HGTV's The Stagers - The Final Episode - Working With a Client's Existing Furniture

Home Stager with Dezigner Digz

[Photo from HGTV's website]

As the old saying goes, "all good things must come to an end".  That was exactly the case last night with HGTV's The Stagers' final episode of the season.  I was glad to see that the season ended on a high note with Matthew at the wheel.  Alongside Matthew for this project was Rakiya, who has previously assisted him on other assignments.  Great news: Rakiya has moved up the staging ladder to Stager-In-Training.  You go girl!  She will now be accountable if a client doesn't like the end result. 

The property in the spotlight this time was listed at $830,000.  The homeowner had recently spent $150,000 in renovations, so the team had a tight budget of $3,800 to work with; a far cry from the budgets in previous episodes - now we're talking!

A number of Home Stagers have told me that they would like to see the show do an enhancement with existing furniture since that happens a lot in the staging industry.  They got their wish this time, more or less.  A few pieces had to go, I certainly understand why.  For the most part though, they worked with the client's furniture.  Can the team pull off the transformation when they don't have a warehouse full of Dekora's furniture at their disposal?

Here's a run-down on the finale:

Day 1

We see Matthew arriving at the very yellow, but not so mellow property.  Matthew is greeted indoors by yet more yellow.  Oh, I nearly forgot; the homeowner was there as well (he was paled in comparison to the walls).

Matthew goes on a tour of the property and comments on the very bright purple and pink chairs in the living room.  "Now that's pimpin'".  Okay, I can't take the credit for that quote.  You guessed it; another Matthewism.  He recognizes that the chairs won't work in the space so they will have to go.  Hey, not every piece can be used in an enhancement.  These chairs certainly wouldn't have brought anything to the party so to speak.  

The homeowner is given a little Home Staging 101 about neutralizing the space and is asked if he would be willing to paint the hallway.  At least that way, potential buyers won't be smacked in the face with yellow the minute they walk through the door.  The homeowner agrees to paint the hall.

We are now brought into the dining room where we are greeted with a very large office desk underneath an equally large ceiling pendant.  Well, that just won't work now either, will it? 

Rakiya arrives at the property to see what she's in for.  In the kitchen we find outdated kitchen cupboards which the homeowner announces were just modernized two years ago - oops!  The kitchen has a small eat-in area.  In there is a large wooden table and chairs that eat up too much space.  The wood also clashes with the cupboards.  Not a wise choice to enhance the kitchen.  Matthew tells Rakiya later once the homeowner is gone that he is "going to sneak a table in here if it's the last thing I do".

We find that the second bedroom is being used as an office.  Matthew explains to the homeowner that it needs to be set up as a bedroom.  Surprisingly enough, he comes across a Barcelona chair and ottoman in the office.  This could come in handy.

The purple chairs are removed from the living room and the team starts rearranging the rest of the furniture.  They are having trouble putting the room together as they are working with contemporary furniture in a more traditional home.  They agree that they will just have to make it work although they recognize that the furniture belongs in a 1996 condo.

Day 2

The team is at Dekora's warehouse looking for a few pieces of furniture and artwork.  Matthew is frustrated by the lack of budget.  Ron, the Staging Manager, explains that the staging budgets are driven by the client.  Matthew schemes with Rakiya to sneak in a couple of chairs along with the dining room set.

While looking through the warehouse, they come across a small glass bistro table and chairs that would work perfectly in the kitchen and scoop it up for their project.  Some inexpensive artwork had just arrived back at the warehouse so they grabbed that as well.  It will work perfectly for their project.

Meanwhile back at the property, the homeowner is having the hallway painted.  He tells the painter "I didn't realize Matthew knew what he was talking about."  Was there ever a doubt?    

You're wondering where the problems are, aren't you?  Well, here's the first one.  Susan at Dekora receives a phone call from one of their movers.  He has injured his arm and will not be able to report to work. 

Day 3

Matthew is at a lighting shop looking for a pendant light to replace the existing one in the dining room. He has just found out that they are short one mover and that Duane, their other mover, will have to do the work of 2 men.

Rakiya is at the property but her hands are tied.  She can't do anything until the unnecessary furniture is removed and the new pieces are in place.  Duane is now 1 hour behind, so the entire process is stalling.

Duane now arrives at the property and finds out that some of the furniture has to be put down in the basement.  You guessed it.  He can't do that on his own, so he places a call to Dekora.  They scramble to find another helper for him.  Staging Assistant, Tracy, arrives along with another mover as they need all the help they can get now.  The shortage of a mover has had a domino effect on the whole project.

Matthew and Rakiya have another look at the living room.  They aren't happy with the furniture layout, so they do some re-arranging again.  The dining room furniture arrives so that gets staged next.

Are you ready for the next problem?  You know there has to be another one.  The glass bistro set for the kitchen was never put on the truck. 

