How Cecilia Cannon Staging and Interiors uses SampleBoard to sell properties faster

An interview with Cecilia Cannon, interior decorator, design blogger and one of Chicago’s leaders in home staging and restyling

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Cecilia’s passion for interior design and her exceptional understanding of buyers’ preferences made her one of Chicago’s Top Home Stagers. Her remarkable interior marketing approach resulted in over $86 million in staged to sold properties so far and keeps on growing. SampleBoard is proud to be the invaluable part of Cecilia’s design process as her go-to mood board tool for restyling, space planning and color consultant services.

“SampleBoard enables me to create professional design boards for my clients.”

To date, using SampleBoard, Cecilia Cannon has created 75 professionally designed boards for client presentations, which has been critical to achieving her overall business success.

Who is Cecilia Cannon

Interior decorator and interior design blogger, Cecilia Cannon, also fondly known as Keki, from her blog Home with Keki, founded Cecilia Cannon Staging and Interiors in 2009.

Cecilia began staging properties back in 2006 when she staged and sold her two condos in just two weeks. At the time, home staging was a new concept a few people were familiar with, but that didn’t stop her from pioneering the market. It was a long and challenging journey, but Cecilia made it in style! Her unique talent was recognized by both her peers and the media, being featured on Fox Business News and in the Chicago Tribune.

A lot of Cecilia’s success can be credited to her innovation, determination, professional training, and passion for design, as clearly seen in her blog and unique design style evident in her mood boards.

The challenge of visualizing a property restyled to sell

Home staging professionals like Cecilia come into a house up for sale, and in collaboration with the sellers, try to make it welcoming and aesthetically-pleasing to potential buyers. The process involves both interior design and marketing, paying attention to the latest real estate trends. It includes recommendations on simple improvements such as rearranging the furniture, art, and accessories, decluttering, or bringing in rental furniture. Home staging and restyling are essentially about creating illusions. They are far beyond just decorating and decluttering. Perfecting the art of creating moods is a true magic, and Cecilia holds the magic wand.

What better way to portray moods than to present your client with a professionally designed moodboard

It is imperative for any property, personal or investment, to show well to get top dollar. We work with your current space to allow prospective buyers to visualize the property as their future home” says Cecilia.

The home staging process

Cecilia comes up with a staging plan that includes a floor layout, using existing and new furniture options, as well as a style board with items to purchase. The client may then use this as a starting point to finish the interior on their own or hire Cecilia to complete the look.

Colors play a significant role in home staging, but color selection can be a daunting task to many. That’s why Cecilia puts together a most flattering color scheme for all the spaces of concern. Digital color boards are all she needs to put her thoughts into action.

The design board is a crucial part of any creative process, being used as a collaboration tool with clients, and as a conceptualizing tool when working on a styling project. As designers, we know words fail miserably when trying to translate design concepts.

Cecilia needed to find a tool that would help her create professional design boards in a fast and reliable way, to streamline her design process and sell more homes.

The hunt for a simple, professional mood board tool

The complexity of learning a challenging software like Photoshop was way too time-consuming, so Cecilia researched various tools that would enable her to create professional design boards in minutes so she could share her vision with the clients and prospective home owners wanting to sell their homes, before going ahead with the physical implementation.

At first, Cecilia turned to other online software tools, but she found them slow, with limited paper and page sizes.

She needed to be able to print her design boards onto standard US paper sizes with sharp/clear images to present to her clients in real-life, as well as be able to share digital design boards by email for faster client collaboration.

Discovering an easy, professional platform to create and share ideas

It was clear that Cecilia needed a fast and easy way to create professional design boards, that wasn’t limited in speed, page sizes or complexity. So when she found SampleBoard, the ease of use and accessibility was what won her over.

"I love that SampleBoard saves me time and money."

The ability to create professional design boards by uploading her images, using the background clipper to remove the background of images, being able to export high-resolution boards to her computer, print great quality design boards onto paper and email revisions to her clients allowed her to save hours of time and money.

And with no time invested in learning a complicated software, she could spend more time restyling homes, solving complex space and design problems for her clients, helping her sell homeowners properties faster, for larger profits.


If you’re looking for a solution that makes it easier to create professional design boards and bring your visual ideas to life, give SampleBoard a try! It was designed to fit seamlessly into a designer’s workflow and encourage fast and frequent board creation throughout the entire design process.

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