Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ralph Lauren, Oprah and Me

Like most bloggers, it is difficult for me to write when I'm not inspired.  Of course, I have posts that I have written but I can't manage to hit the "publish" button when I'm uninspired.  For me, inspiration usually 'finds me' in other areas of my life.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren


I was watching an old Oprah and Ralph Lauren interview.  She mentioned that one of the first big purchases she made when she started making money was buying Ralph Lauren towels. "NOW I have made it!" To Oprah, Ralph Lauren towels represented "the ideal" of what it meant to be successful.
Brian Procell
They continued to have a very thoughtful conversation about the appeal of his products.  I had to stop the video when I heard Ralph Lauren remark that his brand "is not about fashion".  Ralph Lauren said his brand was about "living".  His goal is to create the dream for people of how to live.  He continued on to say that what differentiates his products from his competitors is the love he devotes to his creations.

Yes! Yes! Yes! I shouted to no one.  That is exactly my philosophy!

I, too, endeavor to create the dream for people of how they will live in a house.  And, yes, while if sounds perfectly OK for Ralph Lauren to say he puts love in his products, it probably sounds pretty cra-cra for me to go around saying it.  (I just had a vision of me telling realtors that I am different than other stagers because I put love in my staging. HA! I can see their eyes rolling.)

There is a lot of competition for products and services.  I think Ralph has hit 'it' on the head.

The following quote has been pinned on my bulletin board for 20+ years.  I am so sorry that I do not know who wrote it. I wish I knew who to give credit to. 
How do you define work?




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Visit from the Chair Fairy

Worthing Court Blog
This is a true story--for real.

I was reading blogs one night and stumbled onto Worthing Court Blog.  Suzy bought two chairs from Pier 1 for her living room redesign.  I fell in love with these chairs!  I am a big girl and like a chair that is ample for curling up in.  The upholstery print was divine!  All the colors I use in our house.  Oh! I had to have it!

I hit Pier 1's website.  This Chas Armchair in Blue Meadow was priced at $499.  Errrr.....I lusted this chair but that price was waaaay out of my league.

Pier  1
Sigh...

I am a Craigslist junkie. I scour it constantly for staging, clients, friends, and, of course, moi.  (You know where this is going, right?)  I did my last CL scan before bed -- that same day.  Thar She Blows!  MY CHAIR!  It was listed on CL for $150.  I mean, what are the odds?  I emailed the owner immediately.

She only lived a few miles away. Kismet! Off I drove to make the fetch.  Ms. owner of the Chas Arm Chair, Angie, works a Pier 1.  Angie explained that she had purchased lots of furniture from the store and Hubs was putting the squeeze on her to start weeding some of it out. Allow me to help you, Angie!
Here's my 'new' chair in my bedroom.  Love, love, love her!  Perfect for using my laptop, watching TV, and Cowboy uses it for putting on his socks.

I got her for only $100!  Yippee Skippee.

Thank you, Chair Fairy!


PS-- She is on sale at Pier 1 for $429. right now!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staging from My Written Report


Isn't this a pretty house?  Theses sellers requested my Consultation Report for their house going on the market.  Thought I would show you with their Living Room before and after.

Living Room After
This is the only 'after' picture that I have of the living room. It may look sparse but the changes make a much better impression than the original arrangement.  The sellers had a large brown leather sofa and club chair. Nothing against leather, but it is considered casual furniture.  The occasional chairs and small table are great for 'living' but not for 'selling'. (I continue repeating, 'staging isn't decorating'.) The bay windows are the selling feature of this room and they must to be featured.

You will also notice the seller exchanged their brass lamps for a lighter (in color and size) pair.  Love, love, love the extra large painting they placed over the sofa. I suggested a large picture and boy did they deliver! The painting balances the windows and the cathedral ceilings.  It will make a dramatic statement me from the adjoining foyer and front door.  I always use books for staging.  The sellers used two on the end table (closest to the windows) to tie in the colors from the picture.

The sellers had the white fabric sofa in an upstairs Bonus Room.  I suggested it be moved to the living room.  The white fabric sofa looks more formal in the living room than the leather.
If I were staging, I would have put a small glass coffee table in front of the sofa.  Glass coffee tables are great for selling because the create the illusion of more space.

