From Warehouse to Home
What would it be like if a recent home buyer could do Supermarket Sweep through the Spade and Archer warehouse? In one word, incredible! Although you won’t be able to unleash a shopping cart the size of a moving truck through Spade and Archer’s warehouse, I can give you some of their tips when it comes to decorating your home.
About Spade and Archer
At the end of 2015, Spade and Archer opened their Seattle warehouse location in Sodo. In the short time there, they have streamlined and perfected the art of warehousing home staging materials.
Justin Riordan, the founder of Spade and Archer, walked me through the meticulously organized warehouse that is piled high with tables, chairs, couches, and mattresses. It’s clear Justin doesn’t just have a passion for home decor, but also for logistics and marketing; Justin is truly a unicorn in the home staging business.
The designers that Justin hires shouldn’t be overlooked either; Spade and Archer designers all have degrees in design and go through months of training. Justin has created a process for warehousing, consulting, designing, and installing home staging that is seamless. Even though every home is different, when his team arrives at a home, everyone knows the drill and his designers spend more time fine tuning the finished product rather than fixing mistakes.
When accessorizing a home, Justin has one rule: no fakes. Spade and Archer designs homes with vintage electronics instead. You will know you are in a Spade and Archer home if you see their trademark radio in the kitchen. Another Spade and Archer hallmark is a typewriter on a desk with a page from the Maltese Falcon fed through the machine. Characters from the Maltese Falcon inspired the namesake of the company.
Spade and Archer consciously avoids cliché staging décor; no rattan balls, glass fire beads, or artwork with empowering slogans. For filler items Spade and Archer uses everyday objects like balls of yarn, pencils, baseballs, or toy figurines.
To simplify a project for his designers, all accessories in the warehouse are stored by color and each accessory has a singular color palette. When designing a space, a designer will choose a color scheme based off of existing features of the room and picks the pillows, vases, books, and artwork in that sole color scheme. The couches, chairs, tables, dishes, and bath towels are all neutrals and serve as a backdrop to the color scheme.
Designing to Sell
Justin knows he has less than 10 minutes of a buyer’s attention and his designer’s work needs to speak for itself. He believes that buyers want to be left alone to walk through a house and the decor should answer the buyers questions on how they should use the space. Helping buyers see how they can live in a home, without distracting them, is Spade and Archer’s goal. Their projects will never have signage instructing buyers not to sit down on a bed because they would never want to take the buyer out of the moment (plus they use real beds).
Spade and Archer designers layout a project based on what the home wants. The designers embrace 1940’s green bathroom tile by adding green accessories. Polished chrome hardware in a kitchen will call for polished chrome accessories. Justin insists owners should listen to what the home is asking for and what potential buyers need from the house, then the home should be prepped to show off those features.
Working with Spade and Archer
For Spade and Archer, excellent customer service, addressing client concerns head on, and discretion are their keys to success. From easy online scheduling to installing timers on their floor lamps, Spade and Archer is on the hunt to help save time and literal energy for their clients. Even though they work in a profession that can be fraught with accidental insults, over the years they have developed a consultation process that helps their clients feel at ease. When Spade and Archer are working on the final transformation of a home they work fast and keep a low profile. The team wears discrete uniforms to minimize being found out by neighbors. Spade and Archer asserts that everyone should have a chance to see a home with fresh eyes. When one of their homes finally hits the market, potential buyers are confidently aided in seeing “the stuff dreams are made of.”