Staging Projects | Warmth Helps a Small Space Sell Big

Written by: Dena Landon

Photography by: Robert Socha

Sometimes it pays to think ahead. That’s what Henry and Julia did when they called Kaja, for her real estate and staging expertise, a few months before they planned on listing their apartment. Even though she’d originally helped them buy it, she swung by to see what needed to be done to maximize the selling price before listing.

Her first suggestion? Wait to list until they made some minor updates to the older kitchen. Just swapping out the handles and finding an inexpensive stone to replace the countertops immediately improved its appearance. Because they’d thought ahead, they had time to get it done without being pressured by time constraints.

Once it was ready to list Kaja knew she had to emphasize the elements of their space that buyers would be looking for; high ceilings, crown molding, and lovely floors. Simply taking out their personal furniture and replacing it with staging furniture that was more to scale showed off the smaller apartment’s good bones.

There’s a difference between designing a place to live in, such as an interior designer’s work and staging it to sell. Kaja wanted to highlight the apartment’s efficient, narrow layout, so she arranged specific pieces that allowed for the space to flow better. The key was to highlight the positives.

Even in a seller’s market, it pays to update and stage your home.

Warm tones of blush and beiges in the living room, mixed with varied textures, captured the attention of various buyers. Kaja’s real estate experience enables her to navigate the tricky waters of staging that doesn’t make a place look sterile and unlived in – too often seen when scanning the MLS. Her goal is to make a place feel lived in and appeal to the specific target buyer.

Kaja added touches of whimsy – an arrow pointed towards New York City, a stuffed unicorn head above one of the beds in a child’s bedroom – to make the Swayne’s home stand out from the competition. It worked so well there wasn’t even time for an open house!


And how much of a premium did Henry and Julia realize by consulting Kaja’s expertise?

Multiple interested buyers on the home led to a bidding war which drove up the price. The apartment sold for $661,000.

That’s a premium of $74,000 over what an identical unit in the building, which hadn’t been staged, sold for in the same month.

Under contract in just seven days it’d be an understatement to say that they were happy with the results and grateful for Kaja.

Even in a seller’s market, it pays to update and stage your home. After all, who doesn’t want to get top dollar?  If you’ve been thinking about selling and want to learn more, contact Kaja today.


Love this? See more of Kaja’s latest Staging projects here.