the refreshed home: Two of My Staged/SOLD Properties This Year Were FSBOs! - 08/30/14 02:15 AM
Compiling my YTD business numbers, surprised and gladdened to realize I had a new category of properties to track-FSBOS!
FSBOs-For Sale By Owner-are properties sold without the representation of an agent or brokerage. There may be a few reasons a seller chooses to go this route, but not paying sales commissions is almost always a big part of it.
Getting a property sold in Westchester County  is much more than 2 parties agreeing on a number, and for the record, The Refreshed Home never, ever recommends a seller go it alone. I actually dedicate a good amount of time in the Staging classes and workshops I give to explaining the agent-seller relationship. But, like … (5 comments)

the refreshed home: Buyers Can't Buy It if They Can't Find It! - 08/24/14 05:07 AM
Prosepctive buyers always talk about looking for a house, but could they be talking about your listing, literally?
Problems with actually finding a listed property happens a lot more often than you might think, in both rural and urban settings. Many communities and HOAs do not allow broker signs, and GPS is imperfect, reception can be sketchy in all sorts of areas.
The Refreshed Home looks at ALL aspects of preparing Westchester County properties for sale, and yes, that does include making sure the property is easy to find, because buyers can't buy it if they can't find it.
There are … (49 comments)

the refreshed home: FAQs: What's the DIfference Between Decorating and Redesign? - 07/10/14 01:57 PM
A good economic indicator>Decorating FAQs are popping up all over! Today's question centers on a popular buzzword, "Redesign".
Written or spoken, we communicate with words. The best word choices convey nuance and details, they also attract and engage listeners when they are different, or unexpected.
"Redesign" popped into our consciousness probably about 5 or 6 years ago; pretty much when the economy was fully on the skids. The prefix "Re-" meaning back, or again gave us us this new word, meaning to create something new from at least some existing items. Un-specific, but snappy and less-indulgent sounding, it appealed to those … (3 comments)

the refreshed home: What Amateur Stagers Always Miss - 07/01/14 10:43 AM
Rooted in the word 'love', Wikipedia defines amateur as someone who loves doing something, but does it casually, is unpaid/under-paid, new and inexperienced, and/or often self-taught. TRH heartily supports homeowners doing things on their own...when they know what they're doing. Three things amateur Home Stagers miss:
The Sellers Brain
We all know 'de-clutter, de-personalize', but without first understanding the real whys, it's a decidedly judgmental mantra.
Sellers often need to re-align their thinking to see their house like a buyer does. Realize putting your house on the market is like a first date. Getting ready, is your mindset firm, '____is all … (3 comments)

the refreshed home: California Chrome: Can Colors Influence Destiny? - 06/06/14 12:01 PM
Never been a horse person...but what drew me in enough to read California Chrome's story, chuckle at the story behind  "DAP" on the silks, then be genuinely touched by, and interested in this at all was this photo of him winning the Derby, all decked out in purple and green.
See, I'm a little partial to purple and green....when I quit my paying job (with benefits!) to start The Refreshed Home in 2007, I had the name, and the colors, purple and green.
Can colors influence your destiny? Not suggesting  California Chrome will run faster because he'd decked out in purple and green (for the record, … (12 comments)

the refreshed home: De-personalizing "DE-PERSONALIZATION" - 04/13/14 02:36 AM
"What do you know about Staging?" is how I begin my Home Staging workshops.
After a moment of hesitation, someone will tentatively offer- 'de-personalize, de-clutter'.
My next question-"OK, why?"- elicits a few responses that start off strong, parroting some more buzz words, but trail off, ending as questions.
Popular media explains it's so a buyer can more easily see themselves in the space. Vanilla, un-offensive and palatable. Not un-true, but then why does the topic of Home Staging [still] incite such pushback, even rage? Written almost 2 years ago, I find the comments from a NYT article "Ruthless Came the Stager" … (14 comments)

the refreshed home: Home Stagers: Good Cop or Bad Cop? - 01/15/14 03:43 AM
Good Cop/Bad Cop is a time-honored cliche, a tool used to shake up the equilibrium, and prod someone into action. The Good Cop is supportive, looking out for you; the Bad Cop says the tough things that need to be said.
Home Stagers often wear many hats during the course of even a consult (figuratively, of course-I hate hats in real life!)- Bad Cop is one of them...but Good Cop is another.
The Refreshed Home functions as the client advocate, only and always. My success depends on your success. If I can smell cigarette smoke, teen age boy or litter boxes; … (4 comments)

