Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


First Impression-ist Masterpieces Now Hang in the Active Rain Gallery

Last week something new began to be seen in the great hallowed halls of Active Rain. Beautiful blog masterpieces started to appear. Active Rain gave to us all another great new improvement to help us all better differentiate and further brand ourselves through our blogs. We now all have the access to a FREE tool, the ActiveRain Customizer, that allows us to easily create a visual masterpiece of our own blogs. 

I have scoured Active Rain's walls to find 15 fine examples of blogs that have a new and improved branded" look. I encourage you to click and open the examples below, to see in detail what others have already done. You will notice that some blogs have a look that is simpler, for they have been designed by "beginners," while others look more complex, because they have been created by seasoned designers. DON'T BE INTIMIDATED!!! It is quick, easy and fun to create a great first impression blog.     If you need some basic instruction to get you started?  Here are links to four blogs that will guide you along...

Again, this is just a small sample of all the creativty taking place, if you have created your own masterpiece... please post a link to it in a comment below. I am sure others will love to see all the fresh new looks being shown in the Rain.

Finally, I have to say that these visual changes all call to mind the stager's mantra... "First impressions matter!" Funny thing is that what my fellow stagers and I have been saying now doesn't only apply to how a property looks when it is selling in the marketplace. First impressions now also matter when you are presenting/selling yourself in your blog

So go and tap into your inner Monet... and enjoy yourself as you create a Impressionistic Blog Masterpiece.



Comment balloon 58 commentsCraig Schiller • April 14 2008 11:05AM


So Craig...are you starting your own Blog art gallery now? How much for the pretty blue one? :)
Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) over 12 years ago
+Nice post I followed the instructions but my logo is not appearing in the header. Not sure what I am doing wrong
Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( over 12 years ago
Well Craig, I decided last week to give that a try...let me know what you think?  Myrtle Beach Blog
Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 12 years ago
Craig - I have been having so much fun looking at all these. It is amazing that they are all so different and unique.  It is so hard to choose the nicest ones!!!  Thanks for including me in your hall of fame.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 12 years ago

Hi Craig, thanks for the great works of art. This has inspired us to do ours. 

Patty & Scott Carroll - RE/MAX Equity Group Vancouver WA

Posted by Patty Carroll over 12 years ago
HI there and thanks for the links. I am going to work on it today, and send a link back . . .
Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 12 years ago
Craig-Thanks for the mention and I love the new customization!  Your blog looks red hot and the pic is awesome!  I really appreciate the mention and feel very flattered! :)  Now the only problem is...I am such a woman and you know how we change our many choices...and so little time but I love the fact we can now do this.
Posted by Midori Miller, Online Marketing For Real Estate Professionals (Talk 2 Midori, LLC) over 12 years ago

Thanks!  I just chose to customize ours a little!  I love it!

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Maximum One Executive REALTORS®) over 12 years ago

I got going with it last week and think it is great.  I haven't had time to go back and tweak, but here is what it looks like for today.

Posted by Lesley Lambert, Real Estate Agent - Realtor - Westfield, MA - 413- (Park Square Realty serving Western MA) over 12 years ago


Whoa. I am a little surprised that my "Crap-A-Rama" Blog made it to this list. I mean please...It's Crap :)

Anyway...You put a lot of work into all of this and I'm honored to see myself framed in gold. Makes me feel somewhat special :)

Now...I can't take credit for the designing of my Blog only the idea. I had help from someone who knows me very well. All I really did was tell a "Big Dog" I wanted it to read "The Lovely Wife's Crap-A-Rama Blog". From there he just read my mind :) 

I am loving the new look and feel of Active Rain. One of the Lovelies named her Blog Real Estate Chatter. I found that to be especially creative on her part. She does chatter, so the branding works well for her.

Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Now I can romp around and check out all the creative minds around here :)

I'm going to keep the box checked so I will be able to keep up. Monday's are kind of a busy day for me. Be back soon :)

TLW...ROAR! (aka Misty...Just for you)

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago

Craig - Your background image inspired me to do the same in my color scheme.

Yes, I copied you but I did give you credit. (it's hidden) 

Active Mike

Posted by Mike Mueller (Tech and Social Media Consultant) over 12 years ago

Thank again Craig, this is just what I need.  Will have to get back to "fixing" mine and adding to after todays job.  I really appreciate all of the time that you take to make this happen for all of us! 


Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) over 12 years ago
Thanks for keeping us updated.
Posted by Joe Smith, Insuring what matters to you! (Property and Casualty for Professionals, INC) over 12 years ago
I was wondering what was going on!!  Thanks!
Posted by Lynn Franklin (Coldwell Banker Ponderosa) over 12 years ago

Mike my background is NOT my idea.

