Pour la maison: Welcome Home

The secret to making a good first impression is to keep things simple, according to home staging experts

Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market or want to step up your hosting game, focusing on the foyer can pay off, according to professional stagers and mother-daughter team Molly Kallenberger and Caitlin Gossen.

“When you first open that front door and step inside, you are developing that impression of what the home is about,” says Kallenberger, owner and founder of the Acadiana-based staging company House Dressings. “Make sure it resonates.”

Gossen agrees, stressing a well-dressed home isn’t about buying all new pieces, but rather, making the pieces you own work for the space.

Their go-to foyer combination includes a cozy rug, narrow console table and large mirror. These elements work in unison and can reflect the style of your home. Just avoid anything too dark or overbearing.

“We shy away from complexity,” explains Kallenberger. “We are trying to create an experience on many different levels that’s all very harmonious.”

Think light and serene. That means at minimum, open blinds or window dressings. Gossen says if you aren’t lucky enough to have natural light, a set of table lamps can do the trick. 

Kallenberger and Gossen follow the same philosophy with scent as they do with the decór — keep it simple. Forget what you’ve heard about wooing people with smells of baked goods. They suggest lighting a universally appealing white tea- or linen-scented.

And don’t underestimate the power of flowers. Gossen says you can never go wrong with white hydrangeas. For staging, Kallenberger looks for blooms that have longevity, such as Alstroemeria lilies. However, they agree that sometimes the best arrangements come from your own backyard. Kallenberger says people respond well to spaces that feel natural and effortless.

“They will say, ‘I don’t know why, but I have a good feeling about this house,. We know why,” she adds. “That first stepping in is so important.”


How To Finesse Your Home’s First Impression

Start with a clean slate. Consider touching up baseboards.

Layer in a narrow console table, mirror and rug.

Add a set of  lamps or light fixture.

Incorporate accessories that showcase your home’s style.

Create an arrangement with fresh flowers or garden clippings.

Burn a subtle, scented candle.


About the designers Mother-daughter duo Molly Kallenberger and Caitlin Kallenberger Gossen of House Dressings are both accredited staging professionals. Kallenberger founded the Acadiana-based company in 2010 and was joined by Gossen in 2015. Together with their team, the two have “dressed” hundreds of listings for sellers, agents and builders. housedressingslft.com

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