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Tips for Living in a Staged Home

living in a staged homeStaging your home for potential buyers is hard enough on its own, but maintaining that perfect look is even harder when you’re still living there. When a house goes on the market, it has to be ready all day every day for potential buyers to take a tour. The house has to be at its most attractive and inviting, and let’s be honest, none of us live in homes that are picture perfect at all times.

Curb Appeal

When I work with my clients, the first thing I do is take them on a tour of their house so they can see it through the eyes of a potential buyer. We start at the curb because that is where potential buyers will start deciding whether this is somewhere they want to live.

Not only does this mean the house itself has to be appealing (no leaning porches and no peeling paint), but it also means the yard and sidewalk have to be immaculate. In winter, you’ll have to shovel the sidewalk as soon as it snows. In spring and summer, you’ll want to keep the grass mowed and watered, but also keep the lawn clear of any clutter, including the hose. Every day you have to go over the lawn and make sure there’s no stray trash or branches that may have fallen or been blown over to your yard. Remember: you have just seven seconds to make a good impression, so make it count.

Keep It Spotless

It’s hard to keep kitchens and bathrooms spotless when they’re in use, but any spot can turn off a potential buyer. This means wiping down the stove, the kitchen sink, and all the equipment in the kitchen before you leave for the day. Make sure all the dishes are washed and put away (don’t leave anything sitting in the sink).

The same goes for the bathroom. Wipe down the sink, the mirrors, and the shower/bathtub, and store hygiene products out of sight (you might even have to put them in the car and take them with you).

In the bedrooms, make sure the beds are always made and there are no stray clothes lying around – clean clothes should always be put away, and dirty clothes in the hampers.

Creature Comforts

All the little things we love because they keep us comfortable need to be put away because they imply there might be something wrong with the house. For example, if you like to keep a fan next to the bed, it implies there isn’t enough airflow in the house. Lots of blankets can make it look like the house doesn’t get warm. If you get cold easily or you just like snuggling under the blankets, you won’t have a chance to explain your story to the potential buyer about why you keep certain things in certain places.

Divide and Conquer

In order to make sure the house is staged and ready for potential buyers to tour the place every time you leave the house, everyone currently living in it needs to play a part in maintaining the home’s staging. Come up with a list of tasks that need to be done in order to get and keep the home ready for tours and assign everyone in the house at least one thing on that list. Maintain a list of who has which job so you can make sure everyone stays on track.

Get Another Opinion

You and your family can do a lot on your own to make sure your home is staged for buyers, but you need a professional eye to identify the flaws that could turn them off and the qualities that will draw them in. To get started staging your home the right way, contact me or call me today at (314) 623-4594.  

How to Find Inspiration for Your Home Remodel Project

find inspiration for your home remodelHave you ever looked around your home and just thought, “Bleh!” Whether your décor is out of date, or you just can’t stand to look at that wall color anymore, there are a variety of ways you can find inspiration to create a new and fresh design for your next project.

Color Palettes Give You The Big Picture

Selecting a new color palette is the easiest way to give a space a whole new look. Consider color selections for everything from the walls to the furnishings, to the floor when making your color selections.  Take home color palette booklets from your local paint store to show you a collection of colors that work together. You can look at each shade in your own light and coordinate them so the space feels complete.

Décor Can Take The Lead

Sometimes a simple piece of décor will just speak to you. Has a throw pillow ever jumped off the shelf at you, artwork or the pattern on an area rug catch your eye? This is inspiration! You can build an entire room design around a single item that moves you. Use complimentary colors and patterns to balance the inspiration with the rest of the décor.

Natural Materials

Only nature can provide truly unique and one of a kind inspirations. Materials such as wood, stone, metal, leather and even greenery, add a layer of color and texture in a space that cannot be achieved by anything man-made. It’s easy to be inspired by natural elements simply by admiring the way it was created by nature.

Do You Want Another Opinion?

It might be difficult to imagine anything different in your space if it’s been around for a while. Once you find your inspiration however, the design decisions will become easier. Call Staci at Another Opinion if you could use a fresh perspective on the design of your next project. Her clients fall in love with their spaces again by discovering what they admire and moves them, then creating a complete design.

Let’s get started, contact or call Staci today at (314) 623-4594.   

