Listening to Client Needs – The Turing Collection

When the concept of sort style and stage was created, this was on the basis that at our core was a passion for everything house and home. This passion remains to this very day. Having been a developer, landlord and property stager in all its guises (property staging, home staging and virtual staging) our business continues to grow.

We are thrilled to be launching our first furniture collection - The Turing Collection. This came about because of our clients were asking for something more – so we stepped in and began on our journey developing a collection. On that journey, we had the needs of our clients in mind - those:

- developers who recognise the need to separate themselves from the crowd and offer an innovative turn key solution to their buyers
- inventors who seek a quality product which in turn increases their rental yield whether they are in the build to rent, landlords as well as serviced accommodation
- home owners who seek to create their forever home

The Turing Collection is aspirational, high quality and incredibly versatile and ticks all the needs of the above clients. It’s also scalable or can be tailored to suit each particular client's need.

Our Founder, Ceri Owen, says:

"This is an incredible moment for our business - it has been a long time in the planning. We've been listening to our clients and are incredibly proud to be launching our first furniture collection - The Turing Collection. We hope that you too will fall in love with this high quality, scalable and aspirational design. "


If you’d like to learn more about this fabulous collection please reach out to

Mastering "Juggling" with Natalie Evans of Little Barn Door

I have never been a fan of the term, “juggling”. Never….I’m not a clown in a circus - I am just a busy business owner with family commitments, which doesn’t mean my actions resemble the comical movements of a red nosed circus character.

But, with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, I find myself slowly becoming the master of it.

I don’t have a red nose or giant shoed feet - but I am “juggling” questions, activities, insecurities and responsibilities, all flying in from different angles and needing equal attention to keep everything moving.

  • Should I post a blog?
  • Should I downsize my storage?
  • Is my instagram post insensitive?
  • Is there anything in the pipeline?
  • What time should we do phonics?
  • How am I going to get junior dairy free milk?
  • Is my business about to fail?

All questions that people all over the world are asking as they try to work, housekeep, homeschool and stay safe.

But, what is the right answer?

There isn’t one. Everyone’s situation is so so very different and I would love to tell you that I am writing this because I, super positive Natalie (from Little Barn Door) has the solution - but no.

I’m writing this, so that if you too are learning to juggle, you can have peace of mind that I am right here with you.

Remember to breathe, remember to take gratitude in the small things around you, try to cut costs (where possible) and be present - whether that is as a business or in a room with your children.


Stay positive and stay safe,


The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Home Stager

So, you’ve found the perfect property and you’re ready to sell.

“It’s been done up beautifully,” the estate agent tells you, “this will fetch a magnificent price.”

No doubt you’re aware that with the help of a home staging company you can maximise on offers. You would be silly not to turn that “magnificent price” into the highest bid you can get.

However, as real estate guru Elaine Penhaul highlights in her upcoming book Sell High, Sell Fast (which I got to read a snippet of early, lucky me!), staging for a sale is a relatively new idea, and as such, choosing the right professional for you is no mean feat.

If you find yourself ready to use a home staging business for the first time, there’s three pillars to picking a successful team. Qualification, price point, and deal-sealers.

First things first. Establish which businesses operate in your area. There’s a fantastic tool for this on the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland website.

Once you’ve racked up a few prospective businesses, investigate their sites.

A huge mistake first-timers make is confining home staging to interior design. Steer clear of this misnomer! Home staging is a property marketing tool, not just a service for acquiring an aesthetically appealing home (though that’s part of the fun!).

If you aren’t intrigued or impressed by a home stager’s website, then don’t go any further!

A website is the storefront of the E-high street. Don’t see anything you like? Keep walking. The same applies online.

When you find a staging website that piques your interest, remember our three pillars.



If you want to be extra secure in your choice of business, keep a lookout for stagers who have invested in education.

Not only will these home stagers have an excellent knowledge of their field, easily establish your needs, and have a wealth of case studies that match your situation; the best picks will be accredited.

The HSA is debuting the UK’s flagship staging accreditation course in 2020. This will show customers the industry’s crème de la crème.

Always look out an HSA Accredited badge or dispensation. They won’t be hard to find - home stagers will be waving it like a victory flag.

