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PLEASE HELP US with this room so we can sale our house!! :D
sarahcecilia
November 14, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi, my name is Sarah and I am new here.

Please will you help assist me with suggestions or ideas for ways to lighten up as well as liven up our living room? We have been trying to sell our home since the summer with no success. We've had a few potential buyers come and go, with no strong interests. When we got a new Realtor Agent who was more honest with us he said that he suspects buyers aren't interested in pursuing an appointment to see our home based on the very dark photo's we have next to our listing online. He said, and my husband and I agree, that our dark living room looks dismal and down and that if we want a quick sale to change it.

My husband and I tried to get bigger bulbs for the ceiling fan light but apparently there is some sort of light bulb Watt limit for ceiling fans? (This is new information to us-never heard of that before....) We bought two floor lamps but they did very little, just a minimal yellow glow kind of how the ceiling fan light appears, so we took them back.

What can my husband and I do to bring life to this room and get our home sold? We took the curtain down and all of the photo's and wall decor off of the walls because our previous Realtor told us too, but our new Agent is saying to put some of it back....What do you think?

What can we do to make this living room lighter, brighter or just overall look much more appealing to home buyers?????
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sarahcecilia
Oops, sorry. I didn't mean to post this same photo twice, but I can't figure out how to remove it.

Also, what I do like is the vaulted ceiling in this room, and I still have not been able to decide if I like our tile floors....some days I do and other days I do not. LOL!!
0 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 11:39AM
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collettec
Not sure how much you want to do. Just some possible suggestions - I would first pull the dark chairs away from the windows and place them on either side of the couch. Then I would take the side table in front of the window and place it on the other side of the couch, leaving the window clear. I would put the bookcase flush on the wall next to the window and get books and other objects, nothing too small, mostly books if you have them, to fill the bookcase, so the house looks occupied. Other options would be to change out the existing lampshade for drum shaped shades to update and think you need something behind the couch and over the desk area. Perhaps pictures over the desk area and large scale art or even paint the wall behind the couch an accent color - perhaps a terra cotta like the floor. The furniture is dark. Think it would help to add some lighter pillows, perhaps in the floor color to lighten the look of the furniture.
10 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 12:13PM
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janishill
If it were my room I would remove the blinds then paint before I did anything else. A soft soothing green like this: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/soothinggreen
The green would automatically bring 'life' to the room as green is the color of life.

The next thing I would do is add a rug to brighten and warm the room. This one from Lowe's is cheap and will work perfectly well to soften the appearance of the room, cover some of the tile and brighten the room at teh same time.

Next is to hang curtain panels. You want to hang them high and toward the outside of the window. See attached illustration. These will work beautifully: http://www.lowes.com/pd_29318-1753-1577608_0__?productId=3191139&Ntt=curtains&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Dcurtains&facetInfo=

Now it is time to bring the furniture back into the room. Wish you would post pictures from both ends and both sides of the room so we could come up with a good arrangement. What is the focal point in the room? I am guessing it is the window.

When the furniture is in place then it will be time to add a few things to the walls and other decorative items; including throw pillows a couple of books on the book shelf and a live plant.

So far you have spent aunder $250 and you will recoup more than that!


Be sure to post those pictures! :-)
14 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 12:31PM
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greenthumb2
rug with colors. great janishill. agree. next open house; bake cookies, fresh flowers in entry, and leave!
if there isn't a binder about your home already; put one together. tax info, remodel info if you've done any. your broker (and agent) should be giving you the tips on what is required for state and county laws for disclosures. having all that available and school info. anticipate buyers questions to help them say "yes" to your home.
A picture of the front of your home inserted into the cover with your address under it. Inside, leaflets labeled so they can find the info easily. it allows one of the people looking to read while the other listens to the agent and walk around. this is a very useful tool. puts everyone at ease because it gives someone something to do and learn about the home... best of luck to you and family sarahcecilia!
5 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 12:55PM
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PRO
Polcare Interior design Crafting
this is a great room...I sugest using chair modings, to contrast the well...it does wonders and is very inexpensive.


How to do;

1


Individually measure and record the length of each wall in the room in which the chair railing is to be installed. Add 3 to 4 inches to each wall measurement to allow for miter cuts during installation.

2


Total the individual wall measurements in Step 1, and purchase the required feet of chair rail molding.





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3


Measure a distance of 32 inches from the floor, and mark a point on each wall at 3-foot intervals. Connect these points with a pencil line to designate the chair rail location.

4


Use stud finder to locate studs behind each wall, and mark an "X" at location of every third stud along the the line placed in Step 3 to designate nailing points during chair rail installation.

5


Cut a 45-degree angle on opposite ends of the first piece of chair rail to be installed.

6


Position this cut piece into an inside corner, and align it along the pencil line drawn in Step 3. Mark center points where stud locations fall on the chair rail molding.
1 Like   November 14, 2012 at 1:00PM
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PRO
Stanton Designs-online design services
With a few things this room will be completely transformed. Start with a fresh coat of paint...I suggest a beige, It's neutral so it will sell and it will go with the floor. Then find a large area rug that has some pattern and color to liven up this space. I'd remove the bookshelve....there are no books on it so why have it. Then just accessorize a little to give it some life and personality. Find a couple accent pillows to help break up all the brown seating, and find a painting or picture to hang above the large sofa. You want people to feel comfortable. Good luck!
10 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 1:02PM
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mmilos
Remove the desk, corner bookcase and cabinet. Consider removing one of the chairs as well. You want to make the room look like it's got a lot of space. Get a large, cheap, light colored area rug...something transitional in style to lighten your floors. Pull up the blinds and add a curtain rod with grommet drapes in a accent color from the rug. Declutter any view from your windows.
5 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 1:08PM
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dcer
1. Add nice rug and coffee table
2. Move chairs so they are facing the sofa
3. Hang some art on walls
4. Remove blinds, install drapes
5. Take dark bookcase out of corner
6. Add decorative pillows to sofa and chairs
11 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 1:31PM
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careclare
First, paint the walls! Nothing like the clean smell of paint! This will soften the room, and neutralize the color/contrast of the tile. Choose a neutral, not-too-dark beige/medium brown. Make sure you get the right beige/taupe to go with the rusts and browns of the tile. If a guy sees a terra cotta wall, he is gonna call it "pink". If it is green, someone will hate green. Go neutral. Anybody with a sense of color will picture it painted their vision. Since there appears to be no focal point (TV or fireplace...can't see the fourth wall), I agree with another poster, using them to flank to sofa, conversationally, or try the chairs opposite the sofa...move the desk to in front of the window. Definitely ceiling to floor drapes, as someone else suggested (buyers like it when they don't have to redo everything at once when they move in), and then the bookcase in the room makes since. Not just books on the book case...book ends, small photos and something with warm colors on the top of the book case...flower arrangement, tall candle holders? A soft, lighter than the floor, solid colored rug will soften the space, warm up the cold tile and balance the dark furniture. Be sure it reaches at least the front feet of the sofa and chairs. Pillows can be pricy, but when you decide on an warm accent color (apricot? Peach?) get soft throws to go on each "piece"...about $10 bucks a piece. Something on the wall over the sofa...Kirkland's, Pier One...metal art, clock. Uplighting is a great thing for these tall ceilings...floor lamp with a upward tilt...torchiere? When I smell cookies in a house for sale...I run the other way...What are they hiding? Mold? Mildew? Cat? Smoke? Don't overdo any fragrances. Try one tiny spritz of a clean smelling spray, as far in advance as you can. Keep a wet disposable mop (Swiffer) and run that around each morning in every non-carpeted room. Don't remove the blinds...just open them everyday, just in case.
4 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Arlen Dau
Fortunately you have a great holiday to help! Set up a tall, large Christmas tree with white lights to fill the room. Put the sofa in storage. Rebalance the room furniture to give the tree the focus. Add garland around the window - lots of red color. Holiday decorations always trump a room's layout. A large tree skirt will hide more tile and add some wrapped gifts.
1 Like   November 14, 2012 at 1:57PM
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judianna20
Palencia 3-Light Chandelier
Velvet Drape, Wheat
Limited Edition Petite Lucite Tray by Tilly Maison

Oasis Outdoor Throw Pillow - Grandin Road up your floors! Arrange the furniture as suggested to make it cozy. Remove everything but the leather. I am assuming the sofa/chairs will go with you to your new home, so spending some money on things that can go with you won't be a waste.

Pull the sofa away from the wall and purchase a sofa table. Put the two lamps on it and hang a one of those great canvas wrap paintings that you will find in HomeGoods. Put the two ottomans together to act as a coffee table with matching trays on them…try Pier One for those. You need throw pillows, a throw, window treatments and a mirror to bring in extra light. I think you will get a big bang for a buck if you replace the fan with a chandelier.
6 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 2:05PM
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decoenthusiaste
I would advise against any holiday decorations. Some prospects, believe it or not, won't appreciate it. That is a short season, but they will live in the home year round and want to see how their stuff will fit in your home, not how you decorate for holidays they may not have any interest in. Try to set up cozy vignettes that say "Ahh, we're home!" Since you have a desk and bookcase, set up a home office somewhere, but not in the living room. Find a focal point in each room where you can tell prospects that this room has a purpose and will fit their lifestyle. Your realtor should know the general type of prospects he/she will be showing the home to; young families, retirees, singles. If families, you can do one bedroom to include a rocker, a throw over the arm, a side table, lamp and an open story book, as though someone was just reading to a child when the prospects arrived. For singles, devote a room to media. Retirees may appreciate a nice guest room for their visiting children. Be sure the kitchen and baths are spotless, and that every room feels warm and homelike. From the living room I'd guess that you have already removed the items that would tag your personality and that is a good thing. You just need a warm paint color that enhances the tile and a nice sized rug to minimize how much of it is exposed. Ease the sofa off the wall about 6." It is a visual trick that makes it seem like your room is very spacious; after all you don't have to push the furniture against the walls to have enough room! Wow! Good luck selling this time!
7 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 2:17PM
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brenhom
Definately a lighter, neutral (not busy) rug and some light colored (neutral/pale) throw pillows for the sofas to lighten up the furniture and floor.

I would also keep the room "single purpose" and take the desk out of the room and put the chairs along that wall facing the sofa, then move that table with the lamp in between them, rather than having it by the window. An updated lamp shade is a good idea.

Yes, the book shelves need some books, and a few decorative items.Place it flush against the wall like the piece on the other side of the window. If you can afford it, I would paint the walls a pale neutral color (still light, but not stark white.)

Artwork over the sofa and over the chairs - nothing wild.

Some fresh flowers for some color, and even soft candles (nothing too heavily scented for showing) will create warmth.
2 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 2:31PM
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janishill
Drat! I forgot to add the illustration showing how to hang the curtains. I will attach it now. If you hang drapes this way it will make the windows look huge and will not cover them concealing the light.

And I agree with decoenthusiaste - NO CHRISTMAS DECOR! Everyone does not participate in that ritual.

Oh...and the pale green I suggested is considered a neutral and will warm up the cold looking space, but so will this nuetral golden color: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/goldenlab

This would look fabulous, but then you would need to find another rug and curtains besides the ones I suggested earlier.
9 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Sarah Steere
you need to add height and warmth to the room. what is on the other side of the room? (where you are standing to take the picture)
2 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 5:51PM
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sarahcecilia
WOW! I am overwhelmed with appreciation from all of the responses we have received. My husband and I just walked in the door from going to Sherwin Williams and I am about to settle our two kids in bed for the night. Right when I am finished with that my husband and I will read through all of your replies together to see what all you've shared. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH EVERYBODY!! :D

Sarah Steere,
I am replying to your comment right away since it is right above this comment box so I was able to read it quickly. Our living room has vaulted ceilings, which I guess isn't visible from the photo I attached initially. So I believe the room is fine on height, however I am no expert. Also, on the other side of the room is the TV nook which you'll be able to see in this other photo I am including.

