Friday, April 26, 2013

Staging the WOW AREA

G'day Lovelies!  It is BEAUTIFUL in Raleigh, NC, breezy, pollen (temporarily) at bay...

Today we will chat about staging common areas.

Don't forget your hallways and landings when staging.  While they may only serve the purpose of connecting rooms, they are space that needs dressing.  This staircase is directly opposite the front door in the foyer.  The first impression is SO IMPORTANT-- it is the "WOW!" area.
Hallway after Tweaking with a little art.
Blank Canvas
See how the colors in the canvas work in different settings?  (I digress. People ask me how I know what to buy for staging inventory.)
You've see my hurricane-vase-with-sticks-and-birdseed masterpiece before.  I use it in all my niches. I saw a similar thing in a high end design store for $95 and thought, "Pish-posh, I can copy that".  I had to trim each individual stick from the bottom to fit the stairway niche above.  It took FOREVER on staging day Note to self: MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE.

You Can't Hide Those Buyer's Eyes
Buyer's do a visual sweep when the enter your house.  I stand at the front door and look at the space through 'buyer's eyes".  (Change the words to The Eagles, Lyin' Eyes for fun.) Everything the buyer see's is taken into consideration for staging.

As the buyers are climbing the stairs they are setting up expectations about what they will find.  We already sold them on the main floor.  Keep the momentum going!

There is a lot of square footage to this landing at the top of the stairs.  I tried to give it kind of a library feel.  A place you could be alone and relax.  Or a lighting spot for visitors to escape from their bedroom and read or use their laptop.
Landing After Staging
Here's the before picture.  You'll see I didn't make big changes. However, the feel of the space is more
inviting, don't you think?
Landing Before Staging
I'm silly this Friday.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm Just Sayin' -- What the....


What is up with all the anonymous comments left from random sites?  Am I the only one that gets these inarticulate mish-mash-of-garbled-crap from shady websites?
'Me likey blog is very so much ....'

'You speak up well on subject....'
'I send this to friend who also know of what you say so nice...'

Ain't it ironic that I have to  install a word jumble for my readers identity when the comments are a jumble of crack-head remarks?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Little Entrance Music for the Master Bedroom

 More staging...

The major change for the Master Bedroom was to create an entrance hallway--a foyer of sorts.  There is a petite hallway leading to the Master Suite.  This hallway can be seen from the living room and kitchen.  

It's all about setting up expectation for the buyer.  I staged this area with a small, narrow table with a lower shelf.  Above it, I displayed a large floral print picking up the floral theme from the bed treatment.
Master Entrance After

I think this is much needed staging to whet the buyer appetite about what to expect.

There wasn't much  staging needed for the Master Bedroom.   The comforter was folded down for a lux hotel-like ambiance.  The lamps were also replaced.

Master Bedroom After
Replaced Brass Lamps and No placemats

Oh yeah, remember these lamps?   Used to replace the brass side lamps!  Very cool! Better for the scale of the bed headboard.

 I'm having MAJOR software  problems.  Sorry for this being so disjointed...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Say, Say--Say

"Words are containers for power."
Joyce Meyers

Upstream Color
What we say, how we say it is, and how it is received can make the difference between a joyful life or a crappy existence.

Listen, really listen, to everything you say today--your tone and your intention.

Would you want to hear those words said to you?

Sweet words are a gift you give another.  

Their power manifesting tenfold back to you.

With love,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Special Delivery from Powell Brower Home

Nancy and Bethany of Powell Brower Home are two of my favorite bloggers.  I visit their website frequently.  Have you noticed that they have a "Tag Sale" on their website? Lots of cool loot! Fabric, lamps, pictures, etc. -- check it out.   I have lusted after this Anthropology pillow on their Tag Sale for months.

Isn't she pretty?

I finally contacted Nancy about purchasing it.  It arrived yesterday.  Here is the pillow in my family room.

Love it on my leopard print chair. Gina, (PURA VIDA) you have an-animal-print-lovin'-friend in NC.

