The Stagers - Episode 7 - Who Says Oil & Water Don't Mix?

Home Stager with Dezigner Digz

[Photo from HGTV's website]

I would have to say that this was the best episode to date in my opinion.  Matthew and Tracey are the dynamic duo that brings this project to its successful completion along with Rukiya, their staging assistant.  Rukiya, as in other episodes, comes to their aid and makes the project gel together with her cool, "keep everybody calm" manner.  We could all use a Rukiya in our lives.  She commented early on in the episode that Matthew and Tracey are like oil and water and that they come from opposite design spectrums.  That may be the case, but I thought that they worked together fabulously.  They have a real on-camera, professional chemistry.

Here's the low-down on this episode:

The team had 4 days to stage a 3-storey heritage home listed at $1,198,000.  The property currently presented itself as a bachelor pad.  The task was to take it from a "friends getting wasted" look (another trademark Matthew one-liner - keep them coming Matthew) to a family home; a daunting task in the time provided.

Day 1 found the team disagreeing on the intended purpose for each room.  Currently, the study was being used as a dining room.  Also, there was a large sectional chaise lounge located in what should have been the dining room.  Matthew felt that it impeded on the space, but Tracey wanted to make the piece work.  Enter the start of their artistic differences.  They finally agreed to keep the chaise and work with it.  The next bone of contention was the loft.  Matthew wanted to turn it into an office, whereas Tracey thought it should be made into a kids' retreat.  Matthew conceded that Tracey knew that market more than he did and went along with her vision.  I was glad to see that it was handled very professionally and didn't turn into a big power struggle. 

Day 2 starts off with Matthew at the warehouse tagging the furniture he wants to use.  From there, pan to the property:  Tracey arrives and nothing has been moved out yet.  The movers finally arrive and decisions are made as to what goes and what stays.  After some discussion, they all agree that the chaise lounge has to go.  This, of course, changes everything.

Day 3 things become very stressful for the team.  The removal of the chaise lounge has sent them back to the drawing board.  They return to the warehouse and re-select furniture for the project.  The team feels that they are back at Day 1 and now only have 1 more day to finish the job.  I think the funniest part of the show was when Rukiya got stressed and announced that her eye was twitching and that it was all Matthew's fault.  One of those moments that isn't as funny when explained in a recap, but was hillarious to watch!  

Day 4 is staging day.  It went by in a flash.

Fast forward to Day 5:  The Reveal:  As usual, a beautifully turned-out home: staged to perfection.  The homeowners were thrilled and felt that the team had outdone themselves.  The homeowner's parting words:  "Have you seen my socks and underwear?".  Gotta love it!

End Result:  Listing Price: $1,198,000 /  Staging Costs: $4,956 / Selling Price:  $1,256,000:

$58,000 over asking price!

The only negative comment about this episode is one that I have mentioned all along in my reviews of previous episodes as well.  There is too much information being packed into a half hour time slot.  The show really needs to be extended to 1 hour.  That became even more apparent to me with this particular episode.  For example, I felt that Day 4 was gone in a flash.  I couldn't even really summarize what happened that day.  It ran along at a feverish pitch in order to get to reveal day in the allotted time.

As far as I can tell, this is the only pairing of Matthew and Tracey on a project this season.  Paperny Films, I implore you, if this show gets renewed for Season 2, you HAVE to put these two together again for a few of the filmed projects.  They work so well as a team and seem to have a mutual respect for each other's opinions.  No dysfunctional banterings here, just professional collaboration presented in an entertaining fashion that doesn't make the viewer wince.

Matthew and Tracey prove that yes, in some cases, oil and water can mix!     


Dezigner Digz is a home staging and interior decorating company located in Burlington, Ontario and servicing Ancaster, Hamilton, Aldershot, Burlington, Waterdown, Stoney Creek, Bronte, Oakville, Milton and surrounding areas.  The owner, Charlene Storozuk, is a member of the Real Estate Staging Association and is the founder and current President of the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth Real Estate Staging Association.  For more information about us, visit our website at 


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Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Charlene, I'm really enjoying your recaps of these episodes.  Can't wait to see this one when it airs here!

