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Julea Joseph

Julea Joseph
Hello - I'm Julea


A stylish home 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 adventures to enhance, celebrate and appreciate all things home.


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Making Your Holiday Table Special

Whether you serve sit down style or opt for a buffet, making your Holiday table special adds that finishing touch for the day.

1. What's on the Menu? By reviewing your menu plans, you'll have a starting point on how you want to set your table, your serving pieces needs and what size table you'll need. Try to add one dish that’s new or different.

Pumpkin Spiced Mimosas
Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider Mimosas

2. What's the Theme? However you decorate the rest of your home is your common thread for creating a beautiful spread. Color is the easiest to replicate.

3. Gather the Goods. Corral your serving pieces, China, serving ware, napkins and linens 1st. Your serving pieces can be a mix and match, don't feel that they all have to be a certain style, just make sure they can house the food they're intended for. The same goes for China. There is no need to resort to using paper, a mix of dinnerware is O.K.

BH&G Photo - Red Transferware
 Back Story on not having a full "set" of China - While conducting a workshop a few years back, one of the participants shared that when her daughter 1st married, they were a bit strapped for cash. Creatively, she shopped the clearance sections for a collection of very good, but usually single, place settings. When she hosted her 1st Holiday, she created a tradition that each setting was beautifully laid out, and each family member got to choose their own setting for dining that day. It is now a tradition, which the family looks forward to each year.

How to shop for Mix & Match China

4. If you're serving sit down style and have enough room, use chargers. They're inexpensive, protect your linens and add that special splash to the place setting. If serving buffet style, the chargers can be used under the serving pieces for the same effect. I have found some of my favorites, from bamboo to crocodile embossed, at Target. Hobby Lobby too has a nice assortment.

5. Consider a run of organza, tulle or sheer fabrics to go over your linens. Fabric stores have wonderful holiday fabrics that can enhance your basic linens. They too most likely will be on sale.

6. If serving buffet style, use lifts to raise a few of the dishes or décor to create an interesting tablescape. Cake stands, large pots, sturdy boxes, books can all lift things up. Make sure if they aren’t pretty, to put them under the linens.

7. Mark your serving pieces. Use stick ‘em notes to mark what each dish will serve.

8. Set the table. Don’t go overboard, but make it special. Fold napkins in a special way, add a small gift ( I like British party crackers,) candles (unscented,) and whatever other décor you’ve decided on to make each place setting special.

9. Make it special. From a signature cocktail, to a special centerpiece, to a new tradition, making your dinner special for the ones you love makes for memories.

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6 Tips on How to Give Your Holiday Décor a Makeover:

Think Outside the Box!                    Showcase Family Heirlooms

Color            Use What You Have               Set Your Holiday Table in Style

                                      Incorporate New Pieces

#1. Use What You Have

Inventory what you have. Don’t rummage in the boxes my friend, unload them, especially if you’re O.C.D.-ish or a theme person. By revaluating your existing things, you’ll be inspired, find new connections and come up with different combinations.

#2 Think Outside the Box!

Don’t put it up like last year, or the year before, or the year before… One of my favorite places to decorate is the China Cabinet – Acres of Waterford or Macy style China displays are so BORING, besides, the Dining Room is meant for conversation and celebration. Have a treasured ornament from Great Grandma? Hang it from an ornament stand with her picture next to it. Vases can be filled with tinsel or mini-ornaments, shelves can be sprinkled with faux snow – Tell a story in this great space!

#3 Color

A great way to refresh and reinvent your décor is with a new thread of color. This year’s hot hues are Chocolate, Blue, Bronze, Orange and Super brights - like Neon Yellow, Hot Pink and Lime Green. A little shot of these fresh hues will liven up your old stuff and make it all shiny and new. Try some new napkins, I like to pair two together. How about a can of bronze floral spray on some old greenery and neon green on pine cones with a dusting of chocolate glitter? Why not pickup a pot of hot pink orchids or Christmas cactus to perk up table tops? Pop them into copper containers or in brightly glazed pots.

