Thursday, May 31, 2012

A STUNNING ESTATE Owned by a Sneaky, Sleazy, Slick Creep

I love to show you beautiful homes.  This gorgeous estate is in Chapel Hill, NC.
Photo by Don Carrington
Unfortunately, it is owned by this person.

John Edwards - Google
 I was really hoping he would be downsizing to something more befitting his moral fiber.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last Weigh-In Wednesday

 It's is pouring down rain here in Raleigh, NC thanks to Beryl rolling up our coastline. I made one last trip to weigh-in.

Grand Total: 7.4 pounds! I'll take it. I didn't make my 10.8 pound goal.  Isn't it always those last pesky pounds that are the hardest? 

Weigh-In Wednesday was a great experiment.  I learned a couple of things.  I work harder and am more vigilant about diet and exercise when I have to be accountable. 


Being with friends and family, eating and drinking, is one of my favorite things.  Laughing and having fun is tops on my priority list.  When I'm having a grand time socializing I don't give a hoot how many calories I'm imbibing. Self-discipline has never been my best attribute!

Thanks for all your support!  I'm not giving up!  I'll keep trying.
But, I'll also continue to have fun.....


Monday, May 28, 2012

Dear Justin Timberlake,

Justin Timberlake is in cahoots with his interior designer, Estee Stanley.  The two recently started HomeMint, a new home decor business. 

I must admit, I am a fan of JT's music and his style is impeccable.  When I read about HomeMint, I couldn't tap, tap, tap my way fast enough to their website.

That's where the fun ended.  I had to take a stupid test to find my design style and then do the Register and Login thing to become a member. Membership is supposed to grant me big savings.  The test is silly in no way defined my style.  Here is one item personally selected for me and my design aesthetic:

Two words: "HELLLLL NO!"

There is no way I want a 22 inch wooden rattle snake in my home. I wouldn't let 'em in if he was free.  And, this fork-tongued sucker is expensive! $325.99 retail and $239.99 for members.

I did like this Celadon Embossed Bowl and Cover.

I love the color and the delicate details. I would buy this in a heartbeat if it wasn't (get this!) $679.99/$499.99.  Special, huh?  Check out for more crazy-expensive home decor. You won't be seeing it in a house staged by moi.

Justin, I love ya, but  stick to bringing sexy back. 


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memories for Memorial Day

My father, Jack, was a Navy Veteran.  Here's a picture of Jack and Peggy, after they got married at age 19, in a small war-time ceremony.  Daddy was in his dress blues.  Mama was in a pretty navy blue and white dress.


They met at a USO dance.  Isn't that romantic?

I think they could have modeled for the USO poster. 

(Wow! This trip down memory lane is making me reach for a Kleenex....)

Have a wonderful weekend celebrating this grand Memorial Day Holiday!  Take a minute to remember and be grateful for the wonderful lives of freedom and prosperty that we enjoy.  Remember the men and women now serving and those who, throughout the years, sacrificed to make it all possible.


Have a happy and safe Memorial Day,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Serve These "Up"

I love dishware! There are so many interesting patterns and styles. Options are limitless. Plates are easy and inexpensive artwork.  Plates need to be displayed with a common factor: color, size, design, or style.

I adore this shot!  The subtly of the white Ironstone, displayed in an arch, mimicks the lines of the headboard.

Phoebe Howard

Check out these mod plates displayed in a diamond patter.  The chunky, graphic birds are fun and the colors festive.

White plates above the kitchen cabinets break up the yellow.  The white plates relate to the pendant lights, beadboard island and countertops.

Better Homes and Gardens
 These shallow baskets are AWESOME.  Their texture adds warmth and interest to this painted brick wall. (I know I was talking about plates but basically this is the same idea.)

This plate hanger from the Container Store is perfect for displaying plates.  Ditch those old-school-spring-y things for this:

For staging, displaying plates can add an instant design element to a space. However, one must be careful not to get too carried away.  It will look like vertical clutter.

