Tag Archives: home

6 Pro Tips to De-clutter your home

6 Pro Tips to De-clutter your home

When you look at your home do you see piles of clothes on the floor, stacks of mail on the counter, and toys strewn all over the floor?

Messes make stresses. 

It happens to all of us, whether you are a parent, have a home office, or have just a busy lifestyle.  The truth is stuff we collect many things in life.

If your house is getting out of control, then it’s time to de-clutter.

Here are some tips to help you tackle the clutter and reclaim your space.

Start small with one room or even one space.  This could be as big as the entire back room or as small as organizing your makeup drawer.

With each item ask yourself: “Keep, Toss, Store, Donate, Sell.” And make a separate pile for each.

  1. Keep Items: Ask yourself if you really need it; do you use it on a regular basis? Does it have emotional value?  Have you used it in the past year?

    You might be surprised how much you have that you don’t truly need.  Sort these items into like piles such as clothes, shoes, belts etc.  Find a way to containerize them; you can use simple plastic or cardboard boxes.

    Plus if you shop online, stores like Amazon.com and The Container Store offer every kind of organizer, shelf, or container you can imagine. Clearly label all containers and find an accessible spot for them.

  2. Toss Items.  Get a big garbage bag and be honest about what you need.  Get rid of anything old, broken, empty, or expired.

    If you are de-cluttering a major space you can call to get a waste removal service to haul it away.  Many local cities will take larger pieces in the garbage on certain days.  Check your city website to find out the rules for your site.

  3. Store Items.  There are items you probably need, but don’t use frequently.  These are items you can store.  This can be everything from summer clothes to holiday decorations to fine china.

    Containerize it and find a spot that is out of the way to store them.  There may be a space in a closet, the back of a cabinet or under the bed that is out of the way, but easily accessible.

  4. File any papers.  Creating a filing system with tabs can make it easy to find items quickly. This is a great way to organize bills, documents, coupons, restaurant menus, related project items and more.
  5. Donate Items.  Always donate items when you can.  You can drop items off at Good Will, Salvation Army and other thrift shops.  Other items can be listed at Craigslist or Freecycle.com.

    Plus, you can always post a picture of the item on Facebook and let friends know it’s FREE to anyone who needs it.

  6. Sell Items. Why not turn your unused items into cash?  It’s so easy to make a little extra money selling your items such as by holding a garage sale. Another idea is to sell it online at Craigslist or Ebay.

    Plus, many neighbourhoods are now offering Virtual Garage sale groups on Facebook. Just list the item and everyone in the group will hear about your offerings.

Here’s Further Organizing Tips:

  • Go from Room to Room. De-cluttering one room at a time helps you stay focused and keeps the process from feeling overwhelming.
  • Make De-cluttering Fun! Put on music and enjoy the process.  Dance.  Enlist the help of a friend.  Consider offering yourself a reward like lunch with a friend for completing the project. Plus, having friends can help you decide if you truly need an item.
  • Maintain your space. Once it’s organized, cleaning is so much easier.  Everything has a designated place.  Set aside a little time daily or weekly to sweep thru the house, gather any that has piled up, and to return it where it belongs.

    Keeping your home tidy doesn’t have to be all your job.  Tell your spouse or family members where things go and show them the systems you have created too.  Everyone can work together to keep your home organized.

Need Help?

Call a professional. If your home is out of control and you want to organize your space, an interior designer or organizer is skilled at helping to determine your needs and creating systems to store your items neatly.

They can help you create your dream closet, tackle the toy room, design your dream home office and more. The result is a beautiful, organized home that you can sit back and relax in.

What to Consider When Remodeling or Renovating

Remodeling

Are you thinking of remodeling your home? Home renovations not only can update the look of your home, but it adds personality that makes your space feel like home.

Investing in renovations can also increase the value of your home.

So what should you keep in mind when making plans to remodel? Below are some expert tips to simplify the remodeling process.

Are you Remodeling to Stay or to Sell? If you are remodeling to sell, it’s important to find the value of comparative homes in the neighbourhood and the level of amenities they have.

For example if most homes in the neighbourhood feature hardwood floors and granite counter tops and you have laminate counters and vinyl flooring, you should consider upgrading those.

Get the Most Bang from your Renovation Buck. If you are going to spend money on remodeling, spend it in the rooms that add the most value to your home. Typically the kitchen and the master bedroom and bath are the biggest attractions for buyers.

There’s nothing like an updated kitchen and sparkling designer bathroom that says “move-in ready” to buyers.

