real estate: Blue, So Much More Than a State of Mind - 05/13/09 02:17 AM
I've been getting very excited about blue paint color for walls. Did you know blue is the number one paint colour in homes in North America?
When using blue paint be careful not to select drab or dated looking colours. Blues of today are warm (hint of red undertone) and fresh.
Here are a few photos for some inspiration for you!

image source, Real New York House Wives


real estate: DIY Decor Ideas With Little to No Investment But Great Visual Rewards! - 05/13/09 01:16 AM
With the economy as it is today many of us are not spending on the more frivolous purchases such as decor items. The desire to reuse as much as possible and wanting to make our homes uniquely reflect our personalities rather than looking like everything was purchased at one store has inspired many to come up with some wonderfully inventive decor items we can all do in our own homes.
I went hunting around and found some simple ideas I felt would inspire you. I hope you find the ideas as refreshing and exciting as I do!


real estate: Why is My House Not Selling - Part II - 05/04/09 05:17 PM
In case you missed Part I 
Moving on:
Location location location. Yes it is important to the buyer but also relevant to price. They are tied to one another. 2 identical houses, one on a quiet court the other on a busy street, are not going to be valued the same. 
Bottom line with location is to make sure the price takes the location in to consideration. Every property sells even those with less desirable locations...say one with an abattoir behind it or train tracks...whatever the 'pink elephant' is.
Look around yourself but through the eyes of your Mother-In-Law. Then remind yourself the saying goes 'if … (8 comments)

real estate: Rules - Call Me Crazy But...They Often Times NEED to be Broken! - 02/18/09 02:04 AM
There are many rules in design and it's off shoots (decorating, staging, re-design). But the best designs (those stop you from flipping the page or stop you in your tracks) are always when someone has challenged the rules.
If may not be obvious to you that some design rule has been tossed out. Nor would it have been carelessly tossed out. Great thought goes in to stunning design. Those who challenge design rules are recognized by the industry for their ability to create engaging environments. Those who follow all the rules...create rooms that while may be beautiful technically, they lack the ability to truly draw in … (10 comments)

real estate: Autumn Hot Picks 4 Your Home From 2 Hounds Design & Home Staging - 09/23/08 11:53 AM
Autumn Picks To Elevate Your Home As Selected By Toronto's 2 Hounds Design & Home Staging  There are so many inventive products coming on to the market and design plays just as important a role as function...perhaps more important than function!
This will be the first in an on-going series from Toronto's 2 Hounds Design + Home Staging.
As a decorator, stager and shopaholic it is imperative I stay on top of trends in home fashions so I see on a daily basis and I'm regularily introduced by manufacturers the latest and greatest.
Here are a few of my picks I've come across this Autumn in no specific order:
Bodum's … (10 comments)

real estate: It IS The Staging Stupid...The Canadian Stagers Version - 09/19/08 08:58 AM
Durham Region, Municipality of Clarington, Courtice, Ontario Canada. Small town bedroom community real estate meets The Big City Toronto Home Stager.
When we put our house up for sale mid-July this summer we were confident it would sell and fast for our area. While a house like ours down the street was listed a month and a half before we listed they would have listed...end of May beginning of June; they just sold over these past 2 weeks so some time in September they finally sold. That is about 4 months! They have yet to move. No doubt they had hoped … (18 comments)

real estate: Painting - Save Time & Money With Designer Paints? YES! - 08/22/08 08:24 AM
As you likely remember I prepared my house for sale. There were numerous upgrades we put in but the one job we did is the most time consuming as well as providing the most $ROI.
We painted the entire house...well I painted the entire house. Since we were selling I went the cheap route and colour matched a Benji colour using Behr.
What a disaster! The computers can never get the same formula even over 3 cans. Home Depot's paint manager gave me the low down:
After a product (ex. latex flat emulsion base white) goes on the big box shelf … (20 comments)

