Monday, January 16, 2012

No-Sew Window Treatments - Why Stitch When You Can Glue?

There’s window treatments, and then there’s window treatments for staging your home. The difference?

Privacy is out the window.
For one thing, curtains for staging need to let in plenty of light, because buyers want big, clean rooms, and light makes rooms look bigger and cleaner. You’re dressing windows for buyers, not necessarily for privacy.     

Frugality trumps personality. 
Secondly, if you’re selling your home, you don’t want to waste money decorating your home in a style perfect for staging, but a style that may not match your personal preferences.

No-sew is the default method. 
Third, window treatments in a staged home don’t need to be constructed to last forever. They’re props, not heirlooms, so shortcuts are okay.

You can look generous. 
Fourth, buyers often assume window treatments stay with the property. With thrifty curtains and draperies, you can use window treatments as a negotiating chip, or as an amenity to sweeten the purchase. The right window treatments will help buyers feel warm and fuzzy about you and your home.

Because home stagers and homeowners prepping a home for the market have special requirements for dressing windows, I wanted to write a book on the subject. I've worked on this book for the past nine months and am delighted to say, its birthday is finally here! You can download it right now.

I want to tell you today what you get in my latest eBook, No-Sew Curtains and Draperies to Stage Your Home. 

A Unique Approach to Window Dressing.
You'll learn how to make draperies and curtains especially designed for staging – the tips and tricks you won’t see on decorating and other DIY sites, because most decor magazines, books, and blogs are geared for homeowners who are decorating for themselves, not for prospective buyers. 

Two extra-easy ways to get a contemporary look, fast!

Details to Guarantee Success.
I've written and photographed step by step tutorials that explain how to make 15 different no-sew window treatments. Each tutorial includes variations so you can adapt the style to your home, your needs, and your budget.

I give you the close-ups you need to make the job go smoothly.
Thrifty Tips.You'll discover how to convert frugal fabrics into draperies that look expensive. I've done for legwork of scouting all the best sources for textiles that don't cost much, but make beautiful window treatments.

Who knew that beach mats and felt could make thrifty window dressings?
 
The Look for Less.
Yes, you can hack the most chic styles even if you’ve never made window treatments before. Here are the shortcuts, the advice, and the products that deliver a high end look without the expense or the sewing experience.  

Can you say duct tape? And fusible webbing? And clip-on drapery rings?

Insider Secrets.
You'll save money by substituting economical -- and I mean really economical -- alternatives to pricey drapery hardware. Often it's the rods, brackets, rings and hooks that make draperies look like custom window treatments, and that add big time to the cost. They don't have to break the bank if you know what I know.    

Is it plastic or metal?  Are they pleater hooks or safety pins?

A Fresh Look at Materials.
Ingenuity is key when you stage your windows to make your home look bigger and better. I'll point you towards unusual supplies that you may not have thought of as ways to upgrade your home’s look. On a shoestring. 

You'll shop discount stores and home improvement centers.
Ways to Recycle and Up-cycle.
Now you can use what you already own to make your home buyer-friendly. These clever techniques will help you redecorate on a shoestring. Cheap mini blinds? Old-style tab top curtains? No problem!

What you need may already be in your home.
All the Alternatives to Sewing.
There's more than just a couple of approaches to make curtains without sewing. Learn the newest products, plus some old tricks to join fabrics, hem fabrics, and to avoid joining and hemming altogether.


The method you use depends on the fabric, and whether you'll wash it.
Even if your home is not for sale. 
There’s plenty of tips and ideas in this 60-page eBook to help you make beautiful draperies and curtains easily, all with no-sew methods, whether you're planning to sell your home soon or not.
 
And if your home is on the market, and the windows are bare, or dressed in dark or outdated styles, it’s time for window wardrobe makeover. A well-staged home needs warmth – that friendly, casual, homey vibe that makes a home buyer go weak in the knees. That’s the vibe the right window dressings help create.

Download my new $4.99  no-sew window treatments eBook, and learn how to make the windows in your home add value to your home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm Going Coastal! Don't Read This if You're Selling Your Home.