#4 Showcase Family Heirlooms

The Holidays are all about family, and what a better way of celebrating the season than with special pieces of the past. Besides the antique ornaments, what about the heirloom silver tea service? The tray can be proudly placed on the living room cocktail table anchoring a lovely holiday vignette. The pot and creamer used as vessel for a spectacular floral arrangement, and the sugar bowl filled with wrapped candies in the powder room to refresh the breath of guests.

#5 Set Your Table with Style

Treat your guests with style and panache by setting a lovely table. Whether buffet or sit down, be a great hostess by adorning your tables with a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Mix and Match is always a lovely treat, so don’t worry that you don’t have enough of one dish set. Never revert to Chinette, but feel free to twist up your service by serving appetizers or use festive paper as the second/salad plate. If buffeting, flat is not where it’s at – Create lifts and height with flipped pots, boxes, hurricane vases, giant martini or daiquiri glasses. The pots/boxes can be covered with runs of fabrics or table clothes, and vases, glasses used as platter/plate stands or filled with dips or food. Think of a fancy brunch at a 5 Star Hotel. Candles, fresh floral and chargers come cheap and make a chic impact for your table. Make sure that the candles are scent free.

#6 Incorporate New Pieces

This is a double meaning tip. When decorating, don’t leave what you already have out, pack it away and replace with the Holiday Décor. Rotation is good. Plus, when the holidays are over, and you unpack the old stuff, consider placement in a new spot.

Now that you’ve unpacked and inventoried your decor, decorated - Pack a box or two to be donated. It’s time for someone else to love your décor. Just like the cloths in your closet, if you haven’t used them in awhile, it’s time to let them to go. By donating, you make room for a few new things.

Use the tips above to help you shop for a few new décor pieces. From color to decorating area, a few new added pieces to your Holiday collection can perk up the old stash and give you a new fresh view.


Ornament Stands: http://www.ornamentdisplays.com/

Festive Paper Plates: http://www.platesandnapkins.com/

Orchids and Christmas Cactus: Home Depot

Floral Spray, Glitter, Giant Martini Glasses, Candles: Michaels

Chargers, Hurricanes: Hobby Lobby
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Style Spotlight - The Forgotten Dining Room

With holiday celebrations just around the corner, now is a perfect time to address our Dining Rooms. The dining room is typically the least used room in any home. It also tends to be the room that is most difficult to decorate. Big, bulky furniture suites, extensive hardwood surfaces and space constraints conspire to prevent you from putting your personal stamp on the room. The dining room was intended to be a space used for celebrations, lively conversation and special occasion dining. Decorate this family gathering space with color, creative displays and décor that will make every guest feel welcome!

Ralph Lauren Wallpaper in BURNISHED CORK - TOBACCO
 • With wallpapers back in vogue, this may just be the room to unleash a paper creation! Textures, faux techniques, patterns, metallic’s and more are readily available with today’s advanced technology. With a dining room’s hardwood and suite of furniture, wallpaper is a great juxtaposition to the sameness of the space.

• If paint is your choice, choose a hue to compliments your furniture and celebrates you personal style. The dining room was meant for family gatherings and entertaining, so this is a perfect space to show off your personality. Why not pick a color that has been inching up to a new favorite?

Monochrome Dining Room

  • What's on your floor? -  Rug or no rug? Rugs can add warmth, anchor furniture, add color, texture and ambiance to a space.

• Rethink your Lighting. If your chandelier has seen better days, why not replace or repurpose the one you have? A chandelier should be about 12" narrower than the width of the table over which it hangs and hung approximately 30” above the surface. If you want to reinvent your existing piece – A new coat of paint, new shades or a ceiling medallion, can give a new piece a new life. Swap out your old switch for a dimmer too.

• Hang paintings, family portraits, and other wall art at a lower level so that you and your guests can enjoy them while seated at the dining table. Place a large mirror in the room across from windows to create an illusion of space or reflect your lovely chandelier.

• Shop your home, a local art gallery or store for paintings, prints, plates to adorn your walls. Antique or specialty plates make great wall art, especially hung in a collection. Art in this room should feed the soul with food or dining themes – Still life settings, photography of bistro store fronts, or club car dining are all great ideas for hung art.

