The Insiders Guide to Questions You Should Ask When Hiring a Home Stager

Are a home owner or a realtor seeking to find a partnership with a home stager to better market your home? There’s a lot of home stagers out there and the industry can be very confusing. Currently there are no regulations as to who can become a home stager. So, what makes a good home stager and what should I ask when hiring one? Take a look at my video for a brief overview of what you should look for when hiring a home stager. To recap – here’s five questions you should review with every home stager when seeking a partnership to better market your home: 1. Is home staging their full time job? Many do home staging on the side or as a hobby. If they are full time you know their business is serious. 2. What training have they received? Ask about their education. Many home stagers do not have a degree in interior design. That’s because home staging is more about target marketing while interior design is more about the design for a homeowner. With that aside, there are professional certifications to become a home stager. If your home stager has that certification then they have been trained in design to market a home to sell. 3. What are their average days on market? Ask to see previous staged properties. Reputable home stagers take photos of all their staged properties. By asking to see these photos you are ensuring their style will meet your needs. Also by asking how many days their homes have been on market gives you a clear view of the quality of their work. 4. Are they insured? This is a very important question for anyone who comes into your home and does work on your home. Home stagers are no exception. 5. Do they partner with movers or have an in-house team? Home stagers depending on size will either hire an outside mover to help load furniture in/out of the home or have an in-house logistics team that does the heavy lifting. Just nice to know if you will have another company reputation to review before hiring home stager. If you are in the market for a home stager who will work with you to...

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Three Different Looks for one Space

Staging homes with the same floor plan can provide an opportunity to design and create different looks within one space. For the past few years, we have had the privilege of working with Sekas Homes staging three of their model homes with almost the same floor plan and creating three totally different looks. Sekas Homes brings understated elegance and craftsmanship to each of the homes they build. The attention to detail is evident and it’s what makes a great partnership between our two companies. Most recently, Sekas Homes developed Sunrise Square, a townhome community in Reston, VA. We were asked to stage the Model Home. Once that Model sold, we were asked to do the next. We have staged a total of 3 Model Homes so far – each with their own look and own personality. The floor plan remains basically the same – the design makes each one different. Scroll down to view how each room style evolved over time. Living Room: Kitchen area Kitchen/Dining Area: Master Bedroom: Loft (two of the condos has a third level loft – here’s our two takes for the space): Isn’t it interesting how style evolves over time? Each of these Reston town home models were staged from six months to a year. It demonstrates how you can create a totally different look with the same space just by using different furnishings and purposes for the space. Which one is YOUR favorite? Give us a call at 703-552-4545 or schedule an appointment online for your next staging or redesign project. We would love to...

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Best of 2019

As we wrap up another year, we here at Staged By Design wanted to pay tribute to 2019 and spotlight some of our best stagings and memories throughout this year. It’s been a privilege to work with our clients and help them sell their homes faster and for top dollar. Statistics prove that staging sells. Of all our stagings this year, 80% of our homes sold within the year. The average day on the market for our homes was 21 days! We had MANY of our homes sell within one week of being on the market. The numbers don’t lie – home staging is definitely an investment that gives a return! We loved working with all of these amazing homes, but there were a few designs that stood out to us. Our team collectively picked our top 5 favorite stagings of the year. Here they are in no particular order: Dean Drive, McLean, VA Roland Clarke Place, Reston, VA Aldie Road, Aldie, VA Golden Arrow Street, Great Falls, VA Great Falls Street, McLean, VA We had some great stagings but we can’t forget about some VERY memorable animal antics of the year! First up comes Champ, the pig who randomly walked by the office on a leash. We learned that day our warehouse neighbor is Bionic Pets, who creates custom pet prosthetics. An interesting day at the office for sure. Second isn’t quite as cute and friendly. When on a destage, we discovered a little squirrel who had crawled under a bed pillow and died! Wendy about died too that day! LOL! And finally, hats off to all the cats who look totally annoyed by our visits and wonder why their cat condos can’t stay in the room. Despite all the animal craziness, we have received a lot of recognition this year. Our team has worked hard to improve our processes, style and inventory. We are excited to bring more of these improvements into the new decade. We would love a chance to SHINE for you in 2020! Give us a call or go online to set up a consultation. It’s worth the investment. Here’s to a new...

