The CHS team has been helping home sellers in the Western Chicago suburbs package their homes for the quickest and more profitable sale since 2005. We have established a track record of success having staged over $850 million in sold Real Estate.
The National Association of Realtors® recently released its 2017 Profile of Home Staging surveying nearly 2000 Realtors®. The report suggests that 62-percent of Realtors® have found their new secret weapon when selling homes by utilizing the home staging process. More than half of Realtors® surveyed reveal home staging decreases the amount of time on the market.
Why Staging Vacant Spaces Are Important
77-percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a property makes it easier for buyers to visualize the space as their future home, and 40-percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online. Most people have an easier time imagining how they could live in the property, once seeing how the current owners are taking advantage of the space. 38 percent of buyers’ agents report that staging positively affects a home’s value if the home is decorated with the buyer in mind, making it imperative that home sellers toss their feelings aside about the property and highlight a buyer’s interest. If a property satisfies a home buyer’s needs they’re more likely to offer more.
Rooms Worthy of Your Time + Budget
A majority of agents believe the living room is the most important space to stage, followed by the master bedroom, kitchen, and any outdoor space. Staging the main areas of the home is key to show buyers the potential lifestyle they could lead if they purchase the property. That’s why at Chicagoland Home Staging we focus on strategically placing rental furnishings in these rooms to inspire a buyer and maximize a room’s square footage. In the image above, we staged this master bedroom to highlight the balcony, rich flooring, and unique ceiling. By, showcasing these positive features through home staging we make our client’s stand out from the neighboring competition.
More than Decluttering
While the NAR survey found that 93-percent of agents recommend that sellers declutter their home before putting it on the market, there is more to home staging than the task of decluttering. We help our Naperville home sellers determine what improvements will provide the biggest return on investment– from fresh paint to replacing light fixtures to choosing cosmetic building materials. Home staging helps prepare a home for sale, but it also showcases the property through arranging furniture and accessory placement, using proper art, lighting in a space and of course getting professional photos shot to show off the property online. Our home stagers are knowledgeable in real estate, home renovations and creative design principles to attract a potential buyer.
Value Out Ways the Cost
The report found that among buyers’ and sellers’ agents both agree that staging improves the dollar value of the home by 1 to 5 percent. This statistic reinforces the idea that a home seller should spend some money to prepare the home for sale in order to make more money at closing. Want to learn more about how to stage your Naperville home? Contact us today! We’d be more than happy to assist you with your home staging needs.
Look no further than your favorite hotel room to get inspired on how to turn a master suite into a place you can’t wait to retreat to for the evening.
Here at Chicagoland Home Staging, we educate our clients on the importance of staging a master suite. While this room isn’t necessarily the main area like a kitchen or living room it is the place where a homeowner will spend a majority of their time –so it’s invaluable to show the potential homebuyer at an open house the possibilities this room could have, rather than flaunting an empty space.
Statistics show that empty houses are harder to sell because it can be challenging for many people to imagine how to arrange the furniture. (Our Chicagoland team gets excited about empty spaces to decorate because we can direct the homebuyer’s eye to the positive features.) The opposite is also true – if a room is too cluttered and full, potential buyers have trouble looking past all the stuff.
In this empty room above a homebuyer could find the layout to be a bit tricky. This oblong space with windows and doors occupying much of the area left little room for a bed —the main focal point of a master suite.
On the other hand, this empty space left homebuyers confused as to not only where to place the bed but how to maximize the rest of the square footage inside this master suite. What else could our home stagers utilize here to show off this unique space?
On staging day, we brought in a king bed and a seating area that included: two loveseats and an ottoman that could be repurposed as a coffee table. Also, notice we saved our client money by only using one rug to anchor this conversation spot, rather than adding one under the bed too.
In the oblong room, we decided to put the bed on the longest wall flanking it with two end tables despite the entrance to the room. We also added a dresser and an accent chair that was positioned towards the bed to redirect the eye back to the focal point.
Both rooms had great bones to begin with—crown molding, a soft gray covering the walls, walnut-stained wood floors, beveled doors and ample natural light.
