Latest Vacant Staging (November 2013)

What I’ve been up too lately….

(please excuse the bad photos. digital photo classes are next on my list of things to-do)

A few weeks ago, a very nice gentleman contacted me about helping him prepare his house to sell. It had been vacant for about a year and he was frustrated with the lack of interest in his property.

His current agent suggested having the house professionally staged.

He had a few things to complete before I could get in there to work…

…and I needed to wrap my head around staging a house with 3 living areas.
A design plan was created…

Accessories were gathered…

Furniture was delivered…
Accessories were placed in just the right spots…


Turning a sterile and empty space…

into a warm and inviting home.
Creating  positive thoughts instantly…
into a buyers mind.
When buyers see empty rooms, they instantly start finding the flaws in a house.  Having a house professionally staged, doesn’t hide those flaws, however, keeps them from being the very first impression while viewing a property.  Showing them that every house can become a warm and inviting home.
For more information about staging your vacant property, contact us at
770-251-0608 home/office




Recent East Atlanta Vacant Staging

I had a great opportunity to work on a re-hab in   the East Atlanta Village area. The contractor and owners decided to keep some of the retro features of the house and update other areas. Once the house was staged, we all wanted to move right in. See for yourself…

So far this house has been on the market for a few weeks and I heard through the grape vine an offer is in the works.  Vacant houses can not get that kind of action. Give me a call for more information about vacant home staging.

Nan Johnston
Southern Staging & Redesign
770-251-0608 home/office
770-301-4786 cell

More Before & After pics…

This beautiful vacant home had recently been updated with new flooring, countertops, paint, carpet, etc.
Rooms were lightened up with light shades of paint.
Furniture and accessories were installed to create a welcoming space.

Some furniture was left behind for us to work with… 


…and other furniture was rented to fill in the empty key rooms.



 Accessories were added to create the emotional connection points that a buyer needs in order to be able to envision this house as their own.
If you have a vacant home to sell, staging is the only way a buyer is going to be able to visualize how the space feels in a positive way. Empty rooms are confusing, cold, unwelcoming and depressing. Furnishing and accessorizing the key rooms can be the difference in a quick sale or a slow one.  Give us a call to discuss your options with your vacant house.
Nan Johnston
Southern Staging & Redesign
770-251-0608 home/office


Under Contract in 3 days!

It may be difficult to justify the investment required to stage a vacant property, but empty houses usually don’t sell in 3 days after going on the market.
If you need a quick sale in order to keep the carrying costs low, then staging is the way to go. 
 Carrying costs are your monthly payments, home owners association dues, property insurance & taxes, yard maintenance, utilities and on and on.

Usually, sellers that have already relocated have these expenses x 2!  Can you imagine how quickly that can drain your resources? 

Studies show that vacant houses that are not staged prior to going on the market on average stay on the market for 9 months!

Houses that are staged prior to going on the market on average sell with in 40 days. 

This house only took 3 days to sell after going on the market.

That’s a huge relief off this sellers shoulders!

Now they can move on with their life and enjoy their new home without worrying about the expenses of carrying the previous house.

Feel free to contact us for more information about vacant staging.  It may be less expensive than you think.



Beachy Cottage

*Beachy Cottage update…this house was in MLS only 1 day before it received an offer.  Other buyers were purchasing another property, saw this online and wanted to cancel their current contract to purchase this house without ever visiting the property.  Unfortunately for them, the house was already under contract.  Vacant houses can not get this kind of reaction!

Last week, I met a lady from out of state that was preparing her house in GA to sell.  The house had been a rental for several years, needed some TLC and she was in town to oversee the work. She is a Realtor and a home stager herself and had very specific ideas of what she wanted in the way of home staging.  She wanted “beachy-cottage”.  Of course, I love that look and have no problem creating it, but it’s not possible to rent beachy-cottage furniture from any rental company that I’ve ever worked with.

So I had to get to work and make it happen.

Furniture was painted….

an ugly table was repaired and painted….


Loveseats were slipcovered….

an old trunk was found, washed and shellacked….

antique chair pads were recovered….
bed linens were purchased, and the packing began….
How does the story end?
The painted furniture and bed linens transformed a bedroom…

 The ugly table, turned into a “beautiful” swan, (just go with it)…
The antique chairs were paired with the “beautiful” swan table….
and the slipcovered loveseats  joined the old shellacked trunk.

And all lived happily ever after.  The End!

Update Old Accessories With Spray Paint

Found this brass seashell planter years ago and I  never threw it away. After cleaning it with Clorox Wipes, I had to fill in some gaps with caulking before priming with Kiltz spray primer. Once the primer was dry, I added a few coats of glossy white spray paint.

At the same time I also worked on this “zinc” finished pot and wooden duck. I was so excited about finding accessories to spray paint, I forgot to take some before photos of these. Let’s just say the duck was typical duck colors, nothing wrong with that, but our house is dark and I’m ready to lighten up.  The same goes for the “zinc” like pot…DIY’ers are faux painting items to look like zinc, but it is not a look that I’ve been able to work with over the last 10 years, so white it becomes. 

We have this dark hutch that E refinished years ago and it looks great with the old and the new mixed in together.

