Category Archives: Home Staging

Staging in 2023

Like fashion, staging trends come and go. What have I noticed this year? Nothing is predictable, and it’s okay to mix it up (old, new, modern, traditional). Take this staging we did last week.

Because of the busy street out front, I knew I wanted to frame the window in some way, calming down the outside. When staging, we don’t usually put new curtain hardware up, so I had to find a way to do this with our items. I had these lamps in mind, but the rest wasn’t decided until the selection at the rental warehouse. The door to the patio and the office door to the left meant that the seating couldn’t come into the room too much (like a sectional), however, the room was very deep. In the “before”, there was a couch so far away from the fireplace, it felt like a lot of wasted space. In order to feel like the space could be fully utilized, we needed to have the best of both worlds – a deep seating area that didn’t encroach. Enter: the curved couch and glass coffee tables.

I deliberated between this couch and another one for a while. I was concerned it would be too deep, but combining it with the glass coffee tables mitigated that feeling. These tables add to the coziness of the room without adding too much bulk. More curves also mean you can walk around them to the patio, easily.

To me, a living room doesn’t feel finished without two distinct seating items (generally, at least a couch and a chair). This curved chair is near the entry, and because of the curve and the low back, it doesn’t create a wall. I also haven’t used this skinny piece of art in 3 years, but when I saw it, I had to grab it. The black frame works with the tables and some black dining chairs in the adjoining kitchen. – I like how the reddish orange goes with the brick outside. And, the plate on the table has some orange that ties into the art. That creates a visual through-line from the middle of the room to the patio. That was a surprise, too.

Anyway, this house sold in a couple of days. I’d like to say that was a surprise, but since 2005, we’ve seen that staging a home just… what’s that word… oh, yeahworks. That’s why I love it, and always try to make each project better than the last.

Thanks for reading. – Holly

Intimidated By Accessories?

 Accessories transform a nicely decorated room into a perfect, finished space.  But many homeowners have a hard time choosing the right ones.  Consequently, rooms are often left unfinished.

 Now, with this simple checklist, this can be a thing of the past:

When you see an accessory that you are considering for your room, make sure it meets these guidelines: 

  • Does it have the right mood?  In order for an accessory to “work” in a room, it needs to be in harmony with the mood of the space.  That means that it evokes the same feelings.  Is your room romantic?  Sleek?  Cozy?  Make sure the accessory feels that way, too.  However, accessories that change a room’s mood can work as well if done correctly.  For example, a modern space feels warmer with rustic or hand-made accessories like woven bowls or rough textiles.  Rooms with a lot of patterns in the fabrics can benefit from areas of “rest” with monochromatic or streamlined accessories.


  • Is it going to make the room too “theme-y”?   In general, it’s best to avoid a room that looks like it came out of the Madonna Inn (Google that if you aren’t familiar it).  A touch of whimsy or a conversation piece here and there is great, but a “jungle room” may start to feel a little old after a few months.  A bowl of beach glass on the table with sea shell throw pillows can look great, but add in anchor-design curtains, a fishing net, and a light-house sculpture and the room starts to feel like a seafood restaurant from the 70’s.  A room should have a consistent feel, but a little restraint goes a long way.


  • Is it the right scale?  If you are looking for a piece to display on a large, high shelf, don’t choose something that is too small.  It will just feel lost and incomplete.  And a very large item will look out of place in a room of small, delicate pieces.  Make sure that the accessory you choose harmonizes with the scale of the other items and furniture around it.


  • Is the color right?  Does the color (or colors) of the accessory work in your room?  Of course, it doesn’t have to match exactly, but make sure it blends nicely.  NOTE: Another option is to choose an accessory with a color that stands out.  This can make a dramatic statement.  Make sure, however, that this “drama” fits the mood of your room! It can also help the design of the room if this “pop” of color happens in three places throughout the room – for a triangulation of color.


