Home Stager with Creative Eye Home Staging

Before I give my list, let me say that I am an ASP, and I plan to keep my designation current-I've always been modest, and "staging naked" just wouldn't come natural!  I also work with Kate Hart and pay her the same referral fee I give to any other stager who sends me a lead.  I am happy to do it and honored that she considers my work to be the high quality she would recommend.

I think there is little argument that Barb Schwartz has done more for the Staging Industry than anyone else.  Personally, I wish she would join forces with other industry leaders, but then again, she didn't become the successful business woman she is today by listening to me!

Okay, here goes, 5 things I wouldn't do:

  1. Bring a horde of people into your home!  (I will come with 1 or 2 assistants and make sure the entire home has cohesiveness.)
  2. Use Raffia.  (Or if I do, you won't notice.  It was described in class as "stager's duct tape".  Let's use it as such and keep it hidden!!)
  3. Spray your Lawn Green.  I just won't.
  4. Use anything in your home you will have to throw away the next day!  (I never got how those fresh-cut leaves and greenery, that will only last a day at best, are helpful.  If you have to replace it and clean up the mess it made, how has that helped you?)
  5. Show up with a bad perm.  (Okay, that was tacky.  Anyone of us over 30 has been there, and Barb's new "do" is great!!)

Anything else you saw you wouldn't do?  I'll be anxious to hear.

Kim Dillon, Creative Eye Home Staging


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Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

When I saw that part of the show, I cringed. The stagers in that episode were portrayed so foolishly (with the singing especially) and I have to say didn't display the professionalism that they should have for the whole industry (knowing they were being filmed!!). Of course, I was still reeling from the beating up the media continues to do to Realtors. I should have changed the channel.

BTW, did you know that episode of 20/20 first aired in October of 2005? So it's ancient news first of all, and second of all the market was just a little better back in 2005. Geez, leave it to the media to do their best to bad mouth nearly everyone that has anything to do with the real estate industy (or at least make us look foolish).  

As for the painting of the yard...yuk...just don't!


Jun 26, 2007 01:03 AM #5
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!
Seemed like one of those makeover TV shows...with a huge cast of assistants. How much does one pay for all those people? Spraying the yard green...what a waste! I say just put pink plastic flamingos in any bare spots in the yard....
Jun 26, 2007 01:24 AM #6
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging - West Chester, PA

Karen,  The singing of the ASP song was my # 6!  I'm passionate about my work, but I haven't been a cheerleader for MANY years!

Kelly, I did know the segment had aired several years ago.  It was brutal to Realtors--one reason I didn't promote it to any that I work with.  Doubt it would have been appreciated!

Gary, I love the pink flamingos!  Think I'll run right out and purchase some--oh wait!  I think I read they discontinued the mold?

Jun 26, 2007 01:31 AM #7
Teresa Meyer
Stage a Star Staging & Consulting Services - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati-OH.
AMEN KIM!!! I was actually going to do a blog on something similiar to this.  I am an ASP however, I have NEVER agreed with the "WE ARE ASP's" singing and dancing that is protrayed on the 20/20 segment as well as the video they give us to give to clients to view.  I am embarassed of it and think that SH should put out a 15 minute video for clients without all the hoo-rah-rah.  It actually reminds me of the Mary Kay gals during their sales meetings....lots of chanting and high fives for recruiting purposes.  This is NOT how we'd like our staging businesses perceived.  You don't see a bunch of RE/MAX Realtors doing this during a Agent Caravan, right? 

And the Raffia thing....didn't that go out in the early 90's?

Jun 26, 2007 01:53 AM #8
Lucie Quigley
HOLT modern Home Staging - Halifax, NS
I won't sing (can't I'm tone deaf), I won't dance (got two left feet) and I will NOT spray paint the grass green (I have more common sense than that).
Jun 26, 2007 02:04 AM #9
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

I echo Teresa.  The singing thing made me think of Mary Kay as well and it made us look like a bunch of silly women looking for something to fill our time after our kids have left home.  It doesn't exactly say 'career' it says 'hobby'.  Yuck.

I can't even begin to explain how I feel about the raffia...but I won't use it, that's for sure.  And I agree with Kim about the plant clippings.  The only plants you can actually use for that are evergreen and Hydrangeas.  Everything else wilts and looks sad - not what we want to promote.

Jun 26, 2007 02:15 AM #10
Tina Parker
Royal LePage Atlantic - Bedford, NS
CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax

If the flamingo mold was discontinued, use frogs in the bare spots on the grass - they're green! LOL

I feel the 20/20 segment is an embarassment to all stagers. 

Jun 26, 2007 02:19 AM #11
Venice Harris
EXP Realty - Conyers, GA
Real Estate Agent - Conyers, GA
I missed the 20/20 segment.  I do have a pretty good picture of what I missed based on this post.  :o  
Jun 26, 2007 02:26 AM #12
Becca Briggs
Rochester, NY

I was really excited about the free promo - glad I didn't follow through on it!!  

You know when trading spaces first came out, it was about gluing moss to bedroom walls and painting stuff that shouldn't be painted in colors that.....!!!! But now we have these really nice HGTV shows that have wonderful things about design. 

Well 20/20 perception of staging was the moss on the wall and the awful bright green paint on the new china!  But "WE" (in the rain) are the really nice show that has wonderful things about design!!!!!

Is bad attention better than no attention???? Not quite sure after that showing!!!

