When Gail Lehman and her family moved from New Jersey to Wichita in 2007, she quickly wanted to make the house they purchased feel like a home.
By connecting with Teresa Miller, owner of Impressive Properties Staging and Design, the Lehmans made it happen.
"It was great for me because I was starting a new job and was going to be too busy," Lehman said. "I wanted the house to have a finished look a lot quicker than I could do by myself."
After working for Builders Design Gallery as an interior designer, Miller started Impressive Properties about three years ago. Whether decorating a newly acquired home, redecorating or staging a home for potential buyers, Miller's goal is personal service.
"I want it to be unique to the individual," Miller said. "I don't want people to walk into two different homes and say these were done by the same designer. I want the space to reflect specific personalities."
The Lehmans' home in east Wichita does that.
Miller met with Gail Lehman and her husband, Bob, prior to closing. With most of the home's interior walls painted yellow, Miller provided customized options for every room, including faux painting in the dining room.
Miller also offered furniture suggestions to replace pieces the Lehmans didn't move from New Jersey. She developed themed rooms for the Lehmans' children — Parisian for their daughter, and sports and beach themes for their sons.
"She worked with us for quite a while, maybe a year, just getting finishing touches," Gail Lehman said. "We found some furniture for our living room, and she worked with me on material to recover them. She would also go and buy accessories for the rooms and set them up to see if we liked them."
As an accredited staging professional, Miller also assists sellers preparing to put their houses on the market. She charges $150 for a two-hour consultation, which typically includes suggestions for paint and repairs, as well as organization and storage recommendations.
Miller enjoys the variety that Impressive Properties offers her.
"I love interior design and redoing houses," Miller said. "The word-of-mouth business and referrals, that's very gratifying.
"When I stage the houses, homeowners are elated because they sell. The overall feedback or feelings I've gotten from clients is very positive."