Should I Use Alcohol In My Staging Projects?

I’ve been asked the question about using alcohol in staging projects quite often, and my answer is always the same:  IT DEPENDS.  Yeah, I know, I should be a politician since I’m not really answering the question, but let me give you some ideas as to what I believe it depends on, then you can consider me for public office.  Or better yet, your stager.  

Most importantly, I believe you should stage TO the demographic of the buyer that will be interested in that specific property that is being staged.  

To do this, you should look at the neighborhood first:  

    • Is it a family-centric neighborhood?  
    • Arts district?  
    • Collegiate vicinity?  
    • Religious corridor?
    • Young singles & marrieds?
    • Geriatric community?

You can tell a lot simply by driving the neighborhood and looking at things like the foot traffic – are there younger or older people out walking / jogging?  Are there kids riding bikes in the street?  What sort of shopping is nearby?  Are there sports flags hanging from the porch flagpoles?  Are there neighborhood signs up advertising local events and what type?  And what is the financial state of the people who live there?  Are there broken down vehicles parked in the front yard, because you don’t want to stage with Pabst Blue Ribbon to meet that demographic.

You also need to review the layout and space of the property you’re staging.  Is there a pool?  A game room?  How is the outdoor area set up for grilling, etc.?  If it’s a very small space that doesn’t look like it would host a great party, then you wouldn’t want to set the stage (pun intended) for a party because buyers will get conflicting messages.  Is there a built in wine rack?  What about a wine cellar?  

So let’s say, you’re in a neighborhood of young singles & marrieds, that is very close to night life and hip shopping venues, I’d say you can probably use some liquor in your stagings and not offend anybody.  Especially if the property has a pool and a killer patio or a rooftop deck or a huge kitchen that opens into a great room with a big screen TV – get the drift?

Now, you don’t want to go crazy displaying a nightclub level of alcohol inventory, but you can set up a small vignette that provides the idea of having some fun in the space.  Here is one that we staged this week…we’ve got two liquor bottles, and lots of glasses…plus the lemons in the beverage dispenser to add some color and height.  I don’t think this is offensive, even to a tee-totaler.  And once you walked past this set up, the next room you would see was the sunroom and the view to the awesome pool area, so we’re creating the image of a LIFESTYLE that comes with this house.  

Staged Bar Area by Michelle Lynne

Staged Bar Area by Michelle Lynne

Ultimately, you also have to wrestle with your own beliefs and value system, and I’m not saying staging with or without alcohol will make or break the sale of the house so you don’t need to FEEL that if you don’t put alcohol into a property, you’re doing the client a disservice.  I live in the middle of the Bible Belt and could probably talk to half a dozen of my highly successful local colleagues in the staging industry and they would all have a varied opinion on it.  This is just my take.  Feel free to leave your thoughts below!  


Bridal Shower FOOD (and Decor) Michelle Lynne STYLE

Okay, last post had mostly decor, this post features the FOOD (which of course, was STAGED impeccably).

Michelle Lynne Bar


Michelle Lynne Dessert Table


Cake Balls loved by Michelle Lynne


YUMMMM Dessert at by Michelle Lynne


Cocktails and Cake Balls


Chalkboard Menu at by Michelle Lynne party


Food Table at by Michelle Lynne


Michelle Lynne Party Favors


Have an event that could use a little staging?  Call us.  We would love to help!

Bridal Shower Decor Michelle Lynne STYLE

Our sweet Lori Castellanos (get to know here HERE) is getting married this upcoming weekend so last week we celebrated with a bridal shower in our showroom.  Here are a few shots of the decorations…stay tuned, the next post will include the food & beverages!

Michelle Lynne Showroom Party Style


Decorating Details at by MIchelle Lynne


The happy couple


Decor Details by Michelle Lynne


Michelle Lynne Bridal Vignette

Okay, so that was the decor…stay tuned because the next post will feature the yummy FOOD we had at the celebration (and a little more decor!).  I’m already drooling just recalling the deeeelish dishes….  YUM.

Do you have an event coming up that needs a professional touch?  Call us for more information!


