May 21st, 2013
You know that annoying feeling when you can’t find that piece of paper on your desk, or that favorite pair of jeans you want to wear?
What about if you couldn’t find your desk…your closet…if you lost your home, your family pet or most cruelly, a loved one?
Last month I wrote about coming back from the events that we here in the northeast have faced in the last 6 months, and quoted Mr. Rogers…and it bears repeating. Just over twenty-six hours ago one of the worst tornados in recorded history chewed through the town of Moore, Oklahoma. The loss, the trauma, the sheer scale of rebuilding these residents will be facing in the months to come is staggering. They need helpers.
The Red Cross is clear, they need money. Money for food, shelter and medicine, money for rescue and recovery efforts. To help support these efforts, The Refreshed Home announces Working for Moore: Consults for a Cause, here’s how it works:
- Call now, mention this post and book up to two hours of Interior Decorating or Home Staging interactive consult for between 5/21-5/31.
- At the end of our consult, you write a check to the American Red Cross for the rate of $95.00/hour, and I mail it in a pre-addressed envelope
The Refreshed Home helps you make good plans and wise decisions, so you can get on with your life. Together, we make better sense of your space, and your stuff. Consults can be for buyers as well as sellers, remote, or for shopping services and in-home/on-site in Westchester and lower Fairfield county.
Got a listless listing? Looking for a unique housewarming, wedding or birthday gift? Maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about for yourself? Now is a great time to act.
Do good, get good, call now 914.607.2895
Working for Moore: Consults for a Cause
May 9th, 2013
Growing up, gifts were purchased, and came with pretty paper and bows. No one ever thinks of, or saw what their parents do as a gift. It’s time and life that adds perspective and poignancy.
Even though I lost my mother at a young age, I see it every day, when I look at her wedding ring, on my left hand. No matter what my parents’ own personal problems were, they raised three children who somehow each knew to pick exactly the right mate, and go on to have loving relationships, and productive lives.
What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most is a collection of personal essays, reflecting on the gifts of wisdom, courage and strength they received from their mothers. I am 1/31st into it, had to stop and write this: Buy This Book
“How They Do it in France” by Elissa Schappell is a funny and warm portrait of her mother whose choice of substance over style she saw manifest itself in baked goods. Other titles include The Plant Whisperer, The Gift Twice Given, The Unicorn Princess, and Never Too Late.
If you’re looking for a special way to thank mom, or the mom-like people in your life, buy her this book. If you’re looking for a really special way to thank her, buy this book, read a chapter or two for inspiration, then write your own story.
May 5th, 2013
Words matter, and the right one is priceless. Have written about ’Staging’ (vs ‘preparing’- several times, in fact), but today let’s re-think ‘de-personalize’.
‘What do you know about Home Staging?’ is how I start out my Home Staging classes.
‘De-personalize’ usually come up right away. Asking what that means, the answers come less quickly, are usually self-deprecating (‘No one else will appreciate my fine taste in ___’) or quietly sad (‘No one cares about, or wants to see my family’).
There is nothing constructive or positive about it. It’s sweeping and un-specific, finding fault without offering a solution, and sounds judgemental and arbitrary to the homeowner. YET I know removing personalization is a truth to getting a house noticed and sold. Well, at least a partial truth.
Very personal personalization in a property for sale is never a good idea-it distracts buyers, and can provide buyers with way TMI regarding the sellers and their circumstances, information that could be used against them. BUT-less really is less, and a flat, pale space void of warmth or character isn’t received well, either.
People sell for all sorts of reasons, but in buying-and yes, even in downsizing-there is always the desire for a better place, and hope for happiness. The secret to successful Staging in Westchester County is to attract, touch, and engage buyers in very real ways, in ways they do not expect. The Refreshed Home champions RE-PERSONALIZING a space, here are some ways how:
Clever looks for and demonstrates value:
- Has the patio/deck looking good now, and keeps it in shape til the first snow: Patio furniture scrubbed and out, grill ready to go, even buying a fire pit to extend living space.
- A desk in the corner of the family room-away from the TV< but near so a parent can multi-task.
- Dresses up the garage or basement by cleaning and painting the cement floor
Aspirational points to all the things that could be, in this new house:
- Kitchen accouterments that support visions of cooking adventures and healthy eating: specialty/vintage cookbooks, herb plants, colorful legumes in glass canisters
- Good books add soul and character; who doesn’t want to be smarter, or yearn for more time to read?
