What is Virtual Staging?
Virtual staging is a powerful way of creating home staging images. It is where the interior design of a property is modelled using a graphic editor, meaning that furniture and other design elements can be digitally placed in a room, rather than needing to be present for a photographer.

As such, it is far more cost-effective than other, traditional, staging methods, particularly when it comes to creating marketing images for empty or new-build homes.

 

The Importance of Images
With our attention spans getting shorter and the number of options open to us, ever-increasing, the importance of good images to use for marketing a property is more important now than at anytime before. Indeed, more than three-quarters of home buyers surveyed said that images were the single most important factor in viewing a house, online.

And when estate agents are faced with selling an empty home they have a choice of either releasing bare and uninviting images of that property, with empty rooms, onto the marketplace or staging the property with rented furniture, with all the expense, that course of action entails.

The third way is virtual staging where not only can the design elements be added on a computer but they can also be tweaked later, should those design elements not create the right impression (an impossible thing to do with traditional staging methods).

 

Photorealism in Virtual Staging
I know what you are thinking. We have all seen digital images of house interiors done badly or seen properties on the market where the images that have been used are little more than CAD images of the type that architects might draw up.

The truth is, that if a digital image is done in such a way as to draw attention to itself, as a digital image, it does more harm than good. Users that are confronted with images where the furniture doesn’t look right, where lines are too clean or objects are misshapen, won’t be able to picture themselves living in that property and will quickly move on.

Good virtual staging employs photorealism, where a user will not be able to easily tell the difference between a photograph and a digital image.
As such, while virtual staging is significantly cheaper than traditional staging methods it is work that requires a great deal of skill and any agent who wants to purchase such a service should select the company they are going to work with, with care.

Because not only should a virtual staging company have the skills associated with commercial interior design but they need the skills and the software to produce images that will appeal to prospective customers as well, or better, than would a traditional staging photograph.

 

Casa e Progetti

Casa e Progetti is an interior design studio based in London who specialise to assist developers and property owners with their design and furniture requirements.

They design interiors, creating life-like images to illustrate properties as they will actually look like, once completed.

Below, they have kindly shared with us, a case study from a project they completed in 2018, for Barratt London, to give you an idea as to what is involved in virtual staging and the results that you can expect from it.

 

Virtual Staging, A Case Study
By Zaid Shuhaiber, Director, Casa e Progetti

The Brief

In October 2018, we were charged by our client, Barratt London, to create a virtually-staged design, for a property. The client then requested that we stage the property, physically, with the same furniture that we had used in the virtual design.

The beauty of our virtual staging technique is that we can showcase, not just the furniture in situ but an interior design scheme, which can be easily amended by the end-user, should they wish to, prior to them actually ordering the furniture.

This is a service that our clients appreciate having, as it helps them to be completely clear about what will be delivered and assists them in making decisions before committing to a physical product.

 

The Property and the Location

The house we were working with is unique; a beautiful four-bedroom home, nestled within the leafy, residential streets of Hampstead, North West London and designed by the architects, Allies and Morrison.

Our vision was to complement the space and light of the house. There were beautiful, large windows, skylights above the stairs and a spacious, open-plan layout.

Hampstead is full of large homes, in which families, typically, live for years and, as such, any design that we chose for The White House had to be comfortable. We didn’t want to do anything that was too drastic or out-there.

We wanted the buyer to look at the property and imagine themselves living there for a long time.

 

Colour Schemes

As the house was well-lit from the statement use of glass, throughout, we deliberately chose very neutral colours to compliment the white stucco building and the impressive views of the sky and the trees which could be seen from the bedrooms.

We also used blues and different shades of creams, with the odd touch of gold, to keep it interesting.

But for the most part, the colour scheme, in fact, came from our choice of paintings, which we chose, to beautifully adorn the house, throughout.

 

Our Process

We typically design and furnish a property in such a way as to match the style that will be preferred by the target customer.

We also take many other factors into consideration, such as furniture budgets, stock levels at the manufacturers and general accessibility. But most important is the flow and the experience of entering into and going through the house.

 

Timescales and the Completed Project

The virtual staging of this property took one week to complete, whilst we were given 2 weeks for the physical staging, in order to have the property ready to launch in November.

As a founding member of The Home Staging Association, we are able to tap into a massive network of UK suppliers, giving us the advantage of being able to deliver great products, with great prices and most importantly, with fantastic turnaround times.

We sourced bespoke sofas, beds and other furniture from UK manufacturers and were very proud to not only complete the property for launch but to have the property sold within two months (over the Christmas period), with the client requesting to buy the property furnished.

A few months later, the property was awarded the best in its class (New Build Family Home over £1.5m) at The Evening Standard Homes and Property Awards.

It was a win all round.

 

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