Tag Archives: declutter

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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Highlights from a Home Stager: The Listing Photo

27 Mar

Home Staging, South Philadelphia


Hi Everyone!

In our last couple posts, we spoke about staging for vacant properties, as well as staging for occupied homes.  We discussed why staging helps listings sell, and some tips and tricks on how to start staging on your own.  And, we also mentioned some ways that we pro-stagers can help you take things to the next level.

Today, we’re talking about the power of high quality, professional listing photos.  According to Philly’s Mike McCann, The Real Estate Man:

“Professional photos are the first impression one gets when viewing homes. As we all know, first impressions are lasting ones. Nothing is more important in this day and age of the internet than using professional photos to market and represent a property. It will increase the actual activity on the home dramatically, help sell the property and create desire and appeal to the buyers and their friends or family who view it.”   (More from The McCann Team)


Home Staging, Fairmount


The goal for great MLS photos is to act as a preliminary tour of the property.  You want to provide prospective buyers with an understanding of the rooms and their relation to one another.  And, of course, you want to make the property look as good as possible. A professional photographer will produce high quality images.  They will use a lens  that captures a wide angle view of each room, which will provide a clearer understanding of the layout.  They will know how to get the best light and how to get the best angles.


Home Staging, Point Breeze


So, what else do they know that we don’t?  We’ve reached out to our go-to Pro-Real Estate Photographer, Kate Devlin for some insider tips on what we, as stagers, and you, as sellers, can do to prepare for the shoot.  Here’s Kate’s Top 5 Tips:


  1.  Stash all the last minute stuff– As part of your staging, you’ve cleared the magnets from the fridge, you’ve streamlined the wall art, you’ve packed away the majority of the knick-knacks.  But, there’s those lingering items that you can’t just pack away just yet.  The good news is that for photos, you can hide those items in your freshly cleaned out closets.  Stash the toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps.  Clear towel hooks and coat racks.  Hide the pj’s under the bed.  Tuck away the kitchen sponge and random counter items.  And, conceal the kids toys, aside from those neatly displayed in a child’s bedroom or playroom.  Kate says that some clients have been known to pile additional clutter at the far end of the yard or even in the car just to get it out of the way for a great photo shoot.


    Home Staging, Art Museum Area

  2. Lighting- Make sure all light sources have the proper bulbs.  Kate says that a day with light cloud cover is ideal for shooting (as opposed to a super bright sunny day that will produce photos with harsher color contrast), but you just don’t always get that.  Her preference for windows is a clean line window with adjustable blinds but no fabric curtains.


    Home Staging, Francisville

  3. Consider scale & eliminate anything that isn’t right.  If you know your huge dining set isn’t right for the space, consider purchasing or renting a substitute that will not make the space feel small.  Huge pieces of artwork can also overwhelm a small space.  A space-saver shelving unit can make a small bathroom look even smaller.  And even something that seems as minor as a bath towel on a hand towel ring can throw off scale and confuse perception in a big way.


    Home Staging, Fairmount

  4. Keep a few props on-hand.  Now that we’ve told you to put all your décor away, it’s a good idea to have a bowl of fruit and a vase with flowers waiting in the wings.  As a stager- I tend to think of décor in terms of low/wide items, and tall items.  So a bowl with fruit and a vase with flowers are great props because they can fill in where needed, they move from room to room easily, and they add just the right about of color in a natural way.  Fruit and flowers also tend to be easy to attain, inexpensive, and style-neutral.


    Home Staging, Point Breeze

  5. Know what to expect when the photographer arrives.  Kate says that when she shoots, for the most part, she’ll stand at the far corner of the room and her wide lens picks up everything. It’s best if at least 1 floor is completely ready to go when she arrives so that everyone else can go to another floor of the home while she shoots.  Definitely have pets corralled before the photographer arrives, and plan to keep them contained until the shoot is complete.

So, thanks to our readers for hangin’ with us today!  Come back next time to learn a little more about “The Staged Look”.

Thanks to Kate Devlin for her professional advice, and for the use of her lovely photos featured throughout this post and many of our other posts!  If you need a Real Estate Photographer for your listing in Philadelphia or surrounding area, please contact her at photographerkatedevlin@gmail.com

And, Thanks to Mike McCann for his expert insights!  Check out the McCann Team’s website for your home buying and selling needs.

And, of course, when it comes to professional home staging, whether vacant or occupied, contact Ali at Sunflower Creations

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com 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: Main Line Detailing

14 Sep

Vacant home staging isn’t all we do here at Sunflower Creations- we also detail homes that already have furnishing! Decluttering is key, and we often swap in some fresh new furniture to liven up the home.

This home in Northern Liberties had a mix-matched style that didn’t quite seem intentional.


Family heirlooms can be a great treasure. Unfortunately, they don’t always match our decor style.