Still Life Wtih Blooming Red Tulips Pre-made-framed Framed Art Print

Still Life Wtih Blooming Red Tulips Print by Nicole Etienne at Art.com

• Give your china cabinet a makeover by creating a seasonal display or a vignette of precious family objects. From holiday China to treasured ornaments removing the typical stored finds and reinventing the space will give your room a whole new identity. Antique family photos in small sterling silver frames become more meaningful when paired with an heirloom object, such as a pocket watch or a baby’s bootie. Creatively displayed postcards, pictures, souvenirs and other special remembrances make wonderful dinner conversation starters.

• Slip cover, reupholster or replace worn dining chairs. Purchase custom slipcovers with interesting details, such as back lacing, monogramming or fun trims. Reupholster your seats with a colorful fabric that matches the freshly painted walls. Replace the two captain’s chairs with upholstered parson’s chairs. The fabric will soften the hard woods in the room and create a softened look – Best of all, these chairs can be rotated into other spaces when needed.
Limited Edition Designer Parsons Slipcover

• Finally, set the mood for your room with accessories. For the table, river a Pashima shawl for a stunning look, tall glass footed hurricanes filled with seasonal finds, your buffet set with a sparkling silver pieces and each of your seats paired with a lumbar pillow.

By putting your personal stamp on your dining room you reinvent a forgotten space, create a mood for a room meant to celebrate family and friends and having a seasonal jumping off point for your holiday and entertaining decorating for this year
Farmhouse Update
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Tips on Creating Seasonal Arrangements

Any flat surface is a great area to seasonally dress. Here are a few tips on making the vignette look fabulous:
  • Room's purpose and style - Fancy in the fancy areas, casual in the casual areas.
  • Room's function - A large arrangement on a family room cocktail table isn't going to work if you're room's function is TV viewing...
  • Scale and Proportion - Whatever the area, make sure that the "stuff" is in scale to the surface or area your putting it.  For example, a large mantle needs large accessories.
  • Create highs and lows - Use books, cake stands, easels, hurricanes, apothecary's to create highs and lows in your display.
  • Group collections in odd numbers.
  • Try to break your symmetry - Don't be matchy matchy. 
  • Add something unexpected in the mix - Create a conversation.
  • Don't get lazy - Hang what needs to be hung, use a measuring tape when needed, take the extra step...
  • Bang for the Buck - One spectacular pieces, with knock-offs around it - makes the knockoffs spectacular too.
  • Don't go over board - Too much of a good thing, isn't good...
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Finally Moved IN!

7:00 am. Before
Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes, some creative juices and a bit of expertise to make things come together. My client on Saturday, moved in over a year ago - A sofa here, a tread mill there, a few thing hung, but she struggled with placement and making the home her own. Lovely pieces, family heirlooms (such as the Armoire right,) great accessories, treasured photos, just not in the right spots.

10am. After!
Although her room is long, the space is narrow.  We established three living areas in one space.

  1. We swapped the large sofa for a love seat, allowing for a dining area to emerge and banished the treadmill as well.. The buffet was repositioned to it's rightful home from the entry area, creating not only a sense of a dining room - but a perfect platform for collections and a serving area.
  2. The TV spot was recreated by a simple tweak in furniture positioning.
Since that room is long and narrow, keeping big pieces on the long plane makes for visual volume in the room. Too, take advantage of extra space such as the bay window to steal a bit of floor space, by sliding that over sized chair into the space.

Space Define and in Scale to Room

3. Create a Functional Foyer - Not only the entry which the family comes home to on a daily basis, but also the foyer for visiting guests.  The back of the love seat creates a "wall" so that the area feels like a room.  The bench, borrowed from the dining set is a great spot to drop back packs, brief cases, or a spot to take off shoes.  The homeowner's family treasured armoire will be repurposed into shoe storage - Celebrating the piece once again, like her Mom did so many years ago.
The Heirloom Armoire will house the family's shoes

Applause.... "I can't say enough about Julea's work. She came in the door and got straight to work and turned my beautiful house into a stunning home using only what I already had. I have a beautiful home with an awkward set up. She walked in and automatically knew what to do (I had worked on trying to figure it out for a year and was still stumped). She also worked with me to plan the next room I wanted to work on. I have started the process of finding the pieces for the rest of our home (much bigger than our last). I have a clear plan now. Everyone who walks in our home is shocked by the transformation."

