Home Staging Challenge: A Problem Wallpaper

In the video above, you will find the full story of how SAR Instructor, Bernadette Flaim (and her partner Susan Corbo of Attention 2 Detail) solved the home staging issue of a problem wallpaper.

My suspicion is that these 2 long-time staging pros dealt with the color purely by instinct. However, for the rest of us, I wanted to share a site and an approach that might be useful if you, too, experience one extraordinary wallpaper.

1. Know Exactly What You’re Dealing With

Color in Home Staging


Go to the Kuler service offered by Adobe and upload your photo. It will automatically identify the main colors in your photo. You will then be able to move the circles around until you have the 5 dominant colors that you see. Click save and name it something you will be able to remember (always my problem!)

2. Identify Your Options
Complementary Colors in Home Staging

You’ll see that Kuler allows you to select a base color (obviously the orange) and then select a rule – analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compounds, shades or you can create your own custom combo. Mostly, the eye likes complementary colors in a palette. However, with this strong of an orange, you can see that it’s not enough for a full house. [Though, didn’t they pick a fun version of a green for the dining room?] This complementary combo of colors is used in one of the children’s bedrooms upstairs, and you’ll see how calm it feels compared to the wild-a** kitchen!!! 🙂

3. Select Your Game Plan and GO With It!
Colors in home staging

Pantone Communicating With ColorIt’s bold, fresh and completely illogical to my way of thinking, yet this palette worked really well in making this perfectly nice Maplewood house a real stand-out for all the right reasons? Instead of being a house with a ridiculously loud wallpaper in the kitchen, it becomes a home of “distinction, with splendid, striking color”. (According to the Pantone color book, ‘Communicating With Color’. Excerpt at right) This is perfect for Maplewood, NJ which is a bedroom suburb for those working in New York with as many Wall Streeters as Broadway folks. Ang Lee’s film editor works out of a studio in his basement in Maplewood. One of Jim Hensen’s early puppeteers lives there. It is where the Hudson River School painter, Asher B. Durand lived and painted. [I lived on Durand Road, for a while!]

So next time you face what might appear to be the biggest nightmare of all time in terms of a wallpaper, why not take a leaf out of home staging superstar, Bernadette Flaim‘s book and “make it work”!

You can spend a day with Bernadette Flaim when you take a SARs Stager Training program. More details when you click our training tab above.

Juliet Johnson

About Juliet

I have been a high-end home stager for about 8 years in suburban NJ. Now, I write about real estate: home profiles for magazine, real estate copy blurb and blogs in the real estate space. I also serve a few local clients with social media marketing and website design.

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  1. says

    “Hey, Juliet, thanks! Our realtor loved the juxtaposition of old and new – giving it a great balance and, at the same time, softening the “this-house-is-old-and-needs-a lot-of-stuff done” feeling. It was a fun project for us.”


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