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How We Staged a House (To Sell) With Soul + Some Sneak Peeks


***Updated listing information! We’ve recently add the listing link as well as the open house information at the bottom of the post for anyone interested in the property. 

The EHD team just wrapped a staging/styling project in Eagle Rock (goes on the market tomorrow) that we are so proud of and today we are giving you sneak peeks and talking about how to give a house some soul, even while trying to sell it to the masses (though they can absolutely apply to any house that needs a little styling love). There are some pretty special things about this house and I wanted to shoot it for the book (those photos are to be kept a secret) so we teamed up with The Platform Experiment (an actual staging company with an incredible inventory) as well as some of our favorite vendors—Article, Lulu & Georgia, Serena & Lily, MidcenturyLA, The Citizenry, Shelfology (those super thin and awesome steel shelves up there are by them), and Lost & Found—to design, style, stage and shoot the entire house over two months.

It’s not typically our business model to work for free for weeks just for pretty photos of styled out spaces, but its such a pretty house so we are hoping its worth it. We are very excited to show you the whole thing (in due time). The house was gutted and totally reconfigured by the owners Amanda and William Hunter (of William Hunter Collective). William is an architect turned production designer and Amanda is a graphic designer so they know what they are doing and they absolutely maximized both the space and the style of this house. It’s under 2,000 square feet but it feels so much bigger and more useful than that, and it’s exciting. They needed some help with the design and styling which is where my team (thank you Velinda!) and Platform Experiment came in.

How to Stage a House With Soul to Sell

There are a lot people out there that will opt for, even fight for, a house with personality, style and soul and they will sacrifice space and function for it. Hell, have you met my closets? Our 100-year-old Tudor FULL of soul and charm has the tiniest closets ever and I knew it and didn’t care because I wanted that house. But what if your house doesn’t have that much innate charm? Can you still style it with soul? YOU BETCHA. Here are some tips to help you stage or style whether your house has an inherent charm or not:

Give Your House a Muse.

Ehd Amanda And William Living Room 01

A muse is kind of a more romantic (if not pretentious) way of saying a “theme” but more in the scope of a city, or even a person. In this case, it’s a Modern New Orleans with a California bent. This means more old world antiques, deeper jewel tones, warm pinks, greens, and blues (like the rug and a room you’ll see) and some drama throughout. But we’ve chilled it out with a lot of neutrals to give your eye a rest and some more streamlined pieces with hits of black to make it feel edgy and cool.

You might recognize that living room from the Target fall shoot we did there, where we rented out this house (how I learned about the location), and here it’s transformed with my favorite sectional from Article (I have the linen version up at the mountain house). The owners William and Amanda already had that pretty rug, and then we recovered their vintage chair from MidcenturyLA in a white Crypton fabric (those lines! so pretty). The wall sculpture is a collection that he found on a set he was working on and we, well, just hung them on the wall. Remember, a collection has a lot of impact when it’s displayed the right way like this. It’s just wood blocks, but it looks so cool.

Mix in Vintage and Antique Pieces.

Ehd Amanda And William Turret Room 03

Nothing groundbreaking here, just your daily reminder that vintage and antique pieces have good, storied energy that will make your house feel more like a home and give it soul. Where a piece of furniture or rug has been provokes an emotion in us that a new piece just can’t. Between The Platform Experiment, the rug dealer (CorreMarie) and our own collection (plus what they already had), this house had SO much beautiful vintage. We borrowed that chair from MidcenturyLA and I want that painting SO BADLY).

Balance That Vintage With More Streamlined Pieces.

Ehd Amanda And William Turret Room 01

In order for a house to feel balanced and therefore be attractive to as many people as possible (what you want when you are staging), you want to hold the reigns on having too many decorative details. That antique lamp needed to be balanced out with a modern, streamlined side table and a simple upholstered bed (both from we borrowed from Lulu & Georgia). William found that textile tapestry at a flea market and hung it to draw your eye up (I’m still on the fence about it, wishing that the black parts weren’t so high contrast though I understand that traditionally, Kuba cloths are), but also please note the pendant, in the original style of the house. By the way, that exposed turret ceiling you see (round, so special) was previously just your average 8-foot ceiling. ISN’T THAT CRAZY? They busted through and exposed it and it’s just stunning. I know you are dying to see more of this house, I’m sorry!! We have to have a lot of original photos for the book so I have to hold them (and it’s hard to do, folks).

