Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Prepping my own home for sale...cont'd

Well, things are moving along smoothly not too many bumps which is great!

Our small renos are moving right along...I think what really saved us time on the renos was the fact that we ordered all of the materials with our contractor's advice (and measurements) we also ordered items that were in stock and before the renos began. While everything was being processed our contractor, Danny started on the small stuff that didn't require the new materials. That saved us a lot of time and energy...

the house hasn't been too much of a mess, our crew worked from one area and once they finished they moved into the next area which has been great considering we have too little ones and we needed to keep every thing and every one safe and secure. Plus you don't feel like you are living in a disaster zone if the work is confimed to an area.

Next up, we are getting the basement and living room carpets cleaned (post reno work). I know the new owners may even ditch these carpets but I think if they look and feel good, it will be appreciated in viewings plus you should never assume anyone is going to do anything with your home...they may not want to for a variety of reasons.

Our new sod is looking great and super lush and green but will really need a trim and soon....hopefully mother nature will agree and lay off the rain for a few days...

My goal is to start staging by the end of next week, after a good post-reno clean up! The kids rooms are done but I need to get all of the toys out of the living room area, tidy up our bedroom (although it has already been depersonalized), declutter the kitchen counter tops, and really prepare the basement laundry/rec room space and the main floor family room. Oh and get some flower pots outside...some people might think it is overkill but I think (my husband agrees too) that it is super important to present our home in it's best light!

...and then photo shoot time! What so many sellers don't realize is that timing is everything with renos but also with getting your home on the market. Your photos and listing should be up early in the week (if you are planning an open house) so that buyers can view it online and then make plans for a showing or open house. We are aiming for photos next weekend and getting it live online on the Monday.

The pool openers are coming next weekend and we should be ready for an open house in two weeks time.

I am feeling really good about this house and I know we have taken very good care of it for the future owner and that shows!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Prepping my own home for sale...

So you probably think that it is easy for a home stager to prep her own house for sale.

In some ways it is - I know the importance, I know what has to happen to make the most money from my home sale, I do this everyday BUT it is still a lot of work! Especially with two little ones running around...

We have started...the big decluttering happened roughly a week agao and WOW, it is amazing how much junk and clutter are collected after only 4 years of living here! I still have two more closets to tackle - that is on my to-do list fo this week. I am no means an organizational freak but I know it is important for the closets to look neat and tidy so I have been decluttering and organizing too.

Since we had some renos and painting to do, we decided to minimize the chaos and put our dogs in the kennel.

The touch painting is done! Not a huge job but a bit of a pain. But it really makes the rooms look clean and fresh.

This past weekend, like many of you, we did a lot of spring clean up in our backyard and that has made a huge difference. My husband cleaned out the gutters - what a mess! I will start the planting next weekend.

There is a lot on our to-do list but we know it is all worth it! We have a few small renos that are in the works now and are progressing smoothly (with the execption of a neighbourhood power outage) we are moving forward!

Staging your home is much more that just putting some throw pillows on a sofa and some touch up paint. It is having your home turn key ready for the new owners. Yes, staging your home and prepping it to sell for the most money possible is a lot of work but it will be worth it for us (the sellers) and for the buyers.

Next...we have to finish the renos, clean the carpets (professionally), some planting and the final step - staging!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Making cents of your decor budget

OK, so it is time to move in and you desperately need new furniture well, make that new everything! Where do you start? Where do you spend? This tried and true equation nets you a well-appointed living room on any budget.

25% of your budget should go towards your new sofa (if in a small home or condo a sofa sleeper is a great idea). Stick neutral in the colour scheme that way it will stand the test of time in terms of style. If this seems steep think of it this way - the sofa is the main component of the room and will be used everyday single day. It is worth it!

20% on occasional chairs. They do not have to match the sofa but they should coordinate. Think about using these pieces to add some texture (like leather) or pattern (pinstripe and herringbone are classics). Seating will be most important in the living room and therefore will eat the bulk of your budget.

15% on an area rug (assuming the flooring is tile or hardwood). Think of adding some colour or texture with this element too.

