real estate: Working With an Assistant - Two Heads Are Better Then One - 02/10/08 10:20 PM
 
    
A local Color and Interior Design Consultant Marja Chapman of Magic Interiors and I have struck up a partnership that is working well for the both of us.  While we each have our own separate companies when we have the need for an assistant we hire one another.  We often comment that it is much easier with two people who are creative and know what they are doing as there really isn't a design dilemma we can't solve.   Not to mention the woman power needed to move large pieces of furniture.  In fact we have amazed ourselves more then once … (11 comments)

real estate: Great Blow Up Bed To Have In Your Inventory - 02/10/08 08:28 AM
 
Until I move into a warehouse space and have lots of strong men to help me, I am using the blow up bed method to furnish my vacant bedrooms.  Not only are they easy to store, set up and transport, it is also cost effective not only for me but for the renter and as long as no one jumps or tries to sleep on it for all intents and purposes it looks like a real bed. 
I try to check on my furnishings in vacant properties at least once a month and I have to say I have not needed … (46 comments)

real estate: Staging Occupied Homes Gives Home Sellers The Extra Edge - 01/23/08 06:55 AM
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Living Room Before
 
 
Living Room After
 
Occupied homes are often overlooked as needing to be staged. It is just as important to stage these homes if not more so. Lived in homes need to look not so lived in when on the market and can be improved dramatically by simply adding or deleting furnishings, changing furniture layout and adding the right accessories and finishing touches. 
Using an overall design plan and often utilizing no cost or low cost items a fresh new space is created giving a lived in home a more model home appearance. The goal in staging an occupied home … (12 comments)

real estate: Home Sellers Here Are A Few Reasons Why Should You Merchandise Your Property - 01/23/08 06:29 AM
 
♦ Stand out from the crowd, give yourself a competitive edge, ensure your home shows well and increase your offer potential.
♦ Enhance your home's appeal to a larger buying audience by showcasing its marketability and minimizing flaws.
♦ Create better pictures for on-line and print advertising. (With today's buyers being nternet savvy, it is crucial that on-line photo's showcase the home to grab the buyers attention.)
♦ Avoid costly price adjustments (home staging will be less then your first price adjustment) or having your property languish for months.
♦ Turn your home into a product that sells. We offer several pricing options to fit … (0 comments)

real estate: Rolling Tool Case - Rocks! - 01/23/08 05:06 AM
I think most IRIS members probably have this Stanley tool case on wheels but wanted to let everyone else know about it.  This tool case is PERFECT for staging, redesign jobs or the home owner who is short on space and wants all their tools in one convenient easy to move location.
The two upper compartments on the lid are great for holding writing pens, pencils for marking walls and furniture pens.  The inside removable tray is great for holding tools and the compartment underneath the removable tool tray is great storage for magic erasers, extra light bulbs, extension cords or additional tools.  … (32 comments)

real estate: Staging A Looooong Mantle - 08/17/07 08:59 AM
A recent project of mine was staging a family room where I needed to add interest to a very long mantle and brick wall.   Not only did I need to come up with a solution that was cost effective but I needed accessories that would not get lost on the wall and that would really make this feature stand out instead of being a boring eye sore.  I ended up finding these great vases at Ross Dress For Less, ranging from $5.99 to $12.99 in price and the great art work was found in the clearance section at Home Goods for … (7 comments)

real estate: So you have a sink in your family room? No problem! - 07/28/07 09:31 AM
Apparently sometime either in the 70's or 80's bars were a popular feature in family rooms.  I have noticed several lone sinks in the family rooms of several houses that I visited during various open houses.  I would think if a home owner were going to go to the trouble of removing the bar they would also remove the sink but clearly not everyone sees it my way.  I recently staged such a property and the home seller was against paying to have it removed to I staged it.  I think it not only looks better but also gives the home … (19 comments)

real estate: Accessories Make The Room! - 07/28/07 06:05 AM
 
Here is an occupied staging job I recently did where the homeowner had no accessories.  The challenge was using the existing furniture and working with white walls to create drama and impact.  By changing the furniture layout and bringing in rental artwork and accessories we were able to create space that was more inviting to potential home buyers.
    
(19 comments)

real estate: From Drab to Fab - 05/02/07 02:03 PM
Here is an example where a small investment in staging accessories netted a big impact.  By adding a smaller scale table in a dark color that blended with the other furnishings and by removing two chairs more space was created.  We moved the china cabinet, rearranged the existing picture and mirror and added three plants, wall sconces, new seat cushions and a co-ordinating runner.  Before the space lacked warmth and personality but after staging it is now visually pleasing with the extra space and punches of color.
 
 
 
  
(5 comments)

real estate: Stage Your Closet Space - 04/29/07 02:43 PM
I believe that as stagers we should always recommend to our clients to stage all their spaces, even under the counter spaces and closets.  After all buyers will look there to see if their "stuff" will fit.  Home sellers are selling the total space therefore the total space needs to be staged.
 
(21 comments)

real estate: A Little Staging Goes A Long Way - 04/29/07 05:12 AM
Home Staging isn't about spending a lot of money it is about making the most of your space.  Here is an example of how two low cost items can change the look of a space, giving a great first impression when potential buyers walk through the door.  The mirror replaces a picture that was not the right scale for the chest and adds reflective light.  The plant replaces the basket of keys and adds color and warmth.
(9 comments)

real estate: Open House Tips - 04/16/07 09:17 AM
 
●  Turn on all lights in the house - use the highest wattage lamps will allow.
●  Pull up blinds and open window treatments - let the light in.  Make sure windows are clean and streak proof.
●  Place fresh flowers throughout the house - living room, dining room, powder room and master bedroom etc...
●  Make sure all trash cans are emptied. Take garbage, diapers, and cat and dog litter boxes out of the home.
●  Remove pets from property if possible - outside at least.
●  Set thermostat to a comfortable temperature - cooler is better then warmer.
●   Make sure house smells fresh and … (3 comments)

real estate: Tips for Making Your Home Stand Out from the Crowd - 04/05/07 12:56 AM
  
Gone are the days when homes sold quickly for more than the asking price, where homes had multiple offers and homeowners had to do little. Selling a home in today's sluggish market takes work. 
Buyers take 15 seconds or less to form an impression about your home. To sell in a timely manner and for a good price, today's home needs to be move-in ready and have that "special something."
First impressions count and not making a good one can cost you the selling of your home.  Investing a few hundred dollars can mean thousands more on your sale price. To make … (2 comments)

real estate: Selling Your Home: How to Avoid a Price Adjustment - 04/03/07 01:40 PM
 Today's slow housing market requires home sellers to make their homes more appealing to potential buyers.  Realtors are frequently forced to advise you that a price adjustment is needed, in an effort to make your home more competitive.  These "adjustments" generally start with a decrease of $10,000.00 off the asking price and then continue going down until the house sells or the homeowner decides they can't go any lower and will wait it out. 
Many realtors feel that price adjustments are the best way to move a house when it has been sitting for a period of time.  If you want … (0 comments)

 

Sandra Hughes

Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax, VA

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Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia

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