How Smells Can Help Sell a Home Faster

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How Smells Can Help Sell a Home Faster

If you are selling your home, then you will inevitably have people coming to your house during viewings to decide what they think of the property. It is important that your home looks neat and tidy and is attractive in every way to any potential buyers. This includes the smell.

Research conducted by Eric Spangenberg, dean of the college of business at Washington State University, found that some of the more common scents estate agents may turn to when prepping a home can actually put home buyers off.

Many people would assume that scents such as fresh bread or incense would be attractive to home buyers, but actually these complex smells can be a real distraction to people viewing properties, as they end up subconsciously paying attention to the scents instead of the property itself.

There are also certain smells that work well if congruent with the home, for example if you are selling a beach house, then the smell of the sea would work very well, but it wouldn't fit in a town house. If you live in the countryside, the smell of hay bales would be a lovely addition, but for a city centre flat this would seem out of place.

Hunters Wetherby suggest 3 main things to remember when creating the perfect scent for your home:

Make it Simple

The study from Spangenberg found that simple smells sell.

A simple smell means that your brain is not likely to be overwhelmed and will therefore still be able to focus on the property that is being viewed. A home buyer should be focussing solely on whether they like the house they are looking round, not what the smell in the house is.

Whichever scent you use, make sure you limit it – less is more in this case.

Make Sure it's Pleasant

These is nothing worse than being hit by an unpleasant smell, if you have ever walked through the perfume aisle of a department store, you will know that a strong and intense smell will instantly make you cringe and want to walk in the opposite direction.

Scents should be pleasant but faint, so they don't take over your brain, but give a positive association to the house. If a scent is nice but not overpowering, the brain doesn't need to go into overdrive trying to pinpoint exactly what it is.

Make it Consistent

Once you have decided on the scent you want to represent your house with, you need to keep it consistent. Evaluate your home surroundings, the time of the year and the buyers you are looking to attract, then keep to the same scent in every room.

The scent needs to fit with the house and it's surrounding areas, while also complimenting the time of year (e.g. Don't use cinnamon in summer or fresh flowers in winter) and match the potential buyer – you don't want a feminine scent covering the property if you are trying to sell it to a group of guys.

The affects of aromas have always helped to subconsciously dictate the mind, so making sure you property smells right is really important.  Don't get sucked into the “baked cookie” theory of real estate scents, it may just put potential buyers off. If you don't know where to begin, try heading down the lemon and pine routes, these are always satisfying without becoming too overwhelming.

 

This is a guest post written by Cormac Reynolds

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Effective Solutions for Common Household Cleaning Problems

*This is a guest post by Christopher Wayne

If you are one of the many people that believe a general wipe down and occasional dusting is the best and easiest way to clean your home, you are sadly mistaken. There are so many germs and bacteria floating through your home, on what you would consider the most uncommon places.

You have dirty dishes around, grease splashes from cooking, the juice from raw meats that may have splashed, and other food items that have dropped around your home. This is a major problem in most homes, because it is the root of your family being sick. It is quite simple to effectively clean your home though using these following tips. You can also view more tips at Freshupcleaning.co.uk.

How to Clean Your Kitchen Sink Properly You would think your kitchen sink is the most well cleaned areas of your home, especially since you wash dishes in the sink daily. However, this is where food particles lay and bacteria grow from those food items left behind. You actually do not need abrasive cleaners, which may damage stainless steel and marble. Also, if you use bleach, it could get on other dishes you come in contact with. An easy way to disinfect and get up grime is using a paste made of baking soda and vinegar.

Start out with an empty sink and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over, including your faucet. Then, soak a sponge or cleaning towel in vinegar and clean away. You may want to use a toothbrush to scrub around the edges of the sink and faucet. Do not forget to clean the sink drain and garbage disposal flaps. Rinse everything away with clean water and wipe dry with a clean towel to dry.

Removing Pet Hair If you have pets, letting them get their way around the home seems natural. However, they easily get their hair over your bedding and couches. You can keep your home virtually hair free with your rubber cleaning gloves. Place a glove on and run water over the glove. Then, just wipe the furniture and the hair will stick to the glove. Discard the hair, wet the glove, and repeat until it is hair free.

Remove Stubborn Microwave Stains Cleaning the microwave is a difficult chore. If not kept up with, the food stains can dry and settle on the walls of your microwave and are almost impossible to clean. The easy method is to take a bowl of water and heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Allow it to sit in there for 5 minutes to steam up the microwave and loosen the food. You should be able to easily wipe away excess food and dirt.

Wipe Away Countertop Stains Spilling glasses of grape juice or Kool-Aid can leave ugly rings on your countertop. The most effective solution for this is rubbing alcohol. Gather a few paper towels and soak with the alcohol. Place it over the stain and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The stain will break down and wipe gently away.

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How to Attractively Stage your Home for Sale

*This is a guest post by Christopher Wayne There are two main types of home staging, occupied and vacant. In each, the idea is to place furniture and accent items strategically to make small spaces look larger and other areas of the home look functional. When you are staging a home, you want potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in the space and what any awkward rooms can be used for. Below are a few tips to help you with this process to sell your home faster. In today’s market, homes are sitting for sale for longer periods of time. Proper staging can help a home appear more attractive to potential buyers to help yours get sold faster.

An example of occupied home staging by Staged4more®

Occupied Home Staging When you are still living in your home and it has been placed for sale, it is a tough balance. It is ideal to obtain a storage unit and put any items that add clutter to the home into it. The idea is to only keep what is absolutely necessary for your everyday living within the home. The home must also be kept absolutely clean and decluttered at all times. That being said, it’s also time to organize cupboards and closets. Potential buyers are going to look in every drawer, cupboard and closet to see what fits where best.