Rethink Your Dead Zones.

Ehd Amanda And William Basement 01

This “home office” is actually just a basement that we turned ad hoc studio/office space and it’s soooo cool. William and his team had worked down here at some point, but it was a storage room when we started the project. They put in a window a while ago, but mostly they just painted the ceiling black (to disguise the pipes, etc) the walls white and poured new concrete. We will be doing a whole reveal of this room as it doesn’t really fit in the book so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks. We borrowed those desks from Lulu & Georgia (so great, with a lot of hidden side storage) and warmed it up with the chairs, also from Lulu & Georgia.

For this space, we used William as our “muse” and styled it out with drawings and props from his career. Again, more on that later. Okay fine, ONE MORE:

Ehd Amanda And William Basement 01 01

MAN. I love that shot. That was wasted space (a “dead” zone) so they put up wood with what seems to be venting but how insanely cool does that look? VERY. The dining chairs (from Article) bring in that cool edgy matte black via the leg frames and leather seat.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Some Risks.

Ehd Amanda And William Pink Room 01

A pink room to stage and sell a house? IT’S OKAY. At this point, whoever buys this house will likely be REALLY into it and it will be an emotional purchase. It will be someone who gets this style and normally people who “get style” also know how easy it is to repaint a room if they aren’t into a color.

But this room color is SO pretty so we couldn’t bear to paint it back to white (it’s Benjamin Moore’s Odessa Pink). We had an abundance of eclectic art so we went with a gallery wall up over that antique style daybed from Lulu & Georgia (which fit perfectly in this smaller room). We let the gallery wall be the focus and kept all the textiles more simple and neutral (all of those are from The Platform Experiment as is the side table—they have such great pieces with a lot of character and soul).

So yes, we took a risk and added even more drama to a pink room but it’s an absolute JOY to be in and has so much depth and interest, even though it’s on the smaller side.

And we didn’t stop there…

It’s Okay to Be Bold.

Ehd Amandawilliam Master Bedroom 02

I’m still under the impression that almost everyone loves blue so I think this is not only okay to do but actually something that can really add value. We will be doing a whole post about how to create a super chic moody bedroom and why this works (versus just looking like a cave), so again (sorry), stay tuned. But I had to show you this shot because it’s so editorial and dreamy (as is that chair we borrowed from Lulu & Georgia, draped with that tasseled throw from Serena & Lily). The walls here, for anyone as enamored of them as we are, are French Beret from Benjamin Moore.

There is so much more that I can’t wait to show you but I have to hold on to more photos for the following reasons:

A. Not all the images are edited (but we wanted to announce the sale) so those of you in LA could go to the open house.

B. We are saving some posts for full reveals coming soon!

C. We have to save bathrooms and kitchen for the book. We don’t want you guys buying the book and then being like “wait, I’ve seen ALL OF THIS.” As someone who is notoriously bad about keeping a GOOD secret (I can keep your bad ones), this is hard for me.

Ehd Amanda And William Kitchen 04

If you live in LA and want to take a peek at in person, or if you are in the market for a very family-friendly, beautiful, special house with a view and a flat back grassy yard, head to an open house this Sunday (we’ll link up the information as soon as it’s live so come back later today for that). I have nothing to do with the sale, just proud of the EHD Team + Platform work here.

Ehd Amanda And William Entry 01

For anyone interested, the house is a combined 1,940 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with a basement office (with a bathroom), is in one of the most desirable school districts (Dahlia in Eagle Rock) and has views of THE Eagle Rock. It’s not huge but it sure is special. Contact listing agent Lauren Reichenberg at 310.503.0580 for more information (see the listing here). If you’re interested in stopping by the open house, here are the details: Sunday 03.31, 2-5 pm (public open house), Tuesday 04.02 (broker’s open house), Thursday 04.04, 5-7 pm (all welcome, wine and cheese), Saturday 04.06, 2-4 pm and Sunday 04.07, 2-5 pm.

