Our mission at Home Staging & Redesign by Holly is to deliver exceptional service to each client to prepare your house for the quickest & most profitable sale. Whether you are staging to sell or just need to redesign or “face-lift” a room, Home Staging & Design by Holly is committed to giving you a valuable service!

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Bastrop, Williamson & Travis Counties

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Home Staging an Estate Property

You never know what you are getting into when asked to stage estate property. This particular estate property was a fun day staging. It was a very well loved mid century home but it came time for it to be sold as the owner was downsizing. The property had light carpet and tile throughout with light walls & nice size windows BUT the very heavy draperies made it very dark. Long story short I was called in to use furniture that was available to stage. I picked out the pieces I thought I could work with and everything else was removed from property including the artwork/photos which while they were fine in the home of the owner, they would be considered outdated to the new buyers out shopping. I brought in a couple rugs, a few pieces of art, bedding & the rest was just furniture arrangement!

It really was a pleasure to stage this home! The owners children were great to work with and listened to what I wanted to do. The house sold immediately for over asking price! The photographer from Twist Tours took amazing after photos & I really couldn’t be any happier with this stage. That is a success story!

Meadow Creek Home StagingTransformation

Home Staging

This property totally surprised me! When I walked thru with REA to see what could be done regarding staging, the property was going thru an estate sale…so needless to say that all the “stuff’ out for sale just made the 1300 sq ft home look that much smaller!  What a difference come staging day a few days later! In walking into the property the first thought was “oh my I may not have brought the right furniture” as it looked so much larger empty! Now that I think about it …..that is what a lot of homeshoppers would probably think as well with the the long skinny living area, an odd placed fireplace, etc.
home staging

In the end, the house has become a home for a family! Sold in 3 days with multiple offers well over asking price! Happy Realtor, Happy Stager!

Home Staging

What is Proper Height for Artwork on a Wall?

What is the proper height to hang artwork? Is there a hard and fast rule? I don’t think so but it seems the middle or ½ way point of the art should be at eye level. Generally I have always used 60” but it all depends on the piece & what is comfortable to you. But what is comfortable to you may be to high or low for the next person. How do you hang art to please everyone? You can’t. If you are taller, you tend to hang art higher such as me. A person 5’3” is not going to hang a piece of art to please someone who is 6’. Just isn’t going to happen!


In my research of this, I asked other stagers and friends as well as some online research. A fellow home stager said that 65” for the mid-point of art is generally safe & seems to be the easiest to use. Now I did fine a demonstration on the mrshinesclass.com website of how to figure the proper hanging height of an art piece but it takes a little figuring:


Measure height of picture & divide that number by 2. [ex. Artwork is 24” long] 12


Find distance from top of pic & picture hanging hardware [if using wire pull it up tight] [ex. 6”]


Subtract that number [6] from height [24/2 or 12] ex. 12-6= 6
Add number of inches [6] to 60” and that is the nailing height for that pic [66”]!


So, basically after all that you still end up pretty much back at the 65” or so from floor to hang your art!


Lesson Learned: Whether I am staging a home or just hanging artwork in my own home, I will be more attentive to the height of artwork from the floor! Remember – the purpose of a room or height of the walls may also dictate a higher or lower point on the wall as well. For example, an entry where everyone stands may be a good place to hang artwork a tad higher wherein a dining room where everyone is usually seated may be a great room to lower the artwork. Just something to think about!


I put a picture online a couple weeks ago of one that I had hung over a new cabinet. All but one who responded said the picture should be lowered which I have now done. [See before/after pics at www.facebook.com/holly.cronetaylor]. I have to say I do like it even more now with it lowered about six inches!


Staging Consultation Report

It is amazing how easy it can be to prep your home for sale once you have guidance, i.e. a staging consultation!  Many homeowners are just overwhelmed when it comes to packing to move to that new dream home or down size to that forever home & just don’t know where to start. That is where I  come in with the two hour staging consultation.  By the end of our meeting, I will have everything you will need to get you moving toward your goal of prepping your property to sell.


I will be posting pics shortly of a few homes that have undergone such transformations! Check out the difference it makes. Some were simply hanging new drapes or painting…some were organizing and redoing the furniture layout.  Enjoy the transformations!


Other consultations may be just hands on staging with client.  You would be surprised how much can be done in a short frame of time. In some rooms it may be something as simple as re-arranging furniture or adding or taking away decor….or removing or adding draperies…it is really dependent on that room as to what you will be addressing but in the end the results are usually pretty amazing.  Of course, all houses are not created the same so what works for one house may not for the next but you get the idea!


If you are a fan of DIY then either of the above consultations would work for you.   The alternative is to have me come in and we, together, can tackle room by room with some hands on staging. Either way, the end results will be wonderful and your house will be one step closer to being on the market!


I will post pics in next couple days of examples or end results of staging consultations!


Practice Safety in Staging Vacant & Occupied Homes!

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog regarding Safety while staging homes…deja vu….


