My 10-year journey in the Staging business

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Ten years ago I started my own business. Like anything worthwhile in life, being a small business owner has its ups and downs. Being the first person in this area of the Hudson Valley to offer professional Staging took a lot of convincing. It still does.

Organically, I was meant to do what I am doing. As a young girl, I loved rearranging my room. In high school, with a strong interest in art, I remember designing a room for a project. My teacher said I was a natural.

One thing I truly believe, when something is meant to be, it will be. The universe has a way of grabbing your attention, providing endless opportunities. Thankfully, I listened.

It would take years before I studied interior design. At 39, I went back to school on a part time basis. The Sunday New York Times somehow ended up in my home and I read an article on Real Estate Staging, I registered for training. Soon after, I trained to learn Redesign.

In 2005 I started my business. A reporter wanted to do a piece on my unique services. Problem was, I didn’t have any clients yet. Not wanting this opportunity to pass up, I suggested the paper run a contest for a room redesign. The editor loved the idea.

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Based on photos, I selected the winner and ended up on the cover and centerfold of the Home section. I made suggestions for every contestant over the next few weeks, which turned into my Claudia’s Corner column. Today it runs every other Sunday in the Times Herald Record’s Home Section.

At the last minute, I was asked to fill in as a speaker for a Hudson Valley Builders Association meeting. The idea of public speaking terrified me. The late Jean Rowe, past executive director, would not take no for an answer. She wanted a power point, which I never did. She told me to find someone to show me. My children showed me.

To this day, I think fondly of Jean Rowe and how she pushed me out of my comfort zone. The presentation was a success. I don’t remember much of that night due to nerves but I do remember what Jean said to me after the presentation. Jean hugged me and said, “You did an outstanding job! It was informative with a lot of photos. These builders are visual so they needed the power point, which is why I insisted on it. More importantly, you held their attention. I watched the crowd and every one of them was listening to you.”

A few years ago, I was asked to teach a staging class last minute, the scheduled instructor pulled out. With a busy schedule, I found myself agreeing to teach a 6-hr class and putting together another Power Point. I now teach at multiple locations and have shortened the length of time of the class. These classes are geared for the home seller before they put their home on the market.

It was an honor to be nominated by the NJ Chapter of The Real Estate Staging Association and ended up winning 2011 Professional Stager of the Year in the Northeast. Entering on my own was not even on my radar.

The best parts of the last decade are the people I had the honor of working with. There is nothing more personal than working with someone in his or her own home. I would repeatedly hear, while preparing their home for sale, “We should have been living like this all along”.

During a few recent classes and consultations I find myself repeatedly saying, “Cream always rises to the top” referring to homes for sale. The success rates are quite real and tangible if you know the formula of how to properly market a home for sale.

A special heartfelt thank you to all who played a part in this journey and to the many opportunities that presented itself.

Staging instructor: Christine Rae
Redesign instructor: Ann Anderson
Reporter, Times Herald Record: Deb Botti
Former GO Home and Features Editor, Times Herald Record: Karen Harris
Past Executive Director of Hudson Valley Builders Association: The late Jean Rowe
My Power Point Instructions: Aston & Preston Jacobs
SUNY Ulster Kingston Continuing & Professional Program Coordinator: Linda Corsones
NJ Chapter of RESA: Fondly known in 2011 as the Jersey Girls plus 1 (I was the plus ‘1’ from NY)

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Definition of Staging: The act of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property quickly and for more money.

Definition of Redesign: is using what is in the home to create a fresh new look.
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Marsala is the Color of the Year for 2015. Why all the hate?

Pantone, the global color authority, announced PANTONE® 18-1438 Marsala, a naturally robust and earthy wine red, as the Color of the Year for 2015.

“While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

From the reaction I saw in my Facebook newsfeed to commentary on various posts, you would think the color world is going to crash around us leaving wine stained marks on our rugs and upholstery. Seriously? Why all the hate?

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Vases in varying heights in Marsala (Rossu Bottle Vases, from $49.95 at Crate & Barrel).

Every year I share the color of the year in my “Claudia’s Corner” column in the Times Herald Record. And every year I share this advice, ignore the trends, especially if you don’t like them. But if you do like the color trend, stock up while it is available.

No one says you MUST use a color. No one says you MUST follow a trend. Classics neutrals are always in. Shades of Gray continue to be popular. But guess what, not everyone likes gray, which is a neutral. And not everyone wants to live in a tone on tone creamy blend of whites and grays. Some find that look very cold. After awhile it all start looking the same. Pops of color are a way of adding a bit of flair and personality to a space, whether it is on the walls or in decorative accessories.

One of the best comments I read on a blog regarding Marsala:

“I am so over all the GREY everywhere. Yes, it’s mod, clean, and STERILE. Every white subway tile with grey marble counter room I see makes me feel like I am about to enter the morgue and be embalmed! Bring on Marsala! “

There was even a comparison of Marsala to the color Mauve. Mauve? Really? I lived through the 80’s and remember mauve. This color is definitely not mauve.

Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors. Whether in a flat or textured material, or with a matte or gloss finish, this highly varietal shade combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

Marsala for Interiors

Complex and full-bodied without overpowering, Marsala provides a unifying element for interior spaces. Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.

Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances and linens throughout the home. The hue will be especially prominent in striping and floral patterns found in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding and throws.

Let’s look at the past decades and their colors of the year…

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If we can survive Honeysuckle (a Barbie like pink) and danced our way through the year of Tangerine Tango, this Marsala color is a refreshingly warm and cozy change. It is probably the most realistic color in the above list. I know I will not only be eating it (I make a mean chicken marsala) but wearing it as well (I don’t mean by spilling food on me!). This color is sure to make its way into my closet and home. Let’s all take a deep breath and get over it.

 

Interior Design & Home Staging as a career!

Interior Design and Home Staging as a Career

Claudia Jacobs of Claudia Jacobs Designs visited students in Janice Marsiglio’s Interior Design class at Goshen High School to discuss her career as an interior designer.

In addition to interior design, Jacobs specializes in real estate staging where she rearranges living spaces to help a home sale. Her design philosophy includes utilizing and enhancing your existing space to meet your design needs. “Our own personal space is something we create so we can make it beautiful and make it feel good,” she told students.

Jacobs showed a presentation that included some of her favorite redesigns by other designers as well as herself. She discussed current design trends and how to liven up a room with easy tweaks and updates as well as higher end remodels.

Read article online on the Goshen Central School Districts website. Click here.