How to Make the Bed for Home Staging

How to Make the Bed for Home Staging

How to Make the Bed for Home StagingBeds are the focal point for most bedrooms, and your objective when staging it is to create a space where potential buyers feel invited to relax and would be comfortable sleeping. Think luxury hotel room!

To give your bed that layered, high-end hotel look:

  • Remove bed linens that are dated, worn, too bright or too heavily patterned.
  • Bed-in-a-bag options are an easy solution and available at most big box department stores. These sets typically include the duvet, bed skirt, pillow shams, sheets, and accessory pillows.
  • Opt for neutral color bedding, preferably solids or with minimal patterns. Not only does it give the room a more cohesive, high-end feel, it shows up much more favorably in your listing photos.

Steps for Staging a Luxurious, Layered Bed

  1. Iron the bed skirt and place it on the bed. I prefer a simple, tailored bed skirt cleaner lines as opposed to a fluffy dust ruffle (which can look too feminine).
  2. Apply the fitted sheet as usual.
  3. Apply the flat sheet next, making sure the “right side” of the flat sheet is down, facing the fitted sheet. Tuck in the sides, leaving a couple of feet untucked near the head of the bed (you’ll fold this back at the end to make the bed feel more inviting).
  4. Spread your bedspread or quilt across the bed, leaving the top edge about a foot away from the headboard. Now fold your flat sheet back across the top of the spread.
  5. Fold your duvet or comforter in thirds and spread across the bottom of the bed. Alternatively, you can place the duvet the same way you’d lay a bedspread/quilt in the previous step.
  6. Place your pillows in the proper order:
    • 2 Euro pillow (3 for a king) in the back against the headboard
    • 2 standard-size pillows next
    • 1 to 3 decorative throw pillows in the front layer
  7. Drape a blanket across the foot of the bed to add a little color or contrast

These are guidelines — not hard and fast rules for every bed. Play around with your options and find the solution that works best for your room and bedding. Making a beautiful bed may be a bit of a pain while you’re trying to sell, but it is a MUST for your listing photos and when showing the home. Show potential buyers just how luxurious and restful your bedroom(s) can be by making the bed look extra inviting! And if you still need help, contact Three Bears Home Staging to set up a Walk & Talk Consultation for your home before you list it!

 

9 Neutral Paint Colors Home Buyers Love

9 Neutral Paint Colors Home Buyers Love | Three Bears Home StagingI hand-painted a gorgeous mural of a tree in my old house. It was fabulous. And when we decided to sell, I cried bitter tears as I painted over it with a boring shade of khaki an inspiring neutral color. So why did I do it? Because I was not willing to bet thousands of dollars of home sale profit on the possibility that I might find a buyer who appreciated my tree mural. What I really wanted was a quick sale and a high profit. And I knew that when selling a home, the walls should act as a backdrop, not as the focal point.

This is what a neutral color palette does. It helps homebuyers from all walks of life picture themselves living in the house. It helps them emotionally connect with it and see it as their potential HOME.

The tricky part is finding the right neutral color. Not every neutral works for every house. So where do you start?

>>First, you need to understand how light will affect the feel of your space. A room with southern exposure receives different light than a room that faces north. Even the color of your light bulbs will affect the way your paint looks. *Hint: When selling, opt for soft white bulbs instead of daylight.

>>Secondly, assess the fixed elements in the home, like cabinets, tile, flooring, counters, hardware. Is it a cooler palette (blacks, blues, grays, silvery metals, espresso-colored woods)? Or is it a warmer palette (browns, golds, natural wood tones)? The color you choose should accent these elements or you risk creating an off-balance feeling in the room.

I’m a big fan of the Sherwin-Williams color palette and quality of paint. That said, here are a few of my top picks for neutral paint colors that home buyers love:

      • 7037 Balanced Beige: This reliable, straight forward color is one of my top picks for home sellers. It’s best described as a taupe with an even mixture of both brown and gray, making it flexible enough to match almost any home. It also has a fairly neutral Light Reflective Value so it doesn’t look brighter or darker on the walls than it does in the paint can. It adds more interest and dimension than the standard “builder’s beige,” but it’s still neutral enough to be appealing to a wide variety of home buyers.

