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Julea Joseph

Julea Joseph
Hello - I'm Julea


Stylish homemaking shouldn't be out of your reach or cost you a fortune. From entertaining to decorating, home should be celebrated and your special place in this busy world. Join me on my quest to enhance, celebrate and appreciate all things home - from choosing lettuce seeds to that perfect sofa.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

SELLING? Home Staging for the Owner Occupied House

SELLING? Home Staging for the Owner Occupied House

Reinventing Space Home Staging

As a Home Stager I hear weekly this song from people getting ready to sell their occupied home. 

"My closets are stuffed, you hate your living room sofa, Grandma's old dinette set looks shoddy, and those oak cabinets in the kitchen are not going to fly with the younger buying bunch. You wish for a home that looks like the "AFTER" reveal of your favorite HGTV show. A house where everything is perfectly in place - plump pillows perking up your living room sofa, stylish accessories adoring your lovely kitchen, and all your closets looking like Martha Stewart spent the weekend in there."

It can be done! The majority of homes on the market have people living in them, have well used furniture, and spaces not recently remodeled.  You just need a professional plan, make smart updates and changes, and have the emotional resolve to understand that your home becomes a stylish exhibit in a Realtor's advertising campaign for a cute couple to fall in love with.  

How do you pull off this feat? The inside reality is - You need the professional services of a Home Stager.  A Home Stager is going to be your ace in the hole to tell you what stays and goes, what to pack up, and what needs to be improved.  Once you get done packing and improving, they'll swing back in and upstyled your home using your furnishings and accessories to their best advantage.  From choosing a perfect color palette to attract the perfect buyer to styling each room to make that cute couple gush, Home Stager's can make an owner occupied home shine. 

What is the process?  Home Stagers start with an evaluation in which they'll review your home from curbside to back fence offering a list of instructions and suggested enhancements, changes and upgrades for you to get done.

PACK.  You are moving, so pack it up. Start in the main living areas of your home, then bedrooms, then finally basement/storage and garage.  Pack your home like a potential buyer would walk through your home - Foyer, guest closet, living room, dining room, etc. The goal of packing is to showcase every space of your home from guest closet to porch  and. not distract the buyer with your stuff.  And yes, even the closets... after all people move because they are out of room at their old house.  Sell them their dream!

Living in a Staged Home TIP:  Purchase flip top bins for each room of your home that you can use to organize yourself if the phone rings for a showing. Label each bin with the room.  Pop the bins in the garage or storage for showings.

Reinventing Space Home Staging
 (Photo: Martha Stewart)

IMPROVE.  Make smart, cost effective, return on your investment updates and improvements.  From a fresh coat of paint, walls and maybe your front door,  swapping out your light fixtures both outside and in, refinishing or replacing flooring, to more involved projects such as painting kitchen cabinets. Smart updates can offer a great return. Sure they require a bit of cash to make these improvements, but the goal is a turnkey home, no buyer today wants a long list of things to do prior to moving in. The days of a 'carpet allowance' are long gone - eliminate as many negative reactions to your home as possible.

Living in a Staged Home TIP: If you are painting your rooms, plan on having the replacement lighting done at the same time. The ladders are all there and no need to circle back to touch up where the new fixture went in.

Reinventing Space Home Staging
(Photo: Julea/Reinventing Space/VHT)

CLEAN.  Clean so your home glows.  From the walls inside of closets to the windows outside.  During the selling period, you have carte blanche to have a cleaning crew in scour your home every few weeks. It frees up time for you to do other things and keep the stress of selling in bay.  The goal is a super clean home that translates to the buyer that the homeowners care, maintain and love their home - and so will the buyers.

Living in a Staged Home TIP: Try using only one bathroom for showering when selling our home. This way the other baths stay in 'model' condition. Always replace wet towels with dry ones if showing your home.

Reinventing Space Home Staging
(Photo: Source)

ROOM STYLING.  Each space has to be styled to give the room its best selling advantage. This is where home stagers are best utilized (We are so worth our fee). Our interior arrangement and design know-how can expertly arrange, style and revamp each of your spaces to showcase the room without any emotional connection. We are masters at making each room visually and emotionally fabulous for that ideal buyer.  We'll use what you have by shopping your home, perhap using pieces found in other rooms and reinvent the setting for selling, rather than dwelling. 

