CASE STUDY: Updates which made First Impressions Count

Home Stager with House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C.

THE CHALLENGE:  This home was built in the 80's, and the decor was 100% original.  Bubblegum pink paint reigned!  The banister, foyer hardwood and kitchen cupboards were yellow-washed oak.  The carpet presented in an acceptable condition with professional cleaning.

                                  Original 1980's decor, hardwood & bannister yellow-washed oak, paint bubblegum pink


THE COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION:  Upon entering, the impressive sight of an impeccably gleaming refinished hardwood floor, stained to today's in-vogue espresso color, held the eye's focus.  To expand the sense of spance, paint color was tied into the color of the existing carpet.   While the banister and kitchen cupboards retained original finish, they no longer unfavorably distracted attention from the selling features of this house.

                                   Hardwood refinished expresso, wall color ties into carpet to enhance sense of space

THE CHALLENGE:  Focus the eye on what this room was selling.  Divert attention from the yellow-stained oak cupboards to an appreciation of the amazing amount of counter space this kitchen had to offer, along with a spectacular view.

                    Cupboards yellow-stained oak, in high contrast with pink painted walls


THE COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION:  Reduce the contrast between cupboards and color of wall, so cupboards fade into the wall rather than pop out.  Keep the focus of the eye down, on counter space and view, by removing outdated window valances and items above cupboards.  (TIP:  unless you are selling a ceiling, refrain taking the eye upwards to decorative accents.)  Use color to draw the eye along the counter and out the window to the view.  Replace K, DR and Foyer light fixtures to today's standard, all from same family line of fixtures to ensure whole house flow.  Replace outdated venetian blinds to today's 2" faux wood.


wall color harmonizes with kitchen cupboards and blends them out

THE LESSON:  Anticipate potential bargaining chips and make cosmetic upgrades so buyers can easily envision themselves calling this house "their" home.  Remember, to plan and implement changes, it is always advisable to consult with a trained design professional experienced in home staging techniques to ensure your investment dollars are allocated wisely.   It's not the amount you invest, but where you invest, that maximizes your potential equity.

By Leah J. Armstrong House to Home ReDesigns & Home Staging Port Moody B.C. 604.469.9324   email

Copyright 2008 Leah J. Armstrong, All Rights Reserved.  "CASE STUDY: Updates which made First Impressions Count".  Photos published with written permission of client.

Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Leah ~ I think you did a great job in this house!  I love the way you brought it up-to-date, and the floors in the foyer area look wonderful stained the darker color. 

Aug 17, 2008 12:52 AM
Michele Hess
Simply Staged Inc. - Rockford, IL
Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc

Leah, Great job making the home feel more current.  Super job!

Aug 17, 2008 01:19 AM
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

Excellent blog postings, Leah.  I had not even taken the time to view your blog until now (shame on me).  Keep up the good work, my friend!

Aug 19, 2008 12:32 AM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Hi Leah, It's amazing what the right flooring, paint colors and updated light fixtures can do isn't it? You've done a great job.

Aug 19, 2008 12:45 AM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Leah- Fabulous example of what staging is all about! I have a new client who asked me if I was going to hide the stain in the carpet with a rug. I told her that I was going to create such an appealing space, using furniture, lighting, and artwork, that the stain wouldn't matter. Your before and afters just prove it CAN be done!

Aug 19, 2008 02:45 AM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Kathy - Staining the floors was definately worth the expense.  It immediately updated this house.  Michelle - Home staging  took years off the age of this house.  If only it could do the same for US!  Sandi - You are profolific with your blogs; same - keep up the good work!                            Cynthia - I was really pleased with how this house was presented.  The homeowner was very pleased with the return on investment upon sale.                                                                Elaine - Ethics preclude concealing a fault or attempting to hide something.  Staging is all about directing attention to where we DO want the buyer's eye to look.                                           Thanks everyone for your unanimous applause!  Humbly accepted, with a smile. - Leah

Aug 27, 2008 08:10 AM
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

What an incredible change in both rooms. 

The new hanging light fixture looks familiar and one that I can possibly use in a job.  Where did you get it?

Sep 04, 2008 12:15 PM
Ray Toscani
1st Choice Inspection Services Ltd. - Port Coquitlam, BC

Come on Leah... it was the fuzzy kitchen window valences that did that kitchen in.  All joking aside you did an outstanding job, nice to see you are in Port Moody

Sep 19, 2008 04:22 PM
Sandra Hughes
Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia - Fairfax, VA
Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia

I think you did a great job choosing colors to divert the eye and to make the existing features blend in and not stand out as an eye sore.

Sep 20, 2008 12:10 AM
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Great job, Leah.  These changes are definitely going to have an impact on how the home shows to the prospective buyers!


Sep 20, 2008 12:40 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Good gravy that was a lot of pink!!!!  Great changes.  It is funny because in the first photo I thought, "Wow, the new color really made the floors richer" then I realized they were different!! lol....

Sep 20, 2008 09:55 AM
Renee Pratta
Renewed Rooms - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Renewed Rooms - SC

That was great Leah...I'm sure you are happy that you made such a great impact.

Sep 20, 2008 09:59 AM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Virginia - The light was purchased at a wholesaler in Port Coquitlam, BC Canada.  Unfortunately, the company is no longer in business.  I liked the fixture too!  Thanks for stopping by.

Sep 24, 2008 06:47 PM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Ray -  So we are in the same neck of the woods!  We should make a point to cross paths.  Thanks for your thumbs up.  This house was in Citadel Heights in Port Coquitlam. 

Sep 24, 2008 06:50 PM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Sandra -   Thanks for the compliment.  I was really pleased with the end result.

Kathy -  I wish the video tour was still active.  The house showed beautifully.  Thanks for having a look.

Sep 24, 2008 06:52 PM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Melissa - You're right - there was a lot of pink - everywhere!!!  Bazooka bubblegum pink.  First job was to pop that bubble.  We had the floors restained to expresso, and it made all the difference to the entry.  BTW, I so enjoy your blogs!  Your comments mean a lot, there and here.

Sep 24, 2008 06:57 PM
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Renee - Thanks.  Impact is good!!!

Sep 24, 2008 06:59 PM