15% on window treatments. Unless your living room winow leaves you feeling really exposed you can probably get away with some simple pannels.

8% on lighting. Floor lamps, table lamps, you may want to include an overhead fixture and perhaps candles. All of these lighting elements help create mood and ambiance.

7% on tables. Coffee table and side tables. If you are still low on seating look at some ottomans that can offer both seating, storage and surface for display etc...there are many options at many stores in a variety of price points.

4% on decor pillows. Look around at home decor stores. By mixing pattern, colour and texture your overall look with elevate. Pattern, Colour, Texture and Shine add visual interest to any and every room. Get creative!

3% on decor accessories. Take a look at garage sales, clearance rack at decor stores and get creative with your own things. Just placing something unexpected in a living room can be very artful!

3% on paint. Ask your painter (if you can afford one) if he/she can buy the paint - they will know the amount, type and usually where they get discounts. Or ask your home improvement person how to get the right amount and what finish to get. An expert can give you greta tips and advice that will help with a beautiful finished product and save you money.

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Decorating spaces that speak to your style

Many homeowners love the idea of putting their stamp on their home. But there are times when homeowners think they like (and want) a certain style but they don't fully understand the terms or what is involved in that particular style. Painting your space can really set the tone of your style - so start with that. Here are some great and easy ways to help you determine your style.

Traditional style - is classic, timeless and distinguished with an elegant feel. This does not have to mean boring at all but work with tones that are stylish now, 10 years ago and 10 years from now. Leather, wood, wool, tweed, felt are some ways to introduce texture to a timeless room.

Modern style - these rooms embrace open and uncluttered areas. They also include sleek lines and clean finishes. furniture in this style of room should be simple but still functional possibly with an interesting and unique shape and form. Modern room often play with vibrant colours with bold energy offset with neutral decor.

Country style - is warm, cozy - these rooms are simple, unpretentious and very welcoming. Colours from nature work best in this style ranging from soothing lavenders to leaf greens. This looks is fresh and inviting.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Staging for the Soul

I met a wonderful family today in Westboro and they have decided to put their family home up for sale. Although a tough decision for them as this home is full of memories - they feel it is time to move on! Moving can be a hard decision to make and you will know when it is the right time.

Bringing in a stager can be a helpful not only for the sale of the home but helping you move forward. Your home may be full of good memories or memories that you need to move past - a stager can help you 'detach' from your home through neutralizing the space and depersonalizing. Sometimes moving furniture and paring items down can look good and feel good too.

For this family home, we plan to help them depersonalize, declutter but also reorganize their living space and add some colour with art and accessories in the home to help the next family to mentally move in. By adding some art pieces on the walls that were once covered in family photos and bringing in some kitchen decor where they used to bake and eat, we will help to set the scene for new and happy memories in this family home.

Moving out and moving on doesn't have to be a painful experience if you know who can help you. Staging can help you set up your home for sale but also help you move on as well. By depersonalizing you are getting a head start on the process of moving and moving away emotionally from a place you have called 'home' for so long.

I know that this home is Westboro will be just perfect for the next family!! We are so happy to be helping this family move forward...

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top 10 low cost, high return outdoor renos

We are in the thick of the busy spring selling season - so why is your home still on the market? Enhancing your curb appeal might be just what you need to sell your home quickly and for the most money! Improving your curb appeal isn't as costly as it may sound, it's all about timely exterior preparations to boost your property's value!

1 -- Keep it clean! was the front, side ans back of the house. the new owners will be looking at all sides of the home. rent or borrow a pressure washer - they do such an incredible job on just about everything.

2 -- If it's broke, fix it! walkways, roof shingles, leaky and rusty exterior faucets you get the idea. a lot of small repairs can add up to a big bill in the eyes of the new owners plus they might wonder what else needs fixing. i know you don't really want to do but neither does the potential new owner.

3 -- Paint it! check your doors (front, side and back) is the paint cracked or peeling or just looking tired and old? it is easy to give a door a new fresh paint job and the impression it will make will be huge!

