Fabulous Staging and Design Award Winning Photos and Stories to Inspire You
In my last workshop on "How to Quit Your Day Job" I showcase a bunch of inspiring stories of people who took their love for design and created AMAZING businesses doing what they love.
Interestingly, the third quarter "Best of the Best" winners stories and body of work are even more inspiring and I love to hear how they got started and their journey behind the fabulous staging and design... check it out!
Fabulous Bathroom Makeover
Lindsey Machado of Designed with Grace & Joy, which serves the San Diego, Temecula & surrounding areas, as well as Big Bear & Lake Arrowhead CA accomplished the most amazing remodel with this Tuscan style bathroom!
“This stunning Tuscan-style bathroom was a complete gut and remodel job, taking the space from dark and heavy to light, bright & full of personality. The genuine stone wall was left over from another project we had already done in the home, and we were so excited to be able to use this in an intentional way that made such a big statement. After much searching, we finally found those perfect James Martin vanities but wanted to keep the space visually light with the stone wall, so we removed the legs and had the contractor mount them on the wall. Lastly, getting rid of that massive built-in tub made all the difference in the world. These clients now have room to move about their bathroom with ease. But I think my favorite addition to the space is that unique Arto star flooring tile. It totally pulled the space together, but the neutral tones and simple designs did so without drawing too much attention away from all the other details. We also completely remodeled the shower with large and small format tiles from a matching collection, for an airy feel!”
“I started Designed with Grace & Joy about eight years ago after spending a lifetime loving anything related to home décor or home design. At the time, my husband and I were looking to purchase a new home, and I was amazed at the state of some of the properties. I remember having the conscious thought, “Didn’t anyone help them to prepare their home for sale?” I began to research home staging and came across Audra’s program, and I was enamored with her easygoing personality and informative videos. After signing up, I was completely hooked! Although my business now has evolved to mostly focus on home design/décor and less on home staging, I know for certain my company would not be where it is today without Audra’s amazing training!”
Fabulously Staged New Construction
Salt + Pine is a boutique staging company based in Rhode Island and this year's RESA Award Winningest stagers, so I'm so incredibly proud of them and the quality design work they do! Here's their story...
We are twin sisters who fell in love with staging when we each sold our first homes. We found Audra’s staging training and decided to take the leap and start our company...
"Audra’s training was invaluable! Not only did we learn the design principles behind staging, but we gained the foundation that allowed us to start a business. We also became part of the stagers connect community which allowed us to connect with our colleagues. This has been a game changer for us. We are able to learn and grow with our peers, share our work, and ask questions. It is such a supportive community!"
“The photos are from a new construction home located in the beach community of Middletown, RI. We were called by the owner/designer to stage this home. This is a beautiful open floor plan with kitchen, dining and living room. We wanted to bring in a neutral modern coastal vibe. We used the beautiful cream and brown tones that are in the kitchen to start our design. We partnered with a local custom table builder to create the perfect round dining table that matches the kitchen island. We enjoyed mixing it up with counter stools and using leather stools on one side. Cream upholstered chairs added an elegant feel to the dining space. The gold stools pick up the gold hardware in the kitchen are a beautiful contrast against the dark wood island. The living room has multiple focal points including beautiful wood built-ins, a wood burning stove and a beautiful view of the back yard. Utilizing neutral furniture, we were able to arrange them in a manner to highlight all the amazing features in this space. The bench was key in adding more seating without distracting from the view. We love using the woven coffee table and the rattan side tables to bring texture and warmth to the space. The black lamps add some weight to the room. We love bringing a timeless and on trend feel to every space we stage.”
Builder Before and After You Won't Believe!
Morgan Malott of Studio M Staging out of the Bay Area, more specifically Oakland, CA, worked on this Alameda project with a builder. This home was furnished with art she had recently purchased from the Las Vegas Market. “We are so excited to have upgraded our art selection and this was one of the first homes we were able to use it in.” What a transformation!
“I started my staging company during the pandemic. I was transitioning careers as a professional choreographer. Staging bodies with costumes and lights and textures is a lot like staging furniture with light and textures haha. Everything has a balance and rhythm and harmony and color scheme in staging and choreographing."
