Then & Now…My How I’ve Changed!

I was inspired by Melissa Marro’s blog by the same title to write a little about my own growth as a Professional Home Stager over the last 4-1/2 years. When I first started my Los Angeles Home Staging business in 2004, I was one of the only small companies doing Staging on the west side of LA. There were some Stagers who worked only on estate properties ($3 million dollar + homes), but only one or two of us working on your average every day properties. So many of the Realtors I approached in those days were under the impression that Staging was just for estates. Now that Staging has become more well known, we almost never have to answer the question “What is Home Staging?” I feel that’s progress!

But I digress. I really wanted to show you some photos of my work then & now. I am constantly updating my portfolio because after awhile it just gets too big and I have to start weeding out. Now I update it monthly and remove anything that I can’t stand looking at, which is usually anything older than 6 months! I am so embarrassed by the photos you’re about to see, but I will put aside my ego in order to give you a good laugh and to show you that everyone has to start somewhere!


THEN: Ok so all these old photos are actually all from the same house I did YEARS ago when I had first started my business. It’s pretty obvious I didn’t have much in the way of an accessory inventory at the time. I mean what was I thinking with that empty cake stand on the table? Or is there actually something in it in the corner? What is that? Schmutz?! Not to mention that the white candles in clear glass candlesticks don’t even show up with the white walls behind them! This tablescape (and the furniture) are lacking any pizzaz whatsoever.

Old DR

NOW: Ok, so this is better! Some colorful vases of varying heights on the tablescape, and a buffet in the background with a triptych of modern art to tie into the color scheme. Not to mention the furniture is much more contemporary and substantial.

DR New


THEN: This one just horrifies me. For starters, what are those ugly candlesticks on the coffee table?! I used to have this thing for putting all my rugs at an angle. Sometimes it could work – in this case NOT! I also used to just use the throw pillows that came with whatever sofa I rented to save $$$ on buying new ones. Now that I have over 300 throw pillows in my inventory I would NEVER allow a sofa to look like this – UGH!

Living Room OLD

NOW: Ahhh, much better. First of all the rug is straight! Everything feels more in scale with the room. I love the art, and as you can see, I used my own pillows to dress the sofa!

Living Room NEW

Here’s another one I like. It just feels so much warmer! The colors aren’t too matchy-matchy, but still they feel cohesive.

Living Room NEW 2

THEN: Now this one really makes me cringe! What was I thinking with that awful Ikea bedding? It looked so nice in the store! Now if I were held at gunpoint and had to use this bedding again, I would fold the bedspread down on the bottom third of the bed and let the white sheets at least break up the pattern. And I would’ve used lighter throw pillows and more of them to help distract from the print. And of course now I would never leave the night stand looking so empty without even a book or candle to keep that poor lamp company!

Bedroom Old

NOW: What a change! This Santa Monica condo has a much more contemporary look and feel. The colors are rich and modern, while the nightstands are tastefully appointed. And the art ties in with the beachside location of the home.

Bedroom New

Here’s another one. The wall was already a burnt orange color so we used that as our scheme for the art & bedding. My assistant almost killed herself getting those 6 mirrors hung in the perfect configuration, but it was worth it as this photo makes me happy every time I look at it! I also love how the throw is perfectly messy. I hate having my throws folded perfectly across the bed. After all, they’re “throws” which, to me, means you throw it on and let it fall as it may!

Bedroom New 2

Well, thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me! I hope it makes you laugh with me and not at me for some of my Staging faux pas!

Oh, and please take a second to vote for me (you can vote once a day!) in theStartUp Nation Leading Moms in Business competition! I appreciate your vote. :)


twitter badge 4


Annie Pinsker-Brown | Stage to Sell
Owner & Principal Designer

“We get you to SOLD so you can get on with your life!”

Stage to Sell is the premier West Los Angeles Home Staging Company.

Owner & Principal Designer Annie Pinsker-Brown is an ASP Home Stager, a member of IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals), an affiliate member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors and a member of the Culver City and West LA Chambers of Commerce.

Annie has Staged LA homes for Bravo’s hit show “Million Dollar Listing” and TLC’s “Property Ladder.” She has also been featured in recent articles on Home Staging in Los Angeles Magazine, The New York TimesCostco Connection andFrontiers Magazine.

If you would like to see more of our Home Staging work, visit our website. There is an extensive gallery of before & after photos, as well as a list of our Staged properties currently on the market.

This is a copy of the original blog created at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge