Monday, May 27, 2013

Today We Remember...

Jenn in SC
...freedom at the price of sacrifice and courage.

God Bless America.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hocus Pocus

Hmmmm.....seems like my last post vanished.  Recreation is not my forte.

In a nutshell, here is the essence of it.  My friend, Karen, made a trash basket out of grommets, mesh ribbon, and a coordinating ribbon with swirls.  It is going in her new bathroom with chrome fixtures.

Cute, huh?
Karen Sampson
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

STAGER KNOWS BEST and Confessions from a Potty Mouth

Good news! It looks like AH took my advice!  I checked MLS and found these pictures of his house after they self-staged from my report. (The 'stupid door' can now be seen and used by potential buyers. Hooray.)

While I enjoy staging, I really appreciate when a seller can follow my instructions for self-staging.

Potty Mouth Confessions:

One of my best buds called me and was concerned about my use of  "Asshole" in my last post.

"It is your public image."
"Your blog is advertising you."
"It is a public forum and is forever."
"I don't think people will think it is good you referred to your client as an Asshole."
"You could have said "Jerk" instead of Asshole."

I guess I should apologize.  Sorry.  I write like I talk. Yep, my posts are definitely "in my own voice".  I've never been particularly politically correct. My blog is my forum for teaching and my therapy for venting!  I talk to my readers as my friends. 

Sock it to me. 

Offended? Yea or Nay?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Do What You Want, Buddy*. I'm Trying to Help You Sell Your House

I don't get why clients want to argue with me.  But, I guess they tell their doctor they know best and challenge their spouse at every opportunity.

I had a consultation Sunday.  I only took a few pictures and will try to fill in the blanks.

There was a wall of windows and a door leading to a deck from the family room.  The sellers had a sofa in front of the door and a console table next to the sofa. Two club chairs were crunched together on the staircase wall.

I explained that the sofa needed to be flipped to the opposite wall. Buddy vehemently disagreed.

"No.  That door is stupid.  We don't even use that door." Buddy

"We are selling the windows, the view, and access to the deck." ME

Buddy does a bull snort then the moves sofa.

The console table needed to be moved, too.  There was a monster table next the the fireplace with a mirror over it that was overwhelming.  (Sorry, no picture.)

"We need to take the big table out and put the smaller console table in it's place." ME

"I made that table.  We like it in front of the windows." Buddy

"It is a beautiful table but it is blocking light and the view.  We are selling square footage. It will create the illusion of more space."  ME

AFTER sofa and chairs were flipped
This console table was in front of  the windows

Another picture after moving furniture*
 "Wow! The room REALLY does look bigger." Buddy

*Disclaimer:  This house WAS NOT STAGED. I was illustrating the difference staging makes.  The first time I posted this I referred to the client as an asshole.  Prudence and comments from my readers encouraged me to change the offensive term.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My New Husband, Dave

Cowboy has not even an iota of interest in yard work or home maintenance. You won't find my man with a paint brush or hammer in his hands on weekends. He has no use for a hedge clipper, weed eater or blower.  I am the yard monkey.  The Mr. does mow the grass.  Since we have an acre of land and he doesn't have a riding lawn mower this makes me happy.  Anyway...

Meet Dave, my new husband.  He just started working today.  I was afraid he would think I was a bit creepy and cra-cra if he saw me welding a camera.  I lurked around windows to sneak a shot or two.
Go Dave Go!

Dave cleaning my very high gutters. Sorry about sky light glare!

I'm over the moon that he is cleaning all the gutters.  Dave used 3 different size brushes, a broom, bucket, blower and hose. Praise the Lord! Next, Dave cut the backside out of a tree he saw threatening the roof. He also cleaned my skylights that were covered in pollen. Thanks Dave!

He's coming back next week to power wash and stain the deck and front porch. He is going to do some re-design work on the railing porch railing. Be still my heart.... I hope Dave and I will be together for a long, long time.

In case you were wondering, Cowboy feels no guilt or remorse over his lack of interest in house projects. He is quite content to be known as, "my checkbook handyman".

Cowboy is feeling the love for Dave too.  When they met, Cowboy smiled, vigorously shook Dave's hand and said, "So, YOU are Linda's new husband!  (Wish I had a picture of Dave's face....)

Dave only charged me $75. SWEET!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rug-on-Rug not a Good Idea for Staging

I advise sellers to not show their house with rug-on-rug.

Buyers read rug-on-rug as covering a stain, spots, or tear in the carpeting that they will potentially buy.  A buyer is not going to move your furniture to peek under the rug and see if there is a problem with the carpet. My philosophy is to eliminate objections before the house shows.

Rug-on-rug is OK for decorating but usually not for staging.

