Entryway Staging Essentials

Tips for staging a stellar entryway that will leave home buyers wanting to see more:

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression – and neither does your house. When potential buyers open the front door, they form an opinion within seconds. And it’s all based on what’s in plain sight. Whether the space is grand or petite, entryway staging can influence a client’s perspective on the entire house.

To avoid a negative first impression that sends potential buyers running out the door, consider these tips for staging a stellar entryway that hints at what’s to come during the showing.

1. De-Clutter

Touring a messy home won’t give potential buyers the opportunity to visualize their fresh start. After all, they’ll want to imagine their own shoes by the door without tripping over yours. Start by removing clutter from primary surface areas, including the floor, shoe rack, and table or hutch. Ensure that items like receipts, dog leashes and mail are out of sight. If you have an entryway closet, try to eliminate and relocate 50% of its contents (like coats) for showings. A half-empty closet will appear larger and more spacious.

Leaving a few garments behind looks polished while still being realistic. For example, try hanging a simple brown tote bag on a hook by the door. Consider which of your practical pieces look best on display and keep things very minimal.

2. Maximize Storage

There are plenty of multi-functional pieces available that serve as stylish furniture while providing sneaky storage. If you have a little square footage to spare, consider a bench with built-in storage – it provides a place to sit without wasting the space below and allows more room to accessorize. Additionally, look for pieces like this hutch designed specifically for shoes that still has ample surface area to serve as your main entryway table.

For truly tiny spaces, opt for creative storage alternatives like floating shelves and wall hooks. These highly popular, functional options still provide room for on-the-go essentials without usurping the limited floor space.

3. Refine Décor

A beautiful entryway will operate as a stand-alone space rather than an afterthought. Adding a cozy rug or runner – separate from the functional doormat – can be the framework to define an entryway’s space.

Make the transition from outside to inside more gradual with the addition of houseplants. Plants promote tranquility and fill space during showings after you have minimized personal décor, like family photos. While streamlining clutter is crucial, the space can’t end up looking neglected – a potted leafy plant, like a snake plant, atop your entryway table adds a pop of natural color, while preventing the surface from looking scarce. If you’re known to be an unsuccessful plant-parent, consider a realistic-looking artificial plant. Keep the space refined by having a small basket, jar or ceramic dish on the entryway table as the go-to spot for keys and other pocket-dwelling items.

4. Keep It Clean

Even the most masterful staging won’t distract from dusty surfaces and muddy floors. Regular cleaning of the floor, front door and tabletop will keep your entryway or mudroom from looking like a genuine “mud” room. If your house is on the market during rainy or snowy seasons, consider getting a doormat that will help prevent dirty shoes from stepping foot through the door.

5 De-cluttering Tips for Your Kitchen

Is the chaos on your countertop out of control? Here are a few tips to conquer the clutter.

  1. Use it or move it
    If you don’t use a mixer, food processor, or other tool more than once a week, stash it in a cupboard. Counter space is precious real estate.
  2. Wall-to-wall organization
    Mount a rack on your wall for storing all those things that tend to pile up on your kitchen table and counters – like mail, to-do lists and receipts.
  3. Look up
    The space on top of your wall cabinets and fridge are great places for wire baskets that let you see the contents, or fabric bins that hide things from view.
  4. What’s behind Door #1?
    Place over-the-door storage racks inside pantry doors to free up counter space.
  5. Hang ten
    Or even a dozen. Keep lightweight items such as aprons, oven mitts, large utensils and towels off counters by mounting wall hooks.

Modern-Day Tips for Arranging Your Furniture

Today’s couches are so much more than the three-seater pieces of days past. Sectionals are useful and stylish, and their shape provides a built-in conversation area. Chaises – perfect for lounging – eliminate the need for an ottoman or footstool. Sometimes, though, it can feel challenging to find the best layout for your room. This guide provides solutions for arranging uniquely-shaped sofas comfortably in any space.

Determine the Purpose of the Room

Before you begin experimenting with different furniture layouts, it’s important to consider how you will use the room. Will it feature a television and a media console, or will it be a conversational space with few electronics? Perhaps you are decorating the spare bedroom that will double as a reading room, and you hope to find the best arrangement for a sleeper sofa and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Even if you plan to use the space in multiple ways, decide what the primary purpose of the room will be and design your furniture arrangement to best meet these needs. In large spaces and open layouts, don’t be afraid to divide the room into two (or more!) distinct seating areas.

