Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Staging A High End Home For Sale On A Budget

The past month has been quite a whirlwind here at Exquisitely Unremarkable. In addition to contributing to Parade Magazine, The Bowdabra Blog and writing posts for my own, I staged a spectacular house for sale. Yup, you heard me, I staged a house!

Now to be clear, no, I am not a professional home stager. You did not miss it in my bio or in a previous post. A long time friend who moved out of state called me with a dilemma and I was happy to help her out. Her home was for sale and at the eleventh hour the deal fell through. The house was basically empty, except for a few pieces that were going to be included in the sale. My friend, a fabulous decorator in her own right, was several states away and needed the house looking fabulous in a very short period of time to get it back on the market.

She and her husband had called professional stagers and she was given quotes upwards of $12,000. She likes my decorating style, knows that I am a savvy shopper and thought I could do it for a fraction of the cost...and she was right. We rented furniture on our own and then I spent about a week hitting every discount home store in a ten mile radius.

I must tell you that the house is gorgeous on its own. It is located in a beach community, directly on the water. Stand in any room facing the water and you feel like you are on a ship. The views are amazing! It was not a bad place to work, that is for sure!

I have tons of pictures, so today I am sharing the main floor and basement of the home. Later this week, I will share the bedrooms.

Here are some before and afters...proof that you do not need to spend a lot or add a lot to completely transform a room!

We start our tour in the stunning, gourmet kitchen.

A game table from the basement was added to the empty kitchen dining area.
A neutral table setting fills the room with warmth, but keeps the buyer's eyes focused on the view!

Here are a few more shots of the kitchen before...

and then after.

The addition of a chair, area rug and lamp liven up the desk area.

A few inexpensive bowls and glasses highlight the stylish glass cabinetry without taking away from the view...oh that view! Plants and fruit add life to a house that is currently uninhabited. All in all, the kitchen needed very little to make it look lovely and show prospective buyers what it could be.

The living room was next on the list.

It was the most furnished room, it just needed a bit of sprucing up to return it to its original showplace status.

In staging the focus should be neutral, so that the buyers can picture themselves in the home. Neutral tones do not distract the buyer's eye from the water, as well.

I didn't get a great before shot of the basement. There were a few couches and one large cabinet, but this was basically it.

 With the addition of a rented console and a few inexpensive beach themed accessories, who could resist hanging out down here now!

The adjacent bathroom just needed a mirror and a few towels.

Inexpensive finishing touches can make a huge difference and provide a buyer with a move in ready home.

The dining room is the last space on today's tour. The table looked empty in the room. It didn't show off what a great entertaining space it could be.  A couple of plants, a rented accent table and a few pieces of wall art have this room ready for a dinner party!

Everything looked great for the open house and the subsequent showings. I am really flattered that my friend gave me this opportunity and we are both happy with the way it turned out. The realtor actually asked me if I would be interested in doing this again...looks like I may be added home stager to my bio, after all!

Stay tuned for the upstairs rooms, I will be posting later this week!

What do you think of my first staging job?

I'm Sharing At These Pretty Parties:

A Stroll Thru LifeElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern Style mommy is coocoo
ThePinJunkie Treasure Hunt ThursdayI party with RemodelaholicPhotobucketLife on Lakeshore Drive

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Play Doh Sugar Cookies

Every now and then the kids commandeer the kitchen to bake. I am totally fine with it as long as they a) clean up after themselves and b) make enough to share with momma! For Easter, they decided to make rainbow sugar cookies. My daughter had seen this recipe and thought it would be fun to try.

We did not have the prepackaged mix mentioned in the original recipe, so they made a very basic Snickerdoodle recipe they had used in their middle school home economics class. They left out the cinnamon, and poof, sugar cookie batter.

They divided the batter into four containers and then dyed each a different color.

It was kind of like coloring eggs...'tis the season! Once the batter was colored they grabbed small pieces of each hue and rolled them together.

Now, I was only half paying attention when they told me what they were planning to bake. I heard something about sugar cookies, but when I saw the colors and the molding going on, I really thought they were working with Play Doh!  The colors were that bright and they were rolling and shaping and sculpting.


...tell me this doesn't look like Play Doh!

When they were done playing, I mean baking, they rolled some of the dough in sprinkles and popped all of the cookies on the baking sheet.

They were certainly colorful when they emerged from the oven! They smelled like sugar cookies and I am probably a really bad mother for not tasting their creations, but they still really looked like Play Doh and I just could not eat one.  Hubby had no problem with the taste test. In fact, he tasted my portion, too.

I would like to end my story by saying that they will be a lovely addition to our Easter table, but sadly, they are already gone. We've had a houseful of guests this week and apparently, no one else has an aversion to eating Play Doh.

How about you...do you color cookies or do you color eggs?

Sugar cookie batter:
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl, combine sugar/ butter until light and fluffy
Blend in vanilla and eggs
Mix in flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt
Bake on the center rack for 8-10 minutes

I'm Sharing At These Pretty Parties:

A Stroll Thru LifeElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern Style mommy is coocoo
ThePinJunkie Treasure Hunt ThursdayI party with RemodelaholicPhotobucketLife on Lakeshore Drive
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