- Color-ordered closets with matching hangers: almost magical, a sophisticated, unexpected luxury
Whimsical adds delight. It makes people pause, smile, and feel good.
- A live goldfish
- A puzzle, or poker game in progress
- Really cool-colorful, sexy or fun- toss pillows
Knowing who the buyer will be is the Realtor’s job; knowing how to attract buyers (and other agents!) is mine. Some sellers have a pool of suitable items, but many don’t; accessory shopping, and accessory rental have consistently been the fastest-growing segments of The Refreshed Home’s business. NEXT: Accessories and Home Staging: Little Things Make Big Things Happen.
May 5th, 2013
Sure, we all have heard of Home Staging, but how does it work, and what is a Home Staging Consult? Welcome back to FAQs, the series where short and simple answers to your Decorating and Home Staging questions are the specialty of the house.
Home Staging-preparing your Westchester County property for a quick and rewarding sale-can unfold in many different ways, a Home Staging Consult is the best way to get started.
Once you’ve decided to sell, the questions about getting market-ready can be many: How does it work? What needs to be done, what can we do ourselves? What makes sense for our market, what will reinforce the price we want? Who will do what, and what will it cost?
The Refreshed Home believes sellers can do more than they might think they can, and offers Home Staging Consults as a platform for ideas, information and discussion that lead sellers to their own best answers. Interactive and collaborative: the sellers’ needs, goals and expectations are considered, resources are explored, while current/local market conditions and comps are discussed with the Realtor.
Home Staging Consults are up to two hours on the property, with refined and detailed notes emailed to all parties within 36 hours. It puts many tools in the sellers’ hands for $285.00. Even better, it adds peace of mind and a trusted advocate to your equation.
The Refreshed Home has been helping people make better sense of their space and their stuff since 1981. Whether your listing is languishing, or you are thinking of selling next year, it’s never too early-or too late-to start the conversation!
April 27th, 2013
While I’ll always be an Ossining gal, have been graced to live on the perimeter of Turnure Park in White Plains for many years now. And for thirteen springs I have literally had a front row seat to the White Plains Annual Cherry Blossom festival. Always a wonderful and uplifting event, but tomorrow-Sunday April 28th 2013- will host the best ever-do not miss it!
Organizers at The Japan Education Center have worked just as hard behind the scenes…the entertainers will be just as enthralling…the White Plains’ DPW crews have busied themselves just as mightily this year-repairing damage from the ravages of this past season, then seeding, edging, mulching, planting and such…so why will this one be the best ever??
Two reasons…first: Mother Nature is cooperating. Am certainly not an expert, but like most flowering trees, the blooms of the Cherry Blossom trees have a short span.
Too many warm days speed up the process, too many cold days, or back and forth weather yields mild or uneven blooming. This spring has been on the cooler side, with a gentle trajectory toward warmer temps, PERFECT. Looking out my window as I write this, tomorrow will be MAGNIFICENT.
Other reason it’ll be White Plain’s best Cherry Blossom Festival ever? We are SO READY.
This festival celebrates the beginning of Spring- always an uplifting time of renewal. But this year, we are REALLY READY. Ready to see neighbors, and share new experiences. Ready to wear just one layer of clothes, and to feel the warm sun on bare arms. Ready to breathe clean, crisp air under clear blue skies, stroll and linger under canopies of fluffy, cotton-candy pink flowers. Ready to put the collective heaviness of the last 6 months behind us. Ready to be HAPPY.
Free, and open to the public, vendors start setting up early, but festivities run from noon to 5. The park is one block in off of Broadway, between Main and Lake Streets. If you’re driving, I recommend parking at one of the municipal lots like Hamilton-Main, (by Wal-Mart) and walking the 2 or 3 blocks…trust me, you’ll spend at least that much time stuck in traffic behind others who keep circling the block.
The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in White Plains is a celebration of Japanese culture: music, singing and dancing will abound. Storytelling, and other events are suitable for kids of all ages, and popular food and beverages will be available for purchase. TODAY might be a great day to find and dust off (or go out and buy) those folding chairs that you can carry in a fabric tube, on your shoulder, as sitting space is minimal.
Am always so grateful to The Japan Education Center, and the City of White Plains for this event.
LIKE it now on FB now to see photos and more details. It will be the best ever, do not miss it.