December 21, 2014

Styled, Staged & Sold

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Bringing you the latest home and design trends.
Updated: 1 hour 16 sec ago

The 12 Days of Safety This Holiday Season

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 01:00

Provided by the National Safety Council

Real Christmas Tree vs. Fake: Which Is Really Greener?

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 01:00

In 2012, consumers purchased 24.5 million real and 10.9 million fake Christmas trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Which are more environmentally friendly? Help homeowners answer that question by tweeting a free article, “Real Christmas Trees vs. Fake Christmas Trees: Which are Greener”, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the December “Deck-orate the Halls!” article package. Share all five today.

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REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.





The 2015 Color of the Year Is …

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

If the “2014 Color of the Year” – the bright pink-purplish Radiant Orchard – was too bold for your tastes, you may find Pantone’s 2015 color choice a perfect toned down hue: Marsala. The earthy wine red is expected to warm up more interiors in the new year, and it may become your new go-to color in home staging in 2015.

Since the shade isn’t as overpowering as its predecessor, Marsala can be a unifying color element for interior spaces that can add a pop of color without proving to be a distraction.

“Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances, and linens throughout the home,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

In prepping homes for sale, expect to see the rich red tone to show up in more accent pieces and accessories in 2015, from vases and throw pillows to patterned rugs. Pantone says that textured surfaces enhance the color, which will likely make it also a popular choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture. The color is also expected to be prominent in stripe and floral patterns, such as in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding, and throws.

Here’s how some designers have been incorporating the hue.

Traditional Living Room by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Rachel Reider Interiors Farmhouse Living Room by New York Architects & Building Designers Ike Kligerman Barkley Contemporary Living Room by London Architects & Building Designers Francesco Pierazzi Architects Traditional Bedroom by Other Metro Architects & Building Designers BOLD Architecture + Interior Design Modern Living Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators jamesthomas, LLC

5 Safety Tips When Decorating the Exterior for the Holidays

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 01:00

Submitted by Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)

Image courtesy of Utopian Landscapes/Christmas Décor, a member of PLANET

It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:

1. Inspect the lights and wires.

Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.

2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.

Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:

  • Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
  • Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.

3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.

LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.). Also, don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.

4. Take caution on rooftops or elevated areas.

Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition. Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding.

Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often. Also, keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines. 
Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the training to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.

5. Remove lights at the end of the holiday season.
Over a period of time, lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you tow the lights away for next year.

Make a Small Bathroom the Highlight

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 01:00

Sellers’ snug bathroom doesn’t have to be a disappointment to potential buyers. Show them how to max out its potential by e-mailing a free article: “10 Inside Tips from a Designer Who Specializes in Small Baths” from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the “Save Big While Boosting Home Value” article package you can e-mail or share on any of your social media today.

Visit for more articles like this.



REALTOR® Content Resource” is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from “HouseLogic” to your marketing materials.

How Staging Is Key to Tackle the Emerging Generational Gap

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 01:00

By Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Every one is starting to make predictions already for the 2015 housing market. One of our own predictions: 2015 will continue to be a buyer’s market, particularly in certain areas where homes are older. While low inventory has plagued the market for years, a broader disconnect exists between inventory and buyer preferences.

As more Millennial’s (the generation under the age of 33), enter the market and baby boomers downsize, the generation gap between buyers and sellers will further drive market conditions.

Younger home buyers make up the largest groups of today’s consumers. According to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, Millennial’s and slightly older Generation X represent over 60 percent of today’s home buyers.

However, the bulk of the housing inventory over the next 15 years will come from retiring boomers who want to downsize and embrace a new lifestyle that doesn’t include their large suburban home. It’s expected that 20.1 million senior households will attempt to sell between 2015 and 2030, and according to University of Utah researcher, Arthur C. Nelson. What’s more, an estimated 7.4 million won’t be able to find people to buy the houses.

Younger buyers want an already updated home and with a large percentage of homes built before 1990, that poses a challenge for the market. Older, outdated homes give buyers a lot of reasons to cross the property off their list.

Homes staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

The ‘Senior Sell Off’

Sellers who adapt to the changing marketplace and understand that today’s buyers don’t have the same vision when it comes to updating a home will position their property in the market and stand out from the competition.

Staging continues to be more important than ever before — whether it is a $250,000 home or a $2 million dollar home — to preserve and in some cases boost a home’s value and get it sold.

