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Simple, Easy, Effective Ways To Update The Decor Of Your Home

by Randy Gridley

There are lots of simple and easy ways to change the appearance of your home without spending a ton of money or exhausting yourself with back breaking labor. You'd be surprised by how much you can change the appearance of a room with a new set of curtains and some simple accessories. Just rearranging the furnishings and placing a new throw over your sofa and/or chairs can make a big difference. In this article, we will share five fast and easy home makeovers that you can do all on your own. Read on to learn more. 

1. Paint a single wall! 

Painting is quick, easy and effective. It can completely change the look of a room even if you only paint one wall. When you have a wall painted in a contrasting or enhancing color, it is called an accent wall. It can really brighten up your room for only a few dollars and a few hours of your time. 

Before you begin, think about what sort of atmosphere you hope to create. Choose your colors accordingly. For example, if you want to make the room seem larger, try a combination of greens, purples and blues. These colors add an air of spaciousness, and they are very calming. 

If you want a more vibrant atmosphere, go with yellows, reds and shades of orange. ` These bright colors draw the viewer's attention and will really make your accent wall stand out. They will make the room seem warmer. Be aware that these bright color will also make your room seem smaller. 

2. Move your furniture around! 

Moving your furniture is a very cheap and easy home makeover. You can just move an object of art or create a "conversation pit" with your existing furniture. You'll be surprised by how much this changes the appearance and feel of your home. Be sure you understand the ways in which proportion and scale combine to define your living area. This will help you find the most effective furniture placement. 

First, you must take all the furniture out of the room and clean the floors thoroughly. In this way, you can prevent moving your dust around along with your furniture. Look at the empty space carefully. Arrange your furnishings so that everyone in the room will feel included. You can use your furniture to create conversation groupings. Use props, such as plants to create separations between areas in large spaces. 

Avoid placing your furniture right up against the wall. Instead, use larger furnishings to create dividers between individual spaces. Make certain you leave enough room for the free flow of traffic through the room. 

3. Put the focus on your coffee table. 

Your coffee table is probably right at the center of the room anyway, so why not make it interesting? If your coffee table is entirely glass, you could put an interesting sculpture or other object of art underneath. If your coffee table is glass-topped, there are many eye-catching things you can do. If the glass is protecting wood underneath, you can put photos and artwork under the glass for easy, safe display. This is also a wonderful way to display holiday cards, birthday cards and so on. 

If you just have a plain coffee table without a glass top, it's a simple matter to have a piece of glass cut to fit it. You are sure to be delighted with the many decorating options this simple addition will provide you. 

4. Add new fixtures. 

It is fairly quick, easy and affordable to put new faucets in your bathroom and kitchen. You can also put in new light fixtures and/or ceiling fans. This kind of simple change can really make a big difference, especially if your fixtures are quite old. New, modern fixtures can add elegant touches that completely transform the look of your rooms. 

Most hardware and home improvement stores carry a nice selection of faucets and fixtures at very affordable prices. The clerks in  the stores are usually knowledgeable and able to help you make smart selections and answer your questions about installation. Before shopping, envision the look you hope to achieve. Cut some pictures out of magazines to take along. This will help you explain your  vision and make wise selections. 

When choosing new fixtures, you may encounter the following choices: 

* Waterfall
* Chromed
* Bronzed
* No-touch
* One or two handles

It's smart to read up on these choices in home design magazines and online before  venturing forth to the home improvement store. 

You are sure to be surprised by how easy it is to change or add a ceiling fan. The difference it makes in your living space is remarkable. There are many different kinds of ceiling fans to choose from. They come in all sorts of materials and a wide variety of colors and designs. Fan blades may be customized to really enhance the ambiance of a room. 

When purchasing any sort of fixtures, you should pay close attention to the craftsmanship and quality of the items. Some sorts of materials are far superior to others. The better the materials, the longer your new fixtures will last. Naturally, you will want to select fixtures that will blend with your existing decor or match the decor you plan. 

5. Beautify your light switches. 

You only need to know how to use a screwdriver to change out your switch plates. You can buy switch plates in a vast array of colors, designs, shapes and styles. Match your wallpaper border or your trim. Select a switch plate that represents your favorite sport or depicts your favorite work of art. 

