Stage Your Home to Impress Holiday Guests
A few tricks used by professional home stagers can make your home holiday-guest-ready, even if you’re preparing for a visit from your in-laws, not potential buyers.
While friends and family might be more forgiving than a home-shopper would be, you’ll still want to create a clean and uncluttered atmosphere for making holiday memories. A major difference is, for friends and family, you don’t need to depersonalize. Tastefully placed photographs and kids’ hand-made masterpieces can help make a house a home, after all.
But you do want to make your place look and smell clean, and you might even want to evoke a sense of holiday magic and warmth. Michele Graham, a Long & Foster regional administrator and accredited home stager who works with agents in the greater Philadelphia area, offered these tips:
Cleanliness first. Make bathrooms sparkle and shine, since these are rooms every guest will probably see. Add fresh cut greens on top of the window treatments, and set out festive holiday hand towels or napkins. Keep small caddies of cleaning supplies in the bathroom and kitchen, or at least on each level of the home, to make clean-ups faster. In the kitchen, run a piece of fresh lemon through the garbage disposal and wipe off the splash guard, which can collect grime.
Clip an automobile air freshener to your shower curtain in a hidden spot to keep the bathrooms smelling good. You can use dryer sheets to do a quick dust job or polish up chrome faucets. Baby oil will make stainless steel appliances shine.
Add sparkle. Put something shiny in every room, whether it’s mirrors, mercury glass, silver or gold candlesticks, picture frames, or a string of white lights. The light will bounce off eye-catching shiny and metallic surfaces.
Bring in some green. Liven up your mantle or table with evergreen branches, holly boughs with berries, dogwood, and other décor provided by nature. You might find the perfect accents right in your own backyard.
Layer and add depth. A few silver and gold accessories add formality, while plaids and burlap are more casual. Embrace the palette of the season, with its gray sky, snow and evergreens. Even after the holidays, you can use white and silver accents around the house. You can add a pop of color using throw blankets and pillows.
Festive curb appeal. Greet your guests upon their arrival with window boxes filled with fresh-cut greens or even fake ones. Holly branches, pine cones and shiny round Christmas ornaments catch the eye.
Graham said you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get your home ready for the holidays. Most of the items she recommends can be found at dollar stores and thrift shops.
And one of the best ways to brighten your space is free. “Keep your window treatments open to let in as much natural light as possible,” Graham said. “It will add a wonderful glow to accent your décor.”
This blog was reposted with the permission of Long & Foster.
Before the wet and cold weather arrives, makes fall the best time to tackle home maintenance projects that are vulnerable to the weather.
For ideas, check this list of the top things to take care of before the bad weather sets in: The List
Even the best handyman or woman doesn’t know it all. So we’ve put together a list of local service providers that may be able to help: Service Providers
Of course, you can always search the internet for fixit tips and home maintenance “how-tos” We’ve put together some popular ones below.
According to the National Association of Realtors annual Vacation and Investment Home Buyers Survey for 2014, vacation home sales increased by a whopping 57% over 2013. It states demand is particularly high among baby boomers who are prepositioning for retirement.
We can relate! Hood Canal has always been a vacation home/second home market. Not only because of the beautiful water and mountain setting which offers so much in the way of outdoor activities. But also because it's only two hours from major metropolitan areas. It's easy to get here for weekend getaways.
And those that decided to move here full-time find, like many of us, that being only a couple hours away from Seattle means you can still go to Seahawk, Mariner and Sounder games, concerts, operas or other major events. Many times we rendezvous with old friends in Seattle by leaving our car in Bainbridge Island or Bremerton and walk on the ferry to go to Pike Place Market or catch a bus or train to other destinations.
Here is a link to the National Association of Realtors article and Infographic: Vacation Home Survey. If you are considering buying or selling a vacation rental, its sure to be of interest to you.
But even cloudy, misty days offer the benefit of less people and choosing hikes with waterfalls and moss covered trees: Dosewallips River hike, Steam Donkey trail, Murhut Falls, Lena Lake, and Staircase.
Use the hiking guide at wta.org and choose the east Olympics region for more hiking options.