Have you ever had a thought, and when you started to look into it, it lead you to something related, but different? That's what happened to me when I was putting together my post for the January blog collaboration with Olioboard. Today I'm joining nine design bloggers and home stagers to discuss home staging! The point of view I was going to take was staging for the seasons, but then I remembered a post I had done called Lifestyling & Visualizing a Vacancy. I wrote the post in May 2010. I had only been blogging for six months -- and I had not yet learned about Olioboard. I wanted to demonstrate how I would stage a vacant home I had toured during an open house... but all I had were separate Realtor's photographs of the space, a rough hand drawn sketch of the layout I did, and a view inspirational images plus the items I was suggesting. I remember struggling to get the flow of words right so that the readers could see my vision. Two months later, I discovered Olioboard -- Two years later... OH THE POSSIBILITIES for Realtors and Stagers!

 Above: Olioboard Online Room Staging
Below: The naked listing - A space void of purpose & lifestyle.

Realtors and Stagers can really benefit from having professional or wide-angle lens photos taken of a listing - especially if the listing is vacant. We've all seen the shows on HGTV: Clear the clutter, open the windows, let light in - but to a buyer skimming through photo's online, they may not be able to imagine how an empty space would look with their furniture, or any furniture. 

That is why staging is so important for the sale of a house: Having furniture in place gives a room function & purpose. The furniture gives a point of reference to a buyer to know what will - or won't - fit into a space. 

And where do people go FIRST when they are deciding to buy a home or not? They shop online. All the more reason to create excitement in a vacant space with Online Room Staging!

When a house has historical value to add, you really want to enhance those attributes, charm and character. For example, the amazing mosaic tile work for the Hollywood (FL) home built in 1936 is a fantastic inspiration for not only interior colors, but the exterior as well. 

The french door here at the back of the house can be seen from from the front of the house when standing in the living room, and looking through the dining space: CALL THEM OUT with a simple coat of black paint for an INSTANT 'Focal Point' :)

The pitch in the roof creates a triangular effect on the wall: The best shape to place in a triangle is a circle. This also helps to draw the eye up and enjoy the volume in the space. Layering in tall plants, especially palms in Florida, here bring the outside in and also draw the eye up.

Speaking of looking up, the existing ceiling fans are a functional plus to a sunroom - no need to switch them. For ambient lighting, combine different light levels around the room from: floor lamps, table lamps and up lights in corners.

Windows need not only be framed or covered with panels alone: decorative screens can help diffuse light, give privacy, and add a touch of pattern, which here relates back to the Mosaic tile floor.

Using an ombre rug merges both the b&w in the space without it being a graphic pattern or solid. Going for a round rug vs. a rectangle helps anchor the flow of conversation by floating the chairs in the center of the room. Can be used with slipper chairs,  club chairs or if space (& budget) permit: go for four chair & a 1/2 from C&B.

Pulling together the look of before and after is as easy as uploading the vacant space to Olioboard, and using it as your board backdrop, sourcing product images, and even a few Pinterest images can help buyers see the potential of the living space.

 (my sketch from 2010)

Here's the (vacant) view from the back of the house (sunroom) through the dining space, just off the kitchen, and next to the door to the garage...

 No windows in the narrow dining space and no chandelier, but easy to remedy (in real life for design or for home staging):

1. Open up the narrow space with mirrors. Simple black frames will relate back through to the sunroom black painted french doors.

2. Have a certified electrician add a junction box & canopy in the ceiling, centered to the fabulous deco arch. Keep the feel natural & neutral with a double-drum woven chandy.

3. Not all details were meant to be salvaged: switch out the 1930's sconce for a little black + bling.

Add a simple touch of nature with green grasses for the centerpiece and floor basket.

The floor covering through the dining area and living room are all Cuban-Spanish tiles - a touch of Spanish heritage can work in the livingroom, but for the dining space, add a little Miami flare with a patterned woven rug and stud details on leather chairs. Go grand with grey linen slip cover hostess chairs...

See how the words yes can paint a picture? But having a board set with the described room can speak louder than the words And just think: No furniture to order - no back to break.  

Realtors would be able to print the staged space onto their property marketing brochures. For Stagers, online staging projects can help pick up where some staging projects may have dropped due to the economy, short sales and even foreclosures.

Now on to the living room...

Although the white ceiling fans can help circulate the sea air (this house was in Hollywood, off the Inter-coastal), I'd switch the ceiling fans for a pair of carriage chandelier's from Ballard Designs.

An "L" shaped sofa floating in the center works for lounging by the fire, drinks and convos with friends or watching TV. The fireplace surround is a deco relief. Although it still has some of it's color, it could be painted cloud white.

White works well in this space and is a huge part of the South Florida lifestyle. The white stucco walls, some curved, work, or all the spaces could be painted shades of pale grey or sage green...

Not just for Designers, but for homeowners, buyers, sellers, Realtor's and Home Stagers...
Using Olioboard ROCKS for presentations! 

I saw the listing in May 2010, but it was originally listed in 2009. While writing this post I learned the place had sold in 2011. It was interesting to see the images - with furniture - from the new owners, who had listed it (or the bank did) again in 2012...

