Video Bar (click to watch)


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Home Staging in Dallas- Stoneleigh Property

Take a peek at one of my latest projects that I completed last week for a client looking to sell their home in the Lemmon / Inwood neighborhood. Staging is one of the easiest ways to make your home stand out above the competition when trying to sell.  The service adds that extra pizazz needed to gain the highest traffic, interest and ROI. Sellers, Realtors', investors and developers all use staging as a "weapon" in their arsenal when it comes to making a profit on a property.  After all, the price of staging is always less than the first price reduction!

Friday, February 26, 2010


So a few blogs ago we were discussing Master Suites, if you don't remember that, go back and look at the February posts.  Well, today I staged an amazing property so I thought I would share some photos of the master suite for your viewing pleasure.

View from master bedroom into bath 


Master vanity 


Master corner window


Master Bedroom


Now that is a sweet suite, isn't it?  Did I mention there is a patio off of it?



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beverly Hillbillies?!

Tomorrow I have a staging and I just finished loading my truck with some art, accessories, 3 rugs, an upholstered chair and 2 iron outdoor chairs.  I look like the Beverly Hillbillies:

This is the view from the passenger side looking back:

(I hope I don't need to change lanes.)

My assistant has HER vehicle full too.  I should have taken a picture but I was too busy laughing at us.  The rental furniture arrives tomorrow morning and we'll spend all day setting up the furniture, accessorizing, hanging art and hanging curtains in the bedrooms.  Here are a few "before" pictures:

I'll be back soon with the "after" shots.  And if you know of anybody looking for a great home with lots of finish in the Lemmon & Inwood neighborhood, stay tuned and I'll be back with the listing as soon as it's on the market.... 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rules To Live By

I am referring to design rules, not the rules your mother taught you as you were growing up like "don't forget to clean behind your ears"...these are some hard & fast guidelines for anybody's house, whether for staging or for living.  Check 'em out:

  • Don't be "matchy matchy".  Flash back to the 1980's when everything matched and you'll know what I am talking about.  Today's style mixes fabrics and textures and metals and materials for a more unique space.  This includes your wood floors, if you have them:  don't match your furniture legs to the wood floors, especially if you don't have a rug separating the two.  The monochromatic looks is BORING.
  • You watch TV so include it in the design plan.  Unless you have a media room or a den, go ahead and account for the television in your living room.  Recently, TV frames have become more popular so the big, black box doesn't look so much like a giant wart in the room.  Here is an example from Pottery Barn, but there are many companies who can create something similar or more specific to your style:

  • The top of your coffee table should always be lower than your couch.  You don't want the blood rushing out of your feet while you have them propped up watching your cool, framed TV do you?
  • When displaying items on a shelf or tabletop, odd numbers of items usually look best.  I don't know why, it just does.  And don't do the matchy matchy thing; see the first bullet point if you need a reminder.  Here is an example from one of my favorite stores, Mecox (a blog on their fabulous-ness is coming soon!).

  • Use enough furniture!  If you have a large space, you need to fill it with furniture.  If you can't afford it, get a smaller place.  Consider creating "zones" where people can sit and visit and if you have an architectural point of interest (fireplace, ocean view, etc.) then be sure you include that focal point when setting up your furniture.  The furniture should be proportionate to the space and to scale with each other.  
So we haven't even touched on art placement, lighting, or colors so stay tuned and we'll address those points soon....  (Sneak peek:  colors should not all be "matchy matchy" - are you surprised?)

Friday, February 19, 2010

By Michelle Lynne Launches New Site for Real Estate Staging & ReDesign Services in Dallas, Texas

For Immediate Release

"We provide home staging and redesign services to clients with everything from one bedroom condos to vacation properties, and model homes to luxury estates."

Dallas, TX (Free Press Release) February 19, 2010 - By Michelle Lynne combines business strategy, home improvement tips and interior design to offer a complement of services to the Dallas Metroplex.  Known as “home staging”, by Michelle Lynne is proud to be a key component of maximizing the selling price and expediting the sales process on residential properties for realtors, investors and home owners.

The new website came about from feedback from her clients as having a more usable site where her customers and prospects can learn, interact and view her transformations, follow updates, tips and recommendations on Twitter, Facebook and her Blog.  Michelle has a strong passion for helping people and the ability to help homeowners sell their homes, wow their guests with a new look and be more profitable is what drives her daily.

Michelle Lynne’s goals are simple and specific to each service she offers:  “Staging is it is taking the occupant's personality out of the house, which can be very difficult for the home's sellers.  We are taking their refuge away and eliminating their uniqueness so potential buyers can see themselves living in that space instead; we highlight the best features of the house. You don't live in a house the same way you sell it and our goal is to help our clients get the highest dollar offer in the shortest amount of time...we don't sell houses, but we do know what makes houses sell!”  Creating the perfect setting for sellers is important and critical to get the best ROI.

