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WE ANSWER WEDNESDAY

home-staging-advice

“I’m in need of some Home Staging Advice. I know I need to stage my home but where do I start and what do I need to do?”

Home Staging Advice is our specialty! We love staging homes and we love helping sellers get their home ready for the resale market.  It’s amazing to hear everyone’s Home Staging success stories!

When it comes to home staging every property has different needs but the basics that you need to address are the same. Your relationship with your real estate agent (if you are using one) is also really important.  You want to make sure that your agent understands your competition in the market place and that your home is positioned in a competitive way.

 

Our Home Staging Advice is to address theses 7 basics:

  1. CLEAN AND DECLUTTER
  2. MAINTAIN
  3. REPAIR
  4. DE-PERSONALIZE
  5. NEUTRAL
  6. UPDATE
  7. STYLE

Start at the top of this list and work your way down.

Let’s start with Clean and Declutter –

Give the house a really good up and down thorough cleaning.  This is a good start.  A clean house feels amazing and everyone loves the feeling of a clean house.  You can do this yourself or hire a professional.  But this is a must! Go through all of your junk – old clothes, old boxes of random things, books and more….unload what you no longer need – this will lighten up the feeling in your space (and your mind, too – clutter is a source of stress), make moving easier and less expensive and the overall look of your home and storage spaces will improve (buyers are looking for storage so you don’t want the closets to be chaotic!)

 

Maintain

This is important because a maintained house is a house that has been cared for. When a house is cared for buyers sense that and they have some real peace of mind. So start with small things like leaky faucets, loose door knobs, burnt out light bulbs….Go through your house (or ask a close friend or a professional home stager) with a fine tooth comb and tackle those details!

Repair

So this falls under the same umbrella as ‘maintain’ but this is for larger issues like a broker appliance, a cracker floor tile, electrical outlets that don’t work.  A home in disrepair tells buyers that this home is a mess and needs attention (and if there is an offer, it won’t be a good one). So be sure to take on those repairs before hitting the real estate market!

De-personalize

By removing your personal items, memorabilia and style from the house – this really allows buyers to ‘mentally move in’.  You will be taking your personal items like family photos, religious pieces and collectables with you anyway…so think of this as a pre-pack. You don’t want buyers to feel like visitors during a private viewing or open house, you want them to feel at home.

Neutral

This is closely connected to De-personalizing the space.  when we move into our home we get creative with colours, wall paper and other decorative elements but when it comes to home staging you really need to tone that all down and go neutral. Especially on the walls! Paint makes a huge impact on the look (and feel of a house) so a fresh paint job in a neutral tone is a great idea (and a good investment).

 

Update

Please don’t be thrown off by this….update doesn’t mean renovate. Small updates can make a whole home feel fresh and new again. How many updates and what you update- well that’s a conversation to have with your real estate agent. Remember what we said about being competitive? Your real estate agent can let you know what your competition is offering in the price point, so certain updates may or may not being worth it. Changing up light fixtures can make a huge difference in a home, new hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms, new carpet (or professionally cleaned carpet), stone counter tops….be sure to have a chat with your agent so you are competitive!

Style

This is a the pretty part and it makes a huge difference it how the house present in your photos. A house without any style or decoration just looks sad. You want your buyers to feel happy when they are walking in the property. So proper scale and positioning of furniture is important and then add a little something.  For some of our favourite Home Staging props, Click HERE.  But add some accent pillows to the sofa (new ones that you can use at your new place!), a few decor items on coffee tables and/ or fireplace mantle, art and fresh flowers and/ or bowl of fruit.  And be sure to always make the bed.  You don’t need all new furniture or decorative accents to make your home look it’s best, just follow our home staging advice.

 

Remember that home buying is an emotional experience so make buyers feel at home and at ease. Let them mentally move-in … Home Staging shows off the potential of the home and helps your property stand out from the rest. A staged home never sits for long! 

Good luck,

 

 

 

 

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answer-wednesday-chalk-paint

“What is chalk paint? I have heard people talking about it. “

 

Yes – chalk paint is a term we are hearing a lot …so here are the details.

What is Chalk paint?

