Guest Post-Kathleen Fisher of Starfish Home Staging on staging the 90210 house

To stage or not to stage … that was the question Austin Flipsters Lauren Ahrens and Lincoln Edwards asked Starfish Home Staging to consider with their “90210 House.” Two years ago the Flipsters remodeled this two-story traditional suburban home in RiverPlace originally designed and built in the 1990s. After having renters move out, they were ready to put it on the market in June during the most popular home buying season. They needed it to really stand out in order to generate top dollar and get it sold quickly. With its modern finishes, grey interior, and white subway tile, stand out it did! And though this modern interior would definitely appeal to many, there were some challenges associated with its overall presentation. Enter the staging question. Would it help the property sell and was it worth it? Here are four challenges we saw with how the property presented overall and how the Starfish Home Staging team solved them. Take a look at the before and afters and see what you think.

  1. Targeting the right demographic –

Knowing that it would most likely be a family with school-age children moving into the area, the home had to appeal to that type of family’s needs – spacious living/dining, multiple common areas, media/game/playroom, library or study for a work-at-home parent, outdoor living potential, etc. Therefore we intentionally staged multiple areas for entertainment at all ages … a sitting area to enjoy cocktails and company in the more formal living, a great media area upstairs that would appeal to tots and teens, tables on the multiple outdoor balconies, and a private office downstairs.

Before: Formal Living

After: Formal Living

2. Blending modern finishes inside with the traditional brick exterior—

Staging with transitional décor was the key to blending the two in such a way that families could enjoy a contemporary home feel yet not feel out of place in that particular neighborhood. Combining finishes and styles gave just the right look, for example modern/contemporary glass and metal desk with a wooden chair. Cool contemporary and bold colors in the casual living and master bedroom with woven throws and neutral pillows to keep it comfortable. Classic expresso wood dining table with modern art and funky place settings.

Before: Office

After: Office

Before: Dining Room

After: Dining Room

3. Breaking up the upstairs loft area into targeted hangouts for diverse ages

The second story had a great loft area perfect for family members of all ages to hang out and entertain, but it was REALLY big and open. To help buyers see the potential, we staged it in two separate yet complimentary areas – an older kid media zone with comfy couch – think teenagers playing Fortnite — AND a younger kid playroom complete with a life-size abacus, bright colors, and fun books and toys.

Before: Upstairs Loft Area

After: Upstairs Loft Area

4. Awkward ceiling in the third upstairs bedroom

Without staging it became very difficult to imagine “awkward, encroaching ceiling room” as a viable bedroom. The home boasted four bedrooms total (three upstairs and one down), including “awkward, encroaching ceiling room”. Without a clear vision of how to arrange that room, buyers would only see this home as having TWO bedrooms upstairs and an extra, random room. Once again looking at the target demographic (large family), it seemed prudent to highlight the room’s potential as a really cool and unique bedroom to reinforce its usability. Bring in some cool art, stage a hip dressing table, and highlight the entire area in twinkly fairy lights and voila! “Awkward, encroaching ceiling room” now equals “super cool, kids-are-now-fighting-over-it room!”

Before: Awkward Bedroom Ceiling

After: Awkward Bedroom Ceiling

According to my realtor friends the average days on market in this area is 60 ish. This home sold in less than that! So you decide, was staging worth it? If you agree it was, and you want to learn more about staging and redesign, give Starfish Home Staging a call, visit us at, or like us on Facebook!

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