Dear Home Staging Expert:

My home is beautifully decorated and I receive many compliments on my style and taste in furnishing and decor.   I’m preparing to sell in the near future and my real estate agent advised I hire a “home staging expert” to give me some advice.  I can’t imagine what benefit I would receive from this service.  (I actually find it a bit insulting.)  Please advise.


Divine Design Diane

Dear Diane:

Thanks for taking the time to ask this important question before dismissing your agent’s recommendation.  First and most importantly please keep this in mind:  We decorate our homes to create a beautiful environment for us to enjoy.  When selling, we create a neutral palette for someone else to paint their story upon.

How we decorate our homes to live in and how we decorate to sell our homes are two different things.  This should not be considered an insult on your design style.    Staging for sale is merely a different design concept. You home’s decor may need to be modified to appeal to the general public and so the photos look spacious and inviting.   Have you ever been to a model home?  They has limited furniture and decor so buyers can move around easily and enjoy the home, but not be distracted by the decor.

You mentioned that your home is beautifully decorated with your style, this may be different than what is appealing to some potential buyers.  Can you afford not to appeal to every person who views your home?  Now is the time to remove some of the personalization and make it easy for someone else to see them living there, placing their own style in this home.

Usually a beautifully decorated home is easy to prepare to appeal to the broadest number of home buyers possible.  For example:

  • Remove smaller furniture pieces and decor, to make the room appear more spacious and improve traffic flow
  • Remove decor that draws attention to itself, rather than the architecture or purpose of the room
  • Remove custom draperies that have a style not consistent with current home buyer’s desires or that block light from entering the room
  • Keep a neutral palette throughout the home with accents of color.

For example, in the above photo, what do you remember most – the beautiful window or the window coverings?  If someone likes a sleek style, will they be able to feel comfortable in this room which contains lots of furniture and patterns?  This is a beautiful room, and a few changes could make it appealing to more buyers.

This room also is well decorated in neutral tones.  Removal of a few furniture pieces and decor would improve traffic flow and make it appear spacious in photos and in person which is important to home buyers.

While hiring a home staging expert for a consultation may seem unnecessary for beautiful homes, their fresh perspective and knowledge of what home buyers perceive and are looking for can be a valuable tool to be used when preparing your home for sale.


Margaret Oscilia

Home Stager and Redesign Specialist

Creative Concepts and Contracting


Ticor Title – Albany Oregon is presenting a “Get It Sold” Seminar for real estate agents on May 25th.  This seminar will be addressing pricing, home staging and photography and marketing strategies.

Get It Sold Seminar Albany Oregon

We’re excited to be part of the team presenting and know it will be packed with great information!  This seminar was also presented in Salem and received RAVE reviews from the attendees — it is worth your time!

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Margaret Oscilia – Home Stager

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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What does love have to do with home buying?  You may think not much, but bear with me — after all it’s almost Valentine’s Day!

We were hired by investors to stage a beautiful vacant home.  This home features  new construction with great colors and finishes and the master bedroom was spacious.   The house looked wonderful, but wasn’t much different than the dozen other homes that are for sale in this neighborhood.

Until the staging was complete that is.  Wow . . .  now I love this room! (There is a darling seating area on the other side of the room that I couldn’t capture in this photo.)

I’m not the only one. I was in another room as agents saw the bedroom for the first time.  They said “Oh wow look at this bedroom!  I LOVE it!”

Consider this:  The average home buyer tours at least 10 homes before making an offer.

  • Some homes will be remembered because they were too cluttered or dirty.
  • Some will be remembered for their pet smells.
  • Some will be remembered for their decor that was so different than what “felt homey” to the potential buyers
  • and many will be forgotten – especially if vacant — because empty rooms are hard to visualize with furniture and all start to look the same.

In this real estate market, we know falling in love with a home leads to offers!  Make sure your home is lovable — not just to your family but to potential buyers too!

Happy Valentines Day!

Moving or improving in Oregon? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  What can we do to help you today? Contact Margaret Oscilia at 503-881-0886!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Sometimes a home with a great floor plan and location can go unnoticed on the MLS . . . especially if the photos don’t show it as an inviting and special home.

attention - living room before

A few changes can make a dramatic difference and create that all important favorable first impression!