4 -- Lights....exterior lighting looks great but sure that all of the bulbs are operational. for more curb appeal add some solar lights in the garden, and keep the exterior lights on during dusk it makes a beautiful home look beautiful even at night plus many potential buyers to drive by so be sure to always have the home looking it's best!

5 -- Support staff! check that all railings are safe and secure. Again, this lets home buyers know the home i cared for and no one will get hurt during a showing or open house. That wouldn't be a good first impression!

6 -- Primp the driveway too! An old tired looking asphalt driveway can look pretty drab. On a nice sunny day, 'paint' the drive way with a top sealer, the instructions are easy to follow just read the label and wow what a statement!

7 -- Get in the Gutters! I know gross but necessary. Dirty gutters can really make any home look dirty. Once they are clean take a look to see if the paint job needs any work.

8 -- Raise the roof! Replace the shingles if they need it. Most buyers do not want to replace a roof due to the cost so they may pass on your home if the roof is looking rough. Or, they will really low ball the offer if thy think the roof needs replacing.

9 -- Wired! Tidy up any loose wires it looks better and it is safer. Some staples or nails can help keep them in place.

10 -- Landscaping! If you don't want to plant new ones - a t least maintain what you've got! Keep the shrubs and grass neatly trimmed, flower beds weeded and neat. Keep the garden gnomes in the garage, they can come with you to the new place. They have a tendency to make gardens look cluttered.

These suggestions will help you maintain the value of your home and help you sell it faster. In a competitive market, your home's appearance could be what sets you apart from the rest.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy at work?

We spend the majority of our days and even lives working! Many of us work desk jobs everyday and that can really be repetitive and some days boring. But there are ways to liven up your at work workspace and make it more appealing to be at your desk everyday.

a -- add some colour! it brightens up the workspace and stimulates the senses. think pen/pencil holders, sticky notes, file folders, accordion files etc... in bright and bold colours.

b -- get cozy! replace that old, lumpy 'work' sweater you throw on when the AC is cranked up with a smooth, stylish and still cozy pashmina in a colour that looks great on you. you can even throw it over the back of your desk chair to add some texture and colour too!

c -- let there be life! a beautiful potted plant can add some freshness to the space but think about your desk position and the type of plant - does it need sun, shade may even want to think about basil or mint for some refreshing scent too!

d -- bright idea! replace the 'office' looking desk lamp with something more homey and stylish, you workspace will feel more inviting for you and any clients.

e -- eat right! keep some healthy snacks in the office desk - popcorn, dried fruit, are great options for when the urge hits - they keep you satisfied and there won't be a sugar crash.

f -- stay hydrated! not just for working out but at work too! keep a small, sleek and stylish carafe or glass bottle at the desk with water. it will keep you looking and feeling great!

g -- memories! we love to surround ourselves with our cherished ones but too many photos can look clunky and cluttered - your desk is only so big! so why not have a digital frame looping your favourite pics or have your absolute favorite as a screen saver.

h -- keep it clean! declutter your workspace regularly - it will make the workspace feel less overwhelming and eliminate stress.

Your desk job doesn't have to be drab. Follow some of these ideas, even small changes can make a huge impact!

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Adding some personality

We've just moved into a brand new house. Our bathroom has been nicely finished with white Shaker-style cabinets, limestone floors and mosaic tile in the bathtub-shower area, but it still looks very plain. What can we do to add interest and colour?

What a perfect blank canvas to work with, all it needs is some personality! For instant (and inexpensive) graphic punch and colour, add a great shower curtain. Stripes are really fresh and fun but there are some great patterns in scroll motifs too which would add some more sophistication and glam to the space. Adding colour with towels is another super easy fix. Work off of the shower curtain to keep a flow and theme in the room. Towels also add some great texture and soften the room (a lot of hard surfaces such as tile can make a room feel cold). You could even go with a solid shower curtain and a patterned towel combo - the possibilities are endless! Some pretty paper wrapped soaps or soap bottles can up the 'look' of the room too. A small detail but details to make a difference! Think flooring, a simple bathroom mat is OK but what not really make a splash with a really textured and fluffy area rug. Adding some natural element to the space will also add some warmth, try wood framed mirror. I love to add interesting art pieces in a bathroom, again it adds sophistication to the room. It can be any style of art - watercolour, photography etc...Think about organization too. a basket or tray on the counter top to keep personal items makes the space feel clean and tidy. A bathroom can easily be transformed with some splashes of colour and accessories, an easy and affordable makeover!

