Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What to Expect (While your Home is on the Market)

 COVID has changed much of how we do things today, including selling our homes. Real Estate Agents have numerous protocols in place to ensure that you and your family are protected throughout the home-selling process, but in-person showings are still an important part of the buying process for homebuyers.

Here's what you can expect while your home is listed:


To help to minimize the amount of pre-showing preparations required, strive to maintain a “show-ready” home by putting items away where they belong immediately after use, and cleaning as you go. Make a checklist of pre-showing tasks, such as packing up daily use items and storing them out of sight, turning on lights and opening doors, cleaning high-traffic areas, and setting up a sanitization station for visitors. In a perfect world, you will have ample notice for all showings, but in reality, that isn’t always the case, and being prepared will help you to avoid stressful last-minute preparations. 


It is not easy to live in a show-home, but our goal in staging your home for sale is to reduce the time you will need to live this way. You may even find that living in this state will help you to reduce the clutter and unnecessary items in your next home!


If you have listed your home with a local Real Estate Agent, your home will likely be marketed through various mediums, including the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and social media platforms. Remember that your buyers will view your photos online before visiting your home, so be sure to remove personal items (such as children’s nam
es) from visible areas prior to photos.


While today’s buyers rely on the online listing for their initial evaluation of your home, most will want to visit the home in-person prior to making an offer. This allows them to review the home in its entirety, including areas that the photographer’s lens might have missed, and if something is being sold with the house, they will want to look there (think cupboards, appliances, and closets). Ensure that even the “hidden” areas are clean and organized.


While it might seem somewhat intrusive to have strangers making themselves comfortable in your home, it means that you have achieved the ultimate goal – they are envisioning themselves in the house! Creases on the couch mean that they have sat down to take in the room. Although most are taking extra caution in these regards, plan to sanitize all surfaces, including chair arms, counters, tables, etc. following all showings (don’t forget the light switches, doorknobs, and railings). For soft surfaces, consider an anti-bacterial spray that is safe for fabrics.


Your agent will likely advise you of the feedback that the potential buyers provide to their agents. Some concerns may not be easily addressed (layout, location, etc.), but be sure to listen to the constructive advice that they provide regardless. We spend years hearing about what our friends and family love about our house, so it is not easy to hear what others may not like. It is important to keep in mind that these are actual buyers looking for a home, and your house fits their basic criteria, so what they are saying does have value. You are not just selling your house; you may be selling their next home.


Regardless of the price point of your home, today’s buyers want (and expect) a move-in ready home. This means that they may choose to make some updates to the home eventually, but they want to know that they can move in and enjoy the house immediately. Statistics show that move-in ready homes fetch higher and more qualified offers.

To learn more about the home-selling process and how we can help, visit us at

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Mudroom Revival

 Mudroom: noun

 ~ a small area where people leave their dirty or wet clothing and shoes when they enter a house

As she entered her house through the side door from the garage, she carefully removed her face mask, placing it on the console table.  Having rolled the gloves off her hands - the left then the right - she turned and tossed them into the wastebasket under the table.  Turning, she sat down on the cool, smooth wood of the bench, leaning back against the wall and let out a great sigh. Now for my shoes, she thought. It had been an extremely long day. 

As we continue to manoeuvre through our new normal – the result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – entering our homes has now become a process for so many of us.  Hand sanitizer, face masks, gloves, shoes.  Are you thinking about the entryway into your home any differently?  We definitely are!

Having a space when you enter and exit your home, to transition into and from the outdoors, can provide the ideal drop zone – think masks, shoes, backpacks, or a place to keep that pump bottle of sanitizer so you can rub some on before leaving. Mudroom spaces have grown in popularity in the last few years, and COVID may be just what the trend needed to boost it into a must-have for the home. Mudrooms are designed to help to keep your home organized and clean, with racks for shoes, hooks for jackets, a place for your keys and now, storage for masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, mudrooms can keep the rest of the house looking decluttered and orderly. If you’re envisioning your own home and realizing that you don’t have a designated room to dedicate to all things “mudroom-ish”, don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips for organizing today’s chaos in any space.  

What do you need?  

