Art is very personal for every home owner…

A truly personal space!

The way we treat art in a home for a home owner who is living in there home is very different than what we do for staging the home.

3 Step Process for Hanging the Art

Step 1. Lay the art on the floor with the heavier pieces on the bottom and measure between

Place Grouping On Floor

Place Grouping On Floor

Step 2. Start hanging the art on the wall measuring from the center out using levels for spaces in between

Start with lining up the center; measure 2" apart and level

Start with lining up the center; measure 2″ apart and level

Step 3. The art is now hung on the wall and the owner is ECSTATIC!

A truly personal space!

A truly personal space!

If you are really stuck on how to hang art check out our ebook: How To Hang Art Like a PRO!


PRES Staging Students Transformed this Home!

We recently held our last PRES staging and redesign training class for 2013 and the students were absolutely amazing! When you get a group of women together we don’t always agree on where things should go, or what should go in what room – but we all agree that the final changes we made to this ‘family home’ were amazing!

BEFORE a living and dining room that didn’t quite work for lots of reasons…

Chairs blocking fireplace; bland dining room

Chairs blocking fireplace; bland dining room

AFTER a living room and dining room that CAME ALIVE!

Fireplace becomes a focal point and more function; dining room loves her wall art!

Fireplace becomes a focal point and more function; dining room loves her wall art!

BEFORE a red sofa with a rather overpowering book shelf….

Something is missing here!

Something is missing here!

AFTER still a red sofa with treasured family photos overhead and the tall shelf moved by a cosy reading chair with a light!

Family photos where they should be; new curtains add some fun to this family/living room!

Family photos where they should be; new curtains add some fun to this family/living room!

PRES Students taking photos to start their portfolio…while it’s not a ‘gorgeous showhome’ it is a typical family home that was totally transformed.

Building their portfolio the PRES students snap away!

Building their portfolio the PRES students snap away!

Best Paint Colours For Selling Your Home

In the past 10 years the Exterior and Interior color trends have not changed much. Look around at any of the new developments or in home decor magazines and you will start to get an idea of what the trend is. If you are in the market now or the next few years check out color trends on line and with your preferred paint store or better still contact a PRES professional home stager!

By ‘trend’ I don’t mean trendy as ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ I mean trendy in the sense of being ‘most popular’ at this time period. This too will change but not for a few years yet. We can safely say that ‘beige’ has been extremely popular for a ‘home-selling’ paint color but of course this does depend where you live. In warmer climate cities colors tend to be brighter and in more ‘edgy- sophisticated’ developments you will see brighter and darker color trends for drama. Now in 2013 we are seeing ‘warmer’ beiges replaced by more grey toned ‘cooler’ beiges.

Interior Resale Paint Color Trend

– A 2nd Bedroom being used as a Den needs to be converted back…

Dated, dark green with black ivory stenciling....

Dated, dark green with black ivory stenciling….

After – This 2nd Bedroom was painted in Benjamin Moore CC90 Natural Linen which is always my ‘go-to beige’

A neutral color scheme with a new closet makes this work now!

A neutral color scheme with a new closet makes this work now!

Before – This teenager’s Bedroom needed a modern-color update…

Bright colors for a young person...

Bright colors for a young person…

After – The grey tones in this room give it much more ‘broad buyer appeal’ now

Grey tones make it more updated and sophisticated.

Grey tones make it more updated and sophisticated.

My favourite store to work with is Benjamin Moore because as an Interior Decorator/Redesign Stager they provide me with a very professional ‘architectural kit’ which has large color samples to work with. However, you can buy or they will lend you their Designer Classics Collection and this is primarily what I use for choosing redesign staging paint colors. As mentioned in a previous newsletter I always coordinate with the flooring as that is what is staying. You can add color with your accessories.