Look at Traffic Flow and Focal Points

Next, think about how you move about the space and the overall flow of the room. Here are some rules of thumb:

  • It’s a good idea to maintain enough space around doorways and entrances. To keep the space feeling open and comfortable, allow for about three feet of walking space along traffic paths. This will help prevent you and your guests from bumping into furniture or walls.
  • Think about where you first want your eye to land as you look around the room. Traditionally, fireplaces or televisions serve as focal points, but sometimes a large window or even a piece of statement wall art can serve that purpose.

Many rooms have multiple focal points, such as a fireplace and a large window, and lend themselves to multiple options. Switch it up to keep things interesting. If you have the space, consider rearranging the room to face the fireplace during winter and your gorgeous view during the summer.

Save Your Back – Use the Computer

Look online for digital room-arrangement programs that allow you to enter the dimensions of your room and existing furniture to help visualize different layouts. Some retailers even offer an interactive app that shows how their products will look in your space.

Prefer pen and paper? Take measurements of your room and all the furniture. Using graph paper, equate one square on the page with one square foot and draw the shape of your room. Then, draw the basic shape of each piece of furniture, again using the one square foot rule. This allows you to rearrange furniture to your heart’s content, without risking scuffed floors, carpet snags or a tired back.

Think Big

Now that you’re ready to arrange your room, you’ll want to start with the biggest piece of furniture: the sofa. Consider these tips:

  • Start by facing your couch towards the focal point of the room, paying attention to the traffic paths and keeping entrances as open as possible. For a sectional sofa, experiment with middle-of-the-room versus against-the-wall placements.
  • Allow at least 6 to 9 inches between the sofa and the wall, as this gives a sense of spaciousness.
  • If the room has a television, think about how you can position the sectional to enjoy the best viewing angle for the screen. (If you don’t have room for a large media center, consider a shallow, space-saving console table to corral electronics, then mount the TV on the wall.)
  • Looking for a spot for a chaise lounge? Try to place it in such a way as to avoid having to walk around it to sit down. The same rule applies for sofas or chairs with extendable recliners.

Consider Your Vibe

You’ve thought about the room’s focal point and traffic flow, but what about how the space makes you feel? Different seating arrangements can affect the ambiance of the room. For example, using symmetrical seating arrangements create a sense of order, while using offset pieces creates energy and visual interest.

In layouts with sectional sofas, balance the weight of the sectional with one or two chairs to provide visual balance and a conversational feel. Chairs on casters allow you to rearrange the room at a moment’s notice, and in small spaces, choose poufs, stools or even folding chairs that you can easily tuck away when they’re not needed.

Add the Finishing Touches

Once you’ve found a seating arrangement that you love, add in the rest of your furniture, such as side tables, coffee tables, and floor and table lamps. Because they have no corners, round side tables allow guests to easily navigate around them, and nesting tables are great space-saving options.

Last, add the finishing touches to round out your room. Throw pillows and blankets provide coziness and layered textures, and an area rug will ground the space and tie the room together.

Staging Your Home for Selling Season

If you own a home, it is likely one of your largest investments. When the time comes to move up or downsize, you want to do everything in your power to protect your equity and get your asking price – or more. One way to ensure your home is listed, and purchased, at the right price point is to work with a real estate agent to boost your home’s buyer appeal. Check out these home-staging tips from experts across the country.

  1. Depersonalize and Neutralize

A home filled with someone else’s personal belongings and clutter can make potential buyers feel as though they are invading private space.

“Neutralizing the atmosphere encourages buyers to envision themselves living there,” says Leslie Cain with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in Carson City, Nevada. “Think of staging your home as an investment – it typically costs less than a first price reduction [if the home doesn’t sell].”

  1. Focus on Feature Rooms

Your real estate agent can help you see your home from the buyer’s eyes. Focus on the dining and living areas as well as the master bedroom.

“A common mistake is relocating clutter to closets – buyers will look there, too,” said Kathy Henne with RE/MAX Finest in Piqua, Ohio. “It’s best to move all unnecessary belongings out of the house and keep the space as sparsely furnished as possible. Once you have a cleared space, make sure to give it a deep cleaning.”

