Practice what I Preach
We all have furniture that has potential and probably needs just a little refreshing and updating. I often recommend painting existing furniture for a quick, inexpensive & stylish result. My grandmother passed down some great solid wood furniture that isn’t quite my style but I’ve always had great plans to refinish it- so here we go!
I will admit, once I start a project I have to finish it in a certain amount of time or else I lose interest really quickly!
So Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint was the perfect product to transform my dresser and fit my attention span 😬
I began my project on my quartz kitchen counter top 😳 . It’s all good, it’s a fast drying, low VOC latex paint, easy to work with & easy to clean up.
With virtually NO PREP work I started by painting the face of each drawer, eventually getting to the body of the dresser. Super easy and super fast. I was able to apply the clear coat within a couple hours of starting. From start to finish ...2.5 hours done!
A couple things I noticed was I didn’t read the instructions lol, so I probably didn’t wait long enough to apply the clear coat (matte finish). I did notice that the finished look was more grainy after I applied the clear coat. So what I’m trying to say is my clear coat smudged the paint a bit. But it’s ok, I’m still really happy with the result.
I washed the brush with just hot water and wiped up any drips on our floor with a damp cloth, oops must have been rushing...
The cost for this project was less than $65 ( one can paint, one can clear coat) Home Depot.
Today, we Hung a gallery in my freshly painted foyer hall, got my inspiration from EthanAllen.ca. I hang artwork all day, everyday but usually one or two singular pieces here and there, nothing as elaborate as my new feature wall. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing super extraordinary about what I did but it does take time, patience and the right tools to make it perfect.
First we ( we=my son Ethan ( who which I actually wanted to give him the middle name Allen, true story) and I) checked that all the mounting brackets on the back of each frame was roughly in the same spot, we hung a group of 8.
Then we measured and taped out where the new console cabinet ( still on order ) would go in respect to the floor vent and center with the overhead light.
Oh no!! challenge...the floor vent! Who put that there? Ok whatever, slight oversight, we reworked the “Center” and began to hang the first print. I thought I could use that handy dandy quick picture hanger, you know that yellow thing you see on FB - yah🤔, didn"t work, not for this project. Maybe for two pictures stacked or even three in a row but it was slightly ( totally) inaccurate.
Back to the drawing board. Wait! Ethan had made a good suggestion earlier, wish I would have listened in the first place before I tried to cut corners and put a million holes in the wall. Chalk Line! Yep, easy solution and very handy tool. I'm going to admit that I have never used a chalk line before to hang pictures but wow, this was easy. We made a grid and measured where the nails would go. I used a 2" gap horizontally and a 1.5" gap vertically. The result was perfect! Can't wait to see it altogether with the new cabinet.
Thx Eth! You taught an old dog, an old trick...but new to me;)
Happy 2018 everyone!
I thought I would start a new Blog this year called "Practice what I Preach" My plan is to learn, implement and complete small projects around the house that I, as a professional Stager have recommended to my clients. Come to think about it, this actually may be my one and only task and blog...lol guess we'll see how it goes.
Ok, so as a decorator I like to experiment and change it up often in my house, (insert- family members roll eyes). I decided my feature foyer wall needed an update and there began my journey.
It's official! Wallpaper is a pain in the &#% to remove! Many of you have had the pleasure of hearing myself or another professional stager suggest removing wallpaper before selling. Yikes! Easier said than done- admitted:)
Actually, the paper came off relatively easy with a little steam, maybe 10 minutes tops, and all in big sheets with very little scraps left behind. So whats so difficult you say? It's all that sticky, yellowed glue left behind on the wall that's the problem! You absolutely need to prepare the wall properly again before you paint ( which is my plan) but maybe not so much if you are doing a textured treatment or more wallpaper...
Thank you Google...hot water and a splash of dish soap. It works but you have to keep rinsing the water and going over the spots to loosen and wipe away the glue residue. I used a two sided sponge, one side smooth, the other, abrasive. Time consuming yes, but worth the result and money saved doing it myself, right.
Hmmm...my arm hurts, I need to research another way, something faster that requires less elbow grease.
YES! Drywall Knife, too bad it took me an hour to figure that one out...duh. Anyway, I continued to wipe the wall to soften the residue and presto! In no time at all the walls looked perfectly smooth and clean for a fresh coat of paint- not so bad after all!
The moral of my story is...
1. wallpaper is no fun to remove
2. lots of coffee and wine may be consumed
3. could always hire a pro
4. a potential buyer knows how "un-fun" it is too, so if you have old dated or damaged wallpaper REMOVE IT - it will pay off!
If you are thinking of Selling your house during the Christmas Season, there is a fine line that needs to be cleverly walked, so that you don't over do it and turn potential buyers away. It's important to create a warm and inviting atmosphere during any time of the year, however the holiday season can be quite a challenge for some to keep their Santa collections under wraps. Preparing your house for the market while simultaneously trying to create some semblance of your holiday traditions can be tricky.
Follow these suggestions to make your home look it's best while selling this holiday season
1. Exterior curb appeal, must be exactly that, appealing. If you must put up lights, keep them all one colour preferably white and elegant. Forgo the many lawn and garden ornaments, but feel free to put a simple door wreath made from fresh pine boughs or boxwood braid.
2. Pare it all down, do not spread Christmas decor through your entire interior. Keep it focused in 1-2 main areas only. Potential Buyers won’t appreciate your attempt at a winter wonderland, they will only perceive it as clutter.
