Beaux R'eves

Friday, January 31, 2014

Lavender Break

I took today off of work.  
I am supposed to be working on "Blog Stuff" 
as I tell Mr. Beaux.  
I am actually working on a Valentine Tablescape 
along with lots of other "stuff".  
I was digging around in the guest bedroom closet 
and I came across a box of lavender 
that I purchased from Decor Steals a while back.  
I guess I just shoved it in there and forgot about it.  
Love Lavender!  
Don't you?  
So out of the box it came 
and I placed it in my dough bowl.  
The smell in the dining room was heavenly!  
It reminded me of our anniversary a few years ago.  
We took a trip to Carmel and Monterrey.  
While we were in Carmel 
we went on a long scenic car ride 
to the Carmel Valley Ranch.  
It was a beautiful warm summer day...  
Longing for that now 
aren't you?
They grow lavender there 
and they also have bees for honey.  
We had a delicious lunch there outside.  
It couldn't have been more perfect!
Those are the kind of memories 
that I need right now!  
It is bleak and deary outside 
and spitting ice and a little snow.
I added one of my vintage table runners to the table.
Leftover flowers from last weeks 
impromptu dinner party with friends.  
Hey, they were having lobster on sale!  
Mr. Beaux broiled the lobster tails 
and I made risotto with peas and asparagus.  
 I'll keep the lavender here 
until I figure out my V-day table.  
I had better get back to work.
But before I do 
I will play around a little with Pic-Monkey.  
They have their Valentine goodies up now.
Thanks for joining me for my 
"Lavender Break"!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lighten Up 2014!

One of my New Years resolutions was to "Lighten Up".  
No, not lighten up my attitude, lighten up around the house.  
And not in the "I am going to let things slide" manner either 
(although some days I would like to).  
What I mean is that I want to lighten up my rooms.  
It feels dark in some rooms and heavy and I want things lighter and softer.  
I am starting this resolution in the formal living room.  
 What really made me think about this long and hard 
was after I took down the Christmas decor.  
I usually would have redecorated right away, 
but the room sat there naked until this week.  
Each time I walked by the room (a million times a day) I just shook my head.  
I wanted to paint, I wanted to rearrange the furniture, 
I wanted to recover the chairs but I did nothing.  
Has this ever happened to you?  
On the plane down to Atlanta last week I was reading an article 
in the inflight magazine about some one who started 
a social movement and nonprofit organization called "Because I said I would".  
Have you heard of it?  
It is basically writing down promises large or small on promise cards 
and mailing them to anywhere in the world at no cost.  
Why did this move me?  
I mostly always follow through on the things that I say that I will do.  
I like that about myself.  
But there are a a lot of things that I WANT to do that I don't say out loud.  
I think them and then I let them go to the back of my mind.  
Weeks and months go by and I don't do these things.  
No one but me would really care if they got done or not 
and they are certainly not things that would change the world 
but I would like to get them done.  
I realized that when I write things down that I need to do 
(my post it notes that my family teases me about) 
I usually do them.  
So on Saturday I walked by the living room, 
turned right around and marched into the kitchen 
and started writing on the kitchen chalkboard door.  
Paint the Living Room, 
Recover the Chairs, 
Switch out the Rugs, 
Make Pillows, etc...  
There it was for everyone to see!  
Miss Beaux asked why are you doing that?  
My answer 

