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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BeFaux and After

This is a house we recently staged that features fabulous views and a wonderful location. The problem in marketing it was simply that it was dated. The existing designer touches that were to the taste of the sellers when they built the home could inhibit current buyers from seeing the potential. The faux had to go! Add to that an abundance of oak trim and Houston, we have a problem!  There was nothing we could do about the blue carpet, so we incorporated a more current color scheme to make it work. Removing the window treatments and putting the views front and center was another key strategy to updating this home.  Please be sure to see the professional photos by Timothy Park on the listing info linked at the end of this entry.  You will be impressed by the landscaped setting!

Here are more Before's (on the left)  and After's (on the right):

The view outside the dining room of the landscaped waterfall is incredibly beautiful, but the sellers kept the drapes closed. We truly believed that bringing the outdoors in was imperative, so had the window coverings removed and replaced the dining chairs with some of our own. Thankfully, the seller was open to our suggestions and gracious. We did utilize the sellers' table and kept the table setting simple to keep the focus on the view. This became our favorite room!

The living room is now elegant and updated and although you can't see it from this photo, the view out the windows is the Wow Factor. The heavy window treatments are gone and the gorgeous views are there for all to see...

A few more notes: The kitchen cabinets were high quality but oak which dates the kitchen. We would have preferred that the oak be painted white, but that wasn't an option. So we replaced the white plastic door/drawer pulls with brushed nickel ones that makes a huge difference. For only a bit over $120 you have a much more current look. (photos to come)

And finally, the entry had been painted a bright blue faux.  It was pretty and definitely made a statement - perhaps too much so.  So we neutralized it with soft tan paint and accessories that tied the color scheme used throughout the house together.  With views like this house offers to provide the Wow Factor, you don't need to hit people over the head at the front door.

To see more views of this house including the world-class photographs by Timothy Park, please see the listing info by Laurie Thiel, RE/MAX Equity Group.  She is a long-time client and one of our favorite agents! It's gorgeous and you will be glad you took a peek...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mixing it up

Update:  This was one of 4 units and was used as a model.  Before we staged it they had been on the market for 5 months empty.  We staged it and all units sold in a month!

One of the tenets of good staging is to bring cohesion between the spaces so that they flow. We usually do that by using consistent furniture styles and colors throughout. In a recent project, we stepped outside the box a bit to bridge 2 very different styles, make it interesting, yet blend them together.

This is a 1913 Craftsman condo conversion in NW Portland that had been bumped out in the back utilizing different architectural details and colors than in the original space. The front of the building has amazing, original dark wood mill work and wainscoting. Just luscious. Additionally, it features leaded glass windows, arts and crafts era tile, and original light switches for the vintage feel. The back of the unit, including the kitchen, nook area and master bedroom are largely new and are lighter and brighter. So our challenge was how to make them cohesive?

We chose to use the intrinsic colors and run them throughout: red (from the tile), blue (from the rear portion's walls) and green (because you always need some green!). Then we pulled black for contrast in the back and ivory to lighten in the front. Juxtaposed some contemporary lines to update and a great leather-and-caned Campaign chair for a vintage touch that also added texture.

The developers had identified an area behind the kitchen as an additional area by hanging a chandelier low - even though there is already a formal dining room. We thought that a 2 bedroom condo doesn't really need a second full eating area as much as it could use a casual tv area, so we asked the clients how they felt about raising the light fixture. They were great about it and saw the virtue of the idea. Here is what we did with it... We put a fun pub table on one corner for morning coffee and casual rattan chairs for conversation or watching tv. Now buyers have options!

And lastly, we put an updated vintage 4-poster bed in a satin black finish and a seating area by the window to seal the deal. In other spaces not shown here, we placed a cute red bench and pops of red in a china cabinet to continue that color scheme. There are splashes of blue from the back of the house to pillows, table settings and art in the front of the house. The green softens and freshens the dark wood and shows off it's richness. With a nod to vintage style but with today's current sensibilities, we stepped outside our staging box, had some fun, and love the results!

Hope you do, too! Remember: You can try mixing styles and colors as long as you keep some things consistent, such as colors that run throughout. Have fun with your decor and don't be afraid to try new things - even we have to be reminded to do that!

To see photos of other rooms not shown here or to view this property in person, please follow this link to the Dan Volkmer Team at Windermere Realty

Also want to give a HUGE shout-out to Jennifer Myers, J Myers & Associates, who pushed, nudged, and inspired us to stretch outside our borders. She's an immensely talented interior designer, herself, and experienced model home merchandiser. Thanks, Jennifer!!