Friday, September 28, 2012

Calling in Sick

My sweet and precious grandson, Jack, shared his cold with me (or "Mimi" to Jack).  So today, I am calling in sick from my usual Friday post.

Here is Jack at Disney last week enjoying a ride with his Mama.  My DIL and grandson are two of my favorite people on the planet!

Happy Friday, y'all,


Thursday, September 27, 2012

We Are Selling the Fireplace

Good morning! I am racing to get this post out. We are experience computer problems and Time Warner is en route as I write this.

Here is a newly constructed house with a fireplace angled on a wall.  The sellers had the furniture arranged for TV viewing on an adjacent wall.  The fireplace is the main architectural feature of the room.  We are selling the fireplace! The fireplace needs be the focal point for potential buyers.
Fireplace Before Staging
I brought in two rattan chairs to flank the fireplace. (I use only small furniture for staging.) The crimson cushions help draw attention.  The chairs allow this end of the room to appear useful. The rug was angled towards the fireplace.  Furniture was rearranged to face the fireplace.  Large artwork and and a few accessories further our mission of drawing attention to this selling feature.
Fireplace After Staging
The room had two goofy, ill-placed windows on the side wall. Staging the fireplace distracts from the goofy windows.  The seller told me she could never figure out how to cover them.  We don't want a potential buyer distracted by the odd windows.

Family Room After Staging
I would love to hear how what you would suggest for covering the windows.This is the best picture I have of the placement of the two small windows.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Curb Your Decorating Enthusism for MLS Pictures

Home Goods
Autumn decorations are colorful, textural, and beautiful. Blinging-up our homes with gourds, branches, pinecones, pumpkins, berries, witches, black cats, and lots of candles speaks of fall.  However, if are trying to sell your house, show restraint when decorating. 
Savvy Southern Style
Realtors take one set of pictures to put in the Multiple Listing Service.  In my 10 years of staging, I have yet to see new pictures taken when seasons change.  While festive, holiday decor quickly dates your house in marketing pictures.  (I've seen pumpkins on porches in March.)

Stale, out-of-date pictures can really turn a potential buyer off.  Why would they want to buy a house passed on by so many others?

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Fall day.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Chandy Fall Makeover

We've been staying at my son and daughter-in-law's gorgeous home this week during our hardwood installation.  We are so fortunate. They have been at Disney for the week and volunteered their house to us.

It's been a while since I've done anything creative. I'm itching to decorate (even if I am breaking the good Mother-in-Law code)! With this being the first day of Fall, I hit Michael's for inspiration.  I found some gourd-look-alikes and monster-autumn-leaves for 40% off.  Jackpot!

I got this crazy idea to decorate my DIL's dining room chandelier.  The base can hold the leaves and the gourds have hooky stems. I can hang those little suckers on the arms then stack a few in the center!
What a fun project for the first day of Fall!

Please enjoy your weekend and the start of this beautiful new season.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Rosie O'Door is a Mismatch

The owner's replaced their original plain ole six-panel door for this elegant leaded glass door with side panels.  Replacing dated entry doors is always a good investment.

The front facade of your house should be expressive and speak to your guests and/or potential buyers. 

But wait a minute....

Linda Beam

What is wrong with this picture?  The beautiful front door has Rosie undertones.  The Rosie red paint color does not work with the orange-y brick. (The door really glows Rosie in full sun.)

Is this a deal breaker?
No, but this is an example of when it is particularly important for the front door paint color to be

The house is located on a hill,

                                                 in the middle of a cul-da-sac,

                                                                                                 at the end of a street.

Meaning that on the approach, the potential buyer is forming an opinion of the house for a longer-than-normal period of time. It is more critical on a long approach for the front facade of the house to look great.

Triangle MLS
You never get a second chance at that first impression.

It might only register subliminally with a potential buyer, your visitors, and your neighbors but this Rosie O'door paint color is a mismatch and is a missed opportunity. 

(BTW, the seller's disagreed with my advice to repaint.)

Happy Friday, y'all!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Expert Advice on Updates for Selling May Differ

I just did a consultation on this Traditional home that is going on the market.

 This house has a traditional staircase.
Look at this gorgeous fireplace surround the owners had custom made.
The style of the staircase, the trim work, the custom fireplace all complement each other.  They work in tandum for this Traditional home.

"....But what about the balusters?"
Wrought Iron balusters are currently on trend. Three realtors and four stagers told the sellers that the balusters needed to be replaced with black wrought iron before the house is put on the market. New balusters (or 'spindals' as we call them in the South) is a very expensive undertaking.  The sellers were amazed that I disagreed about replacing the balisters. The staircase matches the style of this house!
Kitchens Sell Homes
This is the seller's kitchen.  Kitchens sell homes and this one is pretty lackluster and outdated.
The seller's money would be better spent on kitchen upgrades. I suggested the cabinets be painted,  stone countertops installed (they had intended to redo the countertops) and put in a new tile backsplash.  The husband is very handy and has a large shop.  I suggested, that if budget and time permit, he add a built-in window seat.  A window seat will add so much emotional appeal to this kitchen!  Don't you think?
I'm a bang-for-the-buck girl. Updating the kitchen is going to have a much better return on investment than the staircase project. These home owners were smart to interview many agents and stagers before putting their house on the market. Professional opinions vary!

