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Hello Friends!

I think I skipped November!  This time of year can get absolutely crazy, right?

For our family, we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and then New Years Day (since we are Japanese) – so we decorate for one holiday,  take it down and decorate for the next – whew!  BUT … even through all the hustle and bustle, I have to admit, it is my favorite time of year!

It is cooler outside, so it is time to cuddle up with a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate (or Hot Toddy) and sit in front of a toasty fireplace.  Yep!  Even in Arizona!

I get very nostalgic this time of year, as I look around and see holiday decor everywhere – from reindeer, pinecones and snowflakes to candles and sparkling lights.  I love them and they make me happy!

I like to incorporate little holiday vignettes throughout my home.  They are almost like little stories scattered everywhere.  So, I thought I would share some of mine with you.

This is a vignette in my office – you can’t really tell from the photo, but it is very striking with the white porcelain deer and trees trimmed in shiny silver.

The trees and deer came from Target (a couple of years ago) and the adorable snowflake lights are from Pier 1.  The greenery accents of flocked pine branch with pinecones are from Michaels and the best part … if only you could smell them, are  Balsam & Cedar scented candles from Yankee Candle.

Super easy to put together and yet it just brings in the warmth of the holidays, don’t you think?  It doesn’t take much and you don’t have to put a ton of accessories together.  For example, here is a little arrangement on my desk.  Very simple – 2 silver glass trees and a globe – but look how sweet it is:

And one of my favorites – I have this one on my living room coffee table … I just love all the sparkle!  Again, not much to it – jar of ornaments & pinecones, lights, a tealight holder and a scoppio sphere all set on a silver tray from ZGallerie.

Decorating your home for the holidays should be fun and it doesn’t have to be stressful or elaborate.  The simplest groupings of a few holiday decor can bring in such Christmas joy!   Add lights (there are so many battery-operated kind to choose from too) and don’t forget to add candles … lots of candles!

Although 2017 brought some sadness to my life with the passing of my beloved Mother, I hope 2018 will be filled with Peace, Love and Happiness!

It has been such a pleasure blogging my first year and I look forward to many more posts next year!

I wish you all a Wonderful Holiday!
Enjoy your families!

Until 2018 ….

Happy Staging!
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Hello Friends!

Finally, right?!  Well, I apologize for the long delay, so let’s get started …

Before we go to Step #3,
(since it has been awhile) let’s recap:

* * * * *

Step #1Declutter, Depersonalize, Sort and Pack
You’re moving anyways, so pack and clear the extra clutter!

AND

Step #2Neutralize
Neutralize the walls in your home from a neutral color palette – remember bright colors and the task of painting deters your potential buyers.

NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU …

Step #3 – Furniture For Your Home Staging:

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to how much furniture you should have in your home when staging it for sale.  Homeowners and real estate agents tend to think that the house needs to be filled with furniture to acquire that “lived-in” and “warm” feeling.  Not True!

When staging a home, typically less is better BUT not enough will appear too sparse.  Obviously too much furniture will shrink the size of any room, so it is important to not only use the right number of pieces, but also the right sizing of furnishings to match the dimensions of the room.  If your furniture pieces are too large, it will automatically downscale your living space.

For example, look at the photo above.  I could stage 3 rooms with all that furniture!  Whether it is your occupied home or a vacant home that you are staging, my rule of thumb is to have around 3-4 pieces of furniture per room.  Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.  Living rooms, great rooms and master bedrooms tend to be larger and may require additional piece(s).  On the other hand, if your room is small, you can still stay within the 3-4 piece guideline, but you will want to use furnishings on a smaller scale to keep the room in the correct proportions.

That being said – let’s go over some rooms and my typical furniture contents when I am staging a home.

Take a standard bedroom of 10′ x 10′ as an example, I would place a bed (with or without headboard), a night stand and maybe a dresser w/mirror.  Simple, clean and classic.

When staging a dining room, I would typically have a dining table and chairs and maybe a buffet table.  Again, here is another exception to the rule – often times the dining table and chairs are sufficient when the dining area is a standard size of 11′ x 14′.

