Lisa Coxon for Toronto Life
The property
A semi-detached, 2,100-square-foot home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, located near Vine Cliff Park, just off the 404 in Markham. It’s a short drive from three elementary schools. After the property was staged, it sold in seven days.
The stager
After apprenticing under a designer for the better part of a year, Lori Pedersen started her own staging business in 2013. She operates out of Aurora in a two-storey 3,000-square-foot space, which includes her warehouse and design studio. Before pursuing home staging, she worked for 18 years in finance and operations. “I was able to switch gears into a career I wanted to do,” she says.
The strategy
Pedersen wanted to make the living room appeal to a wide variety of buyers. “The raspberry feature around the fireplace was very taste-specific to the homeowners,” she says. Her team repainted the room. Pedersen rented the couch, glass table and chair through Executive Furniture Rentals. She sourced the snake plant, the lamps and the cushions from her own design studio. A new furniture arrangement helped make the space feel more inviting. “I didn’t want the buyers to walk into the back of the sofa or feel blocked, like they couldn’t enter the space,” she says. The new setup allowed buyers to see the backyard, and created more of a conversation area.
In the master bedroom, Pedersen neutralized the icy blue walls, then added a king-sized bed and end tables to widen the room and create more symmetry. “The people sleeping in the master bedroom are the people writing the cheque,” Pedersen says. “They have to feel like it’s a respite for them.” She added artwork to match the mauve curtains.
Because this is a family neighbourhood, Pedersen knew she had to bring this bedroom, which was being used as a storage and exercise room, back to life. “We want to create an emotional connection,” she says. “It really tugs at people’s heart strings if Johnny jumps on the bed and says, ‘Mommy can this be my room!?’” The walls were already blue, so she and her team designed a young boy’s room. Pedersen found the bedding set at Hudson’s Bay.