Staging

Staging
A Clients' Kitchen Staged to Sell!

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I have a passion for decorating! And, as a decorator and home stager who's helped many people transform their homes, I wanted to share my ideas and tips with others. Enjoy! My company's motto is: "Home Staging for Selling or Staying!"



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tips for Decorating your Christmas Tree!

Happy Holidays to all! If you're ready to start decorating your holiday tree, here are some hopefully useful tips:

Beginning the task: When decorating your Christmas tree, put lights on first, then the garland, and finally the ornaments. I think of my tree as a three-dimensional painting. Do you have a color scheme or theme that you want to follow? Sometimes having a plan for your tree makes it more fun to decorate – at least in my opinion. You can spend all year collecting items for your tree – but a good time of year to find bargains is, of course, the post-holiday sales.

Ornaments: Begin by hanging "filler ornaments" and evenly space them around the tree. They could be basic solid color balls that are easily found at discount stores in a wide range of colors to coordinate and enhance your decorating scheme. You'll need about 20 "filler ornaments" for every two feet of Christmas tree. Don't hang all your ornaments on the tips of the branches. Instead, hang ornaments and other decorations 'inside' your tree to add depth and interest.

Light it up! If you do not have a pre-lit tree, here’s a suggestion for adding lights: You can’t really have enough! Lights give a tree dimension and beauty so pile ‘em on!! I have a 6.5 foot tree and it has 500 mini-white lights on it – it’s gorgeous! Start arranging Christmas tree lights on the branches near the base of the tree. Weave strings of lights along the branches "inside," then move to the outer edges of the branches.

Adding the extras: There are so many beautiful accessories to add to your tree – from pine cones to flowers to bows. Once your tree has lights, garland and ornaments, you can fill in the "holes" with your accessories. And VOILA! Your tree is a masterpiece. By the way, my 6.5 foot tree is embellished with 400 ornaments and accessories, and each year, I receive so many compliments. You can accumulate these over time so that you don’t break the budget!

Keep your live tree fresh! If you bought a live tree, cut the stump of the tree with a fresh cut and set it in water immediately. A fresh-cut tree will absorb several quarts of water right from the start. So it's important to check and refill the water level several times a day for the first week. You can cut down on frequency later. Be sure to place you Christmas tree in a stand that has a large water reservoir and keep it filled.


Have a safe and wonderful holiday. Happy Decorating!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays!


Are you dreading the holidays because you are bored with your living room and dining room? Want to add some new life to your  rooms before the holidays?

 
If  your answer to both questions is “yes,” I have some budget-wise decorating ideas to transform your sofa and chairs and  make you feel proud to welcome family and friends for the holidays!

 
- If your budget doesn’t include buying a new sofa or chairs, consider slipcovering them instead. You can buy stretchable slipcovers at departments stores, such as Walmart, Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. For even wider selection, check out Surefit, J.C. Penney or Pottery Barn slipcovers online.

 -Can’t find a ready-made slipcover to fit your sofa?  A new, colorful throw draped over your sofa can hide some of those worn out or stained spots.

 -If you want to add some punch to your “new” sofa, buy some new accent pillows . Believe it or not, adding some colorful throw pillows can really change the appearance of your sofa.

 -Some dining room chairs that have removable seats can be recovered easily. Simply unbolt the seat from the chair frame (on the bottom of the seat) and stretch your new fabric over the seat. The new seat cushion usually takes about a half yard of fabric for each seat. Make sure you have extra fabric to tuck around to the back and use a staple gun to attach it. Voila!  You have new looking dining room chairs!

 -If your furniture has some gauges and scratches, buy some touch up furniture markers at your nearest hardware store.

 
I hope these ideas will help you (and your wallet) get your home ready for the upcoming holidays! Check out my Facebook page for pictures of rooms decorated by A Goode Start Decorating! I'd also welcome any comments from you on my blog.

