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Top photo shoot styling tips for selling a home

Home Stagers are experts in styling homes for photo shoots. In a few hours we can whip and flip a home into a stunner. Your on-line photos are the #1 advertising element of your for sale home. Don’t stop short when you publicly introduce your home to potential buyers by not making it perfectly groomed for its Internet close-up.  Here are a few of my top tips and techniques.

Make your bedroom a showstopper

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Master bedrooms are a big deal for buyers. A place to relax and unwind from the stresses of the day and every room needs a focal point. Plump those pillows (no pancake, lumpy old pillows) invest in fresh new pillows and bedding. It’s a small investment that can go with you to your new home and trust me it makes a huge difference in how buyers react to online images.

Make bathrooms sparkle with a spa theme

 

Every bath needs fresh, clean, fluffy towels, a seat down, glistening surfaces, and not a personal product present. No toothbrushes, potties, boxes of tissues, bath rugs on the floor, toilet brushes, cleaning products etc. etc. Many bathrooms are small and the least bit of clutter will make it even smaller online.

Kitchen counters

Remove all clutter, small appliances, paper towel, vitamins, paperwork, boxes of cereal etc. etc. Kitchen counters tend to be a dumping ground for all and sundry. You want to show how spacious your counters are and highlight those fabulous finishes. Don’t forget to remove rugs, door mats, dish soap and tea towels from stoves.

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Photography and Lighting

I can’t stress this enough. Hours of of staging and prep will be ruined with dark, blurry images taken from bad angles. This is your chance to shine and impress buyers who are seeing hundreds of online images of the competition. Open all drapes and blinds. Often perfect opportunities to wow are lost when a beautiful view from a window is unseen or you can’t see how beautiful flooring or molding details are. If your images aren’t cutting it hire a professional, you won’t be sorry.

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A little Prep

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Prepping your home for Winter sale

It’s been a brutal winter so far in my part of the world. Snowbanks are growing higher by the day and it’s hard just to get in and out of the house, let alone starting to think about preparing for selling. But the truth is, now is an ideal time to get a jump start on the competition. While many sellers are waiting for the first well awaited days of spring to list their home, you could be well on your way to sold.

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By using the winter as a time to improve your home’s interior appeal, it’s possible to command a higher price when serious buyers are out and about (and lets face it, you have to be serious about buying a home to slop around in this weather ) Put your snow days to good use and start the dreaded chore of de cluttering. I know, you’re cringing at the thought of mountains of books, movies, unworn clothing and the 27 travel mugs in the kitchen cupboards. We’ve all been there, (myself included having moved recently) You need a plan of action, someone to cheer you on when what you really want to do is to be curled up with the remote and Netflix. A staging consult can be a great motivator to get you started.

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When I first visit for a home consult one of the things I always hear is “I know we have to de clutter” but many times sellers underestimate how much time this really takes. You can’t just sort through 10, 20 or in some cases 50 years or more of belongings in a couple of weeks. Not if you want to minimize stress and wine consumption 🙂 Plus you may be removing some things that could be used as props for staging the home, while other things you think can stay, will not help your sale. Start by doing one closet, one drawer, put everything into a laundry basket and sort while watching t.v. if that helps get you get started. Starting is the hardest part so the sooner the better.

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Winter is also an excellent time to get a hold of trades, to do any repairs or renovations that will maximize selling appeal. During a consult a stager can recommend where to spend $$$ for best bang for your buck and where to save, by not doing renovations that will not bring a solid ROI. I read a report today that indicated both male and female buyers rate master baths and walk in closets as top of their wish list when purchasing a home, so upgrades in these areas are sure to be a worthwhile investment. Come Springtime when all the other sellers are scrambling to find a painter, plumber etc. you are already ahead of the pack.

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Selling a house requires you to make a potential buyer think that the home is already their own. Nothing gets in the way of this feeling more than another person’s clutter. Often, the things that buyers interpret as clutter are a homeowner’s prized heirlooms. Rather than purging your house of personal photos and accessories all at once, it can be less jarring to pack up your personal items slowly and move them into storage. These few weeks left of winter represent a perfect opportunity to start this process.

A little Prep

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Chalk Paint Uses

Crazy about this stuff !

Everyone is singing the praises of chalk paint and for good reason. It really is a fast, easy way to update just about anything. Minimum effort, maximum wow factor. Here are 2 projects I worked on this week. A makeover on a bench that was a tad dated, where I painted fabric for the first time with great results and a chalk board paint project on a $2 yard sale find. Check them out.

 

Bench Makeover 

Dated but  sturdy bench
Dated but sturdy bench

 

 

 

First step coat of Paris Grey chalk paint
First step coat of Paris Grey chalk paint

 

 

 

To finish apply Dark wax to fabric and legs
To finish apply Dark wax to fabric and legs

 

 

 

Waxing the fabric gives the look & feel of leather
Waxing the fabric gives the look & feel of leather

 

Tips for painting fabric with Annie Sloan chalk paint

1. Soak fabric a little before painting or do as I did and thin paint with water 50/50 so it absorbs well.

2. If you want to do a design e.g. stripe, mask off the area with masking tape once the base coat is dry and apply your second colour.

3. Most important step, apply wax to protect finish. Annie Sloan wax comes in clear and dark. The clear wax only slightly darkens the paint colour and the dark is very dark and gives a more antiqued look.

4. Let the wax cure at least overnight but a couple of weeks is optimal. I buffed my bench to make sure the finish was even.

 

Painting ceramics with chalkboard paint 

A $2 yard sale find
A $2 yard sale find

 

Loved the shape of this urn, pattern not so much. A coat of chalkboard paint later and a design drawn with a chalk pen and it has a new lease of life.

Caulk paint works well on ceramics
Chalk paint works well on ceramics

 

 

This guy knows

Well said sir, well said
Well said sir, well said

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Holiday tablesettings

Entertain with style

Almost halfway through November, where does the time go. Christmas decor has well and truly taken over in the stores, glitz and glitter as far as the eye can see. It seems a long way off but now is the time to start planning your Holiday tablescape. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired, whether you are planning a Maritime lobster boil on Christmas Eve, a local tradition in my neck of the woods, or a quiet New Year dinner for two. Forgo the matching china and mix it up.  Enjoy 🙂

 

Cool Blues 

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With a Twist of Lime

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Fun with Frosty

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It’s all in black and white

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Maritime Dreaming

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