The Importance of Staging; A Case Study

photos from the NWMLS

There is no doubt that the real estate market has started to shift with the rising interest rates. While we’re still seeing properties move quickly, we aren’t seeing the abundance of bidding wars that we saw over the past few years.

With these market shifts, keeping a competitive edge when selling is more important than ever. Staging is one way to do that.

According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging provided by the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group:

  • 82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • 48% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered when compared to comparable homes on the market.
  • 53% of sellers’ agents said they saw a decrease in time on the market when a home was staged.

Data is one thing but nothing really compares to a real-life example of how staging can impact the sale of your home.

I recently put my condo on the market and we were living there while it was listed. Even though I’m a designer and a stager by trade, I knew that having someone else evaluate how my place was showing would provide valuable perspective on how the home looked to prospective buyers.

As soon as I knew we were selling, I called our Lead Stager and Interior Designer, Mayra Zarabia, to provide her perspective on my space. I had already done the top things we tell every client to do: de-clutter, de-personalize and downsize.

Mayra helped me finesse my space with a few purchased accessories and art. Within a short amount of time and Mayra’s help, my condo went from looking fabulously lived in to looking fabulous for someone else to live in.

There were three similarly sized condos on the market when we listed. Two of them had been on the market for about a month when we listed, which is not terribly long, but still longer than the trend had been in previous years.

The first one—that ended up selling the day we listed—was listed for a steal of a price and had been on the market for 35 days when it went pending. It was staged originally but remained empty for showings and they ended up lowering the price by 20K within the first few weeks.

The second was priced well and was a similar size to ours but not fully staged. There was furniture in the home, but it did not showcase the layout or show the potential buyers how they could live in the space. It did have good photos and was listed a smidge below ours. It sold about 5 days after we listed our condo and had been on the market for 35 days.

The third property went on the market about a week before ours. It was listed with dark, cell phone photos, was not staged or organized and was listed for about 30k above ours. It had a few good things going for it like vaulted ceilings, and an updated kitchen, but the photos and lack of staging really hindered the marketability of the unit. This unit was eventually taken off the market and did not sell. While I can’t speak to the exact reason it was pulled, I’m sure staging could have helped to sell that unit.

Finally, we get to our listing. We took the time to have a stager (who was not me. Thank you Mayra!) help make our space shine. We had fantastic photos and had similar updates to the other units. We listed on a Thursday. On the following Thursday—that’s right, in just one week—we had an offer that came in above asking. This to me, all came down to how our unit was marketed.

The initial purpose of staging is for the photos. It’s those photos that sway people from merely browsing on-line to scheduling an appointment to look in person. Once they step into the listing, we want them to envision themselves living there. Staging broadens the appeal to the greatest range of prospective buyers.

We focus on the best layout to achieve the most appealing look that highlights the home’s best features. We make sure to have just enough art and accessories to make the space feel warm and welcoming, but not feel like you’re walking into someone else’s home.

Whether you are living in a listed home or are selling a vacant home, staging can be the piece of the puzzle to help you stand out from your competition. For more information about staging, check out our website or call Nikole at our office at 206.719.1662

2023’s Revolutionizing Interior Design Concepts

Now that the long winter is upon us and sunlight seems like a distant memory, our attention goes to the quality and mood of our indoor spaces. Reimagining our home’s personality can be daunting, but with intention and patience, we can get in touch with interior energy that represents and empowers us.

At Housewarming, we like to remind our clients that the interior design trend cycle is a forever swinging pendulum with no right or wrong ways to design. In fact, leaning too strongly into trends and changing our homes around one flashy new concept can often leave us with regrets later. Trying to replicate trends can be tricky. However, indulging in new ways of thinking and finding inspiration in others’ work can realize positive results. Using trends to educate and inspire us is the most useful relationship we can have with them, and we can create deeply personal concepts by using a thoughtful blend of ideas, old and new.

No matter where on the pendulum you sit right now, 2023 has so much to show us! New designers’ voices are being heard all over the world. We want to share with you some trending concepts that bring a breath of fresh air, and a healthy dose of “Oh, I never thought of that.”

Design freely! Just… be careful with the bouclé.

Latter-day VictorianCredit: Zoffany

Paper, paper, paper!

Very recently, cottage-core took over Instagram with shaker furnishings and potted plants galore! Now we’re seeing designers delve into its more opulent satellite: American Victorian.

Credit: Cocokelley

The historic Victorian style was heavily influenced by a gothic revival; One brought about by new easy access to materials and goods. This barely mirrors its resurgence today.

Biophilic Design

Credit: Stuart Isett

Biophilic design is more than just houseplants and jungle wallpaper; It’s defined by reintroducing its users to their evolutionary roots to create wellness.