"On the other hand, I believe a person's home is their should be able to walk through the front door and leave all of the world and it's stress outside.   A house becomes a home as it takes on the personality of it’s occupants - and as personalities grow and develop, the items surrounding them should do the same.  Our redesign service is geared to help our clients create the environment that surrounds them with their own personality and uniqueness.  We understand the power that comes from making changes to one’s living space and the impact it has on a person and their ability to thrive in today’s fast paced, plugged in world.”

by Michelle Lynne’s  approach is different than many of the other home staging & redesign service companies in Dallas,  Michelle believes in really getting to know the customer and treating them like a good friend, “My first step is easy:  listen.  The second step is also easy:  listen.  What makes us unique is that we are flexible to meet the needs of each individual client.  You don't enlist my firm and have to work by rigid rules outlined by a panel of management. Instead, we partner with our clients as if they were our friends or family calling for some help making their house more of a home...or to help get that home ready to sell for the most money possible.  Many of my home staging clients ask for help after the sale!   We will then assist with the move in design and organization of their new home because we are here for the long term relationships.”

About by Michelle Lynne:

by Michelle Lynne is Dallas’ premier service for home staging, organizing & redesign, specializing in model homes, residential properties, condos and lofts.  Services range from consultations with homeowner’s, creating fully staged homes, professional organizing and interior enhancement through redesign.  For more information or to schedule an initial consultation please contact Michelle Lynne at 214.662.1870 or email


Jamie Swartz,
Synergy Buzz Marketing

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Container Store LOVE

I went to Container Store today and I must say that as soon as I walked in, it was like a tide of calmness enveloped me.  I wasn't worried about the grocery list, the unfolded laundry, the fact that my car needed the oil changed about 200 miles ago or anything  

I am going to start working on a pantry project this week so I went to get some preliminary supplies.  Here is what we are starting with...does it look familiar?  Most people have a closet / pantry / cabinet / garage that has just gotten a little busy:

This particular pantry has food items as well as liquor and some miscellaneous dinnerware, serving pieces, vases and such.....

Once we get a handle on how the client wants to use the space, we'll take everything out, purge and categorize what is going to go back in.  As I mentioned, I picked up a few of my favorite things as preliminary supplies for the project at (insert the sound of angels singing) Container Store to start with.  Take a look at these babies and tell me they aren't cool:

Under cabinet shelf.

Double shelf

Stemware storage.  

Aaaah...can't you just FEEL the organization of the pantry coming together?  Does the thought of completion give you goosebumps too?  Or am I just a little weird that way?  Oh well, somebody has to do it and it might as well be me.  Call if you need help!  

Friday, February 12, 2010

Who Pays For Staging? Seller or Real Estate Agent?

This is a question I have been asked multiple times in the past few months, so I thought I would share the general consensus amongst both home stagers and real estate agents:

Staging benefits the home owner the most, so the home owner is generally the one to pay for staging.  

A recent example would be a potential client I met with who had just lowered their listing price by $15,000.  It was my difficult task to explain to them that if they had spent $5000 on staging, they probably could have gotten their original asking price or more.  In this case, the seller would have benefitted by $10k or so more in their pocket, whereas the typical agent would have benefitted by only about $450 (3% of the $15K).

In some instances when the result will be highly dramatic, the real estate agent will pay for the initial consult and assign it to their marketing budget.  According to my Marketing 101 college professor, marketing is "finding out what the customer wants and then giving it to them".  What else is home staging if not marketing?!

Let me explain another reason why I don't really encourage real estate agents to pay for the staging services of their clients in full:  if the seller isn't "sold" on the service, they will move the staging back after it's done.   Why not move it back?  There is no investment in the service.

These before and photos are from an amazing transformation and currently available property in the Park Cities area:

And here are staging photos of a current listing in Sunnyvale:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bottom's Up!

Let me share with you the fun project that I am working on last / this week in my spare time.  It's not as easy as it looks but is well worth the time spent and I can't wait to deliver to my client.

Here is the BEFORE picture:

And here is the AFTER picture:

WOW, huh?!  I know!!!!  I was so excited when I got the first one done that I can't wait to see the look on my client's face when I deliver them.  They are going to really brighten the dining room!

Now let me tell you that if you take this endeavor on yourself, be sure you compare fabrics of what is coming OFF the chair and what you are putting ON it.  In fact, I would probably recommend taking the old fabric with you to pick the new.  In this instance, the old fabric is thin like a T-shirt and the seats wrapped in this fabric just plop into the chair frame...but the new fabric is thicker, almost like your favorite old jeans (but new) and it takes a little effort to get the seats in after ensconced in the beautiful, thicker fabric.   I'm wrestling with the corners because they have to be wrapped tightly and with as little fabric as possible - it's not like wrapping a gift where I can just tuck the extra paper under.   But this fabric is SO beautiful, I wouldn't change a thing.  I do need a manicure after this project though!

 The old fabric was lovely in it's day:


And the new fabric?  HELLO, GORGEOUS!!!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Think Pink!

It's February...and soon cupid will be aiming his arrow at millions of checkbooks, er, I mean hearts, as Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  You can keep the romance in the air (or at least on the walls) all year round, as demonstrated in my previous blog posting.  