I'm going to get my children settled downn or bed now but I am very excited to read ya'lls feedback.

BRB....
0 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 6:19PM
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jweber71
great rug - soften up the leather with some pillows and throws - possibly a lighter colored ottoman - You don't want to get too much new stuff but if its something you can use a lighter color would be a nice contrast to the dark leather. The paint is essential. It will warm up the walls and make the room cozier. I would move the two chairs opposite the sofa and leave the window exposed with the drapes hung to the ceiling - add some pillows and throws to 'warm' the leather and soften the whole room - let us know how it goes.
2 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 6:30PM
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jweber71
great rug - soften up the leather with some pillows and throws - possibly a lighter colored ottoman - You don't want to get too much new stuff but if its something you can use a lighter color would be a nice contrast to the dark leather. The paint is essential. It will warm up the walls and make the room cozier. I would move the two chairs opposite the sofa and leave the window exposed with the drapes hung to the ceiling - add some pillows and throws to 'warm' the leather and soften the whole room - let us know how it goes.
1 Like   November 14, 2012 at 6:30PM
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sueacw
Hi there - I suggest you get a large cream rug with a glass coffe table and definitely some
big chunky cushions in creams, browns and greens. Perhaps hanging some cream
curtains with tie backs would soften the room too. God bless.sue
1 Like   November 14, 2012 at 6:37PM
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janishill
Love the rug. Once the walls are painted you want to arrange the furniture so it forms a U shape. Back of sofa toward windows, but with at least the front legs on the rug. Chairs flanking the sofa, legs on rug. Side table on ends of sofa. Ottomans pushed together and used as coffee table. (see photo for configuration) Top the ottomans with a large tray that has a candle, a live plant and a couple of books stacked, or a vase with flowers, etc. See photos.

Use your desk as a sofa table. Use the chair in a corner left of the window. Add a throw to one chair, some pillows (prints and solids ) to the sofa and the chairs.

Center the table by the door under the mirror.

Post pictures of your pictures (aka art work) once you have done the other things (painted, rearranged furniture, etc. and we will help you decide what to hang and where. :-)

Can hardly wait to see the update!
4 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Sarah Steere
The rug helps, immensely! I think next step is curtains in that same creamy color to flank the window. When I mentioned height earlier, I meant everything in the room is the same height when you look around. The eye stays at the same level and it's pretty boring. The easiest way to solve this problem would be to hang something on the walls. Keep in mind however to limit any personal items, as you want the buyer to imagine their things in the room. All the furniture is the same color, except the end tables. Do you have end tables in another room that you could switch with them? I think the furniture placement suggested by janishill is on the right track. It seems the furniture placement is endless and you need to just start playing with your pieces. bhg.com has a "make room" tool you could check out.
3 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 11:12PM
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kah416
Can you move the chairs to where the desk is? And then put a console table against the window with a pretty lamp or just a potted orchid (real or fake), then a large mirror above the couch. Throw pillows on the sofa in a neutral color, and an area rug. Add a coffee table with a tray on it that contains a few magazines or books and a candle that you can light before a showing. That will warm the room up and make it smell good! Also, remove the bookshelf from the space, and add a new lamp ( does not have to be expensive...one from Walmart would do!) And put up some panels in a beige/tan color. If you can't move the chairs to where the desk is, maybe moving the chair on the right to the other side of the couch would help open the window space up, if there is room to do that ( I guess it can't hurt to play aro dmwith furniture placement :) Hope any of these ideas help you! Your furniture is beautiful! http://www.target.com/p/home-azul-floral-wool-rug-blue-brown/-/A-12912198?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C12912198&CPNG=Home&kpid=12912198&ci_gpa=pla&ci_sku=12912198
3 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 11:54PM
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kah416
Here's a couple more ideas
2 Likes   November 14, 2012 at 11:55PM
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sarahcecilia
Those are some wildly great suggestions that we are reading, one's we never would have thought of on our own. I love the idea of using our ottomans in place of a table and using the desk as a back end sofa table too. JudyG, we adore the colors of the accent pieces you shared in the photos!! We will play around with the arrangement of our furniture pieces and YES, I would love to share photo's of everything with ya'll.

Before I forget, let me say that the area rug you see in that last photo I uploaded will most likely not be in our home. I don't know if you can see it or not but it has very bad stains on it and our German Shepherd had urinated on it so we pulled it out. (I took that picture awhile back and actually forgot all about it until I began searching for a photo that showed the other part of the room yesterday- so it's an old'ish' picture.)

Thanks Sarah Steere for clarifying about the height....that's absolutely true about everything being at eye level. We'll have to work on that.

Looks like hubby and I have some work to get started on. I'll post photo's as we go along to show our progress. Thanks again everybody. :D
1 Like   November 15, 2012 at 8:36AM
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apple_pie_order
You've gotten many excellent suggestions already to liven up this big room with dark furniture.

if you can send the rug out to a professional cleaner, they may be able to work wonders on the stains. That'll save you the expense of buying a new rug. If you do buy a new rug, make sure it has some pattern that will obscure dirt from kids and dog.

I like the idea of trading the tv and desk locations. It makes more sense for a sofa to face a tv than a desk. People can imagine themselves sitting on a sofa watching tv. Sitting on a sofa watching a desk is not so enticing. Get rid of the empty bookcase.

You need lots more light. Try buying some inexpensive can lights that sit on the floor; they are about the size of a coffee can. The fan light is not enough to give you good ambient lighting and the lamps are also heavily obscured by their shades. Put up some floor to ceiling panels as others suggested, open the shades and leave them up every day; you never know when some real estate agent will show the house.
2 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 9:47AM
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sarahcecilia
Thank you apple_pie_order. I was thinking that very thing about taking our rug to get a good shampoo cleaning because we would much rather spend the money on accessories/lighting than another rug. However if we must buy a new rug we will. I'm going to be calling somebody about getting it shampooed today. We already removed the bookshelf out so it is gone now.

As far as painting the walls, we already did this. Unfortunately we painted before seeking out some expert feedback and just went with what our Realtor advised which was a China Doll color by Sherwin Williams. We painted the entire interior walls of our home and even a couple of the ceilings with with this paint and hubby doesn't want to do it all over again. So we are going to have to rely on what decorating 'skills' we have by making good, creative use of wall art, accents, arranging of furniture and other decor.

I have never heard of can lights, but I will find out about them today.

Yes, you're right, it is not common to imagine yourself sitting on a sofa to watch a desk....I got a good chuckle reading that though. :~D

Gotta run again.....
1 Like   November 15, 2012 at 10:55AM
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victorianbungalowranch
What you need is better photos for the listing, and that involves more than redecoration.

To get decent interior photos, I would open the blinds (unless the view is bad), turn on all the lights, set up the camera on a tripod, and take multiple long timed exposures with high depth of field (f8 is nice). Set the exposure on a mid-tone in the room (the rug is about right) and bracket the exposure. Watch for the time of day when the room is the brightest, and not too early (too blue) or too late (too red) in the day.

If you notice in home magazines, many photos are done so the interior shows nicely but the windows are very light. Your home looks dark in the picture because it is thrown off by the window--if you can see the view as well as or better than the room, the exposure is off. Do not rely on the flash to get a good picture--if you can, you can try bouncing the flash off of the ceiling during the timed exposure, but set one or two stops below the overall exposure. That is called fill flash.

Take a look at your instruction manual or get a friend to help, and it is worth the price of an inexpensive but sturdy tripod. Press the shutter very gently to not wobble the cameria, and try different angles. Also a moderately wide angle lens can help, but can make verticals look distorted.

Perhaps after you redecorate, your new photos can include a vertical that shows the cathedral ceiling.
Try taking pictures from different places and from sitting and standing height to see what shows your home to its best advantage in all rooms and outside.

Another post has a lot of staging help:
http://www.houzz.com/discussions/238447/Emergency-Help-ASAP
2 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 11:38AM
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victorianbungalowranch
What you need is better photos for the listing, and that involves more than redecoration.

To get decent interior photos, I would open the blinds (unless the view is bad), turn on all the lights, set up the camera on a tripod, and take multiple long timed exposures with high depth of field (f8 is nice). Set the exposure on a mid-tone in the room (the rug is about right) and bracket the exposure. Watch for the time of day when the room is the brightest, and not too early (too blue) or too late (too red) in the day.

If you notice in home magazines, many photos are done so the interior shows nicely but the windows are very light. Your home looks dark in the picture because it is thrown off by the window--if you can see the view as well as or better than the room, the exposure is off. Do not rely on the flash to get a good picture--if you can, you can try bouncing the flash off of the ceiling during the timed exposure, but set one or two stops below the overall exposure. That is called fill flash.

Take a look at your instruction manual or get a friend to help, and it is worth the price of an inexpensive but sturdy tripod. Press the shutter very gently to not wobble the cameria, and try different angles. Also a moderately wide angle lens can help, but can make verticals look distorted.

Perhaps after you redecorate, your new photos can include a vertical that shows the cathedral ceiling.
Try taking pictures from different places and from sitting and standing height to see what shows your home to its best advantage in all rooms and outside.

Another post has a lot of staging help:
http://www.houzz.com/discussions/238447/Emergency-Help-ASAP
2 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 11:38AM
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janishill
Drat! I see I didn't post the link for the rug. That's OK, cuase I found this one that is cheaper. It may even be cheaper than having your rug cleaned! Here's the link: http://www.lowes.com/pd_120909-42580-3651070-8X11_4294856544__?productId=3089975&Ns=p_product_avg_rating|1&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating%7C1&facetInfo=

Or this one: http://www.lowes.com/pd_337840-102-6768-14932-8_4294856544%2B4294774535__?productId=3306444&Ns=p_product_avg_rating|1&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating%7C1&facetInfo=8' x 10'

I know you have already removed the bookcase, but it would look good where the desk is now, especially if you use the desk as a sofa table. The chair could actually stay with it, just pull it out at an angle as if inviting someone to sit down.

I know your house is going to look good and sell quickly!

How does your kitchen look?
2 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 12:00PM
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lefty47
HI -- I think the only way your house is going to sell is -- your furniture has to go out and rent or borrow smaller more contemporay sofa and chairs . Get the rug you have cleaned then hang some drapes (bigger than the window)that will go with the rug colors. I think the blinds are fine but need drapes with them. Place some side tables and put a console on the wall where the desk is . Then put some paintings and pictures (not personal)and a few decor items . I was going to tell you to paint but you said that was done . What is lacking is a little contrast between ceilings and walls . You actually need a warmer color on the walls in a creamy tan or coffee or a soft green. Get a large real parlor palm plant or two in a nice big pot or basket to have in a corner to bring some life into the room . No faux! They don't cost much but have a great affect . Paint the alcove where the TV is a dark color that is close to the TV color so that the TV is more hidden visually. I think the size and the style of your funiture is the major problem with the sale of your property.Hope this helps.
1 Like   November 15, 2012 at 12:14PM
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mmilos
Are you sure this is the only issue with the house as to why it's not selling? What feedback have you gotten from your agent? Hate to send you on a task fixing up this room and spending money when the real problem lies elsewhere....most likely your asking price.
2 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 1:16PM
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apple_pie_order
Here's a link to the can lights: http://www.amazon.com/Track-Gloss-White-Adjustable-Accent/dp/B0000DI4D2 They are available in black, too. Put them in corners pointed at the ceiling. Use reflector bulbs, preferably incandescent for best color rendition, but fluorescents would help, too, as long as they are "warm white", not "daylight" which is fine in daytime and weird looking at nighttime.

The advice on better photos is excellent. Pros now use software to reduce contrast between bright windows and dark interiors. If you like to spend time on that kind of thing, do a google search on "high dynamic range real estate photography".

