Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


STAGERS, I'm NOW a BASTRD ARSE... and You Can be One Too!

 Home stagers... I didn't want to make a big stink about this, but I am thrilled to announce another staging training & certification course is now available to you.

While I know you all are well trained staging professionals and have already worked hard at learning the foundational basics in the business and art of home staging, I also know many of you still feel grossly inadequate and under-trained.

I've read your posts that tell the tales of how your competition rubs your nose in the fact that they believe they are better educated then you... ESPECIALLY when it comes to the skillful use and application of Raffia.

Well, your worries are over...

I am happy to announce I have been sought out by the British Academy of Staging Training & Raffia Design (B.A.S.T.R.D.) to be trained, certified and then bring back to you their famed ARSE approach to home staging.

Last weekend, I am happy to say, the B.A.S.T.R.D.s flew me over to jolly old England for an intensive training program to learn MILLIONS of ways professional home stagers can use Raffia to beautifully and cheaply transform their client's properties. There was so much to learn in this grueling 3 day wonder workshop. Who would have thought you could create so much out of a shriveled smelly dead weed?

But even though I am sooooo pooped out, I was just too excited and wanted to share with you that I am now a Master BASTRD ARSE (MBA). That's right, I'm a real live educated ARSE. I can no longer say I stage naked. AND, more importantly, I am trained and authorized to teach you the B.A.S.T.R.D. method so that you too can create beautiful Raffia staging transformations. Just LOOK at all the stunning yet clever ways Raffia was used in the room pictured to the left.

You see, NOTHING SELLS a home faster than a home staged with RAFFIA! And while I know many of you might think you know why it works so well, because of how cute and utterly adorable it looks, but it is not the way it LOOKS that helps a house sell. Actually it is the way it SMELLS that SELLS!  But I have to admit I think it looks NEAT-O too. Oh, there is so much to teach you, like the ARSE tag line,"Don't be a stinker... swell smells sell!"

Our industry will soon be revolutionized as more and more stagers use this misunderstood and underutilized tool of home staging. Come learn the secrets! I am now taking reservations for next month's inaugural class. Space is limited... so sign up now. And know, I look forward to teaching you how to be a total ARSE just like me.

Pip Pip & Smile It Forward...



Post Script: Before the long holiday weekend I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit funny. (Or what I THINK is funny.) I believe it is important that we can laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too serious. Plus it has been a heck of a long time since I did anything goofy in the rain. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it... Happy 4th.


Comment balloon 58 commentsCraig Schiller • June 27 2007 06:45AM


Hip Hip Hooray, congratulations on a well deserved recognition. Hopefully you were able to take in some sites while you were there.
Posted by Jay McGillicuddy, Real Estate Broker (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 13 years ago

OMG!  I'm so excited!  I'm the first in line and I'm anxiously awaiting the knowledge that will put me ahead of my competition.   BTW, does this course teach you various ways to use green spray paint other than on grass?

Thanks so much Craig, I can't wait to be an ARSE! 

Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Keller Williams Select Realty) over 13 years ago

Holy Crap Craig- sign me up!!!  If I get BASTRD certified, do I get add BASTRD behind my name?  There is a concern though, if trained in the BASTRD way and join the BASTRD association, can I still visit Germany's military bases, or has Germany deemed BASTRD a cult too - like scientology?(www.

Julea Joseph - Reinventing Space

Posted by Julea Joseph, Julea Joseph House Stager - Reinventing Space (Reinventing Space) over 13 years ago

You rock Craig - will you teach us how to paint the stuff green first before we use it!

Will there be singing classes too!

Loved the bedskirt - did YOU stage this one yourself?!?!?!?!?!?


Posted by Becca Briggs over 13 years ago
Ha Ha ~ Nice one! Sign me up for this training, I'm sure the investment is worth it!!  :-)
Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 13 years ago
Craig you BASTRD!! You just made a complete and total ARSE of yourself. And I LOVE it:)
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago

Craig -

I'm on the next plane! 

I wanted to be the first to take this course, but you are always one step ahead of me.  One question I was not able to get answered - is there a master designation?  I could whip up one smokin' ode to raffia if it will make me a MASTER BASTRD ARSE!

