Monthly archive - August 2015

It’s All In the Packaging

It’s All In the Packaging

Have you ever wondered why a product sells so successfully over another one? Usually we as consumers purchase because we either need the item, fall in love with the packaging, it is unique that we know we will never be able to find something like it again, or that the price is so great that you feel the value of the product is worth the price tag.

In the housing market buyers purchase a little the same way. Buyers look for homes that have certain criteria; as we all know sometimes their are compromises and we need to weigh what features are the most important. They might need a new home because their family is growing, decreasing, or possibly being relocated. When they are looking they are making decisions based on price, location and emotion to fulfill their requirements or must haves. They want to see the home as to how they could live, not how it is lived in.

b4 and after kitchen

If you are putting your home on the market lets say it has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and the house down the road is identical how are you going to gain the edge to attract the buyer to make an offer on your home? It’s all in the packaging. An agent can show a buyer two identical homes, but the home that has been merchandised/staged will typically be the one that will get the offer if it is meeting the requirements the buyer has. According to a recent study done with Agents they found that staging a home had a big impact over one that was not packaged to buyers.  Although two similar homes may both meet the “criteria” that the buyer is looking for, it is the home that speaks to them – the one they can relate to and see themselves in, that will get the offer.  That means neutralizing your personal decor and style, and emphasizing the features of the property in a way that buyers make decisions to purchase, the “package” affects that decision. A Professional Stager knows buyers will make an offer on a home that they can connect to. We merchandise the house in a way that a buyer can relate to, creating value, and allowing the buyer to see a house as theirs, not the current owners.

Merchandised Home

If the home seller is motivated, and wants to sell quickly they need to take a few steps in ensuring the buyer to purchase their “product”.  The merchandising (staging) can be the deciding factor that gets the buyer to move forward. The key architectural elements are highlighted, and the look through the house is harmonized to make the rooms flow and give the property value so it stands out. The success has been seen in the numbers. Well packaged products, like a well staged property sells in shorter period of time, and in some markets for more money.

You may like:

Advantage of Home Staging

Is Staging Worth the Cost When Selling?

The Tale of a Property Long on The Market

7 Simple Steps to Staging

7 Simple Steps to Staging

Staging Like a Pro

Tips from the Pro’s | How to Stage to Sell

Tips from the Pro’s | How to Stage to Sell

You decided it’s time to sell, now what? Here are some Tips from Design Solutions KGP how to stage your home to sell.

First CLEAN, CLEAN and CLEAN some more. If you can’t get it clean, replace it. There is nothing that turns a buyer off more than dirt. Think of your home (although it is a larger investment) as you would selling a car. Would you not clean it inside and out before you put that “For Sale” sign on it?  Same for your house, detail it. If you have to paint the trim on the doors, change out the light switch, or replace the rugs, do it before your house goes on the market.

Open cabinets, closets, drawers and refrigerators – buyers do and you want to make sure that yours are cleaned out and looking spacious to buyers. As a rule of thumb I tell sellers to remove and pack anything that they know they will not be using within six months. While doing that before you pack it up ask yourself- TRUTHFULLY will I ever us this or when was the last time I used it? If the answer is not all that positive, get rid of it! Less clutter for your new home!


Once you have done the cleaning OBJECTIVELY look at your rooms. Are the paint colors neutral, fresh looking and…here it comes again, CLEAN? If you still have 1990″s wall paper boarders and sponged walls it’s time to invest in some paint and start painting. Think of it this way, you are probably thinking “uh, I don’t want to do all this work before I move”, do you think a buyer is going to want to spend all this money to purchase your house AND then spend money and time painting? If you don’t want to do it, nor does a buyer and they will find a house they don’t have to do it in.

Now that the rooms are clean and you have a neutral slate, how are the light fixtures? Do you see cheep builder ones, Hollywood bulb lights in the bathrooms or 1980 knock off Tiffany? If so time to update lights with the times. Unless your home is true mid-century style, time to change a few of those out. Remember lights are like hair styles, they change.

kitchen with old light

Old dated light fixture

modern light fixture

New simple updated light fixture








Arrange the rooms so they are easy to walk through. Maybe some of your furniture has to go into storage, be given to  a friend, family member, donated or moved into different rooms. Many of my clients say “I still need all of this” and I understand that for your next home; but if you are selling keep in mind less is more. You would be surprised how much we can do without if we have to. This is not when your own personal tastes should stand out, the house is the center stage. 