real estate: My Recent Experience With a FSBO - 06/05/08 08:17 AM
In my previous post, about choosing to use a Realtor rather than selling a property FSBO, I made a comment which I feel can stand as a post on it's own. To those who contributed to that post by commenting: Thank you so much!
My Recent Experience With a FSBO
I have experienced FSBO's recently, as a buyer, because I've been 'in the market' for a bigger house. I was willing to do the research for a FSBO if the house, location and price was right.
 Believe it or not, there was one house that seemed perfect and was a FSBO. It was … (7 comments)

real estate: What is Home Staging? Seems Many Think it Simply Means Emptying Out the Rooms! - 03/24/08 05:43 AM
O.K. now that I've got your attention...
I've been looking at some of the very recent staging 'gradutates' new websites and their portfolios. This post is not about the training course they have taken as I have no idea what they are taught. They do post their newly purchased Trademark alphabets though, so I do know they have taken the training.
This post is about my perception gleaned from perusing these new web sites and the staging on display. I won't be posting is not my intention to make an example of anyone.  
I recently posted on my blog about the Staging Industry being undermined by … (9 comments)

real estate: 2 Hounds' Life Lesson of the Week #3 - 01/03/08 07:45 AM
With the new year just 3 days in I thought a timely quote would be in order. After all, are we not now reflecting on our past year with our 2008 business plan in mind?
"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." - Will Rogers
While it is good to review don't get stuck thinking about regrets or missed opportunities.
Cheers to all and a Happy New Year!
2 Hounds Design + Real Estate Merchandising

real estate: REALTORS: Why You Need A Decorator Stager For Your Sellers...No You Don't Already Do What I Do. - 01/01/08 04:48 AM
a very good example of why a PROFESSIONAL stager/decorator/color consultant is necessary to help your sellers select paint colors. No, you don't already do what we do...lets work together for a win/win/win (your commission/your clients best price/my reputation) situation in 2008! to weed out the chaff from the wheat this is a good litmus test; a professional KNOWS color theory as well as DESIGN Theory. 3 Day training to be a 'stager' does not teach theory only a minuscule percentage of practical.
does not make a professional is what most Realtors already know themselves A Professional Stager/Decorator is your best weapon in … (8 comments)

real estate: Color (Colour) Theory 101, some basics on TAUPES...a much needed review - 01/01/08 04:33 AM
OK. Seems some of us need a paint color 101 lesson. I just read Kelly Townsend's blog asking for some help with colour suggestions for dated tiles in a bathroom. After reading some comments I see there is a lack of knowledge of color theory.
So for those of us who struggle with on. BTW, I do still struggle with color just not with color theory!
First the primary colors...I'm about to blow your mind here...well some of you!
Yellow, Magenta and Cyan: a more accurate reflection of the artists color wheel than the 'red, yellow, blue' we where taught in … (17 comments)

real estate: Here's The Princess Again! How Do You Introduce Yourself When You Enter A Room? - 12/18/07 09:51 AM
My daughter likes to play dress up. Her favorite dress-up character is 'The Princess'. The Princess has taken to announcing herself each time she enters a room...every-time. It got me thinking today; each time we enter a room we are announcing ourselves just not verbally.
How we 'announce' ourselves speaks volumes about our character, state of mind as well as how we value ourself and others. Body language; so many subtle movements and looks are translated by those who see us enter.
Are you upset after a phone call and thinking about it when you run in to pick up a … (7 comments)

real estate: BMO Will Pay Your Toronto The Land Transfer Tax...Sing With Me! - 12/05/07 07:28 AM
BMO so kindly offers to pay the new Toronto Land Transfer Tax. For this promotion you get the 'incentive' rate of 6.38% (fixed for 5+ years) while those opting to pay the tax themselves are getting rates below 6%.
The Toronto Land Transfer Tax takes effect for properties closing beginning February 1, 2008.
BMO is quick to point out if you get a 5+ year fixed mortgage on a Toronto property, and close by February 29, 2008, BMO will pay your land transfer tax (up to a maximum of 1.5% of your mortgage amount).
So as an example on a $400,000 house, BMO tells you they would save … (1 comments)