It’s always important to get a background on the stagers you want to hire. As aforementioned, home staging is a marketing tool - not just an interior design service. The best businesses will have a solid history with the property.

While you’re swotting up on your candidates’ backgrounds, you’ll want to ask how long they’ve been operating.

It goes without saying: the longer the better. This applies to most services! More experience converts to more practice, statistical insight, and (hopefully) more cumulative successes.

While we’re talking about success, a great technique for measuring prospects against your own needs is by way of a case study.

Elaine Penhaul puts this perfectly in her book:

“An experienced stager will know that their strongest marketing tools are their case studies and statistical evidence they have collected from the work they’ve done.

“They should be prepared to share all of this with you.”

Put shortly, if the business you’re eyeing up is holding something back, head for the hills. Why wouldn’t a stager be avid to show you their finest work?

Finally, a sure-fire tactic to ensure you’re aligned with prospects: ask them if they’ve worked on similar projects to yours.

Imagine, you want to shift a gorgeous, Georgian townhouse and your home staging crew turns up clutching beanbags, a mini-fridge, and several posters for Rod Stewart’s A Spanner in the Works Tour ‘95.

Nobody’s happy.

Please, please, please! Ensure you and your home staging team are on the same page.


Price point

Let’s be blunt. Property is intrinsically linked to people’s wallets.

From the most astute property magnate to the humblest first-time seller, if you’re picking out a home stager, you’re going to focus on cost.

An upmarket stager might have an intimidating price tag but, as studies have shown, home staging can increase a home’s value by up to 8% in the UK. For the average house, that’s an increase of over £18,548.

If you’re selling a house somewhere around average for the UK, that’s great! There will be a glut of home staging businesses operating within your margin.

Don’t be fooled into thinking every stager is used to working in the same price bracket, however. As Elaine suggests in Sell High, Sell Fast:

“The staging needs to match the property value.

“If you’re selling a multi-million-pound property, you need someone to handle a project in a property of this value.”

Wise words! If you’re selling with Knight Frank or Savills, one of their team will be able to suggest a high-end stager that suits your needs.

One final note for this pillar. Home stagers can charge in a variety of ways, so make sure to establish how they’re set to work out the project’s cost.

They might charge hourly if so, ask for a rough estimate of the project’s time frame. Or, they might do the legwork for you and give you an upfront cost for the whole property.

If the price is linked to property value, Rightmove suggests that home staging costs shouldn’t exceed more than 2% of your property’s value.



We’ve hit the third pillar. As the name suggests, deal-sealers are the extra frills that increase your quality of life during a move.

If a home stager comes recommended by a trustworthy agent, that’s a nice assurance. However, if a stager is suggested by more than one agent, that’s a deal sealer!

On this note, it goes without saying that a staging business belonging to the HSA UK & Ireland is a must.

Maximising your property’s sale price is, of course, a high priority. Your home stager should feel exactly the same way. If they can provide a clear, concise plan for increasing your house’s value, that’s a sure-fire deal-sealer.

Should a business know their plan of action before you’ve even discussed money, they’re clearly invested in achieving the sale. It’s a sign of quality and professionalism.

Now, this last deal-sealer is a real treat for sellers with a million things on their plate.

Elaine, once again, is to thank you for this superb suggestion. Ask what your candidates can do to help you with the move:

“[This] could be anything from sourcing a removal team to recommending storage facilities to move you into your new home unpacking boxes and placing items within forty-eight hours.”

Increasing your home’s value and alleviating the stress caused by the moving process? Smells like a deal-sealer to me.


In Summary

Home staging if a fantastic opportunity for anyone that needs to market a property stylishly, efficiently, and to the maximum value.

Although the concept is relatively new in the UK, if you keep the three pillars in mind when selecting your perfect staging business, you’ll be leagues ahead of the competition.


Remember the highlights:

  • Make sure your stager is accredited by the HSA UK & Ireland. Education is key to a successful business, and thus, a successful sale.
  • Ensure they have experience in your price range and property type (no beanbags or Rod Stewart paraphernalia in my Georgian townhouse, thank you!).
  • Expect the utmost when it comes to making your life easier. Moving house is not easy. A great home staging team will take on a sizable chunk of the burden.