The next time you leave to go out or come home after running errands, try to make some mental notes.  

  • Are you looking for a mirror to make that final check? 
  • Are you looking for the time?  
  • Are you looking for a place to drop your keys? 
  • Are you looking for someplace to put your shoes? 
  • Do you need to sanitize immediately or dispose of your PPE upon re-entry to your home? 

These mental notes will help direct you towards any furniture or accessories that you may need. For example, a mirror or a clock.  Or perhaps a console table with drawers and a set of hooks hung above it with a shoe tray and garbage can beneath it.

Just because you don’t have an actual mudroom doesn't mean that you can't have a practical space.  A shelf with a basket or two and a space for your bottle of hand sanitizer, a couple of hooks on the wall, and a small bench, so you can sit down and take your shoes off, will do the trick.  And if you have children at home, soon you will be back to keeping track of all their activities and where they need to be when. If you have a dedicated mudroom space, this is a great place to add a corkboard, chalkboard, or wall calendar to keep track of your family’s comings and goings.

Helpful tip – create a “leaving the house checklist” to display here to ensure that you never leave home without your handy sanitizer, mask, and of course, your phone and keys.

Mudroom options are endless but it’s important to ensure that they meet your needs.  In general, there are two key overarching accomplishments for this space.

1. Easy to maintain

2. Functional

Let’s talk easy to maintain

Durable tiles or luxury vinyl are a couple of examples of very practical flooring choices for this space as they can handle the high traffic, dirt, mud, and potential moisture (think rainwater or snow) easily with a quick sweep or mop. Add a durable floor mat to help trap dirt as it comes through the door for a practically indestructible floor that can withstand whatever your family throws at it.

Now for the function

Storage is king in a mudroom space

  • Hooks for a purse, reusable shopping bags, an umbrella or your keys. If there are kids in the house, hang some hooks at a kid-friendly height to make it easier for them to hang up their own things. 
  • A mat and/or boot tray to place your shoes (for a busy house, the bigger the mat the better for accommodating everyone as they come and go).
  • Shelves for a box of reusable masks or a lantern with a flameless candle to add a nice glow.
  • A “dropping zone” is always great in a mudroom, whether it be a bowl or basket, this is a great place to store miscellaneous items that you need to keep handy as you enter and exit the house
  • Add bins or baskets to create personalized storage for each family member. And don’t forget your furry friend - you can keep his/her leash hung up and toys in a basket as well!


No mudroom space is really complete without a bench
or some sort of seating for removing your shoes after a long day. Select something that fits the space well, from an extra dining to chair to a full-size bench, you want to be sure to select something that will not impede the overall flow or block doorways. For some additional storage (especially in the colder months) consider a bench with a flip-up seat or built-in shelves for shoes and baskets. 

And finally, let’s talk about style.

Just because your mudroom space is practical and durable doesn’t mean that it can’t do double-duty and also be an attractive part of your home! Keeping the design style consistent with the rest of your home creates both continuity and flow. Personalize with a few photographs or a piece of art and add a splash of colour through some plants or other décor to make your mudroom feel a bit more inviting.  

None of us can predict how things will change when we get through the COVID-19 pandemic but we are certain that we will all still be looking for ways to create more organized, efficient and practical ways to both work and live in the spaces that we have.  

Monday, July 27, 2020

Summer Doesn’t Have To Be A Bummer During COVID-19

Where has the time gone?!  It’s hard to believe that the summer season is now upon us and that we are still living under a continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

While we continue to slowly and steadily reopen parks and businesses, those activities that traditionally represent summer to us - summer vacations, outdoor concerts, fireworks, and kids going off to summer camp – look much different this summer. While we continue to practise social distancing, and while it may take a bit of extra planning, we are all itching to get out of the house, and with a little creativity, we can find ways to safely enjoy the pleasures of the season and warm-weather activities.  Need some ideas?  Here are a few to get you started.

Driveway Dining

Whether you and your neighbours are long-time friends or new acquaintances, you don’t have to go far to enjoy some socially distanced quality time, along with some good eats and drinks! Driveway dining is all the rage – simply set up a dining area at the end of each driveway and cheers from a distance. Add some music to get the party started, and for an extra special treat, consider arranging to purchase the same bottle of wine or beer and have a taste testing party together (yet apart). 

