Search results for 'occupied home staging'

Highlights from a Home Stager: Occupied Home Staging 101

6 Mar



Rittenhouse Square Home Staging


Hi Everyone!  In our last feature, we talked about why we recommend staging vacant real estate listings.  Now, we want to switch gears a little bit and talk about occupied home staging.  We’ll cover why it is important, how you can do it on your own, and also how we can help you take it to the next level.

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Sooo…  Why is it important to stage an occupied home? (And what does that even mean?)

Well, we’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again- you get a split second to make a first impression.  An agent will send their prospective buyer client (PB) some listings—> PB is going to look at a 1 inch thumbnail caption of your living room and decide if they even want to look at the rest of the photos, let alone come see the house in person.  Make the most of your inch!  The most enticing photos will present clean lines, clear functionality (“Oh, that’s a nice TV room”, or Ah, this one has a breakfast nook”), and simplicity in décor.  Make the space easy for PB to understand  so he/she doesn’t have to think too hard.

Now, think like a buyer.  Assuming you get PB to your door, there are going to be a few things he/she will be considering.  Obviously, overall condition (roof, mechanicals, structure) are ultimately very important.  But, what comes before that is the questions of Do we want to live our lives here?  Does this feel like it could be home?  Staging plays a big role in helping PB envision their idealized life in this home.  And without that vision, your never gonna get to the home inspection.  Here’s some pointers to get you moving in the right direction:


  1.  Take down your family photos- It’s very difficult to envision a home as your own with someone else’s pictures all over the place.  A good replacement would be non-specific nature photos, landscape shots or a mirror.mercer
  2. Neutralize- This doesn’t mean that everything has to be beige, although we do recommend painting walls in neutral colors when possible.  The idea is just to create a presentation that will not be unappealing to any prospective buyer.  For example, you collect clown dolls- some people are very uncomfortable around clowns (and dolls, for that matter), so pack those away.  Or, you have a lot of religious artwork- your PB may not share the same beliefs, so they could definitely have a difficult time feeling at home with those items- we’d recommend packing those types of items.moore2
  3. Restore each room to it’s intended purpose-  I eat at my dining table 3 times a year.  The rest of the time, it is a workspace, a laundry folding space, a dumping ground for keys, bags, and mail.  But, in my next house, I’m going to eat a well-balanced home-cooked meal off of fine china every evening in my dining room.  Probably not, but ham it up a little…  Show a dining room as an actual dining room.  Show bedrooms as actual bedrooms when possible.  PB’s often have a difficult time visualizing bedrooms without beds.  Many times a smaller room will feel bigger with a full bed in it because PB’s would otherwise assume that only a twin bed would fit the space.  This could be a game changer right here.  And, if you have children at home, relegate toys to kids’ rooms or to the playroom.  If toys are everywhere, it sends the impression that the home isn’t big enough (which may very well be why you are moving, but shhhh….)mercer2
  4. While we are on the subject of “big enough”- Declutter, Declutter, Declutter- you have to pack it eventually anyway!  Packing it up before showings begin is a great move.  Less clutter will make your space feel larger and more open.  It will also help you depersonalize because most of the personality in your home is probably coming from those little knick-knack items that you don’t really need, per sePack up out-of-season clothes, small kitchen appliances that only get used once a year, etc.  If you can get a temporary storage unit, do it.  If that is not an option, designate one area (basement or garage?) to neatly stack boxes.  Organize closets and cabinets, and aim for 25% empty.  If PB opens your closet and sees that it is 25% empty, it immediately feels like a big closet because it isn’t stuffed to capacity.ISuk7gf5l6583h1000000000
  5. Have an escape plan- You’ve made your house picture perfect, had photos taken, and are ready for showings.  But, now you have to live here- Yikes!!  Have a closed storage solution in each room.  A storage ottoman in the living room is a great place to toss all the toys when a showing comes up quick…  A little basket for papers and mail is easy to stash inside the dining room china closet.  Grab a few plastic bins from the dollar store to stow toiletries neatly and easily under the sink.  And, I’ll say it…  put a bed skirt on your bed so you can hide the  dirty socks and undies in a hurry.  (Note:  you do not actually need to be selling your home to use these tricks)IS2nmvlt3abb1x1000000000

So, these tips should help you get a great start!  But, if you feel like you could use a hand, don’t hesitate to call us in.  Here’s a list of ways that we can assist you with occupied home staging and selling:

Renovation Consultation–  Planning to paint, tile, refinish, update or upgrade?  Need help making the right choices?  We see a lot of homes so we can help you make the selections that sell.

Occupied Staging Consultation–  We’ll walk your home with a buyer’s perspective.  We’ll go room-by-room and throw out as many suggestions as you’re willing to hear in order to help you get the most out of your home sale.

Supplementary Rental–  Need a staging bed for that empty bedroom, or a more contemporary sofa in the living room?  Did you give away your dining table when you turned the dining room into an office?  Not sure what you need?  We can help cross your T’s and dot your I’s.