Happy home staging!

For more expert advice on property marketing, grab a copy of Elaine Penhaul’s best-selling book Sell High, Sell Fast: The homeowner’s guide to selling your biggest capital asset for the best possible price here.

"The Secret Garden" – New Scented Candle from Natasha Rocca Devine and La Bougie

Ireland's leading interior staging specialist Natasha Rocca Devine, also famous for heading “The Interiors NRD”, has just launched her own signature scented candle titled “The Secret Garden”, in collaboration with Cork-based candlemakers La Bougie.

Image by Barry McCall via

Taking over six months to curate, “The Secret Garden” candle has been a labour of love for Natasha, who is realising her dream of designing home accessories and fragrances, having worked in the property and home staging business for over a decade in Los Angeles, London and Dublin. Natasha spent several months designing the candle and curating the perfect scent to match her vision, alongside professional perfumier Lucy Hagerty, owner of La Bougie candles.

“As we are in a time of COVID-19 with limited access outdoors, particularly to those who do not have a garden, I wanted The Secret Garden candle to be inspired by nature and the outdoors, named after my favourite childhood book and love of outdoors," Natasha says of curating the scent and design of the candle. "It was an important factor to work with an Irish company – La Bougie and the teams involved from design to photography alike, to support local businesses during this time in history.”

Natasha describes that the scent pays tribute to “the serenity and scents of nature,” and the way it has the power to soothe and relax; “a balm to the chaos of everyday life.” Having lived abroad in city apartments with no garden facilities, combined with my work on empty units on building sites, Natasha states that she appreciates the innate power and pleasure of a candle, the joy of a comforting, welcoming scent in a home, or show home. The ritual of lighting a candle and taking time out to relax, unwind and entertain inside is one of life’s little luxuries.

Interestingly the recyclable glass, a distinctive luxurious green with gold feathered-fans, is designed to re-use, following Natasha's "wish to encourage others to create their own calming ‘Secret Garden’", whether it is for plants, paintbrushes or make-up brushes, stationary. "Sustainability and recycling," Natasha states are at the forefront of this and all of her work.

The candle has been created by combing vintage fragrance scents with modern-day 'garden’ notes to remind fragrance lovers of the beauty of nature and the importance of serenity. "The Secret Garden" candle is made from La Bougie’s unique rapeseed blend of wax and cotton wicks and has a burn time of 50 hours. The fragrance notes are; top note of Lavender and raspberry leaf, a mid note of Honey, and base notes of tonka bean and musk.

"The Secret Garden" candle is available on Natasha’s website priced at €30 for a 30ml glass.

The Home Staging Business Course is reopening soon!

So, you’re a creative? Well buck up your ideas - you’re in the cold, hard business world now!

Such is the wall many pro-Home Stagers waltz into during their career. Creativity is a fantastic starting point for any businessperson, in any industry. After all, who’d turn their nose up to someone who can intuit a room’s multifarious staging needs, implement them, and exceed expectations?

The problem is latent in a fledgling Home Stager. It’s sad to say, but: there’s only so far that full-throttle creativity can take you.

Where would Dalí be without a canvas to paint upon? To what dirty gutter might Brontë have slunk without her publisher’s printing press? In what rotten hovel might Kubric have strained his days without the 9.8mm lens on which he captured A Clockwork Orange?

In a roundabout way I’m trying to say that creatives have to collaborate to thrive.

As a sensational Stager your secondary resource - the first being that tremendous flair for interiors you possess - is your business know-how.

Indeed, the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland have had an incredible volume of requests for a course that might develop that secondary resource.

During these tremulous times, too, Home Stagers are finding that streamlining their business is of incredible value. In a sense, what the HSA’s Business Course seeks to do is take the power away from external, potentially unreliable components of the business world and hand it over to you.

First things first. Have you ever heard yourself asking one of these questions?

- How do I price my services to ensure myself a profit?
- Where on earth do I find new clients?
- Furniture: I’ve got too much (or too little). When’s the right time to stop buying?

If you feel like there’s an echo somewhere in the house, then a business course is right for you.

Why the Home Staging Business Course?