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The Interior Stylists' Secret Recipe


Understand your client’s needs, appreciate their lifestyle, value their taste – Core ingredients to having satisfied clients.

  • Help choose a color palette that enhances the home’s bones, embraces what they already have, and creates the style & mood they’ll love to come home to.
  • Create a floor plan that honors the room’s function, carefully considering traffic patterns, activities and focal points.
  • Offer creative and cost effective solutions to re-invent, re-purpose or relocate difficult, tired or hidden gems.
  • Don’t conceal your favorite hidden shopping haunts; instead, invite them to take hand on a shopping expedition or explain a room-by-room shopping wish list to complete.
  • Be full service and express your textile talents with a full understanding of how to dress a space with fabrics and window wardrobes.
  • Complete the home with detailed accessorizing and styling expertise to help evoke conversation, celebrate the 5 senses, stir interest and celebrate the room’s personality.
Our style is your style, our talent is to make your home lovely for you! An Interior Stylist is an expert in fully understanding and defining what the homeowner wants. Although totally in-tune to the current color and trends - An Interior Stylist is there to meld your personal taste with her creativity and expertise into a home of your dreams.  http://www.interiorstylist.org/  http://www.interiorstylistprogram.com/
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FALLing for your Kitchen - Seasonal & Organizational Updates for the Heart of the Home

Wall Color BM-2144-30 Rosemary Sprig
The kitchen is the most utilized and meaningful room in a household. It is the hub for family tasks and used for food preparation, household management, and of course entertaining. It is indeed the heart of any home. No matter how many rooms you have dedicated for entertainment, everyone always ends up in the kitchen! With the kids back in school, a cool nip in the air, fall kicks off our major holiday season - in fact, we can celebrate right through the New Year. Now is a great time to get your kitchen “party readied,” and organized for easy maneuvering during the holiday rush, and of course-seasonally updated.

Need a Color Lift? - Try reinventing an old piece, a wall , or whole room... Be inspired by the season - Ben Moore’s  Rosemary Sprig 2144-30, Toasted Pecan #1209, Burnt Sienna #1196, or Sherwin William’s Library Pewter SW0038, or Studio Blue-Green SW0047. It’s just paint, and is the easiest and cheapest change you can make.

Counter Tops - Swap out a tired canister set with a new revision; there are loads to choose from (If you’re not a gourmet cook, store pens, notepads, and takeout menus inside.) They add needed color and design. Large platters on plate stands are good-looking in unused dark corners or grouped on walls. Extra-large clear glass canisters are conversation makers when layered with dried beans, nuts or black, yellow and white dried popcorn. A kitchen must is a sassy new set of dish towels, seasonal kitchen candles, and a hand soap/lotion set in scents of spiced apple, pumpkin or caramel.

Tell a Story with your Floral - A whimsical floral whether store or home made adds a bit of seasonal flair to any table. Create a mini-container garden by abundantly grouping those adorable “mini” annuals and petite ivy. or a bountiful arrangement with faux fall veggies, dried pods, leaves and vines.

Rustic watering cans from Pottery Barn can be seasonal highlights
Looking Up - Upper cabinet tops or upper shelves seem always to pose a decorating challenge. For a quick and easy change, large seasonally inspired platters, pots, framed art fill tired spots.
• Smart Cook Organization - An easy way to organize, is to create stations within your kitchen. Love to bake? Set aside two cabinets and counter space solely used for baking (near the oven of course,) fill with baking essentials such as pans, small appliances, spices and other baking staples. Task clustering such as this will help you to stay on task during the busy holiday rush.

• Get your Party Started - Love to entertain, but don’t have a Butler’s Pantry? Convert your little used desk area into an entertainment station.

