I'm super excited to announce February's Best of the Best Home Interiors winners for design and staging before and after photos because the variety of work in this group is amazing!  

We go through hundreds of talent to find uniquely done staging/design areas and honor those artists who created them.

Luxury Staged Picnics

Stephanie Guevara owner of C'ville Picnic a home stager in the Charlottesville, VA area came across the idea of luxury picnics while on her honeymoon. I talk a lot in my HSR staging certification training about finding your sweet spot or niche and here's what Stephanie had to say:

While starting Audra's course I went on my honeymoon and came across the idea of luxury picnics. Coming back home to Charlottesville I realized that no one else was taking advantage of this trending business in the area. The bonus of being in central Virginia, plenty of mountaintops and local wineries to set the stage. I finally found my "niche" that combined my interior design background, my new found knowledge of staging, catering experience and hospitality skills all into one. 
Business quickly boomed after only being in business for a couple of months and the passion to serve my community during COVID times ignited the fire and each "staged" picnic fills my heart and seeing their reaction when they first see their picnic. Creating a special moment for others to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and even witnessing proposals; transporting them to another place with dreamy colors, textures and attention to detail.

I LOVE that she is able to create a special moment for others to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and proposals; transporting them to another place with dreamy colors, textures and attention to detail.

"I Want that Room"

The POP of the blue chair in this living room and the various textures in the rug and on the couch is why this photo of Cathy Di Leo’s of Di Leo Design & Staging work is one of the “Best of the Best” living rooms! I love that the color from the chair pulled out the blue in the art and here is what Cathy had to say about this room:

The story about this photo is actually funny.
One of my good friends saw a social media post featuring a home I staged and said “I want that room”. I told her that when I de-staged the house, I would sell her the furniture and go immediately from the de-staging to her home and decorate. The only caveat was that we also had to move OUT of her house, the 7 pc brown leather sectional (and take to Salvation Army) before I could move in my furniture. Although it was a very long day and we were exhausted, the results were amazing. I loved that the color from the chair pulled out the blue in the art! The design suited her style and she loved it!

Golf Course Beauty

I really love how Ashlie Burgess of Home Buzz Staging & Redesign staged this master bedroom in La Quinta, California by getting rid of a lot of the bulk and adding pops of color, textures, and modern accessories to open up the space. A cozy reading nook and a comfy bed were the keys in creating emotional connection points to attract potential homebuyers to look at the view and here's what Ashlie had to say about this home:

Before Staging

This home is located in La Quinta, California in the Coachella Valley. A master bedroom that overlooks one the beautiful PGA West Golf Courses... Yes please! Homeowners can easily catch a glimpse of famous golfers right from their window! Imagine seeing Tiger Woods in action, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES! Before the home went on the market, the homeowner asked me to stage this 3 bedroom 3 bath house. In this particular master bedroom, we got rid of a lot of the bulk and added pops of color, textures, and modern accessories to open up the space. A cozy reading nook and a comfy bed were the keys in creating emotional connection points to attract potential homebuyers. We made sure to draw attention to those gorgeous windows, allowing access to that breathtaking view of the golf course and the distant desert mountains. Both the homeowner and real estate agent were thrilled with the results! The home sold quickly and above asking price!

Perfect Collaboration for a Kitchen Makeover 

Heather Odean of Karis Home Solutions has a great story on this kitchen remodel, which I just love!  I always talk about how one room design many times leads to another in my Expert E-Design training and this home is no different.  The hood and lanterns in the new kitchen is to die for!  Here's what Heather had to say about this massive kitchen remodel project:

Before Design

This was a kitchen re-model for my very first re-design client just over 3 years ago- it started with a media room re-design, and over the last 3 years we have gone room by room in her house. We planned for over a year for the kitchen. I was able to collaborate with a friend who does kitchen design. We worked together to improve the layout and function of the space, then she did the CAD drawings and ordered cabinets, while I worked with the homeowner to pick out finishing’s. It was such a great partnership we are working on 2 other projects currently.

Solo Vacant Bootie Kicker Staging:)

It's tough when starting out as a solopreneur and getting your first vacant job!  I go over how to handle it in the training since you can't move that couch on your own but it's still tough.  This story of Amy Ferguson’s of Southern Yankee Staging & Design is was her largest vacant stage to date and she did it solo! The home had painted green and beige checkered hardwoods in the foyer and kitchen and a lot of outdated fixtures that she had to deal with so she decided to go as light and elegant as she could and this is what she had to say about it:

Before Photo

This particular vacant stage was my largest vacant stage to date. The home had painted green and beige checkered hardwoods in the foyer and kitchen and a lot of outdated fixtures that I had to deal with so I decided to go as light and elegant as I could in the living room. This house kicked my butt. It was huge and I staged it solo. But it sold in under a week with 17 showings and a closing within 30 days.

