Staging - Personal Photos

One thing you should always do when selling your home is take down your family photos.  Buyers have a hard time picturing themselves living in your home when they are reminded of the family that currently lives there.  You also don't want them spending their time focusing on your photos rather than the features of the home. Pretty sure you'd prefer they were checking out the awesome fireplace rather than commenting on Uncle Harry's flowing locks.... ;)

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Agree? Ok, good!

Now here's a solution for you if you have family pictures hanging on the wall. Rather than taking down the frames and replacing it with artwork, just add some scrapbook paper or fabric in place of the pictures. Instant artwork, and you can leave all the pictures in the frames for you when you move.

Here's what I did in our place when we listed...

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I kept all the pictures in the frames and just put scrapbook paper that tied in with my decor over the pictures....

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Quick fix and won't cost you a new piece of artwork :)

Colette

Products I Love! - Fasade Backsplash

If you are looking for a quick and economical way of updating your backsplash without tearing tile out, this is a great option! We recently updated our kitchen with a new quartz countertop, it's beautiful but didn't leave much room in the budget for a new backsplash. We were also left with a gap between our new counters and the existing tile backsplash. So rather than deal with taking the old tile off and repairing any damage to the drywall, we opted for Fasade.

Here's a link to their website where you can check out all the options available.                     http://fasadeideas.com/applications/backsplash/backsplash-gallery

It's a great product that comes in various colors and styles, even a paintable option. The install is really easy too. You can use double sided tape or glue the panels on. I definitely recommend gluing them on so you don't have to worry about the tape coming loose over time.

Here's a look at our finished project....

Kitchen finished

Colette

Would you like cream with your coffee?

I love how this coffee corner turned out! In this client's home, we were faced with a corner in the kitchen that didn't really serve a purpose. The problem was, we really needed it to be used as a functional space because the kitchen was pretty small to start with.  We were lacking storage space, but most of all we were lacking counter space for items like the coffee maker and microwave.

So here's what we did with the space.....

coffee bar before

This is what we were dealing with before the reno, not very pretty or functional.

coffee bar afterAs you can see, we found the coffee maker and microwave the perfect home without sacrificing any counter space.  All the coffee and tea is stored in the drawers and everything you need to start your morning right is one place. The corner also got a lot cuter :)

What are some areas in your home that lack function or vision? I'll bet we can come up with a creative way to use that space just like we did here.

Colette

2013 Pantone Color of the Year

It has arrived! The 2013 Color of the Year was released by Pantone a few weeks ago. And it is.....Emerald Green! [gallery link="file" columns="1" ids="124"]

What are your thoughts? Would you use it in your home?

I personally keep my home fairly neutral so that I can change up the colors every so often.  My walls are very neutral and so is my furniture. I add all of the color through removable items, such as cushions, throws, artwork and accessories.  This makes it a lot easier to switch out your color scheme whenever your heart desires.  You don't have to worry about repainting walls, covering up furniture, etc.

I don't think I would be so bold as to paint my walls the emerald green or add major furniture pieces in it. But I could see myself adding some accents in the beautiful jewel tone.

Here's an example of keeping a neutral background and adding a pop of color to make a dramatic impact...

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These are a few items I found that could be added in to my decor...

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I personally think this year's color is a winner! It can be used in so many ways and as little or as much as you'd like.

I would love to know your thoughts :)

Happy New Year!

Colette

Party Time!

Last weekend was our daughter's 4th birthday. She requested a strawberry party, and I was happy to oblige.  I had a lot fun creating this little party display and she was thrilled!

Party Printables are an easy and affordable way to add decor to your party.  You buy a file full of printable party decor and print what you want to use.  The cupcake liners, flags and water bottle wrappers all came from Dimple Prints.

I made this little stand with some tea cups, saucers and plates that I found at a local thrift shop.  I used some crazy glue to stick it all together and now I have a super cute stand to use and it cost me about $6!

I had my friend KarieAnn over at Lil Miss Hip Clips create this really cute headband to match Delaney's party dress.  She really wanted to show it off ;)

Hope you all had a great long weekend!

Colette

Get your Cook Top Sparkling Again

I just discovered the best way to clean your glass cook top!

