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.~

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!

Organizing a Move-PRINTABLE

Ok, so whether you’re a home owner selling your home, or a realtor walking your home owner through each step, moving can be STRESSFUL!  However I’ve done all of us a favor, searched Pinterest for hours, and found a printable that takes some of the edge off! hahaha Plus, I LOVE organizing sheets like these that are absolutely FREE!! (except for a couple sheets of paper & some ink) ;)

Speacial thanks to www.giftsweuse.blogspot.com, we have a moving calendar, packing supply list, moving prep list, box categories and count sheet, recommended packing order, checklists for moving day, and more!  Great for yourself or others, share the love!

Check it out here –> Printable – Moving Planner!!!

Are you using this for yourself? Your clients? Let us know!!

Candy Corn Creations!

I have never ever changed out my entry table for the holidays.  I know – hard to believe.  It’s not because I’m not brilliantly creative (hee hee), but rather because by the time I’m done working on other people’s houses and making them beautiful, my energy for my own home has waned….  Heck, it took me almost 4 years to get my own curtains up.  So without further ado, here is my Halloween creation, and it’s so fun and easy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are what is in the jar thingies:

1. Candy corn, duh!

2. Coffee beans with branches from my front yard with candy corn hot glued onto the branches

3 . Old potpourri with acorns from the front yard and candy corn.

And yes, I will be changing these out for Christmas…stay tuned!!

Here are some other inspiration ideas for candy corn decor, thank you Pinterest!

 

 

 

 

Whooaah… Wait! That last one is a candy corn Martini!!!  Beverage of choice, while working on these awesomely creative creations! Enjoy! ;)

Candy Corn Martini

1½ ounces milk

1½ ounces cream

1 ounce Candy Corn Infused Vodka

½ ounce Honey Syrup 

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake!  

Honey Syrup

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

Place honey and water in a small saucepan and stir until dissolved. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until syrup is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.  Thanks http://www.fashionablybombed.com!!

Fall Bucket List

Greetings!

Hope this post finds you well!  I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Erin, and I’m the newest addition to the by Michelle Lynne family!  Wanna know a little more about me?  Click HERE - but don’t forget to come back!

I want to share so much fun stuff, and I have so many ideas for this blog so make sure to stay tuned!  We are going to add some fun categories, and if YOU have any ideas or want us to focus on something special, please let us know!  

For Fall, I usually have SO much I want my family to do! The weather is more pleasant, my kids adore being outside, so that’s where we spend most of our time!  I’ve started by making a “bucket list,” and will share the outcomes next month.  Some of these I’ve started, and am already posting pictures! {knuckle bumps} 

These are in no particular order:  ;)

  • Start Fall decorating!!  {CHECK!}
  • Go to a Pumpkin Patch with family {pray for kids to participate & get amazing pictures}
  • Write down things we’re thankful for, and make a banner  {CHECK!}
  • Take a drive in the country
  • Try some Fall recipes from Pinterest
  • Take pictures of leaves changing
  • Bake a pie  {Pray the crust doesn’t burn!}
  • Paint my nails a fun fall color
  • Have a scary movie marathon
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Roast pumpkin seeds
  • Rake up leaves and jump in the pile
  • Go on a Fall bike ride
  • Take sleeping bags out and look at the stars
  • Make a Fall wreath  {CHECK!}
  • Enjoy a Fall picnic
  • Simmer a pot of Fall smells!

 

Next month I’ll be posting our adventures as we check things off our bucket list. 

What are your must do activities this season?  Please share in the comments below!

XO

Erin

Michelle Lynne Featured in Dallas Morning News

We got some good local press recently when we were featured in the Dallas Morning News in their Home section (first page too!).  While we’re not FAMOUS, we did about triple our website visits the following week so let me know if you want an autograph before the paparazzi rushes our front door here at the office (ha ha).  Seriously, we’re pretty excited and hopes it brings more attention to the value of home staging.  Here is how it went down:

Carin Hughes called me about 2 – 3 months ago, inquiring about our services for herself…more as a Staging to DWELL (re-design) client than a Staging to SELL client.  She got our information from Angie’s List (yay Angie!).  We chatted on the phone for a while, I explained what we did, how we worked, etc. etc. and she said something along the lines of “great, I’ll figure out what I want to do with my space and give you a call back”.  Well, she DID call back but this time it was not as a client but as a writer for Dallas Morning News, wanting to put together an article on Home Staging.  Of course I was excited to assist in her endeavor.  Free advertising?   Yes, please!

What do you think?  Pretty exciting, huh?

Michelle Lynne featured in Dallas Morning News

 

Michelle Lynne Adds New Staging Service

Check it out, y’all!  We are adding a new service to our existing menu of staging & design services.  I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to look like, but it has been on my heart for about 6 months so I know it’s something to pursue.  

We are rolling out a “Staging to SERVE” feature to by Michelle Lynne and while it’s yet undefined, if I know that if I didn’t get it on our website and announce it to the world (well, maybe not the world but at least to the immediate blogosphere) that it may never take shape.  So click HERE to learn a little more about our Staging to SERVE!

My HGTV Home Staging Audition Experience

I’ve gotten some emails, calls & texts from friends, family and some people I’m not really sure WHO they are, but all have inquired about my experience on Friday with the HGTV screen test.  (I keep looking over my shoulder for the paparazzi, but so far I’m not being stalked by anybody with a camera -or so I know).  Sorry for the delayed update but I had to play catch up from being out of the office both mentally & physically….

