There’s a lot of talk on television about home stagers.
You see Joanna stage a house before she reveals it to the antsy owners of a used-to-be run-down fixer upper.
You see Drew get the old house in tip-top shape for resale while Jonathon preps the new house.
You see Hillary and Desta bring in beautiful furniture and accessories to help homeowners “love it” (and to help her beat David).
And if you don’t know who these people are, oh girl, we need to sit down for coffee and get you caught up.
Obviously, a home stager is totally worth it.
But what do they do? What do you get? And why will having one improve your home’s sale price?
I sat down with one of my favorite designers (Eeeeek! I was SO excited!) named Karan, owner of Inside Out Designs, to learn more about the staging business.
I could go on and on about how amazingly talented she is, but I’ll just let you see it yourself.
Here, my friends, are some highlights from our chat.
So let’s start out by telling me a little about your business.
I run a small interior design company called Inside Out Designs. I do both residential and commercial design. I’m located in a small rural town in southern Ontario. I’ve been in business since 2007. I’ve worked on new builds from the ground up to just helping people rearrange a space or helping with Christmas decorations. I also do home staging and it really helps the homes sell quickly.
Do you have a specific design style that you implement in all of your houses?
Oh no. Each house is based on the owners likes and dislikes. I am a firm believer that a home has to represent those that live there and not the designer. I usually build from a piece or two that they love. My own personal style is very eclectic, though.
What is one of the most important factors to consider when you prepare a home to be viewed by potential buyers?
The flow in a home is so important. You want to be able to go from room to room and have the colours balance in each space. With staging though, you would use less and keep personal items to a minimum. Photos and such. You want people coming through the home to be able to envision themselves in the space.
I bet you’ve had to have a few tough conversations with homeowners about the need to repaint that bright orange bedroom before it goes on the market.
Yes! People are visual though. I am able to repaint a room on the computer to show them the difference. That really helps. Most people are anxious to sell and are open to suggestions. There is a need for some gentle honesty though on most staging jobs.
So what do you suggest to your clients that they do with all their “stuff” during showings?
Staging is about furniture and spatial planning as well as decluttering and updating on a budget. Sometimes people have to start with a fresh palette and rent a storage unit for their belongs and then I bring rented furniture in. Other times it is a matter of just removing some items into storage and planning out the space to ensure flow.
Let’s talk basics. Where do you start?
I usually update paint and light fixtures on almost all jobs. These two make the biggest impact, and are very easy to change, too. You’d be surprised at the different looks you can achieve with different light fixtures.
I also make updates to the kitchen and bathrooms. Those are the spaces that really sell a house.
And when it comes to accessories, I almost always have birds and keys in my designs. There is just something about them. I also love using plants or flowers, they always brighten up a space. Other than that it really is about building around a piece or two that means something to the owner or that is new to the owner that they love. I usually have a client go through pictures that inspire them as a whole as well. This helps give me some direction.
Kitchens and bathrooms definitely do sell a house, but they are also the most expensive to upgrade. How do you spruce them up without doing a full overhaul?
Kitchens need to be clean and counters need to be fairly bare, just some nice accent pieces. Sometimes counter tops need to be replaced and you can do this with some cost effective laminate. They have some amazing selections now. I’ve also painted out cabinets to totally refresh a space. Changing hardware in the doors can also update the cabinets without a lot of cost.
For bathrooms, if in good shape, a good coat of paint and possible new counters and hardware are all you need. If the tub area is not in good shape you can do a tub refinish. You want these two areas to present as fresh as possible, so new paint is always a good idea. Flat paint covers minor imperfections as well. It is not difficult to freshen up a space on a budget. Paint is your best friend!
What are the benefits of bringing in a designer to stage a home for resale versus trying to do it on your own?
You see our home with your heart and the memories that were created in that space. A designer sees your home from a potential buyer’s point of view. We create a space that they want to live in.
We are able to achieve the look that will sell to many and we have the tools and resources to bring in items as needed.
Whether it is just a consult or a full on staging job, we can help you look at your home from the buyers perspective and this is so important in selling your home.
If you’re in the southern Ontario area or the near surroundings and you would like to learn more about Karan’s design services, you can visit her website at Inside Out Designs.
Nowhere near Ontario? I’ve got some awesome news for you! In the upcoming months, she will be launching an E-Design site that can be reached by anyone, near or far. Be sure to sign up for my email updates so you can be notified when the site is up and running.
And join the other 10,000+ friends (yep, she’s pretty amazing) that follow along with her on Instagram @designsbykaran to see more of her gorgeous work.
Something you’d like to know? Still have questions about home staging?
Share your thoughts below and we’ll give you the best answer we can.
***Notice: The photos used in this post are property of Karan and Inside Out Designs. These photos were provided with the approval of her clients and may not be used without permission from the original owners. For questions regarding sharing these photos, please contact administration. Social media shares are acceptable as long as credit is given. For more information, please see our Policies and Disclaimers page.