SSWF – Staging the Nest

Introducing: Ashley with Staging the Nest

How long have you been in business?

4 months

Are you solo or have a team?


Describe any specific challenges in this picture.

Corner fireplaces are always a challenge when the living room is smaller and the mantle is too high and the ceiling is to high to mount the tv or use stand art. This creates competing focal points in the room. We decided have the wall behind the fireplace painted a darker color to make the white stone fireplace pop, then hang oversized art vertically to fill the space. On the mantle, we used larger accessories to fit the size and scale of the wall and room.

In the guest bedroom we swapped out dark gray bedding for white bedding with blue accents and various textured / colored throw pillows. This made the very small room feel larger and more airy.

The back study wall was painted the same accent color as the fireplace to tie in the look together then accented with mirror furniture to reflect light in the room. Paired with modern and rustic/chic pieces, we were able to give this study a beautiful look that tied in the look and feel in the rest of the house.

The main challenges were the smaller room sizes with some oversized furniture in the home. Mirrored pieces, lighting, and light colored accessories helped make these rooms feel larger and modernized.

What got you into staging in the first place?

I owned an event planning company for 10 years, planning and designing weddings and social events for a variety of styles and budgets. I truly enjoyed the creative side of that but I really wanted to focus on real estate.

In 2015 (myself along with a business partner) we opened a Home Staging company. We were instantly busy and kept growing. However due to changes in our personal lives and logistics, we decided to close that business. Thus, I re-opened on my own as Staging The Nest on November 1, 2016.

What was your previous career?

Event Planner

What do you know now that you wished you knew on your first day of business?

Vacant Home Staging was a service that I really wanted to offer, and to own all of our own inventory. I did not want to be reliant on a rental company. But it takes time to build up to that point. I wish I would have known about some of the furniture wholesalers in our area from day one, and I wish I would have better understood how to price that service. It took some time to get a good handle on what our packages were going to include, options, etc.

After about 6 months, I got a really good handle on that and was able to break into that market. And I was able to carry that experience into my new business after our partnership in the first staging business ended.

What has been you biggest business challenge and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I have faced is getting “old-school” agents to understand the need of home staging. I have networked with lots of agents and brokerage firms, but there are always people who think it is not necessary. I made a huge accomplish with one broker. After speaking with him on multiple occasions about the benefits of home staging, I asked him to come to a vacant project I was working on so he could see it for himself, in person. When he walked in, he was blown away and from that point on, we have been working together!

What objection have you heard from a client and how did you overcome it?

One recent Staging Consultation I completed was a challenge with lots of objections. The agent had requested and paid for my service. I met with the homeowners and began walking through their home. The home was beautiful, however it had some outdated furniture and mixed / matched styles and colors. You could really see who the seller was just by looking at their items.

As we walked through, I tried to really connect with the homeowner but I think she just felt as though she “knew best.” She would laugh as I would make recommendations, or argue about suggestions. So I knew I had to do something different / additional with this client to get them to understand and really buy-in to the concept of staging.

After talking with them for 2 hours and walking through the whole home, I asked her if I could show her a few things. I did a quick room transformation in her kitchen and guest bedroom. I usually do this on a small scale in one room, but I knew this client really need to see more. So I took my time with her and finally got that buy-in. Before I left, she was asking me to look at various pieces of artwork and accessories that she was pulling out of the closet. She wanted to know more and became excited about getting it done. That was very satisfying for me!

See more of Ashely’s work in her Instagram page.