Spring has finally sprung! We have so many new listings that are on the market in Short Hills and Summit and West Orange and Livingston and Stirling. I think we are definitely in a buyer’s market, so… get shopping.
As I am involved with 5 flips right now, I came across this great article for house flippers that I’d like to share. We all know that staging is crucial in an empty space… but equally important is having the right team.
I am always upfront with my stages. If it comes down to budget and you are looking for the biggest bang for your buck, paint is your best investment!! Nothing else has the same potential to elevate a room, tone down an ugly carpet or neutralize bad tile. Paint is both a forgiver of sins and a giant magic eraser. I do dozens of paint consults a month, so I may be more comfortable than the average person picking out the perfect white or gray. But I think everyone will agree that these rooms were instantly brightened with little more than a can of fresh paint!
I love me a good bookcase display. Whether it’s symmetrical or solo, built-in or free-standing, I look at each as a perfect opportunity to tell the story of its owner. Sometimes I use found objects. Usually I have to bring in some items for color or texture. Sometimes I turn entire collections backwards. Sometimes I do a theme or arrange by color. My secrets include a little repetition, a definite balance and more than likely a little whimsy. People often fizzle out when it comes time to put the accessorizing touches in but I think they make all the difference!
[See image gallery at stagingbylara.com]
People frequently say to me “I love your style” which I always find confusing because I really don’t think I have one signature look. My rooms are approachable and lived in. They look like they have evolved over time and I think each reflects the homeowner. I read an article in House Beautiful where editor Sophie Donelson summed up my approach to decorating perfectly: “It begins with a floor plan, colors, furnishings, accessories, and decorative details. But the final touches are the living and the loving”. She goes on to talk about the well earned scratches and nicks and spills and the patina that comes from “years of accumulating, editing and rearranging.” And then I realized. Yes. That’s it! That’s my style. I help people find their patina and as Ms. Donelson concludes “Earning the patina is the fun part!”. I 100% agree. I hope you enjoy the patina of my personal space.
[See image gallery at stagingbylara.com]
This is an oldie but a goodie. This project was a long testament to the power of patience and the need to take a huge leap of faith:
So we are 99.6% done. 6 months of inconvenience and delays. Which has taught me a lot of empathy for my projects. While I have been planning this project for 5 years, even my best intended plans weren’t always right. We had to redirect, think fast, and sometimes just go with it. I was introduced to a range of materials and products and have become a near expert on kitchen layout!
Come on in!
These all wood 1949 cabinets were all the rage. In 1949. Who knew they weren’t originally yellow, but that was some later attempt to modernize??
Chalkboard wall went up when the original floral wallpaper came down. Wall was in rough shape – the chalk helped mask that.
Note our totally useless floating pantry.
Surprise! One of the many wallpapers we discovered. This one lined the insides of said useless pantry!
And the after…
Not sure if the marble backsplash or the faucet or the size of the sink is my favorite. But I love doing dishes now!
We enlarged the entry to the dining room AND I got to keep a chalkboard wall
Open work space, open flow to the rest of the house – And more pantries!
SO at the end of the day… We went from dark, cramped, outdated and illogically planned. We managed to double our space by knocking down walls, taking over useless hallways, and enlarge door openings. We created an almost perfectly square, modern, sun-filled hub of the house. I am just absolutely thrilled with the end result. It is so easy to cook and entertain and in retrospect, I’d even go through the process again. Just don’t tell Matt.