~ Because I said I would ~ 

Here is the room post Christmas... 
I really want to paint the room a creamy color 
and leave the ceiling the same soft blue.  
 I have this bench that I bought for a client.  
This is not the bench that I ordered.  
When I called the company they said that they would send another bench right away 
and to hold onto this one until they sent me a return FedEx order.  
The guy was really honest with me and said that after 45 days 
if they hadn't sent the order then the bench was mine.  
I asked Mr. Beaux (he knows about shipping stuff) how they could do that?  
Wouldn't they be losing money?  
He said that it would cost more to ship it back 
than it would to just take a loss on the bench.  
Wellllllllll, their loss was my gain!  
It has been in the bedroom for a while and if you look real close 
you can see the dog hair from the pups jumping up on it to get to the bed!  
I wanted to try it out as a coffee table in front of the sofa.  
I saw this living room on the Ballard website 
and I loved the soft colors and of course the bench.
Please don't judge yet 
because remember it is a work in progress!  
I like the bench in front of the sofa.  
You can see that I took the rug out.  
Until I decide what I want to do I just want to see the negative space.  
I placed some books on top of the bench with a birds nest.  
I gathered some white things together and placed them on a silver platter.  
Remember my rule for vignettes?  
Shine, natural, texture, and groups of three.  
Shiny silver platter, natural birds nest, texture in the white pieces and a grouping of three. 
And a pop of an unexpected color.  
Pretty pink roses all in full bloom.
While I was digging around I found this blue tray that I bought at an Estate Sale.  
I am not sure that I am happy with this arrangement 
but until I can really focus on it it will have to do.  
I still have the mantle and the bookshelves to work on too.
Here are some fabrics that I have been gathering for this room.  
A silk piece that was $5.00 at an Estate Sale, 
the blue gray quatrefoil is a tablecloth on clearance at Pottery Barn 
and the others I found for $25.00 at an Estate Sale.  
It was a beautiful home in a great neighborhood and she was selling all of her leftover fabric from her kitchen/hearth room project.  
It was a LOT of leftover fabric.  
Lucky me!  
I am so glad that this project is getting started!  

All "Because I said I would!" 

Until Next time,
Beaux R'eves

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Home Staging: Before and After Series

I was busy this past Spring and Summer working on a lot of Home Staging projects 
not only for my own home but for my good friend who is a Realtor.  
As a certified Home Stager I have learned many tricks of the trade over the years.  
I thought it would be fun to do a weekly series of my "Before and Afters" 
and pass some tips to my readers.  
If you are considering putting your home up for sale 
this is a great time to start working on your house 
and getting it ready before the Springtime.  
As you might remember, we put our home on the market last Spring.  
Long story short, we took it off after three months.  
 There were only positive comments about our home but there were some external things 
beyond our control that were hurting our chances for a quick sale.  
There is currently a lot of construction in our area that is not very attractive.  
We knew that our home would sell eventually but we didn't want to disrupt 
our daughters Senior Year in High School having to move etc...  
I think it was a good choice for us 
and when the time comes around 
we will evaluate whether we want to list again.  

Anyway, back to the Home Staging!  
This particular home was fun because my mom was in town 
and she came along and helped me out.  
I wasn't able to see the home before we staged it.  
It's not ideal for me to stage a home without seeing it first 
and taking pictures but sometimes that is just the way it is.  
The realtor sent me some photos from his phone 
so I did have some idea of what I was walking into.  
Each staging job is different...  
Sometimes I bring a carload of my own accessories with me 
and sometimes I only use what the homeowner has on hand.  
In this case I used all of the homeowners things without supplementing. 

