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We are delighted that you stopped by our blog. As Portland's leading home staging company, we want to make this fun and useful for you. Look forward to your comments and suggestions~

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Affordable Staging but a Dramatic Difference

Sometimes it pays to let us know that you have a property that needs staging.  Then when we are planning to de-stage a property we can take some of the staging to yours and save  you money by saving us time!  We adapted some of the staging we were taking from a Portland Historic home that sold and used it here. It's a win-win for all...

This is a suburban Portland home that had no appeal when you walked through the front door...

It's just one big room with no definition or interest.  So we gave it both...

Here's another shot of the same room...

Better?  Here's the living area Before:

And After:

What do you think?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dunthorpe Contemporary Staging

Recently we had the great pleasure of staging a high-end property in Dunthorpe that had been meticulously remodeled.  The owners had several interested parties while their own furniture was still there, but when they moved out of the area and took most of their things the interest stopped. That's when we were called in to work with what they left and still make it complement the architecture and interior style.  Because one of the owners still stays there when he is in town we wanted it to be comfortable for him, while appealing to buyers.
Living Room Before
Living Room After

We utilized the sellers' original art and moved the chaise to the master bedroom as you will see below.  Additionally, we kept all the furnishings with clean lines to reinforce the simplicity and style of the interior treatments.

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After
As you can see they had a lot of great stuff to work with!  Some of the personal items had to go, but we loved the art and the credenza.  This dining set is perfect in the space which showcases the cool wood panels and the shag rug amplifies the mid-century features of the home while warming it up.

Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After
Now the master bedroom is a sanctuary instead of a crash pad!  Here's the chaise from the living room and we utilized the sellers' king mattress and added an upholstered headboard below.  As the bed will be used, the clients purchased bedding they can use in their new home after the property sells. We added the box pillows and everything else you see.

Next we tackled the home office/study. 
Study Before

Study After
The room just needed a little pizzazz, so we replaced the bench, which was tired, with 2 chairs from the dining room.  We purchased new art as it called for great graphics and this wool rug was just the right thing with the intrinsic color scheme.

An added bonus in this project was partnering in the design and installation process with Wendy O'Brien Interior Design.  Wendy is a very talented and highly trained (UCLA) interior designer and wonderful to work with.  In order to consistently deliver the very best product possible to our clients, we are exploring pulling her in on special projects.  This enables Transformations to offer skilled design services, as well as high quality staging, to our clients.  It's the best of both worlds for you and fun for us, too!  We hope you will take advantage of our increasing strengths in this challenging marketplace.  Only the best will do!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bachelor Pad Transformation

Recently we were asked to enhance a condo in the Tansaborne area that was the classic bachelor pad:
  1. Bare and Barren
  2. Media equipment the focal point
  3. And the requisite:  Black Leather Sofa!
Here are some Before and After shots:

Living Room was empty and boring, so we freshened the appeal with green and espresso to appeal to young buyers.

Previously, there wasn't a dining table in this space, but was designed to have one and it's pretty important to buyers, so we added a table and chairs so buyers would know they could have a few friends to dinner.

And the Black Leather Sofa and Media Equipment make their appearance! Ta Da!  As the seller was out of town the day of installation and we don't like to take chances with electronics, we left the media equipment where it was.  Just created a more attractive space with accessories so buyers could visualize enjoying the fireplace... Not ideal, but workable.

Since the property is occupied and the bedding would be used, we directed the listing agent in buying some new bedding.  The result is more pulled together and will appeal to females as well as males.  We also raised the bed and added a slipper chair in a space to the right that you can't see in this shot.

Review from the listing agent was "Fantastic!  Excellent, excellent work! ".  As this was a one-day installation the cost for first month was well below $900. Pretty worthwhile investment, don't you think???

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Melange of Staging Styles with a Common Theme: Warm it Up!

As we go through Fall into the cooler months, staging becomes more important to make a property inviting.  Especially here in Portland where the days are gray, empty properties seem cold and uninspiring  Add to that any challenges inherent in the property, a dicey market, and staging becomes imperative.  We have recently had some interesting challenges.  And the most fun part is the variety of styles we have been working with - from urban modern to updated vintage.  I love that about Portland and this business!

There are 3 approaches I use to brighten a property through staging: Color, Texture, and Lighting.  As you will see, we almost always use color to warm spaces, but we often use a combination of methods to make a space feel more comfortable to prospective buyers.

First, we staged a townhouse in Lair Hill with a unique feature: a fireplace just inside the front door!  OK we are stagers, we are used to making the best of what we have to work with, so we approached it with the attitude that we would make it look as natural as we could.  The advantage of putting the fireplace there was it maximized floor space in a narrow floor plan so we were able to utilize one of our favorite sectionals which wouldn't have fit if the fireplace were on the wall.  I get it. With so many hard surfaces and neutral colors, it needed some softness and sizzle to woo buyers.  This is what it looked like Before:

And this is what it looks like After:

We used golds and browns for Color warmth and a large comfy sectional and thick throw for a cushy softness (Texture). That property also had a dreary bonus room with linoleum flooring downstairs so we turned up the heat with gold and orange and it became a hangout with a modular sectional and pub table...

I just heard from the broker that everyone loves the staging and offers are coming in!

Next we staged a penthouse model condo in The Jefferson.  It has  fantastic views of Goose Hollow and was fun to stage...No real issues in this one.  Just help buyers fall in love... But we used Texture in shag rugs to keep it from feeling stark and punches of orange for drama (Color).

