After seeing the beautiful job that Emily and her Mom Luise did to create a live Greenery Wall with our Floralink Wall Vessels, we decided to reach out to them to hear more about their story and start into home staging with their business, Green Door Home Staging.
How did you and your mom get into home staging and decide to start Green Door Home Staging?
Luise: So I got started in staging because I love houses and real estate but not so much the selling part of it. While I was a real estate agent, what I loved was the "getting ready" part. I loved helping my clients with ideas on how to make their home show better. So when I had the financial opportunity to start my own business of Green Door Home Staging I took advantage of it. In 2014, my personal home became a product of my staging as my family relocated from Rhode Island to Iowa. It was in Iowa where the business truly grew because of the diverse market and the immense amount of new construction.
Emily: While I always supported my mom in her business from its inception, I was on my own career path in Occupational Therapy. I was working in a school at the time and had decided I would help my mom out a few days a week during my summer vacation. Interiors have always been something I was passionate about but had never explored as a career option. One week into my "little summer job" with Green Door Home Staging, I made one of the easiest tough decisions to leave my school job and original career path and join Green Door full time. Since joining, Green Door has seen significant growth especially due to increased social media marketing which I was able to contribute to greatly. In addition, I push Luise to step out of the box and challenge traditional staging and home decor concepts by using accessories and decor in atypical ways and locations.
What is your favorite part about home staging?
L: My favorite part is the transformation we make to a home, the dramatic difference that bringing in a new piece of furniture, artwork, or using a homeowner's item in a completely new way can have on a home.
E: My favorite part of home staging is determining the design concept for each home. This is my favorite part because it is where we can run into hurdles. While some homes are easy and everything is obvious and works according to plan, the ones that are tricky make my creative heart tick. The purpose of home staging is to best showcase a home for sale. Whether this means highlighting features and minimizing others, this is specific to each home. While we have our processes somewhat formulated, this is something that needs to be calculated on a home-by-home basis. Sometimes we will theorize an idea in our planning and furniture selection that absolutely does not work when we get on location so here is where the maneuvering and flexibility comes into play. We can love a piece of furniture and have dreamt about it in a certain space, but if it is not going to help the house sell or highlight a feature/minimize a deterrent, then guess what? That dream piece does not get used.
How do you usually choose what types of products to pick out for each staging space? What is the process like?
L: It's corny but I get a feeling in most houses and just go with it in making the selections. Of course, it has to be available and within reason. First is figuring out the furniture and then an inspiration piece like artwork or a cool pillow or tablescape influences the other decor pieces we bring in. Further, we just select items and work them into the design in a coordinating way.
E: Regardless of when/how we see the home, we usually end up having a similar vision when we discuss. This is the convenient part of having a co-worker who shares 50% of your genetic material! Even when we do disagree on a design element, we have known each other for 20+ years and know how to communicate our opinions in a situation of disagreement. Like Luise said, the feel that the house gives off is important in determining our selection processes. When we say feel, we are referring to the style and other aspects like cleanliness, age of the home, size, neighborhood, prospective buyers, and current real estate market. Additionally, regardless of the inherent style a home might have, another goal of staging is universality. We recently spoke with a homeowner who had lived in a colonial style home for the past 10 years but expressed that her style was not traditional at all nor did she ever see herself living in a colonial until it happened, and do you know why it did happen? Good staging.
Once we have determined the current feel of the home and the desired outcome feel, we typically begin with furniture selection. Every once in a while a rug or painting will be the first element and then we will select items subsequently around them but that is not the norm. Usually artwork and decor follow furniture selection, including table settings and displays, pops of greenery etc. 95% of the time, everything we select in the first run-through fits the space perfectly as intended, but sometimes it requires some reworking.What about Floralink Wall Vessels made them ideal for this project?
L: I loved the simplicity of the Floralink Vessels. Emily came up with the idea for a living wall but we needed to find a simple way to make it doable. I was so excited when we found these and were able to make Emily's vision work.
E: For the installation with the Floralink Wall Vessels, we were working with clients opening up their second office for the counseling practice. Their brand colors were red so that determined the furniture feature colors. We tend to stick with more neutral furniture in staging so this project made us think outside of the box a little bit for how to best bring in neutral accessories while still complimenting the furniture and branding. They shared with us that what differentiated their practice was the welcoming, safe, boutique feel. They were not your big box or hospital therapists. While we bounced around thoughts of how we would communicate their message through our design, we had to decide how we would fill the numerous white walls in their waiting area. In our homes, we almost always include pops of green to give that fresh and healthy look to a space. We knew that this space needed more than just a pop and I came up with the idea to make an entire feature wall of plants. The clients specifically asked for low maintenance so we knew that we needed to use faux plants. This broadened our search of what we could use as "planters" and led us to the Floralink Wall Vessels. Ultimately, these were the perfect product for this installation because they are lightweight, can be aligned together in a vertical chain or individually in a unique grid. They were deep enough for all of the faux succulents and importantly, they were an affordable option for our clients that allowed this vision to come to life. We love that the clients could use the Floralink Vessels for alternative purposes as well should they ever need to.
DIY LIVING GREEN WALL FT. FLORALINK WALL VESSELS
"We used faux succulents and moss to fill these, which provided the effect of a living plant wall."
"Umbra made this project so easy and so impactful! We decided to use the vessels connected in rows but love how you could also hang each individually for a unique design."