|HGTV Design Star Finalist Cathy Hobbsis bringing her home staging course to the DC-area this month!The Certified Staging Professional™ workshop is an intensive, comprehensive program taught through hands-on interaction, group exercises, role-play and in depth practical application of work samples geared to prepare the participants to enter the staging industry with the confidence and experience necessary to succeed.
WHERE: Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, VA 22209 703-807-2000. Meeting Room: Potomac
November 30th – December 2nd HOW: To sign up for a staging class with Cathy Hobbs please visit www.stagingtraining.com or call 888-STAGING.
I was able to get an exclusive interview with the designer to learn more about her background. Read more after the photo!
Q: How has your experience in broadcast news influenced your experience in interior design?
I was in broadcast news for 19 years, and in television especially, it’s all about the visuals.. telling a story with pictures. Having this background as really helped me tremendously with my interior design. First, it always allows me to be able to step back and truly visualize a space and focus not only on the big picture, but the fine details as well. Interior design is at it’s core, visual, so my background in television has truly helped a lot.
Q: You are the first Green Home Stager in New York City. How important is sustainable design in NYC, compared to other cities?
I am not sure New York City residents are more interested in sustainable design, but it is definitely a trend here. Beginning in about 2006 as new development condominium buildings were being built, many developers were looking for sustainable options, such as using recycled materials, having green roods, even down to the selection of fixtures for the bathrooms and kitchens. Much of my business is focused on new developments in New York City, designing common spaces such as lobbies, children’s rooms and gyms as well as model residences. So when my clients were looking for green alternatives, I was the company selected because of my LEED credential.
Q: What do you see as the biggest mistake that homeowners make when decorating their homes?
Problem: Hanging artwork too high
Solution: Eye level is at 5 feet. The center point of a piece of artwork should be hung at 5 feet above the finished floor. Adjustments up or down a couple inches may be needed but I consider this to be my general rule of thumb.
Problem: Painted Ceilings
Solution: I tend to always leave my ceilings white, in order to help visually raise the height of a room. While I am not completely opposed to painting a ceiling a color, people often fail to realize that a painted ceiling automatically visually reduces the height of a room. I recommend painted ceilings only if one if looking to create a certain mood or sense of coziness.
Problem: Decorating with too many colors
Solution: I love color! And love using color, but as a general rule of thumb I tend to encourage people to design with (1) neutral color to be used a general wall or fabric color for upholstered pieces and then to use (2-3) accent colors that can be incorporated into accessories such as pillows, area rugs, artwork, pottery and vessels. I also remind clients that is o.k. to create a design scheme, using shades and tones of the same color.
Problem: Purchasing furniture that is too big or too small for a particular space
Solution: As basic as this may sound, so many people fail to measure and even loosely create a floor plan before purchasing furniture. I can not tell you how many times I have walked into rooms overstuffed with furniture..or pieces that are just to large or too small for a particular space. I suggest that before shopping always create some sort of floor plan even roughly on graph paper ..counting the squares in order to create your own scale, so that you know in advance whether or not a particular piece of furniture will fit.
Problem: Purchasing “sets” of furniture Solution: I find that purchasing the “5-piece” set, seldom results in a successful interior design solution. Purchasing sets tends to make a space look like a showroom instead of a home. I believe beyond bedroom sets, in which I tend to suggest clients purchase only lets say a bed, nightstands and perhaps (1) case good such as a dresser, purchasing “sets” are a no no. I believe it is a far better option to purchase one main primary, solid quality, well designed piece of furniture, and create a design scheme around it.
Q: How essential is quality home staging when putting a house on the market?
A staged home has great appeal, enticing buyers inside, where they will see the best view of each room and the best traffic pattern throughout the home. Further, a staged home is also in its best showcase, mint condition, so that it sells at the best possible price in the shortest possible time, an un-staged home does not.
Staging before placing the house on the market, even before the “broker tour,” is ideal because realtors, as much as potential buyers, want to be “wowed”, and will be! A staged house will stand out from the competition. Realtors will want to show it to their clients, increasing traffic to your listing and speeding its sale.
Q: We love your Design Recipes! What inspired the idea?
Thank you! I invented Design Recipes based on my overwhelming desire to make my designs approachable and affordable. I was inspired to become an interior designer based on the fact that when I was a young reporter coming up I was virtually making no money. I shopped in thrift stores and at flea markets and would go on wonderful treasure hunts for furniture and accessories! I would have loved to be able to have the advice or tips from a professional designer without the big price tag. That’s what design recipes is all about providing practical, affordable tips that any design enthusiast can apply to their own home. Design Recipes feature a room on the front with the “ingredients” of how the room came together, similar to recipe instructions and on the back is all of the resource information! Design Recipes the website www.design-recipes.com has also expanded to include free recipes, a blog, design tips, videos and will soon feature podcasts. More than 300 recipes are available on the website.