By utilizing our staging companies rental furniture and accessories, we were able to add personality to both rooms creating a cozy retreat a homebuyer desires. Notice we used similar colored furnishings in both rooms to complete the look. We added a headboard to draw attention to the focal point and instantly make the space feel more luxurious. We brought in neutral linens with a hint of pattern to play on depth and texture. Our team added artwork, matching table lamps, throw pillows and white flowers to soften the look of the tablescape.
When strategically placing furniture throughout an empty master suite both of these rooms sparked the imagination of what could be. We added just enough furniture to show off the entire space. Remember too much stuff in a room can look cluttered, while not enough can create a boring, bare space that loses all sense of style.
A dining room is one part living room, one part kitchen allowing you to provide a formal or informal space to display gourmet meals and entertain guests. Except for those special occasions, a dining room may not be a popular hang out in your home, so it can build up clutter quickly if not properly maintained. This space should always be clutter free, look sophisticated, but feel comfortable. While a dining room in the Naperville area may rank low on a buyer’s wish list, the room can certainly show buyers a lifestyle they could lead if purchasing the property.
Here at Chicagoland Home Staging, we understand what it takes to make a dining room stands out. We share what repairs and decluttering projects our clients should tackle before we stage a space with furnishing and accessories that will highlight the dining room. Here are three tricks to maximize space in this area:
Repairs to Focus On
This room tends to be an afterthought on a homeowner’s project list, many times we’ll see homes with dated, worn out wallpaper and boards—sponge painting, or a bold, dark color on the wall. If this is the case in your home, you may want to consider repainting the walls a neutral hue. It’s important to take note of your dining room’s walls and flooring. If something is outdated, dirty or broken it’s crucial to take action to complete the task and create a room that says, “stay awhile and eat something.”
Another easy upgrade in this room is updating or replacing your current light fixture in the room. Consider adding a luxurious touch by switching out your ceiling fixture with a chandelier. This is the easiest way to catch a buyer’s eye. A chandelier comes in several styles so choose one that coordinates with the design styles and finishes in the room.
A dining room can appear smaller than usual if it’s cramped with too much or oversized furniture pieces. Often times a homeowner will purchase a dining set to save money without anticipating how much square footage the room has. Dining tables are notorious for their ability to double or triple in size, so make sure the table fits the scale of the room. Remove a leaf or two, along with the extra dining chairs if you need more room. At Chicagoland Home Staging, we want to offer ample walking space for the buyers to walk around the table, so a good rule of thumb is to have 36 inches between the table and the wall or next to any furniture piece. Speaking of other dining room furniture pieces, we recommend no more than two-three pieces in a formal dining room.
Dining Room Declutter
When this room is not being used for entertaining, the space can become a makeshift office, toy room or place to drop off items easily allowing for clutter to build over time. When selling you want to take away all items that are not associated with fine dining. Remove tablecloths from the table, many times they can make the space look dingy or dated. Also, take a look at your tabletop surfaces and the hutch– less is more when displaying items in these areas.
Accessories to Use
As in any other room using accessories in this space is key to describe that “entertaining” or “hosting” lifestyle, so many homemakers desire. Consider displaying items you’d usually find in a fine dining restaurant:
Greenery and florals – The main accessory in a dining table is a centerpiece. Choose a centerpiece that is seasonal mixing a combination of greenery, flowers, even candles or another seasonal décor to make sure the piece is to scale with the table. The centerpiece should be the right size to fill the center of the table without being too big or too small.
Soft goods – Plan on replacing the tablecloth with a table runner or placements. Play with different textures in these items to create interest. You can also, play with color or go neutral. You can also leave your table bare.
Wall art – Often times we’ll use a large mirror in a dining room to not only reflect light around the room but to highlight the gorgeous chandelier hanging above. We also use large pieces of abstract art overtop of credenzas to fill empty space and create an interesting focal point as shown in the photo above.
Rug – When choosing a rug for this room it’s important to consider the measurement of your dining room table. The rug should be big enough to allow for the dining chair to stay placed firmly on the rug when pulled out for seating. This accessory can also be used as art to provide texture, pattern or color in the room.
Lighting – We’ve already talked about chandeliers, but another lighting option to have in this room can be wall sconces to set the scene. They come in a variety of styles so choose one that fits the hardware and style of the room. If you have a large, empty tabletop surface try placing two identical table lamps on either side of the piece of furniture to lighten up the space.
