Thursday, July 2, 2015

Staging (and Selling) For a Younger Buyer

Home staging is all about prepping the home for the next buyer and not decorating it to suit your taste and style. When you put your home on the market to sell, you should know that the next owner will likely be younger than you are. That’s why you should stop thinking about what you like or want in a home and start thinking about what your most likely buyer will want.

It's important to keep the home looking current but not trendy

1.Wall paint. Yes, stick with warm neutral tones but pick a current neutral.  If your target demographic is “young professional” or “young family,” try using a warm gray as a neutral wall color. The gold or pinky-beige wall color you chose 10 -15 years ago is going to seem outdated to this new group of home buyers. On-trend neutrals like grays allow potential homeowners to envision bringing in complementary colors and clean-lined furnishings to make it their own.

 Cape Hatteras Sand AC-34 is a warm taupe gray that can bring out the warmth of the wood and stone.  It's paired with Cloud White OC-130, a balanced white for the ceiling that works with many colors

2. Invest in white cabinetry. Many home buyers younger than 40 prefer white or off-white kitchen cabinetry. They don’t want to see dark kitchen cabinetry in their new home. Consider a kitchen facelift if you have dark kitchen cabinetry with orange or red undertones. White kitchens make spaces look and feel larger - everyone wants a large kitchen!

how to style a kitchen owens and davis

 3. Update your appliances. Many younger home buyers cannot fathom buying a home without stainless steel appliances. You’ll need to update your almond ones with stainless replacements before putting it on the market. Trying selling your old ones online...

Usually dont like white cabinets, but I Like the Colors here (wall color with backsplash and dark granite)

 4. Look for simple stone counter tops. Granite and stone countertops are a must-have for most young home buyers — it will make the difference between whether they choose your home or your neighbor’s home. But don’t make the mistake of installing busy or taste-specific granite that may not appeal to everyone. If you plan to be in your home for a long time, go for it — but not if you plan to sell within the next few years. Find something that works with the warm grey walls and the white cabinets. 

Quartz vs. Quartzite Countertops - Quartz is an engineered material made from about 93% loose quartz and binded with various materials, quartize is a natural stone that is not engineered. Because of this, quartize is a little harder, but must be resealed a couple times per year to ensure it doesn't stain, whereas quartz can come presealed and may last up to 15 years without being resealed. Quartz is also available is more colours as it is not a pure stone

 5. Keep it simple for families with children. People with young kids are less likely to want a fixer-upper. If your target demographic is “young family with small children,” it’s important that your property be ready for them to move right in. Make sure the home has no unfinished projects or red flags for young families. For families focus on 'setting the scene' in rooms that will be used - kitchens and bathrooms are obvious but look at laundry and mudrooms, too. Show how usable the space is.

 8-Tips for Creating a Great Laundry Room by The Everyday Home
6. Open up your shower space. Young professionals love large, open glass showers. The garden-variety tub isn’t where it’s at anymore. If you are focusing on selling to a young family be sure to have one bathroom with a tub.

All-white marble bathroom with glass shower

 7. Consider selling your home as a fixer-upper. If your neighborhood is becoming a mecca for young professionals, there may be some appeal to the fixer-upper if the price is right. These younger adults without children may have the time, energy and imagination for making over an older home. Even so, the price will have to be lower than if it were picture perfect.

 Sydney’s Next Great Neighborhood - Surry Hills, Travel and Leisure November 2011

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - 5 Headboards for the Bedroom

“I am in the process of decorating my bedroom. I don’t currently have a headboard but it’s something I’ve been looking for. I just can’t decide what style I like. What are my options?”

Great question! A head board is often a focal point in the bedroom, so we understand wanting to choose the perfect style for your space! Choosing “staple” pieces for your home can be a daunting task, there is so much to choose from and so many to love! Believe me, we get that. 