If you cook anything like I do, it never fails that I let something boil over or splatter all over my glass stove.  It's usually a result of getting distracted by fighting children or talking on the phone or getting lost in la-la land for a second too long.

It drives my husband crazy when there is burnt gunk stuck on the stove.  "We" (and by "we" I mean him) use the glass cook top cleaner that you can buy pretty much anywhere. But it always ended up in "us" scraping the crap off with a sharp knife and it never quite looking so great.

I discovered this little tip on pinterest.com (where I lose hours of my life) and tried it out the other day.  I was so excited that I messaged my hubby to tell him that I discovered the greatest way to clean our cook top.

Here's how it went....

Me: Honey, I just found the greatest way to clean our stove!!!

Him: You hired a cleaner?

Me: No smart*ss, and now I don't really want to share my secret with you!

But I will share it with all of you!

1. Sprinkle baking soda all over the top of your stove....

2. Wet some rags/tea towels so they are damp and cover the baking soda.

3. Let it sit like that for 15 mins and then wipe off the baking soda using the rags.

4. Use a clean, wet cloth to wipe off the residue left behind.

And voila! Brand spankin' new!

Why Does my House Have to be Perfect Before I List it?

Ok, but seriously now....:)

If you were going to try and sell your vehicle, you would want it to look perfect, right? I am going to assume (dangerous, I know!) that you would take all your possessions out, any garbage, and give it a good cleaning before showing it to any potential buyers.  You would take the steps necessary to ensure you got the most money back as possible.  And the thing with a vehicle is, its not usually a good investment. Meaning that it depreciates in value as time goes by.

Now think about your house.  It is most likely the largest investment you have ever or will ever make.  It is the opposite of your vehicle.  It depends on the market you are in, but as time goes by your house will increase in value.  It will increase even more if you take good care of it.  It will increase more than that if you complete the right renovations.

So why wouldn't you want to do everything you possibly could to make sure that value isn't compromised when people come to view it?

Potential buyers are going to view your house and decide if they can see themselves living there.  When they have decided that they can, they are going to be looking for any imperfections or downfalls that they can use to lower your asking price.  If your house is perfect, you have the negotiating power, not them.

Why does your house have to be perfect? So that you get the most money out of your biggest investment.  Can you really afford for it not to be perfect?

Stay tuned for some tips on how to make your house perfect before listing or give me a call and I would be happy to help.

Have a great weekend!

My kids are so creative, but what do I do with all of the artwork?!

I am a mom of two young kiddos.  They are very creative and love making us things.  My oldest is in preschool and comes home EVERY time with her latest painting (it's almost always a "river").  I have a lot of years ahead of me with 2 kids always bringing home a new project and they will be equally proud of each and every one!  This is great, but what the heck am I going to do with it all?!  Don't tell them, but I won't be keeping them all.  I will however keep my (or their) favorites and come up with a creative way to showcase their masterpieces. Here are some awesome ways to showcase your kids' artwork. They will be happy to see it on display and you will be happy with how it ties into your home decor.

This is a really easy project and you can easily switch out the artwork as you please.  By you, I mean the kids :)  The great part is, you can paint the clipboards any color and have them tie in with your current color scheme.

This is personally my favorite!  Look how adorable you can make the clothespins! Again, you can easily coordinate this project to tie into your existing decor.

This one will require some wall space and will be a little more costly depending on the number of frames you choose to use.  It's a very clean look and will create a very personal focal point to any room.

This is a really cute idea! These are just wall decals in various sizes (or colors) that you just adhere to the wall around the artwork.

This option is a little sneakier :) If you don't have a lot of empty wall space to use to showcase the artwork, why not have a cute little surprise every time you open your cupboards?

I hope you found these options helpful, or at the very least cute :)

Happy Wednesday!

Quick & Affordable Ways to Instantly Update your Bathroom

Whether you are selling or just tired of how dated your bathroom is, these are some great ways to instantly update the look and won't cost you a fortune. 1. Faucets - Say goodbye to the brass fixtures in your bathroom! Update your vanity with a brushed bronze, chrome or pewter faucet, depending on the color scheme and look you're going for.