Then came a condo in The Cambridge.  The challenge here - and most properties have some kind of challenge - is that it's on a lower level so not much light comes into the unit.  Therefore, we put as many Light fixtures as we could get away with in and used a warm palette of gold, red and chocolate.  We also created more light by the introduction of reflective surfaces such as mirrors, silver and glass. We love how it turned out:
And last for this post, we staged this historic home near the entrance of Washington Park.  Just a great property and all it needed was  - you guessed it! - warming up and some ideas of functionality of the spaces.  Color was key to showing the potential in this home.  Here are some photos...
Before - This is a huge room and feels cold from so much white...

After - Now buyers have an idea of how to use the space and it's warm and updated.  There is actually a third seating area behind this with an ornate game table and a huge floor vase in the corner.

Before: The colors need to be balanced to make sense.

After: Ready for a dinner party!
Master Bedroom Before: The green fireplace makes no sense against the white walls and carpet.

After: Color adds warmth and interest diluting the white.

Hope you found this information useful and of interest.  Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We would love to help warm up your space!

Thanks to the listing brokers who recommended our services listed in order of the properties shown above:
 We appreciate your trust in us and being your partner!  To see any of these properties in person, please follow the link to contact these experienced professionals.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BeFaux and After

This is a house we recently staged that features fabulous views and a wonderful location. The problem in marketing it was simply that it was dated. The existing designer touches that were to the taste of the sellers when they built the home could inhibit current buyers from seeing the potential. The faux had to go! Add to that an abundance of oak trim and Houston, we have a problem!  There was nothing we could do about the blue carpet, so we incorporated a more current color scheme to make it work. Removing the window treatments and putting the views front and center was another key strategy to updating this home.  Please be sure to see the professional photos by Timothy Park on the listing info linked at the end of this entry.  You will be impressed by the landscaped setting!

Here are more Before's (on the left)  and After's (on the right):

The view outside the dining room of the landscaped waterfall is incredibly beautiful, but the sellers kept the drapes closed. We truly believed that bringing the outdoors in was imperative, so had the window coverings removed and replaced the dining chairs with some of our own. Thankfully, the seller was open to our suggestions and gracious. We did utilize the sellers' table and kept the table setting simple to keep the focus on the view. This became our favorite room!

The living room is now elegant and updated and although you can't see it from this photo, the view out the windows is the Wow Factor. The heavy window treatments are gone and the gorgeous views are there for all to see...

A few more notes: The kitchen cabinets were high quality but oak which dates the kitchen. We would have preferred that the oak be painted white, but that wasn't an option. So we replaced the white plastic door/drawer pulls with brushed nickel ones that makes a huge difference. For only a bit over $120 you have a much more current look. (photos to come)

And finally, the entry had been painted a bright blue faux.  It was pretty and definitely made a statement - perhaps too much so.  So we neutralized it with soft tan paint and accessories that tied the color scheme used throughout the house together.  With views like this house offers to provide the Wow Factor, you don't need to hit people over the head at the front door.

To see more views of this house including the world-class photographs by Timothy Park, please see the listing info by Laurie Thiel, RE/MAX Equity Group.  She is a long-time client and one of our favorite agents! It's gorgeous and you will be glad you took a peek...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mixing it up

Update:  This was one of 4 units and was used as a model.  Before we staged it they had been on the market for 5 months empty.  We staged it and all units sold in a month!

One of the tenets of good staging is to bring cohesion between the spaces so that they flow. We usually do that by using consistent furniture styles and colors throughout. In a recent project, we stepped outside the box a bit to bridge 2 very different styles, make it interesting, yet blend them together.

This is a 1913 Craftsman condo conversion in NW Portland that had been bumped out in the back utilizing different architectural details and colors than in the original space. The front of the building has amazing, original dark wood mill work and wainscoting. Just luscious. Additionally, it features leaded glass windows, arts and crafts era tile, and original light switches for the vintage feel. The back of the unit, including the kitchen, nook area and master bedroom are largely new and are lighter and brighter. So our challenge was how to make them cohesive?

We chose to use the intrinsic colors and run them throughout: red (from the tile), blue (from the rear portion's walls) and green (because you always need some green!). Then we pulled black for contrast in the back and ivory to lighten in the front. Juxtaposed some contemporary lines to update and a great leather-and-caned Campaign chair for a vintage touch that also added texture.

The developers had identified an area behind the kitchen as an additional area by hanging a chandelier low - even though there is already a formal dining room. We thought that a 2 bedroom condo doesn't really need a second full eating area as much as it could use a casual tv area, so we asked the clients how they felt about raising the light fixture. They were great about it and saw the virtue of the idea. Here is what we did with it... We put a fun pub table on one corner for morning coffee and casual rattan chairs for conversation or watching tv. Now buyers have options!

And lastly, we put an updated vintage 4-poster bed in a satin black finish and a seating area by the window to seal the deal. In other spaces not shown here, we placed a cute red bench and pops of red in a china cabinet to continue that color scheme. There are splashes of blue from the back of the house to pillows, table settings and art in the front of the house. The green softens and freshens the dark wood and shows off it's richness. With a nod to vintage style but with today's current sensibilities, we stepped outside our staging box, had some fun, and love the results!

Hope you do, too! Remember: You can try mixing styles and colors as long as you keep some things consistent, such as colors that run throughout. Have fun with your decor and don't be afraid to try new things - even we have to be reminded to do that!

To see photos of other rooms not shown here or to view this property in person, please follow this link to the Dan Volkmer Team at Windermere Realty

Also want to give a HUGE shout-out to Jennifer Myers, J Myers & Associates, who pushed, nudged, and inspired us to stretch outside our borders. She's an immensely talented interior designer, herself, and experienced model home merchandiser. Thanks, Jennifer!!