Home Staging

  • Selecting the perfect white paint for your space

    Okay, let’s talk paint. Seemingly simple, selecting the perfect white paint for your space can often feel super overwhelming. I posted a photo on my IG stories last week with several different white paint options searching for the dream white for an exciting project we’ve been working on. I was FLOORED by the amount of DMs I received – y’all were dying to chat about my favourite white paint colour, and many of you were surprised there were so many variations of white. Let me tell ya, white paint is so much more than “white paint.”

    Story time: I come from four generations of painters — yup, this passion for transforming spaces is, apparently, genetic. My great grandfather was a painter back in Scotland, my grandfather started a painting company in the GTA when he came to Canada, my dad took over that company when he retired, and in recent years, my brother has been at the helm.

    While I always appreciate thoughtful use of colour, white paint is unparalleled when it comes to brightening up a space. When staging, it’s the only colour I’ll recommend to my clients for adding an instantly-fresh feel to their home. 

    But, listen – like I said, white paint isn’t just “white paint.” Every white has it’s own unique undertones that can totally impact the vibe of a room overall. Don’t believe me? Try laying out a bunch of different “white,” swatches and you’ll be shocked by the variations. Temperature (cool, warm) and undertones (blue, grey, pink, yellow…) will factor in to how the white will look on your wall, but it doesn’t end there – the space itself can play a major role. Take into account things like how much natural light the space gets, the views out the window, flooring, built-in fixtures, furnishings and artwork, all influence your white paint’s final form.

    There are so many amazing paint brands out there to choose from, but I’m partial to Benjamin Moore because the quality is great and it’s easy to access here in Toronto. My top white paints are what I would call a neutral white (meaning there are no obvious undertones) and read slightly on the warm side. Wanna see?

    Oxford White CC-30

    Simply White OC-17

    When it comes to trim, I tend to use the same white as the walls, but might switch up the sheen depending on the space.

    Yes, this is basically a love letter to white paint — it’s one of my absolute favourite colours to work with! Maybe because of the way it really allows the furnishings and decor to stand out, and works perfectly in a staging environment. Staging your home with white walls will allow the potential buyer to experience a bright space with a neutral feel — a clean slate they can envision themselves in, and won’t need to worry about painting over.

    Still feeling stumped about selecting the perfect white paint for your space? I’m always game to brainstorm a decor vision. Drop me a line!

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  • 6 ways to increase your home’s good vibes

    Have you ever stopped to consider how your home actually makes you feel?

    Sights, sounds, scents, and sensations can have a drastic impact on our mood, and we *all* deserve a home that gives us the happiest of feels. Creating good energy in your home begins with the people living there (aka, you!) so don’t forget about prioritizing those self-care routines – I wrote a whole blog all about thaaat, right here. But, today, we’re talking about the things you can do outside of the Self to fill your space with the good vibes you crave:

    Rearranging: Hands up if you used to arrange and re-arrange your bedroom about 50 times every summer? Turns out, there’s actually something to it. Playing around with a room layout can instantly transform the space, without even purchasing a single new item. Often, we become complacent with our home set-up because it’s part of our comfortable, groundhog-day routine – but when by rearranging furniture and fixtures, you can completely level UP the vibe of your space, and release any feelings of stuckness.

    Plants, plants, more plaaaants: Do I even have to explain? Fresh plants in your home have been proven to boost our mood and reduce stress (I’ll take 20, thanks). Not only can they add to the aesthetic of a space, but they *actually* clean your space by absorbing toxins and produce oxygen. SCIENCE.

    Decluttering: Let. That. Sh*t. Go. It’s time to get rid of anything broken, damaged, or that no longer serves a use for you. Having an organized, clutter-free place to live has huuuuuge benefits to your mental well-being. Decluttering is proven to decrease stress and anxiety, improve your sleep AND boost creativity!

    Smudging: Okay, I know this may be a little woo-woo for some, but I’m a big believer in smudging to clear the energy. My go-to is Palo Santo, because I love the smell, but Sage is a traditional smudging tool and works wonders. Take your stick or bundle and light it (bonus points for using a candle flame to do so!). Once it begins to singe and smoke, let it burn for 30 seconds and then carefully blow it out, moving it around the space you are clearing as the smoke billows. Meditate on the energy you want to get rid of. Once you’ve finished cleansing your space, place the stick in a fireproof bowl and allow it to burn out. You can also do this with antique or previously-loved items before bringing them into your home to clear any past energy.

    Scent: I saved the best for last, because daaaaang. I LOVE me a good candle or a new blend for my diffuser. Smell has the ability to have a strong effect on the experience we have in our environment, creating positive associations and memories within a space. A good scent can instantly help us feel relaxed, and it can *totally* set the vibe of any room.

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  • Spring Style

    A few weeks ago, we were chatting your inbox off about allll things SPRING — remember those dreamy, airy vibes?! As the seasons change, my mind is always on freshening up our staging inventory. A new wave of inspiration hits and I am in full shopping mode.