Finding Your Personal Sense of Style. It is so rewarding to get rid of the carpet, colours, and fixtures in a home that don’t suit you. But what style do you choose? Do you stick to your same choices or try something bold and new?

It’s easy to watch a design show and say “I want that for my room!” But what looks great on TV might not be a fit for your home.

For example an ultra modern design would not fit in a 40’s cottage style home. Plus, you can’t simply shift from Country Chic to Urban Contemporary by painting without changing the furniture to match as well.

Find an inspiration piece with the colours and feel you like and use that to guide your selections. It could be a rug, piece of artwork, favourite furniture piece, or even a scarf.

Don’t try to force a designer magazine picture to work for you; most photos don’t show the regular “stuff of life” like toys, papers, remotes, pet items, etc. A good interior decorator can help you strike the right balance of style that fits your lifestyle.

Function always comes before form!

Creating a Harmonious Look. Sometimes DIY designers get a little crazy trying something new in a room. While that can make for a really unique space, it may look “off” as compared to the rest of the home.

The biggest mistake people make, is they don’t visualize their entire project as a whole.

Sometimes they buy single furniture pieces without truly knowing how it will look together in a room. For example in the kitchen, start with the major items such as cabinets and flooring first.

Next, select your appliances and counter top, followed by tile back splash and cabinet hardware. Then select the lighting. All selections should work from a complementing palette.

Paint Creates Big Impact That Won’t Empty Your Wallet. There’s nothing like a coat of paint to add a fresh feel to a room. A good colour scheme will complement the elements within the home (hardwood, carpet, cabinets, fireplace stone etc.).

You don’t have to settle with boring white, gray, or beige.

If you struggle with choosing a paint colour, hire someone to do a paint consultation. If you are remodeling and plan to stay in the home, you can try some richer colours to add warmth.

But, just because a paint colour looks great in your friend’s house, doesn’t mean it will look great in yours. Base elements like lighting changes everything!

If you are selling, stick to neutral tones that will appeal to most buyers.

Keep Function in Mind. Remodeling can transform a room into an inviting space that  meets your lifestyle needs. Ask yourself how do you plan to use the space? What needs do you have that the room is not meeting for you now? Do you need more space, more light, more storage, a better layout?

All these can be changed with proper planning before you begin your project.

Saving Money with Smart Choices. There are many affordable ways to save money on renovations. If the cabinetry in the kitchen can be painted, re-surfaced or re-stained it can modernize the whole kitchen and save thousands of dollars.

Other small kitchen updates like a tile back-splash or a new counter top can add a big wow factor yet are very affordable.

Same holds true in the bathroom. Often a tub can be re-glazed, rather than replaced at a fraction of the cost. If the glass shower doors are dingy, replacement doors make the bathroom look fresh and new.

Leave Some Buffer Money in Your Budget. Detailed planning can help you create a budget and timeline that makes the remodeling project go smoothly.

But once renovation begins you may be surprised by something you find structurally that needs fixed. By leaving yourself some wiggle room you can handle any “bumps” that occur during the process.

For instance you may decide to change the oak baseboard in your home to an updated 4″ white. But how is that going to affect the casing around your doors and windows? You may be surprised to find out it doesn’t match and those need to be replaced or painted white as well.

Or you may plan to knock out a wall only to discover that wall has a supporting beam that is critical to the home.

Surviving the Remodel. How long will the remodel take? How will your family “function” in the home while certain rooms are under remodeling? What will you do with your children and pets to keep them safe and out of the way?

Will you have to move out during part of the renovation? Is it better to do this project in the spring or summer? Is there a certain order that projects need to be done first? These are questions that consulting with an interior designer can help you to answer.

Expert Advice Can Save Time, Money, & Headaches. Remodeling your home is a major undertaking. That’s why consulting with an interior designer will take the stress out of remodeling and prevent some costly mistakes.

Experience has taught them how to plan, be able to implement basic design principles, and how to make the process go smoothly.

Before starting a project, it is smart to seek the advice of a pro to determine your personal style, talk about goals, your needs for the space, and your budget.

An interior designer can help you make selections that improve function, add beauty, and increase the value of your home. Plus, they have connections to skilled contractors and resources for getting quality materials and the best rates.

If you dream it, an interior designer can help you create it. Hope these tips help you create a space you love!

Renovating or remodeling can make a huge impact on your home’s value and on how much you love to live there so if you need help with your renovating needs and live in the Calgary area, give us a call for a free consultation!

How to Select Art to Enhance Your Personal Style

How to Select Art to Enhance Your Personal Style

Does finding the right piece of art overwhelm you?

Jackie and I decided to shoot a video to discuss one of the all-time issues that people are constantly talking about: art.

