Archive for Occupied Home Staging

The Best Light Bulbs When Selling A Home

I’m often asked “What are the best light bulbs when selling a home?” during our comprehensive home staging consultations.

What are the best light bulbs when selling a home? It used to be very easy to buy light bulbs. You went to the grocery store or the hardware store and you had the choice of the iconic incandescent light bulb, the one everyone is familiar with:

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Your most difficult choice was 40 watt, 60 watt or 100 watt, frosted or clear.

Now when you walk into the hardware store you have a choice of a few energy saving Incandescents, those horrible, curly CFL curly florescent bulbs (which contain mercury and must be disposed of as hazardous waste), Halogen bulbs (which burn very hot – they’ve been known to melt light fixtures when used in the wrong place) and LED bulbs.  All are relatively inexpensive, except Halogen, which I avoid anyway because of the heat output.

Of all the types of bulbs, LEDs are the most energy efficient and they can last as long as 10 years per bulb! They used to be expensive, but you can buy them for as little as $1 at Dollar Tree or other Dollar-type stores. Just be sure they will suit your purpose. Not all LED bulbs are dimmable or appropriate for outdoor use, for instance.

Which light color should I buy?

Most light bulbs come in 4 “colors”: Soft White, Warm White, Bright White and Daylight. The colors are based on a units called Kelvins (K).  Lower Kelvins mean more yellow light; the higher the Kelvin number the whiter or bluer light.

Soft White (yellowish appearance) – 2500K-3000K. This is the typical color associated with old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. It is the color of light we are most familiar with and feel most comfortable with.

Warm White (between yellowish and white light) 3000K-4000K.

Bright White (between white/neutral and cool light) – 4000k-5000k.

Daylight (blue/cool color light) – 5000K-6500K.

Soft White, 2700K, is a soft yellowish light; Cool White, 4100K, bit whiter than soft white; Daylight, 5000-6500K, bluish, whitish light, resembles noon on a cloudless day

Image courtesy of Batteries Plus

For my money, I prefer light bulbs that are 3000K. The color temperature of the light closely approximates the light from incandescent bulbs, which are the most flattering light and the one we are most used to. They are usually marketed as Soft White or Warm White. As long as they are 3,000K (you can find this info on the back of most light bulb boxes) you are good to go. 

The color temperature of the light in a house can affect a buyer’s perception of a home – is it warm and welcoming or is it cold and clinical. Does the home feel cozy or does it feel like a hospital corridor or dentist’s office. The best scenario is for the home buyer to feel comfortable and cozy, so they can imagine themselves living in the home.

We usually see a mix of incandescent, curly CFLs and LEDs all mixed in one home before staging, sometimes in the same room. When photographing a home, all those different light bulbs show up differently in the photos. For the best looking photos of the home and the best buyer experience during the open houses and showings, all recessed light bulbs need to match and they should all be about 3,000K and a minimum of 800 Lumen (equivalent to about 60 watts). 800 Lumen Warm White bulbs are the best color temperature and wattage for lamps, too.

These are the best light bulbs when selling a home.

 

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Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Big

18 Expert Home Staging Tips To Make A Small House Feel Bigger

Do you know these 18 tips to make a small house feel bigger? I am frequently asked, by homeowners and real estate agents I work with, how to make their home or listing look bigger to appeal to more buyers. As an expert home stager in Pasadena and Los Angeles, one of my primary jobs is to make smaller homes feel more spacious.

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Here’s a list of 18 tips for making a small home feel bigger. You can use these tips whether you are staging a home to sell or if you are planning to stay, but just need some help dealing with smaller rooms. These tips will work with for vacant home staging (if you’re bringing in furniture) or occupied home stagomg (dealing with the client’s existing furniture):

