Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our latest project... a Model Home in the country!

From staging a vacant town home in downtown Fort Worth, to creating and installing holiday decorations, to being hired by a past client to design and install a new flagship model home before the holidays, we've been kept very busy!

Our latest client is a developer and builder of affordable, energy efficient homes in north Texas and Louisiana. Most of the communities they build in are outside city limits and on acre plus lot sizes. We chose a casual country feel as our design theme with sophisticated touches of red and blue along with a few pops of orange. It was fun shopping for just the right accessories and I was thrilled to find a "Dallas" pillow as well as art featuring local football teams in my neighborhood Home Goods store. As this type of community appeals to local move up buyers, adding elements buyers can connect with was a great way to personalize this model home.

Take a look!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Take a Fresh Approach to Holiday Decorating

How to Freshen Up Your Holiday Decor

Well it's that time of year to think about how you want your  holiday decor to look and feel. If you haven't already opened up last years decorations, now is the time to see if you have everything you need to make this holiday special.

If you decide you need to add some new ornaments or decor,  get going. Judging from what I am seeing in the stores, most of the best selection is already gone. I started shopping in early November for a client's holiday project and I'm glad I did! 

If you're a late bloomer and are just now getting your tree selected here are some ideas for you to think about. It's never too late to tweak your theme or add a fresh spin to what you already have.

When I met with my client, I decided immediately to go with a color scheme of silver, white and lime green. I also felt since the home was very large and grand, it needed holiday decor that would fit the scale of the rooms and the elegance of the existing decor. So instead of using a traditional bow on swags of greenery I came up with the concept of doing a large silver drop from the garland on the staircase to fit in with the color scheme and add some drama. 

So think about what colors you have in your home. In this case there were a few green pillows on my client's white leather sectional so that was the jumping off point for my color scheme.  Perhaps you have some red already in your home. By pairing it with silver and white, instead of green, you can acheive a fresh new look. 

Here are some examples of modern color themes for the holidays:

  • White, green, silver
  • White, red, silver
  • White, blue, silver
  • Gold, silver and white

Keep the colors in balance.Your predominant color, red for example, becomes more dramatic if it's used as an accent.  Think 50% silver, 25 % white, 25% red.  Don't be afraid to vary the shades of red. Try a very large glass container and layer different ball ornaments inside in your color theme. Vary the texture and size of the ornaments for the most pop.

Trends this year:

  • More natural looking artiticial greenery
  • Tall sculptural table top ornaments and trees 
  • Mercury silver is still hot.
  • Giant oversize ball ornaments 

If you've procrastinated about getting your holiday decorations up, don't worry. The upside is you are probably going to see a lot of stores already discounting their Christmas merchandise. Of course you can also think ahead to next year and take advantage of sales right before and after the holidays. If you love it and it makes you smile, buy it.  But don't just buy it because it's on sale!

Happy holidays to everyone. Relax and enjoy this time of year. Before we know it 2013 will be here!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Just Staged - Stunning 3 Story Downtown Fort Worth Town Home

We just wrapped up staging this spacious three story town home in downtown Fort Worth. Almost 3,000 SF of living space with two living areas. The master bedroom suite and family room/library are conveniently located on the second floor and offer plenty of space for living comfortably.

Downstairs is a formal dining room, kitchen and large open formal living room. If you love to entertain this works perfectly with great flow between all rooms.

One of the exceptional features of this home are the large floor to ceiling windows which let in tons of light and really make the most of the location. The second floor library gallery and family room are open to the first floor and the built in library shelves which wrap around this open gallery offers generous display space for any collector.

As for location, this is just minutes away from downtown Fort Worth, Sundance Square, Bass Hall and the Courthouse. If you work at Pier 1 or Chesapeake Energy your new home is a short 5 minute commute!

For Sale: 1003 W. Bluff Ave., Fort Worth TX 76102

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top 4 Rooms That Must Appeal to Buyers

Sometimes it's good to revisit the basics when you are getting ready to sell your home. Many of my clients are unsure about where to put their time and money to get their home staged to sell. Once we live in a home for a while it's hard to see beyond the day to day repairs we know need to be made and how we use the space day to day. I will tell you what I tell my clients. Most buyers are interested in these main spaces and will overlook other rooms or flaws if these rooms meet their expectations. So if you are spending money or time to get your home ready to sell, make these rooms your priority.