You can even design your own switch plates by covering plain ones with wallpaper or decorating them with fabric, ribbons and other artistic and crafty materials. 

So there you have it. Five easy little projects that can help you transform the appearance of your home. Take a look around your house and think about the small changes you can make that will add up to big improvements.

Home Staging on a Budget Article Five of Five

by Randy Gridley

Stage the Lawn

Its very important to always have a well maintained lawn. In the spring and summer, you must make sure that it has been trimmed and mown. Your home will look much more inviting if you have clipped all the plants! In the fall, make sure you have raked all the leaves up and gotten rid of them. That way, your yard will always look well cared for. In the winter, in some parts of the country, you will have to make sure that all the snow on walks and the driveway is gone.  Always use a deicer or salt to keep new ice from forming. Dont let your clients walk up a slippery driveway. If you have pets, dont leave any poop on the lawn or on the snow! This looks really bad.

Frame a Local Scene

Buy an inexpensive local calendar, frame the pictures and put them all over the house. Try to find pictures that show local themes and the nature that is outside the door. Its not good for a buyer to wish they were in Aruba when they are in snowy northern Michigan!

Showcase Designer Bags

I love to create designs using designer bags that are colorful in several different shapes and sizes. Stagger them on the shelves in a master bedroom closet, a linen closet or in another closet. This will create a fun, visual vibe and people will love how clever and unique it is. The best part is that its free. All you need to do is let the stores know that you are staging a sellers home and would like to advertise their bags. Most stores will love the free publicity. To give the bags body, I usually fill them with wadded up tissue. Ive used bags from Chico, Pier 1, Neiman Marcus, Coach, Nordstrom, Victorias Secret and Crate & Barrel in this way. Best of all, their storage is easy since they will lie flat.

Customize the Art

Try buying a couple of nice easels and put them in several different rooms. Then, put a piece of art that has been framed on the easel. Or, you could put a nice mirror on it. The idea is to find something that will complement the colors of the floors or the walls. Another idea is to create a large poster filled with photos and other interesting information about the house and place it on the easel. This wont cost much money but it will provide a nice focal point for the room.

Redo the Doghouse

Pay attention to the pet areas of the house. Buy new beds and bowls so that it is obvious that this area is kept neat and fresh. Pick only one spot for the litter boxes and the pet beds. A good place might be in the utility room, the garage or the laundry. It should be out of the way of your clients.

Have Sellers Write a Letter

Another great idea is to have your sellers tell your clients just how great it has been to live in the house. I often ask sellers to write a simple one-page letter to possible buyers that tells them some of the less obvious advantages to living in the house. For example, let them know about the Easter egg hunt that happens every year on the cul-de-sac. Tell them about that amazing sunrise that you enjoy every morning from the window in the breakfast nook and the school bus that stops just down the street. I use pretty paper to showcase these letters and place them near the front of the property profile book that I put on the kitchen counter.

Make It Memorable

There are two more things you can do when you stage a home. First, put a welcoming wreath on the front door. This will stay there and the new buyers will love its warmth when they move in. Second, put a sexy black nightgown behind the master bedroom door. The husband who is buying will never forget that house!


1. Expanding the closet

An area that is often overlooked is the closet.  The majority of people will de-clutter and remove boxes from the closet, but in some instances forget to remove the hanging clothes.  It is highly recommended that you remove these clothes to prevent the imagery of the closet being 'over stuffed'.  An ideal closet will have a significant amount of space between hangers, which is usually two or more hangers worth of space as sufficient de-cluttering.

2. Before and after photographs

It is often seen that home owners will place all items that they don't use regularly in the garage or storage.  This neutralizes the home and will allow potential buyers to picture their furniture in the living space.  It also creates a sense of cleanliness and order within the house by having clear counter tops, sparsely decorated walls and a minimal amount of furniture.  Photographs of other staged homes will generally be provided to offer examples of ideal home staging with regards to floor space and area.

3. Creating a neutral pallet

When meeting with potential clients for the first time it is necessary to complete an initial walk-through of the home to make a detailed list of all furniture, clothing and miscellaneous items to be stored away.  Home staging requires floor space be defined and all personal touches be removed from view.  Potential buyers need to be presented with a neutral pallet that they can imagine their own items on and envision themselves living in. 

