Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Staging to Sell: A Case Study in Pictures


It's no secret that I'm a real estate junkie that probably needs a 12-step program.  Even though I have no intention of moving (ever again), I still love looking.  Waste of time?  Perhaps, yes.  But, I could argue that golf is a waste of time too, right?  We all have our hobbies.

Anyway, in perusing the listings recently, I couldn't help but notice the look and feel of homes that were "sale pending" vs. those that are still on the market.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what sells.  Yet, some people still don't get it.

First, let's start with what works.

Ahhhh, yes this works!  Such a simple, classic, elegant look, staged to perfection.  Don't you love it?

It's got an open concept floor plan, which appeals to the masses, but the way that it's staged just says "Welcome Home" to me.  I'm guessing that's why it's "sale pending".

What's even better, is that it's a tri-level home - definitely a 1970's-1980's style of home.  I grew up in a tri-level, and they're great family homes, but many that are on the market are stuck in a time warp.  It's great to see one that has been brought into the 21st century.

A lovely, open white kitchen.

And check out this cozy little den, complete with an inviting stone fireplace.  I could totally picture myself curling up on the couch with a book, in front of a roaring fire.

In the basement - they've even staged a little desk area, making great use of a corner space.

And let's not forget the inviting backyard.  Perfect!

And then there's the "don't" portion of this study.  First, let me say that you don't need to have a remodeled home or spend a fortune to get your house real estate ready.  But, apply some common sense, and put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer.  It's really that simple.  I know it's difficult, since you're selling something with such personal ties, but try to be objective - or find a friend who doesn't have an issue with speaking her mind.
I'm figuring that this seller is either 1) shut down to the idea of home staging, 2) has no friends that speak their minds, or 3) has a mute realtor.  Or maybe all of the above.  This is about the most overwhelming interior I've ever seen.  Imagine an unsuspecting buyer walking into this home! (although thanks to online listings, hopefully no buyer is that unsuspecting).  The wall spackling alone that would be required to get these walls into paint-ready shape is enough to scare away a potential buyer.  Gallery wall gone bad.

Is that a real parrot sitting on that white thingy hanging from the ceiling? 

The wall art continues in the kitchen, and migrates to the cabinets.

Notice the slight of hand used with the curtains in this room.  "Oh look, it's French doors leading to a tropical retreat!  Aw shucks, it's just curtains."
And then I found this little gem in another listing.  Look at this newly remodeled kitchen!  Gorgeous, yes?

And it features a stone fireplace too.  With built-in double ovens.  Um, what?  So I suppose you market this home as a "Chef's Delight, complete with three ovens."  I can't understand who would think this was a good idea.  Like, ever.
So there you have it - going from one extreme to the other in the land of real estate.  What's the craziest thing you've ever seen while looking at houses?  I know Julia at Hooked on Houses has blogged about some doozies! 


Oak Kitchen Reveal: From Builder Grade to Custom Made


This reveal has been a long time coming, but I'm sure you'll find that it was worth the wait!  I know many people struggle with what to do with their builder grade oak cabinets, and this kitchen project is proof positive that you can make big changes without crushing the budget.  I ended up going back and following my own kitchen cabinet painting tutorial for much of this, but will be back with additional detail and some tips and tricks in dealing with oak cabinets, since they were a bit trickier than my own maple ones.

Kelly is a photographer, so I have to give her major snaps for providing me with some gorgeous blog candy photos.  Check her out - she's been shooting our family photos for years now, and is branching out into commercial photography as well.  Not to mention that she is is my go-to girl for photography tricks of the trade. 

Let's get to it!  Do you remember where this journey began?  Kelly was looking for something more modern (like she is), and was "over" the red.  The style of the kitchen just didn't mesh with her personal style, and she wanted a cleaner, more contemporary look.

So, that's what we did.  We had the cabinets built up to the ceiling and trimmed out with crown molding.  Huge difference with that alone, and it definitely takes "builder grade" out of the equation.   The cabinet color is White Dove, by Benjamin Moore.  I used the Benjamin Moore Advance paint, like I did in my own kitchen redo (because it's awesomely revolutionary).  I love that she wanted to keep the island, because it gives it a nice rustic feel and keeps it from feeling too stark or cold.