  1. Kitchen  No other room has as much power to make or break a sale as the kitchen. Buyers want updated here and will pay for it or will deduct (if they make an offer at all) if it's not updated. Simple updates include painting dated style wooden cabinets and adding new hardware. Don't expect to get away with old countertops or flooring. If both surfaces are in good condition and appropriate to the price of the home,you may dodge the expense of updating them.
 Buyers expect granite or other comparable solid surface counters in homes above $300K in most markets. Newer quality appliances in stainless or black finish make buyers happy. An updated kitchen will help sell your home every time.

 2. Master Bedroom This room is simpler to update because you're really looking at walls and floors and furnishings. Make sure your bedroom is inviting and looks large. No pet beds, no discarded furntiure, no office desk and clean and organized closets. Bedding should be updated and fresh. No itred pillows or old comforters!

 3. Master Bath Consider the same updates in the master bath as the kitchen, Paint cabinets, update hardware, replace dated counters and flooring if possible. Clean, clean, clean and neutral is the way to go.

 4. Living Room Today's buyers want to know they can watch TV, entertain and live a comfortable lifestyle in their living room. You have to show enough seating and an easy and comfortable seating arrangement. Many living areas, especially in some newer homes have chopped up living spaces which are open to the kitchen and the entry. It can be challenging to create a seating arrangement that allows for traffic flow and is focused on not only a TV space but possibly a fireplace. Study design magazines and websites. Look at how furntiure stores display and arrange their furniture. Letting buyers see your living space has enough room to live comfortably is key to getting offers.

 Focus on these main rooms and you will have more control over the sale of your home. Don't wait for buyers to tell you what they want. Make sure these rooms are updated and appealing before you list your home for sale!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Do You Have the Urge to Merge...Your Stuff?

Summer is almost officially over. Labor Day is past us and the kids are back in school. Whew! Remember when you were in school and you could not wait for summer to get here? Winter used to be the season we couldn't wait to get through but now I am going to nominate Summer. It's too darn hot!! At least here in Fort Worth TX. but maybe not in your part of the world. I hope you are enjoying the cooler nights and more relaxed pace of life now that fall is just around the corner.

Typically summer is thought of as the most active real estate market. Granted many families will try to move before school starts, but with changing demographics and changing household dynamics, you will find buyers out looking any time of year. Job changes, household changes, desire for more space, desire for less space. All of these are motivating factors to move.

What if you are getting married or you and your favorite person are moving in together? One of you will sell their home and both of you have to decide how you are going to merge all of your stuff into one home that reflects both of you.

It can be challenging. Especially if the merging involves lifetimes of furniture, memories and treasures.The older we get the more we have time to accumulate. When we are staging a home to sell, we ask our clients to take a good hard look at everything. Is it still relevant to your life today? Does it have a purpose or is it dead weight? Do you still like it? That's a good question. Because if you don't like it or it's not pleasing to you then it's time for it to go.

If you are merging households, leave room to add pieces and art that reflect both your tastes. Leave room to create a new home that you both can feel at home in.

Here are some more ideas and pointers to help you in the process.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The basics to getting an offer

Another great article on Houzz about preparing your home to sell. We all like to have this kind of news presented to us in bite size chunks. Five steps are doable for most sellers and I have to agree with all of these ideas. Especially the one about hiring a professional stager!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Update your Kitchen for under $500.

We recently previewed a vacant home for sale that reminded us of a very important, and cost-effective, update. Cabinet hardware. Yes I know that sounds basic but it can make a huge difference in how a buyer views your kitchen.

Did we mention that kitchens are one of the top selling features of your home? Yes they are. Even if your buyers are not cooks, everyone has an idea of their perfect kitchen. It's the showpiece of the home, where everyone gathers when company comes over and typically where life revolves around the promise of food!

The photo on the right shows a good example of a dated kitchen. What could be updated fairly inexpensively? Pickled or whitewashed cabinets are out. Most buyers are going to prefer solid wood or solid color that is trending now. The cabinet pulls are chrome and white. The kitchen faucet and hanging pendants are chrome  Chrome finishes are as dated as whitewashed cabinets.