 As always, Happy Decorating!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Maryland Green Designer Show House

I recently had the priviledge of being one of the few interior designers chosen to design a room in Baldwin Home's Maryland Green Designer Show Home, located in Gambrills, Md., just outside of D.C. and Baltimore.
Since this is the first show house I ever designed, I was a little nervous.  But as soon as I heard that
100% of the proceeds will go to charities - Hospice of the Chesapeake and Make a Wish Foundation -I knew I was doing the right thing.  I bid on the guest bedroom, but they asked me to also decorate and design the adjoining guest bathroom. 
Designers purchase all the furniture and accesories for their room as well as design any special features, such as wall and window treatments. There were nine local interior designers who were chosen by Baldwin Homes to design the interior of their beautiful, environmentally friendly home.
It was a wonderful experience, and I met some great people while working on my rooms.  This team effort culminated in the grand opening on Saturday evening, Sept. 29.
I hope the home attracts lot of visitors to see the showhome; admission is $20 per person and all proceeds go to charity.  The home will be open Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 4 - November 17.
The address is:  1760 Holladay Park Drive, Gambrills, Md.  For more information, visit
www.MDGreenDesignerShowHome.com
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.  My website is www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com and also check out my before and after pictures on
Facebook.  Until next month, happy decorating! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mixing Patterns in Decorating

It is common nowdays to see interior designers mix patterns and designs in decorating a room - just check out the decorating magazines and websites online.  It's fun to be adventurous, but as a decorator for more than 25 years, I would keep these things in mind: stick to the color scheme in the room; limit the types of prints or patterns to three or five at the most (in decorating “three” is a magic number); and keep proportion and scale in mind. So here are some tips to remember for the beginner:

1. First, visual your room as a large picture on canvas. Key colors in the room should be repeated throughout the room, in your upholstery, your throw pillows, your window treatments, in your artwork, on the walls and on the floor. Select a dominant color, a secondary color and up to two accent colors to anchor the palette.

2. Choose one multicolored pattern as your primary print and pull different colors and textures to compliment it. All the colors in the patterns/prints should tie in with your color scheme. For instance, if you have a solid blue sofa and you want to add some punch, add various sizes of throw pillows in different prints, but ensure that they are the same colors as your color scheme. So if your color palette is blue, green and yellow, the prints should include at least two of the three colors and relate to each other (in other words, be in the same color family).

3. When mixing, patterns/prints should not be the same proportions, and the colors should be part of your color scheme. For example, you can mix one large plaid with a small plaid; one large floral with a small floral; one large stripe with one small stripe; or one large print or a small print. You can also mix a striped fabric with a floral or a print - as long as proportion and color are kept in mind. However, my advice is to be careful in mixing a plaid or check with a stripe. You can do so, but one pattern should be bold and the other subdued - and all colors should relate to one another. Be sure to pick the patterns carefully, selecting different patterns about half the scale or size of the first pattern.

4. Maintain the same scale (balance) and proportion (size) throughout the room to achieve a comfortable repetition of color and design.

5. Choose three or more patterns. Odd numbers, especially the number three, just seem to work, whether you're combining colors or items in a vignette. Three is the minimum number of patterns you should use, and the key to successful mixing is to vary the scale, from small to large. For the "mixing novice" I recommend starting with three patterns until you get comfortable with mixing prints and patterns.

6. Finally, If you are not accustomed to decorating with different prints, you may feel a little uncomfortable at first. But - try it, you might like it! And, If the look doesn’t appeal to you, go back to decorating your way. Or ask a professional decorator or home stager to assist you. Most of all, have fun with your decorating. 

If you have any comments or ideas about this, please feel free to comment.  Also, check out my "A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging" Facebook page for lots of pictures.  Happy Decorating!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Decorating Ideas for College Dorm Rooms

It's August already!  And it's that time of year again when the kids will be going back to school! For a lot parents, you're breathing a sigh of relief that the kids will be back in school again. But if you have a son or daughter who is going away to college for the first time, you may be feeling some trepidation. Most teenagers are anxious for a new adventure and to be free from their parent's watchful eye. However, they may also be feeling a little uneasy about being away from home for the first time. If this is the case and your teenager wants to make his/her dorm room more cozy, here are a few tips on making their new abode feel more like home:
1. Purchase a twin-sized comforter in their favorite color or design -- most dorm room beds are extra-long twin beds;
2. Buy rod pocket curtains for the windows (of course, color-coordinated with the bed comforter!);
3. Buy a spring curtain rod (it fits inside the window frame - no need to drill holes in the window frame or wall); it that does not work, consider purchasing regular curtain rods.
4. Picture board (e.g., French memo board) to post personal pictures -- it's more attractive than a cork board;
5. Find out if there's a desk/chair already in the room; if not, purchase a computer desk that is light weight but has some storage;
6. Comfortable office/desk chair - your teenager will be spending many hours in it;
7. Large, fluffy pillows to lounge on - for the bed or the floor – they’ll probably be hosting their friends;
8. Two lamps -- one for the bedside table and one for the desk;
9. Bring some framed posters - your teenager's favorites!
10. Colorful canvas or wicker baskets or storage cubes for extra storage;4
11. Small bedside table – don’t forget the clock and a lamp;
12. Add a comfy throw for the bed - it's great to curl up with!
13. One or two soft, color-coordinated throw rugs - keeps the room from feeling too institutional and feels great under foot!
14. To inject more personality into the room -- and if you're feeling creative and energized - find out if you can paint the dorm room; if so, stick with pastel colors that can be covered easily with one coat of paint.
15. Or - if your teenager loves wallpaper or borders - buy wall decals that are easy to apply and easy to remove. I know that Target carries them in the “home” section.
Additionally, don't forget the staple items such as: bed pillows, sheets, towels, extra blankets, clothes hangers, drawer liners, an iron and ironing board, alarm clock, wastebasket, mirror, extension cord, power strip, a laundry basket and supplies, a shower bucket and toiletries, a backpack, coffee maker, TV, low-power microwave, small refrigerator and a computer. According to some colleges, items to be left at home when living on campus include halogen lamps, loft beds, candles and incense, fireworks, space heaters, toaster ovens, hot plates, cinder blocks, pets (except small fish), street signs and paint ball guns. Finally, my advice for new college students: Have fun decorating your dorm room --- you'll be spending a lot of time in it and you’ll want it to feel "homey" and reflect your personal tastes. Happy Decorating – and be sure to check out my Facebook page!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Enjoying your outdoor space - in the heat!

This summmer has been so very hot ... actually, too hot to enjoy the great outdoors unless you're in the water! When it's this hot outstide, it's hard to even think about decorating your outdoor spaces. You have to consider things like... what can help us keep cool in this heat? What plants can endure this kind of heat? When considering plants for your outdoor spaces, I'm a big fan of geraniums and succulents. They seem to be able to withstand the heat and sun better than other plants. Geraniums can add a lot of color to an outdoor space - especially bright red, coral or pink. While succulents can add the touch of green and a tropical feel to your space. To keep things cool, consider running an extension cord and put a fan on your deck or patio. When designing your space, remember to include some shade, such as an umbrella, pergola or awning. For a bit of ambience, remember you can add string lights or paper (battery powered) lanterns to your outdoor space too. You can also add a water feature (they have large and small ones that are reasonably priced) for the refreshing and relaxing sound of water splashing and bubbling! To keep the bugs at bay, consider a "bug zapper." They can be purchased for a reasonable cost now. If you love to serve cold drinks to your guests, there are many different types of coolers that you can leave on your deck or patio and replenish at your leisure. Check them out at your local department or hardware stores. Summer usually lasts only three months. Hopefully you'll find a way to enjoy your outdoor space this year. As always, Happy Decorating, and please feel free to contact me if you have some questions at: AGoodeStartDeco@gmail.com or check out my Facebook page - just search for "A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging." Keep cool!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bargin Ideas for Decorating Outdoor Living Spaces!

Summer is almost upon us, and most of us want to spend more and more time outdoors. If you love relaxing on your deck or porch like I do, here are some ideas for decorating your outdoor space. Since outdoor rooms are very popular now, there are many more options to the homeowner. Your outdoor room can be an extension of your home and you can personalize it with some exterior decorating ideas. Selecting outdoor furniture which suits your personal taste and style may be challenging. Prices range from the inexpensive (resin or aluminum) to the more expensive (wrought iron or wooden) – for example. You can choose from many different styles and colors to meet your needs. And there are many bright new colored accessories (pillows, cushions, umbrellas) featured this year! If you’re on a budget, discount stores usually have less expensive outdoor furniture available or you can pick up a white Adirondack resin chair for a very reasonable cost. This year, you can even choose some brightly colored Adirondack chairs. Fun! Once you add throw pillows on the chairs, they look great in most settings. You can even find some bargain outdoor furniture at consignment shops and garage sales. If they are wooden or metal, you can usually spray paint them – but make sure you read the label to ensure that you buy a paint that will adhere to the surface. So - start planning for your time outdoors this summer now - while the selection is great! And please check out my "A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging" Facebook page and my website at www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com. Happy Decorating!!!! Posted by A Goode Start Decorating & Home Staging at 12:52 PM

Decorating Ideas for Outdoor LIving - On a Budget!