Aug 13, 2008 05:14 AM #1
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Maureen - I'm glad you are enjoying the recaps.  I think you'll like this episode.

Aug 18, 2008 03:57 AM #2
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Charlene ~ Okay, I think we are catching up here (or at least one episode behind you!).  I saw this episode tonight because I recorded it from last night.  I thought they did a great job and they did wind up working well together.  I think it must be hard though if you've been the head stager on another job to give that over to someone else.  Matthew is really cute and at least when he and Tracey disagreed it wasn't nasty or a yelling match.  I liked that they both got their way - Tracey with the kids space and Matthew with the office.

Aug 20, 2008 02:13 PM #3
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Charlene I have missed many of the episodes but I do keep up with your reviews and I continue to enjoy them.  I did see yesterdays episode after setting every timer in my house and interrupting dinner to see it.  I enjoyed it and it made me further realize that I don't want a partner.  My assistant is wonderful and never stands in the way of my decisions, yet she will gladly offer opinions when I ask. 

Thanks again for doing this. 



Aug 20, 2008 02:23 PM #4
Alexandra Fletcher
Vancouver, BC

Charlene, I like most of the episodes with Matthew, this was a good one. I have to say has anyone else noticed that they create the same look in every space? The description is always the same, "it's cool, contemporary and modern". We had to do a show suite using furniture the developer bought when Dekora had staged another one of his buildings and it was a challenge to make this furniture work and not seem totally contemporary and modern because that does not appeal to all prospective buyers. Staging is supposed to appeal to all tastes not just modern tastes. Just my two cents. ~Emily

Aug 20, 2008 03:16 PM #5

You must have missed a number of the other episodes.  The stagers use traditional furnishings in many of them.  Matthew staged one big home (very expensive) and the furnishings he selected were very traditional.  I've watched all the episodes and all the stagers I've seen on the show use furnishings that are appropriate to the homes.  Of course modern furnishings don't appeal to all buyers, but if the space is modern then clearly the buyers are seeking a modern look and the furnishings have to match that asthetic. The staging should NOT to appeal to all tastes!  Buyers visiting a contemporary loft are not looking for traditional.  The home and target market must dictate the furnishings used. 

Aug 21, 2008 12:05 PM #6
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Charlene, I missed the episode and came by here specifically to 'see it' through your blog.  This is great.  I don't know how you do it, but I can picture it perfectly ... and yes, it probably should be an hour.  Great job, Charlene. (Great job, stagers!) :)

Aug 21, 2008 12:28 PM #7
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Kathy - I'm glad we're close to getting caught up on the same episodes.  I thought that Matthew and Tracey worked together really well.  I hope we'll get to see more of them together next season if the show gets extended to Season 2.

Ginger - I'm glad you're enjoying the reviews.  I agree with your comments about having a staging partner.  There are just too many things that could go wrong to spoil the relationship.  

Emily - That's interesting.  I noticed quite a bit of contemporary furniture on the show as well.  I just assumed that in Vancouver that was the majority of the demographic - at least for the properties they've chosen to film.

Anonymous - Thanks for joining the discussion.  When you say you've watched all the episodes, do you mean all of the ones that have aired on T.V., or have you seen every episode filmed?  I'm not sure I remember seeing a finished project with a more traditional style of furniture.  Which episode was it?  Mind you, I spend so much time during the show taking notes for my reviews, that I may have missed that. 

Sylvie - Thanks for your very kind review of my review :-).  Since you like the show, you should let HGTV know that you want 1 hour episodes.  Who knows, maybe they'll listen.    

Aug 29, 2008 01:04 AM #8
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Charlene Storozuk

Home Stager - Burlington Ontario
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