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Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Quick And Easy Kitchen Transformation

When I first walked into this kitchen I felt nothing. And I am sure that is what the countless disinterested buyers felt when they entered what was supposed to be the heart of the home. All I could see was a humongous, 12x12 foot, 1980's vintage florescent grid light that covered the expanse of the work area. The fact that the kitchen was both large and well configured with its centre island , Mediterranean tiling, sun room like dining nook, fantastic pantry; solidly built cabinetry and incredible view of the city was obscured by the overwhelming immensity of the light. Rather than falling in love and 'mentally' moving in; with the words ' renovate and big expense' etched in their brains buyers walked away from this home over a period of 5 months.

But the fix was a simple one. The work area lighting came down and the change was dramatic.

A coat of fresh paint; the removal of tired looking blinds, not needed because there are no houses behind the property whose privacy and view should have enticed any number of buyers: a shiny new current looking faucet purchased for 62.00; simple, inexpensive yet attractive lighting placed over the work area to compliment the original fixture in the eating area; the removal of an under cabinet toaster; and the addition of accessories with a mediterranean feel that worked well with the floor tile, all did the trick. The kitchen garnered Rave Re:views. How do I know?The house sold a week after its new photos appeared on the MLS site to a couple who had seen it months ago in its original state. The fruits of my Home Staging paid off. In fact there was a second very interested party as well.

Moral of the story: Home Staging works! To those who say 'Home Staging' falsely portrays a property, I counter and argue that stagers bring out the best in a home in the same way that hairstylists bring out the best in those of us who do not cut or style our own hair.

I'd be happy to prepare your home before it is listed on the MLS site. You can count on
Rave Re:view to get the job done in a professional and timely fashion.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mirrors Can Wake Up a Tired Bathroom

No bathroom is complete without an aesthetically pleasing mirror gracing its walls. In a bathroom that lacks an updated vanity and sink; whose tub surround consists of tired, nondescript tiles and whose floor is covered in vinyl , an attractive mirror can be the focal point that draws buyers in.
As a matter of fact, three mirrors that I rented to my clients in a home I recently staged, became a bone of contention after the offer was accepted. The mirrors were not permanently affixed to the walls, but rather were hung on picture hooks. They belonged to me and not to the sellers. But.... the purchasers loved them and wanted them to remain. Remain they will. They lent a high end feel to otherwise plain bathrooms, much as did the mirrors in my most recent staging project whose pictures you see below.

Design Tip : Use high end looking mirrors to add lustre to tired bahrooms. You'll be sure to garner Rave Re:views and win the hearts of potential buyers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Inexpensive Bathroom Transformation

Today's real estate buyers want 'move in ready' homes. Properties with nondescript, dated bathrooms do not meet their 'move in ready' criteria, especially when the toilet , sink and tub are not white. I promised I'd share before and after photos of a property I have been staging this past week. Blinded by its dated look, buyers failed to notice its many positive features.

The main bathroom was lacklustre with its grey sink/toilet/tub/ bidet and its gold light fixtures. The out of fashion faux marble countertop with its dual sculpted sinks could not be missed, sitting atop a natural wood cabinet. Buyers did not take note of the bathroom's generous size, its two sinks, its 6 foot jetted tub, its bidet and the fact that there was a step-up to the tub which added interest to the space.

My goal was to camouflage the faux marble counter top and grey bathroom fixtures. To do so I had the walls painted a grey, very close in colour to that of the toilet and had the vanity painted glossy black. Then it was time to ice the cake. And voila!

I love the challenge of transforming bathrooms when renovating is not an option. The hotel style towel rack was strategically placed to hide an ancient, unsightly, large, plastic intercom cover . The towels were not cooperating so I used straight pins to keep them in place. One of the tricks of the trade Here's a cost breakdown:

2 wall sconces-$15.00 each on sale at Home Depot
Black Melamine paint-$20.00
Grey Sherwin Williams Paint-$23.00
Extra long curtain panel instead of shower curtain from Wicker Emporium-$15.00
Shelf/Towel rack that hides unsightly intercom- 20.00 Kent Building Supplies
2 towel racks- HomeSense-$25.00 each
Large black lacquered light weight bamboo vase Homesense-$25.00
Branches- HomeSense-$12.00
Grey Towels HomeSense- 2 sets of 6 towels 25.00 each-
Poppies HomeSense on clearance- $3.00
Greenery with poppies HomeSense clearance-$2.00
White rectangular poppy container HomeSense - $15.00
Picture on wall HomeSense- comes as a set of 2-$25.00
2 mirrors Canadian Tire ( Debbie Travis)-each-$40.00
Planter on counter HomeSense-$30.00
2 Soap dispensers/cups that come with soap dish( not used) from JYSK- each $7.00


Can't afford a bathroom renovation? Want your bathroom to garner Rave Re:views? Send me a photo. I'll be happy to help you out!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Home Staging And Loving It!!

Why have I not blogged for a few days??? Because.........
this week I was hired to stage an unoccupied property. My first such project. The owners moved into their new home in December. The house has been on the market since the early fall. The initial intention was to rent furniture and create a warm inviting space. Room size was not an issue. The 80's fixtures, bathrooms, kitchen and carpeting were. And so what began as a day of 'showcasing' has grown into a week of project management. (Check out my web site to learn more about 'showcasing') Soliciting and overseeing the services of painters, electricians and handy women/men has been one of my job requirements as has been the sourcing of lighting fixtures, faucets, furniture rentals and paint colours.

Have you seen me darting around town ?

I am thankful to my very busy clients who have put their trust in me. While I have done this as a nonprofessional both when renovating my husband's animal hospital and designing the kitchen and bathrooms of our condo, this is the first time I have done so as a full fledged Home Stager.

Home Staging is both a mental and physical undertaking. I'm exhausted and exilharated and loving it!!!! Once the job has been completed I'll share my before and afters.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Say Good-bye To Unsightly Plastic Electrical Covers

In one of my first blogs I despaired over the placement of light switches and plug receptacles by contractors, and shared how I hid a receptacle with a votive holder turned vase.
Just wanted to share how I camouflaged four more, necessary but unsightly, electrical covers.

In our bathroom we have a wall heater that stares you in the face as you enter. The perfect cure.....

a light weight, black laquered, $25.00, (yes I did say $25.00) bamboo vase from HomeSense
( Canada's HomeGoods). A perfect fit and the perfect foil, it makes a bold statement in our master bathroom.

The wall on which our floating kitchen shelf hangs is just shy of 5 feet in length. That one wall plays host to a light switch and 2 plug receptacles.

Since one receptacle meets our needs and because the 3 misaligned plastic electrical plates are an eyesore, I hid 2 of them behind pieces of original art. The switch is masked by the painting on the left. We simply slide our hands behind the light weight frameless stretched canvass to turn on the pendant lights. The second receptacle, which we don't use, hides behind a prized painting my now 28 year old architect daughter created when she was nine. A simple fix!

Design Tip: Think vases and wall art and plants and baskets to mask unsightly electrical covers.

You'll be sure to garner Rave Re:views!


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