Jun 26, 2007 02:22 PM #13
Karen Hubert
Center Stage Design-real estate staging, Ancaster/Hamilton - Ancaster, ON
Home Stager
Totally agree.  Faking just doesn't seem like the thing to do. ie. spraying the lawn green
Jun 26, 2007 02:23 PM #14
Stephanie Heron
Dressing Rooms LLC - Scottsdale, AZ
Weeber - Dressing Rooms

Kim - I always wondered about the greenery thing. I read it in one of Barb's books and thought - how long is that going to last? And I have been known to spray paint all sorts of things but I draw the line at painting the grass:)


Jun 26, 2007 03:59 PM #15
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager
When I was getting married, we'd just come out of a long, dry summer and the lawn was infested with Japanese beetles.  Bottom line:  a very large, brown front lawn with the consistency of a Shredded Wheat biscuit and we were expecting 220 guests for a garden reception!  My father arranged to have the whole thing sprayed green by a landscaper that specializes in golf courses!!!  With the party in the back, the guests didn't have to actually walk on the front lawn, but they commented on the lovely, lush, green grass.  As a plus, the grass stayed green through a New England winter. 
Jun 29, 2007 11:15 AM #16
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

KIM, you brave girl.  Yes, we who were in the 20/20 segment (not one of the dancers, thank you very much)hoped it would go away too.  So, airing it again as if it where new, well the media just loves to bash real estate and related industry...what could we expect? Sorry to any of you who didn't know it was the same old version and told your friends and clients to watch it.

I too, owe my induction into the staging world to Barb.  She DID bring the awareness up for staging in the industry through Realtors first...back in the 80's - 90's.  The industry though has exploded with many vendors/teachers/mentors and I believe there are awesome and professional stagers in all of them.  As a Realtor, we take many designations in order to hone and keep up with our craft.  Stagers should do the same.  You don't know what you don't know if you don't branch out.  Well happy staging.  Terrylynn:-)

Jun 29, 2007 11:28 AM #17
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL

I wouldn't sing that stupid ASP song, or anyother song for that matter, nor would I high five my "assistants" or should I say, cult members.  That was the lamest part of the show and it made us stagers look like we were all looney toons.

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

Jun 29, 2007 12:27 PM #18
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
Terry, don't you think that's why out of almost two days of taping they picked that part to air???  That whole piece was horrible for real estate and related businesses.  Unfortunately we had NO say in what aired.  UGH.  Lesson learned.  SHC likes to just say as seen on 20/20...fortunately many didn't see it and don't know that you all and many others cringed. IS any publicity better than none.  I am not sure when I read all the comments.  Well, we all can keep up our end so that our clients and customers all know the professionals we are.  And we can only do it for ourselves.  Again, proud to be out there with such a vocal and forthcoming group.  Happy Staging. Terrylynn:-)
Jun 29, 2007 03:43 PM #19
Kym Hough, Staged to Sell

Ugh, can't believe they aired it again.  Yes, I was one of the group asked to participate. Thought it would be fun. Turned out to be good and bad. The good was that I got to meet some great stagers, bad was that it made us look like a bunch of idiots. Could my nose be any bigger on TV :)  I actually went to a bid on Monday night and the new client said she knew about staging because she saw a story on 20/20 last Friday night and she thought it looked great. My realtor of course said "Did you see Kym she was on it" Cringe. But it made the client happy.  Barb loves her greenery.  What they didn't say on air is that we had to go back the next day and cut and apply all new greens because they needed more shots and of course it was all dead. Ha!  We have come along way from table cloths over garbage cans, using fur coats for throws and rafia tied draperies. Thank goodness!





Jun 29, 2007 03:59 PM #20
Kate Hart
Hart & Associates Staging and Design - Radnor, PA


 Thanks for writing this post. I am echoing Terrilynn, you are brave to post this especially since you are an IAHSP President. Since showing that video in the classes I taught I have been reliving the backlash for 2 years- Realtors in our area still make jokes about the dancing and the sorority girls. I actually called and wrote ABC 2 weeks ago asking them not to air it because I feel it completely undervalues what we do as professionals. Those of us here on AR have worked hard for the past year/year and a half to give an alternative voice to the staging industry and combat stereotypes as seen in that piece. Is any news good news? I don't think so. Kym Hough I thought you looked great! Keep it up Kim D, as always you are a voice of wisdom, KH

Jun 30, 2007 12:38 AM #21
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging - West Chester, PA

Terrylynn & Kym, it was great to hear from some of you who were actually in the segment.  You brought up a great point about what they chose to air.  I'm sure had it not all been cut to show only the "rah-rah" parts, it would have been a more effective segment.

Kate & Terrylynn, I did hesitate a minute before writing this initially, but realized that was ridiculous.  I only said what we were all thinking!  And Kate, it is VP, not President, (not that it matters to anyone but the President--HA). 

Jun 30, 2007 11:33 PM #22
Julia Fedak
Royal LePage State Realty - Ancaster, ON

The never ending comment from the realtors who don't use staging;

"I'm concerned my clients will be offended if I use a stager, and lose the deal."

These shows educate; but they also hype the drama for ratings. Sellers get nervous about how they will be treated.


Jul 04, 2007 02:43 PM #23
Isabel Gomes
Gomes Design - London, ON
Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont
I did not watch the show, but h ave got the picture.  ASP's actually have a song?
Jul 04, 2007 11:11 PM #24
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