I was all set to stage an Austin house several weeks ago. I arrived on Sunday to drop off the accessories prior to delivery of furniture the next day. My sister was visiting so she went with me. The owner knew I would be at house so all is cool correct? Well, I am walking my sister thru the house prior to taking any accessories in just to give her a walk thru. As we are walking down the hallway, I say “Well why is this door shut?”. I opened it up to a man sitting on the floor who looks up at me and says “hello”. I pulled the door shut and scooted my sister out of the house to the car, doors locked and back out to end of driveway.


I called the owner who called the police.  Long story short and believe me there is a story… the  young man comes out of the house on his cell. He says the  subcontractor told him he could stay….Then he tells me he had code to get key and his girlfriend was in house. These were homeless people, they carried out at least 3 trash bags of stuff and back packs. They said the subcontractor told them they could stay…..Anyway I left it to the police and homeowner to deal with.


I did go back next day and staged the home. No problems. Just want to reiterate again, PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU ENTER EMPTY HOMES TO STAGE!  NO damage done here other than my heartbeat racing for a while….


The officer did tell me that they are seeing this more and more in homes with FOR SaLE signs that are vacant. He said they were called to one home that was pristine on the outside but when they went in there had been fifteen homeless people living in it and had completely destroyed the interior!


Please be careful!

Sherwin Williams “Really Teal” for a Bedroom

Any one who knows me knows that I love color and that our home is full of it!  As an Austin home stager we rarely if ever would recommend a paint this color or as bold for a bedroom of a home going on the market. But as the homeowner or in home redesigning it is all up to the homeowner and their taste!  You do not have to be afraid of color on your walls in your homes! Find a color you like, then look at all the various tones, etc of that color and you will find what is right for what you want it to say on that wall!


I really wanted to paint this room a bold color but it took me a minute to decide on this shade of green.  Plus since it is on the dark side, it has been a pickle trying to get the right daylight to give it justice in a photo.  I call this my Paris room.  Why? I don’t know..because I can?  What you don’t see is the glass mosaic Eiffel tower mirror, or the French mystery on the shelf written by a local Austin Atty, Mark Pryor [which by the way is very good and you should look him up for any new books he has coming out].  As a DIY project, I repurposed the candlabra from an auction and blinged it up a bit with silver foil and crystals from craft store, though I am really thinking I need to add some more bling. And of course the pillow on bed with travel post stamps is a kudos to how much I love to travel period. Having only spent a day in Paris while on working detail in UK, I have always wanted to go back with The Big Guy for a romantic vacation…..One of these days it will happen. Ha.


I am now working on my other guest bedroom. It’s new color is Mexican Sand, another Sherwin Williams color though it is pretty much completely opposite of the Teal color. It is a calmer sandy color..really pretty and I will use burgundy for the accent color so curtains are picked out, pillows are ready…just need to get the bedspread and then I will post it on here.

Curb Appeal to Brag About!

Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ?

Hire residential landscape architects to help with all aspects of landscape design, from selecting or designing outdoor patio furniture, to siting a detached garage or pergola.
Find new home builders who can help you create a dream kitchen, complete with kitchen island cart, a large dining table and a creative kitchen cupboards design.


As a Home Stager or Realtor – Who is Responsible for your Safety in Everyday Business?

Whether you are a Realtor, Home Stager, Designer, etc., we as small business owners are forever on the prowl for that next new client. Are you so busy as a new home stager or realtor trying to bring in that new client that you inadvertently put yourself in harms’ way? Who is in charge of your personal safety?


I admit I have done some pretty…ok I’ll say it …stupid…things & not give a second thought to what could have happened had luck not been on my side that day! Have you ever have been guilty of jumping in your car and driving to meet a potential client not giving a second thought to who knows where you are going and if you are safe? My spouse spent 25 years in Law Enforcement and told me that he has seen first-hand what can happen to a person merely by them being careless or in a hurry. Of course, in my defense which is not a good defense at all, I tell him that with his work schedule over the last few years of being gone months at a time, I got into the habit of coming and going as needed & not letting anyone know where I would be at any certain time. Now that he is home it is a continual internal fight with me to remember to tell him the Five W’s and H – who, what, where, when & who and how long it should take for the meeting, [i.e. a new client]. I try to remember & do for a day or so and then oops I forget again.


We all know that almost all first contact with a client is as a stranger. So, let me ask you if anything below matches what you have done or are doing – which some of you may seem to think a tad anal especially some of you burly men. You can use or not as they are intended only to make you sit and think & possibly save you at some point from being in “that” position where danger is a possibility. I’m hoping if any of you have a spouse at home that worries about you that maybe inserting a few of these suggestions into your day to day business to keep you safe and your spouse calm.
1] Who is your client? Have you checked them out on any of the various databases available to the everyday person [i.e. sex offender d/base, google name, search F/B, etc.]?


2] Where do you keep a log of clients & meeting location w/times? Is it where readily found by employees, friend, spouse should a question comes up as to where you were last known to be or last person you were to meet?


3] Who do you notify When you are leaving or arriving at meeting with new client? Do you call them again when you drive away from the location?


4] What do you do upon arrival at your destination? Do you take a picture of the potential client “for your records” & send to someone?


5] How do you know your surroundings! Do you scan your surroundings? Are you aware of any secondary exit from house? Do you ensure entrance does not have a keyed deadbolt on inside lock.


