Set the Stage

Prospective homebuyers have to create a mental picture of what life would be like in each room. Should the chaise lounge or the comfy sofa go underneath the Beaudry mirror? Would a bassinet fit in the bedroom? Where should the dog bowl go? This imagination exercise is usually done when a property is vacated, but not always.

LIZ PENSIERO of Liz Pensiero Staging and Designs (lizpensierostagingdesigns.com) regularly transforms homes using a homeowners’ current belongings and picking missing pieces from staging inventory. Working with local agents, Liz says staging benefits clients and the real estate market. “Most of us live in our homes very differently than we sell them,” she says. “Staging is a marketing tool used to create an emotional connection, ultimately leading to a successful sale. Using design to position and market the home in a manner that highlights the best parts of the property while deterring from the negatives we cannot change. We can’t change a home’s location or proximity to major traffic, but we can help buyers fall in love with the house as soon as they walk in the front door.”

Even homeowners who are staying put can pick up staging insights to fall in love with their homes every day, and especially so around the holidays. “There is no better place to spend the holidays, or evoke memories of holidays past, than in the kitchen surrounded by family, good friends and food,” says Liz. “I love when kitchens reflect the personality and story of the homeowner. There are so many design options available to create curated and one-of-a-kind spaces.”

Home stager Liz Pensiero


Simple design switches can create a holiday home

1 // Less Is More
“ The holidays can often be a busy time of year, beginning with pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween costumes and winding down with champagne flutes and confetti. Keep décor simple to avoid having to change things up every few weeks. Invest in centerpieces and door wreaths that can stay up through the season. A simple magnolia leaf wreath on the front door can be accented with seasonal ribbon. Candles can be swapped out for holiday colors. Greenery throughout the home adds holiday flair to any space. Evergreen topiaries on fireplace mantles, magnolia swags as table runners and boxwood orbs strategically layered in glass urns can be mixed with seasonal tones for a high-end and subtle holiday feel.”

2 // Neutrals
“Decorating with neutrals imparts clean lines and a boldness throughout the year that can be easily manipulated to create a holiday vibe. Try mixing the classics, such as black and white, with shades of green for a bold combination throughout the season. Natural elements in neutral colors create a timeless feel at the holidays. Experiment with layering multiple shades of whites. Embellish door hangings with burlap or raffia ribbons. Chunky wooden bowls or boards warm up kitchen surfaces that can be filled with seasonal fruits or flowers.”

3 // Metals
“When it comes to mixing metals, there are no rules. Gold accents such as candlesticks or picture frames are a wonderful way to add warmth to any room. Silver, polished nickel or mercury glass will always add a touch of glam to otherwise bland areas of the home, such as bathrooms or foyers. Elevate these pieces by mixing and matching at the holidays. Table centerpieces adorned with shades of gold and silver at the holidays makes for an easy transition. Gold tapers, silver trays and mercury glass vases mixed throughout the home at the holidays will fill any space with seasonal cheer.”

4 // Jewel Tones
“Swap out traditional holiday reds and greens for rich jewel tones. Deep amethyst, sapphire blues, rich ruby and elegant emeralds add a touch of glam. Throw pillows in jewel tones, velvet ribbons tied around evergreens or jewel-tone blankets draped across sofas or beds keep the holiday feel all year long. Also, try mixing jewel tones with gold and silver as accents on tables, shelving and doors to keep the look cohesive.”

5 // Natural Elements
“Complement the indoors by decorating with natural elements from outside. Gorgeous seasonal shades of local flowers add a pop of freshness to any room. Keep things simple. Try flowers in a variety of shades of the same hue as an elegant arrangement for the dining table or as a simple nosegay next to a bed or succulents on a fireplace mantle. Swap out fall arrangements for winter amaryllis or traditional poinsettias. Combined with evergreens, holly berries or magnolia leaves, it makes for beautiful winter season décor.”

AS A LIFELONG RESIDENT OF STAMFORD, I HAVE SEEN THE CITY AND CULTURE TRANSFORM INTO A VIBRANT FAMILY-FRIENDLY HUB OF BUSINESS AND RECREATION FOR RESIDENTS OF ALL AGES. OUR REAL ESTATE MARKET IS NO EXCEPTION. OUR HOUSING MARKET DRAWS BUYERS OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE. WHETHER THEY ARE TRANSPLANTS RELOCATING HERE FOR WORK, YOUNG FAMILIES DRAWN TO SUBURBAN LIFE OR LIFELONG RESIDENTS LOOKING TO DOWNSIZE, STAMFORD REAL ESTATE HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.

—LIZ PENSIERO

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