  • Do you love it?  This may seem obvious, but many homeowners get caught up in making sure that all of their decorating “works” and forget to make sure that they really love everything that is going in their home.  Even if the accessory fits all the other criteria, if you don’t love it, don’t buy it.

And remember, less is more.  Like when accessorizing an outfit, sometimes the best thing you can do is take one item away to help the remaining ones look even better.  That way, you can…

Live Abundantly Clear!

– Holly (always happy to help you accessorize, or edit) Lange –  (303) 322-5327

Working on it!

As the summer wanes, houses sell and staging items come back.  Kids return to school and moms start thinking about all of the “stuff” in the house.  So, I’ve been working on a lot of organizing projects, including one in my own home – thanks to all of the staging accessories coming back into my house! Some of the recent projects outside of my home include: a garage packed with various tools and automotive supplies (an impressive assortment) – and the best part is – they had chickens and ducks and goats – oh my!  They stayed in their respective areas – but I had fun paying them a visit after we were finished!   I also recently helped an art teacher organize her classroom just before school started.  My sister is an art teacher (and my mom was too), so it was a lot of fun working in such a familiar territory.  Other projects included working with a mom to organize and store baby clothes for when the next baby arrives, and setting up a closet for her new au pair. 

Some staging projects have been mixed in there, as well – but mainly a lot of items are returning… So, how does an organizer organize her own storage space?  Well, it’s pretty much there, but with some spill-over.  I’ll be clearing out anything that doesn’t currently have a home and adding a new shelf unit (the plastic ones from the hardware store are cheap and easy to assemble).  Then, I’ll do a once over to make sure everything that does have a home is in a good spot – and re-arrange as needed.  I’ll also pull out items that haven’t been used in a while and put them into the “donate” box.  The shelf should help get the extra items off the floor, and that will pretty much be it.  However, given that I’ll be organizing other people’s homes for the next few days, I may do this next week.   Yes, professional organizers are capable of a little procrastination, too!

Live abundantly clear!

Holly – (303) 322-5327

Present Projects

Yesterday, my husband and I both had a day off, at the same time – a very rare occurrence.  It was a hot, muggy afternoon, with dark clouds threatening rain.  So, we decided to check the TiVo to see what it had recorded.  We decided to watch Kung Fu Panda.  High-brow it is not, and yet… there was a wise Turtle who said a wise thing:

“The past is history.  The future is a mystery.  Right now is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present.”

This is not a new quote, a new concept, or even a new movie, but I liked getting the reminder.  How often are we so consumed with the future and the past, that we forget to enjoy or even notice the present?  I love working with clients, helping them stage their homes or get their spaces organized and functioning well – because I am completely present with them, in that moment.  I don’t think about the last appointment, or the next appointment, I just think about that item, or that picture, or lamp, and the best place where it should “live”.   It may sound odd, but when I’m finished, I feel refreshed.  Even if it’s a long day, and I’m physically worn out, my mind is awake.  It’s why I love what I do. 

Any project, whether large or small, has the power to engage us and connect us the the present moment.  Years ago, before TV or I-Phones, people would unwind by playing a card game, chatting with friends, or even doing chores together.  In fact, I doubt the need to “unwind” was even considered very often.  You just did what you needed to do, and you found the joy in it, in that moment.  If you find that TV, Facebook, or your Blackberry are at best post-poning your anxiety, and at worst adding to it, why not turn them off for a while?  Is life so awful that we need constant distractions from it?  If so, why aren’t we looking at the reason?

I find it funny that computers and Blackberrys are something we are “on”… like a drug.  True, the very fact that I’m writing this blog is ironic, or just plain hypocritical, but when I’m “off” the computer, I’m off.  Without these electronic leashes, I find I can enjoy everything from grocery shopping to cleaning out the garage.  A project, any project, can allow you to remember how lucky you are to have a brain and a body that works.  In the next few days, try doing a little project with the phone or Blackberry out of reach, and see how (after you get over the anxiety of being “disconnected”) it can calm your mind.

