Niagara Stager Named “Top 10″ in Canada & North America


Lisa McIntee, owner of The Staging Professionals is a member of the Real Estate Staging Association, the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers. Lisa was named as one of Canada’s Top 10 Professional Home Stagers, North America’s Top 10 Best Occupied Staging and North America’s Top 10 Best Re-Designs.

Lisa McIntee will go on to compete for Professional Stager of the Year Canada as well as Best Occupied Staging North America, and Best Re-Design North America. The winner of the Professional Stager of the Year Canada will compete for the Professional Stager of the year North America.

Lisa McIntee operates The Staging Professionals and brings experience, creativity and style to each and every job. From Home Staging to Design, Lisa has a knack for making the ordinary, extraordinary. The Staging Professionals offer home staging consultations, vacant home staging, occupied staging, model home design, kitchen cabinet spraying as well as renovations.

“ I am thrilled to have been named in the Top 10 for all 3 categories this year. Our industry has a huge amount of talented stagers across North America, and it is humbling to be a finalist among such outstanding individuals. Professional Home Staging in the Niagara region has its challenges, and for my designs to be recognized alongside top stagers from major cities across North America is such an honor”.

The finalists in all categories can be viewed at All the winners will be announced at the annual Home Staging Industry Awards Convention January 29, 2014, at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas. For more information on the Home Staging Convention, please visit or .

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree….Whatever shall I do with thee?

Your tree is your canvas, whether real or artificial, so choose carefully. A beautifully decorated Christmas tree has the potential to light up your home and holidays so let’s make some magic!

Here are some tricks and tips to ensure success in this venture this holiday season. Begin by choosing a well-shaped tree. Look for full evenly-spaced branches and a symmetric shape. I’m sure we can all recall the Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

If you’re setting up an artificial tree, try to shape the branches so you don’t see the space between each layer. Next, choose your theme – traditional or trendy. Staying with one colour scheme makes your tree appear cohesive and complete. Staying with classic Christmas colours? Accent the tree with traditional color ornaments , garlands and ribbons. To add some panache, you could use a metallic colour – try gold or silver.

holiday tree 3

Wintery colours such as blue, silver or purple lend themselves to the icy feel of snowy Christmas day. Choose clear lights to complement this feel.Hang the lights first. This is undoubtedly the most labour-intensive part of decorating a tree. Do it correctly and your tree takes on a look of magical beauty.

String the lights from top to bottom, spaced evenly, starting from the inner branches and working your way out. Some of you may find a pre-lit tree more to your liking. Let the fun begin.

Add decorative bunches or ” sprays” as we call them. Sprays can be silk flowers, branches, fruits, berries or anything that you can place in a large grouping. Begin at the bottom left side of your tree and insert the sprays in a zigzag pattern, working your way to the top. Next come your decorations; can you feel your tree coming to life?

If you are planning to drape garlands, ribbons, feathers, pearls or other items, now is the time! Be sure to use the sprays as connecting points for draping. Select various-sized ornaments, medium and large, containing different textures and finishes. Glass ornaments look beautiful on a well-lit tree; large ornaments tend to portray ” the designer look” so save these for the centre of the tree.

Starting with the inner branches, place decorations so they appear neatly “nested” on the lower branches rather than hanging. If you are working with a “real” tree, clipping branches may be necessary to get this effect.

Always save six to seven feet for your tree topper; the sky is the limit here!

holiday tree 1

Inexpensive tree décor ideas can be found at many stores – look for feather boas for garland, silk ornamental florals, faux snow flakes, decorative wire ribbon in various colours and patterns, pine cones, branches and ivy to name a few.

Have fun with your tree and enjoy the holiday season!

Images provided by google. To preview the holiday decorating provided by The Staging Professionals, please request our portfolio via email.

How Real is Reality?

It’s something that those of us in the Home Staging industry hear almost daily, “Oh, I watch all the shows, I have a pretty good handle on what needs to be done”. Reality TV has been exponential in introducing the Home Staging Concept to home owners but it has also created an influx of DIY Staging disasters.

Television portrays “custom” window treatments for $30, an entire home being designed and set up in a few short hours, kitchen updates that are miraculously completed over the commercial break, and list prices that show some hefty returns for all this work.

The reality is quite the opposite.

-Window treatments, stock or custom, cost money.

-Time is money, so when someone is running around putting together designs and shopping prices, someone should be paying for that.

- Kitchens take time, and often cost more money than ever anticipated.

- Returns are relevant to the improvements, location, investment made and other issues surrounding the home, don’t every assume if you spend $1 you will make $3, it may not work that way. Seek professional advice.

