Challenging Spaces that Became Our Favourite Home Staging Jobs

After years of working as a professional home stager in the Greater Toronto area, there are some spaces that were extra challenging in the initial design planning, but soon became our favourites. Just goes to show, that every home, no matter how small, awkward in layout or feeling a little lack lustre, can emerge a well loved space that makes you feel good in, and when selling helps buyers to appreciate it more!


We loved this cute semi in High Park Toronto, but the first impression room, this living room, felt very small and awkward.
Actually it is one of the smallest living rooms we have staged. Only 8’8″ wide, with opening from the hall and also to the dining room,
and an off centred fireplace, we had our work cut out for us to create a space that felt larger and buyers could envision themselves entertaining in.

We can’t change the foot print, but we created a layout that worked functionally and made the room feel larger.  With properly scaled furnishings, layers of lighting, and a mirror to bring outdoor light further in the room~ this space now feels bright, open and inviting.

 Open concept floor plans are highly desired, but can leave people perplexed with how to arrange furniture.
When we viewed this Toronto townhome there was a couch and television and it did not appear to have space for much else.
Entry from front door, stair case to basement and upstairs, as well as back door~ made this open concept space challenging for flow and functionality.

We staged this with a dining space and living space that worked with the flow to all the entries of this open concept space. Rearranging the focal point opened the room right up.


Here is the other side of this space, showing the stair cases


Creating a small back drop by the stair case, helped to extend the feeling of space in this room.


When walking through the front door, this living room was on the immediate left, opening to an office (see room with sliding door) and to the right the dining room.  This space felt small and awkward with all the different flow through areas surrounding it.


Keeping the flow was essential, with this arrangement of four comfortable chairs, we now have a living room space where people can envision themselves having a drink after a dinner party.


Again, the first impression living room, which is so important for selling. This one was well suited for the sellers, but we had to come up with a plan to work with this small awkward space for selling.


We did not want to block the view of the gorgeous garden by the front windows (great selling feature for this particular house), and the space was too small for a couch~ so we created a relaxing room to read a book or hang out it in, with a comfortable chaise lounger and additional seating.


When we toured this century home, the room off the kitchen was being used as a living room. It felt cramped and awkward with three openings and large furniture.


Updating the paint colours, lighting and turning this into a dining space transformed it into a large inviting place to have family celebrations.

Lastly, here is a beautiful home in High Park Toronto that we just loved! The first impression living room,
with the entry off the front hall, off centred fire place and tight space opening to dining room, made this a challenging space for furniture arrangement.
We elongated the space with a new layout of properly scaled furniture pieces. Now there is actually more room to entertain and the flow is unobstructed.  Again adding more lighting helps to make the space feel more open and inviting.


It is amazing how spaces that first present difficult, when you put the work into carefully designing, can become ones that you appreciate the most!  If you have a property that you are about to sell or are selling that buyers may have a tough time envisioning what to do with space, layout, functionality, give us a call 416-669-2335



Ginny Truyens, from Feels Like Home 2 Me is a Toronto Home Staging professional who loves helping her clients get a high return on their largest financial investment.  Designing spaces that potential buyers will “Feel Like Home” to them, is essential in selling a property in today’s competitive real estate market.    To book a consultation, or to find out more about Feels Like Home 2 Me,  visit us @ or call us 416-669-2335


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Top 10 Reasons to Professionally Stage Your Toronto Home

1.  Make More Money on Your Most Valuable Asset

The average staging investment is generally less than 1% of a home’s asking price, and this investment can yield on average 4-10% more on final price. This is a great short term investment in comparison to what is currently available with banks offering 100 Day Term Deposits or High Interest Accounts.  Staging is the best short term investment a seller can make.

2.  Staged Homes Sell Faster

Statistics prove that staged homes sell faster than their un-staged competitors, in fact 71% faster (according to recent RESA stats)!  Less time on the market means less inconvenience, stress, saving money on additional mortgage, taxes, and other carrying costs that would have needed to be made if on the market longer, and the longer a home lingers on the market, the further below list price it drops.

3.  Avoid a Price Reduction

       The first two weeks a property is listed will generate the most traffic and interest.  So you want to ensure that you have properly prepared your home to ensure you maximize this opportunity.  Homes do not sell in “as is” condition any more, unless of course they have suffered great price reductions.  The investment in staging is always less than the first price reduction.

4.  Investment in Staging Doesn’t Cost a Dime 

According to HomeGain 2011 survey, Realtors® found that Home Staging typically provides a 299% return on investment!

  5.  Online Photos Stand Out Amongst Competition

With over 95% of buyers looking online before viewing a property, it is essential to have great MLS photos that will stand out and not turn buyers off.  Professional Stagers know how to optimize this first impression. Staged homes look better than others on the market, receive more foot traffic and end up on buyer’s “must see” list.

 6.  Most Sellers Can Not View Their House Objectively

It is really difficult to see our own home objectively.  If you can’t see it objectively, it is difficult to “package” if effectively.  A trained Home Staging Professional views your home with “Buyer’s Eyes” and knows how to minimize problem areas and maximize the great selling features of a home.

7.  Only 10% of Home Buyers Can Visualize the Potential

That is why staging a home is so important.  You need to show the potential of a home, not think that buyers will be able to envision it, because statistically, they can’t.