Well, the syllabus has been developed by a team of experienced stagers and business owners. This includes the expertise of qualified business coach Elaine Penhaul (Lemon and Lime Interiors).

With over 30 years experience advising senior leaders in a diverse range of sectors (from police forces to the Royal Yachting Association, Elaine’s full of surprises), HSA Business Course students are in good hands.

Alongside Elaine’s database of professional proficiency stands the HSA UK & Ireland’s Founder and Director Paloma Harrington-Griffin.

Paloma - alongside running her own businesses and tending to the HSA UK & Ireland - has contributed continuously to the IAHSP and IAHSP Europe, and co-founded the Brazilian Home Staging School Núcleo de Home Staging.

Well - what’s so special about the HSA’s course?

If I had to pick four things that differentiate the Home Staging Business Course from any other run of the mill course, it’d be these:

- Modernity. The staging market is changing quickly, day by day, and many stagers feel their lack of business acumen is dragging them down.

- Customizability. The course leaders’ focus is making your business run your way.
- Efficiency. The training sessions do away with fluff - each of the three classes clocks in at one hour thirty minutes long.

- Open-endedness. The HSA’s Business Course doesn’t slam the door on your way out. Course staff seek to provide continuous coaching and learning opportunities.

Don’t take my word for it!

Here are two stunning testimonials from a pair of happy graduates:

"I was delighted I started the online staging course with Paloma & Elaine, it’s a very informal course which I love, they make you feel so comfortable & encourage you every step of the way to make the most of your business or start-up business opportunity! Every stage of the course is discussed in detail.
“No question is frowned upon which is so important when starting off. I feel like I’m having a coffee with friends while learning new skills so that’s a plus.
“Between classes, they are both available for questions or if you need help by phone- invaluable course I think if you are starting off on a home staging business journey."
- Maura Mackey of Maura Mackey Design

“As someone who had no idea where to start setting up a home staging business, the HSA business course is exactly what I needed.
“It has provided me with invaluable information on what I should be thinking about, things to take into consideration and where to start! At first, this was all very daunting for me but having both Paloma & Elaine to guide me through and with their own experiences in the industry - it has been extremely helpful and encouraging.
“I have also signed up as a HSA member where there is a huge amount of material and resources for both industry beginners and established businesses. Thank you Paloma & Elaine - Looking forward to learning more in Module 2!”
- Amy Cooper, HSA Member

What to do next

Here’s how you can take steps to ensure a place on the next round of Home Staging Business Course sessions.

One - read more about the course (you’ll be delighted to find a plethora of additional information).

Two - register your interest with an email address: this will notify you when the course is re-available.

Three - dust off your Excel spreadsheets and business-savvy, because this course does not mess around.

Four - enjoy the bounty the HSA’s Business Course packs in!


For more information on the Home Staging Business course, please visit the course page here.

Staging Christmas with John Lewis & Partners Business

Every year we wrap up the last 12 months by coming together with family and friends to celebrate one of the UK's biggest holidays - Christmas! After what has been such a challenging year it would come as no surprise that even though we don’t know what the festive period will look like, many will take the opportunity to thank people and show them how much they mean to us by exchanging gifts, as well as investing on occasions when we can come together, including the main event - hosting Christmas dinner!


Here at John Lewis & Partners Business we are supporting our customers during this festive period starting with helping companies source the perfect gifts to say thank you to customers or offer a way to acknowledge the contribution of their team in 2020. Beyond that our property customers in particular value our Christmas shop and the festive decorations available to dress spaces from offices, hotels to show homes. So whilst we continue to support Home Stagers with procurement of our home collections don’t forget how Christmas can add value to your Home Staging Projects.


‘This year’s themes have been inspired by the colour and ideas within art and the belief that art is for all,’ says Jason Billings-Cray, Partner & Junior Buyer, Christmas Shop. Our seven themes include Bloomsbury, Art of Japan, Renaissance, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Post Impressionism and Pop Art. So whether you adore the peacock motif often seen in Art Nouveau or are a fan of the iconic balloon dog sculptures of Pop Art - we have these and everything in between!


