Home Stager with Hope Designs


By Lori Howard, Hope Designs


Often, when people hear the word "staging" they imagine it in conjunction with a "for SALE" sign on their front lawn. On the contrary, staging can take on many forms.

Houses are often staged for people to live in, as in "Staged for Living" or "Redesign" applications.  Staging can be used to compliment special occasions or events such as weddings or decorating homes for the holiday season.

Staging, simply put is putting the finishing touches on your home, to highlight and enhance its positive features. 

A professional Stager can come right to your door and within hours transform your home into a beautiful holiday showpiece.  Staging can turn your home into a stunning holiday success that family and friends will admire.

Conversely, you can enhance your home utilizing many beautiful touches and embellishments found in nature. Plant materials such as, Pine boughs, Cedar boughs, Pine cones, twigs, branches, Sumac branches, and Dogwood branches all can be found at your local craft store, garden center or grocery store.  Or, why not take a Sunday drive out to the country; go for a walk around your Neighbourhood Park or green space. You will be amazed at what you can find!

With a little time, creativity and some ingenuity you and your family members can produce many unique and attractive holiday decorations and best of all, they are FREE!

Just add a bow or some twine, ribbon or raffia and presto beautiful unique holiday decorations handmade by YOU.

Consider utilizing fresh cut greenery, twigs and berries for:

•·         Urns

•·         Centerpieces

•·         Christmas Tree adornments

•·         Decorations for your mantel

•·         Or A charming Swag for your front door

Creating lovely centerpieces and tablescapes is as easy as layering your favourite candles and traditional holiday family treasures along with some Pine boughs, berries and Salal leaves in a low shallow wooden, ceramic or metal dish of your choice.

You can create a stunning look for your mantel using a similar layering method.  Utilize the longest and fullest branches first,  laying them horizontally on the mantel, next layer an assortment of leaves and branches making sure to step back and view your work, if there is a spot that needs a punch of colour add a candle or a decorative ball. To enhance your mantle masterpiece use some battery operated fairy lights.  Be sure to conceal any cords or the battery pack under some greenery.

A favourite of my family each holiday season is creating gorgeous urns for the front of our house utilizing materials found around our property. You can create beautiful works of art of your own, start by filling an old plastic flower pot with soil (when the soil freezes the stems should be secured for the season) insert the boughs that you have gathered into the soil one stem at a time, alternating various boughs, twigs, berries and stems. Be sure to view your finished creation from all angles to avoid any empty spaces or holes. Add some texture, colour and height to your urn by taking advantage of various unique leaves and branches, Curly Willow, Eucalyptus, Dogwood, and Magnolia are useful and long-lasting as holiday decorations. Salal leaves, Boxwood branches, Sumac branches and Seeded Eucalyptus are some of my favourite. Consider adding some large plastic decorative balls or a huge bow for a dazzling finishing touch.

When I was a little girl, one of my much-loved family holiday traditions included making swags for our friends and family members.  I grew up in the country, so the materials were readily available. My Mother, Sister and I would head out early one crisp winter morning armed with pruning shears and cross- cut saws. We would spend hours in the bush next to our home gathering boughs, twigs, berries and branches that had fallen in the wind. I can still remember the laughs and giggles we would have the entire day and especially on the way home (trying to lug our treasures out of the bush unscathed) the beautiful smell and wonderful recollections will never leave my memory!

Once home, we would set up an assembly line in our garage piecing together layer after layer of Pine and Cedar boughs eventually securing them with florists wire and then topping them with a bow.  We were creating beautiful works of art, the Swags made lovely gifts for family and friends but more importantly cherished family memories!

For further instructions on how to create a swag for your front door or for any upcoming staging needs please contact Lori Howard of Hope Designs, 416.557.7903 or

Happy Holidays from Hope Designs!















Posted by


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Ontario Peel District Caledon
Stage It Forward...
Home Staging
Real World Home Staging for Newbies
Stager's Coffee Clutch
home decor
holiday decorating
staging in caledon
staging in bolton

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Sharon Price
Best Price Stagers - Denver, CO


Love to see people bringing natural elements inside to embellish homes.  I hope the plastic and tinsel follow in the steps of Chrysler and the government won't BAIL the artificial tree industry.  Your work reflects the heart and tradition that went into it.  Bravo

Dec 05, 2008 10:52 AM #1
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Beautiful memories and beautiful gifts to just can't beat that!  I filled my urns this year with branches from a fallen tree and then added pinecones and branches with berries.  All free, and so natural and beautiful.

Dec 05, 2008 01:18 PM #2
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Lori, great post! Simple steps that anyone can follow. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 19, 2008 04:27 AM #3
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Hope Designs

Hope Designs, Toronto’s Award Winning Home Staging
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information