Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spread the love..can you digg it!

Have you noticed on the left side of this blog the bar that says "SUBSCRIBE"?

It is a cool little widget that lets you, my dear readers, subscribe to this great little blog. You will be notified about new postings.

I would like to invite you to subscribe to INSIDE THE HOME stylist blog. It is easy, quick and you won't miss a single post.

Have you noticed on the left side further down is a bar that says "BOOKMARK"?

Have you ever wondered what that is? It is a way for readers, just like you, to bookmark this blog and share your find with others. Two of the most popular collective bookmarking sites are called DIGG and DEL.ICIO.US. Visitors to Digg and del.icio.us can view what other people think are neat blogs and websites. The more diggs or points you get the more people can learn about other cool sites.

I would love for you to add me to DIGG and Del.icio.us. You can add this blog and/or www.thehomestylist.com website.

It is appreciated. Thanks for spreading the love.

Paint can shave off decades

About six months ago I did a staging consultation for a family. They knew their house needed work before it went on the market but really didn't know the priorities and what needed to be done. With a staging consultation, I helped with a plan.

Their house was a nice split level ranch straight from the 1970's. It had dark paneling and dark painted trim.

With the right color paint - in the right places - they shaved off decades from their family room.

Here is the before photo:

And here is the after room:

Now the best part..... (drum roll).....the house sold in 4 days!

What can some expert staging advice do for your house?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Staging article in LA Times

I was very pleased to see an article in the LA Times about home staging. OK - to be honest - I was pleased because my book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell was highlighted in the article!

Here is the article: Be a Star of 'Staging' Your Home for Sale

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Annoying Assistant

My interior decorating and home staging office - formally known as Toy room and previous to that known as spare bedroom - is the favorite hang-out of the treasured family cat ( BTW - rescued from a hard, cold life).

He was so annoying one day while I was trying to work that I just had to snap a photo. As the joke goes - cats sit on what you are trying to read because they are jealous that they can't read.

Our cat, FunnyFace is his name, is a rather annoying assistant and at times has included a stray hair or two in online decorating packets that get shipped out (sorry).

(And yes, he is that big!)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Decorating consultations. It is easy and it works!

I try to praise my children often. Don't you? But no matter how old you are - isn't nice to get praises too (let's be honest now). I recently received this note from a client who used my online decorating consultation for her large family room.

Thank you so much Julie! The packet I received truly exceeded my expectations. My initial impression was "Wow, what a professional looking packet." As I read through the pages and studied all the pictures and diagrams, I appreciated your personal attention to all the details as well as your friendliness. Even though my home is a log cabin, a little on the unique and different side, you were able to customize to my tastes and needs perfectly. You recognized my "little bit of country" and "little bit of rustic" and rolled it all together. Thanks again. I highly recommend your services and look forward to working with you again on my next project. Donna, in Texas.

Remember to praise your kids and it is nice to praise others who do good work too. (no matter how old)

Here is a link to The Home Stylist's online consultations. Maybe your room could use a makeover too.

Reader shares a real estate story

I love getting reader mail. The one recently came from a Texas woman responding about bad real estate Internet photos.

Oh the horror stories we have about the on-line pictures of our father & step-mother's house. (Both went into nursing homes and died during 2005.) The 1500 sq.ft. 3/2/2 house had to be completely remodeled to the tune of $20,000+.... just to be able to get anyone to want to walk in the door!

We couldn't "stage" the home because there wasn't anything worthy of displaying. The photos of the new carpeting, flooring, painting, cabinets, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, fireplace mantel and bookcases, decking, landscaping, etc. were supposed to draw people in instead of the other homes on that street and in that neighborhood. The pictures the Realtor took were not the best to begin with and didn't focus on all of the BEST features. Some pictures of a FINISHED room included a "sawhorse" and "paint can" which shouldn't have even still be there and could have easily been moved to the GARAGE! She not only included some of the bad pictures in with the mix (unfinished rooms and incomplete landscaping) but put DUPLICATES of THOSE and NONE of a few of really good pictures -- like the big wreath I made for the refinished front door and porch!

Since the house was at least a 2 hour drive each way from where we live on the other side of Houston, we had a hard enough time getting there to check on the construction and take care of other things. We took some more digital pictures and she "misplaced" them so they were never added. The photocopied "brochure"/fact sheet outside the house didn't have any interesting pictures to entice people to call and set up an appointment -- but she didn't keep the holder stocked with the pictures anyway....she left some inside the house for people to take with them -- but people had to show up with a Realtor to get into the house FIRST.

Needless to say, we were NOT happy with the Realtor and if the house hadn't have sold right before her 6 months contract was up, we would have had to change Realtors and start all over again. She was busy with the many other Realtors she had working UNDER her and she was out of town and out of reach way too much.

What would you have done differently? Realtors - is this the norm? What would you have done differently?

Share with us. Make us wiser!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Real estate photos - Don't do this!

As a professional home stager, I am often looking at homes in person and on the Internet.

Did you know that 80% of potential home buyers first look on the Internet?

What does the photos say about the house? And what do the photos say about the realtor who took the photos.

Here is a recent photo I saw that caught my eye:

Sure it has ugly wallpaper, paneling and cluttered kitchen table but for pete's sake move the bag of garbage! I blame this on the realtor - could this person at least moved the bag, snapped the photo and moved it back - at the very least!
If you have seen real estate photos that just should not be used - let me know or send them to me. Let's share them and maybe owners and agents will be more aware.