And this is the kitchen all styled and beautified - gorgeous!

The plan is to eventually put dark hardwood floors throughout much of the main floor, and upgrade the countertops, appliances and backsplash as well (with penny tile). But the great thing is that the floor and counter will work in the meantime since they both have gray in them - a nice interim solution.

We also added hardware to the cabinets, since they were missing it before.  I have to give a big shout out to D. Lawless Hardware for providing the knobs and pulls.  They're just what this space needed to bring it into the 21st century!

We opted for polished chrome knobs and pulls in keeping with the modern vibe we were going for in this space.

And let's not forget the transformation with the wall color - don't you love it?  I'm a smitten kitten myself.  It's called Elephant Skin by Behr.  Yes, the name is somewhat unappealing, but the color is remarkable! 

It even works until the backsplash is put in place - I love the high contrast.

This kitchen gets an abundance of light to begin with from the adjoining sunroom, which makes the new cabinet color even more well suited.  Plus, the gray really works with it as a result.  It's still a sunny and inviting kitchen - not at all dark or drab.

You can even see her faux roman shades (ala another Target tablecloth) in this shot.  Sound familiar?  Love it!

So, there you have it!  From a tired oak kitchen, to a fresh and modern space.  All on a budget.  Good stuff!

So what do you think?  Thinking about painting your kitchen cabinets?  Give it a go!  Or, give me a call, because I'm starting to take on these jobs for clients!

P.S.  - I'm also guest posting today over at Just a Girl - hop on over and take a peek!

Linking up:
Liz Marie Blog - Inspire Me Please
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
Beneath My Heart - June DIY Party
Not Just a Housewife - The Best DIY Projects of 2013

TDC Before and After


Thrifting for the Outdoors


I have been enjoying the abundance of yard sales lately and came upon some serious goodies this week.  I have been looking for a bench, and snagged this cutie, but for the sake of this post, I'm referring to her sweet little sidekick.

Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to this little table.  First off, it's solid, which is always a bonus.  But it's also a great size, and is the sort of table that you could use just about anywhere in your house - inside or out.  Oh, and it was $10.  Are you seeing where I'm going with this?

It was in a bit of rough shape, but nothing a sander and some stain can't solve.

I used Minwax stain, in Jacobean.

And for the moment, this little lovely has found a home on our back porch.  I've been looking for some side tables to accomodate the space between the chairs we have out there, and this one fits the bill.

All that's missing is a cold Corona with a lime...

Well, there's one project I can cross off my list.  In the meantime, I'd better get cracking on some of these other yard sale projects, otherwise I won't have a place in the garage to park my car.

Are you scoring any amazing yard sale finds this summer?  Do tell!

Linking up:
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday

TDC Before and After


A Fabric Inspired, Whole House Color Palette


I hope you had a great Father's Day weekend - we definitely did, celebrating some wonderful dads around here!

I have been working with a client on a whole new color scheme for the main floor of her house.  She's had the same colors for years now and is ready to freshen things up with new colors and fabrics throughout.  I love it - how fun to come up with a whole new palette from scratch and start fresh.  A blank canvas.

So, since we're starting anew, I decided to start with fabric as a jumping off point on this project.  I admit it, I love looking at fabric, and what better excuse reason to do so!

They have already made improvements in their kitchen, with a new backsplash, and granite countertops (painting the cabinets is also on the agenda).

I wanted to pull out some of the colors that were in the backsplash as well, and this fabric does just that.  And, I'm able to pull in some other colors that will work and flow throughout the house.
There are so many great colors and fabrics that can be used to coordinate with our starting fabric - I'm really excited about the possibilities.  The image above are just some of my favorite fabrics that we're working with in her home.  I'm really loving the coral/orange tones, and we're going to be using those in a kids' study room, which is shaping up in a fun way as well.
I think the orange ikat is going to look fab as a window treatment in this space, and want to add a fun light fixture as well.  Maybe a semi-flush drum pendant of some sort?  Can you see it?

This is just one piece of the puzzle - it's going to be a great project!

If you're interested in a consultation - click on the Consultations tab of my blog for more info!