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Selling During the Holidays

Selling your Northern Virginia home during the holidays is not ideal but sometimes can’t be avoided.  The decision to decorate for the holidays when selling a house is always difficult.  Should you put a tree up?  Should you put outside lights on the house?  Should you just skip Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah all together?  It can be more stress on top of what is already a stressful time of the year for most.  The good thing about selling your home during the holidays is that most buyers are serious. Those that are house shopping NEED to purchase, which is good. Historically, there are fewer homes on the market as well, which also works in your favor. However, the need for proper presentation is still key, no matter what time of year you are listing. Just as personal belongings tend to distract buyers, your seasonal decorating can serve to be a distraction, however you don’t have to ditch ALL your holiday decorating traditions.  Here are 10 tips on how to navigate staging your home to sell during the holidays. #1: Clean and declutter. This is your first step to selling your home any time of the year.  Decluttering your home before bringing out any holiday decorations is a must, or you risk your seasonal decor simply adding to the clutter that already exists. #2: WAIT to decorate until AFTER your professional photos have been taken.  Your photos are the first thing a buyer sees and you don’t want them to see a Christmas tree in your photos in February if your house didn’t sell quickly. #3: KISS – Keep it simple silly!  Whatever you use to decorate – keep everything simple.  Display a few classic pieces instead of every heirloom family favorite. Your tree should be simple and able to fit the space.  Larger trees for large rooms and slim trees for smaller spaces.  If you use a real tree – make sure to daily pick up fallen needles. #4: Use seasonal greenery.  Deck the halls with fresh garland and use a fresh evergreen wreath to adorn your front door.  Greenery is traditional and simple and adds a great smell to the home. #5: Don’t display your Christmas cardsWe all love those cards we receive...

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High Point Fall 2019 Design Trends

Visiting any one of the annual Furniture Markets held across the country is the best way to stay on top of emerging design trends. We love High Point, not only for its proximity, but for the sheer volume and range of décor, accessories and furniture as one of the largest markets that are open to the Trade Only. This year we saw the following new trends, as well as some oldies still holding strong:  Velvet Velvet was present in all tones, both in furniture and pillows, although we loved the deep, saturated look of the emerald and moss greens. Velvet lends richness to any room with its subtle sheen and evokes a feeling of luxury. We like to use it in pillows and benches and may add a few velvet headboards in the coming months.   Rattan and Woven Furniture and Accessories The look of “Boho Chic” in the last few years brought back macramé and wall hangings reminiscent of the 1970’s. The trend continues by incorporating woven texture with unique materials outside of standard rattan. We loved the benches, chairs and ottomans woven with leather, in irregular patterns, and believe it or not, papasan-type chairs. We will be adding a few of these fun chairs to our inventory soon: Channel Detail The tufted look of everything from headboards, to chairs, sofas, ottomans and benches has given way to the channel detail, which is a bit less traditional, and more streamlined. It is still a transitional look overall but can be easily incorporated into a more contemporary space and in some applications, has a nod to Art Deco Influence.  We used this lovely bench in a staging recently and it’s a perfect example of this new trend.  Boucle Boucle is a nubbly textured fabric, most typically seen in fashion. It has merged as a cozy, yet sophisticated finish for chairs. Its Sherpa-like feel is another example of the strong presence of texture in today’s design trends.  Shagreen Whether it is real or faux, Shagreen is one of our favorite finishes. This year, we saw it in everything from coffee tables to consoles. The color is typically gray to green/gray, with very little sheen. It is a subtle, but oh-so rich tactile material that pairs well with...

