The Su Casa Staging blog features articles about staging and selling homes.
What You Can Expect to Find on the Su Casa Staging Blog
In this blog you’ll find articles with tips for staging on your own. You’ll also find articles that offer reasons why you should hire a professional to stage. This blog also includes articles that offer general advice about selling your home.
We’ve included portions of the articles we posted most recently directly below. To see these articles in the correct format, scroll down and click the “read more” button under the article you want to read. The articles listed on the top right we posted within the last several weeks. The articles listed to your right and roughly in the middle we posted months or even years ago. If you scroll down even further, you’ll find a list of categories (for example, DIY, Home and Garden). Click a category to see articles on that subject.
From post on http://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2017/01/06/top-10-home-design-trends-to-expect-in-2017/#6442c8b031d5 JAN 6, 2017 @ 06:00 AM Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff Looking for some great ideas for your home? How about a voice-activated assistant that will give you a weather update while you pour coffee into a preheated mug from a warming drawer? Not your style? No worries — there’s something for everyone in this preview of 2017 design trends. We plowed into Houzz data, sifted through popular photos and articles, and talked to industry leaders for this look at 10 things we think you’ll be seeing more of in the home in 2017. 1. Satin brass. Brass finishes have been making a comeback in recent years, cherished for their ability to bring shiny golden tones to a space without the high price tag. But more recently, designers like Elizabeth Lawson have been turning away from the reflective finish of polished brass and embracing satin or brushed brass, which is more muted and warm. “I especially like a satin brass finish because it’s transitional and can complement a number of styles,” says Lawson, who used the finish in the kitchen shown here. “It also looks amazing against almost any color of the rainbow. I think we’ll continue to see rooms with satin brass for quite some time and also possibly mixed with other finishes for a more eclectic look.” 2. Voice-activated assistants. There’s been a lot of talk about voice assistants in the home. It’s something Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association, which puts on the Consumer Electronics Show every year in Las Vegas (Jan. 5 to 8, 2017), says will be big in 2017. Amazon’s Alexa, which is enabled in the Echo Dot shown on this side table, acts as a voice-activated interface for many smart home devices. Google Home’s voice assistant launched about a month ago. These devices work through activation phrases like “Alexa” or “OK Google.” The devices, placed throughout your home, are always listening in somewhat of a dormant state. Say the activation phrase, and the device fires up and awaits your command. Ask it to give you the weather or play a song from Spotify or dim your lights or power up the hot tub. Early last year, Amazon opened its platform to third parties and has since added thousands of integrated features from smart home companies like Lutron, Crestron, Philips Hue, Wemo, Honeywell, Nest, Samsung Smart Home to other services from Uber, Domino’s, NPR and more. Google Home just launched its voice-activated assistant about a month ago, and DuBravac says he expects the company to open the platform to third-party companies soon. “What you’re seeing is continued maturing of the smart home ecosystem,” he says. “It’s still a very nascent technology. Maturing isn’t something that happens instantaneously, but over time.” 3. Vanity conversions. If you’re having trouble finding the right premanufactured vanity for your home, try thinking outside the cabinet box. Many savvy homeowners are finding chests of drawers, old file cabinets, vintage consoles and more, and converting them into one-of-a-kind vanities. 4. Hardworking kitchen storage walls. In search of more open space, many homeowners and designers are doing away with expanses of upper cabinets and pushing all that storage onto a single hardworking wall. This one-stop hub frees up the rest of the space to...read more
From post on http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2015/10/understated-master-bathroom OCTOBER 2015 | BY BARBARA BALLINGER Master bathrooms, along with the average home’s overall footprint, grew larger in recent decades. And with more square footage came excessive luxury and expense—tubs with aromatherapy kits, exotic countertop materials, coffee makers, small refrigerators, and showers for two with an arsenal of body sprays that performed like a human-sized car wash. But changes are afoot. As homes have decreased in size, many people prefer to put any extra space into other areas of the house, such as closets, says Stephanie Pierce, senior manager of the design studio at MasterBrand Cabinets. They also don’t always see the need for more than one tub in the house, and often there’s already one located in bathrooms designated for children or guests. Concern about getting money that’s been invested in a remodel back at resale is another driving force spurring home owners to spend less on master bathrooms. It’s tough to justify significant expenditures when buyers seem to attach greater value to adding a deck or replacing a garage or entry door, according to the 2015 “Cost vs. Value” report. Bathrooms remodeled with upscale finishes