Photo Credit: Enzo Zanatta, CBC

Live in a townhome or condo complex? 

Set up household tables in the parking lot (safely distanced of course), giving each household their own coloured tablecloth. The safest option is for everyone to supply their own food and drinks. You may consider supporting a local restaurant or catering company to give each person their own individually-packed meal. 

While using disposable plates and utensils doesn’t exactly support being green, they may be your best option during the days of COVID-19. This will mean ensuring that there are a number of garbage bins available. If everyone looks after throwing away their own items,clean up will be a breeze.   

Nurture Your Soul

This summer may be the perfect time to master something new.  How does a new dance step sound or perhaps stretching out a few muscles you haven’t used in a while?  Set up an outdoor dance party with some high energy songs and dance, dance, dance (socially distanced guests are optional). If it’s some downtime that you crave, lay out an exercise mat, stream a yoga class and get your Zen on!  

Looking for a kid-friendly activity?

Set up a sidewalk chalk party with your kids and their friends with socially distanced spaces marked out for each child. Cap off the night with an outdoor movie.

Create an extra special date night using nature as your host.

Set up a sunset dinner and enjoy the colours as the sun descends for the night. Once set, enjoy a stargazing evening with your favourite wine.
Whether you plan a block party barbeque or a simple gathering of a few family members from your “social circle”, make sure you have a clear plan for keeping hands clean and bathroom access safe and easy. Setting out a hand cleaning area with sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, spray bottles, soap and paper towels will be appreciated by your guests.  So too, will be easy access to a bathroom.  A sign pointing the way and a notice in the bathroom asking visitors to use the accessible paper towels to flush the toilet, turn the faucet on and off and dry their hands will remind them that their safety is important to you. 

Whatever your plans, we hope you take some time to enjoy the summer, remembering that everyone must continue to do their part to keep each other safe and well.  Continue to keep your distance, wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer and if you are not feeling well, stay home.  Most importantly though, it’s summertime – enjoy.  And don’t forget the sunscreen! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Window Treatments and Selling Your Home

“Are window treatments necessary?”

This question is asked frequently by our clients when they are preparing their houses for sale. 

Bright spaces and well-lit rooms provide an inviting atmosphere, appealing to potential buyers for your home. Natural light brightens a room, making it look and feel bigger, and bringing positive energy to the space. 

For living in a home, we rely on window coverings to help to filter light and provide privacy.  When selling your house, however, window coverings are often removed and/or minimized throughout the home to enhance the lighting and draw the buyer’s focus to the view or outdoor space beyond the window outside.

The first step to showing off your windows is to make them sparkle! This will also allow for more light to come in through the window. We recommend a simple solution of vinegar and water to get them to shine.

This is also a great time to ensure that your windows are in working order and any screens are free from rips and tears.

Now that the windows are clean and in good working order, let’s talk about those window coverings. In most cases, window treatments will be sold with the home. Most buyers will want to keep only neutral coverings that will likely go well with their items or will prefer nothing at all so that they can customize the window treatments to their own taste.

Today’s buyers struggle to see past personalized or outdated décor. This will distract from the space itself and can make it hard for buyers to imagine their own furnishings in the space. This includes window treatments.  Outdated window treatments can be a big drawback, making the room look dark (even when open), and can affect the entire look of a space. 

As a general rule when selling your house, heavy draperies and swags should be removed. Outdated valances can look heavy as well and tend to block natural light so when possible, remove these as well.  

“But these are custom window treatments. Do I still need to remove them?”

A popular question, as some clients feel that they should leave custom drapes and valences in place since they were designed specifically for the home.  The short answer is usually yes, they should be removed. Draperies are often designed to block light and are visually heavy. You have enjoyed these window treatments when living in the space but in most cases, potential buyers will not feel the same way that you do about your custom curtains and valences.  If you are not comfortable with removing the coverings in full, at minimum, remove a layer or two (if you are inclined to, you may offer the removed window coverings to the buyer upon the sale of the house). 

