We Love Our Graduates!

Our graduates come from all over the world to take our classes. We love sharing their accomplishments and  their Design Journeys.

Our Graduates had the desire and the courage to step up and Design the Life they were dreaming of.

When you graduate from The Academy, you become part of our family. We are so proud of our graduates. We would like to take this opportunity to share just a few of their successes.

Interview with Kristin Hildebrand

What made you go into design and home stagings? Is this something you have a knack for or something you have always wanted to do?
I always knew I wanted to pursue design at some point in my life. I played professional volleyball straight out of college for 10 years. When I retired from my pro career, I knew it was finally time to pursue my passion for design.

Did you have any experience prior to the course?
I didn’t have any formal experience prior to the course. Renovating my own home, was a really fun and fulfilling process for me.  I helped a good friend furnish her home up in Calabasas. Hearing  feedback on how happy she was with her home,  helped give me the confidence  to pursue certification.

What stage is your business at now ?
I’ve built out my business to a point where it’s something I’m extremely proud of! Since going to the Academy in Oct 2018, I’ve worked on 22 projects and counting! My projects have been primarily located in southern California. I’ve also completed projects in Chicago, Florida, Lake Tahoe, and Portland!

What are some other challenges you faced and how did you deal with them?

There is a lot of planning that goes into a kitchen remodel. If things don’t get planned for and executed correctly, they are very expensive mistakes to fix. Having the ability to talk to my advisor  as I planned for the construction phase of that project was invaluable!

What advice would you give someone comparing courses? What advice would you give someone taking this one ?
Take this course and don’t look back! This course gives you all the information that you need to get started, and then the support to keep going! I am so grateful to Kim and Wanda. I can say that taking the Design course at the academy changed my life!

Crystal Bennett’s remodeled home appeared on the HGTV program House Hunter

Crystal Bennett HGTV House Hunter-pose

On July 15, 2018, Crystal Bennett’s remodeled home appeared on the HGTV program House Hunters. Here’s how AHSD helped make it happen:

Crystal grew up in a small Texas town. Her father, in addition to 20 years in the air force reserve, spent 38 years fixing factory machines. Her mother worked at the local prison. Crystal always had a curious spirit. She made it a point to learning as much as she could about her work at the coal plant where she worked as well meeting & learning about different people.

The next stage of Crystal’s life brought challenges.Crystal was laid off and diagnosed with breast cancer. Meanwhile, Nate, Crystal’s husband, had taken a seminar and started flipping homes (he had also been laid off). He was beginning to gain some traction. So even though finances were tight, Crystal told her husband he needed to continue training. “If you are going to do this thing, you have to do it right.” Then it hit Crystal; maybe she should get training. “I understand blueprints. I know how to run projects.” The cancer had made her see she was still young and that her time with her husband was precious. So she went online and started looking for courses in interior design and home staging.

Something special is exactly why HGTV saw in Crystal’s design work. HGTV’s program House Hunters films clients as they find a new home to move into. The HGTV realtor found the home Crystal and Nate had just remodeled and wanted to feature it on the show. In addition to her HGTV premier, Crystal and Nate have flipped two properties. One project came in a $60K profit, and a third project is under way. Crystal can feel that Kim and Wanda  want her to succeed,  that keeps her moving ahead. “We love doing this work.

Maureen Torrisi, Proud Owner of Her Own Design Firm in Massachusetts

Maureen Torrisi

Maureen L. Torrisi,is now the proud owner of MLT Design Group of Andover, MA. She had always dreamed of owning a design business but never had the courage to actually go through with it. Maureen certainly had the experience and the drive.

 Marriage and children became Maureen’s priority for many recent years. When her life changed again, Maureen found herself in need of a job to help support herself and her children. Maureen got her real Estate License and tried her hand in selling real estate.

After graduating from The Academy’s Course, Maureen jumped right in to start MLTDesign Group.  SHwas almost immediately inundated with work handling everything from remodels to selecting all the materials to completely renovate spec homes.

The Academy couldn’t be more proud of Maureen and all of their students.

How Prathibha Kokkalera Makes the World a Better Place one Home at a Time

Prathibha Kokkalera

Prathibha saw people losing their homes to foreclosure. Not only were they losing their their homes, they were losing their futures. She created a business to help these people. She buys houses before the bank forecloses on them so the owners can protect their future.  The process creates a home for a new owner, and the neighborhood gets an upgrade. This helps everyone, including Prathibha who loves combining her passion for interior design with serving people in need.

“My education at AHSD made it easy for me to visualize, transform and remodel every room I was flipping. Prathibha now makes six figures, and owns two companies, www.iStageElegantInteriors.com and www.ReviveProperties.com.

She thanks AHSD and Founder/Owner, Kim Kapellusch’s on-going mentoring, for her success. For those who have similar aspirations, she believes AHSD is just the ticket.

Prathibha says, “If you are considering doing one or both these courses as I did, you will have no regrets. Apart from the knowledge and intense training, the continuing help Kim and her team extend after the program is valuable. It is sure to put you right on the path to success!”

Ellen Silverstein and Julia Parker of JUELL DESIGN, are two of The Academy of Home Staging & Design’s Alumni who are living out their design dreams, with a creative and lucrative career in Home Staging & Interior Design

Their latest project is a collaboration with Architect and Client, Jeffrey Kamen.

They recently competed a gut renovation of a “Tiny House” project.

Starting in 1910 there were over 7,000 thousand bungalows built in the Rockaways, dominating the beach. Now only about 100 remain.

They were built along Rockaway Beach, which was then newly accessible from Brooklyn and Manhattan by train, allowing beach access to thousands of people.

In the 1950’s the area grew out of favor and sadly the neighborhood spiraled into economic decline.

“Our design goal for this 370 sq ft bungalow,” stated Ellen and Julia, “was to turn it into a high-quality year-round rental unit. we had additional challenges in trying to make it as modern and comfortable as possible.

Ellen and Julia are very excited because they are currently working on a second bungalow.


Don’t Take Our Word for it, Here’s What Our Students Have to Say About US

Academy of Home Staging Classes Alumni

I’ve never considered starting my own business. I took this course to see what options I might have in this industry. Now I feel fully equipped to go all out and start my own business! Wanda was extremely helpful.She provided so much information about every aspect of the industry .


Samantha Moreno

After taking the staging course, I knew I had to come back for the Interior Design Course. Both classes were amazing. I loved all the hands on experiences in the live immersion courses . I learned how to perfect my “eye”. We had the opportunity to apply everything we learned over the course of the week.


Testimonial from Perugia, Italy-Rayiha Unver –

I am writing this to thank you.

The program that you designed provided me with a good mix of the basics and the practical aspects of staging. The training material that you put together very well thought of and organized, with sections building on one another. Your teaching style was simple enough to follow. I learned a lot from your Advanced Staging Program and I highly recommend it.

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