Archive Monthly Archives: February 2021

8 Pro Staging Tips for Selling

Are you ready to sell your house and know that you need to do more to market it?  If you were selling your car, you would definitely get it shined up, right!   So, here's where we spend time in home staging.   I'm sharing 8 Pro Home Staging Tips to help you get it ready!  Grab a notepad and write these down.   And please call on us if you need help!

Not selling?    Did you know that some people actually live this way (with their houses in immaculate condition) 90% of the time? It's a fact that we feel more inspired and at peace when we live in a well-organized, stylish home.  These tips can help you love your home and achieve that "calm" you may be looking for even if you're choosing to stay where you live.  🙂

Pro Tip #1:  Update Light Fixtures and Bulbs

All bulbs should match, at least within the same light fixture.  I prefer those that are not too yellow and not too blue. I call them the "goldilocks" lightbulb. They should also be at the greatest wattage to brighten and enlarge your rooms. Look for 3000-3500 Kelvin on the box.  A modern light fixture is a great addition, especially in the dining room and bathrooms. Lights under your cabinets is a bonus selling feature. Once you have those, you'll never go without them again!

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Pro Tip #2: Choose a neutral paint color. 

This girl's room would be adorable with pink walls, but when it's time to sell, buyers really do not want to have to move in and paint. This is called a "price-eroding" factor because buyers will over-estimate how much time and/or money it takes to paint it. They'll be inclined to offer less for the house. Go ahead and paint a fresh neutral tone that everyone will accept. You'll be glad that you did it!  Read 3 Steps to Make Small Rooms Look Bigger for some favorite neutral paint colors. 

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ProTip #3: Add modern throw pillows to sofas and beds.

An abundance of pillows evokes the feeling of comfort and coziness. Pillows can disguise older looking furniture or flat bed pillows by drawing attention away from what's really there. People aren't buying your furniture, I get it!  But you want the buyer to feel like your home is updated and modern. This is my favorite sneaky way to get it looking that way!  

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teal blue pillow cover
yellow pillow
striped yellow and purple pillow

                Cool pillows!  By purchasing through my link, I may earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.                        Read the descriptions carefully.  🙂

Pro Tip #4 Create an Emotional Connection

People buy houses when they emotionally connect to them. That connection might be a reading nook near a window with a great view, a coffee set-up on the kitchen countertop or a simple centerpiece with something organic, like we have here. What would help you emotionally connect to a room? That's what buyers might like to see too!

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Pro Tip #5  Add Large Scale Art

And ... take away most of the small art, except maybe in a niche or bathroom. Most buyers have way too many things on their walls which makes the rooms look smaller. Personal photos, certificates, and sports posters don't really count as art.  Go ahead and prepack these things.  Bonus tip: Use colors in the art to match some throw pillows!

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Pro Tip #6 Create a Spa Feeling

Doesn't everyone love a spa feeling? A room that looks clean, spacious, and luxurious? That's the goal when staging your bathrooms to sell. Strive to style all your bathrooms this way, but focus on the owners' bathroom the most! Hide your cleaning products and toiletries, neatly hang fresh towels, bring in a plant or two, let in the natural light, and maintain lots of clean, clean, clean!

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Pro Tip #7 Stage the Back Yard

Buyers highly consider outdoor living space when purchasing a home. Whether you have a built-in kitchen with outdoor dining space or a simple patio with comfortable chairs, style your space as if you were entertaining. Use throw pillows or cushions, add a pop of color through accessories or flowers, and bring out some snacks or beverages. Help buyers visualize the way they'd like to live.

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Pro Tip #8 Strive for Balance

Balance and symmetry are not the same thing, but both are very comfortable feeling for everyone. Most people don't see what's wrong when there is no balance, but they no that something is "off."  What does balance mean? Imagine your room as a rowboat. You don't want to have too many heavy things on one side, which would cause the boat to tip over. Instead, move large pieces around to create balance. Have too many large pieces? Remove them when selling.

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Staged homes usually sell 2-3 times faster and for more money.  Using these 8 Pro Staging Tips should help you along the way to preparing your house to sell.   Need more help or want to really fine tune everything?  That's what we specialize in.  Hope these will help you get started!

Want to read more about creating a calm and happy home because you're staying put?  I found this article 10 Design Secrets for a Calm and Happy Home that you may enjoy!

