How a stager turned a tired house into a stylish sanctuary

How a stager turned a tired house into a stylish sanctuary

Neighbourhood: North Forest Hill
Listed for: $1,399,000
Sold for: $1,628,000

The property

A detached three-bedroom brick home that had belonged to the same woman for over 40 years. After she moved into a nursing home, her family decided to sell.

The stager

Ella Zetser started her career in interior design in 1995. As her clients started to sell their homes, she began assisting them with the staging process. Soon, she realized she enjoyed the freedom that came with prepping properties for sale. For the past 12 years, her company, The Last Detail, has focused on staging. “I love that I get to make all the decisions,” Zetser says.

The strategy

The property needed a lot of work. The owners were initially considering a full renovation before listing, but they decided on some strategic staging, instead. Zetser’s goal was to make the space look inviting enough that buyers could visualize their own renovation.

Zetser didn’t bring in any furniture that would look especially modern or trendy. “I always try to use furniture that will make sense in the property,” she says. “It can’t seem fake or out of place.” She sourced a few pieces from her 25,000-square-foot warehouse.

To start, she got rid of all the existing furniture and had the house cleaned.

In the living room, she added a sectional carpet, a glass coffee table and a neutral-toned sofa set. Some simple art on the walls makes the space seem cozy:


A mirror on the dining room wall makes the room look larger than it is:


There wasn’t much Zetser could do with the kitchen, aside from clean it up and add a table and chairs:


The family room at the back of the house was lined in brass wallpaper. “The colour wasn’t our first choice,” Zetser says. “But we worked with it and made it look decent.” She kept the art on the wall, and added some minimalist, 1960s-inspired furnishings to blend in with the original decor:


In the bedrooms, Zetser kept it simple, bringing in some traditional frames with plush bedding. “I thought they would be appropriate for the kind of person who would be living there,” she says.

The bathrooms all had green-and-pink fixtures and yellow drawers. Zetser gave them a modest update:



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