Home owners often don’t know where to start or what to look for and we deal with this on a daily basis.
Here are some of the common questions we get are:

  1. What size should the artwork be?
  2. How big of a piece should one get?
  3. Where does one start?
  4. Where to find the perfect colour that will enhance a space the best

In this video, we show a piece of art that we love because of its colour, visual texture and how it naturally moves.

Find out how this one piece can draw out all kinds of different colour perspectives, depending on which accent colour is chosen.

Watch below for tips on how to find the perfect piece of art and what size it should be.

Do you struggle with finding art for your home? Contact us to help you with this daunting task!

Moving? How to Transform Your Home to Centre Stage

stage460What’s all the Buzz about Staging?

Although “Staging” is the buzzword that we are now hearing on a regular basis with Real Estate, the concept of staging has actually been around for many years.

The first people to use the process of staging a home for sale were builders. They recognised that it was very difficult for people to connect with an empty home. By staging or setting the home up in a welcoming and inviting way, they discovered that potential buyers would form emotions with the home and that increased sales. It became their #1 marketing tool, and the entire building industry changed.

As the styles of houses changed from the basic box bungalow to the custom built homes of today, builders realized that they also had to change the process of how show homes were staged. It wasn’t just about putting a few pieces of furniture into a room and some art on the wall.  

They needed to hire professionals who knew how to best use the space, with the proper size furnishings, as well as showing options for how the additional rooms (such as lofts, the home office or den and bonus rooms) could be used.

Making that emotional connection between the potential purchaser and the home become the utmost of importance.

Is Staging just a Fad promoted by Television?

The onslaught of shows on HGTV and DIY channels, has done a lot to promote staging in the re-sale marketplace, unfortunately they promote it as a new trend at de-personalizing your house for sale.

The theory behind this is people don’t want to move into someone else’s house they want to purchase a home for that is especially for themselves. While I agree with this theory in part, I believe much of what is being portrayed or taught is actually missing the point.

While the potential purchaser is looking for a home for them, it is still the “Emotional Connect” that guides them to choosing which one to purchase.

Depersonalizing a home to the point of a minimalist can actually feel cold and unwelcoming. Staging a home to show it at its best potential and warmth rather than an open slate can actually bridge that sale faster.

Then, there are the DIY shows that tell us that by following these simple rules anyone can stage their home for sale. While this definitely can help, unless you have a good grasp of spacial awareness, an understanding of how colors work with emotions, and a good eye for balance and design principles you might be left feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, ending up with the same as what you started with.

Ultimately, in most cases, if you knew how to do it, you would have already done it…

What’s the difference between Staging a home for Sale and Staging a home for Living?

This is easily explained. When Staging a home for living, it is all about you… all about your lifestyle, the things in life you value, and honouring those things. When staging a home for sale it is all about preparing a home to sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time.

Your personal taste in color and decor are not important, the decor and colors that are in style and desired by the broadest selection of new homebuyers is going to sell the home faster.

Why is Staging more important now than ever?

While it is always important to have your home present at it’s very best to sell, it is even more important in a balanced or buyers market.

When the market has more houses listed to sell than buyers to purchase, your house has to stand out above all the competition if you want to make that sale. Bringing in a professional staging company can help you prepare your home to show at its very best.

First and foremost, do your homework… cheapest is not always best, neither is the most expensive. Look for reputable businesses (preferably registered with the BBB, and affiliated with reputable Staging Associations).   Check for testimonials and view photos etc. Then, meet and talk with a Staging professional.

Most will come and do a “free evaluation walk through” prior to giving an estimate. This is the perfect time to “interview” the staging company. If you connect with the stagers, and you have checked out their work, it is likely a good fit.

There are many options available to you the homeowner in preparing your home to sell. The staging company can come in and prepare a “room by room” recommendation report. I strongly recommend using a company that provides both the verbal walk through as well as a written report, as statistics show people typically only remember about 20% of what is heard vs. 100% when written.

This is typically done for the DIY type personality (often custom packages can be prepared for the individual client, that may want to do part but not all). As well, it is not always necessary to remove all of your furnishings etc. And re-furnish with rentals. Usually, the staging professionals can recommend areas that can be “improved upon” this can be supplemented with rentals while using your own furnishings.

Finally, there is the option of “vacant staging”, if the homeowner is planning on moving into their new home prior to the sale of the current home, many companies offer complete rental furniture and accessories to completely furnish the vacant home (showing the homes potential rather than potential flaws…)

To learn more about “Transforming your home to Centre stage” feel free to give us a call.