8.  Leaving Your House in “As In” Condition is Very Risky

The way we sell our homes has changed drastically over the last 5-10 years.  Buyers are looking for “move-in” ready homes now.  In fact over 63% are willing to pay more money for a home that is “move-in” ready.   With over 87% of first time buyers willing to pay more for this too!  The risks involved in trying to sell your home in “as in” condition are high.  Risk #1~ “As In” condition helps to sell your competitors “move-in” ready homes.  Risk# 2~ Low offers: for every $1 of repair needed, buyers will take off at least $3 (i.e. if the cost of new flooring would be $3000, buyers will deduct at least $9000 from the asking price on this one item).

9.  The Importance of that “First Impression”

Research shows that buyers who will view your home form a first impression of it within 90 seconds of walking in the front door.  You need to create the “wow” factor right from the beginning, so that this first impression is great and lasting one.  Did you know that as much as 60% of an impression can be based on colour alone?  Professional Home Stagers know how to create an amazing first impression, creating a “model home” look that many buyers are looking for.

 10.  You Can Relax

By following the recommendations of your Staging Consultant, you can be assured with knowing that you have done absolutely everything possible to positively affect the sale of your most valuable commodity.


© Feels Like Home 2 Me, 2014  Permission must be given in order to copy this material.

Ginny Truyens, from Feels Like Home 2 Me is a Toronto Home Staging professional who loves helping her clients get a high return on their largest financial investment.  Designing spaces that potential buyers will “Feel Like Home” to them, is essential in selling a property in today’s competitive real estate market.    To book a consultation, or to find out more about Feels Like Home 2 Me,  visit us @ or call us 416-669-2335

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When Selling your G.T.A. Home, “A Picture is Worth ($)1,000+ Words”

Quality of the photography is essential, you do not want your largest financial asset represented like this-


                                                                                                                  (Actual MLS Photo)

Quality Presentation of a Home” is essential as well


xxdining rm

                                                                                                                (Feels Like Home 2 Me)



When you look at photos of previous or current listings from a prospective real estate agent

 here are some questions that can help you assess the quality of the presentation of the home.


Are the homes presented updated or tired?

Are the homes presented in need of obvious repair?

Are the homes presented a reflection of personal design choices (colour/pattern)

that therefore would need to be changed?

Are the homes presented lack warmth (too de-cluttered) that they look boring?

Are the homes presented offering that “wow” factor that outshines the competition?


Does the real estate agent offer professional services from a quality photographer and professional home staging company?  In today’s real estate market with over 96% of home buyers searching online first before narrowing down their selections to view properties, having fabulous photos is a must!  We work with real estate partners who offer home staging consultations and professional photography with every listing~ we would be happy to refer you!


Ginny Truyens, from Feels Like Home 2 Me is a Toronto Home Staging professional who loves helping her clients get a high return on their largest financial investment.  Designing spaces that potential buyers will “Feel Like Home” to them, is essential in selling a property in today’s competitive real estate market.    To book a consultation, or to find out more about Feels Like Home 2 Me,  visit us @ or call us 416-669-2335



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Feels Like Home 2 Me is in the Houzz!

I don’t know if you love Houzz like I do?  I have been a huge Houzz fan for several years now, and it has been my “go to” place to get visual inspiration and product information for design and decorating of my own home,  as well as a great way to keep on top of latest design trends and source out information for my home staging and decorating clients.  It is an absolutely fabulous resource, and has been an invaluable tool, especially with the iPad app, that I often use during decorating consultations.

So what exactly is Houzz? describes it as a “collaborative platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual platform.”  If you haven’t had a chance to visit, make sure when you do, you have some time, because you will be drawn right in!

So I was very excited when I received the invitation to attend the Houzz event in Toronto at S.O.F.A., and as you can see I made it!  What an incredible event.  Cheryl Tiegs (aka super model) introduced the event and said many people are in awe of super models,  but she is in awe of of all of us and what we do.  Looking around the very well attended event I felt in awe  as well, so many creative dynamic people.

This event was to promote Houzz and encourage designer, decorators, stagers… to develop a profile and get involved in the visual dialogue.  Feels Like Home 2 Me has been developing our profile for a while and looks forward to you visiting us there, where you will find pictures of some of our work as well as “Idea Books” we have developed.  You can create idea books too and start cataloguing images that appeal to you,  you may even discover a certain style that you are leaning towards that may be different than you first thought!

You can connect here : ~ come visit and follow us!

Have fun in the Houzz!



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Welcome to Our New Website and First Blog!

What a special way to start our FLH2M blog and also launch our new website in the month of Breast Cancer Awareness.  We are very honoured to have our work featured in Canadian Home Trends Magazine’s “PINK” issue!

It is safe to say that all of us have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another.  Many of us have had or have family members, friends or even personal experience with this disease.  There are too many beautiful courageous women we have lost, and the annual awareness campaign is a powerful statement of how we, collectively, want to do what we can to help find a cure, help save more lives, and help make the journey more bearable for those who are on it.

Already fund raising efforts have made a significant impact, and today we can gladly say, that the majority of women who are diagnosed have a high survival rate!

Pink is a colour that represents love, femininity, and hope.  We celebrate this as we close out this month of October.


~To check out this feature, click on this link below.



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