You have been looking around for that perfect dream home or condominium and you are constantly astounded by the beauty or the décor and how clean the environment is. It helps you to picture yourself living there. Who helps to design this space you are dreaming of living in?
Well, there is a special name for creating new home spaces through cleaning and décor so you will want to live in them – it is called home staging. Colleen Palmer with Distinctive Nest is one of the people who creates these beautiful spaces you see when you are out house or condominium shopping.
“We’ve been around for a couple of years now,” says Palmer. “Officially a year old. We usually try to work with real estate agents, but that is not always the case. Usually the real estate agents phone us up and we go in for a consultation. Sometimes the home owner phones us up.”
Palmer, working with her partner Nancy Durelle, goes into a space to assess what needs to be done.
“Usually it’s some basic, basic simple things,” Palmer says. “It’s basically de-cluttering. Little things like family photos, buyers want to see artwork. Sometimes it’s just the colour, if it’s really wild then we change the colour. Plus furniture…there is too much furniture in the room. And we place that in storage as well. It’s sort of like house cleaning and decorating combined.”
She says her favourite places to work on are the new developments.
“We have also done some model homes as well, some homebuilders and that is even more fun because you have a blank palette to work with,” says Palmer. “We rent the furniture and we stage the house so it looks like it is lived in. If a homeowner loves the house the way it is, they will buy all the furniture in there. Usually it’s the drapes whether it be blinds or fabric drapery…it’s made to fit that window. Windows are not always a standard size, so it’s made to fit that window and goes with the house.”
Home staging is an acquired art that comes with training and experience.
“I’ve got a certificate from Sheridan College and I’m a certified in interior decorating…the two things are house cleaning and decorating at the same time,” says Palmer. “Yeah…I can see myself living in this home and that is why it’s called a stager.”
Palmer says home staging is basically a new phenomenon.
“It’s only been about the last three to five years that it’s been around. The housing market really took off, the houses that were staged would sell faster and usually you get more money for them. What is it about my house that people would find attractive? If people don’t like my house then they’ll go ‘whiffle’…but they will, they’ll go down the street and they’ll buy. I think because the market took off that this staging of houses has become so popular.”
With Distinctive Nest, Palmer also offers other services besides just cleaning and decorating that go along with the home staging.
“We also do flower arranging that for staging is good as well. A nice decoration on a hall table or a dining table. We can do artificial and real flowers and it really helps to decorate a house.”
Palmer has some tips when it comes to home staging.
“When you do stage a house, you certainly will help to sell the house faster because I will buy house number 37 because it has neutral colours. Down the road it’s money in your pocket and you can move down the road with whatever changes in your life that you want to make.”
Distinctive Nest normally charges $100/hour for a consultation to see what needs to be done in order to launch the home staging. After that, once they have gone there for the first hour then it is a $100 for every hour.
“You are getting two people for a hundred dollars an hour so I think people are really getting their money’s worth,” says Palmer.
For Distinctive Nest, when it comes to home staging, business is good all year round as the housing market continues to boom. For more information about Distinctive Nest, you can visit their website at: http://www.distinctivenest.ca.