Archive for Colour

Retiring and Getting Ready to Sell!

Clocks, Clocks, Clocks!

My client is planning to retire, has a new home and getting ready to sell.   An extensive collection of many items including clocks, radios, cameras, juke boxes and games is everywhere in the home.  The collections are overwhelming and limit the sales potential of this home.  There is a lot to be done to get this home ready for the market.


My client is very receptive to my recommendations and agrees to the repairs and updates.   We establish an aggressive plan to complete what needs to be done before the home will be ready for sale in three months.  The homeowner needs my assistance not only for staging the home, but to find buyers for items in his collection that he is ready to part with.  There is a lot to tackle to prepare this home for sale.The family room is my favourite space in this home.  There is so much potential for this space underneath all the stuff. 

The room family room is quite long & narrow.  The fireplace is the focal point of the room and visible from the hallway.  My plan is to highlight the stone fireplace and to create a media centre on the end wall. A large screen TV would be perfect on the wall.


Media Centre

The walls were prepped and painted in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray HC-173,a fabulous neutral that highlights the stone fireplace.  The room is much brighter and feels larger with fresh paint and the removal of clutter.The wall unit had to remain in the space during the sale and is clutter free.  Having furniture cleaned and adding minimal accessories to the mantle and around the fireplace completes the staging.

Clutter free, bright and inviting family room


My  client sold his home quickly at close to asking.  Many houses on the market in the area before his was listed remained on the market for months longer.  The changes throughout the home were dramatic for the client and he agreed they were needed to sell his home.



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Kitchen Makeover

Last evening I was at a party at a home that I worked on two years ago. When I arrived the owner was telling first time visitors about the work that was done to transform this house into their home. I was very involved in the entire process and it was nice to be complimented on the results.

I toured the home with them when they were considering their purchase. Most of the home could easily be updated with colour and new lighting fixtures. The kitchen was the biggest issue for them since the existing cabinetry was not to their liking. They were not prepared to invest in a major renovation at the time and were concerned about being able to live with the exsiting cabinetry.

The cabinets are oak and in good condition. Over time the varnish had yellowed. The existing wall colour was yellow with a red accent wall which did not enhance the space in any way. My recommendation was to paint the cabinetry and to update the hardware. This would give them a palate of their choosing and would give them time to consider how they would renovate to create their ideal space in the future.

They purchased the house and asked me to manage the project to get the home ready for them to move into. There were lots of projects and people involved. Carpeting and linoleum were removed and wide pine plank floors were restored, new window treatments to be sourced, lighting fixtures to be installed and painting from top to bottom. The kitchen was a major project on its own. There were 45 cupboard and drawer fronts that were sent out to be spray painted.

The existing hinges were spray painted and all door handles and pulls were replaced. The cabinets were painted Benjamin Moore ‘Deep in Thought’ AF30 and the wall colour is ‘Tundra’ 2133-70.

The owners are thrilled with the results. They have found that the existing kitchen design works well and the new colour scheme is exactly what they wanted.

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My Holiday Table

I created this new centrepiece for our holiday table yesterday. This is at our cottage where we will be spending some time over the holidays. We have a large table that allows me to have some fun with the arrangement.

The birch log came from a tree that, sadly we had to remove last year.

My husband drilled out the holes for tee lights and I added the magnolia leaves, the spruce and cedar boughs.  Easy to do and it looks terrific.

We’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends around the table.

Selling Your Parent’s Home – Part II

This post continues with the transformation of the home I discussed last time. This is an estate sale of a 70 year old home in Owen Sound, Ontario. The home had been on the market for 15 months with no offers when I was contacted by the owner to offer staging help. My previous post featured the transformation on main floor and bathroom. The bedrooms in this home also featured wallpaper and carpeting throughout and the decor had not been updated for a few decades. The homeowners worked from the plan I discussed with them and can’t believe that this is the same house.

The update to the home was completed as a family project. The restoration of the floors was done by contractors and the family to choose to complete all of the work on the walls in the rooms. It did take time to get everything done and they were very particular that attention was paid to details. They have done a terrific job to increase the sales potential of this home.

I want to show you two of the bedrooms that have been redone and have increased the interest of buyers.

Small Bedroom

Before: A flowery room that doesn’t appeal to buyers since there is too much to take in
and the space feels small.

