Home Stagers – what’s the opposite of a purple patch?

My car in a purple patch

My car in a purple patch

I’ve weighed up over the last couple of days whether to write this post as I don’t want it to come off as a complaining stylist with first world problems. However I know that a lot of other stylists read my blog or follow me on social media and that by looking at my feed you would think that every day was a staging success. 

The truth is I’m currently going through the opposite of a purple patch (probably a red patch as I hate the colour red – not partial to purple either come to think of it). I want to illustrate why things aren’t gelling although I’m concerned that my agents and clients could recognise themselves here or that I’ll be judged in some way (particularly for the artwork which I’m still kicking myself over!). These are all just things that can happen in this business. There just seems rather a concentration of them!

So in no particular order here are just some of the things that have happened in the last couple of weeks:

Hired a modular sofa but only one piece turned up

Hired a sofa and 2 pieces turned up – it was a modular, who knew? But as they are a set I had to ‘hide’ the other piece in the house.

Glass table top didn’t turn up (so the lounge setting couldn’t be in the photos)

Told not to use nails by a client so I used 3m instead  and 2 of my client’s artwork fell down in the middle of the night

Agent told me he hated a staging I’d done. When I made the changes he wanted (and more) at a time and money cost to me he didn’t respond. At all. 

Another agent told me she was disappointed there weren’t more accessories on the side tables (after I’d spent 6 hours installing on a 30 degree day)

Waited 2 hours for a delivery truck to turn up. Finally turned up at 4.45pm. On a Friday

Huge install I’m doing pushed back and I just found out has pushed back again. 

Client didn’t go ahead with a partial stage as ‘it’s a lot of work if the house won’t sell”

Client didn’t go ahead with a partial stage as I told them their cats couldn’t be in the house with the hire furniture.

Client didn’t go ahead on a $5k job as they wouldn’t pay for me to come out and quote. A figure that’s included in the $5k but needs to be paid upfront.

Client didn’t progress as their wife had organised the staging with another company

Potential client got in touch. I realised when I looked up their suburb they were an 11 hour drive away in NSW!

Client didn’t progress because “it’s too expensive” (times about 10)

Client didn’t progress because we’re not progressing at this stage (times about 5) Could be related to above point

Client “just needs to talk to my husband” (times about 3). If you hear this you never get the job!

Finally, I hate to admit this but quite a few of the houses I’ve staged recently haven’t sold. I know that staging is only one part of the equation but I stage houses so that my clients can sell up and move on. It seems a few of them are currently stuck. Which I hate. 

Still with me? That was a long whinge – apologies.  So what’s the point? Well, there’s 3 of them:

  • When you start your own home staging business there are lots of set backs. I think the impression is that when you’re up and running the set backs ease. They don’t. Maybe they just change colour
  • When you’re flicking through the #propertystyling hashtag on instagram be kind to the stylist.  Don’t think “it’s all right for them”. We’re all just doing our best with what we have. We’re often just happy to have the business
  • This too shall pass – as a lovely fellow stylist said to me the other day. I’ll just keep doing what I do until I hit purple again

An agent rang me yesterday. We’d pencilled a measure for this morning. “I’m just ringing to keep you up to date” he said. “Looks like the measure will be on Monday instead. Just wanted you to know so you can plan your day”  “Thank-you” I said. Maybe I’m moving into mauve…


I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager in the Western suburbs of Brisbane.  I love staging houses so that people can sell up and move on. Contact me on 0432994056 or through my website www.homestagingbrisbane.com

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