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. “

Some people just don’t realize how important that first-impression entrance is!

First impressions are everything whether you are living in your home or preparing it for selling. When I taught interior decorating and now home staging, I always loved to talk about how making a WOW entrance sets the tone for the entire home.

During the 5 day PRES Staging & Redesign training course we go into ‘real client’s homes and work with what they have for living or selling. In this case, the wife’s mother had given her a gorgeous mirrored cabinet that she placed in the front hall. This is a heritage home and while that cabinet is gorgeous and modern certainly works with traditional – it didn’t quite represent what this family was all about. And that is one of the primary functions of a home’s entrance. It needs to let people coming in know about ‘who lives here’. People discern that quickly based on what they see, paint colours, clutter or not and overall just how inviting the entrance is.

This is the heritage’s entrance before….

Beautiful cabinet but not really fitting in here...

Beautiful cabinet but not really fitting in here…

And this is the entrance way ‘After’. What is so amazing here is that the piece of art we put over the oak cabinet had been in the owner’s possession for over a year but they had not even unwrapped it from the framers. This beautiful photograph is from the historical Vancouver archives and is a photo of their home in the 1940s! What a statement for this family!

Gorgeous and a WOW!

Gorgeous and a WOW!

And this is how they really felt….

From Lesley 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.

From Thomas the husband (and we know husband’s don’t usually gush this much): 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!!”

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!!”

Staging Your Parent’s Home Can Be Overwhelming….or not.

Staging your parents home truly can be overwhelming for so many different reasons. When the seller’s children help out with a lot of the prep work we become a team, and things get done quicker and with the most amazing results.

As part of the 5 day certificate PRES staging and redesign training course we recently staged a 39 year old condo, 950 square feet, with 2 bedrooms. When students stage a real client’s home they get first hand experience. They learn so much about ‘how to stage’ and gain their confidence and validation of their talent by seeing the end result. Getting a great reaction like a WOW along with the client testimonial is part of the high that inspires them!

Prior to the staging consultation I asked the client to send photos of where they were at with making the changes they needed before the actual hands on staging was done. It was obvious they had started work but still needed some professional advise for their ‘next steps’. The potential buyer is 55+ so the furnishings are fine with a few additions from the daughter such as plants and cushions.

Lots of personal collections

Lots of personal collections

You can see their treasures – the native art and the china cabinet full of personal mementos and china. All special to the seller but not for the buyer’s eyes!

After decluttering and depersonalizing the space…

Attractive and broader buyer appeal!

Attractive and broader buyer appeal!

The Master Bedroom bed was not in good condition so fortunately there was another bed to choose from….

Bed was not in good condition and needed to be replaced.

Bed was not in good condition and needed to be replaced.

With some minor cosmetic changes and using a duvet as a headboard (pillows inside) the overall look was improved.

Less cluttered and more harmonious with different drapes from another room.

Less cluttered and more harmonious with different drapes from another room.

Happy Daughter Testimonial:

We were very fortunate to have Dana Smithers and her students from PRES Staging training school to stage my Mom’s condo for selling. I met with Dana one week prior and she complimented us on all the work we had already done to be prepared for the actual hands-on staging. My brother and I had done a lot of packing up of personal effects and removing things we knew would not work to show the condo as well as we wanted. My brother did some painting as well in a neutral colour and Dana said it would be okay to leave one of the bedrooms in the soft yellow but she thought the blue feature in the living room would look better painted the same neutral colour as the entire living room. With more than one colour, she said it makes the room look smaller but suggested we wait and see what furniture placement changes they made to see if it had to be painted. She knew we were all tired and didn’t really want to do a whole lot more!

The day of the staging felt a bit like Christmas…we were very excited to see the finished space. We were thrilled with the changes! As we went from one room to the next we were amazed at how much better each room looked just using the things my mom had. The angled furniture placement in the living room made the space seem so much larger and very inviting. The new ‘library room’ looked so comfy and the art they used was just perfect. We loved their creative ideas with the bedding in the master bedroom – they created a head board look out of a comforter and in made the room so much more attractive. Anyone could imaging their belongings in this condo! My mom’s home has a whole new beautiful look that we know will appeal to just the right buyer! Thank you Dana and team for your magic.

Sue – North Vancouver BC

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.”

Interested in a FREE’ One-Day Home Makeover for Living or Selling?

PRES training home clients are ecstatic over the transformations in their home! We’re looking for 2 great (well, not so great actually) homes for May 7th and 8th 2013.

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’. Whether we are staging the home to sell, or transforming the home by redesigning it for living the outcome for the client is the same – they LOVE the transformation!