Remove Personal Items Every family has items of importance; this includes photos, heirlooms and/or special pieces that have sentimental value. While they are a part of your family’s history it acts as a deterrent for potential buyers. Completely removing the photos from the home is not necessary though. Consider getting an ottoman or cedar chest as an item of décor for the home. Simply put personal items into those. Buyers are likely to leave those alone and not snoop. As soon as the showing is over, you can put them back up. Bedrooms should also be designed impersonally, meaning that themes should be put away and solid colors or simple patterns should be used. If you have children and they have themed rooms in colors such as pink or blue, or a distinctly painted theme, it is best to repaint.

Clear Clutter Put clutter away. Everything in the home has to have its own place. If you have far many more items than your family really needs, consider a yard sale. This will help to give you a little money for landscaping or other minor improvements to help the home show better. You should organize closet spaces and put excess items into storage with other items in your home.

Paint The rule of thumb used to be to paint every room in the home a neutral color. Times have changed a bit. Buyers are not afraid of color anymore and are happy to repaint if they don’t like your choices. It is ideal to make the home look warm and inviting without using bright colors on the walls. You can add pops of color elsewhere. This does not mean that you have to repaint every room in the home, just freshen up dull walls in rooms that are a common color and repaint rooms that may be unappealing to potential buyers.

An example of vacant home staging by Staged4more®

Vacant Home Staging When you have already moved out of your home, empty spaces are unattractive. If you are unable to leave some of the furnishings in the empty home for staging purposes, you have four options. You can use a rental service to furnish complete rooms or use a staging company. Another option is to purchase items from thrift stores or yard sales to use for staging purposes. Of course, you could leave the home empty if you really have no other options but it will be hard for potential buyers to imagine their items in a home sometimes.

Hire a Staging Service The concept of staging is to place furniture and accessories in rooms so that they look open and inviting. If you are unsure as to how to properly arrange furniture in a space, hire a staging company. These professionals are well aware of the tricks of the trade to make small spaces look bigger and how to properly place furniture so a room looks open, inviting and comfortable. Sometimes they may offer to bring in items to help the overall look of the home if your items are not sufficient. When it comes to sitting furniture, it should look clean and new, not old and worn. The staging company may suggest that slip covers be put over some of the furniture if it looks dated or overused in any way. It is their job to properly showcase each room in the home so that potential buyers can see what a good arrangement for furniture is and can replace your items with theirs in their minds.

Hire a Cleaning Service Hiring a cleaning service is a good idea. If you have already moved out of the home, it will still need to be cleaned once per week. Even with heating and cooling systems turned off and all of the windows closed, dust can still settle on surfaces. A home can also get a “closed up” smell that can be a turn off. If you need more extensive cleaning such as duct cleaning, carpet cleaning or other items that a general maid service cannot provide, you can view a good option (click here) to ensure that the home’s interior systems and main components are as clean as possible.

Staging a home can be a hard thing to do. If you live there, you don’t want to be without your favorite things. If you’ve already moved out, you don’t want to leave things behind. It is best to discuss the best solution for your situation with your realtor. Realtors often have items available that they can bring in to help stage the home also. Keep in mind that the exterior of a home must also look clean and presentable, this includes keeping the grass cut, flower beds maintained and touch up paint as best as you can.

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One-Day Upgrades with a Minimal Investment to Improve Your Flooring

You're busy enough as it is trying to sell your home, so you don't have a lot of time on your hands for improvements. But upgrading the flooring of a house can do a lot to boost its resale value. Here are some projects you can complete in just one day that will save you time and money as you attempt to floor your prospective buyers. shutterstock_130602158

Cork flooring  
The best cure for a hard and cold floor is a comfy cork upgrade. Cork gives your floor a much softer feel while remaining durable. With panels that snap together, it's much easier and faster to install than wood flooring and 100 percent renewable. It also has a great sound-deadening quality. Cork flooring comes in both tiles and planks. Until recently, the tiles had to be glued to the subfloor, but there is now an option to buy floating tiles that connect like planks.

Engineered wood planks 
 Nothing beats the warm feel and sleek look of wood floors, but it can be expensive and time-consuming to lay down the real thing. Instead, look into putting down engineered wood planks. They are either snapped or glued together rather than being nailed down, allowing you to put them down quickly over almost any type of surface. Another plus is that they are prefinished so you don't have to do any sanding.

Laminate flooring 
 Like engineered wood planks, laminate planks use tongues and grooves to snap together. They look like wood but are actually plastic and there are a multitude of wood-grain patterns to choose from. You can also get laminate squares, which are similar to ceramic tiles. Laminate flooring is much more resistant to scratches, fading and stains than wood.

Floating vinyl  
Floating vinyl sheets can be installed quickly and give you a wide variety of options when it comes to color and style. They are quite resilient, making for a great upgrade to laundry rooms and bathrooms and don't have to be stuck directly to the subfloor. The vinyl sheets come in 12-foot rolls or you can get 12-inch square tiles for even easier installation.

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Ceramic tiles  
Like vinyl tiles, these are perfect for rooms where the floor needs to be water resistant and allow you to customize the style.

Paint a checkerboard pattern  
If you don't have the money to refinish your floor, you can paint a checkered pattern with colors that give the room warmth and a fresh feel. Checkered patterns also make the room seem larger and more dynamic. Make sure you sand and clean the floor before applying coats of durable floor paint, and let each coat completely dry before adding the next one.

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Carpet squares  
You'll want to leave installing wall-to-wall carpeting to the professionals, but carpet squares can be easily and quickly put in on your own. They are about 20 square inches and come in a variety of colors and styles. You simply attach them to each other using adhesive dots on the bottom corners of each square with the sticky side facing up. This connects the carpet squares together without having them connect directly to the floor, allowing them to be easily taken up. This comes in handy if you get an irremovable stain since you don't have to replace the entire carpet, just the affected square.