Posted by Kimberly Wester over 13 years ago

KIMBELRY the MBA for which you speak is only availble over in BRITIAN.

YES I am an MBA! AND the only MBA in the USA. Which makes me the biggest ARSE in America.



Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Good stuff, man that was funny.

Where did you get the bed cover? It's very unique

Posted by Frank Harris (Keller Williams Realty Centre) over 13 years ago

Craig: Chicago is fortunate to have a certified BSTRD and raffia designer in its midst. We have had a couple in San Diego, but I think they ended up smoking the stuff. 

Just love your bedroom design. Did you add some beads over the doorway? 

Posted by Roberta Murphy, Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes (San Diego Previews Real Estate) over 13 years ago
This is NOT right!  I have been working with raffia for over 10 years now.  Your training is worthless as I am the only one able to teach proper raffia techniques.  Where is my lawyer?  You'll be hearing from me....  
Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 13 years ago

All I can say is WOW. I can I top the decor and design of THAT room??

All I have to say is that you have just become some of my friends FAVOURITE stager.

peace out....


Posted by Julia Fedak (Royal LePage State Realty) over 13 years ago
Thank you for coming forward with a training solution for each and every potential BASTRD out there!
Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) over 13 years ago
Craig you're such an ARSE....LMAO thats funny..
Posted by Bob Carney, Licensed MD/PA Real Estate Agent (Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales) over 13 years ago

Craig, Where do I send the check?  How long does it take to become certified and will there be marketing materials included in the cost?


Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago

In Britain we take our raffia very seriously. I believe the Queen is very fond of it and the towels in the palace bathrooms are all tied with raffia. Although there was a very disturbing story, as yet unconfirmed, that one of the royal corgis almost choked on some raffia and we nearly lost him. Rumor has it that Her Majesty may be re-thinking the use of her favorite decorating item and will be opting instead for some greenery from the palace grounds. Other huge raffia users are said to include include legendary singing superstar Sir Elton John and British soccer sensation and soon to be California resident David Beckham. David's lovely wife and former spice girl Victoria is apparently looking forward to her first trip to Michaels and was quoted in last Sunday's tabloids as saying "Ooh David - they have raffia in different colors in America - I can hardly wait!".


Posted by Stephanie Heron, Weeber - Dressing Rooms (Dressing Rooms LLC) over 13 years ago
Craig, It seems my brother will have to get in line behind Melissa Marro when it comes to suing you. He has informed me that he did NOT give you permission to use a photo of his bedroom in your advertising or on your blogs. He has asked that you cease and desist. I tried to let him know you are a Master BASTRD ARSE, but he says it makes no difference. Have a wonderful celebration of the birth of our nation!
Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 13 years ago

Finally, a stager who gets it!  Raffia has been so undervalued for so long.  Please let me know when you get someone trained in the fine art of raffia staging in my area.  We have a few thousand sellers who are in desperate need of their expertise.

Thank you, Craig, for your dedication and sacrifice to the field of home staging.  You're the KING M.B.A. of all stagers!!!!!!

Posted by Michelle Ewing, Riverside, CA (Trademark Realtors) over 13 years ago
Hmmm.... I'm skeptical, I think I will just wait for the book.
Posted by Julianna Hind, REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA (eXp Realty) over 13 years ago
Craig. . .is there a B.A.S.T.R.D. theme song?  Oh how I love anthems and songs!! Can it be sung by those of us not yet A.R.S.E. certified?   I can hear it now. . . the melodious voices of stagers across the world singing the praises of raffia! 
Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) over 13 years ago
Craig you have been holding out on us way too long! I am giving up my naked status and becoming an ARSE too! I cannot wait to get rid of my logo and add a huge glorious ARSE to the back of my staging mobile. Please rush the release of the  BASTRD DVD so I can share it with all my clients- they too will see the glory of raffia and allow be to BASTARDIZE their home.
Posted by Kate Hart (Hart & Associates Staging and Design) over 13 years ago

Oh my god!

I reDesign my business to stage naked and now you tell me I can make an ARSE of myself?!

