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!

Oct 1, 2011

Let a room serve it's original purpose...

Before: All work and no play!

After: A fine place to relax and enjoy the view!

In this master bedroom, the sitting area was taken up by a large blue cabinet that included a home office! Now, do YOU want to do office work while trying to relax in your master bedroom? A quick switch of furniture got this room back on track!  There was already a home office elsewhere in the house, so taking this back to a sitting room made perfect sense.

Sep 24, 2011

Stage your exterior? Absolutely!

BEFORE: Yes, people really DO live this way! Even this newer home looks old and dingy with clutter around.

AFTER: Clean and pleasant! You would think this is obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I've had to help clients de-clutter and stage their home's exterior.  If you'll give me a call, I can help you too. 

Aug 1, 2011

Modern yet romantic...

Proof that modern doesn't have to mean antiseptic and cold.  This is a very romantic bedroom, and it has masculine and feminine appeal.  I love the modern mirrors and how they interact with the window.  The blue on the bed is very luxurious and the modern chandelier is elegant yet fun.  Sweet dreams!

Jul 26, 2011

Transform with paint and simple updates...

Here's a great example of what paint can do for a kitchen! I do this kind of transformation all the time, but this fine example comes from "Stage a Star" in Cincinatti, OH.

A dark dreary and dated kitchen is completely redone thanks to some clean white paint on the cabinets and a soft green on the walls. No more dark wood cabinets and gingham wallpaper! In this case, they also replaced the stove and microwave. However, for a tighter budget one could keep the stove because the black and white would go with the new white on the cabinets, and just replace the microwave with a white one. Also, high-quality press-and-stick veneers in white and stainless steel are available over the internet for updating your dishwasher inexpensively.

The only mis-step here, for me, is the plants and baskets on top of the upper cabinets. It's a bit 1990's, too "country style", and probably wouldn't work well here in California. I prefer to keep that space free and clear as it makes the whole room look less cluttered, larger and more contemporary. Otherwise, great job!

May 20, 2011

Good design makes your home look more valuable

I love the neighborhood of Atwater Village in Los Angeles. This neighborhood has scores of classic bungalows and cottages from the 1920's and 1930's. Often I'm asked how can you make small rooms, typical of this era, look great?

The answer is scale and color. Never fill a room with oversized furniture, and never use dark furniture against light walls as this gives contrast and condenses your room. Even though these rooms are often smaller-proportioned, the right kind of furniture can make your home look more "expensive" and more appealing to buyers.

Apr 24, 2011

Before and After - Craftsman Bungalow revealed!

Believe it or not, this one is just a really good paint job, furniture on the porch, and landscaping.  Nothing structural was added.  Look closely... all of those fantastic architectural details were there, they just needed contrast painting to show up and stand out!

Mar 1, 2011

Another example of what color can do...

Now, would you have recognized this house after the re-do?  You may think you're stuck with plain white, but most houses could use a dose of color.  Scared of darker colors?  Do as this family did, and leave part of it lighter (the stone facing).  Brighten it up with a third accent color (in this case, red).  Be adventurous!

Feb 19, 2011

Organization is key to selling your home

BEFORE: Often, heavy outdated furniture can overwhelm a space, even when it's neatly organized. See how the large armoire makes the room seem small and cluttered? The 1980's called and they want their medium-tone oak back!

Photos Courtesy of Kristen Coppa, Altera Real Estate

AFTER: Clean, elegant simplicity is best, whether you're staging to sell your home or enhancing your haven. Most of the time you only need room for a laptop and some storage under the desk. Most reference items are now found online, so why keep the paper copies? Donate them to your local charity or library! Enjoy a nice uncluttered, stylish office space!

Jan 27, 2011

BEFORE & AFTER: Lake-front home

This home is located in the famous golf community of Pinehurst, North Carolina. The owner, a friend of a friend, ask me to fly out there to stage her home for sale. While modern, the home had a very traditional architectural style.  The home was 10 years old but had some major interior design issues:

Living/Dining Room BEFORE (above): Dated blue-green leather sofas scream "bad 80's" and heavy carpets hide the wood floors. No art, and no real focus other than the over-sized entertainment center.

Living/Dining Room AFTER: A dresser that was too big for a bedroom makes a great console/buffet behind the sofa. The new sofa is sophisticated and a round coffee table increases the room's flow AND makes it look bigger! The entertainment center is now balanced by the placement of the sofa and has a wing chair to accent it. New art and accessories complete the look for this "updated traditional" home.

The $2,500 spent on updating this luxury home made it possible to raise the asking price by $20,000!

Jan 11, 2011

FAQ: Can't I just stage my own home and save money?

An example of the warm, modern interiors buyers today love...

I'm often asked, "Kai, why can't I just stage my own home and save some money?" Ah yes, I can certainly understand the motivation... economically this would seem to make sense. But here's the real deal: You can prepare your own home for sale, but you cannot objectively stage your home since you have far too much tied up in the property, on an emotional level.

That fun and funky artwork that your grandmother gave you, you couldn't possible put away... and yes, the adorable photos of the kids must stay up... and you just love the quilt your aunt passed down to you... oh and the deck looks sweet and "rustic" like that... and wasn't it fun when we painted the family room orange? ...and on and on.

I'm a very sentimental guy and I love memories. The thing is, buyers are simply not interested in these things. It distracts them from seeing the house and what it has to offer them, and they can't picture themselves living there. After all, it is going to be their property with any luck and they need to see them and their possessions fitting in the property.

Home sellers attempting to home stage simply don’t see the flaws because they have lived with them for some time and can’t see past them. A home Stager will see these things and correct them so the potential buyer only sees the features and walks away in love with the home.