How to Create a Cozy Guest Room for Holiday Visitors

blog-How-to-Create-a-Cozy-Guest-Room-for-the-HolidaysAs family and friends descend upon your home for the holiday season, it’s time to get your guest bedroom in shape to receive visitors! Use our helpful tips to make sure you have everything in place to make your guests feel at home.

  • Clean sheets. (Do we really need to point this out, you ask? Why yes, I think it’s important that we do. I was once a guest at a home where the sheets had dried dog vomit on them. Yes, the host knew…and didn’t seem to think it was an issue.) Put freshly laundered sheets on the bed the day before guests arrive and get points for being SuperHost.
  • Fresh towels. See above.
  • Extra pillows and blankets. Keep these easily available regardless of the season. People get cold at night and like to have options.
  • Alarm or clock. This may be especially handy for older guests or those who don’t use their smart phones as clocks. While you’re at it, be sure to have extra electrical outlets available for guests to charge their devices.
  • WiFi password. They’ll probably ask for it anyway.
  • Fan. Fans are a huge relief to people who tend to “sleep hot,” and some guest may just appreciate the white noise they provide.
  • Extra hooks. Space may be at a premium with extra people in the house so invest in a set of handy over-the-door hooks to help guests keep their clothes and towels dry and separate.
  • Blinds or light blocking drapes. This is a thoughtful bonus for guests who prefer to sleep late.
  • Bedside lighting. Guests who like to read before going to sleep will find a pretty lamp on a bedside table especially handy.

Don’t forget to add the fun stuff! Fresh flowers are a sweet touch, as are a few toiletries, like an extra toothbrush, soaps, or shampoos. You might even consider leaving a little tray with some bottled waters and healthy snacks for guests who may not feel comfortable raiding your refrigerator. The main goal is to provide a bright, clean, comfortable space that makes visitors feel relaxed and welcome.

If you need a little help getting your home picture perfect for the holidays or if you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market, give the experts at Three Bears Home Staging a call to set up a Walk and Talk Consultation!

Take These 3 Steps This Holiday Season to Prepare for a New Year’s Home Sale

Deciding to sell your home is a big step, but almost all home owners will still have a few things to do before actually activating their listing. Remember, buyers assume that a clean, organized, updated home has been well-maintained — and they make the opposite assumption about dirty, cluttered, or dated homes. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, don’t leave any money on the table. Give yourself an edge on a successful sale and a “show ready” home by getting an early start with these three tips this holiday season:

  1. Start paring down the master closet. “This house has way too much storage!” said NO BUYER EVER. It probably goes without saying that an empty closet shows better with buyers than one packed full of clothes and miscellany. That being said, emptying all the closets is not practical for most homeowners so concentrate your efforts on THE most important closet in a home buyer’s decision-making process: the master bedroom closet. Organize, eliminate, and get stuff off the floor. For more detailed info on how to organize your closet for staging, check out our book, Just Right! Easy DIY Home Staging for Bedrooms & Closets, now available in the iBooks store.
  2. Begin de-personalizing. Buyers need to be able to walk into your home and easily envision their family living there — not reminded that they are a guest in someone else’s home. Start packing family photos, collections, sports memorabilia, and anything related to your hobbies or religion. This may feel especially difficult during the holiday season, but if you plan on listing at the first of the year, set yourself up for a faster sale by starting the de-personalization process NOW.
  3. Take care of any maintenance, repairs, or updates. Leaky faucets, that one light switch that doesn’t work, the places on the wall that need touch-up paint…the list goes on and on for most homeowners. NOW is the time to start updating or fixing all those things you’ve been putting off. One trick we use with our clients is blue painter’s tape — just stick a small piece on every spot in your house that needs maintenance or updating. The tape pieces are a constant visual “to-do” list that you can work on in the months leading up to your listing.

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, it’s extremely hard for most sellers to be objective about their own home. Hiring a professional home stager to do a guided Walk and Talk Consultation or even just having an honest, heart-to-heart discussion with your real estate agent a month or more BEFORE you list your home will give you more time to make the changes needed to get you a faster sale and a higher profit. Ready to get started? Call Three Bears Home Staging in Katy, TX at (832) 377-0785 to set up a consultation.

Title photo credit:  “Dishwashing gloves and sponge” by www.yourbestdigs.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How to Make Your Bedroom More Romantic

How to Make Your Bedroom More RomanticYour master bedroom should be a relaxing, romantic respite from the chaos of the world around you. Whether you’re staging your home for sale or just trying to create a more inspiring vibe in your current space, a few simple changes this Valentine’s Day can add romance and calm to your bedroom sanctuary:

  • Tidy up. Lots of clutter lying around can be a a source of white-noise type anxiety for some people because it’s a constant reminder of chores that need to be done. Remove the piles of laundry, stacks of books and papers, and other “stuff” piled on nightstands and dressers to create a calmer, more peaceful space.
  • Make it plush. Think upscale hotel bedding–lots of pillows, cozy blankets, and extra soft sheets.
  • Freshen up. Are there weird smells in your bedroom? No? Are you positive? Most of us become “noseblind” to the scents in our own home. Textiles can hold a lot of odors so launder draperies and bedding. Sprinkle carpets with baking soda, wait 30 minutes, then vacuum to remove even more odor. Houseplants are another great way to continually clean the air. Open windows to air out the space. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned, light a scented candle for a little fragrance and ambiance.
  • Examine your lighting. Soft white bulbs are ideal for bedrooms — avoid “daylight” bulbs or fluorescent overhead lighting when possible. Subtle, ambient lighting, like a table lamp, is even better.