Chalk paint is an actual brand of paint – Annie Sloan has trademarked the brand (but there are other similar paints by other companies). But it is a paint used mostly on furniture.  The paint has a flat and chalk like finish and is used to create an aged finish on furniture pieces.  Plus you can distress the finish as well (very easily).

 

 

With the popularity of the Farmhouse look in home decor – chalk paint is being used a lot. To update great garage sale finds or transform pieces to give them a rustic, shabby chic or country look. Don’t you just love the charm that the chalk like finish adds to decor pieces and furniture?

 

Get creative with Chalk Paint:

Frames:

Chalk painting your photo frames or even old frames that you often see at yard sales or online – look so chippy and vintage with a spot of chalk paint.  These look great in a gallery wall

 

 

Storage furniture:

Adding chalk paint to a large piece of furniture transforms the look of the room.  This dresser looks aged and adds a romantic look and feel in the bedroom.

 

 

Vases:

Trying painting your mason jars . This is a great idea for a center piece, spring decor, weddings and Easter – the finish of the paint and the tones are perfect for the spring season!

 

Chairs:

I love these chairs – they look like an old vintage find from an old cafe and that robin’s egg blue really adds some personality in the space.

 

Chalk paint allows for you to get create with some old furniture items, garage sale finds or just updating your space! We all know what a difference fresh paint can make in a space so why not try something new!

It’s only paint…

 

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answer-wednesday-spring-home-decor

“Spring is almost here.  What are your favourite spring home decor ideas?”

 

Spring really is a wonderful time of year! Both us of have spring birthdays…but that’s not the only reason why we love spring!  Spring is fresh, fun and a new start.  Spring offers so much colour – just look around and you will see it every where.

 

We have a few favourite ways to bring spring into home decor.

 

Kristi’s favourite spring home decor ideas:-

Greenery –

yes this is THE colour of the year but for me, the first spring home decor piece I add to my home is a beautiful floral arrangement (or potted plant).  It just brings a burst of life into your room especially after these long and snowy winters.  It’s so fresh to see ‘green’ again! I love to see fresh flowers on a kitchen or dining table but I also love them in my bedroom – it’s so lovely to wake up and see a touch of nature!

 

 

Let the light in (and the air, too) –

we are stuck at home all winter long and when that warm spring sunshine is out I want to bring it in – along with the fresh air.  I pull back the drapes and pull up the blinds and open the windows (even if it’s just for a little bit).  Our spring season here is still pretty brisk but letting that light and fresh air gives the home a good boost. That beautiful natural light and fresh air can really make a difference!

 

Switch up my textures –

if you don’t know this about me yet, you will soon figure it out.  I don’t decorate my home with a lot of colour (unlike Maddie) but I love texture! Faux fur, leather, wood, wool knits, cow hide, metal and well any texture.  But once spring is here – I tuck away my furry pillows and blankets.  I give them a wash and hide them away until the fall.  They just add a winter-like feel to my space and who needs winter all year long? Instead I have added some Stonewashed Belgian linen pillows in some different earthy tones and a few with some print.

 

 

Maddie’s favourite spring home decor ideas:-

 
Colour –

I love colour.  I love all colours.  One of the reasons I have a lot of white and grey in my house is so I have a lot of freedom to play with colour.  Since I have lived in my home (coming up on 3 years now) I have played with shades of aqua and blue, teal and orange and now I’m on a pink kick!  (My office has a bold and bright pink accent wall) Colour is a great way to bring spring into your home.  Take some cues from your spring flower garden, green grass, robin eggs and all that the spring season presents.  Use colour with decor items, art,  and pillows.

 

 

Pattern –

I also love pattern.  I feel a room without pattern is pretty much incomplete.  Every room needs some pattern.  For spring think floral pattern – you might be thinking that it’s not modern enough for you or it’s too feminine – think again! There are so many options for floral pattern, I love and have some of these Bluebellgray pillows at my place.  I have it mixed with some other more geometric prints and my bold abstract art. I love the bold colours mixed with an abstract watercolour print against my gray sectional. If florals aren’t for you, try adding a bold pop of colour – one colourful print item can total change up your look (and maybe inspire you to add even more to your room).