- Never assume making a home “pretty” will have buyers overlook major issues with the home. Pretty creates a highly marketable and saleable product, it should never be thought of as a “tool” to cover up big ticket items. Disclose items if you cannot afford the repair.

- No improvements will sell an overpriced home, discuss your expectations on price with a Professional Realtor. Allow them to provide you with the tools you require to make an informed decision prior to diving into any project.

- Home Staging is more than just furniture arrangement and it typically doesn’t happen overnight. To prepare a home properly, design, planning and sourcing all take time.

Selling a home can be very stressful, but there is nothing more important than a smart approach. Professional Realtors have a team of professionals they rely on, and as part of the team we all work together. From Home Stagers, Pre-Home Inspections, Financing Experts and so on, rest assured that when its your time to sell, there is a team available to assist you in making the correct choices to achieve the highest return possible on your home.

Questions or comments? Please contact The Staging Professionals at 905.358-4887

How much will "Doing It Yourself" actually save you?

Fall has officially arrived and motivation to begin planning fall/winter home improvements has begun. Let me begin by saying that “ we are all experiential learners”. According to Wikipedia, do it yourself (DIY) is the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the aid of experts or professionals…did I mention that we are experiential learners already?


Moving right along, the notion of spending time on YouTube convincing yourself that you are now an expert can be a very costly mistake. Here is a very common scenario. With timeline and budget in mind ( now that you’ve completed your research on YouTube), you head off to Lowes where you meet a knowledgeable attendant who indicates that you “ need” x, y and z to begin….” but this wasn’t mentioned in the video I watched? I’ll not bore you with the rest as I’m convinced many of us have lived the resulting nightmare. Not only is it a poor job but it has done nothing to improve your relationships at home. Time to call in a Staging Professional to repair the damage done!

We have seen many of these costly mistakes over the years when working with our clients as they set the stage for resale. Id like to share some repeated, glaring faux pas:

*Painting- how hard can it be? You have a bucket of paint a brush and a roller. The wrong colour, sheen and lamentable lines at the ceiling ( aka cutting) devalues a room/home,

*Floor refinishing and installation- improper cuts, materials, installation methods and poor transitions can scream SOS to a potential buyer,

*Under-budgeting- every DIY job will always cost you more than you budgeted! Always analyze your projects carefully; weigh out the cost of hiring a professional,

*Electrical and plumbing jobs- unless you have gone to school and have the paperwork, you’re not qualified. Leave these issues with a qualified contractor,

*Time- doesn’t everything take 30 minutes as seen on TV? Time is elusive, know that estate and lengthy DIY construction periods can cause expenses to quickly mount, slowly eating away at your return.

The most important aspect of any project regardless of size and scope is always safety. Don’t get involved in something you can’t handle! Did I mention that “ we are experiential learners”?

If you need a hand, aren’t sure where to begin, or how to find the end? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 905.358.4887.

Niagara Stager Discusses Home Staging Returns in “Make It Home” Magazine

Home Staging is often more involved than most people realize. RESA Niagara chapter member, Lisa McIntee, owner of The Staging Professionals, was asked to discuss some of the obstacles and benefits of staging a home in the second issue of “Make It Home” magazine. Please click on the link to preview the article on Page 2.

The Staging Professionals most recent staged home is also featured on the cover of this magazine.

Luxury Home Staging Reaps Big Rewards


299 Niagara Blvd, Niagara on the Lake, ON

Listed at $1,699,900

Sold over list price, with multiple offers, in 12 days.

The Staging Professionals were hired by the realtors, Jaime & Anna DaSilva of Sotheby’s International Realty, to conduct a staging consultation for the waterfront property listed above. The results of the consultation required the removal of many items that would neither enhance nor showcase this spectacular property. Updated flooring, repainting both the interior and partial exterior of the home, landscaping and finally staging of the home (prior to its entry into the market )were the recommendations made to both the homeowner and realtor. The Staging Professionals were hired to design the new look, manage the tradespeople involved and prepare the home for the potential, fortunate buyer. The realtors did an exceptional job in marketing this home using photography and videography to capture its unique features. I use the term exceptional to portray the fluid movement necessary in orchestrating 125 people walking through the home on the first weekend, the reality of multiple offers procured all within a 12 day period.

Most people are incredulous when presented the details of the scenario above but I need to point out that staging a luxury home has several distinct challenges. As we know, luxury homes have a smaller “ buyer pool”. Professional stagers have the understanding and knowledge of how to captivate this audience; to target the lifestyle sought. The perceived value can be dramatically enhanced with a solid understanding of the target markets, the location, demographics and buyer needs.


There is a huge return on staging luxury homes particularly when a speedy sale ensures carrying costs remain at a minimum. The average timeline on a Niagara on the Lake property, at this price point and time, is usually 1 year. The sale of 299 Niagara Boulevard was a combination of strengths; professional realtors, stagers, photographers and videographers working masterfully together to weave this tapestry of success.