4. Removing personal photographs

It is vital that there are no personal photographs available anywhere in the home.  It is essential that they are packed away and stored safely for if these are on display the potential buyer may review the photograph instead of the home itself.  With personal photos around it is hard for potential buyers to visualize themselves living here.

5. Removing furniture items

One of the most important home staging tips is to remove and re-arrange furniture items to ensure that they do not hide any of the properties main features.  In order to promote the house's features you should relocate the furniture making the rooms look bigger or smaller.


1. Welcoming guests

It is important to welcome potential buyers using the front porch or step and its plants/flowers.  Bright statues of animals along with a doormat can offer a warm greeting to new guests.

2. Organizing a curb appeal checklist

One highly recommended item for home staging is that of a curb appeal checklist noting different curb appeal items.  These refer to the items required to 'get people in the door', for example trimming existing shrubs and repainting any peeling walls.

3. Offering enticing moments

Updating features within the house can contribute to a sale, such as painting any peeling areas or tightening loose doors.  This will intrigue potential buyers and increase the chance of a sale.




1. Going neutral


Almost immediately after a potential buyer enters a property they need to be intrigued by the style and color of the room.  By utilizing a bold, neutral painted color or wood stain the individual will make the room stand out.  It is recommended that you use tans and khakis as these will not only emphasize the room but also warm the area.


2. Adding color


Presently, over half the homes being listed appear as rather vacant and sterile in photographs.  Unfortunately, this is a result of the request to neutralize the rooms with a plain color; therefore, it is recommended to add a splash of bright colors to the kitchens and bathrooms in order to 'spice up' your home staging.  One advised color is red that can take shape in a vase of red flowers on the kitchen table.  Bright towels in the bathroom and plants in the living areas are also options that can provide dazzling colors in the rooms and intrigue potential buyers.


3. Lighting the place up


Lighting is highly important when staging one's property.  By replacing light bulbs in your property with higher wattage light bulbs you can create the illusion of light and space.




1. Teasing their sense of smell


It is highly recommended to entice all five of a potential buyer's senses, including their sense of smell; therefore, always have something baking or cooking when showing your home.  Pies, chocolate cookies and fresh bread are very effective options as a means of teasing a person's nose.  You should also place candles in a room that have scents of spiced apple or pumpkin.


2. Accessorizing


It is advised that you add some decorative items in the kitchen as a means of warming up the area and making it cozier for potential buyers.  Placing small cups of coffee and pretty napkins can enhance the 'homey' feel as a part of home staging.  Furthermore, you can find large glasses and pottery bowls from second-hand stores to fill them with customized treats which create a positive lasting impression on visiting guests.  Every item adds to your home staging impression and contributes to potential purchase of the property.


3. Going green


The 'Green' Movement is very popular in the 21st century and if your property has features that are in line with this lifestyle you should promote them.  For example, if the listening has bamboo flooring or double-paned windows emphasize the theme with holistic decorations and homemade staging accessories.  Green cleaning products are also recommended to be placed underneath the sink as positive property attributes.  People will notice these small touches.

Home Staging On A Budget Article Two of Five

by Randy Gridley


Use Fabrics

A great tip for staging is to create a fabric covering for an air mattress that has an old comforter on it. Put a large sheet over the comforter and then put a beautiful piece of fabric on the end or the middle of the bed. It will look like a high-end hotel room. You can also use fabric to cover TV stands to make them look like nightstands, pieces in the entryway or to decorate any table.

Add Luxurious, Affordable Touches

If youre doing a master bedroom that is boring, as is often the case, get the sellers to buy a gorgeous, luxury comforter set including throw pillow, matching valances and a bed skirt. Go all out! They could go to a place like Burlington Coat Factory which sells very rich-looking sets for about $100. This one trick can turn that bedroom into a suite in a luxury hotel.

Try a Dramatic Fabric Backdrop

Another great way to improve a bedroom that is dull is to use fabric, draperies or even sheer curtains on the wall in back of the bed. If you do this, its a good idea to take away the treatments from the windows so more light will come into the room. This backdrop for the bed serves as the headboard. It can make the ceilings appear to be higher and it will definitely add a feeling of luxury and style. It will cost very little, but the drama it will add is priceless.


