In the process of getting ready to sell our 4 bedroom, 2400 square foot house in Connecticut, I was overwhelmed.

Staging a home CT
Me and Colin, back in the days before home ownership. Don’t we look relaxed??

When we moved in, it was just Colin and I. We had moved from a one-bedroom flat in London.

We literally owned two chairs, a bedroom set, our clothes, some books and his stereo. Our house was very echo-y

Now we are moving out of a big family home that we’d filled up with four kids, a dog and all of the stuff that collected around us over 11 years.

Moving a family is crazy overwhelming

Our to-do list was not limited to just selling a house… we had a great deal to think about in terms of timing, relocating, schools, kids activities, jobs and so much more.

So to help, I brought Joan in to stage the house and get the house ready for the realtor’s photographer.

Take a look at some of the finer points of our staging.

HowardPhillips Kitchen_WS_from LR Doorway
I don’t have many BEFORE photos. But here’s a look at the kitchen BEFORE.
Hilltop Kitchen After
Where the table was Colin built this island! Joan removed every last thing from the counters for photos.
444 Hilltop Exterior
See that new blue door? Leftover paint from Joan. Hedges also trimmed.
Hilltop Bed After
In the Master we had a large armoire removed, rugs taken out and a storage box from the foot of the bed stowed.
Hilltop BR 3 after
In the second bedroom, Joan removed the sleighbed, the rug, and mirror from the dresser. She also moved the bed.
Hilltop BR2 After
We unbunked the girls beds, removed the rug, and decluttered all of their stuff! Many boxes packed.
Hilltop Dining After
Previously our OFFICE, the dining room was put back to its original use with a table leaf removed. The office got mostly packed away.
Living Room Hilltop After
In the living room, Joan moved furniture away from the windows and showcased the beautiful floors.

How staging your home to sell feels

Looking at these photos, I bet anyone would say “Why WOULDN’T you hire a Joan to stage your home?!”

I know right?! Our house not only LOOKED amazing in the photos, it looked and FELT great to live in afterwards.

Everyone — especially the kids! — truly enjoyed the re-arrangement of our things and living in the house in a new way. I truly WISHED we’d done it much sooner so we could enjoy our house as it is.

That being said: during the process, it wasn’t a cakewalk. A one point Joan talked about making sure our piano was gone soon. Let’s just say: I didn’t intentionally shoot her with laser beams from my eyes! Joan took it all in and gave her best advice, letting us as clients manage what we could. This situation happened more than once.

Working with Joan isn’t stress-free: but that’s not because of Joan! That’s because decluttering and moving is stressful! Working with Joan actually makes the process far less stressful. Her hands-on work and advice inspired us to ensure our house looked as good as it could for the photos and the real estate showings.

What did we do? We hired a painter to re-stain the deck. Colin built a beautiful island for the kitchen, we got glass repaired in a window and had new carpeting installed in the basement. All in ONE WEEK!

The Outcome of Staging Our House to Sell

Of course the outcome is what matters! We went under contract in approximately 3 weeks, a quick sale, boosted along by our experienced and patient realtor, Bonnie Reynolds.

When I first started working with Joan (I built this website for her), I admit I was skeptical of certain parts of her business. I wondered: does it really work? Over time working with her — now personally on the biggest investment of our lives — I can say: Joan’s Way works!

If you have any questions about the process of our particular staging, feel free to contact me directly. I’d be happy to tell you more.

Or reach out to Joan herself to schedule an appointment.

Contact Joan


This is a Guest Post by staging client and digital content specialist Elizabeth Howard.

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