2. Vanity Lighting - If you had a brass faucet, chances are pretty good that you also have a brass light fixture over your vanity.  And those huge ball shaped lights that look like they came from the backstage of a Vegas showgirl production.  Choose a light fixture in the same finish as the faucet you are going with.

3. Mirror - A lot of the bathrooms built in older homes have a big 'ol piece of mirror glued on to the wall behind the vanity.  You can really change the look of your bathroom by adding your own framed mirror to the wall.  You can choose a mirror in the same finish as your fixtures or do something with color or texture to add a stunning focal point to your bathroom.

4. Vanity - Change the look of your whole bathroom by painting the old oak and adding new door/drawer hardware. If your vanity is in great shape and you like the layout of your bathroom this is a great way to update the space and all it takes is a can of paint (make sure you get a paint that can stand up to the steam in the bathroom). Choose hardware in the same finish as the faucet.

5. Countertop - Home decor trends in the 70's and 80's were very vibrant and colorful. You very well could have a pink or purple counter top on that old vanity.  This makes it a little (ok a lot) tricky to coordinate your counter top with the updated color scheme you have chosen.  If it's a laminate counter top, you can pick out a new piece of laminate and have it glued right on top of the old one.  Otherwise you can remove the old top and have a new piece of counter top installed onto the vanity.

Here is a great example of a redo I found at centsationalgirl.com....

Look what a can of paint, new hardware, a mirror and new lighting can do!

I don't need to stage, my house is empty

So you've moved out of your home into a new one. Perfect, that leaves your house empty and you don't need to worry about staging or any of that jazz before you list it.  Wrong! Staging a vacant property is just as vital as staging an occupied home.  Here's why.... 1) 9 out of 10 people are not able to visualize the potential of the home when it is empty.  When you add furniture, artwork and accessories the buyers will have visual reference points to compare their own furnishings to, making it much easier to see themselves living there.

2) Your house needs to feel like a home to make that emotional connection with the buyers.  An empty house does not feel inviting or cozy.  Staging creates the feeling of home with the use of props and accessories and appeals to the largest market of potential buyers.

3) The focal points of the rooms are not as noticeable without furniture.  In staging, the furniture and accessories are used to draw attention to the right focal points of each room, such as the fireplace or a great window.  The furniture is also used to take the attention away from any drawbacks of the house, like a long and narrow living room.  Instead of feeling like you're in a bowling alley, staging can make it seem wider and more functional, rather than awkward and difficult to arrange furniture in.

Here are some examples of vacant rooms we have staged...

After staging, the fireplace is the focal point of the room and buyers can easily see themselves sitting together in front of the fire on a cold winter night.

After staging, a buyer can see that there is plenty of room for a queen set, but also room for their king set if they have one.

Make sense? Good ;)

Need some help understanding what staging does for your property? Call Colette at 403-505-3638 or email at colette@funktionaldesigns.ca

Happy Monday!

There are toys everywhere!!!

Ok, fellow mothers and fathers of little people, this is for you.  I don't know about you, but in my house, with a 2 yr old and 3 yr old, we have a lot of toys!  I have accepted the fact that there are going to be a lot of toys, and that they will be around for a long time.  I am not okay with the fact that all of these said toys were produced in only primary colors. I mean seriously, can just one toy fit in with my color scheme?  No? Okay, so that only leaves me with one option....concealed storage! It's especially important for us to have concealed storage right now with our house on the market.  Potential buyers don't want to see my kids stuff everywhere, especially if they don't have kids of their own.  I want them to be able to picture themselves having movie night cuddled up on the couch in front of the big screen, not feeling like they are at a daycare when there are toys everywhere.

How many of you are sick of looking at your kids toys everywhere?  Or maybe your house is on the market or you are considering selling in the near future. Here are some pretty and fun solutions for every room in the house.....

Our toys seem to migrate into every room, especially the living room.  I love the pretty lace basket, toys never looked so good.

My kids also like to keep some toys in their bedrooms.  That's fine and dandy except that they don't have a ton of room to store them.  In comes the storage bin that slides right under the bed.  Done and done.

