Archive Monthly Archives: December 2020

Past Trends that Need To Vanish when Selling

Are your listings attracting the right buyers? Is the house full of dated items that are a past trend?  Did you know that millenials make up more than 1/3 of all buyers?  They are adults who grew up watching HGTV, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and they are pros at Instagram and Pinterest.   They are stylish and have high expectations when it comes to design.  Simply cleaning a house and listing photos on MLS will typically not bring the highest offers and quick sale to your seller.  

When Clover Lane Design, LLC works in an occupied home, we are fully aware of the potential buyers and their expectations.   Few people want to buy a home that reminds them of "going to grandma's house,"  or reminds them of their college apartment, and many buyers have a limited budget and/or vision to make changes to an outdated house.  Read more to see which outdated trends need to go (even if they were expensive 25-40 years ago).

Don't use heavy window treatments.

This is probably the biggest change that you can make with minimal work!  The goal is to let in as much light as possible.  Curtains block light, attract dust, and often have cigarette or pet odors lingering in them.  Plus they often date a room with old-fashioned prints and colors. Sheer, straight white or ivory panels can be used to soften the edges, but anything more is a distraction.   Blinds, shades and shutters can be left in place if privacy is needed, but we recommend all drapery and curtains be removed.   

heavy drapery picture

photo via Pinterest posted by

Don't use bright or patterned shower curtains.

Do you ever see these types of shower curtains in a nice hotel?   Of course not!   We want each bathroom to feel like a spa - and spa bathrooms use white towels and white shower curtains.   We recommend a plain white curtain that perhaps has some texture to it.  Then keep it at least half way open so that buyers can see the nice tile, faucet, etc. If a new one is not in the budget, remove the curtain completely if possible.   The bathroom will look cleaner and larger in photos.

rustic shower curtain

photo via

Don't display dried flower arrangements, ficus trees, and ivy.

I know it seems weird that plants and flowers go out of style, but THEY DO!   Faux arrangements from 1980-2000 should be boxed and put away.   They immediately date the room.   This includes any wall florals above doorways, mirrors, etc.   Instead, use faux or real plants where plants might naturally grow.  Green or neutral colors like ivory and white loook great, and a tall orchid looks amazing on a bathroom countertop.  Succulents are very popular and look very welcoming in a kitchen.  Replace ficus trees which were quite popular back in the day with a fiddle leaf fig or olive tree.  If the budget is too tight, just remove the outdated plants.

greenery options

Don't keep all of the dark and heavy matching furniture.

When all of your furniture is all heavy and dark, it can really make rooms appear cave-like and overcrowded.   This happens frequently in bedrooms and living rooms, and was really popular in the past. We suggest that the pieces be scaled down to the bare minimum.  Pack away clothing or other items that are not needed for the next 3-4 months, and remove those furniture pieces that contained them.  Lighten up the spaces with lamps, throw pillows, white bedding, and a large light rug.   Updated bedroom styling tips can be found at if you're interested in reading more.

dark bedroom furniture

photo via NY Furniture Outlets

Do style a house for the target buyer!

Whether the home is a condo downtown, a two-story brick in a young family neighborhood, or a sprawling ranch that backs up to a golf course, we keep the potential buyer in mind when staging a home.   We create spaces that cause the buyer to linger and envision themselves there.   

We are experts at using what owners already have to create spaces that can appeal to the masses.  When more trendy pieces need to be rented or purchased, we know just what to use. Contact us today if we can be of help!

staged bedroom

Read 7 Staging Mistakes to Avoid for more "what not to do" staging tips.

Happy selling! - Shana

6 Everyday Items for Holiday Decorating Today

everyday decor items
everyday bowl

Remember this?  Several weeks ago, I wrote about six everyday decor items to use for fall decorating that can take you through each season, each holiday, and will make decorating easier and ultimately less expensive. Now, I've used the same pieces to decorate for Christmas!  Hopefully you'll find this inspiring and find the energy to decorate yourself!   My philosophy is to keep it simple so you'll have time for everything else this season.

If you don't have everyday decor items like these and want some, I'll link a few products at the bottom of this post.   I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my smal business!

