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


All I did was.... place the furniture properly, add artwork, chandelier and a floral

In this example, I would like to demonstrate the critical importance of furniture placement when selling a home.

On viewing listings on the MLS, buyers will not place your listing on their "Must See List" if your photos do not show the space and scale of a room properly. Placing the furniture in a way that is not a distraction to the room is a very important part of marketing a home.

The before and after photos show how well placed furniture actually makes the room look larger. And in Real Estate, we are always selling space and light. The two most sought after features in any property.

In this dining room in The Beaches in Toronto all I did was position the furniture to allow everyone to sit around the table without feeling crowded, added artwork showing people getting together for a good time and installed a proper dining room light fixture. Now buyers can see how they could have their family and friends over for dinner and fabulous get togethers.

Advantage Staging will market your property to stand out from the competition every time.

Investment, minimal.

Impact, priceless.

unstaged kitchen

staged kitchen

Comment balloon 39 commentsMichelle Finnamore • November 14 2008 05:38PM


Huge difference in the look and feel of the room. It really is amazing how just little touches makes all the difference. Great job!

Posted by Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary, First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes (LemonTree Realty) about 11 years ago

Michelle, I'm loving your before and afters.

That was rather smart to move the dining table out from the wall and use those sleeker stools that actually store away better than the others (that stuck out like a sore thumb).

Great job.

Posted by Lanette Branch, Bel Air, MD REALTOR (RE/MAX Components) about 11 years ago

Looks great! The warm color from the light sets the mood for the room. The darker barstools balances the other furniture.

Posted by Patty Carroll about 11 years ago

At first glance, I didn't even realize the light fixture had been changed out. Truly a great job w/this one, Michelle.

Posted by Lanette Branch, Bel Air, MD REALTOR (RE/MAX Components) about 11 years ago

Looks amazing, so warm and inviting. Sooooo, much better than before! Great Job! ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Small changes, big difference in the overall effect. 

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) about 11 years ago

Awesome transformation once again, Michelle.

Congratulations.  Your post is being featured in the group; Staging Before & After Pictures.


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( about 11 years ago

Hi Kathy, thank you for the feature! I appreciate the recognition of my work. I try to educate Realtors and Homeowners how simple changes can make a dramatic difference to the amount of equity they get out of the property.

Hi Norma, that is exactly the response that I look for with my style of Staging.

Hi Brian and Rita, exactly the feeling I was trying to create. This home is where they could celebrate all their family gatherings and have lots of room for everyone.

Hi Lanette, the lighting is the jewellery in the home. It is like when you wear great jewellery with a little black dress. The existing light fixture was not suitable for a dining room. It would be like wearing a candy necklace with your great black dress. You just wouldn't do that. The stools were the other addition that I made to the kitchen right beside the dining room. They tied in the furniture nicely and completed the look. Just like you wouldn't wear flip flops with that little black dress.

Hi Patty, the paint colour really made the dark furniture stand out and create the right mood for the room.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

Hi Heather, thank you for stopping in to see my work. The homeowner's had never thought of changing the light fixture but after seeing it installed they couldn't believe they hadn't thought of such a simple, inexpensive upgrade to change the look and feel of the room.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

Michelle, I love what you did, the room DOES look much larger and it looks lovely!  Congratulations on your feature!!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 11 years ago

It looks terrific!  I like the thought that lighting is like jewelery.  Mine I think qualifies for the cheap fake stuff instead of the diamonds.  Need to work on that.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

Michelle, very important to declutter furniture and add space and light to a room. Very good illustration.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

Great job.  I love the transformation. 

Posted by Rosalinda Morgan, "The Rose Lady" about 11 years ago

the placement of furnature can make a huge difference in the appearance of a room

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi there,

Wow, what a great job. Share more!

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) about 11 years ago

Congrats on the feature!  Good job.

Posted by Mike in Tucson (not logged in) about 11 years ago

The big feature star!!!  Yeah...Great staging example and beautiful paint color.  Rich and lovely and nice choice in bar stools.  You go girl...