The easy way to update this kitchen - besides redoing the cabinets - is to replace the hardware. I would stick with something in the brushed nickel family or dark silver. This will complement  the chrome kitchen faucet and light fixtures if you don't want to change those out also. 

If you have the budget, the next item I would update would be the hanging pendants. First, they are too small for this area and second it's a relatively easy update. Home Depot or Lowes has a large variety of pendants to choose from under a $100. This island needs a larger 3 light fixture so the lights don't appear to be floating in space above it and not connected to the work surface.
Keep in mind that it's not important to have all of your fixtures and hardware match exactly. Just as it's no longer the trend to match your bag, belt and shoes, it's not necessary to use all one finish throughout your home. In fact it actually looks more custom if you vary your finishes so they complement each other without matching.

Remember all it takes is a screwdriver and you've added a lot of value and style by staging your home for sale with updated cabinet hardware. And don't forget the master bath!

Here are some more ideas to inspire you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Charming Historic Home Gets Redesigned to Sell

We thought you'd like to see one of our recent occupied staging projects.

We helped this owner by redesigning rooms and repurposing their existing furniture to help stage their home to sell. Bringing in a few new pieces of furntiure to pull it all together, adding some higher end accessories really helped show off this wonderful historic home in Fort Worth's Ryan Place neighborhood.

We also recommended neutral paint to lighten and freshen the feel of certain rooms and to help buyers see the endless potential decorating possibilities! This Fort Worth home is for sale and ready for a new owner.

Take a look at the Before and Afters:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gorgeous Lakefront Condo Model

Hello! - well it's been a very busy past couple of months... we've been working on some exciting projects one of which is this gorgeous new lakefront condo on Lake Granbury in Granbury TX. The minute you walk in the door you know this is something special.

The view just knocks you out! Easy casual lakeside living with no yard to mow and all the time to spend enjoying the lake and historic Granbury.

We had a little less than two weeks to design and install this lakefront condo model. The centerpiece of the living room is an overstuffed cream linen sofa with a French country flair, so we created a French country by the lake feel for the whole condo.

Take a look!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Renovation Inspiration

I'm in awe of this woman, Nicole Curtis who hosts Rehab Addict on the DIY network. She tackles the rehab of historic homes in old neighborhoods in Minneapolis ("Minny") and Detroit.  Not only does she bring to life old "ladies" who have seen better days but she doesn't seem to be afraid to tackle almost any chore that it takes to do so. From paint to landscape she defintely gets her hands dirty!

DIY Rehab Addict
Of all the home improvement shows, this seems to be one of the more realistic in showing what's really involved in designing and renovating older homes for re-sale. I like the fact that her focus is on restoring these homes to be architecturally sound and historically accurate. In other words, the kitchens and baths, while totally updated fit with the architectural style of the home. She's also a proponent of using home staging to sell her homes.

Even if you are not tackling the renovation of an historic home, you can take away a lot of good ideas on the nuts and bolts of rehab. It's also a good lesson in staying true to your vision and not compromising on the details.

Don't be put off by the title. It took me a while before I figured out this wasn't an intervention program! Well worth checking out. This petite dynamo is a great example of a what a girl can do when she's committed to restoring old homes to their former glory AND make a living at it. Inspirational!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Updated Townhome Staged to Sell in Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque townhome staged by Hampton Redesign
Hampton Redesign just staged  this cute move in ready town home close to Albuquerque's Old Town, UNM and Rio Grande area. Conveniently located near downtown, it's a perfect solution for students or professionals wanting an in town location at a great price.

Freshly updated with new paint, carpet and flooring throughout, this two story town home is light and bright with large clerestory windows flooding the living area and upstairs with lots of natural light.

Perfect floor plan for roommates with the master bedroom and bath on the second floor and two bedrooms with a full bath downstairs. Lots of storage and a full one car garage makes this a super livable home!

1523 Los Jardines Pl NW, Albuquerque NM 87104
Listed by Rich Cederberg, Venture Realty Group.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Need a little Interior Therapy?

Interior Therapy Transformations

In response to so many of our clients calling us and asking for design help, we decided to create a new premier service called Interior Therapy transformations.

We wanted to provide the interior design guidance you need and make the process as simple as possible. Sometimes you need a little help and sometimes you need a lot. So we offer blocks or sessions of four hours. You can purchase one session or as many as you need. There is no obligation beyond  your first session so you have complete control over your budget and your time.

