Is Choosing Paint Colours for Commercial Exteriors That Different Than Residential?

PRES home stagers are often making residential paint colour choices for both interiors and exteriors. Making the right colour choices for the exterior can actually be more stressful than for the interior because it’s that true FIRST IMPRESSION! And if a buyer doesn’t like it…they may not even come in to view the interior of the property.

A previous client of mine had been contacted by a ‘Student Painters’ company who gave them a great price to paint their exterior. They were not selling their home they just wanted a more modern, updated look to their exterior. I had selected their entire house interior paint colours a few years prior to them contacting me again. The student painter’s colour choice was something like ‘forest green’ with white trim and while they thought it was ‘okay’ they gave me a call. All I could say when I saw their choices was “Really?” And to think they had almost made a DRASTIC MISTAKE that they would have to live with and all they needed was a professional consultation!

This is pretty typical of what houses in the high-end residential area ‘used’ to look like.

Long overdue for a colour update!

Long overdue for a colour update!

And so while they were not sure about my colour choices we decided to get some testers and try the colours out. They LOVED THEM and breathed a sigh of relief when all was said and done.

Updated exterior with Benjamin Moore Designer Classics – Stonehouse trim, Great Plains body and lower portion of house was painted in Willow. The door is black and from a Feng Shui perspective very visible and welcoming.

Fits in beautifully with their neighbourhood now!

Fits in beautifully with their neighbourhood now!

I was recently contacted by an Interior Decorator who is excited to be called in for a commercial building colour consultation. She was referred by a client whose office interior she had selected paint colours for – so all good there. She was asking my advice about the process, what to charge, etc. We rolled around some ideas and I decided to post that question on a number of home staging and decorating sites. So if you have any advice or experience you would be willing to share with us – email me personally at

FREE Library Talk Top 5 Home Staging Tips March 9th

Join us at this ‘FREE’ Lynn Valley library talk and learn home staging expert Dana J. Smithers’ TOP 5 HOME STAGING TIPS! Marci Deane of Mortgage Alliance West and Lois Mari Sullivan of Prudential Sussex Realty will share their knowledge for first time buyers. Lots to learn from all 3 speakers! It’s at the Lynn Valley Library – Program Room – 1277 Lynn Valley Road 10am to 11:30am.

Staging your home is no longer an option IF you want to sell it for top dollar and quickly. In today’s market over 80% of potential buyers look on the internet first to view your home. If your home does not look WOW you may get passed over! There are some very essential things you need to do before putting your home on the market. Decluttering and depersonalizing are two of your ‘Must Do’ priorities and having a clean home speaks volumes to your potential buyer. Many homes need simple home improvements that are good ROIs and the best place to spend money is on updating the look of your home with a new neutral paint colour. Buyers want the ‘move-in-ready’ home and this means you do have to make some investments. The next best areas to invest are in new flooring (Canadians prefer hardwood), lighting fixtures (brushed nickel) and window treatments (2” faux white wood blinds).

Find out how and why you need to go From this….

This unused dining room won't show well for selling!

This unused dining room won’t show well for selling!

To this….

It made more sense to turn this into a family room than a dining room!

It made more sense to turn this into a family room than a dining room!

First impressions only take a few minutes and if your home furnishings are old and drab looking, that first impression may have cost you the sale of your property! Buyers like to feel positive emotions so that they can see themselves in their ‘new home’. You may need to rent furnishings such as sofas and chairs, art and accessories if your home doesn’t appeal to your target market. Vacant properties need to be staged with great furniture as statistics prove they sit on the market longer than a staged property. Home stagers can provide those rentals to you, get you started with a plan in your recommendation report and stage your home!

You have a chance to WIN a One Hour HOME STAGING CONSULTATION and Canada’s Home Staging Expert, Dana J. Smithers AND HER eBOOK DIY – Getting To An Open House in 10 Easy Steps! And Creating Curb Appeal that Sells!

Home Staging For Selling – Top 5 Tips! Join Marci Deane and Lois Marie Sullivan
Lynn Valley Public Library – 1277 Lynn Valley Road 10am to 11:30am.
Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (PST)
North Vancouver, British Columbia

Introducing Tomboy Tools for Home Stagers!