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!

For many people who are not moving, the PRES students can come into your home and in just one-day totally transform the look of your home using your things! We call this REDESIGN and create more harmony and balance in a home. This is PERSONAL and all about the client’s lifestyle and personal style. This client loved her french decor items from her travels in France but wanted more flow to the home.

The living room BEFORE has things that she loves in it:

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things - lovely as they are.

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things – lovely as they are.

The living room AFTER is more to her liking…

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

The PRES Staging Resource Centre has been offering the ‘free makeover’ for home dwellers – owners and sellers for years now. By ‘free’ we are not charging for this exceptional home transformational service. We only ask that the home dweller or realtor (we do homes for realtor’s clients too) makes a donation to a charity of their choice on behalf of PRES Staging Resource Centre. We know that thousands of dollars have gone to worthy charities because of our offer – WIN – WIN!

Want a FREE Home Makeover In Just One Day?

PRES training home clients are ecstatic over the transformations in their home! We’re looking for 2 great (well, not so great actually) homes for March 5th or 6th 2013.

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’. Whether we are staging the home to sell, or transforming the home by redesigning it for living the outcome for the client is the same – they LOVE the transformation!

In this home the client was struggling with how to make everything she loved look good together. When you are redesigning the home for living it’s important to transform the home by using as many of the client’s things as you can. Having said that not everything goes back into a room once we start building it back up using our 10 Step Secret Formula!

The Living Room BEFORE:

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things - lovely as they are.

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things – lovely as they are.

The Living Room AFTER:

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

This her testimonial which says it all…

When I walked in my home all I could say was “Wow!” I was taken aback immediately by the sense of being welcomed into my own home, stunned by the spaciousness and a feeling that the rooms can breathe again. With styled shelves, walls complimented with art, properly placed furniture and treasured items beautifully displayed, it became the space I wanted it to be. If you want your home staged or redesigned invite PRES Staging program in the door because you won’t be disappointed!

If this is something you are interested in participating in let us know by going to our PRES Training Home Page. Just click on this link Criteria to Qualify as a Training Home and we will be in touch! Sorry, this offer is only for home owners in the Lower Mainland BC.

Don’t save the new furniture for the move use it for staging now!

In the last PRES home staging & redesign training course we staged a townhouse that was using their futon in their main living room area. During the consultation I asked if they had any other furniture that I could use and the home seller said they had their new brown leather sofa and ottoman in the garage ready for their move. I asked to look at it and well…the rest is history. It was THE PERFECT piece of furniture for the living room and the futon worked beautifully downstairs in the less formal family room.

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

New Sofa & Ottoman in Garage!

Living Room with Leather Sofa & Ottoman

Dining Room & Living Room Connected!

This was a junk room filled with plastic containers, paint cans, tarps, etc. We did some ‘out-of-the-box thinking’ and used the plastic containers along with a bookcase to make a bed! We turned this junk room into a guest bedroom with a nautical theme. The headboard is a cushion from a summer bench we didn’t need to use!

Junk Room turned into a Guest Bedroom

The home sellers were delighted with the changes and this is what they had to say:
When I walked in the door I felt like walking into a designer show home. It was all my furniture, yet it all looked brand new to me!

The living room and children’s bedroom were absolute genius. The creativity and ingenuity in using items from my own home were absolutely amazing. My husband and I are completely impressed with the work done in our home. I am certain that our house will have no problem generating interest when going on the market.

Your students have definitely earned their A+’s!

A happy home owner wrote a poem testimonial that rocks!

If you look a few posts back you will find one entitled ‘Want to Make Your Home a True Reflection of You. Find out how…’. The husband and the wife were delighted with the new look of their one-day home transformation. We were thrilled to be able to create a home that reflected their love of Africa.

I always ask my clients for a testimonial as I use them for marketing and plus, I like the positive feedback and to be able to share it with my students. Maureen, the wife, sent us a testimonial in the form of a poem. I LOVE IT and wanted to share it with you:

We left in the morning, around 9 to be fair

We said go ahead, do what you dare.

We came home around 5, and walked thru the door

We had no idea of what was in store…

Our plain brown couch, loveseat, and chair

Were moved into spots, we didn’t know were there.

Our pictures were placed on the walls oh so right

Perfect center, perfect depth, and of course perfect height.

Pieces were moved and shuffled about

Stuff not needed was completely left out

We can’t thank you enough for the changes you made

Our home is more beautiful and perfectly played.

You have a talent for staging and it needs to be shared

People love to come home to a place that is theirs.

Older Posts »