SpaceStyle is in the Houzz!

SpaceStyle at Houzz event in Toronto

SpaceStyle attends Houzz event at SOFA in Toronto

If you haven’t already heard about, then now is a good time to check it out. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s going to be huge and could really revolutionize the interior design industry. On November 29th, I attended a great event hosted by SOFA–the Source of Furniture and Accessories, (@visitSOFA) where Houzz (@Houzz_Inc) presented some great research findings. My biggest takeaway was just how big this online platform can be not only in helping design professionals, including home stagers like myself, showcase their work, but also helping home owners to define and communicate the vision that they have for their spaces.

Are you thinking of tackling a home renovation, decorating or design project?  Are you looking to sell your home, or purchase a new one? Houzz should definitely be your first stop.  You can browse through hundreds of thousands of photos of projects completed around the world.  Be as specific as you’d like in your search. You can select a specific room that you’re thinking of working on, and specific style of design that you like (e.g. traditional, modern, etc.)  If you see something you like, you can simply click “add to idea book” and save it. You can make notes on exactly what you liked in the picture so you can remember what it was later.  Maybe you just really loved the chandelier in the picture of that dining room. No longer do you need to rip articles out of magazines and save them in an inspiration binder (if you’re organized like me). You can create as many idea books as you want, say, one per project.

One of the great features is that you can share your idea books. And you can use them to collaborate. For example, if you’re thinking of hiring a designer or decorator for your space, you can share your idea book with them. If you allow it, they can add photos to your idea book as well if they think they’ve found something you’ll like. It’s an amazing tool to help you better communicate with the design professional you have hired. Rather than saying, “So, I want to redesign the living room, but I can’t explain what I want”, creating an idea book in houzz will save tons of time and in the end, money, because you can pinpoint the type of look you are going for right off the bat.  I know I’ll want my clients to create an idea book so that I can understand better what they’re looking for.

Of course, the design professional who posted the original photos that are viewed and saved will be given credit, so if you find a design that you love so much, you can actually locate that designer if you wish.  You can also use Houzz just like any directory to find the professional that’s right for you. Again, using a search function, you can search for the type of professional you are looking for, like a Home Stager, Designer, Landscape Contractor, etc., and of course you can narrow your search by location, like Toronto, or Vaughan, as well to find local professionals.

SpaceStyle currently has a Houzz  profile which can be viewed at  Up until now, we haven’t been too active on Houzz, but given all I’ve learned today at the Houzz event, I can’t wait to dive in deeper and have some fun!

If you’d like to share your idea book with SpaceStyle, feel free! We’d love to see what you love!

Happy surfing!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at, or suggest a topic for a blog post.


A Great Day of Home Staging in Markham

Wow…What a transformation in this modest Markham home. Although the 40 degree heat made it challenging for a staging day yesterday, this property turned out amazing! After our consultation, this family of four worked really well together to execute the recommendations I provided them with.  Less than a week later, this property was ready to be staged.  We brought in select key furniture pieces that seemed to be missing to create a more inviting living room. We also brought in new linens for the extra bedrooms–our client made the investment in two new double beds which was a great decision. Finally, we took the home to the next level with artwork and accessories, and by rearranging existing furniture to create better flow and showcase the great space and selling features.

The client was so happy, she wants to know where she can buy some of the accessories, and how to book a consultation to decorate the house they’re moving into.

Here are a few before and after shots.  To see more, visit or click on any of the photos below. Enjoy!

Occupied Home Staging-Living Room Before

Living Room Before Staging

Occupied Home Staging-Living Room After

Occupied Home Staging-Dining Room Before

Dining Room-Before Staging

Occupied Home Staging-Dining Room After

Dining Room-After Staging

For more pictures, please visit:


Demystifying Home Staging

I came across this article by Jason Van Steenwyk of and thought that he did a great job of really explaining the benefits of home staging, what it is, and what it’s not. He discusses how, at a minimum, home staging is “the process of cleaning the place up to look great for the buyer”, but then elaborates to say “staging is the art…” (I like that!) “…of taking a bare home and presenting it to the potential buyer in such a way that they want to live there…” This is what I always have in the back of my mind when staging a home. I always try to create a feeling in the home that communicates a lifestyle–I want people to aspire to live the type of life I am showcasing. I never over-do it because that can sometimes come across as contrived. My goal is for the prospective buyer to mentally and emotionally move in within the first 10 seconds of viewing a property.

Jason also eloquently defines the difference between interior design and home staging, and this is something I try to explain when people ask what it is that I do. He says “[Home Staging] is a very different skill than doing an interior makeover to please the owner. The owner has specific and identifiable tastes and will likely be there for years. The home stager has to anticipate the average taste.” Home staging is all about appealing to the broadest range of buyers. Some homeowners may be insulted or upset by a home stager’s comments to remove their personal items, artwork, and decor from a space. Home owners should never feel this way. There may be nothing wrong with their taste, but the problem is that it’s just that–their taste, not the taste of the average buyer.

Jason also talks about diminishing returns of home staging. It’s definitely possible to spend too much on home staging. Some stagers will make recommendations beyond what will really add value to the home. When I’m working on a project, I always focus on the key rooms that matter most to buyers, and of course, am respectful of the seller’s budget. Sometimes a seller has great furniture and accessories, but the way they are showcased is all wrong. In those cases, I simply work with what they have to maximize the appeal of the home. Other times, bringing in some accessories is all that is required to give the home a bit more character. And many times, especially with vacant or semi-vacant homes, we recommend bringing in furnishings. Every case is different, and presents a new and wonderful challenge.

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Keep styling!

For Jason’s full article, go to this link: