Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Home Staging 101 – 10 Staging Mistakes when Selling Your Home

Home selling is a science these days. In order to navigate the process wisely, take note of the following home-selling “don’ts.”  Homes that look great and are priced right will sell quicker than other homes on the market.

 1- Don’t allow the furniture arrangement to block room flow. Awkward furniture placement can make a room feel smaller than it is. Remember that several people will be in your home at the same time when viewing it.

2- Don’t overlook the front door. It’s vitally important to make a great first impression. Clean or paint the door, polish the hardware, and illuminate the entry area. Make sure your house numbers are fresh and appealing.

 3- Don’t use highly scented room fresheners. Instead, move to an odorless home or use natural air fresheners like fresh flowers, cut-up fruit, cinnamon, or fresh-baked bread.  People wonder what heavy fresheners are covering up.  Don’t forget that you can bake refrigerated rolls or cinnamon buns minutes before a showing.

 4- Don’t assume all home stagers are the same. Every one brings their own personality and natural abilities into staging. Look at their portfolio.

 5- Don’t show the home when it’s not in tip-top showing condition. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.

6- Don’t paint walls sterile white. If you’re going to repaint, use a color that is more appealing to buyers.  Warmer whites and warm beiges add life to walls.

 7- Don’t use quick fixes that have the possibility of breaking when  buyers are in the home.  Buyers will take it as a signal that there may be other things that aren’t what they appear to be.

 8- Don’t remove all your personal photos. Leave two or three out. Buyers like to see happy faces of the owners of the house.

 9- Don’t forget that selling a home happens via two factors: Asking Price and Condition. You must lower your sales price to meet what the market dictates. Buyers aren’t concerned with how much money you spent on it if they feel like they’re not getting value.

10. Don’t wait to lower your sales price. It’s best to move on to your next home and get your new life started.  Trust that this is a benevolent universe and you will be okay financially even if you lose money on the home.  Stress builds up during the showing process. What price would you put on good health and serenity for your family?

10 Decorating Do’s when Selling Your Home

In today’s post “real estate bubble” housing market, attention to details sell a home. Homes that look great sell quicker. The fresher your home looks, the more it appeals to buyers.

10 Do’s

1- Purchase the best quality carpet pad which makes any grade of  carpeting “cushy.” Buyers will feel great when walking on it.

2- Take the time to paint walls, trim and ceilings that are dingy.  Keeping adjoining rooms in the same color palette makes your home feel larger and flow easier. Neutral colors like warm white or warm beige are the best to use. I always recommend Barely Beige by Benjamin Moore.

 3- Slipcover mismatched furniture in a room that isn’t unified. Remember, the items in a room should relate to each through color, style, proportion, and pattern. If a room feels uncomfortable to you or “off” it’s going to feel uncomfortable to buyers as well.

 4- Test all door and cabinet knobs. Replace mismatched or inexpensive hardware for a quick update.

 5- Let the sun shine in. Natural lighting is a huge selling point and can overcome other issues with the home. Heavy drapes are in the minority.

 6- Freshen up closets with closet organizers to maximize storage space. Make sure that buyers can see the back of closets and pantries.

 7- Consider the appropriate level for finishes in kitchens and bathrooms. Buyers in mid-priced neighborhoods aren’t looking for high-end finishes.

8-Clean every surface until it shines.  Windows are important- no streaks! Consider investing in a professional window cleaning service to get the best results.

 9- Edit furniture and accessories in each room. Less is more.  Buyers want to see the home’s bones and not so much of your decorating personality.

 10- Install new light switch-plates Worn or out-of-date covers lack attention to detail.

 Next time…10 Don’ts! when selling your home.

Feng Shui 101 – Good Feng Shui Helps You Feel Good

I think the following common expressions capture the power of Feng Shui.  “The air was so thick I could cut it with a knife.” “What you need is a change of scenery.”  These expressions explain a familiar but unseen phenomenon – energy.  Energy is the essence of Feng Shui.

