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 

How to Fall in Love With Your Home Again

blog-Fall-in-Love-AgainWhether it was love at first sight or a whirlwind mental courtship of decorating potential, most of us felt a buzz of excitement the first time we saw our home. As with many relationships, time can take its toll on how we feel about our house. This Valentine’s Day season, rekindle the spark and fall in love with your home again with these simple tips:

  • Declutter and organize. Collect any extra clothes, nick-knacks, and home goods, and sell or donate what you don’t love or use. Deal with paper piles by filing or storing important documents and shredding outdated items.
  • Let there be light! Proper lighting affects mood and is essential to our sense of well-being. Open curtains or blinds and move furniture that may be blocking natural light. Add lamps or ambient lighting to darker spaces to create a soft glow and a cozy environment.
  • Re-arrange. Sometimes just moving the furniture around can change the energy flow of a space. Try something different and see how it feels. Ask for feedback from a friend whose taste you admire.
  • Add life. Plants are a simple way to add beauty and life to a room. If you don’t have a green thumb, try fresh cut flowers or Ikea has a great selection of beautiful faux plants that will do the trick.
  • Freshen up. Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful and is an important tool in creating an environment you love! Whether it’s the clean scent of a “fresh linen” air freshener or the nostalgic aroma of a cookie-scented candle, choose something that speaks to you. Tip: Based on current research, we generally advise home sellers against using any complex scents while the home is on the market.
  • Add personal touches. Feature pieces that you find beautiful or meaningful. Incorporate favorite pieces of art, treasured collections, or even cozy new throw pillows into parts of the house where you spend the most time.

Perhaps the best tip for recreating that love connection between you and your house is to cultivate a sense of appreciation. Nurture feelings of gratitude for the people or animals who share your home. Remembering to have a thankful heart for the shelter and space your home provides can help re-kindle that spark of love.

Do you need a little help falling in love with your home again? We offer redesign services and color consultations at affordable rates! Contact us online or give us a call at (832) 377-0785 to schedule an initial consultation.

Photo credit:  Elin B @ Nordic Touch, www.nordictouch.co.uk

4 Tips to Help You Get Organized in the New Year

blog-get-organized-new-yearJanuary is the perfect time for a fresh start in your home! Whether you plan to stay put or you’re getting ready to sell your home, start the new year off right by getting organized and enjoy the benefits of a neater, easier to maintain home.

  1. Stop adding clutter. Avoid making bulk purchases or stocking up on sale items before putting your house on the market so that you’re not filling up closet and shelf space.
  2. Start purging. Use a couple of large bags or bins to collect items you can donate or sell (eBay, garage sale, Craigslist, whatever works for you). I keep a box in my trunk for regular collection of items I intend to donate to charity so that I can go straight to the drop-off location as soon as it’s full. As you’re making decisions about what to keep and what to pack, ask yourself, “Do I love it? Do I use it?” If the answer to both is no, you should probably seriously consider whether it’s worth packing and moving with that item.
  3. Focus on one project at a time. Getting ready to move can be overwhelming, so don’t try to tackle everything at once. Clean out one closet completely before moving to the next. Toss out expired pantry items and get rid of excess in the junk drawer, but do it one project at a time.
  4. Deal with paper. Paper clutter can inundate us quickly. File or store the important documents properly and shred outdated items. Other items can be scanned and stored digitally, taking up much less space.

Getting organized is an important first step in getting your home ready to sell. If you need help getting started, give Three Bears Home Staging & Redesign a call at (832) 377-0785 or contact us here.

Photo credit: Rubbermaid Products

Tips for Organizing and Staging Your Laundry Room

LaundryBandA-1My husband and I have three children and a dog; consequently, we spend a LOT of time in the laundry room each week. It’s busy in there, and it gets chaotic.

We all have to do laundry. For most of us, it’s not a room we choose to spend a lot of time in. Remember, though, when selling your home, staging is all about romancing potential buyers–not reminding them of chores or a lack of storage space. Keeping the laundry room clean, bright and organized when selling will maximize its appeal!

So what’s the best way to show off your laundry room?

  • De-clutter. This is the number one task when it comes to laundry rooms. Often these spaces end up becoming catch-alls for cases of water, boxes of art supplies or a 50-lb bag of dog food, in addition to piles of shoes and dirty clothes. HIDE IT OR GET RID OF IT. If you’re selling your home, you’re eventually going to have to pack up most of that stuff anyway. Clear off counters and shelves, remove hangers — keep only the barest of essentials in this room. Use pretty baskets or boxes to organize what’s left behind.
  • Clean and brighten. Dust and dryer lint builds up easily in this room. Wipe down appliances and mop floors. Check the walls for scuffs and re-paint if necessary. Also, consider using higher wattage bulbs if the lighting is dim.
  • Check for odor. Who doesn’t love the clean smell of fresh laundry? An easy way to give the laundry room the same fresh clean smell is to use  dryer sheets in between some neatly folded towels (like in the picture).
  • Conceal dirty laundry. Let’s face it–nobody wants to be touring a home and unexpectedly see piles of dirty underwear. Make sure dirty laundry is completely concealed in the hamper. Have clean laundry that hasn’t been folded yet and no time to put it away before a showing? Toss it back into the dryer and out of sight until you can get to it!