"I am so thankful Audra prepared me with everything I needed to know. From day one I knew exactly what to do with her guidance. Our business went from one home to 12 homes worth of inventory. We are in year three and I just hired a designer. I now have a designer, warehouse manager, and logistic manager. Feeling very grateful. Thank you for this award.”
Sold on Staging
Jackie Low of Stage the Vibe located in Waco, TX has 2 great properties staged for custom builders and I think she did a remarkable job with both!
“In the first photo, we were referred by a realtor to this amazing custom home builder who had never staged previously. Staging has not been customary here in Waco, so we are working hard to change that! Builder and realtor were very pleased and continue to use the photos from this stage for their marketing materials and for a spread in our local magazine, Modern Texas Living. It’s so much fun seeing our work displayed throughout Central Texas!”
“The second photo was from our second stage for another prominent builder here in Waco, Texas. We absolutely loved the light and bright living, kitchen, dining combination. We took the opportunity to use some chartreuse colored pillows and mix it with the black and white neutrals to give it a pop. We also made sure to define each space of this open floor plan while still creating an uninterrupted flow.”
“I have been a Registered Dietitian since getting a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 2002. During COVID, I was unable to go into my long-term care facilities and was doing all my work on the computer at home. I am a hand’s on, let’s get something done kind of girl so I quickly became bored and felt unfulfilled. I knew I had a bigger purpose and God given talents that weren’t being utilized. I had always thought in the back of my mind that staging “would be fun” but never acted on it or took any initiative to do anything more than ponder the idea."
I decided to look up Home Staging certification and found HSR with Audra Slinkey. I was amazed at the amount of information and training she offered so I jumped in headfirst! I had no idea what I was doing but felt like I had the tools to do it even if I messed up along the way!
"I found my first piece of furniture on the side of the road and now I am a full-time stager, I have a 2500+ sq ft warehouse, new clients every month, and most importantly the confidence to go out and do as much as my mind can come up with. There is absolutely NO WAY I would have had what I needed or would be where I am today without HSR’s training, templates, videos, and support system. I’m still learning and always will be, but I owe so much to Audra for what she has done for the staging world not to mention what she’s done for me and my family. Unbeatable!”
RESA Winner Wins Best of the Best Too
Pantea Bionki of Bionki Interiors which serves Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County in California. This is a gorgeous bedroom transformation with lots of texture and a modern vibe.
“To embrace the green and create a modern vibe. we used a simple light wood bed frame with light upholstery, along with a very clean modern black nightstand. We chose abstract art with neutral colors and a little black to tie everything together. Pairing matching nightstands topped with contemporary black lamps added symmetry and an unfussy feel. We also brought in lots of texture of velvet pillows on the bed, a faux fur throw blanket, and a cozy boucle sofa perfect for curling up on. When it came to the bedding, we went with a tried-and-true home staging pick: crisp white linens. White bedding gives the buyer a fresh, clean feel and helps them imagine themselves living in the space. It also provided an ideal backdrop for personalizing the bed with colored pillows and throw blankets. In this case, we chose black and dark green pillows and a blanket, which tied into the wall color and artwork.”
“Taking Audra's staging course was a game-changer for me. The extensive course material provided a solid foundation, equipping me with the knowledge and skills to kickstart my career in the industry. Plus, having HSR's ongoing support made all the difference in my journey to becoming a successful stager.”
Fabulous Occupied Staging Before and After
Jane Tucker, owner of Jane Tucker Interiors, serving clients in Long Island, NY and the NY metro area, as well as remotely, has shared a great story of an occupied stage. It’s amazing how our HSR trained stagers can completely change the feel of a home.
“This was an occupied staging, so I worked with the homeowner's sofa, coffee table and shelves in the living room, and their dining room table, and brought in the rest of the furnishings and decor from my inventory. The key here was decluttering this family home and bringing in light and modern chairs, lamps, rugs, and artwork to give it a clean and modern look. Luckily the homeowners and their young children were able to move in with family who live nearby, so we were able to stage the house and keep it looking perfect for the photos, open houses, and private showings. The house had multiple offers over the asking price and was under contract in one week!”