These plates don't work: too many, too many styles, too many colors, too many patterns and wanky placement.
This plate display is just Wrong-y Dong-y.
Happy Friday y'all.

 If you need help staging your house for sale, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All Hail Peggy! The Queen of Clean

My mother showed up to help me today.  My mother left this world in 1990 but, God Bless her, when I am overwhelmed with too much on my To Do list, she gives me inspiration.  Peggy was the master at home making.  Everything had a place and was in place.  She was a chronic cleaner and organizer.  I, however, did not inherit that gene.

When I am staging, I am uber organized --or at least organized choas (see below) and have tunnel vision until the job is completed. 
Karen Sampson
Would if I could maintain that focus in my daily life!

Today, with my angel helper, I got lots accomplished: managed to cleaned out and organize 4 drawers, packed a bag of donations for Goodwill, caught up with my client contacts, worked in my design studio and even mangaged to unload from my trunk and distribute pine straw, peat moss, and plant some flowers in the yard!  Yee Haw!  It was a productive day.

Oh yeah, I didn't get to Weigh-In Wednesday.  Sometimes when you are in the flow you just have to go with it.

Hang in friends, I'll be back next week with my final weigh-in.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Unusual Combo

I've seen many different styles of light fixtures in people's houses.  This one is a first.  I felt compelled to share it with you.  I was at an outside cocktail party at this house and took a couple of pictures on my path to the loo. (Trying not to appear too obvious, I didn't turn on the lights.)

Linda Beam
This is an iron chandelier with two white glass globes covering the bulbs.  On the outside are double rings with hooks for pots and pans.  It's one of those things that makes you go 'hmmmmm....' I couldn't decide if I liked it or not. 

Maybe it is the cornucopia of hanging items that throws me?  Maybe it is because it is direct line-of-sight from the adjoining dining room?

If the house was for sale, I would recommend that this light fixture be removed and a new one installed. It is distracting.  This kitchen has other great features, like the pot filler faucet beneath it.  This chuck wagon menagerie of dangling pots and pan diverts your attention.

Linda Beam
 Has anybody else ever come across a light fixture/pot rack?  Do you like it? 

Sometimes I think I am too focused on looking at every house through 'buyer's eyes'....

Maybe I need an intervention?

If you would like help staging your house, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Monday, May 21, 2012

MLS Monday--It's a yawner

I spend a lot of time in my bedroom.  I research, write and return phone calls from my gorgeous 4-poster Rice bed.  The Federal Mahogany buffet from my parent's dining room flanks the bed.  My Grandmother's East Lake bureau is on the opposite wall with a gynormous 38" gold guilt Monster Mirror above it. I have an antique French chair reupholstered in a kooky brocade graphic fabric in the corner.  I ADORE my bedroom! 

Don't you dream about a luxurious bedroom?

Marketing to Your Buyer
Buyers dream of a luxurious bedroom, too.  Here's a Master Bedroom I found in my local MLS listings this morning.  It's OK, but nothing special...

The symmetry is perfect: two cooresponding pictures above the bed (hung too high, I might add), boring brown bed treatment with the two mirror image end tables and lamps.  The matching bureau completes the 'showroom set'.  Rooms tell a story and this one simply says, "boring". 

If you chose to live this way, it's all good!  But, if  your house is on the market, it needs to 'feel' better.  Emotional Appeal is key.

This room needs to feel: lush, romantic, sumptuous--a cocoon and retreat from the angst of the outside world.

If these seller's only knew that mixing it up a little and investing in a few accessories could make a world of difference in how their Master Suite shows.

Maybe I'll take you on a tour of my Master someday....

Have a great week, y'all!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

More Stupid Staging


Gorgeous sitting nook!  Wonderful architectural detail! Perfect pillows!

Tennis racket sticking out of  a stuffed canvas bag with tennis balls placed oh-so-casually. Really?