Additionally, remove any window treatments that cannot be opened or are worn, damaged, or in poor working order. Clean any window treatments that are remaining in place – these get dirty and dusty over time. Cleaning may include taking draperies to the dry cleaner, and vacuuming or wiping down blinds and shades with a damp cloth.  This will help to showcase your property and show potential buyers that the house has been well cared for.
You do not need to replace the window coverings that have been removed.
It’s okay to simply leave windows bare – I promise! No treatments are always better than the wrong window treatments. If privacy is not an issue, this is a great option.

If you feel that a window covering is needed for privacy, select neutral coloured blinds, sheers or light panel curtains. 

Install Tips:
  • Install blinds inside the window frame whenever possible
  • Hang panel sheers or curtains with a rod longer than the width of the window to ensure that the drapes can hang to either side of the window

Before the listing photos are taken, and before any showings or open houses, remember to open those window coverings to maximize the amount of natural light coming into your spaces. Open sheers and curtains and allow them to hang evenly on either side of the window frame. Blinds are traditionally roller or louvred blinds but either way, you want to ensure that they aren’t blocking the light from coming in.  We recommend that blinds are staged two-thirds open – this allows for light to come in, but also shows the window coverings that are available for that window. If the view outside the window is less than appealing, you may open to leave the blinds down – if so, be sure to angle the slats down to encourage light to stream in. 

When deciding what to do with your window treatments when you are selling your home, follow the golden rule - wherever you can, let the sunshine in! 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Creating a Silver Lining at Your Home During COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders

For most of us, being at home and quarantined is not something that we ever imagined happening to us, and those we care about.  With the signs of spring and increasingly warmer temperatures, the temptation to be outside and surrounded by friends is increasing every day. Spring is also a time that traditionally produces the greatest amount of activity in the real estate market, and as Home Stagers and Redesigners, the BTSH team is itching to get to work.

Since we must stay the course, for the time being, we have found ways to make good use of our time and get a great start on some spring tasks.

Whether you were planning on listing your home and have been delayed in doing so or are at home and looking for productive ways to utilize your time and create a more organized and welcoming space, here are a few of our best tips.


With all the news about COVID-19, many of us have become diligent when it comes to cleaning doorknobs and countertops. Now is a great time to take it a step further by cleaning the wall scuffs (often a Magic Eraser is a great solution for this), or the dirt that collects on the light switch covers or the tops of the door frames, and those frequently forgotten corners.

While commercial cleaning solutions can be a commodity at this time, we have a fool-proof grout cleaner that is sure to return your grout to its original lustre, and it uses only a couple of simple ingredients that you probably already have in your home!

Grout Cleaner Recipe: Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part peroxide – apply to surface, leave for 15 minutes, clean with a brush.

This is also a great time to let the sunshine in!

Here are some tips to help make your windows sparkle:

  • Clean windows with a solution of water and vinegar (2 parts water to 1 part vinegar) Please Note: Commercial cleaners often leave a wax type film on the windows that can't be removed with vinegar alone. If you have previously cleaned with commercial cleaners, add a 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap to the water and vinegar mixture for the best clean.
  • Use a cotton swab to get into the corners of the windows.
  • When cleaning the exterior of windows, wash first with a squeegee or sponge and a bucket of water/vinegar to get the bulk of the dirt off. Polish with a dry, lint-free cloth to finish.

PRO TIP: To help prevent streaking, wash windows on a cloudy day. Direct sunshine can dry the cleaning solution faster than you can clean it.

Don’t forget to open the windows. There is really no downside to doing so unless you have allergies. Fresh air can be a mood booster and there is no science showing that COVID-19 is carried on a breeze. 


Being in your home day after day can leave you feeling a bit claustrophobic, but studies have shown that an organized space can provide significant mental relief. This is a great time to sort through a drawer or two or organize your closet - purging as you go. While most donations centres will be closed during the quarantine period, you may wish to store donation items in bags until well after the virus has passed. 