 16 DIY Headboard Projects • Tons of Ideas and Tutorials! Including this diy tufted headboard project from 'the knuths'.

The most important thing is that your new headboard suits your space. Of course mixing styles is a fabulous idea and one we definitely recommend. While it may be a contrasting style, it has to flow and be harmonious. Having a random item that doesn’t seem to go with anything else will stand out like a sore thumb. If you are starting from scratch, you have tons of choices! If you have existing décor in the space, our challenge now is to make your space beautiful and cohesive.
Headboards come in all shapes, sizes, colours, textures, materials and with varying detail work. Narrow down what you like. Do you like button tufting? Great! We have a jumping off point. Are you into reclaimed wood? Fabulous! What tone and texture will complement your room?

Having a certain décor style that you like will help with this process. If your home has a country flair or if it’s contemporary, try to stay true to those styles.
Here are some suggestions for headboard styles.

Leather: this is a classic choice and will go with most décor styles. Depending on the colour you chose and the detail work, certain aspects will sway a leather headboard. A white leather headboard is typically a very modern look. Black or Brown leather is a more masculine fabric. A leather headboard is a safe option for a space. 

 manhattan bachelor pad/elizabeth bolognino interiors  via: remodeiista

Nail Head: This is a very nice touch to add to a room. A more contemporary/traditional option but can work with a more rustic décor when mixed with the right pieces. A nailhead detail is a beautiful option, the nailheads can be brass, chrome, brushed nickel or gold. Choose something that will go with the existing hardware in your room (maybe dresser pulls or door knobs?). BUT you don’t have to. We are also big fans of mixing metals. Nailhead detail works on both fabric and leather.

 Easy idea - framed fabric panels for bedside walls. #mirrored cabinet #lamp #bedhead

Button Tufting: Similar to a nailhead detail in the sense that is versatile. This is a great option with a traditional or country room. The detail is a bit more fussy than a nailhead but still a great choice! Play with colour when choosing this style! Button tufting is great on leather and fabric as well.

 Neutral colours, white faux leather bed with button detail - contrast with pattern wallpaper

Fabric: The material options are extensive. So are the colour and pattern options. Depending on your style, fabric is a fabulous way to incorporate a unique element into your room. And for the savvy DIY-er, also relatively easy to upholster an existing headboard and customize it with your own fabric and details.

 DIY Belgrave Headboard. Great Tutorial. Love the colour/pattern combos in this room

Wood: Wood is a fabulous option for a country or rustic/industrial style home. What's most interesting about this is how authentic and natural it looks. There are so many stains, washes, textures etc. with wood so you can be super creative. The various tones available are too many to count and having a natural element in your space is a great way to bring the outdoors in!

 90 year old door made into a headboard to fit both a king size and queen size bed, bedroom ideas, painted furniture, shabby chic, This headboard s new home The Decorator did a wonderful job with this color palette It looks so comfy

Play with colour! Play with height! Play with shapes! There are SO many choices, do some research and see what speaks to you. Then go from there! Recognize what your style is and then build off of that. Be creative!

 Flowers at bedside of crisp white bed and wood headboard

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bedroom Makeover: Easy tips to change your space

We love a makeover! Many times small changes make a huge impact in your home. Changing some accessories, or a coat of paint can make a space feel brand new. Many people hesitate when redecorating because they think it is going to cost a lot. There are so many simple changes that can make a difference in your space.
Here is an example of a bedroom we recently made some changes too. For a minimal budget, we were able to overhaul this room into a more contemporary space with a few different accent colours and accessories.
Beiges and warm tones weren't really the style we were looking for anymore. By changing the wall colour and removing the red, the look is more contemporary and fresh.
Changing the paint on the walls to a pure white and adding an abstract art piece in cooler tones really make the space feel lighter. The addition of new drapery and a few pillows in complementary colours adds some depth. The lamp is an interesting shape and in a colour found in the art. These small changes make a huge impact!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How To Update My Dining room

"I know my dining room is in need of an update.  I do have a beautiful wood table with matching chairs that my husband would just die if I threw out or painted!!  Any ideas how I could update my dining room and include my furniture?"

A great question for a common dilemma.  Many down sizers go through this exact same issue.  What to keep, what to toss, what to want a current look in your space but your existing pieces were expensive, high quality, in good condition - what to do?

Well, you do have a number of options that won't involve altering your wood furniture.

