OnStage is the Pacific Northwest’s premier home staging company. Understanding the needs of the seller and the mindset of the buyer is one of our specialties. We help you show buyers more than just a house. We help them envision a home. Our expert designers work with you to create a plan that compliments the home’s interior and exterior style & enhances the home’s layout.
When people talk about flooring, it’s typically about the stuff that stays put until the next remodel (or a massive flood), not an artistic expression that can change the feel of an entire room.
Area rugs are the red-headed stepchild of the design world and we say they deserve better than that! They offer warmth that’s both physical and conceptual, they’re a grounding presence to rooms of all sizes, and though much of the time they’re an afterthought, they’re often the finishing touch.
So… how to pick?
Is it by color, by shape, by size, by texture.
Yes. And more.
Before you start obsessing about the shoulds, consider your lifestyle; think about what you want, what you need, and makes you happy. Get clear on what won’t work, what might work, and what will totally work for your space and dive into the maybes and yeses.
Your lifestyle will play a big part in determining the type of area rug you choose. If you’re in the “This is why we don’t have nice things” camp (pets and children), a good starting point is to look for durability and stain resistance!
If you’re sense of style and beauty is offended by scratchy materials, fiber selection is a big consideration. No jute for you.
Do you have allergies? Think twice about what material you use. Wool is a great choice because it’s naturally resistant to mites. Gross.
Shape & Size
There’s a lot of conflicting “rules” and guidelines out there concerning how your rug should be placed in relation to your furniture. Some say to measure your seating area and chose a size up when picking your area rug. Some say your furniture should be half on, or half off, or totally on, or not on at all.
Yikes. Your best bet is to take to the World Wide Web and read up, look at photos and decide what look appeals to you and works for your home and your budget.
Do you want soft n’ cozy, or industrial strength? Plush or minimal padding? Natural or Synthetic?
Wool area rugs or wool-cotton blends tend to score high on the popularity scale due to their durability and soft texture. Other natural textures include sisal, jute, bamboo, and silk.
On the synthetic side, acrylic, nylon, and rayon are popular choices and more affordable than their natural counterparts. You’ll sacrifice a bit on the soft factor, but when you’ve got a budget, you’ve got a budget.
Our best advice? A white shag rug in a living room full of pets and kids not a good choice.
Color & Pattern
This is the fun part. Some folks don’t care about anything else when picking a rug just as long as it appeals to their visual senses.
Traditional is a safe and sure bet for any house, but if you’re willing to take a walk on the wild side, we say, go for it.
Bold geometric patterns are hot right now as are metallics. Yes, you heard that right – metallics! In rugs! If you’re willing to pick style over function, by all means, get funky with some silver and gold.
Need help with sizing and placement? Here are a few articles that’ll help you decide how big to go and how to best arrange your space around your new area rug.
Pay particular attention to the rug sizing guide – picking a rug that’s too big can be a disaster but if you buy one too small, it can break up your space and make it look choppy and disjointed.
As home staging experts, we’ve seen a lot of homes and regardless of the awe-inspiring layout or beautiful interior, when a home hits the market, the first impression reigns supreme. Focusing on these 5 things to do before selling your home makes your homes first impression memorable.
What Impression Does Your Home Give Off?
A prospective buyer’s first moments in your home are crucial and their opinion is often influenced by little things you might not expect; scattered toys, hand prints and smudges, the cat’s litter box, and overflowing bookshelves are just some of things home buyers notice and not in a good way.
If you’ve ever watched House Hunters on HGTV, you’ll see that buyers form opinions immediately upon entering a home. They’re swayed by ugly paint colors, old and sagging furniture, clutter, and stained carpet to name a few.
This is your chance to dazzle and shine or fizzle and fade.
Use these 5 things to maximize your home’s appeal and value. First, tackle the obvious:
It’s understandable. You’re attached to that pea-green armchair you bought when your first baby was born 17 years ago. You adore your collection of ceramic roosters that’s grown to alarming numbers…
We’re not telling you to throw the things you love away, but to take a close look at your space and if an item looks old and tired, or is distracting from the integrity of your space, put it in storage.
