Planning to Sell this Spring?

Now is the time to stage your house!

If you are serious about selling and you hope to get top dollar, don’t put off staging. Start now and create a game plan. There are few steps to keep in mind:

  1. Staging is not just decluttering and depersonalizing. These are, however, important first steps. Go through each room and begin packing all of your unused items but don’t remove personality and create a sterile environment. Instead, focus on removing the clutter that you’ve been meaning to get to for weeks, months, or even years.
  2. Finish (or start) all of those household projects. Save yourself a lot of stress and start a to-do list and work a little on it each week. It makes those tasks so much more manageable. Trying to finish all of these tasks, plus deep cleaning & packing, makes for a very stressful time if all left until the end. Most importantly, don’t assume that the buyers won’t care and can finish these tasks. You have the opportunity to complete them now so they don’t become price erosions in the future.
  3. Dissociate yourself from your home. Let you home become an investment and not an emotional attachment. If you are too attached, don’t sell. If you have to sell, remind yourself that a staged home and lived in home are not the same thing. It’s not about buyers seeing your memories. It’s about buyers seeing the possibility to create their own memories.
  4. Look at the competition. Get on-line at any of the various house selling websites and see what’s for sale in your market and what’s sold. Study the photography. Why? Over 95% of buyers shop on-line first. You’ll be able to quickly see the difference in a staged home and lived-in home.

Should You Stage with Seasonal Decor?

Fall is in the air and fall decor is everywhere. Who doesn’t love the warm colors of fall and all that it embodies? However, be careful not to use seasonal decor in your listing photos.

Why? You’ll instantly date your listing. Before long we’ll be changing seasons and new decor will be coming in. On-line listings with seasonal decor will only give the impression to potential buyers that the house has been on the market for some time. Since we move through seasons so quickly this time of year, pictures with fall decor will be dated within weeks.

In addition, when home buyers envision themselves in new homes, they generally don’t picture seasonal decorations. Creating a beautiful on-line listing is about creating a lifestyle that home buyers want to call home. Staging to the functionality of a room and it’s focal point is what will sell a listing, not dated pictures.

Now, if you want to decorate your own living space with fall decor, I say go for it! Start at your local market and bring in some of these amazing heirloom pumpkins for a quick tablescape or front door arrangement.

Whether you are decorating for fall or preparing your house to sell, take some time to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather and have a happy fall ya’ll!

10 Simple Occupied Staging Tips

Whether you are preparing your house to sell or a realtor meeting with a client, these quick and easy occupied staging tips will get you started in the right direction:

  1. Always clear off the front of the fridge. Often times the main message hub for the home, just clearing it off before listing photos and quickly stowing all notes prior to a listing appointment makes a kitchen look instantly larger and more open.
  2. Try adding white accessories (such as flowers and towels) to add a bit of sparkle to any listing photo.
  3. Want to make a space look bigger? Move out all small area rugs. These rugs create both distractions in listing photos and make a space feel smaller. The more continuous floor one sees, the larger the space will appear.
  4. Clear out and pack up half of the contents of the closets. Buyers want to see space, not closet contents.
  5. Dark leather sofas create black holes in listing photos. Brighten up any dark sofa with light accent pillows and throws.
  6. Removing over-sized furniture pieces will instantly add square footage to any space.
  7. To make a bathroom look bigger, put away all toiletries.
  8. Open all window treatments to make a room brighter and appear more open prior to both listing photos and appointments.
  9. Be sure to remove all trashcans from sight and close all toilet lids prior to listing photos. The house will instantly appear cleaner on-line.
  10. Leave out only lifestyle items in the kitchen and clear away all stacks of paper. Watch your counter space grow.


Boosting Your Home’s Value through Paint Color

Selling your house and trying to decide what needs to be done before listing it? Consider updating your paint color. This is an easy cosmetic fix, so we often assume buyers won’t mind making the changes themselves. Yet, the right colors have a powerful implication for buyers. So much so, that Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis actually puts monetary figures behind the color choices home buyers make.

Here’s some quick dos and don’ts based on the Zillow analysis:

  • Paint your bathrooms powder blue to periwinkle and not white to increase value.
  • Kitchens in light blues and grays sell higher than those in yellow
  • Dining rooms in slate blues, navy, or gray/blues sell more than those in red and copper colors
  • Go back to the blues for bedrooms, because a calming blue color will bring in more money
  • We still like our beige or taupes for our living rooms.

Take the guesswork out of your color choices by following these great color suggestions from Home Staging Resources:


Room by Room (& Top Dollar) Staging Tips

Thinking of selling your house & feeling overwhelmed about where to start?  Follow these room by room staging tips to help ease the pain (and, better yet, to get a top dollar offer).

Most people think home staging is cleaning, decluttering & depersonalizing. I prefer to think of it as creating a warm and inviting space for people to imagine the next chapter of their lives.  Nice, right?

We live in an HGTV, Pinterest & Instagram kind of world. Good design is easily accessible and most home buyers expect to see it as they house hunt. After a long day of house hunting, which house is your friend going to tell you about: the one with the sterile bathroom or the one with the spa-like retreat?