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - about 11 years ago

The first thing I noticed was that table against the wall...your second photo shows remarkable improvement.

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) about 11 years ago

Very nice example of how big an impact home staging can make. Thanks for sharing, and also showing the simplicity of a single message with 2 photos as I almost always try to communicate too much in a single post.

Posted by Tina Gleisner, Home Tips for Women (Home Tips for Women) about 11 years ago

Hi Carole, as the room was long and narrow and the table and hutch were oversize for the room, I knew that by pulling the table out from the wall it would improve the look of the room immediately. Thank you for stopping in to see.

HI Cindy, Even "cheap" jewellery can be made to look more expensive with paint if the light itself has good form. Unfortuantely, this lighting fixture did not have good form for a dining room.

HI Gary, just like you always say in a round about way. Get the clutter out of your life and everything looks better!

HI Roland, as I always say, you are selling space in real estate.Whether you have a 1200sq.ft. home or a 4000 sq. ft. home, the job of a professional Stager is to make it appear larger.

HI Candice, the photographer did an absolutely fabulous job of capturing the money shots of this property.

Hi Lynda, if you would like to see more, I posted 3 examples from this property. I also have more "All I did was.." series on my AR home page for you to click on. Enjoy!

Hi Mike, Thank you for looking at my feature. I appreciate it very much.

HI Terrylynn, I love those bar stools. I put them in almost every house. As they are a classic design they seem to fit in no matter the style of the home. Thank you for the encouragement. :)  You know I wish we were closer to each other.

HI Diane, It seems such a simple idea after you see the two photos, but the homeowner's always had it like this.

Hi Tina, you are right. When you are writing a post the first thing to remember is to keep it short. Relay the message in a simple and straightforward way. I have always been told I call a spade a spade. I am not a flowery speech maker that's for sure. There is a feature article here on AR about this very subject.

Thank you to everyone for checking out my work. I hope to show Realtors how implementing simple ideas really do make a difference in the amount of money a house sells for and shortens the number of days on market. Professional Staging saves money all round. PLUS.... and this is the biggy..... the client thinks their Realtor is one smart cookie. They become loyal to that Realtor and refer them to all their friends and family. They have a great story to tell everyone they know. And who wouldn't like that?

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

Power packed post.  The pictures say it all!  What was the actual investment?

Posted by Michelle about 11 years ago

It is amazing how much a staged home will recieve offers compared to non-staged homes when all other factors (price) are the same

Posted by James Wexler ( about 11 years ago

Great job and it does show very well. I believe staging (even lightly) makes a huge difference.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) about 11 years ago

It sometimes does not take a lot to make a huge difference. You did a great job. All the best.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 11 years ago

Looks great!

Posted by Anonymous about 11 years ago

I too was curious as to how much money it cost to make this change.  The first thing I noticed in the first picture was the table was against the wall.  That makes me think that the room is too small.  The second picture makes it look great.  Keep up the great work!

Posted by Jason Fleming (Jason Fleming Agency INC) about 11 years ago

Staging rocks and it is becoming almost a must in this market. Price and condition still bring in the buyers but a home that flows and looks awesome will make them bring the offer.

Posted by Steven Beam, Parker Colorado Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate.) about 11 years ago


Simple yet important changes made to this room! What a difference in the way this room shows...replacing the bar stools was a HUGE improvement as well! Best wishes for a FAST sale! 

Posted by Michelle Pimentel, ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging (Empire Home Staging Solutions) about 11 years ago

Hi Michelle, the investment for the Staging which includes the Staging fee, the rental inventory, the light fixture, bathroom cabinet, small bathroom mirror and painting was $ 2648 on a $ 700,000 property. Staging usually costs approximately 1% - 1.5% of of the asking price so the  client was very happy that we came in well under that figure to maximise the appeal of the property.

HI James, exactly. You can have all the traffic but unless you get an offer nothing is moving forward. Professional Staging brings in the offers by getting the buyer to connect with that property and not the one around the corner.