Beat up furniture
Ratty or stained throw rugs
Anything extremely dated
Décor that distracts from the space
Clutter, clutter, and more clutter
You might be thinking that these are all things that have nothing to do with the actual integrity of the home – all things that can be changed with ease. It’s true, but these items make big impressions and have the power to affect your ability to sell fast and for top price.
When you live in a space for a long time, it’s easy to overlook the less obvious dirt that a buyer’s keen eye will notice right away.
Wash dirty baseboards and trim
Dust shelves, light fixtures, and decor
Scrub away smudges on walls and cabinets
Remove pet hair on furniture
Clean or replace carpet
Wipe down blinds and shutters
Consider it time for a very deep clean.
Odds n’ Ends
Attention to detail is paramount when making your home market ready. Try walking through your whole house and list the nitpicky to-dos that need attention.
Replace burnt-out or mismatched light bulbs
Fix or replace cheap or broken fixtures
Repair leaky faucets
Add a fresh coat of paint to brighten things up
Windows, window treatments, and screens should be in good repair
All kid and pet paraphernalia should be tucked away and out of site
Many times, your home is at the heart of who you are and all that you love. That said, when your home is about to become someone elses, it’s important that a buyer can envision themselves in your space. Make it as neutral and universally pleasing as possible.
Box up family photos, keepsakes, and memorabilia
Neutralize by painting over unconventional or bright paint colors
Remove nonessential décor and furniture to make rooms appear more spacious
Hire a professional staging company
Never underestimate the power of visual impact. Hiring a professional staging company will impact how quickly your house is sold and for how much money. When people enter an aesthetically pleasing environment, they experience a fundamental desire to make it their own.
Don’t Forget The Exterior
A tidy yard packs a powerful punch. Notice we aren’t recommending that you sink loads of money into landscaping. A yard free of debris, trimmed, and de-cluttered will suffice, but don’t forget to sweep the entry way and remove cobwebs.
As you can see, these 5 things to do to prep your home to go to market takes some serious time and elbow grease, but in the end, the results will be worth it!
There is nothing more off-putting to a potential buyer than a room or a space that just doesn’t make sense.
Giving purpose to these ambiguous spaces can mean all the difference between a sale or no sale!
Fun little nooks and alcoves are a great design tool and can add architectural elements and a sense of fun to a room. But, they can become more of a challenge if they don’t present an obvious use or reason for being.
Look at it this way
Giving that cute little nook an appealing and marketable use is the key! The question can still remain though; what do you do with this nonsense?
Looking at a room or space from a new perspective is often just the ticket to making sense out of all of this. A new office space might be created, or a cozy reading nook. A kids play space can demonstrate additional family communal use. Sometimes using the space to make a bold statement with something like a large floor mirror is also a great way to make sense of the nonsense.
Just remember, it still has to make sense!
The OnStage Difference
Making sense out of nonsense and making blah into beautiful. That is the OnStage difference.
The key to any successful staging project is to develop an intentional, deliberate design plan.
Our Designers use a keen eye to envision what exactly they want to do with a space. Understanding how the architect intended the space to be used; how potential buyers will likely use the space are key considerations to take into account.
A specific floor plan is devised to act as a guide for the staging project. In our warehouse everything that is chosen has an intended use and specific placement. From the smallest gold whale tail, to the biggest silver mirror, there is an intention behind everything.
When a challenging space presents itself a Designer may come up with two or three possible design plans. But only one can be the best! That’s when we work together as a team to find the best way to stage a space. This ensures we can deliver the quality of product that has become our hallmark.
Innovation at its best
A 24,000 sq ft warehouse filled with designer furniture may sound like a dream! Sometimes the intention of the design scheme can be too specific and preclude any alteration to the design. Being able develop a workable solution for lack of a specific piece of furniture can lead to not just a stop-gap solution but also a whole new way of looking at a piece of inventory!
Not every home is created equal. Identifying the character and lifestyle associated with a home is what creates a beautifully staged home. Intentionally mixing in unique or seemingly mismatched items gives a home the character and the little bit of chaos that builds dramatic eye catching design.
The OnStage Difference
Design with intention and setting a home with purpose. That is the OnStage difference.
Or so they say. But function is not always photogenic.
One of the main reasons staging is such a strong tool in the home selling process is the alluring photography that first captures buyers attentions. However, how we live in a room, how a space is actually used, can create barriers to capturing these alluring images.