The Importance of Staging for Photography

The dynamics of selling a home have changed drastically, just talk candidly to anyone who has attempted to sell a home using the traditional “clean & list it” method. Unless it was “priced to sell”, I can bet it was a long, tough sale.

This doesn’t mean an entire overhaul is required, but depending on your goals some work may be involved. The question is almost always asked “Why do I have to do this”? and the truth is, because it needs to be done. A more in depth answer would depend on the item, but there is a logic and sequence behind everything a home stager does and recommends. Is there anything wrong with the 5 little candle sticks on the buffet? Absolutely not, and they certainly won’t become deal breakers, however, they would hinder the photography of more important elements.

Savvy Realtors use expert photography and video to capture the overall lifestyle of the home, these images will be your homes true first impression, so make it count.

506 Simcoe kitchen

Clear counters; expert photographers will capture the gleaming stone as well as well as natural light entering this space. The color strategically placed on the countertop is the initial draw for potential buyers.

ensuite after

Remove personal products from showers, bath surround and counters (this also includes carpets). Creating a spa-like bathroom cannot be done with bright colored bottles and containers floating around, now buyers see all the features of this space without any distractions.


Today’s lifestyles are more hectic than ever. Bedrooms needs to become a sanctuary, a place away from the everyday chaos that life hands to us. Soothing bedding and minimal distractions are key. Mismatched bedding, older flooring, personal photos and knick knacks are the #1 deterrent in photos.

Professional home stagers will always use professional quality photos to display their work. We do this because we know that we are in the business of making first impressions and the photos are what count when selling a home.

Top 5 Photography/Staging “No-No’s”

1. Remove all items smaller than a soccer ball from shelves, tables, floors etc; these types of items never photograph well unless they are expertly coordinated and displayed,

2. Bookshelves should only be 1/3 full, color coordinate books and incorporate large decor items on shelves in lieu of books,

3. Glass cabinets in a kitchen should not be displaying a multitude of tupperware, mis-matched bowls and other trinkets. Clean out these spaces and spend the time organizing. The kitchen photography will thank you for it.

4. Bathrooms – personal items in bathrooms is never a good thing in photos, my pet peeve is seeing a multitude of colors behind an expensive tempered glass shower door. Place everything under the sink, keep only matching solid color towels/florals/candles etc along with a light shower curtain kept open.

5. Wrinkly beds – Stagers are wrinkle-free fanatics, but that doesn’t mean we expect you to be when you live in your home. Photos of bedrooms should look like a boutique, everything proper, fresh, and wrinkle free.

The Staging Professionals

About The Staging Professionals

Lisa McIntee is the owner of The Staging Professionals. The Staging Professionals is Niagara's largest, full service Home Staging Company offering a wide range of services designed to assist Realtors, Investors, Builders and Home Owners increase their bottom line when selling or renting their home.

Lisa is a member of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and holds the elected position of VP of Public Relations. She is also a RESA Mastermind Member, Staging Instructor & Mentor with SAR Staging & Re-Design and is actively involved in her community through various charitable organizations.

Is Your Bedroom "Speaking" To Buyers?

“If only the bedroom walls could talk”, has an entirely different meaning than most would think to Professionals in the Home Staging Industry.

Today’s homes are focusing more and more on creating ultra luxurious master suites. New home builders understand what today’s buyers are looking for and are offering large space, designer walk-in closets, his and hers spa-like bathrooms, fireplaces and separate lounge areas in these spaces, just to name a few of the lavish luxuries now available without custom building.

When it comes to creating a master suite, re-sale homes don’t have the ability to offer these customizable “options” to potential buyers, but there are still very effective ways to evoke serious emotion and portray a luxurious lifestyle for buyers without having these particular features in a home. Please view a small sample of our staging below to help understand the basic principles behind staging a master suite:

Create Great Space


Buyers love admiring space so be sure not to cram furnishings into your bedroom in order to show everything fits. Buyers are almost always visual but don’t want to be bombarded with storage overkill. Scale is extremely important, place the proper size furniture in the right places to maximize the appeal of a bedroom.

A Balancing Act


Balancing the room is also important because even though buyers cant often pinpoint why the room “feels off”, it is usually positioning of key pieces that evokes this negative feeling. Night tables should match as well as lighting on either side of the bed. If you are hanging art in this space, be sure the pieces are properly weighted particularly when on opposing walls.

