Jacquie Wilson

Author Archives: Jacquie Wilson

Home (Staging) for the Holidays

In the past, we’ve staged holiday events around this time of year and it’s one of my favorite annual activities. There’s nothing like using the colors of the season in any environment to brighten even the grouchiest Scrooge. Whether decorating your office or your home this season, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

 Keep It Shiny
We love using metallic and glittery accessories in our stagings. They add just the right hint of contrast and texture that many rooms lack. Oftentimes, we only sprinkle them in as accents to complete a room, but why not let them be the main attraction for this time of year? Like in the picture above, they get the star treatment while natural materials switch to a supporting role for contrast.

Keep It Personal

While it is important to acknowledge that this time of year means different things to different neighbors, our homes should be a reflection of what we hold dear. Using lights and candles as a central design theme binds together all traditions, but it’s okay to mix & match if your family represents a blend of cultures. That’s the true celebration: everyone under the same roof, friends and family alike, surrounded by sentimental items that showcase their unique heritage.

Keep It Festive

Our standard staging rule of thumb that “less is more” simply doesn’t apply for the month of December. If there’s one time of year when it’s okay to break the “rules” and be granted full permission to be a child again, this is the time! Sometimes having a theme like favorite Christmas movies or favorite holiday desserts keeps every area of the house feeling fun and included. So remember: it’s not “go big OR go home” but rather, “go big IN your home” for the holidays!

Thank you again for an incredible year of staging every corner of New Jersey! We look forward to helping sell your homes faster and for more money in 2017.

Happy Staging & Happy New Year!


What Are You Thankful For?

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since our first staging. During our first full year of operation, we staged 25 homes. Thanks to all of you and your continued faith in me, we doubled that number the next year and keep growing to the point where we’ve now staged over 300 homes throughout the state!

When we all sit down with our families (hopefully in a comfortable yet elegant dining area!) to enjoy our Thanksgiving meals, I won’t just be thankful for the friends & family around the table. I’m thankful for:

  • every realtor who persuaded the reticent homeowner to give staging a try
  • every investor who never staged before but heard it’s worth a shot
  • every client who doesn’t hesitate to stage and notifies us long before renovation is complete
  • every referral that’s generated from the incredible word-of-mouth on our behalf
  • every back-breaking lift of our steadfast crew members who tirelessly position each sectional, stool, and table setting into reality

Yet I’m also reminded that the growth we’re experiencing is not universal, and as I gaze upon my increasing warehouse inventory, I’m reminded of those who don’t have a home to call their own, let alone a bed or accent chair.

I encourage you to find the nearest homeless shelter in your neighborhood and see what they need. On those stressful days when paperwork and delays keep mounting, it helps to remember that everyone in our community deserves a home, or at the very least, a warm place to sleep tonight.

Any of our lives could have turned out differently than what we hoped or planned. I’m looking forward to another year of success and living our dreams.

Happy Staging & Happy Thanksgiving!


Don’t Be Afraid of These Rooms

Sometimes behind innocent looking front doors lurks a terrifyingly awkward space that keeps us up at night. These stagings could have been scary, but don’t fear! We turned each potential nightmare into a happy ending…

The windows would normally be welcome, but how do you make it work with the small wall and stairs so close nearby?

Wow! The perfect living room/entry area was hiding in plain sight.

Oh no! What to do with the traffic flow between these 2 rooms?

Incredible! Was really on the edge of the…chaise on that one.

What to do with this corner and the space in-between the windows? How can we turn this area into more than just a hallway.

Whew! Didn’t see that coming. What was once a challenging space is now the perfectly-staged area.

So the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid! No matter how awkward, difficult, or challenging a room might be, we’re here to make it shine and give your real estate story the happy ending it deserves.

Until next time, Happy Staging!

– Jacquie and Team

How Much Would You Pay for a Bottle of Water?

I’ve often heard from many realtors and investors over the years that their decision to talk to me about staging wasn’t their “first choice” but rather their “last resort.” We joke that I shouldn’t take it personally, but they admit to being amazed that they waited so long before considering the benefits of staging. One recent client told us their house has been on the market for an entire year and they just now considered staging.