My standard selection from the Benjamin Moore Designer Classics Collection is:

BEIGE – Grey Undertones

Escarpment CC 518
Metropolis CC 546
Overcoat CC 544
Asphalt CC 548

BEIGE -Yellow Undertones(toned which means they all have grey added to them)

Brandy Cream CC 60
Natural Linen CC 90
Muslin CC110
Barely Beige CC 140
Stone House CC 120
Sandy Brown CC 150
Honey Harbour CC170
Summer Harvest CC 190
Delaware Putty CC 230
French Vanilla CC 248

BEIGE – Pink Undertones

Dusty Road CC 310
Sandpiper Beige CC 368
Stone Castle CC 396
Old Montreal CC398
Old Stone CC424
Bone China CC 426
Smoky Taupe CC 490
Rocky Road CC 470


Maid of the Mist CC 728
Killarney CC 698
Tea Light CC 610
October Mist CC 550


Cloud White CC 40 (this is the only one I use!)

TIP You can buy testers and do your own color boards or paint a small area on the wall of your client’s home. For staging most clients are looking for the home stager to make the suggestion for them. Always check the color morning, noon and night time to get the whole color picture as color is most affected by lighting. Most buyers are coming through Open Houses from about 12 – 4pm so that is when you need to pay attention.

I have many clients who in the beginning do not like the neutral colors but I have to remind them that ‘the way you live in your home, is not the way you sell your house’ and of course, we want the colors to have BROAD BUYER APPEAL!

Do I Really Have to Remove all the Family Photos & Religious Icons?

Home stagers need to have tact and sensitivity when it comes to asking the seller to pack up all of their beloved family photos and religious icons. It can be emotionally challenging for some sellers and we must be encouraging and also empathic to help them do their prepack.

My tag line for years has been: Remember the way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house. Your house of course is now a ‘product’ and it needs to be merchandised to be attractive to your potential buyer.

Home owner is so proud of her family and is very religious. All good for living but not for selling. The best architectural feature in this room is the fireplace but the furniture has not been placed properly and is crowded in one corner of this spacious room.

Family photos and religious icons won't appeal to buyers!

Family photos and religious icons won’t appeal to buyers!

For selling we want to create a much more neutral, spacious and inviting feeling into the main living room area. And we want to see that gorgeous fireplace as soon as we enter with the conversation grouping with it now.

With personal and religious items removed the living room has more broad buyer appeal!

With personal and religious items removed the living room has more broad buyer appeal!

We all know how important the FIRST IMPRESSION is upon entering a home. This oversize tree is imposing and very out of scale for the space.

The religious icon, candelabra and large tree do not work well together at the entrance.

The religious icon, candelabra and large tree do not work well together at the entrance.

A simple solution is to create a vignette that is more welcoming and it is now a better scale.

More appropriate furniture at the entrance and better scale.

More appropriate furniture at the entrance and better scale.

The client testimonial shows how the PRES home stager and the seller can benefit from working together and stage a property in very short time with great results!

“During the consultation I was told what I needed to do before the staging team came to do the actual hands on staging. During the consultation a more neutral paint colour was selected for the entire home as many of the rooms were painted many different colours ranging from yellow to blue to orange. We needed to be more neutral so I had the painters in on the weekend. My family had worked hard to remove the tread mill out of the master bedroom, all the many personal photos and collections off the walls, a wall unit that just took up space in the family room and, we cleaned and decluttered the entire home – a very big job!

When I came home from work I was impressed! I LOVED every single room in my home – from the entrance way which was totally inviting through to the rearranged furniture in the living room, the new art and tasteful accessories into the family room, the childrens’ bedrooms and our master bedroom. I loved the new bedding that was provided as staging inventory so much that I purchased it! Our home looks so much better and now has an updated and modern feel to it.”

Agnes and Family, Surrey BC

This themed ‘Romance Room’ got a spacelift!

Having a theme for rooms in your home can be a great idea and help you stay focused on the end styling result. As one of the PRES staging training homes our client offered her home for the one-day home makeover we call ‘redesign’. She had beautiful things and a real flair for decorating and wanted to see what we could do with her space. She likes to have a ‘theme’ in all of her rooms so we tackled what I call her ‘Romance Room’ to just make it a little bit more gorgeous while her husband serenades her at the piano.

Take a look at the ‘Romance Room’ Before

Nice room to be sure....but do the leather chairs work here?

Nice room to be sure….but do the leather chairs work here?

Gorgeous piano...still not quite right.

Gorgeous piano…still not quite right.

Seating arrangement opposite the fireplace...little out of scale but still gorgeous....

Seating arrangement opposite the fireplace…little out of scale but still gorgeous….

