Lifestyle Staging For Portland Metro Real Estate

Article written by Lisa Shipley  |  Imagine Home Staging & Design
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Tanner Penthouse staging [photo credit: Susan Harding-Homestar Video]

The stagers who understand buyers, try to stage a home to fit the lifestyle of a particular demographic. Each Portland neighborhood has a distinct culture or style that defines the community. Of course, communities may have several cultures or sub cultures. Generally, though, one area-the suburbs, for instance– will require a different lifestyle staging than more urban communities in Portland.

Lifestyle staging is bringing in furniture and elements that the targeted buyer relates to on an emotional level. It’s setting “a stage” which speaks to the desired lifestyle for the potential buyer, Staging is based on marketing principals. Everything for sale is marketed in one way or another, and almost everyone buys a product based somewhat on emotion. Real Estate is no different.

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NE Portland living room staging [photo credit: M Realty]

Just a few years ago many sellers in Portland had never heard of staging, with the influence of HGTV, now almost everyone knows what staging is. Within the past few years, staging has evolved to a more sophisticated level. When staging first started, adding a couch, chair, area rug, and some throw pillows was all that was required to set the stage.

Now buyers expect and respond to staging for a lifestyle. They want to imagine themselves living in the space. They want an emotional connection with it, as a result, stagers who target lifestyle are the most successful. Their staged listings sell faster, often with over asking or with multiple offers, They have made a connection on an emotional level, and staged the home to fit the buyers view of the possible lifestyle they will live with the purchase of the home.

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NE Portland bedroom staging [photo credit: M Realty]

Examples of lifestyle staging include adding organic elements such as reclaimed wood tables, or children’s bedrooms to areas such as Sellwood. In areas with older homes such as Sellwood, adding hints of vintage décor, such as a vintage typewriter to the office will relate to the age and style of the home. Many neighborhoods in Portland live a sustainable lifestyle, adding organic elements such as reclaimed wood tables or an organic cookbook will appeal to their sustainable lifestyle.

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Sellwood dinning room staging [photo credit: Seth Gardner 360PDX.com]

Home decor and furnishing trends are important because they change constantly. With lifestyle staging, the look needs to be fresh, without overpowering the features of the home.

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Tanner Penthouse staging [photo credit: Susan Harding-Homestar Video]

The Pearl District is harder to define as there is quite a mix of demographics! The key to staging in the Pearl depends on the building’s style as well as the space and list price. But generally clean lines. Contemporary furnishings and minimalist décor will appeal to most Pearl lifestyles. Definition and use of space is one of the trickiest and most important factors as many of the condos are open lofts.

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Elizabeth Loft Staging [photo credit: Imagine Home Staging]

Lifestyle staging includes observing what the neighborhood offers, which is one of the main reasons buyers flock to certain locals. I always take a drive through neighborhoods before viewing a potential staging. It gives me clues to what the vibe is. I look for shops and what they offer, at restaurants and book stores, schools, and food markets. I look at the demographics of the area, and if they tend to walk or drive to their destinations. Once I get the feel, I know more of what the potential buyer is looking for. The house gives further clues on how to set the stage. I consider how many bedrooms it has, and if there is a yard, or other outdoor spaces. All give clues to who is likely to purchase the home and the lifestyle they expect to live.


Lisa ShipleyAs an ASP Certified Staging® Professional™, Lisa Shipley is also a member of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA). Lisa studied interior design in college and worked with a top designer at Lloyds Interiors. Aside from her work at Imagine, Lisa has an award-winning career as a consultant for Estée Lauder and Calvin Klein and has been a sales associate for a major retailer for almost 30 years. Her sense of beauty, eye for proper placement, and intuitive knowledge of color manifested into desire to focus her studies on Home Staging and Interior design. Following this passion has been a very rewarding experience for Lisa – and for her ever-expanding client base!

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