-Replace wood panels of upper cabinet with glass, adding lighting, and glass shelves - store glasses and decorative bottles.
-Line desk drawer with felt, and hold bar essentials and serving pieces.
-Add a tension rod with shirred fabric for extra storage to the knee hole space, or find the perfectly sized rolling cart.
Space Game - Use a Lazy Susan cabinet for a “Party Pantry.” Store food products, Beverages, paper goods. and china that can be used to throw a soiree at moment’s notice. If you’re even luckier to have an unused closet. super size it and linens, vases, and decor all in one neat place.

No matter how large or small your kitchen, whether you’re a gourmet cook or take-out type, every kitchen needs a seasonal boost and should be readied for family, friends for upcoming holiday celebrations!
A floral gives a kitchen a seasonal boost (NDI Floral.)
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The Case of the Pink Palette

I try not to tip toe around certain situations, so when I met with a new client last week, with a bad case of color - I had to give it to her straight.

She was so excited, having just moved from the busy city to the blissful 'burbs - Enjoying the wide open spaces and oodles of trees that her new mature folks, golf community boasted. But as I drove the winding roads of the Oak Hills golf community, my mind wandered – “What is delightful for one homeowner is disastrous to another – Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder.” After narrowly missing a caravan of golf carts, I pulled up the house. I gathered my thoughts, briefcase and color fan decks and knocked, not knowing what I was walking into…

My business, Interior Styling, my M.O. “Let’s start with what you have and move on from that. “ I’m the clever decorating sleuth that homeowners bring when they need home help – Got a decorating dilemma – Give me a jingle, I’m your gal.

She called me in because she had a problem – PINK.  Like the last sticky bite of an over spun cotton candy cone, the previous owner had sugar coated the place in pink. Pink tiles on the kitchen floors, pink Formica on the counters, pink walls, pink carpet – I will not tell you what’s in the baths….

After casing the joint, asking pertinent questions and feeling like I had just took a dip in a big bottle of Pepto Bismol, we sat down and got to business.

"Pink can be chic if used in moderation, after all it’s just the tint of red" I said.  She then stated that she needed to keep some of it, can you make it work I've got a budget. I can make pink work, but we need to resolve it a bit...So how does she fix the prior owner's Pink rampage without spending a bundle? With infusing new COLOR of course! From wall color to accents we’ll create a new palette.

And Here's How -

Her furniture was great, nice modern dark sage sofa, two red leather accent chairs, plenty of accent tables and lamps, nice dining room pieces. We repositioned the furniture into a cohesive arrangement, which cleared the path for color options.

Taking cues from her existing stuff, I created a new palette for her. With a flick of my wrist the fan deck unfurled. I chose a warm putty color as her overall hue to give her a harmonious back drop. She just installed some oak flooring, so a touch of herbal greens as secondary colors will fix the fire place mishap, be used as an accent wall color to define and balance the spaces. We'll incorporate pops of red and pink, from the chairs, existing art and use the pink, instead of fighting it – We’ll make it work.

- Main Color: Ben Moore, Abingdon Putty HC-99

- Fireplace Brick Color: Ben Moore, Hampshire Gray HC-101

- Dining Room Accent Wall: Ben Moore, Gloucester Sage HC-100

(The greens will play well with her new oak floors, existing oak trim and cabinet material. Green too is the compliment of red, making for a nice juxtaposition.)

We “shopped” her home and I made suggestions on what to hang where, what she needed to shop retail for and what needed to be repurposed and renewed (i.e. Lamp shades, etc…) She had some great art pieces with thread of reds that will be just the ticket to bringing all the colors together, allowing her to fall in love with her stuff all over again and giving her old stuff a new lease on life.

We chatted about a future reinvention her window treatments, keeping the sheer panels, but replacing the pinch pleat valance (Ugh..)  with some eye lifting cornice boards, furthering her decorating makeover.

