Friday, March 30, 2012

My fave new show "SMASH" has great set designs

Are you a fan of NBC's new hit Smash?  I sure am.  The acting, music and dancing all take me away for an hour every week.

Check out this great story that recently appeared in the LA Times.  It tells all about the FABULOUS set designs on the show and the part they play.

The homes of 'Smash': Interiors that steal the show

Any Smash fans out there?

Look What I Just Found!

Home Goods rules!  I was shopping for the perfect art to display in a Man Cave.  I didn't want to do the typical framed maps (yawn....).  Lo and behold I found these gorgeous, huge, mac-daddy wall hangings. 

The swirl design is awesome.  (I wish you could hear me repeating 'awesome' in my uber excited sing-song voice.)  Oooooohhhh how I LOVE the texture and depth of color of the circle-y rope. 

Here is my Taah Daah!

L. Beam

OK-so they are leaning on the bumper of my car--but you get the idea. 

These wall hangings are PERFECT staging pieces.  They can be used in many and varied applications.  If you are interested in staging, this is the type of inventory to SNAG when you see it.  If you are simply interested in design, these pieces have all the qualities of scale, color, texture, and pattern that most folks find visually pleasing.

I'll try and remember to take pictures when I use them to stage.

Happy Weekend y'all!

If you would like help staging your house, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Love, love, love your comments!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Inspiring Palette

One of my guilty pleasures is ordering from  If you aren't familiar with HauteLook, it is designer clothing and accessories at radically discounted prices.

Today, I saw this dress and fell in love. I am a 'mature' woman so I must dress appropriately. (Meaning cover my flubber.)  I intend to wear this dress as top.  I'm 5'8"and have used this little trick for years.  What's a mini on a youngin' is a tunic for me.  My intention is to wear white denim capri leggings under it. The dress is silk so it will drape nicely. Of course, I'll look for cute flats and pile on my signature stack of bracelets and big watch.

Once again, I digress....

The colors of this dress are what drew me in.  I love the simple, clean palette of soft golden yellows, white, turquoise, and the pop of purple.  I've been searching for the 'right' colors to re-decorate my office. (Remember the turquoise lamp from Target?  Perfect!) 

I work out of my house so I get maximum mileage from a limited wardrobe of bold and colorful clothes. After I ordered the dress, I started working on a design plan for my office.  So exciting!  I have a direction!  I am INSPIRED!  Maybe I can start this weekend?

My dear husband just walked in the door with a bag of Chick-fil-A in one hand and his computer in the other.  He brought me lunch!  How sweet!  "Are you home for the afternoon?" I asked. That's when he dropped the bomb.  They were consolidating his staff into a smaller space.

He'll be moving into my office and working from home.

Something tells me he won't be as infatuated with yellow, turquoise, and purple as I am.  Oh well, 'redo office' moves down to the bottom of the list.  'Kitchen Windows' moves back to the top.....

If you need help choosing a color palette for your home and staging it, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Love your comments!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Foyer Wall- BEFORE- L-Beam
Return air grills are necessary.  But return air grills are an eyesore. UGLY.

I don't get it. Builders spend a fortune on grand lighting, plumbing fixtures, and architectural features then place an ugly metal grate slam in the middle of the entrance foyer wall. Don't they notice this aesthetic flaw?

I know I tend to be a bit OCD on details but the continued use of the UGLY metal return air vent baffles me.

I mentioned my problem about 'the UGLY' to my HVAC tech.  I got the look
followed by a quick 'it-is-what-is' scolding.

My husband gets frustrated when I cover the UGLY with upholstered furniture.  I know, I know, they need breathing space, air needs to circulate, yaadaa, yaadda... But, honey, are you listening? Return air vents are UGLY.

Today, I stumbled on this decorative grate to cover the UGLY on Pinterest!  SWEET!

I quickly tap, tap, tapped the key to lead me back to the source.  Wide-eyed, I wait for the website to pop up. Then appears! When I found the decorative cover it was SOLD OUT! (Other folks must hate the UGLY, too, I surmise.)  Honestly, at $157.99 it probably won't be on the top of my priority list.

