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The Art of Staging Houses In Los Feliz

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Staging Houses in Los Feliz seems to be the “right now” wave of the future. As a Los Feliz Real Estate Agent Professional myself I’ve noticed a huge trend. My clients more and more are taking advantage of working with a staging company, and that tool has generally seen a 8%-10% increase in property sales. But don’t take my word for it.

We’ve had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Larisa Miller and Terrence Taylor of Taylor Miller Home Staging + Design. Here is what they had to say.

How long have you both lived in Los Angeles?

L: I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1995.

T: I am a 4th generation Los Angeleno from the Venice and Santa Monica areas.

What are your thoughts on how the Eastside of Los Angeles is changing?

It’s become a destination spot. People are coming from all parts of the city and beyond to visit the restaurants and bars. There are cool new shops opening all the time. This translates into a higher real estate value and very interesting new architecture. Our Los Feliz Listing Agents think it also has a vibe comparable to Venice. It is very eclectic and urban.

Do you own or rent your homes?

We both own our homes

What are your favorite Eastside of Los Angeles spots for dining and relaxing when you’re not busy staging houses for sale in Los Angeles?

We love Square One Silverlake for a meal, Covell and Harvard & Stone for a much needed end of the day drinks.

I understand you both were developers/flippers in a previous carnation. How and why did you transition your careers into staging houses in Los Angeles?

We actually still develop and flip properties. That is still a passion of ours. We just decided to grow this arm of our business and to assist other flippers and developers in achieving their goals. We discovered that it could be just as profitable if done correctly as flipping and developing.

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How many years have you been business partners? How did that union come about?

We have worked together for 12 years. We are actually neighbors and discovered that we both had an interest in flipping homes. It took us a year to buy our first home together, and in that time we discovered we really like spending time together and we collaborate really well. We each compliment the other.

What were your first jobs out of school?

L: I went to New York straight out of high school to model for Ford Models. While I was there, in the early 90’s, there was really no such thing as a home furnishing store as we know them now. I realized there was an opening in the market so, along with two partners, we opened a 10,000 square foot home furnishings store in Soho called Umbrello.

T: I actually worked in a mail room at an insurance company. So it has been a long journey into real estate. However, I remember my grandmother telling me as a child “whatever you do, get your hands on some dirt.” So that was my goal every since.

When did you discover your passions for real estate?

L: I bought my first house about 20 years ago in Portland. It was a fixer and my first experience remodeling. I worked (and made mistakes) on it for 2 months and I was hooked. I came back to Los Angeles and bought a house that would scare most people and turned it into my oasis. Shortly after I met Terence and the rest is history.

T: I bought my first home, which I still live in in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles, for $200,000 20 years ago. It has been a realized passion of mine every since.

Tell us about your process staging houses in Los Angeles

The process for staging houses in Los Angeles is pretty easy. Just as in real estate sales, every home is different and requires personal attention. We first visualize and get the vibe of the interior and exterior of the property, which takes about an hour or so depending on the size of the property.

Then we take measurements, which takes another three or four hours, depending on the size of the property and how many pieces of art and window treatments are needed. After we have that information, we do a move-in of all large furniture items, i.e., beds, rugs, tables, couches, armoires, desks, chairs, etc. We then sit and “vibe” with the property again for another hour or so after all of that is moved in. Then we move all of the small “personal” items in that make a house a home on the second and third days. After those are moved in we are done.

Tell us about the process of launching Taylor Miller. What were your first steps and how long did you think about the idea of staging houses in Los Angeles before it became a reality?

We discussed the idea of staging houses in Los Angeles for a few months before we formulated a solid plan. We had already done staging on our own homes that we were flipping so we had a small inventory.

When we decided to launch our home staging business we spent a few months leasing a warehouse and vastly increasing our inventory, while at the same time we were working on branding and our website. We were ready to launch when our website went live.

How did you learn the ins and outs of staging houses in Los Feliz as a career?

L: We are still learning!

T: As a real estate professional of 15 years, I am quite familiar with what particular attributes sell a house quickly and for the most money. It was just another area of real estate to venture into.

Where do you find inspiration for staging houses in Los Feliz

Everywhere. Nature, distinct and unique architecture, art, and travel—we both travel extensively, both domestically and abroad. An empty space gives our imaginations an opportunity to fly.

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Tell me about your favorite décor style and period.

We like basic and simple, yet warm and comfortable surroundings. Our style is more eclectic, mixing different styles and periods until it feels and tastes right.

What’s the mission behind Taylor Miller? Do you think having a mission helps guide a business?

Taylor Miller puts together an environment that is warm, inviting and comfortable to the most discerning buyer. Through their design expertise, Taylor Miller’s mission is to maximize the amount of financial return on investment through their client’s most prized and loved possession – their home.

We think it’s important to have a mission, yet always stay open and flexible as a business grows and changes.

If we had the chance to peek at your schedules, what would an average day look like?

One of the things that we love about what we do is that there is no average day. We might find ourselves staging a rock star’s house one day and another day we might be scrounging through treasures at an estate sale. We had an appointment recently at a home where the former owner killed herself and our job was to try to make buyers forget about that. It’s always interesting.

How do you see Taylor Miller evolving? 

Into a multi million dollar company with stores all around the country.

What has been the most valuable thing you’ve both learned since launching Taylor Miller?

Marketing! At a specific point, if you do exceptional work, word of mouth takes over. But you’ve got to be creative to get the word out so that it can spread, which can be challenging for any small business working with limited funds.

How have you overcome obstacles and stayed driven while staging houses in Los Angeles?

We go around the hurdles and keep moving. It’s crucial to learn from the setbacks so as not to repeat them, but there’s always another path to take.

A handful of people struggle to turn their passions into careers. What advice would you give them?

Always take risks to get what you want, and keep working hard and moving forward.

Taylor Miller
Home Staging + Design

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