She scribed her projects, and I put away my decks.  Is the case complete, nope, but, we’re done with the 1st step, and off to a good start. Once the place is painted, and shopping done, I’ll be back for the rest, so stay tuned…
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Summer Entertaining Makeover Special

Reinventing Space is offering a "Summer Entertaining Special."  Is your home party ready? If your spaces are looking a bit hum drum, allow Reinventing Space to sweep on through and make them summer entertaining fabulous in a day. I'll rearrange, accessorize and reposition your spaces to make your home just stunning for your up coming summer soiree. - $350.00

What clients are saying.... "I loved working with you .. you do have a skill like no one I have ever met ... Thank you so much for making my house become a home ... once again, just love it! - Heather, St. Charles
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2011 Color & Trend Forecast 2011 #2

The Good Old Days...
Classics never go out of style and watch for the resurrection of some old favorite: From plaids, to forest greens to walnut and pecan furnishings – Retro has never looked so good. Because of the economy and world events, people want to look to the past and reminisce of the good old days… a sense of certainty that previous decades – although they were not free from struggle, manage to make it through & succeed in the end. The color Association translates this with bright, basic colors – Such as Green, Brown, Red and Orange; hues, found typically in vintage wares. The trend curve will explore the 1940’s with seersuckers, cable knots, wools and tweeds. Burberry’s trademarked pattern in tones of tan, black and red is making a resurgence, as well as aviator glasses, bomber jackets and classic art. Ralph Lauren just introduced a new line of "Lauren" furnishings.

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10 Home Staging Tips to Make Your Next Listing Look like a Model Home

What is it about Model homes that make them so appealing? Is it the freshness of all new; is it the sassy paint colors, the perfectly placed furniture, art and accessories or the beautiful groomed backyard that makes you want to plop right down on that comfy club chair, or light the grill on the patio? Well…. Yes to all the above. A builder hold hosts to an array of skilled professionals to make that Model beautiful. From blue print to drawer pulls that Model home is meticulously planned.

Beyond the nicely placed furniture, Model homes are the current reflection of the home environment needs of the target market of the Builder. They are a turn-key product, designed & packaged for the desires of perfect buyer.

Models homes are lovely because they have the latest and the greatest, are fresh and new and are meticulously detailed. Psychology, more than decorating is applied to makes them look so fabulous. From architecture to floral arrangements, Model homes are planned with “YOU” in mind.

So how can you the Realtor make your next listing as appealing as a Model Home? – Here are 10 ways.

1.) Clean. Those nice angled vacuum lines, gleaming windows, and perfectly manicured lawns in Model homes speak to a potential buyer – You don’t have to do a thing. A Realtor can translate that into - A little elbow grease goes a long way. A super clean home says “turn-key” to the potential buyer. Have every inch of the home, blind slats to porch light glass, super clean and perfectly coiffed. According to a national 2009 survey done by Home Gain (www.homegain.com,) a $100-$200 cleaning investment gives an 872% return!

2.) Fresh & Smells Good. People buy homes on emotion, and your 5 senses are a direct path to your brain. If a home smells and looks “funky,” “doggy,” “smoky,” or if the stove is coated with cooking gone bad – The home is off their list. Just like you would detail your car to sell, invest in clean and spotless carpets, patched, repaired and freshly painted walls and new appliances if the old have seen better days. Be wary to skip this step and take the low road with room refreshers, candles and stove burner covers – Potential buyers are not fooled.

3.) Color. Any advertising executive will tell you color is key to properly packaging a product; and a listed home is just that, a product. Throw away the off-white manta of old school home staging rules – Welcome to the era of HGTV. Using color is a powerful and inexpensive way of making that home stand out from the rest, and with so many decorating TV shows boasting the benefits of color, you better get hip to hues. From 1st Web impressions to curb-appeal, color is a strong emotional tug for the potential buyer. Update yourself on the latest color trends in wall color, appliance, fixtures, etc… and apply it to your target buyer. For home staging, use earthy, calm tones for the bigger areas such as wall color and add pops of saturated colors in the details; such front doors, accessories or annuals.

4.) Make Space. The joy of a Model home is the acres and acres of unused storage space & beautifully organized closets. Reduce, organize, upscale and edit all the home’s spaces when it comes to closets and storage areas. If the home’s price point dictates, upscale the closets with custom organizing options.

5.) Clear a Path. Consider that many people with be walking through the home. Make sure traffic patterns, entrances and exits are well established. Too much furniture, undefined entrances and awkward walkways confuse and discourage buyers from moving about the property. Follow a Model Home’s lead and create a concise walking pattern for potential buyers starting a curbside to back fence.