 

Spring is such a great time to refresh your home decor – many of the new collections are out in stores at the end of winter and that’s when we have a ton of choices – colour, texture, print and pattern – you don’t need a lot to make an impact …just a few pieces can put a spring in your step!

 

 

 

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answer-wednesday-shiplap

“I have been hearing this term a lot lately and I don’t know what it is ….what is shiplap?”

You are right!  This is a term that we have been hearing a lot these days especially if you are someone who watches a lot of Home design and Decor shows on TV or reading magazines. 

 

So what is it – you ask, well there is a little bit of debate on what some TV hosts

are calling shiplap. 

 

Shiplap is essentially a style of wood paneling – no, not that 70’s style that you may have lived with at some point in your life – this is different….

Shiplap are long and smooth plain wood boards that are installed on a wall adding a slight texture, a visual interest and with the spacing between the boards you get a stripe effect. We are definitely seeing this in the design shows especially the ones that have a slight country influence.

 

The debate in really on the install of these long and smooth wood panel boards.

In some cases we see these long wood straight panels that are nailed to the wall adding a slight bit of texture and a stripe effect in a room.  These boards are often painted in almost a chalk paint consistency.  We are seeing this a lot in homes that want a bit of a country or farmhouse look (this can also work with a home that is after a nautical feel). 

Now ‘actual’ shiplap looks very similar (which I would say is why the term is being used) but the install is different.  This shiplap is like a tongue and groove system giving the boards self-spacing – to get that striped look. the idea with this installation was to get a water tight ‘seal’.

 

If you didn’t see the install of the wood panels you likely wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Shiplap is a great way to add some texture to a space. 

 

It looks great painted in any tone (the paint colour choice can really help determine the style you want in the room).  You can opt for a flat finish paint in a warm white, soft grey or even a light blue for a country look but if you chose a darker paint like a charcoal or even a deep navy you could get a bit of an industrial feel.  Of course the items like accessories, textile and lighting will also help with the overall look.

 

 

Shiplap can also be used as a great accent wall in a family room or even a bedroom.  It’s a wonderful way to make an impact without over whelming the entire room.  For those of you that feel reclaimed wood walls are just a bit too much this is a good alternative. 

If you are looking for some subtle texture and visual interest, consider shiplap.

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we-answer-wednesday-matching-front-door-and-garage-door

“I’m going to paint my front door a new colour something with some pop but do I need to paint my garage door in the same colour, so they match?”

Great question and a bit of a tricky one….it really comes down to how bold you want to be with your exterior’s statement, the architectural style of the home, the colour you choose, the exterior materials and overall personal preference.

 

For instance, if you are choosing a classic paint colour like black …

this looks great on the front door and garage door – it’s a more traditional style but a classic never goes out of fashion. This also works with a a minimalist or modern home- clean lines and simplicity are key and generally that style isn’t about being overly colourful.

 


Photo from Bright Green Door

If you want to be a bit more adventurous with your front door colour…

we suggest keeping the garage door more tame.  The garage door colour should match another colour on the home’s exterior.  A good idea is to have it match the framing around the door and windows. If the house has shutters, we like the shutters to match either the garage or the front door – this gives consistency to the exterior – or they should coordinate with another exterior colour maybe even the roof but the shutters need to connect with another exterior element. Too many colours on a home’s exterior is distracting and it is confusing for the eye!

 


Photo from Home Bunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Zillowthe shutters match the roof so there is a connection in the exterior colours and that red door really pops!

For homes that have a lot of texture like stone, brick, shingles, beams etc…

we like to see a wood front door and garage door – the allows the materials to shine. In this case, a home exterior with a lot of natural materials we suggest making a statement with a beautiful wood door (the garage doors can also be wood or they can coordinate with another colour on the exterior). When it comes to picking your front door colour – be sure to pick a colour that is flattering with your exterior materials.


Photo from best-home-decorpictures.us

You don’t need to match your door colours but you want to take into consideration a few factors (mentioned above) and also the statement you want to make.  If you want a really bright and bold colourful door – let that be the focal point and let the other elements including the garage door play a complimentary role.

 

Photo from thisoldhouse.com

With a garage door in a complimentary tone this really allows for your front door to be the WOW factor!

