How a stager transformed a knick-knack-filled Beaches home into a $1.2 million stunner

How a stager transformed a knick-knack-filled Beaches home into a $1.2 million stunner

40 Nursewood

Address: 40 Nursewood Road
Listed for: $1,189,000
Sold for: $1,210,800

The property

The sellers of this four-bedroom home in the Beaches liked to travel to Southeast Asia, and they always returned from their trips with new artwork and souvenirs. By the time stager Red Barrinuevo arrived at the property to ready it for sale, the house was jam-packed with all kinds of knick-knacks and curiosities. He knew he needed to eliminate the clutter. “As homeowners, they see these items as precious memorabilia,” he said. “But when you’re selling, you have to wear the buyer’s hat and show off the space.”

The stager

Barrinuevo was working as an investment banker and doing staging on the side, until one of his projects won a Best Redesign award from Canadian Home Trends magazine in 2013. The exposure brought an influx of new clients and allowed him to start staging full-time. Today, he has five assistants and a warehouse of furniture in Scarborough.

The strategy

Barrinuevo uses what he calls a transitional style, which mixes traditional and modern aesthetics. “If you go too modern in homes, buyers aren’t crazy about it. But if you stay in the middle, that’s the sweet spot,” he says. To achieve this effect, he removed all the sellers’ accessories, refinished the floors, and, most importantly, repainted the whole interior in an off-white hue. “Each room was a different colour,” he said. “That chops up the house and makes it look smaller.”

The living room had a nice fireplace, but it was barely noticeable beneath the clutter. Barrinuevo removed the sellers’ bric-a-brac and matched a new set of accent chairs to the fireplace. He avoided putting art on the walls, in order to make the room look bigger. “But we went crazy with the rug,” he says. “It serves as the artwork in that space.”


This was one of the few rooms Barrinuevo couldn’t paint, because the white kitchen cabinets were too close to the off-white used in the rest of the house. The yellow tablecloth was too colourful and had to go. “They had so much stuff going on there. We removed unnecessary pieces to make it look bigger,” he said.


In the dining room, Barrinuevo removed the drapes and extra furniture, because they made the room look, in his words, “tired and old.” He kept the table, chairs and light fixture, and put a rug underneath the table for contrast. “Without something in between, it’s not going to look nice at all,” he explains.


Right away, Barrinuevo knew he needed to fix the layout in the master bedroom. “When you enter, you want to see the bed first, but in this room, the first thing you saw was the TV,” he said. Barrinuevo brought in a less obtrusive bed from a furniture rental company. The only piece of the sellers’ furniture he kept was an ottoman, which matched the wallpaper.


The sellers were using this bathroom as a space for their two dogs, so there was a lot of hair to clean up. Barrinuevo removed the wall-mounted cabinets to give it a cleaner look.