A group of home stagers redesigned bedrooms for boys at the Tennessee Children’s Homes in Brentwood. // Photo courtesy of the Music City chapter of the Real Estate Stagers Association. 

By MATT BLOIS

A group of real estate home stagers is making over several bedrooms at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes in Brentwood.

Normally, the members of local chapter of the Real Estate Home Stagers Association tastefully decorate houses for sale. This week, they’re using those skills to redesign eight bedrooms for boys at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.

They repainted many of the rooms, replaced bedding and hung art on the walls.  Rees Greenman, the Program Director at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes, said the finished product looks like something from a magazine.

One of the finished bedrooms. / Photo courtesy of the Music City Chapter of the Real Estate Stagers Association

“They come in here and take it from a good room to a really amazing room,” he said. “The eye that these (small business owners) have is really amazing.”

This is the second year that the home stagers association has redesigned rooms for the Children’s homes. Greenman said the project made a huge impact last year.

“One of our teenage girls was just in awe,” he said. “We had two little girls that were sisters sharing a room. Their mouths were open and they were literally speechless.”

Kristie Barnett, owner of The Decorologist and state president of the Real Estate Staging Association, said the home stagers association raised about $10,000 to pay for the redesign. Each of the 17 designers also contributed 30 to 40 hours of labor.

Designers visited the rooms ahead of time to start planning. Some had a chance to talk to the parents living at the house about the children, which made it easier to personalize the rooms.

One of the rooms still in progress at the children’s home. / Photo Matt Blois

One boy was a fan of University of Texas athletics. The designers added some University of Texas themed details to the room, even though his house parent is a University of Alabama fan.

The designers purchased decorations, furniture and art, and then spent a week redesigning the rooms.

The children’s home is organized into cottages with four bedrooms each. Each cottage has house parents to care for the kids living there.

Residents at the home are between five and 18 years old. The children usually spend about 12 to 18 months at the home.

The kids stay in one house for several weeks, and then move to a separate house for a week to give the house parents some rest. The designers are working on the bedrooms while the kids are at a separate house. They’ll come back to a entirely new bedroom.

Barnett said she chose a therapeutic paint color scheme to create a sense of peace in the rooms. All of the rooms share the color scheme so that the boys will have some sense of continuity when they move to different rooms.

Last year, the home stagers redesigned eight bedrooms for girls. This year, they are redesigning eight bedrooms for boys. If they come back next year they will have redesigned all of the bedrooms at the children’s home.

Greenman said one of the best parts about the project is that the kids get something that is high quality. It isn’t second hand. The designers make the bedrooms as beautiful as they possibly can.

“Most of the time they don’t get something new, something fresh, something update,” designer Angela Myers said. “This isn’t something left over.”

Often, the children’s home receives donations of used items. These rooms are the best that  the home stagers can offer.

In one room, a woman was steam cleaning the curtains she had just hung. In another room, designers had added wood trim to a closet door. In her room, Barnett replaced the knobs on the dresser in the room and painted blue and grey mountains on the walls.

“I love what we’re doing because it is a high tier, loving them the best we can,” designer Carol Raetz said. “We’re not giving them seconds or thirds or hand-me-downs. It’s the first.”

The reveal of the rooms will happen on Friday.