Staging versus Vignette or Accent staging. Does this help or hinder the sale?

By
Home Stager with Simple Inspiration Home Staging

 

This subject could cause some controversy among those in the staging world, but it deserves some discussion.

  Recently, I saw a very popular HGTV program "House Hunters" where a couple of the homes viewed by potential buyers had been "staged" using vignettes.  I cannot begin to express how bad it looked on screen and how it must have been worse in person.  There were very small scenes in each room, many of them in a corner, but all of them had been arranged ON THE FLOOR! 

To think that this is complimenting the room is beyond belief. In many of the rooms this sad attempt at enhancement, looked mostly like a pile of garbage in the corner, causing me to ask the question "what the heck is that?"  Is this the presentation that stagers wish the public to see as "staging"?  Is this what most people are expecting a staging company to provide them on a tight budget?

Not to offend any of the REA's out there, but if this is something you are doing as a service to your sellers, please stop.  If you are a stager and you are doing this for a client on a distressed budget...Please stop.  It is better to have an empty room, than to clutter the floor with a presentation that provides no value. 

If the seller is on a limited budget, help them better use their dollar.  Create a beautiful potted arrangement for the front walk, this can go along way if it is maintained.  Pressure wash the siding, drive and walkways, contributing to the buyers first impression.  Advise the homeowner to take care of small delayed maintenance projects such as cleaning up the trim paint on the exterior or fixing broken drawers or cabinet doors in kitchens and bathrooms. 

It is clear there are a number of fixes that could enhance the presentation of the property.  As professionals we owe it to our clients to look after their best interest.  I have refused this type of work many times, but instead I have provided a consultation filled with ideas for beneficial, small improvements, easily completed by the homeowner on a limited budget. 

I welcome your comments, better yet additional ideas that you may have used successfully, to provide the best service to your clients in this situation. 

 

 

 

 

http://simpleinspirationstaging.com/

 

 

 

 

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Rainer
13,638
Trisha Lane
Simple Inspiration Home Staging - Portland, OR
Simple Inspiration Portland Oregon

Karen: Thank You for your very insightful comments.  You have actually made me re- think my position some.  I believe that the definition of vignette can hold different meanings for different people depending on what part of the country they live in and how they were trained.  I believe what is important to remember that what ever we leave behind when we are finished, is always something we are proud to have associated with our name.

Lori: I am still laughing over the bra and panty thing myself. 

The thing that really pushed me to write this post was the episode of House Hunters I had seen, was filmed in my area.  Because of this, it may be even harder to market ourselves as professionals and experts in our field.  So I definately agree with you about how our work can impact other stagers in our area, I believe the reverse can be true if the work is poor quality.

Apr 13, 2010 06:22 PM #11
Rainmaker
216,697
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Trisha - Great post and since I've met Michelle I'm laughing doubly hard (she's a hoot)!!  Just saw a "staged house" recently and the agent asked me for my recommendations - palm tree in corner (we live in Oregon), and a tiny 8" plaque over the fireplace, pillow on the floor.  Did that look warm and cozy?

Apr 14, 2010 12:53 AM #12
Rainmaker
202,745
Mary Lou Teague
HOME STYLE AND STAGING LLC - Knoxville, TN
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN

I guess what I am calling vignette staging is really not that at all. As my vignette staging includes tables, chairs, accessories, etc. Putting things on the floor..NEVER

Apr 14, 2010 12:54 AM #13
Rainmaker
325,047
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Vignette staging usually cheapens the property, in my experience.

I did one vignette staging years ago to help a Realtor friend sell a vacant probate. I added a beautiful Persian Rug in the living room, dressed the mantle, kitchen counters and bathrooms. The house sold quickly, but I couldn't help but feel that it would have sold for a higher price had it been fully staged. The family wanted to stage, but the probate attorney was adamantly against spending any money to improve the home.

I no longer accept these kinds of jobs because I don't feel the powers that be (be it the home owner, listing agent, trustee or probate attorney) are invested in selling the home quickly or for top dollar. It makes my job more difficult and less pleasant.

Apr 14, 2010 02:52 AM #14
Rainer
98,397
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Ok, here are my thoughts which may ramble a bit.  I was taught that vignette staging was a big no no.  I had also seen some of it done ( though not accessories on the floor). It generally looked pretty lame.

Then I heard of stagers doing lite or vignette staging that included pieces of furniture. Some of the pictures looked good.

Sellers around here won't pay for rental furniture to save their lives, SO...............

Last week after losing a job to a stager who used a few very homely pieces to stage an upscale home I decided to launch vignette staging. I invested in some tastful pieces, sofa, dining set(very cute) and really sharp small tables to use for different things. I already have blow up beds and headboards, linnens etc.

To me this can be vignette staging. I plan on trying this in the main living areas and at least one bedroom.

The big news is, now I have real furniture!!!!!!!!!!! Now if I can get customers.

Apr 14, 2010 10:24 AM #15
Rainmaker
47,242
Kimberley Hawley
Hawley Interiors & Staging - Caledon, ON
Hawley Interiors & Staging

Trisha I totally agree...I've had agents tell me they don't have the budget to fully stage and can I just add some stuff here and there. I told one of them they would be better of having the house cleaned as incomplete staging won't cut it....I think (or hope) my honesty was appreciated....Great post!

Apr 14, 2010 12:52 PM #16
Rainmaker
155,339
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Wow - personally I have not seen "Staging on the Floor" - you wouldn't be able to post a link to the on-line version of the show here, could you?  As many already said, Vignette Staging had it's place several years ago, even then I didn't do them and certainly not in today's market.