Just imagine what the carrying costs are for just 2 months, let alone 12, for the average property. Think about your current inventory and how each one has its own mortgage, insurance, and utilities that add up quickly. On top of that, many properties reduce the selling price the longer they’re on the market, so an additional $5,000 to $10,000 eats into the final profit. Compare that to the average staging we do for high-traffic areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, master suite) of only .5% – 1% of the listing price , not to mention the discounted 20% rental rate in the rare instance you need an extra month to seal the deal.

This points to an interesting quirk of human nature that a long-time client explained to me this way: She recently got back from her dream vacation which cost thousands of dollars when you factor in airfare, hotels, transfers, meals, tips, and excursions. Halfway through the trip, she was starting to get low on her converted currency and found herself “nickel and diming” her way around town. Bottled water was suddenly an extravagance, as were souvenirs that she never thought she would pass up. At one point she realized that these items were minor when compared to the trip’s grand total, serving only to distract her from the whole intention of the money that was already spent to get her there in the first place.

Ultimately, she didn’t allow the inexpensive options to ironically outweigh the benefit of enjoying the expensive vacation itself and remarked how similar this can be in real estate. She’s invested so much before I show up at the front door that sometimes my staging quote seems like that bottle of water that looks great but might be considered an extravagance. When we successfully help sell the home in record time and for more than the listing price, she tries to remind herself that the short-term investment of staging always reaps extraordinary benefits in the long-term success of her business. So when you ask me if your staging price can be reduced because of all the other expenses you’re fronting, I’ll hand you a bottle of water, smile, and remind you that it will all come back to you, and then some.

Until next time, Happy Staging!

Jacquie and Team

What Does “Home” Mean to You?

Hello! My name is Negaar and I’ve had the pleasure of helping Jacquie and her team on their stagings this summer as part of my internship. I will soon be a Junior at NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) majoring in Interior Design. Many people think staging is the easy, less challenging type of interior design. If you think that, then I have news for you! I know many experienced and talented interior designers that would not be able to do the kinds of stagings that Jacquie does. As I’ve learned, having to make big design choices in a very short amount time that ultimately results in a design that will appeal to everyone is an overwhelming feat and she does it every day.

As someone who left her home and family to move to the other side of the world, the thought of “home” and feeling “lost” is constantly on my mind. I was surprised that working on home staging & design has helped me to feel less lost and more comfortable here. I was amazed at how interior design can change people’s understanding and judgement about time, measurements, and even the season of year. Interior design is not only a decorative art – its emotional and physical impact on people cannot be underestimated.

The first time I went to tour a property, it was a disaster. It was a hot day (which never helps) and I couldn’t find the lockbox. Eventually I was able to find a key, but as soon as I walked in, the backyard door closed on me. Since the house was still under construction, the doorknob had not been installed yet, so essentially I was trapped. I was wandering all around the yard and almost called for help. But then I got creative and found some sturdy boxes that gave me just enough height to jump over the wall. Quite an adventure and one I’ll never forget!

Before I started the internship a few months ago, I was actually doubting my career choice, not to mention my design talent. While I have a good design eye, I didn’t necessarily have an eye for measurements. If you asked me what size bed or dining table will fit into a particular space, I would have to go through a mental catalog one by one before landing on a clear fit. As the summer progressed, I faced many design difficulties and creative challenges in helping execute the best stagings possible. But what I never could have anticipated was how many “impossible” situations were made possible because of the collective power of the team. It means the world to me in knowing that I’m never alone as long as I’ve got a great crew to lean on as I move forward in my career.

At the end of the day I’m an artist, and I love to help people feel healthier and happier through my art. When I first enter a vacant home, I make a floor plan in my mind as I start envisioning where all of those furnishings will go and how people will react to them. After each staging, I walk back through those same rooms and cannot believe the transformation because it’s better than I imagined. I’m proud to have been a part of this work and helping all of your properties stand out a little more above the rest. Each staging gave me the feeling that I have the power to make a change – not just in deciding which area rug or piece of artwork to incorporate – but the greater power of perspective in realizing that no matter where you are in the world, home is never far away. I love this feeling.



What Can Staging Do For Me?