An all wood furniture set can make a room feel dark and heavy especially if you do not have much light in the room.  So how about brightening up the space with colour and light? Try updating your chandelier for a more current look and more light.  A great, versatile option is a lantern style - it works with traditional furniture and farmhouse styles but it can also transtion well with other styles too.

You can also add light with table lamps on your buffet piece.  Look for shades that will allow light through - white, cream or beige are best.  We also like these table lamps that have a traditional vase shape but in glass so they don't add bulk.

Serene grey dining room with thrift store lantern chandelier (spray painted), floor to ceiling Ikea Ritva curtains, @Cost Plus World Market dining chairs, @Wisteria shelf and mirror. Paint color: Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
Crazy Wonderful: living room changes

If you have a china cabinet that you don't want to part with or separate - try wall sconces for additional light.  They won't add an abundance of light but they will help with mood lighting for dinner parties. This images shows off sconces with multiple heads flanking the china cabinet. 

 I love the dark wood floors, the table, and the light fixture. Definitely have to consider this in my future dining room redo.

Mirrors are also great because they allow light to bounce around the room making the room feel brighter and larger.  Mirrored furniture or accessories like decorative bowls, frames or vases can add some brightness to the room too. This image shows how the combination of mirrors and glass make a bulky piece look lighter

The mirrored furniture I have fallen in love with such a classy look in such a simple piece...would totally put this in our bedroom

Try switching up your wall paint.  The colour on the walls could also make the room feel dark and heavy.
Wood furniture has a weight to it already so if it is in a smaller room without much light, the room will look dark so try lighter tones on the wall for a fresh update. Soft creams, beiges and greys are timeless and won't take away from your furniture or art. 

Traditional Dining Room - Dining Room Decorating Ideas - Lonny

If that isn't adventurous enough for you - you can certainly add colour on the walls just be sure to balance it out with some other lighter items.  This dining room is a mix of classic traditional and contemporary elements.  The dark wood furniture and floors and the navy wall paint together would normally be too dark but paired with the light beige upholstery and textiles, white trim and wainscoting, lighting and the decorative plate wall - there is the right amount of balance in this dramatic dining room.

Go for a dark tone. Dining rooms are usually enjoyed with low lighting, and hues like this gray add moody elegance. Note the way the light w...

 Many wood furniture sets are lacking in 'punch' meaning they are very tone on tone.  Lots of browns in the stains but often in the upholstery.  Why not re-upholster your chairs for a fresh look? The possibilities are endless and it makes a huge impact without even touching the wood!  We have done this with a number of clients and they love the look and the price point.  It is way more cost effective and your set will look new!

You can opt for something neutral with a subtle pattern for some visual interest.

Upholstered head of the table chairs, shaded chandelier, mirror over buffet.

You can stay pretty neutral but then go bolder with captain's chairs

period style red dining room with crown molding, wainscoting and salvaged windows, room by room neoclassical whole house remodel

Or make a statement with colour and pattern

Pleated to the Stripe Home with Classic Blue and White Interiors

If you are really looking to make a big leap outside of the box, try some new chairs all together and opt for something modern to really update your space. This farmhouse dining room looks updated with these Eifflel dining chairs in cream - they fit with the colour scheme but they are totally unexpected.  By adding modern chairs to a traditional table you get a more casual feel.

 Subdued Dining Room - Neutrals, Modern and Traditional Mix

Other updates.....

Try adding some bold art - something big, bold and graphic really updates any space plus it is an easy addition. Look at arranging your current art collection in a modern gallery style


Try an accent wall with wall paper.  Another way to add visual interest to the room using pattern.  We used to see rooms with wall to wall wallpaper and that can be overwhelming and even stuffy but just one wall is fabulous.  We also love to see another statement piece like art, photography or a mirror hung on that accent wall.

Beautiful wallpaper - House of Turquoise

Try a bold area rug.  Make a statement on your floor with a bold area rug - it's like art on the floor.  This image shows how the area rug can be the centerpiece of a room - the colour scheme revolves around this rug.  A classic colour combo but a big statement.

Loving the action on the console!  Pretty smitten with the console itself and the way it works with the more traditional and masculine furniture.