We all know that for homebuyers the numbers need to add up, but first impressions of a property purchase are often an emotive one and there is nothing more emotive that Christmas! So consider setting the scene, from the holly wreath on the door and the mistletoe motif doormat, to the first glimpse of the garland that pulls your eye up the staircase. Whether you are staging a city apartment or an eight-bed country home there is always the perfect place for the Christmas tree ( or two!), accompanied by a fully dressed table that awaits its guests or for a different feel try a drinks trolley full of festive fizz - either way, this is a property that viewers won’t be forgetting!


HSA Members can win the amazing Art of Japan Red Berry Wreath (Product code 76602212). Are you a member? Check your inbox for more information!

Please see for our Christmas 2020 decoration themes and take a virtual tour around our Christmas Shop at the flagship branch on Oxford Street, London.

A Lockdown Success by Cranberryhome

Milton Keynes based Cranberryhome, an HSA Member, is a leading Interior Design and Home Staging company that has been providing services that help to sell properties for years now.

Hugo Fleming, a House Doctor Consultant, is the Design Director behind the company's success and has shared with us their latest successful project, which turned out to be another fantastic lockdown case.

Cranberryhome's clients Alan and Gayle, from Ontario, Canada, were thrilled to share their review about working with Hugo and his team:

"We have just sold our flat in Bletchley, which was no mean feat as we live in Canada. Hugo (Cranberryhome) handled everything for us, from an initial inspection, disposal of furniture, redecoration, replacement of carpets and staging with new furniture etc. And we didn't have to leave Canada. We had a great offer within 2 weeks of posting it with a local Estate Agent, recommended by Hugo who actually got us 3 estimates. We can't speak more highly for the service provided by Cranberryhome and would recommend them anytime. Thanks Hugo and the team." - Alan & Gayle, Ontario

Stats for this property are as follows:

  • Valued at £210k £230 and £240K by 3 agents
  • Clients chose Agent at £240K and took Cranberryhome's advice to sell with the furniture package of £2400. Sold in 2 weeks with furniture for £235k
  • 2 near identical flats in the same block were on for £200k and £210k and were still for sale last time we looked and were on the market before our apartment having already taken a lower asking price suggestion from agents.

Huge success during difficult times - it's the power of Home Staging in numbers!

Want to learn more about Cranberryhome and how they can assist you with your property? Please visit their website:

Case Study: Pearl Home Design

I got approached by an investor I worked with in the past to furnish this one-bedroom apartment in Leeds. Designs were created to target working professionals and Pearl Home Design was able to fully stage as Airbnb.

New interior design trends, that are warm, natural neutral was put together, emphasising a homely and cosy feel. The inviting arrangement of furniture in this apartment made a very good first impression as the room gain more space. The advantage of this apartment is beautiful, natural light. The aim of my home staging was to use it to the maximum.

Decorations were used to transform the space into a stunning holiday home. Subtle and smart this is what you need for Airbnb. As a result, the property received 30-day bookings just after listing on Airbnb.

Testimonial from the client:

I worked with Marta for 3 projects in the past 6 months. I occasionally found her online, had a brief call with her, and thought to give it a go. Marta was hands-on, responsible and always pushed extra miles to deliver the best result with our budget in a timely manner. Although Covid has a big hit in our biz, our biz has been so blessed by far and one of the reasons has to be the nice work from Marta so we barely have our property vacant. I believe the business relationship with Marta is ongoing and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to work together very soon.


Learn more about Marta and her work at Pearl Home Design at



The Home Staging Report 2020 IS HERE!

The Home Staging Association UK & Ireland is delighted to announce the arrival of the highly anticipated Home Staging Report 2020!


As any keen Home Stager knows, the HSA’s annual report is one of the key elements to a successful year - especially in this turbulent turn of the decade. To combat the unsurety many property professionals are feeling, the HSA has taken pains to thoroughly report on the effects of COVID on the Home Staging industry.


The Coronavirus side of the report examines pre- and post-lockdown market statistics. Extrapolating this data is a necessity for any Home Stager on the industry’s cutting edge.


As many who work with statistics, figures, and quantitative data on a daily basis will know, the consumption of such data can be rather dry. That’s why the HSA UK & Ireland are delighted to thank Ciaran Horrex of Kin Design for his exceptional contribution to the report’s visuals.


