contemporary-vases

Keep calm and sparkle on

A little sparkle goes a long way, whether staging your home for sale or decorating for the holidays. Nothing brightens a room more than the shimmer of silver, the glint of glass or a flash of chrome. But beware, there is a fine line between too much bling and tasteful sophistication.

Here are some of the ways I like to add glamour to a room, without overdoing it.

Mirrors

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Lighting

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Mercury Glass

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Velvet pillows (or upholstery)

 

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Glass

 

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Art

 

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Adding any of these accents will instantly add sparkle and update your decor to get your rooms noticed.

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Reluctant to stage your home ? I get it.

You are reluctant to stage your home, I get it. You love it as it is, so why shouldn’t someone else. You took time to pick out that purple/orange/lime green paint for the bathroom. You love the layout in your family room with those 2 comfy sofas you have had forever, where the dog loves to curl up. Your wall of family photos makes you happy and no, you don’t have a bed skirt, they are too much trouble. I get it.

So here lies the problem and might be the reason your home isn’t selling as quickly as you had hoped. How does that purple paint in your bathroom look in your online images. Does it make a small room look even smaller and darker. Does the floral shower curtain look too busy. Does it really show off the good points you are trying to emphasize in that room.  Does the lack of a bed skirt, lumpy, flat pillows and mismatched bedding say “Serene Master Bedroom”

You may think that your home looks perfect and is ready to sell, but remember: not everyone likes green paint in their living room or a floral bedspread in the master bedroom. Both men and woman want to envision themselves in your master bedroom. Show the buyer there’s enough space for both. You’re going to need to stage your home.

When listing a home, especially if you haven’t been involved in the world of real estate for a few years, you make the mistake of assuming that everyone walking in for a showing has the same taste as your family, and it would sell in no time. After two or three months on the market and zero interest, it may be time to switch things up a bit. Despite your reluctance to change the place you called home for 20 years, calling in an expert who does this for a living could be a game changer.

I sometimes have clients who are resistant to staging a home (a realtor may have called me in to be the bearer of bad news) but by the time I have done a staging consult they are starting to “get it”. Even newer homes need staging. One particular client was dead set against staging, but the area and price bracket their home was in, dictated the presentation required to sell. After a few days and a lot of persuading on the part of the realtor and input from my report they finally decided to go ahead.

Result, the home sold in 3 days after I staged.  A similar home, 3 doors down had been on the market for 6 months and had had a price reduction, which was far more than the cost to stage.

Change is hard but sometimes necessary and getting the right advice can make the process so much easier.

 

 

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www.prepstaging.com

902 489 6162

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Home Staging In Fall

Home Staging in Fall

Home Staging for a Fall buyer

What could be better than a cable knit throw, a good book and a comfortable chair on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sounds good doesn’t it, chances are your home buyers would love it too. Selling a property nowadays requires careful marketing. You aren’t just selling four walls, you are selling a lifestyle, a feeling, a place where memories will be made and you are asking buyers to invest in your property with their hard earned $$$$$$’s.

Image : Farm Gate Imaging

As a home stager and photo stylist my job is to market a product in the most attractive way possible to drive sales for my clients. Setting the stage,  to woo home buyers, apartment seekers and retail  consumers to choose to purchase your product over the competition’s. Sounds pretty straightforward right, but a lot of thought, time and effort goes into each and every project I do. Every home is different, every product comes with unique attributes and challenges. How you present a property (your product) changes with the seasons. Colour, texture and pattern all evoke a feeling, a lifestyle, whether a buyer is aware or not. Emotions are a large part of the buying process. Evoke the right emotions from a buyer and your home will stand out, be seen and attract attention.

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Two words. Details matter. Even the smallest ones. When the business of living takes over your home, many things go unnoticed that a buyer will pick up on in 2 seconds flat. Those flat as a pancake pillows on the old sofa mean many happy nights of kicking back and watching your show on Netflix, but to buyers it looks shabby. Not quite the look they envisioned for the living room they will entertain friends and family in. Yes you say, they are only pillows but all these little things add up and to get the buyers with the offer you are looking for it takes putting your best foot forward, every time you show your home.

 

Image Farm Gate Imaging

 

So have a good look at your surroundings, scrutinize every room, every closet, every nook and cranny. Your online images can make or break a sale and with all the resources available nowadays it is easier than ever to get your home in tip top selling condition. A great real estate agent, realistic pricing, professional looking presentation and images will get you well on your way to hanging that SOLD sign.

