Home Staging vs Interior Design

home staging vs interior design red curtains

Image Courtesty Home Star Staging

Sometimes clients of my Realtors when home staging in Denver is recommended, hear, “I used an interior designer my home is beautiful the way it is and it will sell”. Partially true, eventually all homes sell.  The mantra in our neck of the woods from Real Estate pros is “home staging is always less than your first price reduction”.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 2

Image Courtesty blog.ctnews.com/realestatewithjudy. Check out the fresh new look!

I have gone into many homes that from an interior design standpoint makes my heart skip a beat. However, when providing a home staging consultation I explain the differences of home staging vs. interior design.

The use of furniture, artwork, greenery and lighting are used in both home staging and interior design to create an attractive, stylish environment, but that is where the difference ends.

home staging vs interior design kitchen

We become blind to the little things in life. It’s the small things that take away from the newly updated kitchen as you will see below.

Interior design is used to create a highly personal space decorated to the tastes of the homeowner. Home staging does the opposite, its goal is to create an impersonal space that looks awesome in marketing photos to attract and appeal to a broad range of people who are looking to buy a home.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 6

Removal of coats, wastecan, items on ledges, refinishing floors, turning on a light and adding art turned this space into an inviting room.

My job as a home stager is to provide unbiased, tactful recommendations, using what you have to impersonalize the space and transform the home into a fresh, welcoming, non-taste specific house that potential buyers like and want to live in. A staged home avoids price reductions from sitting on the market for long periods of time.


Home Staging vs. Interior Design 4

Although a lovely room by some standards, dated swags and traditional design create a dreary old feeling that won’t appeal to many.


Home Staging vs. Interior Design 3

Removng curtains, hanging a simple mirror and a rearrangment of furniture creates an updated look in this room.

If you hired an interior designer it was because you needed help in the design of your space and that’s ok, but if you aren’t aware of the differences between interior design when staging a house you may open yourself up to not selling as quickly and without the return on investment you were looking for.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 5

Have at it! What’s wrong with this picture?

The goal for we home stagers is to create a welcoming, functional, peaceful and well-organized space. Getting rid of visual distractions that the camera will capture and perspective buyers will see. My job is to be strategic in capturing the positive architectural attributes and downplaying the not so positive.   It doesn’t mean that everything has to be plain Jane with no color and zero accessories, it just means we will be using it in smaller doses.

Home Staging vs. Interior Design 7

Curtains soften the hards lines of this basement bedroom. Re-arrangement of furniture highlights architectural selling points, making this room inherently more stylish.

Every home no matter the size or price range, if a condo, town home or country manor, even if beautifully decorated can benefit from staging services to create a mood that buyers emotionally respond to that is the difference between Home Staging vs Interior Design. A home stager will consult or do the work for you to update, re-arrange, edit and make changes to reflect current trends using low-cost solutions.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design

Flat Screen TV and Living Roo

Image Courtesty pinningaisha.posterous.com Stylish Black and White Gallery Wall

Merry Christmas to me, merry Christmas to me,  after three whooping years I bought a TV.  My 15 year old TV, a big, square, beast of a TV that measures front to back at least 2 feet and takes two to lift, is out — and my new 50″ flat screen, smart, lcd, led TV is in (see you Sunday Daryl Dixon).

Image Courtesy Houzz.com  Rustic Console and Contemporary Glass Lamps

Image Courtesy Houzz.com Rustic Console and Contemporary Glass Lamps

There isn’t a house that I go into when I am providing a home staging consultation that doesn’t have a TV, or two or three.  TV’s are in family rooms, bedrooms, basements and kitchens and even sometimes the bathroom, often creating a design challenge.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design 2

Crosley 60” corner TV Stand comfortably keep your television and its accessories in a neat and organized way.

With that said this post will cover optimal placement of your Flat Screen TV so that it looks great not only in your living room design, but for marketing photos if you are getting ready to sell.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design 3

This line will work great in your renovated farm house or a smaller beach cottage get-away.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design Viewing Angle

The best viewing angle for comfort is to place the TV when seated at eye level and your head even with the middle of the screen.  According to Architectural Graphic Standards, the sightline measurement of a seated adult is 44 inches (3′-8″) above the floor.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Desi

Image Courtesty turquoise-la.com. Another great gallery wall

When I was selecting the size of the TV for the size of my room I had to take a few things into consideration.  The best size for the TV depended on my room size and how far away my furniture is placed and where I’d be sitting, and of course cost, too.

Flat Screen TV and Living Room D

Image Courtesty Houzz.com Ceiling Medallions let your eye rest other than the TV

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design Screen Size and Distance

There are a few sources that discuss optimum distance for screen size and distances, heres a few to help you, when buying a flat screen while keeping room size in mind:

  • 26″ screen = 3 to 5.5 feet
  • 32″ screen = 4 to 6.5 feet
  • 37″ screen = 4.5 to 7.5 feet
  • 40″ screen = 5 to 8.5 feet
  • 46″ screen = 6 to 9.5 feet
  • 52″ screen = 6.5 to 11 feet
  • 58″ screen = 7 to 12 feet
  • 65″ screen = 8 to 13.5 feet
  • 70″ screen = 9 to 15 feet

Avoid eye strain by not placing the TV directly in front of a window or opposite a west facing window, to prevent glare.  Manufacturers recommend not putting the flat screen above the fireplace.

The television in many homes becomes the centerpiece and can take away the focus of design and architecture, if done improperly.  By installing the TV low on a wall directly at eye level it allows for the actual wall to remain the star.  

Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design 1

Mounting your TV, along with artwork in a gallery style will give your eye plenty to look at other than a big black screen.  If using a console that is wider than your TV, flank with tall lamps, objects of art or bookshelves, to incorporate the TV into your interior design.

When you have more than one focal point like a firelplace and windows your only alternative may be to tuck your TV into the corner on a wedge shaped cabinet.  Don’t let your TV compete with your focal points, let your focal points shine and your TV play second fiddle to your architetural focal points.




Home Staging the Generation Gap

home staging the generation gap 1

My recent home staging consultation sporting refinished hard wood floors, trending paint color and tasteful decor.

National Association of Realtors say that 60% of the buyers that will drive the real estate market in the  coming years is the generation under the age of 33 and the slightly older Gen X’s.  The bulk of the housing inventory will come from retiring and downsizing Baby Boomers in the next 15 years.  

20.1 million senior and booming households will attempt to sell between 2015 and 2030,  according to University of Utah researcher, Arthur C. Nelson. 

home staging the generation gap

Adding new bedding and pillows is one of the easiest updates for a fresh, updated look.

What pray tell do our young buyers want?  An updated home with a large percentage of homes built before 1990.  What they don’t want is an older looking, outdated home.  This will pose a challenge for our upcoming baby boomer sellers, should they be hesitant in improving a homes appeal.

home staging the generation gap 2

Updated kitchen featuring new appliances, updated cabinets and granite counter tops in this open floor plan.

Home staging, renovation and updates will continue to be an important part of marketing a home for sale — to boost a home’s value to appeal to younger buyers and sell fast.

The more a home seller knows how to appeal to buyers the better their chances for selling fast and for top dollar.  Home buyers will be looking for homes that look their very best and stand out on from the competition.

home staging the generation gap 3

Spacious, multi-use, finished basement is an update that appeals to a broad range of both GenX and Millenial home buyers.

Home Staging the Generation Gap Will Include:

  • Home renovations and updates.
  • Move in market ready homes.
  • More closet and storage space.
  • Open floor plans, home offices with up-to-date wiring and technology.
  • Finishd basements.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Hardwood floors and granite counter tops.
  • Extra rooms.
  • Upgraded kitchens.
  • Media Savvy homes.
  • Living spaces optimally designed for family usage.
  • New Appliances.
  • Quality and well-priced inventory.

Home sellers who consider buyer preferences when preparing a home for sale can make your property more appealing to a broader range of buyers to sell faster.  Home staging will help to emphasize the space in a home by showing property to appear open, light, bright, spacious and use merchandising techniques that update and enhance the property to more likely attract top dollar.

Check out this article on what home improvements to make for the best return on investment.




Update an Old Sofa

Update an Old Sofa 3A sofa takes up a lot of real estate in the living or family room, making it one of the first things we see when entering a room. Sofas can get worn out over time, or we just plain get sick and tired of the same old look and need an update.