How can you use your Interior Therapy sessions? There are many different ways we can help. Here are a few examples of when you might want to call us and book a session.
  • You're selling your home and want to stage it to sell. You need decluttering, organizing and updating advice.
  • You've sold your large home, are down-sizing and need advice on what to keep, what to sell and suggestions on how to design your new space.
  • You've married and are trying to combine two households of furniture and two different design styles.
  • You've outgrown your home's decor but aren't sure how or where to begin to update it.
  • You want to remodel but aren't sure where to begin or what contractors to call.
  • Your kids have moved out and you're ready to create a new home office or guest bedroom.
  • You've bought a second home and need help decorating to suit your lifestyle
  • You know you want a change but aren't sure how to get the look you want
In other words there are lots of times when you might need a little guidance. Even if it's just picking paint colors or new flooring, we can save you money and anxiety by guiding you to the choice that's right for you and your home.

We suggest starting with one session and adding more as needed. What can you expect with one session? We'll get a lot accomplished in four hours. You'll have clear guidance to your next step and for some of our clients that may be all they need. Just a little help to get on the right track.

Call us today for more information and pricing. Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

HomeGain 2012 Home Improvement Survey

Townhome for sale

HomeGain just came out with the results of their 2012 nationwide Realtor survey of the top recommended home improvements including home staging for sellers who are getting their home ready to sell.

It looks like once again cleaning and de-cluttering top the list, followed by lightening and brightening.  As a professional home staging company I address cleaning, de-cluttering, lightening and brightening as part of my home staging recommendations.

Adding furniture or accessories to a dirty or dark home is not cost effective!

Sometimes it's not just about the furniture. Staging really is a variety of services that help market and present the home as opposed to just listing it without any preparation. Of course it helps to have a home stager who understands how to get the most bang for the buck. A lot of homeowners are squeezed as it is and every dollar they invest has to have a return on investment.

Be sure to scroll down the page and read the Realtor commentary. I agree that homes at $300K or above reap the most reward from staging because at that price range you really have a lot of competition.

Cleaning, de-cluttering and staging a home are some of the low cost improvements that really make sense when you are selling your home.

Friday, April 20, 2012

You can't go wrong with paint!

One of the least expensive updates you can do in your home is paint.

Painting your home yourself is a good example of  what we call "sweat equity" meaning the time and labor  it takes to paint gives you a great return on your  "investment". Since paint itself is inexpensive, painting is one of the first projects I recommend when are thinking of selling your home. Selling your home as is does not pay. Spend a little on paint and cleaning supplies and you'll be glad you did!

Take a good look at your walls and evaluate their condition. Do they just need a good cleaning or is it time to re-paint? While you're checking out the walls don't forget the trim. Trim is any paint on doors, baseboards, stair rails and cabinets. Typically trim is painted in a semi to high gloss paint as it gets the most wear and tear and needs to be able to be cleaned easily.

Now is also a good time to consider color. Did you get caught up in the red wall craze that Trading Spaces made popular? Or perhaps you've been living with the previous owners colors and haven't gotten around to updating to your taste.

You can't go wrong with neutrals especially if you're thinking of selling or staging your home for sale. That doesn't mean your walls have to be boring though. I often recommend three colors that range from light to medium in shade. Choose the lighter shades for large open spaces such as hallways and great rooms. Go with the medium shade for kitchens and bedrooms and baths. The darker shade is great for an office or media room.

Most paint stores carry color cards or decks with complementary colors next to each other on the card. Pick several warm neutrals you like and take them home. See what they look like when you tape them on the wall. Not sure? Get a quart made up and paint a wall so you can really see if it's what you like at all times of day.

Don't be afraid to try several different colors but don't get stuck when choosing  Take the plunge. Sometimes you have to live with a color for a while before you know if it's for you. Paint is cheap. You can always paint over your "trial" wall and try again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Talking LIVE about Home Staging

Today I had the pleasure of talking live with Rich Cederburg, a local Albuquerque Realtor on the Albuquerque Real Estate show on  Patsy Bailey, a local mortgage professional co-hosted.

Since I recently opened an office in the  Albuquerque area  I wanted to  connect with local Realtors and Rich stood out. His blog is a valuable source of local real estate buzz and information.

