Professional staging, photos a winning combo for this vacant downtown condo

Posted by Samantha Haas on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 at 6:55pm.

When the best of the best collaborate, good things are bound to happen. We recently watched this unfold with our Nolen Shore Condo listing, which drew multiple offers and accepted one above listing price in just 3 days.

This downtown high-rise overlooking Lake Monona is stellar on its own, but with the help of professional stagers and a photographer we were able to quickly transform this vacant property. "It demonstrates what can happen when you have all the right players involved to plan, execute, and manage a project," said Realtor Dan Miller.

Behind the scenes were stagers Debbie Lea and Karla Gones and photographer Justin Lackner, whose combined expertise helped make this condo shine. 

While most of our listings only use Debbie Lea, owner of Showcase Home Stagers in Madison, we sometimes also bring in Karla Gones, account executive (who wears many hats) with Brook Furniture Rental in Milwaukee. They have worked together on various projects over the last decade, so they are familiar with each other's inventory and style.

For vacant properties like this, Debbie visits the home to start envisioning what the space could be. Then she shares preliminary photos of the rooms with Karla, and the two brainstorm what colors, pieces, and arrangements of furniture and decor would work best so potential buyers can imagine living there.

Karla said for this condo they decided to mix contemporary and traditional styles for an "eclectic but transitional look."

On the day of item delivery and staging, they are both present to make the process go smoother -- especially if there are last minute changes. "There's no method to this madness," Debbie joked while meticulously fluffing the hand towels she chose for the master bathroom. "It's like getting a bride ready for her wedding day."

Every detail matters when trying to evoke a lifestyle feel in a once empty space. Karla said their main goal was to have an unobstructed view of the lake and draw the attention over the water, which they accomplished by bringing in a low profile sofa and chair and anchoring the room with a cream shag rug.

She said Debbie brought "more organic touches" and "pops of color" to the chrome and glass to "warm up" the space.

From hanging up artwork to making the bed, this "mad dash" as Debbie called it was exhilarating to watch, especially because the stagers were trying to get done in time for Justin Lackner to shoot listing photos later that day during "the golden hour."

A home's first showing is online with listing photos, so Debbie and Karla have shared their tips for staging a vacant space. 

  • Appeal to the widest audience by using a transitional style.
  • Create a lifestyle feel using conversation areas and vignettes for a different vibe.
  • Less is more: showcase the best pieces without masking what the property has to offer.

This listing exemplifies one of our team values at work: to partner with professional and reputable service providers who help our clients achieve their goals. Learn more about our staging services and other staging tips.

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