My name is Kay Mitchel, and I am the proud owner of Sitting Pretty Redesign in Houston, TX. I started staging homes as a young girl. My mom supported me through many redesigns of her living room, especially during my Junior High years. She would often come home from work to find her home had a brand new look, and I am so thankful that she showed appreciation for my creativity and passion.
I would dig through her cabinets and closets, looking for newly found treasure to display. Rather than an interest in Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the new issue of Tiger Beat, I was more impressed by the latest cover of Southern Living or Christopher Lowell’s latest DIY drapery idea.
As I neared college, I chose to major in Biology with hopes to one day become a physician. I picked up a second major in Professional Writing during my senior year in Undergrad, never feeling satisfied with just scientific studies. I was not scratching the designer itch with my educational endeavors, but forged ahead anyway.
I landed a very successful career in healthcare; however, I did not become a physician. Upon earning a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, and at the young age of 27, I became the Medical Staff Services Director at an academic medical center in the heart of the famed Texas Medical Center. Eleven years later, I finally “jumped” in pursuit of my original dream career of staging and redesigning homes.
Eleven must be my lucky number because, also in my eleventh year of marriage, and after eleven years in our starter home, we decided to put our beloved house on the market. I finally had the opportunity to put my staging skills to the test. I hustled all weekend and a few late nights after my day job to prepare our darling home for sale. We took the plunge on a Thursday, and the MLS photos hit the web.
We were overwhelmed with the amount of traffic on the first day. Our neighbors called me at work to let me know there were cars parked up and down both sides of our street and a line of people formed down our sidewalk, waiting their turn to get inside! Within the first 24 hours, we had 39 showings and received 11 offers to consider. We received an all cash offer for $25,000 over list! Our Realtor shared feedback that most of the buyers’ agents assumed the home was professionally staged and offered to close quickly, assuming we had moved on already.
Sure, our home was adorable to us. However, it was certainly nothing extraordinary. In fact, the reality is that it was 35 years old, had original bathrooms with shell-shaped sinks, a kitchen with 80’s laminate counter tops and a fruit-themed wallpaper border, and the never-coveted “popcorn” ceilings throughout. For goodness sakes, there wasn’t even a walk-in closet or separate shower in the Master! I truly believe our quick and impressive sale had everything to do with the feeling buyers felt while touring our home. The MLS photos captured the beauty of what we had to offer, and once they hit the door, the staging sealed the deal. They wanted what we were offering: a cute, quaint, and darling home.
I am a true believer that everyone was created with a gift. Home staging is mine, and I feel very blessed to finally be using and sharing it.