and fixtures, for example, cost around $54,115 this past year and returned only an estimated 60 percent of that in the sales price. Less costly midrange redos brought back a better return of 70 percent, according to the same survey. Yet, having a personalized, functional master bathroom with a touch of luxury remains a buyer priority. “People aren’t going to the extreme they once did, but they want a room that looks fresh,” says Sarah Barnard, a designer in Santa Monica, Calif. Rather than relying on trends from the hotel industry as has been popular in years past, Elissa Morgante of Morgante-Wilson Architects in Chicago says, home owners are more likely to use their own needs as inspiration. Case in point: Nikki Wheeler resisted a designer friend’s advice when remodeling her master bathroom in her 1890s Denver home. “She was pushing me to knock down walls to create a magnificent oasis. I thought with an older, more historic home, creating these giant hotel-style bathrooms didn’t fit,” she says. Wheeler kept within the existing footprint, adding a vaulted ceiling and upgrading the shower, countertop, cabinets, and floor. Making these types of changes can make a big difference when selling, says sales associate Paul Wyman of The Wyman Group in Kokomo, Ind. An outdated bathroom requires a lot of work, and most buyers will favor a house with a redone bathroom over an unfinished one, he says. Today’s understated master bathrooms are influenced by the following eight style categories. Encourage your buyers and sellers to pick and choose which upgrades or which categories to focus on to come up with their own personalized take on this trend: Aesthetic. In recent years, spas inspired the emergence of tranquil, often monochromatic bathrooms. But many home owners found the look too spare and didn’t want to feel like they lived in a hotel, says designer Tiffany LeBlanc, whose eponymous firm is based outside Boston. “People want a look that’s more authentic and personalized, with their favorite colors and materials,” she says. The preference now, Barnard says, is to eschew classical or historic styling, even in traditional homes and for older clients. Chicago designer Tom...read more
From post on http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/01/these-doors-can-modernize-your-listing-s-look We realize that this copy targets real estate brokers specifically, but you can easily imagine it addressed specifically to you. Just substitute “your home” every time the author says “your listing.” Good luck! JANUARY 2017 | BY MELISSA DITTMANN TRACEY A front door with pizzazz has always had a starring role in a home’s curb appeal. But lately, the doors inside a home are getting a closer look for their ability to add style and address design challenges. Strategically placed doors can offer privacy in open floor plan environments or increase the usability of cramped spaces. Real estate pros Helene Bonello-Strauss and Malte Strauss with Trust International Real Estate LLC in Orlando, Fla., who also manage the staging blog idesigntosell.com, have used barn doors hung on sliding tracks above door frames and pocket doors, which tuck inside a wall, in several remodel and staging projects. “We use [barn doors] all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub [and] commode area,” says Bonello-Strauss, also a home stager. In some older homes, vanities are located in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom, a style that quickly can date a home. “Now we just close those off with a barn door, and buyers love that solution.” She also recently used two barn doors hanging from each side of an open door frame to solve an open floor plan’s privacy issue. The homeowners had built an addition off the living area that could be used as a guest bedroom, but they never installed a door to separate the bedroom from the main area. Bonello-Strauss added the double barn doors so the space could be used as a guest bedroom or opened to expand the living area when not in use by a visitor. “It truly makes the room and provides an architectural interest to an otherwise bland wall,” she says. But don’t be thrown off by the word “barn.” Your listing doesn’t have to be country chic to benefit from this space saver. The concept works in many styles, from walnut barn doors for traditional homes to galvanized metal doors for urban lofts, says Lynn MacMillan, with Gem Home Staging & Designs in St. Catharines, Ontario. Pocket doors vary widely too, from all glass to all wood and from designs that stretch to the ceiling to those that are only waist-high. Sliding doors can attach to a kitchen island and can be used to close off areas to pets or children when needed. “I prefer using sliding doors in all my projects,” says designer and architect Lilian Weinreich in New York. Sliding glazed doors, she says, help create enlarged, obstruction-free bathrooms and walk-in dressing areas. Homeowners needn’t break the bank on these door styles. Costs vary, but barn doors start around $400 (with do-it-yourself installation). A pocket door can run about $550 (including installation and labor), according to the site homewyse.com. But designers also point out the need for caution. “You don’t want overkill with this trend. A barn door is a statement piece. It’s artwork. You wouldn’t use it in every room,” says MacMillan. But in moderation, barn and double-pocket doors “instantly elevate a home’s style in a way that will make others take...read more