Laurie McLean of Handy Granddaughter introduced me to Tomboy Tools and I love them! She will be introducing them to the Meetup City Stagers group on Tuesday February 19th in North Vancouver. Katie Matthewman of Fine Design will be talking about the RESA BC Chapter and why you might want to join!

Laurie McLean introduces Tomboy Tools to Dana Smithers

Laurie McLean introduces Tomboy Tools to Dana Smithers

With every purchase of Tomboy Tools products, consumers can feel good knowing that not only are they getting the highest quality tools for their projects backed with education, but a portion of total sales will benefit charitable organizations across Canada. Tomboy Tools Canada provides donations to all kinds of organizations that help women. From women’s shelters to breast cancer research, from helping the homeless, to skills development, Tomboy Tools is committed to being part of the solution. On the North Shore they are partnering with the new soon-to-be-open Habitat for Humanity ReStore so stay tuned for that.

Great products and just the right size of took kit for me in my work!

Tomboy Tools Kit

Renting Art In North Vancouver is Easy Peasy!

Renting original art in North Vancouver just got easier! There are many great rental furnishing stores in the Lower Mainland, Fluff Rentals being one of our favourite since it has one-stop shopping staging home decor rentals for entire homes. However, if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind original art then you might want to check out the Vancouver Art Gallery Rental and Sales group and CityScape Community Art.

CityScape has an art rental show coming up from January 11 – February 2, 2013 with an Opening Reception on Thursday, January 10th from 7-9pm. You can buy or rent artwork right off the gallery walls. Visit CityScape Community Art Space for the semi-annual salon-style exhibition of the Art Rental collection. The Art Rental Show features more than 400 pieces of original artwork created by local artists.

This is a unique opportunity to enjoy original art in your home or office. Art Rental is a convenient and affordable way to enhance any space. Artworks rent for as little as $10 to $40 a month. Works are varied in subject and style; created in watercolour, acrylic, oil, pastel, photography and mixed media – something for everyone.

This is their contact information:

CityScape Community Art Space
North Vancouver Community Arts Council
335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, BC V7M 2G3 / 604.988.6844

January 2012 ezine to put here

Happy Holidays from PRES Staging Resource Centre

HAPPY HOLIDAYS  to you and yours and wishing you an amazingly prosperous 2013! From all of us at the PRES Staging Resource Centre enjoy the holiday season and take some time to Celebrate your Success however, you define it. I am privileged to have been part of your journey and I thank you for that!

He has achieved success who has lived well
Laughed often and loved much
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task
Who has left the world better than he found it,
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem,
or a rescued soul
Who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it
Who has always looked for the best in others
and given them the best he had
Whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.
Written by Bessie Stanley

“Why did this staging job take so long?” ask the home seller?

I recently took a ‘quick’ staging job for a seller whose property had been on the market for about 5 months. She had already reduced the price from $2.788 million to $2.488 million. She asked me to come and take a look at it which I did do but before I went to her home I looked on the MLS listing to see what it looked like from the photos. Not bad really…lacked some personality but a bit of tweaking should do the trick.

After the consultation I went shopping for her at $150/hour (I don’t change my rate for shopping). Her biggest weak area was the master bedroom so we purchased some new bedding, faux fur throws, 2 slipper chairs, a gorgeous area rug from Country Furniture, table lamps from Villa Beau, cushions, towels, shower curtain and florals for her. She was ecstatic with all of my choices and we set a date to do the ‘tweaking staging’.

I brought my team in, Tamara MacDonald of Tweak Designs and Lesley Arnould of Embellished Interiors to assist me as I had another client I had to go and see right after this staging. If we didn’t finish then Lesley and Tamara could finish up.

The seller left for the afternoon and came back about 3 hours later. I thought we would be finished by then but there were a few things that held us up. We had to assemble a table, some lamps and iron all the bedding. The bedskirt didn’t quite fit so we had to fiddle with pinning it to make it look right. Thankfully this was not an IKEA table because as soon as I see an IKEA box, I groan. It’s never simple and I end up feeling incompetent because it takes way, way longer than I expect!