My prayers are with the people of Boston and Texas.

It's hard to wish y'all a Happy Friday when there is so much sadness and suffering of our fellow Americans.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

OOOOh La Laa! My Favorite Kitchen Makeover

The kitchen makeover consisted of:
1.  We painted the Golden Oak cabinets with Benjamin Moore's Ballet White.
2.  We removed the solid surface countertops and installed New Venetian Gold granite.
3.  We added a backsplash (where there was none) with Subway Tile in 'Biscuit'.
4.  We replaced the dated light fixture with a contemporary chandelier sporting a trendy drum shade.
5.  We removed the Country decor and staged with a Tuscan theme. 

The Reveal

The kitchen before the makeover:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Soooooo Low Rent -- LMAO

Hey y'all!  My friends and family know that my fav thing in life is to laugh--even at my own expense.

Do y'all remember this?
It is the 'urn' that I found at the Durham Rescue Mission. It was exactly what I was looking for and I thought I had really scored.  I carefully arranged 3 asparagus ferns in it. I was thrilled at how great it looked as a centerpiece in the dining room!

Wrong-y Dong-y....

Look what I stumbled upon today on Craigslist!

Craigslist -  Raleigh
Holy Moly!  It is a  freakin' Trash Can

I'm not known as a 'custom' stager for nuthin'. 

.....wonder what magic I could work with the tissue holder  :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Staging the Living Room and SOLD!

UPDATE: On Sunday, this house received FIVE, count 'em 5 offers.  Holly and Joe accepted one that was many, many, MANY dollars over their list price!  Our local paper even mentioned the transaction.  Congratulations Joe and Holly on selling your home in only a few days!

I am going to continue showing you this gorgeous house.

Staging the living Room
Fireplace - After Staging
Did you know that fireplaces are one of the highest priorities for buyers?  This house has a gorgeous paneled fireplace surround that towers to the ceiling.  I emphasized the fireplace by placing a tall metal gate and chunky pillar candlesticks on the mantel.

This living room was challenging to stage. It only has one and a half walls for placing furniture.

Living Room - After

Living Room - Before

I left the long sofa on the long wall.  The large coffee table, matching end tables and brass table lamps were removed.

Living Room - After
On the half-wall, I created a vignette with a wing chair, small chest, and greenery.

Living Room - After

Living Room - Before

I ended up floating the love seat after changing the direction of the carpet to make the room look longer.  The rug was extremely heavy and almost killed my assistant and I, BUT the difference was truly amazing.

Living Room - After
A large ficus and floor plant were placed at the end of the room to draw attention to the architectural features: the fireplace and windows.  I placed an uplight behind the ficus. It is difficult to see in the daylight but very dramatic at night.

Hope you like!  I'm still walkin' on sunshine over the news!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

For 20 some years, I have studied and collected the teachings of spiritual folks.  This Sunday morning I was re-reading an old journal from 2000.  I want to share one the quotes I had written in it.

"Whatever you vividly imagine, 
fervently desire, 
believe with all of your heart, 
and act on with energy 
and enthusiasm
must come to pass."

Jill H. Podjasek, MS, RN
Jennifer Carney


Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Bit of Panache in the Powder

Powder Rooms don't make or break the sale of a house.  For this bathroom, we said bye-bye to the brass and added a big "B".

Fortunately, the owner's last name started with a "B", like moi.  I often pull items from my house for staging.  Convenient!

This Powder Room sported 'a whole alotta brass' as my son said when I showed him pictures of this house. (I've been peddling this gorgeous house for months!) Since my son IS the demographic, we took his comment to heart.

Shiny brass...
and more shiny brass....

Holly and Joe had bigger fish to fry than sinking bucks into replacing all of the brass in the Powder Room.  I suggested that they try painting the brass with Rustoleum Bronze. Joe set up a paint booth in his shop and went to work. The knobs, towel rack, toilet paper holder, etc.--all turned out perfectly!