Sometimes a house doesn't sell for reasons other than the way it is presented for sale. You should probably have a frank talk with your new agent about why offers have been too low or why there have been no offers. Sometimes it's invisible: a smell of dogs or diapers or cat litter. Sometimes it's dead trees in the yard or dead cars in the neighbors' driveway. Sometimes it's the lack of a garage. Ask your agent to show you the photos of houses that *have* sold in your area that are comparable to yours, and to explain why theirs sold but yours did not.

You can spend a huge amount of time painting over one off white with another off white, but if that is not the major problem, it is a misdirection of your energy.
2 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 1:16PM
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jweber71
never say never because i purchased my home with a floral sofa in an empty room and pale aqua half curtains - i think to make the room as open as possible, as inviting as possible, cozy, light and bright and with minimal extra furniture is a good start - a mirror behind the sofa will help with adding light - i would buy some great lamps that have REAL bulbs and a white shade - home depot has some great options for a drum shade that will add light - maybe even get a matching torchiere (stand lamp) for the corners - these you can use again if you buy your style but update it and don't go small - your current lamps are dwarfed by your furniture- to clean the rug yourself...if there are stains get an aerosol product called tough stuff- it got marker off my cream velvet sofa - once you apply it everywhere scrub it a bit and vacuum like crazy - repeat it as needed - if you cant get the rug clean go to overstock for a cheap rug that is delivered in three days for three dollars- if you hate it you can return it - it just needs to be fresher and neutral and needs to cover your dark tile floor - i wouldn't rent furniture that is costly - if you are keeping your furniture then go with it but the theme is fresh, light, bright - clean your windows, use the orchid - fresh never fake, some other fresh flowers and get rid of all clutter - a warm color on the walls would be nice and the darker television alcove is a good idea - i might even get rid of the tv all together -could be a long few months without it -try to watch the show "sell this house" on you tube or net flix or if its on in your region - he is amazing and gives great ideas with what is present - best of luck
0 Likes   November 15, 2012 at 1:32PM
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sarahcecilia
Okay friends, my husband and I went out to *several* different stores to tackle some of the ideas ya'll gave us. We decided to focus on just a few items first; some pillows, a big picture for behind the sofa, and an area rug. And I can honestly say that I hope to never see another pillow anytime soon again!! YIKES!! *chuckling* One of the stores we entered had hundreds, and I mean literally, of pillows in what seemed like never ending rows!! I had my iphone with me so that I could reference the many ideas that were shared here and got to work. I will say that in no way did I foresee this being a difficult task, but with the enormous selection to choose from we got stumped and it didn't help that my husband and I were having a different approach to this and wound of disagree often- no fun. In hindsight, I don't know why we didn't settle our differences with a pillow fight since we were in the perfect spot for one. *GRIN*

From there we ̶a̶r̶g̶u̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ looked at some rugs, and thankfully came home with one we (somewhat) agreed on. Let me warn you that it is not plain.....eek....

I have to confess though that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to pull this all together when it's not second nature to me. And we had to dip $50 into our down payment funds for the future house we plan to be in, which upset us. I know this may sound like pennies to some, but we are very budget conscious.

Anyhoot, I hope I do not let any of you down for I fear that you may not like what we picked out, but please go easy on me/us. We will of course listen to feedback, even if it means returning or exchanging an item. Pictures coming soon.

victorianbungalowranch, thank you for your feedback-- I will follow up on those instructions, play with my Nikon and see if I can accomplish some better images once everything is back in place.

mmilos, thanks for being concerned about where we invest our time in trying to get our house sold. We have had very few buyers coming through our house, so the Real Estate Agent suspects that the photo's of our home are not jumping out at any prospects. He based this on the fact that, according to him, most people first view homes online before making appointments to see it. If we are having a hard time getting some appointments than he said it's because they don't like what they see. :( No worries, CHIN UP, because we are on our way to turning that around!! :D

So now that we've been busy shopping all day I don't have time to throw it all together right this minute- have to pick up my kiddos from school and then evenings are always fairly busy after that.

I promise you that I will make every ounce of effort to find time to get everything in it's place to take some pictures and upload them for you to see before the day is out. You have been so helpful for us and I am so thankful for your time and willingness to guide us.

~Sarah Cecilia
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 12:49PM
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janishill
Sarah...I understand about dipping into funds that are set aside for something else. Budget was the reason I said cheap rug, cheap drapes, etc. Thse items are where you will get teh biggest bang for your buck.

I know it will all come together.

There are several other things you can do as well. Groom the lawn, make sure your windows are sparkling, put yellow flowers by the front door, if you have an American flag hang it in an area where it can easily be seen, bake chocolate chip cookies right before an open house, have a bowl of fruit on the kitchen island or counter. Fresh flowers or greenery in a few places; living rooom, bathrooms.

We are rooting for you and hope to see updated photos soon!
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 1:00PM
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brenhom
Best of luck to you Sarah, you seem to have a wonderful attitude about all of this! May your house sell quickly, and you and your family find a home where you enjoy many happy years!
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 1:05PM
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parisgirl1970
It needs warmth. Absolutel a light colored or patterned area rug, some soft lamps or lighting (stay away fron flouresent) a few soft pics on the walls, some sheers that are hung flush to the ceiling, some plants or flowers, a glass coffee table, and move that dark furniture on a corner angle to make the room more open interesting. And a touch or two of red somewhere, and some antique-ey accents here & there like a small clock or a shell, and maybe a soft throw over the couch.
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 1:13PM
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apple_pie_order
If your agent is right, then photos of comparable houses will look inviting. Take a look online and compare them to the online photos of your house. IMHO, your new agent should plan to hold another agents' open house (with cookies- agents are people, too) to reacquaint them with the house once it has been re-staged.

Good luck, I know it is stressful.
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 1:25PM
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Christine
First off your realtor should be taking the photos NOT YOU. They have the lens that would make things look more expansive and it should be part of their marketing plan for your home. If they are not willing to do that then dump them and find one that will market your home in a professional way. The longer you are on the listings the less interested folks will be. That being said...

Get rid of EVERYTHING BUT THE SOFA... EVERYTHING.
Add an area rug
glass top table with thin legs (nothing heavy
A simple console and put a tv on top of it. Put it where the computer is.
Put up a art grouping behind the sofa.
Add a simple but stylish ceiling light
Add matching side tables. Simple streamlined legs
Add lamps and do a small vignette
Get rid of the blinds and put up a simple valance or some silhouette honeycomb shades
Get a good sized area rug.
Invest in some bright oversized sofa pillows and throw

Start with that and then see what else may be needed. I think they say you have to remove all elements of yourself and your family. Create a blank slate.
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Nancy Hehmann
Got in on this late and the area rug is one of the best things you could have done. When you are decorating, you must keep thinking "I need drama or the WOW factor" The neutral paint is excellent. Do not change it to a color. Why?? B/C the person looking at your house does not want to repaint and everyone may not like the color you choose. I personally do not like sage green for instance. If you leave the walls as they are, the person purchasing can put any color sofa in your room. You do need some wall art for color! Be sure you do not go tacky though. But, according to staging experts do not use personal photographs. From the art you could pull a color to accent with. Or choose a color from the rug. I would get a nice throw in a lighter color (or the accent color ) to drape over one chair.

HGTV has a great show too called designed to sell. The basic principle is you are decorating your house to sell. When you moved in you decorated it to suit you; now,, you have to please the masses. You might even want to visit a model home for ideas. The property brothers also have a new show - I think it is "Buy , Sell" They redecorate a home and then help the person buy a different one.

Also, I would think of all the great things about your neighborhood and schools and make brochures. Even hospitals close by and Drs. Yes, you have a realtor but sometimes they do not do a great job. We were lucky enough to have a river with a walking trail in the neighborhood we used to live in; but the realtor did not tell anyone. You probably have the best chance of selling your house to people coming in from out of town so you want to be sure to promote the house and neighborhood. Research your realtor. You may need to change if you are having no luck. See which realtor is getting results in todays economy. Sometimes it is not the best friend of so and so. Having cookies baking in the oven is good. Chicken in the crockpot. I also noticed that almost all ads of kitchens had vases of lemons in them. People who advertise research what pleases people so I got a vase and put fresh lemons in them when I sold the last house.

Also, make sure the pictures that are being taking are well lit so the house does not appear dark b/c of a bad photographer. I see so many photos on realtor websites that are not good.

If you have any wall paper in any room get rid of it. If your childrens rooms are pink or the latest color, neutralize it. Declutter all areas - according to the pros rent a storage building if you have too. I would how ever put a few colored vases in your bookcase in the accent color you choose.

By the way, I used to flip property. Hope you have great luck.
2 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 1:32PM
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judianna20
Would you share a pix of your exterior?

Great advice, Carolina.
2 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 1:33PM
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joaniek
I'd recommend you hire a home stager to come in and make the necessary changes to help you sell your space. It will be the best money you can spend -- they will tell you exactly what you need to do and may even have some of the pieces you need that you could rent/borrow. But as many people have suggested, a large light colored rug on the floor (maybe sizal)? With some light and fun throw pillows will go a long way. Take the desk out of the living room and open the blinds -- all those things will help to brighten the room even without paint. But you can never go wrong with a soft neutral beige on the walls.
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 2:32PM
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tammy1976
I think if you pull the couch out a bit so it's not against the wall and take your two chairs and put them opposite the couch so seating is across each other. You can the place your desk under the window or remove the chair and use the desk as a sofa table with two light color lamps on it. Maybe add an area rug but make sure it goes under the first two legs of all your furniture. Maybe some lighter Colored and patterned throw pillows and a throw over one of the chairs. Also cheap art work. Take any fabric and wrap it around some cheap foam board or canvas. Instant art work
0 Likes   November 16, 2012 at 3:34PM
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sarahcecilia
Hiya again,

I just wanna touch base briefly to say that unfortunately I will not be able to upload the photo's tonight like I had hoped to. I don't know if our kids used to much TP or if they flushed a small matchstick car or something similar down the commode but it overflowed something horrible, water down down the entire hallway. Soooo, instead of joining together our new nice and lovely decor I have been using every towel in our house to swash up toilet water. YAY ME! (obvious sarcasm) I sure wish I could bubble wrap my precious daughter and son while in the phase of trying to sell our home, but then again how boring would life be if I did that? *smile*

So please bare with me. And thank you for your patience. I am praying there will be no gloomy surprises in our forecast for tomorrow and will hope to post you up something then.

G'night!

~Sarah Cecilia
1 Like   November 16, 2012 at 9:28PM
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apple_pie_order
Real life includes overflowing toilets. In "magazine life", toilets never overflow. I hope your day is sunny.
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 7:03AM
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selawela
EXCELLENT advice by all! Take them and run with them. And the most important one...GET A PROFESSIONAL Photographer...with the proper lighting and the use of a wide angle lens, your pictures will be amazing and will get people to come look at the house. And before they get there, turn on every light in the house and open every blind, etc. Show the house in its best, possible light..literally! And excuse me if someone has already mentioned this...clean out all your closets and cabinets. Show off how much space you have, even if you don't! LOL! And never show the house with the toilet seats up! LOL! Good luck!!!
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 7:47AM
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judianna20
Go into realtor.com and plug in your town, your price range and similar data (#of bedrooms, baths, etc) and see what comes up. Compare the listings and photos with your house. Something is wrong here with your realtor. I don't hear him giving you constructive advice. Let me know what you find; it may help us with more suggestions. Although the advice here has hit on just about everything.

Has the realtor suggested any incentives that you could provide a buyer like a home warranty? Has your home had an inspection? You could start over again, with a slightly different price and new photos/description and get it on-line as a "new listing".