If pieces are off scale or are not appealing for the prospective buyer, we can swap them out with rental or purchased items. Home stagers are a one stop shop to getting your home styled for that targeted, cute couple. The goal is that the buyer understands how to use each space, connects with the home and pictures themselves living there. They tour a home and fall in love with the story that the home conveys.

Living in a Staged Home TIP:  Your furniture placement may be adjusted to visually invite buyers in and allow them to walk freely in the room and then pass to the next space. It may not be the layout you are use to, but you'll have to make allowance during the selling period 

When you take the time, effort and investment to do the things we discussed above, your home will be at the top f the list for that cute couple and you'll revise that old song you sang to a shout - SOLD! 

Reinventing Space Home Staging

(Photo:Julea/Reinventing Space/Portraits of Home)

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Julea Joseph

Monday, September 12, 2016

Chair Garden 101 - How to repurpose an old chair into a container garden

Chair Garden 101 - How to repurpose an old chair into a container garden

Repurposing an old chair into a container garden is a perfect way to add interest to your front porch, deck or garden spot beyond the typical potted planter. My friends know me, so it was no surprise when my pal Diana opened her car trunk and handed me an old iron ice cream parlor chair. Worn, peeling white paint, and darling; perfect for a chair garden.  As soon as I saw the missing circular seat, I knew that I could pop a pre-made wire hanging plant basket into that hole, and here's how I did it.

Chair Garden 101

#1 Gather Your Ingredients:
-Zip ties to secure the basket, scissors for snipping zip ties, opening soil bags and trimming your foliage. 
-Wire hanging plant container measured for the diameter of the seat.
-Coco liner (if it didn't come with one).  Get a spare if you want to add a protective layer to the top of the soil.
-MiracleGro 'Moisture Control' potting mix. A good all around potting mix.
-Watering can and water.
-Assorted seasonal flowering annuals. I chose late summer/fall finds at my local Lowes. Look for a few tall, a few bushy and then a trailer -one that will spill over. 

container garden
Gather your ingredients to create a CHAIR GARDEN

#2. Pop in wire hanging plant container and secure with zip ties, Snip ends. Line container with coco liner.

Chair Garden and wire hanging basket
Secure wire basket to Chair with zip ties

#3. Add soil to the container, fill half way up. You can add more as you add your plants. 
Fill halfway up with potting soil

#4 Add in plants, taller in back, bushy in the middle and add the trailer to the front.  Fill in soil and then give your creation a good, long shower of water. 

After arranging, water CHAIR GARDEN well

I like to purchase a 2nd coco liner and shred it and tuck it around all the plantings.  This will keep the moisture in, protect the soil from spilling out when watering and also add a decorative look. You can also use store bought moss for the same effect.

container garden instructions
A final layer of shredded coco liner completes the CHAIR GARDEN

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Julea Joseph

Saturday, September 3, 2016

4 FALL Re-Style Tips for HOME

4 FALL Re-Style Tips for HOME

Fall Decorating Ideas, Re-Style ideas for your Home

Mornings are a bit cooler, the kids are back to school, and you look at your calendar and there are only 113 days till Christmas!  Summer takes its toll on your home interiors.  Perhaps you have piles of papers in the dining room, a spooky dust covered living room, and the family room’s pillows have been over loved by both the kids and your dog.
A fall home decorating refresher is the perfect remedy for your home’s style malaise.  It’s time to add a new furniture arrangement, an accessory shake-up, and some strategic power shopping to put a bit of zing into your home spaces.
So where to start? I offer 4 tips in this post to remedy your home’s neglected look. 
4 ideas to decorate your home for fall
#1  Assess your Stuff.  Take a hard look at your stuff.  Move room to room and look at your furnishings, lamps, accessories and art.  Could some of these pieces be swapped to another room, be reinvented, repurposed or removed? 
  • In our example, a large painting from the living room was swapped. The scale, colors and style looked great over the couch.
#2 A New Position. As the seasons change, so should your room's arrangements. Fireplaces in the summer - who cares; but as the cooler weather creeps in, you'll want to soon be curled up next to your fireplace with a cup of hot coffee and a cozy throw.  A mantle refresher will give new life to your fireplace and a new furniture arrangement will give you a fresh perspective and a new view whether your room's emphasis is a fireplace, TV or just to create a new seating for conversation.
  • In our example, a new position for the chair, and an added ottoman from another room creates a new arrangement for the space. The brown ottoman pulls the color down from the paneled ceiling and provides a place to put up your feet.
#3 Tactile Textiles. Nothing give a space a new style than textiles. A pop of a new color in new drapery panels, pillows, or a throw will instantly up a room's WOW rating.
  • In our example, we did some strategic power shopping at Tuesday Morning  and added colorful drapery panels and just in for fall, seasonal hued pillows to give the space an update.
#4 Accent with Accessories. Whether you shop your own home, or pick up something new, accessories will refine and finish a space.  
  • In our example we added a new rug to add that cozy layer for cooler days.  The fun ombre indoor/outdoor rug  from RugStudio was selected on-line. The vintage vases, tray and books were shopped from other areas of the home, and finish the room's new look.
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Julea Joseph

