Showhomes Franchisees Share Regional Home Staging Trends

Interior and exterior home design trends change every season, and vary depending on what part of the country you are in. Because it is important for home staging professionals across the country to keep up with the latest trends, 1851 Franchise Magazine connected with Showhomes franchisees from Charlotte, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Coral Gables, Florida; and Pasadena, California, to learn more about what is resonating with home buyers and sellers in their areas.

Ann Jensen, Showhomes of Minneapolis

Fueled by an interest in home design and decorating, Jensen started working with Showhomes as a Home Manager in 2003, and she recently assumed ownership of the Minneapolis franchise in April 2018. Since becoming a franchisee, Ann has observed that many home buyers in Minneapolis are interested in casual dining areas and flexible work spaces.

“A number of years ago, many homes had a formal dining room, but I’ve recently noticed that home owners like to have an open concept space that flows into the kitchen and the living room,” Jensen said. “People want to live both comfortably and richly in their homes, and this desire comes into play when they envision entertaining their guests.”

Jensen said technology has also impacted home designs and layouts. Because people use cell phones and laptops to do business in their houses, there are fewer homes with designated office spaces.

“Technology has allowed us to become more mobile within our own homes, so people do not have as much of a need for formal work spaces,” Jensen said.

Ginny Hawkins, Showhomes of Pasadena

After moving away from the Midwest and opening Showhomes in Pasadena, Hawkins noticed that homes in California have unique designs and layouts.

“Due to Southern California’s large population, there are a lot of smaller homes on the market, which means using space efficiently is very important here,” Hawkins said. “When staging, we try not to clutter the space by using basic pieces of furniture, and we use accessories and artwork sparingly.”

According to Hawkins, the weather in Pasadena also plays a role in the way homes are designed and staged.

“Outdoor living is a part of the lifestyle here, so landscaping is key,” Hawkins said. “Due to water shortages, we have a lot of desert landscapes and plants that are drought tolerant. We are also blessed with flowers year-round, so people have a lot of fruit trees and roses in their yards.”

Marisa Salas, Showhomes of Coral Gables

Home buyers in her market are looking for open floor plans that allow for flexibility, so Salas appeals to them by creating floating rooms where furniture is placed away from the walls.

“Home buyers often have a tough time visualizing how to use a space efficiently, so we help them with furniture placement,” Salas said. “In the past, furniture has been pushed up against the walls, but floating rooms are becoming more popular because they make a space look and feel larger.”

When choosing the colors and patterns of furniture, artwork and accessories, Salas takes her surroundings into consideration.

“Many of the homes I stage have pools, so I tend to use a lot of blues, greens and teals,” Salas said. “Those colors also complement the beautiful blue sky that we have most of the year.”

Carol Apa, Showhomes of North Charlotte

According to Apa, people frequently shop for new houses online, which impacts the way she stages her homes.

“Over 90 percent of buyers are looking on the Internet to shop for their new home, so houses that look clean, fresh and new appeal to them,” Apa said. “The use of professional photography to show what the homes look like is important as well.”

When staging her homes, Apa also tries to achieve balance with color, texture and accents.

“From what I am seeing, the neutral colors such as grey and beige are popular with one or two colors as accents,” Apa said. “The accent pieces have texture, design and a bit of color.  We staged a home that had a grey exterior with a teal front door.  We were able to incorporate these colors in the interior of the home, so we brought the outdoors inside.”

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