Refinishing Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floor refinishing 1

Recently at a home staging consultation for a mid range priced home going on the market for sale, recommendations to the main level of a home were made for hardwood floor refinishing for a floor that had seen better days.

I had to base the hardwood flooring refinishing in the context of sales price, condition of the home, competing properties and what home buyers would find desirable. Homebuyers and people with allergies across the United States want hardwood floors. Making a recommendation for a hardware flooring update made sense for the home seller and statistics showed a 101% return on investment.

Hardwood floors add value to a home, if the hardwood floor is looking a little worse for the wear, sanding and refinishing the hardwood flooring is the first consideration to get your investment back when selling.Hardwood flooring refinishing

Refinishing hardwood flooring is not that expensive and can completely change the look of a home with the option of changing color. Lighter color will make a space look open, light, bright, airy and informal. Darker refinished hardwood floors look more formal, sophisticated and dramatic. The majority of people prefer a forgiving satin finish that obscures scratches more than a semi gloss finish. A

Stained hardwood can usually be fixed if you hire a professional and replace stained sections by weaving new hardwood into the existing flooring, and then refinishing. No one will ever even notice the new pieces of hardwood, it will blend seamlessly.

Hardwood flooring refinishing carpet












Lucky for you if you have hardwood hidden beneath your carpet, it’s like finding a hidden treasure. Rip up the carpet and refinish hardwood floors and you will improve the value of your home by making it more desirable to the maximum number of home buyers.

In another post The Cost of Home Staging Is Always Less Than the First Price reduction discusses the fact of not taking steps to stage your home, not refinishing hardwood floors will make buyers assume that you don’t take good care of your home, and will more likely make a price reduction accordingly.

Stage Your Home for Showings and Marketing Photos

Home staging if done correctly can provide a return on investment of 251%. Stage your home for showings and marketing photos by freshening a space, cleaning and de-cluttering, adding art, greenery, lighting and staging or renting furniture.

Remember the cost of home staging is always less than your first price reduction, which comes in the way of longer time on market and low offers.

Perception is everything when it comes to marketing a home for sale. The goal is to highlight strengths and to downplay home weaknesses. Dressing a house for success will appeal to a broader range of potential buyers.

Stage your home for showings and marketing photos by:

  • Decluttering and removing extra items by providing the illusion of more space. Too many items in marketing photos add a air of confusion, make it hard for the eye to see important details of a home. Unless someone wants a fixer upper, home buyers don’t want to purchase a home that appears cramped and lived in. Homebuyers want the feeling of new and fresh.

Dirty homes feel gloomy, are overwhelming and depressive. Cleaning a home of fingerprints, dirt, grime, stray hairs and personal care items will make those that view your property have a positive feelings. There is just something about the thought of taking a bath in another’s dirty tub, or sleeping in a room strewn with dirty clothes and cooking in a kitchen with grimy, greasy cabinets and appliances, yuk what a turn off.

Art is used in home staging to create visual interest. Staging artwork is different than personal art collections that are purchased to inspire memories and are personal in nature. Staging artwork entices home buyers, by creating style, adding color, distracting a view of negative features, highlighting architecture, focal points, providing the illusion of bigger, smaller, wider, taller and adding excitement to a space.

Home staging existing furniture or renting furniture and placing into pleasing arrangements and vignettes, help a home appear functional, spacious and welcoming.
Another part of proper placement of furniture is improving traffic flow, drawing the eye to architectural attributes, hiding flaws and creating balance within a room.

Although much of a buying decision is already predetermined like location, or size of home. Home staging can assist with curb appeal and homey characteristics of a home listing.

Studies have revealed that buyers first impressions of a home’s interior are:

Cleanliness, Clutter and Odor 35%
Decor 21%
Condition & Lighting 16%
Floor Plan 15%
Rooms 13%.

72% of home buyer’s first impressions and feelings can be controlled by the seller with the use of effective home staging.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends


Lighting Size, Placement and Trends black drum crystal



Lighting size, placement and trends both inside and out when preparing your home for sale reaps one of the greatest returns on investments. Simple lighting improvements can be as easy as washing windows inside and out and replacing spent light bulbs.  Othertimes you will need to make updates to compete with new and model homes in the same price range.

Refreshing the look of a room can be done by replacing old, dated light fixtures and ornately decorated fixtures that may not appeal to the broadest range of buyers. I typically recommend when providing home staging consultations that home sellers keep it simple and select lighting in a transitional style, which is neither traditional nor contemporary.

The great thing about transitional style is that it will give you a great updated look in a contemporary setting or a traditional interior setting. As for finishes, transitional styles are flexible allowing you to mix finishes with existing hardware, but if you want to match your finishes to your faucets and hardward, go right ahead.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association consumers are looking for contemporary spa like easy to clean bathrooms and kitchens with less clutter and clean simple lines, with LED lighting cited as an “in-demand” kitchen feature for its energy efficiency (which is another hot buyer preference).

Knowing what lighting size, placement and trends when you are updating your home for sale will help you obtain a greater return on investment. Keep these simple home staging tricks handy as a practical solution for any home interiors lighting updates and you won’t go wrong.