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“We are looking to update our space.  It’s very neutral and we want to add some colour.  We have a medium sized budget and are willing to spend on some quality pieces but we want to make sure we have colours that aren’t too trendy.  What would you suggest?”

When it comes to updating your space, accessories is an easy and affordable solution.  A new pop of colour can really transform the look and feel of a space. When it comes to updating your space – don’t worry too much about trends, if you love something (a colour, texture, print etc…) than bring it into the room.  The great thing about having a neutral palette to start with is that it will work with anything! Colour can really set the tone and the mood of a space – so take a look at colour and think about how it makes you feel as it will bring that feeling into that room.

We definitely have some classic colour combinations that will never go out of style.

Take a look at these combinations and see how they make you feel.

1. BLACK AND WHITE –

Of course this is top on our list, it is a classic like no other! black and white can be too much contrast for some but you can add to it to soften up the look – in this image we love the addition of the natural elements and textures.  But this combo is so incredibly versatile, it really depends on the pieces you choose.  This can be super glam, it can be country and everything in between! This is really about the pieces you choose.


Photo from Homedit.com

2. TURQUOISE, COBALT AND SKY BLUE –

These colours work with all neutrals and any style.  Just because we are working with blues doesn’t mean you have to have a coastal look.  We love these fresh blues paired with a glass table with clean modern lines. We also love mixing the various tones of one colour.


Photo from 57sparklegirl.tumblr.com

3. BEIGE, BLUE, GREEN AND GREY –

Mixing soft neutrals and then adding some pop of colour is a great way to liven up a room! Forget the old rule of not “mixing green and blue unless it’s in the washing machine” – these hues look great together! We also love to see these colours in prints – it really gives the room a designer feel.


Photo from Eye for Design

4. CHARCOAL, CREAM AND BEIGE –

You cannot go wrong with neutrals! Some think that beige and grey cannot be mixed together but they absolutely can! This room is full of neutrals but mainly a deep charcoal, white and beige.  To keep it from being boring this room has some great texture (see the decorative twigs, the sisal area rug, marble fireplace surround, mirrors and the matching rattan ottomans). The pattern pillows also add some great visual interest to keep the space from looking boring.


Photo from renoguide.com.au

5. WHITE, BROWN AND GREEN –

Green is a very fresh colour and adds instant life to any room. Paired with white and brown it adds a nice pop to a simple palette.  We love how it is versatile with styles. In this image we see a modern eclectic spin but this would work so well with a country decor style.


Photo from Remodelista

6. GREY, BLUE AND WHITE –

Colour is great in the kitchen too! Such a fresh and clean combination! Look at this fabulous kitchen with the grey/blue island and soft white/grey cabinets, white stools, white walls and those blue and white pattern stools make this whole kitchen space and eating area look welcoming and chic.  This is a great colour palette for any room and we love how the wood adds warmth and character, too!


Photo from Citrine Living by Tamara Anka

7. WHITE, ORANGE AND  NAVY –

This is a fresh combination and it really works with any style.  If you like a nautical vibe try adding some natural elements like sea grass or sisal on the floor, some wicker pieces too.  We also love this colour combo in a boys’ bedroom. But this also works with a classic contemporary look like this image.  This is a very clean look.


Photo from Pottery Barn

8. WARM GREY, WARM WHITE AND BURNT ORANGE –

We love this gender neutral palette and it is perfect for every room including nurseries! We have been seeing a lot of orange in home decor but we love it in nurseries.  We are seeing more and more gender neutral rooms for babies, so that mom, dad and baby (and future babies) all feel great in the space.  The burnt orange is a bit softer than a true and pure orange. The warm white and warm grey are still very popular neutrals as well.


Photo from Apartment therapy

9. SILVER AND AQUA –

You may think that aqua is on the trendy side and yes there have been years where we have seen a lot of this hue but it never seems to disappear completely, which is why we are including it in our classic combinations.  Blend this soft aqua tone with silvers and grey, this is so soothing and stylish.  This is perfect for a bedroom, we love it in a guest bedroom but it is wonderful in main living spaces too.


