Staging a Dining Room with Warm Colors

Staging a Dining Room with Warm Colors
Staging by A Goode Start Decorating & Home Staging.

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!"



Friday, September 12, 2014

Ideas for Designing Study Areas for Kids

Now that the summer is over and school is back in session (for most of us at least), it’s time to think about the dreaded homework scenario for your kids. Since doing homework is a vital part of their education, I think it’s really important to have a dedicated area in your home for the kids – of all ages -- to do their homework.

This is especially important to teens. Although the usual spot for studying may have been the kitchen table, teens need another area of the home that can be quiet for studying and provide a decent amount of space to “spread out.”

If the space in your home is limited, then a folding screen or divider, even a bookcase, can offer some privacy or divide the space between the other areas of the room and the study space.
Here are some ideas when you’re designing your kid’s study area:
A computer desk is essential these days – and, if possible a good-sized one so that they can spread out their books, folders and other homework materials. Of course, a desk chair that provides good back support (and I like the ones on wheels) is another essential item.
Good lighting is very important in the study area – provided by a desk lamp (task lighting) and, if possible, some overhead lighting and/or natural light as well.
Some other items such as a bookcase is very useful in organizing reference books and other materials that they’ll need, for instance, their CDs.  Label flash drives to facilitate easy retrieval of information and get a drawer organizer to keep them safe.
And since kids love hanging things on the wall, I think a cork board or memo board over their desk is a nice addition so they can post notes, calendars, messages or their artwork.
So…there are some ideas for the study area.
If you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me, feel free to e-mail me at AGoodeStartDeco@gmail.com or post your question under my blog.
Until next time, Happy Decorating!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lighting Up Your Outdoor Room!

The summer is almost over so I wanted to share a few more ideas on outdoor decorating.
If you use your outdoor room a lot, lighting can be very important – especially if you want to enjoy your outdoor space at twilight and after dark.  The lighting aspect of your outdoor room can also be taken care of in an affordable yet stylish manner.

Use candles or torches for that elegant and peaceful atmosphere and if you are worried about safety you can go for solar lamps, although they basically only give ambient light.

For parties - if you want to create a festive mood, hang some holiday lights over the porch beam or on a nearby tree. You can even make luminaries by dropping a candle in a punched recycled can. My personal preferences are inexpensive, decorative paper lanterns with battery-powered lights that are sold at stores like Pier One. They add a calming, relaxing ambiance.

 I’m also seeing more and more lamps that can withstand outdoor use – both floor lamps and table lamps. I’ve even seen outdoor chandeliers! I can’t confirm how good these “outdoor” lights work without problems  – so I recommend that you talk with one of the knowledgeable sales persons at the department store before you purchase them.  I’ve even seen outdoor TVs!

Finally, add style and charisma to your outdoor room with creative accessories. You don’t have to spend much to put together a bunch of accessories that blend with your outdoor room setting. Collect scrap lumber and paint some attractive signs or lean a used picket fence on one side of the porch wall. You can paint it or start growing some attractive flowering vines around it. Hang pretty bird houses or just place them in a corner to add character to your outdoor room. Add some pretty cushions and throw pillows to your chairs and some eye-catching napkins or placemats on the table to add color to your outdoor room. If you have an old ladder or bookcase, paint it and put plants or flowering plans on it for decoration.

 Your new outdoor room will quickly become your sanctuary or your party room once you have it ready for summer. Please feel free to email me at AGoodeStartDeco@gmail.com
if you have any questions.
As always – Happy Decorating!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Decorating Your Outdoor Room or Deck

Summer is here at last and hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!! Time for outdoor parties  and spending 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!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top Staging Tips to Sell Your Home!

It's the time of year that is supposed to be "best" for selling your home. And, if you're in the process of looking for a new home, you and your real estate agent probably do "drive bys," you've probably eliminated a few properties based on their exterior appearance - including broken railings, children's toys in the yard or an unmowed lawn. Curb appeal is so important to the prospective homebuyer. It could mean the difference between a "sale" and "no sale."

If you are the home seller, here are some recommendations to keep your home in pristine condition and appeal to the prospective homebuyer's "drive by": 

1. Make sure that your lawn is freshly cut and that leaves in your lawn are raked. If winter has set in, please make sure that the snow has been shoveled in the driveway and on walk-ways and sidewalks.

2. Your home's entryway should be attractive and welcoming. Consider a potted plant by the entrance, repaint the door, add a beautiful wreath on the door and/or a new exterior light to highlight the entrance.

3. Make sure that you repair or replace any problems - such as broken railings, doors, lights, or other exterior items. It means so much to a prospective buyer to be greeted with a welcoming exterior.

4. Clean and sweep clean your walkway and drive way.

5. Store away garbage cans, recycling bins and other "extras" in the front yard.

6. Ensure that the exterior of your home is power-washed, including siding and decks. It is an alternative to painting. If the exterior of your home is clean, it will show well to prospective buyers.

7. Store-away your treasures that could look like "clutter" to prospective buyers. It will distract them and they will not be able to envision themselves in your home -- which is a very important element in whether or not the potential buyers will fall in love with your home and want to buy it.

8. Tackle one project at a time when you're de-cluttering your home. Go through your closets and pare-down the things you want to keep and the ones you want to give-away or discard.

9. You do not want little problems in a room to distract the buyer and cause the potential buyer to focus on the flaws. For example, ensure that peeling wallpaper is glued down, chipping paint is repaired and that all covers on all electrical/lighting outlets are replaced. Repair all dripping faucets and moldy caulking. Believe it or not, this really makes a difference!