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The Making of a Model Home

When you walk into a model home, do you ever wonder how it gets decorated so beautifully?  We recently had the pleasure to work with Classic Homes in McLean, VA. We decided it might be fun to document the event to show the makings of a model home. Take a look at our video recap of this project: Here’s a few interesting stats involved with this design: It takes time and thought to design a model home. We strive to make sure the details are perfect. Are you a builder or know one in the NoVA area?  Let us stage your next model home!  Give us a call at 703-552-4545 or visit us on Facebook or...

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Can’t Beat the Real Thing – Virtual Staging vs. Professional Home Staging

Technology is in every area of our lives.  Real estate is no exception.  Buyers can “shop” for homes anywhere they have WiFi.  And based off what they see online, they develop a list of potential homes they want to visit.  Home staging has benefited sellers by creating beautiful spaces for beautiful online photographs.  Buyers are not only looking for a new house but they are visualizing a home when they shop.  According to the National Realtor Association, 44% of agents feel staging increases the dollar value offered for a home and 53% say staging decreases the amount of time a home is on the market.  So if staging is so beneficial – which is better – virtual or professional home staging? First let’s address – what is virtual staging?  Virtual staging is the process of using software to enhance photos of an empty home. BUT in reality – the house is still an empty box.  Professional home staging makes a connection between the home and the buyer. From start to finish, professional staging caters to the demographics of the buyer and furnishes the home with that in mind. Professional home stagers also use design principles to space plan accordingly to the design of the house. When buyers walk into a home they need to visualize the space for their needs.  Seeing a home is also an emotional experience for a buyer.  The feeling a buyer gets when walking into a home is a clear directive as to whether they love the home or not. Professional home staging may be a little more expensive upfront but it’s proven track record of selling homes faster can’t be beat.  Virtual staging is a risk.  We have encountered countless clients who have started with virtual staging, then a price reduction and finally end up coming to us for professional home staging. Once our work is done, the house sells quickly but it cost the seller more time and money in the long run. All of this could have been avoided if a little more money up front were given to professional staging and the home could have sold for top dollar. You can’t beat the real thing.  Professional home staging works. If you are wanting to sell your...

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70’s Blast From the Past – The Brady’s and Design

How many of you have been watching the HGTV series A Very Brady Renovation?  With over 8.1 million viewers of the first episode, I would assume a lot of you!  We all love a good reunion show and this one is a blast from the past and lures the attention of stagers and designers alike.  For those of you who haven’t heard of this new offering from HGTV, the original cast of from The Brady Bunch reunited in honor of the 50th anniversary of their 70’s sitcom.  The Brady kids, along with HGTV personalities, are renovating the interior of the house used for the iconic exterior shots of TV house.  For those of you who may not know, the interior of the home was a studio set. The show focuses on the renovations that turn a ranch-style home into the identical two story interior of the set-no small feat, even for HGTV.  The excitement of this show got us thinking about the evolution of design.  How much of the 70’s is coming back to design today?  We see a lot of design trends from  the 70’s design (now called mid-century) in 2019 in a much more modern, sophisticated way.  Here are a few examples: Color: Shades of avocado green, orange, tans and browns along with some mustard yellow are popping into home decor.  These are all warm palettes from 70’s décor but they are showing up in a more sophisticated manner.  And since we all painted our walls white recently due to the 2018 trend, these warm colors will coordinate nicely with our neutral backdrop. Furniture: Rattan and wicker are making a comeback in chairs and barstools thanks to the recent surge in the boho aesthetic that’s gained popularity recently.  You’ll even see it on the walls. All of these create a natural look to any space. Plants/Greenery: Plants add a natural organic feel to a space.  Even if you don’t have a green thumb, manufacturers have gotten so good at making fake plants look so real.  Popular finds today  from the 70’s include Ferns with their featherlike stems, Sansevieria or Snake Plants (aka Mother-in-laws tongue) and palm fronds of all kinds. Patterns and Textures: Geometric patterns are showing up in a variety of...