Good staging should always endeavor to show true functionality of a space while creating a tableau that is a photographers dream!
Watch your back
A photo featuring the back of a chair or sofa is not alluring. A bedroom where the bed seems to be blocking the path into the room is not alluring. A dining space with furniture of improper scale is not alluring. Benches in lieu of chairs is a great way to display practical seating space without building a wall that blocks the view or entry into the room.
Imaginary velvet ropes
This happens when a room is arranged in such as way that it doesn’t draw people into the space; rather they just peek inside the room as if there is a velvet rope blocking the door. The longer a buyer stays in a property, the better the chance that they will fall in love with it.
You shall not pass!
Rooms should be arranged so that buyers are invited in and through the space. A room should be pretty to be in, as well as pretty to look at. This is especially true in large great rooms or other open areas. It’s important to define the space as well as make it inviting and draw your audience in and invite them to stay.
The OnStage Difference
Watching your back and avoiding the velvet ropes creates a space that lends itself to photography and is also functional. That is the OnStage difference.
The great room. The sought after commodity that every home buyer hopes and dreams for. That dream home where friends and family can all congregate and make a house a home. Everyone wants their home to be known as “the place to be”!
Style is cyclical, as is the way we use the spaces that we inhabit. When we moved out of the caves and started building structures for shelter we were a tribal people. We built one room structures large enough for the whole clan, including our livestock!
It just had to be functional. It didn’t have to be pretty.
Personal space or even the idea of comfort wasn’t a concept until the 1400’s. We started divvying up the large communal spaces and giving them specific function. Prime examples of this are the craftsman bungalow or the classic four squares that fill every established neighborhood. Every room is given a designated use, is separated from the other rooms and can be closed off by a convenient door. We didn’t want to see the food being prepared. After the dinner party we wanted to retire to the drawing room.
But then we got lonely.
Starting in the 1970’s architects really began the move away from walled off and compartmentalized rooms and the great room was reborn! Dining rooms over-looking sunken living rooms. Conversation pits became a thing. Old bungalows remodeled by removing walls and opening up the spaces in between. Bigger became better!
While big is beautiful, it can also be scary. The key to making a great room great is to define the space or spaces. Often times you need to define more than one living space in exceptionally large rooms. We encounter these giant rooms in a variety of properties. From urban condos and luxury high-rises, to suburban developments or new infill construction in established neighborhoods.
The OnStage Difference
Identifying the lifestyle that will appeal to the prospective buyer for a property is the first step to any successful staging project. That is the OnStage difference.
What do you do when the rooms in your home start to feel old and played out but your budget won’t allow for an influx of new decor?
Why, shop your home, of course.
It’s An Adventure
This trick works like a charm when you want to change your space and it’s typically less work than painting walls, definitely less money than redecorating, and if you’re up for it, it’s an adventure in and of itself.
Depending on just how much change you’re dreaming up, there’s a handful of ways to approach your project and we recommend taking inventory of your house before you hatch a plan.
With notebook in hand, let the shopping begin. Peruse each room and take stock of what items you might like to swap out or repurpose. Take some notes and as you wander around, let your mind wander too.
Upon reacquainting yourself with the full force of your possessions, it’s time to wrap your mind around a plan that’ll satisfy that twitchy feeling propelling you forward into the unknown.
Repurpose, Rearrange, Reinvent.
What’ll it be? Do you want to swap some things out, move some things around, or change something entirely?
This is the fun part and might involve spending a few hours down the rabbit hole otherwise known as Pinterest. If you’re not wanting to pull out the hammer and nails or the stain and paint, pick a piece of furniture and put it to new use.
Consider a bookshelf… think simple like using it to store and display things like plants or dishes. If it’s short, see if it works as a bedside table. You could even move it into a hallway and create a pretty place to collect, organize, and conceal odds n’ ends like keys, shoes, dog leashes and mail.
Take what you have and move it around. Whether you’re rearranging the entire floor plan of your living room or swapping the sofa in the den with the winged back chairs in the office, chances are you can freshify your room with a few simple tweaks.
Layout will payout… check out some helpful tips from The Budget Decorator and cut down on the time you spend dragging furniture to and fro. Not everyone has an eye for these things but once you dial in your new arrangement, your space will feel like a new woman and so will you.