But then....
Yes, I have staged rug-on-rug when the seller refused to replace the carpet and offered a carpet allowance. (BTW, carpet allowances are an outdated relic in today's selling market). I only do rug-on-rug when the carpet is in poor condition and I need to do a smoke-and-mirrors-thing to distract from the carpets condition. It is not a cover up, merely a distraction. I have only used rug-on-rug in the winter.  The layering looks too hot in the summer--like a fleece over a sweatshirt.

Just sayin'
A good friend and I planned to have lunch today.  A frantic phone call this morning resulted in our plans being cancelled. She is moving.  Her house is barely 6 years old.  The problems that the Home Inspection Report revealed are baffling.  All of their energy will be directed towards making repairs instead of preparing for the move.

Stay on top of home repairs while you live in your home.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Little Laura Ashley Love

This bedroom belonged to the owner's son.  The son moved out and I staged his bedroom as a guest room.  This is a double bed with a king size Laura Ashely bed treatment on it.  I adore this comforter set. It was in my guest room before I donated it to this project.  Isn't Laura's Toile print pretty?  How perfect is it with the grey paint?


The bed was moved to the back wall to make the room appear larger. I borrowed the black end table and brushed nickel lamp for another room in the house. 
The before pictures will make you appreciate the simplicity of how I staged the of opposite side of the room. The four small prints on each side of the windows are black and white botanicals with distressed frames.If I was decorating this house, I would have placed the 4 pictures as a group over the bed.  However, since pictures of this room will be shot from the doorway and buyers enter through the doorway (duh), the pictures flanking the windows look best on the back wall. Capisce?

I wish we could paint furniture for staging.  Can't you picture the bookcase painted a glossy white?


The only thing salvaged from the opposite corner of the room was the bookcase.  Before staging a buyer might not have noticed the architecture of this room. The sloping ceiling is a unique selling feature.

My anthem is that we are selling square footage and it has to show.  Open your space up when  selling your house.

Have an incredible day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Musings: Does YOUR Best Friend Have a Sister?

A D Bouguereau "Two Sisters" bvccrefresh

I have to admit I am one of those folks that spends a bit too much time analyzing stuff.  See, I'm a Pieces so we tend to study our navel instead of clean out the garage or go to the grocery store.

So, here is my Sunday Stuff to share. This was my latest 'hmmmmm....that IS interesting....'

All of my dearest girlfriends have sisters.  Do you think it is coincidence that these girls-with-sisters and I share a scared trust, love, and will-be-there-for-ya-anytime and take-your-secrets-to-their-grave thing?  I think these have women navigated the inroads of female relationship from being a sister.  Sisters seem to have a deeper understanding and empathy in their DNA that I find refreshing, nurturing and supportive. It is also interesting that, these girls-with-sisters will always be best friends with their sisters despite their own disagreements and misunderstanding. So, girlfriends-with-sisters tend to not get pissed off or take things personally when my train jumps the track.  They are roll-with-you, maybe-you-had-a-bad-day chics.  Gotta love that!

What's your take?
Thanks lovelies for allowing me to ramble on about Sisters.  No, I don't have any biological sisters.  Just my adopted ones.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Staging Kid's Rooms

Hello!  Time to show another staging.

I believe that children need to feel comfortable in their rooms. Their house is being sold.  It is bound to be stressful on children.  I don't like to rock their world too much.  I try to incorporate what they have with what will show best. The owner's daughter is in college but comes home often.  I tried to leave the same feel to her room and just amp it up.

Here's the cute after!

I kept the same bedding but added pillows to Euro Shames and a new pillow. The pillows plus the metal work create a vignette to replace the missing headboard.  The bedside chest was moved to the corner.  I added a new lamp and a mirror.  This room is small.  The jumbo mod flower print adds instant interest.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An Inspired Decision

It has been a busy few days.  After staging for over 20 years, my inventory has hit critical mass.  I found a larger, climate controlled space 5 minutes from my house.  I had to be out of my old unit by today. This move required that I make a weighty decision.

I inherited a lovely Drexel dining room set from my parents. After 10 years in storage, "it" was in poor condition. 
My Parent's Dining Room

The Facts:
1.We are never moving. I will never have the space to use "it".

2.I can't restore "it". I don't have the time or talent (like Heather of New House New Home).
3.I am emotionally attached to it. "It" holds childhood memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. (This makes parting with "it" hard...)
4. But, "it" could not go with me to the new storage space.

What to do? What to do?

The Decision:
I gave "it" away.  My favorite design shop, Hillary's Interiors, does an amazing job of transforming lifeless furniture into masterpieces. The owner, Dean, has always been super generous in giving me a break on everything I purchase.  Within an hour of my offer to bequeath "it", the dining room set was on the Hillary's truck and back at their store.

I could not bare meeting wheeler-dealers at my storage unit and dickering price. (The Queen of Craigslist knows all about working a deal!)

Have you ever made a decision that is illogical but felt like it was the right decision for you?

Thanks for listening!