My dilemma now is, do I go straight to the source to become a Master BASTRD ARSE (MBA), or do I save some cash and have you teach me how to be a BASTRD ARSE?!

OH!!! I will do the MBA, then I can return to Canada as the only Master BASTRD ARSE and make oodles of money training others in the art of being a BASTRD ARSE  and all things raffia!

Stage It Forward...With Raffia!


Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) over 13 years ago

I once did dining room table and 4 chairs out of raffia.  You would not believe the paper cuts you can get from weaving tables out of that stuff.  I used the T.U.R.D. method.  I'm sure you are familiar with it now that you are a certified B.A.S.T.A.R.D but I'll explain for some of ours less fortunate friends.  

Drink lots of alcohol and then squint - no one can tell it is not real furniture. 


Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago

I was just looking for the pics of the dining room but all I could come up with was the centerpiece:

Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago

Here are the window treatments:

OK someone should stop me.  

Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago

Here's a pic of me the closing.  The home sold in just 7 hours!!!

OK I swear that is the last one.  

Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago


I think you have been SMOKING to much Raffia!

Ummmm... but is that a one-legged hula dancer?


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
You guys are LOCO! In a good way of course.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago
It's a dust ruffle, it's a valance,it's-Cousin IT!  Quick call 911-a bed has just fallen on Cousin IT!
Posted by Pam Faulkner, Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA (Faulkner House Interior Redesign) over 13 years ago

Maureen, The T.U.R.D. method works. I just tried it. Thanks for the information. Also I need to know -- is there a separate class for the cocoNUT shell hoo hoo covers? If so, do I have to pay extra? Thanks in advance.

hoo hoo (n) objects which need to remain covered. As in: Always cover all your hoo hoos

Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 13 years ago

Craig, I have flown to Chicago to help you. While your symptoms of red facial discoloration and loss of mental acuity are difficult to diagnose, I'd venture to say you've lost your marbles. I'll see you tomorrow night. By the way, when you get to the Marriot, I'll be on the curb wearing a raffia skirt with matching hat and purse. Hang on, BASTRD help has arrived.

Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) over 13 years ago

Sue - Just make sure your hoo hoos are covered.

Yvonne - you are a riot!!!

Craig - Didn't even notice the one leg thing.  Sorry to hijack your blog! 

Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago

MAUREEN... you did NOT hijack it.

You added depth and dimension.

NOT a problem here at all.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

You guys have lost it..I think after you have painted it green, wrapped it around the bed, around the belly and the must all be smoking that Raffia!   And Maureen you should really think about pateneing that center is truly priceless!  I guess that's why you all want to make ARSE's out of yourselves!  Happy 4th!

Posted by Vicki Watzlawick, Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team (CORE Realty (The Watz Team) ) over 13 years ago

Maureen my friend, tis thou who makest thyself into the element of riotousness. As a matter of fact I laughed until I was in danger of ROFL. That would not have been a pretty picture.

Sue, We must have pictures of Craig. No sticking his head in a chimney, you hear?

Craig, Sorry but you made this too fun for a few of us raffia smokers to ignore. Raffia the only staging standard to assure your acceptance into the newly founded Staging Hall of Fame. So if you want to be an ARSE get raffia staging and send in those entries.

Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) over 13 years ago
I think my new line is going to be: They must have been smoking raffia when they came up with that one.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago
Craig, I just love what you did with the bedroom.  I've used it for a wallpaper pick me up. It's time consuming to glue each strand, but well worth the effort.  Maureen, your pictures are too funny.  Betty
Posted by Betty Haney (Haney Consulting) over 13 years ago

Hee hee! 

Here are some other raffia lovers I found:


Real BASTRDS protect their Bale of Raffia from non ARSES

This ARSE stager dons the ceremonial RAFFIA MASK during the MBA designation presentation.  

My new dining room table!

Raffia it forward...

Posted by Kate Hart (Hart & Associates Staging and Design) over 13 years ago

Kate I am going to have to DISQUALIFY the first picture. Now that I am a trained professional ARSE, I can spot faux raffia in a moment.

