What's Going On? :: Summer Stuff

(Warning: this is a long post. Hmmm...are ANY of my posts ever short?)

Is it just me, or are you more busy this summer than past summers?
I'm not complaining, because it's nice to be needed.
And I am able to rest in the heat of the day, inside, with a cup of tea and the book I'm reading.

Speaking of reading a book, I am actually considering writing an e-book or two.
On two unrelated topics.
One is an untapped, rarely covered area in home staging.
The other? 
My grace experience after having an abortion,
and after becoming a birth mom.

What's cool is, Sarah Mae, over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee just wrote an e-Book
on How to Market and Sell Your eBook.
I will be reading that next, I suppose.

Down in our basement office and up in our guest room, some messes changes have been going on.

Miss S, college Junior girl, was living on Furman U. campus during the school year,
but will now be living at home while finishing college.

Her new digs will be the basement.
Her new livingroom/sleeping room, the "old" office.
Her new kitchen, dining area? The cafe'.
Her new powder room? The Salle de Bain, cafe' bath.

Which means, the beds, bedding, and furniture will come out of this room,
the OLD guest room and this room will become the NEW OFFICE.
(Already started transferring stuff.)

Miss S will be sleeping/moving into this room, the OLD OFFICE.
(Which, quite frankly, is a disaster area. Put on your hard hat and steel-toed boots, y'all.)

Do you see the white painted desk pieces above?

My friend Becky's husband, Rob (from the Farm House Kitchen post HERE), 
found this black, red, and teal corner desk in a house he was working in to renovate. 
He brought it home and Becky wasn't going to keep it.
So, I asked them for the desk and it was mine, and I painted it!
I asked him for it because of this page from the Ballard Designs catalog:

Shortly after that, another friend, Laura, had these 5' long shelves in her trash cans outside.
I painted them, too.

See my inspiration page between the shelves?

Well, as you saw above, the walls in soon-to-be NEW OFFICE are a teal gray.
And I like it. But I'm tired of it, too. Poor me.
While debating on what to do with the walls (paint them khaki for staging to sell later next year,
or just leaving them as is) I came across this picture in yet ANOTHER Ballard catalog.

Hello, love!
Oh! The stencilled walls!
This is what I will do to the office. Which now includes finding a huge stencil,
and brushing some glazing over that (help me, Ann!)

Last week, I found this wonderful train clock at Hobby Lobby for $8.

But, I also have THIS 2 1/2' clock (it was only $4 at Goodwill). 
Which one do you think I ought to put in the room?

Miss S returns from her summer job in North Carolina on August 10th.
Think I can finish the rooms by then?

In other news, our new South Korean daughter, our exchange student, 
whom I shall now refer to as "Lovely", will be arriving August 2nd 
and we are crazy excited (and scared) about that.
Her room, at least, is finished. Until she gets here. And if she would like to change it around a bit?
Certainly! It's her room now. See it HERE.

This Friday, 7/1, and Saturday, 7/2, Miss S and I have a wedding gig in North Carolina.
I am decorating and she is photographing.
Will be sure to chat about that when I get back.


...in July, from the 20-24, I will be in Tennessee.
Staying in the cottage at Gina's Place.

I won the Call to the Cottage contest with this dreamy post, HERE.
Gina also contributed to a book, see it HERE.

Other July happenings?
My sister, Stephenie, arrives in Atlanta. Must drive down to see her and my other sisters,
Amy, Ana, and their beautiful families.
Miss A, our teenage daughter, has a 17th Birthday on the 18th.
Mark and I celebrate 22 years of marriage in the 22nd!

Sigh. I won't be here much.
Which is why I took a picture so I could remember her face.

What kinds of things do y'all have going on this summer?

I ask the Lord that He would bless your endeavors.
Strengthen you during quiet times and bring you peace.

I have purposed to pray for any of you that ask me to, this summer, 
during my afternoon tea time/quiet time for your
families, jobs, traveling, whatever.

You may leave your requests in the comments, or if you are more private,
email me by clicking on the envelope button at the top right of my blog.

It will be my privilege to remember you and lift you up to the Comforter
and Giver of all Good Gifts!

I love y'all!

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, 
remembering you in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:16


How NOT to Sell Your House :: 20 Tips

I hope this day finds you blessed!
I pray that we can give ourselves grace as we make our homes.

Over the past years, I have seen many houses that have been listed for sale.
As a Home Stager, I have been hired by the homeowner themselves,
or have been commissioned by the Realtor of the property. 
Other times, I've been enlisted for my guidance on a person's relative's house.

Usually, the house isn't selling and they wanna know why.

I have compiled a list of many/most of the reasons that I have come across as turn-offs 
for most buyers. We have been house hunting and I compiled this list 
AFTER our family recently toured a home which prompted about 15 items on the list.

