***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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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