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Behind the Stage: The Boho Studio

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Since the last post about how a stage comes together went over so well we've decided to add them in as a regular thing around here. If you missed the first one you can catch up on it here.

We always start each project with a Staging Consultation where we walk the home (or in this case the apartment) with the owners to get a feel for all of the spaces, give them an idea of what we would do in each area furniture wise, and address any areas that might be awkward or need updating. Reference photos are taken during the consultation and notes are taken for each space to help us with planning. A quote for staging the home based on either staging the whole home or just certain areas is given to the owner at the end of the consultation and a formal bid is emailed over with a contract within 24 hours. Once the contract is accepted and signed we arrange to come back to take measurements and all of our "before" photos. With all of the reference pictures and notes we are then able to go back to our warehouse to pull all of the items needed for the stage.

For this stage we worked with Black Tire Bike Company here in Marshalltown, IA. Their building (along with a lot of buildings on Main St) was severely damaged during the tornado in 2018, and they have done a phenomenal job with their renovation. We have known the owners for awhile through our work with the Marshalltown Central Business District (MCBD) and the fact that their building sits just down the way from our own shop.

When we found out that their apartments were going to be part of the MCBD's Restoration Tour and they were getting ready to list them for rent we approached them with the idea of staging. This way both units would look their best for not only for everyone that would see them during the Restoration Tour but for their listing photos as well. Needless to say we were all pretty excited when they agreed to stage both units.

A big part of staging is finding out who your demographic is and tailoring your staging to appeal towards them. For these above retail apartments the demographic is young professionals that would like to be within walking distance of their job and the restaurants/bars that sit in downtown.

For the studio apartment we decided to go pretty trendy by styling it with a boho vibe as we felt it was a really cute and fun way to highlight what you could do with this space. The apartment has really tall ceilings and ample natural light which makes it feel much larger than what it is which is a major bonus for a studio. They also salvaged as much of the original wood flooring as possible during the renovation (which I just loved) and went with a nice neutral greige paint for the walls throughout so we had a good base to start with. To keep everything feeling cohesive we brought the color palette of pinks, grays, white and natural wood all the way through the unit.


You walk right into the kitchen when you come into the unit and having this fridge on this wall not only made for an awkward cooking triangle but made the space feel tight right off the bat. The first order of business was to relocate the fridge next to the stove to eliminate that negative.

The challenge with any studio is space and functionality. In the kitchen/dining area we wanted to make sure that it felt open but had definite zones created that someone could see how they could make it work for them. We added the hanging wire baskets as an idea for extra storage in the kitchen and opted for a table that could sit 4 but is styled for 2 to help keep the space more open. The addition of the entry table creates a drop zone when you first come in the unit. We used furniture pieces that have thinner legs and are open below to give everything a more airy feel.

Transition Space/Living

There is this awkward transition space from the kitchen to the living/bedroom area that we decided to style as a work space to give the closet area a bit more room and to keep the flow open going into the living area. Given that we styled this with a female renter in mind the work space could double as a vanity/dressing area since there is a pedestal sink in the bathroom.

To create a "wall" between the living and bedroom areas we used a loveseat which allows enough room to have a side table and a walkway into the bedroom area. We added an accent chair for additional seating/reading nook and opted for two side tables to create a tiered coffee table for more versatility. The TV stand serves double duty with drawers for extra storage. We anchored and softened the area with a heavy textured rug. Artwork, pillows, and greenery helps bring the color palette through and adds character and warmth.


For the bedroom area we used a full size bed to allow for a slightly larger nightstand while keeping the walkway from the living room into the bedroom as open as possible. We used a chest instead of a dresser to give a vertical element and help bring the eye up. Large pieces of art draw the eye in and layered textured bedding and pillows create that lux, cozy vibe that makes you want to curl right up in that bed.

We were extremely happy with how this unit turned out and really enjoyed having fun with the staging. To date it is one of my favorite spaces we've staged.

If you are interesting in having your home staged or would like interior design services head over to the website and contact us today we'd love to work with you.

*Update: the studio was rented one month after it was staged.*

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