You NEED this class.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Okay.  I truly needed a laugh as it's been a very busy week and this just hit the spot.

These pictures are bloody funny.

Kathy (smile)


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 13 years ago

Maureen and Kate -- you really should patent those raffia table designs.  Just imagine the multi-functionality -- after dining at the raffia table, your guests can use it to floss their teeth!

Craig and the Active Rain community, thank you so much for the laugh-out-loud blog and comments.  You've more than made my day!


Posted by Leslie Olson, Interior Design and Redesign - Moved to Austin! (Leslie Olson Interiors) over 13 years ago
Craig this blog and all the comments are tooooo funny!  I will keeping checking this one to see where it goes. sue
Posted by Anonymous over 13 years ago
Yikes Craig you are right! That is fake Raffia (or is it a bale of fake hay?) . I really do need the class. I am going to postpone all my stagings until I learn the art of raffia from a Master BASTRD like you! kh
Posted by Kate Hart (Hart & Associates Staging and Design) over 13 years ago


Congrats on the designation!  This post and the comments are a barrel of laughs!  Thanks for the post!

Posted by Ronda Myers-Waters (Willems Realtors, Principal Broker) over 13 years ago
I love a good LOL early in the morning on a weekday.  Plus the comments and the photos are golden.  Thanks everybody for a good start of the day!  I think that this deserves a cookie and a gold star, everybody should experience the smiles that happen with this post and all that follows!
Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 13 years ago

I think Paris Hilton stole my raffia inventory for her hair extensions!!  Back to jail she goes!

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face Craig!!!

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) over 13 years ago
UMM Puff Puff Pass
Posted by Shell Brodnax, CEO- RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) over 13 years ago

It just dawned on me that I too have used Raffia in home staging!  Look at the roof....

Posted by Vicki Watzlawick, Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team (CORE Realty (The Watz Team) ) over 13 years ago

As the big B.A.S.T.R.D. that you are, I am so disappointed that you did not share tips on Rafia de Plastico!  I would think that with all of the bathroom applications I have seen in the past the water resilient features of this amazing product would make it a real hit! 

Check out the color's a must!

Posted by Jo Potvin, Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market (Design To Market LLC) over 13 years ago

Blimey Craig, but you crack me up! 

Only YOU could receive such a noble distinction...I mean, who else could have such an honor bestowed upon them?  And here I was so excited about my training and designation as a B.T.C.H. (Beautification Trainer Coaching Homeowners) least you have a 'schtick' with the raffia and all that you can do with it...I just use MLS listing photos to show the 'possibilities'!


Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 13 years ago

OMG Craig you are too much, this cracked me up!! Is this course followed by the cutting down the tree limb course to make curtain rods??

Is there a website I can take my online course, since flying freaks me out these days?

Phyllis Pafumi 


Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 13 years ago
Craig,  This is really funny.  You need to become a writer for Saturday Night Live.  This is right up there with the Bass-omatic.  Thanks for the laugh.
Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) over 13 years ago
Too funny.  I promised to look up some of your recent postings, and here I am.  'Really enjoyed this one.
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 13 years ago

This blog is still cracking me up a week later.  Or maybe it is all the raffia I've been smoking. Either way, it's all good.


Pass the Raffia to the Left Hand Side.  <bom bom bom>   Pass the Raffie to the left hand side.  

Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago
Maureen, what do YOU know about passing the rafia on the left hand side!
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago

Hi Craig! - Here i come back after being away awhile..... and find all these folks lining up to become an ARSE after SEEING yours......  mannnnnnn things sure have changed around here!   

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) over 13 years ago


A Realtor Brokers Open I went to .. the Realtor actually hung these on the wall to help warm up the room.  She allowed me to take pictures and share her work.  A simple cute idea.

Posted by Vicki Watzlawick, Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team (CORE Realty (The Watz Team) ) over 13 years ago
So there's a Fung Shui element working here-or is this some sort of talisman?  Kind of creepy if you ask me.  Shades of the Blair Witch Movie-now That would be an interesting house to stage...
Posted by Pam Faulkner, IRIS, Oak Hill VA over 13 years ago