Summer is almost upon us, and most of us want to spend more and more time outdoors. If you love relaxing on your deck or porch like I do, here are some ideas for decorating your outdoor space. Since outdoor rooms are very popular now, there are many more options to the homeowner. Your outdoor room can be an extension of your home and you can personalize it with some exterior decorating ideas. Selecting outdoor furniture which suits your personal taste and style may be challenging. Prices range from the inexpensive (resin or aluminum) to the more expensive (wrought iron or wooden) – for example. You can choose from many different styles and colors to meet your needs. And there are many bright new colored accessories (pillows, cushions, umbrellas) featured this year! If you’re on a budget, discount stores usually have less expensive outdoor furniture available or you can pick up a white Adirondack resin chair for a very reasonable cost. This year, you can even choose some brightly colored Adirondack chairs. Fun! Once you add throw pillows on the chairs, they look great in most settings. You can even find some bargain outdoor furniture at consignment shops and garage sales. If they are wooden or metal, you can usually spray paint them – but make sure you read the label to ensure that you buy a paint that will adhere to the surface. So - start planning for your time outdoors this summer now - while the selection is great! And please check out my "A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging" Facebook page and my website at www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com. Happy Decorating!!!! Posted by A Goode Start Decorating & Home Staging at 12:52 PM

budget decorating for outdoor living

Monday, April 23, 2012

Window Treatments - Customer Service Needed!!!

Choosing window treatments can be easier said than done. As an interior decorator, I can suggest the fabric and style of a window treatment to coordinate with the room's decorations. However, I would consult a window treatment specialist whenever it concerns the actual fabrication of the curtain/blind.

There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when you choose the RIGHT window treatment. This does not mean throwing up a sheet in front of your window and you’re done. If you want your windows to look BEAUTIFUL , I’d like to suggest that you enlist the help of a professional window treatment specialist. But finding the RIGHT specialist is the key to a happy client/consumer.

Unfortunately, I’ve had second-hand experience with a poorly made window treatment. My decorating client decided purchase her window treatments through a well-known window treatment company, who will remain anonymous, and one that she had used before with great satisfaction. As her decorator, I advised her on the design of each treatment and the fabric that would be the most complimentary to her decorating scheme. Everything was great and 90% of the window treatments turned out beautifully. However, the remaining 10% were not satisfactory. Why? Because the “window treatment expert,” i.e., the store’s window specialist/salesperson, DID NOT inform my client about what to expect with the final product. It was a Roman Shade and the threads that weave the layers together also let in light through the holes. When the product was completed and installed, the client realized that she did not like that quality of the shade’s construction and complained to the store’s manager, who decided to ignore her complaint.

A good friend of mine, who was a former window treatment expert with the company, told me that every time she sold a roman shade, she would inform her client of the idiosyncrasies in the final product so the client would know what to expect.

To make a long story short, after being ignored by the store manager, my client wrote an explicit letter to the president of the company. Believe it or not....not even the company’s customer service department replied to her complaint. This is unacceptable. What happened to the customer is always right? And even if that is not the case, my client deserved the courtesy of a response and some sort of compensation for her dissatisfaction in the final product!

As a business owner, I pride myself on catering to my client’s needs and desires. What has happened to this policy? Has it been lost through the years?

I would love to hear your responses to this dilemma. And please check out my “A Goode Start Decorating” Facebook page and my website at www.agoodestartdecorating.com. As always, Happy Decorating!!
Deborah Goode, C.I.D.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bright New Colors Leap into Spring!

