Ways to Staging Your Home

You don’t have to break the bank to have your house looking as though it was professionally staged. These tips and tricks will have your house sell-ready and gorgeous before you can say “why hasn’t it always looked this way?!”

1) De-Clutter

The first step in getting ready to sell is de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter so potential buyers aren’t overwhelmed by your stuff, but rather impressed by your home. Counters and other surfaces should be kept clear and any furniture that isn’t needed stored away. The good news about this tedious task is packing and purging will make moving day that much easier.

2) Lights and Mirrors

Warm lighting and well-placed mirrors can make your home feel bright, inviting and even bigger. Mirrors placed over fireplaces, and along hallway walls will make rooms appear larger than they are. Table lamps, and overhead lighting like chandeliers and sconces will brighten rooms and add some flair to your decor.

3) It’s Nothing Personal

Any personal effects should be packed away; family photos and mementoes, framed degrees, anything that’s a link to the current owner. Buyers want to imagine themselves in the house, so the more the house is a blank slate, the easier that is.

4) But Don’t Touch the Nursery!

Although the nursery and childrens’ rooms should be de-cluttered and tidied as well, personal effects can remain as they are. There’s something reassuring and touching about seeing a baby’s room that can mean all the difference to a potential buyer (especially ones that are starting a family).

5) Neutrals

Although you love that fuchsia accent wall, some buyers may not. A fresh coat of bright, neutral paint will not only enlarge the house and make it feel airy and more spacious, but it will also help buyers with their vision (there’s that blank slate again).

6) Accents and Colour

To complement the neutral house, a few well-placed bright pops of colour will bring the decor together. Bright throw pillows, or a canary yellow kettle on the stove will be noticed as soon as you enter the room and will stick in buyers minds once they leave. Fresh flowers are another great idea, and single flower arrangements are most effective.

7) Inviting Scents

Warm inviting scents will help your house be remembered. Taking the time to bake cookies or mull cider on the stove may not be in the cards (and the stove and elements should be off for open houses) but a safely placed candle or air freshener will do the trick.

8) Draw Attention to Selling Features

As a general rule closet doors should be kept closed, but if there’s a walk-in that should be noticed, a small note to alert potential buyers is ok.

9) Freshen Your Linens

Now’s the time to use your spare “good” set on beds, and ensure your towels and hand-towels are in tip top shape. And if it’s perhaps time to replace them, think neutral again.

Tips Before Tackling Your Home Renovation

Renovating your home can be thrilling and when the results are exactly what you wanted, there’s nothing more satisfying. But they can also be stressful and costly, in both time and money. Here are five things to consider before undergoing a renovation, whether the job is big, or small.

Does The Renovation Require Permits?

Generally, small changes can be done on your own, but larger projects involving additions or altering the existing structure, electrical or plumbing may require permits. It’s important to be aware of the rules of your city, as undergoing renos without the required permits can mean timely delays, fines and ultimately stretching your budget. Sites like the Ontario Ministry of Housing and Affairs are a great resource and a good idea to bookmark.

Has Your Contractor Been Vetted?

It’s always smart to get a few quotes for every job, and references are essential. There are too many horror stories out there to make absolute sure that anyone who’s working on your home has been thoroughly vetted. Ask to see a portfolio of their work, or call a referral or two, this could save you a lot of heartache down the road.

Do You Have a Buffer?

Often, the reality of renovating seems to be it costs more money, and takes longer (sometimes a lot longer) than expected. Building in a buffer of both time, and money is a great idea and a good way to set proper expectations. (And hey, sometimes they do finish on time, for the actual quote!)

Should You Relocate During the Job?

Packing up (especially if you have kids) might seem like a complete pain, but trying to live through a renovation might be an even bigger one. Add to that the dust and dirt that’s loosened (which can be a lot more than you’d expect), and you may be breathing easier if you choose to stay with family or at a hotel.

So Do You REALLY Want This?