I also would have added many big, colorful pillows.

When I write a report, I give the sellers my recommendations of items to add, edit or rearrange.  Of course, it is their discretion how to use that advice.  I've received many questions about using my reports to self-stage. 

I will continue to show examples for the DIY crowd!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Musings: Forgive Me for Not Forgiving?

Cindysense.com
The value of forgiveness celebrated.  All the gurus and great spiritual leaders discuss the power of forgiving.  I'm a good Christian girl, but to be honest, I've always had a challenge about this particular tenet.  I struggle with the concept of forgiveness.

I am forgiving of small offensives.  Small offenses being things that happen (or are said) with no intention or awareness of hurt or wrongdoing.

But have a difficult time with the reprehensible: molestation, animal and child cruelty, adultery, murder,-- you know the MAJOR sins.  I've seen all the shows with the mother who forgives the drunk driver that killed her baby.  The forgiving man sent to prison for years then released after DNA tests prove his innocence.

I salute these folks! These people have super-human powers in my book.  Forgiving folks are evolved souls.  They are angels walking on earth.

I think there needs to be a different vernacular for mere mortals who grapple with the whole forgiveness thing. Here's my deal: I believe in release. I release people of  their wrong doings.  Release beats allowing their actions to invade my thoughts and distract me from all of the wonderful things to experience in life.
How easy is forgiveness for you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Online Staging


I've received questions about how my e-consultations work.  The seller sends me pictures of the rooms in their house.  I write a detailed report give suggestions of how it should be staged.  As with my all my consultations, it us up the the sellers to take my advice.  (More details are under "Services",)

Here is a dining room that has been self-staged.
Dining Room Before

Dining Room After
The sellers did not want to go to the expense of replacing the wallpaper.  See how removing the center leaf and positioning the table on diagonal makes all the difference.  They also added a live fern as a centerpiece, per my instructions.


Family Room Before
Family Room After
This room had too much furniture in it.  The sellers edited the furniture.  I also asked them to make an unobstructed path from the French Doors to the back door.

This coffee table had to go!  The huge coffee table literally 'eats' square footage.



Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After
I recommended new bedding, a large picture over the bed (moved from another room) and remove the window valance and treadmill.  The other night stand (under the window) was added to the right side of the bed with a matching lamp.
I'm like a proud Mama when I see seller's follow through on my suggestions.


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Road is Paved with Philosophy

Happy Friday!
Google

I was summons for Jury Duty this week.  My number was selected, I passed the interview and was seated.  This was my third stint on Jury Duty.  This week I was "Juror #12".

I always find the process intriguing.  The juror interviews are long and tedious. Probably 60 people answered a battery of questions from the Judge and attorneys.  There was one juror that stood out to me.

"What do you do for a living?"  Attorney
"I pave highways."  Juror
"What is your passion when you aren't working?"  Attorney
"Philosophy.  I have been a student of philosophy since I was young."  Juror

At break, I made it a point to sit next to this older gentleman.  I asked him how in the world he withstood the heat of working with asphalt and temperatures so high. He told me his methods of staying hydrated and watching is electrolytes.  He went on to tell me that he didn't work as hard as the other men.  He had developed a work pattern based on his 5 senses.  He knew just exactly the number of strokes he needed to make to get the asphalt the required depth and density.  "Lots of men work themselves to death--especially the rookies--going back and forth and back and forth."  He worked with efficiency rather than effort.

Then I asked him about his passion for philosophy.  I can't begin to paraphrase all of the scholars, classic and modern, he quoted.  We had a discussion about physics.  He enlightened me on solving problems by applying numbers to possible solutions.

My head was spinning.  I was overwhelmed by all of the knowledge this man shared with me in such a short amount of time.

He told me that he made a decision early in his life to find a job that only required seasonal work where he could be outside.  He could pave highways for 4 months of the year and have the remaining 8 months to devote to his study and the application of philosophy--application being his 'philosophy walks'.

How lucky was I to meet this gentleman?  I met someone who orchestrated and was living a true Authentic Life.

Always make time for your passions.  Even if it is the road less traveled.

Monday, September 1, 2014