And of course…fresh flowers and a little chocolate are always a nice touch!

How to you make your master bedroom a more beautiful, relaxing space? Share with us! And if you’re thinking of selling your Katy, TX home soon, give us a call. Our Walk and Talk Consultations provide home sellers with immediate feedback on how to get top dollar and a quick sale.

Photo credit: Tobias Wutzow via CreativeCommons.org

How to Hygge Your Home in 2017

blog-hyggeThe Danish concept Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah), which can be roughly described as the Scandinavian art of coziness, warm companionship, and little pleasures, has been the “design buzzword” of recent months. Candles, soft blankets, indoor plants, soft furnishings, books, rugs on bare wooden floors and an absence of clutter are hallmarks of the Hygge design style. But Hygge isn’t just about design style–it’s a lifestyle concept.

Hygge is about atmosphere and an experience, rather than things,” Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well, explains. “It’s about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”

If you’re trying to find more comfort and well-being in your own home and create Hygge in your everyday life, follow these tips from Three Bears Home Staging:

  • Share and socialize. Hospitality is one of the most important elements of adding Hygge to your life. Invite neighbors over for an impromptu meal or visit with a good friend over coffee. Making your home a comfortable, welcoming place for you and your guests is more Hygge than creating one that’s “perfect” or impressive.
  • Reconnect off-line. Most of us have been guilty of getting sucked down the rabbit hole of life online — web browsing, social media, email. Ironically, all the electronic “connectedness” can create more disconnection and feelings of chaos in our homes. Take the time to intentionally unplug from the distractions of the Interwebs and be fully present with the three-dimensional people in your life. Play a board game around the fire with your family or snuggle up under a soft blanket with a good book for a very Hygge experience.
  • Create a peaceful environment by eliminating chaos and excess clutter. Surround yourself with home decor that inspire you. In other words, if you don’t use it or love–get rid of it. Commit to removing things you rarely use in order to create comfortable, cozy spaces the whole family can enjoy. When it comes to Hygge, less is usually more.

Share with us:  how do you create Hygge in your home this winter?

Photo credit: Melissa Hillier via Flikr/CreativeCommons 

Tips for Decorating Your Holiday Mantel

There’s no place cozier during the holidays than snuggled up next to a warm fire, even in sub-tropical Houston! Okay, so maybe some of us still have the air-conditioner running at the same time…BUT a festive fireplace is definitely a focal point during the holiday season. Decorating your mantel can be a challenge, so we decided to share a few tricks and tips to make your mantel merry and bright this winter.

  • Use layers. Overlap decor of varying heights to create a more cohesive design. A good rule of thumb is to use a large weighted piece at the back of your design (like a mirror or a piece of large art), then add candles or taller pieces, and finally some smaller filler decor or greenery in front.
blog-mantel5

Photo via Whoovie

  • Balance your design by putting complementary decor opposite each other. Your display doesn’t have to be symmetrical, but the items should have similar visual weight, scale, or form. Try placing larger decor on the ends, while centering shorter items (and if that doesn’t work, reverse it!).
blog-mantel1

Photo via MidWest Living

  • Simplify color. Use no more than three colors to keep your mantel from looking overly embellished. Since your fireplace is already a focal point, use muted lighting and colors to set the stage for your holiday display.
blog-mantel3

Photo courtesy of Ideal Home via Brewster Home

  • Vary texture. Texture and shine add a big boost to a mantel with neutral color. Mercury glass and pops of sparkly gold or glitter add radiance and a little holiday glam.
  • Add a garland. Opt for simple color palette that has variations in texture for a classic holiday look. And make sure it’s the right length:  the dangling ends of the garland should only hang down from the mantel about 1/3 of the way to the floor.
blog-mantel4

Photo via Whoovie

What tips do you have for holiday mantels? Share your secrets with us! And if you know someone who’s thinking of selling their home this holiday season, consider a gift of our DIY Home Staging Guide! It’s filled with lots of information on how sellers can sell their homes quickly and for more money!

*Feature image photo credit: www.personalcreations.com

5 Easy Ways to Style Your Thanksgiving Table

Whether your Thanksgiving traditions feature a formal, candlelit dinner table or a relaxed afternoon with football and feasting (or even somewhere in between), use a few of our holiday tips to help style a festive table that is just right for you and yours.

  • Add brightness and contrast to your Thanksgiving meal with edible garnishes! Surround your bird with fresh sage and citrus fruits. Sprinkle bright red pomegranate seeds in a butternut squash soup. Top fluffy mashed potatoes with fresh green chives. Make your meal look as good as it tastes!
Photo via foodnetwork.com

Photo via foodnetwork.com

  • Roll out craft paper for a simple, neutral runner or tablecloth. Decorate it yourself or invite guests to write messages–perfect for a kids’ table!

  • Brighten the mood with a little sparkle! Touches of gold and glowing candles add a beautiful bit of drama to your table scape.

    Photo by Pottery Barn

    Photo via Pottery Barn

  • Add natural elements, like flowers or a simple sprig of rosemary or thyme, on each place setting to make your table feel festive without being overly fancy.

  • Create super simple homemade place cards by tying name tags to mini pumpkins with a little twine. It’s all in the details!
Photo via Holly Mathis Interiors

Photo via Holly Mathis

 

If your home will be on the market this holiday season and you need a little help getting it ready, give us a call at (832)377-0785 or schedule a Walk and Talk Consultation with us here.