        Transitional dining room design by Atlanta interior designer Pineapple House Interior Design

        Transitional dining room using Sherwin-Williams “Balanced Beige.” Design by Atlanta interior designer Pineapple House Interior Design.

      • 6120 Believable Buff and 6106 Kilim Beige: These colors work well in homes that have fixed elements with gold undertones. This shade is a great choice if you’re trying to complement warm color tones, like golds, browns, and woodgrains.
      • 7015 Repose Gray and 7016 Mindful Gray: Both shades are cooler toned grays that work well in homes with black-toned or espresso colored cabinetry and brushed nickel or stainless finishes.
      • 6148 Wool Skein and 7036 Accessible Beige: These colors are shades of taupe that work well with both warm and cool palettes. have a slightly higher than average Light Reflective Value, which means they do a great job of bringing light into dark spaces.
      • 7029 Agreeable Gray and 7030 Anew Gray: These warm toned grays are exceptionally versatile and hugely popular with homebuyers right now.

Do you have experience with any of these paint colors? What are your favorite neutrals? If you need help choosing a paint color for your home, we can help! Contact Three Bears Home Staging for a Walk & Talk Consultation and we’ll help you choose the color that works best for you!

Title photo credit:  “Paintbrushes” by CARLISLE HVAC 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

Three Bears Home Staging Wins “Best Of Customer Service 2017” on Houzz®

boh-all-web-badges-2017Three Bears Home Staging of Katy, Texas has won “Best Of Customer Service 2017” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 4-year old staging firm was chosen for the third year in a row by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Three Bears Home Staging founder and principal, Vannessa Rhoades, states, “Houzz connects millions of homeowners with the best home professional for their project, and we are honored that our work has been recognized among the other talented staging and redesign professionals.”

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Three Bears Home Staging,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Three Bears Home Staging was founded in 2013 and provides home staging services for homeowners and real estate professionals. The firm specializes in Walk & Talk Staging Consultations for home sellers, providing detailed, objective advice for the fastest, most profitable sale.

For more information visit threebearshomestaging.com and be sure to check out the other “Best of Houzz” award winners at Houzz.com.

3 Misconceptions About Home Staging

Nearly half of all Realtors believe that a staged home can bring a higher price than a non-staged home. According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 32% of buyers’ agents believe staging a home increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent. Another 16% of agents believe it increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by six percent to 10 percent.

With so much money at stake, why do some people still fail to stage their homes? Possibly because of a few misconceptions still surrounding home staging…

1.  Staging is only necessary for unoccupied homes.

No way! While vacant homes do benefit from the addition of furniture and accessories, staging an occupied home can have a tremendous impact on your listing photos and on how potential buyers view the space. The best part? It usually costs less because a professional stager can work with what you already own. Often something as simple as rearranging furniture can better showcase the hidden potential in a room.

livingbanda

This home is clearly occupied, but we removed unnecessary pieces and rearranged the furniture to showcase how bright and spacious this living area truly is!

2. My stager will just tell me to paint everything beige and make it neutral.

Sometimes–but here’s the thing: buyers must be able to envision themselves living in the house. This is much easier for them to do when they’re NOT surrounded by the seller’s taste-specific design choices, family photos, and references to hobbies/sports/universities/religion throughout the house. Buyers need to see your house, not your stuff. On the other hand, there are sellers at the opposite extreme who completely eliminate all coziness and create an environment that is far too empty and sterile. A good stager will help you find the right balance between effectively depersonalizing and creating a comfortable, welcoming space that invites buyers to picture a romanticized view of what life could be like if they purchased that home.

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We were able to work with this client’s existing color scheme and furnishings to create better MLS photos and show off the spaciousness of the room.

3. Staging is basically just decluttering.

First of all, let’s talk about that terrible word “decluttering.” I hate it and don’t use it with my clients. Simplifying is a much more accurate word. Decluttering implies that your stuff is either messy or junky, and the bottom line is that, no matter how great (or not) your belongings are, removing extra distractions will help potential buyers focus on the architectural details of the home. That being said, adding decor in a very intentional way (eg., a large bowl of bright, beautiful lemons to highlight a gourmet kitchen island or setting an elegant table in the dining room to help buyers envision how easily they could entertain) is an important part of styling the home for photos and for visits from buyers.