From http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/01/02/beige-is-back-and-theres-no-blah-about-it/ By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Beige is pushing out gray as the hottest neutral color tone in homes heading into 2017, according to several color forecasters. Beige had once been cast aside in home design as too boring. But the beiges gaining popularity again and some of the newest shades are far from boring, if paired correctly. Beige comes in many tones, dark and light. Take a look at Sherwin-Williams’ 2017 Color of the Year: Poised Taupe (SW 6039). This brownish-gray color has plenty of contrast to help make the whites in the room pop. Many beiges are more subtle. And it is true that too much of a softer neutral tone of tans could lack the same pizzazz. How can you spice up your beiges to avoid those beige blahs? A recent article by contributor Janet Dunn with Houzz offers tips on modernizing a beige backdrop. Try bolder colored accessories. Make it pop up against higher energy colors that you bring in through accessories, like pillows, rugs, artwork, vases, or even chairs. Photo by AND Interior Design Studio – More traditional dining room ideas Weave it in with browns. Yes, beige and brown can go together in a décor scheme. Just make sure you keep the tone differences enough to add depth and variety to the shades of browns you mix. Photo by Tara Seawright Interior Design – Search traditional living room pictures Pair it with black and white. Add the contrast of black with some white to update a beige color palette. You’ll give a room a more modern edge. Photo by Fiddlehead Design Group, LLC – Look for traditional family room design inspiration Try it with some pastels. Beachy brights, highlights of white, and pale aqua accessories or furnishings may also help to modernize up the beige walls. Photo by Caroline Burke Designs & Associates, Inc. – Look for beach style living room pictures Blend in some texture. Use a variety of textures so the neutral color backdrop doesn’t start to feel stale. For example, metallic, velvets, and natural linens can help give the beige walls a more updated feeling. ...read more
Originally published on http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/10/creative-ways-market-odd-spaces We realize that this copy targets realtors specifically, but these “marketing” strategies work because they are actually great suggestions: just because a room has always been used for one purpose does NOT mean it can’t be used for a different purpose. That’s what this article is about: re-purposing rooms to suit your needs. OCTOBER 2016 | BY BARBARA BALLINGER What do you say to buyers who look at a listing’s floor plan only to focus on the large space labeled “dining room” that they know they’ll rarely use? The fact is, buyers and sellers may have vastly different perceptions about how they want to live in the same home. But that doesn’t have to be a deal-killer. Part of the problem stems from how architects and builders label rooms on plans, says Chicago-based commercial interior designer Mary Cook. “Rooms get designated and labeled for specific purposes, so it’s difficult to break that perception and think about them as spaces that are something else,” she says. But as a real estate professional, you can help make a difference with the descriptions you write in your marketing materials and with the way you talk about space in a listing. Clever copy can provide just the right inspiration for buyers who might have otherwise turned away. A huge log-burning fireplace dominating a living room can be recast as a “built-in entertainment center to gather around,” suggests designer Lonnie Unger of Fredman Design Group in Chicago. Just be sure to make concrete suggestions that buyers can visualize, even before they zoom in on photos or step through the front door. Whether you’re working with sellers who have outdated notions of their listing’s assets or with buyers who can’t imagine how they’d use a space that doesn’t seem to apply to their lifestyle, we’ve amassed some talking points that can help you smooth out the conflict. Here are five examples to inspire you to help your clients imagine what can be, rather than allowing what is to become a deal breaker. 1. What it is: Oversized walk-in closet The big closets that came along with the McMansion trend were often outfitted with shelves, rods, cabinets, and even storage islands and seating space. As conspicuous consumption falls out of favor, these spaces may seem like a waste for some buyers, who’d rather spend their square footage elsewhere. What it can be: “Practical laundry space adjacent to master bedroom.” Because large walk-in closets are usually well illuminated and may even have a window for daylight, they offer numerous possibilities. How about an upstairs laundry by the bedrooms? After all, this is where most of the dirty clothing originates, so why should home owners trudge down to the basement with their hampers? If the space is large enough, a built-in ironing board or folding counter could work well, and closet shelving can be repurposed as a place to keep laundry supplies. If there’s leftover space, home owners could carve out a corner for crafts. Jennifer Ames, a salesperson with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago, notes that this idea is often appealing because few home owners want to give up a whole bedroom for such activities these days. 2. What it is: Built-in kitchen desk As kitchens became gathering hubs with more equipment, counters,...read more