Real estate agents and professional home stagers can help you in identifying any potential problems that possible buyers may see. Remember, although the real estate market has improved, you still need to ensure that your home looks its best - the first time. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. 

Please let me know you need an objective opinion or need some help or advice in getting your house ready to sell!  And, if you have a vacant home, I also have a full inventory of furniture and accessories.   I can help you if you in the Anne Arundel (Maryland) county, Southern Maryland, Eastern Shore and parts of Northern Virginia. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More Ideas for Spring Decorating!

Now that Spring is here - and the flowers are in bloom - why not take advantage of this in your decorating? The flowers in the Spring are some of the most colorful and pretty.  Cut them from your garden or buy them in the store or  nursery and display them in your home.  They will add life and color!
Bring "Spring" inside by cutting branches and flowers and displaying them in different sized, clear vases - which are very popular this Spring!  They make a great centerpiece, or display them on top of your furniture or mantel.
Create your own tablescape for spring by using colorful plates, glassware, placemats and napkins in decor appropriate for the time of year (or holiday, special occasion or the season of the year).  Or use  neutral colored plates, such as white or cream.  You can add personality to your table with accessories, such as flowers, candles, napkins or napkin rings.
Have fun decorating for spring!  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at:
AGoodeStartDecorating@gmail.com.  Happy Decocrating!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cleaning Tips to help you spring into Spring!!


Spring is finally here after a brutal winter :-)  Whether you are thinking about putting your home on the market or if you are just itching to do a little spring cleaning, where do you begin?  Well, if  you have some stubborn areas that need attention, here are a few 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!

These are just a few suggestions. I'll give a few more suggestions in my next blog.  Until then, I hope these ideas will help you spring into Spring!!  Let me know if you have any questions.

As always, Happy Decorating!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Decorate Your Home with the New SPRING Colors!

Spring is only a few weeks away (I hope!), so I wanted to share the new spring colors with you!
In decorating this spring, the color palette is filled with apple green, sunny yellow and bright coral. Also included in the spring color selection are aqua blue, tomato red and radiant orchid (the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year). And all of these colors really pop when used with white, black, grey! 
If you’re ready to make a few changes to your color scheme this spring – consider one or more of the beautiful 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!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Four Qualities to Look for in a Home Stager (before you hire one)!


Even though the Groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter on Groundhogs Day, spring will be here before you know it!  If you plan to put your home on the market, you may be considering whether or not to hire a home stager.  Statistics posted by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) show that staged properties sell 50% faster and for 6-10% more money than other properties. 
When you decide to hire a home stager to decorate your property, you need to make sure you’re investing in the right person.  After all, you’re trusting someone with the sale of your largest asset – your home – so you have to be careful.
First, you should make sure that the home stager has been professionally trained.  However, a common mistake is to look for “credentials,” since none exist in the home staging field. 
Second, what kind of success record has the home stager had with their staged properties.   You may want to look at their website or portfolio, and ask for their references.
Third, you should not be focused on how much the home stager is charging.  Saving a few hundred dollars in fees and getting bad advice could cost you thousands of dollars.  Professional stagers can expect to earn between $100-200 for an initial consultation (in the Md., DC, Va. area).  If you request a written report of recommendations, then the fee will be higher.  Rates will vary depending upon your geographic location and the stager’s experience, but you shouldn’t hire someone just because he or she charges a ridiculously low rate.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for J
Finally, look for a home stager who knows the real estate market and, as well as how to decorate. A home stager should be familiar with the local real estate market, and they should be familiar with all the ingredients that make a property appeal to prospective buyers.
I am sharing this advice with you after spending five years in business as a home stager and as a certified interior decorator for many years.  
If you have any questions about these tips, please contact me at www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com

Thank you and Happy Decorating!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tips for Selling Your Home - Stage the Garage!

When selling a house, many homeowners are willing to go the extra mile to make their properties stand out from the competition.  While sprucing up the kitchen and bathrooms certainly helps a house sell faster, the garage is important too, especially if you’re trying to appeal to male homebuyers.
While most people would agree that the wife is the principal decision maker in a home purchase, it’s important to impress the husband too.  Many home sellers mistakenly store all their extra junk in the garage, close the garage door and put their house on the market, assuming that no one will ask to see the garage.
But garages are an important selling feature for homes.  Many people are looking for a garage in their home search, so it’s important for the garage to “show” well.  Here are some tips that may help you:
1.        Make sure your garage is at least organized and clean – declutter it as much as possible.  Rent a ‘POD’ to store your extra belongings.  It’s nice to show that there is room for a car or two in the garage. ;-)
2.       If there’s room for a “workshop area” in the garage, that is especially appealing to male homebuyers.  Attach a peg board to the wall and organize tools on the pegboards instead of having them lie around.
3.        Shelves are important to create an organized appearance.  Put your belongings into plastic containers, label them and put them neatly onto shelves. 
4.       It’s OK to keep the lawnmower, gardening tools and bicycles in the garage, but make sure they are neatly stored.
5.       Dispose of old paint cans and other extraneous chemical items.  This can cause a potential homeowner to worry that there may be problems with the house.
6.       If the garage floor is dirty, clean it and apply a fresh coat of paint – I suggest a neutral color, but not gray. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your cluttered garage doesn’t turn off potential buyers and that it will catch the eye of men who are in the market for a new house!
      If you have any questions, please leave a comment or contact me at www.AGoodeStartDecorating.com.  Until next month, Happy Decorating!

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