Stupid Staging.

How about that wee-bit-of-a-vase with yellow flowers behind the colossal column? 

Stupid Staging.

But then, I guess one must accentuate their balls.

Have a grand weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

And All That Jazz

Wow, don't we all have a room that needs a little jazzing up?

Here's a basic Man Cave: two big chairs facing a flat screen TV.  For selling, I jazzed it up with few accessories. 

I added a couple of beige suede pillows with a Terra Cotta-colored design that matches the chairs.  Manly, yes?  Then I used two masculine geometric prints for a pop of color. The black frames tie in with the black metal of the lamp. The lamp I used belonged to the owner.  I though it was a bit delicate for the scale of the chairs.  To compensate, I raised the lamp on books. The books add another layer of texture.

After - Linda Beam
After - Linda Beam

A metal tray with candles was added to the lower shelf of the table.  The metal of the tray cooresponds with the metal of the lamp base.  The colors of the candles reflect the colors in the art.  Easy peasy!

Here's the before picture:

Before - Linda Beam

The folks that use this room are a father and his teenager son.  The son has lots of friends (who threw bookbags down on the chairs as I staged, thank you very much).  I always take into account who will be using the space if it is owner occupied.  This Man Cave will be easy to maintain.  "The boys" needn't be concerned about destructing the staging.

Happy Friday, y'all!


If you need help staging your house,  please contact me.
Linda Beam

I appreciate each and every comment.  Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #6

Hi guys! Thanks to all who are following my progress towards my goal of losing 10.8 by June 1.  (I started April 11.)

This week was OK.  I exercised everyday, stuck to my calorie allotment most days, and walked 11 miles.

Weight Loss 
I lost one-half pound this week.  A tiny amount but at least I am going in the right direction.  I slid down the slippery slope when I went out of town this weekend.  I enjoyed a croissant sandwich for lunch, California Veggie pizza for dinner, and Mother's Day breakfast. 

For breakfast, I ordered one of the 'healthy and fit' selections from the menu: whole wheat blueberry pancakes with fresh banana slices on top and a side of scrambled egg whites.  It truly was "mah-ve-lous"! (In the words of Billy Crystal from Saturday Night Live-back in the day.)  Then, I screwed up by ordering bacon and drizzling syrup on my pancakes.

Calling Dr. Phil
"You can't change what you don't acknowledge," acccording to the Guru of all-that-is-crazy.  Here's my deal: I am 'observant' most days. (I say 'observant' because I'm not disciplined.  My best effort is to be aware of what I'm eating and make exercise part of my day.)  However, if there is an opportunity to be social, I go for it! I indulge with gusto and don't look back! 

So Dr. Phil, if you are listening, give me a call. I'm "acknowledging" the folly of my behavior!

New Find
Stumbled upon this little thing-y in the produce section of my grocery store.  Now I can take my own light salad dressing with me.  Pretty sweet for $2.99.

 Thanks for all of your support!


Monday, May 14, 2012

MLS Monday

Today, I'm starting a new series, "MLS Monday".  I will take an active MLS listing and give recommendations based on my 10 years of experience as a stager. For this post, I've selected the beautifully decorated living room of this gorgeous home to evaluate. 

