Occupied Home Staging in the Glebe – Main Level





Family Room untamed

This property was a victim of busy owners! Active athletes and dog owners, full-time demanding careers, not enough time in the day to organize their gear = a little bit of chaos. Knowing a sale was on the near horizon, they brought me in to help them prepare for the next big step in their lives. The family room was a perfect example of a busy lifestyle snowballing out of control. Fortunately, they cooperated on all of the decluttering suggestions and allowed me a free hand in choosing what items of their furniture would work well with pieces I brought in from my Elegant Strategies inventory and my go-to furniture rental store. They also took me up on the deal with Dymon Storage, which made it much easier for them to breathe until they’re in their new home.

Family room to come home to

Family room to come home to

Their living room and dining rooms were seldom used. Coming and going via the back door, the front rooms had morphed into a dumping spot for mail, tools, guitars, computer equipment and more. And so dark! Dark furniture, dark window coverings.

Living room unloved

Living room unloved



Dining room misery

Dining room misery










With lighter furniture, effective lighting, proper layout, window dressing to show off the beautiful hardwood floors and architectural details, and much needed colour, this living room-dining room space makes a welcoming and classy first impression.

This property has a great location, a short walk to all the amenities of the Glebe, particularly Lansdowne Park. But even property in a good locale needs staging expertise to sell well. If a property isn’t presented beautifully for its photos on the MLS, you won’t get the viewings you need for a quick and satisfying sale. This home sold at its first weekend for $95,000 over list price!

Dining room elegance

Dining room elegance

Living room with a lot of life

Living room with a lot of life

Easy Organizing Tips for your home #6

I’ve written several blogs about easy organizing and I hope that my good ideas aren’t falling on deaf ears! Below is an excerpt from an Australian blogger named Marissa Roberts, and she  says a lot of what I’ve told you. Sometimes it’s more memorable if it comes from an exotic source, and Australia is rather exotic, so here goes:

“I’m going to show you the little trick I use to declutter my house simply & effectively.

It has nothing to do with how much time you have or the amount of ‘stuff’ in your home.

It’s all about the emotion behind the activity.

Something I hear over and over from clients is that decluttering is too hard because it takes a long time – but most often, the truth is it takes a long time because it’s hard to decide what you should keep and what you should throw out or give away (don’t worry – I’ll show you how to do this with little stress and heartache).

If you want your home to run smoothly, it needs to be clear and well organised.

You’ll be amazed at what decluttering your house can do for you:

1) Physically: You’ll have space to put things away quickly and easily, making cleaning much easier as well

2) Emotionally: You’ll LOVE living in a house with more room, more space – you’ll truly feel a weight off your shoulders and your home will become your haven.”

In Marissa’s blog, she links emotions to the act of decluttering and the result of decluttering. One of her tips is a technique I’ve used for years, but no one’s heard of me! I collect stuff from, say, the clothes closet, and put it in a bag with a sticker on it, saying the date I bagged the clothes. I keep it in our garage or basement storage or the guest room closet. A few months later, if I haven’t gone looking for any of those clothes, they are HISTORY! If I haven’t wanted to wear something during the appropriate season, i.e. a summer dress during the summer months, then I either don’t like it that much or I’ve gained or lost weight or I have something else I prefer. That bag can be opened quickly to double-check the contents, and then it’s donated to charity.

This works beautifully with books, clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac, and general household items. There is ALWAYS a good charity that can use your donations. Personally, I go back and forth between Cerebral Palsy and my church’s ‘Nearly New Sale’, spring or fall. And if it’s wintery stuff or anything Christmassy, I donate it to my church to sell at the Christmas Bazaar.

This is a common-sense way to clear your home, whether it’s just for daily living that you’d like more space, or because you’re planning to move. For more practical organizing tips, please contact:



Staging your home while you’re living in it – it can be done!


At Elegant Strategies, our specialty is staging occupied homes. I pride myself on my ability to use or ‘redeploy’ as much of the client’s furniture and accessories as possible. This keeps rental costs to a minimum. Rental fees are the charges that really add up. If a client’s furniture and accessories are in good condition, I’ll find a way to use them. “Making the most of your home” is my motto.

First steps: [Read more…]

How to sell a home you’ve lived in for decades – Part 1

Most buyers want a move-in ready home. Gleaming hardwood floors, lots of storage space,  and fresh, neutral paint jobs, combined with curb appeal, make a hot commodity. Add skilled home staging, and a knowledgeable listing agent, and these elements will help you sell your home faster and for more money. You already have some great assets in your favour: a well-established neighborhood and mature trees.

IMG_0192People who have owned a home for decades can’t quite believe the value of  property these days. Despite a slight downturn in home market values last year, prices are moving back up, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Homes in Ottawa that went for $10,000 in the late 1950’s can easily be priced in the $350,000+ range. If you maintained your home carefully over the years, and depending on the size and location of your home, you could be looking in the $400,000+ range. If you’ve upgraded your kitchen and bathrooms in the last 5 years, even likelier.

[Read more…]

Home Staging season is upon us!

Reasons to hire a professional to stage your home, and there are many:

If you plan to empty your property before putting it on the market, BEWARE!

Showing an unstaged, unfurnished house is a gamble. If a property is flawless, the all-important MLS photos will be okay. Not very interesting, but okay. An empty property requires buyers to have very good imaginations — and the time to bother visualizing how it might look. Professional home staging is essential to give you the best and quickest shot at selling your home advantageously.

The thing is, most homes are not flawless. When your home is empty, every little nick and dent shows. Putting an entirely empty house on the market magnifies any flaws it possesses. [Read more…]

What Buyers Want in New Homes

From the Canadian Home-buyer Preference Study (Spring 2015), the top 10 home features and design preferences of home buyers across Canada:

  1.  Walk-in closets: 92.5%
  2. Energy-efficient appliances: 89.9%
  3. Open-concept kitchen: 89.3%
  4. Overall energy-efficient home: 89.2%
  5. Kitchen island: 89.2%
  6. Linen closets: 89.2%
  7. High-efficiency windows: 88.6%
  8. Large windows: 87.4%
  9. Two-car garage: 84.7%
  10. Air-exchange system: 84.7%

According to the study, carried out during 2014 and early 2015 by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and Avid Ratings Canada Ltd., the survey was sent to over 12,000 homeowners and had a high response rate. Its findings are considered accurate plus or minus 3.1%.

Preferences were ranked as “must have”, “really want”, “might be nice” and “not important”.

In Ottawa, 40% of respondents indicated they’d sacrifice size for a lower house price. Large windows are very desirable; more natural light makes a house look better. Soaker tubs in the master en suite were less sought after in Ottawa and Toronto, perhaps due to a busy lifestyle. Double sinks in the en suite were highly desirable. And, not surprisingly, storage space was the single most wanted feature in the interior space of a property.

So, if you have a home that is not a new property, take these findings into consideration before you put your place on the market. Dealing with a reputable real estate agent and an experienced home stager will help you compete from a stronger position with new builds.

Spring home staging sells condo in record time!

Check out the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ videos! Elegant Strategies staged an unoccupied condo in Nepean last week, a one bedroom with a solarium. Generous room sizes and a very well-maintained building in a desirable location were excellent raw material, but the condo was still tired-looking and needed home staging finesse to bring it up to speed. [Read more…]