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White is one of the most versatile and heavily used shades in home decor. But believe it or not it is also one of the most misunderstood. Yes, not all whites are created equal. There are a whole myriad of shades and tones. Some whites, have more gray, some more yellow etc. As an ASID Interior Designer and Certified Staging Professional, I can tell you that yes! you can mix different shades!
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Remember when black and mauve was the hot color combination and when mirrors were all the rage? Well, in case you are too young to remember, those were some of the staples of 80s home décor.
The 80s were indeed the decade of opulence, marble, gold, and mirrors; however these days, the trend is toward minimalism and more subtle design. Even so, it may not be unusual for a potential buyer to travel back in time when faced with an apartment that has not been renovated since its 80s glory. As an interior designer who often works on renovations, and a home stager used to working with furniture and accessories limited to a home sellers own possessions, my biggest tip is to embrace the past!
I was recently asked by the extraordinarily talented real estate agent Angela Rapoport of The Corcoran Group to stage her Penthouse listing located at 255 East 49th Street on Manhattan’s East Side. As someone old enough to remember, I immediately identified the fact that I had walked back into the 1980s, cue the DeLorean car and Patrick Nagel painting, anyone?
While it would have been easy to suggest covering up as much of the 80s-themed design as possible, I chose to embrace it, as this property is truly spectacular and to me and it never makes sense to cover up great design, no matter when it was done.
The reality is the same challenges I faced as an interior designer and home stager are similar to those that any home owner or home seller will face when looking to modernize an interior space designed decades earlier.
Here are some of my top tips for modernizing the past while embracing the present:
1. First, embrace the current décor and use it as inspiration. In the case of the Penthouse at 255 East 49th Street, all of the floors were either black or white marble, or a combination of the two. My solution was to build a color palette around the two colors, infusing bursts of bright color while using black and white as the foundation for my color scheme.
2. Soften a space, while adding color and texture. Whether floors are made of marble or hardwood, it is often an appealing solution to add softness through the use of area rugs and soft goods such as toss pillows.
3. Add elements such as greenery. Nothing quite softens a space like the use of plants and greenery. When I am often faced with interiors that have a lot of architectural or natural elements, I try to keep my décor as simple as possible. One example of this in the case of the Penthouse at 255 East 49th Street was to select a centerpiece that was a simple orchid, as opposed to something too elaborate.
4. Select a mix of modern and contemporary furnishings. The wonderful aspect about design is that you don’t have to follow any formulas! For instance in the case of the 80s penthouse, I mixed modern, timeless pieces with those that were more antique, in order to embrace the existing architectural details. It is important to not ignore the current design and décor but instead to embrace it as another design element.
5. Finally, focus on function and lifestyle, when it comes to lifestyle, we are always evolving, a room that may have been popular in another decade, may now be considered to be a waste of space. These days, with space at such a premium, it is even more important than ever that all areas of a residence are shown as useful and with a purpose.
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Have winter blues gotten the best of your home? Spring up your décor this winter with a few simple expert tips to bring the light back in.
Play with color
HGTV Design Star Finalist Cathy Hobbs says the first step in springing up your home is infusing your rooms with brightly colored wall paint or accessories. Hobbs explains that colors can be bold or muted with gray to match other winter décor. According to Hobbs, “Some of the trends that I am seeing right now are deep oranges, turquoise and shades of amethyst… all of these colors look fantastic with traditional winter colors such as charcoal gray, black and chocolate…” Savings Expert Andrea Woroch adds that wall decals are an easy and inexpensive way to add a punch of color to any room. She says that for as little as four dollars at Home Depot, you can purchase light color spray paints that you can use to quickly transform dark or old furniture. For the best results, Woroch suggests looking for white, ivory, or metallic silver spray paint in brands that can adhere to multiple different surfaces, including metal and plastics.
Rachel Winokur, interior designer featured on HGTV’s Design Wars, suggests replacing velvet, fur and wool fabrics with coverlets, duvet covers and toss pillow covers of lighter palettes and weights, such as linens. Woroch recommends adding floral sheets or flower-printed pillows to the bedrooms for an easy way to lighten up.
Winokur explains that one of the simplest ways to add spring to your home is by bringing indoor plants, such as fragrant Jasmine and colorful Kalachoe, into the home. Airy plants are an inexpensive, low-maintenance way to lighten up. Woroch likes framing dried flowers as an easy way to add spring to your walls. Winokur also suggests sprinkling winter fruits like oranges and pomegranates across the table as an aesthetic and delicious way to add a pop of color.
Lighten up the Environment
According to Woroch, “The more natural sunlight you let into your home, the more spring-y it will feel.” Woroch recommends adding light, sheer window treatments, which she explains can be bought at a reasonable price at Target with a coupon. Designer Mary Jane Rossi of Vignettes Room Redesign suggests rolling up heavy area rugs and replacing them with the more springy material, rattan. Additionally, Rossi recommends swapping woolen throws for lace pieces and copper flowerpots and ornaments for glass or ceramic ones.
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I am pleased to announce that in addition to being the keynote speaker at the upcoming RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) NATIONAL CONVENTION I will be teaching the 3-day Home Staging Certification course offered through Certified Staging Professionals (CSP) February 4-6, 2012 at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. If you are looking to become a professional home stager this is truly the course for you. This course provides everything you need in order to start, grow and build a successful home staging business!
The Certified Staging Professionals logo is recognized internationally, including the USA, Canada (Canadian Certified Staging Professionals) and Australia (Australia Certified Staging Professionals) by real estate professionals and home sellers. Home stagers from other countries travel to attend the CSP intensive home staging course and take the certification back to their country.The MOST comprehensive staging course in the industry:
Although home staging is an non-regulated industry, CSP has a registered certification mark for successful completions of the following standards:
- Successful completion of 2 day in-classroom instruction,
- 1 day hands-on field experience,
- 75%+ or higher grade on exams (including practical assessment).
In addition the CSP training continues after the certification portion of the program to include:
- 4 weeks of home study business start up–By downloading the workbooks found in the password protected CSP Business Resource Centre, and completing the assigned tasks in Module 1 and 2, home stagers are encouraged to complete the step-by-step tasks to have their business up and running in 4 weeks. (Note: some stagers may take longer to complete this portion of the program; working at their own pace, within the confinements of their own schedule)
- 6 weeks (12 -1hr sessions) Marketing Advantage Camp– Students receive marketing & business guidance from a LIVE Marketing Coach through this six consecutive week marketing camp. Students register for a live webinar (coaching is online, student only needs a computer with speakers to attend!) as they are taught marketing strategies to help them attract clients.
HERE IS JUST SOME OF THE PRESS COVERAGE WE RECEIVED FROM A RECENT CLASS HELD NEAR BALTIMORE, MARYLAND!!
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Cathy Hobbs, celebrity clients, Christmas, design star, hgtv, high end real estate, holiday decor, holiday entertaining, holiday table decorations, Interior Design, interior designer, LEED AP. Celebrity Interior Designer, luxury home stager, manhattan luxury real estate, New York City, nyc
It may be almost Christmas but I’m thinking some of those tricks that worked for Thanksgiving entertaining can be carried over to Christmas. Sharing with you and lifestyle authority Shoptopia some of my top tips this holiday season!
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