Update an Old Sofa 4

You can refresh the look of an entire room, with little to no money invested. Lucky for you, there are several ways to update the look of a sofa and they don’t take a lot of time or money.

My favorite and least expensive remedy to updating the sofa is to use accent pillows.

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Image Courtesty HGTV

Use solid colors only.

Update an Old Sofa

Using a solid color with a pattern is simple and provides big impact.On a cream or white sofa, using a strong pairing of opposite colors such as red and green, orange and blue, those colors that are opposite on the color wheel. all you need for a backdrop is cream or white.

Update an Old Sofa 1

Use a bold pattern and a small subtle pattern that visually looks like a solid is a good look.

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Floral patterns can be mixed and won’t clash with one another.

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For the brave at heart you can mix up patterns by varying the size of the patterns and adding texture.

You can use a 2-2-1 ratio to keep a simple symetical look. Two square pillows of the same size on each end of the sofa, working inwards add two smaller pillows in a different pattern next to them and one jazzy rectangular pillow for the middle.

The photos that I have provided may not be old sofas, but the design concepts are the same.  You would be surprised to see how an old sofa can be transformed just by using accent pillows.

6 Home Odor Solutions

6 home odor solutions

Truth, there’s an entire science referred to as “scent marketing.   Global brand Holiday Inn applies scent marketing to their advantage to subliminally have guests stay longer in their rooms.

Hey, that’s what we want homebuyers to do.  The longer they linger the better chance for them to imagine the experience of what it would be like to live in and enjoy the pleasure of your home.

I’ve smelled them all when doing home staging consultations.  Following find 6 Home Odor Solutions to use for your home:

1.      Dirty chimney.  When there are hot, humid summer days dirty chimneys produce undesirable odors.  Clean creosote and soot out of the chimney or hire a chimney sweep to do.

2.     Cigarette smoke.  Nobody wants to walk through a house that smells like a dirty ashtray.  Removing cigarette smoke is hard work as it affects walls, carpet, mattresses and all soft goods in a home.  Wash walls if that doesn’t work, seal with a primer and paint.  Use dry carpet cleaner with granules on the carpet, if that doesn’t work, call in a professional carpet cleaner.  Toss the mattresses and soft goods.

3.     Main sewer lines can produce a rotten egg smell.  Add a teaspoon of peppermint oil down the drain and run hot water.  If that doesn’t work you may have a bad trap.

4.     Unbathed pets and pet urine can make your carpet and pad reak.  Short term solution is baking soda otherwise steam cleaning, or replacing the carpet and pad altogether.

5.      Bathroom rot from “missing” the potty creates bacteria build up when the base of the toilet isn’t sealed.  Call a plumber dis-connect and remove the toilet, clean, replace wax seal, reinstall toilet and caulk.

6.      Musty basements smells come from a byproduct of mold.  Run a de-humidifier, remove porous items that absorb moisture like cardboard, wood, wool, leather and paper.  Have a mold air test as mold can grow behind walls and the walls will need to be removed to avoid future health risks.

We might not be a global brand but we can certainly do our due diligence to remove odors in our homes.  Take some marketing tips from the big guys to sell homes faster and if the market allows, for more money.

The nose knows, studies show that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to pleasure, well-being and memory. Your job as a home seller and mine as a home stager, is to create a positive experience for home buyers.

Home Staging – Smells That Sell:

Holiday Inn:  Fruity smells when there is something to celebrate.

Nike:  Rose smells to help sell higher priced shoes

Singapore Airlines:  Uses a scent called Stefan Florida Waters, to enhance a travelers experience of a relaxed flight.

Morgue and Funeral Homes:  Use cinnamon spray to create a trusting and homey, warm feel.

Turkish Airlines:  After much research from Milward Brown Turkish Airlines uses a fragrance called TK1933 which produces a feeling of trust, peace, happiness, serenity and pleasure.

Be mindful of the schnoz, keeping a clean smell in a home is a basic.  Buyers and guests demand a clean, fresh and fragrant house.

6 home odor solutions cinnamon

TimeMist® Cinnamon Premium Metered Fragrance Dispenser Refills – 6.6 Oz

6 home odor solutions dispenser

Misty Automated Metered Aerosol Dispenser

6 home odor solutions sponge

Nature’s Air Odor Absorbing Replacement Sponge in Neutral, 24/case

PS. I was unable to find any of the products used by the big brands, I’ll keep my eye out for an alternative.







