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If you’re staging luxury properties for sale this season, then I have a challenge for you.
Rather than viewing it as an obligation, see it as an opportunity to be your most creative, inspired, and visionary self as you help your sellers wow potential buyers. By doing so, you’ll help those buyers fall head-over-heels in love with their future home.
Real estate is always rewarding, but the staging process is especially gratifying for me. As an artist and a co-founder of The Eastside Staging Company with my husband Sam, I take enormous pleasure in meeting artisans, antique dealers, and crafts makers from all over the world; and with the furnishings, art, and decor we collect, I take great pride in helping agents stage the most memorable, one-of-a-kind homes in Los Angeles.
Again and again, I’ve witnessed firsthand the benefit great staging brings. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen other agents struggle to sell a home off-market for their asking price — only to have it go for hundreds of thousands more once it was painted and staged.
Here are some staging trends I will embrace this spring, and encourage you to do the same.
1. A palette as warm and bright as the weather
Color me excited! In the past year, there’s been a strong departure from austere grays — and I’m thrilled about it. Of course, there will always be places and spaces that complement a moody, dramatic monochrome. But for now, let’s celebrate the fact that homes are feeling warmer and more inviting as they welcome a range of creamy browns and sumptuous earth tones.
Infuse life into your layouts this season with rich saffron reds or glowing goldenrod yellows. I’m particularly enchanted to see more mauve and terracotta appearing in contemporary design.
2. Let the home’s unique history shine through
Isn’t it ironic that history never seems to get old? There are so many amazing styles from the 19th and 20th centuries that continue to generate interest among trendsetters, tastemakers, and celebrities. And for some properties, a storied past is a great asset — in fact, Sam and I are restoring and renovating our own 1912 craftsman home in Los Feliz. The key is bringing that past into the present while staying true to its authenticity.
A lot of staging is “safe” — plain, simple, and modern. But a home may have accents and flourishes that hearken back to a particular period, and you shouldn’t be afraid to include furniture and accessories that highlight those in an interesting and intuitive way.
That’s why staging luxury homes should never be one-size-fits-all. While I pay attention to design and lifestyle trends, I bring a bespoke approach to each property and blend design styles based on the home. This method of curation is more interesting and has a major impact on my sellers’ bottom line.
3. Create character and charm, room by room
As you honor the different aesthetic and historical elements of the home, and as you permit yourself to be more exuberant with your colors and prints, you should also allow yourself to be eclectic.
A home doesn’t need to follow a single consistent theme. Instead, you can let each space speak for itself according to its form and function. The most interesting homes and designers don’t focus on one style — they transcend trends and decades to create something that feels real.
4. Incredible inspiration comes from near and far
What’s the best place to spot new trends? Instagram is good, and not only because it’s a platform primarily built for sharing images. It’s global, so you’re not just seeing what’s happening in your city; you’re seeing what’s going on in Seoul, Mexico City, Madrid, Copenhagen, and beyond.
But local influences can be just as fascinating, and your street, neighborhood, and city can be a source of wonder. Real residences belonging to intriguing, design-forward individuals — artists, musicians, academics — help me imagine new possibilities. So do the homes featured in publications such as Architectural Digest and Elle Decor.
5. Put some spring into your next staging project
A final word of advice: if you haven’t already, educate yourself on the history and architecture of the market you serve. I’ve studied the design history of Los Angeles extensively; it informs how I help my buyers find the perfect home and how I support my sellers in staging their properties before listing.
It’s a season of new beginnings, so be bold, be audacious, and reconnect with that flair for creative problem-solving that brought you to real estate in the first place.
Tatiana Tensen is a top producer for Sotheby’s International Realty. She has expert negotiation skills and an extensive knowledge of Los Angeles history and architecture. As a buyers’ agent, she’s a neighborhood matchmaker specializing in introducing people to the Los Angeles real estate market. With most homes getting multiple offers, Tatiana shines by out-negotiating the competition during bidding wars while making sure her clients do not over pay. As a listing agent, Tatiana knows the most crucial decisions are made prior to the home even going on the market. With extensive knowledge of the local markets and market trends, Tatiana will strategically position your home to sell quickly and for the most money possible.
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