Make Laundry Rooms Look Like A Fun Place To Be!

I tell my clients to make their laundry rooms look like they are a fun place to be.  These are some great inspiration photos for everyone….selling house or not.

Make Rooms Pop With Spring Colors

Check out HGTV’s Idea site for great photos on the Hot Spring Colors.

Not the best colors on walls for selling. Bold colors reflect the home seller’s taste and buyers know that “someone” is going to have to paint. 

Better use of latest color trends when selling. Add the color in your accessories and they can move with you when you sell!

Another ‘Use What You Have’ Idea!

A few years ago I need some shelving in one of the small bedrooms for kids toys, etc.  The room is too small for a bed, dresser, chair and a free standing set of shelves, so hanging shelves was the way to go. 

E (husband) had some old wooden water skies ( he  used as a youngster) that were laying around, obviously not being used, since he had promoted to a fiber glass one.  I decided to use these for my shelves and with the help of my nephews, Ham & Eggs (twins) we shopped for brackets and came home and installed them. 

I think that turned out GREAT and everyone comments about my clever idea. 

These storage jars are left over plastic mixed nut containers from BJ’s.  Aren’t they just perfect for holding little cars, crayons and wooden puzzle pieces? 

Now that “Ham & Eggs” are “too cool for Aunt Nan”, this room has become my grandson’s room. 
Look at that cute little wooden “blue” fire truck that he built with his Cousin Josh.  And my favorite items of all are ….

his cute ‘lil’ cowboy boots.  LOVE IT! (singing) 

This project reminds me of the skateboards that you see in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  Only I would use metal L brackets to hang those up. 

What kind of projects have you got spinning around in your head?

Put on your “Buying Eyes”

It sounds like a song, doesn’t it? However, every home seller needs to….put on their buying eyes. How do you do this?

Begin at the curb. If you were a buyer, what would you see? A nicely manicured lawn that looks as if it has been carefully tended or unruly flower beds, un-finished projects or children’s toys scattered all over the lawn?

Now, walk through your front door. Most home owners seldom do this. Are there cobwebs all around the light fixtures and front door? Check the door bell ringer. It’s often broken and most owners don’t know it, because they never use the front door.

Once in the entrance area, what do you see as a “buyer”? Is every room that you can see from the front entrance, a different color? What grabs your attention? What gives a feeling of home?

Stand in the doorway of each room and ask yourself, how do you think a buyer will feel about this room? Will they be distracted by your collections, personal photos and decor? Is the room dark or light and bright? Will a buyer see dated furniture, fixtures and accessories? Neat and organized sellers are viewed as taking care of a home. The opposite is also true. Old and dated furnishings in a new home still make the home appear dated.

As a seller, it’s easy to ask, why can’t a buyer see beyond my furniture and possessions? The truth is that only 10% of buyers can see past current home owners decor and visualize what the space could be like for them. That means that 90% CAN NOT see beyond the owners decor and condition of the house. They CAN NOT imagine living in the space, because they are distracted by the sellers personal taste and belongings.

It is difficult for a seller to be objective about their own property. A good home stager can help a seller disassociate them from their home and see it from the eyes of a potential buyer. So, put on your “buying eyes” and let’s get that house SOLD!

for more information about staging a home to sell, contact…

Nan Johnston

Southern Staging & Redesign

Price War and Beauty Contest

 The latest predictions of the upcoming housing market are bleak, to say the least! That being said, buyers are out there. How are you going to attract them to your house over the thousands of others on the market?

 A well-priced, well-presented home will still attract buyers. Even in this troubled market, some houses in our area have sold quickly and at close to the asking price. If you are not the best looking house at the best price, you are going to have to wait to sell.

Every listing is in a price war and a beauty contest. Real Estate experts top two tips for selling a home in the current market: (1) price your home ten percent below market value; (2) hire professional stagers to maximize the first impression of the home to a potential buyer.

