Written by Nicole Regan
It’s time to find your dream house but there’s just ONE thing standing in your way: selling your old home. So how do you stage your current home to make it photo ready? Glad you asked!
Here are 5 simple tips to make your home full-price listing worthy:
When we were house hunting, we were naturally drawn to clean and well-organized homes.
As soon as you decide to sell, start decluttering. The easiest way? Secure a storage unit. All those things you’re not using take up valuable real estate, making your home feel smaller than it really is. Packing items in a storage unit before listing will not only help sell your place, but also make packing easier once your offer is solidified. Your home will feel spacious and open, especially in photos and showings.
Curate Your Home
Do you have different styles, patterns, and colors under one roof? If so, it may confuse and distract buyers from the bones of your home. One way to keep buyers on track is to ensure everything is cohesive and flows.
This may mean storing away unique or outdated furniture, re-painting walls or even rearranging furniture. Not everyone will be a fan of your plush shag rug or crazily-printed wallpaper. So make sure you appeal to the masses when deciding what to show.
Clean Out Your Closets
If your closets are bursting at the seams, how will potential buyers know how much storage your home has? Winter coats stuffed in the corner and jam-packed shelves won’t impress anyone. It makes your home feel smaller than it actually is.
To best showcase your storage space, pack away all out-of-season clothes (this should be almost half your wardrobe!) Hang remaining clothes on matching hangers, all facing the same direction, and clear clutter from floors and closet shelves.
When doing this, you’re again getting ahead on packing, which is a major bonus if you sell your house quickly.
One of the keys to a quick sale is making buyers feel like your house could be their own. Depersonalize by packing away certain collections, photos, and mementos that may be distracting. If your office has memorabilia of your favorite sports team, consider replacing the jersey hanging on the wall with an abstract painting.
When people can imagine themselves living in your home, they are more likely to put in an offer quickly.
Increase Curb Appeal
When people see your home for the first time, you want to ensure they don’t drive away before stepping foot in the house.
Creating curb appeal is easy to do and you can find our best tips here. If the outside of your home looks inviting, people will be eager to see what they will find inside.
By following these simple tips, you’ll have your home showing-ready in no time.
Selecting an interior designer may seem like a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. All that it requires is some initial research and asking a lot of great questions.
After you’ve perused Refined Haystack, reviewed designers’ websites, and taken a look at their social media channels, you should have a solid list of designers that you want to meet with to discuss the vision for your home.
Once the information gathering and appointment setting is done, it’s time to interview designers to find the very best fit for your project.
But how do you know what questions to ask, especially if you’ve never collaborated with an interior designer before? How can you find the perfect match?
To support homeowners in the search for an interior designer, we’ve created a list of questions to ask that will help better determine which designer is the right fit so you can be confident when signing a contract.
Style + Vision: Finding the right designer to create your dream home
From pre-project questionnaires to sharing inspiration images, every designer has a different way of gathering information from their clients.
No matter the method, it’s important that you’re as specific and straightforward as possible during these conversations. If you struggle communicating your vision, bring examples to share as an aid.
Here are some questions to ask that will help you better determine whether a designer will be able to interpret your style and vision:
- How will you gather information about my personal style?
- In what ways will we share ideas throughout the process?
- How will you come to understand my functional needs?
- How much involvement will I have in the design process and decision making?
- What role does your own personal style play in creating a design for a client?
Collaboration: Finding a designer with whom you can easily communicate
Communication styles, project planning, and setting expectations are vitally important aspects of a successful design project. A home might be gorgeous, but if there are miscommunications and difficulties along the way, it makes for a process that isn’t quite the experience you were seeking.
To learn how a designer plans to collaborate with you throughout the duration of the project, ask the following:
- What methods of communication do you prefer to use with your clients?
- How often will we connect, and will we meet in person or speak via phone or email?
- Will I be working directly with you, or with other team members?
- How will you handle instances in which I don’t like something that has been selected?
- Can you please take me through the typical life cycle of a project? What are the phases or steps, and what will be required of me during each of those?
Timeline + Investment: Finding a designer that works with your schedule and budget
You might feel hesitant to discuss pricing and scheduling from the first meeting, but it should truly be one of the first things you cover in your meetings with designers. It shows that you’re a serious potential client, keeps communication open, and helps set expectations from the beginning of the relationship.
Get into the details of timing and budget with these questions:
- How quickly would you plan to begin work on my project?
- What would the timeline look like for completion of my project?
- How do you manage and plan for delays that might occur?
- What is your billing structure, and what can I expect to see itemized on my bills?
- Do you require an upfront retainer to begin work on a project?
All of this will help pave the way in your decision making when it comes to hiring your interior designer. You’ll be happier in the end for having these conversations upfront; design is an experience — one that’s meant to be enjoyed fully!
Guest post by Refined Haystack — your guide to the best in local design.
Written by Jessica Ashley
Just like fresh notebooks with untouched pages, brand new sneakers and a crisp breeze that blows across an otherwise smoldering hot day at Foster beach, pumpkin spice drinks are one of the first signs that autumn is on its way.
Whether you’re a fan of the spicy-squashy $6 coffee drinks or lotions or scones, or you’re not so keen on sipping it or slathering it on your body, you can still celebrate this autumnal trend right in your own home.
We’ve harvested a few favorite ways to bring pops of pumpkin spice into your living space so you can enjoy just enough of it all season (or year) long.
