Not so fast. For all its beauty, this loft was uninhabited and felt too cold and sparse when it came time to sell it, and its owners needed some help to make it feel more homey.
I recently worked on staging this loft to prep it for its sale, and wanted to share the details with you. I've been helping friends stage their homes for years (and have staged my own homes too) but this is the first time I was officially hired to do it for a client, and I'm very proud of the results :)
Come on in and take a look to see how this already-great-space was transformed to make it ready for primetime on the real estate market.
|2nd Floor, Corner Unit -- the only unit in the building with walls of windows|
Despite its lovely physical qualities, the loft's owners had already moved out into their new home, originally planning to turn the loft into a rental. It was empty of any personal touches like artwork, photography, books, food: any signs of human life. In the past, all the staging I've done centred on getting rid of as much stuff as possible to declutter, make more room, and clear the way for prospective buyers' imaginations. In this case, it was the opposite: We needed stuff!
Because it was intended to be a rental, they had left behind basic furniture: a bed + bedside tables, a dining table, desk, bookcase and couches. And a few plain dishes in the kitchen. So that was our starting point.
The Must-Do List:
- Warm the space up with personal decor items like artwork, books and flowers.
- Change the layout of the furniture to enhance the gorgeous architecture.
- Keep expenses to a minimum, use what we have on hand.
- Make any necessary purchases with the consideration that they would have to fit into decorating the new house later on.
- I also wanted to rethink and repurpose the pieces that were already there.
To top things off, I got to work with my bestie who I rarely see because she lives in another city. Between all the laughs, the decor decisions and the ongoing declarations of genius, I can't think of anyone I'd rather do a fun project like this with!
Here are some Before and After shots, with comments about why we did the thing we did:
The Living Room
|Living Room - After|
|An urban landscape photo of LA lends itself well to this space|
|A unexpected pop of bright pink changes the vibe|
|Here's the living room in the daylight...|
The Master Bedroom
|The Bedroom - Before.|
In the bedroom, also featuring its vast bank of windows, wall of closets and floor-to-ceiling drapes, we needed to add some personality, a touch of luxury and a welcoming feel.
We did this by adding a framed print of the Eiffel Tower -- Paris being a much-loved and memory-filled city for the owners -- crisp white bedding, and matching mercury-glass Pottery Barn-style lamps.
|Bedroom - After|
|New shimmery mercury-glass style lamps|
|Crisp white bedding|
|A simple, luxe feel. Rich colors go together. Making use of a tan bed cover that was on hand.|
As if by happy accident, the golden champagne tones of the bed coverlet and drapes work in easy harmony with the lamps and print of the Eiffel tower.
The challenge here was that this giant bookcase was dividing the space in two. This was handy for living, but not great for the sale. My main goal here is to wow people with the giant amount of space, so I want to move anything that's in the way.
|Office Space - Before|
|Office - Before|
|A view toward the inside of the loft - Before|
|The Office - After|
|The big picture - After|
The Kitchen & Dining
The kitchen is well-sized and very functional. The goal here was to clean it up and make a breakfast nook on the island to make it inviting. While the plain Ikea barstools were okay, I rented two white-leather-and-chrome barstools to bring things up a notch and make the space feel more elegant & grown up.
I also got a set of 4 sleek dining chairs that work well in the space, in a style similar to the new barstools. We repositioned the dining table parallel to the kitchen island so they would photograph better together.
|Kitchen - Before|
|The white seating is elegant and simple.|
|Kitchen Island place setting|
|Kitchen Island place settings with a view onto the park below|
I find that staged table settings can really be hit or miss. It's hard to get it just right. I tend not to like those that are too fussy and feel too put-on, too stagey... Particularly when there is just too much silverware and glassware and it evokes a formality not suited for everyday living. In this space, I did place settings to offset the starkness of the concrete slab, keeping things to a minimum and leaving out silverware (which inevitably gets crooked and calls attention to itself).
This room had some simple repairs that needed doing, and needed cleaning to bring it to a shine. After that, it was about making it lush like a high-end hotel bathroom.
|Bathroom - Before|
|Bathroom - After|
|Bathroom accessories - After|
The Front Hall
The front hall started off crowded with stuff, which got hauled away little by little. I ended up moving this sideboard piece elsewhere into the apartment, to make this hallway as bare as possible. (Note, there is a wall of closets and drawers to the left, so additional storage was not necessary here.)
|Front Hallway - Before|
Introducing some color...
|Yours truly :)|
We repositioned the full length mirror, which now reflects this lovely and soothing new piece of art.
|Front Hallway - After|
Behind the Scenes...
To obtain 4 dining chairs and 2 stools for the kitchen island, I reached out to Rentan Rentals in Montreal. They were easy to work with and we were happy with the prices.
|1st time working with our friends @ Rentan Furniture Rentals|
|My idea of Heaven. Am I normal?|
|More Heavenly options|
Then it was off to IKEA to round up the missing bedding, bathroom goodies and greenery. Yay! I heart IKEA!
|Scoping out plant options @ IKEA -- Faux Bamboo plant. Tall and skinny, exactly what we need to fill a corner.|
|A trunk full of goodies from IKEA. Um, yes. Double like.|
Our Challenge:The gigantic empty bookcase. A tricky X-Large 5x5 bookcase... That's a lot of cubbies to fill!
My plan was not to fill them completely with carloads and carloads of stuff, but rather have colorful things that catch the eye and distract from the sparseness.
Here, a cut-up event calendar from a magazine makes for an interesting visual to fill an empty frame.
|Filling an empty frame with a colorful magazine page|
Long-stemmed faux-hydrangeas were cut short and put in a little juice glass. You can never go wrong with white flowers. Plus, I wanted to use what we had on hand.
Boxes of books and magazines later...
The bookcase starting to look a bit fuller -- we have a long way to go!
This wall had some sticky gunk on it that couldn't be cleaned off, but we didn't have the time or desire to do a full repaint job. So we got crafty.
|Getting crafty with an old calendar, and some inexpensive frames|
|This is how we camouflaged it|
And then, we made one more.
|Another piece of Homemade art using an old calendar page|
And there you have it. Next time I'll come by gorgeous out-of-date calendars, I'm going to stock up!
I hope you enjoyed the tour. I look forward to doing lots more of this kind of work, I just love it.
Till next time,