Posts Tagged ‘Cristina Salerno’

February 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Student Feature: Cristina Salerno

Cristina is a graduate from QC Design School’s Home Staging and Interior Decorating courses. She now owns her own successful home staging and redesign company, Ella Staging & Design. With a creative flair and an eye for all things decor, Cristina’s portfolio includes some very impressive spaces. Read on for Cristina’s insights on the home staging industry and to see some fabulous examples of her work!

Company Name: Ella Staging & Design Inc.

Description: We style to sell and design to please! Services include: Occupied home staging, vacant home staging, interior redesign, color consultation and professional organization.

Region: Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area
Phone: 905.605.2393
Facebook fan page:

What motivated you to start your career as a staging and redesign professional?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in design and real estate. HGTV was and continues to be my go-to channel. My shelves are filled with design magazines and I’m always exploring ways to improve my families’ quality of life through organization and function. It’s something I truly enjoy and provides me with immense gratification.
Then there’s my personality. Innately, I’m a very organized person. Friends, family, and colleagues would always comment on how organized and beautiful my home was, or how my office was perfectly ordered despite working on multiple projects at any given time.

I suppose the true turning point, however, was during the sale of our first home. It sold very quickly despite being a ‘buyers’ market. Our real estate agent stated that I should consider a career in Home Staging, saying that I was a natural.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

I’d have to say the most memorable moment of my career thus far was my very first staging job. It was a two-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto. It had been sitting vacant for a couple of months. The finishes were very attractive, however potential buyers couldn’t get past the perceived lack of space. Needless-to-say, it sold within a week of staging it. My clients were thrilled. It was a euphoric feeling.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

The QC Design course was great! Upon receiving my certification, I truly felt I had the knowledge, tools, and confidence to be a success in this industry. For example, space planning is especially critical in vacant home staging. The QC Design School course really prepares you well for this. There were also many optional assignments designed to prepare you for starting your own business, such as ‘developing a business plan’. After completing the course, I felt like I was already a step ahead because it was something I had to do to launch my business and it was already done. I loved that!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

The one thing I would have to say in terms of the training is not to cut corners. There are other programs out there that offer you staging certifications following a weekend seminar, but completing the course myself and learning all there is to know, I don’t see how that is even possible.

In terms of starting a career, my advice would be the same: don’t cut corners. Staging a property following the steps taught by this course will ensure you avoid costly mistakes such as ordering the wrong sized furniture. Third party furniture rental companies are only too happy to charge you that re-stocking fee.

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