Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Designed to Sell

In July of last year, I started a business as a Professional Organizer. Recently, I completed my first “home staging” job and thought you might like to see the results.

Home Staging is a relatively new area in real estate. Home Staging involves decluttering, de-personalizing and organizing your home to show off it’s best features while eliminating the negatives. More often than not, this involves doing much needed repairs along with painting and cleaning. Most people don’t know where to start and that’s where a home stager comes in. Examples of a home stager might be: an Interior Designer, a Professional Organizer or a Real Estate Professional.

Recently, I was called to this home to assist the seller. The seller was recently divorced and the husband had removed most of the furniture and left the home with many needed repairs. She had a few real estate professionals who advised her to sell the home “as is”. I had met this client to help her organize her home office and I mentioned that this home could be fixed up and that she could get a lot more money. I’ve always had the ability to take the worst room or house and see it’s “potential”. In this case, I think it turned out quite nice.

Let the Staging Begin

For this client, I helped her declutter, organize, created a space plan for the furniture, and selected a color palette for each room. We agreed on a budget and I shopped for each room. In addition, I organized all of the kitchen cabinets and placed labels on every one as an added feature for a buyer. No more moving in and not knowing where to put anything!

The Kitchen

"Before" Pictures

"After" Pictures

These are the "after" pictures of the kitchen. The baseboards and moldings have been repaired and painted white. The floor has been updated. I made custom valences and drapes to go over the window and patio doors. I found a striped tablecloth at Target that tied in the kitchen and living room colors so I decided to use it and make the drapes and valences. I don't sew so I managed to make them all by using the finished edges of the tablecloths and then used an iron on mending tape. I measured precisely and then matched the stripes so the "repeat" was correct, much like you would do if you were hanging wallpaper. I made both window treatments, napkins and the kitchen towel that is hanging on the stove. I stayed within the household budget by doing all of the window treatments, curtain rods, rings, wood for the valences and "L" brackets for $65. You can see part of the window treatments below. I had to close the patio door drapes in order to take the pictures since the outside light was so bright. I added a matching cotton rug and fresh tulips to complete the staging. In the plant window, (I don't have an "after" picture of that.) I purchased some white pots from IKEA and planted an herb in each pot. I thought perhaps a buyer who likes to cook, might want to have their herbs in the kitchen and cook with them. I know I'd like that since I love to cook with fresh herbs.

The Living Room

This is the "before" picture of the living room. The client preferred to keep the bright yellow color on the walls instead of neutralizing it. I worked the color palette around this and chose white, yellow and brown as the colors with aluminum as the metal element. The walls and roses are yellow, the baseboards, drapes, vases and candles are white and the sofa, curly willow and decorative accents are brown. The client had the armoire in the basement and the desk in the foyer she was going to toss. It was painted a dark green. Instead, the desk was repainted and I built the wood elements of the room around the color of the armoire. I added a coffee table, baskets and side table from IKEA, along with white vases and candles. I added metallic table lamps with modern white drum shades. I chose aluminum elements in the curtain rods and floor lamp. Drapes were from Pottery Barn. I made the rose floral display in the foyer.

The Lower Bath

Here is a "before" and "after" picture of the lower bathroom. The bathroom was decluttered, organized and then "staged." I used accessories the client had in her home, just used them in new ways. The vanity was painted white and the handles on the cabinets were updated to a polished chrome.

An Upstairs Bath
I didn't have a "before" picture of this bathroom however here is one of the upper bathrooms "after" staging. All that was done, was painting the walls white, using a new set of towels the clients purchased and then adding some fresh tulips and a candle to make it nice. I chose the tulips because the green in the leaves matched the green stripes on the towels.


Dreaming again said...

Oh I wish you lived closer!!!

The only thing I've managed to do is display my elephants and some blue willow china!! (I have cabinets like hers)They look wonderful up there!

I have lived here for almost a year and a half ...and I still have no paintings hung on the wall in spite of those beautiful paintings I was given at my housewarming!! I just have no clue as to where to hang them or how to organize what needs to be done!

