NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

February 1, 2011

I have a hugely inspiring website to tell you about that JUST launched that hasn’t hit the blogosphere yet (not English blogs anyway) called Bolaget Inspiration based in Sweden and oh my! It’s delightful! I have my lovely blog collegue Frida to thank for sharing it with me today via email. Thanks, Frida!

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

Bolaget is managed by a dedicated team in Malmo, Sweden. It is the mission of Bolaget to find and sell some of the best properties in Malmo, and thanks to their team of interiors professionals, they can evaluate your property and decorate it (also known as home staging) in order to boost the value of your home. They have gorgeous places for sale, you simply must check it out but more than that, they just launched an inspiration site for those who want to see past properties.

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

By the way, if you don’t know what home staging is, also referred to in the UK as property styling, it is defined this way by wikipedia, “Home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want.” This is a smart approach to selling homes and has been around for years now, but Bolaget has a very nice touch that sets them out from the pack.

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

NEW! Bolaget Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but this is the type of home staging that I love. I’m not so keen on the ordinary staging that I see out there and I’m sure you know what I mean, the cookie cutter look that almost always includes a stack of books with a shell on top or overly home staged to look like a model home or catalog spread. Bolaget seems to have a real knack for styling in a lovely, appealing way that feels fresh, casual and livable. I like that. These homes speak to me — I want to buy and live in them because they feel inspiring, eclectic, and perfectly imperfect.

What about you? How do you feel about the typical “staging” work you see where you live? Is it still popular where you live or not?

(images: bolaget)


  • Reply Desiree Fawn February 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I’m really digging this — and I agree with you. I think in MANY cases you can really tell when a home in staged. When I first glanced through these photos I didn’t get that impression. Looks livable! And beautiful!
    (And I’m SO in love with those dark floors — swoon!)

  • Reply Sonia February 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    great find!

  • Reply Jillian February 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for this link, Holly! I’m trying to design our new home with Scandinavia as one of the primary inspirations, so I’m sure this site will be very helpful. And I totally agree with you about typical staging.

  • Reply Katie February 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I totally know what you mean! These places look completely lived in – sure, they are prettier than most normal homes but they don’t look like catalogs!

  • Reply On A Day In November February 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I love this website! Spotted it two days ago on a Scandinavian blog, it’s really inspiring.
    Here in Holland properties are definately not styled/staged like this. The staging for property websites, or model homes or flats is usually quite simple with a lack of accessories and personality. Most of them look like a catalogue for a furniture company.
    This looks so good you just want to live there and have the interior too. I bet it’s really effective when you’re trying to sell your home.

  • Reply roslyn February 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    interesting concept – As a home stager and interior decorator in the dc area, i would love to stage in this way!! but the reality is that too many Americans are ridiculously conservative when it comes to home decor. You can barely get them to put color on the wall. people STILL buy furniture in room sets – as in sofa, love seat and chair – which drives me insane! i bet they don’t even sell furniture that way in europe!!

    I love these rooms and their styling but other than in apartment and condos in certain parts of the city, it just wouldn’t fly here. but nice to look at – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Vanessa Elizabeth @ Ruffled Rose February 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    My home is in a perpetually state of renovation and redecorating, so staging has never really never been in the cards. I love dark hardwood floors, though.

  • Reply Lisbeth February 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I live and work in Sweden, and teach homestagers to be more individual and personal in their approach.

    There is nothing more boring than the established “homestaging style” so frequent here in Sweden. But homestaging takes KNOWLEDGE & TALENT, while many think it is just a matter of showing off nice things, and THAT everyone think they can do (hence the result you see for sale online ;-)

    Just my 2 cents, since you asked. ;-)

  • Reply Tess February 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Looks great! Especially that wooden black floor, I love it! I just started a blog about simple design and crazy little things you can to change your home. Love to see how you are doing this. I get really inspired by the things you show on your blog. It is great to see how things are going on the other side of the world (I am living in the Netherlands). Hope to get inspired more in the future. Good luck!
    Greetz Tess

  • Reply Mariela February 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Wow, amazing, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Christine February 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    These images have a really welcoming feel~elegant yet down to earth. I especially like the view of the hallway :)

