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Laundry Room Confessionals, Part II: The Reveal

May 23rd, 2013

In the last post, I bravely shared the embarrassment that was (key word “was”) my laundry room. As a Home Stager in Denver, I’m constantly giving advice to clients who are placing their homes on the market, about the fastest way to sell their homes for top dollar.  Much of this advice  is about organizing, de-cluttering, and ways to show small spaces as open and functional.  My laundry room was the opposite of all those things, and if I’d see something similar in a client’s home during a staging consultation, I’d have a lot to say…

So, in an effort to practice what I preach, and bring the laundry room up to the standard of the rest of my well organized home, I was on a mission.  With some inspiration and about $150, I really was able to create a space that met all the items on my check list:

  •   Reduce, reduce, reduce
  •   Add functional and easy to maintain storage
  •   Bring in some aesthetically pleasing elements

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Much better, don’t you think?

Here’s what I did:

Removed EVERYTHING and did a deep clean.  During staging consolations we often recommend a “white glove” cleaning.  It’s easy to live in your home and not realize the dust and clutter in every day spaces.  When preparing a home for sale, imagine running a white gloved finger over every surface.  Is it still white?  Then you’re ready for sale.   I got rid of what we didn’t need and organized everything else into appropriate baskets.  One for washing, one for general cleaning, and one for ironing.  Put my liquid laundry detergent into a drink dispenser for easy dispensing and beautiful storage.  Doesn’t it just make you want to do a load of laundry?  Or drink lemonade?

Attached easy hanging storage solutions to the side walls.  Purchased a hanging catch all for mops, brooms and the dust buster (my most prized household item), lifting all these items up of the floor of the laundry closet. Removing items from the floor of a space helps the area to seem larger, open and more spacious.  Also bought a hanging rack to mount on the side wall as a place to hang dry items.  A small rod with hooks was mounted under the shelf as a place for socks without their pair or small delicates to dry.  Both came from Ikea and were under $10.

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photo-17

I knew I wanted to spruce things up a bit with some color and pattern.  I painted the bottom half of the back wall with leftover paint from my son’s room. I saw this amazing tutorial about wallpapering with wrapping paper from Emily Jones.  She also did a laundry room re-do, and I was inspired.  So I gave it a whirl with these amazing patterned wrapping paper sheets.  Each sheet was only $4 and I used 5 sheets.  Not bad for what looks like designer wallpaper.  With the help of my mom (who gained a lot of experience with wallpaper in the 80’s) and a few simple supplies, we were done in less than 2 hours!

(Before putting the paper on the wall, we measured each piece, numbered them on the back, and lined them up on the floor.  The wallpaper paste was $20 from Home Depot, and we used a handy dandy small kitchen spatula to gently smooth out bumps and air bubbles)

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I’m thrilled with the finished product, and can now do laundry without guilt!  The space has become so much more functional, easy to use, and maintain. And I can confidently tell sellers, from personal experience, what a huge difference this process can make…for showing and selling, or just simple living.

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Laundry Room Confessionals, Part I: A Makeover Story

February 26th, 2013

Jessie here, writing for the Pineapple Team this month.  And I have a confession:  my laundry room is a disaster.  And every time I remind sellers to organize and de-clutter their laundry room during a consultation, I feel a pang of hypocritical guilt.  So, for the good of all things staging, and in an attempt to show you what NOT to do, I give you my laundry room as it is now, and my plans for how to fix it.

