Feb 15, 2013

Bel Air Split Level

We recently took on a project just off Beverly Glen that was a rather unusual space in a beautiful location.  Upon arrival, it was easy to see that the place was going to need a little help.

The monochromatic slate color is largely unbroken and doesn't register well in MLS feeds.  There is very little to attract the eye of the prospective home buyer.

With a few of the home's surfaces painted a fresh shade of a darker blue-gray, new house numbers, and the planters touched up, the house now stands out with a few pops of color.  Had the budget allowed, we would have carried the theme to the upper level and painted the chimney stack the same accent and replaced the front door.

The interior of the house is painted in a peachy shade that made the room feel drab.  There are decorative shelves just as you enter that, not only take up excess space, but simply don't feel as if they belong there.  A ratty looking curtain is covering the entry, providing security but it looks dingy and blocks a lot of light.

Now, with a fresh coat of paint (Dutch coffee) and the shelving taken down and replaced with a striking Rothko print this place is airy, attractive and enticing to home buyers.  Also note that the curlicues were removed from the bannister railing, providing a much more modern and clean look.

Upstairs, we found a master bedroom that was just a vacant room.
Although it looked onto the stunning view of the canyon just outside, once again, the peach colored paint and the ratty curtains do little to inspire home buyers into seeing the potential of this room.

We added a queen-sized bed and a white leather loveseat from Cort Furniture, some accessories and linens from our own collection, soften the view with a gauzy mesh curtain and this room became a relaxing getaway.

For more information regarding this home, please check out its listing on Redfin:

10583 Scenario Lane

Jan 28, 2013

Hidden Charm? Reveal It!

We often get a house with hidden charm.  The problem with hidden charm is that tends to be hidden to the people who need to see it the most-the buyer.  If the only people able to recognize the better points of the house are the seller and the realtor, the house will probably be on the market a lot longer.  An experienced home stager will be able to recognize the benefits of the house and enhance them to make the more visible to the buyer.

As a recent example, here is a recent job we did on a small house on a stair street in Echo Park:


Clearly this house lacks a visually striking entry that entices visitors into exploring further.  The front door just fades away, the steps don't reach the main walkway as you descend and they also are completely open at the front giving the whole entry an unfinished appearance.


With a fresh coat of tangerine paint on the front door, additional steps added and new fascias across the front of the steps, people are welcomed to an attractive-looking house.


The paprika walls are overwhelming and the bare living room says nothing more than "small" leaving prospective home buyers no idea how effective this space can truly be.


Now, furnished and with a bright, fresh coat of paint on the walls, the living room is airy and inviting.  Prospective buyers can walk in and see the possibilities of the space.


The master bedroom, before staging, is just a small, square box with very little to recommend it, visually, to the buyer.


With a bed covered in beautiful linens, vintage furniture and artwork on the walls, this nondescript box is transformed into a relaxing space where prospective buyers can imagine themselves living.

The lesson here is to not let the prospective buyer try to figure out what benefits the home has to offer on their own.  Home staging is an effective way to help reveal the hidden assets a home has to offer.

For a more complete viewing of this property, go to:
 Loma Vista Hillside Property

Jan 4, 2013

-Houses that have been professionally staged sell on average 73 percent faster than un-staged houses, according to a study by the Real Estate Staging Association.


Dec 29, 2012

Elegant, simple, modern... in the garden!

This backyard building reminds me of Phillip Johnson's Glass House, or the iconic Farnsworth House outside Chicago. Ray and Charles Eames would be happy here too.  Could be a guest cottage, a personal retreat, a home office, even a teen's room. Elegant simplicity!


Dec 24, 2012

FIVE reasons why staging works for you...

Real Estate! In the media, although it's improved in 2012 and will likely continue to improve in 2013, we still hear a lot of gloom and doom about the real estate market. Too many homes compete provide far more choices for a smaller group of buyers. Home sellers are rightfully concerned that their home will sell only at a rock-bottom price or after a long time on the market—if it will sell at all. Where is your silver lining among all these gray skies? Now more than ever, my unique skill in Home Staging is the answer:

Staging is practical: Most people wouldn't put their car up for sale without thoroughly cleaning it, and perhaps even having it professionally detailed. So why don’t sellers invest in their home’s value before putting it on the market? Most professional staging costs far less than the cost of a price reduction. Staging allows sellers to capitalize on buyers’ first impressions and save unnecessary time on the market.

Staging motivates: Having your home staged allows you to see your house as a product that needs to be marketed. It's also a great way to get the motivation to start packing your personal items!

Staging increases value: Smart realtors and buyers know that staging is a wise investment. Who wouldn’t want to have their home (or listing) appeal to a wide range of buyers, and sell faster and/for more money than its competition?

Staging is tops in technology: Staged homes not only look better when buyers visit, but also in MLS listing photos and online virtual tours. More than 80% of buyers now find their next home online before scheduling a tour. Staging is necessary in order to have the competitive edge in today’s technology-driven market.

Staging yields proven results: Even in this market, statistics consistently show that staged homes sell faster and/or for more money than non-staged homes. And professionalism makes a difference: the most recent statistics show that a home staged by an Accredited Staging Professional usually sells, on average, in 35 days, compared to 175 days for a non-staged home.

Home staging by Pearl can provide the ray of sunshine that allows sellers to gain the best price and the fastest sale!

Nov 30, 2012

Before & After: spacious but dated lake-front home

A friend of a friend flew me out to North Carolina to help update her lake-front home:

Bedroom (office) #3 BEFORE: Full of clutter, dark and uninviting, many buyers asked "where is the 3rd bedroom in this house?" because they couldn't "see" it.

