The Importance of Home Staging: Making the Best First Impression

Posted by Heather Neal on Thursday, September 19th, 2019 at 3:44pm

This month’s Partner Spotlight shines bright on Lacey Dremann, owner and principal designer of First Impression, a luxury home staging company here in Reno, Nevada. We have collaborated with her on projects in the past and have seen first-hand how a professionally-staged home can make a huge difference in both the selling price and days on the market.

Whether it’s staging a completely empty home or complementing existing furnishings, it’s all about creating an emotional connection. Buyers will ask themselves, “Could I live here?”

We had a chance to sit down with Lacey and she shared some great insight about herself, her business, and the industry in general. Read on to learn more in this enlightening interview.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design from UNR and have owned my business and have been working in the industry for 14 years. I’ve had a broad range of professional experiences throughout my career that have allowed me the opportunity to design and stage many of the area’s most exclusive and beautiful properties and developments.

What services do you offer?

I not only provide comprehensive interior design services from concept through completion but also provide luxury home staging for builders, homeowners and realtors throughout the Reno and Tahoe area.   Whether I am re-imagining an outdated and lifeless home to design a full gut-renovation, designing dream homes with all of my wildest dreams and ideas, or staging a home to sell, I take a personalized and creative approach to each and every project to bring every home to its highest potential.

When you take on a new home staging project, how do you decide what will work for the home?

There are many key factors that determine what inventory will be used in a home and how to maximize the homes marketability and overall appeal. The first consideration, and one of the most significant, is the architectural style of the home. Continuity is a must, so designing and staging the interior to reflect the architectural style not only creates that essential flow but also makes the staging and design feel inspired and intentional. Another key factor in designing the most impactful staging is the color pallet of the homes finishes and fixtures. Using inventory and decor that incorporates and compliments the existing color pallet of a home will make it feel like a well designed model home and provides that cohesion between home and decor. Staging truly allows the buyers to envision themselves living in the home.

What are some of the recommendations you would make if the home has not been updated for a long time?

Outdated homes can be tough to sell, especially to those buyers who lack creative vision, so this is when staging is essential! Proper staging will distract from the flaws or negative aspects of a house. Staging the home using modern and stylish furniture and decor will immediately make the home feel more current and appealing. If the home is so dated that staging alone isn't enough to enhance the appeal of the space, then I would recommend that a client invest in making some updates to the home prior to staging such as painting the walls a neutral color, updating plumbing or lighting fixtures, or even painting old dated stone around a fireplace or drab cabinetry. Paint is one of the most cost effective ways to make a large impact on any space. However, it is essential to keep the paint neutral in effort to appeal to the most prospective buyers. Using color can definitely add personality and style, but it can also be a very polarizing element so I always advise on using neutral and light colors to give the home a fresh, clean look and feel.

What are some of the recommendations you have if homeowners are getting ready to put their homes on the market?

I think by now, in the age of HGTV, everyone knows the cardinal rule of prepping a home for sale and that is to declutter, de-personalize and clean! By doing these three things, it will allow potential buyers to really see, experience and appreciate the home itself rather than being distracted or potentially turned-off by personal knick-knacks, family photos or clutter. Also, make sure that the outside is clean and that the yard is maintained. This is truly the first impression someone has before even entering your home. A well-maintained front yard not only adds curb appeal but also shows the potential buyer that the home has been well cared for.

Do you own any of your inventory?

Yes, I own ALL of my inventory. We have an extensive collection of inventory with an eclectic variety of styles, colors and finishes so we can accommodate a wide variety of homes. Also, by owning all of our inventory we are able to maintain the quality and condition of the furniture and decor, have more versatility in our styling and staging as well as accommodate almost any budget or time frame a client might have. All of our staging designs are customized to the specific needs, style and scale of a home and if we don’t have just the right inventory to complete the job, we will purchase the perfect furniture or decor to make the absolute most impact and best first impression.

What is the number one tip you will give to home sellers when it comes to staging their homes?

Hire a professional! I don’t think a single day has gone by throughout my career that I haven't heard someone say that they or someone they know “has an eye for design/staging”. While I don’t disagree that some people are naturally creative, I do strongly believe that there is much more that goes into designing and staging than just having a “good eye”. There are considerations such as scale, traffic patterns, target buyer demographics, price-point, defining space use and so much more that we evaluate when designing and staging a space to create the most impact. We also use a monochromatic color palette as this provides the most broad range of appeal and is timeless and versatile. Just as my business name implies, you only have one opportunity to make a First Impression so we stage and design each home to make it a great first and lasting impression!

To learn more about Lacey's company, First Impression, visit her website or follow her on Houzz. You can also call her directly at (775) 722-8466 to schedule a consultation.

Follow the Sullivan-Wonhof-Gore Luxury Real Estate Team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on real estate news, Montrêux events, and local happenings in the Reno-Tahoe area. For real estate inquiries, stop by the beautiful Montrêux Welcome Center at 16475 Bordeaux Dr. in Reno, Nevada, call us at 775.849.9444, or email us at The Welcome Center is open 7 days a week, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

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