After a heated argument, the energy imprint left by people in a room is palpable.  During a stressful meeting the atmosphere in a room may feel thick and heavy.  Why? Because of the energy. We all have a “sixth sense” that gives us a feeling of comfort or discomfort in an environment.  Most of us intuitively sense the type of energy in a space.

The philosophy of Feng Shui holds that the energy in your environment impacts the way you feel.  For example, do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable looking at the photo of the hallway above?  If you feel uncomfortable, you’re responding to imbalances of color, lighting, and shapes in the space.  This hallway does not have good Feng Shui.

Think about an uncomfortable feeling you’ve have had upon entering a hotel room, a restaurant, or a friend’s home.  What was it that made you feel uncomfortable?  Odds are, the way the space was decorated, the lighting, and the furniture arrangement did not feel balanced and harmonious.  When an environment is not alignment with Feng Shui principles you’ll be uncomfortable and it’ll be difficult to relax. 

Feng Shui follows nature’s principles of balance, symmetry, and flow.  The way a room is arranged exudes energy which you can feel. The essence of Feng Shui is to balance elements so that one doesn’t over-take another.  Choices such as wall color, furniture arrangement, artwork, accessories, and lighting create the type of energy in that you feel. 

Here Are Five Simple Ways to Create Balance and Flow in a Room:

1.  Arrange your furniture so that the largest and/or heaviest piece is against a wall.  In a bedroom, this is usually the bed. In a living room it’s usually a couch or media cabinet.

2. Don’t block windows. Don’t put furniture in front of windows unless you have a wall of windows or unless it’s most practical.

3. Keep things uncluttered. The first thing you see when entering each room should lift your spirits.

4. Arrange your furniture so that you can easily walk to it. Think of opening your arms to embrace someone. That’s the way each piece of furniture should be placed – open and accessible. Remove furniture if it’s blocking flow.  Even if it’s a family heirloom, if the space feels more open and accessible without it,  it’s best to remove it.

5.  Balance what’s on your walls too.  Use the open-arm analogy. Think of each opposing wall as an arm embracing you. It feels better to have each side balanced so you feel secure. If you’ve got a large media cabinet on one side of the room, make sure that the wall opposite has artwork sized proportionately to balance the space.

A good rule of thumb for decorating any space is if you feel comfortable and relaxed in the space, if you feel inspired when you walk into the space, and if love being in the space, it’s got good Feng Shui.

Comments, Questions or Feedback?  I’d love to hear from you.

Interior Decorating 101- Creating Good Feng Shui with Accessories

You can make inexpensive accessories for any room in your home.  When you’re redecorating a space after you select the “big” stuff  like furniture, window treatments, and flooring, you’ll need the right accessories to complete the room and add warmth.  When a room feels warm and appealing, it has good Feng Shui.

Here are five easy, affordable and fun ideas to create good Feng Shui.

1.  Fill a pair of glass jars or bottles with layers of dried white rice, red lentils, black beans, and green peas.  These accessories look great on bookshelves, on either side of a large television, or anywhere the room needs more energy.

2.  Spray-paint accessories, either old or new, to match one of the brightest colors of your room.  Painting two or three items will create a pulled-together look and add visual interest.  You can create a designer look by spray-painting large sea shells gold or silver and placing on top of a pile of books or on a coffee table.

3.  Add character to lamp shades by glueing ribbon around the bottom and top of the shade.  Select colors that contrast and blend with the room’s color palette.

4.  Create your own contemporary artwork.  Buy sheets of decorative art paper from a stationary store or hobby shop and frame in a poster frame from a craft store.  You can use a couple of the same pieces of paper and hang them side by side, or pick three different sheets which relate to each other.

5. Buy a large, colorful vase at a thrift shop and add dried ornamental branches or silk flowers.  Place in a corner or on a fireplace for instant visual appeal.

Have your own ways to create accessories on a budget?  I’d love to hear about them!