Happy staging and selling, or happy styling to stay put!


Why Do Kitchen Renovations Go Over Budget?

Alt: White kitchen and dining area

We have all done it; being tempted by new luxurious items that we cannot afford sounds like an everyday occurrence to most people. However, spending money on a home renovation should be an investment, not a money squandering, especially if you want to add value to your home. Although remodeling is more than a whim, specific parts of your new home, such as the kitchen, might cost more than you have expected. If you are a first-time homeowner, it might surprise you to hear how often kitchen renovations go over budget.

However, now that you are aware of it, it's possible to use this information to your advantage. Being familiar with all the hidden cost traps and means of avoiding them will not only save you the trouble of going bankrupt, but it can also help you spare a few pennies!

You spent a fortune on a layout change

You have finally stumbled upon your dream house. It has the correct number of bedrooms, natural lighting, even a cozy backyard. However, you become frustrated just by looking at the single-wall kitchen. The attempt to fit in all the appliances and utensils in your pocket-sized kitchen seems like a mission impossible. Therefore, the solution is to remodel and invest in a new layout, build an island, or maybe even a whole new U-shaped kitchen. Despite the alluring temptation, this is the moment your budget goes down the rabbit hole

A woman holding a piggy bank

It's essential to check your costs twice in order not to squander your savings.

Double-check the renovation costs

Before you even consider remodeling your entire kitchen, you should carefully plot your renovation budget. First of all, consult your contractor to provide you with an estimate of your project cost. If your kitchen renovation exceeds 15 percent of your home's value, you might want to take a break from the renovation splurge.

Avoid being carried away by storage issues

If lack of storage becomes the root of your stress, you can solve it by investing in a walk-in pantry. Choosing a pantry instead of a new kitchen layout will provide you with just enough space. You will even save money compared to the kitchen design change. If the pantry is not an option, storage trays, pegboards, turntables, and various organization items can do wonders! Spend your time organizing instead of wasting money, and you might even save for all the latest kitchen gadgets.

You did not prioritize – you want it all!

It's not uncommon for people to get carried away before moving into a new house. It's supposed to be your safe haven furnished with all the items that bring you joy. Although this is not far from the truth, you do not need to squander your last penny remodeling. There usually are more affordable options for each idea that crosses your mind, and you should consider those before your expenses skyrocket.

When you ignore the hidden costs, kitchen renovations go over budget

When planning a budget, it's never easy to predict all the unforeseen expenses. However, it will save you a lot of trouble if you double-checked every hidden corner of your kitchen. When buying a colonial house or a Tudor-style home often seen in Dallas, you have probably been charmed by its compelling character. However, if the home wasn't kept in good condition, you might need to invest more than expected. You might discover water leakage when replacing the floor, so it's always best to put aside some money for the unexpected costs.

Think twice before choosing a countertop material

Many people are under the impression that they need to spend a fortune to have a sophisticated-looking kitchen. If you have fantasized about marble or granite countertops, you will be shocked to find out there are more affordable but equally elegant options. Plastic laminate countertops could be efficiently designed to mimic all the high-end materials without the risk of overspending. They are incredibly durable and convenient, so you might want to reexamine your decision before investing in natural stone.

Envelopes, money, and a calculator on a marble countertop

                         However beautiful a marble countertop might be, there's always                   a more affordable option.

Try not to multitask when moving

Multitasking can be a positive activity when it's all about saving you valuable time. However, sometimes it's best to take it one step at a time and adequately plan each task that awaits you. When you plot your relocation and redesign simultaneously, you may neglect something important. If you are moving to a beautiful but demanding Craftsman home in Dallas, it might require some work. However, it's always better to schedule your move first, find good service in the area, and then dedicate your time energy to renovation issues. Delegating your relocation to professionals ensures a stress-free renovation atmosphere.

You changed your mind, twice

Sometimes, people might not be satisfied with their kitchen's square footage and want to make it more spacious. Although it is possible to make a room appear larger without breaking a wall or two, you might have decided to borrow a little bit of space. However, during the process, you figure that the spaciousness entails investing in a different layout. Then you decide it was all a mistake and you need to develop a new plan. Changing your mind a couple of times is one reason why kitchen renovations go over budget, and you want to avoid wasting time and money this way.

A woman sitting in front of a laptop looking upset

                            Changing your mind when remodeling is one of the                             reasons kitchen renovations go over budget.