I will continue to stage around the UGLY.  In the house pictured, the owners did not have a piece of furniture that was large enough to cover the UGLY.  I found this bookshelf in a bedroom and placed it to distract from  the UGLY. (Different angle but you catch my intention. The UGLY is behind the birdcage.)

L. Beam

Anybody with me on my 'Change the UGLY Crusade'? 

If you need help staging your house, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Beautiful photography.
Beautiful woman/actress/model.
Beautiful dress, shoes, bag.
Beautifully styled.
Beautiful ad.

(I adore the pleated fan of sheer fabric on her leg.)

Friday, March 23, 2012


I just jumped in the car headed to Target.  MORE allergy meds needed for the freakish-yellow-pollen-beast that continues to invade. 

As you can probably relate, my intention was to run in for a quick one item pick up. I ended up staying a very, very, merry L-O-N-G time. 

Under normal circumstances it is difficult for me to walk into Target to complete the task at hand.  Then, as if lured by the Mothership, I saw the sign:

                                           BUY ONE, GET ONE
                                                       50% off
A Sale on Home Stuff!! By home 'stuff,' I mean everything from accessories, furniture, linens, drapes, towels, storage and shelving, even cleaning products and baskets. I love Target baskets.  (Can you hear me hyperventilating?) 

AND, the piece de resistance,
                                      I CAN MIX AND MATCH!

The same offer is online with free shipping over $50!  I've had my eye on this lamp for a while. (Probably will change the shade.)  My 2012 To Do List includes redecorating my office.  Thought this bright and cheery lamp might be a good inspiration piece. What do you think?

I didn't see it in my local store but just might have to get the ole CC out and surrender to the Sale Gods.



If you need help staging your home, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Love, love, love your comments!

So What's the Big Deal about Family Photos?

John, Kristen & Jack
Here is our handsome son, John; his beautiful wife, Kristen, and the apple- of- my-eye, Jack!  Our house is lovingly littered with pictures of our family and friends!

I think most of us adore having photos displayed of the people we love the most.

Stagers always tell clients to remove family pictures.  While most people accept this rule and remove them, some don't.

So, what's the big deal? 

People are instinctively drawn to the lure of the human face.  Remember Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in the pool?  The human face is intriguing and captivating.

I attend Open Houses.  I like to hang back and watch what people notice.  I have observed that people will cluster around family pictures.

Here's a picture of Greg, my husband, and Jack.

Greg & Jack

 OK....I digress... anyway...

The big deal is people are supposed to be looking at the features of your home--not the people living in it.

We don't want them distracted, even briefly, from the details of the house for sale.

Yes, potential buyers are more than a little curious about the people currently living in the house. Serious buyers attempt to absorb any piece of information to the who-lives-in-this-house puzzle.

Pack up your personal photos for selling your house.  Even if your family is a cute as mine!

If you need help staging your house for sale, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Banish the Pollen Monster

I'm sitting on my porch writing this blog entry in a fog of yellow pollen.  Everyone in the Southeast knows of what I speak!  Only two hours ago, I had the leaf blower out ridding my porches,  walks and driveway of the yellow muck! (Which was being tracked into the house by us and our dog, Izzie, thank you very much.)  Again, the wind is blowing and once again it is spewing yellow 'rain'. 

Here are my words of advice for Spring Time Sellers:

If Mother Nature is not going to help out with a much needed shower, you should spray your yard before MLS pictures and showings.  Actually, it is good advice for anyone selling in the Spring and Summer months.  Just as you dust your house so it looks pristine, pay the same attention to your landscaping.  A spritz of water will wash away that nasty yellow layer  of pollen for a fresh look.

Always, always, always seek to make the best first impression when your house is on the market.

If you would like help staging your house and yard for sale, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Staging a Family Room to Highlight the Fireplace

Before - L. Beam
This is the family room of a house before it was staged.

The room is set up for the lifestyle of the family.  They enjoy watching TV and playing video games. 

This room perfectly suits the family's needs. It functions but lacks style.

Before - L. Beam
The primary selling feature of the room is the fireplace.  Fireplaces are the #1 amenity buyers seek when buying a house. 

