A born and raised Calgarian, Elysse Bulloch left the family business to become a home stager. For the last five years she’s been staging and styling with her business Simply Stylish Staging. Bulloch took some time out to chat with CREB®Now about what drew her to home staging, 2014 design trends and what she thinks is Calgary’s best kept secret.

CREB®Now>> What drew you to the home staging field?

Bulloch>> I worked in the family business for 10 years, my brother and I owned a Dairy Queen and we decided to sell in 2009. I went on a girl’s trip with my mom to New York and I’d never heard of home staging before, but when I got there, every night when I’d come back to the hotel on TV was home staging, home staging. I’d always wanted to be an interior designer as a kid but as I got older didn’t want to do six, eight years of school. So, when I got back to Calgary from my trip to New York I started researching home staging and it was a happy medium to be able to work in the design industry but yet not have to go and get a bunch of schooling to do it. And, since I’d never heard of it, it seemed like something that would be up and coming. I jumped in with two feet and here I am five years later.

CREB®Now>> What is the importance of staging a home?

Bulloch>> It helps potential buyers connect with the property and it’s going to shorten your time on the market because when a potential buyer walks in they already see how they’re going to live in the space, how they’re going to use the space and it helps them get an idea of the size as well as what fits. Basically it just shows them how to use the space and they can decide if it fits their lifestyle based on the layout of it.

CREB®Now>> Do you find there’s a room in the home, more often than not, that needs staging more often than others?

Bulloch>> The bonus room. The bonus room is the worst room that I go into all the time nobody knows what to do with it. It’s usually a multi-function, catch all space.

CREB®Now>> What can people do to improve that space?

Bulloch>> If you’re selling, you definitely need to streamline it. It can’t be four or five activities being done in one space. You need to show a potential buyer exactly what they would do in that space, you can’t be ‘Oh maybe it’s a gym, maybe it’s an office, maybe it’s a playroom’. Potential buyers only know what they see so it needs to be clear what they’re going to be able to use the space for.

CREB®Now>> Have you noticed any emerging style trends in 2014?

Bulloch>> I am noticing we are moving out of builders beige. I’m seeing a lot of white, or light blue, even as far as light purples…being used as neutrals. Really, a lot of what I’m seeing in the new development in Calgary is very modern. We’re moving out of a traditional trend into more of a modern feel so finally we’re out of the beiges, we’re kind of seeing greys and blues, a little more fun in the neutrals.

CREB®Now>> What is your favourite thing to do in Calgary on a day off?

Bulloch>> On a day off would be to hit some kind of trail, like a walking trail or the Peace Bridge, the loop on Prince’s Island. Anything outside.

CREB®Now>> What, if anything, do you think is Calgary’s best-kept secret?

Bulloch>> You know what, lot’s of people don’t know about [Wonderland], that head [statue] at the Bow Building. That’s really cool, I’ve had lots of people move out to Vancouver that I was friends with 10 – 15 years ago and when I send them that picture they’re like ‘That is so cool, finally Calgary’s getting some cool corporate art’.

CREB®Now>> What is your favourite room in your home and why?

Bulloch>> Mine would be the master bedroom. It’s because I just redid it, so all of my efforts in the past year have gone into my master bedroom to make it into a retreat for us at the end of the day.