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


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!   

De-Personalizing…What Is It?

In the real estate world, sellers will hear the word “de-personalizing” when preparing their house to sell.


Most people think it means removing personal photos and portraits so that they buyer will be able to imagine themselves living in the property that they are considering purchasing. And yes, that is part of de-personalizing, however it is really much more than just removing personal photos.


De-personalizing involves re-moving any or all of the following:

  • personal beauty items
  • medicines or prescriptions
  • DVD and CD collections
  • sports team memorabilia
  • collections in general
  • specific paint or wall paper choices

Sellers will often ask me “why do we have to remove these things”. Let’s think about it….take personal collections for example. This could be anything to collections of old cameras, clocks, figurines, etc. Once a buyer starts noticing the collection, that ‘s what their focus is towards and guess what? YOU HAVE JUST LOST YOUR BUYER! They are no longer looking at your house, but caught up in your collections


Same thing for DVD or CD collections. Nothing says “THIS IS OUR HOUSE, NOT YOURS!” more than the tower, basket or shelves full of family movies and music choices.


And don’t even get me started on sports team memorabilia….especially college teams. I’ve seen buyers strike a house off their list because their opposing college football team banners are on display in a sellers house. It’s ridiculous, I know, but it happens!


Smart sellers may want to ask themselves if they are will to take a chance of losing a buyer for their house in this real estate climate all because they were too attached to their personal items?


For more information on “de-personalizing” your property to sell, let’s set up a staging consultation BEFORE your house goes on the market!


Are You Attracting Flippers?

Flippers are real estate investors that search the market for low priced properties that need small inexpensive repairs. They make the repairs at a low cost, put the property back on the market and sell it, often for a good profit.

If your house needs repairs, it may be putting buyers off and attracting flippers. Buyers approach a property and see needed small repairs and they automatically start thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder what else is wrong with this house” and that is not the seed that you want to plant in a buyers mind. Small repairs says “differed maintenance” to a buyer.

Are you attracting flippers by not making the necessary repairs BEFORE listing your property? If your house needs work, selling to flippers can be a viable option to get your house sold, but you are not going to get the price you want. They want to purchase at a price below market value.

Studies show that we have more 1st time home buyers under the age of thirty than ever before and they are willing to pay MORE for a MOVE-IN READY house. If there is a similar house to yours down the street that doesn’t have a “honey do” list that comes with the selling price, that is most likely the house that the buyer will choose.

Go ahead and make these repairs before you put your house on the market. If you can find a buyer that is willing to buy, the offer that they are going to make will be much less than what it would have cost you to make the changes in the first place.

There is always a “New Listing” buzz whenever a new property goes on the market and that usually is the best time for your house to be shown and go under contract. Why risk losing a buyer by having them see your property before it’s ready to be sold? Go ahead and make the house appeal, not to flippers that will make low ball offers, but make it appeal to the first time home buyer.

Take it from Whoa to Wow! Make it 1st time friendly.

For more information about making your house 1st time friendly, contact Nan Johnston at Southern Staging & Redesign.