Category Archives: home decor

7 Things to Remove From Your Home When We List It.

7 Things to Remove From Your Home When We list It
When listing your home, there are a lot of things to think about. How you stage your space should definitely be at the top of that list. While you may not have the means to bring in a pro stager, you can put your best foot forward by removing the following from your space.

Family photos. While these treasures may mean the world to you, personal items like this make it difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in your space. Pack up these photos for the move—you’ll need to do this eventually anyway, so consider it a head start.

Odors. From a musky basement to the closet where the kitty litter box is kept, odors in your home are a huge turn off. Rip up mildewed carpet, open windows, light candles–whatever you need to do to keep a buyers nose from wrinkling.

Clutter. While you may love your corners stacked high with books and your shelves piled with mementos and knick-knacks, clutter can be distracting for buyers. Pick a few key items to leave out on shelves and pack the rest away.

Non-neutral design elements. Black lights in the basement or lacy, frilly curtains in the sunroom may seem fun to you, but these bold design elements can throw a buyer. Create a neutral atmosphere wherever possible.

Junk. Clear any old, unused items from your closets, storage spaces, basement and attic. You’re going to have to get rid of these items when you move anyway, so you may as well do this now so your buyer can envision their own items filling up these spaces.

Pets. While it may not be possible to banish your furry friends while your home is for sale, you can make sure they’re out of the way when a buyer is visiting. You never know what allergies or fears buyers may have, so put the animals outside or bring them over to grandmas for an hour, if possible.

Worn-out furniture. That sagging, stained couch in the basement may not be a big deal to you, but it can be an eyesore to an outsider. An empty space is better than a poorly furnished space, so adjust where needed.

When listing with me, I provide a complimentary stager, who will go over the items that need to be taken care of prior to staging and sale to help get you top dollar for your home.

Contact me for more details. Judy Gratton 206-276-3289

How to Decorate for the Holidays, Hollywood Style

How to Decorate for the Holidays, Hollywood Style

By Gabrielle van Welie
Now that December is here, the pressure over who’s going to have the best holiday decorations is on. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: everyone else knows about the existence of Pinterest. So if you really want to win this contest, take a look at the often overlooked (possibly because of its impracticality) Hollywood-style Christmas.

Here’s how some of your favorite films decorated their homes…I mean, sets.

Just Friends

While you were distracted by Ryan Reynold’s fat suit, and later by Ryan Reynolds himself, Mr. Palomino was busy setting up those Christmas lights just right. While they definitely went down with a bang, his Hollywood-style home was definitely the best dressed in all of New Jersey.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

In Whoville, Christmas decorating is an Olympic sport. They are so good at setting up shop that even after the Grinch went ahead and stole all their decorations, they were able to get it all back up and running the day of. It does help that they had that Christmas light power machine or whatever. Definitely worth it.


Everyone thinks Buddy is crazy, but boy is that elf efficient. Look at how magical Gimbels looks. That’s just printer paper! His home decorations were top-notch, too. I guess they do teach a thing or two in the North Pole. Granted, dressing up as an elf might really help validate this whole setup.

Home Alone

The view at the McCallister residence is beautiful both inside and out. It balances perfectly between quaint and ready-to-invest-some-money. Of course, a house so elegant does land it on the burglary radar. That being said, as long as you don’t leave your kid home alone, it should all be fine.

Harry Potter

Now, if what you want is a magical Christmas, then Hogwarts should be your model. You won’t have spells to hold everything together, so some extra hands will be needed, but the outcome will be truly mesmerizing. Whether you just want to decorate your dining hall or host a ball for your guests, Hogwarts has just the thing for you.

Love Actually

All jokes aside, the best holiday decoration is the sight of your loved ones gathered around a Christmas tree. If you ignore how heartbreaking this scene actually is, and the fact that Alan Rickman…oh, man. I really set myself up for disaster here. Anyways, the point is: be inspired, but don’t sweat the holidays.

I’m going to go sob now.

High Tech Homes

It’s High Time for High-Tech Homes

More houses are turning into high-tech hubs of connectivity and convenience. Technology, in fact, has become one of the improvements most requested by homeowners, reports the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA).

According to Matt Sneller, owner of Sneller Custom Homes and Remodeling in Spring, Texas, a low-voltage cabling and wiring infrastructure is the core of a connected home. The infrastructure supports everything from the alarm and audio systems to the HVAC and telephone.

Cameras are also a component in the connected home, says Bill Riley, owner of Bicycle Bungalows in Houston, Texas. Riley reports more of his clients are replacing costly security systems and monitoring services with self-controlled cameras.

LED lights are another sought-after, high-tech feature, due to their energy efficiency. Sneller recommends consulting with a cool lighting system company that offers products with geo-fencing technology, as well as smartphone control capability.

Appliance manufacturers have also joined the connected home club, now producing apps that allow homeowners to wirelessly control their appliances, and even take stock of the items within them, adds Riley.

According to Rob Douglass, owner of Texas Custom Patios, no high-tech home is complete without a connection to the outside. Douglass suggests installing a universal system that controls both indoor and outdoor features, such as a flat-screen television or surround-sound.

Source: Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA)

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.