With today's tough housing market, many designers are receiving home staging requests from sellers who hope to gain an edge by presenting their homes in the best possible light to prospective buyers. Many designers are instinctively able to help sellers stage their homes, often with dramatic improvements even on a tight budget.
Clients should determine a budget up front that the designer can work with, both in terms of long-term, more permanent design touch-ups such as new paint colors or floor refinishing, and in terms of short-term, decorative accents such as house plants, floral arrangements, candles, artwork, pillows and throws, rugs and the like. Home stagers should evaluate the seller’s furnishings and other belongings to determine what can be used versus what needs to be purchased or borrowed for successful staging.
When it comes to how much is enough or even too much, there are generally two schools of thought here. Many feel that simplicity is the best approach so that buyers can easily envision their own belongings in the space being showcased. Others believe that the seller should offer some “wow factor” by showcasing a well-appointed, beautifully decorated home that may be hard to resist.
I've helped clients stage homes on a shoestring budget with inexpensive additions such as small kitchen and bath accessories, a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore, and some nice houseplants. And I've also undertaken complete kitchen and bath renovations for my clients. I'd have to say that I generally find home staging for clients who are on a tight budget to be very rewarding, since the homeowners are frequently stunned that such significant improvements can be made for so little money spent. "Why didn't we call you long ago!?"
Although consulting time can be charged by the hour, many home stagers charge a flat fee for staging. Either way, the client generally provides the designer with a budget for purchases and pays directly for the items brought in for staging. There should be no financial risk to the designer.
Have you heard about the 2030 Challenge? It was conceived by architect Edward Mazria, who launched www.architecture2030.org
, a not-for-profit website to help achieve a dramatic reduction in the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the building sector by altering the way in which commercial buildings and residential structures are planned, designed and constructed.
The 2030 Challenge asks the global architecture and building community to adopt certain energy savings targets over time for new construction, culminating in carbon-neutrality in the year 2030. To achieve this goal, the 2030 Challenge calls for the following goals / targets:
- All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
- At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 50% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
- The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased to 60% in 2010, 70% in 2015, 80% in 2020, 90% in 2025, and 100% in 2030.
These aggressive targets can be achieved through a combination of sustainable design approaches, renewable on-site power generation and the purchase of renewable energy and/or certified renewable energy credits (20% maximum).
"The road to energy independence, economic recovery and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions runs through the Building Sector." -Edward Mazria