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Rugs  
Adding a rug or two can go a long way in giving your floor space new life if you don't have the ability to do a complete floor overhaul.

Don't forget about your stairs  
An easy and quick installation to get someone looking at your home to stop and stare at your stairs is to put in a carpeted stair runner. It can add character to an otherwise bland staircase. You just need some double-sided carpet tape and a staple gun to lay the carpet runner down. It can be a bit trickier if you're dealing with winding stairs, but still doable for a novice.

Do you have any other ideas for one-day floor improvements?

Today's Home Staging Tip Guest Post is by Chris Long: Since 2000, Chris Long has been an on-the-floor store associate at a Home Depot in the Chicago suburbs. Chris contributes DIY advice on hardwood floors and tile for the Home Depot website. He also provides tips on carpeting and rugs for the website.

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New Year, New Logo, WOOHOO!

When we first started...

then...

and then...

2014!

It's been quite a journey this past (almost) 8 years. We are happy to ring in the new year with a brand new logo! As our company evolves, we hope to continue to provide great design and visual for our clients and community.

Cheers!

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Updating the Art in Your Home

245188451_7ddbee1bfb_o When you are trying to update the art in your home it is important that you consider a great many elements that might come into play to craft the look that you were going for. Art can help anyone to make a unique statement and there are special pieces out there that can help you to deliver any sort of message right from your walls using your own personal style. However, once you begin to explore all of the different art choices that are out there, you will see that it can get a bit overwhelming if you do not have some clear ideas in mind.

The term art can represent a lot of things. While most people think that it applies merely to drawings and paintings, it can cover everything from photography to sculpture. Even some practical items such as furniture can be regarded as art and so, when you decide to build or reinvent the interior of a room, it is important that you look at every element as a special piece that can bring something to liven up the presence of the entire room.

One thing that you do need to think about when you are deciding on art to put in any room is what kind of work that you will use to tie all of the other elements together. This is crucial because it will take a very special and unique sort of piece in order to do this. You will want to have an idea that brings all of the elements of traditional style art, photography, and typography together. This is why you should consider using framed letter art in order to accomplish this end.

The idea of framed letter art is a simple one. Built in a beautiful frame will be a specialized mat with individual pictures inside; each one encompassing a letter to form a word or phrase. The kicker is that each of these letters will be comprised of a photo that creates the look of that letter through something abstracted either from nature or human hands. The crook of a tree branch could look like a V for example or an embellishment on a gate might look like an S or an M. By taking all of these abstract letters and putting them together in order to form a word, you will wind up with a very special piece of unique art for the wall.

There are even companies out there that will allow you to customize the word or phrase that you want to say. In this way, you will never feel like you have to be stuck with a group of already picked out words and phrases. You can simply type in what you want and have the opportunity to create your art to look exactly the way that you were hoping it would.

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To help you further customize your new wall art, you can even customize the pictures used for each letter. There will be several choices for every letter in the alphabet each one being represented by a different item. This way, if you want a word spelled out to look a particular way, it will be easy for you to accomplish this.

Purchasing this type of art will allow you to spend a lot less than you would if you were buying an original painting, drawing, or sculpture. Despite this, it will be a lot more meaningful because you will have been the one that picked out not just the words themselves, but the components that went into creating each letter. You will find few artistic concepts out there that can offer a touch quite this personal.

This type of artwork can even make a spectacular gift for someone special. Whether you hope to offer something nice for a birthday, Christmas or Hanukah, Valentine’s Day, a wedding, graduation, or anniversary, you can bet that your love and thoughtfulness will come across in a gift like this. If there is a word that reminds you of a particular person, either because they say it often or because of their deeds, then you will have everything that you need to provide a thoughtful and lasting present.

Why letter art? Well, it is a unique way to personalize your home to your style. It let’s your guests know you take pride in your home. It is a proactive way to customize your home in a modern style, which can bring more creative ideas to your home. Perhaps it will inspire you to create your own letter art.

At the end of the day, it takes a special piece of art to make a room feel complete and a house feel like home. Framed letter art can help you or a loved one easily achieve this. Any home bearing pieces of art such as this will surely shine brighter.

Today's post is a guest post written by Brooke Brown.

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Contemporary-What? Your Guide to Making Sense of Design Styles



If you’ve ever shopped for furniture online, especially for a couch or rug, you've probably seen the familiar list of categories to narrow in on, like the one below for Macy's rug page. At this point, you probably pause and think something along the lines of, “Wait… is it modern I’m looking for or contemporary? What is the difference anyway?” Screen_Shot_2013-12-25_at_1_13_10_PM

If this dilemma sounds all too familiar, then you’re not alone. There are a lot of terms that get thrown around with interior design; some of them are so similar that they’re practically indistinguishable, while others are actually subgroups of bigger design styles.

Get this tangle of terms straightened out! Read on for a quick run-down of the major design styles (pictures included!) and how they influence today’s trends.

Traditional

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According to Design Shuffle, the traditional style uses the antique furnishings, rich colors and symmetrical room layouts first created in 17th-19th century European and American designs. Formal in feel, traditional rooms are very balanced and often use pairs of chairs, lamps, or tables. Another characteristic element of the style is the use of detailed ornamentation; nail head trim, crown molding, button tufting, and other finishing touches are used lavishly. These details are often used in original and innovative contexts in the other design styles. Designers to Know: John Fowler, Michael S. Smith, Mark Hampton

Modern

modern

The Modern Style took the first step away from the ornateness and formality of the styles that came before it. It technically encompasses a lot of smaller movements, including art deco and art modern. After mid-century modern exploded on the scene, clean lines and industrial materials became the face of the modern style. Open space, bare windows, and white-walled rooms are dotted with molded plastic, leather, chrome, and glass furniture to create the bare, serene feel of modernity. Designers to Know: Mies Van Der Rohe, Karim Rashid