Spring is finally here, and I feel a resurgence of energy in anticipation of beautiful weather ahead!
In decorating this spring, the color palette is filled with bright, vivid hues that reflect bright, luminous tones. Hot colors such as vivid orange, peppy yellow and brilliant red are popular this spring in decorating. Also included in the spring color selection are verdant green, bright pink, zingy turquoise and teal, and rich plums and indigo. Wow – what a selection!
I love these colors when used as accents against neutral backgrounds - such as white, black, grey and beige. They make a bold statement in decorating, especially when used with contemporary or mid-century furniture. I feel like I’m back in the '70s!
On my blog last November, I had predicted that Hot Pink would be hot in 2012 – but I may have to retract that prediction. My crystal ball was off a little - I now believe that Vibrant Orange is the HOT color for decorating in 2012 (but of course, you can always pair Hot Pink with Vibrant Orange for an electrifying color combination!)
If you’re ready to add some punch to your color scheme this spring – consider one of the dazzling colors I mentioned above. If you’re not ready to make a huge decorating change, try adding these beautiful colors in accessorizing your home, maybe your bathroom or kitchen; or add a couple of pillows to your sofa (as long as it doesn’t clash with your d├ęcor). They’ll give you a LIFT for spring!
As always, Happy Decorating everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Giving Your Home a Lift for Spring!

Spring is just around the corner -- so are you in the mood for some spring cleaning?
If you have some stubborn areas that need attention, here are some tips that you may be able
to do quickly and easily to be ready for spring.
Grimy bathroom walls?
If you have surface mold on your bathroom walls, mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Spray it on the wall and watch the mold disappear. Wipe down the walls and you’ll see the color of the paint again! Of course, if you want to make your bathroom feel even more refreshed, repaint the walls for a new look.
Don't replace a yucky shower door. Try this instead.
Glass shower doors can show dirt and grime quickly. Instead of replacing the door, take the door off the track so that you can clean if more easily. Then, scrub it with steel wool and a mixture of one part muriatic acid and about 10 parts water. After wiping it down, reinstall the door and you’ll think you have a new shower door!
Do you have an overpowering brick fireplace that is an eyesore to your room?
If the answer is “yes!” here's an easy way to tone it down with paint. Use a rag or brush to rub a light coat of paint on the bricks, one at a time. This will give them a new tone without covering them completely. And, if you use a paint color that matches the walls or paint it the color of your molding (white?), your fireplace will no longer be an eyesore!
Updating an old fire screen:
Is your old fire screen worn out and dirty? Here’s an inexpensive way to update it. After removing the screen and wiping it down to get rid of the dust, Then, buy a can of heat-resistant spray paint and give the screen a facelift. Of course you'll need to go outside or someplace where you can spray the paint and not worry about getting it on your walls, doors and windows.
Here's another tip: Hold the spray can about 18 inches away from the screen and use long, even strokes. So...for less than $5, you will have a “new” fire place screen!

Hope these ideas will help you spring into spring. Please let me know if you have any questions. Happy Decorating!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Staging Can Help You Sell Your Home

It’s almost spring and the time of year that you may be considering whether or not to put your home on the market. If you’re one of those homeowners, I’m sure you’ve been thinking about your options. Unless homes in your area are selling fast and furious, home sellers today need to seriously consider staging their home to get a quick sale and a high return on your investment.
Today’s real estate market is uncertain, so you want your home to stand out from the rest! Hiring a professional home stager would be a very good investment to ensure that your home will show well and appeal to a prospective buyers. So, unless you have some training in real estate property staging, I encourage hiring a professional home stager. What’s the difference between a home stager and interior decorator? Interior decorators decorate to please the home owner’s taste; home stager’s decorate to please a prospective buyer’s taste.
Decorating to sell your home will help and selling vacant homes will need to have rental furniture inside to give the home a lived in look and not empty and cold like a vacant home can appear.
If you’re a do-it-yourself person, you may want to start by cleaning out the clutter in your house, painting and landscaping your home. But you still may want to consider hiring a home stager to give you an objective assessment on what needs to be done from the view of a prospective home buyer.
Pricing your house correctly is important, and realtors can be a huge help doing the research necessary to come up with a good price. But don’t stop there - talk with others --friends, family and neighbors--and try to decide on a price for your house. But be flexible and decide what's most important to you. If you need to sell quickly or for the right price, your realtor can help with those decisions, so tell them what you want and expect in the real estate sale of your house.
Best of luck to you and feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Happy Decorating!

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