Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


STAGE IT FORWARD... by giving IT back

The importance and willingness to give back is basic to what the group of stagers in Stage it Forward are all about. Its so basic, that in the group's short description here on Active Rain, the words "share" or "sharing" is used in 3 separate places.

For me however, Stage It Forward is more than just helping other stagers grow their businesses... for me, Stage It Forward meant using my time, talent and treasure to benefit my community.  So at Real Estaging, our current Stage It Forward effort centers around the creation of a spectacular community wide fund raising event for Brickton Art Center... a WONDERFUL not-for profit organization (grounded in outreach) in Park Ridge Illinois.

 This year we helped re-invent and invigorate Brickton's Artistic Living event by refining it and adding a Tour of Homes. With a goal to raise $20,000, here is what we have been working on and organizing since last summer...

The Artistic Living Tour of Homes event will revolve around art galleries featured within each room of a newly constructed home (donated for the weekend of May 18th - 20th by Tim Metropolis of TMM Development Corporation and listed with Gretchen Gullo of Coldwell Banker) in Park Ridge.  This beautiful constructed Arts & Crafts style home will be the Gallery House where its interior spaces will be transformed and feature the creative works of both artist and designer. This house will also host the: Gallery 1033 Cocktail Party - a unique themed grand opening cocktail party and event night, and Silent Auction Room - featuring a variety of donated artistic objects, gifts and other items from local businesses.

In addition to the primary Gallery House, this tour will also feature several other beautifully designed homes of Park Ridge. Residents are opening the doors of their houses to be featured as homes on the tour. Craig Interior Design (our sister design studio) is helping to stage & stylize homes with FREE design advice and help prior to the event.

The final fun new twist is that Brickton is commissioning a special gallery exhibit entitled The Doors of Park Ridge. This show will feature and exhibit the artistic interpretations of doors of homes, schools, shops, or churches etc. throughout Park Ridge, as seen through the eyes of and created by local children.

The whole event is designed so that whether donating "BIG" or donating "SMALL" of one's time, talent and treasure, we have created many ways for others to experience the joy of giving and share in this wonderful event. I really hope all my Illinois Active Rain colleagues can stop by and see the power and what is possible when you Stage It Forward.

Comment balloon 10 commentsCraig Schiller • March 11 2007 06:59AM



But OF COURSE you are involved in this wonderful community activity and fundraiser!  You have proven how supportive and generous you are to all of us here on AR and I can only imagine how much you must give to your own community!

I love the concept behind this fundraiser and isn't it also wonderful how many people get to not only be involved, but also the opportunity to showcase the talents of the locals.  Not to mention that the builder's house gets more exposure than a typical Open House!

Don't forget to let us know how it all goes!


Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) over 13 years ago
This is a powerfully inventive way to use staging as a backdrop for community revitalization.  WOW again...I find myself saying that a lot with your work Craig.  This is a great idea, I love the thought of involving kids so creatively though the "doors' project.  Totally Kewl!!! 
Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) over 13 years ago

Giving IT back works! It is a shame that not all people recognize the worth!

I was talking with a redesigner on Friday and she is always amazed at the number of people that are unwilling to share what they know - as if telling someone is going to mean they will get less. Giving is a win-win proposition, not a win-lose.

It is wonderful what you are doing for your community. 

Posted by Teri B. Clark ( over 13 years ago

Hi Craig!  Our IAHSP Chapter gave IT back last fall to the Childrens Bereavement Center.  A dozen excited ASPs painted, cleaned, designed arranged, etc. and major donations from furniture stores, hardware stores, paint companies and individuals made it a great success.  It was a privilege to be able to make this important place become a peaceful haven for all who needed it. 

PS - Did you train with Landmark?  Stage It Forward!  

Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) over 13 years ago
You're an awesome dude and I love your attitude.  I am totally into the pay it forward philosophy, it does come back to you.  People live in FEAR (what I learned meant - False,Evidence,Appearing,Real - in my staging course) of failure, fear of success, fear of competition... you're breaking the mold and I continue to be inspired by your generosity...and the man payed on....
Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago

May God bless it, Craig..... to be able to give to others who cannot pay it back is an awesome concept....

"When you did it to the LEAST of my brothers you did it to ME...." ---- Jesus

Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) over 13 years ago

I've been trying to figure out a way to donate time toward a cause using staging but really couldn't come up with anything.  You're part of something pretty great.  Good on you, it will come back to you 10 fold!

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

Craig, you give in Chicago and at Active Rain. Thank you.

Sue Argue 

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


I so want to be you when I grow up.  (of course I'm probably as old or older than you already, but you know what I mean)  I think what your actions speak as loudly as your words... I'm totally with you on the Stage It Forward dimension....  One of the reasons I started teaching here in Charleston was to help bring this philosophy to the industry one student at a time.  I'm grateful I started teaching or you never would have found my website and without that, I would never have found THIS website!  (I found this site after you blogged me on your Do your homeworks before blog) Thank you so much for the little miracle. 

Melissa Marro, First Impressions Home Staging & Interior ReDesign,

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 13 years ago


It's a funny thing but when we give it forward it seems to come back at us through the back door! ;)  Stand by you've got a big one comming. :)

Posted by Roberta Lee, Norco Corona Riversid Homes For Sale (Century 21 Olde Tyme) over 13 years ago