See before and after the home staging of a $2.6 million Wellesley mansion

Buying Home Improvement Wellesley
Adrian Diorio stages a home in Wellesley.
Adrian Diorio stages a home in Wellesley. Ryan Breslin /

“I can’t wait to see the sofas in here,” Adrian Diorio said, standing in a beautiful but empty $2.6 million home in Wellesley. “Oh! There are the chairs!”

As movers brought each piece into the newly renovated house, Diorio, the owner of home-staging company Art of Staging, smiled as wide as if he were seeing a long lost relative.

Diorio started his staging company just over a year ago, and now works with luxury real estate brokers to prep homes for sale.

By outfitting houses with stylish furniture and decorations, home stagers aim to make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the home. Diorio shared his philosophy and some tips with while he worked on the Wellesley home.

Getting started

“Just place it right there,” Diorio told movers from Churchill Rental as they delivered the furniture that would go in the four rooms he was going to stage for an open house: the sitting room, living room, dining room, and master bedroom. It didn’t really matter where the movers put the couches, tables, mirrors, or lamps – Diorio had a plan of his own.

He started with the living room, where he put up a painting, and arranged two couches, a coffee table, and a few side tables. It sounds simple, but the transformation was dramatic – and not by accident.

Throughout his staging, Diorio would take his hands off the furniture and step back to look at it all, sometimes moving a couch oh so slightly to make sure it was perfect.

He said he chose the blue vase for the coffee table because of the subtle blue notes in the painting.

“A lot of people want neutral [décor], but neutral is boring,” Diorio said. “People want to see what’s in.”

The house

Diorio described his style as “updated traditional with a splash of modern,” which made for a perfect fit when Coldwell Banker listing broker Marcey Hunter contacted him to stage a newly renovated home in Wellesley.

16 Pine Street was a four-bedroom, one-bathroom, 2,100-square-foot home built in 1926. It was used as a rental property for decades before Patrick Brown of Residential Redevelopment of Wellesley came in to renovate, turning it into a single-family home now listed for $2,595,000.

A major addition means the home now has six bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, a finished basement, and 5,798 square feet of living space. The kitchen has been completely redone with top of the line appliances, a massive island, two dishwashers, and a breakfast room. There is also dark brown hardwood flooring throughout.

The home is now almost complete, but it was empty – that’s where Diorio came in.

Story continues after gallery.

See pictures of 16 Pine Street’s staging:

First, Diorio does measurements and gets a feel for the home’s style, and then he will go to pick out the furniture – but not just any furniture. He only wants pieces that you could actually see going in the home.

“You want the [furniture] to match the home,” he said. He rents the furniture, but the decorative accessories are his own, often reused from house to house.

After the living room, the next space he tackled was the dining room, which he was really excited about.

Diorio rented a very traditional wooden table and put a modern piece of art on the wall. He meticulously folded individual napkins for each place setting. Each time he put a plate down on the table he would stop to look at it, adjust it with miniscule detail, and then move on to the next. The chairs were clear and not something you would expect to see in a 1920s home.

Diorio does not want the home to looked staged per say, but more like an actual room a person might live in.

He then went to stage to the sitting room and the master bedroom with the same meticulous focus – wine bottles were added to the bar, a small book was added to the side table, and he changed the location of the two lamps multiple times.

Diorio referred to his attention to detail as obsessive, and in service of a unique vision.

“I won’t do a fruit bowl or flowers everywhere,” he said. “I do the opposite of everything you’ve seen.”