What ever you do make a plan.  For instance if you decide you want to paint, re-upholster and add a new light fixture be sure those elements work cohesively that way the whole room update will look spectacular!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - 9 Gallery Wall Ideas

“I love the look of gallery walls. I’m in the process of creating one in my own home right now but I want to add more than just photos. What are some suggestions for adding other pieces to the display?”

Great question! Creating a gallery wall is a fabulous way to personalize your space to exactly what you want. Since when you are making a gallery wall, pretty well anything goes, there are really no rules!
There are lots of great options for adding unique pieces!

1. Taxidermy Heads
Such a fun addition to any space! There are so many different materials, shapes, sizes, textures and colours available for you to personalize your home with. Check out – it’s one of our absolute favorite sites!  
Loving the way that someone used The Alfred in their home!

2. Mirrors
All shapes and sizes! Do you want an antique mirror? Do you love colored framed mirrors? Chrome mirrors? Whatever you like! Adding a mirror will give a different texture and will add a new dimension to the arrangement!

 Artistic Style Get creative with your wall art displays. Add colorful mats, embellished frames, and interesting objects.

3. Letters
I don’t mean penned letters, although, an interesting thought.  Adding letters from the alphabet in various finishes and sizes, perhaps the first letter of your last name?

 Large E with framed art. Perfect arrangement for Eric!

4. Plates
Many people have beautiful collectables and are unsure how to display them, Instead of having them hidden in grandma’s old cabinet, display them as art! There are super easy ways to mount plates, and what a better way than to showcase a sentimental family heirloom!

 I love how this shelf evolves with the holidays and the blogger has used items she loves that represents her family.  Plus the frame with the clip is awesome to display kiddo master pieces.

5. Decorative Frames
You didn’t even have to fill them! Choosing interesting shaped or colored frames and leaving them open to show the wall is a great way to show off a paint colour, without adding too much clutter either!

 Una casa en Melbourne muy hollywoodiense

6. Wreath
Adding some greenery is an interesting option as well! This is a great option for a more country/rustic style space. Its unique and the variety of texture will certainly make a statement!

 Pumpkins and sheaths of wheat, backed by a display of open frames, have a decidedly fall feel with the addition of a dried artichoke wreath and family name initial. Design by Cailan Matthews

7. Clocks
Adding in an assortment of clocks is a super cool way to do something different in your space! As with many décor items – the options are truly endless! 

cute wall display with the initial letter and the clock and mirror!
8. Art
Incorporating an art piece in the midst of your family photos and arrangement is another beautiful addition. For many families, this is a way to add in children’s artwork and help their little ones showcase their special pictures! 

 Gallery wall of kids art (put in the hall where the sun won't fade the art) Love the kids' handprints with their art pieces

9. Wall Decals
This is a cost effective option for a few reasons: stickers are not overly expensive, and they don’t leave nail holes or ruin the paint when they come down! Adding quotes or phrases that have a beautiful meaning to you are a lovely touch to include in your gallery wall.

 Family Name Vinyl Wall Decal - Gallary Wall Last Name Personalized with Monogram Vinyl Wall Art Lettering Decals Stickers 1653, $19.99

Another great way to do a gallery wall is on floating shelves. All of these suggestions could be done on floating shelves, whether it is leaning against them, or hung over top. Be creative! This is your home – let your personality shine through!

 I love the floating shelves and the picture frames look so classy! This is an awesome way to use the shelves and display your favorite photos!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

10 Secrets About Staging Your Home For Resale

Realistic or not...every home buyers dreams of purchasing a home that belongs in the pages of a magazine.  Staging your home or making it look it's best, is one of the first steps to putting it on the market.  Since many eyes will be on your home during showings, open houses and all through marketing and promotional materials, this is why you will want your home to look show room ready!  Many sellers feel that doing aesthetic work in preparation to sell their home isn't necessary and that the buyers themselves will want to make those changes themselves and to their taste - but to sell a home for top dollar in any market you must set yourself apart from the others.