Mid-Century Modern

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According to Design Shuffle, Mid-Century Modern is characterized by simple, clean lines and organic forms and textures, and is the most popular manifestation of the Modern Style. Especially associated with American and Scandinavian design, the style features a lot of walnut, teak, chrome, and stainless steel. Many famous pieces of furniture emerged from the period, including the Saarinen Tulip Table and the Eames Lounge Chair, and they’re still wildly popular today. Designers to Know: Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Eileen Gray

Contemporary

contemporary

Contemporary Style is sometimes confused with modern style, but, according to Relish Interiors, contemporary is defined as design that’s of-the-moment, whereas modern refers to 20th century designs. Anything that is innovative falls under this catch-all label, but there are certain trends that can be identified; contemporary styling often uses unexpected materials like cardboard, resins, or reclaimed wood. They often continue along the same lines as modernism by using lots of space and making simple, bold arrangements. However, contemporary designs sometimes borrow the organic lines, details, and materials of past styles as well. Designers to Know: Sir Terence Conran, Philippe Starck, Michael Graves

Transitional

transitional

According to Interior Design Pro, Transitional Style blends contemporary and traditional designs into a harmonious look. Classic furniture shapes and styles are often mixed with current materials and finishes; for example, an antique Louis chair might be reupholstered in a graphic print. Occasionally this formula is reversed, and contemporary furnishings are given a traditional fabric treatment. Another popular variation on the style is mixing traditional furniture with bold, modern art. Designers to Know: Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Nate Berkus

Eclectic

eclectic

Eclectic Style is very similar to transitional style, except that it borrows from any and all styles to achieve a diverse mélange of other looks. For example, an eclectic living room might feature antique portraiture, French country side chairs, a modern rug, and Chinoiserie cabinets. The style is prevented from being too chaotic by using similar colors, shapes, or textures throughout. Designers to Know: Sheila Bridges, Kelly Wearstler

After the long supremacy of the still-popular Modern style, many designers have rejected the cold and impersonal feel that a completely modern design has been known to create. So while it certainly still has its place in the interior design world, it’s Eclectic and Transitional styles that are really in their heyday. Designers are incorporating elements of history in their work, but in fresh new ways that mingle with innovative concepts, materials, and construction. This adds a lot visual interest that couldn’t be achieved with a “pure” style from times past. By combining the ergonomic science of modern design with the softness of traditional materials, designers are creating livable homes that are as functional as they are interesting and beautiful.

All photos via Shutterstock

Today's post was a guest blog by Alyssa Ennis.

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Fresh Paint Can Help You Stage Your Home for Sale

painting-tools Years ago, the word staging was a theatrical term rarely heard outside of Broadway. But today, with the real estate market in the doldrums, “staging” has come to Main Street, where it is often a key ingredient in selling a home.

Staging is realtor shorthand for the “theatre” needed to put the best possible face on your home. It means de-cluttering, keeping things well-maintained, and often, doing some painting.

If you’re about to put your home on the market, consider where you might paint to create a better first impression of your home. In doing so, pay particular attention to the first things potential buyers will see.

The starting point for your staging should be the front door. Everyone who checks out your home will come face to face with the door and will likely be standing there for a minute or two while your realtor fumbles with the key.

Does your door bespeak a home that’s well-maintained? If not, you should repaint it pronto. The project can be completed in just a few hours, and it will greatly enhance the first impression of your home.

What about your foyer? Don’t have one? Then evaluate the condition of the first room prospective buyers will see when they walk in. Whether it’s an entrance hall or some other room, the initial glimpse of the interior is critically important when showing a home, so the space should be inviting, not off-putting.

If these rooms are painted in an unconventional color, if they have loud or grimy wallpaper, or even if they’re just in need of freshening up, it will be well worth the effort to paint these areas. Choose a neutral-colored paint that would appeal to virtually anyone, an off-white or light taupe, for example. The idea is to show off the rooms and allow would-be buyers to imagine their own furnishings in the space.

Speaking of space, white or light-colored paint can work magic by creating the illusion that your home is bigger than its physical dimensions. This is true for your walls, and for ceilings, too. Small rooms and low ceilings “open up” visually when painted white or another very light color. And nearly everyone wants as much space as possible.

Although semi-gloss and gloss paints have a lot going for them, it’s best to avoid reflective finishes when painting walls and ceilings just prior to sale. A flat finish will do a better job of concealing imperfections in these surfaces. (Read: Less fix-up required.)

Assuming that your house is one of the special ones that feature interesting architectural elements, you can use contrasting paint color to showcase these details so that no one misses them. Let’s say the walls of your den are painted dark green – you could show off a stylish fireplace surround by painting it white. You could likewise highlight built-in cabinets, bookshelves, or elaborate crown molding.

If you’re about to put your home on the market, you’ll need every edge you can muster in order to get the “Sold” sign placed on your front lawn, rather than your neighbor’s. One of the best ways to do that is with a fresh coat of paint!

About The Author: Debbie Zimmer is editor-in-chief of the Paint Quality Institute blog. She's a widely cited authority on color, use of paints in interior and exterior design, and decorative painting techniques. She can be found on Twitter as @PaintQualityIns.

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Last year around this time...

I was doing some year end inbox cleaning and found this golden nugget from the good folks of Freshbook (from Toronto, Canada!) when their crew came and visited our warehouse/studio last December. when Freshbooks visits Staged4more

This photo is a great reminder that our business is built by many people, not just the founder, the owners, employees and clients, but the energetic vendors that make our business run smoothly as well.

I want to wish everyone a happy holidays and a prosperous new year!!

merry xmas!