Let’s talk about focal point, scale and symmetry. I know that sounds intimidating but stay with me. Each room has a focal point (or one can be created with the right furniture arrangement), and it is usually obvious. For example, in the kitchen it is generally the island and in the living room it is usually the fireplace. Our design choices can highlight those focal points or diminish them.

As for scale and symmetry, you know you are in a room with both of these traits when you walk in and it just feels right. A room with the giant leather sofa complete with cooler armrests generally feels out of scale in a small room (or any room outside a man cave). Just like an 8×10 picture hung too high above the dining room side board is also out of scale.

As for symmetry, not all things have to be even or the same (do you hear that, kids??) However, some symmetry, such as beautiful opposing sofas, will give a room that designer appeal.

Here are some basic room-by-room tips that everyone can apply.  Yes, each room should be cleaned and decluttered. I know…that’s not my favorite part either. The first rule in home staging is: the packing and cleaning starts immediately!

Curb Appeal

“You get one chance to make a first impression!” You want the wow factor when potential buyers first drive up. People don’t want to see bikes, toys and juice box containers on the front lawn. Think clean, trimmed and landscaped. Don’t forget to freshen up the paint on the front door. If your hardware is out-of-date, it’s time to change it. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to change the doorknob, the front porch light fixture and house numbers. A little bit of effort can make a huge difference. Add pots of colorful plants and put down new mulch or pine straw. Also, don’t forget to change out your front doormat. No one wants to walk over an old worn out mat into their new home.


All entryways deserve some staging love, regardless of size. Your entryway should be both inviting and provide clean sight lines into the rest of the house. A chair in the corner or a side table anchored with a mirror or artwork is great if you have the space. However, a mirror or artwork works well alone in tight spaces.

Living/Family Room

You may have both, but many of the same rules apply. Make sure seating is arranged for easy conversation. You may already have all of your furniture pushed to the far walls of the room; and if you do, try bringing it in to create a grouping for conversation around the room’s focal point. You’ll be amazed how much bigger a room looks if the furniture is not pushed against the walls. Do you have an area rug? If yes, make sure at least the front feet of the couches are on the rug. Remove all of the toys, as this is not a playroom, but rather a place where family members can come and relax around a board game or a warm fire.


One of the most important rooms in the house and definitely one space where you will get some ROI (Return On Investment for those new to the biz). If your kitchen hasn’t been updated in a decade or so, try adding new cabinet hardware, update your lighting and freshen up your paint. Also, clear off the front of the fridge. No one wants to see your brother’s kid’s school picture and your vacation magnets. You will be amazed how much bigger the kitchen looks with just a few small updates. Next, clear off your counters. I know what you are thinking: “I’ll just leave the toaster because we use that a lot.” But even the toaster should go in a cabinet. You want prospective buyers to see their own toaster in your kitchen. If you have an island or bar, make sure this area is the focal point of the room.

Dining Room

So you don’t use it and you’ve turned it into an incredible craft room/playroom/hobby room/storage closet for all to see its contents. If this is true at your house, then it’s time to turn it back into a dining room. But, what if I don’t have a table? Now is the time to buy, borrow or rent one. Even if a buyer will never use the dining room to dine in, they like to envision themselves celebrating with family and loved ones around the dining room table. Try setting the table–you do not have to use fine china. Casual elegance will work best in most markets.


Make sure it is white glove clean and store all personal items. Buyers don’t want to see extra rolls of toilet paper and dental floss, plus you don’t want to give the impression of not enough storage. Think spa-like (candles and white fluffy towels), and absolutely no colored toilets!


Please do not pull your comforter/duvet all the way up to your matching pillows. Instead, think about folding the duvet halfway back and adding a throw and extra pillows. You’ll be amazed what a difference this makes in your listing photos. Symmetry is important with side tables and lamps. They don’t have to be the exactly the same but they do need to be roughly the same size. In the kids, rooms, creative storage is the key for toys.

Laundry Room

Clear off the tops of the washer and dryer and use baskets to store laundry and cleaning items. I once toured a house that my husband and I nicknamed “the house with a year’s worth of dirty laundry.” Make sure this is not the impression you give to potential buyers because after they’ve seen your mountain of laundry they may not be potential anymore


Consider packing up half of the contents. Let buyers see your closets, not your stuff.

Backyard, Patio, or Deck

As you are cleaning up the front yard, don’t forget the backyard.  Do you have a place to sit and relax or a place where future buyers can imagine grilling or hosting a summer party? Spruce up your patio furniture with new pillows, put out pots of flowers and set the table.

Home staging can seem intimidating. Just take a deep breath–it’s not as hard as it seems and, of course, you can always hire a professional to help you.


Selling Your House? Follow These Steps First

Follow These 3 Basic Steps Before Listing Your House

There are numerous must do lists to follow while considering whether or not to put your house on the market. However, one thing is certain, the following three steps can’t be skipped if you want to a see a sale pending sign in your yard and receive a top dollar offer for your house.

