When Beauty is a Blessing – Meet Dragana

dragana

 

When you’ve been blogging for as long as I have (over seven years now), there are readers who earn a special place in your heart. Today I want to share a story about one such reader, Dragana Djordjevic.

Dragana lives in Belgrade, Serbia – a half a world away (8500 km away, to be exact). Over the last four years, we have occasionally corresponded as Dragana launched a home staging business in her home country. She has struggled as she worked to educate those around her about her services, and unfortunately, I don’t believe I’ve been much help since I know little about the economy or real estate in Serbia!  Anyway, Dragana has actually been an encouragement to ME, as she has told me how much she’s learned from reading the blog, reading my book, and watching my workshop videos. She’s even referred to herself as my Serbian cheerleader!

What I have encouraged Dragana to do is to continue to do the work wherever she can find it, as her passion for it is so REAL and undeniable. Last week she sent me an email, so I’ll share some of it with you:

 

“Here I am, sending you the photos of a little staging job I’ve done for a retirement home. Free of charge, naturally, and with my own props . . . Please, take a look.

I’m a member of a local Rotary club, and would really like to make a presentation about home staging, hoping for an attentive ear and a quick brain in the audience. I was wondering if you would let me name you as my mentor – even though the word doesn’t even begin to cover your role.

I don’t have a lot of my work to show, but I like to believe this is just to make Serbia familiar with the concept. Spread the word, so to speak, until I have more staging results to share.

It would mean a world to me, you know….

Blessings to you, your amazing daughters and the good husband,

Dragana Djordjevic”

 

Dragana styled and staged two rooms in a local retirement home:  a bedroom and a common area for the residents. Here is the rather bare “before” of the bedroom.

before-single-room

 

At least she had a cheery wall color to start with. Now watch how Dragana infused some simple but effective touches to enliven this formerly sad space:

dragana staging

staging and photography by Dragana Djordjevic

 

Her use of florals and soft fabrics makes the bedroom a lovely and romantic retreat.

staged bedroom by Dragana Djordjevic

staging and photography by Dragana Djordjevic

 

Now, here’s the “before” of the gloomy common space. The furnishings are nice and clean, but notice how everything lines the walls with little intention.

before-1-lounge

 

before-2-lounge

 

Ok, now let me show you what Dragana did with the space:

retirement home lounge by dragana

staging and photography by Dragana Djordjevic

 

Keep in mind, these are her own props which she brought in at her own expense.

serbia home staging

staging and photography by Dragana Djordjevic

piano

staging and photography by Dragana Djordjevic

 

 

serbia home styling studio

staging and photography by Dragana Djordjevic

Dragana’s work in this retirement home so clearly reveals the love and compassion in her heart. I honestly had tears streaming down my face when I saw these photos, and I am tearing up just putting this post together now. Can you imagine the look on the faces of the residents when they saw what Dragana did to add beauty to their home? I know she has blessed many with her sincere passion and generosity.

Now, I’m asking YOU to do me and Dragana a small favor. Would you please “like” her page on Facebook? Her company is called Denterijeri (Home Styling Studio). You’ll find it here. I know she would appreciate it! And if you happen to live in Serbia, please keep Dragana in mind if you need help staging or styling your home.

Unfortunately, Dragana has not yet been able to attend my Expert Psychological Staging course here in Nashville.  However, I have trained nearly 100 home stagers from across the United States in my systematic method and continue to mentor them as their careers mature. If you’d like to change the course of your life and career, don’t miss the opportunity to become an EPS™ in my next training course. Find out more how to follow YOUR passion:

expert-psychological-stager-logo

 

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16 thoughts on “When Beauty is a Blessing – Meet Dragana

  1. Elizabeth Scruggs says:

    What an incredibly beautiful job Dragana did with these spaces! and what a beautiful gift to give them- straight from the heart! As she has no doubt seen with you– when you use the gifts God gives you, you can’t help but do an amazing job! Dragana, keep doing what you’re doing and spread your staging gift- you are doing exactly what you were created to do. And my dear friend Kristie….how incredible that by using YOUR gifts, they are educating and inspiring someone half a world away. What a blessing you are to so many.

    • Paula Van Hoogen says:

      I couldn’t have said it better! Kristie, it’s so true that the teacher gets the most out of any lesson. In this case the gift is going on around this world and up to glorify the Lord as well! This work is truly about People isn’t it?
      You have certainly blessed me extravagantly today! Bless you!
      PS: I had my 1st PAID staging job last week! But….I forgot to take befores. :-(. Will get them off MLS soon tho.
      The house has been on the market for2 years. My realtor friend is re-listing it & including staging in her package!!!

  2. Gina says:

    How lovely! I, too, was touched by the love and care that went into these spaces. What an undeniable feeling of “home” she has created. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Cherie says:

    What a beautiful difference Dragana has made with her love and talent. These touches do make a difference in the hearts of the residents, making them feel respected and cared for.

  4. Susan says:

    I shared one of her boards on my timeline – I am in Kansas & she has all my favorite colors – the most pale pink Chesterfield Sofa & loved the soft colors against the rough texture of the wall in one of her rooms, how interesting such a pretty room is as relevant to me- in Kansas – her work in Serbia, I love that you shared her work

  5. Cherie says:

    Dragana has shown that any dwelling place can be improved by thoughtful rearranging, and by adding pleasant items to look at in an artful way. Big differences can be made with a lot less money than one would think. And I’m so impressed that she did it without pay, it’s just so kind. I’ve been thinking about this post since yesterday morning and have shared it with several friends.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Wonderful, Cherie – when my sister and I moved my uncle into an assisted living home a few years ago, we knew that surrounding him with familiar things in a lovely way would make him feel more at home. I would hope that someone would do the same for me. 🙂

  6. Faye says:

    My heart leaps with the possibility of retirement homes being beautiful places full of color, light and life. I surely hope that this becomes the new exciting movement for helping bring joy to those who cannot do it for themselves. What a wonderful way to give back to those who have given so much during their life. Dragana and Kristie, you both have the gift of love in a unique wonderful way. Hugs to you both.

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