living room

1st Dibs on This Habitat Collection

Well it's been a busy few weeks but I am excited to say that I can finally share some pictures and links for a staging job I recently worked on. Someone had contacted me about staging a home that was completely vacant. I offered a few options, one of which was to stage with inventory and furniture from the Habitat Restore. They chose that option and the fun began!

First I met them at the house for a staging consultation. That's when I walk around and asses the space, make recommendations, then decide what type of furniture and layouts would work best for each room. Every home is different, and here we focused on these 3 impact rooms: living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Empty home before staging

The day before staging I walked the Restore floor and found pieces that worked together and fit my plan. That was a good practice in my "use what you have" training and philosophy. Whatever was available on the floor at that moment was what I could use. No time to make changes, order anything else, or shop around. I used only what was available - good thing the Restore has a lot of great pieces!

The day of staging I met the movers at the Restore to help coordinate the furniture pick-up. I worked with a team from Junk-A-Haulics, and they were fantastic! Everything was packed and unpacked quickly and very carefully. You can see them in action here :)


Junk-A-Haulics in action

Then the fun part for me really began - rearranging the furniture and adding decorative touches through accessories. Once everything was in place the transformation was complete! It's amazing what a difference furniture makes in showing a home. Many home buyers have a hard time imagining themselves and their furniture in a space, so staging helps potential home buyers see the scale of a room with furniture, and suggestions how they can use it.

Ta da! Same house after staging.

The best part of using Habitat Restore for staging is that all these pieces of furniture are available for sale, so make sure to read through to the bottom! Here are some more before and after photos:

Living room before

living room after

living room after

living room after staging

Dining room before

Dining room after

Fireplace before

Fireplace after

Foyer before

Foyer after

And while I don't have any "before" pictures of the kitchen or front porch I wanted to show the "afters" anyway!

Kitchen after

Kitchen after with butcher block cart in previously empty space.

Countertop staging

Front porch after staging

Ok, so now that you've seen what items I used from the Restore I am excited to say you can have first dibs to buy these items!! They have been listed for sale on ebay so you can buy any of them right now. We have it set up so you can use paypal online or pay at the store when you pick up. The only catch?? These items won't be back at the Restore until Tue Oct 21st. So that's it! See something you like? Take a look at the listing here!

http://www.ebay.com/usr/morrisrestore973

And make sure you click "see all items" for a full list. Act quick - the beautiful dining table and coffee table have already been sold!

Any questions send me an email or call, just click the contact link below for information.

Cheers!

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Creative Solutions for Necessary Evils

My car was in and out of the shop this past week and I've finally gotten it back, horray! It was challenging to coordinate two different schedules around one car, and there is limited public transit for travel within NJ. NJ to NYC - no problem. Eastbound travel within New Jersey - not so easy. Anyway I'd be just as happy to not own a car but alas I still need one! That got me thinking about all the necessary evils that we deal with, my car being one of them, and there are certainly plenty in the decorating world! 

Here are the top 4 necessary evils that came to mind right away:
- Incorporating a TV into a room plan
- Designing around floor & wall vents for HVAC
- Plugs and wires for connecting our digital world
- Cash (always a necessary evil!)

What other necessary evils do you find hindering the way your rooms work? I'll address each of those above and I'll start with the TV. I think this is something we all deal with and there are many ways to make it work!

#1 - The TV is Bossy

Necessary: for entertaining, watching TV & movies with friends and family

Evil: When living rooms are bossed around by the TV it results in uncomfortable room arrangements.

With new technology and flat screens there are many options you can use to incorporate the massive black screen successfully into your decor :)

For Wall Mounted Screens...

I love the idea of using artwork to hide the screen when not in use. There are many variations on this idea: you can lift a painting, slide to one side, or my favorite is splitting the artwork and sliding to each side for a balanced look. If you choose a more abstract artwork it would look just as good open as it does closed.

Lowe's: I love this simple DIY video from Lowe's, click here for the link.

Or if you look around I'm sure you could find a decorative box with accordion doors that open, similar to this one at Horchow that is sold out. 

Horchow

Or try incorporating the screen into a gallery wall. I think this one works particularly well because all the frames and matting are black so it relates to the TV. In addition the wall is painted a medium gray and the unit below is also black. Very cohesive.

via Decorating Files blog

Projectors

Good Design Takes Planning

As with pretty much everything else in life the best results are achieved when there is a "big picture" goal and a plan to follow. Sometimes decorating can feel like a daunting task when you don't have all the pieces yet, or don't know what to do with the pieces you already have. You may know what kind of look you want but find it hard to achieve the desired result because of various limitations. These limitations can be anything from trying to find furniture you love in the right size, waiting for the budget to allow for such purchases, or waiting to inherit a piece promised from a friend or family. The list goes on and on and it can be so frustrating!

This room needs help! Picture from Houzz dilemmas

This room also needs help! Houzz dilemma


But don't give up! It will all come together in good time. Designing a home takes a lot of time and patience, and allowing for things to evolve over time. I just finished reading "The Business of Design" by Keith Granet and I pulled a quote from him that really resonated with me: "A house is a product, a home is a process."  Isn't that so true?


Traditional Living Room
by Toronto Interior Designer Jane Lockhart Interior Design


Contemporary Living Room
by Orlando Photographer Studio KW Photography

Sometimes all you need to get started is a good plan! The design plans I provide as part of my consultation help to define the "big picture" for the space AND help to prioritize each step of the process so you know when to buy things and in what order. It's your own personal check list! Having a design plan saves frustration, keeps you organized, and helps your budget stays on track.

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! When I hear this exclamation my first few thoughts are: shamrocks, parades, and beer (green optional!). When it comes to decorating though, there are many other ways to bring a bit of Ireland into your home. For me Ireland conjures up images of lush green pastures dotted with sheep, stone walls covered in lichen, and a hazy aqua mist.

(source)

(source)

The best thing about decorating personal spaces is that every person has their own interpretation of what something means to them. We always try to incorporate meaningful funiture and accessories into our redesign because that's what makes each space truly unique. Below are some rooms we found that could have been different interpretations of Ireland based on the pictures above. What does Ireland mean to you?