Spring Cleaning and The Joy of Letting Go

Spring Cleaning

Whether you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upor seen the Netflix original, “Tidying Up,” (or neither) you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo. She’s been changing the lives of people all over the globe, and it’s not by accident – there really is something to the idea that cleaning up and decluttering our space can help us live happier, more fulfilling lives. Of course, you can declutter whenever the mood strikes you, but with spring coming just around the corner, it’s a great time to get rid of some of the old things you never use anymore while also doing some spring cleaning.

Love Your Less

You’ve probably heard the phrase “less is more,” and although it’s not always true, it certainly can apply to your home, because the less you have, the more you enjoy what you do have. To test this theory for yourself, I challenge you to choose two items from any category of which you have more than two items. Whether it’s mugs, purses, or anything else that might be taking up space in your home without getting much use, try getting rid of all but two of them and see how you feel afterwards. 

Not only is it easier to stay organized when you keep your collections to a minimum, but it also means you get the most out of the items you do keep, making sure you get your money’s worth for the items you paid for and that you fully appreciate the items that were given to you as gifts.

The Fix-It Box

Not all items have gone unused because they have duplicates. Sometimes things break and we don’t always get around to fixing them. So, while you’re decluttering your home and coming across these items you haven’t gotten around to fixing, put them in a separate box to be fixed later. Once you’re done with your spring cleaning and decluttering, tackle that box next instead of leaving it to sit around and gather dust for a few more years until your next big cleaning/decluttering spree. If there’s anything in there you can’t fix yourself, take it to someone who can. Any items that are beyond repair go in the recycling or the trash (remember to recycle your electronics and batteries).

On the other hand, if they’ve gone a significant amount of time without being used (months, or even years) it might be time to just throw it out or donate it. If you didn’t miss it when it was broken, you won’t miss it when it’s gone.

The Put-Away Box

While you’re cleaning and decluttering, you’re bound to find some things in places they don’t belong. Whether it’s a mug hiding in the bathroom cabinet or hair clips in your jewelry box, you need to resist the urge to stop what you’re doing to put those lost items away, because once you get distracted, you’re much less likely to finish the task at hand. Use a Put-Away Box to place all those lost items and go back to cleaning up. Once you’re done with your spring cleaning and decluttering, only then should you take the time to put away all the lost items you found.

Another Opinion Helps You To Love Your Less

Whether you need some tips on organizing to keep your home clean and welcoming, or you want some help sorting your belongings into keep, donate, and discard, give me a call me at (314) 623-4594 or contact me so we can get you started today on creating a space that allows you to live a happier and more fulfilling life. 


Design What YOUR Heart Wants


Design What YOUR Heart WantsWe’re often told to follow our hearts, and I firmly believe that is good advice that works as well for interior design as anything else. At the same time, we’re often told what we should love based on what’s in style at that particular moment. Whether it’s Pantone’s Color of the Year, or a certain style of furniture, it can be tempting to try to convince yourself that you love what everyone else loves … but do you, really?

Love Your Space

Since you’re the one who has to live in your space, you should make sure you absolutely love it. If the color of the year makes you want to puke, then you should absolutely not splash it all over your walls and furniture.

Your home is your space and it should be your sanctuary. If you don’t feel comfortable with everything in it, what’s the point?

Rules Were Meant to Be Broken

You can follow the rules, or you can choose to stand out. There’s nothing wrong with painting the living room your favorite color, even if the “experts” try to tell you that color is too bold or oppressive. If that color makes you feel great, you should use it. Designing your space is all about creating a space you’ll love, and if that means having your favorite color on display everywhere, then go for it.

It’s OK to Be Trendy

At the same time, it’s OK to go with the trend of the moment. If painting your kitchen the same color everyone else is painting their kitchen that year is going to date it, that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with everyone being able to tell when you painted your kitchen as long as you love spending time in there while it’s your kitchen.

Be Strategic

If you like keeping up with the current trends, here’s a trick I like to use: select main pieces that work with everything and then choose trendy accent pieces. This makes updating your space to keep up with changing trends much easier and more affordable than redesigning the entire room (or house).

Ask for Help

Despite what some people have come to believe, professional designers and organizers are not here to tell you what to do with your space. We’re here to use our knowledge of space, color, and light to help you create a home you’ll love. We’re aware of the current trends, and while we might guide you to certain styles that are popular if we know they align with your particular sense of taste, we would never tell you to create a space you don’t absolutely love just because it’s trendy. If you love it, then it will always be in style.