I stumbled upon the shelf over the towel bar at a consignment shop.  It paired beautifully with the mirror frame. The "B" came from an online vintage shop "Relique". (I'm a sucker for something quirky.) The silver lattice candle is Holly's and is perfect in juxtaposition to the rusty "B". The Tuscan landscape picture frame has a brushed silver/bronze finish and ties in with my other staging accessories.

This is the best picture I have showing a couple of the spray painted knobs.

In the cubby. I added an antique brass framed mirror. There is exposed brass plumbing under the pedestal sink. This brass frame is meant to 'help it all work'. Then I added a pottery vase with flowers and a green box.  See how the hardware on the box ties with the silver candle on the shelf and the Tuscan picture frame?

Only I could go on and on about staging a wee little powder room.  (And, I have so many other rooms to show you!)

Have you DIY-er's tried spray painting fixtures?

Happy Weekend y'all. We are in a yellow fog of pollen--but going barefoot feels great!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why I Do the Things I Do: The Dining Room Staging.

Yesterday, we checked out the foyer staging. The dining room is the main room off the foyer and the first space you see upon entering.

Check out the Foyer 'after' picture.  The center panel of the table is removed to make the room appear larger.  I turned the table and chairs on an angle to make it more dynamic.  The clock was moved to the the adjacent wall.  I found some gorgeous botanical prints that were PERRRRRFECT!  The gold flecked frames complemented the brass chandy. The matting worked with the burgundy window swags with gold swirls.
Wondering why I didn't flank the window with each print?  Because #1 there is greater visual impact from the front door when the buyers enter, #2 placing one on each side is too predictable, #3 they make a stronger statement for MLS pictures and the virtual tour.
Here's a close up of the window swags. Remember we had the swirl-thing going on in the foyer--love me some continuity.
Here is the dining room 'before' picture.  The ornate wall sconce, centerpiece and antique mirror were removed. There were also dining chairs in corners that had to go.
I adore the green chest of drawers.  I moved it to the living room where it worked perfectly.
I made a centerpiece from a very cool ivory glass and brass urn. I added 3 small (live) asparagus ferns.  Living plants add life, energy and vitality to a space.  The round wooden plate I found at Pier 1.  See how perfectly it picks up the burgundy/gold swirls while anchoring the urn?  My intention was to give this elegant, formal dining room a bit more modern-edgy-appeal for our target market--a young contemporary family.
Again, we have the round-thing continuing from the foyer mirror/plate combo--round table, rug, and centerpiece.
Let's take another look at the 'after'.

So much fun that simple simple changes can make a difference!

Thanks again to all my followers!  I SO appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stylized Staging for a Sensational Foyer

Hi y'all!  I have some new staging pictures to share with you over the next few posts.  This house is a beauty.  The owner's, Holly and Joe, are dream clients. They contacted me last October about prepping their house for the Spring market. Their house was already well-maintained with beautiful furnishings.  We just tweaked it so it would shine like the jewel that it is.
They followed all of the suggestions in my report. They made many updates, surrendering a great deal of time and energy, and investing a boat-load of money in prepping their house for sale. Holly and Joe GET IT!  A house has to be updated, move-in ready, and staged for it to sell faster and for the best price.

Let's start with the foyer. Here is the after shot of the right side of the foyer.
 This is the before picture. I always prefer a sitting area in a foyer, if space permits.
I had a couple of benches in my inventory.  However their scale and size wasn't exactly what I was looking for.  I don't substitute what I already have simply because it would be the path of least resistance!

I wanted the perfect bench. I found this iron beauty only a week before staging day.  LOVE IT!
The pillows and the vase are from the owner's living room. See the way the feathers mimic the swirls in the bench and complement the design on the vase?  I added a variety sticks in the vase and voila! a welcoming vignette when buyers enter.  Plus, I staged other metal pieces throughout house for consistency.

 This is the left side of the foyer. I added a few books and a plate on a stand on top of the gorgeous chest. The plate complements the round mirror and completes a nice staging 'triangle'.

The house been on the market less than 24 hours and has 5 appointments for tomorrow.
Finger crossed!