Rich is a local expert in the Albuquerque area and we found we shared a passion for not just real estate but also the technology we use to connect with our clients who are looking to buy or sell a home. Twitter,  Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ are just a few of the ways we try to stay tuned in and relevant!

Staying in touch with trends and technology is just another way for me to interact with my Realtor clients and my homeowner clients. Marketing and networking online is just one avenue I use to help my clients share the buzz!

So I hope you enjoy listening to our chat about home staging. We talk about what to expect and the differences between selling your home versus dwelling in it.  We also touched on the differences between interior design and home staging. Our conversation is relevant to any market and anyone who is wondering how home staging can work for them.

Enjoy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Albuquerque Real Estate Show on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Would you rather spend hundreds or lose thousands?

What’s a better investment for home sellers? Spending a little time and money before listing your home or waiting to see if it’s going to take a price reduction to get it sold?

I did some research on average days on market before a price reduction. Trulia has created this interactive map of the United States to show you the breakdown state by state and metro by metro. Take a look at the  Trulia chart to understand where your local market is in terms of days on market before a price reduction occurs. It's a powerful reminder of how much it costs when your home sits unsold.
Trulia Price Reduction Chart
Trulia Price Reduction Chart
For example:
The average price reduction in Kennesaw GA zip code 30144 is 6%.  Average price is $150-200K
Homes are on market an average of 54 days before the price is reduced by 6%. 
There's a 46% chance of another price reduction.
Average first price reduction = $10,500

The average price reduction in McKinney TX zip code 75069 is 6%.  Average price is $300-350K
Homes are on market an average of 75 days before the price is reduced by 6%. 
There's a 30% chance of another price reduction.
Average first price reduction = $19,500

The average price reduction in San Jose zip code 95131 is 5%.  Average price is $400-450K
Homes are on market an average of 67 days before the price is reduced by 5%. 
There's a 44% chance of another price reduction.
Average first price reduction = $21,250

The bottom line? Try to avoid letting an unprepared home sit on the market. Staging your home for sale is the smart move if you want to avoid a costly price reduction.

A home staging consultation starts at $175. 

A home staging consultation helps you get your home ready to sell. We'll give you an objective professional opinion on making the most of what you have by maximizing the space and features of your home.

We want to help you get the home sold before a price reduction is needed. It's proven that home staging reduces days on market and creates a more marketable property both online and with showings.

Let us do what we do best. Create a professionally marketed property that sells ahead of the competition.  At Hampton Redesign, a professional home staging company serving the Albuquerque and Santa Fe NM area, we know your bottom line will benefit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Are you trying to chase down the market?

What does this mean in terms of selling your home? Chasing down the market means you list your home at the price you want to achieve, but due to market conditions your home stays on the market x number of days until your price is reduced to what the current market will bear before it sells.

Your home will stay listed for sale until your home reaches the price a willing buyer will pay.

Depending on what source is reporting, days on market as well as inventory is fluctuating across the country.  Here are some stats from the NAR or Realtor. com. You can see that some parts of the country have very low days on market, while others are looking at an average of a 6 month wait to sell their home.

The story keeps evolving. Although interests rates are still low and inventory is declining in many markets, prices have not rebounded all over. Yet.

What does this mean to you if you're selling your home?

The average days on market in your area may be a concern. Are you waiting to achieve the "average price"? Any home that has been on the market for 60+ days is going to be exposed to price reductions and increased expenses.

Talk to your Realtor about what you can expect if you try to hold out for price If you want to sell your home in 2012 consider all the tools available to help you achieve your best price. Staging your home to sell and marketing with professional photography is key to realizing your home's market potential. Don't get caught "chasing down the market". Price your home right from the start.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sellers Who Get It

Sometimes the best staging advocates are your home staging clients This morning I received a call from a homeowner seeking a staging consultation. They found Hampton Redesign online and commented that our site seemed the most comprehensive and organized.

The homeowners know their home is in a prestigious and exclusive location, will have a limited number of buyers and will be priced in the range of $1.8 - $2 million. Buyers who want to be in this location pay a premium and as there are a limited number of homes available for sale, most sellers might assume that staging your home for sale wasn't necessary.