  • What we have is really more of a laundry “closet”.  Two double doors near our kitchen, hiding the washer and dryer, and for now, I’m thankful those doors stay shut.  I generally strive for an organized and de-cluttered home, and find a special kind of joy from labels and glass jars that only a Type A individual can truly understand.  We are constantly telling sellers, “living in your home is different than preparing your home for sale” and in this case, living has gotten in the way of organization. As in all small spaces, it’s especially important to keep organized in order to maximize functionality.  The following things are standing in my way:
  • Closet becomes a “catch all” for any general household clutter that we need to stash away in a hurry
  • Limited shelving/storage for necessary items
  • No designated spots for laundry that needs washing, is hanging dry, or is ready to be put away (resulting in the explosion of clothes, towels, sheets you see before you)

(feel free to gasp, it really is terrible)

As a general rule, reducing items in a cluttered closet or space by at least 50% will allow the space to seem larger, and more functional.  Good storage solutions can help keep the space organized once it’s been de-cluttered.  I’ve also found that adding some beauty to a space that is usually just task oriented, can make that task a bit more enjoyable (or as enjoyable and washing and folding can be).  So those will be my goals:

  •   Reduce, reduce, reduce
  •   Add functional and easy to maintain storage
  •   Bring in some aesthetically pleasing elements

Here’s my inspiration….

Check back next month for Laundry Room Confessionals, Part II: The Reveal.
Now time to tackle the project–and finish the laundry.

DIY Wall Art–Our Favorties

January 15th, 2013

Whether selling your home, or just revamping your style, there are so many easy and inexpensive ways to give new life to your walls.

If you’re willing to put in a little DIY elbow grease the possibilities are really endless, and thanks to Pinterest, we have thousands of tutorials on fun things to draw at our fingertips.  Here are some of our favorites to help you get started…

Use a curtain rod and clips to hang kids artwork.  The clips let you to display weekly masterpieces your kids bring home, allowing you to easily personalize a hallway or workspace.  We saw a brilliant alteration of this in a client’s home yesterday and loved it.  We’re especially a fan of this particular system from IKEA because it’s sleek and keeps things organized.

Find more info on the how to here

 

Metal letters and symbols as wall decor are popping up everywhere.

Check out the giant “B” in the entry of Shelley’s home (feel free to “ooooh and ahhhh” over the vintage type writer, too).

Anthropologie carries these and these, but they aren’t exactly budget friendly.  We found this amazingly simple tutorial to make look-a-likes at a fraction of the cost.  And JoAnn’s even carries huge cardboard letters allowing you to follow the same tutorial, just on a larger scale to achieve a look like Shelley’s.

 

Have a large wall you need to fill but not the funds to invest on a large painting or photograph?  Two words: engineer print.  Stores like Staples or Office Depot can print a huge (think 4’x3′) copy of a photograph and with some basic hardware store supplies, you can make something like this….for $13!!!

How cool would this look blown up in a guest room?

 

Typography is a huge trend in wall decor right now now, too, and there’s no easier way to jump on the band wagon than this song lyric art.  This DIY canvas hangs in Jessie’s eat-in kitchen nook and was a breeze to make following this tutorial.

Jessie varied the project a little, using a canvas instead of a thrift store painting as her base, creating a slightly more simple finished product.

 

So there you have it.  Our favorite excuses to get our hands (a little) dirty in the name of wall art.

No need for intimidation or the big bucks when filling your walls.  A little vision, creativity and some basic supplies will get your walls in shape to be shown (or just admired) in no time.

 

 

Holiday Decorating–a yes or no when selling your home?

October 26th, 2012

With the first now on the ground in Denver and holidays right around the corner (already saw a Target Christmas commercial–too soon??), sellers are starting to ask questions about the kind of holiday decor that’s appropriate when listing their homes.

As a general rule of thumb, anything that distracts potential buyers from the house itself, is too much.  When showing your home, you want people who walk through the door to focus on the highlights of your home.  The great views, the updated kitchen, the huge master bath.  Let the features of your home catch buyers’ attention–not your holiday decorations.

Simple decor, that will add to the cozy, welcoming feeling buyers love so much is the way to go.

Like this neutral mantle display.

And even if your nutcracker collection is a Christmas tradition, it’s not the first thing you want potential buyers to focus on.  Until next year, nutcracker army.

 

And when considering how to present the outside of your home, remember how important curb appeal is.  Besides internet searches, “drive-by’s” are one of the biggest ways potential buyers will find your home.  Again, let the home’s best features speak for themselves.  Chose decor that will add to the best parts of your home, not distract from it.

