STAGING TO SELL : The Devil is in the Details

Hey y’all!

Happy Monday to all! Here’s to hoping your meteorological conditions are a bit more pleasant than mine!  I swear, this Louisiana Summer WILL be the death of me.  It’s “89 degrees” outside, apparently.  Who do they think they’re fooling?  I have pretty much come to the conclusion that the weather man, my iPhone, and car thermostat are all trying to pull one over on me, because it certainly does NOT feel like any measly 89°.  It’s got to be at least 100°… maybe that’s a stretch?… I’m just not one for the heat.  Don’t get me wrong, I love relaxing in the sun and getting my tan on with a cold beverage in hand, as much as the next chick, but that is not the case here.  The case here is that of a million tiny dragons blowing fire down my back, to the point where I am seriously considering shaving my head in the hope of catching a cold breeze.  I know, I sound like a dramatic cry-baby…I will survive. Hopefully.

About a month ago, I was approached by a real estate agent/friend to stage a home for a client of her’s.  Said client is a home builder who’s house was to be featured in this years Northshore Parade of Homes. I was tickled pink at the opportunity, so I jumped right in and got after it! Shortly thereafter, a second home builder (who’s house was conveniently located next door) decided he wanted his home to be staged as well.  Nothing I can’t handle!

So I began… Being that both homes were brand new and unoccupied, this job was a bit different than my routine staging gig.  These jobs did not require me to de-clutter and rearrange.  Instead, I would be bringing in all new furniture and accessories to both homes and starting with a blank canvas.  *SO FUN*

It is important to remember that staging is an entirely different ball game than decorating.  With every piece of furniture that I brought in and each individual accessory, I try to constantly remind myself of the final objective.  That objective is not for the décor to be the focal point, but instead for the décor to enhance the space and draw the buyer’s eye around the room.  It is my job to showcase the fine details and beautiful work the builders put into their homes so that they sell promptly and at a good price.

Without further adieu, let me walk you through both houses I staged in this year’s Parade of Homes!



Staging a foyer with fine art graciously donated by local artist, Ms. Alexandra Drake.

STAGING TO SELL : add a detail down under!

Think BIG when it comes to area rugs. A small rug in a large space with just get swallowed up and make the room appear smaller.

For the living room, I opted to bring in neutral furniture in keeping with the builder’s color scheme.  A general rule of thumb for staging is to stay neutral, as it appeals to more potential buyers.  I added a simple, jute area rug under foot.  It is large in scale, so it anchors the room and defines the space without distracting the eye.



STAGING TO SELL :  leaning art

Lean if you need to! To avoid adding tons of nail holes, just go with “the lean” for art.


This area is the keeping room.  Typically the furniture will face the far wall (with the large painting).  Hidden behind the large, abstract piece are cable and T.V. hook ups.  For staging purposes however, I opted to place the sofa on the far wall in an effort to keep the space open and feel more inviting to buyers.

*TIP* Whether you are staging a home for photos or a showing, light it up! The brighter the better! So open up all shades and curtains and turn on as many lights as possible.

*TIP* Whether you are staging a home for photos or a showing, light it up! The brighter the better! So open up all shades and curtains and turn on as many lights as possible.

Believe it or not, it is actually most cost effective to purchase fresh fruit for staging as opposed to artificial.

Believe it or not, it is actually more cost effective to purchase fresh fruit for staging as opposed to artificial.

When staging homes that are brand-new, it is important to bring in items to make the house feel “lived in”… That can be fresh-cut flowers or a bowl of fresh produce.

STAGING TO SELL : fresh details

Get creative while staging a dining table... Edible options are a fun alternative.  *Added bonus: they get tossed away when we're done... instead up having to be wrapped up like their breakable friends (plates).

Get creative while staging a dining table… Edible options are a fun alternative. *Added bonus: they get tossed away when we’re done… instead of having to be wrapped up like their breakable friends (plates).

When it comes to staging the dining table, I like to add a bit of visual interest.  I definitely want to steer clear of over-doing it because that can be distracting.  With this table, I kept it clean.  A simple runner, decorative finials for height, boxwood bundles for color, and easy white plates give an uninteresting table life (that potential buyers could serve supper on).

Mudrooms are the perfect opportunity to have fun.  They are not as

Mudrooms are the perfect opportunity to have fun. They are not as “serious” as a formal foyer, so live it up when staging this space!

How fun is this mudroom?! It would be a shame to leave this space bare… SOOO I went to town adding straw hats, skeleton keys, throw pillows, and an adorable walking cane.

STAGING TO SELL: mudroom deskIn the mudroom, the builder added this little office nook.  A small lamp, cup of tea, and a notebook transform a cold desk into a cozy niche for anyone’s grocery list endeavors.


Staging built-in book cases can be a daunting task, so keep it simple!

Staging built-in book cases can be a daunting task, so keep it simple!

Built-in’s are a lovely detail that add character to a home, so it is important to stage them up! We want this special feature to embrace buyers and draw them in.  I staged these shelves with a minimal amount of accessories and books to add interest without overwhelming the eye and distracting from the rest of the space.

