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!

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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

“Merchandising” Your Space for Home Buyers

blog-merchandising-your-spaceWhat people actually do and what they dream of doing are often two very different things. For example, not all buyers entertain lots of company… BUT they all ENVISION a lifestyle of entertaining. Interesting, isn’t it?

Home staging is 100% visual merchandising. It is about creating spaces that bring the vision to life — spaces your buyer demographic can dream of or “aspire to.” By staging your home, you help buyers transition from the logical decision to visit your home (because it fits their size/location criteria) to the emotional decision to make an offer (because they can “see” their family living in that home)!

The below chart helps you creatively view the differences between the “vision” staging creates for buyers who walk through your home and the way we typically live!

 Buyer Aspiration Cheat Sheet

Buyers aspire to: Buyers do not aspire to:
  • Expensive things like paintings, wood, silver and glass
  • New and modern things that signify fresh and clean “updated décor”
  • Trends that are timeless
  • The good life of travel, entertaining friends, gourmet cooking, wine tasting, espresso drinking and a luxurious, leisurely lifestyle
  • Electronically savvy (flat screens, surround sound and laptops)
  • Light and spacious surroundings
  • Harmonious and updated color combinations
  • Cheap things like plastics, particle board or aluminum
  • Old and dated items that signify tired and dirty
  • Fads that are tiresome
  • The boring life of 8 to 5, dreary, plain, vanilla and uninspiring.  (i.e, getting rid of any traces of life or décor)
  • Electronically last century (tube TVs, wires galore and big stereo speakers)
  • Dark and cluttered spaces
  • Clashing, non-rhythmic, half-hearted color choices done on the fly

Hands On Exercise – Grab one of your favorite home magazines or catalogs and flip through the pages.  You will see that every photo is “visually merchandised” to create a longing in the viewer. We want to create that same merchandising vision in every room of your home!

Need help creating that vision? Three Bears Home Staging & Redesign can help! Give us a call at (832) 377-0785, or fill out our contact form today!

How to Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home

How to Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home

How to Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your HomeLet’s be honest — we don’t live in our front yard so we have a tendency to overlook the many cobwebs, grease stains and water stains that accumulate there. A buyer’s critical eye will not miss a detail, however, especially when they are standing on the front step waiting for the Realtor to open the door.

Curb appeal is literally the first impression and sets the tone for the way the buyer will view the rest of the house. When staging your home for sale, remember the goal for the exterior of the home is the same as the interior:  a clean, open, sunny and well-manicured look. Use these staging tips and tricks to maximize your curb appeal and make the best first impression:

  • Keep the yard green and trimmed.
    • Mow and edge regularly (weekly).  A lush, green, weed-free lawn gives the impression that the home is also well-cared for. An overgrown, dried out yard gives the opposite impression to potential buyers.
    • Trim bushes and hedges (no shagginess).
    • Add fresh bark or mulch to flower beds.
    • Remove or replace dead and dying shrubbery.
  • Declutter the yard.
    • Get kid toys, empty flower pots and garden equipment out of sight.
    • Hide trash cans. Roll up the hose or remove it entirely.
    • Keep the driveway clear of extra cars as much as possible (park down the street).
  • Clean, clean, clean!
    • Power wash the porch, sidewalks, driveway, front door and the siding if necessary (this makes a HUGE difference in many homes, making them look fresher and, thus, newer).
    • Remove mildew and cobwebs from eaves.
    • Clean and shine all windows and light fixtures.
  • Make investments in updates that have high impact.
    • Freshen up the front door and garage door with a new coat of paint.
    • Add two to three flowerpots of matching color to help dramatize your entrances. Don’t overcrowd the entry way, but give it just enough warmth by adding something everyone loves–flowers.
    • Replace any outdated brass light fixtures in the front of the house. Use iron, black, rust or brown.
    • Invest in a new oversized, natural bristle doormat. This is an inexpensive way to give the doorway a larger, cleaner feel.
    • Add a bench, rocker or bistro table and chairs to help buyers imagine themselves relaxing out front.
    • Replace or update the mailbox if necessary.
    • Update or add house address numbers under lighting. This also helps to ensure buyers and Realtors can find the house!
Curb Appeal - Before

Curb Appeal – Before

Standing in front of your home with critical “buyers’ eyes” is always difficult for any home seller, but it’s critical in the success of the sale. Don’t take it personally! This is business–try to think of your house as a product that you must market in the best possible way. How do you think your house compares to others in the neighborhood? How about in home decorating magazines? Drive around the neighborhood to assess and compare the competition.

Curb Appeal - After

Curb Appeal – After

Still need help getting your home market ready? Give Three Bears Home Staging & Redesign a call at (832) 377-0785 to schedule a consultation. We can help get your home market ready!