Try something like this

 

Or this

(via)

Not this

(via)

Here’s a recap…keep decor simple.  Make sure it complements the home’s features, not distracts.  It’s extremely important that potential buyers don’t feel bombarded with your religious beliefs and family traditions–because many potential buyers won’t have the same beliefs that you do.  Allow potential buyers to envision what their holidays could feel like if they purchase your home.  Overbearing holiday decor will not allow buyers have that vision.

And please.  None of this.

Fido and “For Sale”- How to Handle Pets When Selling Your Home

August 14th, 2012

This topic falls under the category of “selling your home is NOT the same as living in your home”.

Even the world’s biggest dog lover can have a hard time with pets in the home during a showing.  Living with, and loving YOUR pets is very different from a potential buyer entering your home and loving YOUR pets.

This might be a normal afternoon activity for you and Fido…Potential buyers will not want Fido to expect this of them

 

As sellers, it’s important to help potential buyers envision what THEIR life could be like in your home.  Your barking dog or counter climbing cat will not make that vision so easy.

While maybe not the most convenient for you, the very best thing to do with pets during a showing is to remove them from the house entirely.  This isn’t just better for the showing, but for your pets, too.  Many new visitors can cause anxiety for your cat or dog…and even if kenneled, can lead to whining, barking, etc.  Not very welcoming for your potential buyers.  Try to find a friend, neighbor or family member to take care of your pets outside the home for the afternoon.

If sending your pets out for the day isn’t an option, DEFINITELY  keep pets out of sight during showings.  Pets can make people nervous.  And nervous is not the feeling you want your potential buyers to have.  A slobbery dog jumping up when you step on to the back patio or cat watching speculatively, perched high atop his carpeted cat tree in the master bedroom, do not exactly lend to a serene feeling.  Do your best to keep Fido and Snowball out of sight…and out of mind.

 

THIS IS DEFINITELY A “NO-NO”

 

This means concealing all signs of pets, entirely.

  • remove food and water bowls
  • vacuum, vacuum, VACUUM. 
  • store pet toys and paraphernalia (dog beds, cat towers) out of sight
  • if pets are not in their kennels, store those, as well
  • if you have a dog, clean up after them in the back yard!  Nothing could make a house seem more undesirable than stepping in something while touring the garden
MOST IMPORTANTLY….be conscious of pet odors!  Sometimes it’s difficult to realize you have a pet odor situation on your hands.  If you’re not sure, ask a friend to come over and take a whiff.  You want potential buyers to have the best possible impression when they walk in your front door, not be blown away by the odor.
Solve pet odor problems by:
  • removing litter boxes and deep cleaning the places they were located
  • have carpets professionally cleaned.  Often times, pet accidents will leak through to the pad beneath the carpet and can cause long lasting odors
  • use fresh air or natural cleaners!  Open doors and windows…using too many air fresheners will often just mask the pet odor, and can leave an incredibly unpleasant smell themselves
Follow our advice…potential buyers will thank you by offering top dollar on your home.
Fido will thank you.

 

 

Easy Mantle Styling Tips

July 20th, 2012

As stagers, our job is to highlight the best selling points of the homes we work in. Often, the fireplace is the most important focal point in a den or living room. Appropriately styling the mantle, with artwork and accessories can be a challenge.

Here are some of tips we think it’s important to remember:

1. SCALE:

Consider the size of the mantle and the size of the space above it. The pieces you choose to rest on the mantle should fill much of the space, without dominating it. Remember to consider vertical and horizontal scale, using accessories appropriate to both, and in appropriate scale with each other.

For example, mixing a HUGE art piece and a tiny vase on a not so huge mantle is a no-no. The art piece will overpower the mantle and the scale of the tiny vase won’t work with the huge art piece.

In this photo, the items on the mantle are clearly too small for the size and style of the fireplace.

fireplace-scale

Try something like this instead.

