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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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Don’t Scare Potential Buyers Away When Selling Your Home - Home Staging Tips

Selling your home ideas
Don't Scare Potential Buyers (Photo: Source)

Yes, Halloween is just around the corner and we’re all feeling the spirit of the season, but you may not realize if selling your home - that your decorating and living choices are the ones that are scary!  You may think your stuff is wonderful. You may think, “come on, this is how real people live”. You may think, “I’m not changing that to sell my home”. The reality is, you may be scaring your potential buyers away with the condition of your home. 

When prepping your home for sale, the goal is to make the home appealing to everyone. You want buyers to picture themselves living in, and seeing the potential of your home - not leaving and labeling your home the clown picture collection home. 

From too personalized collections, too much stuff, to just plain everyday life – When it comes to selling a home, you have to remove these things when selling a home. That means you need to remove distractions, pack up the too personal stuff, keep it clean and tidy and consider - what may be normal to you, may scare a potential buyer.

Lawn Ornaments/ Overdone Seasonal Décor:  Angels sculptures, crouching bunnies, blow-up Spiders, Hay bale and scarecrow greeters at the door and sneaking gnomes.  Instead, showcase your lovely manicured, mulched and cut lawn. Exterior 1st impressions are a clue of a well maintained and beautiful home.

A Cluttered Foyer:  Your foyer is like a handshake – the introduction to your home. Welcome your potential buyers with hospitality and panache.  A foyer should be spotless, shoeless and has a guest closet that Marie Kondo would swoon over, not the people from TV’s ‘Hoarders’ show.  If you have a foyer table, add a vase of fresh flowers and your Real Estate agent’s listing materials.

Collections:  Although you may have a passion for clown paintings, taxidermy or Precious Moments figurines - people buying a home may not - and if they do, may get distracted by seeing them.  Collections, especially personalized ones, should be packed up.  Instead, focus on a room’s arrangement; showcase your rooms’ detail, layout and how the potential buyer can use the space.

Acres of Family Photos: Too many photos overwhelm, especially the huge family portrait over your fireplace mantle. The psychology of marketing a home for sale - is allowing the buyer seeing themselves in your home, not you and you and you in the home.  A few small frames in a bookcase or on a bedroom dresser are fine, just not on every wall and surface.

Animal Items: Cat towers in the living room, fish tanks in foyers, cages, beds and exposed litter boxes.  Most people are animal lovers, but not when buying a home. While the home is on the market these items need to be removed or tucked into a remote area.  People respond to the 5 senses when viewing a home - even seeing a cat box that is clean, will make a person scrunch up their nose.

Bathroom Rugs: Tank covers, toilet seat covers and small bath area rugs. No need to blanket a bath in fluff.  Showcase your bath’s shiny bright condition by exposing all its shiny clean surfaces and well maintained tile.

Too Many Personal Items:  We all know what happens when we shop at Costco or Sam’s Club.  From bursting linen, bedroom, pantry closets to inside a shower, on top of a counter or dresser and under the sink – too many personal products take up space, make a space look cluttered and tells a story of you and your family. Instead, organize products in opaque plastic bins or handled baskets that can be tucked away for showings.

Messiness:  You wouldn’t sell your car unwashed and with chicken nuggets in it? So the same goes for your home.  Give your home bath.  Wash the windows, cleaned carpets,  paint if the walls need it and live like Model Home family with it ready-to-show at all times.  Try purchasing some large flip top containers you can have stationed in each room. Use them to tidy up every morning or before showings.

Darkness:  Drawn drapes, burnt bulbs, missing lamps, turned off lighting.  If they can’t see it, why would they buy it?  Light up your home like a beacon.  Get those exterior lights on a timer, open your sheers and blinds, replace and check every bulb in your home and if a room can’t be shown in the evening because there isn’t a lamp in the space – Go buy some.
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How to Hook the Perfect Buyer - Using the Home Staging Law of Attraction

A business associate and I were talking the other day about what nice clients she has. Most people would say it's ‘Luck’ that she has great clients, I disagree.  Nice people attract nice people. It’s the law of attraction, which is the belief that “like attracts like.” Also it’s my believe - you have to work at being nice. Nice people always offer up a smile, genuinely care about the person they are interacting with, are good listeners, compliment others and most importantly are positive.

You too need to use the Law of Attraction to sell your home.  As a home staging and styling professional, it’s my job to create a strong sense of attraction in a home going on the market.   I strengthen the magnet by helping a homeowner maximize what is great about the home, offer cost effective changes to appeal to that ideal buyer, help them overcome the home’s challenges and style the property in a way that allows the target buyer to see themselves living there.  I elevate the law of attraction and so can you.  

Make a Great 1st Impression. Just like a smile, greet your buyers with a great first impression. Never stage after your home is on the market.  Don’t let a sub-par on-line picture lessen your hard work, and remember, your exterior is as important as your interior.

Home Staging #Reinventing Space
Photo Sources: BHG, Houzz, Pinterest.

Care about What Your Buyer Needs.  The best way to sell your home is to understand what your ideal buyer wants in a home.  Homebuyers are looking to improve what they own now and no buyer today one wants to ‘envision the possibilities,’ they want to see the dream in real time. Offer them a home that gives them their dream.

