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!

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.


Staging to DWELL “Street Cred”

Street cred.  Short for Street Credibility and defined by the Urban Dictionary as “Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments.”  (It can also be defined by how many years in prison you’ve spent or how many tattoos you have, but we’re choosing this definition for our purpose today.)

So, street cred (as defined above):  We got it.  And today I’ll show you how we got it for our Staging to DWELL service:

Y’all know the little ol’ Texas baseball team, the Texas Rangers, right?  Yeah, that’s right, the 2 time defending American League Champions….tx-rangers

So I’m sure you’re wondering “how in the world does Staging to DWELL correlate with baseball??”   Well, I’ll tell ya.  We had the privilege of staging two of their town homes to DWELL for their new players relocating to Dallas.  Yeah, it’s only temporary housing and not a big mansion that they’ve purchased for their permanent residence, but if our staging is good enough for the Texas Rangers, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?

Here are some photos and if you want to see more of these spaces, as well as our other work, you can click HERE for our You Tube channel or visit our website at bymichellelynne.com.

Texas Ranger Townhome #1 Living, Dining, Kitchen View

Texas Ranger Townhome #1 Living Room Close Up

Texas Ranger Townhome #1 Dining

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Living Room

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Dining & Kitchen

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Dining Close Up

Texas Ranger Townhome #2 Master Bedroom

Why Should I Stage My House – Part II (SELLERS)

If you’re wondering if investing the time or money into staging your house for sale, here are more points of what is in it for you as a seller:

  • Packing / donating / selling the items you don’t want to take with you NOW will alleviate stress when you’re moving because a lot of the work will already be done.  And a de-cluttered, expansive looking house will provide your potential buyers with more room to see their own stuff in the space instead of trying to peer around your excess.
  • The faster the home sells, the fewer mortgage payments the homeowner will have to make – especially if you’ve already purchased your new home.  Check out a home staging calculator HERE and do the math for yourself.
  • The internet is the new “first impression”.  Your listing will look better than the competition and will move your home up in the list of “must see” properties.


Here is an example of a real MLS photo before and after staging…which would get YOUR attention better?

Original MLS Photo
MLS photo BEFORE staging
MLS Photo AFTER Staging by Michelle Lynne
MLS Photo AFTER Staging by Michelle Lynne

Why Should I Stage My House? (SELLERS)

I’m often asked this question by sellers:  “Why Should I Stage My House?” and it usually has to do with the investment.  Come on, you know we’re all pinching pennies when we’re selling our homes…wanting to get the most money offered and give the least amount of allowances.  But let’s walk through a couple of reasons that impact your pocketbook in a positive way:

  1. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the averaging staging investment is 1-3% of a home’s selling price, and generates a return of 8 – 10%.  Do the math:  $350,000 listing would cost roughly between $3500 – $10,500 and yields $28,000 – $35,000.  Now, I’m not a math whiz, but that makes pretty good sense to me.
  2. Did you know the cost of staging may be a tax deduction?  Of course, check with your tax professional but you can point them to IRS Publication 523 to determine if you qualify.
  3. The more organized & attractive the home shows, the more desirable people will perceive it to be.  For example, a well organized pantry isn’t going to sell the house alone, but it does contribute to the confidence level the potential buyers will have in the care & maintenance of the house while you owned it (“gee, if their pantry is THIS organized, I’ll be they really maintained the HVAC system, watered the foundation regularly, blah blah blah).
Staging isn’t just about making a house pretty.  Staging includes the preparation and the merchandising of a property and should be done prior to listing a home.  Stay tuned, we’ll be back with some more reasons why you should stage your house, but in the meantime, here what could have been an MLS photo (before staging) and what actually was the MLS photo (after staging)…which would attract YOU to visit the property?
Formal Living Before Staging
Formal Living After Staging by Michelle Lynne

Top 10 FREE Staging Tips

Staging’s Top 10 Tips That Cost You NOTHING – but Make You MONEY

Here are some easy pointers that you can implement without having to spend any money in the preparation of your home.  Is this list all inclusive of the free things you can do?  Absolutely not, but they definitely have some good impact on your goal!

10.  Excess Furniture:

  • Dated, out of style or shabby looking pieces should be removed.
  • Furniture should sync with price point,
  • Fewer furnishings actually make rooms feel more spacious.