Cheers, Cindy Boss lady @ Staged4more

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Exterior Home Care for the Fall Season

This article was written by Jane Kennedy from the Comfree real estate network. She writes about home care and staging tips for their advice blog. staged1 Image courtesy of Bob Vila

Each and every fall season, your home goes through changes in weather conditions as well as weather temperatures. You will need to take part in some seasonal maintenance during this time of year so that your home components run smoothly and so that you can avoid costly repairs down the road. Here are some tips for the exterior of your home for the fall season.

Fight Snowmold Snowmold shows up on your lawn in the spring when the snow melts. It is the most common cause of lawn disease. During the winter months, the lawn is covered with snow with very little air or sun exposure. Snowmold forms slowly and leaves grass brown in color.

Aerate Lawn The process of aerating is punching small holes throughout your lawn. This process loosens up tighten dirt, reduces thatch and makes room for water and nutrients to get into the grass. Aerating as well as over seeding is the best way, according to experts, to reduce compaction, revitalize growth and fill up bare spots in your lawn. You can either use a power or manual yard aerator.

Examine Roof and Gutters The roof is one of the most forgotten parts of the home to inspect. This is because home roofs are not at eye level so we walk past our home many times without giving the roof a second look. In the fall, you will need to do some roof maintenance to get it ready for the winter months. This maintenance includes clearing all the leaves, pine needles and other debris from the roof as well as the gutters. Check the downspouts for any loose pieces or damages. If you have skylights, be sure to check them for leaks.

Check for Drafts Most of the conditioned air in the home escapes through windows and doorways. You will need to walk through your home and open each window to check the seal and caulking around the frame. If you have windows that may be a bit drafty, consider adding heavy drapes to block some air infiltration. You may also want to consider replacing the weather stripping around the outside doors of the home in order to stop drafts. Other places in your home to inspect for air leaks include outlets, switches and floor registers.

staged2 Image courtesy of Nahb

Clean and Store Outdoor Furniture Once you have closed up the pool for the season, you will need to take care of your outdoor furniture as well. Power all your summer furniture as well as cushions. After everything is dried, be sure that you store cushions in an area that is dry. This is to prevent fading and cracking. Once spring comes back around, your outdoor furniture will be ready for summer use.

Scrub Home Exterior The goal of washing and scrubbing the outside of your home is to not only make it look great but also to prevent mold and mildew from growing. All that is needed for this project is a heavy duty power washer. One word of caution is that you don’t want to power wash vinyl since this can cause it to bend and allow water to get behind it.

Repair Driveway and Walkway If you have even the tiniest cracks or gaps in your driveway or walkway, if left untreated these can rapidly expand during the cold, winter months. You may want to consider hiring the service of a professional to be sure that the cracks and gaps are repaired correctly.

Service Winter Equipment Drain gas from your lawnmowers. Be sure that snow blowers are serviced and tuned up. Replace snow shovels that are damaged or broken. Make sure all summer equipment is cleaned, dried and stored for the cold months ahead. Have plenty of sand bags handy as well as ice melt and be sure ice choppers are nice and sharp.

Examine Foundation Be sure that all debris and vegetation is raked away from the home's foundation. Seal up any entry points to prevent small critters from getting access to underneath the home. Seal any cracks in the foundation so that mice cannot get in. Also, be sure entrances to crawlspaces are secured. Inspect sill plates for pest infestation and dry rot.

staged3 Image courtesy of Meredith

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Staging the Home for Fall

fall-entry-032D-0609 The clocks have been set back, it is dark earlier and the days are getting shorter. The weather has cooled and the leaves are turning vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. Fall is definitely in the air. With the holidays nearly upon us, many homeowners want to create a warm and cozy feel with their home décor. It’s time to close out the long, hot summer and welcome in the warmth and comfort of the fall season by sprucing up your home.

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The Entryway Setting the stage with a welcoming mood begins on the front porch and continues inside the front door. The first impression a person gets when they approach and enter your home is made at the front door and entryway so these spaces are essential when staging your home for fall.

A fall wreath made with rich autumn colors is perfect for enhancing the front door. A wide variety of wreath styles, colors and sizes can be found at area craft stores or you can try your hand at creating your own fall wreath. Visit Pinterest for inspiration. Another welcome addition to an entryway or front porch is a classic bench. It provides a place to sit and relax as well as a place to display fall décor such as pumpkins, gourds, or a pot of beautiful fall mums. An easy to clean entry rug right inside the front door is useful in protecting your floors in a high traffic area and is also perfect for sprucing up your entryway. If you have an entry table, consider decorating it with a vase of attractive branches, a bowl of pinecones or a beautiful fall floral arrangement.

The Dining Room The fall is typically a time that marks the beginning of numerous family traditions, especially big gatherings and meals together. Adorning your dining room table with a fall colored tablecloth and napkins is a stylish way to instantly create a fall atmosphere. This enhances enjoyable times among family and friends. A centerpiece cornucopia filled with gourds, fruits, leaves or flowers is a perfect symbol of a traditional Thanksgiving. Simple and organic elements will add a feeling of warmth and charm to your house.

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The Fireplace If your home has a fireplace then you have an ideal opportunity to draw attention to this inviting focal point. Who doesn’t love to curl up next to a warm fire on a chilly day? Rather than leaving your fireplace an empty black void, stack birch logs in the fireplace or arrange an odd number of pillar candles inside the fireplace to create a warm ambiance.

The Family Room & Bedrooms Fabrics are a great way to create a cozy feel throughout your home. In the family room and bedrooms, replace light summer fabrics, blankets and pillows with deeper shades of purples, reds and crimsons. Wool, chenille, cashmere and velvet are all popular cool weather fabrics. Toss a luxurious throw over a chair to easily add a touch of warmth and color.

Bring some of the outdoors indoors. Nothing brightens up a home quite like fresh flowers. Sunflowers and mums are great choices for fall because they typically retain their lovely appearance for over a week. To keep blooms looking their best, remove any leaves below the waterline and replace the water every few days. Small vases of flowers and colorful foliage can be placed throughout the house including on bedside tables.