Take a look at the ‘Romance Room’ After

Romantic beyond a doubt...I can see her sitting her with her glass of wine so relaxed.

Romantic beyond a doubt…I can see her sitting her with her glass of wine so relaxed.The large mirror on the wall opens up the space and doubles the romance.

Serenading his beautiful wife as she reclines on the chaise...

Serenading his beautiful wife as she reclines on the chaise…

Comfortable chairs and art from France works perfectly.

With smaller chairs and 3 pictures from a trip to France now we have romance…

Her testimonial is a huge compliment to the Art of Redesign and the awesome work the students did during the 5 day PRES staging and redesign course:

“WOW! Is all I can say Dana. When I was given the opportunity to offer my home as your training space I felt very honored and kind of excited. I think I have a pretty nice flair for decorating so I really didn’t think Dana and her students would have too much to do.

Was I surprised when I came home at the end of the day and found my home so different and absolutely gorgeous! My husband and I have been sitting in our “parlor” all night just loving the feel and my dining room and family room are just decadent.

I am amazed at how you could rework my own pieces and give me a completely different look and feel, I LOVE my home. Thank you Dana and your simply amazing students for doing such a fabulous job.”

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

PRES LOVES Tomboy Tools!

Tomboy Tools are fantastic and they are pink! If you need and want tools made specifically for women these are for you. They are great for home stagers, decorators, designers, handy women and any women who likes to have her own tools.

Laurie McLean of Handy Granddaughter is selling these tools and women are buying them up because they have never seen anything quite as good as these. Check them out at Laurie’s Tomboy Tool site and contact Laurie if you are interested in buying some or learning more about selling them yourself.

Chatting about the great Tomboy Tools at SWAN Networking.

Love this Tomboy Tool Pink Diamond tool kit – versatile and easy to carry filled with perfect product for stagers and stylists!

If you live in the Lower Mainland PRES is hosting a Tomboy Tool Party on February 19th at 170 West 1st Street in North Vancouver BC. RSVP if you want to attend –

PS We love them at PRES even though most of our existing tools are red, we are willing to switch over since we know pink is just red tinted with white! Purple ones are in the works as well if pink isn’t for you.

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

Make sure you highlight the best architectural features when selling…

‘The way you live in your home, is not the way you sell your house’ has been a PRES staging mantra for over 10 years now. We were staging this gorgeous heritage home in Vancouver and wanted to highlight the best architectural features. Currently you don’t really notice them.

The home seller was using this room as their family room. The furniture is not well placed and quite frankly it just doesn’t work as a family room. After trying a few different furniture configurations we decided that this room was not going to be a family room after all

As home stagers we often ‘think outside the box’ and see what we can do to enhance the look of each room making each room’s beauty stand on its own. So…

The wrong furniture in the wrong room in this Vancouver heritage home.

We took the existing dining room furniture from another room where it did not work either, and positioned it so that the architectural features of this gorgeous fireplace and baseboards were highlighted.

This room is an absolute delight now – sophisticated and gorgeous.

The home sellers loved the PRES home staging ‘new look’ throughout the home so much that they decided not to put ‘their home’ on the market until the following year. It had never looked so good and flowed so well as it did when we were finished. High praise for us… not so good for the realtor (although he did make the sale the next year)

Remember the way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house…

The ‘real function’ of a room is the key to attracting a buyer’s eye! It’s a proven fact that most buyers are not good at visualizing what their furniture will look like in the homes they are viewing. This is why it is so important to create rooms that represent the very best way to live in this home.

PRES home stagers and redesigners are trained to know what the best function of each room or area is. Here are two examples of what helped this home sell:

The home seller used this room as their dining room and then it became the ‘catch all’ room. Not impressive for selling.

BEFORE as their Dining Room…

A Dining Room that’s not quite working for them…

AFTER as their Library a sanctuary looking out at the beautiful garden…

Quiet library sanctuary for anyone…

The home seller made this room into their Family Room but the furniture is awkwardly placed.

BEFORE as their Family Room….

An awkward family room with a gorgeous fireplace…

AFTER as their Dining Room…

Gorgeous and spacious dining room with a beautiful fireplace…

So the moral of the story is remember that the way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house! So turn your rooms back into the function that would appeal most to your home seller. It’s still all about creating great first impressions!

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