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!


June PRES Students Were Ecstatic!

The PRES 5 Day Certified Staging and Redesign training was fabulous! We always have a very diverse mix of students who come from a variety of backgrounds. June’s class of 5 students was no exception! One of our students works part-time at Home Depot in the kitchen design area, one is a realtor who loves staging, another was a woman who has just returned from living in Italy for 17 years and is also passionate about staging, one has been living in Asia for the past 25 years and has worked in senior management in many world-class hotels and one flew all the way from Moncton, New Brunswick!

While their backgrounds are diverse they all have one thing in common and that is their love for beautiful homes! Our students are naturally talented and have typically been doing staging or redesign for family and friends for ‘free’ but no longer! They loved the hands-on experience in the two client’s homes – we stage one home for selling and redesign one home for living. Our home owners were ecstatic with the results! This is what makes the PRES staging and redesign course so fabulous – we teach both home staging and home redesign.

June 2014 class

See if you can tell which one of our 4 students wrote this heart-warming testimonial…

“For the past 4 years I considered a course in Home Staging and Home Re-Design, contacting several companies offering the program. Up till now the outline of their programs, the company team(s) did not meet up with my expectations, until one day I was referred to PRES Home Staging and Re-Design. Soon after I received a call from Dana J. Smithers and just by that brief conversation over the telephone, I knew this was the training program for me, and I was not proven wrong.

I commenced the course with enthusiasm and excitement and this emotion continued to mount over the five (5) days of learning. The course was well laid out, the training materials professionally presented in addition to covering aspects from staging to redesign to strategic marketing to business start-up. Being a trainer myself I am vigilant of delivery and Colleen and Dana exceed all my expectations relating to the excellent delivery of course material, mentorship and expertise. The two (2) day practical staging and re-design in client homes/condos was an excellent experience, a most valuable part of the learning curve, the reward in seeing the delight of the homeowner when expectations were exceed beyond delight and words.

I am not a writer of testimonials however this time is an exception, for when a worthy experience of knowledge and expertise is delivered so effortless and professionally it deserves the highest of recognition. Highly recommended!

Dana and Colleen, not only were you both professional and taught us well, you were FUN!
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!”

Master Bedroom Gets a New Refreshed Look!

During our 5 Day Signature PRES Home Staging and Redesign training course we take students into ‘real client’s homes’ so that they apply the theory they learn in the classroom the day before. It’s what makes us stand out from other staging schools and we know when students leave the course they have all the tools necessary to take on their first client!

We love finding home owners who have just not had the time or the skills to make the most of what they have. And we all know how important a bedroom is at the end of the day! So the students decided to tackle this neglected master bedroom and turn it into a quiet haven for the busy couple.

Often once we do a room transformation the home owner is inclined to keep on with the ‘new refreshed look’ and tackle other areas of their home. We know the wall paper has had it’s glory time and perhaps stripping it off and painting will make this bedroom even more peaceful.

Before this room was sadly neglected, very cluttered and chaotic….

Before MBR

Deni MBDR 1Before

Deni MBR full on

But with some creative design ideas and a team of eager students wanting to transform the room a simpler, less hectic space is created!

Deni MBDR After

Deni MBDR before

MBR Bookcase

Most home owners do have enough that any professional stager or redesigner can come in and work with. When we do a redesign for living, we create a more personal space for the home owner. It’s all about them and how they like to live! Staging as we know is all about attracting that potential buyer to love what they see!

Realtors are looking for Certified PRES Home Stagers!

The home staging business is thriving! Realtors and home owners are impressed with the PRES Graduates who have completed our 5 Day Signature Certified Home Staging + Redesign course. Home staging is now seen as a necessity – in fact there are many realtors who will not accept a client if they do not use their home staging experts!

Our next PRES 5 Day Certified course is happening on June 9 – 13 and we only have a few spots left! Many of the PRES graduates have built very successful businesses and continue to expand each year. One of the differences between PRES and other home staging schools is that we teach BOTH home staging and redesign in the same course. Other schools require that you take two separate courses and pay for two separate courses!

Our Signature 5 day hands-on professional PRES Staging & Redesign certification course is happening on June 9 – 13, 2014. You can take our online Certified PRES Home Staging & Redesign Home Study program at your own pace anywhere in the world!

Besides learning the theory behind home staging and redesign we take you into real client’s homes to do the actual hands-on training! This is where you start your Portfolio of great ‘Before and After’ photos. Then we spend a full day in each home where you get to practice our 10 Step Secret Formula for staging and redesigning any room! You receive a 200+ page manual that is updated on a regular basis and you learn how to run your business. We spend a full day on marketing and starting up your business.