  1. Pare down the furniture to the essentials. Do you really need a chair in the bedroom? Will the room appear larger with just the bed, the nightstands and maybe a dresser?
  2. Clutter makes a room feel smaller. Lots of smaller items, like a Hummel collection or bowling trophies displayed on every horizontal surface, eat up visual space. Only display 3-5 items at a time. Store, sell or pre-pack the rest. You’re selling a home, not a collection of “treasures”.
  3. Use fewer pieces of furniture. Its better to have one larger dresser than 2 smaller ones.
  4. Use appropriately sized furniture. Having a too big sofa in a small den will call attention to how small the room really is.
  5. Pull furniture away from the wall. That little bit of breathing room will give a sense of greater space.  Create a cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace, with room to move around the back of the furniture.
  6. Cooler colors recede, so painting an interior room a pale blue, green or gray will make it feel larger.
  7. Houses appear larger on the outside when painted a lighter color.
  8. Keep walkways and sight-lines clear. Don’t place furniture so that you are walking into the back of the sofa, or other large piece of furniture, when you walk into the room.
  9. Bedrooms feel larger if there is ample space to walk on either side of the bed. Not enough space? Get a smaller bed while you home is on the market. Downsize from a king to a queen or from a queen to a double, if necessary.
  10. Place the bed on the wall furthest from the door, if possible. The room will feel instantly larger.
  11. Show more hardwood. The larger the expanse of hardwood floor, the larger the room will appear. Do you really need that area rug? If the hardwood floors are hidden by wall to wall carpet, remove the carpet. The home will feel much more spacious.
  12. Try using one larger area rug instead of several smaller rugs. Or if the room looks OK without it, don’t use any area rugs.
  13. Patterned upholstery and drapes make a room feel smaller. Use fewer patterns on upholstery and bedding. Use a solid color blanket or bedspread on a bed in a small bedroom to make the room feel larger.
  14. Strategically placed mirrors make a room feel larger. Reflect a window or outdoor view, if possible. You can visually expand a space by putting a large mirror over a sofa.
  15. A well lit room feels larger. Get rid of those dark corners. Make sure every overhead light and table lamp is lit before open houses and showings.
  16. Minimize window treatments. The simpler the better. Shutters, blinds or simple drapes (no flounces, ruffles, strong patterns or complicated valences) take up less “visual space”.
  17. Make all your cabinets and closets half-empty. You will appear to have more closet and cabinet space. There is no such thing as a closet that is too empty when selling your home.
  18. Clean houses feel larger. Make sure every surface including your floors are shiny clean. Clean your windows and screens so they let in maximum light and sparkle.

Living room home staging by Moving Mountains Design

These home staging tips to make your home feel larger will work if you are staging to sell or staging to live.

If you need help figuring out how to make your home or listing feel larger, hire us for a home staging consultation. You’ll get some easy-to-implement expert home staging and interior design tips.  Its the best “bang for your buck” and it’s a great investment in preparing your home or listing for sale, or making your home more livable if you are planning to stay.

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Studio City Home Staging | Gorgeous Conteporary Staging

Studio City Home Staging a gorgeous contemporary home

My, my, my, what a gorgeous Studio City home staging project we got to work on last week. Located on Bellingham Ave. Studio City, this home has high ceilings, a unique open floorplan, 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and spacious backyard and pool. Located very close to Ventura Blvd. and the 101 Freeway, this beautiful home is convenient to EVERYTHING!

When I first looked at the home for staging, I immediately fell in love with the bold wall colors – black dining room, navy blue master bedroom, chocolate brown bedrooms, etc. The home had been very tastefully updated and is a decorator’s dream.

Black and white dining room studio city home staging

If I didn’t live in a 1920’s Spanish house, I’d be painting my dining room walls black right now!

Black walls with white trim home staging Studio City

Some of the furniture was already in the house, and I added some furniture to areas that needed it, plus all the artwork and accessories. I would classify this as an occupied vacant home staging.

Remodeled kitchen white marble counters home staging

White leather sofa family room contemporary home staging

Modern living room home staging gray glass and chrome

This home doesn’t have a living room to speak of, just this “reception” area. It was previously occupied by a silver patent leather sofa that wasn’t particularly inviting. I created this seating area in gray, black and silver to play off the window treatments and wall colors in the rest of the house.

Navy blue and white master bedroom home staging

Ok, so as much as I like the black dining room, I think I like the midnight blue bedroom with white trim even more. It gives me a peaceful easy feeling 🙂

This home is not on the market – yet – but as soon as it is, I will post more information.

For more information about Los Angeles home staging, luxury home staging or modern home staging please contact Michelle.

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+Michelle Minch