Staging With Flair - Setting the Stage for a Beautiful Home
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The Secrets to Making your Apartment Feel Like Home!
Home Staging
How to make a small space stylish
Landscaping Tips to Protect Your Home Against Break-Ins
11 Clever Ways to Maximize Space in Every Room of your Home


Home Staging
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The Secrets to Making your Apartment Feel Like Home!

Make your apartment feel like home with a few sentimental decorative pieces - Use neutral colors to enlarge your apartment -Organize your kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms for functionality -Natural light and window treatments will make your apartment feel like home - Choose a color palette you can use throughout.
Great article!

Home Staging

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Staging Diva Debra Gould Teaches Home Staging on HGTV
Debra Gould teaches Ambrose Price how to stage a house for HGTV. Staging Diva® is a world leader in the home staging business training field with over 7,000 students in 22 countries. The company teach...
Great Video on Home Staging by the Diva Debra Gould - Staging with Flair is proud to have learned from such amazing home stager. 

How to make a small space stylish

If moving to the beat of an urban groove is what matters most to you, you’ll likely need to pack a lot ofstyle (not to mention furnishings) into a tiny space. Here’s how to live large in a pint-size condominium -

THINK TALL: Making a little room both look and feel bigger than its pipsqueak proportions is all about tricking the eye and maximizing what you’ve got to work with. By emphasizing the vertical proportions of a space through furnishings (such as tall lamps and floor-to-ceiling curtains) and accents (witness the wall-filling mirror used here), you can squeeze a lot into a tiny room without making it feel cramped. A glass-topped coffee table,such as the one in this condo, can add to the illusion of space, while side tables with drawers and a shelf offer handy spots for storage. 

INVEST IN CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS: Sometimes, a single piece of furniture just won’t do the trick, but a well-planned built-in providing surfaces, seating and storage space can help fulfill a number of goals by combining various functions. Here, a floor-to-ceiling storage tower both conceals an ugly bulkhead and offers lots of shelving, while the lower section does triple duty as a console, stereo cabinet and desk or dining table for two. To cap it all off, a floating shelf above the console serves as a kind of mantel for holding candles and artwork, keeping clutter above table height.

CREATE A STYLISH AD-HOC ENTRY FEATURE: In this case, a shallow wall-mount iron console below a pretty gold-toned mirror introduces the illusion of extra space while serving as an all-important key and mail depository just inside the door. It also works in tandem with the larger mirror in the living room to make the whole space seem bigger, creating additional views both into and out of the condo by reflecting the reflection.

DON’T OVERWHELM A TINY SPACE WITH BULKY BARSTOOLS: They may block sight lines or take up precious square footage. Here, wide but shallow stools serve as comfortable perches for a morning cup of coffee or a spot for friends to oversee kitchen action without being in the way. And note yet another space-enlarging mirror along the side of the counter.

CONSIDER EVEN THE TINIEST DETAILS TO PERSONALIZE AND WARM UP A SPACE: The owner of this condo went for plain living-room drapes, which are edged with a delicate passementerie trim in the shape of onion bulbs. And there is no doubt to whom this desk chair belongs, emblazoned as it has been with an ornate satiny monogram. 

EXTEND THE COLOUR PALETTE THROUGHOUT THE APARTMENT: Even among disparate elements. Here, for example, the brass-toned kitchen faucets pick up on similarly surfaced items elsewhere in the space, from picture frames and mirror edging to lamp and table bases

