Vacation Rental Design, Luxury High-Level Staging and More for February's BOB Winners
Choosing who wins "Best of the Best" in our monthly awards is always a challenge because the projects are now much more varied, (including TWO vacation rental design winners) and the competition is tough! My team tries to also find the story behind the photos which we know resonates with so many...I'm so proud of all of these winners who literally are "moving mountains" in their creative endeavors...
Fun, Retro and Funky Vacation Rental Design
It’s so exciting to see my stagers using their skills and creativity in so many different aspects of this industry. Denise Crowe of Reclaimed Squared Design, serving the Central Florida area, has a great story of Airbnb/vacation rental design.
“We are so honored to be chosen as a winner for our most recent Airbnb design. How exciting!
"Our name is Reclaimed Squared Design. We have been staging and doing redesign for almost 4 years. We no longer have a website because we have scaled back some since COVID, and honestly are getting all our business by word of mouth.
"This Airbnb client was brought to us by the realtors who gave us our break into the staging industry AND have used us multiple times for their own design projects including 2 Airbnb’s of their own...
"The clients are from another state, so all the design ideas were sent to them by way of digital design boards. We had just two months to talk over designs, order all furniture, purchase accessories, and install. Here in central Florida, we have a high season for rentals, which starts in January, hence the small window of time. We did the install and finished on December 31st!...
"Thank you for your time and many thanks to Audra for her selection of us, and her time and efforts promoting our business.”
Breaking into the Luxury Market in a BIG Way
I think it’s fantastic, when I hear my HSR trained stagers tell me that my courses gave them the confidence to get out of their comfort zone. Morgan Malott of Studio M Staging, serving the San Francisco, Northern California area, has a great story of this and judging by the gorgeous photos, I’d say she crushed it!
“Awesome! We are so excited. Our company is Studio M Staging located in Northern California, www.studiomstaging.com. The home referenced is in San Francisco. This job pushed us out of our comfort zone...
"It was our first time working for this real estate agent and she is known for listing high end luxury homes. Before this home I considered my staging company mid-range but recently had purchased a lot of high-end inventory.
"I negotiated the highest price for this job since I started my business almost 2 years ago. I wanted to make sure our product matched the luxury level of the home. We were nervous when doing the final walkthrough with her, but she loved it so much and referenced our company as her go to staging company.
"We are so thankful for Audra’s course! We couldn’t have done any of this without her knowledge and expertise.” - Morgan Julia
Buyers Overlook Location Issues Due to Staging
According the National Association of Realtors Staging Report, a large percentage of home buyers are willing to overlook property location flaws because of the home staging.
Laura Jones of Home Harmony, serving the greater Denver metro area, really put her HSR training to use with this location challenged stage. Even with the home’s issues, once staged, it sold for over asking price! Once again, staging for the win!
“I'm so honored to be chosen again as one of the "best of the best." HSR staging certification training and the Stagers Connect group have been so helpful in launching my staging business!
"When a longtime customer called me to stage this home, I knew it would be critical to not only drive showings but get offers. This house was just one house down from a major highway that runs through Denver and had been trashed by previous tenants."
"We looked closely at the demographics in the neighborhood and targeted our design to make sure the property was presented to its best potential. When a house has location challenges, the interior needs to leave a strong and positive lasting impression, and staging did just that. Despite the condition and location, the home sold quickly and for over asking price.”
Vacation Rental Design Plan Total Transformation
I am so enamored by Lindsey Machado’s Airbnb renovation that I have already posted some of her pics on my Instagram! Lindsey owns Designed With Grace & Joy, named after her daughters and serves the Temecula and Murrieta, CA surrounding areas, as well as all areas virtually.
Her story really encompasses all that my HSR training has to offer because I have an advanced vacation rental design class included in my staging certification. I am beyond proud of her!
“The homeowners bought this Happy Trees Lodge in Big Bear, CA as an Airbnb investment, but it needed a lot of work! We wanted to completely update, brighten up and renovate the property, while still maintaining that cozy cabin feel, and the goal was to do it without breaking the bank. In the bedrooms, the walls, as well as the dated window trim and old carpet were a big eyesore. In addition, each room lacked any sort of focal point or crucial element in the space.
"We decided first and foremost to replace the flooring and paint the walls. Adding in the luxury vinyl plank flooring allowed us to bring in that wood element and organic feel, while still updating the space. And both cooling down and brightening up the paint colors created a much more modern look! Those were our first obligations to the space, and we had to figure that out before we could even consider any décor or overall theme.
For the secondary bedrooms, we created focal points both with paint and furnishings. That coral ceiling in what we call the boho room gives such an intimate vibe, especially with all the natural and organic decor."
"We tried to replicate the same sequence of colors throughout every room of Happy Trees Lodge, for a more cohesive feel. All those hues (blues, greens, blush) are ones often found in nature, and we focused more on the calming pewter green overall. Once we got that down, every detail – from the light fixtures to the wall colors – was so carefully considered to create classy, fun, and whimsical rooms for guests."