Social Media Strategies to Convert Time Into Cash – and Get Business Chasing YOU

Join the Real Estate Staging Association (Dallas Chapter) as we host speaker Jennifer Bagley and learn


Technology has fundamentally changed the way we communicate, market and connection to customers.  Business owners are required to change in order to successfully navigate a business’s direction.  This change has the requirement to perform, excel and compete in a rapidly changing marketplace which has evolved into active participation in the social metosphere.

During the session with Jennifer Bagley, you will learn how to leverage social media to accelerate your results.  We will focus on 4 critical areas:

  • Technology
  • Strategy
  • Mindset / Behavior
  • Collaborative Marketing Strategies
If you don’t like what you are getting, you must change what you are doing.  Jennifer will teach you comprehensive strategies to accelerate your results and convert your time to cash.  Through automation, content, education, branding and digital marketing you can develop a digital sales supply chain that produces compounding results over time.
Jennifer recommends you SHOW UP, SUIT UP, and be ready to PARTICIPATE!  Those serious about changing their results, increasing lead generation and overall sales through these advanced marketing strategies will take advantage of attending this session.   

DATE:  March 19, 2013

 TIME:  10:30am – 12:00pm

 PRICE:  Free for Realtors and $5.00 for all others


 Armstrong Relocation

 1405 Crescent Drive, Carrollton, TX

Snacks will be provided so PLEASE RSVP HERE so we have an accurate headcount.


Staging to DWELL: Entryway Apothecary (Winter Style)

Yes, it’s true.  This IS the second blog within a week.  It’s a modern day miracle but I’m diligently working on becoming a better blogger and providing some interesting content.  So if you have any requests or suggestions, don’t hesitate to note in the comments – I’m all ears!  In the meantime, let’s get down to business and get caught up on my entryway apothecary deco.  (If you missed it, the Halloween and Christmas deco were featured HERE and HERE.)

I wanted to find something that was winter-like, but real snow was out of the question as the hubs insisted we keep the heat on throughout the winter months.  I didn’t argue.  Instead I found some winter blue spheres, edited my Christmas potpourri to remove the overtly sparkly pieces, and added some eucalyptus.  Looking at this photo, I’m going to remove that cross on the wall and put it somewhere else as soon as I get home today, it’s throwing off the balance of the space.









So stay tuned…I’ll be back with what is hopefully something interesting.  And if you want some random updates in the meantime, you can always “Like” my Facebook page.  Check it out HERE.

Staging to DWELL: Aaahhhh Apothecary

OK OK…so I’m a little late with these photos. I’ve added apothecary jars to my entry chest and have had fun with various decor. I had some fun at Halloween to kick off the new pieces (did you see that post? if not, click HERE) and now that it is uh, FEBRUARY, I’m sharing what I had at Christmas. With a little luck, I’ll have my current photos up for you before say, Easter? :)

So without further ado, except to get your expectations in line that this ain’t no Architectural Digest photo styling, here is what we had at Christmas to welcome our guests:







Kind of fun, huh?  And super simple if you’re a D-I-Y kinda person.  But if you’re not, call me and we can come by and fancy up your space for the holidays (you can find contact info HERE)  Or, not for the holidays.  I promise to get today’s entry apothecary deco posted soon!

My Favorite Tips For An Organized Life…er, Morning

Rule #1: That’s right, it’s a Rule. If you forego this, then all of the brilliant Tips below are moot. Are you ready? The most important point is: Everything In Its Place. That means that you start with everything you own and designate a home for it. Once you have a place for your keys, your dirty clothes, your (insert anything here), then you’ll be able to locate it anytime you need it and not waste time searching. Sounds easy but it takes practice…and then evaluation…and then revision. But the following Tips build on this Rule and should help you get started:

• Start the morning at the beverage station. Set up your coffee maker below the cabinet that holds your coffee cups. Then relocate the tea, cocoa, sugar, honey, creamer and anything else applicable into the cabinet as well and voila – all you need is your own Barista.

• Once you’ve made your coffee, it is time to eat…create a space in the kitchen, or a shelf in the pantry that is strictly for your breakfast items: cereal, Pop Tarts, oatmeal, muffin mix, etc. Repeat this philosophy with your pastas, rice varieties, baking items, canned vegetables, soups, and everything in your pantry. You’ll be surprised how many duplicates you prevent the purchase of.