Landscaping Tips to Protect Your Home Against Break-Ins

Curb appeal has an entirely different meaning for a burglar. Rather than admiring your prized petunias and flagstone walkway, he’s looking your property over to see if he can find cover as he tries to access your home.Here’s how to plan your landscaping to make your home unattractive to burglars, prowlers and other unsavory types:Mark your territory.Mark the point where your private property begins with a fence, gate, wall or a line of plantings—a hedge of thorny bushes can go a long way to discouraging unwanted advances.Be sure, though, that the enclosure is low enough to keep your home visible—from the street and to passersby—so a burglar can’t go to work without being seen.Make some noise.Install pea gravel around the perimeter of your house for an audible alert when someone is snooping near windows. Each step on a pea gravel path makes a crunching sound, which blocks a criminal’s ability to prowl silently around your home.Put plants on the offense.Install foundation plants that have thorns or spikes (think rose bushes and cacti) to create a hostile environment that could scratch or entangle a potential burglar. You can also use climbing thorny plants along fences for the same effect.Eliminate hiding places.Trim bushes near your house so they’re low enough to see over (three feet or less). Trees should be pruned so you have a clear line of sight across the property. If you have trees right next to your house, make sure the low-lying branches can’t be used for a boost up to a second floor or attic space.Light it up.Illuminate walkways, entryways, driveways, garbage and recycling storage, and any other areas where you want to see someone approaching your home. Motion-activated lights are convenient for hidden spots and can alert you to a potential problem outside.Landscaping as a way to protect your property from criminals is something homeowners often overlook when they’re putting together a safety plan. But it can mean the difference between a burglar hitting up your home, or moving on to the next.

11 Clever Ways to Maximize Space in Every Room of your Home

In every home there is the need for more space. Regardless of how small your apartment or how large your mountain estate villa is, we all seek the need for maximizing space to make our homes feel spacious and welcoming.  There are 11 rooms of your home that you spend the most time in and 11 clever ways to maximize space in every one of them. If you’ve been pondering how to fit more into your cramped bathroom cabinets or you can’t figure out how your bedroom could possibly share a desk to create a home office too, here are 11 tips to help.

1.)  Opening up your entryway:  The first area of your home that welcomes guests and sees your family off safely to school everyday should be functional and have area to maneuver quickly and efficiently. Maximize space by placing a bench or sitting area to remove shoes and place kids’ backpacks when rushing off to school. Don’t have space for a bench? Ensure you have wall mounted hooks, open shelving to place knick knacks and place a large mirror on the wall to reflect the rest of your home.

2.)  Make your kitchen easy to cook in: The kitchen is the busiest room of your entire home. For it must be functional, welcoming, and be enjoyable to cook meals, make snacks, and prep for entertaining guests. Maximize space with vertical storage shelving in your pantry, use drawer organizers for dry goods and food storage containers. Purge old food, half- eaten dry goods and install overhead pot and pan storage to free up space below you counters.

3.)  Bathroom essentials: The room you wake up first to in the morning and see late at night often has the worst storage. Your bathroom can be maximized by assessing who uses the bathroom and for what. Shared bathrooms with kids can utilize open shelving and baskets under the sink and behind the door can house small electrical beauty appliances when not in use. A shoe organizer can turn into a life-saving space saver that holds makeup, combs & brushes, jewelry and even accessories such as scarves and belts.

4.)  Public rooms need space!  Have you ever realized your living room and family room get the messiest without even trying? These rooms get the most traffic from friends dropping over, family watching television and you sprawling out on the sofa to watch the game! Maximize space with multifunctional furniture such as ottomans that hold video game accessories and coffee tables that have drawers and open shelving below. You will love having hidden space when your busiest rooms are packed with people.

5.)  Kids’ rooms aren’t just for sleeping: Whether your child is a newborn or a teenager their rooms should be a reflection of their dreams but still be utilized for studying, playing and daydreaming! Create zones for playing, sleeping and quiet time or studying. Maximize space by hanging artwork and assignments on bulletin boards, art wire or other organization accessories to keep desks and surrounding spaces free of clutter.

6.)  Make the most of your bedroom: Every bedroom in your home should be a refuge from the world and a place where you renew in the evening and wake up rejuvenated in the morning.  Maximize space in your bedroom by ensuring your closets are used properly. Store out of season clothing in underbed storage containers and invest in closet organizers that separate type of clothes, accessories, shoes, and more. Every closet can use functional organizing.

7.)  Productivity in your home office: Many family homes are using their home office for computer use, doing homework/bills, crafts and more. Maximize your home office area with effective storage for all. Visit office supply stores and seek out coordinated office supplies, desk organizers and file drawer accessories for kids, teenagers and adults in your favorite colors and patterns. You will love how much more space your home office has when it looks good too!