Lighting Trends

Consumers love out door living and revamping garden areas, patios and porches can make your curb appeal really “shine”.  This will be the first impression buyers will have of your home.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends black sh

Pendant lighting in 2015 will take on the shapes of bowl pendants and drums (like the one above).

Chandeliers aren’t just for the dining room anymore and are making their way into spaces like studio apartments, attic bedrooms and small mother-in-law suites. The luxury market demands, dramatic, upscale and extravagant transitional crystal chandeliers.

Power in the shower continues its popularity as we head into 2015.

Silver, Chrome and Stainless steel have commonly been used in the kitchen but warm metals like gold, copper and bronze are the trend for 2015.

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends gold pendant

Image Courtesty Decor Pad


Lighting Size, Placement and Trends copper

Image Courtesy

Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bronze

Image Courtesy Houzz

Lighting Placement

Lighting placement, size and how high you hang your lighting play an important role in the over all look and feel of a space.

  • When hanging lighting above your kitchen island hang 24-34 inches above the counter top.
  • Lighting diameter in the center of a room should measure 1/12th the size of the room to maintain a balanced look. Measure your rooms length and width and divide by 12 to get the proper size of the light fixture.
  • When hanging lighting above a table the diameter of the fixture should be 12” less than the width of the table.
  • Hang your chandelier over the dining table 28” to 32” between the table top and the light fixture.
  • In a hallway a 7ft. clearance between the floor and light fixture is a good rule of thumb to keep lighting in line of sight.
    Lighting Size, Placement and Trend

    Image Courtesty EHow


  • In a stairwell clearance should be 18” to 24” above the tallest occupants head.
  • Hanging fixtures in the middle of a room demand a 7ft. clearance unless hung above a table or other piece of furniture to avoid bumped heads.
Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bedroom chandalier

Image Courtesty New England Home

  • Hanging lights in the bedroom and above the bed should be 7 feet or 6” above the head when kneeling on the bed.

    Lighting Size, Placement and Trends bath sconce

    Image Courtesty Crisp Architects

  • Sconces or pendants in the bath should be spaced 28’ apart and 60” off the floor.
  • Foyer light is placed 80-84” from the bottom of the chandelier to the floor. Center to the window and hang no lower than point of the second floor when the ceiling is really tall.
  • Table and bedside lamps should measure from the base of the shade and eye level from a seated position.

Lampshade Size

Sometimes your lampshade may be all that is needed to get an updated look. Follow these rules when updating your table lamp shades.

  • Shade length from top to bottom should be 65-80% of the base length. For example if your base length is 18”, the shade should measure 11”- 15”.
  • The diameter of the shade should be no more than 2” less that the base diameter. If you have an 18” base the width of the shade not be more than 16 inches.



Home Staging for the Holidays

Home Staging for the Holidays

Tartan and cable knit is a timeless pattern associated with the holidays. Try bringing throw blankets and pillows into your living room and guest room for a festive touch.

Presentation is everything when it comes time to sell, no matter if a retail store merchandising a store front window or home staging for the holidays.  Why heck, we wrap our holiday gifts in pretty paper, ribbons and bows to elevate its appeal to make it feel special to the receiver.

Home Staging for the Holidays 2

Set the mantel’s tone with faux snow in vases and apothecary jars.
Take advantage of the glass jars’ interior spaces to create a tiny winter scene and to introduce sparkle with traditional mercury glass ornaments.

With that said, we should be marketing our homes for sale during the holidays using home staging tips that raise the value and marketing appeal to the broadest range of home buyers.  Take a simple approach, keeping in mind that less is more just as your would when selling during any other season.

Home Staging for the Holidays 3

Set the mood with candlelight and metallic accessories to create drama in your space.

Don’t take my word for it, check out the Realtor survey data reveals, the majority of realtors feel that when selling  your home during the holidays, home staging should be put in place to attract potential buyers to make a home feel cozy and inviting.

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Flat Screen TV and Living Room Design

Flat Screen TV and Living Roo

Image Courtesty 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  Rustic Console and Contemporary Glass Lamps

Image Courtesy 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 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 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.




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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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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Easy 10 Minute Home Improvement

Easy 10 Minute Home Improvement usb outlet kitchen

Images Courtesty Hubbell Wiring USB Charger tamper resistant decorator duplex receptacle in white color features two 2.0 USB ports capable of charging two devices simultaneously.

Are you still using extension cords and electrical adapters on a two-socket outlet? Fortunately, I found an easy 10 minute home improvement that replaces a traditional outlet for an amazing outlet that includes USB ports.

My bedroom has one duplex receptacle on the wall within reach of the bed that only allows room for the flanking bedside lamps or an ugly extension cord.  The work area in my kitchen where I use both my CuisineArt, KitchenAid and Ipad for recipes only has one convenient outlet in which to work from.

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Stainless Steel Appliances Look for Less

Stainless Steel Appliances Look for Less

If you are going to upgrade your kitchen to appeal to the masses, then there is nothing like Stainless Steel appliances for your best return on investment.   Buyers love it!  But when it is not in the budget what’s a home owner to do?  Why, get the stainless steel appliances look for less, of course.

The faux stainless steel has been featured on on Food Network, QVC, DIY Network, NBC and the Today Show.

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