Credit: Decorilla

All elements of the concept attempt to be an ecosystem of natural parts that support our modern lives. That pendulum sure swings far back!

Old Hollywood

Credit: the common wanderer

While France’s Art Deco style is having its own huge resurgence, the intricate forms of 1920s Hollywood are making their own small statement too.

Credit: Interior Design

This branch of the Deco movement is more cinematic and indulges in far more international forms than its partner. Think, “could I see Audrey Hepburn in here?” If so, it’s probably Old Hollywood.


Credit: Eye for Design

China’s history in the arts is longer than many of us in the West can really comprehend. ‘Chinoiserie’ (not the fabric) is a word used by Europe historically to identify the idyllic spectacle of Chinese forms and motifs.

Credit: Baptiste Bohu

Danish Pastel

Rooted in colonial plunders and eclecticism, this style has since relaxed a bit and is now reinventing itself as a traditional powerhouse for older homes.

Credit: Holly Becker

Danish Pastel made a huge statement back in 2020 as social media influencers began twisting Scandinavian hygge into something more playful. Now it’s a fully matured design style with its own unique gestures and terminology!

Credit: Emma Omeara

Often created by mixing pastel furniture and fixtures inside white rooms, the interactive zone of the style is always brimming with joy and curiosity. We, at Housewarming, love to see the sunny disposition.

We believe that no matter your inner style or outward ability, you should feel entitled to be represented in your home. So, take notes, feel the rhythm in others’ work, and you’ll begin to piece together your own puzzles. But as always, let us know if you need help!

A Whole House Remodel Transforming How a Family Lives Together

We love whole house remodels. We get the opportunity to touch every corner of the home and create a full cohesive design from top to bottom. For this West Seattle home, we were presented with the opportunity to redesign all three floors which includes the basement, main level and reconfiguration of the top floor primary suite. The result was a welcoming and playful space that reflects the homeowners’ eclectic style.



The family wanted to use the basement as a space their two kids could call their own, which they certainly did. The day our team arrived to take photos, we were too late. The girls had taken over for sure!

In the basement, we needed to include two bedrooms, a bathroom that was larger and an enclosed laundry room. Space planning the basement was a bit challenging in that moving the location of the plumbing was not part of their scope. We were able to extend the size of the bathroom and divide the bedrooms to make one of them larger. As required by the building code, we had to make sure that both rooms had proper egress windows. The larger of the two already had an easily accessible window while the smaller bedroom did not. We had to lower the windowsill and create a window well on the exterior to allow for proper exiting allowances. The house has an extra bedroom on the main level that can be occupied by one of the kids when they get older, which will allow the smaller bedroom in the basement to act as an office space or guestroom.

The main level was a total transformation. We made a once enclosed and sectioned off space into an open and bright flex space that gives them better sight lines and opportunities to entertain their guests.



The focus of the main floor was redesigning a kitchen that would facilitate more interactions. Our clients wanted to have an island where their kids could do homework while they cooked. A big priority was having more counter workspace and better cabinet organization. To keep up with the playful aesthetic, we added a pop of color to the island cabinets and gold finishes to the hardware and plumbing to compliment the otherwise clean and soft feel of the kitchen. Our clients’ great taste in lighting and choices of island pendants and dining room chandelier worked very well with the overall design. We transformed the main floor into a more vibrant and functional gathering space.

My favorite part of this project was the top level. The husband and wife wanted the top floor to be their dedicated space complete with a his and her closet and a full wet room bath. With so much space to work with, we were able to extend the existing bathroom and add a full shower and bathtub, while still leaving plenty of space for the bedroom. We took out the existing bedrooms and closets and reconfigured them to create the walk-in closets. In the beautiful primary bedroom, the blue tiles created a lovely gradient that reflected nicely the light coming in from the window and skylight. The gold finishes mirrored those in the kitchen as well as the blue vanity cabinet. We balanced the use of loud colors and finishes with neutral and soft whites and grays. The shower and bathtub wet room is a dream!

For more amazing photos check out the porfolio page here.

Holiday Gift Certificates from Housewarming Home Staging & Design.

Give your family & friends the gift of comfort and beauty in their home

Finding the perfect gift for family and friends can be tricky. If Covid lockdowns taught us anything, it’s that how our homes feel and function greatly affects how we feel and function.  If you have a friend or family member (or even yourself!) with a space that they don’t know what to do with or that does not bring them joy and comfort, get them a gift card from Housewarming.

We are offering gift certificates for the holiday season. Pick out one of our pre-made packages or call us to create a custom package just right for your favorite person.

Single Room Color Package: $175

This option is great for someone who wants to bring new life to a room in their home with color.