8.)  Love your laundry room: While it may be the least loved room of the house, maximizing storage in your laundry room can mean the difference in you getting your clothes done and not! One of the best ways to maximize space is with counter space for folding, shelves or cabinetry at arm’s length for detergents and a hanging area for laundered clothes to dry, get ironed, etc…

9.)  Small interiors don’t have to be a challenge: Studio apartments, college dormitory rooms and small homes don’t have to be a storage nightmare. In fact, living in a smaller home ensures you only keep what you absolutely need! Maximize storage by taking advantage of hanging bicycles from the ceiling, installing bookshelves over doorways, and installing built-in shelving in bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.

10.) Don’t hide junk in the garage: While many think the garage is for storing items you don’t want to see ever again, think again! Your garage space can be maximized by purging outdated furniture, broken appliances and more. To maximize the space you do have, install overhead ceiling racks for luggage, recreation equipment, and seasonal decorations and lawn equipment so you CAN fit your cars in the garage.

11.)   Your outdoor home should reflect the interiors: Space saving outside isn’t as big of an issue but ensuring your landscaping isn’t overgrown and unkept can give the illusion of a cramped and unwelcoming home on the inside. Speak the same welcoming ‘language’ in your outdoor home by keeping your curb appeal looking great. Keep your lawn cut, flowerbeds tidy and weed free and ensure your front entry is welcoming with a colorfully painted front door!These 11 areas of your home can get the maximum storage out of them without you having to renovate your entire home. Whether your family is getting larger or you just have more stuff, maximizing space is essential in every home! Do you need 100 more ways to maximize space? Take a look at 111 Simple Tips for your Everyday Home. A guide to help you beautifully decorate, organize and maximize space in every room of your home.

Tips to sell your home fast!

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, houses are selling. 

It's official, Summertime is finally here and you know what that means – home buying and selling season is in full gear! 

Is your house ready to be sold fast and for top dollars?

Tips to sell your home fast!!

Buy first or Sell first

Buy first or Sell first:

 It is a loaded question and it depends on how comfortable you are financially and how comfortable you are taking risk. So should you buy your home first then sell, or should you sell your home first, and then buy?

Many decided to sell before they try to buy a new home or condo because the risk of carrying two mortgages at the same time could be extremely stressful. For the fiscally conservative selling first is the best strategy it’s simple take the money you’ve invested in the first home and then buy another one. The advantage of selling first for most buyers is having access to the equity and knowing exactly how much house you can really afford before putting in an offer on a new home.

If your worried about carrying two mortgages I think selling first is usually the best bet, but with more than a decade of rising real estate prices in Toronto and low interest rates there is a temptation to buy first renovate repair paint then move in.

Buying a new property first in a rising market where product is hard to find and bidding wars are common means you can always get rid of your existing property at a potentially higher price down the road providing the market does not take a sudden turn for the worst.

You really have to do your research with the current market conditions before making the decision to buy or sell first. If the market is good and homes are selling well on your street, then there is a good chance you can sell your home quickly. If the market is slow, it might not be such a great idea. If you don’t think you can financially withstand holding two mortgages then sell first with a longer closing date giving yourself more time to find a new home.

Selling Your Home: Doing Small Projects Pays Big Dividends

It’s the small things that help seal the deal on a house sale. But what does that mean? Here’s a list of essential projects that can get you the most bang for your buck:

First and ForemostA super clean home gives the impression that the home has been cared for. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a cleaning company to clean top to bottom including windows, baseboards, cold air returns, grout and lighting fixtures. Power wash the exterior and don’t forget to clean exterior lighting fixtures. Leaks, squeaks and anything broken – repair or replace. Buyers want to know that the home has been properly maintained. Consequently, if you haven’t done so in a while, have the HVAC serviced. Prospective buyers and their agents look at the mechanical systems to see how old they are and whether they’ve been serviced – we really do!