Scent Sells!

Scent Sells!

With a brand new home, we want to avoid potential buyers being overwhelmed by the scent of fresh paint.  I like to burn candles for ambiance and aroma! The idea is to stimulate all the senses!

STAGING TO SELL :  add the ediblesDon’t stop at smell, nourish their taste buds as well!  Setting out a cheese platter, baked goods, or even a bottle of wine encourages visitors to STAY, have a bite, and chat.  And hey, chatter could lead to a sell!

STAGING TO SELLThere she is…My lovely mother/friend/shrink/doctor/assistant/financial adviser…and today, my florist.

So, there’s the skinny.  Good luck to all of you and your future staging endeavors!



HOLLA for home goods!

Hey y’all!

Not sure if I have ever mentioned it before, but I have a mild obsession with Home Goods.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fancy decor as much as the next decorator, but every now and again a bargain can do the soul some good!  When it comes to decorating I believe there are certain items that should not be skimped on (bed linens, bath towels, etc.).  With that being said, saving a buck or two on accessories is a major plus in my book.  That’s when I head to Home Goods.  I am currently working with a client to decorate her 8-year-old daughter’s bedroom.  After choosing some AMAZING turquoise grasscloth wallpaper, new furniture, bed linens, and draperies, it came time to handle the finishings (my favorite part).  My local Home Goods store is an absolute honey hole.

Here are some of my fabulous finds…

Large scale art for a pop of color.

Large scale art for a pop of color!

Large scale art:

  • Often difficult to find at a price point that doesn’t leave you in a mild state of shock.
  • A great way to make a statement in a space.
  • Ready to hang. No need fussing over a mat or frame.

I fell in love with this piece the moment I saw it.  I was first drawn to it’s amazing colors and it’s substantial size.  BUT I was sold when I saw it’s lovely little price tag.  $65.99!!! For such a large piece of art that is ready to hang, that is a price that can’t be beat.

HOLLA for Home Goods!

I have seen baskets similar to this one in many of my favorite catalogs, and thought they were just darling.  When I stumbled across this one marked at $24, I could not pass it up.  Such a bargain!

HOLLA for home goods! light up art.


If this doesn’t scream “girl’s room” I don’t know what does!  This light-up sign was on clearance for being damaged (missing 2 bulbs…super easy fix).  At $60, I think this piece will be the perfect addition of whimsy and fun to the space.  Don’t ya think??

HOLLA for Home Goods... and this darling light up art!

HOLLa for Home Goods and this darling light-up art!

HOLLA for Home Goods lamp selection!

My absolute favorite section of Home Goods would be, without question, the lamps. As a decorator I have spent a great deal of time sourcing reasonably priced lamps both locally and online.  When shopping locally I am disappointed in the selection.  While shopping online, well, I get sticker shock.  Home Goods has THE most amazing assortment of lamps, and they are all at an even more amazing price point.  This lamp was only $39.95, so I bought 2, of course.

HOLLA for Home Goods

This little trinket box and lumbar pillow were both only $16.

HOLLA for Home Goods!

These are just a few of my fabulous finds! Stay tuned to see how it all comes together in Isa’s fun bedroom makeover.

xoxo, Jordan

GRAY For All Seasons.

GOING GRAY: The Perfect Neutral

Happy Saturday y’all!

Now, I am certainly no expert on picking the perfect paint color the first time around, but I do get lucky sometimes. Nevertheless, with my errors comes a bit of “wisdom.”  Some things I learned the hard way…A gray that looks awesome on Pinterest can look totally different on a paint swatch or in the can.  That gray you loved so much can be totally different on your walls when the sun comes in, or when it’s dark out, or when there is a lamp turned on, and even when there is a sofa sitting in front of it.  It blows my mind .

Here are a few tips…

  • Paint chips really don’t tell us much! That color might look fine in the store, under those awful lights, but we have no way of knowing what it will look like in our home.
  • Get samples! Paint large swatches on multiples walls, and live with it for a day.  This will allow you to see each color at every time of day.  I sure have learned the hard way, that many grays look lavender in the evening.  Not the look I was going for.
  • Look to the bottom.  If you fear that the gray you are initially drawn to looks a bit too blue or purple, look lower on the chip. The darkest color on the paint strip is your bestie!
  • If you absolutely have to pick a paint color in the store, it helps to hold it next to something white.  This will allow you to see it’s true color. A painter also told me to hold the swatch up in air to see it’s true color.  It worked!
  • Go darker!  Once you sort through all of your options and finally pick the ONE you LOVE, go one shade darker.  Just trust me.


When I moved in to my place, the living room walls were painted a strange, muted green color.  Not my thing.  Surprisingly, everyone that came over just swooned over it.  Of course, I will accept any compliment with a gracious smile….but that green HAD to go. STAT!


Check it out. . .

GOING GRAY: the before and after

Here is the finished product…All “gray-ed” out!

GOING GRAY: a living room makeover gets some gray lovin'

 GRAY: The Perfect Neutral



GOING GRAY! A job complete!


xoxo, Jordan