home staging awards

Top Ten Professional Real Estate Stagers of the Year, Occupied Category, Canada

In January, 2015 at the Annual Convention of the Real Estate Staging Association®, one of the prestigious home staging awards, RESA 2015 Top Ten Professional Stagers of the Year, Occupied Category, Canada,  went to Martha Stanton-Smith, CCSP, RESA-PRO.

Photographic entries for these home staging awards are first judged by a vote of RESA members. Then the finalists are judged by a panel of experts. For the second round of judging for these home staging awards, both their photographs and an essay submission outlining the contestant’s contribution to the staging industry are considered.

Martha attended the conference, which is held each January in Las Vegas, and received her award on stage at the Gala Dinner.

‘Occupied’ for the purpose of these home staging awards means that furniture is supplied by the client but the stager may supplement it with art and various accessories. The two pairs of pictures which were entered are shown below.


Rearrangements & Enhanced Homes Jointly Awarded Community Involvement Program of the Year Award

CSP Community Involvement Award


The Canadian Staging Professionals(TM) announced the recipients of their Annual Awards for 2009-10.  In the category of Community Involvement Program of the Year, recognizing best practices in community involvement and corporate social responsibility activities during the year, the recipients were Martha Stanton-Smith of Rearrangements and Sandra Muis of Enhanced Homes.  These two Kingston, Ontario CCSP’s were recognized for their participation in the Kingston Interval House Transitional Housing Apartments community designer program.

The community designer program involved seven local interior designers and the two CSP’s.  Each volunteered to design interior decor for two suites in the Transitional Housing 19 unit apartment complex named ‘Robin’s Hope’ which opened July 1, 2010.  This creation of warm and homey interiors was the final step in a year long renovation project to convert an old office building into safe housing for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.

Each participant was given a modest budget and a list of criteria from KIH.  The process involved several meetings to collaborate with the project coordinator and other designers on choice of blinds, standard furniture purchases and an array of paint colour selections.  Subsequently, each designer was responsible for shopping for the soft goods, lamps, rugs, artwork and accessories which will personalize their chosen spaces.  In March, the volunteers donned hard hats and safety boots to take pictures and measure their suites.

Robin's Hope apartment

During the final week of June the volunteer designers loaded in their purchases and dressed all the rooms in time for opening ceremonies.

Martha Stanton-Smith commented after the completion:  “We all were a bit surprised by the amount of time this project took us, but in the end we were pleased by the results and gratified to have helped the women and children.”

The occupants of “Robin’s Hope” will be women who have been living the Kingston Interval House Shelter, were unable to find suitable affordable housing elsewhere, and will be participating in ongoing KIH programs.  Allowed length of stay in the transitional housing will be up to 364 days.

Kingston Interval House provides emergency shelter in a 25 bed facility opened in 2004.  The average length of stay in what was only meant to be an emergency shelter had been growing every year because of lack of suitable safe, affordable housing in the community.  In response, KIH decided in 2006 to create this transitional housing facility.  It is hoped that it will reduce the average length of stay in the shelter and thereby increase the total number of women served each year.

With funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the City of Kingston, KIH was able to purchase a suitable building.  Heather Kembel of Colbourne and Kembel Architects designed the conversion which took a vacant three storey office space and made it into nineteen apratments and several multipurpose rooms.  Three of the suites are barrier free and one of these is fully wheelchair accessible.

An innovative feature of the project is the ‘swing’ bedrooms which will open to suites on either side as necessary.  This means that some of the suites can be expanded from studio apartments up to two bedroom units  giving ‘Robin’s Hope’ the flexibility to accommodate families of various sizes.  However, it added to the challenge and need for collaboration among the volunteer designers and stagers in the community designer program.

The complete list of the Canadian Staging Professionals(TM) awards for 2009-10 is here:  http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs011/1011125928046/archive/1103434640765.html. The Canadian Staging Professionals(TM) provides staging training internationally.