Latest articles

Staging and Style

Vignette Staging Doesn’t Cut It Anymore: Here’s Why

By Jennie Morris, International Association of Home Staging Professionals

In the beginning, home staging was mostly focused on sprucing up vacant properties. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, when staging first started to gain traction, stagers and real estate professionals tended to have limited furniture resources and focus on “vignette staging.”

Vignette staging is where small groupings of furniture and décor are used for adding some visual appeal and in helping to define the purpose and size of a room. It was a technique widely used at the time. But in today’s staging world, vignette staging does not work.

Vignette staging–THEN

Staging–NOW
Photo credit: IAHSP

A vignette lacks proper size and scale of furniture that give buyers an idea of how large (or small) a room is.  It makes it difficult for a buyer to visualize when furniture items aren’t used or only surface décor or art is in the space. A buyer viewing images of the property online will not have a sense of the true size or the purpose of the room.

Buyers nowadays expect more from their property search experience and are more sophisticated as a result of watching programs on HGTV and TDN.  Vignette staging cheapens the look and feel of the house.

Today’s professional home stager follows industry trends for furniture styles, colors, and understand the demographics of the buyer they are working to attract with their staging results. They do not rely on old furniture in a property. They carefully curate an overall cohesive look that will resonate with buyers online and in person.

Stagers help create the potential for a buyer, often highlighting a lifestyle with the selections of furniture, artwork, and décor.

Just as real estate professional services have evolved to include higher quality marketing, photographs, and processes that help best market a home, home staging has progressed as well.

The idea of just putting a few towels in a bathroom, placing greenery on counters, and leaning a piece of art on a mantel and calling it a “staged” property is about the same as a seller thinking FSBO is the same as using the services of a professional REALTOR®. They are not the same.  Not by a long shot!

Which property do you think a buyer will want to purchase?

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

Photo credit: IAHSP

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennie Norris is the chairwoman for the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® (IAHSP®), the president & CEO of Stagedhomes.com, and the owner and principal stager of Sensational Home Stagingserving the greater Denver region. As a Master ASP® Stager, she and her teams have staged 5,000 properties for sale since 2002. For more information on staging or to locate a professionally trained and credentialed stager near you, visit www.Stagedhomes.comorwww.iahsp.com.

Staging and Style

Neon Colors in Staging?! You’ll Be Surprised How Much You Like It

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

In a throwback to the 1980s, neon colors are popping up in more home decor. The flashiness of neon colors is a sure-fire way to brighten up your home’s interior, and the way fluorescents are being worked into a room isn’t as nauseating as you might at first imagine.

Adding in neon-green bath towels or a neon-colored pink or yellow ottoman or accent chair may sound too bold for your home staging. But as long as you mix it with the right colors, it may be just the pop of color a room needs.

The neon accent trend was on display in this year’s New American Home, a model home of innovation presented during the 2019 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Designers used neon-green and yellow colors throughout the home’s otherwise neutral colored backdrop.

Photo credit: Jeff Davis / Jeffrey A. Davis Photography

Neon color pops can actually make a room look sophisticated and luxurious.

But of course, moderation is key when adding in neon accents. (Remember, you’re not going for some black light retro effect!)

Designer Justin Riordan with Spade & Archer Design Agency in Portland, Ore., told realtor.com® that the neon trend works best when it’s mixed within a room decorated in mostly whites and grays. He suggests avoiding neon accents when working with Earth tones, such as creams, beiges, and browns.

For those looking for a more daring staging style, you’ll be well on-trend if you reach for those neon yellow pillows or that hot pink, nailhead accent chair. Check out these pictures from Houzz to see how the neon trend is being shown off in stylish ways.

Staging and Style

Get on Mom’s Good Side: Staging Fit for the Female of the House

By Sarah Anderson, VHT Studios

Let’s face it: Moms work hard! Besides juggling their own work schedule, they are integral to keeping the family on track, from changing diapers to helping with homework to shuttling kids to and from school and assorted extracurricular activities.