the refreshed home: "It's Only Weird if it Doesn't Work" - 01/11/14 03:35 AM
"It's Only Weird if it Doesn't Work". This has been the second NFL season this tag line has been reverberating through millions of homes.
Mis-matched socks, assorted rituals and talismans, and let's not forget the dreaded QUINOA BURGER.  And this summer "Fear the Beard" was the mantra as the wooly Boston Red Sox rolled on to win the 2013 World Series.
Sports superstitions-actions and practices born from back against the wall circumstances, fueled by fervent hope and anecdotal stories of success-makes total sense to the people practicing/believing them, "it's only weird if it doesn't work" is the perfect justification of the illogical, to non-believers.
DAMN>why didn't Home Stagers think … (9 comments)

the refreshed home: RESOLVED for 2014: Swearing off the 80s - 01/08/14 11:38 AM
One of the reality checks I do every so often is troll through the older, and price-reduced listings. After the initial bum-out, I'm energized, convinced I have been gifted with a fresh new way to preach an old message. So resolved, it's 2014, and time to swear off the 80s.
The 80s was a good time for me personally, but for the most part not a terrific decade for design, or IMHO, good taste. Paralleling what shaped the look we know as "Victorian"-where one's income grew faster than experience of putting things together well, it was a time of just way … (5 comments)

the refreshed home: FAQs: Westchester County Real Estate-A Buyers, or Sellers Market? - 01/03/14 09:22 PM
Real Estate fascinates me, and the state of Real Estate in Westchester County is certainly an engaging, and challenging topic.
Maybe even better and more telling questions are what is the state of the market at this very instant, in XXXXX ZIP code?
The Refreshed Home does not try to be all things to all people: I seek, and work with nice people who want to work with me, and want to get things done. This philosophy takes me into all different markets and price points in Westchester, lower Putnam and Fairfield counties.
FAQs gives specific answers to important questions, but … (3 comments)

the refreshed home: Staging Your Home to Sell: Bronxville Adult School Tuesday January 14th - 01/03/14 09:40 AM
After many years in this business, working in many, many houses, and with their homeowners- two things have been proven to me: First-people can do more than they think they can. Second-they will usually make the best choices on their own, when pointed in the right direction.
Thus is the premise for my upcoming class at Bronxville Adult School, Staging Your Home to Sell.
The Refreshed Home's definition of Home Staging is anything that can be done to better the market position of your house, while easing the minds of both sellers and agents.
Effective solutions for preparing a house for … (1 comments)

the refreshed home: How to Shop for a Mattress - 12/27/13 03:04 PM
If you're in the market for a new mattress, first, acknowledge the very act of buying a mattress is uncomfortable. You're laying down, in front of a stranger....who wants to sell you something.  Trying to relax, while your brain is hissing 'pay attention, so you don't overspend'.
Not a primer on coil counts or the like; it's just after 25+ years in busy retail furniture, The Refreshed Home has seen some very simple and practical ways to make the process easier, while upping the odds of you making your own best choice.
Mattresses degrade a teeny tiny bit, every night, you just don't notice it, attributing sleeplessness or your aching back … (9 comments)

the refreshed home: FAQs: Why are White Walls "The Kiss of Death"? - 11/23/13 10:34 AM
Time for anther installment of FAQs, the series that features snappy answers to your Home Staging, and Decorating questions.
Whether you're trying to sell your Westchester County property, or looking to snazz it up for the holidays, you need to believe me when I say White Walls are the Kiss of Death. And the Decorator off-whites are not much better.
There are three principles to remember here: First, the eye is immediately, intrinsically drawn to color, and light. There is no conscious thought, it just happens. Second, walls are the largest surface area in any room. No matter what, they just are. … (8 comments)