Bold & Bright Isn’t Always Right

196 Cushman Rd. Unit 39 30

Color and patterns help evoke feeling in buyers, but the wrong selections in this department can wreak emotional havoc on a buyer. You do not want buyers noticing how bright the bedding is; rather keep them feeling like they could climb right into bed at that very moment. Use color and pattern sparingly as capturing the feeling of a room in photographs can often be difficult when there is too much visual stimulation. Always be sure to cater to the buyers needs, not your own when selecting items for this space. One of my favorite “bedding” sayings for my clients who will shop for new bedding when selling their home is “Just because they sell it does not mean that you should buy it”.

Texture is Heart Warming

25 Hickory Ave. 55

Texture is a great way to add intrigue into a space. There are many ways to incorporate the right textures for each unique space and these textures will often inspire buyers, encourage them to relax or simply create a more comfortable atmosphere. Faux satin, furs and plush items can be found in accent furnishings and decor items and when strategically placed in a bedroom can have a huge impact on the final design.

If you aren’t sure how to accomplish any of these design ideas in your space, feel free to contact us at 905-358-4887. You can preview our extensive portfolio of homes at to see exactly how we can help transform your space into a buyers dream home.

Regardless of Price, Every Home Is A Castle


People often assume that staging is only for high end homes, a luxury only afforded by those with higher incomes. The truth is that all homes can benefit from the advice of a Professional Home Stager and homes in the low to mid price range have the most competition, therefore it is imperative they look their best.

A Professional Home Stager is skilled at presenting homes, regardless of price, in the best manner possible and within a budget that the homeowner can afford.

Home Staging has been changing the way Real Estate is both bought and sold and ”move-in ready” homes are selling quick, creating a larger demand for these properties. Buyers are looking for a lifestyle and selling a dream is what Real Estate is truly about.

My first real estate purchase was a tiny, very inexepensive 1 bedroom condo in Mississauga at the age of 19, owned by a Professional couple who had most likely long outgrown it and no longer appreciated its space and forgotten its features. I remember previewing the property which was perfectly photographed and presented, everything in its place and a beautiful exposed brick wall highlighted by the cathedral ceilings was front and centre the moment I walked in the door.

Even though you may have outgrown your house, decide its time for something new, or are downsizing, never forget the reason you bought the home in the first place. It was your castle, your dream of something bigger or better and be sure to showcase that potential to the next buyer.

No matter where your move is taking you or what the price of your home may be, don’t forget the importance of emotion and ultimately creating that dream that you once had the day you purchased your home. Inspire someone else the way you were inspired, there is great results awaiting you when you do.

Even though the price was low, the condo was presented like a castle, my first castle. My offer was submitted and accepted - it was one of the greatest feelings ever, a feeling I never forget each time I design a new property for sale.

Home Staging is so much more than just furniture, all buyers in every price range are shopping for a dream. When selling, why leave your biggest investment to chance?


Home Staging Isn’t Just For Selling Homes

Home Staging isn’t just for selling homes in St Catharines

Written by melissamarro of SAR Staging & ReDesign on March 19, 2013

The Staging Professionals, recently staged 196 Cushman Rd, Unit 39 St. Catharines. SAR Instructor Lisa McIntee showcases her home staging skills in this stunning, recently renovated unit.

While most people think of home staging exclusively for homes for sale, recently apartment complexes have begun seeing the value. Case in point is the recent staging project for Panoramic Properties located at 196 Cushman Rd, Unit 39 in St Catharines, Ontario.

Offering both two and three bedroom town homes for rent, creating a model unit simply makes sense. Just as professional home staging can help a home owner sell faster and for more money, staging an apartment can help rent more units. Lower vacancy rates mean more profit for investors. The small investment in professional home staging can keep the apartment complex full by creating a lifestyle that renters are looking for.

home staging in st catharines and niagara

196 Cushman Rd, St Catharines

Welland Woods Townhomes is an Urban Oasis in the attractive north end of St. Catharines. While minutes to all the amenities of the Garden City, this pleasant enclave of Townhomes on 196 Cushman Road,have excellent 2 and 3 bedroom suites, with recent upgrades that include stunning ceramic/laminate/carpet flooring, newer appliances and private/spacious patios. A short distance away you will find private park-like settings, schools, shopping, recreational activities and walking trails. Having the perfect balance between city living and small-town convenience, come experience these excellent Townhome rentals today.

Become a home stager with Lisa McIntee, The Staging Professionals

Lisa McIntee, owner of The Staging Professionals, is one of SAR’s home staging instructors. Offering both hands-on training and mentorship, as add-ons to your online home staging training, you know you’ll have someone experienced in today’s real estate market.

For more information about SAR’s home staging training program in Toronto, Niagara, or St Catharines, or to have your home professionally staged, contact Lisa McIntee,

24 hour line: 905-358-4887
Home Improvements: 905-351-0807
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