Dishware – If you have a hutch in the room, highlight a few of the empty shelves with simple, elegant dishware, preferable white. You can also add crystal pieces, stemware or a tea set to make the space look lived in. It’s not necessary to set a dining room table when staging, however, you can leave a stack of dishware on the table to suggest the idea of entertaining.
Decorative Accents – Since there is so much tabletop surface in a dining room, plan on using a few large pieces like vases, bowls or sculptures to help create a statement or further a theme. Use a piece on its own, or group smaller items in odd numbers to provide one cohesive look.
Let us know whether you have a formal or informal dining room and often you use the space in the comment section below.
Need help staging your Naperville dining room? Contact us today! We’d be more than happy to assist you with your home staging needs.
A living room is a place to entertain, relax and spend time with loved ones inside your home—so of course, it’s one of the main areas that should be staged when it comes time to put your home on the market. This room can be formal or informal depending on if the property also has a family room to gather in.
As a home stager, it’s important to clearly define a design style inside this room, especially if it’s the first or second room buyers may see upon walking into the property. This room needs to connect with a Naperville homebuyer by creating a few positive emotions such as warmth and elegance in order to get them to make an offer.
Many living rooms in the Naperville area can be connected to a larger layout of an open floor plan, which refrains from using walls between common spaces. Homebuyers favor open layouts to promote light, bright spaces and sociability, but the unstructured space can be a challenge to stage.
Chicagoland Home Staging knows the importance of sectioning off these large spaces to create intimate functional zones that can stand-alone, yet provide a cohesive feel across the entire floor plan. Here are three ways to help define these popular spaces:
Defining a Seating Area A rug not only can create a statement in a room, but it anchors all of the furniture together defining one area. It instantly creates a warm and inviting space if utilized correctly. Measure the room before purchasing an area rug it needs to be the proper size allowing for at least the furniture’s front feet to rest on the rug. An area rug should mimic the style of the room. In this room we divided the area with two rugs: a plush rectangle rug and a cowhide rug. The rugs work in the space because they’re both a neutral color, therefore not competing with each other.
A Pop of Color While the rug separates the space the orange accessories repetition in the room unifies the two distinct seating areas. We chose to use orange pillows and a throw to direct the eye to the main focal point, the fireplace. It’s an unexpected hue that we pulled from the artwork above the fireplace. Accessories like these can introduce color, character, clarify a particular space or in these bring to adjacent rooms together to create one cohesive look and feel.
Shape Variations Enhance a Room Another way to define an open floor plan is to use a variety of furniture and accessories to add depth and interest in the space. Rather than use a matching furniture set to define the space opt for unique pieces or break up the set, as we did in this room. We used a patterned, colored chair with the neutral loveseat in one area and the loveseat’s matching chair in the second seating area near the window. Notice we also used different shapes in each area too. The tables and accessories in this living area are a series of rectangles and spheres to attract buyers to this visually appealing space that tells a story.
Accessories to Use Using accessories is what subconsciously connects buyers to a property. These are just some of the items that can help make a “house” feel like “home” when it comes time to stage the property. Think about displaying items you’d usually find in living rooms:
Wall Art – The types of wall art are endless it just depends on how creative you can be. You can use photographs, canvas artwork, mirrors, ironwork, tapestry, baskets, lettering or decals on your wall to make a statement. Try display a unique piece on your wall, but make sure to keep the buyers in mind.
Books – When displaying books, pack away any paperback books, along with any book covers from hardbound spines. This way your books will provide a cleaner appearance on a surface or shelf.
Lamps – Table lamps come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes so choose something the matches your home’s design style. The lamp’s size should also be proportionate to the other items being displayed in the room. Having at least three light sources strategically placed around the room will provide ample light come nightfall.
Throw pillows – Choose to display pillows that can compliment your couch or accent chair. A throw pillow can accentuate a color highlighted in another accessory. Mix and match different sizes, patterns and textures to create a complex look with ease.
Vases – When finding the right vase choose one that you love with or without flowers. Think of a vase, like jewelry it can help highlight a feature of your home and create a statement all on it’s own. Just check out the vase duo in varying heights displayed on the table above. Not much else is needed to catch a homebuyer’s eye.