  1. Stage Your Property

  2. Find a Great Realtor

  3. Price it Right

Stage Your Property

Unless your house looks like a Southern Living Magazine photo, don’t ignore the staging step. Now is the time to finish all of the unfinished projects that have accumulated around the house. It’s also time to fix anything and everything that’s broken. Cleaning and decluttering are next. Ever thought about renting a storage unit? Now is the time. Clear out and begin packing everything you don’t use, even empty out half of the contents of your closets. Pack up all of your favorite collections. Your favorite sports memorabilia may not be your prospective buyer’s favorite. Clean up the yard and add lots of spring color. You only get one chance to make a first impression!

Find a Great Realtor

Don’t be afraid to interview several agents. This is the sale of your largest asset so you want to make sure you are in good hands. Look at their on-line profiles and check out how their other listings appear. An on-line presence is key since most home buyers shop on-line first. Also, look at their reviews. What are others saying about them? Ask for recommendations. Who sold your best friend’s house or your neighbor’s house? Most importantly, find someone you can trust, someone who will actively market your property, and someone who is credible in your market.

Price it Right

How do you price your house? First, don’t be tempted to start incredibly high, and second, don’t price it based on emotion. Use popular real estate sites such as, Zillow, or Trulia to see what other homes in your neighborhood have sold for–not what they are currently listed for–and you’ll have a better idea of your home’s current value. This is also where a valuable agent comes in handy. A good agent will provide a competitive market analysis. Work with your agent to decide how much room you should leave for negotiations, but don’t overreach because an overpriced house will sit on the market and as it sits, the price will drop.

30 days, 90 minutes, $60


Now that your holiday decorations are down (or maybe you are thinking it’s time for them to come down), it’s a great time to rethink your space. Whether you are just in the mood to rearrange your current furnishings, or you need ideas for a much more dramatic change, snag this deal to get you started. Arrange will work with what you already own and love to bring new life to your space. If new accessories are in order, we can even shop on the spot and pass on our trade discounts to some of your favorite retailers.

Maybe you are considering an entire new space, but aren’t sure how to prepare you current house to sell. Arrange will spend 90 minutes staging your house while showing you some quick tips to get the best on-line photos.

Whether it’s design advice or home staging, take advantage of this deal quickly and call, text our email us by February 10, 2017 to schedule your appointment.

Staging a Master Bathroom

What do buyers want in a master bath? They want a spa-inspired retreat, and let’s face it, not all homes have the perfectly well designed and luxurious master bathroom. Instead, it’s important to work with what the seller already has. Here are some quick tips for transforming an ordinary master bathroom into a spa-like retreat that buyers will fall in love with:

Master bath before 2

  1. Declutter!

    You hear stagers talk about this all the time and there’s a good reason. If home sellers use their bathroom counters for storage, it creates an impression that says this bath has no storage. All buyers wants plenty of storage, even if they are not going to need it.

  2. Hide the laundry!

    Nothing will turn off buyers more than other people’s dirty laundry. Put it the closet behind the door, or even buy a hamper with lid. Just hide it!

  3. Clean the bathroom!

    Next to kitchens, there probably can’t be a more gross impression left with potential buyers than a dirty bathroom. Clean it so it sparkles; there are no shortcuts in this step.

  4. Accessorize!


Now that you have a clean uncluttered bathroom, how do you give it that spa feel. In this master bathroom, the homeowner did not have any towel bars and just a few misplaced hooks. Adding towel bars and a few new towels (only to be brought out as potential buyers are coming through the house), make a significant but affordable change. Nothing says spa like a stack of fluffy white towels. More examples of accessories that bring in the spa feel can often be found in other rooms of the house, such as candles and books.

Need assistance staging your listings? Call me today at 423-763-1193 to get started!

Master bath after 2

Are Dark Sofas Creating Black Holes in Your Listing Photos?

Ever notice how dark leather sofas create giant holes in your photos? These sofas, so popular with your clients because they are virtually indestructible with children, can absolutely ruin a photo. Since over 95% of all prospective home buyers shop on-line first, the last thing you want are dark sofas making a living space uninviting.

Living Before Living Room 2 BeforeWhat can you do? Accessorize! Throw pillows immediately lighten a dark sofa. In addition, make sure everything else in the living space is set to scale.  A well staged home does not require purchasing all new furnishings and spending a fortune. It’s about using simple and well planned accessories to make any prospective buyer aspire to call your listings home.

Living Room AfterCoffee Table 2Let me help you transform your listings. Call me today at 423-763-1193!

Whimsical (& budget friendly) Nursery Redesign

What a joy and privilege to work on the room that welcomes a new baby home. This was a complete redesign project turning big sister’s room into a baby boy nursery, while utilizing many of the homeowner’s existing pieces. At mom’s request, we kept the existing wall color and searched throughout the home for the most masculine area rug to fit the space.

baby boy nursery

It  was fun to upcycle an old dresser to create the ideal changing spot. Barn wood and metal pipe fittings created the additional storage that was needed. An old nightstand became the accent table to a rocking chair that’s a wonderful example of a hand-me-down. The only items purchased for this nursery were some of the wall hangings, baskets for storage, and a few whimsical accessories.

Nursery beforeThis sweet room proves that it doesn’t require a big budget to create a well organized and functional nursery.