Posts Tagged ‘budget staging’

fox and camera

My phone is not very smart, and I still have to open it up like an old-fashioned, mirrored compact; it isn’t in a hurry, can take several hours to get a message, and when it finally arrives it will have been jumbled into neat little piles of 140 characters or less.

I know I am holding onto it a little too tightly; resisting change, and dreading the time when checking my email might become more important than noticing a flower, or driving my car in a straight line.

But, I can barely see the screen, it no long likes to type the letter m or b, and it doesn’t take photographs anymore. Well, it does, but they are the size of a postage stamp, and by the time I have squinted enough to see what I am doing, it has gone back to some random setting and politely asks me if I want to send a message. Some days, I am not sure who is more confused.

And, I need photographs. Whether it is stored in a cloud (don’t ask me, I don’t even know what that means either) or in a basket on my dining room table (much better) I need memories and art in my everyday life.

They are also one of my favorite things to use in decorating. It is so hard to be objective about our own space that taking a photograph will instantly help you to see what others see. Like they say, the camera doesn’t lie; it might add on ten pounds, but it’s okay if your sofa and chair are looking a little plump that week.

A photograph gives you time to sit and look at what you truly have. It’s a captured moment of your life, and even though you walk through your home a dozen times a day, it is a rare person who will actually notice what is there.

If you’re selling your home, it is also the absolute best way to see your house from a buyer’s perspective. Try to imagine that you are the Realtor, and take photographs from across the street and all throughout your home. Be honest, or show a friend, and ask yourself how it really looks. Let these photographs be a reference, and use them for making a few changes, and tidying up a little before you put your home on the market.

The same goes for decorating your home. If you feel stuck, and don’t know what it is about a room that you don’t like, or you do but don’t know how to fix it, take a photograph. You will be amazed at how different your home looks through a lens (it’s a little like buying skinny jeans with your eyes closed, then coming home and realizing that the view from behind could traumatize small children).

Ironically, to be able to take photographs is probably the only reason that would push me to get a new phone, which is kind of funny, because then I think the obvious solution would be to actually buy a camera….

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Photograph from: http://animalsandcameras.tumblr.com/post/35827073793

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When I first moved into my home, 20 years ago, the outlets and light switches were brown, plastic, faux wood. My walls were white. I kept them both, because that’s what you did. They came with the house, and, honestly, I thought I would electrocute myself if I removed them, so I didn’t. I didn’t like them, but I just accepted them as part of the decoration.

Now, years later, they have been painted or replaced with something that either matches or coordinates with the room that they are in. It was so easy that I couldn’t believe I ignored these important, little pieces of plastic for so long.

Sometimes we want them to be a feature, but often, most of us just want them to disappear, invisible pieces of necessity, erratically scattered all over our home. 

Make it simple –  if your room is white or cream, match that color. If you have a colorful room, consider steel, black or wood for a subtle contrast. These basic styles can be easily (and cheaply) picked up at your local hardware store. Of course, there are many decorative ones you can buy online, but be wary of creating too much of a “theme”. In your children’s bathroom a fish may look cute, palm trees in your master bedroom, maybe not so cute?

I often paint mine. Use the wall paint that you have, priming and/or sanding as needed. Just dab gently with the paint as you don’t want it going into the outlet (of course, removing the plate first would be the most sensible option, but I have done it both ways, depending on how impatient I am feeling). If you want to, add a matte polyurethane over it for durability. 

For less than a dollar let children personalize their room with their own design. As long as you can still move the switch, let them glue, paint or stick anything they want to onto the plate for a fun and useful accessory. Be creative.

A beautiful home is composed of many things, please don’t let this utilitarian piece of plastic become an unwelcome detail…

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/ Thanks to: Reprodepot Pattern Book for the illustration.

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Want to Make a Good Impression with Potential Buyers?


Don’t have any extra money to spend?


Here are 10 Essential Tips to Help You Sell Your Home

 that Need Not Cost Money, just Time and Effort:


Ø  CLEAR AWAY ALL CLUTTER- Get rid of extraneous clutter such as: toys, too much furniture, accessories, paperwork, too many tech/tangled wires, or knick-knacks.  Organize and contain what must remain.  A buyer wants to see and feel your space not be consumed by it.

Ø  CLEAN EVERY INCH OF SPACE: windows, floors, carpets, appliances, woodwork, fans, furniture, shower, tub, countertops- everything!  A buyer wants to be tuned into your space not turned off.

Ø  REPAIR THINGS THAT NEED TO BE FIXED- A buyer will notice everything, wonder what else is wrong, and it will cost you in the end.

Ø  BRING IN THE LIGHT! –  Allow the bright cheery light of outdoors to come into your space by opening shades, drapes, and having your windows sparkling clean.  And make sure that view outdoors is worth it.  If you can’t improve or neaten up a bad outdoor scene, don’t expose it.

Ø  HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE or ZONES for EACH ROOM- Don’t try to pack in too many functions into one room.  Make sure the bedrooms are set up for comfortable sleeping, the dining room for eating & entertaining, the living room for conversation and perhaps TV watching.  Comfortably include more than one function, such as adding a study/office, entertainment center, or bar area.

Ø  CREATE OR ENHANCE A FOCAL POINT IN EACH SPACE – Make sure when a guest enters a space there is something that draws their eye immediately; whether it be a: fireplace,  bed, architectural element, special piece of furniture, art, or view out a window.  Rearrange the room to make the most of this focal point.

Ø  MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FRONT YARD AND ENTRY- You want to draw your potential buyers into your home not scare them away.  Freshen up, clean up, and make the most of what your buyers see first.

Ø  “NEUTRALIZE” YOUR SPACES- Get rid of excessive and highly personal accessories and furniture that don’t make the most of your space, for example a TV that is far too big for a room or an exercise bike in the middle of a bedroom.  Limit personal photos and paraphernalia.  Keep your colors, textures, patterns, and décor as simple as possible and make them cohesive and all work together.

Ø  STAGE AND SET UP YOUR ROOMS- so your buyers can imagine themselves living there. Set up your dining or kitchen table with beautiful dinnerware, napkins, and a centerpiece.  Bring in a nice bowl of apples on your counter.  Set a tray with flowers and teacups on your bed.  Put out your fluffiest towels in the bathroom.

Ø  IMPRESS YOUR BUYERS WITH SCENTS- Have wonderful smells permeating the rooms: soaps in the bathroom, cotton balls soaked with citrus or vanilla in the kitchen closets, scented candles, or fresh flowers anywhere.  If time, set out something freshly baked before an Open-House.  Prepare your home so potential buyers feel like they can image living there and want to buy it!


By Joan Bishop, Interior Designer




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