So here is how it went down:   

I show up at the producer’s house 5 minutes early, hoping there isn’t some “casting couch” dilemma to be faced.  Yes, I know…my mind is a little dark & creepy sometimes, but I’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order SVU.  Thankfully what REALLY happened was not an inappropriate invitation but rather that the producer’s house was ideal for a mock staging because he (let’s call him Jim) & his wife had been there for 20+ years and it was “well lived in”…definitely not in any shape to put on the market.  The plan was for us to tape me & him walking through the main living space with me as the Stager (duh) and Jim as the Seller who was reluctant to make any changes to his home.  But I’m getting ahead of myself….

Upon arrival, he introduced me to the cameraman, James, and we all visited off camera while they did some technical stuff with the microphones, and whatnot.  As we visited, we discovered that Jim & I had gone to the same yoga studio, albeit at different times, and we agreed that YogaSport Dallas absolutely rocks and had set the bar extremely high for either of us to find a comparable studio that was located closer to either of our homes.  (So there is a little shout out if any of y’all are looking for a great yoga studio.)  After we agreed that Angela (the owner of the aforementioned yoga studio) and her team of yogis were the best in Dallas, we got down to business and the lights & the camera were turned ON.  

By this point, I was feeling comfortable with Jim.  After all, I had just visualized him all bendy & stretchy at the yoga studio and he wasn’t nearly as scary in that frame of reference as he was when I thought of him as a PRODUCER FOR HGTV.  Jim asked me a series of questions, such as how I got into staging, and some other softballs I don’t even remember…that moment was so surreal.  I do recall that somewhere in this conversation he said they were looking for a staging character similar to the character on “Super Nanny”.  I’m sure that is when my face went completely blank because I had never seen an episode…all I could think of were those screaming kids on the previews and her British accent.  My mind raced and wondered is Super Nanny mean?  Maybe she’s sarcastic?  Is she demeaning to the parents for being so non-parental they had to call her in to get their little snotty booger children in line?  Sigh.  I was clueless.  But I WAS sure that if Super Nanny was anything like this drama that I was imagining in my head, I had no desire to portray myself or my company as mean, sarcastic or demeaning.  So I shrugged my shoulders, told Jim I’d never seen an episode and that he was stuck with me as me.  I think I used those exact words.  Poor Jim….

Once I took the pressure off of myself to be a character I wasn’t, then everything went great if I do say so myself:  I was witty, firm, knowledgeable, told a personal story that was applicable to a point I was making about staging, diplomatic and all while just telling it like it is.  In a nutshell, I was myself.  Oh, AND I was wearing some smoking hot platform wedges that I had bought just for this audition – so I had a little extra ‘tude that I’m hopeful came across on camera.  (Confidence is key on television, or so I’m told.)  Jim even said he liked some of my suggestions enough that he may give them a try even though they aren’t selling their house.  But I’ll bet he said that to all the stagers….

Overall, it was a great experience and I’m grateful for having been considered.  They auditioned 8-10 stagers over the course of 2 days and I know one of them (she would be totally awesome in this role) but I don’t know who any of the others were.  So I figure that if this is the direction God has for me & my company, then you may see me on HGTV soon…I’m kicking it up a notch at boot camp, and cutting down on the carb intake – just in case.  Jim said that they will have a decision made in about a month and the next step would be to produce a Pilot episode.  So regardless of the outcome, I’ll hopefully lose some of this weight I’ve been trying to shed AND I have a cool story to tell.   And I may have to suck it up and watch some bratty kids on television to figure out who this Super Nanny is…really, what IS her character like?

 

See my initial reaction to the HGTV call HERE.

 

You’re Calling from WHERE? HGTV? Reeeeaaalllllyyy?

That was my response the other day when I got a call from a local production company representing HGTV.  Well, I didn’t actually say that out loud, but it was definitely on the tip of my tongue before I caught myself and played it cool.  Or at least I sounded cool in my own head.  

It wasn’t actually HGTV directly, but a local production firm representing them and they were scheduling casting calls for a show they’re producing on real estate staging here in the Dallas area to be shown on HGTV…and yes, they called me.  Which really shouldn’t be too surprising since we are Dallas’ Premier Resource for Home Staging (yes, that was intentionally & sarcastically tauntingly pompous) but it’s not every day you get a casting call out of the blue for HGTV.  Here is how it went down:

It was just another ordinary day  (actually I was in the office and not on a project so I was at least sitting down) when I answered my phone and spoke with Stephanie, the local producer.  It turns out that a client of mine had mentioned me to a real estate agent, who in turn shared my contact information with this production company (who also produces Donna Decorates Dallas and Interiors, INC).  Stephanie told me that this client described me to the agent as “smart, fearless and attractive” so they gave me a call.  (Now really, who was I to argue about that description?)  According to Stephanie, whom by now I’m referring to as if she is my BFF, they are looking for a stager with “style & authority”.  I didn’t tell her that I could definitely mange the authority portion, since I have been called bossy on multiple occasions, as  I wouldn’t want her to think that I was going to bring DRAMA (or maybe I should have?  after all it would be a reality show).  As for style, well I may need to break out the high heels that I ditched for my flats, and coordinate some accessories that look good on camera….  Hmmm.  I may need to go shopping.  I wonder if I can expense it?  

Seriously though, I know they are meeting with multiple stagers in the area, one of whom is a good friend of mine via the Real Estate Staging Association chapter here in Dallas, so I’m keeping my expectations realistic.  But nonetheless, I am pretty humbled and excited to have even been invited.  I’ll let you know how it goes, but weren’t we just talking Street Cred in yesterdays blog post?  I think that regardless of the outcome, this is definitely some Staging to SELL Street Cred, don’t you?

Next post:  See what happened at the audition by clicking HERE.