Category Archives: House Tour

House Tour-Exterior

Today’s post will conclude my pre-staging house tour. It’s common for homeowners to forget about or neglect the exterior of their home when putting it on the market. Not only is the curb appeal the very first impression buyers have, it’s what will or won’t draw them in. The first thing you should do is walk across the street and try seeing it with a buyer’s eyes.I was actually taken back by what I saw when I pretended to be the paparazzi and snapped some shots from across the street today. First of all, where IS our house exactly? I’m thinking we need to trim several of the lower limbs on our little tree in the front yard so it doesn’t look like half house/half tree.We still need to come up with a shutter solution since one of our shutters was a casualty to a recent storm. I would love to DIY our own wood ones and stain them a rich walnut. We’ve replaced the mailbox and light which made a big difference. We need to do repair and paint the crumbling concrete on the stairs and I’d like to stage the front porch with a couple of chairs or evergreen plants.On to the fancy carport. This area needs to be completely empty for showings! Even the garbage can/recycling bin can be stored in a closet to the side of the house. The oil spots need to be soaked up and the entire carport needs to be power washed (I hope that will do the trick rather than a fresh coat of paint). Once the light is replaced I think it should be good to go.
Remember our recent front garden facelift? Thankfully all that needs to be done here is a little weeding along with continued watering so that nothing dies.
Finally, we have the badunkadunk of our house (a.k.a. Cali’s backyard). Sometime within the year the city actually came out and trimmed the brush back so that it was below the utility lines, but it’s already grown back. Although we don’t mind it providing some privacy from our neighbors, we definitely need to bring out the shears!
The lower stones on the house could use some power washing and obviously we need to clear out the clutter. The back light fixture needs to be replaced and I would love to find some outdoor furniture on Craigslist to stage some kind of outdoor living space that would be visible from the dining room windows.

Ben remembered that next weekend is Memorial Day. 3-day weekend + paint specials = the perfect storm for home improvement! We’re hoping to knock out a lot of stuff in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Anyone have any exterior staging tips up their sleeve?

House Tour-Bedrooms

Who’s excited to tour some bedrooms today? Since our recent master bedroom switch, it’s been confusing trying to distinguish what each room should be called. I’ve decided for this post to refer to them as Papa Bear (master 11×12.5), Momma Bear (11×11.5), and Baby Bear’s (10×11) rooms.
We’ll start with Papa Bear’s room which has come a long way in recent months from being our junk room. Whenever we talked about moving, this was always a sore spot because all the stuff in this room completely overwhelmed us. Ben recently switched out the ugly brass ceiling fan with a brushed nickel one.
Besides the giant bed, the bookcase is the only other piece of furniture in the room. To stage it, I’ll box up the books and put the bookcase in our attic to open it up. A Cali King bed is not ideal for staging in a room this small, but we’ll make it work. The olive green walls will be painted neutral with white trim.
This will be the tough part. A lot of people ignore their closets when putting their house on the market which is a huge mistake! Nothing should be on the floor, anything on the top shelf should be neatly stored in baskets, and any excess clothes should be packed away to make the space appear bigger. Matching hangers like these wood ones also add a nice touch.
On to Momma Bear’s den. This has become our catch-all room with a twin bed, 2 dressers, vanity, bookshelf, laundry basket, and the remains of our office (filing cabinet/paper shredder). We’ve already bought a new ceiling fan that just needs to be installed. I’m hoping we can buy a $3 paint sample to paint over the holes in the walls and get away with just painting the trim white.
I don’t know if we’ll move with that twin bed since now we have a queen for our guests. However, I do want a bed in this room for staging. Every room should have a purpose and since our house is only a 3BR, this room needs to have a bed. The vanity and bookshelf need to go on a field trip to the attic and then I’m excited to move the furniture around to see what looks best.
This closet is the graveyard of all the speedy shovey I did to make this room livable. The floor of this closet is jam-packed with picture frames, pillows, golf clubs, exercise equipment, suitcases – you name it! People want to move into a home that is more organized than how they live, so it’s all got to go. Ideally, all that should be left are a few empty wood hangers.
Finally, we have Baby Bear’s room. The ceiling fan has already been replaced and I love the new bedding I recently threw together. The sailor blue walls need to go neutral with (yep, you guessed it) white trim. I recently cleaned out my closet in this room, so at least that’s already done.This dresser will be less busy on top – I’ll only leave the stuff on the right side there. If we weren’t planning on sleeping in here through the hot summer months (it’s the coolest room in the house), I would switch the queen bed in this room for the twin in the other room. Sometimes practically has to win out.

The off-white blinds also need to be replaced with 2″ white faux wood ones in the 2 smaller bedrooms like we’ve done in the master and living/dining rooms. I also have white wall plates and outlets on hand once we paint the rooms. In a nutshell, we have a lot of closet cleaning, painting and little here-and-there things to do in order to whip these rooms into shape. What tips/suggestions do you have on staging bedrooms?