Something to Stare At Longingly While Leaves Fall Outside
If you can’t have a cup of joe permanently attached to your hand, you may as well have art that’s an homage to your love of pumpkin spice coffee. Replace your summer landscapes with art that speaks right to your warmed-up and whipped-cream-topped heart. And while your seasonal latte might not be on the menu year-round, you can always opt to keep your art up until you’re able to order it again.
This pop art print, Woman Holding a Huge Cup of Coffee, is available exclusively on Art.com, and is also available framed or laminated. $14.99 and up.
Something Cheeky for Your Kitchen
Remind your loved ones that you really do adore them more than your morning fix while adding a pop of pumpkin-y orange to the place where you all gather at the beginning and end of each day. Go for even more color pow by pairing these tea towels with complimentary dish towels, scrub cloths and luxe table linens.
These sweet and spicy tea towels are available at Anthropologie (both online and in-store). $16.
Someplace to Rule the Roost
Pick your favorite flavor in a solid, craftsman customizable chair that’s just the place you need to be to oversee the year’s end. Choose a scrumptious blood orange or soothing lighter shade to spice up your living space, office or wherever your command central is located. Inspired by Danish design, pieces like this are both art and furniture and add tang to go-to neutral tone decor.
The Soto chair by Joybird pictured here in Key Largo Coral and Cordova Amber, is a best seller at District furniture boutique on the North Side of the city. Play with all your customizing options online at Joybird or visit District to ease into their furniture in person. $799 and up.
Something to Show Style on Your Shelves and Tables
If you’re not into design clichés or all-too-obvious decor that screams PUMPKIN, PEOPLE!, choose stealthy style to go alongside your first-edition book collection or after-dinner coffee service. If you need a bit more function from your nearly-hidden autumnal touches, opt for a bowl where you can eventually stash Halloween treats, your keys or gift cards to the local coffee shop.
Balloon glass vases available individually and in sets in limited quantities on Wayfair. $60 and up.
Something to Add Color to Your Blah Couch
That lovely worn leather or soft beige microfiber couch is the perfect space to create a canvas of color. Spend a few dollars on slipcovers for the throw pillows you have, or splurge on some with saturated colors, rich textiles and the same ahhh comfort in the first sip of coffee each day. Throw in a fuzzy, cream-colored pillow if you’re the kind who confidently says ‘yes’ to adding an extra dollop to your morning cup.
Find your perfect pop of pillow color in big-box retailers or exclusive online gift boutiques. Here, the orange leaf applique pillow is available at Target, the leather clutch pillow is at Pfeifer Studio, and the stand-out shag puff and embroidered fleur-de-lys pillows are at Anthropologie. $29 to $179.
Someplace to Pull On Your Leather Boots
Aside from the practicality of needing a place to lace up your cool-weather gear or stretch out while you binge-watch Ozark, an ottoman can be used in many other ways throughout the year – night stand, dry-cleaning pile holder, place to rest your belongings in the front hall. With all this purpose, doesn’t this lovely workhorse deserve to come in a sumptuous autumnal color?
If you’re ready for a statement, stretch out on this mid-century tufted ottoman bench on Houzz. The nail-head detail upholstered ottoman by Safavieh is so affordable, you may want to buy a pair, here on Amazon. Find this cozy knitted tawny-colored pouf at your local CB2. $79 – $129.
Something that Says Your Holiday Game is Strong
A wreath welcomes guests – and you, into a sanctuary of delight after a long day of spreadsheets and not nearly enough caffeine. Choose a door or centerpiece wreath crafted from fresh flowers, dried fruits and plants. Or DIY your own (and spray lovingly with the essential oils below) or invest in a lush artificial wreath you can hang year after year.
Order this fresh magnolia and quince wreath from Harry & David. Or revel in the ease of a faux harvest wreath, like this one from Pier 1. $71 – $89.
Something to Serve Up Your Own Brew
For decor or for sharing whatever you’ve just simmered, stirred, baked or brought home from the deli, add a vibrant serving tray, set of monogrammed glasses, dishware or a sweet little singing kettle to your entertainment wares. From your favorite mulled recipe to pumpkin spice martinis, or holiday hand-pies and generous slices of smoked ham – it will all taste better when served on something gorgeously orange.
The sleek and useful Zuma orange lacquer tray and ombre demi kettle by Le Creuset are both at Crate & Barrel. Monogrammed acrylic wine glasses for raucous parties, outdoor excursions or just the convenience of the dishwasher are available on Mark & Graham. Find the watercolor harvest pumpkin plate set at Pottery Barn. $29.95 – $79.
Something That’s Cheap, Scrumptious and Calorie-Free
Maybe you don’t have the budget or patience or time to decorate your home with fall touches. No judgment. You can still fill your home with as much pumpkin-inspired pampering as you like with essential oils. Add a few drops to your bubble bath, mix into coconut oil and dab on your wrists, or diffuse it in your car or wherever things smell not-so-delicious. Ahhh, divine.
This aromatherapy set is available on Etsy. $6.50 and up.
- The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their Annual Profile of Home Staging.
- 50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers.
- 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.
- The top rooms to stage to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.
To Stage…or Not to Stage? That Is the Question!
Source: Simplifying the Market
Home remodeling isn’t just good for the planet—rejuvenating your home to be more eco-conscious is beneficial to your family’s health and your home’s bottom line. These days, with the majority of homeowners preferring to go green, there are more options than ever to appeal to both your conscience and your aesthetic. [Read more…]