Carpets CountBuyers remember nice carpet and it’s often a major factor in a decision to buy. Occasionally, a seller will ask us if it’s alright to offer a carpet allowance in lieu of replacing a worn or stained carpet. In our opinion, the answer is “No”. An allowance doesn’t work for buyers who have trouble envisioning change (in this case, what the house could look like with new carpet). Also, some people may assume if the carpet is dirty, the house is too. In either case, you may lose the buyer. Your best bet is to re-carpet. Many carpet companies stock one or two neutral, low cost carpet options, and they’ll come to your home with samples. The companies buy the carpet in bulk, and keep it on site for quick install.

Start PackingBox items you don’t use and put the boxes in public storage so prospective buyers can see uncluttered space, including in the storage areas. The furniture layout should complement the size and flow of each room which means if rooms are cluttered, you may need to move furniture into storage too. Cluttered rooms look smaller and make it difficult for people to visualize how they would place their furniture or whether it would fit at all.  Don’t lose a buyer to clutter.

Make Each Room CountEach room’s furnishings should be aligned to its function. For example, an office being used as a playroom should be turned back into an office. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a desk if you don’t have one. Hire a realtor who can help you stage your home.  

Wallpaper can be a Deal BreakerRemove outdated curtains, mini-blinds and décor - especially wallpaper. Also, remove worn furniture (if possible).  

Add ColorAdding color (fresh paint) is a powerful and inexpensive way of making your home stand out.  Use warm, earthy, tones for wall color in bigger rooms and open areas. Choose a neutral green or blue for bathrooms. If colors are intense or change from room to room, your house will appear to be smaller than it really is so add pops of saturated colors in the details; such as front doors, pictures and décor.

"Outside" Is The New "Inside”Show off your porch, deck and patio spaces with well-placed outdoor furniture and add color with potted plants. Make sure your home’s landscaping looks its best. Edge the yard, mulch flowerbeds, manicure bushes and if your yard is a monochrome green, add color by planting annuals.Small projects and updates that enhance a home and help it sell:
  • Replace old kitchen appliances. A well-coordinated kitchen with matching appliances is essential when selling your home. Don’t buy just one appliance thinking buyers will complete the rest – think “Turnkey.”
  • Consider enhancing the look of standard/builder grade cabinets by adding contemporary hardware such as handles and knobs.  If they’re flat panel cabinets, you may also consider having a carpenter add trim. For older outdated cabinets, consider glaze along with new hinges and hardware.
  • Small tile projects are relatively inexpensive and just like carpet, buyers remember nice tile. Replace vinyl or old tile with modern tile to renew the look of a room.
  • Replace the outdated bathroom vanity and top. A new vanity can really change the look and feel of the bath.  Choose a neutral blue or green paint color for full baths and buy a shower curtain, bath mat and towels to match.
  • Replace dated or builder grade (especially brass) lighting fixtures with contemporary fixtures. Also, replace old light switches and outlets. It’s so simple and cost effective and yet it really makes a difference.
For someone handy, these projects are especially cost effective but if you only have time or money for a few, and work with your Realtor to prioritize from most to least important.Susan Borrelli is a Realtor with Re/Max Gateway in Lorton. 

How to Remove Carpet Dents

Have you ever moved a big piece of furniture, only to reveal small 'dents' in the carpet? These small divots, which are caused by heavy and constant pressure, may seem irreversible, but with our super simple methods, you can get your carpet surface back to its original appearance in no time. (This might be your easiest spring cleaning task!)

Ice cube. Simply place ice cubes in the carpet dips and wait a few hours or at least until the ice melts. Use a sponge to absorb the excess water, and then use a spoon or a coin to gently lift the carpet fibers.

Steam iron. For an entirely opposite approach, lay a clean cloth over the dent and steam heat with an iron. Do not place the iron directly on top of the carpet. Then, gently spoon up the fibers.

Damp towel. For deeper dents, lay a moist hand towel over the dent. On medium heat, gently iron over the towel. The fibers will start to spring up under the heat. Leave the towel on the divot and remove when dry. Finally, vacuum over the affected carpet area so the fibers are sucked to maximum height.

Blow dryer. You can also spritz any dents with water. Then, use a blow dryer to heat the affected areas. Use your fingers to brush up the fibers intermittently through the drying process.Do you know of other dent-removing methods? Let us know in the comments!

How to Hang Draperies like a Pro