After: The bedroom is bright, fresh and appealing as a child’s room. The walls are
painted in a neutral colour with a hint of blue and the floors look terrific.

Third floor attic room

Before: There is so much potential for this space but most buyers will not see this.
Their eye is stopped by the paneling and the carpet. There is a heaviness to this room. Cost effective changes were my recommendations to allow buyers to see the possibilities.

After: The floors were in excellent condition on this floor and show beautifully. The
paneling was painted in an off white to maximize light from the one small window in the room.
The room is large and the potential to add built in storage is easy to see.

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Selling Your Parent’s Home

Selling your parent’s home can be an emotional and time consuming challenge for families. I am currently involved in the sale of my parent’s home and know first-hand the issues and emotions. I want to share the experience of a family who have also been on this journey and are into final staging and about to list a lovely home.

I was asked by the family in Owen Sound, Ontario to provide staging advice on their parent’s home which had been listed For Sale by Owner for 15 months. The owner’s brother in California recommended home staging to his sister.  Home staging is a service she was not familiar with which is not uncommon in the area. We discussed what I could offer to help her to prepare to sell the family home.

Home Staging is definitely a new idea in this region. The majority of home owners elect to list their properties as they are, a concern of real estate agents. Owners are not aware that the majority of buyers are searching internet listings before deciding what to see. A home that does not show well in pictures will not attract buyers.

The 70 year old home is very well maintained and clean which are all at the top of my list of things that must be done. There was clutter and oversized pieces of furniture that overwhelmed the rooms that they were in & I recommended that they be removed.

The challenge in the home is that the interior was very dated. In checking listings in the area, homes that had not been updated were staying on the market & those that had been updated were selling.

The home featured wall to wall carpeting throughout including the kitchen and bathroom.

The kitchen and bathroom had been updated with new cabinetry and fixtures that were well suited to the home. Wallpaper graced every room of the home and was loved by the owner’s mother.

My first request was to find out what was underneath the carpet. Given the age of the home and location I suspected that there would be pine plank flooring even though there were no tell-tale squeaks. Checking around heat registers in various rooms proved this to be true. I recommended that carpets be removed and the floors restored. The owners agreed and are very impressed with the results.

The other major recommendation was to deal with wallpaper and panelled rooms, a very time consuming task. After consulting with painters that I recommended the family decided to tackle this project themselves. They chose to remove all wallpaper, repair and paint all walls. The colours that I recommended are used and the home is transformed. They also chose to replace doors in bedrooms and closets and updated lighting.

I have visited the home over the past months to see the progress and have been very impressed with all the work that has been done. It has indeed been a long journey for the family and they are very happy to see the results of their hard work. They have done an outstanding job on this house!

I visited the home last week to check on the final details that are being attended to & the home is now ready to be listed. Here are a few pictures of the home’s transformation.

Main Entrance

Before: The main entrance far too busy and distracting to buyers

After: Bright and spacious. Absolutely fabulous floors. (I love hardwood!)

Living Room

Before: The living room needs an update to appeal to today’s buyer

After: The main floor is unified with the same colour in living,
dining and hallway which unifies the space.

Dining Room

Before: The dining room is busy with too many collectibles.

After: Colour, great floors, new lighting and fewer items on display creates an inviting space.


Before: The kitchen cabinetry is in great condition, the flooring had not been addressed.
Much to the owner’s surprise, there were three layers of carpet to be removed.

After: Revived pine floors and fresh paint complement the cabinetry and appliances that were in place.


Before: The bathroom cabinetry had been nicely updated, walls and flooring needed to be updated.

After: New fixtures, flooring, countertop and paint have updated this bathroom.

Next time: Bedroom makeovers

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Colour Inspiration

I find inspiration for colour in many ways and places . On colour projects to update and refresh homes, I look first to my clients favourite pieces, such as art, beautiful furnishings and the landscape surrounding their home.

I am an avid gardener and have always looked to plants for their colour and delicate complexity. Spring in cottage country has been cool and wet this year and many plants have just started to bloom. This waiting time has made me appreciate how beautiful and lucky we are to have these gems. These are a few of the lovely flowers from my garden that make me stop, look closely and see how fantastic they truly are.


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