Is it bad? The desire to be out with the old and in with the new? Sorry friends, we’re on a budget, so let’s make due. If you’ve got the time and the gumption, there’s oh so much you can do.
Furniture makeovers are fun… until they’re not. If you go this route, chose a project that matches your level of skill and determination (aka, don’t bite off more than you can chew).
Paint a white table turquoise or do some funky stencils if you’re looking for something easy and dramatic. If you’re willing to bust out the tool belt, try something that requires more time and skill like distressing your dining room table to give it an antique or weathered look. Proceed with caution on this one – we’d hate to see your project on the next round of Pinterest fails!
Speaking of Pinterest… we’re betting you have some picture frames in your house. Use them to create a new point of interest in your space. Paint them, stain them, distress them, or just slap those babies up on the wall in a pleasing collage of historical greatness. Display your memories and make your room more interesting.
A New Perspective
Whatever you do, try and see your belongings with a fresh eye and new perspective. Small changes can make big impact so as you shop from room to room, jot your thoughts in your notebook. When you’ve finished the tour, take to Pinterest for inspiration and direction, pick your project and get to making the magic.
With grey tones as popular as they continue to be, they can pose a challenge. Especially in March in the Pacific Northwest! To work with this palette we like to mix in warm tones. The rich gold and copper of the accent pieces give just the right amount of warmth to this bungalow. This warmth brings out the depth and color of the flooring. Pairing with the crisp white sofa and burnished aluminum of the artwork ties the decor to the style of the house. Furthermore, the soft grey metal bases also bring out the depth and color of the flooring. All this combines to create a cohesive look throughout the home.
To stage a home well, start with the existing character of the house and work with it not against it. A cohesively staged home draws buyers in and through the property. This invites them to feel comfortable and at home. In this property we took the cool grey and white pallet and balanced it with warmth to create a friendly space.
Even in a competitive market, uninviting homes don’t draw offers. And a house that feels cold and has no character or personality is like a limp hand shake “thanks, but I’ll move on to the next one”…
Bringing a mix of warm and cool palettes is the best way to create drama. Something that gives a house the firm handshake that generates offers.
The OnStage difference
At OnStage, every home gets a unique designer look. This results in a look that is specially designed to work with the features of the home. We highlight the features and selling points to generate buyer interest. Our inventory is carefully chosen to allow us to give our clients the optimum look for their staging needs.
What’s on your mantel? From black and white photos to wildly colorful accoutrements, your home’s mantel is likely the centerpiece of the room it occupies and should make a statement about who you are.
Whether you’re a minimalist or a collector, you can find fun ways to adorn these spaces to showcase your style and carry the cadence of your home.
Themed mantels are your best bet and as you puzzle and ponder your grand vision, take a peek at these ideas and wait for inspiration to hit.
For The Nature Lovers
Fresh flowers and live plants can simultaneously ground and uplift any type of space. Succulents can be paired with earthy vessels or modern containers to please any palate and dried arrangements garnished with long, craggy twigs are a versatile choice for any vibe. You can’t go wrong with nature-themed mantels as long as your style remains consistent.
For The Modern Family
The modern mantel is a minimal mantel. These cool beauties have style and grace, and demand to be admired for their authentic selves. Stripped down to bare bones, use unique and one of a kind items with sleek shapes and clean lines.
For The Love of Art
Art evokes feeling so use this to your advantage. Animate your space with extravagant explosions of color or create a calming ambiance with a somber portrait. Art traverses and transcends, and there’s something for everyone; consider figurines, paintings, sculptures, or pottery. Whatever you choose, look for pieces that speak to your heart and please the eye.
For The Rustic Aficionado
Wood and metal serve to anchor a rustic affect. Mix and match these contrasting mediums and transform your space to cozy cottage or barnyard chic. Use pine cones, antlers, and earthy, dried foliage (old and faithful staples) in innovative and creative ways sure to create warm and intimate gatherings around your hearth.
For The Beachcomber
What would a beach theme be without shells, starfish, coral, and driftwood? The beach motif calls for clusters and collections, allowing for a more substantial display of your coveted treasures. Pick beautiful glass jars to house sand and shells, add a touch of fun with beachy placards, and nautical art or figurines will round out your showcase.
