When Kristy Karpinski and her family moved into a newly built house in Warrington, she was excited by the prospect of designing the new space but also overwhelmed by it. She had all this empty space to contend with and didn’t know how or where to start decorating. That’s when she called Dana Neeld, an interior designer with Staging Spaces and Design.
“From the first meeting, she listened to me and understood my tastes,” Karpinski says of Neeld. “She completely re-did my basement from the ground up and has this way to make the room look so good, yet retain the warmth of the home.”
Decorating homes from top to bottom is Staging Spaces and Design’s passion. The business, founded in 2006, has expanded over the years, as has its team of design professionals, which includes Neeld, Melanie Reinhardt and Josephine Timms. Photographer Richard Quindry plays an essential part as well.
“We love creating homes for people—a space that welcomes them and reflects their style and lifestyle,” Timms says. “It’s not about creating a showcase room. Very simply stated, we think your home should make you feel good.
“There’s a perception that only wealthy people can afford a designer and that’s not true,” she continues. “We are approachable, fun to work with, and we work with many budgets. Anyone can decorate a home beautifully on a generous budget. Tighter budgets force our creativity, and that’s a good thing. No matter what you want to spend, our goal is to give you more than you ever expected.”
A Finished Look
Staging Spaces and Design offers interior design, home staging and custom window treatments. Each client receives a comprehensive in-home consultation, during which the client and designer discuss design goals, determine the size and scope of the project, and establish an agreed-upon budget. In every project, Staging Spaces and Design incorporates a client’s individual taste and aesthetic style, whether it’s traditional, contemporary, transitional or eclectic.
“We discuss the look they want and their style so we can give them what they want,” Neeld says. “Some clients have the means but don’t have the time to be coordinating the entire project. For those, we’ve done everything for them, from the entire first floor to their entire beach homes. We arrange the contractors and painters, and also order furniture and window treatments. We’re there at the very beginning, from the initial consultations, ordering and tracking furniture, to the very end, when we bring in our team and the accessories to finish the job.”
For homeowners who don’t live within the area or who are comfortable on the computer, Staging Spaces and Design offers a unique service called E-Design.
“The process is simple and very affordable at $495,” says Reinhardt. “We ask a client to fill out a questionnaire on our website and the answers give us a direction as far as style, budget and vision. Our design team then develops a floor plan, furniture layout, paint colors and a shopping list, with links on where to purchase each piece. The homeowner becomes the manager of his or her design plans and can set their own pace on finishing the room. This service is not new to the industry by any stretch, but we think it’s a wonderful opportunity for clients who want advice and direction before diving in to a project. It’s sort of a road map from beginning to end.”
According to Reinhardt, model homes are designed to “suck you in” room by room because the design is not only cohesive throughout but also plays on the emotions. “The house is perfectly staged to make you think that once you buy that home, you’ll be organized, you’ll throw lavish parties, your kids will study more, you’ll cook at least five nights week, and so on,” she explains. “Emotions play a large role in real estate transactions.”
Staging Spaces and Design uses these elements of design to stage homes for realtors and homeowners.
“A lot of people think staging is only for vacant homes, but we also stage homes for homeowners who lived in their homes for years,” Reinhardt says. “These homes need a fresh look to make their rooms look current for the multiple listing photographs.” Getting a fresh look could include newer paint colors, adding accessories and rearranging existing furniture. Staging consultations cost only $150.
“We give the house for sale the wow factor that potential homebuyers need to see and we give the homeowner a detailed list of recommendations,” Reinhardt says. “They can either hire us to execute the list or they can do it themselves. It is so important in the Internet age that a home for sale has an excellent presence on the computer listing. Over 90 percent of homebuyers qualify a home on the Internet before they ask for a showing appointment. We are able to see your home through buyers’ eyes. Staging sells a home faster and for more money in any type of market.”
Additionally, Staging Spaces and Design has built a great reputation in the area by developing connections and relationships with various large developers such as Toll Brothers and Westrum Development. Through these connections and relationships, Staging Spaces and Design will stage residential homes, condominium complexes and high-rise lobbies.
‘Warm, Homey, Beautiful’
Karpinski and her husband loved what Neeld and her team did to their basement so much, they ended up having Staging Spaces and Design decorate the rest of the house, too—the family room, dining room and living room, as well as five bedrooms, the kitchen and the office. And when the Karpinskis bought a new shore house in Sea Isle City, N.J., they once again made the call to Neeld.
“When we signed the contract, my husband said to me, ‘It’s time to call Dana,’” Karpinski laughs. “I told her and Josephine I want it to look and feel like a shore house, but I don’t want lobsters on the wall when you walk in. They found a way to incorporate the perfect colors and found the coolest accent pieces and pictures. It’s a modern house but still feels like you are down the shore, and it’s completely different from our home in Warrington. It feels warm, homey and beautiful at the same time.
“I can’t tell you how many people have been to my house who then call [Staging Spaces and Design] because they’ve seen the before pictures,” she continues. “When I tried to do it, it was a nightmare, and then they see the work Dana and her team has done, which is incredible. I’ve had neighbors, friends and family members that have all used her after seeing my house. Their work speaks for itself.”
STAGING SPACES AND DESIGN
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, November, 2017.