St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


My Favorite Home Staging Transformation of 2008!

Ok, Ok, I've been inspired!!!  Thanks Kathy Nielson for the challenge and everyone else who has blogged on their favorite transformations of 2008.  This was a really tough decision for me.   I've had so many homes that I've dearly loved and some that really amazed me when I looked at the before and after photos.  Ultimately I guess the one that I loved the most - the one that really surprised me the most when the product was done was a little house in Summerville, SC. 

The homeowner called me after reading about our services in the Post & Courier.  The article was actually about HGTV Real Estate Expert, Terry Haas, who had just moved to Daniel Island, SC (one of our better burbs).  I was also mentioned in the article as was our website, etc.  The homeowner had done a little research, visited our website and liked what she saw....

These are the photos of the home from when I did my initial consultation.  At the time, the homeowner wasn't sure that she was ready to sell right away.  She wanted to take the proper time and consideration to sell the home - to do it right.  (When are we lucky enough to hear them say that?)

master bedroom  

living room 

These homeowners had only lived in this home less than a year.  They didn't need to move but didn't love the neighborhood.... not because it wasn't a good neighborhood, but rather because this was a younger neighborhood - a starter neighborhood - and they were retired.  They wanted to be more in their own demographic. 

As you can tell from the above photos, this creates its own dilemna.  Their furnishings, etc are a little more fitting to their personal demographics than a younger mid 20s demographic.

About two weeks after our consultation I received a call from the sellers that they found the perfect home for them and put an offer on it.  (So much for no hurry getting the home ready!)  With this, they decided to hire us to stage their home after they moved into their new one.  Because of the change in market, they were going to list the home for less than they paid for the home and now they were going to have 2 mortgage payments - on retiree income.  This meant we better be good at what we do.  It definately counted.



Another reason this was one of my favorite transformations is because this home was done as part of a class project.  Two of my students were local and became team members (David Moon & Bonnie Mizzell).  I clearly remember David saying after class that when we were picking out furniture from the warehouse he was sure it would look awful.  He didn't like many of the choices and felt we were 'scraping from the bottom of the barrel'.  We did not have much left in stock and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming when you are new knowing what will fit together and how the end product will work out.  I think this was a valuable lesson.  Sometimes, it's the accessories and attention to detail that pull it all together.  Because we had a basic fluid color scheme and all of our furniture was more or less transitional, we were able to create a cohesive look. 

This home did a great job of appealing to it's demographics.  The home was one of the quickest sales in that neighborhood and the buyers even purchased some of the furniture.



For information on home staging in the Greater Charleston Area or for information on staging training programs, please contact Melissa Marro at 843.822.2622 or email me at


 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 11 commentsMelissa Marro • December 30 2008 12:46PM


Melissa~ I can see why big time difference but the space is inspiring and wonderful. Youre staging as usual is flawless!

Posted by Fernando Rosado, 561-906-0050 or 561-840-8950 over 10 years ago

Melissa ~ Nicely done!  I think the furniture worked really well.  I think the rooms actually look a little larger with your "after" set-up.

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) over 10 years ago

Awesome job, Melissa.  The fact that you used more up-to-date furniture really made a tremendous difference.  And... it certainly didn't look like you were 'scraping from the bottom of the barrel.'

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


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 10 years ago

Great work Melissa! I love how you used the red wall color in the dining room as a springboard for accenting in the other spaces. I can see why this was one of your favorites!

Posted by Annie Pinsker-Brown, Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager (Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging) over 10 years ago

Michelle - Loved what you did with this one.  

Posted by Wanda Richards, Shows Great Home Staging (Shows Great Home Staging and Web Solutions ) over 10 years ago

Looks wonderful! No wonder it sold so quickly! Great job :)

Posted by Wendy Timmons, Temecula Realtor (Move Home Realty ) over 10 years ago

Very nice Melissa..  I expecially like the pops of red throughout the rooms.  You do have the vision, don't you?

Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 10 years ago

Wow - What a difference. I also love your photographic "eye". The pictures look great.

Posted by Lynn Crawford, Staging DC & Maryland (A Different View) over 10 years ago

What a diference! I love what you did with the living room. Angling the couch really works with the space!

Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 10 years ago

You did a fabulous job Melissa.  I love the hits of red throughout.  The rooms look so much larger now.  Excellent work as always.

Posted by Charlene Storozuk, Home Stager - Burlington Ontario (Dezigner Digz) over 10 years ago

The rooms are so welcoming-that is what angling does!  Your staging looks just elegant and wonderful Melissa. 

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) over 10 years ago

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