See How a Stager Transformed a Sterile, Empty Bedroom into a “Crisp Fall Oasis”

published Nov 14, 2022
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Credit: Anna Haddock

As this new-build home in Wake Forest, North Carolina sat empty, it was difficult for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in it. Celebrating the holidays, cooking weeknight dinners, and relaxing on the sofa were tough to envision when none of the trappings of everyday life were there. 

To rid the place of its empty, sterile, look, Alisa Arnhalt, founder and creative director of Raleigh-based staging and design firm Linden Creek, got to work. For any home that Arnhalt and her team stages, they create an ideal buyer profile based on the house’s stats, the neighborhood, and the lifestyle they see working in each house. They ask themselves questions like, “Do they have children? How old are the children? Do any of the residents work from home? Are they eclectic and relaxed or more streamlined and glam?”

They’re not above scoping out the neighbors to get an idea of who lives there. “We consider the size, floorplan, price point, architectural style, and even observe the neighbors strolling by to determine the targeted market,” says Arnhalt. 

The bedroom is always a critical piece of staging. Buyers want to see a sanctuary they can move right into. In this bedroom, Arnhalt explains, “Our goal for the primary suite was to create a cozy oasis — a place where the owners could escape the hustle and bustle of the home, relax by the view of the backyard, and be reenergized.” She used “crisp fall oasis” as the jumping off point, and brought in textiles and neutral colors that evoked warmth and nature. “We balanced the color palette of changing leaves in the leather, brass, and deeply colored and patterned rug, along with white bedding that exemplifies an inviting, luxurious oasis element,” describes Arnhalt. 

With large windows overlooking the backyard, Arnhalt knew these would be the selling point of the room. A seller might look outside, and see themselves waking up to this lush and ever-changing view every morning. She says, “We wanted to capture this feature as the focal art of the room and keep the other art selections more muted, so the focus is on the location as much as it is on the four walls that surround you.”

Credit: Anna Haddock

By adding a sitting area with two modern chairs and a small table topped with flowers, she set the stage for buyers to wander over to the window and discover the stunning view for themselves. “Books are scattered throughout the room to suggest this as a perfect reading nook for potential buyers to envision,” Arnhalt says.

Another trick made possible with this room is keeping the buyer in the space. “Studies show the more time a potential buyer spends in the home, the more likely they are to write an offer, so we want to provide moments of pause throughout each room,” explains Arnhalt. “The window nook was a perfect opportunity to use low-profile furniture that would encourage potential buyers to sit and enjoy.” They think they’re relaxing, but really they’re getting closer and closer to putting in an offer.

Putting in an offer is exactly what someone did. The listing sold and received the Gold Award in the Triangle Parade of Homes. Arnhalt notes that new-construction homes can sit on the market empty for months, then sell days after they’re finally staged with furniture and styling that helps a buyer see themselves in the space. That’s what happened here. And that may be more important than ever in 2023, where Arnhalt says, “Staging helps accelerate the sale of a home in a slow market.” If you stage it, the buyers will come.