House Tour-Bath, Living, Dining

Are you itching to see more rooms in our house? I thought so. Let’s start out with THE bathroom. It hasn’t been too inconvenient except when we’ve had company and have 4 people fighting for morning showers.
When we moved in, I was glad that the shower curtain I had on our wedding registry coordinated nicely with the gray/ugly maroon tiles. We replaced the off-white blinds with a bamboo shade to give the room some texture.
Here’s where most of the changes have taken place. We had a yard sale awhile back and some friends brought that brushed nickel light fixture to sell. We snatched it up and it immediately updated the room. We also replaced the medicine cabinet with that espresso mirror that I found on clearance at Target for $10. I’d like to put a live plant in that shelf instead of the fake ones.
Here’s the linen closet behind the door. I’ll pack up lots of this stuff and get everything off the floor to make it seem bigger. We Ben has painted this bathroom twice since we moved in. Our tiling friend said it would be a nightmare demoing the tile, so a fresh coat of paint is all we have planned for this space.
Next up, we have our living room. The biggest improvement in this room will be patching the giant crack in the ceiling (along with several other stress cracks throughout our house). I plan on selling our chaise lounge on Craigslist to open up the room. I’m thinking of setting 2 chairs on either side of the coffee table facing each other for balance after the chase is gone and we center the couch.
If you do a 180, we have the dining room. We don’t plan on moving with this hand-me-down dining set, but I don’t want to invest in a new one until we get into our new home. To stage this room, I’ll take the extra leaf out of the table to make the space feel bigger. I also want to replace the fan with a chandelier to make it seem more like a dining room. We’ll take the fan to our new home.I’ve got my eye on this one at Lowe’s. The tablecloth will go and the table will be staged with place settings and fresh flowers for showings. Nothing too exciting to do in these living spaces since we’ve spent the majority of our efforts on them.

It’s been refreshing going through our home room by room determining what actually needs to be done. I plan on picking up some more paint samples soon (Benjamin Moore Pottery Barn paint colors) because we need to be painting 24/7 to get it all done. Cali’s lucky she doesn’t have opposable thumbs or we’d put her to work! What are your thoughts about our plans for these spaces?

House Tour-Kitchen

Whoa, Nelly! Not only did I set a record of hits on my blog with my Big Announcement post, but I was getting bombarded with calls/texts from friends and family wanting to know the scoop (even my mom called). My 2-word announcement may have been a little misleading since everyone was assuming that one of us had accepted a job offer or something. Anyone who’s close to us knows that we’ve been planning to move back to Oooooklahoma for awhile now.

The 3 yrs. we were supposed to be in Memphis for Ben to attend grad school have somehow turned into 7! Our main pull back there is our familia and it being a great place to live and raise a family. Plus, Ben is tired of not getting the OU games on TV. Don’t get me wrong, we love our life and our peeps here in Memphis. We started from scratch and will be moving back to OK forever changed due to the amazing relationships that have shaped us here.

Ben finally gave in after I begged graciously offered to do a guest post on my blog tomorrow of why we’re moving from his perspective, so that should be exciting. Our goal is to be there by Oct and I’ll let Ben elaborate more on that date in his post. Now let’s get to the good stuff – holy crow, we have to get our house ready to sell/rent ASAP! This will be my ultimate challenge as a home stager. In several posts I will go through each room listing what we plan to do (click on the pics to enlarge them).
What’s this room? It’s our galley kitchen I’ve been embarrassed to show or do much with on my blog thus far. I decided to just rip the band-aid off and begin with the room that needs the most work. The ugly florescent light is one of the only light fixtures we haven’t replaced and I’m thinking a simple track light would look nice.
Here’s a shot from the other side to show you just how tiny it is. Oh the mistakes I’ve made in this kitchen, I don’t think I have enough fingers/toes to count! Let’s begin with the dark paint colors and black trim for starters – that certainly isn’t helping this space appear bright and airy. I plan on painting it a light beige on top of the chair rail, a shade or 2 darker below it, and the trim white.
Notice the “I kiss better than I cook” sign above our stove – so true! The top cabinet doors obviously need to be put back on. That microwave is basically a giant timer and needs to be donated to Goodwill and the toaster oven stored away to open up the very little counter space.
Here you can see the off white, dusty blinds that were in every window of our house when we moved in. I’d like to replace them with bamboo shades like we have in our bathroom. The pot rack needs to be taken down and the contents stored. Oh, and that makes-me-vomit-in-my-mouth-a-little fake marble green countertop needs to be replaced with a more neutral one!
This is how NOT to paint kitchen cabinets. We did this several years ago and didn’t prime them correctly OR let them dry nearly long enough. This particular cabinet door got in a fight with Ben when he was trying to rehang it… I think the door won. I would like to paint the top cabinets white and the bottom cabinets a blueish gray (similar to this kitchen).

The only thing of value we’ve done in that room is have the tile professionally installed (after a certain puppy chewed holes in the laminate floor) and it will look amazing once we’ve lightened up the rest of the room. We also go back and forth about installing a dishwasher/garbage disposal so that it’s more competitive with other houses in our neighborhood. Just for fun, here’s a pic of our kitchen when we first toured the house.
Whew, that’s A LOT of work! You know what they say though – put any money you have into kitchens and bathrooms. This will by far be the focus of our efforts of getting our house into sellable condition.

It’s funny how I was more nervous to reveal our subpar kitchen than our junk room. I guess because junk is less embarrassing to me than poor design choices. In my defense, I spend very little time in the kitchen – it’s more like a storage area where we keep all that stuff from our wedding registry. What are your thoughts/suggestions on our kitchen reno plans?