Friday, June 29, 2012

Freaky Firey Friday

105 degrees in Raleigh today and 107 tomorrow.  Too hot to do much of anything...

Top of my head as seen from space.

Stay cool, y'all.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Take It Away Imperial Gray--Again

I am crazy for Benjamin Moore's Imperial Gray to complement white trim!  This kitchen was updated for selling by the addition of granite countertops and new paint.  The yellow wall color looked dingy and tired.  The Imperial Grey looks current and cheerful.  Replacing the black countertops with lighter countertops also lightens and brightens the space. 


BEFORE - Linda Beam

AFTER - Linda Beam

BEFORE - Linda Beam
Other kitchens with a similar color scheme. 


Martha Stewart
Have you become an Imperial Gray convert yet?  (I swear I'm not a one trick pony.)  When I consult with a home owner and we discuss options, they immediately say, "Ohhh, I love that color".



Monday, June 25, 2012

One Night Stand

I passed by a guy today with a T-shirt reading, "Available for a One Night Stand". (Yes, really.) Judging by this guy's appearance and the age of the T-shirt, he has yet to be taken up on his offer.

Wonder where I get inspiration for my posts?  'One Night Stand' guy reminded me that I regularly recommend using only one night stand for staging. 

Opening up the wee bit of space one night stand takes up,  makes a room appear larger.  Large rooms sell.

Look at this bedroom through 'buyer's eyes'.  Removing the night stand in the corner of  the room will open it up.

I know it is inconvenient, but your house is only on the market a short time.  Try using something that can be moved, like an ottoman, for night time use.

More later,


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stage it in Some Gray, Some White

Style at Home
Look how perfect this little dining nook is! I am insane for the huge mirror leaning against the wall.  The mirror literally magnifies the space.  (A friend of mine found a similar one on CraigsList. It had a dullsville brown frame.  She painted it a high lacquer white and now it looks awesome.)

The painted grayish-blue chairs are brilliant.  The white upholstered seats look crisp and fresh.  (Is it just me, or have you noticed older chairs tend to have more room for those of us with an ample arse?)

The retro white table is the ideal size for this little space.  The pedestal allows foot and leg room. I have long legs so I am appreciative of tables with pedestals.  The table surface is plentiful.  My goodness, they managed to use 3 centerpieces without it looking crowded.

I am in love with chandelier.  The drapes are lush.  The sheers, with the horizontal detail, are tres chic.

This room a great example of a perfectly styled room.  There is an artistic mix of textures,  fresh neutral shades, and different styles of furniture. That mixture is the element that makes this room feel pretty, warm, comfortable and inviting.

I like it. I really, really do!

What do you think?  Is it too eclectic for your tastes?



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Banish Ball Lights

 Lordy, I hate these ball lights on a strip. I think they are meant to resemble Hollywood makeup lights.  Another draw back is the chrome tends to tarnish in poorly ventilated bathrooms.

Ball lights are still alive and well in many of the houses I evaluate.

I regularly recommend light fixtures be updated for selling.  Popular in the late 80's and early 90's, I find ball lights dated, cheap and ugly.  (Lowe's still sell these lights for $27.99.)

For a few bucks, you can update your bathroom lighting and create ambiance and appeal.


Don't you love a pretty bathroom?

Happy weekend y'all,


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nate Berkus: Are You Listening?


Nate Berkus is a reknowned interior designer, dear friend of Oprah, and hosted his own TV show.  Nate's Chicago apartment has been on the market for 372 days.  Here's the MLS shot of Nate's living room.

It is a beautifully designed room.  It is not a staged-to-sell room. 
  • Notice how the visual weight rests at the 'brown end' of the room?  That area needs to be broken up using one of the foreground chairs.  A few contrasting pillows on the sofa would also help. 
  • Notice the two small chairs floating in the middle of the room? We never want traffic paths to be obstructed by furniture.  Anytime a potential buyer has to maneuver around furniture, the room registers as 'small'. 
  • Notice all the miscellaneous items on tabletops and the shelves?  Too many chotskies registers as clutter for selling
  • Notice that objet d'art standing on the back wall near the corner.  It photographs as a small misplaced window.  I'd have to lose that.
  • Notice that the furniture arrangement near the wall feels like a high-end waiting room. (You know, where you sit up straight anticipating the doc's bad news?) I would have to rearrange it to make it feel more relaxed and welcoming.
Nate Berkus, I am a big fan.  I'm just a small home stager from North Carolina.  You are certainly more accomplished than moi.  Still, I can't help but point out the folly of your design for selling.

Original Price: $2,65 M
Current Price: $1,995 M

Agent: Katherine Chez Malkin
Baird & Wagner

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy 70th Birthday Paul McCartney first love. 

Paul McCartney will always be my first love.

Paul, I'll still love ya when I'm 64.



Do You Have a Ho-Hum Powder Room?

I am always surprized when I tour houses with boring Powder Rooms.  It is the one room that, even if you are selling,  does not have to be neutral. (My motto: "A powder room is not going to make or break the sale of a house".) 

It is the one room you can take a risk.  Go for it! Glam it up! Show some personality!