Last is adding those modern touches that we all see in the TV shows that make us “ooh and ahh.” Although you may be using your same bed you can update the bedding to make it look more luxurious to buyers and inviting.

DSC_0114 copy

Not sure you can pull it off? Call a local professional stager in your area. They have a ton of suggestions and will help you make the most of what you have to enhance your property to sell.

Other articles

Should a Seller Waste Their Time Staging

Benefits of Staging Your Property

Staging, Why Bother, Who Needs It?

Sterile or Styled |Making a Difference When Selling

HGTV Ways to Save Money Remodeling a Bath

HGTV Ways to Save Money Remodeling a Bath

How exciting, I was featured in an HGTV article! They had asked me if I had any advice for their viewers on how to save money when remodeling a bathroom. After many years of helping clients save money doing updates and remodeling projects this was a familiar territory!HGTV article

They liked my suggestions to help homeowners in the process of remodeling to save money. One suggestion was to add a decorative frame around a large bathroom mirror that is becoming de-glazed around the edges is not only saving money, but it is also updating the look of the bathroom. Either homeowners can have a frame made or purchase one from a company similar to Mirror Mates . It hides the imperfections of the mirror, costs less than replacing a big mirror, and updates the look of a bathroom. This particular client did the frame but also updated lighting fixtures and faucets which changed the whole look of a dated bathroom, to one that was updated and refreshed with these touches and a fresh coat of paint.

remodeled bathroom

When remodeling sometimes you feel like the expenses are never going to end, so you decide to cut one of the more expensive options. Unfortunately that might not be the best decision to make if you are going for that new “wow” factor.

In a project where the owners were very limited in their budget but really wanted the bathroom to look new and “impressive” I suggested painting out the cabinet, getting new hardware, and spending the majority of the budget on a piece of granite that they loved. They did, we found inexpensive sinks and fixtures online and updated the old look to one that was new and more in line with what they were hoping for.

new bath counters

The HGTV article has other excellent tips for saving money during a bathroom remodel. Some of the suggestions can also be applied to other remodel project throughout your home that can really add a bigger impact to a small remodeling budget than you think. If you are unsure, not feeling creative or secure enough in your updates, contact a decorator in your area. If you are not an expert in this area your budget will be well spend on receiving professional advice and direction.

Let me know of your budget friendly ideas that created a huge impact for your remodeling project!

Summer time Outdoor Room Decor

Summer time Outdoor Room Decor

Outdoor space is a great extension of living space, so why not make the most of it? By adding elements similar to any room in the house can make for a comfortable inviting area to entertain and relax.

Planters with bright burst of colors, vines trailing over like waterfalls are just the beginning of enhancing your outdoor spaces. Consider elements of indoor living and bring them out.

Lighting– You have is lighting to brighten the entrance ways into your home, and are important for safety, but also consider lighting to create a mood or the ambiance outdoors. Having soft lights in trees, candle lights and even pathway lights create a relaxed feeling and the bright house lights will not be needed allowing you to view the evening sky.

outdoor lighting

Furniture– I suggest seriously considering what you are purchasing. If you cannot afford that fantastic outdoor furniture set just yet, start saving and maybe when it goes on sale at the end of the season it might just be the right price. Outdoor furniture should be an investment that will last for years. Measure your area and plan what pieces will work for you.

seating outdoors

Rugs– there are so many options of bright colorful rugs, tone on tone prints and solids that can anchor your outdoor furniture and turn the space into a welcoming retreat. These are made of fibers that can endure the elements and have come a long way from that green outdoor carpeting we might remember from our childhood.

Curtains– What? You say. Using curtains is a great way to make an outdoor space feel cozier and bring the indoor elements out. Sunbrella makes fabric that is durable, and these can also help with sun control creating shade as the day fades to night.

Art– does not have to be as you would imagine inside your home, why not do a piece of art with succulents on your wall? Also using wire art, wood, or glass are all possibilities to add some interest in your outdoor spaces too.

Accessories– well why not? Pillows in bold colors to complement your furniture will add cozy element. Maybe a whimsical sculpture peeking out from your planters or among your pots might be just the thing. Use your imagination to enhance your outdoor living spaces to make them refreshing and relaxing during the hot summer months.outdoor pillows