Putting some make-up on a Natural Beauty

Home Stager with Ready 2 Stage

We recently staged a beautiful Executive Home that was going on the market in Cleveland, Tennessee.  At first glance the bones of this house are naturally beautiful, but there were a few obstacles that kept it's true beauty from shining through.  As all homeowners know, it is extremely easy to accumulate lots of clutter over the years.  Little things stuck here and objects place there.....after a while you don't really see your home objectively.  That's where it's helpful to have "fresh eyes" to evaluate the situation.  This home seller was so used to seeing things where they were, that she could not see things as they should be.  Here are a few of the changes that we made:

In the kitchen:

Kitchen Before                  Kitchen After

Before:  There is too much clutter on the countertop; and the book nook is crammed full of books.  With some packing away and artful arrangement this kitchen looks fresh and new.

Keeping Room Before             Keeping Room After

Before:  There are too many distractions behind the little sofa, and they were blocking a beautiful view of the lake outside.  (Just wish I had remembered to remove the trash can for the after photo!  Uggh!)

Dining Room Before           Dining Room After

Before:  The dining room was painted a taste-specific lavender.  Perfect for the owner to live-in, but maybe not perfect to attract a buyer.  The color was changed to a beautiful neutral that anyone would love.

Guest Room Before             Guest Room After

Before:  The guest room is another example of being too taste specific.  Although the lavender walls and yellow comforter would be perfect for a sweet young princess--a prince might not be quite so amused with it.  The change is significant--leave NO WORK for your potential buyers.

Living Room Before              Living Room After

Before:  The living room was one of the "first impression" rooms and needed some ingenious furniture placement.  The first thing you saw upon entering was the a cluttered curio cabinet and the side of a leather chair.  There were also 2 heavy furniture pieces blocking the windows.  The sofa was a little small for such a grand room.  We suggested that they switch the larger sectional from the downstairs family room and the rug along with it.  Much richer colors and better proportions for the tall ceiling and windows.  

This home is a jewel, but some minor flaws were hiding it's brilliance.

--Home Staging can unveil your diamond in the rough--your FOR SALE HOME--into the hot commodity that it deserves to be!--

**After photography by Debbi Gerdt**

Posted by

Home Staging Resource



Ready 2 Stage Home Staging & Redesign serves all of Southeast Tennessee

Lori Donegan--Founder & Owner

Crystal Clarey--Staging Assistant

Check out our website:   www.ready2stage.com   

  LogoOr call (423)506-3718 for your in-home consultation

Lori & Crystal

Comments (17)

Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Lori - you girls did a wonderful job. I especially like the room off the kitchen (the one with the red couch). It felt all-consuming when viewing the before picture. In the after picture, it looks so organized and much more roomy.

Congratulations. Your home staging is being featured in the group Staging Before and After Pictures.


Jan 11, 2010 09:41 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Thank You Kathy!  This house is a dream.  I will post the listing soon also.

Jan 11, 2010 12:34 PM
Liz Gallagher
LG Home Harmony - Home Stagers & Organizers - Montreal, QC
Montreal Quebec RESA member

Nicely done Lori ... you had some GREAT stuff to work with ... I am green with envy ;o)

Jan 11, 2010 01:51 PM
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager


Great work in each room.  I like how you updated and re-designed each room to look more spacious and neutral.  Great paint colors too!

Jan 11, 2010 05:01 PM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Lori....your "fresh eyes" gave this the boost it needed!!  And the paint in the Dining Room did the trick too!

Jan 12, 2010 01:56 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Liz--She had lots of beautiful pieces.  We tried to work with her antiques and make them look as updated as possible.  Thanks for your comment.

Linda--The home seller really has great taste; she just needed some outside opinions to get her moving.  Thanks for the comment.

Kathy--Thanks!  I loved the new paint color that she picked and most everyone else will too.

Jan 12, 2010 02:15 AM
Debra Valentine
Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC - Bountiful, UT
Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas

Great job Lori! You did a wonderful job re-purposing what the owner already had. Congrats on keeping busy with staging work too!

Jan 12, 2010 04:19 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Debra--Thanks for the comment!  Looking forward to lots more in 2010.  Hope the same for you!

Jan 12, 2010 01:25 PM
Christine T.
C.A.T. Construction and Home Staging & Design - Crown Point, IN

It's even the smallest of details that make the biggest difference. Nice job!

Jan 15, 2010 03:04 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Christine--You are exactly right.  Love those small details.  Thanks for your comment.

Jan 15, 2010 04:32 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Really enjoyed looking at these before and afters.  I love the new paint colours, especially the dining room.  Also, good call to get rid of all that foliage behind the sofa, to reveal the beautiful view.  Because of the historical style of the home, I'm so glad you kept the antiques and just worked them in.  It really adds to the personality of the home.  A wonderful staging job.

Jan 17, 2010 03:02 AM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Sally--Thanks for your comments!  I was a little skeptical about keeping the antiques, but they were really nice pieces and using them kept the costs low.  The view was spectacular and was being overlooked by too much inside.  When you have such a huge selling feature, it's best to accentuate it!  Thanks again.

Jan 17, 2010 08:52 AM
Sheila Kennedy
J29 Project - Rochester, NY

Way to go Lori!  The house looks fabulous!  You should hopefully have a quick sale - there isn't anything not to love in this home!

Jan 20, 2010 10:37 PM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

It's such a beautiful house. Hopefully the market will pick back up in this area and it will sell soon.  I appreciate ya!

Jan 21, 2010 05:17 AM
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

You definitely gave the home more "breathing" room! Good job, Lori.

Jan 21, 2010 12:13 PM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

I totally agree with your statement to "leave NO WORK for your potential buyers". NOBODY wants to have a big job of fixing things up when they move in. They already had to fix up the place they moved out of!

And a tip on that trash can you forgot. I always try to remember to remove any little thing that would blemish the photos, but all of us forget things once in awhile. I've taken "after" photos at the end of the staging work only to look at them later on my computer and, to my horror, see something like my own purse sitting on the floor in a corner, or a dustpan that hadn't been picked up yet. I recently got Adobe Photoshop Elements. I have used it to photoshop out a forgotten item. If you don't have an opportunity to go back and re-take the photo it can salvage your picture for your portfolio.

Jan 21, 2010 05:39 PM
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Deena--removing some of the extra pieces does make you breathe better.  We all tend to "accumulate" too much furniture.  Thanks for your comment.

Pangaea--It makes me sick that I forgot that trash can.  I tried to used my iphoto to erase it, but it just ended up looking worse.  Hopefully most people will overlook it--or better yet, they will know exactly where their trashcan should go!  Thanks for your comments.

Jan 21, 2010 11:44 PM