Hi Sharon, I agree wholeheartedly.

HI Bob & Carolin, thank you for stopping to see my work. I make the simplest of changes to market a property. So simple sometimes, it really is remarkable how big a difference it makes to the feel of a room. You could compare it to wearing a necklace and the clasp is in the front instead of at the back of your neck. If it is in the front, everyone notices. When you move it into the correct place it makes you feel better.

Hi Jason, the room was more narrow than I would have liked, but moving the table away from the wall solved that feeling in the room. Now it feels just right. You can see that you can draw a chair away from the table and there would be room to do it without bumping into something.

Hi Steven, You are soooooo right. STAGING ROCKS!!!! I get just as excited about each job as the homeowner does. When I am first there I can see exactly what I will make the room look like in under a minute or so. I know which inventory items I will bring to do the job. I often say to my clients, I wish you could see in my head right now because it's going to look like this......

Hi Michelle, thank you for the good wishes. The Staging was on Tuesday, the open house for the public is today and tomorrow. It rained all day here so I don't know if that means more people come out as they can't be outside. I will post when it sells and for what percentage of the asking price.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

What a big difference.  Staging is key!

Amber, Realtor/AHS

Posted by Anonymous about 11 years ago

Well, You did it AGAIN!  Awesome job with MINIMAL effort and money.  Thanks so much for always sharing your successes!

Posted by Leesa Finley, RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate (RED Properties) about 11 years ago

Little things really do add up...this is such a great example of this!

Posted by Sonja Adams (Samson Proprties) about 11 years ago

Michele, it is so important to grab the attention of the agents and buyers who are looking at homes online -- and you have definitely done that with your "after" picture!  Its amazing what a few minor adustments can make.

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

Michelle ~It is amazing what we are able to do by just making some ajustments and spacing out the furniture to make a room balanced. Great job.

Posted by Barbara Cluck-Miksits, Home Staging - New Jersey (BCM Home Staging LLC) about 11 years ago

Michelle, This is an outstanding example of how simple staging makes a big impact.  These photos say so much more than a 1,000 words!

Posted by Tiffany White, Franklin TN Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty - Franklin TN) about 11 years ago

The color in the walls, bar stools and light from the chandelier really made a big difference here.  The chandelier also defined a space for the dining area which gave context to the floor plan.  Great job with the staging...well worth the investment.

Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Hi Amber, Staging IS a key component of selling Real Estate. More and more Realtors are coming to that realization every day.

Hi Leesa, Thank you for the kind words. My work always seems to come in at a very reasonable investment. The clients are always impressed with how much I can do in one day.

HI Sonja, little things always add up to a greater sum. Thank you for stopping in to see my work.

Hi Kerry, I know what you mean. I look at the MLS listings and just shake my head in dismay when I see some of the photos. I always read the posts on AR that show the worst photos of listings. It seems incredible that a Realtor would not take the time to take a photo that would help sell the property.

HI Barbara, Balance and restraint is what my mentor taught me about Staging. I was incredibly fortunate to apprentice with a person that was voted North American Stager of the Year.

HI Tiffany, proper placement of furniture is key to get the flow right in a room. One thing out of place and you get a feeling of being off balance. To get buyers to make an offer they have to feel comfortable in a space. If you have done it right, the photos say more than a 1,000 words ever could.

Hi Lola, those are the exact words the husband used. He said that he always felt the dining area was a short add on to the kitchen area. The kitchen granite counter top is such a large component  of the space it really diminished the dining room space. Now that a chandelier in the correct scale for the room has been added to the room, it defined the eating area perfectly.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) about 11 years ago

Michelle -- as usual for you -- knowing the right things to do make all the difference!  What wonderful work and transformation (again!). 

Posted by Margaret Oscilia, Home Stager, Salem Oregon (Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon) about 11 years ago

Great eye for staging.  Small changes can have a huge impact. 

Posted by Michele Hess, Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc (Simply Staged Inc.) about 11 years ago

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