Sculptures – This accessory can be found in metal, wood or even ceramic to help define the story you’re trying to show off in a room to highlight a lifestyle. Who knew a sculpture could do all that? Consider researching your potential buyer before purchasing sculptured accessories to subliminally appeal to the buyer ultimately attracting an enticing offer.
As a home stager one of the obstacles we face is creating a memorable scene that’s emotional enough for a homebuyer to react by making an offer on the property. We create these “emotional connection points” by strategically accessorizing the property based on a buyer’s demographics and psycho-graphics. By researching whom the potential Naperville homebuyer is and what they like, our company can subliminally stage a property based on those buyer’s wants and needs.
Accessories are an essential part of a home staging plan, especially in the heart of the home—the kitchen. A specific item can introduce color, character, clarity of a particular space, as well as a warm, welcoming feel to a room. By adding a few key elements to each room, a homebuyer can envision the lifestyle they could lead by purchasing the property.
The kitchen is often priority on a homebuyer’s wish list, it’s where they can entertain, prep family meals, review homework or have a friendly conversation over a glass of wine. That’s why we often recommend tweaking items displayed on the kitchen counters showcasing these moments through accessorizing.
Remove Counter Clutter
Before we can target a buyer we have to depersonalize the space. A buyer isn’t interested in seeing “your stuff,” so remove items on your refrigerator, dish drying racks, silk plants above cabinets and other items collecting on top your counter surface. When it comes to small appliances choose one to three devices you use daily to keep on display. Maybe it’s, the coffee maker, blender or kitchen aid mixer. Put away the microwave and toaster ovens though, they’re bulky and will remind buyers you don’t have those appliances built-in.
Accessorize Based on Zone
Next, consider what accessories you will display based on the proximity of other items throughout the room. For example, if you have a coffee maker on the counter-top create an area next to it that provides a few mugs, coffee pods, sugar and creamer. Or maybe next to the stove you showcase how much counter space there is to prep a meal with a cookbook, cutting board and a few ingredients. By adding these little touches we’re showing buyers where they can accomplish everyday tasks in the kitchen.
Accessories to Use
Now that we’ve cleared and planned the areas of the kitchen we’d like to highlight, finally we want to use a few key pieces to make a statement and direct the buyer’s eyes around the room. Think about displaying items you’d usually find in kitchens:
Dishware – Corral an eye-catching serving set on a tray and place it on top the kitchen island or counter-top to set the scene of a go-to gathering spot when it comes time to entertain.
Decorative Canisters – Try using a canister set or apothecary jars to bring in varying heights, a pop of color or to show off dried food goods – like rice, beans or pasta near the stove to inspire some amazing meals.
Herbs – You can also place herbs near the stove or on a windowsill to promote an organic lifestyle to buyers.
Bowl of fruit – Again, fruit instills an organic, healthy lifestyle to buyers while attracting their eye by displaying their vibrant colors on the counter. Stick with one color to make the biggest impact and choose a colored fruit that mimics other décor colors.
Cookbooks – You can instantly tell a story by displaying a cookbook near the stove. Open it to a recipe that reflects the season, as well as the lifestyle you’re trying to promote.
Natural Elements – Think about using flowers, plants and a natural wood cutting board to soften a kitchen’s cold vibe often created by it’s materials like porcelain, granite and tile.
Need help staging your Naperville kitchen? Contact us today! We’d be more than happy to assist you with your home staging needs.
They all walked the stage of the Milan Ballroom at the M Resort in Las Vegas last week sharing their wisdom to over 400 stagers who had traveled around the world to see them. Although Margaret does not assume to be a world renown famous speaker, she was thrilled to be asked to share her experience on how to manage growth and how it is key to having a successful profitable staging business. From systems and processes, to pricing and contracts, Margaret reveled how her company has managed to grow so quickly, profiting year after year, despite huge growth and expansion.
When asked “Out of all the topics you could have shared, why this one?” Margaret responded “Because Shell Brodnax made me?!” with a laugh she followed up with, “I really wanted to be able to share good, solid, actionable information to help my fellow stagers. We didn’t have this information to follow when we needed direction and advice, we had to look at other industries.”