A HUGE thanks to Velinda for pulling this together so fast and so beautifully. And another big thanks to The Platform Experiment. If you are selling your house in LA and want it staged to look beautiful, I can’t recommend them enough and I believe they are taking on interior design clients now, too. Thanks, guys!

***photography by Sara Tramp for EHD, produced and art directed by me, designed and styled with Velinda Hellen and Erik Staalberg



Fin Mark


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this is what i came here to comment. LOL

Loveley of

that pink room is my FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i can’t wait to see that kitchen. i am always looking for good kitchens with those dark counters and dark wood cabinets. my kitchen was unfortunately renovated by the previous owner in the late 90s or early 00s in that counter/cabinet color (dark wood/blackish granite) and ceramic floor tiles in that horrid “tuscan” look. i wouldn’t waste the money or resources to redo the kitchen (because wasting granite makes me sad – wasting anything that was mined from the ground and is a finite resource makes me sad), but i am always looking for ways to somehow make it better. i actually think i could live with the counter/cabinets if the floor tiles weren’t so horrid, buuuuut ripping out all that ceramic tile sounds like a PITA. so anyway, all of that to say that i can’t wait to try and find some ideas from this kitchen! i’m thinking that black backsplash would be a nice start!

and, YES! to adding in vintage! way cooler and eco-friendly to boot!


Ripping out the floor tile is a PITA–but so worth it! I lived with ceramic tile I hated for almost 15 years. We finally changed it out last year, and while it was an awful three weeks (they ran out of flooring and it took about a week to get more), I love my new floor. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

loveley of

i may just have to bite the bullet and rip that floor out. i refuse to rip out the cabinets and countertops though. soooooo wasteful of good wood and granite. but this floor is the worst offender!


Same! I have darker wood cabinets with blackish granite and have struggled to find inspiration. I am liking the dark backsplash a lot, though I imagine those windows with the gorgeous LA light and long camera exposures help brighten things, too.

loveley of

i’m thinking some cool brass knobs and drawer pulls will go quite a long way to make it better, but then i need to change the hinges too because they’re like a polished nickel to go with the current satin nickel knobs. seriously, i think it’s just our horrid faux tuscan floor tiles that are killing it. ugggggggggggggg.
but, yes, i thinking these windows and the amazing light really help here!


I *LOVE* Platform Experiment!


The tone of the wood floors is fantastic throughout this house — so rich and warm without being too dark. Just beautiful.


So beautiful! I’m in love with the closets (built-in wardrobes?) in the blue bedroom. Do you know if they were original to the house, or something that was built in later?

they put them in! They did it in all the bedrooms, and they look original.


of COURSE it is. : ) Gorgeous.


Thank you!

manali escort

Oooh, the front door!! Wowza!


It seems like the linked Serena and Lily chair in the moody bedroom isn’t the same one pictured? I could definitely be missing something, but I love the lines of those arms in the photo, and the link is an armless chair!


Looks like it’s the Ida Arm Chair at Lulu and Georgia. And I love it, too!


PLEASE talk about that black chandelier in the living room!! Vintage (hoping not!!)??


But WAIT! That kitchen tile!!! Will you source it in the book?? If not, can you just tell me now?! What a fun project!

I think its Cle 🙂

Jared M

I have to know the color of that bedroom! Gorgeous home and incredibly styled!


This is so awesome!!! I’m actually renovating a home to sell and we painted one of the rooms a very deep navy. It’s a risk, but I think the people who “get it” will love it!!! I wanted to paint another room a light peachy pink as well… the pink room here makes me wish I had!


I feel like this could be my dream home, which is kind of a revelation to me, since I’ve been designing my own home (first one I’ve ever decorated from scratch) with a more black & white, clean, contemporary feel. I’m always reading on style blogs that I should figure out what styles make my heart sing and style around that, and I just sort of… didn’t know what that was. I feel like there’s so much beautiful content from so many places and objectively, it’s all incredibly pleasing to the eye. But THIS ONE. Oh man, this makes my heart beat a little faster. Thanks for sharing and helping me get closer to understanding where I actually belong style-wise! Hopefully it’s not too late to pivot ?. Amazing work!