Popular design elements do not necessarily equal sinking money into them.  For selling, you have to weigh return on investment. 

This a great house!  Kitchen updates and staging (I'm excited to work some magic in this beautiful home) should equal a speedy sale!


Monday, September 17, 2012

When to Break A Staging Principle

I found out that the owner of this chest did not paint it. Meredith told me her mother had the chest and commissioned to have it painted. Meredith has had this piece since she was a small girl. She  speculated that the 3-D flowers and leaves were made of clay (as some of you suggested).  Isn't it amazing that they have held up through the years?
Professionally Hand Painted Chest
Meredith's Dining Room, Living Room, Kitchen
Meredith likes color.  I took this picture the day of my consultation.  Typically, I would tell these clients to paint over the dark coral-colored wall.  However, the target audience for this 3-floor town house is a young professional/family.  The color perfectly compliments the decor in this open floor plan home.  This home reads young and fresh.  I explained to the realtor that one bright wall, painted above the chair rail, is not a deal breaker.  It would only take the new owner a few minutes to paint over if they don't like it.

There are guidelines for staging a house for sale.  However, there are no hard and fast rules--or shouldn't be.  Each house needs to be evaluated on an individual basis.  Location, style of the home, target buyer, etc. must be taken into consideration.

Just as Gestalt is used in all the arts, advertising and marketing so to it applies to home staging.

Have a great week!

PS--I only accomplished a couple of the intentions I set last Monday.  Here's hoping this week is more productive.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Missing the DIY Gene

Remember this mirror that I was excited about painting?  In my vivid imagination, I would spray paint it a trendy aqua and it would be a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!

Wrong-y Dong-y.  How do other you DIY folks get such fabulous results?  I think I am missing the DIY gene.  Here's my oh-so-not-fabulous mirror after a couple of coats of spray paint. be fuggly.

Can this be fixed?  Isn't there some rub-a-dub-dub stuff I can apply that will give it dimension?

I bow to all you successful DIY-ers!  (I shall be packing the blue-boo-boo away for another day.)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Little Miss Trouble Maker

Thanks for your comments on yesterday's post.
I was telling my husband about about the post and HGTV's misrepresentation on the fireplace makeover.  Cowboy gave me 'the look' and said, "You better be careful what you put on your blog."
Bing- Roger Hargreaves
(Maybe the HGTV police are on the case?)

I made my screwy-face and told him, "It's my blog.  I don't have sponsors.  I don't have any alliances.  I'm going to post whatever I want."

Am I being naive my dear fellow bloggers?  Am I committing post-suicide?

Happy Friday, y'all!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Same HGTV Fireplace Makeover?

I've been busy, busy packing my house for the hardwoods to be installed next week.  I only have a wee bit of time to spend on the Internet  This morning, I read yesterday's HGTV Inspiration post "60 Hot Fireplace Design Ideas".  There is lots of old-school brick and wood trim alive and well in the houses I consult on.  I was particularly interested in this makeover.
However, to my old eyes, this did not look like the same room. The proportions in the makeover picture below looked 'off ' to me.  Is the ceiling significantly raised? Were the French Doors and window replaced?  It's a head-scratcher....


Remodelando la Casa - Before

Are you confused yet?  StagerLinda aka  Investigator Linda went digging. Actually, the second picture is the REAL before picture of the fireplace on the Remodelando la Casa website.  Nice remodel but certainly nothing spectacular in comparison to the HGTV Before and After makeover shots.
Check out the full view "After" from the designer's website.
Remodelando la Casa-AFTER
Say what?

Perhaps it was an oversight on a HGTV staffer's part.  I shot an episode of HGTV's "Buy Me" a few years ago.  All I can say is there was a lot of poetic license taken in the editing room.

Is it fair to misrepresent remodels for home owner's so anxious for a solution to their design dilemmas? Have any of you ever noticed a room being fabricated (ooooh, is that too strong a word?) for affect?

What say you deliberate? Or oversight?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A New Look at Julie and Julia

The movie, Julie and Julia, was on tonight on E!  I was hooked.  Again, I watched it.  The crazy thing is I own the movie.  Do you ever flip channels, stumble on an old favorite and watch it yet again--complete with advertisements--even though it is in your DVD library???

I watched it with 'different eyes' this time.  I had not seen the movie in years.  Long before I started my, "An Affection for Staging" blog.

