August 29, 2015

Styled, Staged & Sold

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Bringing you the latest home and design trends.
Updated: 9 min 44 sec ago

Match the Curb Appeal to the Home’s Style

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 02:00

Does your listing’s curb appeal match it’s architecture? A new guide provides tips on how to achieve curb appeal that compliments a home’s architecture.

The Fypon Style Guide, created with Duket Architects Planners in Toledo, Ohio, provides tips on adding polyurethane products that match a home’s architecture in adding to its curb appeal.

“This free guide makes it easy for home owners, builders, and remodelers to add stylish architecturally accurate accent pieces to home exteriors,” says JJ Rogers, sales operations manager with Fypon. “These are lightweight, easy-to-install products that are designed to complement different styles of homes and eliminate people shuddering as they drive by a home.”

See the differences among some of the home styles featured in the guide:

Classic (including Georgian, Federal and Victorian styles): Earmarked by a strong symmetry and design elements that remain timeless, Classic style homes have impressive curb appeal because of their well-balanced front elevations. Exteriors are highlighted by columns, shutters, door surrounds and crossheads. Adding curb appeal: Classic rails and newel posts with trim collars, rail blocks, and baluster panels can enhance these house exteriors.

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Arts & Crafts: Popularly referred to as Arts & Crafts, Mission ,or Prairie style homes, these simplistic house designs feature booth woodgrain and smooth textures on the exterior. Adding curb appeal: Fypon’s solid woodgrain closed-ended beam with a rafter end and a woodgrain bracket enhance the porch, which is commonly included on these home styles. A square top and bottom rail combined with a rail support block can help create a porch system when matched with square balusters. Dentil blocks, a timber trellis and fishscale panels also can help curb appeal on an Arts & Crafts exterior.

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Mediterranean: Often associated with the 1920s and 1930s, Mediterranean style homes can be found in Spanish, Greek, and Italianate home designs. Known for having stucco walls and low-pitched roofs, Mediterranean style homes feature layouts inspired by lush gardens, courtyards, pools, and fountains. Adding curb appeal: Tile vents, corbels for under the roofline, woodgrain plank shutters, columns, and decorative accents for doorways.

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Country/Cottage: Including Farmhouse and Cape Cod styles, these simplistic homes — often with sprawling porches — offer comfort and efficiency. Adding curb appeal: For farmhouse style homes with simple trim details, try louvered shutters, porch posts, louvers, and symmetrical brackets. Flat trim, crossheads and plain porch posts complete the farmhouse style. For a Cape Cod style home, try newel posts in straight and corner panel styles that can be coupled with a classic square baluster system. This straight-forward home design looks best when enhanced with crossheads over first-floor windows and dormer kits used to trim out second floor dormer windows.

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide

Today’s Traditional: Rooted in historical styles, Today’s Traditional homes mix style with practicality, and Old World touches with updated charm. Asymmetric entry doors and windows can be topped with crossheads to add instant curb appeal. Straight columns with minimal details at the base and cap flank the entryway, while small porches featuring square balustrade systems allow a place to relax. Adding curb appeal: Raised panel shutters and eyebrow louvers enhance the exterior of Today’s Traditional homes that often sport window boxes of colorful flowers to complete the home’s overall curb appeal.

Photo credit: Fypon Style Guide


‘Heavy Metal’ is Rocking Home Design Accessories

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Mixed metals are growing in popularity in home design, adding some bling and modernizing spaces. Warm metallic — such as in burnished gold, bronze, and copper – are among the most popular, but the metal finishes being incorporated into home decor is diverse. Often, the metal finishes are being mixed together. These mixed metals  often are combined with wood elements — creating one of the most popular design trends for homes in 2015, according to Denise Dick, vice president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Just where is metal popping up in home decor? Everywhere — from lighting fixtures and cabinet hardware; vases and home accessories; to furnishings like accent tables and industrial-looking chairs; and even metallic wallpaper. Even gold metallic wreaths are finding their way into home décor year-round, regardless of the season.

Want to add some metallic finishes to your spaces? Here are some ideas.

Contemporary Kitchen by Sydney Interior Designers & Decorators Arent&Pyke Mediterranean Bedroom by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators M. Elle Design Contemporary Spaces by Huntington Interior Designers & Decorators AMI Designs Transitional Powder Room by Greenville Interior Designers & Decorators Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home Contemporary Dining Room by Calgary Interior Designers & Decorators Natalie Fuglestveit Interior Design

The Hottest Color for Home Interiors in 2015

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine 

Gray interiors are growing in popularity, holding the edge on most popular hue for the second year for home interiors, according to the Paint Quality Institute.