Stick to your plan

When deciding on a renovation, it's too easy to get carried away when choosing the appliances, paint, or flooring materials. The variety of options might lead you to conclude that the sky is the limit. However, your budget might disagree on that. Therefore it's best to double-check every decision you make. Is it essential to invest in a high-end oven when your family prefers to dine out? Do not make hasty decisions you will regret later, and try to invest in relevant features of your kitchen. 


Undoubtedly, it's human to err. However, some errors might be irreparable, especially when plotting an expensive remodel. Take your time to devise a proper financial plan, discuss your options with a contractor, and don't indulge in impulsive shopping. Instead of knocking down walls to compose a brighter kitchen, hire a designer to help you achieve it without overspending. Whichever the primary idea was, there's always a plan B. Kitchen renovations go over budget when you decide not to look before you leap. Instead, choose to rationalize and prioritize, and there will be no room for draining all of your savings.  

white canisters with lids
marble and wood tablet stand
3 piece stock pot

This article is written by a guest blogger, Emma Jones with Superior Moving & Storage.   I hope you found it helpful!  Some of my favorite products above have shoppable links.  If you purchase one, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Happy kitchen planning!


Use Layers to Create a Perfect Room

couple assessing living room

Meet my guest blogger, Karl Kennedy, author of  He's sharing some great tips on how to add layers in your room to make it feel cozy, layered, and give it natural flow.

Do you want your living room to have a natural interior design flow? Check out these layering techniques.

Why do some living rooms look perfectly put together while others lack the interior design sugar and spice of it all? Some homeowners have a knack for getting items to flow naturally. Some do not.

Fortunately, we can help you be successful with your interior design just by using one simple concept: Layering. Layering is simply arranging and rearranging items in a room to make it look better. It’s done in fashion all the time. The only difference is that you’re changing your living room’s blank canvas as opposed to your wardrobe’s blank canvas. Layering will get you to turn the room you spend the most time in into something spectacular, using different colors, patterns, materials, textures, and different sized items.

The trick is to not go with what all the design trends are doing on the daily. Instead, allow the layers to become personal to you, unique to you, and different to others.

We’ll give you some suggestions, and don’t worry, you won’t have to use them all. Just choose the ones that feel right for your living room.

Comfy Additions

One of our favorite things about layering is the comfort some items can add to the room. Think pillows, throws, blankets, and cushions/pillows. Spread the pillows out over the couch, fold up some blankets and place them in a wicker basket near the television, and possibly fold some throws to go on a nearby open shelf.

All of these items support comfort. The pillows and cushions are a solid resting spot for your head and neck after a long days’ work and the throws and blankets are great for cuddling up on the couch, getting warm, and getting into a zen state of mind.


Layering with lighting is easy as can be, all you have to do is mix ambient lighting with task lighting. Make sure the balance fits the space, though.

Think general lights that brighten the room. Then, add lamps in surrounding areas, either standing or table toppers. The balance should flow evenly throughout the room. For instance, add lamps to the dark spaces and corners but have a central light in the middle of the room, hanging or planted on the ceiling.

Miscellaneous Accessories

The miscellaneous accessories are where you can add practical personality throughout the room. Purchase things that work with your dynamic but fit into the spaces they’re allotted.

For example, spread out some cute and colorful baskets in the room. Fill them with items that you and your guests will use, like magazines, the daily paper, and little board or card games. You can purchase a ceramic tray online or at one of your favorite local shops to hold the remotes for the television, DVD player, projector, and any other electronics you have. Install some shelving units to add a statement that can house books, small plants, candles, or photographs.

Looking for accessory inspiration? Click here.


Rugs add texture and they’re comfortable for your feet. Not to mention, the layer provides additional warmth and separation from the floor beneath.

Sisal rugs will give the living room more of a natural look and Persian rugs will give the room a more colorful appearance - so pick your preference. Remember, you can go even further and layer your rugs, too.

Small Furniture

Once the staples of your living room are set into place, add some small furniture throughout the room. Make sure the pieces are overall functional.

Think coffee tables, live edge side tables, ottomans, small benches, and stump stools. Anything that can carry the weight of snacks, drinks, and daily necessities.

Karl has some great ideas, so I hope this helps you if you're adding some layers to a room.  

Happy to help!