Let's take a look!
You can see from the outside of the home that it is a "Split Level" home.  
When you walk in the Living Room is on one level 
and the Kitchen, dining room and bedrooms are on another level up.  
The walkout basement is on the bottom level.  
This is the Before picture that the Realtor took.  
The room is cluttered with family photos and little nick-knacks.  
It looks like they were also using this room as a pseudo office.  
It confuses buyers when you have more than one purpose for a room.  
The room just looked a little tired 
and like they had thrown their "Left over" furniture into it. 
Unfortunately, we were unable to move the roll top desk.  
It was just too heavy and the homeowner's computer 
and printer were all hooked up. 
So we did the best we could with what we had to work with!  
I angled the sofa to give the room some interest 
and replaced the palm tree pillows with some more current pillows 
that I found downstairs.  
They  really seemed to brighten up the space.  
De-cluttering and removing family photos 
is always on my list of things to do!  
 I stole the palm print from the bathroom (which you will see later) 
 and centered it over the antique sewing machine that was previously in the kitchen.  
 The roll top desk got moved over (as far as we could) to the corner and closed for 
showings.   I placed the greenery around the room so your eye would follow from the 
lowest to the highest point.  It helps your brain to make sense of a space when you do that.  
Your eyes will follow the path which is what I want you to do.  
 I kept the mantle simple with three glass candle holders stolen from another room.  
  Shield your eyes!  
This is the kitchen!  
It was a VERY bright apple green with a LOT of clutter.  
This is the only "Before" picture that I have but I am sure you get the idea.  
My mom and I got to de-cluttering this room right away!  
My method is to take every accessory and put it in a central place, 
usually the kitchen table, 
and then use what we want to stage and pack up the rest.  
What do you think?  
Now it is a nice bright kitchen with beautiful cabinets and clean white counters.  
A lot of you might think that this is TOO sparse and simple 
but you have to remember that putting your house up for sale 
is different than living in your home.  
Staging is not the same as decorating...  
Decorating is personal 
and staging is removing the personal 
so that others can imagine living in your home.  
I kept only a few accessories out on the counters.  
My rule of thumb is three appliances max out on the counters.  
 I used the cobalt blue grouping because I felt that back splash and counters were blending 
together too much and they needed to be broken up.
Isn't this a cute space?  
I gathered a small checked tablecloth and placed the ceramic grass plant on top.  
I always try to think of who my target market is when I am staging.  
I was thinking that a younger couple 
would be looking at this house so I wanted to add some modern elements.
The Master Bedroom had some challenges; 
boring bedding, dark curtains, too much furniture and more clutter.
Sorry about the blurriness of this photo but I am sure you get the idea here...  
I found a new set of bedding that had never been opened in the garage 
and we asked the homeowners if we could use it.  
A coordinated set like this always looks more like a "model home".  
I switched the candles and picture over the bed with one from the hallway.  
The restfulness of the flowers works better and flows with the drapes.  
I tied the drapes back (with hair bands and a small nail) 
to let in more light.  
Soooooooooo much better!
I moved the end table from the left side to the right.  
It seems like a small change but it made the room look so much bigger.  
Of course I de-cluttered the dresser and placed a few candlesticks there.
Please put your sunglasses on for the master bathroom!  

Yes, it is bright orange!  
And there was no painting it!  
This is what I had to deal with!
Even the ceiling is orange!  
Of course my recommendation would be to paint but people don't always listen to me 
or the realtors... 
So how would you deal with this?  
What would you do?  
I decided to use the "white out" method.  
I used a large white shower curtain over the shower 
and white towels on the towel rack.  
I kept pictures and accessories to a minimum.  
Green always neutralizes a space 
so I placed the greens on the counter and on the back of the loo.  
It was actually tolerable when it was all staged.  
The little girls room.
I would say that this is a typical little girls room.  
Coordinating bedding and drapes, stuffed animals, 
little nick-knacks in her favorite colors.  
Just a little tweaking will fix this room.
I removed a lot of the little items in the room because they are distracting.  
One of my favorite tricks is to use all white bedding 
and place the comforter at the end of the bed.  
Since I didn't have a budget for this house I turned down the bedding 
with just the sheets exposed.  
A prospective buyer can only tolerate so much pattern.  
It is much more soothing to see the pattern at the end of the bed. 

Clean, organized and cute!  
The powder room/kids bathroom. 
Not much to do in here but take the kid stuff away and clean up.  
I wanted to pull the shower curtain to the side but it was better left closed.  
The basement area.  
Lots of family photos on the two bookshelves flanking the sofa.  
The view as you come down the stairs.  
The coat rack full of coats is the first thing you run into.
Another view...  
Behind that door is a powder room and a door to the outside.
the bookshelves have been de-personalized 
and the golf print from the living room was placed here.  
It is more in scale than the smaller print that was previously there.  
I removed the green swag from the windows 
because I thought it wasn't substantial enough to go over the windows. 
Now it looks like a spacious basement or entertainment room.  
Done!  And in under three hours!
This house was not on the market very long before it sold!  
I know that it was less than 30 days.  
So are you interested in this series?  
If so, come back next week!
Until then,
Beaux R'eves,