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See How a Stager Gave a Cold DC Row House a Cozy & Bright Update

See How a Stager Gave a Cold DC Row House a Cozy & Bright Update


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When it came time for open houses and viewing appointments, potential buyers of this Northeast Washington, D.C., row house were in for a surprise. That’s because instead of the usual neutral staging items and colors, this one was filled with color and personality. The pro behind this stage was Michelle DeLucia, designer and owner at Sub Urban Staging + Design in Silver Spring, Maryland. DeLucia has gained a stellar reputation for embracing color, texture, and turning empty rooms into welcoming spaces that buyers can actually imagine their families settling into.

“A lot of stagers keep things fairly neutral, but spaces start to look and feel the same, and that’s typically not the way people live,” says DeLucia. “Infusing objects of interest from my travels or things I think might tap into people’s curiosity can be a bit of a gamble, but I’ve been in a lot of homes and people like to show their interests and personalities — and I think staging should as well!” 

When the broker of this three-bedroom, two-full-bathroom row house turned over the keys to DeLucia, the home had been freshly painted, but was empty and uninspiring. The sellers were a family with children and DeLucia knew that it was likely the buyers could also be people with young families. 

She scoured her staging inventory for the right pieces to add some interest and casual coziness. “I have a really hard time not incorporating color and texture into a home,” she notes. “Of course, I always hope it resonates with people, but I feel like it gives the home some soul.” 

One of the most important rooms for DeLucia to tackle was the front parlor, which is right off the entrance to the home and one of the first spaces potential buyers would see. She opted to bring in warm browns in the form of a leather sofa, a large piece of artwork, and wood-toned coffee and side tables. “Using leather on the sofa reads a little hipper, and as usual, we did not shy away from color,” says DeLucia. 

The biggest pop came from a shag rug in a saturated blue hue that contrasted nicely with the home’s light floors and walls. A pair of rounded chairs across from the couch completed the seating area, making it perfect for relaxing as a family or entertaining friends. When pulling together a room, DeLucia is a firm believer that details matter. Case in point: The black radiator near the front of the room influenced her choice of a coffee table with black legs.

Besides injecting some personality into the property, DeLucia’s parlor setup showed potential buyers that the long, fairly narrow room could easily handle a full-size sofa and offered plenty of space for a comfy conversation area. 

Within 30 days on the market the home was sold and DeLucia destaged the property. Once all the staging items were removed, the new owners were left with a blank canvas ready for them to introduce their own favorite colors and personal style.





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