Can you share with us how you started your career in designing?
I’ve always had an interest in home interiors. Throughout my life I have lived in a number of apartments and houses of various styles and sizes and enjoyed creating spaces tailored to my tastes and needs of the time. The catalyst that really put me on the design path was when my husband and I were on the search for a new home. We had outgrown our little house and were looking for something bigger to settle our family into. I must have looked at 30 houses in person and many more online. I was amazed at how many homes weren’t being presented in the best light and started thinking that home staging was a little used resource in my area that maybe I could tap into. I also knew I had a talent for decorating, and not wanting to limit myself, I decided I wanted to offer services both in Staging and Design. It was shortly after that I launched my business “Gin Treadwell HOME”.
Have you seen the industry change from when you began?
I’ve see an increase in stylish furnishings in a wider range of pricing which is great. It allows a client who has a smaller budget to still achieve great design. Home staging is also something that more people are familiar with. Four years ago, very few realtors in my town were interested in pursuing staging for their listing clients. Now, I’m getting calls frequently with requests for consultations and staging quotes.
Are items more accessible and do you prefer how available it is? Online shopping vs having to visit stores and schedule meetings at showrooms?
I do a lot of sourcing and shopping online, which is very convenient and allows me to look at many items and compare pricing without having to drive to multiple locations. However, I still enjoy visiting shops and showrooms- I think it’s important to see the differences between quality pieces. When it comes to upholstered furniture, I always prefer to to see the pieces in person. I like for my clients to sit in and touch the sofas and chairs to make sure the cushions feel soft or firm enough.
Would you please explain what the role of an “Interior Designer” and “Interior Decorator” are?
I think the line that separates the two is becoming a little more blurred… but technically, Interior Decorators tend to focus on decorating within an existing space by bringing in furnishings, decor and accessories. They should have a good eye for detail and assessing spaces overall. Interior Designers have the ability to take the design process further, and can provide suggestions and recommendations for home improvement, remodeling or building. They usually have relationships with various vendors, contractors and pros who can help with home improvement. Many Interior Designer have formal training or a degree in design. But there are a number of very talented Designers who have not had formal training, and formal training doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a Designer will be talented or good at their job.
You also provide Home Staging, have you found Stage homes are easier to Market ?
I do believe staged homes are easier to market. A properly staged home will highlight the positives of any property, showcasing it in the best possible way. The goal with staging is to make the home appealing to as wide a range of buyers as possible, thereby improving the chances of offers and a quicker sale. Empty houses can confuse buyers- they have no perspective on scale and furniture placement. Homes that are too taste specific tend to turn off buyers if the decor style isn’t one they personally find appealing.
Would you describe home staging as an investment for the seller of the house?
Absolutely. Staging is a valuable marketing tool that all sellers should consider. And the higher the listing price of the home, the higher the expectations of the buyer. When I stage homes I always take into account the style of the home, the neighborhood it’s located in and the type of buyer who will be looking at the property.
Have you experienced home prices increase offers and price when a home is staged?
Yes! Many of the homes I have staged have had offers within a couple of weeks at full or above listing price.
Can home sellers reach you directly or is it the real estate agent that hires you?
Yes and Yes. Many times it’s the realtor who reaches out to me first, inquiring about home staging, and then puts me in contact with their clients. But I have had sellers reach out to me directly- they find me online or hear about me through a referral.