6] Do you keep your car keys [keep finger on “car alarm”, it will draw instant attention should you need it] & do you always keep cell on you at all times?


7] How much is your life worth? More than a potential sale!


My bottom line is if something doesn’t feel right – go with your gut reaction!

RESA 2014 Convention!

A fellow RESA stager sent me a questionnaire wanting my thoughts on the 2014 RESA Home Staging Convention in Las Vegas last month. It was awesome! Actually that doesn’t cover it…I really can’t think of one word to describe what I came away with from this RESA Convention.  Shell &  Kathy did  a knock out job this year. Presenters were fabulous…Barbara Corcoran, Matt Finlason, Steven Aaron, Lisa Vail, Kristie Barnett, Terry Watson who is just indescribable! I’m sure I left someone off but I’m trying to this from memory. My favorite break out session would have to be my ever favorite Audra Slinkey & Michelle Finnamore!  So much experience & knowledge was packed into two days and, yes, it was over whelming but I walked away with so much in my pocket.


My notebook is still laying open on my desk for me to browse thru whenever I have a moment. Yes, I’m still picking out and implementing something from each speaker to implement into my business. Am I going to get rich overnight by going to the Convention? Heck no! But what I learned is so emotionally personal to me that it can only help me build my business to be successful & the only limitation really would be me.


The biggest takeaway for me was the networking – how issues are addressed, how to avoid certain issues, etc. We all have the same issues one way or the other and it really helps to hear how others in the same business have addressed the different things that come up day to day in business.


I’m going to close this now but I have to really thank a certain blond NY stager.  I am thrilled that she just stopped by the “Texas Girls Table” to say hello the first day.  I did not know this lady beforehand & wow what I surely have missed by not meeting her earlier. Teresa, Conni and I were in awe within seconds of Barbara Brock stopping to say hello! She was at our table maybe 10 minutes but the wisdom and knowledge that she gave us in that short few minutes, I will never forget.  She walked away and Teresa, Conni and I just looked at each other shaking our heads smiling. WOW! She is one smart cookie!  I am a forever fan & hopefully next year we will see Barbara B up on that stage!


hme stager

A few of the TX girls enjoying burgers at Margaritaville!

Here is a photo I took of Barbara meeting with some of the other Chapter Presidents, our Amy George being one of them!

Do You Really Need A Home Stager in Austin to Put Your Home on the Market?

Home Stager In Austin

The simple answer is YES!

With interest rates down there is no better time than now for homeowners who have been thinking of putting home on market.  So you’ve made the decision to sale but are not sure if your house is ready for the market exposure? It is always best to have your home dressed to sale or ‘staged’  prior to photos, a planned open house, etc. this is where a Home Stager comes into play. You can clean your home but that is not staging…You can de-clutter your home but, again, that is not staging. Home Stagers in Austin use creativity & expertise to prepare your house to sell so that it will be viewed more attractively to potential homebuyers.  A benefit of home staging in Austin is usually a quicker sale and more pleasing price.

My suggestion would be to call a home stager. You can look online, Yelp, Thumbtack, associations, referral from a friend or even your Realtor should be able to guide you! At least 85% of all homebuyers are looking online prior to making a physical visit to a home to view. If you home hasn’t been staged or the photos on MLS do  not do justice….that hurts your chances.  Again, you want your home to be viewed by potential buyers as “awh I can live there” or “so that is how my furniture could be set up” etc.

Here is a photo I pulled off the web. This home is for sale and I am assuming by the photo it was not staged….in fact it is a little scary and would make me run away fast but you tell me what do you think?

Home Stager in Austin

I won’t even discuss one of the pictures shows a dirty toilet in it. Really! This is totally uncalled for….I’m thinking the home will be on the market for a while.  To my eye, this is a photo of someone’s ‘stuff’.  It doesn’t show the room…it doesn’t show any amazing qualities of the space…it just shows you some pieces of mismatched furniture stuffed into a corner…I’m not sure what the mirror on floor under the table is used for  but….. Ok, I’ll give you one more…

Really…how hard would it have been to remove the iron from the bathtub? All the pictures really are horrendous and I can’t imagine why someone didn’t tell this homeowner to clean up a little before pics were taken but…

Ok, so you get the drift….here are five simple easy steps toward putting your home out there for public viewing, market, etc.

1] Give each room a purpose.  Having said that let the living room be a living room – not a gym-not a catch all for extra furniture, etc. 

2] Use what the owner has to bring out the best – i.e. if windows face out to a beautifully flower garden, use that view to your best advantage for that room. Does that make sense?

3] You don’t have to go buy all new furniture…usually just a good cleaning & de-cluttering can work wonders. Save your hard earned $ for new pillows, etc for your next home!

4] If walls haven’t seen paint for years…PAINT…ceilings, walls, niches, what ever is needed to freshen it up

5] And drum rolls please, if you truly do not know what to do CALL A HOME STAGER!  She/he will be able to assist/guide you thru the process allowing you to do a little or a lot, on your budget!

I hope this has helped at least a little and if you have questions, visit my website at www.stagingbyhct.com!

Home Stager In Austin