By re-arranging the furniture, adding some decor and pillows the room no longer looked dated and tired – but inviting and contemporary!

attention - living room after

A room that isn’t used for it’s original purpose, such as this dining room –

attention - dining room before

Can be confusing to buyers and won’t create an inviting image — one that speaks of family dinners and a cozy haven.

attention - dining room after

And even bathrooms can leave a significant impression.  One of disorder and lack of space . . .

attention - bathroom before

Or one that speaks volumes about a quality lifestyle that these walls hold.

attention - bathroom after

How much is it worth to you to have an updated look for your listing on the internet and in person?

attention - master before

attention - master after

This realtor paid for a staging consultation for her clients.

Through our do-it-yourself checklist and a few items from our accessory rental this great updated look was achieved.

If your home lacks appeal and is not making the best impression in photos, it’s time to make sure your listings are attention ready with the help of Creative Concepts and Contracting – a full service home staging company in Salem, Oregon.

Whether it’s a full remodel or help with a paint color choice, we can help you achieve the look you love!

We frequently get asked “How can you be busy when the real estate market is so bad?

Are people really using a home stager. . .

In Salem Oregon?”

Yes – we continue to expand our business and the houses we professionally stage are selling quicker than the average listing.  Is the real estate market really bad? Several of the homes we staged last month received offers within days of staging!

Professional staged homes look great on the internet, are getting more attention (and yes are getting offers).

We are getting more calls than ever from agents and home sellers alike – wondering if staging is an affordable and viable option – in Corvallis, Lebanon, Albany, Dallas, Silverton and Salem.

Our schedule for the next few days is:

  • staging a vacant house in Salem for an investor who sells several houses each month (yes they stage them all and they sell within days)
  • coordinating a large remodel on a Corvallis luxury home which going on the market soon – once it is painted throughout and has an updated kitchen and bathroom
  • providing a staging consultation for a Corvallis home owner wanting to put their home on the market immediately
  • providing a staging consultation for an Albany home owner who wants to put their home up for sale in March
  • showing a homeowner options on new countertops, flooring and draperies for her kitchen/family room – ones that she will love since they aren’t selling for years to come
  • giving a bid on a vacant staging job scheduled to go on the market February 1st in Lebanon
  • and that’s just our schedule for Monday through Wednesday!

Yes – home owners, real estate agents, investors and home sellers are using home staging to improve the homes they live in or the ones they are preparing for sale!

This great testimonial was put on our Facebook wall today:

“Creative Concepts and Contracting” has provided A+ quality service in staging my vacant home in Corvallis. My family had to quickly move for a job opportunity on the East Coast, leaving behind our well-loved house. I can rest a little bit easier knowing that our house has been thoughtfully staged to create a warm ambiance.

Margaret promptly responds to inquiries and approaches projects with the perfect blend of creativity and professionalism. Her use of YouTube and social networking sites illustrates her thorough approach towards reaching a larger audience of potential homebuyers.

I would 100% recommend “Creative Concepts and Contracting” to anyone planning to sell their property in the Willamette Valley.

We know the forecast is busy and bright for home staging in 2010.  Oregon homes that are priced well and prepared for sell correctly will continue to see good offers and fewer days on market.  Wondering how to prepare to compete in this competitive real estate market?  A staging consultation is a good investment!

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Margaret Oscilia – Home Stager and Redesign Specialist

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!     503-881-0886

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

When we visit homes that are being prepared for sale, often little changes yield huge results. Small things may seem minor and home sellers may think we are being “nit-pics” for bringing up such insignificant items. Big or small – we want to address and rectify every item that will give buyers the impression that a home is dated or not well maintained.

When living in a home we become used to its idiosyncrasies, items needing repair or the décor that becomes dated. Professional Home Staging is more than beautiful décor and furniture – it is addressing any aspect of a home that affects its marketability.

This photo was taken at the entry of a wonderfully maintained home in Salem Oregon that’s been on the market for a few months. What first impression does this entry give potential buyers? As a home stager, we know buyers first impressions are hard to change and decisions on whether to buy (or not) are made within seconds.

How many new homes have amber glass in their entries? The first impression buyers will have immediately is that the home has not been updated.

We encouraged the seller to remove the glass, but he resisted because of the amount of work involved (and – it’s a small thing that buyers should overlook right?). The glass was secured with thin flat trim on both sides that was stained and varathaned after the glass was installed. If the trim and glass were removed there would be an unstained area of about an 1 ½” that was unstained and difficult to match.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of staging this home with some décor and furniture. We again encouraged the seller to try these steps to remove the amber glass and they agreed to give it a try.