For The Four Seasons
Seasonal changes inspire and produce creative bursts in those who love to decorate. With each season, the same decor appears again and again (there’s no escaping the gourds) so instead of fretting about finding uncommon goods, focus your creative energy on layout and presentation. Try mixing mediums, going all out of a theme of your choosing, or, if you’re full of energy and want to try something new, head over to Pinterest and dive head first into some good old fashioned DIY.
If you’re looking to revamp and reinvent, work from what we’ve given you and don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Here are some guidelines that’ll help your process along and serve as the framework for your masterpiece.
Guides and Suggestions
Go Big: It’s wise to start with your biggest piece and work around it. A mirror, an art piece, a wreath or a photo… these are great places to start.
Back To Nature: Incorporating earth elements like plants, stones, flowers, or twigs bring life to your room and match most anything.
Color, Shape, & Texture: Variety is good, but we don’t want your mantel looking like a knick-knack shelf at the thrift store. Be mindful of textures, shapes, and colors and endeavor to mix and match with consistency, purpose, and strategy.
Keep in mind that trends come and go and your mantel can be a reflection of your changing tastes and whims. The trick is finding ways to reinvent the wheel by embracing past and present design trends and adding your own special twist.
Will hiring a home staging company really increase the odds of a house selling quickly and for top dollar?
How much does it cost to stage a home? How is the price determined?
These are all legitimate questions to ponder as you prepare to sell your home and it’s important to know when you’re shopping around, some companies will structure their pricing based upon factors that don’t work in your favor.
Remember The Good ‘Ole Days?
When considering hiring a home staging company, an exercise in perspective can be helpful as you weigh the pros and cons of each establishment.
Try thinking back to your first apartment or home and what it was like…
Two couches from that girl Jenny with the red hair. A coffee table from the alley dumpster off 3rd and Elm. Side tables from Chris’s mom’s basement. Decor from every corner of the world (and not in a good way).
It feels disjointed, looks gross, and when you walk in, it seems as though a smorgasbord of historical randomness tornadoed through the vicinity.
Now think about how much you spent on that furniture? Practically nothing!
Now think about who you want staging your home and how much you’re willing to pay.
Cheap Staging Looks… Cheap
Cheap staging companies will succeed in filling rooms and spaces but won’t give buyers a real feel for the home. We call it placement furniture; it shows you can fit a sofa or a bed in a room but does very little to elevate the esteem of the home.
At OnStage, we tell a story by creating a “lifestyle” for each home which makes it show-worthy and gives it massive appeal to potential buyers.
Hiring on the cheap gets you rental furniture or sets lacking in coordination and cohesiveness. You have to ask yourself how much value your investment will produce if the company you hire fails to produce a finished and inviting look.
Is it worth it?
In reality, with some strategic execution, cutting corners by cutting costs can yield excellent results in certain situations, but when it comes to safeguarding the value of your home, it’s not advisable to put such a large investment in the hands of a low-caliber company in order to save money.
It helps to remember that when you hire a top-notch company, the odds are good your house will sell for a higher price leaving your with a nice return on investment.
So… who charges what, and how is pricing determined?
Understand that every company structures their pricing based on certain factors; some charge per square foot or price point of the home, others low ball in order to get the job (we all know how that turns out).
Fair and Consistent Pricing
OnStage is the only company that structures our pricing based off of furniture rental. We tour every home and create a floor plan for each room that tallies everything we need to create a cohesive look from sofas, to art, to accessories.
It’s a proven method and ensures our pricing is consistent for every client and every home – our business model focuses on creating a seamless look with quality furniture.
What does that mean for you?
If you hire on the cheap you’ll probably get bottom of the bucket inventory; dated, slightly worn, or totally boring. We purchase our inventory in large quantities so we can keep up with the fast moving market and still give our clients a quality look. Our designs mesh with the intrinsic vibe of each particular home, leaving visitors feeling excited and ready to move right in.
You Get What You Pay For
Don’t you hate it when people say that? It sounds so condescending, but… it’s true.
The good news is, OnStage has something for everyone and we can work with almost any budget. Take a look at our portfolio of beautifully staged homes, our before and after shots, and see for yourself – the quality you invest will yield the quality you get back.
Good luck with selling your home – we’d be happy to sway the odds in your favor so give us a call to set up a free consultation!