Staging a First Impression

March 3, 2010 by Tahnya Schilke

Believe it or not, research shows that a first impression (good or bad) is set in the first seven seconds or less! How your guests almost instantly feel about your special event will affect their entire experience and help form lasting memories. Luckily positive first impressions can actually be “staged.”

Hello, my name is Tahnya Schilke, the owner of Suddenly Simply. I am also an Accredited Staging Profession (ASP). I guess you could say I’ve been staging ever since I was a child who thoroughly enjoyed moving around furniture and household accessories.

Even then, I could sense the difference the placement made in how I and others felt.
My educational background is in special education and psychology, but I eventually realized that staging events, residences and commercial properties is what I enjoy. So, I began my staging company – Suddenly Simple.

My job (which I love) is to create space and  atmosphere for your event using my understanding of space, color and proportion with the goal of achieving the desirable affect. In simple terms, what you place and where you place objects creates an ambience that effects emotions. How do you want your guests to feel? Impressed, relaxed, inspired, excited, romantic? All these and more are the result of creative staging.

The first part of the process is my sitting down with brides, grooms and other clients, listening well and truly understanding what effect they want to achieve for their occasion or theme. When I tap into their vision, I creatively use that knowledge to choose and arrange areas such as the entry way, reception table, ceremony stage and/or the overall impact of the area, whether it’s an indoor room or an outdoor patio.

I try to primarily use what is already available, including furniture, decorations and accessories – instead of spending a great deal of the budget on additional items. I can do as little or as much as clients prefer from a single centerpiece or a “wow” table at the entrance to arranging the entire venue. Stretching the budget is a major priority.

In addition to staging events, I also use my training and talents to stage homes to make them more saleable, hotel lobbies, offices and other commercial properties.

If you’re planning a special event, don’t underestimate the power of creative staging.
Let Suddenly Simple help create the vision that will emotional impact your guests from the first seven seconds, throughout the event and forever in their memories.


Tahnya Schilke, ASP, Owner

Suddenly Simple
Ph: 405-436-3181



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