• Organize your makeup so it looks pretty too.
o Get a low profile vase, fill it with coffee beans and use it to put your make up brushes in so you can display them AND have easy access.
o Use a silverware or desk drawer organizer to consolidate the rest of your items (including tweezers, that pesky pencil sharpener, lash curler replacements, and so forth).

o Use a Sharpie to write the date the makeup is opened so you know when to dispose of it. Then keep the Sharpie in the drawer with your other goodies. Yeah, baby, you’re getting the hang of this!
• Get dressed in a closet that is color coordinated so you’re not searching for “that” white shirt all over the place…because now it’s hanging with all of the other white shirts you own.
o Rotate your closet by season (as much as possible in Texas). And if you haven’t worn it in 2 years – donate it. It doesn’t matter if you’ll “fit back into those jeans again someday”…treat yourself to a new pair when you do. 
• Organize your accessories with your necklaces hanging on thumbtacks in the wall (I like the clear thumbtacks best) – or a jewelry stand on a closet shelf.
o Earrings can be paired in ice cube trays and stacked or stored in drawers.

o Put your “fancy” jewelry in a jewelry box and put it out of the way.
o Get a nice finger bowl to put your “every day” jewelry in for easy access.
o Hang a small mirror in the closet so you can assess your accessorizing immediately.
• Refer to Rule #1 and designate a space where you ALWAYS put your keys and your handbag when you enter the house, so you can ALWAYS find them easily on your way out. Put any outgoing mail, shopping lists, and items to return there too so you don’t walk out without them!
• Have a fantastic day because your morning was so easy!

Selling a Naked House? :/

Before selling your home, or considering why it hasn’t, there are many things you should look at:  (In order to prove a point, I’m going to ask a couple of personal questions, I’m sure you can handle it! ;)

Do you put on deodorant in the morning? (If the answer is no, I’m not sure you’re on the right blog! ;)

Do you look different when you clean your house vs. going out?

Do you clean your home before having people come over to visit ?

Do you clean your car before selling it?

People make judgments about a lot of things based on first impressions, smells and looks included . If your house is on the market it is competing with other houses, and the best looking ones are the ones that sell fastest, and for the most money. Staging is an investment that pays, and is always cheaper than a price reduction. 80 percent of our staged homes sell in 30 days!  Contact us for more information and pricing!


Keep the “special” day stuff, pack the rest…

Do you have plates, towels, bath salts, etc. that you ONLY use for special occassions?  I know I do! I usually only use the expensive stuff (or beautiful items we registered for before getting married) for special times, when the in-laws are in town, or holidays!  These things can come in handy when staging your home to sell!

Another way to think of it is, pack everything you wouldn’t take on vacation!  Imagine enjoying a “vacation” in your home, and pack anything you won’t need during the selling season.  If you happen to be staying in a five-star hotel, there would be fine crystal, china and beautiful linens.  Usually there is no clutter left around, and minimal decor.  Choose your best, and most up-to-date items, and part with the rest.  It will save you time later!  You should pack it up, or give away if you no longer need it, find it useful, beautiful or meaningful. Underfurnished houses allow buyer’s to imagine their own items in the home, and thus getting emotionally attached. ;) 

If you’re not sure if your furnishings or accessories are “up-to-date,” tour some model homes in your area.  Notice how things are placed with just enough to make a suggestion of easy, and elegant living.  They usually make it look as if anyone could move right in; that should be your goal when staging your home!



Our Version of the $6900 Chairs

So I was working on a client project earlier this year and fell in LOVE with some chairs that would be perfect for my client’s formal living room.  Problem was, we were already pushing our budget and the pair of chairs were $6900.  I wanted to really spice up the master suite and put more of our budgeted moola there, but I also reeeeaaaallllyyyyy wanted these chairs!

Before I totally decided to give in, I searched and finally found these at a consignment shop in the Knox Henderson area for less than $1000!

Now I needed to change that fabric!  I wanted to add some interest, so I decided to choose 2 complimentary fabrics, so there was one “front” and one “back.”






Had them upholstered at Berkeley Fabrics in Addison, their customer service and quality are consistently amazing!!!  I nearly fell out of my platform shoes when I picked up the chairs from the upholstery workroom, they looked BETTER than the original!!

How do YOU think we did???