Now that summer is over and the school routine is firmly in place, it is the perfect opportunity to prepare your home’s interior for the upcoming holiday festivities.

* Photos courtesy of designer/architect #592-032D-0609 and #592-055D-0215

Bio: Jennifer has over 5 years of writing experience with various blogs.  As a mother of 2 boys and a previous Language Arts teacher, Jennifer certainly puts her creative energy to good use.  She has spent the past several years researching and writing on a variety of topics from Vincent van Gogh to the health benefits of fruit including one that’s near and dear to her heart, home improvement.  In addition, Pinterest has become a great source of experimental inspiration in trying to create a dream home for her family.

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Hiring Styling/ Display Intern + Marketing Intern!

It's that time of the year again and we are hiring interns for the next quarter/semester. If you know anyone who may be a great fit, please send them our way! Hiring Display & Styling Intern! Job Title: Display + Styling Intern Reports to: Owner/ Manager

Position Summary: This is a great opportunity to learn how to style interiors and the world of props and display building, which is an important foundation if you ever considered becoming an interior stylist or display artist. In additions, you will see behind the scenes of small business ownership and entrepreneurship. A major part of the internship for this season will be focusing on digital archiving our prop house, as well as retiring old inventory to make room for new ones. This may seem like a mundane task but it is crucial to our success.

Why work for us? In additions to industry awards and amazing press like the Wall Street Journal, our company encourages personal and professional growth of our team members and is constantly trying to do new things in the market. It is an exciting time in the company to grow and we are excited to invite you to join us! The Styling Intern’s work span across a variety of weekly responsibilities, including and not limited to front and back studio admin tasks, facilities upkeep, stock/inventory maintenance, supportive roles to supervisors, staging installation prep and breakdown, shipping retail items and other projects as requested.

Measures of Success Able to follow and execute directions in clear, precise manner. Able to take performance feedbacks, improve and not feel defensive. Able to communicate clearly and deal with emotional, high pressure situations. Able to resolve problems that may come up in day-to-day operations or on job site. Abilities to perform schedule-driven responsibilities with attention to details.

Duties: Organizing, labeling, cleaning and maintaining inventory in the warehouse Learn how to handle props, install artwork, style props and furnishing Some administrative tasks Warehouse and furniture organization Assist Managers on projects, may be brought on site for hands on work. Learn how to pack the inventory properly and prep for jobs Depending on the week, we may be live staging, wrapping projects, prepping in the warehouse, display building, so every shift may be very different!

Expectations: MUST BE A CURRENT STUDENT in good standing with the school You must be able to work in teams or on your own Being a team player is a must Ability to lift 50lbs Interests in prop styling, interior styling, home staging, displays or similar fields High level of accuracy, attention to detail and ability to prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment Basic construction skills in installing artwork, etc preferred Ability to travel to our warehouse in an industrial area (limited public transportation) and to our job sites (may or may not have public transportation access) Ability to use ladders, drills, box cutter and other miscellaneous tools Ability to communicate clearly and professionally with lead stylist on site and associates High level of ownership, accountability and initiative

Perks: School credit Recommendation (based on performance) Possible paid Associate position after internship (based on performance) Employee discount on merchandise Possible educational field trip

TO APPLY: NO PHONE CALLS, please send a cover letter and resume to the email address jobs@staged4more.com. Please use “STYLING INTERN APPLICATION” for your email subject heading. If you pass the paper cut, we will follow up within 1-3 business days.

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Hiring Marketing Intern! Job Title: Marketing Intern Reports to: Owner/ Manager

The Marketing Internship will allow you to see the day to day and behind of the scenes of running a small business. Although our company’s core services is in styling interiors and now expanding into commercial spaces, our business also does e-commerce, product development and expanding/testing waters into different arenas. You will be assisting the Owner/ Manager in creating campaigns in social media, as well as traditional outreach such as newsletter, new business development, updating website portfolio, product marketing, cold calling. The internship is 1 day a week in our South San Francisco studio. We also will try to do a field trip per quarter like a gift show, etc. for educational purposes.

Duties: Organizing, labeling, cleaning and maintaining our digital “inventory,” i.e. our web presence, as well as electronic files in the office Assist in creating, executing and maintaining marketing campaigns for 2014 Some administrative tasks Some file organization Participating in re-developing our company website Processing photos, selecting photos for websites Other marketing tasks

You will learn about: CRM Auto-responders Website management SEO e-Commerce strategies Product development Traditional marketing v. Social marketing Social media campaigns Branding Newsletter management Networking and possibly more

We are doing interviews for potential interns for this and upcoming quarter weekly, if you are interested please apply. We see interviews as mutual interviews. While we are evaluating if you will be a good fit for our company, this is also an opportunity for you to see if this is for you. You will be expected to work as a test to see how well you do so we can access your skill levels. Similarly, you can get a taste what you will be expected to do during your internship. The interview will run about half an hour to an hour.

Expectations: MUST BE A CURRENT STUDENT You must be able to work in teams or on your own Organized, have a clear vision of what you want and able to communicate it. Interests in graphic design, web design, business development, marketing and branding or product development High level of accuracy, attention to detail and ability to prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment Ability to travel to our warehouse in an industrial area (limited public transportation). Proficient in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and web research Wordpress knowledge is great, but not required. Ability to communicate clearly and professionally with supervisor and others High level of ownership, accountability and initiative

Perks: School credit Recommendation (based on performance) Possible hire as freelance graphic artist for the company (based on performance) Employee discount on merchandise Potential educational field trip

TO APPLY: NO PHONE CALLS, please send a cover letter and resume to the email address jobs@staged4more.com. Please use “MARKETING INTERN APPLICATION” for your email subject heading. If you pass the paper cut, we will follow up within 1-3 business days.

