Bathroom Trends Do’s and Don’ts

Life is fun and ever changing, but when it comes time to sell your home and updates need to be made, you may want to follow some bathroom trends do’s and don’ts to make sure you get a good return on investment.

Gray is here to stay! Gray was the “in” color choice for the bathroom in 2014, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Gray is a perfect neutral and versatile palette for traditional, modern/contemporary or transitional design. Darker grays are more dramatic and mysterious and the closer it gets to white, the more illuminating and lively it becomes (fyi buyers prefrer open light, bright and airy). Gray is not a 50/50 of white and black, gray can have tints of blue, green, pink, mauve or yellow within it which give it some energy. Adding white accents will give you a sophisticated look. Oh la la, add a splash of bold, eye-popping color, with accents and you’ve got the makins’ of delicious design.

Stick with transitional lighting, nothing trendy if you are updating to sell. Toss or donate original builder fixtures and add transitional lighting (also known as “updated classic”, “classic with a contemporary twist”, or “new takes on old classics”). Perfect for that “transitional” gray that can do double duty if you get bored, to go either with modern or classic design. Oh, don’t forget lighting in the shower and if you have some room an accent light on the counter or chandalier if you are sporting a big enough room.

FYI, traditional design is trailing behind contemporary, keep in mind the age group of the folks who will be buying your home (the average first time home buyer is 31).   Their tastes may be a wee bit different than what you are used to, if not among the same generation.

Home buyers are still looking for that spa like bathroom and Zen-like retreat that has earthy wood looking floors, tile made to look like wood is probably a smarter choice than the real deal in a particularly “wet” room. However, tile always has style especially if it is a good ceramic faux made to look like real natural stone or just plain real natural stone, there is nothing like it under a barefoot.

Interior designers are saying geometrics are in and I believe them. Me, the home stager says if I were you and getting ready to sell, I’d keep your geometric, bold colored tile to something more transitional and get your geometric trends on in your towels and/or accessories. Stay away from some of the trends that are more permanant when selling. Color and pattern do not appeal to the majorities, just saying.

DO:  Big showers, vanities with lots of drawers and technology, free standing soaking tubs,  water control like thermostatic mixers that can control multiple shower heads or a combination shower-bath. Benches or seats in showers, electric radiant floor heating, steam showers, no-threshold showers, comfort height toilets, comfort height vanities and while your at it, install one of the awesome USB ports to your electrical outlet for your smart phone.

Don’t forget to check out the National Association of Realtors Cost Vs. Value Report to see where you will get the best return on investment.

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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Home Staging Winter Curb Appeal

Home staging winter curb appeal for our shorter, snowy or dreary days makes lighting important when selling a home – homebuyers don’t want to be surrounded by darkness when they arrive at your door.  Outdoor lighting will add to winter curb appeal with an air of welcome, warmth, and accent unique features of your home or landscape, which can add value to your property.  The exterior lighting will increase the safety around your home to avoid slip and falls from ice or missed step.

If selling a home during winter months it’s still important  to keep deck and patios lit.  Painting a picture for home buyers to envision the possibility of barbeques and entertaining family and friends in the sunnier months ahead is an important aspect of any outdoor setting and adds great value to your home.

Its easy to forget the exterior when we aren’t spending time outdoors, but our exteriors play an important role in home sales.  Checking the following exterior areas will help in gaining a greater return on investment when it comes time to sell.

Home Staging Winter Curb Appeal

Repair split or decaying wood on the deck and be sure the wood is still sound.

Railings and banisters should be clean and secure.

Clean away any leaves and debris from porch, deck and patio, since these can be slippery and promote mildew.

Grills, fire pits, chimneys create a warm and cozy deck atmosphere, but make sure they and the surrounding areas are clean and free of charred wood.

Be sure all spent light bulbs are replaced and working; clean any light covers to allow maximum light to shine through, and trim any plants or tree limbs that may be blocking light.

Remove cobweb and spider webs from entry way and overhangs.

Be sure to clean all outdoor furniture.

Ding, dong, don’t forget the doorbell, replace if broken or dated, clean if dirty.

If you have trees overhanging your deck, make certain there is no danger of decaying limbs breaking free and falling from trees surrounding the deck.

Now, the dreaded four letter word, you guessed it snow!  Make sure the driveway is shoveled or plowed, sidewalks and walkways are free from debris (my neck of the woods its tumbleweeds, ugh) and de-iced.

Your welcome mat if tattered and worn will need to be replaced with a new welcome mat to create friendly, welcoming visual interest. Not to mention grab snow, mud and other dirt off the feet of homebuyers who will be visiting your house.

Home staging winter curb appeal if decorating for the holidays with outdoor lighting, should be kept simple. Clear or white lights tastefully strung and a simple wreath on the door, will be all that you’ll need.  The architectural detail of the house should be the shining star when you are trying to appeal to the broadest range of potential homebuyers.

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 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 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.




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.

Update an Old Sofa 5

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.

Update an Old Sofa 7

Update an Old Sofa 6

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

Update an Old Sofa 9

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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