Do you remember that show Trading Spaces? Airing on the TLC network from 2000 to 2008, the series featured episodes in which two sets of neighbors, with the help of professional interior designers, would decorate one room in each other’s homes. Would I let a neighbor redesign a room in my home with absolutely no input? H-E-double-hockey-sticks no! Especially given that Trading Spaces designers did some notoriously crazy stuff, like fill one living room with river sand and cover another’s walls in straw. Straw, y’all! Differences in design style can definitely make or break a relationship. Regardless of your style, I know one thing for sure: Leave the natural elements in the backyard!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 42 Days
If you’ve ever shopped for a home, you have probably succumbed to the sly ways in which a seller can sway you, like employing the aroma of a pumpkin-scented candle or freshly baked bread to make the home feel warm and welcoming. For many homebuyers, being able to actually envision yourself in a home is key to making the commitment. That’s where staging comes in: preparing and styling the home with furniture and other accents that make it seem more livable.
According to one real-estate study conducted in the United States, homes that were staged before being listed for sale were sold in about 42 days versus homes that weren’t staged, which sat unsold for an average of 156 days. The lesson seems pretty clear for home sellers: Set the stage.
WOMEN TO WATCH: Sara and Amy Chamberlain, Co-founders of The Real Estate Stylist
While some home-staging techniques are obvious, like stashing your immense Beanie Babies collection in the back closet, it can be difficult to see beyond your personal style in order to know what attracts the homebuying masses. That’s when it’s time to call in professionals like style mavens Sara and Amy Chamberlain. These sisters turned their longtime passion for creating unique home spaces into a prosperous and sought-after Australian-based company called The Real Estate Stylist.
According to Sara and Amy, staging won’t just get your house off your hands quickly; it’ll also garner you more money, honey. Considering Sara and Amy style some 350 homes each year and are known as the home-styling leaders in their Melbourne territory, they definitely know what they’re talking about. Take one of their case studies as an example. Sara and Amy put in about $7,000 worth of work to stage an unrenovated $1.2 million home, which, thanks to their styling efforts, later sold for $1.78 million.
One valuable insight Sara and Amy provide involves enlightening homebuyers on how to use specific spaces. Of course, these days, they say the first thing clients want to know is where the TV will go. But by focusing on creating harmony between the space, comfort, style and functionality, the sisters are able to overcome such trivial concerns and create sophisticated rooms that their clients—and more importantly, homebuyers—absolutely adore. These stylish sisters know their work is done when a house feels so homey that you want to put the kettle on the stove and settle in for a “cuppa tea.”
Take a cuppa tea break and browse The Real Estate Stylist website for some dazzling before-and-after photos. They will definitely convince you that great real-estate styling is a true talent. It’s no surprise then that Sara and Amy’s concept of home styling trickled over to art with their sister company, The Artwork Stylist, a collaboration of stylists, designers, photographers and artists that works to create affordable fine art for curated environments.
With their years of hard work and a natural sense of super style, Sara and Amy are continuing to grow a successful business that really hits home. Style on, sisters!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Style is incredibly personal. And it doesn’t take an interior designer to create a space you truly love. This tried-and-true quote from interior designer Bunny Williams says it all:
“If you love something, it will work. That’s the only real rule.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.