We always suggest having our team professionally stage homes before hitting the market. When a listing goes live the first thing potential buyers do is view the photos. The first couple of photos need to appeal and grab their attention immediately. Having a staged home not only receives more showings but can have a large impact on the number of days on market and selling price of the home.

It has been an interesting experience selling my long time condo this year. After my most recent tenants moved out we decided to put it up for sale. This condo has special meaning for us because we lived there and had Aiden our son there for the first year. It is just east of downtown Ottawa in Lindenlea (Springfield Road)

First Decision:
The walls were pretty beat up and the colours were not neutral at all. We know we needed to paint the whole condo including the trim and a few doors. Just this alone made a huge difference.

We had the whole place painted with a neutral Benjamin Moore Edgecombe grey. Once painted it looked sooo much better!

Cost $1,800

The Decision:
The biggest dilemma I had was selling it empty or going with a staging plan. In the end, I see the power of staging at work on a daily basis and I thought I better practice what I preach. I decided to rent furniture for all the rooms to ensure my condo showed in its best light. I know how much money is at stake and why take any chances. We had couches, chairs, tables, beds, all delivered to the unit.

Cost: $700 (furniture monthly cost)

Of course, I believe my stager to be the best in Ottawa. She worked with the rental company to make sure I was getting the right pieces in place. Once that was complete she brought in all the little detail pieces that made the biggest impact: artwork, mirrors, candles, bedding, towels, vases, and lots of other decorative pieces.

Cost: Setup/ Staging $600

Rentals: $250 per month

As you can see the prices were piling up. However, look at the before and after. It was definitely worth the money.

Since the house was empty we brought in some artwork to get a sense of style and size. Once we decided on a colour scheme we were able to rent the furniture.



To keep the condo feeling light an airy, we stayed with neutrals and soft pastels. We selected tables that matched the visible kitchen cabinets and dining table. We brought in two of the dining room chairs to keep the rental costs down. Buyers are not buying the furniture but they like to see some furniture placement. Ideally, we would have preferred a larger area rug but we didn’t have any others available in my inventory at the time. Since the ceilings are so high, we used extra tall lamps to balance the artwork. Since there is a lot of pattern in the tile surrounding the fireplace, we knew we had to keep the accessories neutral.



These black iron wall candle sconces fill in the nooks perfectly since they are neutral but the pull out the black from the fireplace. The little black tray on the mantle helps separate the mantle from the wall. The silver mirror ties in with the dining room light fixture and gives a bit of sparkle to the room. A few coloured cushions help draw the eye around the entire room. Luxurious cushions with texture add some elegance to the room. There was just enough black in the artwork to tie in with the fireplace.

Empty Rooms Look Smaller



We brought in a rental bed and dresser but we were able to bring in the end tables and everything else. Remember, when you rent a bed, you still need to add all the linens and bed skirt etc. Since there aren’t any drapes, it was important to add layers of coverlets for dimension and softness.  This bed would have looked boring with only the white or only the tan linens.  The accent cushions give another layer of interest and tie in the artwork.  The artwork fills up the space so we didn’t need to rent a headboard.  The mercury lamps add just enough glam and continue the flow from downstairs.

Office or Bedroom?



Since we had a blank canvas we needed to decide to do stage this room as an office or a bedroom.  In our opinion, it’s easier for buyers to see how they could turn a bedroom into an office, but hard to visualize an office into a bedroom.  Since we already had everything for a bedroom, we went that route. Since the floors are pretty dark, adding a fun textured bed mat really brightened up the room. Even though there is a ceiling light fixture, don’t forget about table lamps for atmosphere.  We love all the different cushions on the bed.  This headboard was one of my best purchases ever.  It instantly gives a room charm and colour.



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