Nicole was at RESACON 2017 this past past weekend (Jan 26 through Jan 28) and had the good fortune of meeting HGTV star Sabrina Soto. Sabrina stars in the HGTV series Equity Angels and is also a lifestyle expert, interior designer, bargain hunter and, she says, “most importantly, Olivia’s mommy.” We also discovered that Sabrina has her own blog site: sabrinasoto.com, which is where we found the article below. (But, by the way, you should go check out her blog about her master bedroom! Blkadj;fkjad;lfkjal;eautiful . . . and she shares where she got the goods!) Originally posted on sabrinasoto.com on January 6, 2017 I am so ready to get organized! To me, a new year is like a fresh start. As cliché as it sounds, it’s an opportunity to commit to making meaningful changes and being your best self! When I was thinking about my goals for this year, I came up with six small ways to make big changes in 2017. Like they say, “New Year, New You!” Kick the Clutter If you know me, you’ll probably already get why this is the first thing on my list! Clearing the clutter from your life is the BEST way to start fresh! I’m a huge believer that all of that extra stuff we hold onto only weighs us down. Start organizing by category and get rid of things that don’t serve a purpose in your home or workspace! I like to keep a basket in my closet for items that I no longer want or need. I hold onto the basket until it is full and then donate the things I still want to let go of! This is a great system because there’s no pressure to decide on the spot. If I find myself going back into the basket, I know I shouldn’t get rid of certain pieces. Trust me, letting go of the things that are not functional or beautiful will change your life! I’m looking to cut down on even the littlest things, starting with my car keychain. I have a bunch of loyalty cards on my keychain that I don’t use and I’m ready to take them off. The only one I need is my Plenti card! As I mentioned in my previous stocking stuffer blog post, I love using Plenti! It’s a multi-brand rewards program that allows you to earn and redeem rewards points across a variety of brands including: Macy’s, Rite Aid, Chili’s, Exxon or Mobil, AT&T, Direct Energy, Nationwide, Direct Energy, Harveys Supermarkets, Enterprise, Expedia and Hulu. It streamlines my different rewards programs into one. Goodbye cluttered car keychain! Try a New Workout Class Groupon anyone?! I don’t know about you but I get such a better workout when there’s a little pressure involved ;). Sure, I can run on the treadmill or hit the gym but going to fun new workout classes gets me so motivated! Being around all of that energy totally takes your mind off the fact that you’re burning calories and getting in shape! I love sites that allow you to try out a new spin class or yoga studio before you commit long term. Also with Plenti, you can use the Online Marketplace to shop at over 800 stores online! This means you can earn Plenti...read more
Originally posted on http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2016/03/21/designing-for-an-open-floor-plan/ Walls are vanishing from newer homes and the open-plan layouts are showing off multi-purpose areas, such as kitchens and dining rooms and living rooms that seamlessly flow into one another. But how do you decorate one large space – to make it comfortable and beautiful for eating, entertaining, relaxing and more? “The key is continuity,” says Kim Kiner, Vice President of Textile & Material Design and The Alustra® Collection for Hunter Douglas. Here are some ways: Color To keep an open-plan interior open, the No. 1 element for achieving continuity is wall color, says New York designer Glenn Lawson says. Whether “warm” or “cool,” you can use the same one throughout or paint such architectural elements as pilasters, soffits and chair rails variations of the main color, from light to dark, Lawson says. Large furnishings such as sofas and area rugs are most successful when they are, color-wise, “cousins” of the walls, three shades of blue, for example, Lawson adds. “This way the eye keeps travelling throughout the space and is not interrupted by large disparate areas,” Lawson says. Also, consider using pops of the same color, such as a grey sofa in the living room and then a grey chair-seat fabric at the dining table and a grey lamp shade in the library, suggests Shea Soucie of Soucie Horner in Chicago. “Thread a single color – or varying shades of a color – throughout an open space, and you’ll have a comforting sense of continuity as you move from one end of your home to the other,” she says. Flooring “When you have an open-concept living space, it’s important to keep the flooring material consistent so you don’t chop up the flow of the space,” Soucie says. “You can make it interesting by laying wood planks on the diagonal, for instance, or by setting reclaimed European tiles in a herringbone pattern. Whatever you choose, make it the same throughout the space.” Rugs can then be layered on top to soften the look and add warmth. It can also help in identifying the rooms within too. “Rugs are amazingly versatile,” Soucie says. “No matter what kind you choose, they add personality, color, texture and style. And you don’t have to restrict them to your floor by the way – you can hang a beautiful rug on the wall just like you would a piece of art!” Art and accessories Use art or pillows to enhance the space, such as by repeating or contrasting with an existing color in the room. Add texture with the frame. Don’t just hang the artwork to the wall, though, says Karin Edwards of Karin H. Edwards in Des Moines. “Bring it into a space, resting it on ledges, tabletops, even the floor,” she says. Lawson also likes to use glass, Lucite, polycarbonate and acrylic accessories. “They can provide sculptural interest without blocking anything, which keeps the interior open,” Lawson says. “Think glass coffee tables and ghost chairs. Their presence is beautiful yet implied, adding form in subtle fashion.” Furniture arrangement “How you position the furniture is crucial when developing beautiful, open-plan interiors,” says Whitney Stewart of Whitney Stewart Interior Design in Washington, D.C. “Separate, but equally useful and good-looking ‘zones’ can be as simple as an entry table with...read more