Low Cost Solutions for Selling Your Home

The days of big staging budgets are over, at least for now.  These days, few people are selling their homes because of dreams of fantastic profits and moving onto greener pastures.  Now, if you are selling, it’s probably because you are relocating, looking to downsize and reduce expenses, a death, a divorce, or other less than cheerful reasons.  If none of these are your reasons, then you may just be thinking you’ll dip your toe in the water to see what happens.  Very few of these scenarios would make you think that staging is a luxury you can afford.  Wrong.

Staging is not a luxury.   Staging an occupied home, when you are selling while you are living in the home, is an absolute necessity.  Plus, many stagers can accomplish a great deal for around $200 or less.  Staging is just as vital, to help your home sell quickly, as a pre-inspection, appraisal, or photos.  All of these services work together to create a well-presented, well-priced home that will draw more buyers to your house, make them stay longer, and help them easily take mental ownership (the first step towards making an offer).

A professional stager is much more than a decorator.  She is not there to “fluff”.  A stager can devise clever and low- or no- cost solutions to common issues that could be problematic to a buyer.  For example, I recently staged a home in Littleton occupied by a single man.  The home was a great family home, but the extra bedrooms were set up as offices or guest rooms.  One room, a lavender room with one wall of Tinkerbell wallpaper, was just used for storage.  The owner was sure that I was going to ask him to paint and remove the wallpaper, which can be a time consuming and potentially expensive project.  Instead, I saw this as an opportunity.   I suggested bringing in a bed (this one happens to be inflatable, on a metal stand – but there are other ways to accomplish this), and accessories that would help the room feel young, yet still sophisticated enough to appeal to an older child, or a couple without children.Bedroom Staging

So, for the cost of some rentals (this plus other items in the home worked out to be about $85 per month), and a little staging time, many problems were solved with one simple, low cost solution.  The feedback has been great, and the little kids love this room.

A few more notes about how staging can help:

 – Staging is tax deductible to the realtor (as a business expense) or to the seller as a selling expense.

– An un-staged home often sits on the market longer, costing you more in mortgage expenses.

– As a realtor, offering staging as part of your service will help you get the listing over a realtor who does not.

– One way to help a seller pay for staging services is to offer to reimburse them for the staging once the home sells.

– The forward momentum started by staging an occupied home will help the seller mentally “detach” from the home, so they remain motivated to sell, and won’t give up too soon.

Staging remains a fairly new concept, especially for those who have not sold a home recently.  Don’t let the novelty of it negate its positive and proven results.  Good photos, a fair price for the neighborhood, good condition, and careful staging still make a big difference.   Don’t leave money on the table.  Give us a call and find out how we can help you make the value of your home “abundantly clear”.

Holly Lange

Abundantly Clear – 303.322.5327

Why Depersonalize?

When staging your home for sale, you may hear advice like “remove personal items and family photos”, but isn’t that what makes a house a home?  Well, it’s what makes your house your home, but buyers want to buy “their” home, not yours.  Buyers need to take mental ownership before they can take physical ownership of a house.  It needs to feel right to them, and if your personal imprint is too deep, they’ll only feel your presence.  

Ask yourself this question “Am I ready to let go of this house?”  If the answer is yes, then let your actions match your goals.  Prepare your house in the same way that visual merchandisers create a display at a store.  Make sure it appeals to a broad range of people.  Remove anything that is unusual, unique, personal, or even bizarre.  If you ever had a party, and a number of people made comments about an item that you are not selling with the house, then ask yourself if this item is calling too much attention to itself.   If so, pack it up and hide it away.

It won’t feel like your house anymore, but you are saying goodbye to this home, and moving onto bigger and better things.  Even if you are downsizing, or moving because of a less than ideal situation, the future will be brighter once this chapter is behind you.   If each little thing helps the house sell one day sooner, then you’re one day closer to your new beginning.  Start to detatch by depersonalizing, say goodbye, and move on.   In a few months, you’ll be glad you did.