Kin Design totes itself as a “creative studio and abstractly named manifestation of two designers” that goes about “collectively preaching the invisible elements of typographic style with lyrical metaphor... with meaning, emotion, [and] clarity of thought”.


Put simply, they’re a pair who care about the transmission of words.


Kin is the brainchild of Ben Budden and Ciaran Horrex, an impressive duo with a wide-ranging portfolio that includes the likes of Garmin, Kay & Co London, and Bournemouth University.


Please visit our home page and download the full report. Alternatively, you can order the printed Coffee Table version here, or the Trade Book here.

Happy reading!


About the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland

The Home Staging Association UK & Ireland connects professionals, suppliers and partners, to promote and empower the home staging industry. Founded by Home Staging Expert & Interior Stylist Paloma Harrington-Griffin in 2018, the HSA has grown from a handful of professionals to an extensive network pioneering greater growth, knowledge, and innovation in the industry. Located in London, the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland provides training, information and support to home staging professionals and is proud to be the only official IAHSP® affiliated association in the United Kingdom.

The Online Home Staging Forum 2020 Was A Great Success

Nothing could hold back the Home Staging Forum 2020 - not even a global pandemic. As such, the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland is delighted to report its third annual forum was an e-success!

Spread over the 15th-16th October, participants took to their screens in droves to watch a host of industry-leading speakers cover a plethora of topics. Talks were given by Aarti Parmar, Cindy Lin, Debbie Boggs, Elaine Penhaul, Jennie Norris, and Paloma Harrington-Griffin, and counted with the participation of Martyn Baum and Sanja Radovanovic.

Guests and speakers alike enjoyed the opportunity to e-network. Many reported a fallow summer for connecting to others in the industry, and as such, relished the chance to meet fellow Home Staging professionals.

The forum was supported by the IAHSP®Europe and TrustedLand, and sponsored by the fantastic John Lewis &. Partners Business, as well as Staging Studio, Davis & Mac, Stageflow and Fifty Five South.

Attendees were clamouring for more: “Next year, I need to invest in a bigger notepad! This year’s Home Staging Forum has blown me away. I have the longest list of actions to support my business journey, and I can’t wait to share them with my team. The rest of 2020 is looking exciting because of the inspiration that the Forum has given so many of us”, said HSA Founding Member Natalie Evans, of Little Barn Door.

Whilst the previous Home Staging Forum was hosted at the glamorous Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London, online guests of the Home Staging Forum 2020 were delighted by the ease and accessibility of the virtual event.

One of the guests, Sarah Ogden, said: “Being able to speak to so many stagers at once has been invaluable”, whilst one of the event sponsors, Davis & Mac’s Ed Davis stated: “I really loved the software and the networking set up. The talks were as usual, fantastic. The HSA definitely managed to pull it off and keep that conference feel. 10 out of 10!”.

The forum, delightful as it was, wasn’t the only reason for guests’ excitement - 2020 marked a second year of The Home Staging Awards. What a competition it was!

The HSA UK & Ireland saw entrants from all across Europe, with nearly 100 applications being submitted.

Each nominee had, in some way, striven to push the boundaries of the Home Staging industry.

The shortlist was announced on the 5th October, and from there, it was a race to the finish.

After receiving over 13 thousand votes, when the 15th came around, the Home Staging Association was ready to announce the winners.

Winners of a coveted Home Staging Award were as follows:

Best Transformation - Before and After (Occupied Property)
Anna Home Styling

Best Transformation - Before and After (Vacant Property)
Atelier ADA

Best Staging Project
Atelier ADA

Best Virtual Staging Project
Casa e Progetti

Best Holiday Let Project
Sienna Interiors


Congratulations to all the winners! You can read more about each of the winning projects here.

The HSA UK & Ireland would like to thank everyone who attended the Home Staging Forum 2020. It was brilliant to see such a large turnout of guests, speakers, sponsors, partners, and judges.

Without such diverse participation in the Forum, the UK’s Home Staging industry would not be so successful, informed, and envelope-pushing as it is.

Here’s to the HSA UK & Ireland’s Home Staging Forum & Awards 2021 which, with any luck, won’t be hosted in the shadow of a global pandemic - rather, in the sensational digs forum-goers came to expect in 2018 and ‘19!