Staging “Rules” for Rental Product

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Planning multiple jobs on an on-going basis can be very tricky! For the last 2 weeks we have had a new stage job every day with additional de-stages either before or after that days’ stage. As I write this my team is de-staging one and staging another and then heading over to de-stage a 3rd property a few blocks away we were just informed had sold last night. Sometimes I feel like a conductor coordinating which furniture pieces will “dance” off to the next number of locations all around the city. However, that is only the case if they will “work” with the style and look of the next house we are staging.

In this past week we have staged an older 2.5 story turn of the century old character home, a brand new 2 story new build, an open concept new build condo and a 1950’s bungalow that has not been updated in a few decades. All very different designs and furniture/accessory requirements!!! I always pay particular attention to the furniture and décor required for each job. If I do not have the right furniture in stock, I will rent the “right” pieces to complete the appropriate design for the space. This is usually very straight forward and easy to do. However, at this time of the year, the right pieces can be a real challenge to keep in stock or to out-source! We’ve purchased a crazy amount of new stock for the new warehouse when we moved and still there are times when we are struggling to find the right pieces. Our rental supplier is also ordering in more pieces every few days and as soon as they come in they are gone! It’s just that time of the year! Everyone is crazy busy with this spring market!

Rental costs of furniture and accessories is based on a percentage of the retail cost of the item. If a client wants all designer high end furniture that costs $60,000 – $70,000 for a new build with a full finished walk out basement – the cost for high end furniture for a home this size is significantly more than for a 2 bedroom condo. I can provide very nice looking furniture and accessories at a retail cost of closer to $35,000 – $45,000 that looks amazing but drops your rental costs by nearly 50%. However, if the client specifies high end, that is what I will quote. Incidentally, when we rent high end furniture, the furniture company insists on using their own movers to protect their furniture from damage, but will only move their furniture so that often doubles your moving costs. 

Occasionally, clients want to hire a stager but want to choose the furniture and accessories and design the home themselves. I find it very interesting when we have inquiries from people who want to go through my pictures and pick and choose the furniture and accessories they want. Then they want me to provide an estimate for them on said selected items, reserve the furniture for them (*with no deposit) while they make up their minds whether they will be staging at all…. Then if they decide to proceed a week or 2 later, they want the items they selected and the home staged ASAP. This is simply not possible. We cannot hold furniture without a deposit, particularly at this time of the year, it’s just much too busy for us to take those pieces out of circulation without a confirmed job. Go through my pictures will tell me what style you would like, but if I have to out-source the furniture, and wait for a client to decide, the furniture could be long gone on another job or sold before the staging client decides if they like the pieces. On the other hand, trust me to do my job, which I am extremely good at, and I can source the items to give you the look you want and reserve the items once I know the job is confirmed and leave you with a completed and beautifully staged home!! The more time we waste going back and forth the more difficult it becomes to get all the pieces in question.

If you wish to specify the furniture and accessories you wish to purchase, but do not purchase them, some furniture stores may reserve it for 24-48 hours, but will often sell it if a paying customer wants it today. Quite often they require a deposit to hold items. As I have found with my decorating clients, if you order a large number of specific (item and color code specific) furniture and accessories at a furniture store, there has NEVER been a time when I could have everything ready for pick up tomorrow and I have commercial accounts set up with larger furniture companies in the city! There is always a wait of a few days for stock to be pulled at the warehouse to 3-6 weeks for spec furniture to arrive in the city. Just because they have it on their website or on the showroom floor doesn’t mean they have it in stock. That is no different for myself, just because it’s on my website doesn’t mean I have it in stock today at the warehouse.

Incidentally, I also do not allow clients to “shop” at my warehouse and transport my furniture themselves. I hire a professional mover to ensure my furniture is protected from weather and damage. I would never allow clients to throw my furniture into the pack of a pick-up truck no more than any other furniture rental company allows their rental furniture to be transported by clients in this manner. It quickly causes damage to the furniture if it is not properly wrapped and covered.  Let’s not even consider rain or splashing from mud puddles! Sorry!  Not happening! 

If you are impressed enough with a Stager’s portfolio and quality of work to hire them to do the job, then let us do what we’re good at! We design and decorate rooms that make people pay attention! If you liked what you saw enough to call us, then trust us to make your home just as gorgeous! If you want a high end look, but not necessarily the high end price, let us know so we can share the options with you to give you the look you really want at the price you are comfortable with! If you have a tight budget, let us know and see if we have any options for your budget.