  • Reply juliette February 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    oh my word, I WISH there was more home staging going on here in Germany! I’ve *had* it with seeing 300,000+ Euro homes posted for sale that look like somebody’s first apartment. That’s really all I have to say about that without going on a tirade… =P

  • Reply sue@solsticehome February 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Wonderful link, thanks Holly.
    i couldn’t agree more about “typical staging”. I live on Cape Cod and have staged a few homes here. If I never see a starfish pillow and/or anchor rug again..I will be happy girl ;)

    • Reply decor8 February 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      @Sue – ha ha ha that is a riot, I know that cape cod staging all too well, you are a riot and so true!!!

  • Reply Chuzai Living February 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    What a talented team of people Bolaget has! I would love to have a job as a member of home staging team! I haven’t been to many homes staged for sale. Now we live in Jakarta, the chance is much slimmer, but I have been to a model room here which definitely looked like a room from a catalog and not very livable. It was full of decorating ideas though and I enjoyed looking at it. This site is wonderful in a sense that it allows people to see the house without visiting. I love the way they decorate! How creative of them!

  • Reply Jem February 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Home styling in a way that actually looks as though it is lived in! I’m really not keen on the homogenised way so many homes for sale are decorated – the homes could literally belong to anyone but not in a positive way – in that bland, uninspiring way. Thank you for the recommendation Holly – really well executed touches, lots of ideas! :-)

    Jem xXx

  • Reply Beth February 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Very relax and beautiful. I’m not fond of the North American staging look. I really love these images, right along the same lines as what I want in my home. Thanks for sharing this great link!

  • Reply jenn February 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    These homes are beautiful. And, I so agree about staged homes. They feel so forced … and even desperate. Desperate is never appealing.

  • Reply Glenda Childers February 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    When we sold our house two years ago, our realtor was also a home stager. I loved two things about it. They used only my own belongings and they were brilliant at furniture placement. It was a great experience. No shells on top of a stack of books. :)


  • Reply Jamie February 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Wow really great pictures. Gave me a lot of great ideas for redoing my home. I am going for mostly a primitive or country decor approach. I will subscribe to your blog

  • Reply elishes February 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    wow. i see this cappucino-brown/white/light-blue combination on walls a lot these days but the truth is: it really is beautiful!

  • Reply Kathy February 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Great link, thanks!

  • Reply iam_artisan February 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I totally agree that it’s delightful… =)

  • Reply Heather @ REOlisticRenovation February 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    These are beautiful! So inspriring! Usually I am not a fan of staging because it almost makes me like the house less since I get intimidated by the forced nature of it all.

  • Reply Cristina - Positively Beauty February 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this new inspiring link! I love Scandinavian design, and these guys do a fantastic job at styling properties.
    Years ago I worked for a company that did staging. I didn’t like it at all, because I could only choose furniture & accessories from a very limited (and not so nice…) stock. I left after a few months…that wouldn’t have happened if I’d worked for Bolaget!!!

  • Reply Holly February 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I hear that dining room with the black chairs.

    Yes, its alive and well here in good ol’ Worcester. My cousin is an agent and people request it all the time. I think its terrific as it cuts down the clutter and makes the home way more inviting.

  • Reply Nina February 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This is so beautiful- love this styling!
    I sold my apartment in Stockholm a year ago and since i live in Shanghai i asked a company to style it but as you say, it is not the most personal styling they do- i would have chosen this company anytime- next time:)
    Great post!
    xo Nina

  • Reply Ele February 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Wow, so lovely! I agree with you (and pretty much everyone else here, it seems) that this is a world away from typical home staging that I see. In so many cases, it seems that the goal is to strip away all character and charm from a place, leaving it looking about as welcoming as a department store display (and not even a nice one). It strikes me that there must be a certain number of very cool homebuyers in Malmo…

  • Reply Natalie February 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Very inspiaring, I love it!

  • Reply victoria February 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    love this holly. i’m so jealous of your european finds!! i’m moving in with you.