The Color Stager

The bright pops of color that Jackie Low of Stage The Vibe uses in these rooms, really shows how color can change the vibe of a room and also speaks to her unique staging style.  I always say in the training that what we do is art form...not cookie cutter, so finding your unique staging style is part of the process and here's what Jackie said:

I’ve been staging now for 5 months and since my first stage, I knew I would always use LOTS of color! If a builder wants beige and neutrals everywhere, I’m probably not their girl.  These jewel tones really catch a buyer’s eye when they are looking at homes online, (which 9 out of 10 buyers do before they decide which houses they want to see in person). My goal is to stop them in their tracks when they see those colors and think “I’ve got to see this house!”

Blending Vintage and Modern for Ultimate Appeal

Speaking of finding your design style, Morgan Malott owns Studio M Staging and serves the San Francisco and East Bay area. She loves blending old with new and picked up this beautiful Mid Century Modern lamp at a second hand shop called “Second Home” in Alameda, CA. which juxtaposed perfectly with the chairs.

Distract to Attract

Our next transformation really underscores the value of home sellers moving out of the space completely in order to stage with new furnishings that service to compliment the positive features of the home while distracting from the negative.  

Taryn Edmonds of Serenity Now Staging really knocked it out of the park with her staging and redesign skills for these two homes!  Here's what she had to say about these projects and her very smart Realtor partnership:

Before Photo

The home with the red sofa (above) was on and off the market for over a year. It was listed with a new realtor who I work with that stages most of his properties. Once staged and relisted, it was under contract in 2 days!

Before Photo

The 2nd home pictured in photos 2 and 3 was another occupied listing (same realtor) that had a lot of decluttering to do. The homeowners agreed to paint the purple wall and changed some lighting in the home and allowed us to bring in new furnishings in the main living and dining areas. They were a little apprehensive about us moving so many things and moving new furnishings in, but what a difference it made to reorient the furniture so you could see the fireplace in the family room and the change of some paint and opening up the great "wow" room with the piano made such an impact. This higher price home went under contract in 2 weeks.
Thank you again for this award. Finding this group, the training and support has been truly amazing and life changing.

Room With A View

The focal point of this tree house bedroom speaks for itself and is one of the reason this room was chosen as a Best of the Best by Gena St. Louis of Criss+Cross Interiors & Staging based in Denver, CO.:

Bathroom Designed for a Queen

This bathroom that Lori Murphy of Element One Home Staging, LLC redesigned makes me want to light a fire and take a bath!  We chose this photo as a Best of the Best because it's not often you see many bathroom designs and we wanted to honor this uniquely staged bath:

This bathroom was in a home that was flipped by a real estate agent/flipper who I work with. The home is a historical home that was built by one of Ohio’s first Senators, John Ashbrook. He listed it high, on the 5th, and 11 days later, it was in contract! The offer had a contingency and also a bump clause. They then received a cash offer and the first buyer got bumped. It was listed for $629,900 and it sold for $625,000.

A Reoriented Space

Jackie Edwards of Gold Medal Home Staging & Design a staging and design company in Torrance, CA had to completely rearrange this room in order for it to feel more spacious and capitalize on the views.  Here's what she had to say:

This photo is the master bedroom from a 3 bedroom single family home in Whittier, CA. I wanted the room to feel grand and spacious so I decided to completely re-orient the room, changing the bed from the left wall to the front facing wall as seen in the photo. Also, due to all the space, I added the two ottomans at the foot of the bed and a simple area rug. I love blues and greys so I used those colors to make the room feel warm and inviting.

More Best of the Best Bedrooms to Love...

Here is another gorgeous bedroom designed by Valerie Cabrera of Pink Dot Staging + Redesign based out of Framingham, MA. The seller was talked into staging by the realtor and was not very happy about it originally.  After the staging, the seller said that Valerie’s "involvement was one of the best aspects of the whole ordeal."

I love with how the rust and the blue colors work together, they make an awesome pop of color in this otherwise neutral primary bedroom!

More Best of the Best...

I hope you enjoyed this month's Best of the Best photos as much as I loved showcasing each designer's unique talents and work!  Here are a few more gorgeous photos...

Staged by Stephanie Ford-Weems

Staged by Nicci Nolan Wright

As you can see, each room has it's own unique style reflected by the amazing artists who have become home stagers!

If you're reading this and thinking about becoming a home stager and creating your own story...then watch my free video about how to become a home stager below...

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