Putting together bedside table takes time…

We also had to get rid of more of her belongings that we were not using by putting it into the garage. No small feat since the garage was packed floor-to-ceiling already. This is quite typical of sellers and it’s best to recommend they have an off-site storage locker. It didn’t turn out to the ‘quick’ staging job as I thought but it was interesting!

The work we did vastly improved the look of the home and her master bedroom is gorgeous. The chairs hadn’t arrived from Jordan’s Furniture yet, so I didn’t take any photos. I will once they arrive so stay tuned. She has an offer as I type this post!

Meetup City Stagers December 11 Holiday Event with Ellie Hanson

One of the things I love about being in the real estate industry is all the different Meetup groups that are available. As a home stager we meet up regularly in the Greater Vancouver Area and call ourselves the ‘City Stagers Meetup’. We also have real estate investment meetups, builders and contractors meetups, women in business meetups and many others. I know you are likely to find many Meetups in your area that work for you. You can make great connections, rant and rave (if you need to), listen to industry-related speakers to know more about what they do so you can refer them, and overall feel that you are part of something bigger than your own small business!

On December 11th,, Ellie Hanson of NexTrendDesign is hosting the City Stagers event -with a twist! Ellie is offering a staging tour and some appies back at her home. You can tour 2 of her staged homes featuring her own original art.

Ellie Hanson florals

Ellie Hanson staged property

We’ll meet at 7 pm at the first staged home in Langley and then on to Morgan Creek/Surrey. Then we’ll gather at her home (Surrey) to enjoy the lights from our 5 Christmas trees and indulge in hot mulled cider and yummy appies and desserts. If everyone brings a plate of goodies to share, we’ll have a delectable variety of foods to sample.

For more information contact Ellie Hanson of NexTrend Design to RSVP.

Home Stagers Love to Work with Amazing Professional Organizers!

All home stagers benefit from having reliable, professional strategic alliances that they can refer to their clients when they cannot provide a required service, or do not want to do. One of my favourite alliances is with professional organizers. In Canada you can find them in the Professional Organizers of Canada (POC) Directory and in the United States you can find them in the National Association of Organizers (NAPO) Directory. Personally I really dislike doing professional organizing so I always refer my clients to people who love to do this.

At a recent Meetup City Stagers in Vancouver BC Heather Knittel and Susan Borax of Good Riddance shared their expertise with the group. Most of us in this Meetup are home stagers, decorators, designers and stylists. We occasionally have photographers or painters join us which makes it easy to meet other alliances.

A few days after that meeting a realtor called me from a home staging talk I had done with his firm. He needed someone to work with a senior couple who were downsizing and needed to get organized in a big way. Not me! So, I could proudly refer him to Heather and Susan with confidence since I had met them first hand and knew they would be a perfect fit for the realtor and his client! How great is that! We all come away looking professional and WIN-WIN all around. And I know that when Susan and Heather need a home stager they will think of me, or other stagers in the Meetup City Stagers group!

My Heart Goes Out to the Grieving Sellers

Over my 10+ years of working with sellers I’ve seen a ‘roller coaster’ of emotions that surface from that first consultation and sometimes long into the new home. Sellers who are happy about moving usually work more quickly because they see an end goal in sight that motivates them. For sellers who really don’t want to move, they experience a lot of angst, feelings of being overwhelmed, loss, fear and even anger. It slows them down and the process can sometimes come to a halt.

I’ve been invited to work with a realtor with a seller whose wife is in a care home and he now faces the inevitable of living a life without his wife of over 30 years. The home they live in is ‘full-to-spilling over’ of their life together. It’s full of memories of children and relatives and there isn’t a wall in the home that isn’t covered in photos and mementos. Being a religious family as well several rooms are dedicated to icons and religious paintings. They have truly created their memories in this home and now, we come in to change it all.

My heart goes out to the husband and the daughter I met, but in the end the inevitable can’t be postponed. I hope as a team – the realtor and home stagers – that we help the family – step-by-slow-step to make the transition as easy for them as we can. They have already postponed the initial staging prep work once, and they may still need more time to pack up a few more mementos before we come back in.

Your blessings for them are welcomed…

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