1.  Cake Pedestals 

everyday cake pedestal

Cake pedestals are great for holiday decorating - with or without a lid!  Here I've chosen a white ceramic cake stand instead of my wooden piece.  For entertaining, these are perfect when you have plenty of food on the buffet table.  Other platters or bowls can slightly tuck under this dish, so it's a space-saving choice.  Right now it's just holding some plates and fruit on my kitchen table.   I'm loving the lantern too, warmly adding the glow of a candle.  Another location option is next to your coffee/cocoa bar, holding cups of cocoa packets, marshmallows, candy canes, pods, stirrers, and creamers.  When you ground items on a platter or cake stand, everything suddenly becomes organized and looks intentional!

2.  Bowls and Trays

I used the wooden dough bowl and again, just filled it with a little greenery - some faux and some fresh. This large bowl is filled with a few of my holiday mugs.  If I don't get them out of the cabinet - stored way up high - I'll never use them.  But now, it's convenient and I'm ready to entertain a guest or two right away!  Think BIGGER when you choose a bowl!  Place your mugs in first, and then add the sprigs of greenery or berries into the open spots.   My Merry Christmas sign fits into the corner right behind it.  Here's a little sign was too low at first, so I rested it on a small white bowl to give it some height.   Coffee anyone?

3.  Hurricane or Apothecary Jars

everyday apothecary jars

Large apothecary jars, vases, even iced tea dispensers can be used for your holiday decorating.  Just find something large and clear.  Pop in some fake snowflakes (Target $3) or epsom salt!  I purchased these bottle brush trees last year at the Target $1 spot.   I arranged this as my dining room table centerpiece because the colors really coordinated with this year's tree decor.  The fabric is bunched up as a table runner to give more of a snowy effect. Using three large jars is another design plus because everything looks better in odd numbers! This would look amazing on an entryway table, greeting your guests. Hanging a mirror above it would be fantastic!   For other entryway ideas, read more here, and you may find some great gift ideas as well.   

4.  Candlesticks & Candles

everyday candlesticks

I wanted to purchase sleek, gold or brushed nickel candle holders but again I was determined to use what I had and save some "moo-lah" for the gift-giving.   Instead of candles, I found these three large ball ornaments and placed them in the candlestick holes which will prevent them from rolling around.  It gives a modern twist to these otherwise traditional candlesticks.  Then I found one of my vintage santa decor pieces to include.  We've had this piece for years and years.  He looks right at home here. 🙂

A word about scents and aromas ...scented candles, wax, or diffusers can change the feel of a room based on the aroma that's in it!  Christmas is a time for evergreen, vanilla, cinnamon, and fresh-baked apple, or cookie scents. We picked up a few candles at Bath & Body Works this weekend, but I also found some that I really liked at Calyan Wax Co.   Their soy wax candles smell wonderful, and it's a simple way for you to help others as well!

5.  Tiered trays or Stacked Pie Plates

My tiered tray made its way to my living room this time.  I simply filled it with plastic and glass ornaments that didn't make it onto my tree.   When placed in front of a mirror, the sparkle is reflected, adding to the overall look.  By the way - - this has to be the simplest way to decorate! Ornaments could have filled my apothecary jars, my dough bowl, or been stacked on the cake pedestal.  

Remember that tiered trays don't have to be only a centerpiece.   A tiered tray would be a lovely gift!  Fill it with lotions, soaps, hand towels, and other spa items.  Another option - purchase candy, salty snacks, popcorn bowls, playing cards, dominoes, score pads, timer, and cool pens.  I could go on and on here, but you get the idea!

Need some gift ideas for the home?  Read my blog post called  Gift Ideas Under $100!

6.  Greenery or Faux Leaves/Garland/Sprays/Flowers

Depending on the season and the look you're going for, "greenery" can be used almost anywhere!  Unless it's in a pot, I hardly use it on its own anywhere.  Think of it as a filler and a way to add an organic touch to the decor.  Go back to all of the previous pictures and count the number of ways that I used some sort of greenery.  It's an essential decorating item that most people forget about.   

Shopping for the Classic Everyday Pieces

Using these six everyday decor items will take you through each season of decorating.  If you're in need of some basic decor pieces, here are some links for you. 🙂

My holiday wish for you is that you'll find joy in 2020 - we have so much to be thankful for!   And that 2021 would be kinder to all of us!

Happy holiday decorating and Merry Christmas!