For more information about home staging and marketing real estate, contact
770-251-0608 home office
Newnan, Georgia

Holiday Decorating When Selling Home

The holidays are fast approaching. Often home sellers are unsure of how to decorate the house for the holidays while having their house on the market. Below are few tips on how to have the spirit of the season without undoing all the stagingthat has gone into preparing the house to sell.

“Less is more” is the motto that one needs to follow while preparing a house to sell and the same applies to holiday decor. It may feel like you’re being a scrooge by not displaying every item that you have or that the kids have made over the past 18 years, but are you willing to risk losing a potential buyer because they couldn’t see past the holiday decorations?

First impressions begin at the curb. Don’t cover the architectural details. Wrapping the house in lights and using plastic and inflated yard ornaments can distract from the architectural details that a buyer needs to see. A simple wreath on the door, in keeping with the personality of the house (not the owners) is all that is needed.

Tone down the size of the tree. In place of a large tree that can take up valuable real estate in a room, try a 4 foot table top version. You may decide that you like it better. Instead of using colored bulbs, opt for clear or white bulbs for your tree.

Keep gifts under the tree to a minimum and use coordinating wrapping paper to give a cohesive look. Or hide the gifts under the beds or in a closet.

The fireplace is a huge selling feature and does not need to be hidden with holiday decor. A simple wreath and poinsettias flanking the fireplace are all that is needed. If the kids want Santa to find their stockings, place one at the foot of each of their beds or wait until Christmas eve to place them on the mantle.

Greeting cards can easily become clutter. Instead of displaying the greeting cards on the mantle or sideboard , etc. place them in a bowl or basket in your family room to enjoy while relaxing in the evening.

• If you absolutely have to display all your decorative items, remove an equal amount of “off season” accessories to keep the clutter to a minimum.

• If it’s your turn to host the holiday party this year, see if it is possible to host holiday celebrations at a restaurant, banquet hall, or trade years with another family member this year to minimize the amount of punch bowls, serving platters, and other kitchen items that cannot be stored away. If your family gives you any trouble about this, then tell them you will need to move in with them while your house is on the market and I’ll guarantee that they will be open to any alternative idea that you come up with.

For more information about Staging and Marketing a home…

770-251-0608 home/office

“How am I going to get rid of all this stuff?”

This is the question that I most often hear when I meet with home staging clients and help them prepare their house to be in showing condition. Unless you are a minimalist, and most of us are not, we accumulate furniture, accessories, grandma’s old antique clock, and children’s out grown items. You name it, I’ve seen it in someone’s, garage, closet or basement.
We hate to get rid of these possessions, but we don’t use them any longer, and you hate to just throw them out. A yard sale is not an option due to time, energy or enthusiasm and you really hate to donate some thing’s, when you know that you may be able to sell these things and put a little bit of “green” in your pocket.

One solution to this particular problem is to contact a consignment shop. Located in Historical Newnan, GA, next to Scott’s Bookstore, you will find one of the most charming shops on the square. Owner Janet Elliott Cantrell will make it easy and take the take the drudgery out of selling your unneeded items in her shop, Encore Decor.

I sat down with Janet to ask her a few questions about how all of this works;

Who is your buyer or seller? My seller is someone needing to downsize or either they are remodeling or moving. The buyers are usually new home buyers, newlyweds, anyone furnishing 2nd homes at the beach, lake or mountains.

What are your best selling items? The best selling items, without question are the accessories and home decor. We sell a great many items as gifts for birthdays and weddings. Furniture usually involves return visits for measurements, etc. We offer gift registry for brides and also keep individual gift cards for our regular customer to include in the gift.

Where do you find your merchandise? 90% of our merchandise comes from consignors. I can either go see what they want to sell or they bring items to me at the shop. The shop was full when we first opened with consigner items. People would stop in when they were walking buy and ask what we were doing and they started bringing their treasures in for us to sell.

How does it work? commissions? etc. If someone has enough to warrant a personal visit to their home, I’ll go and choose the higher quality items or they can bring things to the shop. It’s helpful if the seller knows how much they want to net off of a piece. If I think that I can bring it back and sell it, we offer a 50/50 split between us and the consigner.

