Home Tours

Home Tour: Emily Schoen


Emily Schoen is a realtor, design enthusiast, and someone who knows how to throw a great impromptu girls night. Having recently moved into her first home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we love Emily’s home and style for the traditional yet modern and casual feel to it. We spoke with Emily to get advice on what important things you should think about when buying a home, how to make a great first impression when welcoming guests into your home, and a few ways she freshens up her space for a late notice get-together.  

You’re a realtor in Ann Arbor, Michigan! What got you started in real estate? 

My parents are in real estate so it’s something I grew up around. We would spend Sundays driving around to open houses and I loved it. After college, I started a job in commercial real estate which eventually led me to realize that I prefer residential real estate and connecting with clients on a more personal and emotional level. I also love having the ability to incorporate my love of design into my work. 

What are a few things that you think are most important when looking at a home to buy?

When looking for a home location is very important to consider- it’s one thing you absolutely cannot change about a property. Also, unless you’re planning a gut renovation, I think it is important to like the layout of all of the rooms. Almost everything else can be changed! 

Obviously, in the real estate business, first impressions are everything. What are a few things that people can do to make their homes feel more welcoming for guests? 

Fresh flowers, a candle burning, and some music feel really welcoming. Also, clean the clutter! There are so many things that we get used to “laying” around the house. I think if you take a couple of minutes to put away things that are left out and vacuum, it can make a huge difference. Also if you have a bunch of coats hanging exposed in your entry and shoes piled up- that can make someone coming into your home feel claustrophobic and not welcoming. 

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Rehya Rug

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Along with being a realtor, you also have a passion (and talent!) for interior design. How do you blend the two when it comes to your job? 

Well, thank you! :) I love having the ability to incorporate something that I am so passionate about in my work. When working with sellers I am able to help them reimagine their spaces in a way that will appeal to buyers. We rearrange furniture and accessories and I always create lots of fresh flower arrangements for when the home is being photographed and for open houses. I think flowers make a home feel really welcoming. When working with buyers I help them to imagine the potential possibilities of space- especially when there is really distracting wallpaper, paint, or old ugly carpet. Also, lately, I have had a lot of past buyer clients (who also become friends!)  invite me over for my advice on different design choices and this has become one of my favorite parts about my job! I love seeing how excited my clients are about the home they purchased and all of the plans they have for it! 

What’s your personal home decor style?

This is very hard for me to pinpoint because I love so many different styles! I try to let the architecture of space dictate the design style, but I always gravitate towards more traditional design and making spaces feel bright and airy. I really like using natural colors and materials and then juxtaposing them with a pop of color. I enjoy looking at my favorite designers for inspiration!  

You also love to entertain. What are a few entertaining tricks you always have up your sleeve?

I have fallen in love with entertaining ever since we bought our house! Turn up the music, put out some snacks on the coffee table, light lots of candles, and dim the lights to set the mood. I also try to have everything set up at least 5 minutes before everyone will show up to give myself a minute to relax and lean into the mood! 

What do you love most about living in the Midwest?

I love how easy it is. People are all so happy and helpful! A great example being when we moved into our home our neighbors came over with homemade bread and a beautiful card introducing themselves and their contact information. I love going to the lake on the weekends in the summertime and spending lots of time with family.

It’s 4 pm on a Wednesday and you decide to host an impromptu get together. What are a few things you do to freshen up your space? 

I love this- to be honest, many of my parties are very impromptu so I have become a bit of an expert. I run down the street to Morgan & York to pick up some wine & cheese to put out on the coffee table. I do a quick vacuum on the first floor, put out a fresh vase with cuttings from the garden, light candles all over (I always make sure to have one burning in the guest bathroom too!), dim the lights and turn up the music. Wah-la! All ready for a party! 

What is next for you?

Great question! Professionally I would like to continue what I’m doing. I really love my career in real estate and would like to expand my business to working with more developers and consulting during the design phase of projects. Personally I would like to continue to lean into the design community on Instagram! I have really enjoyed connecting with so many kind and talented people! I would also love to start traveling more often with my husband :) 

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