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. “

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!

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

You’d be crazy to pass up a ‘free’ home makeover from PRES!

On July 16th and 17th two lucky home owners are going to get a ‘free’ 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 July 16th or 17th 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!

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!

HOW DIFFICULT IS A COMMERCIAL COLOUR CONSULTATION?
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 Dana@PresStaging.com.

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.

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

“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!

Have you ever made a bed out of shower doors? PRES stagers have!

Stagers always need to ‘think outside the box’ to create new ways of using furnishings that help us create the right look. For example during one of the PRES staging training classes we needed to create a guest bedroom downstairs. During my consultation I had recommended to the seller that they purchase 2 blow up beds – she felt she could use the beds for company when she moved. Like many home sellers, she had good intentions but ran out of time, money and energy. In this case she ran out of shopping time and so, we only had one blow up bed.

One of the things I love most about going into a seller’s home is to find what creative ways we can repurpose something to make it work for us. So my thinking was ‘okay we need to make this room into a bedroom – do we have any bins we can use to create a base? and something to put on top? I eventually ended up going into her garage a voila – 2 shower doors. Crazy idea but it worked!

Guest Bedroom not happening here…

A guest bedroom that needs to be staged.

A little creativity…

Hmm let’s try these shower doors!

And a great guest bedroom for showing!

Voila a nice looking guest bedroom!

Now a little ‘Please do not sit on the bed sign and this room is staged!’

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