Photo from COCOCOZY

10. GRASS GREEN AND YELLOW –

This is a fresh colour combination that also has a lot of warmth.  If you are a nature lover, this is a great palette for you as it really combines those lovely spring tones.  If you feel this looks a bit country but you like the colours….think about opting for some gold and glass accents like lamps, coffee and end tables.  Add some more classic pattern as well.  These colours work with any style.


Photo from Brabourne Farm

When it comes to adding colour to your space, you can add a much or as little as you like.  We suggest starting off slow – especially if you are trying a new colour and you aren’t a risk taker.  Take a look at these classic combinations and pick the one that really ‘speaks’ to you and go for it – it only colour!

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we-answer-wednesday-how-to-layer-your-lighting

“I have overhead lighting in my living room but it still looks and feels dark most of the time.  How can I improve the lighting in my living room?”

This is a great question and actually a very common concern. More often than not, homes are not designed and built with a lighting plan in mind.  Some builders are now offering that opportunity to buyers who have purchased from plans, to meet with an in-house design/decor consultant and review the lighting plans and they can make adjustments and some additions (at an extra cost).  But what about someone who has purchased an existing home? What can you do?

You still have options.  You could meet an electrician and see where you could add some extra ambient lighting sources such as pot lights.  But that can be costly.

Photo from tumblr.com  – This space uses different types of lighting – the ambient light from the ceiling fixtures and task lighting from the kitchen island pendants and the table lamps.  Look closely there are some candles on the coffee table too.

What you want to do and can do quite easily is layer your lighting. Think of your lighting plan a having 3 layers.  Each layer plays a role in the whole plan. Layering your lighting means to have different sources of lighting in one room.  Each source has a different function but they each contribute to the look and feel of the room. This way you can change up the lighting scheme throughout the day and to set the mood you like.  This is also a great idea for a room that serves multiple purposes (which is the case for most of us).

So what are the 3 types of lighting that should be in a room?

LAYER 1- Ambient lighting: this is the room’s overall light wash, this could be natural light streaming in from a window or it could be from overhead lighting.  This is your basic layer of lighting.  This type of light illuminates open areas, walls and main furniture pieces. For overhead ambient light, a dimmer switch is a great idea as it offers you options throughout the day to change it up with your mood. Examples of Ambient lighting include: overhead fixtures, pot lights, natural light beaming in from a window, and torchiere.

 

LAYER 2- Task lighting: this type of lighting is designed to help you perform activities at close range.  This type of lighting is more area specific.  For example, wall sconces or a swing arm floor lamp behind a chair is great for reading or a hanging pendant over a kitchen island are some examples of task lighting.  Task lighting is another layer in your lighting plan. Examples of task lighting include: table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, and swing arm lamps.

Photo from eclecticallyvintage.com

LAYER 3- Accent lighting: this style of lighting adds a touch of drama to your space. This really allows you to change up the mood in your room quite easily.  Accent lights really let you direct the eye to objects you want to draw attention to, for instance picture lights or candles.  This type of lighting adds warmth (as well as drama) to a space. Examples of accent lighting include: picture lighting, library lights, spot lights, track lights, mini chandeliers and candle light.

Photo from Mattamy Homes  – Another great example of layering your lighting.  We see here the overhead lighting from the ceiling fan (double duty piece) and the pot lights.  The table and floor lamps add some great task lighting, perfect for reading.  And the wall mounted candle sconces add some accent lighting when needed.

Playing with the 3 layers of lighting helps create the mood in the room.  So for a gathering of friends and family, to create a cozy mood use layers 1 (on a dimmer) and 2.  For a more romantic mood, try blending various types of layer 3 (only spotlights mixed in with some candle light is very seductive).

When you are making your lighting plan you can mix up the styles of lighting from one category.  So a room could have a large picture window letting in lots of natural light (depending on time of day) with a beautiful overhead fixture and a few pot lights in the bookcases with a matching pair of table lamps flanking the sofa and a floor lamp or wall sconce behind a reading chair.  Add in some candle light or even twinkle lights by the fireplace and you have a room with a layer lighting plan that allows you to set any mood you like.  Plus this way you have light throughout the entire room, so it will never feel dark.

Photo from Zillow

 

You can never go wrong with adding extra light sources in any room.