I attended a workshop several years ago where the speaker asked all of us if we listened to WII-FM. We all looked around the room and shrugged our shoulders as that wasn’t a local radio station name. He joked that it stood for the acronym, “What’s In It For-Me?” Everyone, no matter the profession or the environment, is always asking that when considering to buy something new or get involved in an unfamiliar venture. From the investor looking to step into the real estate market, to the young couple about to find their first home, staging helps showcase a home’s possibilities to anyone wondering what the benefits of that space will be. In case you’re wondering “what has staging done for me lately?” we thought we’d share some stats that truly bring it home:

  • It only takes potential buyers between 6 and 7 seconds to decide if they will make an offer upon entering the home. First impressions really do matter!
  • On average, 94% of staged homes sell in 1 month or less and spend a total of 80% less time on the market than non-staged homes.
  • Nationally, staged homes result in 6% higher selling prices than vacant properties.

But don’t take our word for it. On average, local clients report back to us that they receive at least 2 offers within the first 2 weeks after staging! Your feedback continues to be so critical to our work and to highlight how much staging matters. Please take a few minutes to let us know how we’re doing here.

So, the next time a colleague or client asks if it’s worth the effort to have their next property staged, feel free to remind them that the house is more likely to sell faster and for more money than if we didn’t use our magic touch. To all of you who continue to refer us and share the importance of our work, thank you so much!

Stay cool and until next time, Happy Staging.

-Jacquie and Team

Not All Stagings Are Created Equal

For those of you who have watched our stagings over the years, you’ve undoubtedly come to recognize the quality and aesthetics of the furnishings we use at Professional Home Staging and Design. Once I like a style or furniture collection, I get several of each to always have on hand!

Yet it amazes me when the same exact furnishings are used in 2 different houses, how different it all feels because of the varying environments:

But the differences don’t end there. You’d be amazed at how living rooms and bedrooms that are the same square footage on paper can require completely different layouts and furnishings even if they have the same wall color and amount of windows/natural light. That’s why we’ve developed staging into its own art form, tailoring each space to make it shine the brightest way possible.

We’ve even staged homes in the same neighborhood at similar listing prices, but with tangibly different looks and feels throughout. We’ve also only staged one or two rooms when those are the only spaces in the home that were trickiest for potential buyers to imagine themselves in. I often get told that certain rooms feel too small or people think the bed won’t fit into the master bedroom. At the end of each staging, no matter how many of the different variables needed to be addressed for that particular property, everyone who walks through the front door instantly feels at home.

That’s the power of staging. And that’s why we’re committed to helping your house sell as quickly as possible, no matter how “unique” each corner and how “odd” the angle. Until next time, Happy Staging!


Let Your (Dining Room) Light Shine!

In this month’s blog post, I encourage you to “turn on the lights” (in the dining room, that is).

The placement of dining room light fixtures can often be challenging as I’ve seen over the years from house to house. It’s important to consider all of your options, especially if your home has been undergoing renovations before selling. Once the wiring is done, it’s obviously harder to make adjustments, so here are some lighting tips to consider before flipping the switch:

  • Are the light fixtures evenly spaced on the wall both from each other as well as the corners? Try to imagine artwork nearby and visualize what looks symmetrical versus off-center.
  • Traditionally, chandeliers were the main lighting fixture in a dining room, but they no longer have to be. You can use a series of pendant lights hanging evenly above the table or mini-chandeliers to produce a more modern effect. If your fixtures have crystal in them, did you know low-voltage halogen bulbs will help them sparkle even brighter?
  • Don’t be afraid to go against tradition and use recessed lighting with wall sconces on the sides. Again, just make sure you don’t limit future homeowners by not considering all of the angles when determining the sconce placements. If you choose to use both sconces and a central ceiling fixture like a chandelier, make sure they complement each other both in style and design.

Check out the 3 photo examples below of what works compared to what could pose a challenge down the road.

While a beautiful space overall, see how limiting this lighting arrangement will be for future inhabitants.

What’s wrong with this picture? Think about what will happen if the next owners don’t have 3 pieces of art to display here.

Check out how balanced the lighting is in this space, incorporating 3 different styles all harmoniously. It can be done!

I hope I’ve “illuminated” you on just a small sliver on the importance of choosing the right light fixtures in a formal space like the dining area. There are so many more aspects to this topic that you’ve probably never considered, so we’ll be “shedding more light” in future blog posts. Until then, Happy Staging!