For selling, the focus needs to be diverted away from the TV.  (Moving the TV was a non-negotiable.)  I staged the room to draw attention to the fireplace. 

The fireplace needs to look important; not forgotten.

See how the direction of focus shifts to the fireplace?  The addition of two chairs creates a conversation area.  A large print over the mantel and accessories complete the focal point.

AFTER - L. Beam
Also, angling the rug, sofa, chair and ottoman, helps attention shift to the fireplace.  A potential buyer can appreciate the fireplace and get an idea of how furniture can be arranged in this non-traditionally shaped room.

AFTER- L. Beam
If you need help arranging furniture to accent your home's best selling features, please contact me.
Linda Beam                                                    

Saturday, March 17, 2012

10 Things That Make Sellers Pissy

  1. Realtors who court and woo sellers to get the listing, then don't return phone calls the longer the house stays on the market.
  2. Painting, installing new carpet, changing light and plumbing fixtures, etc. to sell when they have wanted to do it for years and procrastinated. 
  3. Irresponsible contractors that don't show up on time, don't finish on time and expose more problems for sellers to fix.
  4. Keeping their house 'show ready' everyday.
  5. Potential buyers that insist on seeing their house with little notice on a weekend or weeknight.
  6. Only nosey neighbors showing up at their Open House.
  7. Buyer's Agents that don't leave remarks after they bring a client to see their house.
  8. "Stupid comments" over things that can't be changed: 'lot is not level', 'too close to power line', 'airport noise', etc.
  9. The buyer's Home Inspection Report.
  10. Two mortgage payments and double utility bills. Carry over charges make sellers really pissy.

If you would like help staging your house for sale, please contact me.                                      

I appreciate your comments!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I know home owners spend a great deal of time, money and effort to landscape their yards for privacy. However, when you are selling your house, IT MUST BE SEEN TO SELL. 

"We like the privacy from the street."
"The new owners will appreciate the mature landscaping."
"They will see it when they get to the end of the driveway."

Wrong-y Dong-y.  Sorry Charlie.  No 'if's, and's or but's' about it--A house that is on the market needs have a clear view of the front of the house. (It's a different story about rear yard privacy.)

You know I have to provide a great 'where's Waldo?' BEFORE picture!

Before - L.Beam

Behind these trees is a beautiful brick house.  We had the landscaper raise the skirts on the trees, remove miscellaneous brush and apply fresh mulch. 

AFTER - L. Beam
Now a buyer can appreciate the wonderful architectual detail of this amazing house. If the house were hidden from view, it would not have raised interest.

Sometimes sellers really don't like to hear my suggestions.  

My job is to attract the broadest range of prospective buyers to their house.

If you would like help with the curb appeal of your house please contact me,
Linda Beam                                           

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#1 Question I Am Asked

The question that home owners repeatedly ask me is,"How do you know where to put stuff on a bookcase".

How To Stage A Simple Bookcase 

This bookcase is an old vintage piece that I stripped from its deep brown scratched finish and gave a new life with Cherry varnish.  I used my point and click camera so there is some glare and I lack cropping skills. (Photography is on my To Do List. Also, all the wood trim is in the process of being painted.)

I added two Botanical prints above the first shelf. The prints add height to the squat little bookcase. On the far right of the first shelf, I placed a brass pedestal stand with wax grapes.  The bookshelf flanks the wall to the kitchen.  It is a nice transition piece. Then, I added the black book and Cricket box. I like to work in diagonals and bounce from shelf to shelf.  A small painted lamp went on the left of the top shelf.

In this picture, notice I changed the black book for a stack of more colorful books. The Cricket box was moved on a diagonal (which is more visually interesting.) A Spaniel statue was placed next to the lamp. The ceramic lamp and bronze dog are a good contrast in textures. A small oil painting on a stand is placed in the middle of the second shelf.  (You could use a family picture if it is in a house you are not selling.) Live plants infuse any space with energy! A Pathos vine was placed in a violet and purple vase. The vase is on the far right of the second shelf. The purple vase picks up the color of the grapes above and is a small accent color in the little lamp.