I hope this helped bring more light into your life,

 

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we-answer-wednesday-6-best-white-paint-colour-for-trim

“My house needs a fresh paint job.  I feel good about picking a wall colour but do you have any suggestions for the perfect white trim paint colour?”

 

You are so right, picking the right white can be tricky.  The look of a fresh coat of paint is spectacular and painting that trim really completes the feel. But like every other colour – there are many whites to choose from.  Not knowing which paint colour you will choose, your safest best is you use a pure and true white tone, you can’t go wrong with that. We have a few favourites to share with you.

 

  1. Simply White by Benjamin Moore – this was BM colour of the year for 2016.

 

  1. Cloud White by Benjamin Moore – this is a designer (and painter) go-to.

 

  1. Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore -just like the name, it is a decorator’s (and painter’s) favourite.  It’s clean and crisp.

 

  1. Ultra Pure White by BEHR – so clean and so crisp -this is one of the purest whites you will see.

 

  1. Extra White by Sherwin-Williams – a great white trim choice, bright white!

 

  1. All White by Farrow & Ball – a perfect white

 

Other trim painting tips:

Caulking – be sure that before you start painting that trim to caulk any gaps

Order – paint the trim first and then the walls

Finish – be sure to use a semi-gloss when it comes to choosing a finish for your trim. A semi-gloss adds even more brightness but also when it comes to cleaning, the dust doesn’t stick!

I hope these tips  and suggestions on finding the ‘perfect’ shade of white work for you,

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we-answer-wednesday-low-cost-home-staging-tips

“We are selling our home and moving to a new city due to a job transfer.  I know home staging sets you apart from the competition.  We want to sell quickly and make the move to the new city easy.  We are on a tight budget, do you have any quick, easy and low budget home staging tips to share?”

 

You are absolutely right! Home staging sets you apart from the other homes on the market and you want to stand out in the crowd especially if you are in a market with lots of competition.  Every style of home can benefit from home staging.  Home staging can get you more money and help you sell faster, so the extra work to get the home prepared for the market will be worth it in the end.  Less time on the market means you can move forward with your new chapter in life without the extra stress and worry.

There are lots of quick and easy, low cost (and no-cost) staging tips. 

Here’s what we suggest:

Clean.

I’m sure your home is clean but is it spit shine clean? Really get in there and clean that house.  Give it a good scrub down.  Buyers will notice and the home will feel great.  There is nothing like a super clean home.  Having said that, pay attention to the scent of the home.  You don’t want it to smell like harsh chemicals of bleach – that can be a turn off. Stick with scents like clean laundry, vanilla or cotton.

–  Repair.

This may cost a bit, it depends on what needs to be repaired and how handy you are.  Any burnt out light bulbs? leaky faucets? cracked tiles? chipped paint? You need to spend a bit of money here to tend to these issues.   Has it been a while since you painted the house?  You might want to consider a paint job – a fresh paint job goes a long way and make a huge difference! Over look these repairs or just leave it? Buyers will think you maybe left other issues unresolved, bigger issues. If there are too many repairs to pay for and maybe you don’t have the time, consider that when pricing your home with your agent.

De-clutter.

We all have junk.  Since you are moving anyway this is a great opportunity to lose some weight.  Go through your stuff and get rid of what you don’t want/need you will be surprised how much you can accumulate in a short period of time.  Go through everything – drawers, closets, cabinets etc.  Don’t spend the time, money and energy moving to the new place to just to toss it – get rid of it now.  The house will feel lighter. Plus when buyers see clutter it is a stresser and it sends a message that there isn’t enough storage (one of the top things buyers are looking for is storage).  One area to really pay attention to is above the kitchen cabinets – don’t store anything up there, it’s distracting and looks messy (even decorative items) and bathroom counter tops, we tend to ‘collect’ soap, lotions and more. Clear off surface spaces – kitchen counters, your coffee table, end tables, kitchen table, desk etc…Clear out the clutter!

Pre-pack and depersonalize.

You know you are moving , so pre-pack certain items that you know are going to come with you.  For instance family photos and collections – we don’t want them in the space because they personalize the space – you don’t want buyers to feel like they are visiting, you want them to mentally move in – your memories will block that from happening.  Collectibles should also be packed up – again they are personal plus they can clutter up the space depending on the size of the collection.  Have a lot of art or books? A few are fine but if you have too many they can add bulk to the room making the space feel cramped, so pre-pack some of those pieces (at least the ones coming with you)

 

Let there be light!

Pull back the drapes, clean those windows and be sure to replace burnt out bulbs or up the wattage.  Light makes a huge difference in a space.  If you have a dark room, add some table or floor lamps. When it is time for your photos, be sure to have your lights on – over head, task lights all of your lights – it looks so much better in photos! Take a look at the two images below – image 1 has all of the lights on – even though they have beautiful natural light streaming in from the patio doors and window.  Look how bright the room is. Image 2 – no lights on at all.  The light from the window just isn’t enough.  Yes, it is a beautiful room but it looks a bit dull without the lights on.

 

              

Curb appeal.

Make sure the exterior is maintained, it’s your home’s first impression.  So trim the grass and hedges.  Make sure exterior lights are in working order.  Is the address plate visible and in good condition? Does the door bell work? Shovel or sweep the porch and walkway/driveway. These details are important.

 

Set the scene.

This is the fun part and the creative part. Use magazines as your inspiration -make the bed and make it look inviting like you would see in a chic hotel.  Have a great dining room space? Set the table to help buyers visualize entertaining in the space.  Add a touch of colour in the kitchen.  Some flowers or a fruit bowl on the island or kitchen table make the room look fresh. Take a look at your furniture or better yet get a friend to help – is there too much? Is there flow? You may need to re-arrange some pieces, so try to find a way to create a comfortable set up that encourages conversation but also shows off the space.

 

Be sure to keep the ‘creative’ stuff last and follow these steps in this order. Remember, home staging isn’t just about fluffing pillows  – it’s a step by step process to make the home look it’s best.  Buyers are looking for their new home not your old home, so follow these steps and your house will shine!

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we-answer-wednesday-lightening-up-dark

“We renovated our kitchen about 10 years ago.  We chose a dark espresso stain cabinet.  Even though we have decent natural light, we feel the kitchen looks a bit on the dark side.  How can we lighten up the kitchen without replacing the cabinetry doors?”

 

The lighter kitchens are definitely trending right now.  But the espresso look is still a choice that people are drawn too.  If you want to lighten up your darker kitchen there are some easy and simple changes you can make (or hire someone to install for you) that won’t break the bank!

 

Try adding a back splash tile that is light in colour…

Or even explore the idea of a glossy finish (this will allow light to bounce off of the tile and into the room).  A glass tile can do wonders – it’s like adding jewelry to an outfit….Another tip, try installing (or have a professional) install some under valance lighting – this will add more light to your kitchen.


Photo from DecorPad

 Try replacing your counter top…

With a stone counter top in a light tone.  This is also a popular trend for 2017.  With a lighter counter top the whole kitchen will look lighter, think of all of the surface space in a fresh and lighter tone.

 


Photo from DecorPad

 Try brightening up your kitchen with some lighter paint…

You will be amazed at the low cost and the big difference it can make. Fresh paint always looks so clean and bright.

 


Photo from HGTV

 Consider a partial kitchen update…

Yes, this is more expensive but it might be worth it if you feel your kitchen is just too dark.  this might also be a good idea down the line if you are looking to make updates for resale…replace or paint your upper cabinets in a lighter paint.  Some call this a two tone kitchen other call this a Tuxedo kitchen and we will be seeing more of this look in the coming years.  this can really open up and brighten up the look in your kitchen.

 


 Photo from Bright Green Door


Other tricks….

– Take a look at the wattage of your light bulbs and go brighter!
– Burnt out light bulb? Be sure to replace them!
– Do you have pendant lighting? Maybe swap out our pendants for something with a glass or chrome finish to allow more light in the room
– If you have dark stools, swap them out for a lighter colour or even a chrome
– Opt for appliances with a reflective surface
– Can you add more pot lighting to your kitchen?
– Lighten up that floor, whether it is wood or tile a lighter tone will make a big difference
 
You don’t need to change out your cabinets or overhaul your whole kitchen to make it look lighter and brighter.  add in some lighter elements and you won’t believe the difference!


 

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