 

All images by Farm Gate Imaging

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staging consult

Behind the scenes

Styling a lifestyle photo shoot

I love a blank canvas, in my case usually a room/rooms, though I have been known to paint a canvas or two. Much like creating a work of art, lifestyle staging whether for Real Estate or to promote a product is all about layering elements.

The images myself and Vanessa Lentz of www.farmgateimaging produce for Halifax retailer www.wickeremporium.ca are done in a photo studio at Wicker Emporium’s head office in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Not quite a room ( we usually work with 2 walls) the other half of the studio is used for web  product photo shoots. This half is painted in white and resembles a skateboard ramp with one wall curved on the bottom to eliminate shadows in the finished web image. Every Wicker Emporium item from napkin rings to armoires is photographed here so it is a busy spot.

As soon as Vanessa and myself finish a lifestyle shoot we are busy planning the next one. Each shoot takes a week or more to plan. First step is to collaborate with Wicker’s Marketing Director to get an idea of what products to promote. Next I make a list of items I will need for the shoot. This involves checking the website , visiting the stores and sending the list to the inventory department. If available the large items of furniture are reserved in inventory for the shoot and placed outside the photo room for me before shoot day.

Lifestyle shoots are all about creating a mood so lighting comes into consideration. Vanessa and I discuss the setup (is this a morning/ afternoon/ evening vignette) We have a moveable wall on wheels (wouldn’t we all love one of those! ) which has a window with frosted glass. There are more than a few challenges to overcome when shooting. The photo studio has large windows that look out on a parking lot, a drop ceiling, a large double door and 1 smaller one that lead to the warehouse and a staircase, which we can use in the shoot if we reposition the wall.

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I arrive the day before the shoot or the morning of to unpack and position the furniture, steam linens if needed, select and pick up accessories from one of the stores, shop for any food, flowers etc. for props and unload and unpack any additional items needed for props from my own inventory. I start with positioning the larger pieces of furniture (I may also get a sneak peek of any new items just arrived in the warehouse, it’s like Christmas!) Once I have this part right I can start to layer. Rugs, drapes, artwork, accessories. It’s a process that takes a lot of tweaking before I am happy with the finished result. It usually takes 4-5 hours to set up a small shoot. More elaborate shoots like the Holiday ones may take up to 2 days to complete.

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This particular shoot was a “bathroom” setting. Not being done in an actual bathroom we had to get really creative to give the look of a country bathroom without a tub, sink or even running water. To make it even more challenging for Vanessa I used a large mirror. Mirrors are so tricky in photo shoots. The reflection of a drop ceiling and warehouse doors does not a pretty image make, so I positioned the moveable wall to reflect the window, quite effective in the finished image! There is a lot of tweaking during the actual shoot too, just off camera one part of the setup can be ripped apart as we reposition everything to get a good variety of images. There can be dozens of images shot but only a few are used (the cream of the crop) Even slight adjustments can make a world of difference to the final result so Vanessa and I constantly review her shots on camera and make changes as we go along to get the perfect end result.

After the shoot, it’s time for Vanessa to work her magic in the editing department. It’s always a thrill to see the final images after Farm Gate Imaging has done the technical stuff (she’s a genius) and it always amazes me how her vision and expertise can change what I might think was an ok shot into something spectacular.

Here are some images from the shoot. Prepped, re prepped, tweaked, edited and finally with text added by a designer. A lengthy process but so satisfying to see the finished result after everyone has done their part. These images are used for website, Face Book, Twitter, print and in store advertising.

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We try to make every shoot different and fresh and we are so proud to be associated with Wicker Emporium, a fabulous local Halifax company that is expanding in big ways in Canada.

Country Fresh

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 Props added

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 Showcasing accessories

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Final Web image

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Last weeks shoot was a kitchen setting and I have to say Vanessa outdid herself. Keep checking the Wicker Emporium website, Face Book page and Twitter account to see new images of our work and Wicker Emporium’s beautiful products.

In a few weeks it’s time to start on the Fall lifestyle shoots, I hope the weather cools down before I set a Thanksgiving table.

Enjoy your Summer 🙂

Avril

Prop Styling

Avril Brown

http://prepstaging.com/

Photography

Vanessa Lentz

www.farmgateimaging.ca

Product

http://wickeremporium.ca/