Within minutes all four trim pieces that held the amber glass had been removed and all intact! There were no scratches on the remaining sill. A clear piece of glass will be reinstalled using the trim and same nail holes.  Total project time is about 30 minutes and just a few $$!
Was it worth the effort? Absolutely! Previously, the amber glass was a negative focal point. Now when guests or potential home buyers arrive, they can see into the spacious living room and see the beautiful fireplace.

Wondering how to spice up a dated home or want your home to communicate a fabulous first impression? A home staging consultation can give you the advice you need to prepare a home for sale or give a dated room a boost!

Home Stagers know which home improvements are worth tackling and will give you a good return on investment.

Ready to do some updating or preparing for sale?  Simple changes can yield big results in how others view your home!

If you have a similar project, here’s the steps we suggested to remove the glass:

• Attempt removing the trim from the side that is less visable. Using a thin putty knife carefully pry up the trim pieces. Keep the putty knife flat to avoid scratching the wood.
• If the varathane is thick and the putty knife is difficult to get under the trim use a razor knife to carefully cut the varathane “seal”.
• Check the corners to see which trim was installed last and start with that piece to avoid breaking corners or trim strips.
• Slowly pry from several points on the trim until it can be removed without breaking.

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

Home sellers who have been waiting to sell their homes may want to think quickly about waiting for the summer months!

We’ve seen business steadily increase this fall, with December being one of our busiest months ever.  Sounds crazy?  I’m projecting that January and February will be booming as well – which certainly isn’t normal for the real estate market in Oregon.

Check out this great article from Forbes magazine.  It states “This year, because of government incentives such as the first-time homebuyer tax credit, demand for homes will rise earlier in the year, creating opportunities for sellers . . .”

We’re seeing this to be true in Oregon – since Christmas we’ve been receiving many calls from people wanting staging consultations as quickly as possible so they can start preparing their homes for sale.  Rather than waiting for spring when the tax incentives are gone and interest rates are forcasted to be on the rise, they are working hard now to get their home ready to compete!

But are any homes selling? Last week two of our staged homes got offers.  One Lebanon, Oregon home was staged less than a week.  Another Corvallis Oregon home was staged, listed and sold in 11 days.  Yes – we continue to see homes prepared and priced well selling!

Creative Concepts and Contracting provides professional home staging and quality repair/remodeling services.  You can’t change the market conditions, your location or the competition – but you CAN control the image your home presents when you list your home. Make sure your home is prepared for the quickest sale.  Check our website or call 503-881-0886 for more information on what staging can do for you and your peace of mind!

Licensed, bonded and insured – CCB #180695.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

Atmosphere . . .

You can almost see a beautiful setting when you let that word roll around in your mind can’t you?

Today I happened upon a wonderful interior design blog which had an interview with designer Charlotte MossCharlotte Moss 1

She was asked in an interview “What is the most important element of a room?”  Her answer – Atmosphere!

She went on to add,  “Because to me that’s the ultimate goal.  How many times have we walked into a house and it felt great, looked great and when you broke it down you couldn’t really break it down?  There’s just something about the house that made you feet great.”

charlotte moss designerThis concept is key in home staging as well.

When preparing a home for sale what’s the ultimate goal?

To create an atmosphere that is memorable to potential buyers. When people view your house they feel great and fall in love with your home.

As professional home stagers, that’s always our goal – to create an atmosphere that appeals to the broadest number of buyers.

I’ve read articles recently about do it yourself home staging.  These articles say that since home staging isn’t “rocket science” anyone can do it.  I would agree that many aspects of home staging are basic and simple to apply such as cleaning, decluttering, lighting.  But so often when I go to a home where sellers have started the process without professional direction there are errors made that are difficult to correct.

For example – the house exterior that had just been painted the “pinky beige”.  Or the homes that are decluttered to the point of sterile, or walls that have been freshly painted white.  Vacant homes are particularly difficult to envision for buyers – its hard to achieve a desirable atmosphere in an echoing room.

Home staging is not just a check list of “things to do”. Its an art of creating a memorable atmosphere using specific techniques.  To get a truly memorable look it takes a trained eye and experience – not to mention knowing great places to shop, affordable tricks and great contractors.

Atmosphere is the most important element of a room that feels great – and an important element of selling a home for the best possible price in any market. When preparing your home for sale, ensure you do everything possible to get the quickest and best price possible.  Consultations with a professional stager are affordable and will help you get professional results!