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What’s in Your Toolkit?

What’s in your wallet toolkit? Jennifer Garner may have her CapitalOne card but we’ve got an awesome addition for your staging or DIY toolkit. This homemade tool doesn’t cost you a thing except time and a trip to a home improvement store paint department. Our Lead Stager, Tracy, demonstrates how to use this time saving invention. What are you waiting for? RUN to your nearest hardware store and sweet talk that paint attendant for some paint sticks! It’s time saving tricks like these that allow us to stage an entire home in less than 4 hours. View our Gallery of Before and After photos here for inspiration in YOUR home or DIY project....

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2019 Loudoun’s Best Interior Designer

Leigh Newport was named 2019 Loudoun’s Best Interior Designer by the readers of Loudoun Now, a Virginia based news media outlet. Thank you to all our clients, friends and fans that voted! We are humbled and excited to receive this award. Our team would love to help you with home staging or design needs. Give us a call at...

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Meet the Fab Five

When you love what you do, a “job” doesn’t feel like work. We like to work hard, and play hard. If you happen to catch us behind the scenes, you might see us sweaty, and working at a feverish pace, while doubled over in laughter at a silly comment or observation.   At Staged by Design®, our success is a true team effort. Here’s an inside look into the people who make up our team.  From L to R: Kim, Tracy, Leigh, Wendy, Lauren Meet Kim: Fav 90s jam: Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks (yes I grew up in the South!), Bon JoviFavorite podcast?: The Big Boo Cast – funny ladies just talking about random stuff. What crayon color best defines you?: Cerulean – bright personality that mixes/works well with its neighboring colors.Strangest Talent you have: I have an uncanny memory. I can recall birth dates from people I knew years ago even in elementary school. Favorite Family traditions: Christmas Day we all stay in our PJs all day long What trend do you hope makes a comeback? Snail Mail – who doesn’t like a handwritten letter?!?Favorite decor item: pillows – they are an easy, cheap update to freshen up a roomWhat’s the coolest thing about your job?: Seeing the transformation of an empty blah room to a beautiful room I want to live in. Meet Tracy: Fav 90s jam: I love some Celine DionFav podcast: Fearless Soul on YouTubeWhat crayon color best defines you? : PINK – it’s my color!Strangest talent you have?: Outstanding rhythm and finger dexterity. I was actually tested for this.Favorite Family traditions: Summer Beach vacationsWhat trend do you hope makes a comeback?: Go-go bootsFavorite decor item: FlowersOther fun facts: I was a professional theatre dancer and met Michael JacksonWhat’s the coolest thing about your job?: Seeing fun houses, learning about other people’s lives, wearing leggings and listening to 80s music! Meet Leigh (our fearless leader) : Fav 90s jam: Poison by Bel Biv DevoeFav podcast: The Moth and Snap JudgementWhat crayon color best defines you? : Sea Green-a little blue, a little green, and mixes well with many other colors. Strangest talent you have?: Finding four-leaf clovers. I just look down, and they are there.Favorite Family traditions: One year, my...

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IAHSP Best of Home Staging Awards 2019

The International Association of Home Staging Professionals®, is the largest and longest running Home Staging Industry Trade Association with thousands of members worldwide. Each year, they award deserving home stagers with a multitude of accolades. We are proud to announce that Staged by Design was awarded 2019 Best in Staging Excellence AND Client Care Excellence. Leigh received her ASP staging certification from Staged Homes, which was the first certification program of its kind. Leigh has served on her local chapter of IAHSP in different capacities over the year. It is incredibly gratifying to receive these awards from an association that we have been part of for so many years. A tremendous amount of credit goes to the entire team at Staged by Design who work hard to meet all our clients needs while creating beautiful...

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