Friday, January 27, 2012

Got the Winter Blues?

We're getting ready to go into February, which although it's the shortest month, can feel like the longest! Here are some tips to help you through the days.......
  • Make sure you have enough lamps, and the bulbs you use are the highest wattage allowed. Lamp light creates a wonderful ambience, while lighting your rooms so they feel just a bit brighter against the winter darkness. Rule of thumb - a minimum of three placed so the dark corners vanish.
  • Make your bathroom into a spa. Update it with a new shower curtain, fluffy towels, candles, and a basket of spa treats. Nothing like a warm bath on a cold dark night!

Add a little pattern to your rooms for pizazz. Pattern can be a little scary, but have fun with it. Start small with pillow covers. Look at these great colors and patterns from They are sure to brighten your days and nights! And see how nicely the patterns mix together? Just keep them in scale and you'll be fine.

Make sure you surround yourself with things you love - and use them in interesting ways. Try grouping a few interesting and well-loved objects in the center of your dining table, rather than the usual centerpiece. You'll smile every time you pass by! Or make a display on your bookshelves. Sure, you can include books, but also collections of things you love and colors that help chase the blues away.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Staging Bathrooms

Pretty cut-and-dried, isn't it? It needs to be clean - really, really clean with sparkling tiles, grout, and fixtures. It needs new towels. But it's a bathroom, right?

It certainly is, but there are still a lot of touches you can add to give it some pizazz! And I'm not talking about updating although that may be important as well. But if that money isn't in the budget or it makes more sense to spend it elsewhere, there are still some of the things you can do to make a bathroom a little less humdrum.

First, paint can make a big difference. Not only will that make the bathroom feel very fresh and clean, it can create interest in a space that doesn't have much. And while you don't want to choose a color that's totally wild, because it's a small space a more dramatic color may be okay. While it's usually still a good idea to stay in the neutral family, feel free to go darker than you normally would. Just make certain there is enough light so potential buyers can see the room. And keep the rest of the lines of the room clean and spare.
A rug on the floor is very important to soften all the hard, cold lines. But because the space is usually small, you don't want a lot of small, colorful rugs that will further break up the space. Add one rug in the largest size possible for the room. And choose a color that matches the floor. This will lessen the impact on the size of the room while still adding softness.

Make the room pretty (and keep it from feeling too empty) with one or two well-placed accessories. A well-cared for plant, towels tied with ribbons, an attractive soap dish with a new bar of fancy soap, or a pretty dispenser with hand lotion are all  nice touches. If there is room around the tub, make it feel like a spa with a basket of spa treatments such as soap, a towel, and a loofah. 

There are also a few things you need to remove. First, all personal items should be either packed away or well-hidden in baskets with lids. That includes everything personal on the counter tops and in the medicine cabinet and linen closet. Even things like toothbrushes and toothpaste are unsightly and should be removed from counters. If you have a toilet seat cover, remove it. Any rugs other than the one larger one mentioned above should go.

As you stage your bathroom, think of a hotel bathroom. You want it pretty, but impersonal. Even though everyone knows you are using it if you are living in the house, potential buyers don't want to be reminded of it. Rather, they want a room that feels open, inviting, and fresh - ready for them to move right in!