Friday, May 22, 2015

Best Props To Stage Your Home

When it comes to home staging - yes, there are a number of items that must be removed from the home such as personal photos, collectibles and of course, excess or bulky furniture.  But there are certain props that really enhance the look of the home regardless of the age or decor style.

These 6 DIY props can add memorable details and welcoming feelings to buyers and just help to set the scene and really make your photos stand out from the other houses for sale.

Books - too many books in a book case (or piles of them in office spaces and bedroom) can look junky and sloppy BUT sets of hardcover books can really complete the look of shelves or stacked on a coffee table. Check out garage sales or used book stores for affordable options be sure to check the condition of the spine (and check to make sure they don't have a musty smell).  Stay away from controversial topis and title.  We always look of books that are medium to large in scale, hard cover and in good shape.  Colourful spines can add a splash a colour to a bookcase or coffee table.

Bookcases are great for book storage but when it comes to staging you want every space to feel light and airy.  Full bookcases add a lot of bulk and heaviness to a room, so do a pre-pack of you books and leave your nicest ones on display.  Stack them creatively, play with colour and add some simple accessories

 9 Things All Insanely Stylish People Have In Their Homes via @domainehome

Bowls of Lemons - a big bowl of bright fresh lemons is a simple way to add some colour and a feeling freshness to a space like the kitchen or as a dining centerpiece.  Use decorative lemons - they last longer plus you get that brilliant yellow colour.  Why lemons? Well, no one is ever tempted to bite into a lemon.  And yes, I have found bite marks on several occasions in our decorative fruit especially apples but some pears too.  Use a bowl that works with your decor style - long, lean glass works well for contemporary spaces, wood or pottery looks great in a rustic or country home.

A low profile bowl with lemons really allows one to see that bright splash of colour.  this looks great in a kitchen, on a kitchen island, a dining table or even a coffee table like the image below

 Coffee table styling via a tablescape tumblr with many tablescape ideas

Plush towels - New towels always look amazing in a bathroom.  Towels like everything else age, they are fine for every day use but when it comes to show casing your home old towels will just make the bathroom look tired and stale.  Aim for that 'boutique' hotel look with clean, plush, white towels.  If your bathroom is already entirely white choose a grey or brown tone something that will give some contrast to the space but keep it neutral.

These white plush towels add a softness to this bathroom.  Bathrooms are full of hard surfaces like tile, cabinetry, porcelain and adding some softness gives the room some balance.  the white towels in this bathroom also give a spa like feel

 wenge small bathroom design idea

Large Painting - This is probably a bit tougher to locate but try home decor stores or even online - the results are incredible!  Choose a large painting with soft tones (colour is fine but aim for softer hues).  We recommend a simple landscape (they are soothing) or just abstract with soft and blended brush strokes.  This will certainly make an impact but it won't be alarming.

This living room with the large landscape art piece makes an impact but is still soothing and peaceful which is a great quality in a home.  The colours are soft and the blue tones are also used in the decor.  Large art pieces look great on big walls like the one here but they also look great above a fireplace or in a dining room above a sideboard

 Share Photos of Your Home!

A Pair of Matching Table Lamps - Take a look in any home design and decor magazine, you will always see matching pairs of lamps in a room.  You might be staging your home on a tight budget but you can't have it looking that way!  A pair of matching table lamps will give you a designer look without spending a bundle.  Place them in a room where they can both be scene - flanking the sofa in the living room or flanking the bed are easy  ways to do just that and it makes a big impact!

This image shows the impact of what some beautiful matching table lamps can do in a room.  The reflective surface of these lamps adds some great light in the room too. 

 Wall-Jand J Design Group - bedrooms - gray grasscloth, grasscloth wallpaper, gray grasscloth wallpaper, wallpapered accent wall, wallpapered hea...

Plump Pillows - Pillows really add extra dimension to decor and home staging.  Look for pillows with some colour, texture and even print.  But stay away from stiff or flat pillows and of course, going over board with too many pillows.  Pillows should enhance the look of the space!  Decor pillows look great on sofas, accent chairs and also beds and benches.  Be sure to 'pump up' those bed pillows too - volume from pillows adds a sense of luxury and comfort.