PRES Students Building their Portfolio

PRES Students Building their Portfolio

And here are a few other Bonus offers that none of the other home staging schools offer!

PLUS enjoy our NEW VENUE - we are the only home staging school to hold our course at Fluff Rentals – the most amazing rental inventory showroom in Vancover BC! (value priceless!) We are the ONLY staging school to teach at the Fluff Design and do a practice quote using Fluff inventory!

Art is the best place to start when choosing your 'colour story' for your project

Art is the best place to start when choosing your ‘colour story’ for your project

PLUS Receive 2 Coaching Calls Free! With home staging industry leader Dana Smithers for the PRES 5 Day Training OR the PRES Home Staging Home Study Program (value $300)

PLUS become eligible as one of our monthly PRES Featured Stagers. This is a prestigious opportunity as PRES stagers receive great exposure to our PRES database which helps promote their business!

PLUS Receive Special Pricing on all PRES Professional Development Courses – you receive a generous discount on our Colour Course, Presentation Course and our sought after Top 10 Marketing Strategies for Stagers & Stylist course! More new ones to come your way soon!

Maria Waterman & Linda use the colour wheel for determining the colour scheme!

Maria & Linda use the colour wheel for determining their colour scheme!

PLUS Receive a ‘FREE’ personally autographed Start and Run Your Home Staging book written by industry leader Dana J. Smithers! This book has changed many a home stagers life and is filled with tips and tricks of the trade.

Start & Run a Home Staging Business Book

And one more thing…You receive our special ‘PRES Goodie Bag’ with some must-have tools so that when you leave the course you are ready for your first job!

The PRES instructors are Colleen McClure who also has an extremely successful interior decorating, window coverings and home staging business and Dana Smithers who is Canada’s ‘Staging Guru’ and wrote the book Start & Run A Home Staging Business. She is also the founder of PRES Staging Training school and well known in the industry. Colleen and Dana have teamed up to maximize the learning you receive when you take either our Certified 5 days PRES Staging and Redesign ‘hands-on’ course or our Certified PRES online Home Staging and Redesign course.

Entranceways reflect a lot about who lives here…

The first impression of the entrance for living is different than it is for selling. When someone is living in the home the entrance should reflect their personal style. It should say something about how this person likes to live in their home and also it starts the colour scheme of the home. It’s very personal.

For selling the entrance has a different goal to achieve. With that first impression being so critical in the buying decision it needs to invite the prospective buyer in with a warm and welcoming feeling. Not crowded – not too personal but spacious and clean. The best colour palette for me is still a neutral paint colour. I like to accessorize with trendy colours and let the walls stay in the background.

The PRES students recently went in to transform an entrance that had become a ‘catch all’ area for shoes, books, pictures, etc but didn’t really meet any of the criteria that it needed to.

The dark wood units are housing the family’s shoes and other things and the wood colour does not go with the other woods in the room. You do get the impression that this family is all about family and it is yet it doesn’t tell us much else.

DeAnn Entrance Before

We really wanted to do something that reflected more of the personal style of the home owner and invite some calm into this busy family life…

DeAnn Entrance After

From a Feng Shui perspective a small water fountain would be the perfect addition here. The old monk’s door is a treasure she fell in love with many years ago. The serene Buddha with the new plants breathe new life and energy into this space.

This is what she had to say…

“All I can say is WOW! We are LOVING the space that you and the women created yesterday! I had to leave for a class shortly after you left, so didn’t have time to just sit in the space and take it all in. However, it was just soooo incredibly lovely walking in the door last night to this peaceful, pulled-together, warm, inviting space! I just stood in the doorway with my coat and shoes on looking around and loving every bit of it. My husband texted me while I was in class, saying ‘WOW! It looks great!’. Big response from someone who usually doesn’t pay much attention to these things. He even said ‘Thanks for attracting this into our lives’!

After 20+ years of having a busy, FULL house with kids/teens/dog I can’t even tell you how much the calm, organized beautiful space impacts me (us) physically and emotionally. When you look at something every day that bothers you but you just put it aside, you get used to it in a chronic way — until it shifts and then you realize how ‘heavy’ it had been weighing on you. Thank you for breathing new oxygen and ‘lightness’ into our home!

Even though you were working with furniture that’s almost two decades old, it all looks new again! Who would have thought?! As I kept saying yesterday, it feels crazy but in a great way!! It’s mind-blowing because it’s the same stuff that was here but it just has a completely new energy and feel. “

How a 20 year old home was reborn!

