Monthly archive - November 2015

Piecing a Room Together That Works

Piecing a Room Together That Works

I think one of the biggest challenges of a decorator is helping clients understand that creating a room is not an overnight process. Unlike shopping for clothes and impulse buying, although fun, does not quite work when furnishing a room. Where do you put that piece that looked so awesome in the store, but once home does not really work any place? You can’t hide it in a closet like that pair of pants you thought were great in the store. What is the best way to go about furnishing a room, what does a decorator do that makes the pieces work that others don’t know?

  1. Planning- Planning is the first step to any room. Whether you are just enhancing some pieces, re-purposing a room, or are ready for a complete change decide what that is going to be ahead of time. Define what pieces do you need. When considering the changes keep in mind the style you want, colors you want and stick with it.
  2. Measure- know the space, understand the scale and relationship of the pieces in the room. When shopping know what size the table, sofa or chair will fit into the space you have in mind. Scale is also important. Once shopping for a sofa and chairs for a living room, my client loved a pair of slipper chairs. When we pulled them near the sofa they did not work at all looking dwarfed next to the sofa. Measure, and measure again.tape measure
  3. Take time- sometimes shopping online or in stores you only have a small time frame to grab that deal. Unless you know that it is the exact item you have been looking for, take your time with your purchases. Make sure it is the color, style and size that will work within your room. When in doubt wait, there will be another sale, or another item that might satisfy the need you have and will probably turn out to be a better purchase because it was thought out.
  4. Mix it up– When selecting furniture for a room, although show rooms will have all the matching pieces consider mixing it up. By doing so it creates interest in the room and makes the room have more personality. Don’t be hesitant to make the piece your own, sometimes it might not be quite the right color, or have quite the right lamp shade. A simple change should be considered to complete the room to your personality.
  5. Patients- this is one of the essential elements to have when decorating. Decorating takes time. Sometimes you know you need a piece but it might be a little more difficult to find, or might not be in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. As a decorator I know all too well that good things come to those that wait, the room may take weeks or months to complete but the wait is worth it in the end.

updated room

Love and Decorating

5 Simple Ways to Cozy Up Your Home

Decorator Markham Roberts

8 Inviting Ways To Make a Grand Entrance

8 Inviting Ways To Make a Grand Entrance

The first impression your home makes to visitors is from its entrance. Because many of us enter our home through another door aside from the front, special attention sometimes has to be paid to this area because it gets forgotten. Making an impressionable entrance is essential when selling; think you need to refresh your entrance to make it inviting and grand, here are 8 simple steps:

Front Door– did you know that by replacing your front door you can reap 85%* of the cost? So the investment not only sets a great first impression, you also benefit because you can recoup some of the cost. Win/win. Consider one with glass, which will let the light shine in.

Hardware- Your door handle is like an accessory similar to jewelry for an outfit, by adding stylish hardware it convey richness to a simple door. If you have a more contemporary style home consider a slim chrome finish handset. A more traditional home you could considered a rub bronze or black handle. Selecting a handset that complements the style of door and home, although seeming minor to some, can make a great impression.

Colors- The combination of colors gives your house personality. Consider the color of your front door. A fresh coat of paint is also a win/win proposition when selling because it manifests the feeling of a well-cared for home. Adding a pop of color that complements your siding and roof color draws the eye to the front door conveying a welcoming feeling.doorLighting- The purpose of the lighting is to illuminate the entrance making it easy for guest to find their way. When selecting lighting consider proportion. Outside the lights can be larger because the area you have is more open. Also consider path lighting and up lighting to accentuate the homes beauty. Depending on the area of the country you reside, the style of house will command which lights to choose to create a cohesive look.

House numbers- If your door is visible from the road, house numbers help visitors find you. Consider selecting a metal that complements the door handle, ensure the numbers are large enough to be able to be read from a distance.

Landscaping- This not only includes the foundation plantings leading up to the front door that enhance the curb appeal but also consider the material your walkway is done in. Brick, slate, crushed stone are a few of the materials that can be used to creating the path leading to your grand entrance.

Plants- Potted and hanging plants in decorative containers also enhance and entrance that says “Welcome.” If you choose flowering plants pick colors that complement the outdoor color scheme.

Furniture- If you have a front porch select a few pieces of furniture that will fit the area. A couple of chairs or bench say “come on by and sit a while.” The color of the cushions can add a pop of color also.

Of course not all these items may work for your style home, but taking a few of the ideas can greatly increase the inviting factor that impresses visitors coming to your home.

*according to NAR Exterior Replacement Projects Provide Biggest Return on Investment

Stepping Up Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal Key Components 

Curb Appeal How to Impress

Is Your Home Having a Mid-life Crisis?