LivingRoomBandA

For this client, we hid the toys and rearranged the remaining accessories to highlight the height of the fireplace and the spaciousness of the room.

If you need a little help getting your Katy, TX home ready to go on the market, give the home staging experts at Three Bears Home Staging a call at 832-377-0785, and we’ll set up a Walk & Talk Consultation to get you started!

Great Paint Colors for Home Staging or Selling Your House: Taupe!

blog-taupeLast Monday, Sherwin-Williams revealed its 2017 Color of the Year, and as a home stager I am 100% behind their choice:  Poised Taupe!

Wait, what? Taupe…really?

“Neutrals are shifting,” Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, told the Today Show. “For five years everybody’s talking about gray ― well, they’re warming up. It’s like gray and brown had a baby, and it became taupe.”

Taupe gets a lot of criticism for being a boring, safe choice, but when styled right it can add a lot of interest. Taupe is a great background for pops of color and bold prints. It also adds a little more interest than a cold gray or plain beige.

What I love about taupe is it’s versatility — it’s the perfect blend of gray and brown, warm and cool, light and dark. Having a color like that in your arsenal can be incredibly powerful if you’re preparing your home for sale. For home sellers who want to give a more modern feel to a home full of wood accents and brown toned tile and stone, taupe paint can be an effective and inexpensive way to create a more modern feel that still complements the more permanent elements of the house.

One of my personal favorites for home sellers is Sherwin-Williams Tony Taupe (I’ve even used it in my own home). Soft and subtle, it’s the perfect neutral to complement a wide array of both cool and warm colors.

Taupes and other neutrals aren’t really that exciting, but for a home that’s on the market, these colors usually present an ideal view of your home in terms of size, shape, and mood. They also allow buyers to envision themselves and their belongings in the home without being swayed by your personal design style.

Do you have a favorite shade of taupe? (*Yes, I realize that question sounds a little bizarre if you’re not into that sort of thing, but if you’ve ever picked out what you thought was a “neutral” only to find it had a weird pink or yellow undertone, you’ll know what I’m talking about) What’s your favorite neutral? If you need a little help picking one out, give the experts at Three Bears Home Staging a call at (832) 377-0785 to set up a color consultation!

3 Ways to Make Buyers Run Screaming from Your Home

blog-3-ways-to-make-buyers-run-screamingWhen staging your home for sale, it’s important to create an atmosphere that promotes peace, tranquility, and respite from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. You want buyers to linger and visualize the lifestyle they could lead if they lived in a home like yours. Yet even in the most beautifully styled house, buyers will run screaming if it’s too hot, smells like an ashtray, or has 4 or 5 cats traipsing about. Learn these three surefire triggers that will have potential buyers heading for the hills:

  • Strong smells. We all become “nose-blind” to some degree when it comes to the smells in our own homes. Cigarette smoke, pet odors, food, and mildew are the most common offenders I find in clients’ homes. Eliminate odors completely to avoid distracting buyers. You want a buyer thinking “How soon can I move in?” not “How soon can I get out of here and wash this smell out of my hair and clothes?!”
    • Curious about using air fresheners? Not always a good idea. Read our article on Scents That Sell.
    • Tip: Textiles can hold smells. If you have lingering odors, try laundering, cleaning, or removing possible culprits (carpets, rugs, curtains, pillows, pet beds).
  • Uncomfortable temperature. Take the outside weather into account, and make sure the temperature inside your house is comfortable for buyers — around 72 degrees F. If you typically keep your home warmer or cooler than most people find comfortable — either for cost savings or your own personal comfort — be sure to adjust the temperature prior to any showings. Buyers will walk out of a home that’s stiflingly warm or freezing cold, sight unseen.
  • Unruly pets. A “for sale” home should convey an atmosphere of relaxation from the moment a potential buyer steps in the door. Barking dogs, overly friendly cats, or squawking parrots do not promote relaxation. Nervous animals create nervous buyers. Whenever possible, completely remove animals from the home during showings. If it’s not possible, be sure animals are safely secured in an area that will be minimally distracting to potential buyers. While you’re at it, hide or eliminate as much evidence of pets as possible (e.g, litter boxes, food dishes, pet beds, cages) prior to showings.