Here are some great areas to tackle and eliminate the clutter:

  • Go through your kitchen cabinets and pull out anything that you don’t use or don’t need; for example - that plastic storage item with no lid. Dispose, recycle, re-purpose, or put aside for donation.
  • Declutter your “everything” drawer. You know what we’re talking about.
  • Sort through your make up items and throw out those “too old” products; typical shelf life is 6 months to 1 year.
  • Get your bookshelf in order. We will leave it to your to decide what this looks like, whether you sort by colour, alphabetically, or if you want to mix it up by styling your shelves using a mix of books and accessories.
  • Organize your clothes closest; try on clothes as you go if you are not sure if they fit, and keep only those that do and those that make you happy when you wear them.

PRO TIP:  Hang the clothes back in your closet with the hook of the hanger facing in versus out. When you wear an item, hang the hanger as you typically would when returning it to the closet. This is a quick way to visually keep track of those items you use and those you don’t (of course, we don’t recommend trying this until you are back in the day-to-day world – it’s likely that your current standard outfit of sweat pants and hoodies won’t likely help you to effectively gauge what should stay or go in your wardrobe).


If you are planning to list your home for sale, take advantage of the delay in the marketing listing by getting some simple repairs done, or prepping the exterior of your home that has been buried in snow for the last several months.

Do you have a door hinge that squeaks and needs a drop or two of WD-40?  Do you have a doorknob that needs tightening? How about a light bulb that needs replacing? And what about giving the trim and doors a fresh coat of paint? Painting trim can be a fairly quick and easy task, especially if you approach it one room at a time, and it provides an instant facelift to any space.

PRO TIP: Most trim requires nothing more than a paintbrush and a can of paint. Wrap an elastic around the can from the top to the bottom and use the elastic to wipe the brush, keeping the can edges clean and helping you to avoid unnecessary drips.

Wall dents and dings are common wear and tear in most homes. Take the time to patch these. While repainting may be in your future, you will have made a step in the right direction to get this needed prep work done. 

If you are looking for an excuse to spend some time outside, why not use the time to freshen up your outdoor spaces? Rake up any left-over leaves left last Fall. By giving your lawn a deep rake, you will also remove thatch build-up, dead grass, and lift matted grass blades to allow for new ones to sprout. Also, ensure that the yard (both front and back) are clear of debris and any unnecessary items.  Make the most out of your time sheltering in place. Sweep and/or power wash your deck, put out your patio furniture, sit and enjoy the spring weather and the sunshine. 

Stay safe everyone!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Selecting The Best Area Rug for Your Home

The use of area rugs is a very popular styling technique and area rugs can greatly improve a room. However, their use can also raise questions.

“Should I cover my hardwood floor?”

“Will adding an area rug create the cozy atmosphere I am looking for?”

“What size area rug should I chose for my dining room?

Hard surfaces such as tile, luxury vinyl and hardwood are all great flooring options for any home, but they can often leave the room feeling cold and incomplete, thus the benefits of adding a carefully selected and properly sized area rug in combination.

The benefits of adding area rugs go far greater than just elevating the overall look of the room. Here are just a few of our favourite reasons to cozy up your space with an area rug:

Less Wear and Tear: By utilizing an area rug you can lessen the wear and tear on your flooring, while still highlighting your floors and your selected decor.

Additional Comfort: Although hardwood floors are a go-to upgrade and look great, they are not always the most comfortable underfoot.

Warmth: Not only does an area rug provide additional comfort and style, but it can also add warmth to your tootsies. For some extra comfort and warmth, as well as a way to protect both your floors and the area rug for longer life, we recommend adding an under mat padding, especially for use in basements.

Absorbs Sound: This can be especially useful in a room that is absent of “soft” furnishings and/or high ceilings where the space would be prone to echos.

Ground/Anchor a Room: Without an area rug, some rooms can feel as though the furniture is "floating".  An area rug helps to anchor furniture within the room, however, selecting the correct size area rug is critical to effectively achieve this.

In general, area rugs that are appropriate for the average size living room, dining room, family room and bedroom come in the following sizes:  5 X 7 feet, 7 x 9 feet, 8 X10 feet, and 9 X 12 feet. By following a few simple rules, you can easily find the best area rug selection for you.