“I started my home staging and design business in the fall of 2021, after spending many years working as an attorney and an HR executive and consultant. I have always loved interior design but never considered it as a career because I didn't think of myself as a "creative/artistic" type person. But once I took the leap into this field (thanks to the HSR certification course) I realized that the analytical skills and attention to detail that I developed in my prior careers are key to breaking down the staging and design process into the critical elements of function, style, color, texture, and proportion. Then I use all those building blocks, along with my eye for good design, to create updated spaces that are beautiful, balanced, and complete!"
"I absolutely love my work and can't believe that finally in my mid-50's I get to do something for a living that is so fun and rewarding -- and be my own boss! I am so grateful to Audra and the HSR certification course for helping me get my start and providing the ongoing support and resources I need to make my business successful!”
Discover how we compare with other staging trainings...
Not all staging certification training is equal, so we created a handy checklist for you to use when you shop and compare training providers.
Fabulous Desert Short Term Rental Design
Take a look at Nana Sogoian, owner of NSM Staging and Design gorgeous short-term rental in Joshua Tree, CA. In addition to the property being a true stand out, Nana’s reaction to her well-deserved win makes my heart full.
“This nomination has such an important impact that I don't believe you would ever understand. I started doubting my capabilities and ability to persevere, but all of you really inspired me to push myself and give it a go.”
“it’s our own STR at Joshua Tree. The project took us a year to complete since we could only work on it during weekends. Most of the renovation was done by my husband and me. All the mural work, DIY of many items, and landscaping design (my first time tackling such a concept) provided new learning opportunities. It was challenging, for sure, but extremely rewarding in the end. After COVID, I realized that I tend to enjoy more of the Maximalism Decor, and therefore, I wanted to incorporate that same feel into this project. Most STRs that I visit are so minimal and lack character."
"I wanted to highlight the vibrancy of Joshua Tree and the unique groups of visitors that step foot here. In the end, our hard work and dedication paid off, and I believe our STR at Joshua Tree now truly reflects the spirit and vibrancy of this remarkable place."
"I hope that this nomination and our project can inspire others to pursue their dreams, no matter the challenges they face. Thank you again for this incredible opportunity, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for me and my company.”
Fabulous Realtor Referral
Ann Struve of Struve Staging and Design LLC., based in Iowa City and serve there along with North Liberty, Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Marion, and many places in eastern Iowa, shares a great story of a realtor who has never used staging before. Of course, it was a successful experience!
“I have a realtor I love, Teri Fleming with Coldwell Banker Hedges in Cedar Rapids, IA. She generously refers me to others and this home was one of those. Never having used professional staging before, the realtor was happy with the result and numerous offers. We wanted to create a family home in a more upscale neighborhood using neutrals. It was fun to create a more modern yet eclectic home, working the existing lighting and paint colors into the design. I like creating some of our art, and we used many of those pieces in this home.”
“I can only brag about Home Staging Resource! When I began my business in 2016 after my last child went to college, a fellow HSR stager and great friend, Debbie Bolley of Savvy Staging in Peoria, AZ told me to absolutely get certified and trained through you because you were the best! The training was so good, and the ongoing support is excellent. Customers started asking for paint color choices and help with the homes they were moving into, so I added the Color Consultation and E-Design trainings too! We now have a well-rounded arsenal to use in our business."
The Staging WOW Factor
Michelle Lattanzi, owner of Staging at The Beach Located in Millsboro, DE, did an incredible job staging this custom-built home! She created the “Wow Factor” that was missing, and it turned out beautiful.
“This is a 5500 Square ft custom home; the investors spared no expense with every detail except furnishings and staging. The main living quarters were on the second floor, there was really nothing impressive upon entering the home. Though the hardwood floors and custom finishes were stunning, the house was still lacking the Wow Factor. The kitchen and living room had nothing separating them and clients were having a hard time imagining furniture layout. It was one of two custom homes they listed with the same realtor. Both vacant homes were on the market for 8 months when the realtor asked me to stage one. He and the investors chose this one of the two thinking it was the least desirable and would be harder to sell. Within 60 days of staging, two full price offers came in on the home. It was the first one of the two to sell. Both buyers inquired about buying the furnishings, I sold my artwork to the buyer and kept the furniture. The realtor was so pleased with the results, he had me move the furnishings to the un-staged home, fingers crossed for another quick sale.”
