Is Your Sofa Talking to Your Chairs?

Recently Michelle Lynne was featured in a This Old House magazine article titled 11 Foolproof Decorating Ideas. Tip No. 3 is to Make Sure Your Sofa Talks to Your Chairs. Before you get freaked out by your furniture pieces talking to each other, let’s discuss what that means.

Group Furniture to Invite Conversation

This Old House asked us to, “Think of a nice hotel lobby: The furniture is arranged in groupings that invite conversation. When you place the furniture in your living room, aim for a similar sense of balance and intimacy.”

Lobby of the Hale Koa | Is Your Sofa Talking to Your Chairs | MLInteriorsGroup.com

Lobby of the Hale Koa

Close your eyes and imagine having a conversation with your best friends in this Hawaiian hotel lobby. Are you relaxed? Sipping an umbrella drink. Yeah, me too.

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Love and Warmest Wishes

The new school year is upon us, and that is bringing some changes to the team at Michelle Lynne INTERIORS Group. Thankfully, it’s not because I have school zones between my home and office but sadly, we are sending off two of our team-members to spend more time with their families and children as their schedules heat up.  I’m a firm believer in prioritizing God, family and then work, and I commend these women for keeping their priorities in that order – although they will be terribly missed!

Lana Moore will be running around with her two sons, shuttling them between elementary school, birthday parties, baseball, boy scouts and who knows what else?  I can barely keep up and get tired just THINKING about all of the energy it must take to keep up with two boys.  Here is one of my favorite projects she completed for us:

Formal Living After Staging by Michelle Lynne

 

Maryann Hamby is shuttling her 7th grade, 3rd grade and kindergarten kiddos back and forth between their activities.  I’ll bet she wishes that 7th grader was old enough to drive!  Maryann contributed to our group with some great business insight, a team spirit, and crazy brilliance in design.  Here is one of her renovations / stagings:

Investor Family Room Staged

 

Investor Kitchen Staged to Sell

I hope when life slows down a little (um, maybe when their children are in COLLEGE), we will have the pleasure of working together again.  Their vitality, kind hearts and sweet friendship are treasures I consider myself lucky to have experienced.  Thankfully, they aren’t moving across the country and I am certain lunch, dinner or drinks will be in our futures.  Love and blessings to them (I am sure that by chasing those kiddos around, they will be working harder than I will be just schlepping furniture!).

XOXO

M.~

Master Bedroom Makeover

We started a design project just before the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays last year, and have had great fun working with a client who had just purchased a new home and wanted some assistance making it special.  She was relatively recently married and this was going to be the couple’s first “real” home together.  Plus, she found out she was already a few months pregnant shortly after they closed on the house.  Mama Mia!  We were on a deadline!

After spending some time getting to know her and what she wanted her house to feel like, we got right to work.  The main areas that needed to be primarily addressed were the husband’s office space, the family room, formal living & dining and the master bedroom; of course, there were the areas in between like the hallway, powder bath, and the eat in kitchen so the house was cohesive.  Really our work was to make her house a home.    

While the master bedroom wasn’t her highest priority, I believe everybody needs a sanctuary to come home to.  Yes, the entire home should be a refuge, but the master bedroom especially should be a place where the adults can close the door to the rest of the world and just BE.  Here is what my client and her hubs went to sleep in every night before we met:

 

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE

 

Forgive me in advance, all of these photos were taken with my iPhone.  And I think the shot above had me a little shaken up with the bumblebee yellow on the walls.  NOT a peaceful environment!  Plus, what to do with that weird window above the bed?  This was the only position their king size could fit in so we had to make it work.

 

Master Bedroom IN PROGRESS

Master Bedroom IN PROGRESS

 

Contrary to popular belief and “reality” TV, a bedroom makeover can NOT be done  in one weekend.  I searched and searched for an upholstered headboard (and frame) that would fit under the window and finally found one with Stanley Furniture that was the right color and style – and was JUST the right height to fit under the window.   Since the soon-to-be-Momma wasn’t sure what to expect with a new baby, we opted for simple white bedding that could be bleached easily, and a blanket that aded just enough interest, but would also be machine washable.  You can’t really tell in this shot, but it’s a deep, delicious plum color.  

We also had to find some narrow nightstands, because the closet door opens towards “this” side and swings wide.  Plus she preferred something with drawers so her husband’s side didn’t collect stuff (“stuff” isn’t the word she used, but you know what I mean).  Problem was how to fit a lamp + alarm clock + anything else on the top of a 30″ surface without it looking cluttered?

 

Bedside Chandelier.  SO functional and SO glam.

Bedside Chandelier. SO functional and SO glam.

