ones who are still too attached to their homes. Unfortunately, these attachments can result in homeowners sabotaging themselves.home sellers sometimes sabotage themselves. Two unsuccessful failed sale attempts should have indicated to these homeowners that they need to change their game plan in order to meet their sales goals. 

    As a professional home stager, I am aware that some homeowners need a bit more encouraging and hand-holding to be convinced. I am not ready to give up on these homeowners and am planning to go back and visit with them and the agent to try to help them become detached from their home that they have lived in for almost 1o years.  Hopefully, I will be able to help them to stop sabotaging themselves and move on to their new home with the garden so their son can crawl on the grass of their own NEW home.


    Summary: When the time comes to sell your home, STOP sabotaging your sales goals and instead, START creating your success by seeking a professional home stager’s advice and following the advice that is given. This is how you can find and hire a professional home stager and this is what you can expect to get from a professional home stager. 


  • Selling Your Home? Then It’s NOT About YOU Mr. & Mrs. Home Sellers!

    Selling your home? Then it’s NOT about YOU Mr. & Mrs. Home Sellers. 

    It is a no-brainer that when every home seller puts his or her home on the market, they hope to sell their home for the most money in the least amount of time. We all want that.

    It's about home sellers

    You would think that every home seller would do their utmost to turn this goal into reality. However, some home sellers, without really knowing it, sabotage their own sales goals by not detaching from their homes when they put them on the market for sale. I have written many blogs about this issue in an effort to educate the home sellers since I come across this problem over and over again.

    When the FOR SALE sign goes up on your yard, it is not about YOU anymore. If you want to sell your home for the most amount of the money in the least amount of the time, your home has to be turned into a product that appeals to the HOME BUYERS! I know I sound like a broken record, but as a professional home stager, I know I can’t say it enough. It’s NOT about YOU.

    To ensure a successful outcome of selling your home, begin the process by identifying your Tips on selling your hometargeted BUYERS with the help of your real estate agent and professional home stager. Based on the demographic of buyers you have identified, let your home stager design the staging for the home utilizing this information. Creating a lifestyle for the targeted buyer is crucial. 

    By teaming up with professional home stagers and savvy real estate agents, you will get the best help and advice on selling your home. Trust their guidance and make the selling of your home about the home buyers. This is why your are investing and paying for these professional services. 

    Once you take “YOU” out of the equation, you are one giant step closer to meeting YOUR sale goals!


  • 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.