In Conversation With: Amy Smith & The Daily Home Edit

Our very own Amy Smith, CEO and Creative Director at Huntley + Co, sat down with Sarah Burman from The Daily Home Edit last year to talk all things styling.

Read on for the exclusive interview… or click on the below link to listen to the podcast:

TDHE: “What feel should people be aiming to create in their living room?”

Amy: “It depends on the style of the property and the demographic of the buyer. For example, you wouldn’t want a penthouse in the city to have a relaxed beach vibe – it would need a vibe that is much more fitting. And the same way that you wouldn’t want a beach house to have a really formal, polished feel to it. It’s about understanding the style of the property and the demographic of the buyer, and also the area as well. Agents can often give you a really good feel as to what those three things will be, specifically who the demographic is likely to be and what they’re looking for in terms of lifestyle.”


TDHE: “Let’s talk about one of the most important pieces of furniture in the living room: the couch. How important is the configuration of the couch in the living room for home staging?”

Amy: “It’s very important and it’s often the biggest piece in the home. When I was styling houses for sale, I would often look at the position of the sofa and also what the sofa was. For example, your big brown leather sofa with a chaise may be great and comfortable to watch TV but it might be sitting right in the middle of the living room which isn’t ideal for open homes. You need to take into consideration how people are going to be walking through the property during the inspection, and also how the property is going to be photographed. The positioning of the sofa can be quite key in both the open homes and the photography.”


TDHE: “What is your recommendation in terms of how you set up a living room?”

Amy: “It depends on the layout of the room. There are some properties where you have to put the sofa in the middle of the room, there is no option to put it anywhere else. If the space isn’t particularly big, you might consider a low sofa with thin arms instead of big bulky arms, and you might try and scale everything back a little bit. Or if it’s a huge space, you need to fill the proportions out, so it does really depend on the size of the room.”


TDHE: “And what about the other details that people need to consider for living room styling?”

Amy: “Making sure that the room has a bit of depth and detail to it which can be added through rugs, lamps, plants and maybe some décor items to really bring it to life.”


TDHE: “And would you recommend changing styling options depending on the season?

Amy: “Yes a little bit. I’d probably look more at the property. There’s certain things like fireplaces which you would want to be more of a focal point in winter than you would in summer, but its more about the demographic of the potential buyer and the style of the house that you tailor it towards.”


TDHE: “Huntley + Co hire single pieces of furniture even down to single cushions and throws. Is it common for people to come to you just for those smaller items?”

Amy: “Yes absolutely. They can make a really big difference in bringing a room to life. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting a rug down to help define an area if there’s an open plan lounge/dining, sometimes having a rug down underneath the living room really grounds it. Or if it’s a dark room putting a big mirror and a lamp in can make a huge difference as well just to bounce a bit of extra light around.”


TDHE: “And tell us a little bit about the warehouse.”

Amy: “All of our furniture is catalogued online. It’s a much simpler way of viewing it then walking around a warehouse, but we do have an accessories warehouse. It’s filled with cushions, vases, rugs, lamps, artworks and all of those bits and pieces. The clients who do want to hire just those items would come into the accessories warehouse and basically go shopping to pull all of their bits and pieces together to style their home for sale.”


TDHE: “So what look is trending now?”

Amy: “We have a range of white linen sofas which are incredibly popular. They look beautiful for styling homes for sale, not so popular for living with. We also get a lot of calls for little stools which always look beautiful next to a bath with a couple ornamental pieces or even using them as a bedside or side table in a living room. We have a couple of stools – one called Luna and one called Log – which are always very popular. In our décor range, we’ve got some really beautiful handmade pieces from local artisans like clay beads or beautiful hanging macrame pieces. We are seeing people are enjoying things that are more original and different so those are some of our more popular pieces.”


TDHE: “If people are successful in styling their home for sale, what impact can that have?”

Amy: “The reason you style a house for sale is to try and get the most amount of money that you possibly can. You essentially want your buyers engaged and emotionally invested in the property so styling can make a huge difference towards that. When you walk into an empty home, it’s very hard to connect with just walls, a floor and a ceiling. No matter how beautiful they are, it lacks that homely feel. That’s what styling is all about – trying to get you the absolute best price and hopefully quite a quick sale campaign as well.”


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