Most living rooms or great rooms are often on a larger scale and require additional furniture pieces.  I would stage a standard great room 18′ x 24′ with a sofa, coffee table, two accent chairs and a side table.  If you have too much more than that,  you may end up blocking the natural flow of walking traffic in the area.  This, unfortunately, may get interpreted from a potential buyer as not having enough living space.

Here is a vacant home staging that we did in Sun City West.  It was necessary to  incorporate a few extra pieces, since the size of this  living room area was much larger than the standard.  However, we still kept the flow of traffic open and uncluttered.

Of course, the placement and layout of your furnishings is the base of your home staging design, but it will be the accessories that you add in the end that will tie everything together and make the home literally come to life!

Those accessories include area rugs, lighting, trees, greenery, accents and decor.  Don’t forget comforters, throws and pillows … lots of pillows, which will give you the “POP” of color that will stand out from everything you have since been told to “neutralize”.

To summarize this Step #3, it is important to know the dimensions of the area being staged to determine the necessary sizing, placement and layout, and the number of furniture pieces needed to set your home for staging.  There is a fine line of too much furniture and not enough furniture.  When staging your occupied home, it may be necessary to put some of those extra pieces of furnishings into storage to create a spacious and model home look.

We’ll talk further in my future home staging steps about furniture placement, specific accessories, where to shop for them and what items give you the most “bang for your buck”!  Until then …

Happy Staging!
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Hello friends …

I just wanted to update my friends here who may or may not follow me on my blog — I know I have been away for quite awhile (a couple of months to be exact) and I wanted to let you know that I had been away taking care of my mother who grew suddenly ill.  It is with a heavy heart and great sadness, I say goodbye to my beloved mother who passed away on August 31, 2017.

She was a mother with a generous heart and loved her family deeply.  She made memorable impressions with anyone and everyone she came in contact with.  I would like to dedicate this week’s blog to my Mother – may she finally rest in peace and be greeted with the comfort of my Father’s arms.

She may be gone, but her spirit will live forever in our hearts
I will miss her tremendously and love her forever …

She had a love for flowers and dogs … specifically Maltese … so it was only appropriate that she received this beautiful flower arrangement on Mother’s Day that was in the shape of a dog.

I have since returned home.  I promise I will pick up where we left off the beginning of October.  I know I have a lot of catching up to do and I will continue our Steps in Home Staging and I will also fill you in on some exciting news of our upcoming trade show.

Thank you so much for your understanding and we’ll meet again soon ….

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Well, I know I’m a little late in writing this week – isn’t it crazy how sometimes it gets so hectic that you wish you had 48 hours in a day?!  My last week was one of those wacky weeks.

My daughter requested to see some of my renovation and restoration projects on this blog.  So, for my daughter, I thought I would change it up a bit this week and give you a brief intermission from home staging and show you an adorable DIY project that I recently did.

I have to ask … am I the only one addicted to OfferUp?  I am telling you, there are some amazing bargains out there!  I enjoy going to neighborhood garage sales and finding “treasures” … but there are so many options now to “garage sale shopping”.  There are even group pages on Facebook that are categorized by your neighborhood zip codes where they post items they are selling.  Love it!

One of my favorite things to do is to find old, inexpensive tables, chairs or dressers that are in relatively good shape, but just in need of some TLC!  It is not only a fun hobby, but very satisfying when you can take something very old and restore it back to life!

So, I found these wicker chairs on OfferUp for $20.  They were pretty solid and in excellent condition (no broken wicker parts).  I was looking for something small to put on our balcony that faced the front of our home but didn’t want to invest in expensive patio furniture.  Although the seller offered the cushions, there are a few things I always recommend to replace and chair cushions are on the top of the list.

I visualized what I wanted these chairs to end up looking like, when I first saw them on OfferUp.  I knew this would be a super easy project and that it wouldn’t take me too long to finish.

You don’t have to sand these before spray painting, but it is a good idea to hose them down to get the dirt out of all the nooks and crannies.  There are a lot of places dirt can hide in wicker.  Once I hosed them down, I let them dry for 24 hours.  We can now go on to the next step of spray painting them.

I purchased 4 cans of the Rust-Oleum Paint+Primer in the Satin Granite Color at Home Depot for $3.87 a can.  When it comes to wicker, it takes a lot of spray paint to cover all the angles of the wicker so better to have more spray paint than not enough!