Margaret Gehr and Kathy Lobkovich, partners of Chicagoland Home Staging, boast a team of 14 consisting of admin, marketing, designers, and movers. Their warehouse is over 8,000 sq. ft., housing thousands of pieces of inventory. Together they cater to hundreds of repeat clients impacting over 500 projects per year. Managing growth and expansion has been a crucial staple of success.
Margaret was clear “It doesn’t matter if you have a team of two, or 14, if you do not manage your growth, it will manage you. Leaving you tired, stressed and worried, chasing the next project, and often not making more than when you were a team of one!”
Chicagoland Home Staging is an award winning staging company dedicated to helping real estate agents and homeowners gain more return on investment from the sale of their properties. Servicing the western suburbs of Chicago including Naperville and the surrounding areas; the team can be found staging in Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Elmhurst, Aurora, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Darien, Brookfield, River forest, and LaGrange. For more information or to view their portfolio, visit www.chicagolandhomestaging.com
We recently finished this Naperville Home Staging project – downtown with only two blocks to the Riverwalk and Centernnial beach, 1 block to the park. This is a prime location in Naperville. The lush perennials plantings and wrap around porch make this home a true “Honey, Stop The Car!” listing. The home’s position on the lot, with the side, front loading garage set you up for a grand home. Is that what families are looking for? We needed to find a way to express abundance and luxury befitting the $1 million price tag, yet still appeal to today’s likely buyer.
The home is in mint condition.
BEFORE: the warm wood tones lent a country flavor that is not the trend today’s buyer for Naperville aspires to.
AFTER: lighter, brighter and with fabric chairs that can double elsewhere as occasional chairs when needed.
A larger piece of art creates more light – partly from the glass and partly because it matches the scale of the windows more accurately.
BEFORE: the topiary on the shelves are sweet. But lots of small items will break up a wall and make it look smaller.
AFTER: a fresh coat of paint, just one piece on the wall and all of a sudden you notice the beautiful windows, with seeded glass transoms.
Looking at the view of the hearth:-
BEFORE: the warm wood tones, again, will now date a house as pre-2010. Buyers react more positively to an updated look, as it gives the impression the rest of the home (behind the walls) has also been kept up to date.
AFTER: Notice with a cooler wall color, the brick hearth stands out more. The limestone step and inset acting as beautiful architectural detail. Though, look up! Isn’t that a pretty touch in a family room?
While the house looked lovely before, it is remarkable how striking the change is when you use a professional stager to accentuate the details. Here, the living room is now the perfect transitional space:
At Chicagoland Home Staging, the principals select the furniture for each installation, but each designer will pick out their own accessories from our warehouse. I love the way the celadon vases and candlesticks coordinate through the dining room on this Naperville home staging project. The circular vases in the family room also echo the color and flavor. It is just the right amount of color for a soothing, aspirational home in Chicago’s most sought after Western suburb.
Tone-on-tone interior designs will never go out of fashion, but for staging a home for sale contrasting colors promote a striking presentation of architectural ornament.
For more information on Naperville home staging, please call Chicagoland Home Staging at 815-577-2233.
For years, we have been assuring home owners that a key upgrade when competing with new construction is designer lighting. Once you have recessed “pots” (they’re called by the pros) you have a hidden advantage: the overall ability to see what’s in each room is greatly enhanced. Plus,it is one of the many big differentiators of today’s newly built homes. When you then add in an on-trend fixture, you put your renovated home into a new category.
This Naperville home staging gig was pleasurable on many fronts, not the least of which was the terrific lighting put into all of the major rooms. In the dining room before and after staging photos above, you will see that the room is not that large. The floors – 4 3/4″ HANDSCRAPED hardwood – are spectacular. 9′ ceilings are impressive. The room is made by the hooped chandelier. We echoed the drama with round topiary on the table and played off the circle with square cut-out backed dining room chairs. The look is both transitional and trendy at the same time. Look at the play of shadows on the ceiling from the light fixture. They start at around $400 which is not a huge investment for so dramatic effect.