“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God” is what she kept repeating as she looked at her 20 year old home once we transformed it! One of the things I absolutely LOVE about the Certified PRES home staging and redesign training programs is that students go into real client’s homes to apply the theory they learned in the classroom.

Every home owner has things that they really love but they don’t necessarily know how to utilize the space to showcase what they do have. We love to transform rooms into inviting, comfortable, sophisticated spaces and that’s exactly what we did here! Our home owner is a busy entrepreneur, mother and wife who spends the majority of her time ‘taking care of everyone else’ in the home. This isn’t a new story to us at the PRES Staging Resource Centre – we hear this all the time. What is so wonderful about coming into this home is that the client has absolutely gorgeous furniture, accessories and art that we can play with. And play we did!

From “Not Sure What Really Works in this Living Room and Dining Room if anything ….”

DeAnn Living Room Before

DeAnn Living & Dining Room Before

To ” I absolutely LOVE THIS SPACE!”

DeAnn Living Room After

DeAnn Living Room After2

Colleen McClure the new PRES Staging Instructor did a fabulous job of working with the new April students to show them how easy it is to redesign a home for living, or staging it to sell.

Colleen McClure with students

Announcing new PRES Staging Trainer – Colleen McClure!

Super excited to introduce Colleen McClure of Colleen McClure Designs who is the new PRES Staging & Redesign Trainer! Colleen is a successful interior decorator and a Certified PRES Staging & Redesign Professional. She is super excited with traveling across Canada with the PRES Staging & Redesign training programs.

Read more about Colleen…Colleen McClure

Currently Colleen McClure is known as the Blind Lady for Budget Blinds in Campbell River, Courtenay and Comox. Over the years she has honed her skills in learning as much as she can about window coverings and took a specialized course in California to learn the latest trends. She is experienced in all window fashion treatments and blinds bringing everything to your home for a seamless decision making process.

Colleen is a Certified Professional Real Estate Stager (PRES®) and is known in the industry as the ‘Making it Easy for You’ gal. Colleen started her interior decorating career in 1997 and she has continued to dazzle and amaze her clients at how easy she makes the entire decision process whether it’s for one room or an entire home. She is absolutely passionate about the colour choices that she helps her clients make. Colleen believes that colour can make or break an entire look of a room and she is a professionally trained colour expert with Maria Killam as a ‘True Certified Color Expert’.

Clients praise Colleen for her ability to mix styles, textures and finishes which keep her designs personal, thoughtful and fresh. She has an appreciation for all styles and the need to reflect each client’s personal space, lifestyle, and character. Clients appreciate her open, easy and accommodating nature plus her expertise in pulling various design elements together to create a unique and inviting space for living or selling.

Colleen will be part of the April Certified PRES Staging & Redesign training program and is super excited to be doing something that she absolutely loves. She is in the process up updating all her social media sites and getting the word out there about adding home staging training to her business model!

Understanding What Your Client is Going Through is Critical to Your Success as Home Stager and Redesigner…

When I teach the 5 day PRES home staging and redesign course I take the students into real clients’ homes so they can apply the 10 Step Formula theory that they learn in the classroom. In this home we did a ‘redesign’ which is technically a one-day home makeover for living, using the client’s existing furnishings. It is all about capturing the client’s personal tastes and validating what they have in their home does work – it just doesn’t quite work the way they had things set up.

Our training home client’s roller coaster of emotions went from excitement, to hesitation, to despair, to jumping in with both feet, to excitement, to angst of ‘what if it looks like how they like it and not how we like it’ to – finally JOY at the final outcome!

Some TIPS on Conducting the Client Interview/Consultation:

  • As soon as you meet the client acknowledge something attractive about their personal home décor items
  • Ask to take a tour of their home so you can ask them about things – I like to use the expression ‘Tell me about this’ so that way I know whether or not they are emotionally tied to a particular item
  • Continue to reassure them that they have lots to work with and how much you are looking forward to creating a new look for them – this builds their need to know, like and trust you
  • Ease their ‘fear of change’ by letting them know you offer a ‘Redesigners Guarantee’ which is to live with the changes for 2 weeks and if you still don’t like them you will come back and change things (in over 10 years I have never been called back to change anything)
  • Gain their trust and confidence by letting them know that they can always bring something back in and rotate the things we didn’t use
  • Really listen in the consultation to what their answers are to your questions – probe more if you feel they are hesitating about something and acknowledge the pieces of furniture or art that they really get excited about
  • If they start to ‘tell you’ where things should be placed and what should be moved into a certain space or room, they may not be a good client for a redesign. Tell them the more ‘open’ they are with allowing you to make changes the better the end result will be
  • Never tell your client exactly what you will do but make generalizations such as ‘we can move some of the furniture so the room flows more, and rehang some of the art so it works better together, showcase your gorgeous collections, etc.
  • Throughout the entire interview/consultation you are being very positive with your comments regardless of what you are thinking in your head!
  • In redesign as in staging, you do not need to ‘love’ the look of your client’s home nor their personal belongings or style – your job is to give them the best that you can and know that it will be so much better than what they could ever do
  • Listen for this commonly heard statement when you do the reveal “How clever, I never would have thought of that” and celebrate your success!

