Staging a Waterfront Retro Home for Sale in Fort Lauderdale

44: How can staging a home’s interior help to market, show or sell a vintage Fort Lauderdale home? If they say furnished homes show and sell better and faster than vacant homes, then imagine the impact that can come from a retro vintage home that’s professionally and beautifully staged.

In this episode of The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office’s videos and blogs, we let expert broker and staging professional Robert MacKilligan of Florida Stage Hands and Designs take center stage. Robert discusses how he set out to perfectly and magnificently stage the equally magnificent retro vintage home at 2313 East Las Olas Blvd. in the stately and timeless Las Olas Isles neighborhood.

First, a bit about “staging.” Interior designers can make a beautiful home breathtaking. The same can be said for home decorators who “stage” a listed home for showing. Staging is the process of adding design accessories or features to make a home’s character even more attractive. They highlight certain areas, accessorize to bring out colors, existing lighting, or design features, and generally elevate a home’s attractiveness.

Staging a Remarkably Retro Home

There’s something remarkable about the exterior and interior of this vintage retro home in this neighborhood and this stretch of Fort Lauderdale. This old Florida bungalow home was built in the 1940s, and it stands today as a timeless example of a beautiful and elegant waterfront Fort Lauderdale home. Accentuating its retro home style and home design would only help elevate its appeal and sellability.

With three bedrooms and three-and-one-half bathrooms, it’s a functional home for almost any buyer. As we wrote last time, it’s ideal for young families looking for a place to raise their children, a corporate executive looking for a trophy residence, and seasonal residents looking that perfect winter getaway.

So how would our expert broker and staging professional Robert MacKilligan put his stamp on an already remarkable home? It’s nothing new. Robert has staged homes around South Florida. He’s staged and sold homes in Las Olas Isles, Lake Ridge, Wilton Manors, Coral Ridge, Imperial Point, Coral Ridge Isles, or Oakland Park.

We’ll let Robert share his thoughts. His goal was to give the home “the personality and character it deserves,” he said – even more than it already had. Just a walk from the beach or the Las Olas Boulevard shopping and dining district, and set on a waterway leading directly to the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean, the home was in the ideal location for living the famed and fabled South Florida life.

Home Staging for a Fabulous Future

As an older home, however, it faced one of two common prospects: Tear it down to make room for a mini-mansion, or let it live on as a magnificent piece of Fort Lauderdale history.

It didn’t take much to make the right decision. Selling it as a tear-down would command a lower sale price – and less money to the owner at closing. Listing, marketing, and selling it as a home to live on would maximize its value and sale price.

The home had beautiful bones (for his part, Robert wasn’t concerned with structural components; we had the home inspected to ensure it was structurally sound. Robert was there to make it a sight to behold). Among other design touches, Robert and his team enhanced the working fireplace with a mirror and accent pieces to highlight the fireplace as a central icon in the living area.

In the dining area, it already had natural wood and volume ceilings. This lent a modern feel to a 70-year-old space. To highlight modernity even more, as well as the home’s connection to the water just beyond the patio outback and the Atlantic to the east, Robert brought in ocean photographs and paintings.

He placed early, mid-Century chrome accessories upon a table in the living area. This helped highlight the living room’s prominence from first glance as one entered the front door.

Many of the spaces were bathed in sunlight. After all, Mother Nature often adds the best lighting of all. The volume ceilings in the living space, the home office, and the bedrooms each elevated the impact of the natural light.

Staging More Magnificent Spaces

From the start, the team at the Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office envisioned an alcove off the kitchen as an entertainment or media room. Robert saw that as well. Accompanying that was a bar area; the addition of barstools would invite gathering and mingling off the dining room and open kitchen. A few accessories and seating around the open kitchen’s bistro table would be the perfect place for morning coffee or evening wine with friends.

The home is blessed with two well-apportioned and -appointed bedrooms that each could qualify as master bedrooms. Located just off the kitchen, Robert envisioned one as a guest master bedroom suite or mother-in-law quarters. It featured a sitting area ideal for a desk or workspace, a walk-in closet, and its own bathroom, replete with a full shower and glass block. French doors lead to a private patio area; Robert’s eye saw enhancement with water features, tables and seating, and other treatments to bring out this vintage home’s and space’s old Florida charm.

All that sunlight that enhanced the home’s open, natural feel further blessed the various, individual spaces. Just off the living and family rooms was the second bedroom. In fact, this one was a more stately and grand bedroom suite. If featured even more natural light from windows overlooking East Las Olas Boulevard. Robert accented the view of the pool area with beautiful grays, whites, silvers and beiges to accent the pool area and the aqua color incorporated into the pool lining.

The expertise brought to bear by the expert brokerage skills and staging professionalism of Robert and the Florida Stage Hands and Designs team truly took this retro home to center stage among properties for sale along the Las Olas Isles neighborhood.

Yet “timeless” truly speaks volumes about what Robert’s handiwork accents upon the home’s inherent beauty. One day, this home will sell – and the new owner will appreciate the attractiveness and timeless allure it delivers.

The simple enhancements Robert employed can be applied to any home – whether one being staged for sale, or the home you live in and love today. At the Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office, our mission is to enhance every property we’re engaged to list, market, and sell.

We’ve worked with Robert and the team at Florida Stage Hands and Designs for years. We’ve engaged the leading staging team to stage numerous homes for us since their opening in 2009. Today, Robert also operates a retail store at 1438 N.E. 26th Street in Wilton Manors. He’s built a truly talented design and consulting team.

Highlighting a Vintage, Retro Fort Lauderdale Home

The work he did for The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office was ideal for a home priced just over $1 million. In fact, he’s worked with homes spanning our pricing expertise from the low hundreds of thousands and rises to $2 million. Whether millennials or baby boomers searching for their next single family, duplex, triplex, or condominium residence that will go from listing to prospect to home, we strive to call sellers and buyers alike our partners.

So if you’re looking for or to sell that special vintage residence or retro home in Lake Ridge, Wilton Manors, Coral Ridge, Imperial Point, Coral Ridge Isles, Oakland Park, or Las Olas Isles, give us a call. Whether showing or staging, we can bring your home to life. We work to highlight each retro home’s interior design character to bring strengths to life. Let us do the same for you historic Fort Lauderdale home.

Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is a boutique real estate organization offering sales, leasing, and brokerage services to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. A listings agent matches home sellers with buyers and tenants with landlords. While Broward County is our universe, we focus on Coral Ridge Country Club, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (954) 695-6518 or visit

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