I've begun gathering my inspiration stuff. 
Although I don't have plans to sell my home, I'm always in the middle of three or four home improvement projects. Okay, more like ten or twelve.

This is the year I'm going to create the home that reflects what I really love, and I'll do it unabashedly. How's that for positive thinking? Step one, check!

To be more specific, I'm moving towards a coastal decor scheme, with clean, cool, crisp colors -- seascapes, beach glass, white furniture. I'll warm it up with touches of vintage -- old leather, sepia photos, and gently used bamboo furnishings.

The challenge: to keep the house from looking trite and schmaltzy, like an out-of-the box beach rental. The way to do that: make it personal and unique. I can do this because my home is not on the market. If you're prepping your home for sale, you can't follow today's advice.

I'll incorporate items we love -- my father's old binoculars, my childhood swim trophies, Mr. Lucky's collection of sharks teeth, framed nautical charts of places we've cruised in our boat. These are items I might not not display in a staged home.

The oil painting of a ship Mr. Lucky's grandfather captained will get prominent placement.

My inspiration comes from pins I've begun to add to my Pinterest board. And, I'm a regular reader of Completely Coastal, a tidal wave of almost daily ideas! My best inspiration comes from our own family histories, since both Mr. Lucky and I both grew up by the water. Our happiest memories are from time spent in the water or on the water. We both had grandfathers who were captains on ocean-going vessels. We live near the coast, having moved here from the mountains to enjoy a lifestyle centered around appreciation for all that the sea, rivers, and marshes offer.

My new old bamboo chairs. Be glad you can't see the black plastic seats.  
Here is the to-do list I've begun, and will no doubt add to as the year progresses.
  • Replace dark wood ceiling fans in living room and bedrooms with white ones.
  • Add white plantation shutters to my office.  
  • Convert all painted furniture to white or pastel colors. 
  • Recover red cushions in living room with blue denim.
  • Replace garden-style glass-topped table, and chairs in dining area, with wooden table and bamboo chairs. Add killer seats, maybe in a coral color for drama!
  • Construct a driftwood-framed, sunburst mirror from the 25 x 30-inch ugly mirror I own. Wish me luck. If I succeed, you'll see the tutorial here.
  • Slipcovers, slipcovers, slipcovers! 
  • And cushions!
Works in progress: the driftwood framed mirror, and some high-water draperies makeover
What are your home plans for the year ahead? Dream big, and dream in technicolor.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Dozen Rules for Organizing Your Home. Painlessly!

Get organized. Stay organized. Here's tips. 
An organized home is one that calls out to buyers. In a good way.

Since January's buzz word is "organization," you'll find plenty of products and tools in stores right now to help you get organized. And you'll find plenty of advice in the media and online.

Here are my twelve best tips for tackling organizing projects when your home is for sale.

1. Location, Location. If you don’t have a place to put it, you can’t keep it.
                                   
2. Think! Get rid of junk before you organize. Don’t waste time organizing what you don’t want to keep. Declutter first.

3. Be Mean, and Mean It. Declutter when you are in a serious, even nasty, frame of mind, not a leisurely, happy-go-lucky one. It's easier to get rid of things when you are mad, as in, "I'm sick and tired of this crap!" See my post on organizing a closet for my plan of attack.

4. Cluster by Function. Think in terms of systems. Categorize by how and where you will use particular items. Examples: a shoe care kit in the closet, your bill paying box on the desk, a cabinet just for setting the table, a shoe box in the vanity for all first aid supplies, a tote in the bathroom with all bathroom cleaning supplies.

5. Accessibility Counts. Don’t waste prime real estate. Is the handiest space on your kitchen counter taken up with cookbooks you hardly use? Is the fancy china you use only for company on the most reachable cabinet shelf? Are your summer sandals front and center on your closet floor all winter? It's time to rotate seldom used or out of season items to less accessible places, and bring most-used items into prime spots.

6. Choose One Place Only. Designate a central command spot in the house where one calendar is kept, and any notes to other family members, schedules, invitations, and important phone numbers, are posted. Remember to keep personal information invisible to people touring your home.