    • Reply decor8 February 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      @Victoria – Don’t be jealous, we can house swap. San Francisco is fantastic, I love it so much we had our honeymoon there. :)

  • Reply Cindy Kunz February 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Oh so beautiful. Most of the staging done around here consists of clearing out the knick-knacks and changing throw pillows. If they bother to stage at all!

  • Reply lisa h. February 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I think the busted drawer handle says it all ;)

    I love the balance of a space looking lived in and “real” but also tidy and well thought out. A few people have commented about this kind of staging not really jiving with American tastes, which are rather conservative (everything has to be part of a matching set, preferably brown/tan/beige). There might be something to that, on the whole.

    In the second photo, I can’t tell if it’s black or very dark brown, but man, that’s a beautiful floor.

  • Reply michaela @ the gardener's eden February 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I love it when the blogs I adore introduce me to new blogs that take my breath away. Thank you so much for the bit of beauty on such a wintry day!

  • Reply meghan s February 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I am an interior designer and home stager, and they are two very different things. In my experience, most people really have quite a bit of clutter in the home, so staging really helps with that. Yes, I agree a bit sterile, but most of the time it is SO much better than what the house looked like to begin with. Studies have shown time and again that “clean and showroomy” sells better the “cluttered and eclectic.” Bolaget crosses that boundry quite well. Seems like that their look would translate well in a town like Cambridge.

  • Reply The Shutter February 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    YES!. I think you can tell when a home in staged and these images didn’t. These look livable, real and lovely!

  • Reply Christina February 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I know I’ve heard Bolaget some where before, but that’s probably because I read a host of European blogs. But I was not aware of this inspiration website and WOW is it ever inspirational! I’ve only spent a few minutes on it but I am just loving it! Thank you!

  • Reply Jes February 1, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I could seriously live in any of these pictures! Tons of great inspiration that is realistic.

  • Reply Cassandra February 1, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    They certainly have a special touch when it comes to staging! We had our mother’s house staged for sale when the estate sold it. Wow. What a difference. I would highly recommend it, especially under those terms. Yes it was a little cookie-cutter, (no shells though!) but compared to the mis-matched, grown over 30 years OLD PERSON’s house, the fresh and modern presentation DID sell the house quickly in a falling market, and for an excellent price.

    I’m a big fan of Home Staging!

  • Reply PJ @Home and Garden Decor February 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I’m living in Texas but I’m always interested in looking over the “big pond” and to see some new decor and interior design styles.
    Thanks for sharing those great images, Holly.

  • Reply Giselle February 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I LOVE the hallway with the dark floor and study nook… however, there seems to be a door behind the desk, which is a little odd. I think the print with the timber frame on the white wall really sets it all off perfectly.

  • Reply BLF February 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Wow, I would not believe that those photos came from a staged home. At first I thought that it would be a direct opposite effect they would want. But after looking at the photos more closely the do use the space very well. They are still following some the staging principles, but in a whole new way! It has changed what I thought about staging homes. I will have to show friends this, they will not believe it either.

  • Reply Tamara, Bella Boho February 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Wow! So not a typical staging, so real and fabulous!

    I once had a client who wanted his home to look like a “model home”, I politely excused myself from that project =)

  • Reply Penny Patten February 2, 2011 at 12:41 am

    These homes look great, what a great way to sell a property. I think staging is a great idea, and would think it would be a lot of fun putting the rooms together. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Eva @ Four Leaf Clover February 2, 2011 at 2:23 am

    I think I need to move to Sweden… !

  • Reply ARTiculateART February 2, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Love how they’ve put fixed the framed pictures of birds in that living room! The wallpapers are lovely too! Great find!

  • Reply Kristin February 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I do home staging in Spain and I think Bolaget’s style is unique and very inspirational. And as Megan S also commented, they did a good job making sure these homes weren’t full of clutter. But for me the key is the eclectic look – a mix & match of beautiful furniture and artwork, including a few surprise elements, so the house has its own personality and doesn’t look like everything’s just been unpacked out of a box.

  • Reply Casa e Cose February 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    This would be a super biz for Barcelona…here the houses you go to look at are at the most decent but usually what you see makes you wonder how eager this person really is to sell…

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