Third shelf:  A green wooden box was placed on left.  Notice it is moved a few inches towards the center instead of on the far left of the shelf.  This placement is a nice juxtaposition to the items on the first two shelves.  On top of the green box is a brass bowl with chunky woodland potpourri.  The potpourri adds great texture. The brass bowl corresponds to the brass pedestal on the first shelf. On the far right, I placed some vintage books and alternated the color of the spines. A large marble bookend supports the books. See how the gleaming marble, ceramic violet vase and porcelain lamp all have a similar surface?

On the fourth shelf I placed a burgundy vase. I love the curves! The burgundy color is used in the Botanical prints.  I stacked books horizonally on the right-added a small basket for texture.  See my bookmarks?  I adore adding decorative bookmarks to display books. I think bookmarks are a great touch!

On the bottom shelf is a vintage plate that was in my parent's kitchen forever.  The plate has a grape motif. Yes, the plate corresponds to the grapes on the first shelf.  The plate is standing on a black book. My grandmother's ceramic birds are placed next to it.  Cute, huh? The book anchors them so they don't appear to be floating or look like clutter.  Next to that little vignette, I placed a large rattan box trimmed in black.  You'll see in the next picture there are twig balls in the box--another texture. 

When you mix and match size/scale, color, and textures you get a lovely finished product.

Taah! Daah!
Did I totally confuse you?  What do you think? You can stage any bookcase using my easy design principles.

If you need help staging your bookshelves and your whole house, please contact me:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Luck of the Irish?


St. Patrick's Day is Saturday, March 17.

I'm not Irish.  But I sure do love the St. Patrick's Day traditions.  I embrace wearing green, eating green eggs, drinking green beer and I make a mean Corned Beef and Cabbage.


Years ago, when I sold my house, the realtor decided to hold the Open House on St. Patrick's Day.

I've always been a festive lass, so I bought two Shamrock plants to add to my staging decor.  I placed one in my living room and one in my kitchen.

No, I didn't get an offer on St. Patrick's Day. But I receive two offers within a week. I accepted the one that was over my list price.  Shamrocks will always be my lucky charm.


Adding a Shamrock plant or two may not sell your house, but then again, it can't hurt...

If you need help staging your house for St. Patrick's Day--or any day--please contact me!
Linda Beam                                                     

Friday, March 9, 2012

Target Your Market!!!

Here is a picture of a lovely room. The house is a beautiful 'family house' with 4 bedrooms. The photograph of this room is gorgeous.  Don't you love the window seats?  I can see it in House Beautiful. 

So what is my beef?  The room isn't 'family friendly'. It does not appeal to the target buyer--a family.  This room doesn't make you want to crawl up on the sofa and read to your child.  The furniture configuration is geared more towards interrogation than 'let's enjoy ourselves'.  To me, it holds all the appeal of a high-dollar attorney's waiting room. Target your market.

So, you are saying, "Alright Big Mouth StagerLinda, what would you do?"  First, I'd baaaaaack out all of the furniture.  Then I would angle the chairs on a diagonal towards the sofa. The chest/coffee table is wrong because there is no negative space around it to make the room appear more open.  I would change it.  I would lose the ladder thing-y. The console table (hard to see)  behind the sofa would relo to back wall with the clock over it.  Then, I would put a big, fat juicy Boston Fern on the console table and lose the plant (fake?) under the clock.  The sofa needs pillows--not the chairs!


This house has been on the market for a while.  The price was just reduced this week.  I've said it before, and I'll continue to repeat, "buyers tour your house based on statistics-location, price, etc.; they buy your house based on emotion".  A house must be staged to appeal to the emotions of the target audience.  This is a family home and it needs to read 'family friendly'. Target your market.

If you would like your house staged to target your market, please contact me:
Linda Beam                                     

I appreciate your comments!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Check Out These Books!

I always include books when staging a house.  I once read a quote that I adore,
"a home without books is a house without a soul".*

Cinda Boomershine

The bookshelves in the picture above are perfectly styled.  I love the way the books add color to the antiqued bookshelves!  Notice the different directions used for placement
of the books and the variety of sizes used.  A few well-chosen accessories complete the look. (How did the photographer manage to capture the cat posing like a statue?)

