Floor Coverings International Cleveland South had the great pleasure of interviewing Kim Ausbury, a successful and talented property stylist and owner of Staged and Styled. Follow Kim and her team on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and on their blog!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I have been in the real estate staging industry for 12 years. I got started by fixing up my own houses to sell and they would sell within a few days of listing. When we moved from Missouri to Ohio, I was looking for something to do part time while raising my two boys and I stumbled upon the concept of “staging”. I investigated the industry, which was in its infancy in 2004, and signed up for some certification classes. I have continued to invest in continuing education and conferences through the years because it is important to stay abreast of the latest trends in not only the staging industry but the real estate market, as well.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 25 years. We are recent empty nesters having just launched our oldest son who graduated from the University of Cincinnati and our youngest is a junior at Liberty University studying cinematography. I love my boys, but the empty nest is turning out to be a lot of fun!
How is staging used to sell homes?
To start, I think it’s important to distinguish the difference between staging and interior design or decorating. Staging is a marketing tool used to attract buyers. Interior design or decorating is a personal approach to the home where you take the taste, style and needs of the homeowner into consideration. With staging it is all about the buyer, not the homeowner.
Staging presents an idealized lifestyle for buyers to imagine themselves living. By creating spaces that speak directly to the target demographic buyer, we are able to garner faster sales for top dollar.
Where do you get your inspiration when staging a home?
As I mentioned, staging is all about the buyer. So we study buyer demographics and current decorating trends to come up with a formula and plan to sell the property.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I am exposed to so many different decorating styles, that I tend to like elements from every type of design. If I had to select my favorite, it would be classic design choices because they are timeless. For example, white subway tile, hardwood flooring, chrome fixtures, chunky trim and moldings will never go out of style. Currently, grays, tans and whites with pops of color would be my go to color palette.
Do you have a favorite flooring style? If so, what is it and what do you like about it?
We have been recommending LVT (luxury vinyl tile) to a lot of our clients. We love LVT because it can’t be damaged by water, it comes in some great colors and finishes, and you can mix up the look by how it is installed, i.e., grout lines, no grout lines, etc. LVT is a great product because you can run the product throughout your entire home for a seamless look. It’s perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms because of its water resilient properties. We see so many different types of flooring being used in homes and we always tell our sellers that if they will use the same flooring throughout their space, their home will actually appear larger than if they were to choose different types of flooring for each room. Square footage or the appearance of an abundance of square footage is an important selling feature. So just by changing the flooring, home sellers have the potential to attract more buyers.
Could you tell us about a recent project that you’re proud of?
I worked closely with sellers in Aurora, OH to prepare their home for sale. This couple tried to sell their home last year unsuccessfully. The feedback they were getting was that the home was dated. During a staging consultation with the couple, we were able to give them recommendations for updating their home. The couple implemented all of our recommendations, which included changing wall colors, flooring, lighting, painting out their kitchen cabinets and island and upgrading their countertops, backsplash and appliances. We also advised them on how to finish their basement without breaking the bank. When all of the work was completed, we staged the property with furniture, art and accessories and the property sold within 2 hours for full asking price!
Take a look at the stunning job Kim and her team completed here:
Thank you to Kim for taking the time to give us an insight into the world of real estate staging and sharing a bit of your passion with our community. To see more projects from Staged and Styled, check out their portfolio here.