Color Package: $575

This package is perfect for those who are afraid to explore color or are just unsure of where to take their home’s color palette!

  • Initial design video or phone interview to get a feel for your tastes
  • Up to 2 hours of design services to assist in picking out colors
  • 8×10 samples provided
  • Limited to exterior + 3 interior rooms or 5 interior rooms
  • Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint exclusively

Hands-On Space Planning Package: $400

This package is perfect for those who have space(s) that just don’t function, but don’t want to purchase new furnishings.

  • 2 hours of hands-on space planning with 2 of our designers to help re-configure your home using furniture, art and accessories that you already have
  • On-site suggestions for colors to add to your space to enhance the look

Ultimate Hands-On Space Planning Package: $1,000 (Actual Value: $1200)

This is the ideal package for those who have space(s) that just don’t function and want to buy a few new pieces of furniture but don’t know where to start.

  • 2 hours of hands-on space planning with 2 of our designers to help re-configure your home
  • On-site suggestions for colors to add to your space to enhance the look
  • List of suggested items to purchase (limit 10 items)- sent via email after meeting
  • Digital Space Planning: Have a custom floor plan created for your space (limit 1 room)

Digital Space Planning package: $700    

This package is for the DIY-er who just wants a road map to create a more functional space but doesn’t want to purchase new furnishings.

  • 1 hour on site to measure up to 3 rooms and your existing furniture and review your needs for the space(s)
  • Digital floor plan showing best space planning options using your existing furniture

Ultimate Digital Space Planning Package: $1,000 ($1,200 Value!)

This is THE package for the DIY-er who wants a road map to create a more functional space AND wants to purchase a few additional pieces of furniture to complete the package.

  • 1 hour on site to measure up to 3 rooms and your existing furniture and review your needs for the space(s)
  • Digital floor plan showing best space planning options using your existing furniture
  • List of suggested items to purchase (limit 10 items) to enhance your space

Custom Design Package:

Call or email us to create the perfect custom package for you loved one!

206.719.1662 |


Must purchase by December 31st, 2022 and use the gift certificates by December 31, 2023 in order to guarantee these prices.

A West Seattle Bathroom with the Blues

Don’t let the title fool you, this beautiful blue bathroom is a shining star in this West Seattle primary suite makeover. It started out cramped and dark but we were able to reorganize to create better storage and a lighter, brighter space.

In the primary suite we had an incredibly small, closet of a shower with a small vanity and toilet. There wasn’t much storage, and the mirror was surrounded by glass block. We took over a hall linen closet and flipped this layout on its head.



We had to work around an existing chimney, but it gave us a nice little niche with added shelving around the toilet. We added more glass block to the shower flooding the space with light.

In the primary bedroom, we discovered that the closet housed a large glass block window. We brought in California Closets to build a custom closet system to not only improve the natural light but make better use of the closet space!

For more photos of the space check out the portfolio here.

Bright and Accessible West Seattle Addition That Honors the Home’s Style

If you’ve ever heard me talk about my favorite projects, you’ll know I have a soft spot for older homes. I love to update a home while maintaining the integrity of its original design. We did just that with this project.

These clients came to us with a request to add a full bathroom and bedroom on their main floor. The family needed to have at least one bedroom and one accessible bathroom on the main level as they have a family member facing mobility loss in the coming years. Before we added the space, their only bathrooms and bedrooms were either in the basement or on the top floor. While this house had a ton of stairs, the back deck connected directly to the carport and has no stairs. This was the clear location to add space to this home.

Our wonderful clients wanted to keep the design of their existing home and carry that through to the new addition. Accessibility was #1 but LIGHT was a very close second. We couldn’t avoid creating a hallway to reach the (now) smaller deck and carport without losing their custom pantry, which was not an option. They did not want this new hallway space to be a dark tunnel in an otherwise bright home. Our bright idea was to add skylights and a glass door to the end of the hall to flood the space with light.

We also wanted to make sure both new spaces were accessible. We accomplished this by making sure we had good clearances in the bathroom with a roll up vanity and a roll in shower with good turning radius for wheelchair accessibility.

The bedroom needs to do double duty. For now, it’s going to be a relaxing music space/guest bedroom. Down the road, it can accommodate a queen size bed or sofa bed along with a side chair while still maintaining a clear turning radius for a wheelchair.

A primary goal of this this addition was for it to feel that it was truly a part of the house from the exterior as well as the interior. There is a very distinct aesthetic on the exterior and we could not let this addition negatively impact the way the home looks from the outside.




We are proud to say that we honored this home’s aesthetic while giving the homeowners the crucial accessible space they needed. This new addition is light, bright and accessible.


For more photos check out our portfolio page here.