Bra & panties: LOVE it, Michele!

Apr 14, 2010 03:11 PM #17
Rainmaker
271,023
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

I've seen staging on the floor here. Bedspread placed where the bed should be and pillows where the sofa should be placed. I really Dislike this type of staging - it looks so - excuse me - but, incomplete and rather silly!!!!!!  I do not and will not do it.

Apr 14, 2010 05:15 PM #18
Rainer
41,700
Nancy Lee - An OrderLee Home,
Hendersonville, NC

Great post!  Great discussion!

So far, I have seen one house where, because of the physical relationship of the front door to the living room to the fireplace to the window wall, I thought a floor staging would work and could be arranged to pull buyer's eyes up to the wall of windows.  I didn't get the job, so we will never know.

Generally speaking, I think it takes height to direct buyer's attention.

Apr 14, 2010 11:19 PM #19
Rainmaker
120,327
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Staging on the floor?  Never heard of it or seen it.  What's next, staging on the ceiling?

Apr 15, 2010 03:15 AM #20
Rainmaker
2,112,745
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I can't imagine walking into a bedroom and finding a bedspread across the floor...that just sounds ridiculous.  Staging means improving the presentation of the home.  This may involve improvements like cleaning and painting and it may mean new furniture.  It may be a consultation making the best use of what is existing.  It may involve a complete transformation using all new furnishings and accessories.  The goal should be to increase the perceived value of the product.  I don't see how pillows on the floor would do this.

Apr 15, 2010 11:22 AM #21
Rainer
13,638
Trisha Lane
Simple Inspiration Home Staging - Portland, OR
Simple Inspiration Portland Oregon

Mary Lou: It sounds like you are more set up for "light staging" , more than vingette.  Although, in my experience vingette always includes a piece of furniture.

Michelle:  What does an attorney know about staging anyway, or marketing for that matter.  You are right, I bet the house would have sold for more with staging.

Linda: Sounds like you are ready to give your competition a run for their money.  Your work will speak for itself and soon enough the referrals will come.  It only takes one project to get the ball rolling.

Kimberly: I always believe honesty is best.  I think most people would rather you be honest with them, than waste their money.

Connie:  I will see if I can find a link to that HGTV episode.  I tried to find some photos, but had no luck.  Believe me once you have seen it, you never forget how bad it looks.

Cathy Lee:  A BEDSPREAD ON THE FLOOR!  That is unbelievable and the funniest thing I have ever heard.  How truly LAME.

Sharon:  I could not agree more.

 

Apr 15, 2010 12:56 PM #22
Rainmaker
109,352
David Peterson
Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging - Portland, OR
Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon

Hey Trisha, we don't do vignette staging - ever!  If a client asks for that we explain many of the points listed above.  If they insist we pass on the project.  Agreed that this is not professional staging and doesn't make a house look better.  Showing empty is superior to random vignettes throughout the house.

Apr 15, 2010 02:48 PM #23
Rainmaker
155,339
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

what?!?!?!? a Bedspread just laying on the floor?!?!?!?  Might as well just use blue painters tape and outline where everything could go like we do in the interior design world - at least then it could be considered progress in floor planning..... what-ever!

Apr 15, 2010 02:50 PM #24
Rainer
98,397
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

A bedspread on the floor? It sounds kind of creepy, like the bed just disintegrated. Erie.

Apr 15, 2010 04:55 PM #25
Rainmaker
87,150
Wanda Richards
Shows Great Home Staging and Web Solutions - Roanoke, VA
Shows Great Home Staging

Staging on the floor...???reminds me of that American Idol 15 minutes of fame song..."Pants on the Floor".  I agree Vignette staging is worse than an empty room.  It looks like the previous owners moved out and forgot to take all of their stuff.  I love Michele's bra and panties comment :)

Apr 16, 2010 01:28 AM #26
Rainer
29,371
Kate Jahnson
Home Stage Home - West Linn, OR
Home Stager

I'm glad I haven't been around long enough to encounter "floor staging".  It sounds like a crime scene chalk outline on the floor.  Sheeesh,  that's bad.  Great post Trish.  Hope to see you again soon!

Apr 16, 2010 12:36 PM #27
Rainmaker
202,745
Mary Lou Teague
HOME STYLE AND STAGING LLC - Knoxville, TN
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN

Guess it may be called light staging...however, here in our area, Realtors and sellers will not pay the price for a full stage. So you do what you have to do in order to stay in the business. Here in East Tennessee they have not really caught on to staging...

Apr 17, 2010 02:38 AM #28
Rainer
253,584
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

REALLY have a hot one here with this topic and looks like we ALL agree!!!!  Had a call a week or so ago asking if I could do vignette staging...told the agent NO...would be better severed to go vacant.  I agree with several others who commented....it looks cheap and really stupid.  Glad everyone was clear on this one!!!!

Apr 17, 2010 04:51 PM #29
Rainer
13,638
Trisha Lane
Simple Inspiration Home Staging - Portland, OR
Simple Inspiration Portland Oregon

David: Thanks for the input.

Connie:  We could sure save a lot of time and money using blue tape..LOL

Linda: Sounds like an alien bed abduction.  It is almost harder to believe that someone would do this on purpose.

Kate:  It is definitely a crime scene in my book.

Mary Lou:  That's too bad, your clients are not getting the full potential of your services.  Perhaps you can become a trend setter.

Kathy:  Good Job for standing your ground, other stagers in your area thank you.

Apr 21, 2010 02:26 PM #30
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Trisha Lane

Simple Inspiration Portland Oregon
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