Add Bathroom Elegance

In the bathroom, buy beautiful hand towels and tie them with a sheer ribbon. Then put them in all the bathrooms on the towel holders. You will be amazed by how much better your bathrooms will look. Another great addition is candles in modern colors and lovely dried flowers. This will add that dash of spice youre looking for and will bring your rooms to life.

Put a Lid on It

Throughout the home, whether it is empty or not, make sure you have closed everything. Close the drains on the sinks and the tubs. Definitely put down all toilet covers. Make sure closet doors are closed. Then let the warmth of the sun come in. This will immediately improve all of your rooms and it is free!

Make the Old New Again

Sometimes you will be working with a dated home. Not too long ago, I was staging a large home that was completed in 1979. The master bathroom had a sunken cultured marble tub and swirly 1970s brown matching vanity tops. On top of that, the shower tile was speckled white and gold. To bring this room up-to-date would have cost a fortune, but I was able to transform it anyway. We painted the shower stall and tub with a nice epoxy paint in white and made the marble tops a pleasant white with tiny tan specks. It all cost about $800 and the improvement was striking.

Home Staging on a Budget Article One of Five

by Randy Gridley


Create a Focal Point

To create a focal point in your living room, the first step to take is to figure out which corner is the most visible and then add a large plant to that spot. Often, silk trees work very well. It is also nice to set up a spotlight from behind the plant so that the leaves will be backlit, producing a cool shadow on the wall. This will really help if the room is in need of more lighting and it will add to the feeling of space in the room. To create a relaxed feeling, you can add a big, colorful rug.

Set Up a Chat Room

When setting up the room, it is good to put the living room furniture into an arrangement that will be good for conversation as well as for entertainment. When a potential buyer sees the room, they should be able to easily picture themselves having a conversation where they does not have to turn around or move a chair to see the other person.


Get Rid of Carpet Dents

Make sure to remove furniture indentations in the carpet. A great way to pull up the indentation is to put a medium-sized ice cube over the dent. When it melts, the carpet that was pushed down will expand and the indentations will go away. Another way to get rid of it is to put a vacuum cleaner over the spot for a little while because this will cause the carpet to expand and that will remove the dent.

Accent Special Features

Make good use of the special features in the room by accenting them well. If you have a fireplace, it is a great idea to put a nice plant nearby. Or, if you would like to suggest that different areas of the home can be separated, a couple of tall palms might be placed to direct the buyer in the direction you would like them to go. This also will help make sure someone enters the home often to take care of it. Another tip is that you can make an empty space lively by using plants with many colorful flowers.

Invoke the Outdoors

I always like to bring some nature into each room. It is a great idea to create a nice flow through the whole home using fresh and dried flowers and cuttings throughout. Sometimes, a very simple idea is to use twigs to spell a word or maybe a small cutting that is tied with raffia on a pillow and then put on a bed. This will help draw the eye into the room without being overpowering. On occasion, I have used a cutting of a branch to create a “tree” in a corner of a room that was too empty. This will work no matter whether the theme of the home is modern or traditional. By using a bit of nature in each room, you will create a continuing theme throughout the house. One important hint: Always make sure you have checked the cuttings for bugs!


Bring Your Own Bed

A really easy way to put a bed into an empty bedroom is to arrange several moving boxes so it is shaped like a bed. Then, use special bedding to give it that dressed up look. You will be able to use the bedding to create whatever mood you would like to convey for the room. For example, you might want to give the master bedroom a romantic feel while creating a fun vibe in a kids bedroom! It is always good to help a potential buyer to be able to envision themselves in that space.

Another quick way to add a bed is to buy an air mattress that is inexpensive and has a folding frame that is off the floor. After you finish staging it, no one will be able to tell that it is not a real bed. And, of course, after the house sells, the new owner will only have to deflate the bed, fold it and pack it away.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




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Randy & Doyelene Gridley
Silvercreek Realty Group
1099 S Wells St. Suite 200
Meridian ID 83642
Randy's Direct Office: 208-859-7060

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