Learn more about the Greater Nashville Chapter Treasurer, Amy Dennison.
I am: Dennison Home Staging
I’m about to begin my third year in business and I can hardly believe it!
I earned an EPS® (Expert Psychological Staging®) certification in January 2015 from Kristie Barnett (The Decorologist) right here in Nashville, TN. I’d had my eye on the home staging business for close to ten years. A friend was doing it in California and it appealed to me; but it took getting the certification (and the good fortune to allow me to quit working full time) to gain the confidence to begin. My focus is on occupied staging, as well as written consultations for do-it-yourselfers.
I love staging because:
Like many other stager/designer types I know, I was the kid constantly re-arranging my bedroom (and other rooms in the house, much to my mother’s chagrin!) and I think I was just born this way. Looking back, I wish I’d studied interior design in college, but I chose Journalism and Graphic Design instead. My studies served me well in a long advertising career, but deep down, it was home design I always loved best. Home staging has been the perfect “second career” for me.
My style is:
Well, my personal style is much different from my staging style. I tend to like a very layered, collected look in my home, but personal style is for when we live in our homes, in my opinion, and staging style is for when we are inviting someone else to live in our home. This is the challenge I’ve faced over and over when staging a home to sell. I try to educate the realtors I work with so they can help me prepare the homeowner for the idea that staging is not personal – it’s professional. Meaning, we are changing, editing, and modifying the home to appeal to the demographic that reflects the buyer. So it’s all business. It’s not a judgment of the homeowner’s style.
Good staging should:
Appeal to buyers not only on a practical level, but also on an emotional level. What I learned in my training is that staging helps to sell a lifestyle, a dream, an idea, and a feeling. Good staging should of course draw attention to the best of a home’s attributes, and present the home at it’s very best in terms of space, light, lifestyle and aesthetics.
Right now I’m obsessed with:
Learning how to best use greenery in staging. I’ve never been much of a “fake plant” person and it took me a moment to understand that in staging, greenery is so useful, and obviously you can’t use real plants, except outdoors. I’ve learned from other stagers that pops of greenery can dramatically improve the aesthetics of a room and I’ve embraced “fake greenery” for all its fabulous benefits!
Presenting a house to the market at it’s very best potential; for the greatest return on the homeowner’s (typically) largest investment.
It’s my goal:
I’d like to incorporate redesign into my staging business. I’ve had a couple of homeowners ask me to help them in their new home once their staged home has sold. This is a wonderful opportunity that I’ve enjoyed very much and I’m open to doing more of it going forward.
My motto is:
Ignore any negative voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough and look at the evidence! When I got started in business, I couldn’t believe someone would pay me to do this. I wasn’t sure I had the skill or talent. So if the voices pop into my head, I ignore them and “act as if” I’m a pro. I think acting confident makes us become confident. Turns out, it’s worked wonderfully so far!
I love what I do because:
When I walk into a home I almost instinctively get a feel for what needs to be done to make the house sing. I love the process of “playing” with the space and working until I have it right. The creative expression is, for me, the best part of the job. Of course there’s much more to staging than “playing house” but when I’m in the zone, it feels like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
My biggest accomplishment this year has been:
All my properties in 2017 have sold quickly and for top dollar in a month or under. (I’ve been fortunate to connect with several wonderful real estate agents this year!)
My favorite meal after a long day of staging is:
A bowl of cereal and a big, comfy bed!
In the next five years:
I hope to be staging homes for another five years or more. I’m getting a bit older, so my goal is to stay healthy and fit so I can just enjoy this for as long as I am able!
Learn more about Dennison Home Staging here.