 

Brilliant!  And you can’t see it, but there is a switch behind the light fixture so just a simple stretch of the arm and POOF there is light.   Sorry for the tiny picture, I couldn’t get it right side up in it’s original size.  Operator error, yes.  I do design better than technology, thank you.

Back to the project, because that darned window above the bed is still an eyesore, right?  I’ve got just the solution….

 

Master Bedroom Curtain Install

Master Bedroom Curtain Install

 

 A wall of fabric behind the bed.  YUM YUM.  We sewed together 3 sheer panels and put them directly in front of the window so the room would still capture the natural sunlight when they wanted it, or they could close the blinds when they wanted a cozy little cave.  We then put silk panels on either side of the window, all the way to either end of the wall.  Be still my heart.  I am in love.  

Don’t forget, these are photos captured from my phone, so bear with me until the entire project is complete and we break out the fancy camera.  Well, actually Lance’s fancy camera – he is the professional photographer dude.  

Until then…drumroll, please….

 

Master BR AFTER (iPhone quality photo)

Master BR AFTER (iPhone quality photo)

 

TA DA!!!!  It’s a quick, informal shot but I couldn’t wait any longer to share.  Scroll back up and check out that first picture, remember the bold yellow walls?  Yeah.  I like this better too.

 

Need a bedroom makeover?  Give us a call and we can help transform your room into the a retreat that YOU dream of.

 

Using Area Rugs In Home Staging

 Area rugs are a great tool in staging when used properly.  We have all shapes, styles and sizes in our inventory

(did you know we have 4500 square feet of showroom & warehouse space for our inventory?).  

 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when working with your clients:

 

goodrugplacementArea rugs should be used to create a grouping or “ground” a space such as the living room seating area or under a dining room table.
The space in the above photo was created by Michelle Lynne Interiors Group and is a great  example of this.

 

 

good example2

Size does matter.  Make sure the scale of the rug is appropriate to the space it is being used in.  Do not “float” rugs in the middle of a room. 

This traditional room was staged by Michelle Lynne INTERIORS using our own inventory.

 

bamboo rugNatural materials such as jute or sea grass are a very easy way to use area rugs in most style homes.

 

Arearug2

 Area rugs can add warmth to an otherwise stark dining space.  Our photo showcases that point well.

This dining room was staged using a combination of our inventory & the client’s furnishings.

 

                        If you would like help preparing your listings for their best showings or you would like to check out our fabulous inventory of rugs available at our showroom, please give us a call.  

My contact information is HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Differences Between Decorating and Home Staging

Decorating your home and staging your house are often thought of as being very similar when in reality they are HUGELY different.

When decorating, your personal design style tends to come out in the furniture, fabrics, colors and accessories that you place throughout your home. 

If you are staging your home to sell, you don’t want to “decorate”  to your liking – you want the buyers to be able to see themselves and their items in the space.

 

Below are some examples of the differences between home staging and decorating:

 

photos

 Black and white photos are a great idea for decorating your home.  However even though these kids are cute, they won’t help sell your home. 

Personal touches are not appealing to a potential buyer so they should be minimized.

                                           

clutteredroom

Themed rooms for children are creative and exciting when decorating your own home.  When staging to sell your home,  it is about the potential buyer,

not yourself or your family.  Try and keep furnishings and window coverings simple and universal.

 

 

Staging is all about showcasing the space's assets.  This kitchen staged by Michelle Lynne INTERIORS Group is a great example of how this can be done in a neutral, yet attractive manner.

 Staging is all about showcasing the space’s assets.  This kitchen staged by Michelle Lynne INTERIORS Group is a great example of how this can be done in a neutral, yet attractive manner.

 dos for selling 2

Less is more in most cases, but DEFINITELY  true when trying to sell your home. 

This kitchen staged by Michelle Lynne Interiors Group is an example of how all the clutter (including countertop appliances) is taken away and the space looks clean lined and “not lived in”.

 

 

I hope briefly going over  the major differences between home staging and decorating are helpful in your next venture!   However, there are so many more that I didn’t even get to mention, so please give us a call for your next project as soon as possible so you don’t make any mistake between home staging and decorating!

Click HERE to contact us today!

 

Easy Living Room Transformation

This formal living room was in need of some pizzazz!  

It’s one of the first rooms guests see when entering the house and it does not have the same WOW factor as the rest of the house (we’ll get those photos up soon).  Our suggestion to the client:  purchase some shelving and place on either side of the sofa.  We could have suggested side tables with lighting, but she preferred the idea of shelving and plus, it gave some height to help balance the super high ceilings.

We then advised the client on what colors and styles of accessories to purchase for the shelves.   Throughout the project, she has proven to have excellent shopping skills – following our instructions “to the T”.  She may have a future assisting here at Michelle Lynne INTERIORS Group?  Hmmm….