    I don’t want to give away too much (pssst — follow along over on IG to get the sneak peeks of our latest projects!), but I’ve put together a couple of spring looks with some of our new inventory to give you a little inspo for your next home styling project:

    Look # 1: Colour Me Happy

    Our team was discussing some colour combos we were feeling for spring, and everyone was OBSESSED with the idea of green paired with terracotta and nude tones. Mix that in with black and white and it feels so dang FRESH.

    sofa (Structube), coffee table (EQ3), rug (CB2), chairs (Structube), artwork (CB2), end table (EQ3), pillow (H&M Home), pillow (EQ3)

    Look #2: Not So Boring Neutrals

    This space totally channels my own personal style. I LOVE me some yummy warm neutrals – gimme all the sandy, caramel, toasty tones! The trick here is to use a mix of textures, interesting shapes and just a touch of black to give it some edge.

    sofa (Structube), coffee table (CB2), rug (EQ3), chairs (Zara Home), artwork (CB2), end table (West Elm), pillow (H&M Home), pillow (CB2), pillow (H&M Home), vase (H&M Home)

    As stagers, it’s super important that everything we buy be interchangeable, regardless of seasonal trends. Our inventory needs longevity, and that means making chic decisions that stand the test of time AND hold up to different environments. When deciding on a pair of chairs, for example, we have to consider a multitude of spaces they might work in, allowing our work to remain consistent, but still adaptable in different styles of homes. SO while shopping for new inventory is all kinds of fun, it requires lots of strategy and planning.

    And this begs the question, are you all about the colour or are feeling those neutral vibes? Share in the comments below!

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  • Setting The Stage For The Best New Year Ever

    December is a quiet time in real estate (#GRATEFUL). It’s time to wrap up staging projects, tie up any loose ends and is the absolutely IDEAL time to review the year in business. I’ll let you in on a little secret: the last few months I’ve been working behind the scenes on a project, launching in the New Year. Spoiler alert: It’s BIG. So, while December is typically quiet, this month I am putting all of my energy into this project, while simultaneously looking back at my year in business to set myself up for a truly FRESH New Year.

    Here’s what I’ll be working on:

    Subscription Audit: You probably read this and thought, “…dang.” How many of us have ongoing subscriptions or memberships to things we don’t use or more realistically don’t need?! THIS IS MY [VERY GUILTY] JAM. This month, I plan to list all of my subscriptions (I see you there, Amazon Prime) and note the amount I’m shelling out for each one. From there, I’ll assess my needs. If it’s not a requirement or an investment? Bye bye! You’ll be surprised how quickly these types of expenses add up. Like, for real. It’s spooky.

    Inventory Analysis: Sounds sexy, right? Well, you’re right, it’s not. But you know what is? Walking into 2020 with your ducks in a row, mmmkay? So, take this time to go through your inventory to take note of items you aren’t using, items that feel dated, or anything that is damaged or looking worn. Hiiii, out with the old and in with the new! Next, assess what you might be missing. What stylish holes do you need to fill? Make a list of all the pieces you would like to add to your inventory in the first quarter of 2020. Whether you want to start scouting holiday/Boxing Day sales now, or plan to save the purchases for a rainy day in the coming weeks, it’s a powerful way to get a head start on your Q1 budget.

    Review Your Rates: Throughout the year while we’re busy going from staging project to staging project, it’s hard to step back and take a look at what you are actually making on each project. Actually, this applies to ANY small business. My suggestion? Start a spreadsheet and write out each job or project you took on this year. Include columns that detail what you charged, the expenses involved (including any staff wages!) and the total profit you made (aka, what you charged minus expenses). Next, find your average profit by totalling up the profit column and dividing it by the number of properties you staged. This will give you a clear idea of what you actually brought home. The Goal: determining whether you need to consider upping your rates in 2020. You’re welcomeeee.

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  • Creating A Dream Inventory Without Breaking The Bank

    One of the most common questions I’m asked by aspiring stagers is HOW in the heck did I build my inventory, and how do I manage it long-term. I get it – it seems unfathomable to go from 0 to full-home-staged in no time flat, and truthfully, it requires a lot of thought and intention when it comes to when, how, and what, I purchase. Here are a few of the most valuable inventory building tips I’ve learned along the way:

    1. Don’t buy everything all at once. Intentional buying means staying true to YOUR design aesthetic, only purchasing items that work with other items in your inventory. Practice foresight (I knowwww this is easier said than done in the face of flashy design and great sales) and don’t make purchases on impulse just because it’s a good deal.

    2. Throw it in neutral. Purchasing items in neutral colours will take you SO much further, especially once you start staging multiple properties at once (the dream!). Trust me on this one. If you’re a sucker for a pop of colour, integrate it thoughtfully with the addition of art and pillows. 

    3. Wholesale, baby! Shop wholesale to cut down on costs, but only IF wholesale is the most cost-effective route. Crunch numbers (ew, right?), and make sure the item you’re buying makes sense from a wholesale perspective. In my experience, furniture tends to be a safe bet with wholesale, while accessories can add up more quickly.

    4. Keep it freshhhh when it comes to bedding and towels. I purchase all the SAME bedding & towels, and always in white. White is fresh, simple, NEUTRAL, and gives that lux hotel vibe we all want to visualize ourselves living in. I purchase all the *same* styles, because if something goes missing or gets damaged (because, life) you don’t have to toss an entire set of something – you can just pull from another, and it will still work. 

    Staging is about style, hells yes – but it’s also about being resourceful, intentional, and realistic when it comes to honouring where you’re at, and building toward where you want to be.

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