I will say it took about 1-1/2 cans of spray paint for each chair.  It was hot enough outside that each coating dried pretty quickly and it took about 2 full coats for each chair.  Once I was finished, I went around and literally looked at the chair in all angles and directions to make sure I didn’t miss anything and spritzed missed spots.

I chose this damask grey fabric I found online at Fabric.com.  It is a heavier weight fabric and can be used for either indoors or outdoors.  This pattern was also very versatile.  You could change the style from eclectic, French Country, Contemporary or even Farmhouse just by the accents and decor you pair it up with.  I think I am going more for the French country look.

    

As I was looking up the information for this fabric to pass along to you, it turns out that Fabric.com no longer carries this particular fabric (they still have it in the oatmeal, but not in the grey).  Good news though, there are so many variations of grey damask, that you could duplicate this pretty closely.  I purchased 1 yard at $12.98 per yard.  Since this was 54″ in width, there was plenty of fabric to do two chair cushions.

I have a wonderful seamstress I have known since I moved here to Arizona 14 years ago and her name is Ro.  Since I am very petite, there isn’t a pair of pants that I don’t have Ro alter for me.  Ro is absolutely amazing!  She does everything from window coverings to wedding dresses!  As I started this project, I created a template of the wicker chair seat area, I ordered a hefty piece of 4″ thick cushion foam from the Online Fabric Store for under $50.  (You only need half of the size I purchased – I was going to use this for other projects).

These are how the cushions turned out –  I love them!

For a final touch – I found these flirty little 18″ pillow covers on Amazon for under $5 each!  (They actually come in a variety of colors – so if you end up going with a different fabric for your seat cushions you can choose a color to match).   These were only the covers so you would have to get the pillow inserts – you can get pillow inserts pretty much anywhere.

Typically I get pillow inserts that are 2″ larger than the size of the pillow covers, but I actually went with the 18″ pillow inserts and they were perfect for these.  Super Cute!

The end result ….

I couldn’t take a photo with the two wicker chairs side-by-side since our balcony patio is really small.  They did come out pretty charming.  A little white table and some patio lights and it will be a nice place to sit and have a glass of wine!

Hope you enjoyed – we’ll continue next week with Step #2 in our Home Staging Process.  See you next week!

Happy Staging!

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The question that Real Estate Agents and Homeowners often ask is . . . .

“Does Home Staging Work?”

It has been three years since I started Revitalized Designs and I have transformed many homes from BLAH to beautiful after staging.  I have seen homes on the market for months and then selling them in less than a couple of weeks after it has been staged.  There is one thing that I am certain . . . .

Yes!  Home Staging DOES Work!

At first I thought what is the big deal?  Clean the home, put away the clutter and you’re good, right?  Not exactly!

Don’t get me wrong, it is good to do all of those things, but there is more to it.  What you are trying to do, as you stage your home, is create a “feeling”.  Here’s an example of a dining room in a vacant home:  How do you FEEL when you look at this photo?

Pretty sterile, huh?  Granted, there are many Buyers out there that can actually look at this room and say: “Oh, my dining table would fit perfectly in there” — “I can even put that beautiful wall art, my sister gave me last year, on that big wall to the left!”

BUT … there are more Buyers out there that look at this room and ask: “Will our table even fit in there?” — “I don’t have anything that would work on that big blank wall!”

It is amazing how staging can transform a room instantly.  Here’s that same room after it has been staged.  [If you’ve been on my website or are following me on Facebook, you probably have seen this photo often.  I think it shows a lot of what staging can do to a room.]  As you can see, the staging has created a very warm and inviting “feel” to this dining room by adding color, greenery and a few pieces of furniture.

Note that there really isn’t a lot of furniture or decor in this area.   It is important to understand the difference between staging and decorating.  It is not about the number of “things” you put in your stagings.  We will go into details about that topic in a future blog.

So in staging a room or area, the main objective is to capture a warm and inviting FEELING of the home to the Buyer.  If they feel welcome and comfortable, they can then envision themselves living there, which is probably how a lot of us felt when we purchased our home(s).

Staging definitely makes a difference (as you can see above) and as many statistics show, it definitely works.

Thank you for visiting us — I look forward to any comments or questions!!

Happy Staging!

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