I have purchased homes that were entirely empty and that never deterred me.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 9:30AM
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PRO
Monique Jacqueline Design
Quickly, I would pull all the furniture off the walls. I would remove the desk and put in a television so people can envision this space as their family room. I would throw in a rug to bring in color and make this feel as though it is a happy space. Right now, the space is lacking color, which further translates to character. I would maybe remove the two brown chairs and replace them with a couple of upright chairs or place them differently. Hopefully you can follow this. Keep the sofa where it is currently located, if the sofa is on the west elevation, have one chair on the south elevation, with the other on the north elevation. It removes weight from the window elevation. Then i would consider stationary drapery panels. You can indicate in the selling agreement that the draperies will be going with you, or that you will leave them. You can take them with you and use them in your next home. This way, you do not feel as though you are spending money on something that you can not re-use. You can get a longer length than necessary, puddling the panels, so that you can re-use them and hem them accordingly in the next location. Also, I would remove the bookcase piece you have in the back corner near the sofa and window elevation. Should you want to discuss any of my thoughts or those above, please do not hesitate to contact me directly, moniqueflesher@gmail.com. I am sure that you are overwhelmed with all the responses but this is a very important conversation, leaving out personal opinions. The goal is to sell your home with the least amount of funds sunk into that process. Re-using, relocating your current items and decluttering is the main goal. I work with many realtors in my area on this specific topic!
Cheers!
m.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 9:59AM
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sarahcecilia
Did not know that about keeping the toilet seats down, nobody has ever mentioned that to us; good to know. Thank you selawela for this tip!!

Thanks apple_pie_order, and don't I know it about real life. I'm experiencing a little bit more of 'real life' than I'd like to right about now with all of the mishaps. Ha Ha

brenhom, thank you for wishing us a quick sale and noticing my attitude in this journey. I am trying my best to keep a positive attitude and great disposition especially in front of my kids as they are learning how to handle life's disappointments by watching my husband and I. We already missed the opportunity to buy a wonderful home since we are still waiting for ours to sell and everything in me wanted to stomp my feet and wail my arms around screaming (not a pretty picture), and MAYBE if little eyes weren't watching me I may have. But they constantly are on me and if they see Mommy frantically falling apart because I don't get my way than I shouldn't be surprised when they have a meltdown for not getting a piece of candy they want. I am constantly aware of what I am teaching them by how I lead by example. But trust me, CHOOSING to hang on to a knowing things WILL get better when there are no guarantees is not easy as I've wanted to pitch a fit many times.

I think it's safe to say that my husband and I are being exposed to Murphy's Law at it's finest. And if we can't get a good laugh out of this (maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually) than what is the alternative? Holding a grudge? Giving up? No thank you! :) OKAY, I'm off my soap box now. *Giggling* Have a blessed day! ☺
3 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 10:00AM
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selawela
;) Hang in there...all will be okay! and keep smiling! :)
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 10:32AM
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sarahcecilia
Okay friends, here is the room with just the rug and pillows. I also added an accent pillow to that chair there. We pulled the blinds up all of the way, pulled the couch 6" from the wall and put the legs onto the rug as suggested. We removed both the ottomans and are going to position them as a center coffee table too, but I wanted to show you the room like this first. (If you could see me right now I am hesitating/scared to click the 'submit' button....here goes....)

Whatcha think so far?


Is it too much? Is it not enough? Is the rug to busy? Should I just use the cream pillows and take away the brownish/reddish/flower ones? Should I take an aspirin? *Grin*

We have a large picture to put over the sofa (you can kind of see the top of it resting behind it), but it is to heavy for me to hang by myself so I'm waiting for my husband to come home to help me.
15 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:08PM
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joaniek
Vast improvement so far. You still need more lighting in that room -- bigger or brighter but it's coming along great!
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:14PM
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sarahcecilia
Thank you joaniek. You don't think the rug is too busy? Crazy?

The lighting has been, by far, our biggest challenge, but we are still working on it.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:20PM
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greenthumb2
Awesome transformation. If you home looks good on the drive up, I think you may have a contract soon. Just a feeling. The run and pillows look fabulous. serious upbeat rug. That is what you need. Something will shake loose for you. Could be a lucky rug!
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:24PM
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parisgirl1970
A picture over the sofa & a small glass cocktail table..still missing. The room looks much softer now. a touch of red somewhere to wake it up? It's such an improvement!
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:25PM
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joaniek
No, I like the area rug -- brightens the space, warms it up, and blends with the darker furniture. Can you remove the ceiling fan and add a nice bright light? Or switch to a ceiling fan with brighter lights? Also, you could try changing up the side lamps -- HomeGoods often has great prices. Something larger, taller, brighter. What lightbulbs are you using? This is not the time to save energy -- get the highest wattage your fixtures will allow and that might help. Getting a picture up over the sofa will be a big help too. And I would (if you can) remove that heavy chest under the window -- a small accent table would be a better choice. The chest looks too much like a bedroom night stand.
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:25PM
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joaniek
Oh, and the front legs of the chair should be on the rug too -- rule of thumb in a room with area rug-- at least all the front legs of all the furniture should be on the rug.
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:27PM
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sarahcecilia
HA! BINGO joaniek! That's exactly what they are(both of them); nightstands! We don't have anything else to set the lamps on so that's why we have those in place. :( Should I take them out completely or do you think I can maybe cover it with something? Or what if I turned it sideways so all that's showing is the wood, no handles?
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:48PM
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Sarah Steere
getting closer, keep up the hard work!
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 3:50PM
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joaniek
Remove them -- they send a confusing message. I know you don't want to spend a lot of money, but even a couple of cheap tables from target would be better in the space. You definitely don't want to lose your lamps since you are trying to keep the room light and bright.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 3:51PM
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sarahcecilia
I was afraid you were going to say that. Lemme see what I can do.....
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 4:31PM
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judianna20
Have you checked out your competition? Stop with the decor right now! Your realtor, when you sell, is going to get a commission. Make him work for it. Go to open houses in your area and meet your realtor there. None of this design stuff is going to work until you check out the playing field. Grrrrrrrr.
4 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 4:39PM
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selawela
Nothing wrong with borrowing items from a friends' or family's homes, if you can do that....I did that and it was great!!! They also got a kick out of seeing their "stuff" in the virtual video and pictures. I also gave them credit for helping me sell the house with the items I borrowed from them! Good luck and things are looking good. More pictures and keep us posted!
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 5:27PM
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selawela
By the way, my realtor was the one who hired the pro photographer, not me...she took care of it all and gave me tons of great advice...the same advice you are getting here...and my house sold in two days! It was amazing!
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 5:31PM
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joaniek
selawala has a great idea there to borrow some tables from a family member or friend if you are able -- but you definitely don't want bedroom furniture in the living room. In a "hot" market, those things don't really matter but if sales in your area are slow or there's a lot of homes in the area, the reality is that the better "staged" homes sell faster. From what you said at the outset, you are not even getting buyers into the house because they are not interested from the photos (according to your realtor). You might also (as judyg suggests) make sure your house is competitively priced. If your price is too high, all the staging in the world won't sell it.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 5:55PM
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kazemini
I do not like it, but here are some ideas to make it much better.

1.With a living room, you should go with hardwood, or marble floors.

2. I think that you should remove the fan and put in a light.

3. I also think that you should remove everything from the room and instead put a modern, or fabric sofa instead of leather.

4. Next I think that you should remove the table and computer (office area) and put a bookcase with decor and books inside instead.

5. Finally, I think that you should remove the shutters, and put velvet curtains instead, so more light comes inside. Or just remove the shutters


I really hope this hope that this helps.

And good luck!!!!!
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 6:07PM
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kazemini
Sorry, I also will say that you should add a rug, one of my favorite rug stores is called Jamal's Rug Collection. But it has really $$$$$$$$$$ rugs, GOOD LUCK.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 6:11PM
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kazemini
also, try putting inside several lights to lighten it up, I prefer 190 wat light bulbs
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 6:13PM
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sarahcecilia
Hi judyg. Yes, we visited a few homes in our same subdivision that are for sale and our Agent printed out a list of our comps so we have a 'feel' or what we are competing against. According to him he said that our home is in the the 'middle range' (or 'average') when measuring up to the surrounding homes that are on the Market. So our goal has been to rise above the 'ordinary' to stand out so we can get it sold ASAP.

My husband and I have made some improvements that might be minor but we feel makes a difference like replacing out all of the bedroom ceiling fan light fixtures with brand new ones, replacing all of the carpet (initially we were just going to get them shampooed), installed a vent fan in the hall bathroom, updated light fixtures in the hall, kitchen, foyer, and front porch, painted all interior walls and one ceiling, touch up painted several 'sun dulled' areas on the exterior of the house, and are currently in the process of cleaning up our front yard flower bed.

On top of that, next week, we will be power washing the backyard patio, the backyard fence (our side only) and our drive way, our kitchen will be yanked apart to replace our countertops with granite, along with installing a nicer under mounted sink, crown and chair molding will be added to parts of the kitchen with a two-tone paint (darker on the bottom of the chair molding), and a few other things that I'm forgetting right now....oh yeah, and we hired a tree trimmer to prune the hideous overgrown branches off some backyard trees. So this is why we are closing in on the funds we have to do much else.

So we think , we are hoping, we are praying! that all our efforts will not have been in vain. :)
2 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 6:40PM
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joaniek
Wow, that's a good list -- I'm sure it will help you to sell faster!
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 6:42PM
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tahiranaqvi
I would suggest having aood flooring with a nice rug in the center. Add curtain panels. Put art work above the sofa and paint the wall an accent color. It's a big wall so putting some color on it will add depth to the room.
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 6:47PM
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judianna20
Good for you. Your tale of sale is all over the country right now. We have definitely been in a real estate slump for the past couple of years. We sold our home in a down market in 1992, but purchased a new home that we normally never could have afforded. 7 years later we sold that home for a substantial amount and subsequently bought lower, then sold it higher, etc. Don't get discouraged. There is a buyer for every house. It may take awhile, but your home will sell. This I say with confidence, after buying and selling 8 homes in 45 years. Keep the faith. BTW, love your tile floors.