3. Tone down the traditional red and green, and choose natural hues and textures like jute, twig, birch and pine cone decor, dust with white and silver for a bit of bling.
4. Most Christmas trees require you to rearrange your interior space to accommodate it's girth. It's ok to do a smaller less intrusive tree, or even a table top style while selling. This way the prospective buyers can see the potential space and style of the room more clearly without distraction, while you can still experience that holiday feeling.
5. Adorn the mantel, table tops and banisters, but keep it simple. If you usually cover the entire mantel with candles, and children's pictures of Christmas past, perhaps forgo the kids pics, use minimal candles so that the attention is drawn to the fireplace ( which is a feature of the space) but it's not overwhelming. Just keep it simple!
6. Also,you can avoid offending buyers by opting for general winter decor rather than items with religious themes.
Staging your home for the holidays can still be fun and festive, and will likely draw serious buyers over the festive season. Keep these and basic staging suggestions in mind, and remember it's only temporary, and your efforts will surely bring you closer to your new home where you can celebrate and decorate for next Christmas to the nines!
Everything is starting to look so nice this time a year. There is plenty of rain to keep our grass green and our gardens growing. All signs of winter have passed, beauty is returning and Mother Nature is doing her thing. But there are just some things that just can't renew themselves, and need attention after a long hard winter wrath. Front doors, Mail boxes, exterior light fixtures, Door handles and house numbers. All these items are equally important as the natural beauty that surrounds them, but many times get neglected.
One of the easiest ways to create instant curb appeal this time a year is to add BLACK. Some of you may be thinking "black is so boring and harsh", but on the contrary, BLACK is the perfect colour to make all the other colours on your exterior... POP!
Add black mulch to your gardens to make the greenery pop and the flowers brilliant.
Landscape picture from www.houzz.com
Painting your front door is always a must when preparing to sell your home. But all too many forget to change out or refresh the Door hardware and that rusty old mailbox. Look for sales at big box stores or buy a can of Black metal spray paint, preferably mat finish. Refresh or replace House numbers to make your property visible from the road, match the mail box and even try painting your exterior lights before replacing them. Black urns and window boxes filled with colourful flowers or stately greenery always add that WOW factor that people gravitate to. When in doubt, paint your front door Black- You really cant go wrong!
Ok, it's raining, I should have posted this when it was nicer weather, but it will eventually return to us. The last few days were a perfect time to shut down your furnace and open your windows. There is no better fragrance then the beauty of Mother Nature's fresh spring air. When selling your house there are many things to consider beside peeling paint and outdated decor. Potential buyers use all of their senses when evaluating a home for sale. Not only is curb appeal very important to bring them in, but that very first whiff of the interior will either invite them in or send them running.
We become complacent and comfortable with our surroundings so much so, that we don't recognize odors within our homes that may be offensive to others. I have a dog, I bet my house smells like dog, and boys, and dirty sports equipment, etc... But to me it smells like roses... Lol, ok at best...carnations. The point is if you have pets, kids, a flare for exotic cooking, if you smoke, or once did or even if you really like air fresheners, chances are fresh air is needed to neutralize the staleness of winter's past.
And please do not mistake fresh air with fresh air fresheners. Big difference and sometimes a big problem. Many people have severe allergies and sensitivity to the overbearing aroma of sprays, and plug ins. also, many eyebrows raise when there is an over abundance of papaya/mint in the air... Hmmm, what are they trying to hide??
So unplug and open up!! Just not today or everything will get wet and smell musty:)
I have noticed lately that a lot of homeowners still have plenty of Christmas Décor displayed on the exterior of their homes. I do understand that the weather sometimes prevents easy removal of Christmas lights and items maybe buried by the snow. However, if you are planning on selling your house anytime soon, remove as many decorations as possible and make sure that photos are not taken on angles that capture any decorations that were not able to be removed.
WHY? What's the big deal?
"Picture this"... your exterior photos have been taken for MLS- keep in mind that 98% of home buyers view your listing on the internet FIRST. The very first exterior photo that appears under your listing has a shot of your stunning Front Door (painted the perfect colour) with a Christmas wreath and some decorative urns with greenery, embellished with red shiny balls. Beautiful...Yes, appropriate...no! In a case like this, the potential buyer may automatically visually date your listing way back to the holiday season, and then wonder to themselves; what is wrong with this house if it's been on the market since December or maybe even early November.
Spring forward, and remove those excess Holiday decorations as soon as the opportunity presents itself!
I can't tell you how many times I have gone to an appointment in the winter months and ended up almost falling before I got to the front door. Or if I made it, my pants were soaked from the amount of snow still left on the walkway. It's totally understandable that everyone is busy and that everyone may not have the resources to keep up with it. However, it’s very important for the home seller to get into the habit of preparing the driveway and walkway for visitors. So many times, I have driven by a house that is for sale, and the exterior condition is not safely prepared. I make a point of mentioning the importance of accessibility of the property at all times either lived in or Vacant. If the home is vacant I always suggest that the homeowner invests in some property management if they can’t maintain it themselves on a regular basis. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, ask them to keep an eye on your property while you are unavailable. Keep a shovel and some deicer handy by the door and offer to pay an older child or teenager to keep the walkway and stairs clear and free of ice. Even though all of the landscaping is covered, it sets a nice tone for the visitor when they can pull into the driveway and walk freely to the front door. You want the potential buyer in a good mood when walking through the threshold, not a soggy one!