It’s nearly impossible to be objective about smells, temperature, or your fur babies. Ask a professional home stager, your Realtor, or a friend you trust to be brutally honest with you, LISTEN to what they have to say, and make adjustments. Don’t risk losing a sale because of something that’s simple to correct!

Need some feedback on your Katy, TX home for sale? We’d love to help you with a Walk and Talk Consultation! Contact Three Bears Home Staging here to set up an appointment!

Photo credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann via Flikr

3 Revelations I Had While Staging My Own Home For Sale

blog-3RevelationsA few weeks ago my husband and I noticed a home we’d had our eye on for several months dropped the price. We decided to take a leap of faith, made an offer, and it was accepted!

“Next step: we have to have put our current home on the market and get a sales contract within 14 days,” my real estate agent/husband told me.

Mmm-hmmm…Ok. Should be no problem for a Realtor husband and a home stager wife, right? No pressure at all! <insert exhausted, hysterical laughter here>

Well, I am happy to say that within 3 days of activating our listing we DID, in fact, get a sales contract on our current home. But what I learned (and was reminded of) during this back-breaking, anxiety attack inducing experience, I feel compelled to share with other home sellers and those who work with sellers on a regular basis. Take note…

  • I will no longer use the phrase “de-clutter” when talking to my clients. I don’t think I had realized how emotionally charged this word feels. Doing what I do, I am constantly reminded of the need to simplify my surroundings. I keep things extremely neat, tidy, and organized around my home and felt fairly confident I’d be able to get our home staged in no time flat.

After my third trip to Goodwill in a 12-hour period and becoming increasingly personally acquainted with the staff, I came to the conclusion that I was very, very wrong. Even though my home wasn’t “cluttered,” the truth is that there were still a LOT of things in my house that we had outgrown, no longer used, no longer needed or wanted, and it just didn’t make sense to pack and move them. To my mind, “de-clutter” implies that one is messy. Because I am not messy, I wrongly assumed that meant I didn’t have clutter. This humbling experience has taught me that, as it relates to staging, I think a more accurate phrase home sellers should embrace is “less is more” or just “reduce and simplify.”

*In a related note, sellers should remember it is hard to be objective about your own stuff! I do this for other people all the time, and once our photos came back, I still noticed several items that probably should have been removed or neutralized for a better photo presentation. Reducing your “visual clutter” (stuff that’s not junky or messy, but still a visual distraction for buyers) is why it’s good to get a professional stager to come in as an objective third party to help you “reduce and simplify.”

  • Staging is an important part of emotionally disconnecting with your home. I raised my little ones in this home. My husband and I experienced personal and professional milestones in this home. We needed more space for our growing family and growing business, but it was breaking my heart a little to leave this place that held so many memories. Enter home staging…my professional mind knew this needed to happen. My bookshelves were carefully organized — but they needed to be less full, less personalized, less distracting to potential buyers. The walls had gorgeous family photos (and murals!) —but they needed to come down so buyers could visualize their own family living there. My kids had adorable play sets and large toys — but they needed to be packed away so buyers could see how spacious the room was. As I busily packed away treasured items and repainted spaces, as it gradually became less personal and felt less like OUR home, we began that all-important process of detachment and we all began to grow more excited about moving to the new house.
  • It is so worth it! Staging your home — and living in a staged home — is without question a completely stressful experience. Your world is upside down while you move, reorganize, camouflage, rearrange, and neurotically clean every facet of what has always been your sanctuary. You chase after every crumb with a wet sponge, yell at people for daring to sit on a couch with freshly fluffed pillows, painstakingly make the bed with ALL the throw pillows every day…but if you do stage it right and if you price it right, the offers WILL come. And then you can start to relax again and look forward with excitement to a future in your brand new home!

Getting your home ready to go on the market can be incredibly stressful, but we can help! If you need a hand getting your Katy, Texas home ready to sell, please give Three Bears Home Staging and Redesign a call at (832) 377-0785 or contact us here.

Drapes and Wallpaper in Home Staging

blog-Drapes-and-WallpaperStaging is 100% visual marketing. It’s about creating the most demand from the largest number of potential buyers. In most cases, drapes and wallpaper of any kind are extremely taste and style specific. To increase the appeal of your home with more buyers, we recommend removing wallpaper and drapes in most cases.