P S have you tried Craig's List?
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 6:56PM
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sarahcecilia
Hi kazemini,

I appreciate your honesty but we are not in a position to replace our flooring with hardwood or marble and we can not buy a new sofa or even know of any friend who will lend us one. Although we can possibly move out even more furniture our space is limited as to where to put it. We rented out a storage unit and already have it near capacity. Truly, we are trying to work as much as possible with what we have. We have not won the lottery yet, but if we do then maybe we could do some of those things. (Heck if we won the lotto we would hire somebody to do all of this all for us while we settle into our dream home.) *GRIN!*

We are working on a solution to bring in more light because that is something we are very well aware of that we need. We have been brainstorming like mad and even thinking 'outside the box' for an answer. The notion of a swapping out the ceiling fan for a light is being considered, A LOT

Are you referring to our 2" wooden blinds when you reference 'shutters'? Because I'm not sure I'm following you on that one.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 7:04PM
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selawela
Sarah, your sofa and chairs are beautiful..those do not need "to go," absolutely not! Just what you've posted in the last picture..adding the rug, removing the bookcase, bringing the blinds up....just that alone looks fantastic. I don't think that the average person is going to notice that you have night stands as end tables...if they do notice, then get over it! LOL! The first impression they will get is that the room looks open and airy and is free of clutter. That's what's important. If people are looking at the furniture in detail, then they really shouldn't be there wasting your time. Again, just adding the rug and what you've done already is a huge plus! Looks comfy and inviting and open and airy. I would like to see the picture you were going to put up! A clutter-free home and sparsely decorated is your best bet. Better for the "buyer" to envision their belongings in the beautiful space. Less is best...in all rooms. :D
3 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 7:22PM
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sarahcecilia
Thanks judyg for reminding me to keep the faith, because it comes and goes. It's hard not to base my mood and emotions on if we get a phone call informing us that somebody wants to see our home. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster, right about at the vomiting stage. YUCK! Your purchase sounds slightly like us in that it is optimal time for us to take advantage of and buy a home in a few select neighborhoods that we otherwise could not. We 'lost' that opportunity on one piece of property and now we have our eyes set on another one; it's a foreclosure in a semi-upscale location. (Foreclosures always make me sad.) It is much bigger than we need for our family of 4, but with good reason. We have been looking into becoming a foster family so if we can get this house, or another one similar, at the square footage size and 4/5 bedrooms in a nice area at a GREAT price than we will be ECSTATIC!! God only knows. *SMILING*

Oh and yes ma'am, I have been combing through Craigslist just tonight for floor lamps, or just any lighting in general, some alternative tables in place of the nightstands, and a few other odds and ends.
1 Like   November 17, 2012 at 7:22PM
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sarahcecilia
Awww, thank you selawela for your wonderful compliments!! You have certainly won over my husbands heart because he's already 'warned' me that I'm 'pushing my luck'. At this point he is very satisfied and feels much better about the overall appearance and so do I. I don't mind people being honest with me on how they feel/what they think and in fact I'd much rather be put-off by some truth than comforted with somebody holding back on me. In this scenario I think it might be difficult because I did not disclose our budget so readers aren't knowing what to recommend based on costs. However, I do tend to agree with you that there's no need to overdo it by trying to mimic a showroom on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. Although I believe home buyers will take notice to the feel of the room and how well we care for our things, I think you are right in saying that they will not be inspecting our personal belongings. I think it's fine for us to do what we have so far and looks fabulous, IMO. And maybe we can do even a bit more if it's within reason, (I really don't mind swapping out the nightstands for something else because I was already debating on this anyway. I really would like those back in my room. LOL!) At the same time, my husband and I have to be realistic with what we have and stay within certain limits that we set for this 'renovating allotment', which we are closing in on. Thank you for reigning us back in!! :-)

Now, about the pictures....you mentioned wanting to see the pictures that I was going to put up? The one we had online with our house listing is same photo that is at beginning of this post. That is the photo I first came here with seeking input on how to spruce it up. Or are you talking about some other pictures?
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 8:12PM
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selawela
awwwww.....I'm blushing...thank you! :D Have faith that you will sell your house soon and everything will be great! Show off your home not just with material things..but with the right "attitude." Make your house "rock" by showing it with pride and love...show it like you take the best, possible care of it. You know what I mean? Oh, the picture I thought you were referring to is the one that was hiding behind the couch. :D
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 8:28PM
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apriljcc
Yes paint! Float & face the sofa towards the window . Put a chair end table & lamp on wall facing the sofa. Bring in texture with fabric. This room is too brown & hard. Remove the bookshelf, oak table anything unneccessary. Maybe a cream or accent color shag rug to pull the space together.
0 Likes   November 17, 2012 at 8:42PM
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cyndela
I would even out the colors to bring the room together. On the back wall where the sofa is, paint it with a limestone color that is the same intensity (same amount of black and white) as the lightest color in the flooring. Then lighten up the couches with a couple pillows or TV blankets that are shade or two darker than the wall. get a couple large healthy green plants for life. All the suggestions for furniture arrangement are great.
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 5:55AM
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lucindalane
Sarah,
Please don't be so hard on yourself. I know you want to sell your house. I, too, have been considering moving, and there was this house that I rather liked-and I was only looking at it online. However, I found myself disliking a great many things they did, because it was obvious that it had been "staged" to death. The walls all had been "tauped" to death themselves. While it may be true that buyers don't want to see countless knick knacks everywhere as well as fifty pictues of one's children at every stage of development, a room still needs to have some personality. Most people are looking for a home, and I think you and your husband are going to be able to show buyers exactly that. You are fixing the home so its move in ready, yet any new residents can still put their own "stamp" on things. That is all that any reasonable buyer could possibly ask for.
So, don't kick yourself because you have limitations, especially budgetwise. I think you've made some great choices here. You've certainly have lots of ideas here to choose from, but still remember that you are the only one who knows what you can and can't do, Don't feel guilty because you can't do it all.
1 Like   November 18, 2012 at 7:07AM
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sharleeg
sarahcelia, I've been following this thread and have to say you have such a great attitude and have come such a long way! The rug helps tremendously! Yes, your large scale very dark furnishings are dragging down the space, but you can work with them. I see in the after photo just now that the large chairs and table with lamp on it are still by the window. I would definitely move those chairs ,( along with table with lamp on)and place them in a conversation grouping with the sofa and leave the area in front of window open. Some inexpensive colored drapery panels on either side would help tons. Maybe you can find a glass cocktail table on Craiglist that will allow the rug to show beneath and keep the space open. You are getting there! It is a big task but will help you get to your dream home! Best of luck to you!Don't be afraid of some color to enliven the space. I see you selected ivory pillows, the same color as your walls, though you said you had thousands to choose from:)))
1 Like   November 18, 2012 at 7:48AM
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janishill
Hi Sarah...I was out of town for the weekend, but wanted to see what you have done with the room. ILove, love, love the rug. It makes a huge difference in the fell of the room.

One thing I did notice is it does not seem to be centered on teh rug. Can you post a picture taken further away so we can get a better idea of how it looks now? Here is an idea on tables;

1) when the tree guys are there ask them if they could possibly bring you a couple cuts of a tree trunk . Tell them you want to use them as end tables, so maybe they can get two that are similar. (if you do get them let them sit outside for as long as you can before bringing them in and when you do bring them inside put a garbage bag under them in case, but folded so you don't see it.)

2) If you have a lot of books don't give them away. Make three or four stacks of books useing books of a similar size. For a deliberate look, pile each stack to a different height, placing your lamp on one stack, a green plant on another and a candlestick or other decorative item on the third..or make them the same height and top with a round glass table topper from Walmart.

3) Vintage suitcases make an excellent table anywhere in the home. They add terrific vintage charm. Be sure to stack the suitcases neatly so it looks effortlessly intentional. Check with parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles adn friends to find these.

Get creative and think outside the box.

Get a piece of cardbooard, use a large bowl to trace a big circle, then use a smaller bowl to trace a smaller circle inside the first one. Cut it out so you have an 'O' shape. Glue fall leaves to it. Spray paint with clear high gloss paint. Use hot glut to add a ribbon to the back to hang it with. Almost free wreath to say 'Welcome' at your door.

Pineapples are the universal sign used to say 'welcome'. Sit one in the middle of your table, or on the kitchen island or counter.

Don't forget a pot of yellow flowers by the door. Mums are cheap right now, but they speak volumns.

Hang in there. You and your husband will think back one day, look at each other and smile.
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Nancy Hehmann
You did an amazing job in selecting the rug!! Really great. I thik it will really help sell the house. Buyers from out of town etc. will need to see the difference so make sure you have the realtor come back to reshoot the pictures for the internet. That is the way most people make their preliminary selection to view. Dont forget to make the brochure to hand people viewing your house of nearby neighborhood attractions and schools, Drs, hospitals. Include some pictures of things if you can. Even a nearby park could help with selling your house. We made our own brochures and left them on a table just inside the front door. It really helped when people toured the house when they were from out of town and I think it helped sell the house.

I am sure if you posted pics of other areas people would give you ideas of those too. We are cheering you on!
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 5:33PM
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sarahcecilia
You guys are the BEST!!! I SOOOOO appreciate all of you taking the time to offer many options for my husband and I to tinker with. Really, you don't realize just exactly how much your guidance has boosted our confidence in this room, which in turn instills confidence in us- thank you, thank you, a billion times over THANK YOU, every single one of you. Although we were not able to apply all of ya'lls creative techniques on specific arrangements, styles, and designs all of your ideas have most definitely been an eye-opener for how we now look at other rooms in our home. And even though I might get slightly frustrated with my progress it's only because I feel like I can 'visualize' the look and the 'feel' for the area, but am struggling with how to execute it. Thank you for all of your patience.

And, BY GOD I THINK WE'VE GOT IT! Or are definitely getting closer, at least with illuminating the room more. Since we are on a budget crunch, and refuse to use a credit card to make up the difference for what we are lacking, I propositioned my husband that instead of taking our kids to the $9/ticket movie theatre to see 'Wreck-It Ralph' in 3D (their reward for A, B report cards) and over spending on a $6 Lg Popcorn, we could just buy Disney's 'Brave' for $17 and make do a fun 'theatre' in our own house, popcorn and all, saving mula. Cha-ching! LOL!! And later propositioned him that I will hold off on getting my hair trimmed and eyebrows waxed, (all of which are luxuries anyway that are not 'needs'). Anyhoot, long story short we took the savings and found many $59+ lamp lighting, but off in the distance we noticed a 71" floor lamp for $7.99!!!!! The employee must of thought we were super weird because we kept asking her if that price was correct. Ha Ha!! Okay, so maybe I can still get my eyebrows waxed....we'll see, but I'm not gonna press my luck!

Forgive me for not updating ya'll sooner, but I promised my daughter and son that they would have Mommy's undivided attention today and although I was tempted to jump on here quickly I didn't want to let them down. I don't think I'll have the photo's uploaded until maybe tomorrow afternoon or evening, because even though we have the better lamp I still need to put it all in place and I'm too exhausted now. :'( Plus tomorrow morning we start all of the work on the granite counters, crown moldings and power washing. But I at least wanted to come on here before the night was out (It's 11:50 my time now) and share with you where we are at. And of course to extend our appreciation to you. We are indeed grateful. Until tomorrow.....

~Sarah Cecilia
3 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 9:51PM
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joaniek
Wow, that's an AMAZING deal on the lamp -- wonderful news. Can't wait to see your room all fussed up. Be sure to show pictures.
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 9:59PM
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selawela
I was getting to "pack it up" and go read a book and relax before going to sleep and I got excited to see that you updated here! Yay! for everything! I started laughing to myself when I read the part that you will hold off in getting the brows waxed and trimmed! Hahaha...I do the same thing! I love my brows done professionally...I always start with that if I need to save a little money and put it elsewhere! Hence the color of my hair right now..Medium Brown from Loreal! hahahaha... Can't wait to see the new pictures!
0 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 10:02PM
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sarahcecilia
GOOD GRIEF!! I just went back and read my post and I am embarrassed and owe you an apology for how much I ramble on, something I'm sure nobody cares for. I can almost hear my husband in my ears critiquing me 'just get to the point already'.. I think it's a side affect from having the majority of my days conversations with my First Grade son and the limitations that come with that. (I believe the peak of intellect in our discussion today was about figuring out ways to get his WWE action figure to flip the highest.) So when I begin to engage with adults in 'real' conversation it's just so exciting to me and a breath of fresh air that I just don't know when to stop!! EEK!!

Thanks joaniek- we were impressed with the deal too. I fear it may not come out to exactly to ya'lls liking since it doesn't really mesh well with everything else. So even though we wonder if it's 'off' for the room or doesn't quite fit in, we feel like bringing in that extra lighting will pay off anyway. You'll see what I mean tomorrow in the photos.

Ahhh, I'm glad that you were able to read my ̶b̶r̶i̶e̶f̶ extra extended update selawela and that you hadn't retired for the night quite yet. However, reading a good book right now does sound relaxing to me too.

It's nice to know that I am not the only one who sacrifices eyebrows maintenance costs to free up a few dollars. I hate it though and may have to recant on....oh wait, it's too late, already a done deal....oh well. I'm pretty sure he'll give in for me to get them waxed once he remembers his work Thanksgiving banquet is fast approaching and he won't want me to accompany him with a flashy unibrow! YIKES!