The Real Estate listing photos I used were by
When I saw the house, Joan had said the house was 'just' freshly painted (SMH) I said (to myself - the wrong color: a better choice would have been calmer)... Maybe even a lighter value of the green from the fireplace or grey with white trim...

So I was SO HAPPY to see the new owners REpainted the house... 

BUT... I wasn't happy to see they converted the deco arch  to a square....

And I guess the owners took their own pictures for the listing... and you can see a HUGE difference: The place doesn't show as large as it is... plus: too much clutter for selling (too many personal pictures, candle holders and I don't know what on the fireplace)

Doing your own staging to sell is great when tackling some of projects for updating:

  • Refresh dated existing furniture "sets" with a new finish & hardware.
  • Update 80's yellow brass finishes with Rustomleum's oil-rubbed bronze.
  • Lighted up heavy brick fireplaces with a new fitting or paint.
  • Update tired & dated oak cabinets in white, grey, espresso or black + remove some door to help lighten the look.

Here's a few additional DIY posts to help with staging + my own experience staging and selling our townhome in Florida...

Thank you so much for stopping by today! This was a (mini) blast from the past, to revisit an existing project and do it in a new way. I hope it was helpful!

 Online Staging can be a lead to styling the house after the buyers move in.

For TONS more staging help, fun & tips, head over to these fabulous ladies to take in their perspective on Home Staging for today's Home Staging - Before & After OlioHop!

January 2013 OlioHop Banner created by Frances Newman.

Marilyn G. Russell

Ronique Gibson 

Linda Merrill 

Roslyn Ashford 

Frances Newman

Stephanie Weeks

Kristie Barnett 
BONUS: Also see Kristie's post at HOUZZ: 

Staging vs. Decorating: What's the Difference?


and the corporate blog of 

Connect with Olioboard + its creative community members on

Thanks again for stopping by!



  1. Always look forward to your blogs because you leave no stone unturned. The use of real life examples of unstaged versus staged is an example of how to sell a house quickly! Love this!

  2. Lynda great way of showing the owner's home before and after with your sketches, photos and of course Olioboards! There is nothing better than a homeowner being able to see how you can transform their home before they hire you to depict what homebuyer appeal it will have after. I especially like the idea of opening up a narrow hallway with mirrors :)

  3. Black + White + Bling - love it Lynda :-)

  4. Love this Lynda!! Love the tip of updating the pantry. Can you imagine a potential buyer opening the pantry only yo find a disaster. It's all about the presentation and the places such as the pantry is not exempt. As always, excellent job!!! So much fun to OlioHop with you....xo

  5. I love the boards you made of an actual home because it really helps me to visualize your concept. Isn't Olioboard great? I panic when I leave the house without a pocket camera these days! The wide angle lens is an absolute must! This house had a LOT of architectural interest, and I was especially delighted to hear you say that you wanted to flow with what the architect had in mind for the space, as well as the Spanish floor tile. I agree white works with homes that have lots of interesting architectural details and natural light, and selecting the wrong color can be disasterous. Great job Lynda as always!

  6. WOW - just wow. Your concept boards made such a huge difference in these rooms - the people who bought the home should have used your boards as a design map to decorate the home when they moved in!

  7. Loved how you took an older project and updated it with Olioboard. And continuing the update with the most recent sales photos. Too bad they aren't taking your advice! You do create the most interesting and professional looking boards Lynda with all your graphics!

  8. Lynda, I love the real life application. Your boards and graphics are amazing! Great job!

  9. You are simply amazing! I always love what you create! This is a fantastic post!

  10. Such a great, great post! I love that there were lots of pictures and explanations. Your boards are amazing! Good job on the postcard you created, the quote is cute and it's great to see before & after pictures to compare between them.

  11. Lynda, Lynda, Lynda...where do I begin?! You continually amaze me with your tallent and your brilliance. The impact of your your before & afters are perfection! Such beautiful Olioboards and your grouped/summary boards are fantastic. Congratulations on another wonderful #OlioHop, you're my fave!!! xo #soulsistah

  12. Lynda ~

    As the representative of Olioboard, we all want to say thank you for once again producing an outstanding post for this OlioHop! We all appreciate it very much -you've gone above and beyond, over and over again. It is for this reason, plus your support of the other community members on the site since the day it opened 2. 5 years ago + your skill and expertise in using Olioboard's tools, that Olioboard 's founders have invited you to be the first permanent participant in each OlioHop going forward. Congratulations, Lynda!

    Now, on to my own thoughts on this post, as me, Leslie.

    First of all, I want to say that this post really showed the significance of good photography -- a point that is so important when you are going to sell a home --as so many buyers these days do their research on the internet and on mobile phones and are flipping fast through picture after picture.

    Having strong, clean, well lighted , wide angle photos is so important in attracting those initial inquires.

    In this post you show over and over again how powerful 3D visuals are in helping people see the possibilities for their homes or in helping a developer's agent help their potential buyers see just how a space can look.

    I sincerely hope your readers and/or local developers decide to hire you for your services after seeing how immensely talented you are at staging style!

    Thank you again, Lynda ~

    Leslie / @tkpleslie

  13. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. Thanks a ton for such a nice post.

    staging companies



Related Posts with Thumbnails