the refreshed home: Buyer Consults: New Option for Getting Empty Houses Noticed, and SOLD! - 11/17/13 04:51 AM
Old beliefs die hard; that Home Stagers exist to bring rental furniture into empty houses is one of them. 
As client advocates, The Refreshed Home works collaboratively to ease the minds of buyers, sellers and agents alike;  helping ready, willing and able parties get to YES.  TRH's business model is based on strategy and service; our success comes from referrals, not referral fees.
Preparing a property for sale is ALWAYS about doing the best you can: finding that sweet spot of what is doable, affordable and effective, that will connect and resonate with buyers. Sometimes, yes, renting furniture for an empty property is called for.  But if that's not … (5 comments)

the refreshed home: Ask Around: Chances are Good Someone You Know Has Worked with Me! - 11/06/13 05:19 AM
"Celebrity Stager" certainly sounds glamorous, but anyone really involved with this field knows it's more a fantasy.
Home Staging can be hard work, but it's also a lot more stealth than you might imagine. Sellers and their agents both have a lot on the line, then ohyes, there's this property that needs to shine, center-stage, too...
Value is a perception, always in the eye of the beholder. The value of a service is often difficult to describe until you've experienced it.
Interior Decorating and Home Staging are highly personal services, delivered in a hyper-local environment: a set of solutions tightly calibrated … (5 comments)

the refreshed home: Coloring Your World: YELLOW-Yes, It's All True! - 11/01/13 03:59 PM
Colors are visual tags that tell a story, Coloring Your World looks at the history and psychology of these colors that surround and influence us.  Rounding out the primary colors, this  installment focuses on big, bright, beautiful YELLOW.
As a primary color, it's one of 3 building blocks (with red and blue) that form other colors. It's also one of a trio of colors (with ceylon blue and magenta) used with black to create any color in print.
Yellow's charm is unstoppable, and contagious. Fresh and vibrant, representing hope, optimism; change and reason, regular readers will know I constantly rail Realtors … (22 comments)

the refreshed home: On Checkers and Chess, Geometry and Home Staging - 09/24/13 09:28 AM
Though the three of us were only separated by  3 1/2 years, as the oldest, I was smarter, and always knew better than my two younger brothers. Until they both got bit by the chess bug.
Checkers was fine! Clear and straightforward, simple rules I understood, and most importantly, I could win!
But there were different, and incontrovertible rules for moving different chess pieces. I was annoyed, it felt arbitrary and unnecessarily complicated, something that didn't come easily, and I didn't want to be bothered to learn or understand. It was an attitude that resurfaced when faced with memorizing  Regents Geometry theorems.
In 10th … (2 comments)

the refreshed home: POP QUIZ #5 - 09/17/13 09:28 PM
Combining two staples of September: Renewed interest in home improvement and questions with tricky answers, the POP QUIZ series returns!
Questions could have more than one correct answer. Give it your best before scrolling down, good luck!
1. White walls will make a small space look bigger
a) Yes
b) No
c) Depends
d) Bigger is not always better
2. When a contractor is hired by, and paid by your Decorator or Home Stager who is responsible to be sure their insurance, certification and licensing is all adequate and current?
a) Client
b) Decorator/Stager
c) Contractor
d) Depends
e) All of … (3 comments)

the refreshed home: ...and Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out - 09/06/13 03:34 PM
Last year at this time once a seller was in contract, they easily had 60, 90 or more days to firm up their next steps.
NOW-lenders who've loosened their Vulcan Death-Grip on funding, interest rates advancing, and the built up demand from the past few years of limbo have all helped turn the trickle of ready, willing and able buyers into a wave, who are all asking sellers the same question: when can you get out?
Well, ok, maybe they're not using those exact words, but the point is clear: they want to get into your house, and get on with … (7 comments)

the refreshed home: "I Don't Know" is Not a Sales Pitch - 09/04/13 08:03 AM

In David Mamet's gritty classic Glengarry Glen Ross, the air was ripe with the scent of desperation (yes, even in the movie theaters, or at home with NetFlix!) Audiences would tense and twist as one, seeing the sales pitch coming a mile away.
The old borax hard-selling spiels (think time shares, used cars, property that needs to be developed) relied on protracted discussions to draw in, engage their victims people to a point where they were either worn down, or talking and thinking in circles, and thereby weakened, could fall prey agree to purchase.
OK< so we all hate being … (4 comments)

Marie Graham, Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager (Owner, The Refreshed Home  White Plains NY)

Marie Graham

Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

White Plains, NY

More about me…

Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY

Office: (914) 607-2895

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