Living Rooms – Fit the Shape of the Room

Area rugs should fit the shape of the room and the arrangement of the furniture.

For example, if you are looking to place an area rug in your living room, and the room contains a sofa, loveseat and chair that together create a conversation area, you will want to select an area rug that will tie the conversation area together. To avoid a “floating” area rug, ensure that the rug allows for the front feet of each piece of furniture to rest on it.

Additionally, the area rug should also be at least two feet wider (one foot per side) than the largest piece of furniture. In the case of the living room mentioned above, this would mean two feet wider than the sofa.

For open-concept spaces, it is best to ensure that the area rug will fit comfortably under each piece of furniture completely. In this case, the area rug is not only used to tie the conversation space together, but it is used to help to define the room within a room.

PRO TIP:  The area rug does not necessarily need to be in the centre of the room. It should be placed according to the room’s furniture arrangement. 

Bedrooms – Maximum Coverage

If you enjoy having a warm and soft landing when you get out of bed in the morning, adding an area rug beneath your bed will do the trick! An area rug in a bedroom can also help to fill the space visually, especially in large bedrooms.

Select a large area rug so that the rug provides coverage at the sides of the bed as well as at the bottom of the bed. In the example below, we show an 8 X10 foot area rug under a queen-sized bed with a nightstand on either side.

On a budget or working in a small room? Selecting a slightly smaller area rug can help to create the illusion of more space. Instead of using an 8 x 10 foot area rug, as shown above, select a 7 x 9 or a 6 x 8 and place 1/3 under the bed from the foot of the bed.

PRO TIP:  Even when your area rug is under the bed, the edges can still bunch up to cause a tripping hazard. Double-sided carpet tape is the best solution to safely secure your rug. Alternatively, a nonslip rug mat placed under the entire area rug can also help to keep the edges down.

Dining Rooms – The Two-Foot Rule

An area rug under a dining table will help to soften the space, as well as protect your floors. This look is especially popular with wood floors when combined with wood dining tables and chairs.

The goal in selecting an area rug for a dining room is to ensure that the chairs comfortably remain on the area rug, even when they are pulled out from the table (as if you were getting into the chairs to sit down). No one wants to sit in a chair that is half on and half off of the rug. To achieve this, we recommend using the “two-foot” rule and ensuring that the area rug extends a minimum of 2 feet on each side of the table.

PRO TIP: Not quite sure how the area rug will look? Before purchasing, map out the placement of the area rug with painters tape.

Using area rugs can be a lot of fun. They provide comfort, warmth, and decorative interest and are a great way to complete the look of any room in your home.

Written by: Martha Wallace, Professional Home Stager, Beyond The Stage Homes

Monday, December 30, 2019

Reflections from 2019 and the Decade of the Teens, from Beyond The Stage Homes

Not only is another year coming to an end, but we are about to embark on a whole new decade! As we at Beyond The Stage Homes prepares for what the twenties will bring, we wanted to reflect back on the past year, and the past decade, to highlight some of our favourite moments. As a business, we are wrapping up our 12th year in business, and as they say, time really does fly when you’re having fun!

To start, let’s talk specifically about 2019. Beyond The Stage Homes has always put our clients first, in every service that we offer, and 2019 was no exception. In fact, we introduced new services and options in order to continue to deliver on our promise of world-class quality in all that we do. We introduced short-term rental design and setup services (i.e. Airbnb) as an extension of our design services to accommodate the growing demand and opportunities for short-term rental ventures in Waterloo Region. We also introduced holiday decorating services to help to ease the burden of tackling this task yourself. Additionally, we introduced  optional Staging Risk Management insurance coverage for our staged listings. This allows our clients to ensure that they are covered fully for any damage that may happen to home staging items while in their home, as well as avoid increased premiums from their current insurance provider.

This year was also a year of milestones, with both Jennifer Roth, Senior Home Stager and Marina Hermann, Executive Assistant, both celebrating 5 years with the Beyond The Stage Homes team, as well as Martha Wallace celebrating her first full year with the company! BTSH also welcomed Brooke Burnet to the team (and she will be celebrating her 1 year anniversary with the team this month). We are now proud to offer four (4) Professional and Certified Home Stagers on staff to serve Waterloo Region.