It's too bad, too, because the home was adorable, the right size, in a good location.
Hardwood flooring. 3 Fireplaces.

But, even I had a hard time desiring the home and seeing past the "pontential".
As I always say: "Potential" = WORK.

If you are selling, you need to eliminate the "potential" factor for the buyers.
Make it move-in ready.

Yes. It is stinkin' hard work! 
But, so is getting out of the house each time it's being shown,
living half in/half out of boxes
worried with uncertainty since your future contingent upon the judgments of others
while waiting for that "offer", paying two mortgages
or living in another city with no closure.
I've seen all those scenarios.

Here are my (tongue-in-cheek and over exagerrated photos to go with it):

20 Tips on How NOT to Sell Your House

1. Leave out personal information. Pictures. Degrees. Names. Initials. Monograms.
(Please! Protect your family's privacy and take precautions by removing, as best you can, anything that gives a clue to who lives there.)

2. Cover that focal point, great view, or feature.
3. Leave the litter box or pet food dishes out, or better yet, leave your pets in the home while showing.

4. Leave the wallpaper and borders, bright paint, and outdated carpet for the new buyers to change, and offer them a "re-decorating/flooring allowance" that they can receive at closing.
5. Cram everything in the closets so the rooms look neat.
6. Expect the buyers to use their imaginations to see past your clutter. Or move out and leave it totally empty.

7. Stay in the house while it's being shown.

8. Price the house out of the market for your area.
9. Let the new owners worry about your Honey Do list of repairs and updates.
10. Ignore your yard. Leave the trash cans and hoses in the front yard and cobwebs on the porch.

11. Store all the stuff you are taking with you to your new place in the garage. 

12. Sell the house yourself. (Sure, you can eventually sell your home on your own. But a good Realtor is worth her weight in closing papers.)
13. Put air fresheners in every room to cover pet or smoke odor, rather than cleaning the carpet and/or air ducts.
14. Assume buyers won't look in the stove or refrigerator or use your toilet.
15. Play music on the iPod or CD player for ambiance. Or pop a pot roast or cookies in the oven for a "homey" smell.
16. Let the buyer's inspector discover all the house's ailments, instead of doing a pre-inspection and making the improvements.

17. Make buyers play the "Guess What This Room Is?" game.

18. Let each room be illuminated by overhead lights only.
19. Leave your home's decor and fixtures in the era in which it was built. (Unless it's a historical home or extremely well-maintained.)
20. The BIGGEST WAY NOT TO SELL YOUR HOME: List your home before it's ready. (First impressions count. Most of your showings will come in the first few weeks, make sure you wow the market.
Note: All of the homes I have staged have sold within the first month. After that, it's a stale listing and you've lost your audience's attention.)

So you don't leave this post depressed by all the "How to NOT" pictures,
I'll leave you with some befores and afters of a home that I staged
(the homeowners, per my instructions, did the painting and decluttering,
and added new flooring and carpeting).
The homeowner and I went shopping at TJ Maxx, 
and I added those touches to make it a "HOME".
It sold in 1-1/2 hours.
You read that right.


It was shown on its first day of listing at 6 P.M.
The contract was written at 7:30 P.M.

The Front Porch.

The Foyer.

The Kitchen.

 The Living Room.

The Master Bedroom.

The Utility Closet.

The Hall Bathroom.

The Back Patio.

The End.

If you correct each of these things on the list, 
will it guarantee you a SOLD sign on the front lawn? 
Of course not. 
But, I can tell you with certainty, that in a buyer's market, or a seller's market,
down-market or up-market,
if your home stands out from the rest, 
as one that was maintained,
is clean, 
and ready-to-move-into, 
it WILL sell faster and most likely for more money.

This, I have seen happen, time and time again.


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A Modern Vintage 1700's Farm House, Part 2 :: NOT the Kitchen

So, hopefully, you've seen my friend Becky's lovely old kitchen in my last post!

If not, you must scoot over HERE and see it!

Becky didn't know we were taking pictures (hi, Becky!) of other parts of her lovely farm home.
But, we did. Couldn't help it.

And like I told you already:
They bought this home (originally built in the late 1700's) with remodeling in mind, 
so here and there, 
you can see finished and unfinished projects and places that are waiting to be completed,
just like all of our homes.
(Becky, who, like most of us when there are areas in our home that are undone, 
kept apologizing for the project areas. I don't even see them! I only see hope and love, 
and the beautiful things that she and her hubby Rob have already done!)

Here are some other spaces we found charming, too.

I'll be going to Becky's again, next week, for her daughter's wedding.
Held on the lawn, next to the pond next to their property!
White tents, pink impatiens, lanterns, ironstone, and silver.

Can't wait!

Maybe we can sneak some more pictures!

I pray that you have a beautiful day, rejoicing, that you are alive and oh, so blessed!



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