1.  The exterior.  Aka Curb appeal.  this is where you will make your first impression.  If the outside is unappealing that sends a strong message to buyers and they may decide to move on without even entering.  Create a lasting impression by maintaining the flower beds and lawn, sweeping the walkway and porch, power wash the siding and freshen up the door and shutters with paint.  Take a look at accessories like the door mat - is it tired looking? mailbox - is it rusted? door bell? - is it working? number plate? - is it visible, clean? 

 We love this pale yellow door! 19 more ways to improve your curb appeal:

2. DepersonalizeStaging your home for sale is very different from decorating your 'new' home.  when you move in to your space you want to put your personal stamp on things, set up your furniture for your lifestyle and make it yours!  When staging your home you want to attract the most buyers using neutral tones and furniture placement that shows off flow and the size of the room - highlighting the best attributes if the home.  Keep your style and tastes to a minimum since many buyers with many different tastes will be viewing your space.

 Top 50 Pinterest Gallery 2014 | Interior Design Styles and Color Schemes for Home Decorating | HGTV

3.  Don't leave the walls bare.  Yes, you want to depersonalize but don't completely neuter your home and remove all warmth and signs of life.  Removing personal items like family photos, collections and religious symbols is very important but decor items like art, mirrors and clocks add some warmth to the space and can pull a room together. 

 Display driftwood in a great wicker basket:

4.  Create furniture groupings.  Sometimes when sellers want to make a room look and feel spacious they spread out the furniture creating a big open space in the middle.  This arrangement does leave a big, open space but it looks unfinished - which is a big turn off for buyers.  It's best to create furniture groupings to help buyers envision how to use the space - for conversation, TV watching, reading and more....Be sure to not only have furniture positioned in ways that would make sense for intended use but also be sure to have clear and direct paths through the room - this will give a room a spacious look and feel.  You want buyers to envision the use of the space, how to live in the home and of course, highlight the size of the room but still keeping it cozy for conversation.

 arranging furniture in a long room 12 different ways...

5.  Use Paint to Maximize Space.  The right paint colour can perform miracles.  The right paint colour can make a room appear larger.  We often recommend a fresh coat of paint throughout the home in a light tone but if you don't want to pain the whole home - paint the space that you need to enlarge the same colour as the room that is adjacent to it.  The matching colours will help the potential buyer's eyes flow seamlessly from one room into the next and make both rooms seem like one big space.  Bold colours do make a statement but they tend to make rooms feel smaller and more closed off, plus that also a personal statement and taste. 

 The 6 Best Paint Colors That Work In Any Home, So Stop With The White Already (PHOTOS)

6.  Add extra lighting. Lighting can make all of the difference between a good viewing and a bad one.  You want to make sure that buyers actually see the aspects and features of the home.  Natural light is a plus, so pull back the drapes, remove heavy curtains all together and bring up the blinds.  For artificial lighting, you need to have enough to make your home feel cozy during evening showings.  Add some floor lamps in dark corners, routinely check light bulbs, add high wattage bulbs or day light bulbs to existing fixtures.

 How to Make Your Home Look More Expensive on a Dime with 10 simple tips via and

7.  Clearly define Every Space. Most of us have a room or space that is a catch-all and it serves many purposes but when it comes to selling your home - that space never translates well to buyers.  That catch-all room becomes a confusing space. Present that space as 'something' a guest room, a desk, craft room, study, ply room - it doesn't really matter  but define what that space is.  Clear it out, remove the junk and set it up as a proper, usable space.

 Fresh and pretty casual mix of neutrals, colors and patterns with a bit of glam in the gold accents!

8.  Assume every space will be viewed.  Sellers like to think that buyers will just look at the main areas of the home during a viewing.  In reality, buyers will look everywhere (especially if it is a 2nd or 3rd showing). so spend some time organizing cupboards, closets and other storage spaces.  Yes, you are living there but you can keep it neat and organized.  Start with a declutter - go through your clothes and linens (no sense in bring items you don't need or want into your next home), donate or toss what you no longer need, pre-pack the extras that you want to keep and fold up the towels and bedsheets in the current linen closet - making a beautiful and organized closet.  Same for other storage spaces. A closet that is bursting at the seams sends the signal that there isn't enough storage space.