6.) Lovely Layouts. From the landscape to furniture placement, take a clue from Models homes that continuity and flow make for a good mix. Create curb appeal with nicely maintained landscaping, added annuals and perennials, an inviting stoop and well groomed walk and driveways. Inside, make sure each room depicts what its function is, enhances the highlights of the room (i.e. fireplaces or upgrades,) and allows the buyer to envision themselves in the space.

7.) Set the Mood. Create ambiance and character in the home with well thought out placement of sensory and lifestyle components. Soft music, lighting on dimmers, candles lit, and fresh floral are all great ideas for Broker or Open houses. If you have concern about candles, battery operated candles that even have timers built in are now readily available. Stage the dining room table tastefully, or set the stage in a back yard with a detailed patio retreat. Offering helpful lifestyle hints has always been in the Model Home arsenal and always a huge hit.

8.) K.I.S.S. On the opposite note, don’t over accessorize, go over-board with the lifestyle tips or create “store bought theme” rooms (i.e. Chef-with-a-Hat Kitchen or Anniversary Bathtub area complete with Champagne bottle.)

9.) Appeal to a Target Buyer. Consider "WHO” the ideal buyer is that will be interested in the property, and market the property accordingly. From advertising photos to furniture, consider who will find this appealing and desirable.

10.) Market, Market, Market. Model Homes have great marketing incentives inside and out. From clear address markers, great signs, to small exit giveaways, to survey - market that listing to the fullest.
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Interior Redesign with Martie

Martie & Greg were in a tough spot with their Dining Room and Living Room.  With the rest of the house complete, they just couldn't make these two spaces work. 
With a new view on style, it was hard to meld their more contemporary new view (see light fixture,) with the old school (old house,) pieces in the living room. 
They too struggled with choosing a paint color and what to do with those windows.

We 1st picked out a new paint palette using the rest of the completed home as our guide, we choose rich toffees and herbal greens.  We then addressed that living room, and decided to keep the tables but replace the couch and side chair.  The large red recliner moved to the master, as well as the side chair.  She had just purchased a dining room table and 2 black parsons chairs.  We did a search within the home and found a lovely mirror and an additional, more scale suited chair in the master.

The side chair, although wonderful in scale, didn't have wonderful fabric on it.  As we discussed window treatment ideas, Martie excitedly said she had some fabric yardage she bought and just didn't know what to do with.  Ironically, when she pulled it out, stunningly the colors were the same I had chosen for her paint palette. 

With a plan in progression, I suggested she have the chair reinvented, with the floral motif fabric.  To keep the more clean lines of her new style, she should have silver nail heads added to the chair. The other fabric was a stripe, which I then drew a plan for the window treatments, gave her a shopping list for furniture, accessories and additional fabric yardage for window treatments - And here are the results.

So with a little bit of reinvention, some wise shopping, fabulous color and innovated window treatments, their living room and dining room went from barely livable, to rich, welcoming and a total reflection of Martie & Greg! 
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Liz & Hector's House Update

Just back from filming the "After" of Liz & Hector's Newlywed Home.  WOW, is all I can say!  Super shoppers - Using my advice - here are the before and after results. If you've read the previous post - Although she had "good bones," the room needed a bit of additional ingredients to make it shine - From lighting to art to window panels - Look at what around $700.00 worth of accessories can do for a space (Zoe the dog not included...)
Panels (4) Are from Target
Accessories, Lamps, Side tables from HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby and Target.

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The Trend Spotter - Into the Garden...

I was convinced there was phenomenon occurring, and it was validated this week when I got in one of my to-the-trade magazines and there it was as one of the 2011 Color Forecast trends! I have been say now for a few years that there is a growing trend in homeowners taking the typical container garden or two to a whole new (or shall I say old) level. And even last week on two separate occasions the 1st at a Staging Evaluation at an 1 Million dollar home in a lush suburb - the homeowner proudly showed me her freshly planted vegetable garden along the side of the home, as well as picking out a few new paint colors for an old friend then chatting on her growing seedlings for her Naperville community garden plots she rents each year - Everyone is getting their hands into the earth!