A more coherent style creates less distractions for potential buyers. (Decluttering and staging the shelf unit doesn’t hurt either!)


This living room looks very lived in and homey, however the personal touches can overwhelm potential buyers and distract from the potential your home has to offer.


Neutral art work and a new layout brings the focus back to the home rather than the clutter. The indoor outdoor fireplace, a major selling point, is now proudly on display.


Family dining is an important feature to highlight when trying to sell your home.


Restoring the home office back to its original dining room functionality will appeal to more buyers.



And don’t forget to show off any additional seating!


While going neutral is usually a safe bet when trying to sell your home, a little personality can sometimes make all the difference.



Too many patterns can be distracting.


Neutral bedding can help calm things down.

(Click here to see the full property listing)

Check out some more homes we’ve staged!

Thanks so much for looking!

Sunflower Creations is The Philly Home Stager because we are dedicated to:

Providing quick, reliable and professional service

Creating fabulous looking homes at competitive prices

Helping to sell your home quickly and profitably

Making every project our number one priority

We’d Love to Work With You On Your Next Project:

Vacant Home Staging and Furniture, Art, Accessories Rental

Occupied Home Staging Consultations

Builder’s Services and Finish Selections

Interior Design

and more…

For a free consultation, please contact

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator



or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

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…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.




Declutter for your life and health

22 Mar

Home staging is all about decluttering, depersonalizing and getting a home ready for sale.  Decluttering your home before selling makes it more appealing to buyers.  While decluttering for sale is always a great start, decluttering for life can be good for your health.  There has to be a reason a clutter free, organized home is appealing to buyers.  Walking into a home with stacks of stuff lying around and no chaos control can be overwhelming to anyone and that includes the homeowner.  Ever watch the show “Hoarders”, you know that anxious feeling you get when the film crews open the doors to the hoarders lair?  That is one end of the spectrum, but there are many levels of clutter and disorganization.

There is an old zen saying that says ‘a cluttered space is a cluttered mind’.  While you may think all the nick knacks and magazines you hold onto have sentimental meaning, at the end of the day they could be causing you more harm than good.  If you find yourself scattered in your daily life and not able to get yourself on a good organized track you may be a victim of ‘clutter mind’.  Always late to events because you can’t find that necklace?  Having trouble getting out the door because your keys are missing?  It may be time to get rid of some clutter, organize your space and improve your health.

All the stress caused by fretting over missing items, tardiness for important events and an overall disorganized life can lead to heart problems.  So take the steps to get organized and redefine your space.  This could be a weekend project or a year-long project depending on the level of clutter.  No matter how deep you’re in there is no better time than now to turn around and work your way out.  Here are some great tips to get you started:

1. Work on one room at a time.

2. Be prepared with boxes, tape, sharpies, and trash bags.  Having everything ready will make the process go much faster.

3.  Organize in categories: keep, donate, trash.

4.  Evaluate the items you think you can’t part with.  When was the last time you used it, will you use it again, could someone else benefit from it more than you?

5.  If you have a lot of clutter plan a yard sale and you may profit from the things that are causing you stress!

Once you have cleared out the trash and donation items make sure to organize the stuff you chose to keep.  If you chose to keep it you are probably planning on using it in the future.  Have an accessible spot for everything that is within reach and organized.  Clear plastic containers from the dollar store are great for storing small items.  Here are some ideas:

*A nail box: nail polish, files, remover…

*Admin box: pencils, pens, stamps, scissors, rulers…

*Cords/Chargers box: phone chargers, ipod chargers, random cords

*Medicine box: keep all vicks, cough medicine, aspirin…

Stack these on top of one another on shelves in closets and make sure to label.  The next time you want to do your nails quickly all you have to do is pull out the bin and you have everything you need, brilliant!  If you don’t think you can do it alone or just want a jump-start hire a home stager or professional organizer.  They will help you get on track and on your way to a better lifestyle.

You have questions, we have answers email amanda@sunflowercreationsonline.com

Bowling alley turned livable space

16 Mar

We were so excited for the opportunity to stage this vacant property located in Philadelphia between the East Falls and Manayunk border.

I scoped out this property on the MLS after driving past it numerous times.  I was shocked when I pulled up the pictures, the inside is absolutely beautiful and renovated.  I had been picturing a “fixer-upper” and had dreamed of buying it myself and turning it into a BYOB restaurant/art gallery.  I dream big 🙂  But most importantly I noticed it was vacant and gave the seller’s a call.

They agreed to stage the main living area of the Victorian style home that is zoned for residential or commercial use, has parking, and is about as close as you can get to the access for 76.

The only problem was the open floor plan.  Without furniture it was showing like a bowling alley.  We brought in some furniture and added a little tlc and now I think this house is showing at its full potential.  All we need now is a buyer!   Give us your feedback, we’re always looking for ways to improve and share ideas!

Don’t forget to check out our website for more pictures Philadelphia Home Staging.