"In the primary bedroom, that gorgeous leaf wallpaper brought in the most crucial element, and we built a lot of the bedding and room design around it! However, I do have to say that with the cabin name being an ode to the great late artist, Bob Ross, perhaps the most significant design detail in the space is the art easel in the corner, with a gorgeous landscape painting of the lake."
"In the kids' bedroom, we wanted something truly light and airy, and opted for gorgeous light green-gray accent walls to tie in with all the nature surrounding the home. And of course, what child wouldn't be ecstatic to sleep on those amazing l-shaped bunk beds?!"
"Our goal was to focus on ALL the details -- big and small -- to give a unique and special feel to each space.”
Creating the Right Vision for a Tricky Space
Lori Murphy, owner of Element One Home Staging, LLC serving Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas has been working in this awesome industry for over 10 years since taking my staging certification training way back in2010! That is the best compliment that I could have since my goal is to help people create long-lasting, successful staging and design businesses. Lori's work is incredible but this one stood out due to it's strange layout...
“This is a model home staging for a builder that I really enjoy working with. Before staging this home, people were having a hard time figuring out how to place furniture and thought it was small...
"The house is in contract already and helped sell a second home with the same floorplan. We’ll now be moving the staging out of this one into the next model home in the same community.”
Below Zero Temperatures and NOT Smooth Staging:)
Theresa Bouchard, Stephanie Eklund and Amber Bouchard are TS Staging and Design and they service York and Cumberland counties of the state of Maine. Their story behind this stage really demonstrates the lengths a stager will go to create the perfect space!
“TS Staging and Design battled below zero temperatures & icy conditions to get this home staged & ready to be listed! Planning for this particular stage included a bit more attention paid to detail as the weather & location were tough to work with. Long story short, we HAD to have everything we needed when we arrived! Well…we’d like to say it all went off without a hitch but…it didn’t!
This room (and the rest of the house) required a lot of improvising and ‘making do’. We were short a pillow, so we stuffed a pillowcase with a comforter! The bedframes were too long for the mattresses, so we pushed the overhang all the way to the top to be hidden by pillows! The lamp shade was the wrong shade for the base so it’s just resting (balancing) on top (if you touched it, it would fall- ha!). And…to top it all off we were short 2 headboards so had to strategically place the beds in front of the windows to not draw attention to this missing feature!"
"Stagers do their best to plan everything right, down to the last detail, but sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Luckily, we are all great at thinking on our toes and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the home staged and to keep the homeowner impressed!”
Dramatically Staged for the Urban Demographic
Valerie Cabrera of Pink Dot Staging + Redesign serving the Bost, MA area did a wonderful job staging this condo, the dramatic art on the accent wall is sensational!
“This 2-bedroom condo is located right next to one of Boston’s biggest hospitals. Its location is perfect for young doctors working there or at the area’s many other hospitals. I staged this property with this potential buyer in mind by styling it with an urban and modern flair.
The primary bedroom had a grey accent wall that just needed to be the focus of the room. I used this wall as the headboard wall and to anchor the bed in the space. One of my favorite pieces of art was used to pull the colors accented throughout the room.”
Sat for 3 Months, Then Staged and Sold in 3 Days
Bekah TIchy owner of Re:Bekah Designs, which serves the Alpharetta, GA area did a superb job staging this home that sold in 3 days! Staging really does sell!
“This Home, located in Alpharetta, GA is in a popular location. It was on the market for 3 months with an agent. It was overpriced at 1.375 million, and vacant. It was listed with new agents, who I work for, we staged it, and it had more showings in the first weekend it went live than it did in all 3 months. It was sold at 1.3 million in 3 days.”
Practice Makes Perfect
Denise Burchfield Zuchelli, owner of Birch Avenue Staging and Redesign, which serves Aldie, Virginia; Virginia serving Northern and the DC Metro Area, is also creating a secondary market for herself in Florida. In my staging certification training, I have several exercises where students practice on their own home for both staging and photography. I love her use of black and white accents.
“After 30 years in the corporate/financial sector, I retired in 2020 and decided to follow my passion. I became certified by HSR and launched my staging and redesign business in June 2021. My husband and I also bought a winter home in Fort Myers, Florida and I’ve spent the last couple of months decorating for myself. These pictures are of the entryway and the loft in our Florida home. I’m hoping to break into the SW Florida market while wintering in Fort Myers.”
Large Scale Luxury Home Staged Right
In my training, I talk a lot about pricing vacant staging's according to “luxury level” due to scale and quality that discerning buyers expect to see in a luxury home.
Long-time HSR veteran Dora Grondz, owner of Staging by Dora, servicing the East Bay, Tri Valley and Fremont areas of the SF Bay Area, CA. did an amazing job with this luxury home stage. The scale and luxury of furnishings are spot on!