Monday, November 17, 2014

Walmart "STEELS" -- Interesting, Inexpensive Staging Ideas

I have a passion for unusual items that can serve as a staging accessory. "But IT doesn't go with my decor."   That's the point, dear seller! Matchy-matchy is (yawn) boring.  Then they say, "It looks great.  I never would have thought of "that"."

I'm also the queen of bargain shopping.  So, check out these items and prices for fun stuff.

EVERYBODY has a Walmart in the USA!  All of my lovely readers in the United Kingdom and China (thank you very much) also have Walmart.

So here we go with some metal jewels from Walmart:

Walmart  $11.97

I am in love with this Sapphire blue bucket (or 'pail' as BFF, Virginia, drawls.)

What to do with it:  Use it to hold kindling on your fireplace hearth. Roll up colorful towels and display in the bathroom. Try it in a kid's room to hold toys.  Put it in the kitchen with hand towels in it. Place this blue baby on a laundry room shelf filled with cleaning products. Magazines would look swell inside. It would be an ample waste basket or recycle bin. I can see it as a plant container, too.
Walmart  - $10.96 for all 3

Aren't these nesting baskets da bomb?

What to do with them:  These would look mighty cute as hanging organizers! However, I would probably separate them and use in different rooms (more bang for your buck). Put them in the kitchen to hold place mats, napkins, and utensils.  Load one with apples or a plant and use as a centerpiece. Remote controls and cell phones could rest in the small basket.  Place one a shelf to displaying books.  Corral collectibles like seashells or corks inside   Use in the bathroom to hold guest towels and facecloths.  Put the small one in the powder room to hold soap and lotion decanters. Display pretty stationary, markers or mail on your desk in one.

Walmart - $24.89
Hello Handsome!  I heart this though-shaped galvanized bucket!  Some kinda swell for under $25.

What to do with it: Can't you picture wine bottles in it?  Books? Magazines? A plant or two?  How about two mac-daddy big-ole-pillar candles and greenery?  Store paper towel rolls or TP?  Use for wrapping paper rolls in an office? Kindling? A bulky throw?

This bucket would be soooooooo great used for holiday decor, don't you think?  IT IS AWESOME!

I know you have some great ideas to share.  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, November 10, 2014

83 is Awesome!

I think only a few times in our lives do we brush shoulders with true inspiration.  Today, I was in an Aqua Aerobics class.  A lovely silver-haired woman was in front of me. She was far out preforming me.  When we did a  stretch and tone exercise she easily locked both hands behind her back and lifted high.  Her arms were very firm and toned. She was never out of breath or out of step.

Later in the locker room, I saw her sitting in her granny panties and 4" bolster bra as she rifled through her bag for clothes.  I said, "I was behind you in class today.  You are very fit.  I noticed how toned and defined your arms are."  She smiled a sweet, endearing smile and thanked me.

As she she walked out, she looked over her shoulder and said, "I'm 83."

I smiled and replied , "You are an inspiration."

She was walking so fast. I don't know if she heard me.


Really, really awesome.  Go 83!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why Shrubs Should Come with an Expiration Date

Do y'all have any idea how dated old landscaping can make your property look?  Staging starts with curb appeal.  Buyers have to appreciate your house from the outside before they want to invest time looking at the inside.

Here's the front of the a house I recently consulted on. This is the picture after the the sellers had it landscaped according to my recommendations.  Notice the house looks bigger without the offending shrubs.
S. Brooks
Here's my before picture. The scrubs cover half of the windows. Big no-no. We are selling those windows and the view. Let the sunshine in.  Plus, scrubs look shoddy when they get 'trunky' on the bottom, see-through in the middle, and thick at the top.   Boxwood require time and attention for thinning as they grow. This Boxwood hedge is not attractive. (BTW, never make bushes flat on top.)
Inside of a Boxwood that has surpassed its shelf life. (USDA)

Look at Your Property Through Buyer's Eyes
These sellers have a very large lot.  I walked the seller out to the edge of his property on the street side.  "Try to look at your house objectively.  Notice how the overgrown bushes and trees flanking the front door obstruct the front of your house?  Now, imagine the front of your house without the overgrown shrubs and the trees cut back."

Mr. Seller had a "BINGO" moment!  He was accustomed to seeing the dated landscaping.  He said, "It would never have occurred to me to remove the shrubs!"

High-Five, Mr. Seller.  Good work.

Friday, October 31, 2014

It Really is All About the Shoes!