But decorating with pink can go wrong faster than it takes your Valentine chocolates to disappear!  So if you're not sure you want to commit to a whole room in pink, try painting or wallpapering a single wall as an accent (and no, today's wallpaper does NOT look like your grandma's house).  You can also introduce other colors, patterns & texture to the pink so it's not so well - pink. Here are a few examples, all from

This is a textile wall will look and feel like fabric.  The muted pink tones in this sample would be beautiful and serene in a bedroom - imagine a chocolate & ivory damask covered chair or duvet against this!  Varying shades of gray (think dark to light) would be rich too.

I love orange and's just a "happy" combination.  I personally don't think I would want to wake up to this combo surrounding me, but it would make for a nice accent wall in a dining room, or to use all over in an entry hall.  Your guests would immediately be in a festive mood walking in!

This is more pink than you think but the brown grounds it.  How much fun would this be in a little girl's room as an accent wall?  Or to fully cover her adjoining bathroom?  Hmmm....might even be fun to put on the ceiling in the bedroom and paint the walls a lighter shade of pink!  Anybody feeling adventurous?!

This looks more like upholstery that I'd put on a pillow than wall cover in my humble opinion.

Feeling bold?!  How about this in a home office?  I guess that would depend on what you do for a living, wouldn't it?  I'm not sure I could tap any creativity with this surrounding me but it sure does add a mysteriously empowering mood to a room.

Ultimately, YOU must consider what ambiance you want to create when choosing shades of any color and especially when choosing pink because you really don't want to evoke this feeling of pink:  

Thursday, February 4, 2010

PINK in the Bedroom? - ooh la la!

In honor of February being the official month of LOVE, I thought I would continue the bedroom posts - oooh la la! - and tie it in with all of the PINK Valentine's that will be shared this month. So here are a few beautiful pink bedrooms to inspire the palest as well as the brightest style possible:

This pale, pink paint color (above) is called "White Dogwood" and is by Sherwin Williams. I like this bedroom because it is timeless. You can't tell if a girl or a woman lives in this room. It would work well as a guest room too. You don't have to decorate your guest room to accommodate your guest's tastes...after all the room is in YOUR house.

This room feels a little Morrocan to me, don't you think? Yet the vibrant reds and pinks and oranges in the pillows & bedding don't "shout" as they would if the walls were a orange or red...the pink really calms the space down. It is Benjamin Moore's "Cat's Meow" and I think it is what allows the occupant to walk in and crawl into bed without feeling like they need to wear sunglasses into the room!

Finally, this is my favorite pink's mature and sophisticated and just looks like a great retreat. I think this pink would make anybody's skin glow in it's light! I seriously doubt I could convince my husband to paint our room pink, but if I did, it would be this "Pale Pink Satin" from Benjamin Moore.

By the way, painting and / or decorating with pink isn't always easy (think cotton candy or Pepto Bismol color on your walls - NOT pretty). Next post we'll address HOW to create the look you want in or with pink. See you soon!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweet Dreams

We were talking about bedding the other day, right? So I thought I would include two examples of the first round with two different clients. I hesitated showing the "after" shots because we aren't quite done with either project, but then thought it would be a good opportunity to share with you that everything you see on HGTV isn't quite "reality" television! Most projects roll out in phases and rooms are rarely transformed overnight...although these beds make you want to crawl into them for a good overnight!

Here is where we started with one project. The bedding was originally really pretty with beige embroidery on white linens. It's "safe" - but doesn't really jump out at you.

Here is what we changed it to yesterday. We didn't iron it because the rest of the room is also receiving a makeover (including a paint color that will really set off these colors) and the client wanted to wait until that was done to keep the new bedding on. We'll give it a quick steam or iron when we take the final "after" shots.

It's hard to tell in these initial pictures, but the pin-tuck bedding is actually a seafoam-y color. It's from West Elm and is really beautiful in texture and richness. The complement linens are ivory, the square pillows a rusty stone color and the front pillow is a richer shade of the seafoam with some chocolate colored embroidery to tie in with the bed frame. You can see the varying textures in the fabrics that add that luxurious, hotel feel....

And here is another client and their "before" photo. Whoops...left the date stamp on there, gonna have to edit that out for potential future use. When I first looked at his bed (it's a bachelor's master suite), I thought "this bed WANTS to be cool". Yes, I admit, I do tend to assign emotion to furniture, accessories, and other non-living household me the Re-Design Whisperer.

Here is what we have come up with. Of course, this is truly work in progress. If you look closely, you'll notice the middle pillow on the bottom doesn't even match the other two! So we had a miscommunication...I thought he said he slept with four king size pillows and so I brought the linens for that mathematical equation. Obviously, I will be heading back to the store for an exchange soon. Again in this example, the photo color needs to be adjusted for final pics, as the coverlet at the bottom of the bed is a charcoal gray which ties in nicely with the gunmetal gray pillowcases on the KING pillows.

And don't those mirrors above the bed look familiar from an earlier post?

THANK YOU to my wonderful clients who allow me into their homes and then for allowing me to use the photos of my work in their homes both in this little blog and on my website!