I "borrowed" it too. But I like how it frames the page.

Yours looks great too.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 12 years ago

Oh no!

Who should I be giving credit to then?

(did you find the hidden credit?)

I guess I'll just have to leave it like it is.  You should see the royalty checks start coming in any time now. LOL

Active Mike

Posted by Mike Mueller (Tech and Social Media Consultant) over 12 years ago
Craig, I ve been playing around with mine -as far as trying to match the colors of my logo!
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 12 years ago
Craig~ Thanks so much for the mention, I'm flattered as well. But like Midori, I will seeking even "purttier" tweaks to it! Yours is the best!
Posted by Laura Monroe, Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media (Inman News ) over 12 years ago
Craig. Thanks for all of the good information. Keith..
Posted by Keith Goodman (Keith Goodman ) over 12 years ago
Thank you for the mention, Craig - for both my post and my custom blog design.  As you can see, I like the simple look for my own, but I'm intrigued by all the fancy designs.  It's so much fun to watch the unfolding of this on ActiveRain.  Thanks for subscribing to my blog - I'm a big fan of yours, and I always refer my clients to your 16 pages of before and after photos. 
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 12 years ago
By the way, when you first look at some of these, the blog content sometimes runs out of the frame over onto the left background.  All you have to do is click on refresh one time, and it appears the way it's supposed to forever after that.  I read that on someone else's post, and it has worked for me when I've run across that problem.
Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 12 years ago

Craig: With Margaret as my inspiration, and with a knee injury keeping me away from a day on the lake, I am the proud new owner of a snazzy blog. A Sunday project that was well worth it. Colors are Califronia inspired.

Check it out here

Posted by Janet Guilbault, San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender (Platinum Home Mortgage Company) over 12 years ago

Aloha Craig,

I enjoyed your blog especially the first-impressionist bit and the frames frame it all in rather nicely. Since you have invited us to share our work here's my link. Mahalo,



Posted by Kimo Stowell, REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i (HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 ) over 12 years ago
Craig... nice to be included in your gallery! Thanks. Now, if the blog window didn't changes sizes from main to post view, designs like yours would maintain their great look!
Posted by Jeff Turner (RealSatisfied) over 12 years ago
You missed me! :) But that's have plenty of fine examples.
Posted by Nicole Nicolay (MyTechOpinion) over 12 years ago
Craig - Thanks for hanging my "Gone Coastal" blog in your gallery! Many thanks also to Brad for a little inside technical help. Special kudos go to NikNik for being one of the early rebels adopters. :>)
Posted by Bobby Carroll, Clayton NC New Home Happiness Coordinator (Jaclyn Smith Properties) over 12 years ago

Hey Craig,

Thanks Craig Thanks for featuring my cup of coffee in your gallery. Lets get it on canvas and make millions. 

Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 12 years ago

Hiya Craig,

Maureen's blog was the first one I saw with some new bling last week. I followed suit and staged mine with her help. I am enjoying checking out all the new "masterpieces"! Have a peek at mine here.

Posted by Jackson West (Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver) over 12 years ago
I've been having a ball with the customizer... I think I am going to sit down and set up a half dozen header images and then I'll be able to flip them in and out at will...
Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 12 years ago

Thanks to Maureen Henry - my header is no longer a picture of a ceiling. 

I really like the shadow in the background image.  How did you (and Mike) do that?


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 12 years ago
Love this! The minute I saw Jackson's blog this weekend I emailed him and asked how to do it and now I am up and running with it.  Love the creative people of the Rain. Kym
Posted by Kym Hough, Staged to Sell East Bay - Danville, CA (www.Staged-to-Sell ) over 12 years ago
This gallery will keep on growing and growing for sure. Always something new and creative.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 12 years ago

Thank you for the tutoring Craig! I love it. If I can figure it out everyone else will too! I have a lot of cleaning up to do with my profile but this is helping to make it fun! Later in the rain~Deb


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 12 years ago
Some of the new blogs that are customized are very nice.  Congratulations to all that have done it.
Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ (Real Estate One) over 12 years ago
Jackson and Kathy and the rest of you - you know who you are.  I have not received the checks.  Please send cash ASAP.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 12 years ago
Very cool. Geeze, if only I could have my blog framed in a gold frame like everyone else :(
Posted by Susan Milner, Cape Coral Real Estate Broker, FloridaFutureAgents (Florida Future Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Craig~ Nice touch. It is nice to have all this information attached to one site to begin to work through the process.
Posted by Doug Fritchie (DOUG FRITCHIE-Silver Legacy Properties,Inc.) over 12 years ago
So that's why I saw your pretty face over at my blogsite. Well, it's not what I would like to have it look like but it's better than nothing...glad to see your face in the rain again.
Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) over 12 years ago

Thanks for the great info.  I will be looking into these, this is all new to me, but very interesting.