Most buyers will not appreciate the elegance of your custom drapes or the pattern of your wallpaper. Are you willing to gamble thousands of dollars in your hard earned home equity by waiting for that one buyer who can either see past those things or who loves them?

Common Home Seller Questions

“Are you saying I have bad taste in drapes/wallpaper?”

No. We’re not anti-wallpaper or anti-drapes when it comes to decorating. The home you live in and enjoy should be personalized! Decorating is not staging, though. Staging is about marketing your valuable product (the house) in a way that will statistically net you a higher profit, less time on the market, and fewer buyer objections.

“But the draperies/wallpaper were very expensive! Don’t they add value to the home?”

No, they don’t. Value is based on your square footage and comparable sold homes with similar amenities in the immediate vicinity. Drapes and wallpaper won’t alter the value. What they can do is increase or decrease the mass appeal of your home and the amount of time it sits on the market.

“I’m afraid if I remove the wallpaper it’s going to tear up the walls.”

It might, but guess what? Potential buyers will likely have the same thoughts. And they’ll add it to their mental list of projects to be updated when they move in, which reduces the amount of money they’ll be willing to pay for your home and the likelihood that they’ll even make an offer.

Occasionally, it is possible to paint over wallpaper, but this requires special prep (read tips from both Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore that detail the circumstances where this is possible). A qualified, professional painter (we can make recommendations) is often one of the best investments when preparing your home to sell.

“But my wallpaper/drapes are so cute/whimsical/classy/neutral! Do I really need to take them down?”

Yes. Buyers will see what you want them to see. With very, very few exceptions, wallpaper and draperies put limits on the potential buyers can see in your beautiful home.

“Buyers are going to decorate this house the way they want to anyway. Can’t they see past my decor?”

No, most can’t. Statistically, only about 10% of buyers will be able to look past personalized decor and visualize your home’s potential for their lifestyle. Most buyers want a home that’s move-in ready. That means instead of seeing all the beautiful potential of your spacious kitchen or bathroom, they’re going to see dollar signs and a room they need to spend time and money renovating.

“I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll just wait and see what kind of feedback I get after I put my home on the market.”

By waiting to remove things about your home that, most buyers typically find objectionable, you limit your market and risk sitting on the market waiting for that one buyer who can either see past the wallpaper or who loves it — an expensive gamble for most sellers.

If you need more help getting your home ready to go on the market, give us a call at (832) 377-0785. Our popular Walk & Talk Consultations provide home sellers the guidance and immediate feedback they need to get top dollar and a quicker sale!

Photo credit: tapetenpics via Flikr.

How to Hide Eyesores and Flaws in a Room

blog-hide-eyesoresAs I watch my dad and husband eagerly await the approach of hunting season, I am reminded of the importance of camouflage. Camouflage is essentially the art of making something blend in with its surroundings, and it can be an important tool for home sellers on a tight budget. A well-staged home will draw attention away from negative elements and focus on the home’s most positive features. Here are a few tricks of the trade that can help you hide flaws in a room:

  • Tiny windows – Hang curtains wider and closer to the ceiling to visually expand the space.
  • Unsightly electrical cords – Use little hooks attached to your desk or wall to hang electrical cords just out of site. A large, full plant also does a great job of hiding wires.
  • Bumpy, uneven walls – Paint with a low sheen finish reflects less light, making it harder to notice surface imperfections. While flat paint does a great job of this, it’s not very durable and is generally recommended only for low traffic areas (i.e., the ceiling). An eggshell or satin finish is still low-sheen, but more durable.
  • Small, dark spaces – Buyers respond to light and bright, so add a lamp! Mirrors are another easy way to make a room feel bigger and brighter.
  • Cluttered, open shelving – Remove the clutter and put anything that absolutely has to stay in matching baskets. Less is more!
  • Open layouts – This isn’t necessarily a flaw by itself, but when adjoining walls in an open floor plan are chopped up by different colors it can feel unsettling to potential buyers. With open layouts, it’s generally better to select one wall color for all the adjoining rooms and add pops of color in other places. The continuity of a single color tends to be more relaxing for buyers.

If you need a little help figuring out what to do with eyesores or problem areas in your home, we can help! Give Three Bears Home Staging and Redesign a call at (832) 377-0785 to schedule a consultation!