The family room is where the majority of the toys are kept.  It's also the room where we relax and watch TV and where our office is.  It needs to function as all 3 spaces, so when playtime is over, I don't want to see any toys.  This cabinet is great for hidden storage and I like that you can add some decor to the open shelving.

I love these storage bags, very functional but oh so stylish.

The toys are here to stay, but they aren't going to stand in the way of how I decorate my home or affect the possible sale of my home.  For some other great ideas, shoot me an email and I would be happy to help!

Have a great weekend!

C

DIY: Magnetic Chalkboard

I love attempting new DIY projects.  I needed something on my wall in the kitchen and I have always loved the look of a framed chalkboard.  I figured it had to be pretty simple to make your own, so after a bit of research, this is what I ended up with. I bought a mirror at HomeSense for $30.00. I picked this one because of the beautiful detail in the frame, I knew it would look fabulous with a couple coats of white paint.  Then I purchased some magnetic chalkboard paint.  You will find it at most major hardware stores, I grabbed mine from Fargey's.

I put a primer on the mirror so the chalkboard paint wouldn't chip off down the road.  Then I applied 4 coats of the paint, sanding in between each coat with steel wool, this helps keep the surface smooth for writing on.  If you are wanting a magnetic chalkboard, make sure you do 4-6 coats. The more coats you do, the better your magnets will stick to the surface.

Once that was done, I painted the frame of the mirror with a crisp white, my fave!  And Voila, I had a new chalkboard and it fits in perfectly with my french country decor!

If you have any questions on how to make your own chalkboard, I'd be happy to help!

Have a great week!

My house feels so empty!

I hear this a lot from my clients once we are done staging their home for sale.  "My house seems so empty now! Is this right?"  The answer is Yes!

The goal of staging is to make your house appeal to the largest market of buyers possible.  This is achieved by de-cluttering, removing personal items/collections and placing furniture in a way that best suits the room.   When you live in your home, you become accustomed to the way it looks and functions for you living there.  The way you decorate is based on your own personal taste. The way you set up your room is based on your own personal preferences and functionality that suits your day to day life.  This works for you as a homeowner, but does not always work for the home buyer.

A buyer needs to be able to envision living in your house.  They need to see that there is a lot of space, plenty of room for their furnishings and belongings.  They can't do that when the house is full of your furnishings and belongings.  You want the features of the home to stand out more than the contents.   Make the fireplace the focal point of your living room rather than the television.  Move your bed so that buyers can see the large window in the master.  Staging is not meant to make you feel like you are at home, it is meant to make the buyers feel like they could be at home there.

It will feel like your home is empty because it lacks your own personality and extra functional items you like to have.  But it will make it so much easier for potential buyers to see themselves making your house their home.  Simpler is better when it comes to staging your home for sale.  And it will make selling your home so much easier and it will happen a lot faster.

Look at the difference staging made in this bedroom for a client of mine.

There were a lot of personal items and extra storage pieces in this room.  There is no focal point in the room either and the way the bed was positioned made the room feel a lot smaller than it really was.

Now look at it after staging...

With some de-cluttering and a new floor plan, this room seems way larger and the window now becomes the focal point of the room. You really notice the architectural detail now as well.

So remember, make the features of the home standout, not the contents.

Have a great weekend!

Chic Halloween Decor? Is it possible?

I typically do not decorate much for halloween, never have.  Orange doesn't really tie into my color scheme or fit in with my vintage glam decor.  And if you know much about me, everything has to "go" together! But this year I decided to try and incorporate some decorations into my home, mostly for the kids' sake, but on my terms.  I know, I know, I'm a bad mother for not letting them go crazy with their own decorations, coloring on the windows and draping spider webs everywhere.  I only have a couple years left of decorating the way I want before they start to have an opinion ;). One quick stop at Michael's and I had everything I needed to decorate the space you first see when you enter our home.   Some black flowers and a couple of black crows to add to my current vase, an antique frame with photo, a black candlebra and of course a potion bottle! Now I just need to find a spider to live in that web...

Did you notice the picture changed? Spooky!

Here are some other ideas for chic halloween decor...

Bats have never looked so good!

Love the painted antique frames

You can easily paint any pumpkin to match your decor, or try a paper mache project with pretty tissue paper. The possibilities are endless!

Happy Halloween!