If you’ve been thinking of redesigning your space, but you’re not sure where to begin, call me at (314) 623-4594 to get started today. We can go over trends, your likes and dislikes, and your goals for your space to help you create a home that is truly yours.

Choose Peace Of Mind By Not Saying ‘I’ll Deal With It Later’


peace of mindWe all do it, me included. When we’re busy living life, we procrastinate with putting stuff away. It seems so simple that, yes, I WILL deal with that later. But when we don’t, that’s when our home starts getting out of control and becoming a toxic environment. Good news! We all get a fresh start this new year! So, don’t drag a bad habit into 2019. Here are few helpful tips on how to make a positive change and create a happier and peaceful home.

Recognize your ‘I’ll deal with it later’ habit

This is a bad habit most of us struggle with daily. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just start to recognize when you’re pushing stuff off for later and why you’re doing it. Knowing your behavior will help you set a course for positive change.

Fact: You really won’t do it later

Procrastination is contagious. Each time we delay becomes a reason to do it again later. However, once you commit to ‘settling’ the chaos you find a more peaceful home. If you can’t do it daily, then weekly is a must. The more often you pick up, the easier and faster it will be next time. Committing to a quick sweep around your home can be contagious too!

Don’t just tuck it away either

That’s not dealing with it. Tucking things away in a bag, basket or drawer so they’re out of sight in that moment is only going to make your chaos worse. Out of site is out of mind because now things get lost. When you see your visual chaos, you can own up to it and will commit to dealing with it. Again, don’t beat yourself up, recognize and change course.

Choose peace of mind

Choosing to deal with something later, doesn’t get it if off your mind. Frankly, it becomes another spinning plate in the back, wreaking havoc on your state of mind, in addition to your home. You deserve a peaceful home, so choose to give yourself peace of mind. Choose now.

Ask for help

Do you want help making changes that will create a happier and peaceful home? Call Staci at Another Opinion today (314) 623-4594.

3 Worst Gifts You Can Give Someone


giftsFrom the perspective of a purge and organize consultant….

I often work with clients who struggle with letting go of gifts they have received over the years. Even when those gifts do not relate to their current lifestyle, or they’ve become a burden to hang on to. There is a sense of guilt most of us acquire when receiving gifts. So, I encourage you to be a thoughtful gift giver by considering the wellbeing and home of those you are shopping for this holiday season.

Give less stuff. It’s easy to fall into the trap of the hottest trend craze. Or keeping your list simple by just picking up yet another one of those collectable items you think they want. And when you forget to get a gift, there is always a quick option that’s usually already wrapped. Well, I am a firm believer in LESS IS MORE, and that we can truly appreciate what we dohave when we have less of it. Gift giving is more than ‘a thought that counts’. For the receiver, tangible gifts accumulate more stuff, but more importantly can affect us emotionally for years to come.

Here are a few gifts to avoid giving. We see these items often when helping clients ‘let go’ while purging their belongings:

Trinket boxes
Pretty on the outside, but a mystery on the inside. Yes, they are an easy purchase and fit a wide range of folks on your list with various shapes, sizes, colors and themes. However, once the lid closes the contents are often forgotten.

Knick knacks
These dust collectors are the foundation of clutter. A few collectibles here and there on the tables and bookcase can quickly turn into an excessive situation simply by gift giving. Limiting the gifts you give that add to someone’s collection will help avoid overwhelming their home.

Generic gift sets
You know those pre-packaged sets at the end of the aisle in the store. They usually include 2 mugs and hot cocoa, or baking tools and cake mix. They’re great for a last-minute grab when you forget a gift, but often end up becoming trash or re-gifted. Not many of us can fit more mugs or kitchen tools inside our cabinets.

What to Give Instead

When you’re buying this season, think about what happens to those gifts after the celebration ends. Will it sit on the shelf or get lost underneath other things? How about changing it up this year! Give gifts that create memories, such as an experience. Better yet, experience something withthe person you are giving to. Or give a digital gift certificate for them to purchase exactly what they want. Ultimately by giving less stuff, the real gift you’re giving them is a clutter free and peaceful home!

If you or a loved one is struggling and could use help finding relief from excessive stuff, please contact Staci at Another Opinion 314-623-4594.