Talk about something that whets the appetite. This is incredible. I want the book, the house and the realtor.

Julie S

Dang, Emily, this is suberb!! I love your usual happy bright eclectic style but there is something here that really makes me sit up and take notice. The architecture adds a huge amount to the space obviously, but your choices with a bit more antique stuff and a bit less mid century furniture is shouting YES to me. I want to come visit so bad!! I’m outside San Diego now but I grew up in Highland Park (which has really gone downhill from my last visit back 8-9 years ago) and we often got on the freeway at THE Eagle Rock. Good times 🙂 Can’t WAIT for your breakdown of the moody bedroom and why it works – I have a picture window-wall in my master bedroom (that the bed is against so it has lots of sunlight, but the focal wall that you first see needs help with its two skinny windows far apart. The other 3 walls are very choppy with closets, doors, windows. I’ve been stewing on this room for a while and have thought it could take a deep blue (maybe just on the focal wall with box paneling?) without getting dim and shadowy, which I… Read more »

Paula Carr

Why don’t you have the bed between the far apart windows on the opposite wall instead of putting your bed up against a big window? That would go a long way to solving your issue of what to do with that wall.

Julie S

Yes, that would seem the obvious solution but there’s a method to my madness- that’s how the original owners arranged things and I stuck our bed there too upon first moving in but I H-A-T-E coming upon my bed end-first when I walk into the room. It’s never my preference for whatever reason. Additionally, that arrangement chopped up the space in a less user friendly way as far as walkways, sitting space, and closet access goes. I changed it within days and like it much better. Now I just have an opportunity wall to figure out!


The staging is definitely working because I WANT THIS HOUSE. Gorgeous!

thank you thank you xx


Way cool! I can’t wait to seethe reveals. Also, do you mind sharing the exact white Crypton fabric you used for the chair. I’m trying to find a white Crypton to recover a sofa and would like to check out a sample of what you used. Thanks!


I am in the ‘almost’ category of ‘almost everyone loves blue.’ I know that I am in the minority but it has just never appealed to me. Is there any kind of info on what draws people to certain colors? In my case, I love green. But it just hasn’t been a popular color for a long time. I have spent several unsuccessful years looking for an area rug with the right shade of green but without any blue.


I don’t think you are in the minority if you include men’s preferences – at least in my personal, non scientific experience, I find men often prefer green to blue. But I have such a strong blue preference I probably just notice it more I think green v blue bias is just another example of how individuals perceive color differently. Women can (of course there are exceptions both ways) be more sensitive to the blue/green spectrum and I’ve always held that as the theory for why we tend to love blues. It’s just that we see them as blue. As for ACTUAL research, they have done color research and found blue, especially the colors found in large bodies of water, to calm people in a way they can actually measure physiologically. Greens do something to (I’ve forgotten what – inspire creativity? refresh?) and honestly it feels like a choice between the beauty of the forest or the beauty of the ocean imo, by which I mean: impossible. Good luck – what you seek so shall you find (Travelers Blues).

Courtney Lake

That front door makes me weak!


Omg this is insanely gorgeous. I might just have to pop into the open house on Sunday to see it all in person!!!


That kitchen is beautiful!! I wanted to add it to my pinterest but I HATE interior design photos with a person posing in them


Love all of this! So different from my own apartment and SO inspiring! Can’t wait to see the rest.

Please tell: where is that coffee table from?? I’m looking for a new smaller one for mine and that one is gorgeous!

Megan Lec

For one, I’m in love. That kitchen alone is heart stopping, pink room, STOP IT! Two, is it just me or are these photos particularly great, both those shots of you in the kitchen are amazing, does this home have incredible light?? Is there some kind of editing wizardry happening??? Finally, pink paint details plzz


I gotta ask – where are your shoes from?


I think I found them on Nordstrom. Vince. Darlington flat. i’m getting them in gold!!