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Union Square Ice Rink!

We recently completed the decoration of Union Square Ice Rink! Here is the project by numbers:

3 weeks project lead time 1600+ ornaments installed 600+ feet of garlands Team of 10 200 installation hours One ice rink decorated!!!

It was an incredible honor to do this project and we hope you like it! The ice rink is now open until Jan 20, 2014!

Here are the installation photos:


Other than commercial spaces, we decorate homes as well! If you are interested in having your shop, retail space, restaurant or homes decorated for the holiday, please contact us at hello@staged4more.com.

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Custom Halloween Display + Installation!

We just completed custom Halloween displays for 4 restaurants in the bay area, plus their sister restaurant in Houston, TX. It was super fun! For this project, we hand cut 270 paper bats for the wall installations. In additions, we sourced props for refinishing based on client's inspiration photos and requests. We handpainted 20 pumpkins in black and white, then hand stenciled and painted individual pumpkin to say "Trick or Treat" or "Beware." To stencil and paint on uneven surface was pretty tricky, but we thought the results turned out great!

We also made 50 custom black glitter skulls. We found 50 life size replica human skulls (used for medical studies!). Painted them black, spray spray adhesive onto them and then coated them generously with black glitter. (And then repeat this process FIVE times!) After all the glitter are set, we sprayed an additional coat (or two) of finishing spray to finish.

Here are the installation photos:

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Our Home to House Online Shop is now Open! 20% Off Storewide Sale!

We are very excited to unveil the online shop that we have been working on. The shop site contains a lot of home staging accessories and fun items that we use in our studio that we think would be fun in your home as well. We are in the process of adding some of our retired inventory as well, like artwork, rugs, etc. So stay tuned for more! To celebrate the launch, we are offering a 20% off store wide sale! Use YL74PP5U3KC coupon code when you check out. Offer ends at midnight, 10/31/13!

To start shopping, click on "shop" on the upper right hand corner of this page.

hometohouse screen shot

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Decorating Your Home on A Budget

South San Francisco Home Staging

Today's guest post is written by Selena Marimba

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean your end result will show it. It’s all in how you spend those budgeted dollars that will determine your outcome. A splash of color here, a creative solution there, a re-furbished flea market find over there, and a grouping of inexpensive wall art on a focal wall and viola − you decorated your home on a reasonable budget.

Pop of Color
Wall paint is the least expensive and most impacting thing you can use when decorating your home. Use a bold color somewhere in each room to tie the room’s décor together. Pull a bold color from a favorite item in the room, like an area rug, throw pillow, or painting, then use that bold paint color on one accent wall or wall trim for that pop of color every room needs. If you’re really adventurous, paint the entire room a bright bold color and use that paint color elsewhere in the home to create a flow as you move from room to room. Remember, paint isn’t just for walls − paint the ceiling, a chair, mantle, or side tables for a budget-friendly room or furniture update.

Use Creative Solutions
Re-purposing items is great way to help stretch your home decorating budget farther. Take a walk through your home and look at pieces from a new perspective. You’ll be able to creatively solve a storage or decorating problem without spending big bucks. An old night stand can be transformed into a side table; a dresser can become a dining room sideboard or entryway storage. An old book shelf is perfect for new bathroom storage shelves. The kitchen and attic (or basement) are typically the best places to find items to re-purpose. If you need more lighting, anything can be transformed into a lamp with an inexpensive lamp kit. Be willing to experiment and think outside the box.

Hit the Flea Market
Take your dollars to a local flea market and trade them in for household treasures. Anything you could imagine (and some things you never imagined) can be found at flea markets for a fraction of what they cost new. Browse early on Saturday mornings for the best home furnishing selections or late Sunday afternoon for the best deals. You’ll find everything from curtains, curtain rods, and finials to sofas, rugs, and the kitchen sink, all at bargain prices. Keep your eyes peeled for unusual items that can be re-purposed for use in your home décor.

Fun Wall Art
Wall art can be as inexpensive as colorful pages cut from a magazine, framed, and hung together as a grouping on one focal wall. The designer trick to this wall art tip is to make groupings of similar things or colors. Mount and frame grandma’s dollies or handkerchiefs and hang them in an eye-pleasing grouping as sentimental, inexpensive wall art. Create a grouping display of your child’s sports awards and pictures or dry some blooms from your flower garden and display them in a group of shadow boxes.

Use the same display grouping tip for table tops, shelves, and mantels. A group of anything similar will beckon the eye and add interest to a room, even a grouping of antique cheese graters or milk glasses, and the cost will come in under budget when used to decorate your home on a budget.

Selena Marimba is an entrepreneur who writes articles on hiking, thrifting, organization, budgeting, and earning her project management degree online.

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Interior Styling Tip: Art Collections as the Focal Point

Today's post is a guest blog from Mari at Arcadian Home blog. Hello, everyone! It's Mari here from Arcadian Home blog, a fabulous place to find lots of decorating inspirations, including wall art and all sorts of lovely lighting fixtures from grand chandeliers to mini pendant lights. I'm so happy to be visiting with you today at Staged4more with a guest post about art collections as focal points.

I've pulled together eight images that beautifully illustrate some of the myriad of possibilities for displaying art collections, both large and small, in just about any space. Hopefully you'll be inspired to create your very own captivating focal points. Please enjoy!

Art Collection

A glimpse of what's to come inside this home, an interesting and eclectic art collection is given a place of honor in the foyer. A low table, architectural elements, books and rustic planter box filled with wildflowers anchors the gallery wall.

Art Collection

A staircase wall is a wonderful place to display art. Here, a diverse collection of paintings and prints can be studied and enjoyed each time the stairs are climbed.