The list price is $840,000.  The notes on the MLS page state that 'the owner is a professional decorator' and I don't doubt it.  She has done an amazing job.
But decorating is different than staging.  Staging is about allowing the features of the house to be showcased.  A home is decorated to meet the tastes, comfort and style of the family living in it.  A house is staged to appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. 
  • The ceiling fan should be replaced with a light fixture. I would go with a drum shade for a more modern look. I'm no fan of overhead lights but they are necessary for selling.
  • There is too much furniture and too many accessories in this room.  These items are taking up valuable square footage.  It is essential that square footage be opened up for the room to show as large as possible.
  • We don't want large furniture in front of windows.  We are selling the windows and the view--not the sofa, plants and lamp.
  • I would flip the sofa to the opposite side. The two small striped chairs would be placed on angles where the sofa is. The scale of the chairs will allow more of the windows and view to show.  Also, moving the chairs will open up the area adjacent to the foyer. As the room is arranged now, the backs of the chairs are a visual block upon entering the room.
  • There is a small woven stool next to the sofa, near the fireplace, that I would remove.
  • I would remove the over sized coffee table.  It obstructs a buyer's path to the fireplace, (which will be open, if the chairs are moved).  Fireplaces are the #1 amenity buyers look for in a home.  If the coffee table must stay, I would removed the chest under the coffee table, the wooden box on top of the coffee table, and the small bench (difficult to see in photo) between the sofa and the coffee table. A piece of furniture between a sofa and coffee table is really, really wrong. It is desirable to have the space surrounding furniture completely open.
  • On top of the chest of drawers, under the smaller window, there is a tall wooden chest of drawers, multiple framed personal pictures and a yellow lamp.  I would remove everything but the yellow lamp. Too many items on a table top reads like clutter. I would move the lamp to the opposite side of the top of the chest.
  • I would remove the small desk behind the orange chair under the other small window. I would move the distressed red end end table next to the sofa under the window. I would place the plant on the plant stand next to it.
  • If I were staging this living room, I would removed the wooden crate on the hearth of the fireplace.  I would also remove the picture above the mantel.  It is too dark for this room and it covers the beautiful stone work of the fireplace. (Remember, we are selling the fireplace--not what is on it.) A few large candlesticks and a piece of pottery on the mantel would show better.
  • Moving the sofa would mean the upholstered chair and ottoman would not be used in this living room. 
The rug is the perfect size and texture for this room.  It anchors the furniture while allowing the hardwood floors to show.  This owner has beautiful furnishings and style.  It is always a pleasure to stage a house with wonderful resources! 

This living room is a grand example that the house you live in and house you are selling are different.  It is better to show a house that is 'under' decorated yet still feels warm and inviting.

Can you see that even a beautifully decorated house can benefit from being staged?

If you would like help in staging your house for sale, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Here's a salute to all Moms.

I love being a mother. John is my only child.  And boy-howdy, did I hit the jackpot with that kid. From the moment he popped out, he's been one of my favorite people.  I love him so much and am so proud of him.

Then guess what?  John married the sweetest girl ever.  Lucky me! I got a wonderful daughter that I not only love to pieces but she really, really 'gets' me.

I never thought the feelings about being a mother could be topped.  Guess what?  Being a Grandmother is super-duper-crazy-over-the-top-wonderful!  One-and-a-half year old, Jack, makes me smile so hard my face hurts; laugh so hard I cry, and cry real tears when he runs towards me with open arms singing, 'Mimi, Mimi, MiiiiiiiMiiiiii!'

Here's Jack hamming it up in Mimi's vintage beret after Jello party for lunch and pillow fort on the bed.

I had a lovely weekend with my SIL, BIL and MIL.  So happy we could all be together!

Happy Mother's Day all,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't Stupid-Stage a Dining Table

I adore a well set table! But how you live in your home and how you stage a house to sell are two different things.

Elaborate staging on dining room tables looks fussy. The Martha Stewart-type tablescapes I see in MLS listings should stop.  A table set with  formal place settings looks stupid-staged. Napkins in wine goblets is really stupid-staging.  I refer to it as "stupid-staged" because staging is supposed to be relateable, not contrived.

Many folks are under the impression that when staging a dining room it should look like a formal dinner party will begin any moment. I say wrong-y dong-y--Stupid-Staged.  A dining room table should be simply staged. The tabletop shows best with minimal accents: textiles, ceramics, metal or wire baskets, candles and natural elements. 

