For Laura Bird, of Birdhouse Design, staging houses to sell them is a calling, not a job – “I just love it: it’s so satisfying and I will not stop until it’s completely right.” – and this passion caused her to follow her dream: “I’ve always loved interiors and doing this is a bit like having massive dolls houses; you put the furniture in, then the accessories, and then you stand back and think ‘wow, yes’.”

Her clients have thought ‘wow, yes’ as well, with their houses selling fast and achieving the asking price – or more – with Laura’s signature style. “I tend to think less is more so I use monochrome’s and neutrals, but I love a colour pop with an accessory; just to make it come alive.” She likes to pick up small pieces in the States from favourite shops like Crate & Barrel and Z Gallerie “because they have lovely things that aren’t available in the UK.”

Less is more, with a twist works in all types of property: Victorian homes with lovely bay windows; minimalist interiors with wide views and open spaces; 30s semis with their curves and pebbledash. “Redhill and Reigate have such a fantastic variety of houses with different architecture and so many lovely nooks and crannies: it’s a great place to do this kind of work.”

For Laura, home staging shouldn’t be a last resort. If you’re looking to sell fast and for your asking price, it’s worth getting a home stager in from the start. “It can be the difference between months on the market and a quick sale,” she says, noting that her own work has sold places that had been empty and stagnant for months, helping agents take Instagrammable photos to generate new interest. “It captures a buyer’s imagination. People connect emotionally to a property as a home: it’s part dream and part reassurance that the space will work for everything they need.”

And what of Redhill and Reigate, the towns? “I live in Redhill and I love it. We’re about to have improvements to the centre, including a cinema, and Reigate’s a few minutes away with great restaurants and shops. Then in two minutes you’re out in the middle of the proper Surrey countryside, or forty minutes to London door to door! It’s brilliant, and the people are lovely and friendly. It’s great.”

Birdhouse Design
Instagram @birdhousedesignsurrey

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