Property staging is invaluable for property developers and homeowners with luxury homes or apartments coming to market. We talk to Christina Parker, founder of Decoroom Ltd, and Jenny Lindsay-Fynn, CEO and Creative Director of Decoroom Ltd, about the benefits of property staging and how it works.
Find out how it can inspire prospective buyers to visualise themselves living in the property and encourage an emotional tie.
We frequently work with property staging companies by creating furniture packages and custom furniture for properties that are being presented to market. An experienced property staging company will understand how each area of a property needs to be furnished and dressed. As a result, the property is presented in the best way possible – both online and in person – and can encourage prospective buyers to imagine themselves in the home.
We spoke at length with the team at Decoroom Ltd about property staging:
What are the benefits of staging a house or property?
Decoroom’s approach to staging is to give character and soul to properties. To create a lifestyle that has an immediate impact for prospective buyers, to steer their emotions. Staging also brings out the property’s features especially its spaces. We are all stunned by how furniture increases the visual space of rooms – the opposite to what most people think intuitively.
Property staging – the service
What is the ideal moment in marketing a property to bring in a house staging expert like yourselves?
We love to be involved early on to discuss with the architects the topography of the property, the proposed layouts, lighting and the overall mood we are trying to create. It enables us to have a lot of thinking time and also reserve some key pieces we would love to introduce. However, we can also operate very fast and within days of seeing a property have the lorries unloading the furniture.
Does house staging ever involve redesign of an interior?
90% of our clients are property developers wanting to stage in order to maximise the appeal of their refurbished properties. However, we are also happy to furnish tired houses where staging is equally transformative. Occasionally we have advised the client to repaint and/or re-carpet but usually those decisions are in the hands of the estate agents.
How long does the home staging consultation process take from initial enquiry to a home being fully styled and staged?
We can move within days for small to medium size properties. For the large super prime where a more bespoke approach is needed we would ask for some 8 – 10 weeks to plan and execute.
For super prime property, how does your service differ?
We offer the basics on a rental basis, some 80 – 90% of the contents will be provided by Decoroom. We will ask for a budget to acquire some special pieces and some bespoke upholstery from bedheads, kitchen stools to integrated sofas for cinemas. This is where Origins Design and Decoroom will work closely together.
“We include everything that would fall out if the house were turned upside down.”
Property staging – the furniture, artwork and fillings
How do you know what furniture, artwork and fillings will work for potential buyers?
The location of the property, its architecture and its size and type (family house versus flat, etc.) are all decisive factors for the conceptual initial planning. The team loves imagining the possible buyer. A professional couple with no children, the boho creative bachelor, the international or English family with teenagers, the foreign investors. We ask ourselves: what likely profile has the potential buyer?
Can property owners rent substantial furniture and fillings from you such as marble fireplaces, large scale artwork, or a bespoke bar?
We include everything that would fall out if the house were turned upside down. Wall lights, ceiling lights, fireplaces, integrated cinema, bars, curtains etc. will have to be bought for the property. They will be part of the fixtures and fittings at the time of the sale. We can provide stand-alone bookcases and organise the hiring of pianos or billiard tables. We can assist with design and procurement if the client needs it.
Is there a difference between home staging and home styling?
One could say styling is the last layer in the process of furnishing a house starting from completely empty spaces. Accessorising the bookcases, bringing ornaments for the furniture, bathrooms, kitchens, cushions, flowers, are all part of the styling. We have a great florist Flicky Wallace who comes and makes wonderful arrangements on site for the final touch.
“…having sofas made-to-order or integrated bedheads is important to give [a property] a very polished finish.”
Property staging – the results
What can property staging achieve?
Speed of sale is where we have a huge impact. The trade body for ‘home stagers’ says that properties that have been dressed sell three times faster than those that have not. Staged properties are much more enticing to trigger a site viewing than empty ones. Occasionally two buyers may fight to acquire the property and it will be sold over the asking price. This can happen when the property is very unusual but there is no guarantee.
How important is it that you can have furniture made bespoke for the houses you are creating furniture rental packages and undertaking house staging services for? Why is bespoke so different to off-the-shelf?
For super prime properties or flats in high-end Mayfair developments, having sofas made-to-order or integrated bedheads is important to give it a very polished finish. Cinemas or bars for example will have to have seating that fits exactly the space allowed. For family houses and individual flats we have enough variety of stock and modular sofas designed by Jenny in collaboration with Origins Design not to generate additional costs for our clients.
How have Origins Design helped you achieve the results that your clients wanted?
Origins Design are brilliant in helping us design these made-to-measure items – they meet us in situ to discuss the requirements and are great at problem solving. We have a very long history of collaboration starting some twenty years ago.
You have your finger on the pulse of the current luxury property market, what is converting prospective buyers into actual buyers? Is it style or more about facilities such as a home office, gym or family space?
Atmosphere, it has to be love at first sight as you browse in the first instance. Especially with internet searching so predominant today in property marketing. The images on the website are crucial to prompt the viewers to want to see the property in person. Location, floor plans, outdoor space, once all these boxes have been ticked – again atmosphere will dictate the emotional tie following a site visit in the flesh.
Many thanks to Christina and Jenny for their time and for giving us such in-depth insight into property staging. If you are interested in understanding why bespoke furniture is a better solution than off-the-shelf alternatives, read our journal post.
If you want to discuss your or your customer’s vision for a bespoke piece of furniture, we are ready to discuss your project. Please get in contact or have a look at our Instagram feed to see the latest bespoke furniture we have made for our clients.