Out with the old, in with the new

It is time for the last column of 2015, and I struggle with what to write about. It has been an extremely busy year, and I am trying to end it on a quiet note (explanation will follow).  Read more

Project CARD ONE: Cards for our troops!

photo courtesy 366 Random Acts
photo courtesy 366 Random Acts

For the last few years I had the privilege to spread the word about a special project that sends greeting cards to our troops.

Michelle Little organizer of Project CARD ONE, says “There are plenty of cards to share and we can always use more to distribute. All of my card angels are fantastic and have been receiving the cards throughout the past year!” Read more

Tips for staging a model home

Most of my staging projects are occupied stagings, which means I am working with the seller’s existing furniture and accessories. There may be a few items from my inventory that enter the stage to refresh the space.

Vacant staging is on the rise in this area. This requires bringing in furniture and accessories to stage an empty house on the market. In most situations, only key rooms are staged, which could be the living/family room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom. Whether occupied or vacant, staging along with professional listing photos are the best ways to market a house for sale. Read more

Coping with the almost-empty nest

September has always felt like the start of a new year. This one is bittersweet, as my youngest was dropped off at college last weekend. We drove over five hours to Vermont, and it seemed OK until it was time to leave. Let’s just say that solo drive back was intense. As I got closer to home, the tears started flowing. Walking into my home I realized my nest is temporarily empty.

Now what? It has me thinking what the future will look like. Will I stay in the house? For now, yes, but for how long? Read more

The formula for successfully selling your home

My last column covered reasons your home may not be selling. This one is about the formula to get your house sold. It really is quite simple but most folks miss the mark.

One size does not fit all

This has to do with staging/preparing your home. All homes are different. All budgets are different. Not every home is perfect and not everyone has the money to invest in renting furniture and accessories to stage. It is important to be realistic and more importantly, respectful to the seller. I call this ‘staging in allowance’. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Read more

Why isn’t my house selling?

You may not be able to figure out why your house is not selling but it may be obvious to others folks especially potential buyers. Whether the home is viewed virtually or live, the reasons may hurt initially but knowledge is power. It is best to showcase the home the right way from the beginning but we all deserve second chances, even our homes.

The question was put out on Facebook and it certainly created a lively online discussion. Here is feedback from Realtors, friends, family, sellers, buyers and future buyers.

Read more

Peel & Stick Wood Panels Provide An Instant Reclaimed Look

The showstopper for me at this year’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York was Stikwood, ultrathin wood planks that have an adhesive backing that sticks to just about any surface, creating the look of what would ordinarily be a costly piece of décor.

“I love the smell of wood, the feel of wood. I love everything about wood,” owner and founder Jerry McCall says. “But I’ve always been a bit upset about how wasteful it can be.” The master woodworker came up with a product that would give consumers the look of rustic, reclaimed wall paneling, using as little of the natural resource as possible. Read more

You made that?!

During a staging consultation in Warwick Grove, I had the honor of walking through the home of George and Nancy Younes as they prepare their home for sale. After a few comments of, “You made that?” I knew I had a column’s worth to share.

Surrounding yourself with things that you love is what makes a house a home. Seashell and beach glass from beach vacations adorn a mirror. A collection of handkerchiefs, once framed, becomes a work of art. The laundry room pays tribute to the family business. Check out Nancy’s handy work as she explains the story behind the craft. Yes! Their home is for sale.

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    The shell mirror is a collection of shells and glass collected from Fire Island, NY and Florida beaches. Happy childhood memories of endless walks on the beach hunting for sand crabs, and splashing in the warm pools formed during low tide. Looking at the mirror brings back memories of ferry rides, crabbing at night off the ferry dock, clamming in the bay, walking barefooted with the red wagon on the boardwalk. My siblings and I often painted some of the shells collected and sold them at the dock to visitors. These memories were enjoyed by a second generation and continued after our parents retired to Florida with its beautiful beaches.

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    The many handkerchiefs belonged to my husband George’s mother. They were given to her as gifts from her many business clients over the years. As a resident buyer in the garment industry she purchased merchandise for clients both domestically and overseas. She really was the E.R.A. before the “Feminist Movement” became a household name. Our recollection of her was always in a dress, heels, hat and gloves. “Hankies” were always in her handbag. These beautiful handkerchiefs are displayed in the frame and adorn the wreath.

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    My husband and I owned two Laundromats in New Jersey for 15 years. Nancy’s Wash and Dry Cleaning was our flagship store in Little Ferry, NJ. Sunrise Wash & Dry cleaning was in Palisades Park, NJ. George was so proud to say that he put my name in lights, not on Broadway, but on Washington Avenue. At one time we were the largest in Bergen County. I thought it would be a nice tribute to our hard work that I adorn our laundry room with memorabilia of that time in our lives.

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    I belonged to a small craft group called the “Crafty Critters”. We four women met in the evenings to work on various projects that we sold at numerous “Juried” craft shows. Items included ribbon & grapevine wreaths, ornaments, birdhouses, hand decorated mailboxes, and garbage cans. We made our own version of the cabbage patch doll. The eyes were embroidered, the body was sewn and stuffed & hair was created with yarn. Each were dressed and assigned names. Of course our kids got dolls as well.