• One Day On The Market & I Was Asked To Destage The House

    I was recently called upon to provide a staging consultation with the home owners of a Seattle waterfront property that had been vacant for a year. After purchasing  the home, the home owners had put off moving in because they could not decide how to design the rooms. As much as they tried, they just could not picture how they could use the spaces for themselves. When they bought the house, the home was staged and they liked it, but once they bought the house and viewed the empty rooms, they felt overwhelmed and paralyzed. So much so, that after leaving it completely empty for a year, they decided to put it on the market and sell it. 

    water front property for sale.
    We also brought red color to jazz up all of the beige.

    Several of the rooms were quite large with high ceilings while some had very sharp and unusal angels. The 70’s addition did not match the original mid-century architecture, and of course, the wall paper, counter tops and other features were from the 50s. 


    After viewing the entire house, I suggested that they should have the house and the windows cleaned. This was going to be a 1.4 million-dollar home and I wanted to feature the spectacular views of the lake. In addition, I told them that there would be no need to remove the wall paper in order to

    sheridan beach staged master bedroom
    Modern furniture in this dated master bedroom helped buyers to visualize the possibilities.

    update the home since the entire house was dated. My idea was that by bringing in modern furniture, we would help home buyers envision the potential outcome of  a renovation and that this place could be converted to a cohesive modern home. 

    A couple of weeks later, the house was staged and was put on the market. When my staged homes go on the market, I always wait anxiously for that call telling me it is SOLD. Only one day after this house was on the market, I received a very surprising call from the home owner saying “we are taking our home OFF the market”. I almost had a heart attack. The home sellers said that when they came to check out the staging, they spent a long time in each room and our space definition helped them to envision themselves living in their own home. I didn’t know what to say.  This was a first for me. After my initial shock wore off, I quickly realized what a huge compliment this actually was. 

    The owners asked me to design their home after their remodeling was completed. I also got the opportunity to stage their other home and the agent listed that house for them instead after they had moved into their newly remodeled waterfront home. After all, who could have said no this view?

    Sheridan beach home for sale in seattle wa
    The stunning view from this Sheridan's Beach property




  • I Opened The Door And My Heart Sank

    I was recently asked to visit a condo unit in the Capitol Hill area for possible staging. I met with the home owner and the agent to discuss the needs of the home before it went on the market.  One of the main recommendations was to repaint the walls a warm neutral color and I suggested Jute By Benjamin Moore. 

    Home sellers had painted the walls a dark blue color
    Home Sellers had painted the walls a dark blue color.

    On the day of staging, I opened the door and my heart just sank. I was expecting freshly painted wall colors in Jute and clean windows. What did I see? Dirty windows and BLUE walls. For a moment I thought I had walked into the wrong unit, but no, I was in the right place. I was totally shocked. I checked my email sent box to double check, and confirmed that the color was to be Jute and not that blue. Puzzled, I called the agent to see what was going on. She informed me that the home sellers did not like neutral colors and that they loved this blue.  Really? When the FOR SALE sign goes up on your yard, it means that it is NOT about you, the home seller,  anymore.  It is about appealing to home buyers. Light in the homes means everything to a dark home for sale. Some particular shades of blue will work well for some homes, but not that BLUE in that house. 

    I had no choice but to work with it. I added rich dark brown as an accent to tone down the blue and used cream colored carpets and throws with a neutral color sofa to brighten the room. In the end, I was able to create an inviting and cozy room and solved the problem as best as I could. But, it will be hard to find that many people who love such dark blue walls in an entire home.

    Home sellers can help with the success
    Your home becomes a product when it is FOR SALE.

    Home sellers should remember that in order to have a successful outcome when putting their homes on the market, they need to be detached. A home for sale has to be viewed as a product that would appeal to the most buyers. This is why hiring a home stager is important and produces results. They can assess the home and make recommendations without any personal attachments. Remember, it is now all about the home buyers and not you. 

     In contrast, take a look at this house with motivated home sellers. Their walls were painted a dark blue and we recommended changing them to a light gray. Their house was sold in two weeks.  

    Please research and hire a professional home stager and stick to her or his advice. If you feel uncomfortable with the advice, I highly recommend you discuss the issues with your home stager to find out the reasons behind those recommendations before you go rogue. After all, an expert’s advice is what you are paying your home stager for. 



  • I Said YES To Orange, Yellow, Blue, Red and Green Walls For This House!

    Yep, you heard me right. Sometimes I do tell home sellers not to change the wall colors and to leave those strong colors on the walls. And the reason for this “nontraditional” home staging
    recommendation is consistent with the occasions when I tell the home seller to change the wall colors. 

