Our business is home staging, but we get to wear many hats in our work and personal lives.  We are boss babes, moms, and home decor enthusiasts.  On this blog you'll get to read a little bit about all of the above! 


A few weeks ago Olive & Opal was approached by Rene Knott from the KSDK Morning Show to provide insight for a segment dedicated to help potential buyers sell their homes. We were thrilled to be included in the discussion and Rene could not have been kinder. After days of stress and practice and more stress and more practice (and TV appearance shopping!), we met with Rene at one of our currently staged properties. Honestly, Rene could not have been nicer and the interview truly felt like a conversation among friends.


The focus of our interview was the top do’s and do not’s when preparing your home to sell. The editing of the segment did not allow all our tips to be aired so we’re sharing them here. We can (and WILL) dedicate entire posts to each of these tips but at a glance, here we go…


1) DO CLEAN TOP TO BOTTOM, INSIDE OUT – interior cleaning implies that the house has been cared for and well maintained while exterior cleaning and focus really draws in potential home buyers

2) DO DEPERSONALIZE – remove personal artifacts and memorabilia (i.e., family pictures, diplomas, religious artifacts) which can ultimately distract potential buyers from picturing themselves living in the home

3) DO FOCUS ON KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS – make the kitchen light, open and functional by removing almost everything from counters and the fridge, except for a few decorative items; freshen up bathrooms with new white towels and new shower curtains


1) DON’T IGNORE SMELLS – this can be a huge turn-off to potential buyers; a thorough cleaning should help with smells, but particularly in homes where there is a history of smoke or pet odors, it might be good to enlist some professional help

2) DON’T LEAVE CLUTTER - now is as good a time as ever to begin packing up your belongings and removing items that do not serve a function in the room; it is also important not to move clutter by storing it in another place (i.e., basement or closet) as it tells a potential buyer “there isn’t enough room for their stuff, will there be enough room for mine?”

3) DON’T LEAVE YOUR HOUSE EMPTY – an empty home can be cold and uninviting; also, buyers cannot judge the size of a space without furniture and rooms actually appear smaller without furniture



You want to showcase your home in a way that appeals to your target market and allows buyers to envision themselves living in your home. You want to MAXIMIZE your home’s strengths and MINIMIZE its weaknesses.

A tremendous thank you Rene Knott and the KSDK team, as well as to the homeowners of the property and their agent where we shot the footage. They were so kind to let us use their space to showcase our work. You can see the gorgeous property at 39 N. Newstead in the Central West End here…check it out!

Staging your house to sell doesn’t require a huge investment – let’s be honest, you’d rather save that money for your new digs. But a few small easy updates can make a big difference and hopefully lead to a quicker sale and higher profit. In today’s addition of easy updates we are tackling throw pillows. In the wonderful world of Etsy, it’s never been easier to update your rooms by swapping out a throw pillow. There are countless sites dedicated to your favorite designer pillows at a fraction of the cost.

Transform your couches and chairs – Very few sellers want or need to invest in a new couch to stage their home, but a few strategically placed throw pillows can either add visual interest to an otherwise dull couch or tone down that eye sore of a couch you’ve had since college.

Add interest to your bedroom – At Olive & Opal we always suggest neutral bedding when staging your home. White and neutral quilts and comforters are an easy and inexpensive option that will not distract your potential buyers. Adding throw pillows is a great way to add some visual interest without competing for attention. While we encourage a seller to mix and match your throw pillows both in size and pattern we would suggest that you stick with a dominate color and mix in neutrals and complimentary shades.

Direct your buyer’s eye ­– Throw pillows can be used to guide your eye in home staging and provide cohesion from room to room. A coordinated collection of textures and patterns in complementary hues can help provide a natural flow. You certainly don’t need to be matchy-matchy, but using a consistent palette in different ways will make your home seem less disjointed. Throw a few square pillows on the end chairs in your dining room in a coordinating hue or mix in some large floor pillows in a bonus room for some warmth and texture.

Here's a round up of some of our favorite throw pillows:






neutrals: TOP left , middle, right BOTTOM left, middle, right

florals + prints: TOP left, middle, right BOTTOM left, middle, right

stripes + solids: TOP left, middle, right BOTTOM left, middle, right

fun accents: TOP left, middle, right BOTTOM left, middle, right

When selling your investment property, are you tempted to leave the house empty? Decorating your house to sell, also called “home staging” or “real estate staging,” will help you sell your investment in record time and get top dollar for your home.

According to home staging expert Debra Gould, real estate investors who are preparing to list a home on the market shouldn’t skimp on furnishings and accessories in an attempt to save money. “When you've gone through expensive renovations, suffered with delays or extended beyond your budget, it's difficult to stay motivated to the bitter end,” says Gould. “It can be tempting to say, ‘It's good enough. The paint's dry. Let's put it on the market as is!’ This is shortsighted and can cost you a bundle! It's relatively inexpensive to rent anything you need, and these finishing touches help ensure that you make the profit you deserve for all those costly renovations and repairs.”

Imagine it's the Academy Awards. A big star is planning to wear a fabulous designer gown, so she decides she doesn't really need to get her hair done. Does everyone talk about the fabulous gown? Of course not. All they can remember is the terrible hair!

Or imagine a fine painting that’s been placed in a frame from the dollar store. Does the painting have the same appeal as it would if it had been framed by a professional? Conversely, have you ever taken one of your child's paintings and had it framed? What a difference it makes compared to how it looks when it’s stuck to the fridge with a magnet.

5 Reasons It’s a Bad Idea to Leave Rooms Empty When Showing Your House

  1. People don't buy houses; they buy homes.

  2. It is difficult to understand how large a room is when there's nothing in it to use as a reference point.

  3. People can't visualize how furniture will fit in an empty space, and if they're unsure, they don't buy.

  4. When a room is empty, prospective buyers focus on negative details instead of falling in love with the overall space. Rather than looking at the flow of one room to another, prospective buyers get bogged down in questions like: Is the drywall smooth? Will those bumps in the carpet come out? Why doesn't the closet have a hanging bar? Why doesn't that molding fit perfectly? Why is the light switch in the middle of the wall?

  5. When a house or even a few rooms are empty, prospective buyers may become distracted from the house itself and shift their focus to the homeowners. Instead of focusing on whether this is the home for them, they may be busy wondering: Is this couple getting a divorce? Has the family left town? Are they selling because they have money problems? This train of thought can then prompt buyers to begin thinking, "Maybe I can put in a low-ball offer since the seller might be desperate." Definitely not the picture you are trying to paint!

Home staging is about packaging a home to show off its best features and downplay the flaws. You romance the buyer and entice them into making an emotional connection with your house. So, bring in some furnishings and accessories to add character and warmth to the home. Taking the time for these final details will ultimately translate into a higher return on your investment.

Contact Anna and Melinda at Olive & Opal Interiors today for information about staging your vacant property. We will scale our solutions to meet your needs and stage the property to align with the target market for the home and price point.

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is president of Six Elements and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 4,000 students worldwide. Gould is the author of four home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. To learn more, visit Written by internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, ©Copyright Six Elements Inc. Used with permission.

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