See the “zinc” finished pot in it’s new coat of paint? It’s full of real seashells and included with all of the other white-ish accessories, really brightens up the shelves.

The old brass seashell in white with the new artichoke heart from either T.J. Maxx or Ross, looks great.  This is reduce, reuse and recycling at it’s best…don’t you agree?  Shop around your place and see what you can update with a can of spray paint.

A Horse With No Name


While recently researching online for a simple DIY art project, this horse silhouette popped up and it was love at first site. It’s a discontinued item from Pottery Barn that was priced at $199 smack-a-roos.
Taking a mental inventory of supplies needed, I realized that I could probably complete this with little or zero $$$$. Now that’s my kinda project!
How Do You Like Me Now
Ride A Horse Save a Cowboy
These songs kept running through my head….…..Read More @ Ends & Odds



The House is Listed,  The Holidays Are Here, & Guest Are Arriving!  Having your house on the market to sell during the holiday’s is challenging enough as it is.  You are constantly having to keep the house picked up, staged, the kitchens & bathrooms sparkling clean, eliminate any food or pet odors and shuffle everyone out of the house when you have a showing.  It’s not easy to live in a “showing condition” home while it’s on the market.

Try adding out of town guest and Holiday decorations and you’ve got the ingredients for a huge disaster or with a few simple tips and some planning ahead, it can be one of the best holidays ever.
1. Try to keep the holiday decorations to a minimum.  Put a simple wreath on the door, remove a few accessories to replace  them with special holiday accessories and keep the clutter down as much as possible.   It won’t be much different from “non-holiday” staging,  however will still create the spirit of the  holiday’s.
2. Prepare quests in advance, that your house is going to remain on the market during this time while they are visiting.  You may even want to place a check list in their room or central location of the house so that everyone knows what tasks need to be completed in case of a last minute showing call. 
3. Be sure to provide your guests with as much storage as possible.  Somewhere to hide their luggage, a tray to corral their toiletries or tote to use so they can be stashed under the vanity in a hurry.   Keep the throw pillows on their beds to a minimum so they won’t have to worry if the bed is made up exactly the way you want it.  KISS….Keep It  Simple Silly!
4. Provide them with a map of your area, special events they may be interested in attending, movie showings & times so they/you will have something fun to do while the house is being shown.  I’ve heard of some showings taking as long as 2 or more hours.  If your house is being viewed that long by a potential buyer, that’s a great sign and you certainly don’t want to rush them into a decision that might keep them from buying your property because you and/or your guest came home too early.
5.  Plan on having some of your meals out.  This will  help keep the food odors down, although some holiday baking fragrances have been known to create a special “Welcome Home” feeling  for a buyer and we all know emotions are a huge factor in making a decision on purchasing a new home.
I hope you have a Great Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas. 



Water Proof Flooring?

Is there such a thing?  Well I’m hear to tell you folks, that there is and it’s not ceramic tile that I’m talking about!  It’s a loose lay vinyl plank.   What?

It’s time to find a replacement floor covering for a property that is about 30+ years old, has old sliding glass doors and when ever there’s a blowing rain, water will leak under the sliding glass door.  Or seep in through the tracks…it’s difficult to tell.  Anyway, needless to say, the carpet gets wet and has to be seen about right away to prevent mildew, mold, etc. 

I’m not a big fan of ceramic tile.  I just don’t like the way it feels under foot.  I love hardwood floors and carpet…I even like a good laminate or vinyl floor depending on the property and room.  So I was researching online and found this site claiming that they had a water proof flooring solution that was not tile.  Hooray! 

 I online “chatted” with a fellow from this company about my particular situation and asked his advice on what he thought would be a good solution to this water thing.  Floors To Your Home has several different types of flooring for damp areas. He recommended Tuff Guy Loose Lay Vinyl Floor. I’ve watched all the videos, researched the local box hardware stores (you know who I’m talking about) and asked different flooring companies, and haven’t found anything that sounds as great as this product. 

So, I ordered samples and they have arrived.   I must say, I’m impressed! 

You can see that this is a thick product.  It’s as thick as 3 stacked quarters.  That’s thicker than some laminates that I’ve seen. 
We’re still not ready to “bite the bullet” and change the flooring yet, but I think I’ve found my flooring solution. 
Check it out and tell them “Nan at Southern Staging & Redesign” recommended it!

Have You Tried “Chip It”?

Sherwin Williams has a new online tool that anyone can use to instantly turn any photo online into a color palette pulled from more than 1500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors.

Go to and they will take you through the entire process.  You can add a button to your toolbar and once you find any photo online that you want to try, click on the “chip it” button in your toolbar to activate, roll over the photo to preview then “chip it”!  A color palette will be created that you can save for future reference.

You can even use this tool on your personal photos that you’ve saved on your computer.

I tried this with some of my personal photos…the below photo is one that I took of the beautiful ocean. These colors are breathtaking to me and I find it difficult to single anyone of them out.
Now I upload this to the chip it site, click yes to their online agreement (does anyone ever read those things?) and then “chip it” and these are the results…
Now, lets try another one. 
It’s like MAGIC!  I love this tool!  Can you see if I wanted to create a new color palette for a room how amazing this would be?  Now you give it a try.  You’ll have a new addiction once you do!  Enjoy!