  As the 1st in 4 new color trends forecasted - Depicted as "Well Rooted," in the article goes on to say - "The effect of multiple economic and world crises have driven us back to time at home, centering more on the family and brightening our own environment against the world."

It's Chic to "Farm" Your Home's Land...

For those who know me personally, I've had a flock of chickens now for almost 10 years - Yes, I said chickens - (My friend Ruth in tony San Francisco has done the same for the same length thank you very much -) All nicely laying eggs in my what I call their  "Coop de Jour."  I've also had a potage garden for the same period of time, which every harvest brings me fabulous heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs and the best un-wind after a hard day's work. Call me a daughter of a depression parent, or now call me - "Recession-Chic..." Read on:

"As people look more to their immediate surroundings, embracing nature becomes more important than ever.  Authentic, honest neutrals as well as greens in layers from yellow to grass and deep forest greens will dominate. Paint Company Benjamin Moore names the same theme “The Farm,” stating recession-chic evokes a call back to basic lifestyles and values. The movements toward locally grown, preservative-free are key drivers in this palette. Shades of the farm include natural neutrals, organic tones and rich vegetables hues.

Farm textures and patterns play out the trend – Gingham checks, burlap, plaid, farm house floral, cows, yarn and rope."

Pony Ottoman from Room Service

Buffet Lamp with Burlap Shade by Lazy Susan

A stunning fall of rope lends Solaria's Luigi chandelier dramatic presence crossed with rustic undertones.

Even Costco is jumping on the tractor... at their stores now.
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Reinvent Your Space with Color

Spring is here and like me, I bet you're ready to refresh and revitalize your rooms!  Why not try some new hues?
Why Color? Because it’s the easiest way to infuse excitement into a room. With a simple color change, whether it is wall color, accessories or window treatments, colors makes an impact. Painting a room is the simplest DYI project and can be done in a weekend for around $50.00. A bit of smart shopping, you can get some key accessories for around $150.00.

Here are some expert advice, tips, & ideas on how you can make a change in your space with color -

• Never redo a room with a color theme! Instead, add to your existing color palette a new POP color, or change out your colors for your ENTIRE home. The biggest decorating faux pas you can make is to have your home chopped into mini-color themes.

• Primer is your friend. They even have paints now with the primer mixed in.

• If you’re a bit color-shy, start with an accessory swap or an accent wall – That will get you going.

• If you’re ready to make the leap without professional advice, ask me to order some 8x10” color chips or paint a poster board and live with it in the room for a day or two. See how the light plays, or how room’s color sidles next to the sister space.

• Watch the Sheen – If you have bad walls, stick with flat, eggshell is my favorite for most projects. Try a higher sheen for an accent wall, door or below the chair rail.

• Remember your room’s Personality and Purpose – Blue makes you not eat, so not the best for Kitchens or Dining Rooms. But, Blue is relaxing and restful in Sitting Rooms and Bedrooms.

• Try Something New – Just like your new found love of avocados, you’ll find, a new color has taken your fancy. Give it a shot in a powder room, in accents or in a secondary furniture piece – Like a chair, ottoman or painted wood piece.


• A Gallon of paint usually covers about 350ft. – So one can is just right for a small room.
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StartupNation Small Business and Entrepreneur Community > Groups > Home Staging Entrepreneurs

StartupNation Small Business and Entrepreneur Community > Groups > Home Staging Entrepreneurs

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Saturday Morning Room Transformation

Sometimes all it takes is a few new purchases and a bit of tweaking to take a space from same ol', same ol' to smashing!
Reinventing Space Services:
Shopping With Client 1 hour
Room Makeover 2 Hours

Entertainment Center, Not Centered
Missing side tables for chairs
Tiny Cocktail Table
Lamp & Art Poor
Mantle Mirror too Small
Pillow Pattern Collision

The room becomes more inviting and updated:
With a bit of new art
A nice large clock to balance the fireplace scale
Pops of color: w/black more feminine curvey tables, mantle mirror
Green pillows
White florals
Seating is defined w/ functional lamps, & a tweak in furniture arrangement.

Black Cocktail Table:  Ballard Design
Black Side Table: Target
Lamps: Home Depot
Accessories: HomeGoods
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