My elephants and my blue willow ..that I can do! (they manage to look excellent together by the way! Although I just turned around and looked, all my elephants with my Blue Willow, happen to be Asian Elephants! I've ironically moved my African elephants away! *grin*)

The MSILF said...

Come to my house! Please!

Daisy said...

You really did an amazing job making over that house for selling. It was interesting to see the before and after shots. The living room makeover was really dramatic!

Summer said...

Wow! Amazing! How long did it take to do all this?

You give me hope for our house.

I'm very impressed. You did an awesome job. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said... when are y'all coming to Nashville, TN (translation = my house! LOL!)?


Wow... you did a spectacular job on that home! What a wonderful portfolio piece for you to show off to your potential clients.

Awesome... just awesome!

Baby Island said...

Wow, wow, wow!!! You did an amazing job! You also used my very favorite flower Tulips! You certainly have an eye for this. How fun and what a nice treat to see into Dream Mom this way!

I love the before and after pics too!

Lori said...

Incredible! You have a great talent and I'm sure you will be very busy in the months to come when word gets out about what you did here! Her real estate agent should give you ALL the commission!

Mimi Lenox said...

You've been royally tagged by Mimi Queen of Memes. Have fun!
Message In a Bottle

Renee said...

We aren't moving, but...would you stage my life/house? *grin*

Seriously, though--nice job (and good pictures of your efforts). How long did this take?

Dream Mom said...

As far as the time element, it's hard to say. I had a plan and the client had workers that came in and did the painting and install the new floors as well as other repairs. They came on different days and times so I worked around whatever projects I could. I probably could have done both of those myself but after my back surgery, I am no longer painting for clients.

In terms of pulling it all together, I'd say maybe around 40 hours or so. I created a plan first-both space plan and design plan, then did the shopping, made the drapes, installed the drapes and hardware throughout the house, pulled the rooms together and then organized the entire kitchen, bathrooms and home office. 40 hours would be for everything except the kitchen cabinet organization. Also, the client works so I typically work by myself at her home.

The breakdown is estimated, all days are 4 hours per day:

-2 days to shop (furniture & accessories)
-1.5 days to make drapes, valences,etc (No pattern, I just created them myself after seeing a custom drapery valence my sister had.)
-1.5 days installing all drapes & curtain rods throughout the house. I lured Dear Son's Dad to help me with that!
-1 day bathroom organization
-Kitchen organization-not sure-all cabinets were sorted, purged,re-organized and labeled
-1/2 day to remove old hardware and install new ones.

I saved a lot of time by having a plan and knowing what I wanted. Also, if I can't find what I want, I make it, like I did on the kitchen drapes.

My next project for this client will be organizing her garage and getting things ready to move.

Dream Mom said...

Mimi-Thanks for your offer but I'll decline for now. I am just getting over this infection and a bit pressed for time. I tried to respond on your site but kept getting knocked off. Love the graphics on your site.

Poppy Q said...

Oh Dream Mom, I wish you could help me declutter.

Good work, you made such a difference in those rooms. They looks so much more inviting and liveable. I wish you well in your work, and thanks for sharing with us.

Have a lovely weekend.

Anonymous said...

Amazing job!!! Congratulations....your hard work paid off. It looks so different!

Anonymous said...

Wow, very impressive. Have you considered making a brochure with these photos (& the garage one) to mail to local relators or leave at homes that are For Sale By Owner?

I would have hired you in a hot minute before I sold my last house.

Great job!

Rambling Round said...

Oh my goodness! My house needs you!
I feel like I have just watched an HGTV special. You are GOOD!

jeanie said...

Wow - you did wonders! I think your skills would be great also for people (like my mother) who are so cluttered and disorganised and then suddenly want to entertain!

Perhaps you should organise a contra deal with a photographer (or get the real estate to shell for someone professional) to promote - the shots were good, but you could really showcase for promotion.

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