These sellers however had already been shopping for a new home in a similar price range and were surprised at how some of the properties were presented. Master closets stuffed so full of clothes you couldn't tell how much storage there was, lack of cleanliness, odors and neglected landscaping were some of the turnoffs mentioned.

We talked for a little while about what that signals to buyers and it definitely was a turnoff to these potential buyers who couldn't understand why a $1-2 million dollar home would be shown without any preparation. He felt it was a good investment to spend a small amount of money to maximise the dollar value of their home. They really understood the value of having an objective, expert opinion to guide them through any improvements or enhancements.

It so simple. I'm sure the home they are interested in buying is clean, well-presented and staged to sell because these choosy buyers value a home that shows well.
Well staged kitchen
Staged bedroom

What's interesting to me is the majority of calls I get these days are coming directly from home -owners who choose to be proactive about getting their home ready to sell.  Real estate agents who are not advocating professional home staging to their clients - especially in this price range - are leaving money on the table. The client's money as well as their own commission.

I love it when I get calls like this from motivated sellers who get it. Now if we could just get the Real Estate Agents on board!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top 10 Color Trends for 2012

Organic colors
Color trends inspiring interior designers and the home furnishing and accessories market this year are hot and cool, warm and light. Colors inspired by nature invite a calm and restful feeling as soon as you walk in the door and create the cocoon we all crave.

Keep in mind trends come and go, so choose the elements that appeal to you and will work with your home and lifestyle. Right now color is huge and it's so easy to change out pillows, throws, curtains and bedding to get a fresh new look for spring and summer.

Whether or not you have your home on the market, are staging your home for sale, or just want to revive your decor, keep these hot new trends in mind.
  1. Global palettes - These are the warm spicy colors from India and the east. Cinnamon, cumin, saffron and turmeric.
  2. Organic colors - Shades that are inspired by natural materials such as wood, stone and the earth.
  3. High gloss finishes - Especially high gloss white. You can completely transform a dresser, armoire or ornate chair by spray painting it with a gloss finish.
  4. Saturated aqua greens  and turquoise. Sea glass, deep teals and rich blue greens work very well against neutral organic colors.
  5. Simplicity - Soft pastel or natural colors using a bright white trim creates a clean and calm look.
  6. Urban hues -  Edgy metal and concrete finishes work especially well in loft spaces and as a surprise amid more traditional decor.
  7. Color up on ceilings - Think of your ceiling as a fourth wall. Go deeper in color for a cozy feel in a high ceiling ed room or just a shade darker than the walls.
  8. Super deep color - Deep, dark chocolate for example (especially in a gloss finish) creates a fresh modern palette for a traditional space. Pair it with bright white trim.
  9. Bold color trim work - Experiment with unusual color combinations for walls and trim. Go darker on the trim for an updated feel.
  10. Blue and white - Classic china combination is once more in style. Make it modern by using it in unexpected prints and surfaces.
Saturated greens and blues  

These color trends were inspired by the book Decorating: The Smart Approach to Design. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Top 10 Ideas for Focal Points

We all know that focal points are a key ingredient to creating the wow factor in a room. Especially a key room for buyers. Whether you are staging your home for sale or simply wanting to update and refresh your living spaces, here are some new ideas for creating or enhancing your room's focal point.

1. Fireplaces
Before TV, the fireplace provided warmth and a gathering spot for family and friends. It still is the most common focal point and often overcrowded or outdated. Update and lighten if appropriate with paint and new tile or stone. Keep in mind the architecture and age of the home when choosing new finishes. Keep mantels simple. Remember the rule of threes. Two accessories on one side and a third on the other create balance.

2. Architectural Windows
Do you have a large window that dominates the room? Play it up with a custom window treatment. Choose colors and a style that draw the eye to the window without distracting from a view.  Or leave it bare and let the view shine.

3. Wall Decor

If you have the wall space, a dramatic large piece of art or grouping of frames can really create the wow factor. If you're selling your home make sure the art is not too controversial or distracting.

4. Feature Wall
Does your room lack architectural interest or a natural focal point? Try creating a feature wall with paint. A bold or deep color can do a lot to add impact to a room. Keep in mind your color palette throughout the house and choose a color that coordinates. One red wall feels random unless there are touches of red in other rooms. Consider chocolate brown or dark gray.  Both are versatile neutral colors.

