Praise yourself, who you are, where you live, where you work. What is your
contribution in the International Association?
I am an Accredited Staging Professional Master and an Interior Designer. I started
my career in Chicago, USA in 2013 with the aim to provide ethical and high quality
Home Staging and Interior Design services through creative designs and successful
communication. In 2016 I moved to Rome where I have dedicated most of my time in
serving the International Association of Home Staging Professionals IAHSP® as the
European Director and now as the President of IAHSP® Europe.
– In which countries is home staging practiced? (world)
Home Staging is practiced all over the world, although it is less known or practiced in
some smaller countries. In North America thanks to Barb Schwarz and her decades
of investment in educating sellers and Real Estate Agents, today, Home Staging is a
blooming Industry! Home Staging is a very successful business in Australia and is
popular in Japan, where there are thousands of Home Stagers!
We, IAHSP®, have more and more professionals from South America joining our
Association, which means that the number of professionals offering our services is
slowly increasing, spreading our profession throughout that specific continent. It
might take more time for our services to be recognised in these areas, and for Real
Estate Agents to use it, but it will happen, like it did in the US. The African continent
is where the presence of Home Stagers is not significant yet. South Africa is the
country with the highest number of Staging Professionals. As I’ve stated earlier, it will
take time for our profession to grow and a lot of perseverance from our end to spread
the word. When it comes to our continent, I can certainly say that besides the
Scandinavian countries and the UK, staging is practiced in all the Western European
– In which countries of Europe do you practice home staging?
– I offer my Home Staging and Design services in Rome, Italy and as an added
service, I do offer online Consultations for customers that live aboard. According to
the importance of the project and the logistic aspects, I do accept to travel even far
to accomplish the project.
– Which country started working with home staging? When?
– We wouldn’t be here today without Barb Schwarz, without her vision, without her
strongly believing in the power of Home Staging. She created the concept in 1972,
and until 1985, staged her own listings. From 1985 until 1999, together with her
husband, she travelled across North America, 40 weeks a year, one seminar per
day. She thought and educated over 1,300,000 Real Estate Agents. In 1999, she
founded the International Association of Home Staging Professionals® and the
training company, stagedhomes.com that has offered the first ever Home Staging
training course in the world. The rest is history!
– In which European countries is Home Staging not known?
– Home Staging is not yet known in the Eastern European countries, such as
Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Cyprus, and Romania as
well as in most of the former SSSR countries. This, however, does not mean that
there aren’t Stagers who are originally from those countries as they might be
staging somewhere else in the world. I, myself, am Serbian and have colleagues
from Bosnia, both successful Home Stagers currently living in Austria and others
in Germany. One of our IAHSP® members is Romanian and has a blooming
business in Canada. Another IAHSP® member is from Croatia but lives and works
in Scotland! Hence, if we would return to our native countries, we would be the
pioneers of Home Staging there! We would spread the word, offer our services,
and sooner or later, create the market.
– The European home stagers. Do they work as home stagers or is it just a hobby?
I would like to give my candid opinion yet go deep into the matter as it cannot be
As business owners and “our own bosses,” we determine how successful our
business will be. We are in charge of it all!
I constantly hear from my European colleagues that they don’t have enough work,
that clients do not want to stage, that the lack of inventory is a problem etc. Every
single time my answers to them are: What do you do to change the situation? Do you
market yourself enough? Are you investing enough time into your business and do
you take good care of it?
When you don’t invest enough time, when you don’t take care of all the aspects of
your business, when you don’t earn enough revenue at the end of the month, and
when you don’t apply yourself on a daily basis, to me, it means that you are running
your business as a hobby.
Projects and business opportunities don’t come knocking at your door everyday, you
have to go and get them! To successfully run a Home Staging business, your
creativity is an important aspect, even though it is not vital. To succeed, you must
have the mindset of an entrepreneur.
In conclusion, unfortunately yes, some Home Stagers take this profession as a
– What are the differences between European home staging projects and US home
The substantial differences are laid in our culture, in the demand and requirements
of our markets, in the business volumes, and in the resources we have at our
Our American colleagues have certainly benefited from our profession being
established a long time ago. Not only do they not have to give continuous
explanations on who they are and what Home Staging is, but they are sought after
by real estate agents or private individuals, receiving project requests constantly.
Having a different business volume and with adequate resources to deal with the
extensive number of projects, the overseas Home Stager, not only is the “creative genius”
but also the entrepreneur of her or himself. I would also like to add that our
American colleagues do not take pictures of their staged properties. They use a
professional photographer who will do the complete photo shoot and send the
material to the client. By not taking care of this important aspect, they have more
time to devote to their business and do not need to invest in photography courses
When selling a property, you are essentially selling the square footage, the space
that the house offers. The American Home Stagers do not obstruct passages with
cushions, lamps, candles and/or other accessories by placing them on the floor.
In addition, the properties for sale are offered with a kitchen, laundry, and various
appliances included. Therefore, there is no need to use cardboard furniture to
showcase that particular space. Every successful Home Stager has her/his own
inventory and the means of transport as necessary resources to better face each
project. Obviously, the exclusive use of real furniture is also dictated by the large
number of department store chains and furniture stores suitable for all budgets.
– What are the differences between the home staging projects in northern Europe
and the home staging projects in southern Europe?
– In the Old continent, Home Staging first arrived in the UK and in the Scandinavian
peninsula. Since the beginning, it has remained loyal to the original Home Staging
Almost always, these countries use real furniture and neutral colors to create perfect
settings. Achieving this goal comes almost natural to Scandinavians as it is their own
style. It is all about the neutral and earth colors, well balanced with furniture
arrangements and just a few accessories. This scenario prevails in Germany as well.
Color choice wise, Southern European stagers oftenly stay loyal to their customs and
traditions, using bright colors as the accent color in their projects. Cardboard
furniture is also very popular.
I have personally noticed that some professionals see home staging as an act of
decorating a home for sale. Contrarily, staging is professionally preparing it for sale
and the opposite of decorating it.
It does not really matter where you are geographically located or if you are a novice
or an expert in this business, if you use real or cardboard furniture, as long as you
are professionally trained and are passionate about your career, putting all your
efforts in helping your clients achieve their goals by preparing and enhancing their
properties for the market is what counts the most.
Can you explain the future development of home staging in Europe?
Our vision is to bring the well-deserved credibility and recognition to our profession
in Europe, building it to become a blooming industry as it is in the US. We are
closely working with the European Affiliate Associations and their Presidents to
maintain the industry standards high. The number of staging professionals will
increase year by year, as well as the number of realtors using our services. I
definitely see a prosperous future for us all!
My closing. If you don’t think it is important, do not include it. 🙂
Thank you for interviewing me. I would like to emphasise that communication is key
and together we will continue to spread the word on our profession and educate the
general public on why Home Staging is the indispensable Real Estate marketing tool.