5 Tips for DIY Basement Makeover


Basements can either be a great place to hang out, or they can become a forgotten appendage of your home where old and broken things go to be “dealt with later” (i.e. forgotten about completely). If you’ve been thinking it’s time to give for a basement makeover and you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, we have some tips to help you do-it-yourself.

Purge

Because basements tend to be a magnet for all the old items we put off dealing with, the first thing you’ll need to do is get rid of all of the excess stuff. Letting go of the items you had forgotten about/haven’t used or fixed in months will free up space and allow your basement to be more useable. Then tidy up what stays so you can start to create the basement of your dreams.

Separate It into Zones

This is particularly important if you have a large, sprawling basement. Break it up into different areas: a viewing area, an exercise area, a game area, etc. Decide before you start working what’s going to go where so you have an idea of the kinds of colors and furniture you’ll want in each area, as well as how you’ll want to arrange it.

Paint

Nothing says “makeover” like paint. It’s the cheapest, fastest way to make you feel like you have an entirely new basement. You can paint it all one color or choose different colors for the zone areas. Use paint to create a themed basement design if you’re wanting something truly unique.

Upgrade the Floors

Improve that basic concrete floor. There are multiple options to choose from including staining the concrete, which gives you practically limitless options for colors and designs. For a warmer feel underfoot, consider carpet tiles that are changeable, easy to clean and allow you to create fun patterns or keep it neutral to appear like wall-to-wall carpet. If your basement is susceptible to water issues, then a vinyl plank/tile flooring is the way to go. In addition to being waterproof, it’s easy to install, cost effective and you can select a wood or stone look to compliment the overall design.

Don’t Forget the Lighting

Lighting sets the mood in every room, and it’s especially important in the basement, where smaller windows provide minimal light. Select recessed can lights or low-profile pendant fixtures to spread light throughout and make the space appear bigger. For a different approach, check out the faux window fixtures that give a view of outdoor. Try to include different types and light levels in your makeover, it will help to make your basement feel more comfortable, like a living room.

For any makeover you’re considering for your home, remember that small changes can make a big difference. You don’t need to spend a fortune redecorating to feel like you have an entirely new space. Another Opinion can help you plan and select everything you need to do-it-yourself and complete your basement makeover. Contact Staci today to get started at 314.623.4594!

How To Be More Comfortable In Your Home


feel more comfortable in your homeHave you ever stopped to think about how your home makes you feel? It’s a very important question. Your overall wellbeing is directly affected by the condition of your home. If you struggle with clutter and home organization, then you certainly know the feeling of a toxic environment. It’s time for a dose of self-awareness. It’s time to reset by connecting your lifestyle with your home. Here’s how to be more comfortable in your home!

First, recognize your feelings
Are you stressed with an unorganized home? Do shut down when you see piles? Have you stopped inviting friends over? Worried that you’re teaching your kids bad habits. When your home negatively impacts your life, you will feel it mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.

Next, learn more about yourself
At one point, your home was organized, and it felt good. But as daily life happens, it’s easy to neglect. To keep your home running smoothly it must remain current with your active life. So, look closely at the piles and pay attention to your patterns. Consider what changes you can make that will positively impact the organization of your daily life. Then, take the time to reset your home.

You’ve heard of creating ‘homes’ for your belongings
Make your ‘homes’ easy to commit to, so that you can expect and trust that items will be where you need them. Try to connect the activities in your home with the people who do them. Also, connect the location of items with the path they move throughout your home. When you take the time to connect your home with your lifestyle you will find a more peaceful environment.

Now, you can nurture a home that makes you feel good
When you nurture your home, you’re fostering change as it happens, so that it will remain current with your active life. But you still have to commit to self-awareness. When you see a pile creeping up, take time to notice and reset the ‘homes’ if necessary. If you nurture your home you will certainly feel it. And the next time you think about the way your home makes you feel, you’ll have an answer…  such as, relaxed, calm, grateful, confident, happy, peaceful ….

Get Help From A Professional
Don’t be afraid to call a professional to help you get started. An outsider’s perspective will give you clarity and keep you motivated to get your project completed.

Another Opinion will help you reclaim spaces in your home and find relief from overwhelming stuff. Contact Staci to start transforming your life!

 

START NOW – Get Your Home Ready for Holiday Visitors


Get Your Home Ready for Holiday VisitorsThe countdown has started! Time is already running out to complete your home projects before the holidays arrive. So, get your ‘Honey-Do List’ and your Pinterest board ready! Start your projects now to be sure the dust has settled before your holiday visitors arrive. Here are some tips to help you get ready, get the design you want and get it done on time!