With this increased growth, BTSH has committed to additional professional development and training. As such, the BTSH team now meets 3-4 times each month to review internal updates, industry changes and trends, and to review current, past, and upcoming projects. This allows us to create the best marketing strategies for each home, plan for new inventory to keep our staging designs relevant to today’s buyers, and to ensure that our clients receive top of the line, every time. In addition, Shauna Lynn, Jennifer, and Martha all attended the annual international convention of the home staging trade association, the Real Estate Staging Association, in beautiful Las Vegas where Shauna Lynn was also a featured speaker at the event. Jennifer and Shauna Lynn extended their Vegas stay to allow them to also attend the Las Vegas Furniture Market, the 2nd largest furniture and decor trade show. Shauna Lynn also attended the High Point Furniture Market in October - this is the largest furniture trade show, and saw celebrities such as Glen Peloso, Hilary Farr, Taylor Spellman, and many more!

Continuing in her commitment to the advancement of the home staging industry in Canada, Shauna Lynn held the position of Provincial President for Ontario for the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and was voted Top 75 Most Influential in Real Estate Staging by RESA. She was also nominated for the Lori Kim Polk Lifetime Achievement Award. Shauna Lynn is the Ontario Approved Instructor for RESA’s Staging to Sell: What Every Agent Should Know designation course, and co-authored a book with renowned design industry influencer and popular podcast host, LuAnn Nigara (plus 11 other incredibly talented authors). As an industry influencer, Shauna Lynn spent a large part of the year travelling to events for speaking engagements, book-signings, and exclusive learning events. She was also featured locally in Homes Plus magazine, on the Small Business Show, and at various live events throughout the region. Her commitment to Beyond The Stage Homes, and her duties as CEO and Lead Home Stager and Designer remain the top priority, and we look forward to what the year (and decade) ahead will hold.

The Beyond The Stage Homes team continues to be proudly recognized for its achievements, winning a record number of awards this year, including Top Choice Home Staging Company of 2019 in Kitchener/Waterloo, Waterloo Region Record Reader Awards Winner in both Interior Decorator AND Home Staging Services, Build Real Estate & Property Awards, Best Home Staging & Design Specialist - Southern Ontario, to name a few. We added some new home staging assistants to keep up with our demand and did a large inventory refresh that has put us at the top of the market with creative designs for today’s homes. We are proud to continue to be your #1 choice for owner-occupied and vacant home staging projects.

BTSH continues to be a proud sponsor of the KW MS Walk by raising funds sponsoring the TeamMS and Volunteer of the Year awards at the event, as well as volunteering our time before, during, and following the event. This event helps to raise much-needed funds for the MS Society’s Grand River chapter. As an animal-loving team, it was only natural that we continued our support for the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society, through collected donations throughout the year as well. Cleaning out your closets (likely on the advice of our home staging team)? Donate your unwanted linens to your local humane society, and they will put them to great use by their furry residents!

Where else did you see the BTSH team this year? Perhaps it was one of the many KWAR events, including the Golf Tournament in September supporting Habitat for Humanity, the Mayor’s Panel, Market Insights event, or perhaps one of many local brokerage events, including the TrilliumWest Golf Tournament, Re/max Twin City's Christmas Party, and many other real estate events. BTSH continues to honour and support local real estate agents and the advancement of the Waterloo Region real estate market. 


As for the decade that has come to an end, it’s impossible not to reflect on what it has brought us, and where it has brought us. We made a commitment early on to own our own home staging inventory. It was a decision that required a significant investment not only in the staging items, but also storage facilities, a tracking system, and the team that would bring it all together. We have continued to grow with purpose over the years, and have come a long way from Shauna Lynn and her VW Golf that worked as her trusty staging assistant for years.

We embark on each new year with a plan to continue to grow and continue to support our local partners. We will continue to reach for the stars, and expand our opportunities to serve our community. We will also be introducing a new 4-wheeled team member in the coming months to assist our hard-working home staging team. We look forward to all that the upcoming year, and a new decade, have to offer us. Thank you to all of our valued partners for your continued support.

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