Category archive - Helpful Solutions

Stage Your Home to Sell

Stage Your Home to Sell

See how staging your home will help you sell in this infographic created with MyMove.  If done properly, it could be the difference between your home sitting or selling.

Home Staging
From: Home Staging

Designing By Numbers

Designing By Numbers

I am often asked  how far, high, amount, etc. things should be placed in a room.  There are some general guideline to use but many factors go into creating a perfect space. The contents in the room, the placement of objects in a room, size of room,  architectural details etc. all play together to make a space perfect.

These tips might help when you are not sure, or find something is not looking quite as you expected.


When hanging a piece of art on a blank wall (no furniture around) the center of the frame should be at eye level- approximately 50-60 inches off the floor.  Above a couch the bottom of the picture is typically hung 6″ above the back of the couch. When grouping pictures of different sizes and shapes in a room on different walls, keep the top of the frames or bottoms level throughout the room depending on objects within the room, and sizes of frames. This allows the eye to easily move around the room. Of course these are only general guidelines but it’s a place to start if you are totally confused.


Light fixtures should hang about 30-34 inches above a table for a standard 8 foot ceiling. If the ceiling is higher add an inch for each additional foot beyond the standard 8 feet. You do not want to be sitting at a table with the light fixture obstructing your view.


Although symmetry can create a calm space within a room, the best way to achieve balance other than symmetry is to work in odd numbers (3, 5, 7 etc. of something) The eye finds this more pleasing.

Speaking of odd numbers, when designing window treatments break the height into thirds also. For instance if you want your curtain to swag on the side of a window have it come either 1/3 or 2/3 down the side of the height of the window.


When putting down an area rug you should consider to have at least 18 inches between the edge of the rug and wall. There are exceptions such as entry ways.

When grouping furniture so guests can comfortable sit and talk place the couch and the armchairs 4-9 feet apart.

Shelving should be open, less is more. Try to keep 30% of the space as open space when adding items. Baskets are a nice way to reduce the cluttered look on shelves.

Kitchen counters… the maximum appliances left on countertops should be no more than 3. Countertops are work areas and they should be kept

Let me know how you have used numbers in helping achieve the perfect room!

Hand-Me -Down / Inherited Furniture- What To Do??

Hand-Me -Down / Inherited Furniture- What To Do??

Many times I go into a house to do a consult and I hear “oh, that piece was my parents”, or “I inherited that.” Followed by “it really is not my style or, it does not fit the space.”  When people downsize or unfortunately pass away, we  inherit furnishing. Many of these pieces are usable in the home spaces, but most people just don’t know how to incorporate them.

floor planWhat to do when the newly brought home piece “does not fit” into the space? If you really love the piece and you cannot find a place in your space, it would be well worth your time and money to call in a professional stager. For a minimal cost they can help you with placement and flow in your rooms.  When the flow of a room is not quite right, subconsciously it can play as a discord  in our minds every time we enter into the room. We forever feel like the newly acquired piece is a misfit, when actually it might enhance the space.


Consider the condition of the piece. For upholstered furniture ask yourself does  the fabric work, does it look tired and worn, are the cushions in good shape? The fabric may looked tired and used, not coordinate with other items in the space, sometimes the seat cushions need to be replaced. The finish on the wood or metal might need some “help.” You can find many products to restore the wood and metal at hardware stores, there is a wealth of fabric on line, or in nearby stores to help get the look you desire. Find a good professional upholster that can help with fabric selection and cushions to reupholster and revive  and harmonize with what you do own.


orginal chairrefurbished chair

Here is a great example from

 Wood pieces can be refinished with stain, wax, painted, varnish, lacquered,  new hardware can be added. Metal pieces can be refinished and painted. Home design stores, magazines, furniture stores can be a wealth of inspiration. The best thing with hand-me downs is the cost- typically they are free, and sometimes better quality .  If you lack the do-it-yourself confidence, call in the pros to help. For minimal cost you will have a treasure to pass on to the next generation.