Quick Detail–  Do you have your photo shoot lined up, but you are a pillow-fluffing disaster?  Call us in for a little primp-session.  We’ll come in and detail each room (like only a stager can do) to help it show it’s best.

Well, thanks for reading all that!  Feel free to share with your seller clients,  friends and family.  And tune in next time to hear some tips from the photo pros!

Contact Ali at or 267.207.9898 to get that ball rolling. Or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home.

In general, for vacant home staging, a consult 2-3 week’s prior to intended completion date is ideal. And in the case of occupied home staging, the more time we have prior to listing, the more we can help you perfect your product.

…Home Staging in 19128, 19127, 19119, 19118, 19130, 19121, 19123, 19125, 19134, 19103, 19102, 19104, 19106, 19107, 19146, 19147, 19139, 19143, 19145, 19148, 19004, 19003, 19035, and all Philadelphia and Surrounding Suburbs.



Highlights of a Home Stager: Occupied Staging… Staged and Sold!

23 Jan

These home owners weren’t getting the response they had hoped for when they put their home on the market. They asked us to come in and give the home a design detailing.


We did some decluttering, added some upscale pieces of art, and added some of our own accessories, to give the home a more organized and cohesive look.


The family had begun moving out, so some of their rooms were empty, which left potential buyers wondering, ‘What can I do in this space?’


By staging this large 3rd floor bedroom, we gave buyers a chance to see the potential in this large open space.


We are happy to say that within a few weeks of the staging the home sold!

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Occupied Home Sellers: Home Staging Consultation Helped Sell This Home Fast- Call Sunflower Creations!

15 Jul


smedley2It was a major curve ball for this young family when they received word of a necessary work-related relocation.  They had bought this Girard Estate town home just two years ago, with the intention of raising their 2 small children here.  They had completed a variety of cosmetic renovations and upgrades when they got the news- time to sell!  They were really concerned that they could sell at a price that would pay for all the work they had done, so they called us to help them present their home in the best possible light.

We came in for a consultation, and learned that we would be doing an occupied home staging.  This means the family would be living in the staged space until it sold, and we would be working, primarily, with the existing furniture and accessories.


The first big challenge was the entry area.

This home has a really amazing entry, with a huge window that offers great sunlight.  You can see the half-wall in the above photo separates the entry from the living room.  The problem is that the entry space is just too big to be “just an entry”, but to divided to be part of the living room.  We wanted to incorporate the divided areas in a way that shows potential buyers that the space functions and flows at 100%.  At the same e also wanted potential buyers to be able to easily identify the separate functions that the space provides: “entry”, “reading nook”, and “main living space/TV area”.  This was a SUPER-important showing concern, because this area is the very first thing the potential buyer sees when entering the home for the first time, and the first impression forms right here.


smedley3The sellers were self-proclaimed DIY-ers and Thrifters (right up my alley!)  They had some really cool stuff, and eclectic arrangements.  Lots of mixing and matching- Great for personalizing a home, Not great for selling one…  So, another part of this project was helping the sellers simplify and neutralize.  We put together floor plans for the sellers, which detailed furniture layout and furniture reordering.  We moved some things around to open up and define space,such as changing the direction of the bed in the master, and creating the L-formation in the living room.  We created a bar area, again, providing purpose for the pretty large space between the living room and dining room.  We moved some pieces to different areas of the home.  And, we got rid of everything we could before the property was photographed for listing.

smedley5 smedley6 smedley7 smedley8 smedley12 smedley9 So, we basically put together a home staging instruction manual, then we came back to do the finishing touches (detailing for photos, hanging art, that kind of thing).  But the sellers did a TON of work here in preparation for their listing, and they did an EXCELLENT job (with an infant and a toddler!)

The house sold in just 40 days, and these guys are California-bound.

Great job guys, and best of luck!

View the full property listing here.

Thanks for looking!!

…Whether modern style new construction, charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.


Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.


If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:


Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator




or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

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Staging an Occupied Home with Sunflower Creations

23 Apr

1(eliminate unnecessary furniture to create a streamlined look)

Most of the time, the pics we share here are vacant homes where we bring in all the furniture, art and accessories in order to create “the look” that connects with potential buyers.

But, Sunflower Creations also offers home staging consultation services for occupied homes.  In this process, we generally work with the homeowner’s furnishings and accessories in order to prepare the property for sale.  We can assist with space planning, depersonalization, pre-photo detailing, and more- in order to create a picture perfect look for photos and showings.  We also help create solutions for sellers to be able to maintain the staged look, while living in their property while it is for sale.

5(organize the playroom so it appears orderly, and the kids can still have fun!)

The process begins with a walk-thru, where we assess the space, as well as the needs and desires of the occupants.  Some sellers are looking for assistance with home improvements, such as paint color and finish selections.  Others may need us to help them eliminate furniture from over-crowded spaces.  And others may need us to supplement under-utilized spaces with our furniture.