After weeks of researching design ideas, vetting contractors and saving the money you’ll need (plus a little buffer), now’s the time to really weigh the pros and cons. Do you really want to do this? And if the answer is yes, good luck! Renovating, whether it’s something small, or a big, can mean one step closer to living in the home of your dreams (once the nightmare of the renovation ends of course).

Choosing Big Design Trends

Every year home design trends come and go but it’s never too late to try something new. Update your décor and impress your friends (and yourself) at the same time, by including some of this year’s hottest design trends.

Warm Metals

Especially in the kitchen. Seems grey isn’t only taking a backseat in the living room, but in the kitchen this year as well. Warmer bronzes, golds and black are replacing sleek chrome and stainless steel when it comes to lighting and cabinetry accents. And if you’re really looking to make a big splash, try some bronze sconces in the kitchen.

Pantone Colour of the Year

Year after year the iconic people at Pantone come up with their colour of the year, inspiring not only home décor trends but fashion and other design areas across the board as well. For 2014, the colour du jour is: Radiant Orchid, a gorgeous pinky purple-hue. An infusion of this beauty would be a welcome breath of colour anywhere—from kitchen to bedroom and every room in between.

Florals

Florals are holding strong and continuing to be on-trend this year, but they’re definitely growing in size. Now, pretty blooms, the bigger the better are a force to be reckoned with. What lovelier way to add some vibrant colour and bold patterns to your home than throw pillows, sheets or duvet covers with big bright florals. (Try to find some with radiant orchid for a double-dose of style.)

Blue & Blue

Black’s younger, lighter cousin grey has certainly had its heyday, but this is the year for something far more dramatic. Black walls are en vogue—think entire living and dining rooms–but if you’re not ready to go all in, try one accent wall or the always-in-style coupling with white. And when it comes to blue, think every shade–from lovely sky blue dishes displayed in your kitchen, to darker navy and white striped towels in your bathroom.

Vintage

Everything old is new again but the good news is mixing and matching is totally ok. A distressed old-trunk serving as a coffee table or impressive antique maps framed and hung on the walls, not only serve as beautiful, on-trend décor pieces, but add a lot of intrigue (and conversation starters) to the room.

 

 

Ways to Update Your Room

You don’t have to hire a decorator (or break the bank) to give a room a quick update with lots of impact. So whether you’re getting ready to sell, have just moved in or feel like a mini overhaul, these five tips will have you enjoying the room of your dreams in no time.

Change Your Fabrics

Replace your curtains, re-cover your throw pillows, buy a new rug, Any one of these easy fixes can make a big impact; but all three will completely change the entire room! And if it’s a bedroom you’re tired of, same rules apply: Replace the duvet cover, re-cover the headboard, and toss a few new pillows on the bed.

Freshen Up With Paint

Whether you tackle an entire room, or maybe an accent wall or two, a new coat of paint is probably the easiest way to change a room. From light and bright to dark and dramatic, paint can completely alter the mood.

Re-Organize A Bookshelf

Bookshelves are amazing; not only do they keep your books organized, but they can also serve as great focal pieces. Try colour-coding your books or arranging them in stacks instead of side-by-side. Remove an entire row of books and replace them with framed family photos or bright accent pieces. Sometimes all a room needs is a shift in thinking about it.

Update Your Art

Updating the art on your walls is a great way to showcase the family talent. Frame your daughter’s sketches from high school (no one will know it’s not a real Picasso) or your son’s first finger painting. Or grab a blank canvas and paint it a bright colour to hang in the kitchen (you don’t have to be a Fine Art grad to add some basic pops of colour!). And the best part of this approach is once you’ve bought the frames, the art can be rotated throughout the year at no extra cost.

Add An Accent

Is your bathroom feeling boring or your living room giving you the yawns? Pick bright, colourful wallpaper and add an accent wall! Paint stripes in your dining room, or buy a chandelier for your front hallway. Adding an impressive accent is a fun way to give the room some personality without a complete overhaul (of the room OR your bank account).