“Over the last 17 years I’ve been doing occasional staging for my husband, I would get so excited every time he asked me to stage for him. From the first job, I had no doubt, this was the career path I wanted to take. My husband was my biggest fan, he convinced me for the longest time that I didn’t need to get certified or have any formal training, because of this, the only work I was getting was the random jobs he would give me. When I came across HSR I watched the video and signed up on the spot. "
"My staging jobs went from boring and lifeless, to the Wow Factor! HSR was packed full of information on marketing and business, creative ways to grow my business, gain confidence, dos, and don’ts, how to pay attention to details and symmetry, last but not least, a network of people to inspire me and help me become the best I can be. I truly love this industry and still get energized whenever I get to create a beautiful space.”
Sara Pinkstock Huard, owner of Sara Jane Home Designs, serving Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana created a beautiful re-design with the “Wonderly Project, named after the original homeowner, was one of my favorite home redesigns. Carefully curated with natural wood elements and a warm color palette, the redesign included new flooring, pops of shiplap, updated lighting, and a custom designed kitchen, creating a space that feels both traditional and modern at the same time.”
“Audra’s Home Staging and Redesign Certification training gave me the tools and confidence I needed to start my own business, Sara Jane Home Designs. Audra truly offers the most comprehensive training program, including a wealth of knowledge and resources. Her years of experience in business and staging allow her to help others become successful, and for that I am forever thankful.”
Google, Referrals and Repeat Business
Holly Koehn, owner of Designs to Impress based in Houston, TX shared a great story of a staging a home that didn’t sell but went to a long-term rental and also resulted in referrals.
“The listing agent for the stage found me on Google and was looking for a stager to beautify a vacant home that was very blah and dated. Together we had to really persuade the owner that it needed to be staged to attract buyers at that price point. After staging there were over 50 showings. Unfortunately, they didn't find a buyer because the house had many issues, but they were able to get it leased. It was still a win because the homeowner and realtor were very impressed at how I was able to beautifully market the home which gave me other referrals and repeat business!’
“I completed HSR training at the end of 2021 and started my business early 2022 and all of Audra's helpful tips and tricks have really helped me grow a successful business. Thank you, Audra!”
Fabulous Coastal Short Term Rental Design
Mitch Bage, co-owner of Maison de Campagne serving the Galveston/Houston, TX market, has created a calming, beachy vibe for this STR. I would definitely stay there!
“The photos represent our Short-Term Rental (STR) design / install portion of our company. These properties were a blank canvas for a relaxing collection of coastal infusion. Our clients wanted clean, fuss free furnishings that would withstand heavy use and leave guests wowed during their stay.”
“We love to see these emails pop into our inbox!! Thank you so much for the recognition of our work. We love what we do and we’re very thankful for the community HSR has created.”
Urban Chic Condo Staging
TS Staging and Design, consisting of Theresa Bouchard, Owner and Designer, serving York and Cumberland counties of the state of Maine; “has been in full swing since Jan 2021. We are centrally located in Windham, Maine which is close to Maine's largest city ranked as one of the country's best places to live according to US News and World Report. One particular area in Portland called the West End is known for its historical charm, high-end shops, 5-star eateries all of which are located on the beautiful waterfront, Casco Bay. Years ago, the West End homeowner demographic was on the older side but today, the gorgeous condos, mansions and homes are being purchased by young families in their late 30's to 50's. The vibe in the West End allows TS Staging and Design to curate gorgeous, urban chic type spaces with color and flair! This stage was located in the heart of the West End with very artsy, upbeat surroundings. Our selection of color, furniture and decor fit perfectly into the West End vibe and created a substantial amount of traffic from the younger demographic. The condo was sold within a week's time with a cash offer!”