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Behold: A Long Vacant Space in a Condo. A Classic Staging Lesson in Defining Spaces


This condo had a lot going for it. Situated in an older building, it had received many upgrades: new flooring, new kitchen, renovated bathrooms and a new paint job. It compared well to other listings in the building, and was priced at the top end of what a unit would list for because of all the new materials.  Because it was vacant though, the principal open concept space upon entry felt like it needed some defining. I like staging condos because they usually have the small space challenges I enjoy. In this case, I had one long wall that was about 28 feet - that passed by what essentially were three independent spaces. The fact that these were separate spaces was not obvious and prospective buyers could have misunderstood the square footage and counted these areas as wasted space.

And therein lies the rub of every vacant property that has ever been sold. Some spaces are more easily defined than others though. However, when you have a long 28-foot wall with three different areas, what do you do? Typical tricks of the trade (and in the design world) as to how to break up and define spaces include:

*using area rugs to identify a break from one space to the next (in this case, I added an area rug to define the den at the back) *screens and dividers to imitate a wall *create obvious groups of furniture (in this case angling furniture towards each other to indicate conversation areas, and having the groups of furniture talk to each other) *identify furniture for a purpose - a front hall table was added near the door to showcase a “front hall” area *making different spaces easier to identify using colour - the strong red carpet and chairs in the den, make this space more pronounced than the living room before it - even though the overall colour scheme carries through *flooring, lighting, and using elements at different heights also help

Generally, and I have mentioned this before while staging other vacant properties, potential buyers viewing the vacant suites are challenged visually by the empty spaces. When there are no focal points within each room, buyers have difficulty envisioning the intended use of the space or visualizing their personal use of the area within the suite and the placement of their own furniture. The interest was there but it was a matter of creating what staging experts refer to as the “ahh” feeling which brings an emotional connection to a space.


Services provided: *staging consultation, measuring and space planning *sourcing of rental furniture, soft accessories and furnishings *integration of some of the homeowners elements including area rugs, dining room chairs, art and bedding *delivery of all contents and setup of suite and de-staging


“Kathleen helped me understand how best to showcase the space. On top of it, the work had to be done in an extremely tight turnaround time. She made things happen very quickly and the agent and I were very pleased with the results.” C.H.

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