Staging Steps

By
Home Stager with Fusion Design Consulting

Last week I met with an agent at a vacant spec house regarding Staging.  Although the house was beautifully built, it has been on the market a while and needs furnishings to warm it up.  One area that the agent was very concerned with was a sunken family room. 

The room is off the hallway from the formal living room and connected to the kitchen and breakfast area.  The family room is one step lower than the adjoining rooms but all of the flooring is the same dark hardwood.  If buyers are busy looking at finishes they could easily miss the step as the floors blend from one level to the next. 

I went back to the house today on my own, to pick up the key and take some pictures and prepare for Staging on Thursday.... and it's a little uncomfortable to type tonight as my shoulder is sore from- wait for it... the BIG HUGE HEADER I took down that step today!!  I was on my way to the step when I was distracted by a niche in the island that I hadn't noticed before.  I lifted my pad to jot it down as I continued walking and next thing I knew my pen and pad were in the air and I was hopping and skipping to regain my footing, but to no avail.  I must have looked hilarious stumbling and squealing all the way down.  But it WON'T be funny if anyone else trips and falls.

How can I Stage this step to help buyers notice it better and avoid falls?
The only solution I have thought of is to place rugs just under the steps, in the family room.  Any other suggestions?

 step

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Tags:
home staging
staging
staging tips
safety

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
671,566
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Gina,

A rug will definitely help this step stand out, for safety reasons....how about a narrow runner in a lighter solid color, perhaps to complement the granite counter? Placing a narrow tree or plant on the upper step in front of the wainscoting might also help draw attention to the step.  Good luck -- hope your head is OK!

May 01, 2007 01:32 AM #1
Rainer
13,109
Letitia Hodenfield
Stage It Today - Rochester, MN
Wow, I can't believe you tripped, that would be something I would do!  I think having two planters on either side and a rubber backed rug would help it stand out, but not make it look terrible.
May 01, 2007 07:29 AM #2
Rainer
45,156
Sandra Hughes
Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia - Fairfax, VA
Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia

Sorry you got hurt.  My vote is for using both plants and runners in that area just to be on the safe side.

May 01, 2007 08:20 AM #3
Rainmaker
40,501
Gina Dougherty
Fusion Design Consulting - Redondo Beach, CA
Home Staging Redondo Beach, CA- FusionDesignConsulting.com
Thanks guys- trees are a great idea I hadn't thought of.  I'll update with new pictures once it's done.
May 01, 2007 09:47 AM #4
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Gina, you may also want to add rope lighting under the lip of the stair.  I see there is a plug near buy, you could camoflage with a small plant or someother accessories so you do not see it.  Lighting is offten used to direct traffic or create awareness of steps in interior design.

Definately, keep us posted.  So sorry to hear you took a fall!  The bulider really will want to think of safety here.

Joelle Green

May 01, 2007 10:30 AM #5
Rainmaker
270,525
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

I would go with all the above,rug, plants & then talk to the builder about installing  deck lights.  They fit flush with the vertical surface and come in a wide range of finishes. This will be a major safety issue & liability problem for him and  may still be cut in and snaked back to the electrical connection.  You don't have much of a lip to hide the rope lighting under & it could make the situation even worse if it sticks out. If there is a basement it would make it even easier to accomplish.

Pretty soon you'll be in a sling like me - glad you stopped just lurking about  our small group.

May 01, 2007 11:01 AM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey Kathleeen, good suggestion, if it is possible to do something more permanent, I would absolutely talk with the buider.  there really is a safety issue here.

 

Joelle

May 01, 2007 11:04 AM #7
Rainmaker
151,481
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

I skipped ahead to the photo without reading your blog post ... as I thought you were going to show the "steps" involved in staging this beautiful kitchen.  My first thought was "wow, nice flooring" and my second thought was "ohhh dangerous little step".

You're absolutely right to do something to draw attention to it so no one else goes BOOM.  I did the exact same thing when I bought my own home in 2005 ... I was so excited to see the finished basement that I didn't notice the extra step down !

May 01, 2007 11:23 AM #8
Rainer
73,837
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

How about a big old strip of caution tape?  Sorry, little joke there.  I had this same problem with a sunken bedroom with white carpeting.  I placed a chair on the floor right by the step and a brightly colored tulip on the step right next to it that the buyer couldn't miss.  My logic was that the chair would be hard to miss and they would immediately see the tulip and the height difference.  Nobody missed the step that I know of...