S.O.S. Staging Training Home Needed for November 5th or 6th!

PRES training home clients are ecstatic over the transformations in their home! We’re looking for 1 great (well, not so great actually) home for November 5th or 6th 2013.

If you have a property on the market or want to by early November consider taking part in our ‘free’ professional home staging practicum. We thought we had our staging training home all set for our PRES students November 5th or 6th but the deal has fallen through! During the 5 day PRES Staging & Redesign Training course, students are taken into real clients’ homes to apply the theory they learned in the classroom. Our training home clients are carefully selected by the PRES Resource Centre Founder & Creative Director, Dana J. Smithers. What’s essential in the training homes is that there are at least 3 major rooms to transform, enough art and accessories to work with. Some homes may have more opportunity for learning proper furniture placement and others may provide the perfect opportunity for teaching the ‘art of hanging art’.

You’ve heard the expression ‘The way you LIVE in your HOME is not the way you SELL your HOUSE’ and this couldn’t be more true than in this situation for this seller! Many people that have lived in their home for a long time change the function of their rooms to suit their needs. They might do this because they are now ‘empty nesters’ and have more options of how they can live in their home now. For STAGING the property to get ready for prospective buyers you want your home to be inviting and evoke positive emotions so buyers are excited to see themselves in their new space! Only about 10% of the population is good at visualizing which is why it is so important to create an inviting, functional look in each and every room. And that’s exactly what we did here…

The main living room is being used as an office area for living…

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

We looked in other rooms for more attractive looking furniture and found these sofas in the family room…

This is a much more inviting living room now!

This is a much more inviting living room now!

So if you are a seller or a realtor and you have a property that can BENEFIT from having the PRES staging students come in to totally transform the space into a WOW look for your buyer CONTACT US NOW for the consultation!

This heritage home had the right area rugs just in the wrong rooms….

During the 5 day PRES Staging and Redesign training course, I selected a gorgeous heritage for the one-day home makeover for living. During the consultation the biggest style error that I noticed immediately was the wrong area rugs in the wrong rooms and the wrong style curtains in the wrong rooms. Having the wrong area rugs in the wrong rooms is a fairly common styling mistake that many home owners make. As stagers and redesigners this is a fairly easy fix and often leads to other rearrangements of furniture and in this case also draperies, some accessories and switching out a wrong-coloured wing back chair for the rigth-coloured wing back chair in their bedroom.

For example in the living room ‘before’ the home owners’ daughters played piano and yet it was stuck in a corner. I knew the girls would be excited to be more ‘centre stage’ shall we say!

Modern sheers not working in this traditional formal living room, piano stuck in the corner...

Modern sheers not working in this traditional formal living room, piano stuck in the corner…

Once we moved the piano to another wall we put the large oversized sofa on a diagonal and changed the draperies from ones they had in two other rooms.

New traditional draperies, piano center stage and sofa on a diagonal with the right color area rug!

New traditional draperies, piano center stage and sofa on a diagonal with the right color area rug!

This testimonial tells you how IMPRESSED the home owners were…

From the wife, “WOW, We are so impressed! Our home looks like a show home. We are thrilled with the transformation. Dana’s team is so professional and kind we can’t say enough. Even our seven year old twins said, “Our house is now the best!” We couldn’t have made our house a home without your talent. Many thanks for a fantastic job.”

and from the husband (normally men are not so forthcoming with excitement) “Dana has worked a miracle. Our family home is 101 years old, divided into separate rooms and of course filled with all of our stuff. Dana and her team came in and made those rooms distinct. We were not aware of the mix of colour schemes and furnishing styles we had going on in each room but Dana was. She put the things that should be together, together. Moved furniture, drapes, area rugs and art work. She gave distinction, theme, flow and space to each room. Love it, love it, love it.

I can’t wait to go home and view it again. It’s like I moved into a new house and bought new furniture. Dana you and your students are amazing. Thank you!!”

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