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22+ Trending Home Staging Tips From a Luxury Stager

September 08, 2021

These jaw-dropping, trend-conscious before-and-afters demonstrate how drastically a few strategic tweaks can affect a home’s appeal to buyers. Elevate your own staging game (and pick up styling tips) with designer Leia T. Ward’s boss-level moves.

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Photo: Andrea Carson Photography

Entice Home Buyers With Spaces That Feel Beautiful and Versatile

As the founder and principal designer of LTW Design — an award-winning staging design firm with celebrity clients like Bruce Willis and the New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett — Leia T. Ward knows her way around luxury properties. She also knows that making those properties irresistible to design-conscious visitors with generous budgets is all about emphasizing both their elemental appeal and how they can adapt to new occupants and trends.

"Many critics of modern spaces that claim minimalist spaces are cold may be surprised to learn about warm minimalism," Leia says. "While our brand aesthetic leans more minimalist, every project has warmth to it and we achieve this by weaving and layering textures throughout the rooms to create depth."

Consider how she’s deployed her minimalistic-yet-cozy aesthetic to polish up these big-ticket homes — and take note of her techniques for when it’s time to make your place look like a million (or 20 million) bucks.

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Photo: LTW Design

Before: It’s OK to Acknowledge a Design Scheme Has Reached Its Past Due Date

This space (and its quirky corner cabinet) centered on enteraining has an era-specific look that’s less appealing to today's home buyer. “The family room was the main entertaining area for the former owner — a famous fashion model named Basha Szymanska,” Leia says. “She threw extravagant and glamorous parties for New York’s elite there back in the '70s and '80s. The high-gloss pink walls and ceiling were ‘it’ back in the day, but we needed to transform the space so that it speaks to the modern-day buyer while keeping its ‘entertaining room’ feel intact.”

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Photo: Dan Milstein

After: Repainting Every Room Is Worth the Investment When it Comes to Selling Your Home

Leia knew the room’s intricate mantel — and the gorgeous hardwood beneath its busy carpet — would have major contemporary appeal. Once she had a sense of what she’d be keeping, she forged ahead on a major makeover that freshened up the entertainment area and created cohesion between it and the rest of the home. “We left the floors and fireplace as is and were able to use [Basha’s] live tree; however, we had the entire house painted [all 13,000 square feet of it!]. We felt this was definitely going to yield a high ROI and it did. Isn’t it amazing what just paint, furniture, a neutral color palette and new floor plan can do?!”

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Photo: LTW Design

Before: Ornate and Busy Accessories Can Overwhelm Your Room

An intricate cabinet bursting with keepsakes, an overloaded mantel and a space-gobbling chandelier were smothering this dining area. Its storage wasn’t functional, and all those unnecessary details detracted from natural advantages like the massive footprint, the French door and the handsome mantel itself.

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