9.  Kitchen Cabinets and Pantry:

  • The psychological impact on a buyer is as such, “Gee, if they are this organized, their HVAC system, foundation, and preventative maintenance must all be in great condition too.”


8.  Two Thirds Rule:

  • Store seasonal clothes and clean out the closets to approximately 2/3 full. 
  • This showcases the space. The seller is going to have to pack the stuff anyway…start sooner than later!


7.  Windows:

  • Take down worn out or out-dated window coverings. Bare is better than ugly. Sunshine sells.


6.  Start at the Street Curb:

  • Clean up the yard.
  • Edge the walkway, plant seasonal florals and add dark mulch.


5.  Entry:

  • Scrub / repaint the front door.
  • Remove cobwebs around the entry
  • Clean the porch light glass.


4.  Clean clean clean.  Dust dust dust. 


3.  Personal Effects:

  • Pack up SOME personal effects. Don’t remove all photos, a house still has to have heart. 
  • Keep the “good life” photos on display.


2.  Clutter:

  • Remove all clutter including stacks of magazines, mail, toys, collections, and such.


 1. Freshen Up:

  • Air your home out. Make sure it smells good, but avoid synthetic air fresheners that may bother buyers with allergies or make them wonder what you’re trying to cover up.

Lease Your Missing Piece

Lease Your Missing Piece

Ever walked into a listing and the homeowner had a great sense of style or the house presented well, but it just needs that missing piece? There are times when listings are presentable and would appeal to many buyers, but one room may have an oversized sofa or may be missing a badly needed dining table. It is very difficult for many buyers to see a property beyond its esthetics and focus on the bones of the property. It is even more difficult for a buyer to see oversized or undersized furniture in a space, and understand that the space is sufficient for them. Therefore, lease your missing pieces for each room to help buyers see the full potential of that property.

Real estate is all about selling square footage. If buyers can’t see it, they can’t buy it. Getting that optimal missing piece is then key to selling that listing. There’s nothing like having a huge sectional in a room that barely has sufficient walking space or having a large formal dining room that has a small kitchen table in it. Buyers also love to buy a lifestyle! So, sell them a lifestyle! Lease the missing piece that will add value to each space. Make the buyer fall in love with the idea of living in that space with that furniture.

So, what do you do when you need that missing piece? You contact us! We have furniture for lease. That’s right! You can get the best sofa or table from us. Just visit our showroom and pick out what’s missing in your listing. It’s that simple! Don’t leave your listings with missing pieces. Lease today!

Lease Your Missing Piece



Lease Your Missing Piece

So, you’re house is all ready to be placed on the market. You’ve cleared the clutter. You’ve removed personal items. Your furniture presents your house in the best possible way to potential buyers. But, there’s a missing piece! Your dining room doesn’t have a table because you used it as a play room instead. Or, maybe your family room had a huge sectional to seat your family, but it really is too large for the space. This happens all the time because the way you live in a house is not the same as how you sell your house, and that’s ok. It’s ok because you can lease your missing piece!

What you need to do now is focus on getting that missing piece! Having the appropriate furniture for each room helps buyers know the purpose for each room without guessing. If a buy has to guess, then you’ve probably lost that buyer. So, make it simple. Fill in the missing piece and get your house sold! Real estate is all about selling square footage. If buyers can’t see it, they can’t buy it. Getting that optimal missing piece is then key to selling your house.   

Buyers also love to buy a lifestyle! So, sell them a lifestyle! You can lease your missing piece, which will add value to each space. Make the buyer fall in love with the idea of living in that space with that furniture. So, what do you do when you need that missing piece? You contact us! We have furniture for lease. That’s right! You can lease the best sofa or table from us. Just visit our showroom and lease your missing piece. It’s that simple. Just ask us for the details and we’ll get you setup. 

Barbara Corcoran: “Staging Is A Necessity”

Barbara Corcoran, a giant in the real estate industry, says “Staging used to be an option, but today it is a necessity”.  In this short video, she walks you through some of the “why” and “how to” in the staging of a property.  

Did you know that people judge your listing within 8 seconds of walking in the door?  

Check this video out, but keep in mind some of her tips are specific to the market she is in, consult a stager in your area to find out where you get the most bang for your buck.



What do you think?  If Barb walked into your listing, what would she have mentioned if she was doing a video?