Homes staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Only 35.1 percent of home sellers nationwide think now is a good time to sell. But waiting may mean increased competition from similar style and aged homes. Staging and even low cost renovations can help sellers get top dollar in a shorter market time today so they don’t become part of the ‘senior sell-off’.

“It’s important we offer sellers the resources to successfully sell their home now,” says John and Joanne Hoye with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in West Hartford, Conn. “Staging gets the properties looking their absolute best, boosting seller’s confidence in listing their home today rather than waiting. It also helps address inventory issues by bringing to market more move-in condition homes. Quality, well-priced inventory will ultimately drive a more balanced market that’s a win-win for our buyer and seller clients and staging can help us get there.”

For more examples of home staging, visit
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit She can be reached at

Thanksgiving for 10 Averages $50: Help Owners Prep

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:20

The average cost to host a 10-guest Thanksgiving spread is $49.48, according to a 2012 American Farm Bureau Federation survey of 150 volunteer shoppers around the country.

The cost of preparing your home for holiday guests is much more difficult to determine. But you can help owners do it wisely and efficiently. Add to your e-newsletter a free article, Tips on How to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the November “Be the Host with the Most for Thanksgiving” article package. Share all five today.

Visit for more articles like this.


REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

3 Staging Solutions to Modernize a Space

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Stager Sandra Holmes, president of Home Staging Concepts in South Florida, shows how a few design touches can instantly transform a room.

#1 Accessorize it.

Master suite sitting area

Problem: The nearly bare seating area wasn’t sending the message of luxury in this multi-million dollar home.



Solution: Holmes wanted to soften the look and create a more intimate seating area. She brought in tables, added accessories and greenery and faux fur pillows for a layered look, and anchored the space with a textured rug.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts,


#2 Furnish it.

Great room

Problem: This large great room was vacant, devoid of any personality, and buyers were having difficulty envisioning the layout for furniture.


Solution: Holmes offered up a picture by giving a modern treatment to the space, using furniture with straight lines, mismatching – but complementary—patterns and textures through fabrics and artwork, glass table-lamps, and color pops of blues.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts,


#3 Re-imagine it.

Guest bedroom

Problem: This condo bedroom showed it was great for children, but the owners of this beachfront home were missing an opportunity to show the space off as the perfect guest room.


Solution: Holmes transformed the room to a guest bedroom, adding light, soft colors through new bedding and accented it with beach-themed artwork over the twin beds.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts,



Share These Fall Garden Cleanup Tips with Your Home Owners

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 15:21

Help home owners show off their garden even when it’s not in full bloom. E-mail the handy article “How to Clean Up Your Garden for Fall and Winter“ from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the “Maintenance to Do Now“ article package that you can e-mail or share on any of your social media today.

Visit for more articles like this.


REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

6 Trends Driving New-Home Designs

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

What is luring home buyers to new homes? Technology, the outdoors, and “super kitchens” are among what Nick Lehnert, executive director at KTGY, and Mollie Carmichael, principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, recently shared with BUILDER Online on some of the design drivers in the new-home market.

Here are some of the trends they point to:

1. Super kitchens: The kitchen is not just a hub for cooking but has become a center of the home for entertainment and conversations. Builders have been opening the kitchen to other rooms and the kitchen island is becoming key to separating the spaces. The island adds more seating along with extra prep space. As kitchens become more open, pantries are getting bigger to accommodate the need for storage.


Transitional Kitchen by Asbury Park Kitchen & Bath Remodelers Robert Legere Design

2. Outdoor/indoors merged: The interiors are feeling stretched by carving out spaces that seamlessly allow home owners to walk into outdoor retreats. But buyers want those outdoor spaces to be private, a stray from the once traditionally “public” backyard. As such, more builders are taking note and carefully positioning the architecture of the home to make sure the outdoor space offers more privacy.

3. Bigger garage spaces: Builders are taking note of buyers’ preferences for more space in the garage, and not just for squeezing in their cars. The garage can be a workspace, hobby haven, and place for added extra storage.

4. Office space: The office/den is in demand as more people work from home, but the best location for it is to still in question. Traditionally, the home office has been located off the main entry of the home. But now builders are rethinking the location as buyers show preferences to have the office closer to the “living” area, particularly near the kitchen hub and family room.

