We were so excited to have our next RMCC Resources interview with Amanda Eufer-Lewis of The Den! Her staging company helps make homes look beautiful, which you can clearly see in her photos we’ve included here in this blog. As any broker will tell you, staging is a key marketing strategy when it comes to listing a property. Setting the scene with fresh furnishings and decor can make all the difference in how a buyer feels – both physically and emotionally – when visiting a home, resulting in incredible listing photos and often times a higher selling price. Amanda has provided her design and staging services for our brokers and is super talented, transforming our clients’ listings into welcoming homes that buyers can immediately see themselves living in. We are thrilled to share Amanda’s insight with you!
How did you get started staging homes?
After moving to Denver from New York City, I was looking to shift gears and get back into a design-focused career. I majored in fashion design in college and moved to New York to pursue my design dreams. After working as an assistant designer, I quickly fell into Public Relations and served as an Account Director for a plethora of brands. Fast forward to 2016 my husband and I moved to Denver and I wanted to get back to my creative roots in design. A friend recommended that I try out staging and instantly fell in love. Soon after, I hit the ground running and launched my own staging/design company which has been growing steadily for the past 6 years. January 2020 I upped the ante and decided to grow the business into staging rentals, with a 7 thousand square foot warehouse space. The Den (@thedenrentals) was born with hundreds of new furnishings with the luxury market in mind. I felt the desire to control my own inventory and also provide fellow stagers with another source for modern home furnishings.
Tell us your process when you are staging a home.
For each listing, I first do a quick walk-through, taking reference images while on-site and put together a quote. Once hired I then decide on a style/vibe for the home based on the listing agent’s target buyer and what the home tells me. No cookie-cutter staging here, each home gets a specific design focus, I spend a great deal of time in this phase to develop the home’s design story. Sometimes with longer project lead times, I will source new furnishings, that later we will fold into inventory, giving the home a tailor-made feel, or on occasion, buyers purchase everything with the home.
What design styles do you find are the most popular these days?
Modern Farmhouse. However, I started The Den to appease my own design style, eclectic modern. If you ask me a home should feel collected over time and I want my staging to feel the same. I have had exceptional responses to this style, and I believe trends in Denver will soon follow.
What simple tips do you have for a seller to help make their home look its best?
1. Paint, paint, paint. Neutralize accent walls and brighten the popular heavy grey tones that ruled our walls years ago. One of the many shades of white is always a great option as well as light “greige” tones. Don’t neglect your exterior paint that may also need to be freshened up, including your front door
2. Declutter and depersonalize. Less is more! Make sure walkways and door openings feel expansive and clear of obstacles. Thin out closets and pack up any belongings you won’t immediately need. I also ask homeowners to remove personal pictures so that future buyers can envision themselves in the home and not spend time staring at your cute family pictures.
3. Do the seemingly minor repairs and touch-ups. Tackle all of the small projects that have been put on the back burner over the years. The simplest repairs can make a huge difference. (i.e. clean grout in bathroom/shower)
4. Swap out your “Daylight” bulbs for “Soft White.”
5. Have your windows professionally cleaned prior to photos.
Lastly, if your seller plans to move out prior to listing, it’s worth every dime to invest in top-tier staging. Despite the notion that a home in our hot market will sell without it, when staged properly a listing will almost always sell over ask. I recently staged a home that although beautiful, needed to be brought to life with staging and netted $400,000 over ask.
What do you like most about what you do?
As a stager, I get to design and outfit a multitude of homes with the same intensity I would if I had been hired for the much longer process of interior decorating. I receive a great amount of joy & pride seeing the results of my design story come to life. That feeling is only topped by knowing I have transformed the home in less than 5 hours. I also thoroughly enjoy the ability to play with current trends and an array of decorating styles. Opening The Den has provided me an amazing way to meet and collaborate with so many other talented stagers. Seeing my carefully curated pieces mixed and matched in ways I would have never dreamed, is exhilarating.
On to the fun stuff…what music have you been listening to lately?
I really don’t have a specific favorite. My music taste changes by the hour. I’ll have 90’s hip hop on one moment, Radiohead the next, followed by Vivaldi. I know it’s cliche but I like it all.
What tv shows are you currently watching?
I’ll admit it, I’m a Bravo addict!
What’s your favorite part of living in Denver?
The snowy winters.
Thank you so much, Amanda, for sharing your unique insight and words of wisdom. You can find out more about Amanda and The Den at thedenrentals.com.
Owner & Lead Stylist