Take It Outside!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring has indeed sprung in many areas (not in my area, yet :-( ). That means it's time to move on out - outside that is

If you are fortunate enough to have ANY kind of outdoor space, treat it like an extension of your living space. Whether it's a tiny balcony, a deck, yard or patio, think of it as part of your daily living space during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons.

That transition from inside to outside should be an EZ one! Treat your space like an outdoor living room. Add a throw, LOTS of pillows. Add lighting for evening use. Set the table. Add pots of colorful seasonal plants.

If you are considering selling your home, you really need to show off your outdoor space. It should be inviting enough to encourage would-be buyers to not only check it out, but linger and enjoy it a bit. And, if you're not going anywhere anytime soon, just do it for yourself. It's like putting an addition on your space for the warm months to come. You might even feel like hosting a party!

All photos courtesy of Southern Living.

Need some help pulling your look together? Let's chat about it.

It Takes 2!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ahhhhh....with Spring and Summer right around the corner, Wedding Season is fast approaching! This time of year, wedding planners are busier than accountants during tax season.

Couples entering into marriage are often also planning to purchase a home together. Sometimes, one of them may have a home to sell in that process. Aside from providing expert advice in the buying and selling experience – I also offer staging services. This has proven to be very valuable. Couples combining households and possessions are often faced with decorating challenges.

Challenges that involve LOTS of 2's! Such as 2 vacuum cleaners, sets of dishes, too many pots and pans, etc.

If you know someone who will be facing such challenges soon, consider getting them a gift that will keep that wedded bliss around for a long time!

Giving a gift certificate for Staging services would allow an objective third party help them combine their current belongings - making cohabitation much more pleasant!

Just contact me for information regarding gift packages.

Hi Neighbor!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Finally, you’ve found it – the ONE! Your dream home. From the front porch to that spa-ahh like master bath – you’re in love.

You’ve driven around the neighborhood. You know where the grocery store is and the nearest tot lot. BUT – have you met the neighbors?

If you’re serious about purchasing a home – do a little door knocking. Introduce yourself to a few neighbors. Ask them how long they’ve been there and what they like about the neighborhood. They are just as curious to meet a new home owner as you are to meet them. They can tell you if there are other children the same age as yours or if there are other dog owners to get to know.

When you move into your new place, throw yourself a party to meet your new neighbors. Don’t wait until you’re ALL unpacked. Just grab a few bottles of wine and soda, some cheese and crackers and invite them to a simple Open House. Nobody will mind all the boxes, they know you just got there!

My DH and I hosted a little get-together when we moved into our home 5 yrs ago. It was a lot of fun to get to know everyone. We luckily landed in the BEST neighborhood! We’ve gotten together for Bunco, cookouts, progressive parties and even a Snowmageddon party! We share recipes and pet sitting services.

I hope your experience is JUST as great!

Are YOU planning on a move. Let's talk about a strategy to get your home $OLD!

Decor...on a Dime

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time spent flipping through a design magazine is time well spent. I think so, anyway! It's a mini-vacation to take in the great photography, unique spaces and high-end furnishings. When it's time to get back to reality and plan a little freshening up of your space, what are your go-to places? Are you a Restoration Hardware fan, maybe West Elm, Home Goods or Thrift Shops. I, personally could live in a Pottery Barn -- if budget permitted -- and their staff wouldn't mind...

Decor that you love does not have to cost a fortune! This photo is of my guest room. I recently added the 2 side tables that I got from the FREE section on CraigsList. They were a bit scuffed up, but were the perfect size and style for the room. A little black paint, and they fit right in.

This is a shot of the tables pre-paint.

The bedding was a hand-me-down from an aunt's guest room. The lamps and curtain panels are from Target that were customized with some fabric to lengthen them and add the band of color at the top. The round mirror, also from Target, is a Pottery Barn knock-off.

The dresser is from my college dorm days. The print is a Home Goods find. The little wooden bench is something my husband got when they tore down a VERY old elementary school.

It's fun to add a little style and NOT spend a bunch of $$!

Have you completed any thrifty updates in your home lately?

Need some help pulling your look together. OR, are you thinking of selling your home? Let's chat about it!

To Stage or Not To Stage??

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ahhh, to Stage or not to Stage a home for sale...that is the question! The photo above from my local Multi-Listing Service is a great example of an attractive, Staged living room. It makes you feel like the homeowner is being a gracious host and you want to see the rest of the house! Even if you have no intention of furnishing the home this way - it still pulls you in. THAT is the model home effect.

In a random tour of my local MLS, I did discover these photos.

Just about everyone knows most buyers begin their home search on the internet. If they don't like what they see there, you'll never get them through the front door. So, do you think Staging matters?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Need some help with Staging or preparing your home for sale? Let's chat about it!

Your Home - Through Your Camera's Eye

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

If you're in the Washington DC area, you're probably at home enjoying a snow day as schools, government offices and some stores are closed. So, while the weather outside is frightful (some consider it delightful!), you may be perfecting your to-do list to sell your home this Spring. If that's the case, add this item to that to-do list: Take photos of ALL your rooms from the doorways.

Cell phones or handheld digitals are totally fine for this exercise. This gives you a REAL feel of what buyer prospects will see when they walk into each room. In your daily travels through your space, you may not notice shoes and magazines on stairway, burned out light bulbs or all that stuff underneath the bed - but buyers will. Upload those pix and take a "through the buyer's eye" tour of your own home. Seriously, you will be surprised and what the camera sees (as shown in this kitchen photo which was a "before Staging" pic).

In the world of home selling, remember: "the way you live in your home and the way we market and sell your house are 2 different things"!

Now, go and enjoy your snow day, like this 'lil guy! Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Need some help with preparing and selling your home? Let's chat about it.

Smell vs. Sell

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ahhh, Spring! A time for getting a fresh clean start! Emphasis on CLEAN if you're planning on selling your home! Barb Schwarz, the creator of the Staging Industry says "if you can smell it, you can't sell it".

If you are planning to list your home, it NEEDS a deep cleaning, yes it's gotta be "Q-Tip Clean"! You say that kind of work just ain't your thing? - then hire someone to do the heavy duty cleaning. It's a good investment, really. Then, it will be easy for you to keep it that way.

Carpets and draperies and even throw pillows and upholstery can really hold onto pet / food odors. Have your carpets professionally cleaning, freshen draperies and upholstery - even if it's with "Febreze".

Choose your menu wisely while your home is on the market. Strong food odors can linger for days. Please don't go the route of using plug-in air fresheners in every room. Your buyer prospects will wonder what you're covering up. When I am touring a seller's home or doing a Staging consultation, I often have to tell the homeowner the air fresheners are too much. That's fine if you enjoy them for regular living - BUT when you're selling your home, mass appeal is key. A lot of folks also have allergies and are bothered by strong scents.


Don't forget that offending trash can. Keep it out of sight if possible and please empty it often. People tend to become "used to" the smells in their own home, so it's necessary to remind your self about those critical buyers that will be coming through!

I hope you'll be smelling a great offer on your home soon!

Need some help pulling your home together / thinking about selling? Let's chat about it!