Once we see the space, we put together a consultation report.  This will act as a room-by-room instruction manual for the seller, with detailed suggestions and floor plan drawings when necessary.  At this point, the seller can decide to carry out our plans on his/her own, or have us come out and prepare the property for them.

The photos in this posting are from occupied home stagings in the Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods of Northwest Philadelphia.  Both are beautiful old homes with some modern updates.  We wanted to accentuate the uniqueness and old charm, but give the spaces a little contemporary edge.


(Although most of us do not use our formal dining room all that much, show it in it’s ideal state!)3 4 6

(A contemporary rug pulls this room into 2014!) 7

(Going minimal on the accessorizing gives these deep blue rooms a slightly more contemporary feel) 8 9To see these full property listings, click on the following links:

Mount Airy listing

Chestnut Hill listing

Staging Consultations can be an invaluable and low-cost tool for selling a home quickly and for top dollar.  So, if you , or someone you know is preparing to list a home for sale, why not forward this post!

As always,

Thanks for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new construction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.


Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.


If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:


Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator




or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

Highlights of a Home Stager: Styling a Furnished Home

3 Apr

          We’re not always working in vacant properties. Many people have a hard time depersonalizing their home. We work with a combination of our furniture and the home owners’ pieces.

We take into account the existing furniture, and add our own bits of color and style.


A solid wood buffet, paired with traditional dining chairs and furniture follow this home’s vibe.

An empty small room off of the formal living room leaves much for the imagination for potential home buyers. By creating a small sitting room we have taken a space that had no specific use and gave it purpose.


The formal living room continues with the traditional style of the home. Because the sitting room and living room are within sight of one another we used matching furniture to visually connect the two rooms.


Additional furniture was needed in this room to show just how much space there really is.


A sophisticated office off the master bedroom makes this traditional home very appealing to the right buyer!

For full property listing, click here!

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Highlights of a Home Stager: University City Victorian

20 Mar

Yet another staged and sold property! This time, it’s a beautiful Victorian home in University City.8

The enclosed porch with original stained glass windows offers a beautiful place to drink your morning coffee.


The formal sitting room features an ornate gold mirror. We went with more traditional furniture in this staging, classic and timeless, like the home itself.

genmid.paph363568_6_2      genmid.paph363568_5_2

A formal dining room that can seat many is important for a six bedroom home. We kept the art and furniture traditional to match the style of the home.


This home is filled with beautifully crafted built ins. A sparse array of similar accent pieces show off the storage space without making it look cluttered.


More built-ins and a beautiful rounded window seat get a face lift with new curtains and accessories.

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When it comes to professional home staging, whether vacant or occupied, contact Ali at Sunflower Creations or 267.207.9898

…Home Staging in 19128, 19127, 19119, 19118, 19130, 19121, 19123, 19125, 19134, 19103, 19102, 19104, 19106, 19107, 19146, 19147, 19139, 19143, 19145, 19148, 19004, 19003, 19035, and all Philadelphia and Surrounding Suburbs.

Highlights of a Home Stager: Fresh and Fun!

6 Mar

This fresh new building has a lot of interesting and exciting features.


From the industrial exterior.


To the arched half moon window.


This building screams young, hip living- so we used that as our inspiration.


A combination of bright cheerful colors give this home a playful vibe.

genmid.paph177678_27_0      genmid.paph177678_25_0

We decided to carry the color scheme through to the master bedroom; it really pulls the entire apartment together neatly.


Click here to see the full listing!

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Highlights From a Home Stager: Bi-Level Penthouse

20 Feb

The view is clearly one of the biggest selling points in this penthouse apartment. We kept things neutral to keep that the focal point.


A pop of orange brings a modern cheerful feel to the airy living room.


When working with an open floor plan it’s important to create cohesion between the rooms. More neutral furniture in the dining room and kitchen is offset with orange napkins and art for that coordinating pop of color.

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I’m a sucker for a boldly painted bathroom.


Spacious bedrooms complete this amazing apartment. What more can you ask for?76




Click Here to see the full listing!

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Highlights of a Home Stager: Quick Hits from our Fall Stagings

6 Feb

Here are some of our favorites from this fall!

6XX Earp St.1000283076_10_31000283076_5_31000283076_3_3Click here for the full property listing!

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Highlights of a Home Stager: Understated and Refined

9 Jan

Let’s take a break from bold this week, with this sophisticated row home. Black, white, and grey dominate this space from the floors, to the counter tops, to the cabinets.1007532198_9_A

Cream furniture keeps the light and airy vibe flowing, while a muted olive rug gives just the right amount of heaviness to anchor the room.



We gave the dining room some visual weight with dark wood dining table and chairs. Using a light colored rug helped keep the space feeling open.



Keeping with the monochromatic color scheme, the master bedroom has a calming, spa-like vibe. Continue reading