real estate: The funniest agent's listings... - 06/21/07 02:51 AM
In a recent Blog I wrote, Hire a 'Naked Stager': Satisfaction Guaranteed!, Paul Viau wrote how we sould all use the word "Naked" more in our advertising.
Well, there is an agent in the U.K., Ralph Bending who does just that! You have to read his listings, they are hysterical. His tagline is 'the most fun you can have with an estate agent'.
Here are some of his current listings:
"Ground floor flat synonymous with the type of person who eats red kidney beans and exhudes certain aromatic gases. Bedroom at the front with en-suite shower room, small sitting room at the rear, brand new kitchen, … (27 comments)

real estate: Hardware - A Little Bling Never Hurt! - 06/20/07 08:48 AM
If you want your house to stand out among the hundreds for sale, or just want to upscale the image of your house, look at the hardware you currently have.

Hardware includes:
door knobs cabinet/drawer pulls and knobs door bumpers levers faucets hinges push/kick plates hooks switch plates Determine the finish (e.g. bronze, chrome, brass, iron, stainless...) that best complements the house/condo. Ideally you want the finish to be consistent throughout, although some different finishes can complement each other if not overdone.
Old pieces can be restored or purchased at architectural salvage shops, or new hardware can be purchased, the point … (17 comments)

real estate: Hire a 'Naked Stager': Satisfaction Guaranteed! - 06/20/07 03:25 AM
At 2 Hounds Design + Home Staging, we are always looking for ways to stand out in the industry and offer the best service possible. Well you ain't seen nothin' yet!
Today we announce we will officially begin 'Staging Naked'!
There are no additional fees, as 'Naked Stagers' we just want to have satisfied customers...because we all know a satisfied customer is a repeat customer!
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging, Greater Toronto Area 'Naked Stagers', Bending Over Backwards To Satisfy Our Clients!
If you 'stage naked' list yourself below, along with the area you serve and your website, to help clients find you!
Stage It Forward, … (39 comments)

real estate: Customer Service, Is It A Thing Of The Past? - 06/18/07 12:20 PM
This is the first year we decided to have our lawn treated by a company, rather than by ourselves. We have a hectic life and little time to spend caring for our lawn.
When the company came out the first time, they did a spring 'feed'. This was in May. We were told they would return in a week to aerate and 'weed' the lawn. Well, it is June 18th, and they have not returned. For the past 3 weeks we have called to ask where they were and were told the techs were 'in the area' and would be out within the … (6 comments)

real estate: Architectural Elements - Simple Upgrades To Increase The Value Of Your Home - 06/10/07 06:57 AM
When considering listing your house to sell walk around and look at what architectural features it already has. Architectural elements we are interested in here are:
crown molding baseboard wainscoting chair rails balusters handrail window and door casing doors (yes, look at the statement your doors make!) fireplace/mantel windows radiators built-in-furniture List off what you do and don't have. By adding some of the elements to your home you will not only increase the value with very little investment, but the perceived value as well. Your house will stand out in the crowd as being a lifestyle 'step up' from the competition. … (14 comments)

real estate: This blog is for homeowners - 06/07/07 04:38 AM
There are so many service options that can be offered to clients, by home stagers and re-designers, but I would like to know, as a homeowner who may be considering selling your house/condo, or actually are selling it,what services you would like to receive.
I get many calls from homeowners who are thinking about staging or re-designing their home, but don't know what services are offered and how they are offered.
In terms of home staging in the city of Toronto, my services are pretty much utilized in actual staging rather than consultations for the owners to complete on their own. However, in … (2 comments)


Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging

Toronto, ON

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2 Hounds Design + Home Staging

Address: GTA

Office: (416) 418-5919

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