7. Break It Up. When tackling a task you don’t enjoy, set a timer, and stop when time's up. Repeat the following day (or week) until the work is done. 

8. Tidy As You Go. Make it easy to put things away when you are finished using them. Work to eliminate the habit of dropping clothes on the floor by keeping covered laundry baskets near dressing areas. And by having storage areas like closets, cabinets, dressers, and shelves uncrowded. 

A pretty closet will encourage you to keep it organized and ready for a showing. 

10. Give the Day Structure. Have routines. Take care of certain tasks in the morning. Run regular errands on the same day of the week. Have an end of day routine. A structured day frees your mind for important decisions, and empowers you.

11. Name One Spot. Establish a holding zone in the house, where items that need to go elsewhere are placed. Clear this spot on a daily basis. This habit makes those spontaneous calls from your realtor less reason for rushing around.
Make it easy for everyone to help 
Photo: Better Homes and Gardens 

12. Hide Stuff. This tip breaks the rule most organizing experts tell you, but when your home is for sale, the rules change. Instead of storing small items in see-through containers, store in opaque containers, preferably all one color. You'll minimize the look of clutter, and cultivate a clean, seamless appearance.

In the top photo, I've lined clear plastic shoe boxes with scrapbook paper to hide the contents and create a more uniform look.

I wrote about thrifty fixes for closet organization, and Alexis, the expert organizer and blogger at Clean, Smart Simple, guest-posted here about how to make closets look larger.

Don't wait any longer to tackle the organizing projects your home needs to be the one buyers crave. With the right systems and the right attitude, you can have your entire home organized before February brings another buzz word.

For more tips on making your home more desirable, download my $4.99 eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Make Your Home Sell Fast and For Top Dollar.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Roundup of 2011's Most Helpful Posts

An herbal wreath is good for curb appeal.
In case you missed them, here are my top ten posts for 2011. I chose these posts because I think they are the most helpful.

If you are selling your home in 2012, you could consider this your basic reading list.

Of course, I also recommend you download my $4.99 eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. It's indispensable, guaranteed!

With this kind of preparation, those wishes -- my own included -- for a happy and prosperous new year are bound to come true.

Take Step One. I always work with a Realtor. Do you know how to find the best one to sell your home? Here's my tips to guarantee you'll have the best salesperson and partner. How to hire a realtor.

Put chairs in Place. Where to put what is a topic that drives lots of traffic to this site, so I know people are looking for answers. Read about the common mistakes of furniture arrangement and how to avoid them. How to arrange furniture. 

Make Baths Win Buyers. Bathrooms can be deal breakers. They are that important to buyers. Learn how to make yours pass the test, even if you're on a budget or your bathroom is dated. How to stage a bathroom.

Do you know the right way to stage a bath? 
Decorate Outside, too. We hear a lot about curb appeal, but yard art is something not always discussed in polite circles. Here's what even your best friends might not tell you. How to choose yard art.

Learn Thrifting Tips. I'm telling you all I know about how to get deals at garage sales, from what to wear and what to drive, to how to score those deals! How to be a great garage sale shopper. 

Minimize Stress and Get Results. Need advice on making staging your home go more smoothly? Want to be more creative? Looking for ways to increase efficiency? Need to get organized and stay organized? Manage your time better? Develop a positive mindset? Let me point the way. How to make home staging less work.

Learn the Secrets. To using fake plants, that is. Yes, silks make a room come to life. But you need to know how to make them work for you, not against you. How to stage with silk plants. 

Artificial plants done right are convincing and add value to your rooms.
Let's Make a Deal. You can learn to negotiate like you mean it! How you deal with your buyer determines how much money you make. How to get what you want when you sell your home.

Why You Should DIY. I talk about what professional home stagers may not want you to know. Why stage your own home. 

Make a Headboard. This post solves a common problem. And it's a quick and economical solution. How to make a DIY headboard and a bed for staging.

I hope you will continue to visit my site in the coming year. Whether you're a home seller, a decorator, a builder, an investor, or a do-it-yourselfer, you'll find more home staging advice and encouragement here in the months ahead.

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