Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Decor Au Naturel

Need some holiday decoration inspiration? It's getting a little late but there's still time for great ideas to make your tabletops shine and your mantels glow.

I love these glass hurricane candles filled with faux snow. If you really want something low maintenance inside the glass, try using the battery operated candles on a timer. Easy peasy and perfect for that warm glow when you come home.

My favorite decorations mimic those of mother nature. Casual sprays of branches, nothing forced or  artificial looking. Take a peek and hope you have fun with your holiday decorating this year!

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Before starting a bathroom remodel, search for bathroom ideas and interesting products, including one-of-a-kind tubs, vanities and bath sinks.
As you get ready to host an event, be sure you have enough dining benches and dishes for dinner guests, as well as enough bakeware and kitchen knives sets for food preparation.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bring Summer Inside

Summer is a time for travel, vacations and kicking back. Maybe you're on a stay-cation and your plans revolve around the backyard, your pool or day trips.

Summer is a great time to take a more relaxed view of your home. It's a time to lighten up and keep the mood fresh. Time to put away the dark cozy colors you lived with all winter and pull out some cool tones to bring the outdoors in.

Here are some ideas for refreshing your home for the summer months:

1. Change your pillows. Pillows on couches can easily be swapped out. Put away dark colored pillows and replace them with lighter colors and fabrics. If you don't want to buy new, invest in some new pillow covers. Pottery Barn and IKEA are good sources for covers.

2. Pick up area rugs and either leave your floors bare and or replace the rugs with a lighter sisal or natural woven rug. Home Depot, Lowes, and Pottery Barn are all good sources.

3. Put away heavy accessories and replace with lighter versions. For example, dark heavy candlesticks could be replaced by tall transparent glass vases or containers filled with shells or botanicals. 

4. Take down your heavy drapes and valances and either replace with a lighter neutral color drape or leave just a sheer or blind by itself.

5. Take out all artificial florals and give them a good spray or dusting and put away. Replace with easy to care for live house plants such as ferns and orchids.

6. Replace winter bedding and comforters with a light quilt or blanket. If you have a pretty blanket, you can fold a quilt at the bottom of the bed for looks and warmth as needed. 

7.Take down any wreaths or decor left over from the holidays!

8. Replace bath towels with white or neutral ones.

9. Find something unique like a painted firescreen, large live fern or antique mirror to put in place of your firescreen to hide the empty firebox.

10. Consider painting. Now is the time to take a good look at your paint colors and think about lightening up any rooms which are too dark. Summer is a great time to paint, open the windows and let the natural air and light in while you paint.

Hope you have fun finding all the different ways you can bring summer inside!

Monday, May 13, 2013

You want to pay me to come to your home and tell you it needs help?

I'm in awe of some of my clients. Truly. It hit me the other day, they have such courage and are so brave. To ask for help and invite a perfect stranger into their home. They have no idea what they will hear, but they're ready to listen.

A homeowner who is ready to think about staging their home for sale really has to be motivated to look for help. They have to give up the idea they know what to do and then seek out professional guidance.

Would you be willing to say to yourself?

- I know I need help getting my home ready to sell. I'm not sure what to do or how to do it. My realtor told me I didn't need to stage but I decided I wanted my home to look right. 

- I take some time searching online for a home stager in Dallas Fort Worth. I read the tesimonials, look at the photo gallery and then pick up the phone and call.

- I then invite a perfect stranger into my home and wait for the comments. I don't know what I'm going to hear but I'm ready with my note pad and pen.

- I'll get my husband on board, and we can contact a moving company and start packing. 

- I'll follow all of the recommendations from this professional home stager and then invite her back again to help me with the finishing touches I know I need help with. I don't like shopping and I trust her to get it ready for my Broker open which is in three days!

I can tell you sellers who are this motivated are my favorite clients. I really respect the fact they are willing to let me into their private space and listen. I think that's completely brave and courageous on their part. 

I see that it's not easy but they do it because they've made a decision to move forward and stage their home and they aren't afraid to ask for help.

By the way, I recently helped a client who followed all these steps and the result was amazing. 

Be brave. Together we can get it done!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Showcase Your Short Sale

Visited a young couple the other day for a home staging consultation. Their realtor had referred me as she is a big believer in staging a home for sale. Even a "short sale".

The first impression I had was NO parking space because two large pickup trucks and a trailer filled the driveway.

TIP Park your cars and trucks on the street if possible. The garage should have enough clear space to park at least one of your cars. Yes, that means cleaning out your garage!

My second impression was the entry was not inviting. There were two chairs and a table on porch slab area, empty planters with dirt and no color.

TIP Your entry has to be inviting. Simply set the scene by arranging any furniture to look as if it can be used for additional living space and add fresh seasonal flowers to your empty pots. Even in winter/early spring there are pansies or geraniums you can plant that will handle cold snaps.

Third impression, walking in the front door. Every room was painted a different bold color. 

TIP It's fun to experiment and personalize your home with color but realize that every buyer will have a different opinion on your choices. By asking buyers to accept your taste, you're narrowing the number who will. It doesn't have to be beige but you do have to give the potential buyer of your home the ability to see how their furnishings and taste can live in your home. Neutral also makes your home larger and square footage sells. 

TIP Paint, prepack and clean. No one wants to inherit a home that needs painting and cleaning. If you don't want to do it what makes you think your buyers will?