Formal Living Before Transformation

Formal Living Room Before Transformation

 

                                                                                                                              

The next step?  We then went back and “merchandised” the shelves with the goodies she purchased.  

                                                 

Aftertransformation

Formal Living Room After Transformation

 

…and Ta-da! See what happened by adding those shelves?  The accessories are placed in a manner to create balance now and the shelves flank either side of the sofa to create a cohesiveness and formality to the room setting.  

Our client is still looking for a floor lamp that will fit to the left of the oversized chair (left side of the photo…you can’t really see where it would go, but it will add lighting that isn’t overhead).  We’re suggesting something that allows a 3-way bulb, because function is still important – even in a pretty space.

Do you have a room that just needs a little “something something” but don’t know where to start?  We can provide you with a consultation and give you suggestions to do it yourself, or we can do it all for you.  

Click HERE to contact us today!

 

Organizing Countertop Makeup

 I was working on the master suite of one of my redesign clients a couple of months back and noticed that the convenience of her makeup on the bathroom countertop was creating some visual clutter in the space so I decided to organize it so that it was still functional while also being aesthetically pleasing.  This is a combo that makes my OCD and my pragmatic nature very very happy. 

Below you’ll see what I saw.  It’s your typical acrylic makeup holder that you can buy at any corner drugstore.  Yes, it’s FUNCTIONAL but it hurts my head to look at it, especially as we’re rocking the design in her master suite to read with a five star hotel vibe.  This isn’t cutting it.

Makeup Organization BEFORE

BEFORE

 

An easy solution for your makeup brushes and other cylindrical beauty items?  A short vase filled with coffee beans.  Notice we’ve got the brushes, eyeliner, mascara, lipliner AND her foundation submerged into the coffee beans…which gives off a lovely aroma whenever they are mixed about.  And the tweezers are perched on the outside lip of the vase so they don’t drown in the beans.  I purchased a lovely mirrored box and put the rest of the items in there, and while it’s difficult to see the interior, there is PLENTY of space for her items.  Yes, they are neatly arranged for the moment, but they would all still be very accessible when rushed and things get tossed and scattered.  I shot these pics with my iPhone and can’t find the photo with the box closed and the countertop nice and tidy, but we’re coming to the close of the project and will have some professional shots to display soon.  Stay tuned….

AFTER

AFTER

 

I enlist a similar organizational tactic at my house…granted I have a LOT of makeup (especially lip sticks & lip glosses!) so I have to keep my “daily favorites” in the countertop access.  My not-every-day items are stored in the drawers and cabinets below and out of sight until it’s time to go glam.  What do you think?  Need help organizing your daily task items so you’re not stressed out by the visual clutter?  We can help!

Local Living Rooms

One of the great things about having our own inventory is that we can donate it when called to do so.  The two photos below are two different churches we shared our inventory with in the last couple of months as they both worked to build their Community or LIFE Group activities.  These churches both have small groups that regularly meet at various members’ homes, so by setting up a space that is non-threatening and welcoming, it allowed church goers to understand that getting together in the Community or LIFE Groups is a comfortable way to worship together.  

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV Matthew 18:20)

2013 Community Group Living Room

 

2013 LIFE Group Living Room 

If your church or non-profit can benefit from our products or services, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  We are happy to help for low / no cost solutions!

Using Professional Photos in MLS Listings

So I think I take pretty good photos…have a creative eye and a fancy camera.  But I leave my so-called-talent for our vacation photos because when it comes to showcasing the interiors, I leave it to the professionals.  And here is why: 

This first photo is my shot.  First of all, I was distracted by my growling stomach after installing this staging and neglected to turn the lights on.  DUH.

Staged without Professional Photo

Staged without Professional Photo

 

And here is a professional, who was probably well prepared with snacks prior to arriving to shoot the space.  And talk about a fancy camera….  I believe this work was done by Shoot2Sell.

Staged with Professional Photo

Staged with Professional Photo

 

Next, this is my shot of a formal living room.  I did remember to turn on the light, and it’s not a bad shot…although now that I look closely, I see the pulls from the ceiling fan.  Sigh. That should have been edited out.

Formal Living Staged without Pro Photo

Formal Living Staged without Pro Photo

 

Now check out what the professional was able to accomplish.  I mean really they’ve even got the aforementioned ceiling fan AND the view into the master bedroom down the hall.

Formal Living Staged with Pro Photo

Formal Living Staged with Pro Photo

 

Selling a house is one of the largest transactions many of us will ever make so don’t rely on amateurs, spend a couple of extra bucks (you’d be surprised at how affordable it is) and get the best shot of your space.  90% of buyers start their shopping on line, so ensure your listing stands out above the others who didn’t use a professional photographer.  

If you need staging or a referral for a photographer, contact us now!