Well I don't want to keep chattering on so I will stop h.....
2 Likes   November 18, 2012 at 11:15PM
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greenthumb2
:=) Life is a great adventure. Your sharing with us is part of our adventure with you. We do wish you success. But, I am certain you know that already.
1 Like   November 18, 2012 at 11:46PM
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decoenthusiaste
The new rug works and will be great for you when you move as well. Noted a silly issue you want to think of when you shoot for online presentation - crooked things - like one of your lampshades. The room is so much better already. When will you have another open house?
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 3:32AM
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apennameandthata
Pls post updates! Too, in photographs, do not include the ceiling as it just looks like a blank white expanse. Nice improvement so far! Congrats on the report cards.
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 4:45AM
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apennameandthata
Pls post updates! Too, in photographs, do not include the ceiling as it just looks like a blank white expanse. Nice improvement so far! Congrats on the report cards.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 4:45AM
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Jonathan Graham
Depending on the value of the house, I suggest getting someone to stage the important rooms. Stagers know what they are doing and all the tricks.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 6:07AM
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janishill
Sarah...I think most of us enjoy the 'chat'. Letting your personality come through just helps us to know what best works for your family. :-)

I have a great lamp story as well. We sold everything we owned before moving overseas as missonaries. When we returned some years later we didn't have anything to set up house keeping. no furniture, no accessories, nothing. And we didn't have much more in teh ways of funds to buy things with. We were window shopping in Lowe's or Home Depot and noticed a floor lamp on sale for $9.99. We snagged it up; excited about our 'find'. When we checked out it rang up for 1 cent leaving both us and the cashier surprised. She called a manager over thinking it was a mistake. It turned out the lamp had been marked out of stock , but since it was still on the floor she let us buy it for the price it rang up - 1 penny!

Oh...if you look around you may find a salon that needs 'models' for hair cuts, color and even for waxing. I haven't paid for a cut or a color in a couple of years! And they send email reminders and other special offers. Works for me.

And one last thing. I want to commend you for keeping your word to the little ones. They learn by example and you seem to be setting a good one.
2 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 6:30AM
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sarahcecilia
Thank you greenthumb2 and decoenthusiaste!! =) Yes, apennameandthata, I am working on posting photo's soon, hopefully today. Right now if I were to attempt taking some shots I will more than likely have one of the granite Contractors and/or his work equipment in it passing through. Media Decor, thank you for the suggestion of hiring a 'Stager', but it's already to late in the game for us to consider that since we have already been trying so hard to do it ourselves. I don't even think we'd have it in our budget anymore even if we did opt to go that route. IF, IF we find our home still sitting here not impressing any buyers to give us an offer, than I'm sure we'll discuss some other alternatives, but we are hoping this will not be the case and that it sells ASAP!

You are too kind janishill, and thank you for that praise. I try. I have often overheard or read that being a parent is a hard job, but I always like to squeeze more words into that statement to include 'Being an affective, nurturing parent with a goal to raise well-rounded, considerate, independent, loving, self-sacrificing, ect. future adult is a hard job because it can be EASY to be a lazy or non-dedicated guardian who has zero guilty conscience for failure in their offspring. And with my husband and I it is of our utmost importance and non negotiable that we raise our children having an unshakable foundation in the Word. So our job comes with challenges, as most parents do, but we know Who we have in our corner so we try to stay grounded and not overcome with worry. ✞

A single penny for a floor lamp?! No way!! That's unheard of and fantastic!!!

Thank you for sharing the tips to look for 'model' customers for my salon wants-- I'll look into that.

Well I've gotta get going now. and rush to get something that I failed to get accomplished done.....'apparently' the Contractors installing our new countertops have to have our current counters completely cleared off of all the appliances and decor before they can rip it out to install the granite. Who knew?!! And now my husband is teasing me for being so air headed for not having knowing 'the obvious'. LOL! LOL! LOL!!
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 9:21AM
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sarahcecilia
The granite installers took off for a bit to eat some lunch so I thought I'd snap a pic real quick....and just so you know, I am aware of some items like the BBQ pit on the back patio that that will be moved. I don't want to touch any of the Contractors equipment and tools that they have sitting out there right now to relocate it.

And, okay, well for some reason the photo's of the room don't look nearly as nice to me as the living room itself does in person. Which TOTALLY BITES because that's the main goal; to show some images of the inside that online shoppers will find attractive to entice .

So to me, I think the first image with the TV showing looks more appealing than the one facing the windows. Probably because our windows aren't anything fancy? Or because we need to invest in some cream'ish' or other style/color drapes? But also because the lighting is better. We can tell a big difference with this light, but maybe still not enough? Go easy on me....
5 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 11:56AM
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sarahcecilia
My husband would like me to point out that he likes the decor improvements and appreciates ya'lls help with that, but he is not fond of this furniture arrangement. =( I like it though, but only in person, but not based on these images. DRATS!! Back to square one, 'eh?
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 12:03PM
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PRO
Monique Jacqueline Design
Hi,
I prefer the photo that includes the television! It looks fantastic! I would maybe think about removing the plant that is sitting on the ground next to the sofa. Do you have a table between the two chairs? If you do, you could put the plant there. It is too small to be on the ground. :)
Great job!
Cheers!
m.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Monique Jacqueline Design
What if you try this: Sofa parallel to the window wall. One chair where the sofa currently is, then the other chair across from it where both chairs are currently placed. The ottoman coffee table would be centered between. Then the sofa is facing the television and you can view the television from both chairs as well! See how that feels! The television is perfect where it is, the space looks as though it was made for it!
Excited to hear your thoughts!
Cheers!
m.
4 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 12:09PM
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janishill
It looks so good. You and hubs have done an excellent job. The one thing you really have to change is having both lamps on the same side. Move on to the other end of the sofa.

And another little hint from a plant person; bend the leaves out further and a slightly downward on that 'plant'. In other words 'fluff it' a little so it looks more realistic. :-)

I am certain your litle ones will turn out to be all you hope and more. They seem to have kind, loving, caring parents and that makes all the difference.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 12:42PM
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sarahcecilia
SILLY ME!! HA! I didn't realize I had left both of the floor lamps over there. Yes ma'am, we'll position one somewhere else. You mean the plant doesn't look real?!! What gave it away? The price tag still attached to it? *chuckling* I'll fluff out the leaves some to-- good touch!

Yes ma'am Monique Jacqueline Design, I'll move things around and give that idea a shot. Thank you for your help. =)

Off subject but I wanted to share this funny conversation I had with my First Grade son after noticing a 'bad' grade in his backpack from Friday:

MOM: You failed your English test?

Little Jesse: WHO TELLED YOU?!
4 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 1:45PM
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sarahcecilia
BTW, can anybody tell me what, exactly, is the difference between an Interior Decorator and a Interior Designer? Or are they basically the same profession? Thanks!
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 1:48PM
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alwaysdesigning
I would just move the two big armchairs to storage, or the sofa to storage and move the armchairs in place of the sofa. Find a big piece of artwork to go over the sofa/chairs. But, if I can just say this, most homebuyers can overlook these things if they view the house. The realtor should have professional photos taken of his listings; if he isn't then you should look to someone who is. They can light the space to make it brighter. I would not invest a lot of money into this space however. Good luck
2 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 1:50PM
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alwaysdesigning
I would just move the two big armchairs to storage, or the sofa to storage and move the armchairs in place of the sofa. Find a big piece of artwork to go over the sofa/chairs. But, if I can just say this, most homebuyers can overlook these things if they view the house. The realtor should have professional photos taken of his listings; if he isn't then you should look to someone who is. They can light the space to make it brighter. I would not invest a lot of money into this space however. Good luck
0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 1:50PM
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joaniek
Oh my goodness, WHAT A TRANSFORMATION -- love what you did with the room and the photo that shows the TV is definitely the one to post on the internet for homebuyers. Just super!
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 1:56PM
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janishill
Most residential work is done by interior decorators, while most commercial work is done by interior designers. Decorators are hired by homeowners, developers or residential architects to help with creating a particular look or feel in a home. Interior designers work hand-in-hand with architects.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 2:01PM
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PRO
Monique Jacqueline Design
Hi!
Decorators are just that, they decorate as do Designers.
The depth of education are deeper for a Designer because a
designer has knowledge of construction and building codes,
as well as decorating. It is true that Designers can work directly for or with
Architects, but they also work closely with General Contractors, Homeowners
and Commercial Clients alike. Many times the Designer is serving as the
projects Project Manager on behalf of our client.
Many people have difficulty in envisioning the end results, so being able to work
closely with someone that can speak on their behalf and understand the entire process
is extremely beneficial. I would say the addition of construction knowledge is what sets
the two apart. A Designer is not deemed Commercial over Residential. They tend to overlap both categories, specializing in their chosen area of expertise!
Hope this helps clarify!
Cheers!
m.
1 Like   November 19, 2012 at 2:25PM
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sarahcecilia
Hi friends,

I am sincerely sorry that I disappeared there for a bit. If my vanishing came across rude, please forgive me. My husband and I had a catastrophe to address.

You know the phrase, 'When it rains, it pours'? Remember when I mentioned that one of our children overflowed the bathroom toilet? Well, well, well, looks like that little plunger episode turned into quite the expense. Long story short, but we had to have our entire backyard excavated to get several feet underneath the ground to have our sewer pipes replaced. It was a mess in every sense of the word; mentally, emotionally, physically, financially.... And really....how are we supposed to explain THAT to potential buyers without having them run for the door? And it's not like we would want to hide something that big because it's just not right to do that, ya know? So anyhoot, we're working on a way to address that as we speak.

I just wanted to pop back on here briefly to say once again that I am very grateful for all of the time you all took to give me/us some excellent advice with our living room arrangement. Since last, we have played around with swapping out different decor and lighting- we have decided on going for the chandelier (sp) in place of the ceiling fan, so thank you to whomever suggested that- I think several of you did. I would post images up, but quite frankly I am surprised to even have the time to jump on here real quick just to extend my apologies for vanishing and to update ya'll. Having time to pick up my camera is just an afterthought in the mist of sewer dilemmas. :( But alas, we try our best to remind ourselves that there are still others dealing with way worse than we are, at least we have a home, and a toilet to overflow...

Thank you all. =)
1 Like   December 4, 2012 at 2:47AM
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janishill
Argh! So sorry about all teh extra expense. Hopefully it will come back to you when the house sales!Thanks for keeping us posted.
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 5:03AM
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sarahcecilia
Hi janishill,

↖ That's me BTW- lol. =) If I could, if you have a few minutes of spare time real quick right now, I would love to ask you if you think we did okay on another area of our home.....

I know it's nothing grand, but I listened to ya'lls suggestion about adding color to the walls and although we won't be doing it in the living room, we did decide to paint in the breakfast nook. But I didn't want to add a whole lot, which is why there is just the one wall decor piece to keep it simple.

What'd ya think? If it isn't already obvious these are before and after photos, with the before on the left.
5 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 8:29AM
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decoenthusiaste
The concept looks good, but you've gone a bit dramatic with the wainscot paint. Staging is about neutralizing. Would have gone a few shades darker than the upper wall. This may be off-putting to buyers because it is dark. Great idea to take into your new home though!
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 9:01AM
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Ramona
You have improved this room a lot, but it still looks dark in the pictures. I can't think why your husband does not like the furniture arrangement as it is a thousand percent better and allows people to sit and talk. I think lighting is still your major issue. You need to balance it throughout the room. Sorry to say, I do not think that lamp with the various arms works. Simple up lights will though, but you need two, I think. I have a wonderful simple torchier. Nice ones are expensive though.

I wouldn't worry about the plumbing. You have fixed it, so that is one other thing buyers won't have to worry about.

A chandelier is one wonderful touch.

You should not worry about the money you spend on this as you will get it back many times over in the sale.

