Certified home stager Jan Barnes knows how to change a person's perspective. When she meets with a client preparing to sell a house, one of the first things she does is ask them to step into the shoes of someone investing in a home. Then a walk through of the interior and exterior brings out the important questions that will make the most difference: What furniture would a buyer want to see? Which color palette? How should it all be arranged? Asking those questions is what helps her achieve results for the client: in her experience, her company's designs have seen homes sell for up to 10% more money and in half the time as comparable non-staged homes.
When bringing a staging design to life, Jan's team often rents furniture and decor accents, making things easier for current owners who may have already moved or whose furniture doesn't match the new layout. Beyond staging, Jan and her team are also interior designers, helping families make their own homes more livable and rekindling the way they felt when they first moved in or microwaved their first burrito there.
When Max Schneiderman began his family’s business, it was a grocery store first and foremost. Then Schneiderman’s began to carry a few furniture items and slowly these grew to overshadow the cans of soup and produce until the furnishings finally swallowed the foodstuffs whole.
Now, Schneiderman's Furniture has spread from the Iron Range to spots throughout the Twin Cities. The showrooms stock local and foreign furniture from more than 100 manufacturers. Many items in stock can be customized in color and texture to match a homeowner's current obsession with plastic flamingos.
Castle Building & Remodeling, one of Remodeling magazine’s Big 50 of 2011, hosts a team of professional designers and builders who overhaul interiors with historically inspired concepts. Two design-selection studios display the custom craftsmanship, showcasing a 1940s–style kitchen with cherry cabinets and a 1910s–style bathroom with hex tile flooring and a sink full of Teddy Roosevelt's mustache trimmings.
The remodelers create a mockup of each project using 3-D CAD software, noting any desired changes before installation. They realize projects with the help of artisanal manufacturers such as Clay Squared, whose artists craft custom ceramic tiles using time-honored methods.
Established in 1960, Suburban Floor Coverings swathes bare bases in a wide selection of quality carpet, ceramic tile, vinyl, wood, and laminate. With more than 3,000 carpet samples, including Stainmaster Series 1000 ($15.95/sq. yd.) through Series 6000 ($30.95/sq. yd.), choosy feet can find the perfect soft surface on which to coyly leave footprints or engagement toe rings. Mannington laminate, tile, and wood flooring (starting at $10.95/sq. yd.) and Kährs wood flooring (starting at $4.50/sq. ft.) reward well-behaved ottomans with a fashionable foundation, and environmentally friendly, sustainably harvested QU Cork flooring (starting at $6.95/sq. ft.) satisfies tree-hugging yearnings without the awkward first date. The flooring professionals at Suburban Floor Coverings also expertly install all in-store collections, including carpet ($.60/sq. ft.), wood ($0.50+/sq. ft.), and tile (up to $1.50/sq. ft.).
The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($5.29 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.