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

From Toddler to Teen and everything in between...

Children grow and change right before your eyes. One minute they fit into their favourite t-shirt and overalls and the next day they can't even squeeze into those same piece of clothing. Their tastes and interests are no exception! So if you have children or are expecting her are some great ideas to create a children's bedroom that can actually grow with them and their ever changing lives.

- stay away from an entire room of child sized furniture. Items such as dressers and bookcases will be able to store their items beyond the toddler years. Children's furniture also tends to be more expensive and with a lower quality construction and finishing. Invest in 'adult' size pieces that can be used in the future. If you want these items of furniture to grow with your child stick with neutrals that will be classic and can also be used with either gender. As this child may not be your only one...plan ahead

- Check out open-air photo albums, basically a cork board that has been covered in fabric with ribbons attached in a diamond patter. This is the perfect display area for your child to reflect their tastes and things that mean the most to them - letters, cards, photographs and posters of their favourite (at the moment) celebrity. Justin Beibermaybe your daughter's crush right now but that could change very quickly, instead of damaging your walls with push pins and tape from all of the 'Beiber' fever posters all over the wall use the open air photo album as an alternative. They can be made at home or purchased from more home decor stores. I have one in my daughter's room, I have put up her ultrasound photo, her baby cards etc...she is turning one in June and I know as she grows she will be able to use this board as a display area to reflect and express her personal style.

- paint! Keep the paint colour on the walls neutral. Your child's favourite colour will constantly change, so keep neutral and add colour splashes in the artwork, pillows, bedding toddler toys are often very colourful themselves. Too much colour in a room can be over stimulating and changing the paint colour with every phase can be expensive and disruptive.

- artwork. Use frames! Frame your child's artwork it will add some fun and whimsy to their room and will make them feel proud. Frames are inexpensive and reusable, so their art gallery can grow with them. Framing their art also creates a special gallery for you too, this demonstrates their growing skills and abilities. Try framing some fun and punchy fabric this adds interest and energy to the space (or a feeling of calm depending on the fabric choice). Or try using images from a calendar (for example Winnie the Pooh) of your child's current interest and framing it as art - very easy, inexpensive and interchangeable.

- The floor. Kids spend a lot of time on the floor - falling, playing, reading, doing homework or just hanging out with friends. Whether you have wall to wall carpet or hardwood flooring, try adding a textured (like a big fluffy shag) or bold bright patterned area rug to create a more sophisticated look but also a practical one too. In my son's room I added a neutral toned shag rug and he just loves to read, play and roll around on his bedroom floor plus it looks great too!

- Storage, storage, and more storage. as your child grows so will their belongings, interests and activities. Easy fixes like bookcases, desks, dressers, ottomans, hooks, benches anything that can be used to tuck away or hang up their items is a good tool. Try and keep those floors and surfaces clutter free. This teaches your child even at a young age to be organized.

- pillows. Pillows are great to add colour but also seating in a child's room. They can b on the bed but also on the floor. does your child's room have a cute corner or nook? That's another great spot for a pile of pillows. Add some different textures, colours and patterns - this adds visual interest, fun and function to the room. It's a bit more 'grown up' than giant teddy bears all over the room. Look at bold and graphic prints - a child's room doesn't have to be plastered with bunnies, bears and trains.

- light. A bold chandelier is a perfect for a little princess room but adds glam to a teen space. Many home improvement stores have some great chandeliers too.

Your child's interests will be age appropriate so it is OK to have a basic space that can grow with your child. Constantly reinventing the room gets expensive and disruptive. By keeping it classic you are keeping budget friendly and as your child grows and he/she will bring in their style which will really make them feel proud. Have an everlasting room....

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