Give us a good example of comparing consignment shop purchases to regular retail. With consignment shop purchase you’ll find unique items not found at retail stores, or the prices will be greatly reduced from anywhere to 1/3 to 1/2 of retail. And with consignment shop items, there’s always a story behind every piece. In Newnan, people will make purchase on items just because it used to belong to someone special that they knew in the community.

How is this different than say, a flea market or yard sale? The main difference is the setting of the store, the way everything is displayed in an appealing manner, we’re located in Historic Downtown Newnan and a lot of my customers are walking around our beautiful town and stop in to see us …..I wouldn’t get near the traffic that I do if I were on Bullsboro or a busy road somewhere.

What are you looking for when you take on a consignment piece? Unique items that can either be updated with a fresh coat of paint or stain, one-of-a- kind pieces that you won’t find in retail stores. We also have great local artist work in the shop. We are the exclusive shop in Newnan that offer one artist unique pencil renderings of Historical Newnan or Atlanta landmarks.

So the next time you either want to unload unwanted furniture or find that special piece at a fraction of what something would cost new, go see Janet at Encore Decor.

To see how you can furnish an entire room using consignment furniture and accessories, be sure to visit the:

Decorators Show House
November 20th
74 Jackson Street
Newnan, Ga 30263

Is It Expensive To Have Your House Staged?

(Welcome Community Continued)

This is a question that I’m often asked when I tell someone about my work. The answer is… No….Home Staging doesn’t have to be expensive. Below is a great example of staging a room to create an emotional connection for a buyer at a very low cost for the seller.

This charming ranch style home, located in the Welcome Community has been updated through-out the years. A few years before, the owner updated the bath with new light fixtures, vanity, toilet , spa tub/shower and new tile. In the before photo, the best features of the room were not highlighted.

By “shopping” the owners belongings and finding items that complement the character of the house (not the owner) we were able to create a warm inviting spa feeling in this bathroom. With the exception of the white shower curtain and silk flowers, this room was staged at no-cost to the seller. Look at what a difference it makes to the feel of the room, by adding just the right accessories to make a buyer linger longer in the space and imagine it being their bathroom.


This was one of the most enjoyable jobs that I’ve had in a while.  This house belongs to friends of mine, that I’ve known most of my life.  I drive by this house everyday and it’s located in a great country setting with acreage, beautiful landscaping, barns and pasture.  There is a great community spirit in this area and when the home owners called to have me come stage it, there was no hesitation on my part.  They love antiques and have a great deal of collections and most of them are on display, as you can see in this before photo.  Although having their belongings surround them makes this house their home,  these smart homeowners knew that this style of decor would not appeal to everyone and knew that changes needed to be made. 
Large rooms such as this, can be intimidating for a buyer to imagine how to decorate and arrange furniture. Once most of the furniture and extra accessories were removed, we set this room up with different sections.  As you can see in the after photo, there is a entertainment area, a game table area and a reading nook, that would make a great place for a piano or music area.  It’s a family room in the truest since.  Family members can all be in the same room, participating in different activities and still be together. 

Reading Nook

Do  you recognize any of the furniture in the after photo? (Hint: 4 chairs)
Stay tuned for my next blog on other rooms in this beautiful country house.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…My Latest Project

In an effort to be “green”, I decided to give these old director chairs a new life. I’ve had them about 8 or more years and they have had any where from red to black replacement canvas seats & backs.
After giving them a good sanding, and 2 coats of black paint, they are ready for another set of replacement canvas seats.  Ordered them online from Lowe’s (only $3.73 each) and picked them up from the store the next day.  I could have picked them up the same day, but it’s a long way from my house.
Finished product with green canvas seats.  They look awesome.  These were so inexpensive, I ordered some tan ones too.  Only spent $31.93 for the 2 sets of replacement seats and about $3/can for paint (spray paint). WHO SAYS IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN?                                                   
Stay tuned to see where they will show up next!