Art Collection

This diverse collection of vintage artwork is perfectly suited to an eclectic dining room. A small ornate chandelier was chosen, but a larger modern pendant light would also work well playing off the acrylic ghost chair.

Art Collection

A treasured collection of antique maps set in narrow gold frames is beautifully displayed on the wall behind a baby grand piano.

Art Collection

Chic and colorful, this gray and yellow space sports a lively gallery of small artwork in sleek black frames. Though different in size, matching frames give a cohesive look to this eclectic collection.

Art Collection

A gallery wall of black and white photographic art is stunning in this eclectic bath. I also love the little collection of glass, dark clawfoot table and color at the door.

Art Collection

A coastal cottage gets its own display of watery artwork. Ocean hues in the paintings look lovely with blues in the textiles and table decor.

Art Collection

At the back door, Australian designer Anna Spiro's trellis wallpaper in vivid blue on white is a lovely background for this collection of vintage artwork. It's an unexpected place for a gallery wall that works beautifully. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these art collection possibilities? Leave us some comments below and be sure to stop by our website for more home decor, lighting, and interior inspirations each day!

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Hiring Styling Intern!

Job Title: Styling Intern Dept: Operations Reports to: General Manager

Position Summary:

This is a great opportunity to learn how to style interiors and the world of furniture and props, which is an important foundation if you ever considered becoming an interior stylist or stager. In additions, you will see behind the scenes of small business ownership and entrepreneurship.

A major part of the internship for this season will be focusing on digital archiving our prop house, as well as retiring old inventory to make room for new ones. This may seem like a mundane task but it is crucial to our success.

Why work for us? In additions to industry awards and amazing press like the Wall Street Journal, our company encourages personal and professional growth of our employees and is constantly trying to do new things in the market. It is an exciting time in the company to grow and we are excited to invite you to join us!

The Styling Intern’s work span across a variety of weekly responsibilities, including and not limited to front and back studio admin tasks, facilities upkeep, stock/inventory maintenance, supportive roles to supervisors, staging installation prep and breakdown, shipping retail items and other projects as requested.

Measures of Success Able to follow and execute directions in clear, precise manner. Able to take performance feedbacks, improve and not feel defensive. Able to communicate clearly and deal with emotional, high pressure situations. Able to resolve problems that may come up in day-to-day operations or on job site. Abilities to perform schedule-driven responsibilities with attention to details.

Duties: Organizing, labeling, cleaning and maintaining inventory in the warehouse Learn how to handle props, install artwork, style props and furnishing Some administrative tasks Warehouse and furniture organization Assist Associates and Lead Stylist on home staging projects Learn how to pack the inventory properly and prep for jobs Learn how to touch up damaged floors and furniture Learn how to accessorize and style interiors

Depending on the week, we may be live staging, wrapping projects or prepping in the warehouse, so every shift may be very different!

Expectations: MUST BE A CURRENT STUDENT in good standing with the school You must be able to work in teams or on your own Being a team player is a must Ability to lift 50lbs Interests in prop styling, interior styling, home staging or similar fields High level of accuracy, attention to detail and ability to prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment Basic construction skills in installing artwork, etc preferred Ability to travel to our warehouse in an industrial area (limited public transportation) and to our job sites (may or may not have public transportation access) Ability to use ladders, drills, box cutter and other miscellaneous tools Ability to communicate clearly and professionally with lead stylist on site and associates High level of ownership, accountability and initiative

Perks: School credit Recommendation (based on performance) Possible paid Associate position after internship (based on performance) Employee discount on merchandise Educational field trip

TO APPLY: NO PHONE CALLS, please send a cover letter and resume to the email address jobs@staged4more.com. Please use “STYLING INTERN APPLICATION” for your email subject heading. If you pass the paper cut, we will follow up within 1-3 business days.

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Modern Tiburon Home Sold $300,000 Overasking!

We staged this property a few months ago and was very happy to hear from our clients that they had gotten such a great price on their property at their first open house! It was a really fun project, we've always wanted to work on a modern home. This particular project is an occupied staging. Although the home owner was living there, there were still a few key pieces of furniture missing. When we first visited, there were no formal living room furniture nor dining room furniture. One of the spare bedroom also didn't have a bed in it. In additions to adding furnishing in needed room, we also advised homeowner what to do to get their homes ready for sale. On installation day, we styled the interiors with live plants, home accessories and art work.

Here are some of the numbers about the home:

$2,499,888 Status: Sold for 2,800,000 Beds: 5 MLS#: 81319051 Baths: 4&1/2 List Date: 05/29/2013 Sqft: 3,390 sqft DOM: 5 days $/Sqft: $737/sqft Lot Size: 14,022


If you’d like more information about our luxury home staging, Hillsborough home staging or model home staging services, please contact us at 650-383-SOLD (7653) or email us at hello@staged4more.com to request an in-home estimate.

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San Bruno Home Staging: Recently Staged: 1745 Park Avenue San Bruno

We recently staged 1745 Park Avenue San Bruno. The home went through quite a transformation! The contractor ripped out its original stained carpet, changed the dirty blinds, and repainted the house. Here is a photo of the before and after:

Information about the listing: Charming house in desirable Mills Park area. Spacious living room w/ fireplace & recessed lighting, formal dining room, bright kitchen, updated bathroom. Dual pane windows, hardwood floors - just a little TLC needed to make this an ideal home. Huge backyard perfect to develop into your dream garden, additional entertaining space and more. Close to shopping, transportation, parks and more!

Listing Price: $699,000 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, 1,190 Sq. Ft.

Here are the after photos, courtesy of Listing Agent Jean Joh:


If you’d like more information about our vacant home staging, San Bruno home staging or model home staging services, please contact us at 650-383-SOLD (7653) or email us at hello@staged4more.com to request an in-home estimate.

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