Fireplace Scale, staging

Notice the large scale artwork is appropriate to the scale of the fireplace and the wall above it.  The medium and large size of the vases add to the vignette and do not distract from the artwork, or the fireplace, itself.

2.  GROUPINGS:

As always, we like things grouped in odd numbers.  It’s more visually appealing to the eye and also lends itself to a more collected look, allowing the room to feel cozy and lived in.

3.  IMPACT:

If the fireplace is to be the “wow” moment in a room, make it just that.  Often times, choosing a single, bold, large piece of art can be the best way to draw focus to the fireplace.  Let the art and the architecture of the fireplace speak for itself.

Fireplace scale, large art, staging

Here is a great video tutorial from one of our fav HGTV stars, Emily Henderson.

http://www.stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/styling-101-how-to-style-your-mantel.html

SCALE, GROUPINGS, IMPACT.  Now go.  Style some mantles.

Pineapple Interiors & Staging Denver Join Forces to Give Back

November 28th, 2011

Denver’s premier Home Staging companies joined forces last week in conjunction with Realtor Joyce Sedam of Cherry Creek Properties, and Rebuilding Together Metro Denver to ensure that a newly remodeled home donated to RTMD looks it’s best. The organization is selling the home and using the proceeds to further it’s mission of partnering with local volunteers to rehabilitate homes of low-income seniors and people living with disabilities. Since their inception in 1999, they have repaired or rehabilitated over 800 homes and 9 nonprofit facilities.

Pineapple Interiors and Staging Denver are accustomed to staging homes for Builders, Realtors and Homeowners to assist them in selling their homes quickly and for the best possible price. Together these two companies have a combined 23 years experience in doing just that with amazing results. With no cost to RTMD, the staging companies combined their resources to fully furnish and accessorize the home quickly. The results beautifully showcase the work that has been done on the home at 12825 E. Wyoming Place in Aurora, Colorado making it even more appealing and comfortable to potential buyers (here is more information about similar houses for sale). RMTD’s goal was to have someone in this terrific family home for the holidays. The home went under contract in just 6 days!

Tammie O’Brien of Pineapple Interiors said, “It has been a blessing to us to serve the Denver area for more than 6 years and it is our pleasure to give back to our community in this manner. When you join forces with people and organizations such as Staging Denver, Joyce Sedam and Rebuilding Together Metro Denver, it’s easy to make a difference”.

Home Staging in Denver Colorado

Home Staging in Denver Colorado

Home Staging in Denver Colorado

Home Staging in Denver Colorado

“Lights, Camera, Action!”

November 14th, 2011

Last week we had the pleasure of working with Realtor Marina Jensen to film a video segment for her blog.  Marina asked us to help prepare her client’s home for sale while giving decluttering tips and other easy ways to help homes feel warm and inviting for showings.

Check out our silver screen debut from CutterWelderMaestro!

When Preparing Your Home for Sale, DO “Sweat the Small Stuff”

October 29th, 2011

Buyers have become increasingly finicky and detail oriented when viewing homes for sale, making it that much more important to not overlook the details of your home…because buyers certainly won’t!  Often times, sellers feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks to be completed before placing their home on the market, and focus on big picture things, like furniture placement, we got our beautiful furniture from Wellington’s Leather Furniture, or lawn care (both of which are important), but overlook the little things they imagine the buyer just won’t notice, or have failed to notice themselves, which turns out to be a mistake.

Preparing your home for sale is just like selling any other product.  Your product needs to stand out from the others out there, be the very best of the best, and leave buyers with a feeling that something about your product was better from all the rest.  Surprisingly, it’s easier than it seems to help your home rise above.

With just a weekend’s time and a little elbow grease, these easy projects can help your home become the total package:

1. Clean and repaint baseboards and trim:  Cleaning up and brightening the white on your trim and baseboards will allow your home to feel more unified.  Crisp trim will draw the eye toward the architectural detail of your home…something you want to show off!