Is Your Home Having a Mid-life Crisis?

Every home goes through it; it gets built and bought, the home owners are all excited about their new abode, they decorate it, and then leave it. Ten years later the house has its mid-life crisis, looking dated, it has lost its fresh lively look it used to have. Can you help, of course you can if you can identify some of the signs of a mid-life crisis home, and how can to fix them.

Multi colored bathrooms. Color fixtures in a bathroom are pretty much out dated, long gone are the blue and pink tubs of earlier years. Consider replacing if it works in your budget, if not or you are going to be moving soon possibly have them re-glazed. It will last at least 10 to 15 years before it will need to be done again. If the surrounding tiles are not neutral consider having those glazed in a clean white or off white color too.

outdated bathroom wm

Counter tops such as old Formica were big back in the 60’s, or in the 80’s when tiled counter tops were popular with all that grout! If you have had your counters since then it is definitely time to update. Consider a solid surface counter top or if you can go for quartz, granite or marble. All of these will add value to kitchens and bathrooms when you go to sell.

Wallpaper and wall paper boarders are one of those elements that can really give a home an old look. If you love the look of wall paper consider one that is more in style today. Textured natural wall paper such as Grass cloth and geometric designs are very popular now. An easier and more versatile wall treatment for all tastes is paint. A pretty neutral that come in various values that will allow you to change out your décor with the trends of the times.

dated living room

Light fixtures, I say it to all my design clients and to my staging clients; nothing dates a house more than light fixtures that are no longer popular. If you have never updated your “builder” grade fixtures it might be a good time to look at the options available. Surprisingly you can get fairly well priced light fixtures if you are willing to do a little research on the internet or do a little shopping at the big box stores.

Flooring yes, those colored shag carpets or once popular Berber carpets that have been in your house since 1980’s have had enough wear and tear. Consider hardwood, laminate, tile or if you love your carpet in a particular room consider going neutral will a lower pile rug. If you have hardwood and you have an area rug maybe that needs to be changed to give the room a fresh revived look.

Once you have tackled the bigger projects to update other considerations could be hardware on your cabinets through the home. These can give your rooms the much needed face lift they have been needing. The upholstered furniture if in good condition might need an update with new fabric. Rooms can do without the plaids and flowers of the 80’s, and if you reupholster a piece that is in good shape I advise thinking of solid or a small texture that comes across as a solid. This way, again like your walls, you can always change out your accessories to correlate with the trends and times.

Do yourself and your home a favor take a critical look around, if you spot any of these mid-life crisis signs, it’s probably time for a change.

Piecing a Room Together

Fad versus Trend | What’s The Difference

Selling to Gen X and Millennials | The Good House

Selling to Gen X and Millennials | The Good House

How do you appeal to the Gen X and Millennial market if you are a Baby Boomer putting your house on the market? The Gen X and Millennials are ready to buy, many are first time buyers due to the events in our economy, the hesitation of many Gen X and Millennials to make an offer is because they cannot not find a “good house.”


When appealing to a market you need to know what a “good” product consists of. A “good” house for the current market typically is one that speaks value, little work or repairs need to be made, and it needs to presents well to the buyers tastes. That’s almost impossible for most home sellers to pull off, but by understanding how to present your house as the one with value and desirability it will speak value and stand out as the good house.

I hear it a lot from realtors, the house is priced less than $250,000 there is no need for staging. I always wonder why you would not prepare a house that is going to be listed so it is presented in the best, desirable light to buyers. Staging is a process of preparing a house for sale. Another words creating or preparing packaging that is desirable to a targeted market. It’s like anything you purchase, if the packaged is torn, damaged, dirty are you going to pay top price for it? By preparing your house for selling you are protecting your equity that you have invested. Many Realtors will tell their clients “declutter and depersonalize” the tough thing for a seller is how do you depersonalize when you cannot objectively look at your house through a buyers eyes? Understanding what a Gen X or Millennial perceives as a “good house” is the key to getting offers and selling quickly.

When preparing a home that you have lived in for a few years, it becomes increasing difficult to be objective, and then the decluttering and depersonalizing process becomes overwhelming and frustrating. Having a professional help you with the process will assist in prioritizing, outlining things that can improve the packaging  tailored to your specific house to increase its value. Adding modern touches, and emphasizing the features that Gen X and Millennial buyers feel are important will be explained. It is your home until you decide to put it on the market, then it becomes a product that is competing with all the others on the shelf (read MLS). Transform your product with staging into the “Good” house that is perceived to be the one of value and is desirable allowing the buyers to feel “good” to go forward with home ownership.

Other posts:

What, Why, When| Home Staging

Marketing Your Home for Today’s Market