St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


IRIS In the Washington Post - Using What You Have

Go to Washington Post to see article with photos:

This living room was made over by Sandy Dixon, executive director of Interior Redesign Industry Specialists, using what the homeowner already owned.

Photos Provided by Sandy Dixon

Using What You Have

Thursday, February 21, 2008; Page H04

What do you need?

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•·         Just What You Need

•·         Using What You Have

•·         Making a Plan

•·         Getting Organized

•·         Picking Paint Colors

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Do you fantasize about having your living room picked for one of those one-day makeover shows on cable television? Do you have so much stashed in the garage or basement that you have furnishings you don't even remember? Would you gladly let someone take over your house and Just Do It? You might be a candidate for a redesigner who will shoo you out to then rethink, rearrange and edit your furnishings before welcoming you back to the big reveal. It's basically design-in-a-day by an energetic person with a practiced eye and common sense who will help you find style and livability in what you already own.

Who can help?

Members of a nine-year-old organization called the Interior Redesign Industry Specialists (IRIS) practice that kind of get-it-done design. They first confer with clients about the problem, whether the room is too cluttered, too dated or just isn't useful. Next, they "shop the home" to find what there is to work with. Then the clients depart, and the redesigner goes to work layering furniture, lighting, art and accessories. IRIS Executive Director Sandy Dixon of Evergreen, Colo., says the group has about 1,000 members nationwide who have completed the organization's five-day redesigning course. Some members specialize in "restaging" houses that are for sale. The IRIS Web site lists 32 members in Maryland and 36 in Virginia.

The one-day makeover approach, popularized on TV home shows, has been embraced by the design marketplace, and there are plenty of redesigners and restagers not associated with IRIS.

What will they do?

Typically, redesigners will empty a room then put it back together, using paintings, lamps or chairs in a new way. Some bring along a van of what they call "props": lamps, rugs or plants (usually artificial) available for sale. Some have niche specialties such as redisplaying accessories, hanging art or holiday decorating.

What won't they do?

They don't address bigger decisions such as moving walls or remodeling or replacing flooring.

How much will it cost?

IRIS members charge $50 to $150 an hour; others may charge by the room.

How to find one?

IRIS members can be found on the group's Web site at Other redesigners are in listings for decorators in the Yellow Pages or classifieds.

Jura Koncius

*This was posted by request from Sandy Dixon, IRIS President & Anna Jacoby, IRIS Vice-President


 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 7 commentsMelissa Marro • February 21 2008 09:29AM


Melissa - I saw this today in the Post. We've been getting some really good press in the DC area recently about staging and redesign. The local NBC affiliate had a story last week that resulted in two jobs for me.

Every time an article like this is written another homeowner or Realtor decides they need to hire a stager!!

Posted by Lynn Crawford, Staging DC & Maryland (A Different View) about 11 years ago
Melissa- Sandy emailed this to me this morning! The timing was great, because I had dinner last night with two stager friends and we were discussing ways of getting more redesign work. I intend to incorporate this article into my first ever newsletter! Yes, I said newsletter...don't beat me with a dead horse! ;)
Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) about 11 years ago

Lynn - Very cool that you actually saw it in the paper!  Educating the public is a great thing.  Congrats on the jobs and I hope this article leads you to even more!

Elaine - Newsletter, did you say you are going to do a newsletter!?!  What a great idea!  I'm so thrilled.  You'll have to send me a copy!  OK, I'll mark you off my list...

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 11 years ago

Yeah Sandy!  I use to work for the Washington Post in advertising the BDU (Business Development Unit) department to be exact.

When I left about four years ago the circulation was around 800k on weekdays and over 1,000.000 on Sundays...internet phenominal!   What a great way to show the power and dedication of IRIS....











Posted by Renee Pratta, Renewed Rooms - SC (Renewed Rooms) about 11 years ago
Well, always nice publicity when they acknowledge our work. 
Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - about 11 years ago
Heaven forbid I would actually read the paper.  I guess I need to start subscribing as I am missing all these great articles and I live in the DC Metro Area.  Thanks Melissa for posting.
Posted by Sandra Hughes, Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia (Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia) about 11 years ago

Terrific article in the Washington Post, Melissa! Thanks for the heads-up!

Posted by Julianna Hind, REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

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