So this week I met a new client who I just KNOW that I will love working with! And no, she is not the "upgrade" I am referring to in my title - I'm blessed with many great clients - but I did upgrade some of my design software because of her project.
She is the mother of a 15 month old son, and both she & her husband work crazy schedules so she needs help with the layout of her new home with her old and possibly some new furniture, art, accessories, etc. "Move ins" are some of my favorite projects! (My husband appreciates it too because I don't get the itch for a new home every few years just for "something fresh".) So I upgraded from what now seems like a remedial software to one that has a User's Manual of over 200 pages! Oh well, I guess I'll be spending my weekend reading...but check out the results that I will achieve:
Obviously, I would be inserting furnishings into these 2-D floorplans
and then toggling to the 3-D version so I can see the rooms like this:
How cool is that?!
Any volunteers to read the User's Manual and then teach me what I need to know? Anybody? Hello????
Oh my...I have been so negligent with my blog postings this week! I did get a couple of emails asking what the heck I've been up to and I must apologize - but I was pleasantly surprised that anybody was paying that close attention!
Admittedly, I have been on a Spring Cleaning craze into the wee hours of the night and waking up early to accomplish some of the tasks I have assigned myself. I think I'm about burnt out, but thought I'd share some tips with you for your (ha ha) fun & entertainment:
Storing winter clothes:
Start by cleaning the items, it's gross but there could be bug larvae in the fabric and they'll come visit while in storage...enjoying the feast on your clothes. Clean is definitely better.
Plastic containers are best suited for storage, and if you don't mind the wrinkles, Space Bags rule (in my humble opinion). I have used a combo of containers & bags...sweaters and comforters in the bags, clothing and shoes in the containers. A little tip: don't suck out ALL of the air in the Space Bag and you don't get the mega-wrinkle.... Some people don't agree with storing your clothes in air tight containers, but I've never had a problem...after all, it's just for half a year. If I was storing them for an extended period, I might do it differently.
By the way, if you haven't worn the item of clothing for the past 2 seasons, you probably won't. Give it to your local charity. Excluding specialty items, of course (I still keep my ski sweater & pants even though I haven't been skiing in I don't know how long)...the key here is ensuring they still FIT!
I'd be lying if I said I did all of it myself...I'm blessed to have somebody help me with my cleaning so the lovely Diana did the scrubbing, but I cleaned out the fridge, freezer and pantry. Oh my...I found canned goods from the early 2000's that I can't believe I moved when my husband & I bought our house. EW.
I did run the dishwasher empty...it's great to freshen it with vinegar (or baking soda) and clean out the food trap at the bottom.
Clean the silverware drawer & the organizer...check yours out and you'll know I'm right.
Our coffee table has an inserted glass top and it is a MUST to lift it at least once a year to clean out the build up between the glass and the table itself. This isn't my living room, but it is my coffee table so you can see how it could get kind of gross if it wasn't maintained:
What do you have in your house that could use a little extra attention? How about your ceiling fans? Yep. Turn them off and check them out...or avoid turning them on before cleaning so you don't have any chunks of dust flying through the air. I used some Murphy's Oil Soap on the blades and then took the light fixtures down and washed them. (I think I looked younger AND prettier in the room afterwards in that clean light!)
Take the cushions off of the couch and vacuum inside...who knows what you might find in that abyss? If you have some small stains, try an upholstery cleaner (test it on a hidden area). I just used the long attachment on the vacuum and went to town. My husband's "side" of the couch had some unidentified particles which I am not acknowledging...but did inspire me to make a cocktail and stop the craze for the evening!
Know anybody looking for a great 3 bedroom home in the Park Cities area? This property has been updated, but retains it's original charm and avoids the McMansion trend. Staging will make a house look more like a home that potential buyers can envision themselves living in. Belo is a 90 second before & after video sample... and you can find the listing HERE.
With St. Patrick's Day being this month, I thought maybe I was just preconceived to seeing green wherever I looked? Because I visited this kitchen last week in a home staging initial consultation and all I could see was the outdated GREEN backsplash. Oh my. The client opted not to invest in a renovation as suggested, but instead will offer the buyer a credit so they can renovate to their own liking.