Watch a show like "Love it or List it" to get some perspective on how much people spend to get much, much more back. $20,000 on that show yields a profit of at least double that, so it is money very well spent.

The rug is absolutely gorgeous. I am NOT a brown person but the rug and pillows make all the difference.
1 Like   December 4, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Ramona
And add that mirror in the original picture back to the room. Mirrors bounce light around which will help with the photos too.
2 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 9:16AM
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janishill
The bottom half of the kitchen wall is to dark. It could keep teh house from selling. You should redo it painting it about 2 shades darker than the upper portion. I like the wainscotting.

The picture on the back wall needs to come down about 2 inches so the light fixture doesn't block it.

Next turn the table so the short end is toward the wall. Push it close to the wall (maybe an inch out) then put 2 chairs on each side. When you have an open house put a table runner going cross ways on it with a pineapple in the center. you can even put out place settings so the table loooks super inviting.

Here's some other tips: Buyers decide if they're going to buy your house within the first eight seconds of seeing it! Set your stopwatch, get out of your car and see what you see in the first eight seconds. Chances are you'll do a little tweeking. Make sure the mailbox is new and also check to make sure your doorbell works.

I probably don't need to ask, but have you cleaned out the closets? They should only be about 1/3 full. Have you cleaned out the frig?

Are the bathrooms perfect and do they smell divine? Fresh towels (maybe even tied with a ribbon.) The master bath is a place to burn a candle or 3 candles (along the edge of the tub maybe?)

When you have the open house turn on every light! Basement included. Use brighter bulbs than you usually use. Minimum of 100 watts.

Next interview 3 real estate brokers. Ask friends, business associates and relatives for the names of ones they have used.Once you have a few names (3-5) give them a call and schedule interviews at your house. When they arrive they should come armed with a basic market value for your home. They will put this together bassed on recent neighborhood sales statistics. They should then walk through your house and sharpen that number by considering your home’s unique features and/or problems. Be suspicious if someone gives you a high number. They are just trying to secure a listing. You can tell the agent you are interviewing a few agents and will get back to him/her. Now you have gathered some very important information! You know what changes need to be made, you have a fair price and you know how quickly houses are selling in your neighborhood.

hope to see more updates soon!
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 2:56PM
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h2obynoon
You could really use throw pillows to brighten up the furniture. darken the walls a shade or two also add an area rug to break up the wide open space of the floor. You need to warm the walls then with some pictures. Maybe try to imagine something you would love in your new home so that this is not a waste for you in order just to sell this house. good luck to you.
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 3:07PM
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h2obynoon
You could really use throw pillows to brighten up the furniture. darken the walls a shade or two also add an area rug to break up the wide open space of the floor. You need to warm the walls then with some pictures. Maybe try to imagine something you would love in your new home so that this is not a waste for you in order just to sell this house. good luck to you.
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 3:07PM
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h2obynoon
You could really use throw pillows to brighten up the furniture. darken the walls a shade or two also add an area rug to break up the wide open space of the floor. You need to warm the walls then with some pictures. Maybe try to imagine something you would love in your new home so that this is not a waste for you in order just to sell this house. good luck to you.
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 3:07PM
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stef39
Hi Sarah, I'm new here too. Lot's of good suggestions, and here is mine. First of all, I am not religious,
but some friends of mine told me to bury St. Joseph. I'm not kidding, sounds crazy but I went to a little catholic bookstore, they sold me the "sell your house" St. Joseph, i followed the instructions and my house sold. It had sat on the market for six months. My next house sold the day I buried the little guy.
Again, I'm not religious, who knows, it can't hurt. Good Luck!
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 4:02PM
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h2obynoon
Stef39, I am religious and I can tell you there is no such thing as luck like that. thats not how things work. You shouldnt tell someone to go purchase something to bury for luck. Its not about luck. People buy homes that interest them and are attractive to them and fit in their price range. What happened to you was just coincidence
1 Like   December 4, 2012 at 4:18PM
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h2obynoon
Stef39, I am religious and I can tell you there is no such thing as luck like that. thats not how things work. You shouldnt tell someone to go purchase something to bury for luck. Its not about luck. People buy homes that interest them and are attractive to them and fit in their price range. What happened to you was just coincidence
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 4:18PM
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PRO
Monique Jacqueline Design
H2obynoon: Whether it is a wise tale or such, I've heard the same thing. I've never experienced it, but you can google it and read about if you are interested! Stef39, welcome! There is a lot of fabulous info on here, remember never a right or wrong, but always an opinion!!
Cheers!
M.
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 4:53PM
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parrotheadchic
There have been alot of good suggestions and I have sold several house. I know that funds are limited.

*Add light patterned scrapbook paper to the back of the book shelves in the corner.
* Add a large miror over the couch, flank the mirror with 2 other frame with scrapbook paper.
*Add a light color throw drapped over the couch.
*Add pillows to the chairs.
*A rug could be pricey. Go buy one for the new home photos and then take it back.
*Spray paint several knick knacks from a thrift store and stage them on the bookshelves.
*Last but not least cheat - purchase some uplighting. http://www.lampsplus.com/products/pro-track-can-accent-black-floor-light__63408.html
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 5:00PM
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PRO
Creatively Yours Custom Inc.
The first thing I noticed is the big disconnect between the soaring white walls and the darker color floor and furnishings. I would paint the walls a soft green color to warm the room. Then I would add a neutral jute rug to the floor for some texture and interest underfoot. When you stage a home for resale, it helps to show a room's function. Here there is furniture placed against the walls with no general purpose or use. I would arrange the furniture around the television for instance so the room is a den- or arrange it and add and subtract furnishings to give potential buyers a "purpose" to the room. I also agree with taking down the blinds for the home to be shown. Good luck with your sale.
0 Likes   December 4, 2012 at 7:57PM
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wantsideas
I know I'm late to the party but I was browsing through the site when I came across your design dilemma. Sorry to hear about your back yard. You must feel like you have been kicked hard.You have gotten some excellent advise about staging. The rug, pillows and furniture arrangement do make the room look more attractive. I know your husband doesn't want to paint but how about just one wall to warm up the area a little?



It's been mentioned by a few but it is critical that you have professional photo's to sell your house. This is how so many people view your home for the first time and based on what they see they make a decision whether to schedule an appointment to see in person or not. You have to get them in the door first. You are missing out on potential buyers due to this if you don't have professional photo's on the listing. You haven't stated, but did you take the pictures or your agent? Your Realtor should be hiring a professional for this. This is a huge financial transaction so I hope your Realtor is a professional who has been in the business for awhile and not a friend of a friend or a family member you are doing a favor for.



I would suggest not buying anything else that you wouldn't take to the new house when you do sell. Don't be afraid of thrift stores, consignment shops, etc for inexpensive accessories and furniture. Down the road if your house isn't selling, I would think about a getting a professional stager. They can work wonders pulling everything together that makes your home look more attractive by using what you have. Some stagers have their own inventory that they can fill in with your furnishings. In the meantime, do you have friends, family, co-workers whose style you admire or houses that you really like? If so ask them to be brutally honest with you about what you can do to make your home more attractive to home buyers.



What store did you visit that had hundreds of pillows? I am looking for some and am cross eyed from viewing on the internet. Good luck with it all and I hope you continue to post your pictures of your progress.
0 Likes   December 5, 2012 at 6:49AM
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selawela
Cute picture of the two of you! Hope all is well! Looking forward to more pics and good news from you!
0 Likes   December 5, 2012 at 10:01AM
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victorianbungalowranch
So sorry about the sewer problems!

Just a thought, but you could slightly rearrange things for each photo you take for the listing. Like pillows, moving furniture over a little, etc. to make each shot look its best. If you look closely, you see this all the time in magazines.

Also, as I mentioned before, your exposure is totally off in a picture with lots of window in it. Depending on your camera, set the exposure pointing at a nuetral value surface (like the rug or the tile floor or pointing the other direction (usually you can do this by pressing the shutter just part of the way down or very lightly--check your manual) or setting the metering point somewhere away from the window if you can.

If you can't do that you can bring a lamp (s) in right behind you and bounce some light off of the ceiling or darkest wall, and it sounds odd, lower the blinds or close the curtains a bit, and move the floor lamp further away from the wall and point it more upward. What you are trying to do is bounce the light off of all the white surfaces and lowver the difference in light levels between different parts of the room. A camera can take decent pictures in everything lit brightly or everything in medium to fairly low light, but it doesn't doo well with big extremes of light, light bright windows and dim interiors.

Our eyes adjust to light levels, so we don't notice the difference, but camera don't have a brain like we do to compensate.
0 Likes   December 5, 2012 at 4:16PM
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victorianbungalowranch
So sorry about the sewer problems!

Just a thought, but you could slightly rearrange things for each photo you take for the listing. Like pillows, moving furniture over a little, etc. to make each shot look its best. If you look closely, you see this all the time in magazines.

Also, as I mentioned before, your exposure is totally off in a picture with lots of window in it. Depending on your camera, set the exposure pointing at a nuetral value surface (like the rug or the tile floor or pointing the other direction (usually you can do this by pressing the shutter just part of the way down or very lightly--check your manual) or setting the metering point somewhere away from the window if you can.

If you can't do that you can bring a lamp (s) in right behind you and bounce some light off of the ceiling or darkest wall, and it sounds odd, lower the blinds or close the curtains a bit, and move the floor lamp further away from the wall and point it more upward. What you are trying to do is bounce the light off of all the white surfaces and lowver the difference in light levels between different parts of the room. A camera can take decent pictures in everything lit brightly or everything in medium to fairly low light, but it doesn't doo well with big extremes of light, light bright windows and dim interiors.

Our eyes adjust to light levels, so we don't notice the difference, but camera don't have a brain like we do to compensate.
0 Likes   December 5, 2012 at 4:17PM
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anewpennameandthata
A better idea is to take the photograph at dawn. You would do even better if you used camera equipment with decent flashes.
0 Likes   December 5, 2012 at 7:26PM
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sarahcecilia
Ya'll I am so thankful for each of your ideas. Often I find myself I soooo ready to throw in the towel. If it weren't for you or this website I would have given up long ago, but each time I jump on here and read yet another consideration to try I get rejuvenated! But I will not deny that my morale is low lately, today especially. Trying to attractively 'stage' the interior of our home does not come naturally to me (big surprise) and is the same frustration I experience when trying to master the dialects and varieties of the Spanish language (Yeah, I don't think I'm gonna pass that with top honors). But I am not one to give up so easily, so onward we go....

I want to take a moment to answer some of the question I read being asked of me in this thread. I prefer, and feel it's more polite to use individual names when addressing a person (yes, I'm a dork like that-lol), but for time sake I am just going to answer them randomly for now because my First Grader, who is watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, is starting to get ansy wanting Mommy's (undivided) attention. =)

So here we go, 1) In regards to being curious as to why my husband doesn't want to repaint the walls is most likely because he is tired. Not just tired, but often exhausted. My husband is an Operator working 12+ hour shifts at a Chemical Plant where they make Acrylic Acid, which is a hazardous material, with a lot of potential dangers. His job not only requires a lot of critical thinking, but can be physically demanding on him fairly often. So I don't think it's so much that he doesn't agree with the idea, but that the thought of doing doesn't agree with him. As far as wondering why he doesn't like the chairs facing the sofa arrangement I take that with a grain of salt. The 'real' reason behind that, I suspect, is him not wanting to turn his head to watch his TV. As we all know, why that's just asking too much. *chuckling*. Not to worry, I am trying to convince him to relinquish all 'staging' ideas to me; one slow cooked Pot Roast, cooked carrots, mashed potatoes with lumpy mashed potatoes (he likes the lumpy version), followed with a slice or two of strawberry cheescake and he'll be putty in my hand!! Now where is that Marie Calendars take-out menu? LOL- Just kidding, I'll cook it up.
2) The exposure on my photos...I have a Nikon D90 with a Speedlight SB-900 flash, and four lenses (18-105, 55-200, 70-300, and a 50mm), along with some other accessories. So I think my camera is quality enough but it's the person operating behind the lens (me) who may not being using it to it's full potential? I'm still learning. I will go through my manual and maybe check out some solutions for good angles and lighting online. And I'm so sorry that I only responded to two questions/matters, but I have no choice but to cut this short here. I just looked up and noticed that my son, the First Grader, fell asleep waiting for me and well, that just aches at my heart so I HAVE to and WANT to tend to him now. I hope you understand.