Julie Powell was a pioneer blogger.  Her blog began as her daily journal of cooking the recipes in Julia Child's, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Boy-Howdy, I could relate to Julie talking to the computer screen, wondering if anyone would ever read her posts, and her utter joy when she started receiving comments on her blog.  Here's her first post.

There are plethora of talented, entertaining, exceptional, inspiring bloggers among us. It's fun to make friends with the person behind their blog-voice.  

I can't wait to read your book or see the movie develop from your posts.  Any working titles yet?
Do Tell!


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Happiness Quotient

Y'all Are the Best!
Happy Monday y'all!  First of all, thanks mucho for the support on the liar-liar-pants-on-fire realtor post. Your comments were a soothing salve to my battered soul. I feel like a million bucks today.
Leigh Anne Butler
This Week's Intentions
I'm going into this week with a set of intentions. These intentions are not monumental but accomplishing them will contribute to my happiness quotient.

Do something for someone else.
  • Send flowers to my 83 YO ex-in-laws who are going through medical problems.

Do something unexpected for my husband.
  • Put a I-love-you-note in his lunch. 

Do something for business.
  • Devote one hour each day to preparing a presentation.

Do something for me.
  • Schedule my mammogram. 
Leigh Anne Butler

What intentions can you set for the week that will contribute to your Happiness Quotient?

Let's make it a week of fulfilled intentions!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Que Sera Sera

Remember this house that I was supposed to stage after it was painted?
Taupy-Pink-Brown Living Room

Blue Dining Room and Red Office
The new-to-me realtor emailed me right before I was supposed to stage saying,"hold the phone...we have an offer.  I'll let you know".  I sent my congrats!  SOLD is always the desired result! A week passed. No word from the realtor. I checked MLS and the house  was still active. Hmmm..... I contacted the realtor.  She told me "the offer is still good".   A few days later, I saw on MLS that the house had been staged.

Yes, I am grousing....just because I hate that she played The Big Fib card.  I've been in biz 10 years and I've never had anybody pull this crap-o-la.  When I sent her an invoice for my prep work she pulled the-big-nasty and retorted that she was not going to pay me, "because you didn't do anything".  

Que sera sera. (Whatever will be, will be.) 

My business is typically referral driven.  No contracts required. (My Daddy always said, 'my handshake is my word').  Luckily, I've always had the pleasure to work with  nice, very honest sellers and agents.  We are a team: owner, agent and stager.  The goal is to get the house sold. I don't intend to change because I had an unfortunate, disingenuous agent.  I'll just keep plugging along.  I will do what I do best.   

Thanks loves, for letting me vent....just kinda needed to!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wishing I Could Do This

Hey guys, I'm reviewing my pictures from a consultation I had yesterday.  Have to share this very cool chest I saw in this newlywed couple's office.  I wish I was this creative!

I assume the wife is responsible for this cutie!  She had craft supplies beautifully organized and stored in a closet.

I love the 3-D flowers.  I've never seen those before.  OK crafters, what are they made of?

....Back to writing my report for them.  Just had to share this!



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gaga About Flipping Out!

I am crazy excited about Flipping Out returning tonight on BRAVO.  I am a devotee of Jeff Lewis.  With all his quirks, abuse, anxieties and talent he inspires and entertains me.  When Jeff is in a house and looking around I love to watch his eyes and the wheels of genius turning.  I do the same thing (cancel the 'genius') when I consult on a house. I am 'seeing' the potential of the house and how it can be achieved.

I prefer to view a house when no one is home. I know this is not what you see on staging shows.  On those shows, the stager goes it and chats up putting 'this here', 'that there' and moving out 'all the other'.  I like to get the feel of the house.  Houses, like people, have energy.  I can tell if folks are fighting, kids are placated with toys instead of time, or if love and harmony prevail. It's harder to detect when someone is yammering it up about their house and telling me what they know they need to do.

Anywho, I really like Jeff's clean, minimalism in his decor selections and interior renovations.
Jeff Lewis Designs

Jeff Lewis Designs

Jeff Lewis

Truth be told, my only objection to Jeff's style is the crappy draperies he uses.  Jeff seems to have a fondness for tunnel-top and tab-top drapes.  I agree with mixing up price points but window treatments is not the place to go low budget (in the opinion of moi).

I hope you get a chance to join the gang: Jeff,  Zoila, Jenni, Gage and newbie, Andrew, for design and drama on the new season of Flipping Out.

Do you watch Flipping Out?  What is your take on Jeff's style?

Jeff Lewis


Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Sales!

I love holiday sales! Check out what I just bought on HauteLook.

It is a Laura Ashley Amberly quilt set.  The retail is $240.  It is on sale today for $90.  The toile-like print won me over with its simplicity and beauty.  The darker side is practical for Izzie rooting about in our bed to snuggle.


Although I have a Queen sized bed, I always order one size up.  One of my silly pet peeves is skimpy bed treatments.  Ordering a larger size allows complete coverage and easier bed making.

Have you found any great bargains this weekend? 

Happy Labor Day all!