Interesting mirrors are not expensive.  A small chandelier adds drama.  Bold wallpaper makes a splash in a small powder room.  I use large, colorful art in power rooms when I stage.

Here's an all white power room. Exactly as I found it when I toured the house.  

The only color was a box of Kleenex.

For only a very few dollars, a few accesories can be purchased that will help amp up a small space.
I added a colorful print  (Tuesday Morning) above the towel bar. The green and orange the powels (Target) pick up the colors in canvas and add a little pizzaz to this ho-hum powder room.  Citrus colors are always a hit in the summer.  This is literally a 2 minute fix. 

Don't be drab in your powder room.  Be fab!  Have a little fun in this small space.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Would You Bite on All White?

This all-white apartment is available in Amsterdam(If I am not mistaken, there is a large all-white dog on the sofa.  Talk about lovin' white!)

Photo credit to Chantal of

I am interested in your reaction to an all white living space.  Does it appeal to you?  Do you or anyone you know live in an all white home?  Do you like the clean, pure deconstructed look of the space?

The owner, Juul, said to please let her know if you or anyone you know is interested in renting her apartment!

Talk to me about 'all white' folks!

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yep, I'm Still Talking About Windows....

I saw these gorgeous drapery panels on Pinterest.  They are custom made and can be purchased through Kirtam Designs on Etsy.

Kirtam Designs
I believe the prices are reasonable.  Since we've been talking window treatments, I thought I would share it with you. 

I'm scratching my head that the top of the drapes, pinch pleats I assume, are not in the photograph.  Seems to me if you are selling a product you would show a full representation, yes?

If you are thinking about updating your window treatments, you might want to check out this company.  If you are in my-neck-o-da-woods, I have a neighbor, a most accomplished seamstress, that might be able to help you. (Or, she might shoot me for promoting her....)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm Just Saying.....

A realtor just sent me pictures to write an e-consultation report.  Sorry the picture is so fuzzy. But, it is the perfect example illustrating my point from my last post about window treatments.

These massive valances are too fussy and heavy for this room.  Plus, they look dated. 

The target market for this house is a young family.  Young families, typically, aren't attracted to classical furnishings.  Today's generation are attracted to light, bright and airy.  This room is weighed down by massive furniture, too much furniture, bulky window treatments, heavy rugs, and stuffy accessories (silk plants, statuary, porcelain doo-dads, etc.).

Also, you need to take into account the time of year you are selling your house.  What might look cozy for selling in the winter months, does not hold the same appeal in the summer.

Enough of my rant....back to work.  Need to get this report out ASAP!

Thanks for listening,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Window Treatments a 'pane'? Yea? or Nay?

I'm not big on window treatments. I rarely use them for staging. I often ask owners to remove window treatments.  We are selling the architectural features of the house (windows) and the view.  Also, window treatments typically block incoming sunlight.

However, I am in awe of beautiful window treatments that are perfectly tailored with sumptuous fabrics and plentiful trim. These ballgown drapes make me swoon! Aren't they magnificent?

House Beautiful
These lemon yellow drapes are regal.  The bamboo blinds add great texture and allow the light to shine into this happy room.  

These green and gray paisley panels with the ruffled edging are divine! Love how the green complements the beige wall color. The white rod and rings display these pinch pleat draperies beautifully.
What do you think of these pretty floral draperies in this Nantucket beach house?  I like the valance on the smaller windows.  Another pair of panels would have been too heavy.

Few of my clients have contemporary, professionally made window treatments. My biggest beef with most window treatments is that they look skimpy and cheap. Unlined curtains make me crazy. (You HAVE to have a consistent look for curb appeal.) Tab top panels always look wanky after they've been hanging for a while. Old school box valances, tie backs, lace, -- gotta go!

I'm a fan of sheers?  I consider them the 'white shirt' of window treatments.




Any cheers for sheers?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Celebrity Stalking without the Restraining Order

I watch almost any program featuring interiors--especially luxury homes. If you've ever watched an old episode of MTV's 'Cribs' then you know the most popular segment is the Refrigerator Raid.  During 'the raid' celebrities reveal the contents of their refrigerator. We are fascinated about how other people live.

This refrigerator couldn' t be more perfect!         Pinterest.
 Yes, potential buyer's have this same curisoity.   Make the most of a buyer's 'Refrigerator Raid'. You don't need me to remind you the inside of your 'frig must be clean and organized, right? 

I've seen some pretty funky refrigerators.  Black mold, when the seller's used the refrigerator daily was the creepiest; a batchelor refrigerator with only bottled water and champagne was the most amusing. 

What's the most outrageous item you've ever found in your refrigerator?


Monday, June 4, 2012


Like millions before me, I am reading E.L. James, "Fifty Shades of Grey".  I shall decline comment on this nasty, nasty book of guilty pleasure. (Guilty pleasure for the C-H-A-R-A-C-T-E-R-S, not me! But, YOWSER!, it made this chick blush.)

Today my post is an ode to the magic of the many shades of gray.

I'm wating to hear if any of you have read "Fifty Shades of Grey" and your reactions.