 Beautifully Organized: Linen Closets, Cupboards, & Shelves | Apartment Therapy

9.  Organize personal items with storage.  If you are still living in the home that you are selling you will still have some personal pieces like toys, mail, pet items and toiletries.  The best way to keep the home staged while you live there is to have some easy storage solutions.  Baskets are great for toys, a chest or trunk at the edge of a bed, baskets or boxes in bookcases are perfect for flyers, mail and school items.  For bigger items, like furniture try renting a POD or Storage unit. 

 Iron & Twine Living Room After Makeover. Wall color: Benjamin Moore - Hush.   Complete loveliness!!

10.  Fresh Touches Impress Buyers.  Some fresh details make an impression on buyers like fresh flowers (perfect for open houses), fresh fruit in a bowl on an island is a great pop of colour and sets a friendly tone, plush towels in the bathrooms look clean and luxurious are just a few easy examples.  These quick fixes can really make a world of difference in how your property is viewed by buyers.

The dream kitchen: white cabinets with a carrara countertop

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - Easy Ideas for Additional Seating

"My boyfriend and I live in a small home.  We love our home but we know it isn't massive.  We love to have friends and family over for movie and game night but we never seem to have enough space on the sofa.  How can we have extra seating in our small space?"

Entertaining in a small space can feel a bit cramped but if you think double-duty pieces you should be able to get a lot of mileage out of your furniture.

In a small space, you really want to maximize as much as you can.  so we always suggest the largest sofa that will fit in the space.  You will get a lot of comfy seating for guests but for yourselves, too.

 10 Must-See Small Cool Homes: Week One

So now that you have a big, comfy (yet stylish) sofa.  You can start adding some occasional or accent chairs/seating.

1.  A slim accent chair.  You have a lot of choice when it comes to selecting an accent chairs.  You could purchase an additional chair for your dining set or you could just use one from your dining set (this is a great if you are really tight on space).  The different styles for dining chairs are endless.  So You can easily find something that will work in your space.

Some of our favourite chairs are ghost chairs.  They have a bit of a traditional look but with material gives it a modern twist. These are also amazing in a dining room with a wood table.

Love pink and orange!

And when it comes to decorating smaller spaces we always recommend that you keep the same style throughout say industrial instead of changing styles from room to room - that will make the space look and feel choppy.

2.   A slipper chair.  Another great option.  A slipper chair is armless so it isn't bulky.  It has a leaner look but still comfortable.  This style of chair comes is many finishes - we love a patterned slipper chair!  It can make such an impact

 On Sutton Place Slipper Chairs from Target Some really beautiful ideas here - great vignettes

So are there options beside chairs?

3.  Stools.  Stools are maybe not the best for lounging on a movie night but we love them because they are great for a casual gathering like a cocktail party.  They don't take up a lot of room and they can easily be moved around.  Plus they can also be used as a foot stool when needed.

Pair of African stools in a living room

We love the look (and ease) of these African inspired wood stools.  They are a comfortable seat, visually they don't add bulkiness and the style works in this space.

#LivingRoom    Love this light is soooo calming and restful

If your style is a bit more glam or traditional we love these T-frame stools that are positioned in front of the fireplace.  We have used this style of stool for both home staging and with our interior decorating clients.  They are another easy seating piece and you can really get playful with colour and pattern. 

4. Poofs.  We love poofs.  Again easy seating, great look and 'portable'.  They come in so many styles too.  Another great way to add colour and texture to your space.

 The Secrets to Jillian Harris's Sweet Yet Sophisticated Style: It's no secret we're sweet on Jillian Harris's vintage femme design aesthetic.
We love how they can also be tucked under a console or coffee table.  This image is a great example of styling a small space - the light colour palette, the glass coffee table and these leather poofs.  Extra seating or footstools and so chic!

poufs/throw pillows for extra seating/coziness/color

This style of poof is a little more relaxed and casual but still cool and comfortable.  Position them where ever you like.  these are also great if you have children or ever have children visiting - they will love them!  Some poofs in this style even have removable covers - so easy to wash!

5.  Small ottomans.  Another favourite of ours. These are a little more structured than the casual/relaxed poofs but the same fashion and function and variety, too!  We love them in pairs!

Natural light is the best source of light