Hmmm...would anybody be able to get past the dated look of this kitchen and make an offer?
What to do?!
The goal of home staging is to NEUTRALIZE the property by enhancing the positive aspects and minimizing the negative, uh, green aspects. My team & I started neutralizing this kitchen by replacing the dated light fixtures and cabinet handles and clearing the clutter.
We then exhaled a huge sigh of relief - it was going to work!
We also added some green toned accents in the adjoining room to carry the color throughout the space and move your eyes AWAY from the screaming backsplash.
The only green in this house now is the color of money, baby! It will sell faster AND for a higher price than if the seller had not taken the time to enlist by Michelle Lynne to professionally stage it.
I love a good deal. Don't we all?! But I mean it really makes me happy when I find something I was looking for at half the price of what I expected to pay...and I really love when I find something I didn't even know I needed and it's a good price.
My assistant turned me on to what is now one of my favorite places to "hunt": woot.com. If you haven't checked this site out, let me have the pleasure of introducing you: Not only is there the original WOOT, but there is also KIDS.WOOT, SHIRT.WOOT, SELLOUT.WOOT, DEALS.WOOT and last my certainly not least, WINE.WOOT. Admittedly, WINE.WOOT is my favorite, but I am continually amazed at some of the cool things I find at DEALS.WOOT...check out a few of today's bargains:
Quantities are limited so the deals listed above may not be around by the time you're reading this blog...but WOOT will still be around so I suggest you check it out. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy the Isis Vee Tank while it's still available!
So I am currently negotiating with a client to handle his soon to be listed home's staging (and hopefully subsequent decor of his next home!), and while running through my costs, I thought I would also calculate my time to ensure I was providing value to him and not just being greedy. So in case you think HGTV is "reality" television, here is what goes into a job from start to finish, regardless of whether the property is vacant or occupied:
1 hour: Initial consultation. I will visit the property and visit with the seller, take room measurements (especially if it's an awkward space) and "before" photos.
1 - 2 hours: The space planning & rough design, including existing and necessary furniture and accessorioes room by room.
1 - 2 hours: Research furniture rental options for each room, taking into consideration the price point and neighborhood of the property as well as existing furniture. Present full estimate and suggested options to client for final approval.
1 - 2 hours: Coordinate with furniture rental partner for furniture choices and possible substitutions; time includes re-design of initial floor plan by room - as necessary.
5 - 9 hours: Shop existing inventory as well as the purchase of additional art, accessories, bedding, linens, lamps, rugs & small furnishings (Goods) for the property.
3 - 6 hours: Usually the day prior to installation, we will create an inventory list of all Goods for delivery the next day. Of course, these need to be wrapped & packed securely for transport!
4 - 8 hours: This depends on the size of the property and whether it is vacant or occupied but generally can run up to a full day, and this doesn't include the time of my assistant(s)! During installation, I will direct the placement of the rented furnishings, re-arrange existing furniture, unload & unpack all Goods, hang curtains if necessary, steam any wrinkles out of the linens, accessorize each room, hang the art, sweep & mop (if necessary) and then take the exciting "after" photos!
1 - 2 hours: Edit the photos later that night or first thing the next morning and send to seller & Realtor. I should upload to my blog / website at this point, but it sometimes waits until later....
2 - 4 hours: Attend open house to assist listing agent and ensure staging is immaculate.
3 - 4 hours: Schedule furniture pick up and Goods removal after property is sold. Return to staged house, pack and load all Goods and meet furniture company for pick up (could be 2 separate visits). Sweep & mop empty house if necessary.
2 - 3 hours: Unpack all Goods, re-inventory and put away. Look into storage solutions.
Whew! I am tired just thinking about that. It's a 25 - 43 hour process from beginning to end and that is assuming everything goes to plan. I can rest easily that I'm not being greedy! So if you are considering enlisting a home stager and wondering if the price is justified, I hope this will help you understand what we do behind the scenes while transforming your house into a "model home". And remember: no matter what, hiring a professional stager is always less expensive than the cost of the first price reduction!