May 01, 2007 01:14 PM #9
Rainmaker
138,218
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
Gina- Is this the one on Ruhland? If so it definitely needs help
May 01, 2007 09:09 PM #10
Rainer
144,429
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Gina - I have a step like that in my home and I can't tell you how many people have fallen into the family room - literally.  We are constantly telling people - Mind the step.  I think the plants and rug sound like a good idea.  
May 02, 2007 09:37 PM #11
Rainmaker
112,035
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

I will now make my humiliation public!  I did the same thing.  I fell off the step into a sunken living room while on a sales call.  The story gets worse...I was wearing a skirt! and there were 3 people watching me as I went flying through the air.

We got the job either because of (or in spite of) this humiliation.  The solution we came up with was to put a large oriental rug (in our case 8x10) in the sunken area close to the drop.  The addition of furniture and the impact of the rug seemed to have solved the problem.

Jo Potvin

Design To Market LLC

www.designtomarketllc.com

May 05, 2007 05:53 PM #12
Rainmaker
311,758
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles & Pasadena, CA

Jo: You took the words right out of my mouth. I think a large light colored rug which abutts the step on the lower level will help call attention to the step.

This could be a huge liability problem if someone falls and hurts themselves.

May 05, 2007 10:56 PM #13
Rainer
135,611
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

Hey Gina Sorry you got hurt, but it was a good thing I was not there, I have a TERRIBLE HABIT I guess from nerves. when I witness someone falling a get hysterial laughing, not good sorry..anyway how about two little railings on either side that the builder can install and until he does can you come up with something creative. I just saw a spiral staircase plant stand at Value City really cheap. it could give the illusion of a railing while being decorative for plants and knick knacks.

I agree this step is dangerous, the builder is lucky no one, well almost no one, has fallen and gotten serioudly hurt.

Phyllis Pafumi

May 09, 2007 06:52 PM #14
Rainer
135,611
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

You know I was going to suggest an area rug in the sunken area and then noticed that Michelle also suggested. I think that might work better because you are drawing their attention to the height difference. I stage a house like this where the kitchen table and chairs were on the top step, if someone went back to far them and their chair would go flying. The clients place a large sofa table at the bottom of step but they had room to enter into the family room

Send us pics and updates on your health.

Phyllis pafumi

May 09, 2007 06:57 PM #15
Rainmaker
57,920
Patricia Ebrahimi
SHOW SMART! HOME STAGING & Color Consultant - Rockville, MD
Home Staging the Washington DC Area from Rockville MD
Oh Gina! How awful.  Everybody's suggestions are right on the mark, especially the ones about clueing the builder and/or realtor.  People sue for falls.  Don't let it be your fault.  Do everything you can to draw attention .  I'm not even against caution tape if you must.  Just be sure all know you addressed it the best you can and release yourself from liability on paper...otherwise known as CYA!!  We don't want to read, "Stager Sued as Scapegoat in Fall"
May 09, 2007 08:00 PM #16
Rainmaker
249,783
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Hi Gina.  I hate to be the devil's advocate here but I am not sure you should do this.  Any reference to a potential problem is acknowledgement. That acknowledgement could be used against you.  I would insist that the builder buy an area rug to put under the step if you have mentioned this to him or even the Realtor.  If you haven't said anything, then I would get a rug under that step and just say that it differentiated the room from the other.   You can concentrate on the other areas of the house for your Staging.  Once you see something that is not right, it is up to you whether you open the can of worms.  You fall upon your own moral beliefs. If you choose to pass over it, that is your choice but I would never share your concerns with someone unless it is to be changed!  Safety and inspector cover ups need to be addressed or do not do the Staging until it is fixed.

Let us know how it goes.

May 10, 2007 10:39 PM #17
Rainmaker
40,501
Gina Dougherty
Fusion Design Consulting - Redondo Beach, CA
Home Staging Redondo Beach, CA- FusionDesignConsulting.com

Thank you everyone for your comments, here are the after pictures.

The Realtor knows and has addressed with the owner, I can't imagine that I will be held liable for how the house is built!

Kaye, this is Ruhland- good eye! 

May 14, 2007 11:21 AM #18
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
40,501

Gina Dougherty

Home Staging Redondo Beach, CA- FusionDesignConsulting.com
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information