As a professional home stager, I can tell you the laundry room is by far the number one most neglected space by homeowners when it comes to staging. Buyers WILL open the door to this room, and they WILL make snap judgments about it. A space that feels cluttered with little room to move will not make as favorable an impression as one that is clean and spacious.

Need help getting your space in shape? We can help! Give us a call at (832)377-0785 or contact Three Bears Home Staging and Redesign online today to schedule a consultation!

 

 

How to Avoid 3 of the Worst Clutter Traps When Selling Your Home

blog-clutter-trapsIf selling a home is on your to-do list for 2014, eliminating clutter may be one of the most important New Year’s resolutions you can make! Here are three of the worst clutter traps I typically see as a home stager, and some tips on how to avoid them.

  • Closets are a fantastic place to store all our extra stuff for day-to-day living, but a cluttered closet can hurt you in the re-sale. Buyers touring your house WILL open closet doors, and 90% of them will not be able to envision spacious storage potential if your closets are crammed full of stuff.

→ Go ahead and pack away seasonal clothing, organize hanging items by size or color, and get things off the floor. This is especially important in master bedroom closets.

→  Take the time to go through your pantry as well, wiping down shelves, straightening labels and tossing out anything that won’t be used.

  • Tabletops and counters should not be completely stripped (you don’t want it to look too sterile), but keep decor strategic and minimal.

→ Store all kitchen appliances under the cabinets (yes, even the coffee pot!).

→ Dish soap and sponges should go in a plastic bin under the sink.

→ Remove all personal hygiene products and appliances from bathroom counters.

→  Add a simple potted plant and a few books to a nightstand, a bowl of lemons to the kitchen counter, or a dish of pretty soaps near the bath sink for a homey, but uncluttered feel.

  • Bookcases can be especially tricky. When they’re overflowing or crammed too tightly (as many of them are), they give the impression that there’s a lack of space.

→ Pack up most of your books, leaving some stacked vertically and some horizontally with space between groupings for a more pleasing visual effect. A few knick-knacks are okay, as well, but don’t put an entire collection of tchotchkes on display.

Bottom line? Start packing NOW, before you put your home on the market, and don’t spend money moving the items you can trash, donate, or sell! If you need help figuring out where to get started, we can help. Contact us at Three Bears Home Staging & Redesign for an initial consultation.

Trying to Figure Out a Furniture Arrangement That Works?

Has this happened to you?

You decide one weekend to rearrange your living room, so you begin to move every piece of furniture to the places you had planned in your head. Only to discover they don’t fit, or you totally hate the way it looks. Maddening

Or perhaps you’re moving to a new home and can’t begin to fathom where you’ll put your huge book case or how you’ll align the furniture in a room full of windows…

dining-room1-3Da

dining-room1-2D

Instead of going in circles with lots of sketches and heavy lifting, let the experts at Three Bears Home Staging and Redesign plan out your arrangement first! We can create 2-D and 3-D room arrangements that allow you to visualize the furniture precisely where you want it.

 

Click here for pricing or call us today at (832) 377-0785 to set up a consultation!

Organizing Your Home for Back-to-School

art gallery

Display kids’ artwork creatively and inexpensively with clothespins and picture hanging wire.

A well-designed home layout can save your family a lot of aggravation when everyone is trying to rush out the door school, work, and extra-cirricular activities. Use these tips to get supplies, get prepared and get organized for the busy school year ahead!

  • Inventory the wardrobes. Make the effort to pull out the stuff that is worn out, doesn’t fit, isn’t in style or won’t be worn for some other reason. Donate to younger siblings, neighbors, friends or Goodwill. Eliminating the clutter will make figuring out what to wear in the morning a whole lot easier.
  • Streamline the entryway. We all need a place to dump everything when we first walk in. Install heavy duty coat hooks to hang jackets, backpacks and purses. Use baskets for smaller items, like keys and wallets. Kids have after school activities? Keep uniforms and equipment in a separate “activity bag” so they can grab their stuff on the go.
  • Create a dedicated area for homework. Whether it’s a desk in their bedroom, a home office or a desk in the game room, make it age appropriate and keep necessary supplies nearby. Even if their homework space is simply the kitchen table, put together a basket within easy reach filled with pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, a calculator or any other supplies that will keep them seated and focused on finishing their work.
  • Organize your pantry. Keep after school snacks in a designated spot and at eye level so kids don’t tear apart the cabinets trying to find food. Use clear baskets or stacking bins to make pre-packaged snacks easy to see and reach. Keep plastic cups in lower cabinets for younger kids.
  • Display children’s art work in its own space. Personally, I’m not a fan of magnets on the kitchen refrigerator — to me, they make an already busy space feel even more cluttered. But I do enjoy the proud looks on my kids’ faces when I “ooh” and “aah” over their artistic creations. With some picture hanging wire and clothespins, I created a very simple, very inexpensive art gallery in our play room to proudly and beautifully display their creative work!

Do you need help organizing your home for back-to-school madness? Whether you live in the Katy ISD or greater Houston area, Three Bears Home Staging & Redesign can help! Contact us today to find out how!