Here is a great tutorial for help getting started…

repainting baseboard improves home value

2. Give your front door a face lift: When buyers approach your home, the “sales pitch” begins right away.  Buyers want to instantly feel cozy and at home, and a peeling, old front door is anything but welcoming.  A quick, fresh coat of paint will easily do the trick.  Adding seasonally appropriate and maintained potted plants to your front porch will add to the charm.  Don’t neglect your house numbers either, make sure your address is not only visible from the street but visually appealing, too! This great site allows you to browse through thousands of fonts, and choose materials, as well.

yellow-front-door

3.  Wash your windows and screens: Maximize the views from your home by making sure buyers can actually see through them! Dirt and grime build up over time, so its important to wash windows, inside and out, and don’t forget your screens!

4.  Update fixtures and pulls in kitchens and bathrooms: For very little time and money a huge impact can be made by replacing outdated fixtures and pulls with current updated hardware.  Changing out brass for oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel fixtures can instantly make a space feel new.  Coordinating pulls, found at any home improvement store, will make your home feel high end, without the high end price.

From this…

dated-brass-faucet

To this…

new-oil-rubbed-bronze

5. Re-caulk or re-grout tiles, tubs and sinks: When living in your home it’s easy to overlook small cracks in grout or that one spot near the tub you keep meaning to re-caulk.  Buyers will notice. If necessary, scrape away existing grout then re-caulk or fill the holes.  It will surprise you how much nicer and cleaner the new layer will look.

Try to view your home from a buyer’s perspective.  Every detail is important. Work hard to create an atmosphere in your home that feels well maintained and loved.  Buyers want to feel that the home they are interested in will hold up for them, and has been well taken care of,  little things go a long way to ensure that feeling. So contrary to popular belief, when preparing your home for sale, it IS time to start sweating the small stuff!

(images courtesy of google images)

Is Your Garage Sexy?

September 30th, 2011

Have you found yourself at an open house and can’t seem to find that male love-of-your-life to show him your dream kitchen?  Consider starting your search in the garage…he may have gotten “lost”,  just like he does in the tool section of a department store.   While you are sizing up the appliances and layout for easy cooking and entertaining, the all-boy in your life is likely sizing up the garage to make sure there is plenty of room for the family truckster, snowmobiles and kids bikes.

A potential buyer’s critical eye is certainly NOT left at the concrete pavers or the steps of the garage.  In fact, the image of a well maintained garage will excite your male counterpart to dream of HIS tools and toys in that space, ultimately adding to a quicker sale.

So, is your garage sexy enough for those discerning buyers?   The good news is, the space does not have to look like a catalog ad  with epoxy-flecked floors and perfect custom cabinetry, but there are some key steps to ensure they don’t run to your competition. You could use an electric pressure washer to clean of the floor of the garage.

  • Make sure the space  shows it can fit as many cars as it’s designed for. This may mean storing those extra items off site while selling your home, such as bikes, wagons and extra yard equipment.  If you have a three car garage, that must show clearly.
  • If it is dimly lit, add a few extra utility bulbs or lights.
  • Clear as much as possible off the garage floor. This includes yard equipment, the boxes you may be pre-packing, grandma’s rocking chair, etc.
  • If the garage has storage shelves, use them and keep them tidy. The Island Plastics bins can make a world of difference for a small investment.
  • If possible, store trash cans outside (but out of sight) to avoid odors .
  • If there are lots of stains on the floor, consider concrete paint, available at your local home improvement store.
  • For showings, park any large vehicles off site.
  • Store boats, trailers and RVs off site.

Home Staging Denver Colorado

Sellers often ask if they should drywall the garage. It likely depends on the price point of the home. For an “average” priced home, we say save that for your new garage. It will likely not make or break a sale, or bring higher offers.

Not sure if your garage is sexy? Take a picture and you will get a better idea of how buyers will see it.

Home Staging Denver Colorado

Use these steps to get your garage ready for sale and have buyers deciding on the perfect spot for the permanent bottle opener…already imagining themselves enjoying that first cold beer with the guys!