Green apples, a lush Boston Fern, or fresh flowers look amazing on a dining room table.  Fresh and natural accessories have energy that attracts people.
Granny Smith Apples are only $5.99 a bag and will last up to 3 months before wrinkling.  That's a design bargain! 
You can't fail with Asian Lilies! Remember to pinch away the anthers so pollen doesn't stain the petals.  

Love this picture! Check out the hydrangeas in a ceramic urn, wire basket with fruit and Boston Fern. (The books and small tureen are too much for staging--but it makes a great picture.) The size and proportion of the chair is perfect. The sisal rug is an excellent textural element. The bookshelves are staged with the proper number of items per shelf.  

Sorry---I digress from discussing the dining room tabletop.....

Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson's has decorated her farmhouse in great style.  The glass hurricanes are perfect on this vintage wooden dining table.  It looks like Sarah put sea glass pebbles at the base of the hurricanes to support the pillar candles.  I often use coffee beans, birdseed, small river rock or lentils in hurricanes--great for organic color and texture.  Also, notice Sarah painted old banker's chairs a glossy white.  You DIY-er's could copy that idea. 

A Treasured Moment
Here are more hydrangeas in a glass vase under a wonderful iron candle chandelier.

My Little Bungalow
I covet this gorgeous glazed pottery platter and nubby textured table runner!  Glass hurricanes with candles (can barely the see one to the right) flank the platter.  This is a perfectly staged simple dining room tabletop. (

I have to show you just one picture of stupid-staging with napkins in wine glasses.  I don't get it....

Triangle MLS

Happy Friday, y'all!


If you need help staging your house, please contact me.
Linda Beam

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #5

I was definitly not on the diet and exercise tract this week.  I only walked about 6 miles and only exercised 1 day.  As for calories - forget about it - it was off the charts!

I enjoyed a Kentucky Derby party wearing my best Southern Belle broad-rimmed hat and pearls.

I also traveled to Atlanta for a graduation party.  What fun!  Two parties, plus 2 days in the car, plus away-from-home-travel-food, plus no exercise equals weight gain. 

I weighed in today--only because I made a commitment to Weigh-In Wednesdays.

Results this Week:
I was up .8 pounds.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was actually surprized that it wasn't higher.  Time to get back on my program!

May 9- May 15
Another trip out of town this weekend! We are helping my SIL unload her kitchen and pack it up before a renovation project.  I should get some exercise.

I've lost of total of 6.8 pounds. I have 4 pounds to go before my June 1 deadline.  Wish me luck! 

Thanks for all the support,


Monday, May 7, 2012

Atlanta's Got Talent!

We had a whirlwind weekend.  My nephew's high school graduation party was in Atlanta this weekend.  We made the 7 hour trip to Atlanta for the Saturday party and returned home Sunday.  I was married to Cricket's oldest brother a thousand years ago.  Cricket has always been and will always be my little sister.

It is so much fun to visit Cricket and her family.  Cricket has a beautiful home and is an inspired interior designer.  She had new window treatments made for her kitchen and family room. (Don't all of us use a party as an excuse to 'amp up' our house?) 

I'm always stumped by window treatments. Not my Cricket! She got a deal on the fabric, knew an accomplished seamstress and had them professionally installed.  The result is the perfect finishing touch to her gorgeous home!

Linda Beam

(My neice was watching cartoons). Linda Beam

Linda Beam

Linda Beam

Linda Beam
The valance above is my FAVORITE!  I adore that it has been personalized with the monogrammed "B" in the center! The rolling hemline with the fringe is very flirty.  The underlay is the check design of the family room drapes.  The overlay is the print design used on the valance in the eat-in area.  Lovely!  Oh yeah, Cricket is not finished with the project just yet.  There are roman shades being added in the eat-in area.  Of course, I didn't miss the shades but she wouldn't want these pictures to go out into Blogland unless I acknowledged it. 

How about that hammered copper farm sink?  Yowzer!

Have a great week everybody.  I'll see you for Weigh-In Wednesday and it ain't gonna be pretty.


If you would like help staging your home, please contact me.