TIME-SENSITIVE MATERIAL

First, since this topic is about a fast approaching deadline, let’s start with thinking about the end. When are visitors coming to your home this holiday season? Now, back that up… What date do you need to have your home projects completed to be ready for the visitors? Then, back that up one more time… When do you need to start your projects?? That thought might have lit your fire of urgency, so here we go!

Plan with a Schedule, Design and Budget

A well thought out plan is critical, not only to get your project done, but to how smoothly your project will run along the way. Think about every detail- from the ugly demolition to the pretty things you want to see at the end. Preparing a schedule, your design and a budget will help you to start your project with confidence and be ready for the unexpected that may arise. These 3 important planning tools will be your guide when selecting materials, planning deliveries and preparing for installation.

Gather the facts

Clearly understand where you are coming from and where you are headed in your project. Measure and document what currently exist in the project area before starting. Also, collect your ideas and photos that represent the new design. Create a detailed project list of action items noting who is responsible for each. Always have this information on hand, especially on time-sensitive projects! You will use this valuable information for focused decision-making. Likewise, reviewing the facts of your project will give you an objective look at areas of concern or while creating a design feature.

Take your time to Select Materials

The design ideas in your head (and Pinterest board) become reality when you start making selections for your project. Take time to do some research and educate yourself on the options. Consider care and maintenance, along with price, style and color. Reading reviews might help you make swift decisions that you will be happy with in the end. For good measure, narrow selections down to 2 options you would be happy with; you know, just in case.

Expect the Unexpected

There are always surprises. Whether they’re behind the wall you’ll be knocking down, or the vanity cabinet that just went on back order. Even the smallest projects have many moving parts that can go sideways in the blink of an eye; such as mis-measures, missing parts, and mishandled merchandise. Unexpected delays are manageable when you are prepared to make decisions quickly. Your well thought out plan will keep these potential hiccups from derailing your project.

Need help? Another Opinion LLC can help you with creating a design, preparing a schedule and budget, and making selections for your project. Contact Staci and start now to get your home ready for your holiday visitors!

Downsizing Tips for Empty Nesters


tips for empty nestersHave you and your spouse just become an Empty Nesters? If your kiddo has left for school or they’ve recently moved out, you are certainly feeling the mixed emotions that come along with this major life event. It’s a bittersweet moment, however, can also become one of empowerment. Your home is ready for a transition, so seize this moment to transform your life! Here are a few tips to help reclaim your space and reinvent yourself along the way:

Your Home Should Fit Your Lifestyle

Until now your home life has revolved around raising a family. So, don’t feel guilty when considering the lifestyle you want in the years ahead. If your home does not support who you want to become, you have permission to change it.

Reclaim Your Space

As an Empty Nester you’ve just been given back square footage of your home. Take ownership by giving this space a new intention! Let your lifestyle be your inspiration…. Such as, that craft room you always wanted, the mancave he’s talked about for years, or maybe an exercise room that would eliminate the monthly gym expense.

Letting Go

You’ve collected, accumulated and been given a lot of stuff over the years. And now you’ve become keeper of things the kids left behind. If your home is overwhelmed with things that do not support your lifestyle, it’s time to lighten your load. Living with less will allow for more freedom in your life to do what you enjoy and to fully appreciate what you have.

Sorting Stuff

Sorting through belongings is overwhelming. But, the relief that you’ll feel after the space is cleared will be well worth your effort. To move swiftly through your sort, make decisions quickly. If you linger on an item, keep it for further evaluation and move on. You’ll get another look when you’re moving the sorted items onward to their final destination.

Moving It Forward

Removing the ‘get rid of’ pile from your home can be a daunting task as well. Give yourself a limited time frame to have everything out of your home so you don’t keep pushing it off. Consider a charity with donation pick up to make it easier for you. For heirlooms that family members aren’t interested in, consider transforming it with a furniture makeover!

Get Help From A Professional

Don’t be afraid to call a professional to help you get started. An outsider’s perspective will give you clarity and keep you motivated to get your project completed.

Becoming an Empty Nester is the time to be empowered and create the lifestyle you want. Another Opinion will help you reclaim spaces in your home and find relief from overwhelming stuff. Contact Staci to start transforming your life!