If time permits I will hop online again tomorrow. Before I go I remember reading several comments mentioning to try utilizing a mirror above the sofa to help bounce light around in the living room. I find myself WAY to embarrassed with admitting this to you, even though you'd think it'd be less painful since I don't know ya'll personally. BUT, and I'm going to whisper,
ᵗʰᶦˢ ᶦˢ ᵗʰᵉ ᵐᶦʳʳᵒʳ ᶦᶰ ᵒᵘʳ ᶠᵒʸᵉʳ ᵇʸ ᵗʰᵉ ᶠʳᵒᶰᵗ ᵈᵒᵒʳ⋅ I KNOW! I KNOW!! I've been walking by this thing every single day and never once did it occur to me that this might be the mirror ya'll were describing to use over the sofa!! Anyhoot, it's approximately 3-3 1/2 feet long. Might this work if I moved it to the living room and use something else in the foyer?
2 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 6:49PM
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PRO
All 4 Show, LLC
You can use the 2 chair ottomans together as a coffee table in front of the sofa. Place a large tray on top with a few hardback books, and a knick knack. Buy a cream colored area rug to lighten the floor up. The contrast of the dark furniture on the rug will look great! Play with different positions of both chairs by/around the sofa, making a conversation area. Buy colorful/fun throws and pillows for the sofa and chairs. I certainly don't recommend leaving your walls bare. Mirrors will help with bringing light into the space. The blinds should be removed and replaced with some ceiling to floor panels possibly. If the view from the window is unattractive keep the blinds angled upright to allow for light to come in yet obstruct the view. But still put up the panels. Maybe replace the bookcase in the corner with a tall indoor plant that fits well in the space....good luck.... :)
1 Like   December 6, 2012 at 7:48PM
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janishill
sarahcecilia...that mirror would be perfect. Do it! You and hubs will both see an immediate difference in the room. So will potential buyers!

Oh...and your real estate person should be taking the pictures. That is another reason you pay them!!!
2 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 8:15PM
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selawela
Yes, Janishill is correct on both counts!
1 Like   December 6, 2012 at 8:24PM
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sarahcecilia
I will janishill and selawela; I'll do it!!

Now should I put something over the mirror or along the sides too or just leave it as is? And at what level? I know somebody else mentioned earlier that the wall art in our eating nook needs to be brought down about 2 inches, which I'm going to do, so how high or low should I position the mirror over the sofa?
0 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 9:29PM
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selawela
I am no expert by any means, but I do know that it shouldn't be too high nor too low. Someone with more knowledge may perhaps give you an exact measurement..but I think this shot is a good example of how it should look.
0 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 9:48PM
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janishill
It can hang 6"-10". 8" should be perfect. Make sure it is centered left and right before hanging. Hope to see a picture when it is hung!
0 Likes   December 7, 2012 at 5:01AM
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sarahcecilia
We sold our house, thanks to Houzz!! We had two offers and one of them met us at our asking price! YAY!! Thank you so much my wonderful friends at Houzz, all of the hard work at staging my house 'just so' made for the perfect sale!! Woo Hoo!!!


A big shout out to YOU!! Thanks SO much-- I am very grateful for all of your suggestions, as well as patience while I tried to incorporate your amazing ideas to set up our interior for a quick sale, and IT WORKED!! (doing back flips)

Anyhoot, so I thought you might like to see our NEW house that we are going to buy. Because, quite honestly, I will most likely seek you, Houzz, out for further assistance with decorating/design ideas!
I hope you are still available when the time comes after we get settled in a bit.

Our future home. I took the liberty of labeling parts of the interior that are visible in the pictures I took. We believe our new home will do great at serving our needs/wants in opening our doors/home/hearts as a Foster Family to some sweet children who desire and deserve a loving family.

I hope you love it as much as we do.

♪ღ♪*•.¸¸¸.•*¨(¯`’•.¸(♥)¸.• ’´¯)¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪ღ♪•**•.
░H░A░P░P░Y░░░N░E░W░░Y░E░A░ R░░2013░░
♪ღ♪*•.¸¸¸.•*¨¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪ღ ♪¸.•*¨¨*•.¸¸¸.•*•♪ღ♪•
13 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 9:58PM
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selawela
Yay!!! Fabulous news! Happy New Year to you and your family! Wishing you much health and happiness in the new year! Oh, and your new home looks beautiful! Enjoy!!!
3 Likes   December 31, 2012 at 10:06PM
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janishill
Congratulations! You did a gret job staging your house and I am certain you are going to do a fabulous job decorating your new home.

Happy New Year to you!
4 Likes   January 1, 2013 at 5:13AM
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joaniek
Hurrah! What a great way to start off the New Year. Your new house looks fabulous. We just moved into ours and my advice is this -- live with it for awhile before you worry about decorating anything. It's enough just to get unpacked and settled in and you'll have so many ideas but they will change as you get to know the house and the way your family will use it best, so just enjoy your new space for awhile and let the decorating come naturally over time.
3 Likes   January 1, 2013 at 5:53AM
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lucindalane
Wow, that's lot of space. Congrats on selling your house, and for the price you needed to get. I think you did a splendid job of taking suggestions and choosing what worked for you-pat yourself and your hubby on the back for doing the job yourself and making it look like the home it was instead of somebody else's idea of what they think somebody else would want-I stand by my over-staging comment, and you and your husband hit the right balance, I believe, and it paid off. So, yay for ya'll!

The new house looks great, and it doesn't look like your kitchen is going to need anything but some great accessories-and everyone is going to tell you to get stainless steel appliances-its like "de rigueur" right now. I say get what you like, if its stainless, great-but get whatever color you like. I assume that this home is going to be home for you and your family for a while, so do what you like-as you've spent the past however many months worrying about what someone else is going to like in the space that you were still trying to live in. So, let your hair down-and have some fun in your new home-and post photos, lots of photos.
2 Likes   January 1, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Barbara Loyd
This house-selling adventure has been such encouraging reading. I love that the ending is happy!
2 Likes   January 2, 2013 at 9:35AM
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judianna20
What a wonderful start to a brand new year. Congratulations!
1 Like   January 2, 2013 at 9:38AM
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PRO
Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
The room is lacking texture. It feels and looks cold. Adding color would also help.Fortunately this is easy to fix and most of the investment consists of items you can take with you and use in you new home. The first thing I recommend is to add drapery panels on either side of the window. Mount the panels on a metal decorative rod. The more substance here the better (referring to the scale of the rod and finials). A birdcage finial in iron would look nice. Drapery fabric could be a stripe or pattern, perhaps gold, red or orange and brown with cream. Pillows on the leather furniture in the same colors would also add warmth. At least some of the pillows should also be a patterned fabric. An area rug would make a huge difference. When mixing the patterns remember to change the scale while using the same colors. Geometrics and stripes are always a safe bet to mix with patterns if you don't know if the patterns work together. Pottery barn is a good source for pillows and drapery and Decorator's Supply catalog has a lot of rugs at reasonable prices. Make sure you go large enough with the rug. The front legs of the seating pieces should be at least 6 inches over the edge of the rug. Getting a rug that is too small is the biggest mistake people make when buying a rug. If the furniture doesn't sit on the rug the effect is not cohesive and in fact can make the room feel more busy and disjointed.
0 Likes   January 2, 2013 at 9:58AM
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parisgirl1970
Doreen- Schweitzer--She just Bought the house!! Give her a chance! It doesn't feel 'cold' -it hasn't anything in it yet. The lay out is exquisite,, and remember she's going to have foster kids living there! She has to consider that, and will--but give her a chance! This new house is beautiful !!!
7 Likes   January 2, 2013 at 10:58AM
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selawela
Doreen...I think you joined in on the party too late...she sold the house!!! Yay! She's on to her next project now...decorating her new, beautiful home!!! Congrats again on the sale of your home!!!
0 Likes   January 2, 2013 at 7:27PM
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PRO
Galleria Place
Try off setting the height of the walls with wall decor, and perhaps a large rug in the center of the room. Here are some decor suggestions: http://www.bargainbacker.com/Wall-Decor_c_13.html
0 Likes   February 1, 2013 at 10:16PM
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Ron Kith
Try light coloured roman blinds and throw a cozy light coloured
( beige) floor rug to cover the dark floor tiles may be it will help!!!
0 Likes   February 2, 2013 at 3:49AM
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PRO
Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
Regarding the question about the difference between an interior designer and a decorator, anyone can call themselves a decorator. An interior designer particularly an American Society of Interior Designer (ASID) professional member must have education and experiece submitted to the organization as well as meet CEU ( continuing education credits) requirements each year. We are professionals who have proven our experience, knowledge and ethical standards through a qualifying process and have committed ourselves to updating our knowledge each year.
1 Like   February 2, 2013 at 8:49AM
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parisgirl1970
Ron Kith---What 'dark' floors........?
0 Likes   February 2, 2013 at 8:59PM
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PRO
Blinds Direct Canada
I have helped stage many homes to sell. I would install a decorative rod mounted 6'' above the window with 2 drapery panels on 24'' on either side to frame the window. I would also suggest that you do it in a neutral color so that the next owners can use it with whatever furniture they have.
http://www.blindsdirectcanada.com/drapery-toronto/panels/grommet-drapery.html
0 Likes   February 3, 2013 at 6:34AM
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sarahcecilia
Okay, MY BAD!! When my husband and I bought our first home together, the one ya'll helped us stage in the first photos attached to this original post, I apparently forgot A LOT about being careful not to become emotionally attached to the properties you view! That being said, I spoke too soon about the home that I *just knew* was ours; the inside photo's above I shared announcing it was our new home, yeah that house.

Well, well, well, so we thought! After making a STRONG attempt to make it ours, we ran into a lot of walls regarding windstorm insurance that Allstate required on the home. Talk about a nightmare! It consisted of a lot of extensive and boring jargon that I'm sure you'd rather not care to read about it so I'll spare you the details. Bottom line is that we decided not to mess with that house anymore and to move onward to other properties.

Which leads me happy to say that we DO have a home now, just a different one. And before jumping ahead and claiming that it is our house before the possibility of it not being so, I have held my tongue. Until now. Here is the house WE BOUGHT! And no worries about it not going through because we closed on Friday and I am sitting in it now. I haven't taken any photo's of the inside yet because it currently looks like a tornado swept through, but here is the front of it. :D

Thank you again for helping me. And I'm sorry that I haven't been on Houzz much since selling our previous home, but I plan to and who knows? Maybe I can offer some effective ideas that another member might benefit from.
1 Like   February 26, 2013 at 9:44AM
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selawela
Congrats! Can't wait to see the new house!!!
0 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 9:58AM
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sarahcecilia
Oops, I guess the photo I tried to upload earlier didn't take for some reason.

Here it is, the photo of our new home that we have been in for just a few days now. Yay!
4 Likes   February 26, 2013 at 6:39PM
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selawela
Nice!!!!!!!! Congrats and enjoy!
0 Likes   February 27, 2013 at 9:32AM
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PRO
Blinds Direct Canada
I would recommend putting up a decorative rod and two 24'' drapery panels to frame the window.
0 Likes   February 27, 2013 at 12:11PM
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