Bedroom #3 AFTER: A soft accent color on the headboard wall, an actual BED, soothing colors. Now it's REALLY a bedroom... with room for a home office (at right).

Great Room BEFORE: That futon is NOT helping! Neither is the dated light fixture and lack of overall lighting.

Great Room AFTER: Now, new sofa & chair, art and proper lighting, plus a new paint color to makes the fireplace pop! Now this great room works!

Above, another view of the Great Room: While not the height of fashion, the classic 1980's oak tables do work well with the new sofa and chair, but they were wasted in the Living Room. That's staging.... mixing old and new so your costs don't overrun, but you still have a pleasant home that will sell!

Nov 5, 2012

Minor remodeling makes big changes!

In this example, we have a room that was completely transformed... the oversized fireplace was reduced in size, french doors added behind it, the floor was replaced, and everything was painted white.

But it's completely possible to do this on a budget as well. Keep the fireplace as is, but paint it white like everything else. Put down a large neutral area rug to cover the orange tile. Slip-cover the sofas, add in a few new "accent" furniture pieces (like a new coffe table), and you'd have a VERY similar look! 

Contact me today if you'd like to do a major transformation on a budget.  I work with homeowners as well as property investors ("flips").

Oct 30, 2012

3112 Floye, Hollywood Hills

Sold in two weeks!   For this project, I chose paint colors, furniture, and accessories.  This house is a "Hollywood Regency lite" style... perfect for the Hollywood Hills!

Oct 8, 2012

A classic William Wurster ranch home, transformed!

Aug 20, 2012

A mid-20th Century Modern classic...

As most of my fans know, I love modern design!  And I have a special place in my heart for mid-century modern design.  This home is a great example!  Set in Sierra Madre, CA, it sits next door to original and psuedo-Craftsman homes, but it dares to be different!  LOVE it...

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

May 1, 2012

It's beautiful, but...

A friend sent me these photos of an amazing contemporary in Melbourne, Australia.  A perfect example of a stunning house that will likely sit on the market because it doesn't feel warm and inviting.

Apr 12, 2012

Even in this market, staging works...

Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) the member run trade association for professional stagers, has released statistics on the effectiveness of Real Estate Staging and the results are pretty darn cool. The study included 126 vacant and occupied homes previously on the market, on average 263 days unsold. Those same homes were staged and... they sold in 60 days on average. This is 78% less time on the market after staging.

Not only that, 284 vacant and occupied homes that were staged BEFORE they went on the market, sold in 40.5 days on average after staging.


Feb 1, 2012

A half-day of "Re-Design" ... a different kind of interior design

Hello all!  This is a photo of my new friend Judy, standing in her newly arranged home.  Judy had just moved in, and while she loves her new home, her old furniture was of a style she was no longer fond of.  Yet, she wasn't ready to purchase new furniture... maybe just some new accessories and pillows.  She saw my blog and asked me to come over.  When I arrived, all of the furniture was pushed into a corner and the dining table was this huge monstrosity that dominated the dining room.  Since I can design a home in ANY style, from modern to traditional, I knew I could help her!

(Click on the images to enlarge.)

I began by pulling all the large seating furniture OFF the wall, and creating a "floating" seating area in the center that faces towards the view of her terrific back garden and patio.  (It's OK to "ignore" the fireplace if you have a better view elsewhere.)

Then, I arranged her traditional furniture in a modern way, which means no clutter, good furniture and picture spacing, and few accessories.  I showed her on the internet a beautiful new area rug to purchase for the seating area (all of hers were too traditional or the wrong size).  Some new throw pillows make the sofas look terrific.  And we created a reading area for her husband, who loves to read!

Finally, in her dining room, simplicity was key.  I removed the two leaves in the table so that it didn't overwhelm the space (she also has a more informal dining area).  Pictures were kept spare as well as accessories.  Two of the chairs were placed along the wall, further making the table less ominious. 

The result?  I beautiful home that's traditional yet modern in it's arrangement.  This was ALL accomplished over the course of an afternoon!  Judy and her husband love it, and about a month later, they called me to re-do their office reception area as well!

You can call me too if you'd like to do the same thing to your home.  Re-design can involve using just your existing things, but we can also do a shopping trip together for updated accessories as well as search online.  If your budget doesn't include the cost of a traditonal interior designer, then Re-design may be right for you!

Jan 11, 2012

Revisiting a classic... the Saarinen pedestal table

From Design Within Reach:  In a 1956 cover story in Time magazine, Eero Saarinen said he was designing a collection to "clear up the slum of legs in the U.S. home." Later that year, he completed his Pedestal Table and Tulip™ Chair Collection (1956) and obliterated the "slum" by creating a cast aluminum base inspired by a drop of high-viscosity liquid. 

When I was in my mid-20's, I had a vintage Saarinen table, white base with a medium wood laminated top.  Loved that piece.  When I was moving I had to temporarily leave my furniture in the garage of a friend.  When I returned, the table was gone!  And my friend had no idea where it went to (altho I suspect an open garage door was too much temptation for a passer-by!)

Oct 11, 2011

I'm currently lusting over... the CB2 Scan Chair!

Oh, how I love Scandanavian design!  But CB2.com isn't listening, because right now their beautiful Scan chair is out of stock.  That's what happens when you wait too long to order!  Reminds me of my grandmother's Palm Springs home back in the day...  please bring back this beautiful chair!