Home Selling Therapy

Home Selling Therapy

This week I had a fabulous experience with a home seller that reminded me why I love staging so much.

I had visited the sellers a couple of weeks prior to get an understanding of what their goal was and a budget they felt comfortable with. We toured their home and I could tell that they did have pride of ownership, it just currently was not apparent. I went to my office and drew up a plan.

Two days before we were to stage I contacted the home owner who said “I don’t know if I am ready for any of this yet.” I explained that as long as the key items we discussed would be addressed we would be fine. They hesitantly agreed.

I arrived and the concerned look on their faces told me they were uncertain. As I entered the house I had a plan in place and the sellers were ready to help out still feeling, I believe, a little overwhelmed. I explained that selling is tough, it can be stressful and emotional, and you feel like there is so much to be done, but that the house will be buyer ready when we finish. Being ready to show at a moment’s notice will be worth the work we were to embark upon, they agreed to that and we got to work.

Due to the size of rooms and furniture we moved furniture around, and I got to work setting the rooms up to allow buyers to visualize the house as one they wanted to move into. As I finished the first room they were thrilled and became energized to keep plugging along after seeing the difference that was made. We continued through the house, bedrooms, living room, dining room, family room and kitchen. We moved more furniture as they continued to pack items they were ready to move to their next home, organizing and de-cluttering rooms. We added art and accessories to unify the spaces together  and arranged the rooms to allow sellers to connect to the property.   We downplayed the features that were not as desirable and emphasized the beauty that buyers expect in a home. The living room became a open warm space to entertain, the Family room a great place to gather around TV and play a game, the master bedroom a sanctuary to relax in. Check out the results!

The staging day came to an end, the seller could not believe the results and said that it was beyond her expectations. Their stress was lifted because they knew they had made the right decision and the process was a lot easier than they originally expected. They felt confident that their house looked great and would convey better than the competition.

Although there can be stress selling a home, these home sellers felt that home staging was a little like therapy.  Having a solid plan and seeing it unfold to transform spaces  that highlighted the beauty of the home was inspiring to them. A professional home stager has an objective eye to  help transform spaces which these buyers loved and gave them the confidence that they needed.

I LOVE my job!

Money/ Earth Day

Money/ Earth Day

Earth Day is here, we try hard to save energy, be green , recycle, try not to pollute our Mother Earth.  Sometimes it is easier to talk about, think about then really do. Here are some facts about going even a little green in your home to help save some money.

For every $1 you spend on home improvements to decrease annual energy bills, the value of the home increases by $10 to $25 dollars.  So you say big deal, but if you translate this to a 3000 square foot home these numbers can translate to a $8,000 to $25,000 increase in the market value according to The Appraisal Journal. Utility bills are one of the higher expenses in most houses. Some green improvements can lower those bills by as much as 20 to 30% that could be a considerable savings for anyone.

dollar sign

Simple things like insulating your pipes, adding insulation to your attic, weather stripping windows and doors can start saving you money. Of course if you own an older home doing more aggressive up dates like tankless water heaters, and more efficient air conditioners can help save a lot of money. It’s something to consider if you are feeling the pinch of escalating utility cost of your house. It’s also wise because when you decide to sell your home, these improvements will be looked at quite favorably.

Now that’s money in the bank, for being Green- I like that, don’t you?

14 Home Staging Tips to Sell Quickly

14 Home Staging Tips to Sell Quickly

A quick video outlining fourteen important tips for every investor and home seller.

The points Frank speaks about will bring value to the home and help a property sell.

Such As:

  • Staging helps you separate your property from the rest by standing out in the market
  • Staging gives buyers a great first impression which is what they will remember and most likely come back to after looking at many properties
  • Pictures on the MLS will look better, and stand out getting more buyer traffic which is what you need when selling in today’s market where 90% of buyers are now searching online first.
  • Staging allows the buyer to visualize the rooms better, they also know what the buyers in your market like so they will improve the appearance of your home to stratify buyers wants and desires.
  • Not sure of the expense of hiring a professional stager? Consider if you can be objective enough to create an ambiance in your home that a buyer would fall in love with. If you do not have the ability to be objective a Professional Stager is worth every penny.

