Thursday, March 5, 2015

What wall colors are good for staging?

There was a time, not so long ago, that homeowners were told to completely declutter their homes and to paint all the walls white. They then proceeded to take away everything from the tables and bookcases, even removed pictures and artwork!  The sterile rooms and white walls made everything feel stark and cold. Kind of like a "welcome to the hospital" sort of vibe.

The trick is to paint your walls a color that blends in with your d├ęcor, and is neutral enough that the buyers can picture moving their furniture right in and having it feel like home.

One color I love is Benjamin Moore's Wish. It is a soft gray that will go with almost anything. Another good one is Benjamin Moore's Cotswold. A little darker than Wish and a scootch more beige, but also soft and neutral.

Of course these are not the only good staging colors. You need to choose what works best in your space ... but these are just beautiful.

Benjamin Moore - Wish (AF-680)

Benjamin Moore - Cotswold (AF-150)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hardwood Floors are Amazing!

What a difference a floor makes. Many sellers tell me they want to leave their carpeting and “let the buyers deal with putting in hardwood floors if they don’t like the carpet”.

But wall-to-wall carpeting in the main living areas makes the house look dated. Plus buyers really don’t want to live through the hassle of installing or refinishing floors when they are in the middle of settling into their new home. Moving is hard enough. They want nice floors, neutral colors on the walls, relatively new appliances and nothing that is in need of repair.

This new floor was certainly worth the investment.  Fresh paint and a shuffling of furniture … and this room is ready for the market.


Living Room - Before

Living Room - After

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Classes I will be offering in the area

Some classes coming up soon:
* Friday 2/27 - Conquer Your Clutter - Wilton Senior Center

* Friday 3/6 - Room Transformations (decorating) - Wilton Senior Center

* Tuesday 3/17 - Stage Your Home for Sale - Stamford Continuing Education

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Staging a Small Living Room

When staging a home, it is always a good idea to make a small room look as big as possible. The easiest way to do this is to remove furniture and minimize accessories.

In the formal living room below we eliminated the loveseat, desk with its antique chair, small accent chair and afghan.

Moving the sofa made the room look longer and placing the large wing chair in the far corner draws your eye into the room.

A nice neutral color on the wall replaced the pink. It was a nice soft color, but with appeal to a limited number of buyers.

The real trick in a room like this is to go for minimalism, but keep the cozy.

Living Room - Before Staging

Living Room - After Staging

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Great Lesson on Stress

This post is not new, and I don't know the author, but I think it is terrific and wanted to share it with everyone:

A young lady confidently walked around the room with a raised glass of water while leading a seminar and explaining stress management to her audience.

Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'Half empty or half full?' She fooled them all.

"How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it.
  •    If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
  •    If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
  •    If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Pick them up again tomorrow if you must.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Create a Foyer

Are you faced with a front door that opens directly into the living room? Not a terrible situation, but not ideal. Guests who enter do not have a place to stop and be welcomed before being “launched” into your home.

Building a wall to create a formal entry foyer is usually not an option. In most cases that would only make the living room very small. Luckily, you can work wonders with furniture! 

In the room below we used a bookcase to create a divider. We happened to have one that opened on both sides so we could use baskets and accessories to make the entry and living room attractive.  If it only opened on one side, I would have faced the back to the living room and placed a piece of furniture against that side.

A long, narrow console table would also work very well as a room divider. What if you don’t have a bookcase or console table? Furniture placement can also do the job. Place a chair backed up to the foyer on an angle with a side table and lamp next to it.

A pretty rug, a light fixture  and a small table with a mirror or picture over it will also help make the entry feel special.

Welcome home!

Living Room/Foyer - Before

Living Room/Foyer - After

Foyer Light Fixture

Foyer Light Fixture

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Staging does not mean stark!

Sometimes people go overboard staging their rooms and take all the cozy out of them!  Buyers want to picture themselves and their families living in a home. It is important to make your rooms look inviting.

This hallway served as a passageway from the front of the home to a small library and family room. The before picture looks like a few pieces of furniture were just placed there so the space would not be empty.

We did not have to do much to make it look like a real living space .. a picture on the wall, a little tea setup on a table, a reading chair with a lamp. Wouldn’t you like to spend time there?


Hallway - After


The small library was such a lovely space! A small grouping in front of the fireplace, a few accessories and change of rugs was all it took to transform this room.

Library - Before

Library - After










Friday, January 16, 2015

An Inviting Reception

Reception Area - Before

Reception Area - After


This is an accounting office in a lovely historic home. The challenge was to make the reception area warm and inviting, but also keep it professional, not “homey”.

Amazing what a few changes can do!

We moved the furniture just a bit to create a cozier grouping and brought in new side tables.

The new wall color and coordinating valances made the biggest impact on the space. The striped print fabric added warmth without being fussy. Hanging the valances right up to the ceiling made the room look a little taller.

Ready for tax season!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Conquer the Clutter!!

You may not know this, but January is “National Get Organized Month”.  What perfect timing! A new year, a fresh start … time to tackle those projects you have been avoiding, and get control of all your spaces.

Why do we end up with out-of-control closets and drawers? Most likely it is because cleaning them out is not a particularly fun project, and we can think of a lot of ways we would rather spend our time. Also, because the whole idea can be a bit overwhelming.

Well, here is the trick: Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Just attack one drawer a day, and in a week you will have made a major dent in your clutter situation. 

The process is simple.

First: Empty the drawer, clean out all the dust bunnies that have accumulated in the corners, and then sort everything you took out into four piles:

1.      Things that will go back into the drawer

2.      Things that need to get tossed

3.      Things that belong somewhere else (Throw them into a box to be dealt with later.)

4.      Things that can be donated (Start a bag that you will add to as you tackle each drawer.)

Next: Organize the items that are going back into the drawer and decide if you need containers (boxes, jars, plastic bags, baskets, etc.) to separate the various categories.

Finally: Put away the things that need to go somewhere else. Then stand back and admire your work.

Closets can be very scary. Again the trick is to take it one step at a time. One day go through all your shoes and bags. Then tackle sweaters … then pants. You get the idea.

Do you know what the coolest thing about all this is? You’ll save time and frustration because you will actually be able to find things when you need them.

And as a special reward … I’ll bet you discover stuff you forgot you even owned.

Good luck!
Kathy (A former Professional Organizer)

 Craft Closet - Before                  Craft Closet - After                 Closet with Baskets

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goodbye 2014 ... Hello 2015!

There is always something invigorating about starting a new year … an excitement about getting a fresh start. Fixing things that are broken.  Launching new adventures.  Making new friends.

I received a daily calendar for Christmas that has little thoughts for each day. When I opened it to January 1st, there was a quote from John Barrymore I would love to share with you:

          “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”


Isn’t that terrific? I wish you all many happy, open doors in this fresh, New Year.

Let’s make 2015 a good one.