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.~

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!

 

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!

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!

Home Stager vs Interior Designer

 A Home Stager… 

has the responsibility of transforming your home to sell fast and at the best possible price. They package your home into a marketable product and make every attempt to work with the furnishings you already own. A well-staged home will grab the attention of the greatest number of potential buyers. At the end of the staging process, you have a home that suits the personal preferences of your target market. 

 

 

 

 

An Interior Designer…

has the responsibility of making your home functional and comfortable. They consult with you to get an understanding of your behavior and then develop a game plan that meets your specific needs and desires. To accomplish this the designer will bring in new home furnishings and change the layout of your home. At the end of the design process, you have a home that you love that suits your personal preferences.

 

 

 

 

 

Important Note: A Home Stager is your best option to sell your home quickly and cost effectively.

CERTIFICATION

An Interior Designer can choose to be certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

The NCIDQ is an independent non-profit organization. They are completely objective and their mission is to protect the public. They establish the standards for required skills of an Interior Designer.

Home Staging is a growth industry and is an unregulated field. There is no organization comparable to the NCIDQ that sets rules for identifying qualified Home Stagers.

Some Home Staging courses do offer certification to their students.  As a result, there are many types of certificates out there. It is not necessary nor required by law for a Home Stager to have any of these certifications. Some Home Stagers are self-taught and others may get training. An individual’s level of expertise in Home Staging is dependent upon their motivation and devotion to mastering staging techniques.  My personal fave is The Academy of Home Staging…but as an instructor, I’m probably a little biased.

Stay tuned for the difference between an Interior Designer and a Re-Designer / Decorator / Interior Stylist….

 

 

 

 

Are Outdoor Living Areas Important in Home Staging?

Outdoor living areas ARE a luxury, especially as these cooler temperatures arrive, and by staging these spaces, you increase the perceived square footage & value of a home.  This means higher offers and more money in everybody’s pocket.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when staging the outdoor living areas to sell:

  • Integrate the interior with the exterior design by keeping the color palette cohesive to make both areas feel bigger.
  • Stage the exterior so it can be viewed from the inside – inviting the buyers step outside and spend more time envisioning themselves living there.  
  • Consider hanging a chandelier instead of a ceiling fan outside, for added elegance and higher perceived value.
 
Each area of a home for sale is important to create the story of the lifestyle that is being sold along with the property.  Outdoor spaces offer the possibility of leading a desirable lifestyle filled with friends, family and fun.
 
If you would like help preparing your listings for their best showings, please give me a call – you can find my contact information HERE.

 


 

Using Mirrors In Home Staging

MIRRORS

A well placed mirror can visually expand and brighten a room.  We use mirrors regularly and in all shapes and sizes:  square, round, oval, rectangular & decorative shapes such as a sunburst.  We both lean them against and hang them on walls; however it’s imperative that wherever mirrors are used there is an attractive reflection.
  • In a dark hallway, hang multiple small to medium sized mirrors to lead the eye down the space…just make sure there is no reflection of an ugly closet door.
  • Lean a mirror against a wall in the master suite to make it look bigger and brighter – plus it’s actually functional when getting dressed.
  • In a formal living or dining room, hang a large rectangular mirror horizontally to reflect the lovely front yard landscaping.  
  • Lean a mirror against a fireplace mantel – so long as it doesn’t reflect the uh, ceiling.  You have to be strategic with this option.
Mirrors should assist you in directing the buyer’s eye to what you want them viewing…and not distracting them from what they are actually buying:  The Property.  Need help?  Click HERE to call us!