Because of that, when moms are looking for a property, they tend to be drawn to homes with features that work for the entire family: Large, open, and spacious kitchens, family rooms that double as playrooms and homework havens, bedrooms that can be converted to craft dens when the kids fly the coop, and designated mudrooms for sports equipment, shoes, and coats. Highlighting these family-friendly features could be paramount in appealing to mom buyers.

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

It’s also creative and smart to appeal to mom’s desire for creature comforts to help her envision her next lifestyle in that new home. What mom hasn’t dreamed of having a luxurious en suite bathroom, a reading nook, or a well-organized walk-in closet to indulge in at the end of the day? Or, having a space all to themselves in the form of a trendy “She Shed” or “Mom Cave”? And let’s not forget about a poolside chaise where the only voices heard are those of the birds!

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Photo credit: VHT Studios

This Mother’s Day, let’s take a closer look at how real estate pros can leverage beautiful photography and even some digital virtual staging tech tools to appeal to both the practical and dreamy side in a mom’s home search.

What do Moms Need in a Home?

A great way to get on a mom’s good side is to show how a home can appeal to the whole family and how the home could even make her busy life a whole lot easier.

To clearly display how a home will work for the entire family, real estate pros need to showcase high quality, gorgeous photographs of family-friendly spaces and features within the home. Also, VHT Studios offers tools like Virtual Paint and Virtual Redecorate to help present a room in many different ways and functions–to help moms envision that picture perfect image too.

Children’s bedrooms: Show the current fully decorated child’s room that provides a fun, kid-friendly space for play, homework, and sleep. A child’s bedroom or playroom also can be transformed in photographs into a new office, den, or craft room by using virtual staging tools. (Just be sure to clearly mark the images as “virtually staged” so there are no surprises when they visit the property in-person.)

Photo credit: VHT Studios

The backyard: Show off how there’s enough room for children to play outside. Also, consider giving the home’s exterior a romantic look with a twilight photography session or a Virtual Twilight digital enhancement. Capture that blue and pink glow in the sky and the soft reflective light off the windows to convey a warm and welcoming, homey feel.

What’s Really In Mom’s Dream Home? 

All too often, moms delay their dreams to stick to a family budget. Although it’s important to take the entire household’s happiness into account when making a large purchase like a home, moms should also consider what they individually want in a house as well.

What mom doesn’t want to escape to a spa-like bathroom with a glass of wine at the end of the day?

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Real estate professionals need to show how that dream of relaxation and the ability to unwind can become a reality for moms by highlighting these types of home features in a listing. Professional photography can certainly help with that.

Photo credit: VHT Studios

Crisp, clear, high-resolution professional photography with rich, brilliant colors appeal to what moms really want in a home and draws their attention to potential indulgences such as luxurious bathrooms, open and fully updated kitchens, and relaxing, spa-like master suites, or an at-home gym where a mom can go to do yoga in peace.

The smartest real estate professionals follow that reliable old, but oh so wise adage: If Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Anderson is vice president of marketing at VHT Studios, a national real estate photography and visual marketing firm.

Staging and Style

Hot Home Trend: Countertops Making Waves

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The speckled, spotted styles of granite countertops that have dominated kitchen design in recent years are moving out of the mainstream. In fact, those brown speckled granite countertops may even start to now age kitchens.

Instead, countertops are blending in more to the kitchen design. A polished, solid colored countertop, like in all white or black, is trending. Or one design really growing in popularity lately: Veined countertop designs. These countertops feature soft waves that resemble the look of marble.

 

Check out how some of these countertops are blending in more with the design and creating a clean, polished look in kitchens.

Staging and Style

Staging Tip: Remove the Window Screens Prior to a Photo Shoot

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Besides a good window cleaning, there’s another way to boost your curb appeal and get those windows shining: Remove the screens.

Home stagers love this trick, and it’s taken straight from the film industry. Remove the outside screens on your windows in the front of your home prior to your home being photographed, or prior to an open house. Your windows will look shiny and clean.

After all, a window screen can make a window appear filmy and dark.

But whatever you do, don’t throw away those screens! Keep them in the garage, and don’t forget to reinstall them later. The new homeowners will most certainly still want those.