  1. Go Virtual

You want your home to be clean and decluttered, of course, but not having enough furniture can also be a problem, says Cynthia Fazzini with the Fazzini Group at RE/MAX Realtec Group in Palm Harbor, Florida.

“Since most potential homebuyers begin their home searches online, we often recommend digital staging to our clients with vacant homes,” said Fazzini. “Adding in furniture, artwork and rugs gives the home warmth and helps the buyer envision how the space can look with their belongings and decorations. We recently took on a new construction home that was vacant and had been on the market for six months with multiple price reductions. After digital staging, the house was under contract in seven days.”

How to Stage a House for Free: 7 Ideas That Don’t Cost a Dime

One of the most common mistakes sellers make is assuming they need to sink a bunch of money into home staging. Some choose the expensive route—swapping out their furniture and art at the behest of a hired professional home stager—but that’s not the only way to impress potential buyers.

“Everyone needs to stage their home to sell it efficiently,” says Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving. “But you do not need to spend a lot of money to stage your home.”

Want to get your house in tiptop shape without spending a dime? Follow these home staging ideas that are 100% free.

Source: Realtor.com

The 2019 Color of the Year Is…

Expect to see more coral hues in home design next year. Pantone, the corporation known for its paint forecasts, unveiled “Living Coral” as its 2019 Color of the Year. The color, an orange shade with golden undertones, embodies “warmth and comfort,” Pantone says.

Living Coral can make a bold statement as an accent color, and forecasters expect to see it in more shag rugs, cozy blankets, and upholstery to “create a warm, comforting, and nurturing feeling in the home.” “With its ebullient nature, Pantone’s Living Coral adds a dramatic pop of color to any room setting, whether in decorative accessories, tabletops, or on the wall,” Pantone said in a statement.

Living Coral succeeds Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. Other paint companies have been offering their picks for the 2019 Color of the Year. Behr chose a rich, bluish hue called “Blueprint,” while Sherwin-Williams chose “Cavern Clay,” a warm terra cotta color.

Source: Pantone

4 Ways to Get Your Fireplace Ready for Fall

Is there anything cozier than snuggling up beside the fireplace in fall? With the whisper of cool fall air, staying inside and watching the crackle of the fire in your favorite comfy spot is the only sensical move this season. The thought of fresh pumpkin spice everything, warm apple pies and a fuzzy blanket to curl up in is enough to get the firewood ready right now!

Before you start sipping on the cider, get your fireplace ready for fall with these four unique ideas from RE/MAX.

1. Add fire to your fireplace

Get creative! You can go as simple as a candle sitting on the mantel – to different sized candles in glass containers at different heights. The sparkle and the yummy scents will bring dimension, style and great smells to the room and help your fireplace feel like the epicenter of all things fall. Pro tip: try the Brown Sugar Chestnut Candle to get your house smelling extra nice for the season.

2. Signs are in!

You can’t go into a store today without seeing a customizable sign. Take a simple frame with slots for letters and spell out your favorite quote. Or, go a little deeper and get a chalk style board, adding your personal touch with handwriting and design. Add a family saying, your favorite verse from the song you can’t stop singing, or just a word of encouragement will lighten up the mantel and bring smiles all around.

3. Fall Flowers

Dress up your mantel with festive fall flowers. From the dollar store to a ritzy florist, you can find the orange, yellow and rustic brown hues you desire. Grab an old mason jar as a vase and start putting together the fall colored flower arrangement that is sure to grab any guest’s attention. Pro tip: string together some fake leaves and wrap them around the edge of the mantel to pull together the entire look!

4. Pumpkins, everywhere!

No fall mantel would be complete without a traditional pumpkin or 12 sitting strategically across the top. With fake fruit or real, the traditional look of a few beautiful orange pumpkins on the mantel captures the epitome of fall. Aside from pumpkins, is the idea of switching out the ordinary for a different, yet equally seasonal move. Change out the pumpkins for apples! A subtle switch can give your mantel the envy of neighbors.

If you or someone you know is in the market for a house that comes with the perfect fireplace to curl up next too, contact me. I’ll be happy to help!