All I did was....Home Staging Success Stories


All I did was... paint out the green elephant in the kitchen!

Advantage Staging was called in to do a consultation on this property for sale in Newmarket at 620 Heddle Cresent. It's been 5 long months with no offers. What could be the problem? It's in a desirable location, it is a well proportioned, large home with a finished basement.

When I entered the kitchen that's when I saw the "green elephant" sitting there. Hunter green kitchen cabinets with hunter green formica counter tops. They were also in the master ensuite (double vanity!) and the main bathroom.

620 heddle newmarket kitchen   620 heddle newmarket kitchen

The first thing I recommended was to paint the cabinets a neutral colour so that they look like what buyers see when they look in current magazines and kitchen displays. No sense trying to sell what was in fashion in the early 90's.  The clients weren't too impressed with me as these were wood cabinets. They didn't know you could or would paint solid wood cabinets. Took them a week to decide but here are the results of my painter's efforts.

   620 heddle newmarket kitchen after   620 heddle newmarket kitchen after

I also painted the focal wall opposite the kitchen cabinet area the same colour as the counter top. Of course I called in my professional photographer to capture the transformation for the listing photos and the virtual tour. If you are going to market your listing to todays techie buyers using iphones and blackberries, you need to have an outstanding online presence.

   620 heddle newmarket kitchen after 620 heddle newmarket kitchen after


Investment, minimal.

Impact, priceless.

Do you have a property that Advantage Staging could help market to your buyers?

Call Michelle Finnamore to simplify the seemingly complex decisions that need to be made.

Two offices to serve you better.

Vaughan and area   416.928.2999

Barrie and area       705.720.0113

Michelle Finnamore  CSP

2010 National Association of Home Builders U.S.A Silver Award for design

2010 Ontario Home Builders Association Silver Award for design

2010 CSP Entrepreneur of the Year Award

2009 Trail Blazer Company of the Year Award


Comment balloon 20 commentsMichelle Finnamore • February 01 2011 02:03PM


Awesome transformation Michelle, great job.

Posted by Nancy Fraser, Realtor, Massapequa Homes for Sale 516-729-0278 (Exit Realty Premier) over 9 years ago

What an incredible difference! 

Posted by Mark Schweller, Building Communities; One Home at a Time (A. Meadows Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Nancy, the client actually sat in their kitchen for about a half hour just looking around when we were finishes staging. They couldn't believe the change. The painter was in the day before I staged. We completed staging the house in 2.5 hours with a crew of six. I will be posting more photos of the property showing how we staged the rest of the house.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

WOW....that is one stunning transformation!!!  Hardly looks like the same kitchen!  But then that was the point of painting that "elephant"

Posted by Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging (Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA) over 9 years ago

Huge difference.

Posted by Wade Mattingly (WEICHERT Realtors--Bluegrass Living) over 9 years ago

Hi Mark, it truly was incredible. I know when I try to describe to the client what it will look like when it is done, they really have no idea as to how  updated it will look. They are happy clients now after trusting me with the colour selections.

Hi Kathy, yes we have to get the elephants out the rooms so that buyers see a product that they want to buy.

Hi Wade, Huge as in "elephant" huge!

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago


I can only imagine how thrilled your clients were.

Congratulations. Your home staging is being featured in the group Staging Before and After Pictures.


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 9 years ago

Michelle- Wow... what a great transformation.  The kitchen now looks bright, airy and up to date.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 9 years ago

Michelle - the differnce between night and day on how this kitchen now looks! Your client must be thrilled that they followed your advice! Love the dining room too - great rug!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) over 9 years ago

HI Kathy, Thank you for the feature! I really wanted to show clients how easy it is to transform a dated kitchen. To paint the kitchen, double vanity and the single vanity, all  three countertops and the focal wall was a $1000. Money well spent I think.

HI Kathy, I always explain to my clients that space and light sells houses. This was the perfect example of that theory.

Hi Kristine, I don't usually place area rugs in the kitchen area however, this kitchen was HUGE! It helped to ground the table and chairs and to co ordinate the colour in the focal wall to the counter tops.  The rug was on sale at Rona Hardware for $120 for an 8 x 10. great value.  As my tag line says, investment minimal, impact priceless.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Love the changes you made and that you noted how your clients were not initially thrilled with your recommendations but loved the results.  I too love how the large area rug added warmth to that dining area.  Great choices and changes!

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 9 years ago

HI Ginger, the clients were definitely thinking I was completely wrong in suggesting the cabinets be painted. As you can see, it even helps to neutralize the fact that the light fixture is from the 90's as well.  The area rug definitely made the room. Without it, there was  a huge echo in the room. The colours helped to tie the focal wall to the other side of the room. All in all, the red and gold colour choices speak for themselves. Not a neutral palette, but one that introduces a happy, welcoming feel to the house.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

OMG! I have tried to get more sellers to do this kind of thing!!! We even have a gal here in town who can paint formica countertops to look like marble or granite! Her work is AWESOME!

How in the world did you get the sellers to agree???

Posted by Heather Russo, SRES , REALTOR, Kerrville, Texas Homes for Sale (Keller Williams Realty - Kerrville) over 9 years ago

HI Debra, that's a super idea! I have been using an IPAD to show my work as it is a great presentation tool.

Hi Heather, it was a team effort to get the older couple to agree to this makeover. I had staged the son's house twice in the last two years so he already knew my work. I had never painted his cabinets but he knows that staging works. Between the two of us endorsing this idea, the owners agreed and voila!  You have a brand new, updated look to the property without buyers deducting 1,000's of dollars to replace the kitchen and the two bathroom vanities. 

You are lucky to have such a talented painter at your disposal. I don't know what I would do without my lady painter. She takes care of my clients like gold and the clients are always very happy with the results.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

You really nailed this, Michelle ... of course, the kitchen looks brighter and larger, but adding the same color to accent wall in dining area w/modest amount of furniture was genius.  The half round window is well enhanced.  Boy, you're good!

Posted by Cynthia Pagiatakis (Initial Impressions) over 9 years ago

HI Cynthia, thank you for stopping in to see this transformation. Love your daisy logo as I am a huge daisy fan myself.  Just like the daisy represents pure and simple that is how I stage homes. Just adding modest amounts of colour to bring definition to a space is how I like to present homes. The room was HUGE and as the furniture was brought in from the clients other home so we didn't have lots of pieces to work with. Paint was an inexpensive way to bring warmth to a large room without breaking the bank.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Wow, what a difference paint made!  Great transformation.

Posted by Kate Talarico, RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager (Kates Home Staging and Interior Design) over 9 years ago

Michelle--Great transformation.  Beautiful work.  Paint is often our best friend. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 9 years ago

HI Kate, thanks for stopping in to see this make over. Really was such a difference. the home owner still can't believe it!

Hi Janet, paint is often our very best friend. As you know, it is the least expensive way to change the look of a room. In just a few hours this home has gone from "uh oh" to "this is a really nice kitchen, I don't have to do a thing".

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Fantastic transformation!! I am glad your clients finally trusted your expertise and PAINTED!!  Priceless!!

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) over 9 years ago

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