Thanks Frank Chen for putting together this video!

Get Your House SOLD!

Get Your House SOLD!

Spring, many people put their house on the market this time of year. If you are thinking of doing the same here are some must do’s to have a successful sale….

1. Create a game plan– Putting your house on the market can be overwhelming but if you have a well thought out plan with priorities it can make the whole process much easier. How do you prioritize? First and foremost make sure all repairs that have been on that “to do” list are done. Then set up a room by room strategy to get it organized and ready for selling.

2. Ask – get honest objective feedback from relatives, friends, neighbors about your entire house. Be open minded, and do not take offense. This is the easiest way to start addressing areas that buyers may find a turn off when touring your home.

3. Think like a buyer – once you get that valuable feedback think like a buyer. Remove yourself from your “home” and begin to realize that it is a “house” that someone else wants to envision themselves living their life in, not living your life in. You need to step back and have a new perspective.

4. Know your competition– check them out online, how do their pictures look compared to yours. Drive by them, what is the neighborhood like? Look at the competition to decide why would a buyer possibly pass over your home for another? Make the list of the positives that your house has compared to the competition. Ensure your list is stronger.

Presentation is a significant part of the marketing when trying to sell a home. Little details can make an enormous difference when people are judging one home over another. Those emotional details can easily motivate buyers into liking a property over another. Think like a buyer and you will be well on your way to selling your house quickly!

NBC 10 How to Sell Homes Faster

NBC 10 How to Sell Homes Faster

“Staged” Homes Sell Faster

Click on the link above to find out why staged homes sell faster. Staging a home can result in 78% less time on the market. If you hire a professional stager you will gain 586% return on investment.

Why wait call today to get some professional advice!

Redesign- What is it?

Redesign- What is it?

Redesign can be considered the  green way of decorating.  Redesign professionals love to work with educated , savvy homeowners that have a passion their belongings, and have style, but struggle how to put it all together to achieve the look they desire.

A redesign professional will evaluate a room, understanding what the client is hoping to achieve.  The redesign can be as simple as rearranging furniture within the room or home, or adding accessories. The key to a fabulous house is not necessarily expensive items, it’s about the perfect mix of old and new, with an infusion of color and fabrics, and textures.

Redesign professionals have multiple talents and can advise a client on every aspect of interior design.  We can help by doing a one-day room makeover, setting the home up for special occasion, help stage the property for getting it sold on the market or assist in finding the right window treatment or picture that will make the room come together. We know what details are important to add to a room. We are the “go to” specialists when it comes to decorating on a budget and getting the biggest bang for that budget.dining before and after

This dining room looks completely different! By simply using what the client had on hand we transformed the room into a place where anyone would be proud to dine with friends and family! What do you think?

Renovations Dos and Don’ts

Renovations Dos and Don’ts

Once you have your own place to live, we all eventually do some type of renovation or another. They usually turn out successful and we love the end results, although getting there can sometimes be a struggle.

I came across a post by Martha Stewart that I liked with a list of things you should keep in mind when you take on any project. It has some tips that can really help in the long run.

Remember to be realistic about costs plan on the renovation to end up being 30% more than you planned and to take about 25% longer than you expect.

Your purchases on more expensive items can be overwhelming, but once you see an item and know it s right, go with it, don’t second guess yourself, you will be happier in the long run.

Measure and have an accurate drawing of the floor plan of the room you are working on. Include windows, doors etc.

Be prepared to clean, dust, vacuum, and clean some more. Renovations can be messy but they don’t have to drive you crazy, keeping things neat and organize help.

Do your floors first, last is painting the walls. Don’t forget important details like lighting and window treatments to complete a room.

Once you have it all done, after all the planning and hard work that went into the space relax and enjoy!