Posted in Home Trends, by Melissa Tracey on August 15, 2016 The model homes of builders are known for showcasing the latest interior design trends in trying to appeal to home shoppers. So what’s trending when it comes to the kitchen? PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team is merchandising about 425 model homes in 2016. The kitchen is a big area that gets a lot of the design team’s focus too. “Today’s home buyers are willing to spend more in the kitchen – from energy-efficient appliances to quartz countertops,” says Janice Jones, PulteGroup’s national vice president of interior design. “We continuously conduct consumer focus groups to best understand what they want in their kitchens and are constantly refining our kitchen designs and its elements to ensure it delivers on functionality, creative design and easy maintenance across all our buyer groups.” Jones cites five kitchen trends in 2016 that they are reflecting in many PulteGroup model homes lately. These trends also can serve as inspiration for home owners planning renovation projects or wanting ideas for easy updates, Jones notes. 1. Contrasting materials Materials are getting mixed in the kitchen. Contrasting colors and styles are combined to create a more unique space. For example, mixed marbles and metals in a space can help highlight gray wood tones. 2. Decorative lighting Bold and oversized lighting choices are popular choices. “Decorative lighting is key in the kitchen and adds dramatic flair as well as functionality to the kitchen, especially over the kitchen island,” according to PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team. 3. Transparency Switch out some cabinet doors with glass doors. It can help you extend visual boundaries while also allowing home owners to display some of their favorite things and add more personalization to a space. 4. Storage Home owners are always looking for more storage, especially in the kitchen. Double-stacked cabinets that extend to the ceiling can help maximize storage space. 5. More drawers, less doors Having plenty of kitchen drawers can add more functionality in storage. Home owners are showing preferences toward more drawers over extra cabinets. Bold hardware can then added to the drawers to add more design appeal, PulteGroup says....read more
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Home owners are increasingly investing to create luxurious, modernized master baths, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Survey of more than 2,100 home owners who are planning or recently completed a bathroom renovation project. Of those surveyed, 20 percent say they are updating the toilet; 12 percent are updating a tub; and 9 percent are updating a shower with high-tech features. High-tech toilet features home owners say they’re incorporating include self-cleaning functions, motion-activated seats, or built-in nightlights. Popular high-tech bathtub features are built-in lighting, heated backrests, and scented mist dispensers. The survey also showed the most popular high-tech shower updates are mood lighting, digital controls, and built-in sound. Other popular luxury features that home owners say they’re spending on are rainfall showerheads (among 54 percent of those updating showers); bathtubs with room for two (20 percent of those upgrading tubs); adding chandeliers (17 percent of upgraded light fixtures); and bidet-equipped commodes (6percent of upgraded toilets). Photo by ART Design Build – Discover contemporary bathroom design ideas Photo by dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA – Look for contemporary bathroom pictures Home owners surveyed who recently completed a project say they most wish they had installed radiant heating, towel warmers, and super-sized showers during their bathroom renovations. Of the remodeling home owners surveyed, two in five say they spent between $10,000 to $25,000 on master bathroom renovations. Another one-third surveyed said they spent more than...read more
Posted in Home Trends, Uncategorized, by Melissa Tracey on August 8, 2016 Sliding barn doors can add a modern twist to an interior space. Malte Strauss, broker and owner of Trust International Real Estate LLC in Deltona, Fla., says the barn door trend has caught on in central Florida. “They are great for locations where a swinging door would infringe on the space and where there is not a conventional doorway,” Strauss says. “We use them all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub commode area.” They can also be a great solution in modernizing the vanity area of homes from the 1970s and 1980s, which tended to have the vanity in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom. “Now we just close those off with a barn door and buyers love that solution,” Strauss says. Photo by Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs – More farmhouse bedroom ideas http://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/c6c1eee70221faa2_8-9111/transitional-kitchen.jpg...read more