Home Staging #Reinventing Space

Complement What is Great.  Your neighborhood, price point and style of your home dictates the driving force of why the potential buyer would like to visit. Every home has fabulous things about it - beautiful custom closets, a stunning backyard, a killer kitchen. Maximize the positives of your home.  A custom closet should look like a magazine advertisement for a custom closet company, a stunning backyard is cut, mulched, mended and accessorized, a killer kitchen is perfect down to the perfectly organized pantry.

Home Staging #Reinventing Space

Refresh, Repair and Renew.  Homes are lived in by people using them every day are not always updated to the taste of the buyer.  Super clean and decluttered are synonymous with selling a home.  A survey conducted by HomeGain  states a seller gets a 403% return on investment by cleaning.  From curbside to back fence a home has to be tidy.  Fix, repair and update your home to make it turn-key for your new buyer.  By listening to statistics, making wise, cost effective changes (keep in mind that your price point dictates the extent of the changes,) you’ll be enhancing the attraction.  

Home Staging #Reinventing Space

Create a Positive Home.  Finally, it’s the little things that make people fall in love with a home - a cozy master bedroom, plenty of storage space to grow and that perfect view out the kitchen sink window, that tip a buyer over the edge to buy. If you create a great 1st impression, play up the positives, embrace what the ideal buyer is looking for, and spend the time and effort to prepare a home, a seller will attract the perfect buyer.  Nice people buy nice homes. 

Home Staging #Reinventing Space

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Simple Lessons in Home Staging - Living Room Tips

Home Staging is a the art of styling a home to accomplish two goals.

  1. To showcase the quality and amenities of the home itself.
  2. To offer a window to the possibilities of how a buyer could live in the home.
Home staging is packaging a home to sell, so the potential buyer gets a glimpse of how wonderful it would be to live in it. We all know the old adage about 1st Impressions - let it ring, because you need to make them want what you have! Here are some simple lessons in staging your living room to give a great impression.

home staging paint colors

Choose an on trend color palette that will appeal to buyers and showcases your home's amenities. Tone on tone creates flow and space.

home staging room arrangement

A simple, opened room arrangement explains the room's purpose, yet sells square footage.  

Home staging tips

Add lifestyle defining accessories to create a story of how one could use the room. Create layers to give the space warmth and character.

Home Staging tips
Make sure to update, uncomplicate and unify interior decorating selections, such as window treatments and hardware.

Model Home Merchandising

Abbreviated doesn't have to be boring.

Home Staging Chicago
These simple lessons in home staging should inspire a vision of the art of home staging.  There is always the smart choice of hiring a Home Staging professional who can provide you with expert vision, those desired on trend ideas, and proper packaging of your home. 

Chicago home staging and interior styling expert Julea Joseph has been helping homeowners, builders and real estate professionals since 1999. Whether you're selling a home, moving in, or in need of a change her boutique design business, Reinventing Space offers design for every chapter of home.

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From Slab to Fab - Upstyle Your Patio With These Style Tips!

Don’t let your back door be the end of your living spaces.  Now that a warmer season is upon us - your patio is the perfect place to extend your decorating creativity.  This time of year, every retailer has a bevy of outdoor furnishings, textiles, accessories and lighting to create an ideal outdoor oasis. 

With a little professional direction, a bit of creativity, shopping, and clues from your existing “inside” space, you can take your patio from slab to fab in a weekend!

Start with color.  Take inspiration from your current interior, or give you exterior space a new color twist. Why not be inspired by a fun pillow you scouted at a favorite store? A designated set of colors will help you set a direction for your space and make gathering your goods a breeze.
All items selected from TARGET.COM

Decide what duty your space will serve.  Do you desire a space to lounge away a Saturday afternoon reading, an extended dining area to compliment your famous BBQ recipe, or a secret garden to celebrate your green thumb? Select the 'bones' of your outdoor room just like you would inside - using furniture pieces in-tune your environment and family needs.  You'll need detachable cushions that can be easily stored if you live in an area that gets weekly rain, and a small bistro set is not going to work as a dining table for a family of six.  Be creative, yet keep functionality in mind.

Once your key furniture pieces have been established, you can add these accessories to build your room.
  • Anchor the space with a great outdoor rug. You can use more that one rug to cover a larger space or create interest by layering the rugs.
Photo: Source

  • Introduce a water feature.  The fountain will add an element of calm with its sound, refresh the senses with its movement, and masks unwanted noise from nearby traffic or neighbors.

Copper Tabletop Fountain - LampsPlu

  • Hang a mirror to reflect the beauty of your garden, fountain or focal point. Or use the mirror to mimic a doorway to another space.
mirror ideas
Photo; Source

  • Plants. From wall building large potted palms, a container garden with fragrant herbs, or a vase filled with a favorite floral - plants will bridge your patio to the great outdoors.
Upstyle your patio
Photo: This Old House

  • Add the element of fire with a propane fire pit or table, chimenea, or candles . A fire element can be a romantic and warming addition to your patio space.
Upstyle your patio
Chiminea - Wayfair

  • Add an array of exterior lighting, both solar and electric.  From fun solar accents, chandeliers or floor lamps to strings of outdoor lights – lighting creates mood, and adds a festive feeling. 
Photo: Fusion Electric

  • Add the comforts of home, such as throw pillows, throws, art, accents, and for entertaining - pretty dishes, linens and glasses.
Up-Styling Patio
Photo: Home Depot

With color as your muse, the use of functional furniture,  and homey stylish details - you can take a plain concrete outdoor space to a whole new level, transforming your patio from slab to fabulous!  

Want more tips and techniques to upstyle your spaces? Join me for one of my Summer Library Programs! 

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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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