Home Staging Consultation Report

home staging consultation report office

The home staging advice on this office showed the biggest transformation. Providing an open, light, bright and airy space that could be used as a bedroom or an office

Hey All!  Just wanted to fill you in on some of the behind the scenes of what goes into a home staging consultation report.  The motivated seller of this home rocked it, following the consulation report that I provided, to the letter.

The success that the seller received from the staging consultation in her Denver area, owner occupied home was (drum roll, please) sold first day, multiple offers, $10K over asking price.

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Avoid A Bowling Alley Room Design

Avoid A bowling Alley Room Design 2

Image Courtesty www.lmbinteriors.com

Bowling alleys are fun but not when it comes to room design.  Home-buyers need to imagine being able to easily place their own furnishings into the homes that they are considering purchasing.

Avoid A Bowling Alley Room Design

Image Courtesty www.spacesstreamlined.com

Home staging a long room to avoid a bowling alley room design, will help not only your own comfort in the rooms in which you live, it will also help potential homebuyers envision the opportunity that a room has to offer.

Hmmmm, grey and orange seriously trending from accents to walls, if you haven’t noticed lol!

Avoid A Bowling Alley Room Design 1

Image Courtesty InteriorDesignPortland.com

Whether you have just moved into a new home or are struggling with furniture placement in a long room, or you need to make your marketing photos look smashing, the following tricks will help:

  1. Arrange furniture for a long room over to one side of the room to allow space for people to walk a straight line and passage way from one room to another, without interrupting conversational seating areas.
  2. Limit the number of furniture pieces and place furniture in a corner arrangement. This allows people to walk through the room past the furniture at an angle. Use an ottoman that can be used both for storage and as a stand in coffee table or extra seating when needed.
  3. Place a loveseat or sofa depending on the width of the room facing and in front of the fireplace/window focal point. Using a sofa table behind will stop the eye and divide the room.
  4. Using end, coffee tables and art with the round elements will detract from the long lines of a room.
  5. Place freestanding bookshelves at the end of the room to allow for foot traffic, should your room be too narrow to comfortably walk between the piece and the furniture in front of the piece.
  6. Divide it! Stage two or more separate groupings in the room. Create an area for conversation, another for music/games, or one for media viewing. The possibilities are endless!  Think outside of the box.
  7. Use area rugs to define each space to tie the whole design together.
  8. Using darker colors on the short walls at either end of the long space will shorten the space visually.  Paint works wonders in long rooms, simply by painting an end wall a darker color the room will magically appear to jump forward.
  9. Hang artwork with strong horizontal lines on the end walls, this will visually make the room appear wider and the length of the room appear shorter.
  10. Choosing smaller pieces of furniture and pulling the room arrangment toward the center of the room (where space allows) will create the illusioin of a shorter space.

Bonus:  By adding a strong, brightly colored focal point to the coffee table will naturally draw out our eyes attention and distract from the problem of a long space.

Try to incorporate a few tricks into your design and what was once an awkward room will feel stylish and comfortable.

Warm and Welcoming Fall Decor

warm and welcoming fall decor 1

No doubt we are looking forward to the fall holiday, right? Home Staging for the fall holiday works best when a home has minimal visual distractions, appeals to a buyers senses and makes use of warm and welcoming fall decor.

Fall decorating can be used to merchandise your home for sale to stimulate imagary of holiday tradition and togetherness, joy and memories of fun.  Just remember to decorate for the fall holiday with a pinch of style, leave the bounty and abundance of your holiday decor of the season pre-packed and put away.

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4 Fireplace Makeover Ideas

Fireplace Makeover 4 Ideas Fireplace Surround Classique

The Classique Fireplace Mantel Surround

When I woke up this morning it was 3 degrees in Colorado.  With that said it got me thinking about fireplaces (go figure).  Mine needs a fireplace makeover with it’s dated 6×6 white ceramic tile and big fat mortar lines (ugh).  It sticks out like a sore thumb, good thing I’m not selling anytime soon.

The following will show fireplace pictures ranging from contemporary fireplaces to fully assembled fireplace surround kits, paint and mantle ideas.

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