White Plains, NY

Posted by Kevin O'Shea, White Plains, NY Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago
I loved all the examples.  I can't believe how maniy people have jumped on the band wagon already.  I'll have to follow soon.  It looks so much better.  The only downside is some take a long time to load.
Posted by Pam Dent, REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse (Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.) over 12 years ago
I am honored to have made the masterpiece list!  For those afraid to jump in and try, the instructions are very easy to follow!!  And  I just kept trying until I got it right.
Posted by Linda Davis (RE/MAX Home Team) over 12 years ago
Good Morning Craig and thanks for the instructions.  I fixed Linda up with a purdy puddle last night and I have to say I am pretty puddly pleased with the outcome.  Can't wait to purdy my puddle.  Thanks a ton for pointing me to the "how to's".
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 12 years ago

Hey Craig,

Love your post.

Where do you get your great graphics/clip art?

Patty & Scott Carroll - RE/MAX Equity Group Vancouver WA


Posted by Patty Carroll over 12 years ago

Hi Patty & Scott.

Glad it helped. As for my art... I eather make it myself. Which I seem to be doing more and more these days. OR I scour the web looking for it. You just need to be careful about copy rights. But if you look hard enough you can find stuff.

But mostly now I make my own things.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 12 years ago

Craig, after seeing all the great things everyone has been doing with their AR site, I finally went in and tried my wee hand at it.

Tell me what you think... Sacramento with Gena Riede   any suggestions, Mr. Frame Man?

There are some great looking sites out there, yours being one.

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) over 12 years ago
OK pal, I got both Linda's and mine done, Tah na look and let me know if I've done you proud?
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) over 12 years ago

Craig, all your themes seems to be good. Let me give it a try.

Best - Sash

PS: FREE blog traffic strategy here

Posted by Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate (RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.) over 12 years ago
Craig and all of the featured bloggers here....they all look GREAT!  Now if I only had time to figure out how to do it to mine!
Posted by Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate, SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL (RE/MAX Suburban) over 12 years ago

Okay, I love, love, love these works of art! How cool to see so many that I've not yet visited. A great addition to our Active Rain wall! ;-) Mine is located here: The Lady In Red - Teri Ellis




Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) over 12 years ago

Wow! there are some really great looking blogs out there in the Rain. Now I'm embarrassed...I need to hunker down and get past having to log back in constantly.

Thanks for the frustration motivation!

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) over 12 years ago
Thanks for the links, it was really quick and easy.  I've only added basic colors and it's already a big difference!  Your so right, especially as Stagers, presentation is key. 
Posted by Gina Dougherty, Home Staging Redondo Beach, CA- (Fusion Design Consulting) over 12 years ago
It is so much fun to check out all these other blogs!  Here is mine:   Sharon Tara's Blog
Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 12 years ago

Nice one Craig,

Providing this post has given us all the opportunity to customise our blogs and present ourselves to the market in a completely new light. Having the links to the 'instruction manuals' also makes life that little easier for the more technically changed! I think that the AR Gods should be thanked for making the technology available to us.

I have completed my page and it can be found right here



Posted by Adam Luttrell, Shift Property Styling - Hobart, Tasmania (Shift Property Styling) over 12 years ago
Love the branding idea and puts a little spice in the blogs, it's fun to see how people perceive themselves and we are all selling something after all...Thanks for the illustrated posts.
Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - over 12 years ago


 Now if AR would help us with our profile and home pages.  I've always admired your fantastic home page.  So far all I've accomplished is pasting before and after photos without any cool shading/shadowing, boarders, fonts or graphics.  Being a one-woman show, I find it difficult to find time to learn new things like how to use HTML code etc. 

Thank god for pre-made templates!


Posted by Refreshed and Refined Property Presentation Specialists over 12 years ago

Why is it that all of the stagers seem to have the most creative blogs?  Nice post and love your header!

Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) over 12 years ago

I've been playing a bit too

It's fun to try the different widgets.  The music came off after one day because I found it annoying . I'm a late night surfer and forget to turn off my speakers and nearly jumped out of my chair.

 Playing around with my signature too and have been able to post in color.

Posted by Virginia Tatseos (Stage-Show-Sell) over 12 years ago

Thanks Craig,

Great info.


Posted by Debbie Hutchins almost 12 years ago