Creative Concepts and Contracting is a home staging and licensed contracting business in Salem Oregon.  Specializing in maximizing a home’s potential and design on a dime — and helping others to see the possibilities!  Your professional  home staging partner serving the Willamette Valley.

home staging business Salem Oregon home staging examples on youtube find Creative Concepts and Contracting on facebook Creative Concepts and Contracting blog

Thinking about putting your home on the market?

prepare to sell your home

Do you think people will understand that you are getting ready to move and see past your “stuff”?

pro - 2

We all live busy lives and when you’re getting ready to move its hard to keep things spotless

does it really make that much difference if there is a little clutter or things lying around?

pro - 3

Will serious buyers be able to see the room sizes,

features and the beautiful amenities your home has to offer?

pro - 4

Can’t they see the potential of this fabulous home that is so spacious?

Do you think it’s a waste 0f your time and money on to think about home staging?

Hoping that you can list your home “as is” and everything will be just fine??


With more homes on the market buyers can be choosy and most look first on the internet —

your home won’t even get a viewing appointment if it doesn’t look great in photos!

pro - 5

pro - 6

Not only can buyers not look past your “stuff”, but they will remember it — and not your home!

If you are preparing your home for sale – remember that the first impression is the only impression!

These before photos were taken when we provided a staging consultation for a busy family who was preparing to move.

They were motivated and did everything we advised.  Home staging goes beyond cleaning and decluttering – our advice also addressed the important first impression, room flow, lighting and much much more!

When we returned a week later, we brought some decor items which they rented from our staging company.

Furniture was rearranged,

some art and decor added

and now the sparkling clean home was ready to list!

This specific home was in a subdivision with over 25 competing properties.

It sold in 26 days with an excellent offer.

pro - 7

Home staging highlights the amenities and shows your home in a beautiful way!

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A professional home stager will provide you solid advice, furniture and decor rental and less stress in the process.

Home staging consultations,

color consultations,

model homes and

rental furniture, decor and art

— what is it that will help your home compete in a buyers market?

We’ve got some ideas for you!

Creative Concepts and Contracting to prepare to sell professionally and successfully!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

check out our website! our videos on youtube! connect with us on facebook! subscribe to our blog!

Staging consultations are one of my favorite aspects of being a home staging and redesign specialist.  Why?  It brings so much hope and direction to a home seller!

Most sellers, especially in this market, have a specific reason for selling – whether it is to relocate, wanting to upgrade to a nicer home, or perhaps a change in family status.  The stress of putting a home on the market can be reduced significantly by obtaining specific and detailed information on how to prepare for the best offer and quickest sale.

How we live in our homes, and how we present our houses for sale are two very different things.

  • We personalize our homes – create a warm and comfortable environment for us.
  • We present a house for sale – showing it as an inviting palate for someone else to paint their life story upon – a neutralized and wonderful environment to become their home!
  • Price will bring people to view a home, having a home well prepared or “staged” will get the offers.  Buyers shop logically and purchase emotionally!

A staging consultation provides the easiest way to transform a beloved home into a fantastic house for sale!

expect- bedroom before staging

So what can you expect from a staging consultation?

expect - bedroom after staging

  • Honest and straightforward evaluation of your home’s appeal – inside and out.
  • A detailed list of free and low cost recommendations you can implement yourself – specific advice on decluttering, lighting, traffic flow and more are addressed.
  • Help on prioritizing what needs to be done and an action plan so it is not overwhelming.
  • Advice on updating and repairs that will give you the best return on your investment – what’s the best paint color and sheen, is it best to give a carpet allowance, what about that lovely wallpaper in the bathroom?
  • Product and vendor expertise – years of personal experience with products and contractors gives you the peace of mind and success.
  • Reasonable Cost – Staging consultations are affordable and this small investment will help any home sell quicker and frequently for more money.
  • A partner in helping you achieve success – our business is built upon delighted home sellers who have allowed us to team with them and recommend us to others
  • Amazing results – Best said by a realtor recently upon viewing their listing where we provided a consultation “OH MY GOSH!  My jaw hit the floor!  I cannot believe this is the same house . . . .”
  • Fun – We love our work!  Our ideas provide confidence and less stress and we like to think we are fun to work with too!

Professional home stagingCreative Concepts and Contracting specializes in home staging services.  From model homes, color consultations, or licensed/bonded/insured contractor services!  Contact us for expertise with your prepare to sell needs!