Love that stylish kitchen “hat” you are wearing in the first photo! 🙂


Haha yes I came to comment the same thing! Made me do a double take when I first saw it!


This is so beautiful – amazing job! The link for the desk just goes to all Lulu & Georgia desks, and this particular desk isn’t coming up. Is it possible to get the name so I can look it up?


Same for me! I hope that doesn’t mean the desk is sold out. I’ve been looking for the perfect office desk for awhile and this one speaks to me!


Gorgeous rooms! May I ask about your outfit in the first pic (the kitchen with black tiles) I love the whole outfit!!


I desperately want the blue top you’re wearing in the kitchen photo. Any chance it’s new????


That coffee table is GORGEOUS!! Where is it from??


What color white did you use on the walls and trim?


Really beautiful. Particularly the kitchen. Is the kitchen storage out of shot or is there just very little storage?


YESSSSS! to this. I have staged all the homes I have owned when selling and people have loved what I did. I kept color and made it personable without being personal. I hate seeing photos of most homes that are staged because they are b-o-r-i-n-g! This looks absolutely amazing and makes me want to live in this beautiful house. That is what staging should do.

Paula Carr



Gorgeous! Just a note…the number for Lauren Reichenberg is incorrect in the post. It’s actually 310-502-0580.


I’m so in love with this house (I found the listing to ogle it some more). I see so many gorgeous homes on IG and Pinterest so I feel like it takes a lot for something to speak to me like this house did! Fantastic job, everyone. Is that entryway table Mount Airy Furniture co. by chance? I was appreciating the style and proportion when I realized it is basically the table version of my dresser.

Paula Carr

My bedroom is painted pink — a paler pink than you use (Martha Stewart Ballet Slippers IIRC) — and it’s such a soft, relaxing color for a bedroom. And such a good backdrop for art!


Ummmm…can I have the front door?


How can there be so much to love?! That pink bedroom + vintage gallery is speaking my language. That dreamy front door. Eeeeverything in the kitchen. A dang rotunda?? Yeah, the architecture and styling here is just gorgeous.


Gorgeous, gorgeous! I’m looking for a daybed just like that for my toddler’s room that I can fit a trundle underneath (ALL BEDS SOLD AS TRUNDLES SEEM TO BE VERY V. LAME). It doesn’t seem to have many specifications on the site. Do you think it’s normal bed size? Did it sit lower than usual to the ground? Thanks!


Love the round rug under the bed!


So many beautiful details to admire but my eye went straight to the vent (?) on the ceiling of your last picture. Currently, trying to figure out how to dress up hardware like switchplates and vents, which isn’t my favorite part of decorating, for sure. Can you comment on this vent? Is it for air? Also, any more information on the Forbes and Lomax swtichplates you recently featured would be awesome! Are they easily replacable with what we typically have in our builder homes here in California? And super $$$?


Love the whole thing!! Are the coffee tables in the living room slate rock on top of acrylic? They look like they’re floating! Any more info on those? Thank you!


The front door is amazing!




so nice to see you writing


Since I’m not within driving distance (if I left home now and drove straight through, maybe?) I’m commenting on Emily’s clothes. I hope your look makes it to one of your “what I wore” posts. Love that look on you. Very pulled together.

Okay, the house is cool too … and is making me rethink my pint size bedroom. Paint everything the same color…

Ashley S.

Kitchen GOALZ for sure but where the heck is the fridge?!


Bravo. This has got to be some of the best work you’ve ever done. Also, I’m going to need a long and detailed post about that circular bedroom. I went and bought a condo with weird angles because I thought it was “interesting” (ok no really it was for the view)… but now for the life of me I just cannot figure out how to layout the furniture in my bedroom. So I’m kinda thinking the circle bedroom could give me a bit of insight.


Every room has a different charm. I’m speechless, it all just look so perfect!
BTW, Emily, you look gorgeous! May I ask where did you buy the dark blue jeans and shoes from the first photo (kitchen)?


Share where the entry table/desk is from in the last photo? Gorgeous work EHT!

manali escort

Stunning! Every room emanates understated warmth and class!

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