Happy Halloween, Y'all!
This is Wilma the Witch.  She has been with me a few years.  Wilma is very proud of her shoes.  She loves to make an appearance every Halloween.
Wilma greets all of our Trick or Treaters.  She makes the Moms laugh and the small tikes cry.  (Hate that!)

You goblins, enjoy your Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sex Sells but Not for Staging

This master bedroom sits in a $2M house on the market.

Dear Sellers,
Yowzer, that is one colossal nude painting.  I do get it!  You enjoy a sexy, provocative painting in your boudoir. She is lovely.  But here is the deal sellers, buyers will only be in your bedroom a few minutes.  We want them concentrating on the size of the space--not checking out the muscles (or whatever) of The Poser in the Painting.

And, speaking of, it appears you do some posing of your own and enjoy checkin' it out in that big ole leaning mirror facing the bed.  I get that too!  But, let's move that mirror for selling, eh?

 You've got lots of furniture in this small room. All the furniture lines the four walls.  We call that "wall flowers" in stager-talk.  Something's gotta give: the huge console in front of the bed, the full size sofa, the mirror, the 2 large bedside tables, the chair, or the chest of drawers next to it.  This room needs breathing space.

"It's the space between the notes that makes the music."

Of course, we have to leave that pretty bed.  But it does need to be tidied up.  Those wanky comforters and covers aren't the impression we want to make for selling. (And, straighten that pretty bed skirt while you are at it.)

If you are familiar with Feng Shui, you will understand when I say the dried hydrangeas have to go.
Dry = Dead.  Dead stuff is bad Feng Shui.

Dead is definitely not sexy in a master bedroom.

Ring, text, or email me dear sellers.  I'll be more than happy to help you staged your $2M master bedroom.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ralph Lauren, Oprah and Me

Like most bloggers, it is difficult for me to write when I'm not inspired.  Of course, I have posts that I have written but I can't manage to hit the "publish" button when I'm uninspired.  For me, inspiration usually 'finds me' in other areas of my life.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren

I was watching an old Oprah and Ralph Lauren interview.  She mentioned that one of the first big purchases she made when she started making money was buying Ralph Lauren towels. "NOW I have made it!" To Oprah, Ralph Lauren towels represented "the ideal" of what it meant to be successful.
Brian Procell
They continued to have a very thoughtful conversation about the appeal of his products.  I had to stop the video when I heard Ralph Lauren remark that his brand "is not about fashion".  Ralph Lauren said his brand was about "living".  His goal is to create the dream for people of how to live.  He continued on to say that what differentiates his products from his competitors is the love he devotes to his creations.

Yes! Yes! Yes! I shouted to no one.  That is exactly my philosophy!

I, too, endeavor to create the dream for people of how they will live in a house.  And, yes, while if sounds perfectly OK for Ralph Lauren to say he puts love in his products, it probably sounds pretty cra-cra for me to go around saying it.  (I just had a vision of me telling realtors that I am different than other stagers because I put love in my staging. HA! I can see their eyes rolling.)

There is a lot of competition for products and services.  I think Ralph has hit 'it' on the head.

The following quote has been pinned on my bulletin board for 20+ years.  I am so sorry that I do not know who wrote it. I wish I knew who to give credit to. 
How do you define work?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Visit from the Chair Fairy

Worthing Court Blog
This is a true story--for real.

I was reading blogs one night and stumbled onto Worthing Court Blog.  Suzy bought two chairs from Pier 1 for her living room redesign.  I fell in love with these chairs!  I am a big girl and like a chair that is ample for curling up in.  The upholstery print was divine!  All the colors I use in our house.  Oh! I had to have it!

I hit Pier 1's website.  This Chas Armchair in Blue Meadow was priced at $499.  Errrr.....I lusted this chair but that price was waaaay out of my league.

Pier  1

I am a Craigslist junkie. I scour it constantly for staging, clients, friends, and, of course, moi.  (You know where this is going, right?)  I did my last CL scan before bed -- that same day.  Thar She Blows!  MY CHAIR!  It was listed on CL for $150.  I mean, what are the odds?  I emailed the owner immediately.

She only lived a few miles away. Kismet! Off I drove to make the fetch.  Ms. owner of the Chas Arm Chair, Angie, works a Pier 1.  Angie explained that she had purchased lots of furniture from the store and Hubs was putting the squeeze on her to start weeding some of it out. Allow me to help you, Angie!
Here's my 'new' chair in my bedroom.  Love, love, love her!  Perfect for using my laptop, watching TV, and Cowboy uses it for putting on his socks.

I got her for only $100!  Yippee Skippee.

Thank you, Chair Fairy!

PS-- She is on sale at Pier 1 for $429. right now!