How a stager totally transformed an aging Newmarket bungalow

How a stager totally transformed an aging Newmarket bungalow

Neighbourhood: Newmarket
Listed for: $849,000
Sold for: $830,000

The stager

Lori Pedersen spent 18 years working in accounting and finance for a large industrial company before deciding to pursue a career in design. In 2012, she took her staging certification course, and she launched her own company shortly after. Now, she has five employees and offers all kinds of staging, home renovation and styling services.

The property

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow that had belonged to the same owner for over 40 years. After the owner moved into a retirement home, her family decided to sell. The place was extremely dated, with flowery wallpaper, dark wood trim and wall-to-wall carpeting (not to mention brown velvet sofas and a plethora of stuffed bears).

The strategy

Pedersen and her team recommended the sellers embark on what she refers to as a “full transformation.” First, they sorted through all the seller’s belongings with the family and cleared the house of all its contents. That took a week, and from there the team had three more weeks to renovate the space before it went on the market. “Once we had full access it was like extreme home makeover time,” Pedersen says. Among other things, they gutted the bathrooms, got rid of a bathtub that was awkwardly located inside the master bedroom, scraped the popcorn ceilings, painted the walls and replaced the front door. Once the family saw how good the space looked, they increased their list price from $799,000 to $849,000.

Pedersen staged the space with contemporary furniture and accessories for a fresh, clean vibe. Her goal was to appeal to buyers in their 30s or 40s. She wanted the house to look brighter, more spacious and move-in ready. “Nobody’s going to be attracted to grandma’s house,” she says.

Pedersen replaced the wallpaper in the entry with white paint and swapped the heavy wooden door for one that would let in some light. She added a mirror to reflect some of the sun coming through the doorway. Potential buyers could envision dropping their keys onto the sleek console table:

In the living room, Pedersen tore off the dark wood panelling, installed new drywall, replaced the carpet and put in pot lights. She liked the fireplace’s mid-century vibe, so it stayed the same:

The master ensuite got a new soaker tub, a spacious glass shower and a double vanity:

Pedersen renovated the second bathroom and did away with all the frilly pinkness:

The master bedroom initially had a bathtub surrounded by mirrors on one end. “It was like we were in a Niagara Falls hotel room,” Pedersen says. Her team turned the former tub area into a makeup station: