Tag Archives: Home Expressions Show

What’s Your Inspiration?

Living Room

Every great design has a starting point. Where we take our inspiration from depends on a number of different factors. Anything from the purpose or function of a space, to paint colors, to our own individual experiences and preferences all influence our design decisions. The one thing I’ve learned is not to be scared to try something. Let your personality shine through and have fun with a space!

Frequently when we are planning a design for a Home Staging project we have to work with some existing features. If the home is vacant, quite often the paint color or material finishes will dictate what would look better and often becomes the starting point for the design. Certain color tones simply work well together and allow us to quickly go from A to B in the design process smoothly. Working with the features of a space will always give you a better finished product than trying to force a design that is inconsistent with the features or colors of the space. You’ll see this when someone uses ultramodern design in a very traditional space. Forcing a design will look exactly like what it is. There is a way to blend certain aspects of different design “look”, but it needs to be done cautiously and very well!

We often stage occupied homes. Sometimes it is with just an accessory package or occasionally with a combination of furniture and accessories. In cases like this we may take inspiration from their furniture, paint colors, an area rug, or even a nice piece of artwork. Whatever color tones draw our attention in the space will always be the starting point for the design scheme. We take what speaks to us in the space and build on it and run with it for the whole space! The beauty of working with a Professional Stager is that we have a wide range of selection of décor and accessories to compliment any color scheme and any “look”. So, if you need a little more of a certain color or theme – chances are pretty good I can find something in our warehouse to expand and complete the design to perfection!

For staging projects we typically like to layer the colors in a space to provide depth and dimension in the photographs. A monochromatic color scheme can look elegant and sophisticated but it can be a real challenge to photograph to show a space well. Very few Realtors use Professional Photographers with the skill to make a space look like it should be on the cover of a magazine. That is why we usually use a small pop of color to provide interest and dimension. It draws the eye to the things we want you to focus on. Just the right amount of pop, in the right color tones that all flow beautifully within a space and buyers are automatically drawn into a room, and through the home simply by their desire to “see more”. In this way a home will sell itself! Too many colors in a space or a blend of the wrong colors create a different reaction. Buyers know something is off but may not be able to put their finger on what. They just know the home left them unsettled.

When designing your own space, take your time to find what gives you the most inspiration in the space. Is it a fireplace? The view? The function of the room like a sunroom? Maybe it’s the paint colors or the existing furniture that you need to incorporate in the design. What does it say to you? What mood does it set? Cooler colors tend to the calming effect. Lots of white can have a sterile effect that some people love and others are uncomfortable in. Warm colors are often inviting and soothing. Bright colors can be lively, exciting and exhilarating. What is the architecture style of the space? Is it turn of the century traditional or sleek and ultra-modern?

What is the function of the space? Is it a space you want to use for relaxing or for exercising? Do you want quiet contemplation or a fun space for the family to hang out that will energize you? How you intend to use the space should influence the way you design it. What furniture must the space accommodate and what color is the furniture? You should choose colors that balance and compliment the other color tones in the space, this includes anything from flooring and paint to the tones of the granite tile or carpeting.

Finally, have fun. If you just love the shabby chic look, then have fun with some fabulous décor to give your space the right pieces. Remember lighting plays an important role in setting a mood so choose your lighting with purpose and design in mind. The right accent pieces in your accessories can pull a space together beautifully. Less is always more in a good rule. An understated space will always have more impact than one that is overdone. The first impression people get of an overdone room is being overwhelmed and not knowing where to look. This leaves people uncomfortable and looking for a way out. So, choose your design with care, with just the right touches in the right place. Something I always do if I’m unsure what I want in a space is I’ll try a piece there for a while and see if I like it. Sometimes it looks fabulous and I love it and it “stays”. Sometimes is grows on me as I rearrange a few other pieces in the space until it “works”. Occasionally it just does nothing for me and I need to try something else. When it’s your home you have the luxury of time to determine if you like something or not. So, take you time and try something new. Stick with your inspiration as your main design scheme. This will keep you on track and true to your plan. 

If you really need some help, bring some photos and feel free to stop by our booth at the Home Expressions Show or stop by for our Stage Presentation on Sunday at 3:00 pm! Hope to see you there! I always find tonnes of inspiration at the show! Enjoy!

Learn How to Maximize Your Home Equity At the Home Expressions Show!

kit facing window after kit611afterThe most important question a Home Owner has is how to maximize what their Home is worth. Whether renovating or just doing some updates, the biggest question is “how do I improve without over improving?” No one wants to upgrade more than the home is worth and not get your renovation dollars back when you sell.

The rule is simple, if you have the nicest home on the block by a long shot, pride of ownership is evident but you run the risk not getting your money back when you sell. This is pricing yourself out of the market!   

Every neighborhood has a glass ceiling in terms of top realistic expectant price. This is based on comparable properties that have recently sold in the immediate area in the last 6-9 months. Once you invest more in your home renovations and get above this top price, buyers have the option of looking in more expensive price ranges, which usually comes with a little bigger home in a more expensive neighborhood. So they could spend top dollar for your home, or they have the option of looking at larger homes in a nicer neighborhood for the same price range. Unless they have a specific reason to buy in your neighborhood, chances are they will look at what else they can buy for the same budget. Keep in mind, your home is already at the top of its price range, so an increase in home equity will happen much more slowly with your home than another home, which also becomes a consideration. Another consideration is some very affordable new builds. If they can purchase a new home with warranty or an older home where big ticket items will need replacing sooner, this becomes a factor in their decisions.

The key is to improve your home to the upper end of the price range without over improving!  This is where it is very important to know what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for and what updates they have had. Typical updates can include anything from a new kitchen, updated bathroom, updated and fully finished basement, new flooring, open floor plan, etc. Comparing the homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold and analyzing their updates, allows us to determine how much to do and what not to do. Keep in mind, if you are happy in your home and have no intention of moving any time soon, spending more on your renovations makes sense. Even if you “over improve”, you are doing so for your enjoyment. Chances are over the next 10 – 20 years neighboring homes will catch up with yours and you will be in the top end of the market. But if you need to sell soon after completing renovations, know that you may run the risk of not getting all your renovation dollars back if you over improve. This is a decision each home owner has to make based on their individual circumstances. I just prefer that my clients make well informed decisions!!

Renovations and updates are one very important part of preparing your home for sale. However, the final presentation of your home is equally important! You have to think of the targeted buyer. Who will be buying your home and what do they want to see? What will make them fall in love with your home above all others? Well decorated spacious rooms are very appealing. A room that is well put together will be memorable and appealing to buyers. A room that may have too much furniture or things just not looking right will leave the buyer with a sense of unease. When they think of your home, this feeling of unease will return, and knowing something wasn’t right, they’ll move on to the next home. Staging ensures buyers remember your home and it is on the top of their short list of homes when it’s time to write an offer!

Learn the basics of staging your home for sale or if you want to learn how to determine what to spend on renovations, in order to maximize your home equity but don’t leave money in your home when you sell, come visit us at the Home Expressions Show April 4-6th. We will be hosting stage presentations Friday April 4th at 6:00pm; Saturday April 5th at 3:00pm and Sunday April 6th at 1:00pm.