“It’s understated and sophisticated,” according to the Paint Quality Institute in a 2015 color trends report. “And most tints and shades of gray are ‘chameleon’ colors that change appearance when the light changes, so they provide enormous visual interest.”

Part of the gray appeal is that the color can go with just about any other color, an easy on the eyes neutral that home buyers will appreciate too. Gray paired with other neutrals – like white, off-white, beige, taupe, soft blue, or black – can also provide a tranquil color scheme for an interior space, particularly for family rooms and bedrooms, according to the Paint Quality Institute.

Many shades of gray are popular too, from silver tints to gunmetal, charcoal, and slate.

“Grays that contain traces of warm hues like red, yellow, or brown seem cozier, and partner best with warm companion colors,” the Paint Quality Institute notes. “On the other hand, grays that have hints of blue or green seem cooler and more austere, so they are inherently more compatible with colors on the cooler side of the spectrum.”

Transitional Living Room by Markham Interior Designers & Decorators Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc) Beach Style Living Room by Portland Photographers Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design Contemporary Bedroom by Sandy Media & Bloggers Michelle Hinckley Traditional Bedroom by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Brian Dittmar Design, Inc.


How to Accentuate the Home’s Positive Features in Staging

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 02:00

The following section has been reprinted with permission from stager Tori Toth’s new book, “Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell” (Morgan James Publishing, 2015). Toth is the owner of Stylish Stagers Inc. in New York.


Every room has positive and negative features; it’s what you do with those features that can make a buyer excited about your space. In any room of the house there should be a dramatic focal point that attracts your eye, but is that focal point pleasing to the eye? Does it have a positive connotation or a negative one?

Here’s a list of some positive features you may have in your home:

Positive Features

  • Large Front Yard
  • Landscaping/Sprinkler Systems
  • Two-Car Garage
  • Deck/Patio
  • Swimming Pool
  • Outdoor Living Area
  • Outdoor View
  • Energy-Efficient Windows/Insulation/Appliances
  • Picture Windows/Sliding or French Doors
  • Grand Foyer
  • Wood Floors
  • Built-in Shelving
  • Fireplace
  • Hi-Hat Lighting/Fans/Chandeliers
  • Lots of Storage Space/Closets
  • Kitchen with Island
  • Home Office
  • Master Suite with Spa-Like Bathroom
  • Large Rooms
  • Family Room or Additional Great Room
  • Open Layout
  • Finished Basement

These are just a few of the positive features buyers look for in a new home. If you have these types of features in your home, guess what? You’re one step closer to the closing table because you already own what buyers are looking for. Now you just have to make sure they notice those features.

Here’s a list of some negative features, or basically anything that is an eyesore, a needed repair, or an imperfection you can’t change.

Negative Features

  • Location of Home
  • Uninviting Curb Appeal
  • No Garage
  • Unappealing or No Landscape
  • Peeling Exterior Paint/Bad Paint Colors
  • Old Roof
  • Old Windows/Doors
  • Small or Awkward Layout
  • Carpeting
  • Outdated Kitchen and Bathrooms
  • Small Bedrooms
  • Limited Ceiling Lighting
  • Structural Problems
  • Electrical/Plumbing Problems

Some of these negative features can have a real impact on whether the buyer makes an offer or not, and if an offer is made how much will they take off the sales price to budget in improving these features? Some features are just out of your control; for instance, the location of your home is impossible to change.

So, in order to make sure these positive features get noticed, we have to downplay the negative aspects of the space. Stylish Stagers staged a co-op apartment in Kew Gardens that is a great example of this. The space was average; nothing really grabbed the buyer’s attention. And while the apartment was large, the seller’s belongings were scattered everywhere. This picture was their living room before we staged the space. What attracts your eye? Is it positive or negative?

The orange focal wall stands out and says, “look at me,” but there is nothing there to look at. While the window is large and bright, the curtains are less than attractive. The paint color also directs your eye to that door in the corner. This door had caused many headaches for the sellers because it’s a door to nowhere. They’d been on the market for a year before calling us, and the sellers said, “Every time a buyer comes in they question that door.” So we knew we’d need to come up with a solution. Take a look at what we did.

Our company painted the room a comfy beige, removed their window treatment, and added curtains from floor to ceiling, flanking the picture window. Then we extended the fabric to cover the doorway. Presto, the door to nowhere is now nowhere to be found. We also switched the furniture layout so that when you walked through the front door into the room you saw the couch rather than the entertainment center. As you can see, by painting, decluttering, rearranging, and adding some modern accessories by taking a cue from mother nature, we were able to update this two-bedroom, two-bath co-op and highlight many of the space’s positive areas, such as picture windows, spacious layout, and wood floors.

Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell” (Morgan James Publishing, 2015) by Tori Toth

6 Misperceptions About Home Staging

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 02:00

By Patti Stern, PJ & Co. Staging and Interior Decorating

Staging your home involves creating an environment that house hunters can envision themselves living in and can help to facilitate a speedy sale and for top dollar. Quite simply, if potential buyers don’t feel an emotional connection with your home, they won’t feel like they belong there and they’ll be inclined to look elsewhere.

That said, why would home owners make the selling process more difficult for themselves by choosing NOT to stage their property in order to make the best impression? The following are some misconceptions that sellers have about home staging.

1. It’s too expensive.

Staging is an investment in getting a house sold for top dollar and always less than the first price reduction on a home. According to the Association of Staging Professionals (ASP), 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days or less and sell for 17 percent more than homes that are not staged. When compared with the carrying costs of a home that lags on the market (monthly mortgage, utilities, landscaping/snow removal, etc.), the cost of staging is far less.

2. Our home has been professionally decorated.

Decorating and staging are completely different. Although home owners may love the way their house looks and it suits their needs perfectly, it may not appeal to the tastes and style of today’s buyers. An accredited home stager has the experience and objectivity to prepare a home for mass appeal in the current marketplace to engage as many buyers as possible — no matter what their personal style.

3. We don’t need a stager to declutter and clean.

Although these may seem like easy tasks, there is a lot of emotion that goes into depersonalizing a home after so many years of accumulating personal belongings. An accredited stager will provide a detailed action plan to neutralize and remove any items that will distract from the home’s features to get the house sold.

4. We can’t stage the house if we’re living in it.

Staging is absolutely not just for vacant homes. Every home can be staged while it’s occupied and a professional stager will provide home owners with tips for keeping the home in show-ready condition while the home is on the market — and still feel comfortable in their own home.

5. We can wait and then stage later if needed.

There is a lot of truth to the popular phrase “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” If you don’t stage before you list, you will inevitably lose time and money.

6. Staging won’t hide all the problems.

Before beginning the staging process, sellers should address basic repairs such as leaky faucets and broken lights first so buyers won’t have a reason to turn away as soon as they walk into a home. Once this is done, a staging company will handle superficial imperfections such as repainting walls and removing outdated wallpaper to make the home aesthetically inviting and comfortable.

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and professional stager of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. She and her team provide turnkey, full service home- staging and interior decorating to clients across Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. She also developed an award winning staging program for luxury home builder, Toll Brothers. Patti has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC Connecticut and FOX TV. She is a regular contributor to the National Association of Realtor’s Blog, “Style, Staged and Sold.”


How Long Do Common Household Items Last?

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 02:00

*This infographic was produced by

In Kitchens, the Design May Trump Cooking

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 02:00

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Home owners continue to invest in their kitchens but cooking appears to be coming in secondary to the design of the space, according to the latest American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey which focused on kitchen and bath design trends.

“The major point of emphasis in kitchen design nowadays revolves less around actual cooking activities,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. ”Rather, home owners are looking for kitchens that are gathering spots for family and entertaining, as well as serving as a hub for electronic devices and recharging stations.”

Many of the architect respondents surveyed by AIA noted the revival of kitchen as the “hearth” of the home in the traditional sense: for family gathering, for entertaining, and for daily activities.

Indeed, the kitchen has become the “activator” – the main space in a residence and a center of operations in a home, says James Walbridge, chair of AIA’s custom residential architects network.

“The design requirements often include high functionality to accommodate multiple activities,” Walbridge says. “The aesthetics of the kitchen have also changed as the composition and material selections have elevated the space to become an essential focal point of the total design.”

Traditional Kitchen by Tampa Interior Designers & Decorators Paul Anater



The following are some of the most popular kitchen products and features identified by architects in the latest AIA survey:

  • LED lighting
  • Computer area/recharging station
  • Larger pantry space
  • Upper-end appliances
  • Double island
  • Adaptability/universal design
  • Drinking water filtration systems

As for bathroom remodeling, accessibility requirements and energy efficiency are driving more household redesigns. The survey identified the following popular bathroom products and features:

  • LED lighting
  • Doorless showers
  • Adaptability/universal design
  • Large walk-in showers
  • Stall shower without tub
  • Water saving toilets
  • Radiant heated floors