Books are an inexpensive method for adding warmth, color and soul to your home.

Stay tuned: upcoming posts of How to Accessorize Your Bookshelves.

                                                                *I have no clue who deserves credit for this quote .

If you would like help adding soul to your home. Please contact me.
Linda Beam               

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This Seller is Fired Up!


I sent my client a 7 page Property Evaluation Consultation Report the other day. She was overwhelmed by the scope of work I suggested before I can stage her house. 

Donna knew what she was in for after my visit to evaluate her house.  I had helped her sell another house a few years ago.

Donna emailed, "Thanks for the report. I am tired from reading everything that needs to be done.

I was thinking of setting a small fire in a couple of rooms to empty them out and then letting you stage.

Do you think that is too drastic?"

Yeah, Donna, I do. 

Sure there is a lot of hard work that goes into getting your house ready to sell. I advised her to, "take baby steps".  She may have to delay going on the market for a few days or a week. Seasoned realtors realize a finished product is more desirable than rushing before the property is ready to go into MLS.

Last words from Donna, "I've stopped gathering kindling wood.  The dogs do not appear to be as nervous now."

If you would like a comprehensive report to help you get your house ready to sell, please contact me.
Linda Beam                                         

I appreciate your comments!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dammit Martha Stewart!

Yesterday, I was working with a client with the same problem a lot of us share--mounds of clothes and not much storage space.

The master bedroom closet must look large to be a great selling feature. I have no problem mentioning to sellers that they might want to consider hiding some of their stuff out of sight.

I found these nifty storage containers on wheels that you slide under your bed. 

How perfect are they? It was love at first sight.  Well, of course, they are a Martha Stewart product!

So as fast as my fingers could fly, I went to the Martha Stewart website.  I figured I'll buy a few for my client and couple for me. 

Wrong-y Dong-y.  Martha doesn't SELL these ingenious little units.  Noooooo....she wants you to BUILD them. This was a ruse developed for DIY-ers!

Dammit Martha!  I need immediate gratification!  Give busy people a break! I don't want to make it; I want to buy it.

After I threw my fit and settled down, I found a similar product on

At a hair under a hundred a piece, I may have to reconsider my options.

Now, where is my hammer and tape measure?

If you need help preparing your closets before you sell your house, please contact me!
Linda Beam
Your comments are always appreciated!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simply Stated: "Laundry Sucks!"

I don't think anyone really enjoys doing laundry.  But laundry is a chore that must be done. 

The laundry room is the work horse of the house.  It is used regularly and often.The average family of four runs approximately 15 loads of laundry per week.  Sellers often overlook the important of this area but buyers don't.

Sellers, listen up--buyers are rating your laundry area for efficiency, storage, convenience and  'user friendliness'.

The more orderly and cheerful a laundry room is, the better  impression it will make.

I  do realize even a perfect laundry room is not going to be the decisive vote on getting to 'sold'. 

A laundry room that is clean, neat, organized and attractive can add another 'plus' towards a sale.

Here are a few things you should consider for staging your laundry room:
  • Use storage baskets for detergents and cleaners.   Baskets are inexpensive and readily available in discount stores.
  • Remove all the miscellaneous items that don't otherwise have a home: boots, athletic equipment, old florist vases, cans of paint, etc.
  • Do give your laundry area a fresh coat of paint for selling.  Laundry rooms get lots of nicks and dings from constant use. This is one room where you can let a bold, fun color fly!
  • Add artwork to liven it up.  It isn't necessary to buy something expensive.  The point is to add a bright and colorful element.
  • Do make the laundry area light and bright. Add a higher wattage bulb or a small lamp  if countertop space.
  • A small rug adds warmth and texture.  Laundry rooms have a 'hard' flooring surface to withstand flooding.  A rug makes adds a comfy touch.

Take advantage of this small, yet important space, that speaks volumes to a potential buyer!


If you would like help preparing your laundry area for selling your house, please contact me. 


I appreciate your comments!