    When I meet the home sellers and take a closer look at their homes, I make serveral recommendations and paint is always one category that we tackle. Either the walls need to be repainted the same color to freshen up the walls or they need their color changed to a lighter one or possibly, even a darker one.  As an example, for this house, we suggested changing the dark blue colors in the dining and living rooms to a light grey.

    However, for this Craftsman Style home in Fremont, we suggested that the home owners leave the wall colors as they were. There were many different, rich and deep colors throughout the house but because it was done in such a beautiful way, it worked well in this house.  The painted walls actually had become a feature of this home. I accented the wall colors with accessories and vignettes to balance and tie everything together. This created a flow throughout the house and the results were stunning. I knew then that the flow and the mixture of the colors in this house would evoke strong emotions and that the home buyers would take notice. My gut feeling was right too –the house was SOLD in only 12 days.

    The blue grey master bedroom
    The blue grey master bedroom

    I carefully selected a white bedding for this bedroom with pillows that had a hint of the color in the walls and an orange pillow to emphasis the beautiful wall paper over the fireplace. You can see the orange pillow’s reflection in the mirror.

    The bedroom with red walls 

    The guest room with red walls and black trim just needed white bedding and brown pillows to tone down and brighten the room. This created a beautiful contrast. 

    orange walls in the powder room
    Orange walls in the powder room

    The beautiful orange walls with the dark trim was stunning, so we just added the white towels to make them pop.

    The green walls in the study or office
    The green walls in the study or office

     For the office with green walls, we choose a daybed that had lots of white and green. Then we added dark brown ottomans, as well as a desk and chair, to mimic the dark wood trims. 

    Yellow living and dining rooms
    Yellow living and dining room

    The beautifully yellow glazed walls were so stunning that I did NOT add wall art on the main large walls. I left them blank because the effects were a focal point of these rooms. I just brought in cream furniture to brighten it up and and added yellow accessories to create flow. 

    I did say YES to orange, yellow, blue, red and green walls. Sometimes neutral is not the way to go. Choosing different colors for the walls has to make sense and it did for this house.

    (All The pictures of this house are by HD Estates.)








  • Keep Oil And Vinegar For Your Salad And Not Your Hardwood Floors

    This blog was inspired by an expreince that I had few months back. A home owner called and asked me to view his house, that has been rented for the past three years and now he was ready to put it on the market and wanted me to stage it. Upon our arrival, we discovered destroyed hard wood floors. Throughout these past three years, the tenant had used  a mixture of water and vinegar to clean these floors and then later on, she used a gallon of olive oil in the hopes of recapturing the original finished look.

    PROTECT your hardwood floors. It’s easy and inexpensive.

    Wood flooring means $$$ when it comes to selling your home, especially when they’re in great condition. By taking few simple steps, you can keep your hardwood floors in excellent condition. Not only will you enjoy your well maintained floors while you’re living in your home, but also , you won’t have to go through big repair expenses or replace your floors.

    However, as easy as it is to maintain the wood floors often times, when I view homes for staging, I come across wood floors that have been scratched and scuffed. This sort of damage can be easily prevented. Here are some simple and inexpensive tips:

    • Use felt pads on the bottom of your furniture legs. This not only protects your wood floors, it also makes it easier to move the furniture around for easy cleaning. NEVER drag large pieces of furniture across your wood floor without this kind of protection. You can find felt pads at any home improvement store. A low cost prevention.
    • First sweep or vacuum the wood floors to remove the dust or any abrasive residues before cleaning. Otherwise, the dirt could act as sandpaper, and that’s the last thing that you want.
    • Use the right products made especially for wood floors. I say, “it’s all about preventing vs. repairing.” We always recommend Bona products. 
    • Unlike what you’ve heard before, cleaning products should NEVER EVER include oil based cleansers or vinegar. Oil and vinegar is for your tossed salad, and not for your beautiful wood floors. I use Bona products and I love it.

     Oil and vinegar is for salad and NOT for your hardwood floors!

    • Spray the product only onto a terry cloth wood floor mop. Don’t wet- mop the floor. Water residue can leak down between the boards and cause the finish to lift. Not good. Just remember, that liquid and wood floors don’t mix well.
    • Trim your pet’s claws regularly.
    • Take off your high-heel shoes.
    • Always use a clean mop.
    • Every two years, you can hire a professional company to deep clean, buff, and reseal your wood floors.

    It’s all about preventing.