The Lipstick Effect: What Finishing Touches Does Your Home or Listing Have?

Home Stager with The Colorful Bee Interiors

I saw an article last week about how interior designers should find their "Lipstick Effect."  Leonard Lauder of Estee Lauder created that phrase to explain how his company could survive in an economic downturn - because women would spend money on makeup and lipstick - the little extravagant necessities - even when money is tight.


So, it got me thinking about my own work as a designer, stager and decorative artist. We all have to find that "sweet spot" that keeps us making sales and not being a victim of the economy. 


So - where is the "Lipstick Effect" in your home or listing - those special finishing touches that make your home "more special?"  It can be as simple as creating a spa atmosphere in your master bath (with little soaps and bath salts bought for a song at Home Goods) - but a little touch like this will be remembered by your future buyers.


In one of the condos that we staged last year, we featured two "Lipstick Effect" items - what I like to call our "signature touch" in homes that we stage - our antiqued ceiling medallions. We had a small one over the kitchen table - and one in the dining room. The condo sold in two days at a very significan profit. In the majority of our work, we will place these lovely items in dining rooms, entryways, master bedrooms and baths, over kitchen islands, in powder rooms and kitchens eating areas. With my design and decorative art clients - this is always my "no fail" upsell item.



ceiling medallion


 This one was a gift to a realtor that gives me a lot of my staging assignments.  It features gold and copper leafing that has been antiqued.


This pictured medallion took some time and effort to create - but usually in a few short hours (while we are working on other parts of the home) - -  I can turn a plain medallion into a beautiful showpiece.  It is always the talk of the home.  Consider adding a medallion to your home or listing for the "Lipstick Effect" - that small extravagance that people just can't pass up. 


For Sale:  During the winter season, my company offers these medallions for sale.  They make great gifts for your family, friends, and clients - or for yourself. We have many different price ranges - from $150 on up to $500, depending on how large and detailed the medallion is.  If you'd like to have more information about this - just email me at or or call me at 631 277-2209.  I'd be glad to tell you more about it, show you additional styles and prices. For Active Rain members, we are offering a 10% discount until December 10th, 2009.  Please allow at least two weeks to have it delivered to your home or office.


New - Join my free e-newsletter mailing list: For great ideas like this, speed staging ideas and marketing strategies that will help you sell your home and listing faster and for more profit. Email me at with the subject line "Subscribe" and I will put you on the list of our "Creative Staging Strategies."




Linda Leyble








Comments (6)

Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Great stuff Linda, thanks for sharing. I call it lipstick and rouge. It's amazing how just a little extra will make all the difference

Nov 05, 2009 02:27 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Linda,  Interesting take on putting the finishing touches on a listing.  For many agents the term " Put some lipstick ( on this pig ! ) "  has a slightly different meaning !!! 

Nov 05, 2009 02:29 AM
Linda Leyble
The Colorful Bee Interiors - Great River, NY

Thanks Gerry - it's true.  What's the phrase - "A little lipstick, a little paint makes the little girl what she ain't!"  It's true, Bil,l about lipstick on a pig - that doesn't work as well!

Hi Janet - yes - I would love to comment on your blog.  And I'd be glad to put you on the mailing list!

Linda Leyble

Beautiful Staged Homes, Great River NY

Nov 05, 2009 02:39 AM
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Linda, great blog.  The medallions are beautiful.  I think it is so important to have finishing touches in the kitchen and baths.  I think those are the rooms that potential buyers remember the most.

Nov 05, 2009 02:41 AM
Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator

Hi Linda,

Funny how the Universe seems to take care of things.  I have been looking at plain white medallions for my dining room but have just not found the perfect one.  Then I saw your blog and the title caught my eye and wow there is the medallion I have been looking for :)

I will be emailing you for more information.  Thank you


Nov 05, 2009 02:42 AM
Linda Leyble
The Colorful Bee Interiors - Great River, NY

Hi Gary - thanks for commenting.  It is so true!

Sharon, I sent you a email - so check it and as long as you give me some room dimensions etc, I can suggest the right color and size for your dining room. And, yes, I believe that the universe does watch out for our needs!  So true!

Thanks for responding,

Linda Leyble; Beautiful Staged Homes, Great River NY

Nov 05, 2009 03:14 AM