Prepacking takes the "you" out of the home and gives the buyer a chance to see your home as it could be if they lived in it. My young clients had a lot of Dallas Cowboy decor upstairs in the family room. When I told him that had to go, he even admitted if he walked into a home and there was a rival team's logos or colors, he wouldn't buy it! Point made.

Minimal cost involved is paint and a few cleaning supplies which you probably already have. Don't leave valuable money and equity on the table (even if you are looking at a short sale). The better your house presents, the better you will come out of any purchase negotiation. It's your money, hang onto it!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's Hot for Kitchen Counters?

At Hampton Redesign, it's no secret I am a fan of updating a kitchen to get the most bang for your buck when staging your home for sale. It's the one room that really speaks to us when we preview a home. It has to have a little wow factor to entice buyers and that's why I'm going to share this great article about kitchen counters with you.

Now the "go to" counter top has been granite for quite a while. There's a reason for that. It has a lot of character if you choose the right color. It's a natural stone and therefore has all the depth of thousands of colors as well as light reflectivity which really helps a kitchen sparkle.

If you look at all the alternatives, granite is also one of the most affordable options. Of course you can blow the budget on fancy granite but the lower grades which are still quite nice are more affordable than almost any other option other than laminate or tile.

You can read about the pros and cons of different products in the article. I personally love the drama of granite. It's also relatively easy to keep clean and look good. Stone can hide a multitude of sins and as long as you keep it wiped down and treated periodically it should last and last.

My suggestion to you is look at granite and look at some of the other options to get a feel for what speaks to you. If you decide to go for granite, you can personally pick out your slab (one) and (two) go for something a little different than the usual. Just ask for grades in your budget and off you go!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Multi-tasking Homes Don't Sell.

We're all familiar with the term multi-tasking. It generally means doing more than one thing at a time. Feeding the baby while you're talking on the phone and attempting to start dinner for example. Or driving down the street while you talk on your phone, eat your bagel and apply your final coat of mascara.

It's tempting to try and do it all. But. While the jury is still out on whether multi-tasking really is productive (most studies will tell you it isn't) it's no secret that multi-tasking homes are definitely a DON'T.

What do we mean by multi-tasking homes? When a room or rooms try to serve more than one purpose. The dining room that also serves as your home office. The master bedroom that functions as a gym slash retreat. The enclosed front porch that serves as a playroom. The guest room slash gym slash office.

Now you're probably saying to yourself "I don't have room for a dedicated home office or gym".

Guess what? That's exactly what your buyers will be thinking. You don't have enough space to serve each purpose. If your dining room doubles as a home office you are showing buyers that your home doesn't have enough room for basic needs such as eating and using the computer without crowding both into the same space.

Space sells. Having enough space for daily living and perhaps a little more will sell your home. The more you can get buyers to see your home as their dream home, the more emotionally "sold" they will be.  So when you're staging your home for sale, keep in mind each room needs to have a dedicated purpose. Don't let buyers think your home is not big enough for their dreams.

Monday, January 28, 2013

What are the Pros and Cons of Selling an Empty Home?

Do you have a home for sale that is vacant or empty?

Perhaps you're in the situation a lot of my clients are: you needed to move out of your home before it sold and it's now on the market vacant.

Or you had your home leased, the tenants moved out and now you've decided to try and sell it.

What are your options? Is it easier to sell a vacant home or one that is occupied?

Here are some Pros and Cons of selling a vacant or empty home:


  •  It's easy for Realtors to show at a moment's notice 
  •  Any repairs or inspections can be done without inconveniencing owners or tenants 
  •  Cash buyers who want to close and move in quickly may be able to do so without waiting for an owner or tenant to move out 
  •  Can be easier to show than a very cluttered or unclean home 


  • Buyers find it hard to envision their furnishings if there aren't similar items in your home 
  • Buyers can focus on any perceived flaws that are more noticeable when the home is vacant 
  • Tend to sell slower because it's hard for most buyers to connect with an empty house when searching online or seeing in person 
  • Maintenance issues may not get caught in time to be repaired inexpensively 
  • Difficult to monitor inside temperatures during winter and summer to be comfortable to buyers and prevent maintenance issues such as leaks and freezing pipes 
  • Can be subject to vandalism or theft 

 Obviously the optimum way to sell a home is with furnishings and accessories that appeal to buyers and show the home to it's best advantage. This can be accomplished either by staging your home or vacant property or by having a caretaker move in temporarily with appropriate furnishings while the home is on the market.

From my experience, time and again, if a vacant home is priced correclty it will sell in fewer days once it is staged professionally. Consider your options before you put the home on the market and take full advantage of being the "new kid on the block" by preparing your home to sell BEFORE you list it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

How To Live With Your Living Room

One of the key rooms buyers are interested in when they are previewing your home for sale is the living room. The questions they'll be asking themselves is "how does this space work for me and my family"? "Is there enough room for us to do the things we enjoy, like watching TV, playing games, lounging, reading and entertaining"?

It's rare to find that living space that doesn't present some challenges to arranging furniture. And now that the large flat screen TV is also a fixture in most living areas, it too, has to be considered. Once there was just a fireplace to serve as the focal point of the living room or gathering room. It served not only as a source of warmth but also a permanent fixture around which to place our sofa and chairs. Now however, it's likely that the TV and fireplace share the same room.

If you're living in a newer built home there is often a separate media or family room where the TV can be located. But back to the point about creating a space that works for all members of the family to gather and socialize in.

How do you arrange the furniture you have in a way that allows easy conversation, TV viewing and fireplace gazing? Here's a handy article that visually walks you through some options and some tried and true space requirements for making the most of your living space!