5. TV
Flat screen TVs are the new fireplace. If you want to mount your TV on the wall make sure the hardware is concealed either by tracks attached to the wall or by the furniture the TV is placed above. A buffet or console under the flat screen is a smart choice for storage and to create a true focal point.

6. Large Furniture

Do you have a pretty armoire or antique buffet? Treat it as a focal point. Center it on the wall and add two small chairs on either side if there's room. With a buffet or side table adding a large piece of art, or a grouping of art above it also helps draw the eye. Which is the definition of a focal point!

7. Window Treatments
Make not so tall ceilings feel higher by mounting drapes or valance close to the ceiling. In a plain room such as a bedroom, coordinating window treatments, simply done can create warmth and interest.

8. Built Ins
Does your historic home have built ins around the fireplace or in a dining room? Consider painting the back wall of the cabinets a darker or coordinating color. Tasteful lighting inside a cabinet can highlight a well thought out display of glassware, books, or objects.

9. Chandeliers
A stunning light fixture can easily draw the eye and updating a dated chandelier (those old gold and brass ones) can make a huge impact on a dining room or foyer.

10. Grand Staircase
If you're lucky enough to have a beautiful staircase, then you already have your focal point for your foyer, or open entry. Keep the decor simple and let the stairway shine. 

Having a well defined focal point in the room is essential to good design. It creates balance and sets the mood for how the room is used. How the room functions is a key element to creating a restful environment and draws potential buyers into the room. If you are looking for a way to kick start redecorating a room, start with the focal point and let it set the color and mood for the rest of the room.

When selling your home, the rooms that most benefit from a defined focal point are the living area and the master bedroom. These are key rooms for buyers and time spent creating an inviting space is a great investment. 

These 10 focal point subjects were inspired by the book Decorating: The Smart Approach to Design.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tenure in the Home and Motivation for Selling

Tenure in the Home and Motivation for Selling

From the National Association of Realtors, here is some insight as to what motivates home sellers.
  • The typical seller tenure in home from 2001 to 2008 was 6 years. In 2009, the median years the seller stayed in the home edged up to 7 years. In 2011, the typical seller sold their home after owning it after 9 years.
  • Sellers who owned their home for 11 to 15 years, rose from a low of only 10 percent of sellers in 2006 to a high of 18 percent of sellers in 2011.
  • The motivations behind selling a home have also changed in recent years. The top reason sellers sold their home in the latest profile was for a job relocation, tied with the home sellers home was too small—accounting for 17 percent of home sellers.
  • Five years ago, the number one reason was the home was too small at 19 percent, but job relocation barely was on the radar at just 9 percent of home sellers.
  • Among home sellers aged 45 to 54, job relocation out paces reasons to move substantially with 29 percent of home sellers in this age group moving for a job.
  • Moving to avoid possibly foreclosure has increased from less than one percent in 2006 to 8 percent of sellers in the 2011 Profile.
  • For more information on the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, go to:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who's Buying Your Home?

I was recently talking with a friend about working with a new client who had contacted me to stage their home. She asked a question that surprised me. "Why would anyone need someone to tell them how to get their home ready to sell"?

Now granted some of us know the basics of selling a home. Clean it, organize your closets and take care of any deferred maintenance such as paint and repairs. Those of us who have sold a few homes believe we know the drill. We expect to do those minor updates before we put the house on the market. It's comparable to cleaning your home before a party. Put your best face forward.

What's the big difference now when selling your home and why do you need help to stage your home for maximum return?

In the past most buyers came from your local area.  FIrst time buyers typically bought into affordable neighborhoods close to amenities and in town areas. Move up buyers typically purchased in established neighborhoods with good schools, good transportation access for commuting. Marketing to your local buyers was a snap as buyers' expectations about home styles and amenities was a known quantity.

Online home buying has changed the local marketplace completely. While there will still be local buyers, when your home is for sale you are now effectively marketing to the world. With Facebook, Twitter, Trulia, Zillow and many other sources, information about you or your home is condensed into a nugget of first impressions. First impressions conveyed mainly by the photos you use to market your home.

Those photos are a reflection of how good a job you did preparing your home for sale. Still want to assess that yourself? Marketing is everything and your home is no exception. A professional home staging company can guide you to a realistic and professional presentation of your home that will appeal to your target buyer. Wherever they're moving from.