Seen here: there's a mix of colour and pattern.  The turquoise makes a statement in this neutral tone room.  some home stagers may disagree but this colour choice brings life and a brightness to the room but be sure to carry this colour into other rooms as well to keep a fluid feel

Love how the splash of turquoise lifts the cushions from the lounge colour. House of Turquoise: Highgate House

In summary...putting it all together...
This neutral bedroom has a great mix of neutral tones - white, black and shades of beige.  The bed looks fantastic with the layering of pillows that are plump - bed and decor pillows.  The lean bedside tables and lamps match and fit in the space beautifully.  This is a  great example how to stage a bedroom in neutral tones, some texture, matching pieces, art and even flowers.

 neutral bedroom theme

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Baffled by the Bristles? See our Paint Brush Lesson!

Now that the weather is finally getting nice, we’re all starting to feel ambitious again about some projects around the house. I know for me, its paint that I want to tackle. Not just walls, furniture as well. When it comes to paint, I always have the best intentions, but trying to nail down which brush is for where, and what kind of paint is best on that surface … the list goes on. Here is a more ‘simplified’ version of the paint brush aisle for you!
Image result for paint cans pretty

The Square Cut Brush:
Best for large flat surfaces.
These brushes are most ideal for covering a large space in a short amount of time!
Sold in widths as large as 5 inches and are made with natural OR synthetic bristles.
Cost is anywhere from $8 to $16 dollars.
Image result for square cut paint brush

Short Handle:
Best for cramped spaces!
The 2 inch handle makes navigating into tight areas much easier.
These brushes are great for painting inside cabinets, tight corners on furniture etc.
This brush will cost you around $7 dollars.
Image result for short handle paint brush

Foam Brush:
Best for touch-ups.
I wouldn’t recommend using this brush for much more. It is a great option for covering any scuffs, but only on smaller spots. These brushes are great with any type of paint.
They are cheap option as well as a disposable option. No keeping these bad boys!
These brushes also come in a few different sizes: 1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch wide.
Approximately $7 dollars for a 3 pack.
Image result for foam paint brush

Angled Brush:
Best for cutting in and painting along the trim.
The angled shape of this brush gives you more versatility and control than the square cut brush. This enables you to have cleaner lines along edges. (such as where the wall & ceiling meet!)
This brush comes in many widths and is made with natural OR synthetic bristles.
These brushes will cost you between $8 and $12 dollars, depending on the size.
Image result for angled paint brush
Finishing Brush:
Best for Lacquers and Stains.
This is a finer version of the square cut brush. It has softer bristles for applying finishes without having streaks.
This comes in natural OR synthetic bristles and will cost you about $30 dollars a brush. (make sure you clean & preserve this one!)

Image result for finishing paint brush

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How do I style my coffee table?

“I am an avid design magazine reader. I always try to mimic what I see in photos, but something I always struggle to get right is my coffee table. I love the look in magazines but I can’t seem to get it right at home. What’s the trick to styling a coffee table?”

Great Question! This is always a tricky one because while we of course want to have a beautiful table, we also use coffee tables in a functional way. So where is the balance?
Depending on what kind of coffee table you have, the options truly are endless….

 Styled coffee table with flowers and coffee table books, indoor plant, natural light

Using trays is a great option! Especially for ottomans. Since an ottoman is a fabric or leather surface, having a tray on top is a great functional additional, but also a great décor piece! Depending on the size of the tray, using beautiful hardcover books is a great décor item. Adding some greenery also adds a bit of colour to the display. If you have the space and it doesn’t look cluttered, add a beautiful candle or a bunch of candles. 

 5 Key Pieces For A Chic Coffee Table #homedecor #interiordeisgn #livingroom

Trays don’t necessarily have to only be used on an ottoman either. Using one on a solid surface is a great place to neatly have your decorative pieces together, while still leaving space for drinks etc. for your guests and family.
If your coffee table has a bottom shelf, don’t forget to add some decorative pieces down there. Hardcover books, magazines, and decorative accessories are great on the bottom shelf. 

 As seen on HGTV's "Fixer Upper."

Adding vases with flowers is a classic option for a coffee table. Having beautiful fresh flowers not only look good – but smell nice too! Using a colourful vase is a great addition to the space.

 <glam coffee table decor>

Depending on the size of your coffee table, try adding a few lanterns. They give the table some height while also having an interesting piece as an accessory.
Incorporating interesting objects are a great way to add visual interest to the space, as well as giving you and your guests a conversation starter! Bowls, vases, candles, abstract objects and even picture frames are welcome additions to a coffee table.

Now, the trick is to have items that are to scale with your furniture. If you are going to incorporate oversize pieces, make sure you don’t have too much stuff in addition to them. Having a cluttered tabletop isn’t going to achieve the ‘designer look’ you’re aiming for. It’s all about the right balance. 

 A blue velvet sofa brightens am otherwise neutral living room. Love the coffee table styling!