Thursday, April 14, 2016

3 Steps to Reviving your Kitchen!

3 Steps to Reviving your Kitchen!

So many people want to reinvent their kitchens. We imagine our kitchens looking fresh and fabulous - injected with a dose of decorating Botox.  We’ve all done it - scoured Pinterest boards for hours, endlessly Googled‘Easy Cabinet Painting Techniques’  and priced out dreamy new appliances.  So when the appliance company Big Chill, presented their challenge to create a style board about designing a kitchen around their stove line - I was all over the idea because I too am the gal Googling. Did Big Chill know that I have coveted their appliance line for years, loving their Retro inspired products in trend forward colors? Why? My Mom’s turquoise stove! I grew up in a household that sported a turquoise stove and that stove moved to 3 homes, helping make endless meals, right through my college years.  My Mom loved that stove, so this kitchen challenge post will be inspired selfishly and collectively with Mom in mind.
Rather than creating a new kitchen, my vision was reviving an existing kitchen, because after all that is my interior design philosophy for my design business REINVENTING SPACE .My motto is "Let’s use what you have 1st by reinventing, changing and updating, then spend it where you need to with something you really love, followed by filling in the blanks with cost effective solutions and finds in your personal style."

Reinvent your existing kitchen
STEP 1 - USE WHAT YOU HAVE 1ST: So let’s start with what can be reinvented, rather than buying new - Cabinets. We can easily and effectively repaint our kitchen cabinets today using the proper primer and paint. Take the reinvention a step further and remove a few upper cabinet doors and paint the interior a fun accent color. My SHERWIN WILLIAM’s rep. and friend, Annmarie Fabbi has 2 great water based Sherwin Williams products to use. Here's her suggestion on repainting your cabinets. Spend a bit of time sanding the original top coat of your cabinets to remove the varnish of your current finish.  Then using Sherwin William's EXTREME BOND primer,  one or two coats of primer to seal in any left behind varnish.  Make sure to take a ultra fine sanding paper and sand any bubbles between coats. Then use the PRO CLASSIC paint in the color of your choice, and repeat the process.
STEP 2 - ADD SOMETHING NEW THAT YOU LOVE:You will love Big Chill’s ‘Retro’ stove in 'Turquoise'- a kitchen statement maker and a cook’s stove. It's not only the on-trend in the most popular current decorating color, but a work horse appliance as well. Just like a great room layout, you want a focal point in your kitchen too - This range is the decorating emphasis and the jumping off point for the kitchen's design inspiration.
STEP 3 - FILL IN THE BLANKS: New counters in cost effective laminate.  Yes, laminate.  If you haven’t looked at laminate, you need to. 21st century technology has make this old school kitchen mainstay, a smart alternative to expensive stones. You can get your coveted Carrara marble look, even an undermount sink with designer counter edges at a fraction of the cost. In my Retro revival, the counters have WILSONART  'Betty',  a hip, vintage pattern with turquoise, gray and orange.  The lighting choice, a nod to my hometown of Chicago by BARN LIGHT ELECTRIC’S - 'Chicago Vintage' industrial chain hung pendant in gray. Further filling in the blanks with cost effective solutions, from bar stools to art - one-of-a-kind finds bought from CHARISH - a cool on-line source for upscale resale.

So there you have it - a simple three step process to revive your kitchen!
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Julea Joseph

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