Friday, October 31, 2014

It Really is All About the Shoes!

Happy Halloween, Y'all!
This is Wilma the Witch.  She has been with me a few years.  Wilma is very proud of her shoes.  She loves to make an appearance every Halloween.
Wilma greets all of our Trick or Treaters.  She makes the Moms laugh and the small tikes cry.  (Hate that!)

You goblins, enjoy your Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sex Sells but Not for Staging

This master bedroom sits in a $2M house on the market.

Dear Sellers,
Yowzer, that is one colossal nude painting.  I do get it!  You enjoy a sexy, provocative painting in your boudoir. She is lovely.  But here is the deal sellers, buyers will only be in your bedroom a few minutes.  We want them concentrating on the size of the space--not checking out the muscles (or whatever) of The Poser in the Painting.

And, speaking of, it appears you do some posing of your own and enjoy checkin' it out in that big ole leaning mirror facing the bed.  I get that too!  But, let's move that mirror for selling, eh?

 You've got lots of furniture in this small room. All the furniture lines the four walls.  We call that "wall flowers" in stager-talk.  Something's gotta give: the huge console in front of the bed, the full size sofa, the mirror, the 2 large bedside tables, the chair, or the chest of drawers next to it.  This room needs breathing space.

"It's the space between the notes that makes the music."

Of course, we have to leave that pretty bed.  But it does need to be tidied up.  Those wanky comforters and covers aren't the impression we want to make for selling. (And, straighten that pretty bed skirt while you are at it.)

If you are familiar with Feng Shui, you will understand when I say the dried hydrangeas have to go.
Dry = Dead.  Dead stuff is bad Feng Shui.

Dead is definitely not sexy in a master bedroom.

Ring, text, or email me dear sellers.  I'll be more than happy to help you staged your $2M master bedroom.

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

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?
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.