Here are two other areas that have benefited from dramatic designer lighting:-
Look at the texture you get off these lights! then when the staging adds more layers of color, textured solid surfaces and soft fabrics, the interiors become exciting and alive. While the contemporary pendant fixture in the Master Bedroom might be a bit too modern for some, the furnishings look like a high-end boutique hotel –doesn’t everyone want to go to one of those on a daily basis?!
You see RVs in peoples’ driveway. Boats, too. Why not a private plane? Especially when you live on a private airstrip, your plane is your car? We could have taken the airplane motif and played it out with airplane accessories and art, but as they say in the Midwest, that would be like “Clown Pants”. Instead, we focused on this Brookeridge Airpark community home’s exposed brick walls, stained beadboard ceilings and beautiful wood floors.
We removed the hanging lamp as it simply interrupted the view and dictated both the size of the table and the eating area. With a simple ceiling mounted piece, we found we could locate the table anywhere, and the whole living area opened up.
Using sky blue accents, people got the point of the airstrip view subliminally. Isn’t it fun to see the plane through the windows, parked outside?
On the formal side of the house, we used a soft gray palette:
The gentle pops of a soft, summery green, with calla lillies and ivy provide classic, traditional notes to this transitional look. This gray rug is a favorite, as is the calligraphy chair.
This is a great home for more than aviation enthusiasts. It has been recently renovated; the hardwood floors are new. With 5 bedrooms, there is room to spare. A first floor study fits today’s lifestyle perfectly. The exposed beams are completely on trend. A big clock and a spindly office table speaks to the current Urban Modern Organic fashion in home decor without going too far in any direction. They should appeal to our target buyer, most likely a family moving from the City.
Downers Grove is considered a highly desirable neighborhood to raise a family in the Western Chicago suburbs.
DOWNERS GROVE, lll. — Imagine being able to pull a plane out of your garage door, drive down your driveway and take off on a trip. No driving to the airport. No security lines. No waiting at all. Well that’s just what happens …
Sometimes a home is nice, with all the basics covered, but it may not photograph well. Since we all reach for Google when starting any kind of search today, every house listed for sale needs a personality and a warm welcome to stand out. This might seem a conundrum: stagers are always telling home owners to remove their personal style and choose a look that has general appeal.
A good place to see the results of extensive market research into the kind of personal style that appeals to a maximum number of people is to look at furniture and home decorating accessory catalogs. Depending upon the price point of the house, we would recommend either Pottery Barn or Pier1 at one end, and maybe Neiman Marcus’ Horchow, Gump’s or Blue Dot at the other. (And on days when we’re just daydreaming there’s always Williams-Sonoma)!
When we arrived at 238 W Maple Lombard, IL, we found a great home, with some fine pieces in it, most of them large and imposing. In the sun-room (above), we softened the tiled floor with a jute rug and replaced the dark purple armchairs with a pair of neutral colored hobnail finished upholstered chairs to keep the room open and bright. A mix of textures on a dark sofa table adds something for the eye to take in while offering a solid anchor to the room.
In the loft, our homeowner already had a sectional sofa with a TV unit. We added a round table and 4 chairs to the vacant bay window to emphasize that additional square footage and the attractive curve of the bay. The red accent chair contributes a dash of pizzazz; this space is now a lively activity center.
Buyers always say that they want lots of storage. A big display case certainly provides good storage, but as you see in the before photos in this last montage, the display case can take over a space and dwarf everything else around it. Notice how much larger and more welcoming the dining area is without the giant display case. Also, the dining room table was a grand 12.5′ long with 10 chairs around it. It is impressive and Italianate, and took up almost two rooms’ worth of space. It was difficult for buyers to visualize how a family room and dinette area would work together. Bu turning a smaller table sideways, we opened up the family room to accommodate a sofa and a pair of comfortable leather chairs.
You will also see a mural in the before photos. There is no greater example of personal style than a floor to ceiling mural. It is totally specific to one particular decorating style, and, if original, will often feature some aspect of the family in it! (e.g. the family dog or a child peering over a bridge) We recommend sellers paint them back out. After all, we wouldn’t want buyers to associate this home with any kind of ruin, Roman or otherwise!
When getting your home ready for sale, always pick the most general personal style you can. The wider the appeal the faster the sale.