5. Tech-spot: More home owners are constantly plugged into their technology, and the growth of connected homes likely will lead to even more need for tech hubs in the house. Some builders are designing small “server” rooms as smart technology enters more homes.

6. Dual homes: More people are squeezing under one roof as young adults stay with their parents longer, aging parents move in, and cultural preferences further the trend. Builders are taking a keen interest in multigenerational living arrangements. For example, Lennar has launched a NextGen brand of floorplans geared to multigenerational living, which include separate main entrances and options like a 500-square-foot attached suite for a private residence. View a video to see inside a NextGen multigenerational home.

  Read more new-home trends at BUILDER online. 

Add Some Harvest Decor to Your Staging

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Fall is in the air…

Just because your home owners have their home listed for-sale, doesn’t mean they have to strip their home of all fall seasonal décor. In fact, adding a little seasonal décor may help the home feel more welcoming, even complete with the warm vanilla and apple smells of the season too.

Pops of orange, butterscotch, gold, copper, and reds may be just the added richness your listing’s décor needs to spice it up, and it’ll be perfectly in season too.

Here are some tasteful fall décor ideas, with inspiring photos from Houzz.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Set the dining room table and show it off as the perfect place for a holiday feast.

Traditional Dining Room by Southlake Kitchen & Bath Designers Sterling Renovations


Create an autumn-inspired welcoming doorstep, such as with wreaths, planters, or harvest-hued throw pillows for the furnishings.

Traditional Porch by Detroit Interior Designers & Decorators The Yellow Cape Cod Traditional Exterior by St. John’s Interior Designers & Decorators Seaside Interiors Mediterranean Entry by South Pasadena Design-Build Firms Cynthia Bennett & Associates Traditional Entry


Add some of those fall-inspired accessories and colors to the interior. But less can be more — don’t go overboard!

Spaces by Acton Interior Designers & Decorators Silver Birch Design Traditional Exterior Traditional Living Room Eclectic Porch by Kansas City Landscape Contractors All By Design Landscaping, LLC


Carve out some special touches for even the least expected places, like the mailbox. 

Traditional Landscape by Boston Photographers Mary Prince


Make the home warm and cozy, while bringing in the richness of autumn-inspired hues.

Rustic Living Room by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Bosworth Hoedemaker


Check Out Some Devilish Décor for Halloween

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 07:02

Home owners love to decorate their homes for the holidays. But how far is too far when it comes to curb appeal with your Halloween décor? Get amused – or maybe even a little spooked – and check out this new slideshow at REALTOR® Magazine, the “Scariest (or Funniest?) Home Décor.

Show Off a Home’s Dining Space

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 01:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Nearly three-quarters of about 1,700 home owners recently surveyed say that they use their dining rooms on a daily or weekly basis, according to the 2014 Houzz Decorating Trends Survey.

The majority of home owners surveyed say they want big tables in their dining rooms too. More specifically, rectangular tables with dark wood or glass that can seat up to six people. That is among the top requests of many remodeling home owner’s wish lists, according to the survey.

Dining Room Staging Solutions

Sandra Holmes, president of Home Staging Concepts in Weston, Fla., and president-elect of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, had a home she staged where the existing dining table and buffet were outdating the space. What’s more, the all-white was causing the room’s potential to get overlooked.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts,

What she did: Holmes channeled a more modern, tropical look for this Miami condo’s dining room, bringing in a glass table, modern chairs and artwork, a textured rug, and set the table to show it ready for a dinner party.

Photo credit: Sandra Holmes, Home Staging Concepts,

Here’s more inspiration for dining room makeovers of your listings.

Try mismatched furniture to create more appeal.

Transitional Dining Room by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Barbara Gilbert Interiors

Set the table for a dinner party.

Mediterranean Dining Room by Clearwater Home Builders Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Add a centerpiece on the table, whether a bowl of bright-colored fruit or fresh flowers.

Traditional Dining Room by Winchester Interior Designers & Decorators Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Use a slipcover over the chairs to keep it simple, elegant.

Traditional Dining Room by Beverly Hills Interior Designers & Decorators DTM INTERIORS

Squeeze in the largest table the space can comfortably fit to show off the full entertainment space.

Traditional Dining Room by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Beverly Bradshaw Interiors

Dress up the walls, with artwork or a mirror.

Traditional Dining Room by Miami Photographers Craig Denis