Day 4

This is the final day and the team has 4 hours before walk-through with the homeowner.  Matthew goes out looking for end tables while Rakiya and Tracy are cleaning up at the property. 

Meanwhile, Duane is back at the warehouse trying to locate the missing bistro set.  Apparently the team did not put their name on it, so it went to another job.  Matthew is now back at the property and his stress level rises another notch as the client will be there in 1 hour and he still has no table in the kitchen.  Enter Duane and the bistro set.  He manages to get the set back and saves the day.

The homeowner is now at the property for the reveal.  He absolutely loves it!

End Result:  Listing Price:  $830,000  /  Staging Cost:  $3,800.  At the time of airing, the property was still on the market.  Apparently the homeowner was still taking offers.

My Final Words

The curtain has drawn on The Stagers for Season One.  There have been a few blips along the way on certain episodes.  If you've been following my reviews, you'll know the ones I'm talking about.  Overall though, I think this show has assisted in the promotion of our industry and it has definitely helped to educate the consumer on what it is that we, as Home Stagers, do.

The show was presented, for the most part, in a professional, interesting and humorous manner.  I'm sorry to see the season end.  

If you loved the show as much as I did, and you would like to see it picked up for another season, I encourage you to contact HGTV.  Let them know your thoughts and don't be afraid to include your likes and dislikes.  

Will there be a Season Two?  I guess only time will tell.   


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

Charlene ~ Brava! You did a fabulous job reviewing this show for us!  Meanwhile, I have become a fan and I don't know if I would have watched it without your talking about it.  I can't wait to see this episode and the one I DVR'd last night.  I hope it will be back for a new season.

Sep 24, 2008 06:02 AM #1
DJ Swanepoel
Real Estate Wiki - Los Angeles, CA

Great review! Its an excellent show; while I don't watch it regularly, I have tuned into a couple episodes and it definitely draws you in:)

Sep 24, 2008 06:17 AM #2
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Hi Charlene, I am sad to see the season end. I certainly hope that HGTV will pick it up for another season. Thanks for all your fabulous reviews. God bless,

Sep 24, 2008 07:58 AM #3
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Kathy - Thank you so much!  Glad you've become a fan of the show.  It's great news that it got picked up for Season 2.

DJ - Thanks!  You're right, the show definitely does hook you. 

Cheryl - You're welcome.  I was sad to see the season end too, but the good news is that it will be back!

Oct 02, 2008 01:06 AM #4
Wendy Timmons
Move Home Realty - Temecula, CA
Temecula Realtor

Charlene- Thanks for all the reviews! You did a GREAT job, and I enjoyed reading them very much!!


Oct 02, 2008 09:28 AM #5

I can't believe they are taking this show off the air.  It's been my Favorite new show this year and I enjoy all the before and afters.  How and why the pieces are selected and why they work to improve the spaces where they are placed.  I have learned so much and looked forward to next season.  I am very disappointed.

Please put this show back on next season!

Oct 07, 2008 02:07 PM #6
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

I waited to read your review until I had time to watch the show.  I've been taping each episode.  Your reviews have been so good.  I really like the shows Matthew stages.  He is so talented and does an amazing job with art and furniture placement.  I rewind the before and afters at the end several the music too!!  I've learned from him and he inspires me.  I love this business more and more each day!!    

Oct 08, 2008 05:35 PM #7
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

I too enjoyed the show and the reviews. I hope the show goes to one hour next year.

This episode was a practical exercise showing the obstacles when staging an occupied property. Haven't we all had to deal with purple and pink chairs and choices in renovation finishes that have gone awry. Matthew pulled it off with his usual flair.

Matthew, you are a star. I am sending out good thoughts your way for continued succes in what ever you do.


Oct 09, 2008 12:33 AM #8

Season two is being filmed now for both HGTV Canada and USA. 

Oct 10, 2008 06:29 AM #9
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Wendy - Thank you so much!

Sue - It's coming back for Season 2 . See "SEASON TWO's" comment - straight from the horses mouth, so to speak :-)

Cathy - Thank you for your kind words on my reviews.  You're right about Matthew, he's very inspiring.  I sure love this business too!

Michelle - I really hope it gets extended to one hour episodes too.  I was glad that they filmed an episode using the client's existing furniture.

"SEASON TWO" - I'm really happy that the show has been picked up again.  Looking forward to Season 2!

Oct 11, 2008 12:23 AM #10

What is the name and artist for the upbeat song that plays near the end of the show, after the client praises the results?

May 26, 2009 07:12 PM #11
Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Anthony - I apologize for the delay in responding.  I don't know the name of the song. The Stagers have a fan page on Facebook. You could try emailing the contact there.  Maybe they can get you the information.

Jul 18, 2009 08:18 AM #12
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Charlene Storozuk

Home Stager - Burlington Ontario
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