Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Up Against a Wall?

Dry wit and a sense of humor make James Swan a great read! 

His latest post rants about the lack of imagination some homeowners have in pushing their furniture against the walls of a room.  Maybe it's to make more space for the kid stuff?

Read and see more , how NOT to place your furniture, pic's here

FYI: I have be guilty of this in the past ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do you have your 2011 Calender?

I fell in love with this Susan Wallace Barnes easel calender when I saw it on the kitchen counter of my good friend Nikki.  With 12 beautifully whimsical watercolor sheets to look forward to, it makes planning for the new year a lot brighter!

Wishing all of you warm wishes for the Holiday Season and a
Fabulous 2011!
Plan on a blog post from me between Christmas and the new year:)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pantone Announces their color for 2011

Pantone is the global color authority for the fashion and home furnishings industry.  I am in love, love, love with this color and will certainly find an excuse to inject Honeysuckle into my home and wardrobe! 

The Pantone site is highly addicting-have fun checking it out!

5 Things to sell your home faster

Mls photo

According to Barbara Corcoran, NBC Real Estate corespondent and Hooked on Houses here is a quick list to get your home sold faster (Yes! Even in this market!)

1.White or Yellow exteriors (Talk to an agent or John at Benjamin Moore before using yellow:)
2.A Beautiful Front Door (no chips, dings and freshly painted)
3.Stainless Steel Refrigerator (I suggest they all match: white, blk or stainless)
4.Clean and clutter free rooms (You would be surprised...)
5.Let in the light (Get rid of heavy drapes,open blinds, and clean your windows)

As always, I would be delighted to answer any questions.  Just send me an

Monday, December 13, 2010

The first thing I will change in my kitchen...

Wow, do I dislike my current kitchen sink!  It's shallow, narrow and a very dirty shade of a once, creamy yellow.  I am in the very early stages ( the dream stage) of planning my kitchen make-over and I cannot wait to get rid of this disaster of a sink.  My replacement- a FARMHOUSE SINK.

The difference between a farmhouse sink and a regular kitchen sink is that the farm basin has an apron front that shows when installed, whereas a regular kitchen sink is installed within the counter top and the outside of the bowl is hidden from sight.  Another difference is that the bowl is usually much deeper-Love That!
image source unknown

image source unknown

image source unknown

What do you want to change in your kitchen?  I would love the hear!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ottawa Hills Home $0.00~ Absoulte Auction

Sunday Jan. 16th at 1:00
3727 Indian Rd. Ottawa Hills

So much fun even if your not bidding!
An Absolute Auction has no minimum bid and the highest bidder wins.  If the highest bid is 1.00, the house sells for a 1.00.  *A 10% buyers premium is added to the highest bid amount and a cashiers check is required for a designated amount to bid.
Want more details?  Just e-mail me at:
See you at the auction!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Staging~Less is MORE

• Evergreen wreaths, pine cones, poinsettias and candles say winter rather than a specific holiday. This keeps your house as neutral as possible during the holiday season.

• Although the holidays have much religious significance; mangers, menorahs, etc are considered personal items that we would prefer not to be out during showings. You never know what might offend a potential buyer ~ even during the holidays.

• Be careful not to overwhelm architectural features such as a mantel with holiday décor. A simple evergreen garland with white lights will show off the fireplace and mantel very nicely. And, remember to put up the stockings at the last minute (Christmas Eve) and take them down before your next showing.

• Take a drive to enjoy the elaborate exterior holiday displays this year and leave yours for next year.

• Christmas trees are big. Visually speaking, you can think of them as another piece of furniture. When decorating a tree, try to use white lights with only one or two colors of decorations. Save the children's ornaments and other personal items for the new home.

• If at all possible, try to use a small, narrow tree or a table top tree so the room isn't overpowered by a huge tree.

• Be sure to keep wrapped gifts out of sight during showings and opens.

• Think about the quantity of gifts that will remain in your house after the holidays and where you’re going to keep them to maintain a clutter-free atmosphere.

• Be careful not to leave decorations up after the New Year.

Michele Thrasher, ASP
Staging by MON BRIO

Great advice Michele! Thank You!

Monday, November 29, 2010

All I want for Christmas is a bookshelf full of books...

Whenever I walk into an Anthropologie, the closest one is at The Sommerset Collection in Troy, MI., I always am drawn to their clever collection of books.  Whomever buys for them does an amazing job of selecting the unique and inspiring.
Here are a few off of the Anthropologie book page that I would love to see under the tree this year!

Funny, scientific and practical, Gretchen Rubin's quest for increasing her happiness begins with small steps - going to bed earlier, getting organized - and culminates with her trying to build upon those happy achievements.

A Perfectly Kept House Is The Sign Of A Misspent Life

Mary Randolph Carter presents a design book for those of us whose preferred aesthetic is clutter (not mess!) and who value open windows and unmade beds. Full of photos, design advice and essays that illustrate how to exalt the beauty of imperfection and to live perfectly while doing so.

This delightfully thoughtful and charming analysis of style from Rebecca Moses is filled with words of wisdom, humor, and tips on about how to develop our own personal styles.

Letting nature write the menu, Slow Food advocates Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann offer up the most delicious of what each season provides. Tender, green things in spring. Ripe, juicy meals in summer. The bounty of the harvest in autumn. Rich braises and tart preserves in winter. The result is a year of discovery of fresh ingredients and succulent dishes.

Any great books you are wishing for?  Please share your ideas, I would love to hear them!

Want to build in Sylvania or Ottawa Hills?

Lots still seem to be at a premium in Sylvania and Ottawa Hills.
These lots are currently listed in the MLS  for 50,000 and up...
Need a plat map for a neighborhood?  I am happy to help!

Happy Cyber Monday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Reality of Selling Your Home

Real Life Doesn’t Sell Your House~Michelle Thrasher Staging by Mon Brio

Your Realtor tells you, every TV show about real estate tells you – Real Life Doesn’t Sell Your House. The way we live in our homes and the way we show to sell our houses are two entirely different experiences!

Steps to preparing your house for sale should include:
  • Making all necessary condition repairs that you are aware of.
  • De-cluttering every room; including closets, cabinetry, garage, basement.
  • Cleaning every room thoroughly; including wash windows and having carpeting cleaned.
  • De-personalizing every room; remove family photos, diplomas, etc.
These steps should be taken prior to having a Realtor visit so they can see your house in what you believe to be show ready condition/presentation. A savvy Realtor will then have a Professional Stager visit your home to give you advice on how to complete re-packaging or merchandising your home into a house for sale; a product ready for market.

Contrary to what is seen on TV, a Professional Stager will give you tips of the trade that are pertinent to your house, your potential buyer, your price point. It is individualized advice that comes from years of experience and education. It will not be a derogatory experience or one that necessarily will cost you thousands of dollars. Many times, a Stager will ask you to move furniture for better flow of the room(s). Although you live with the couch facing one way, for selling purposes it might be better another.

Yes, you might have to make some changes to the way you live (and living show ready is not easy), but if you truly want to Sell your House ~ it’s worth it!

Michele Thrasher, ASP

Accredited Staging Professional
Staging by MON BRIO

Thank You Michele! As sellers, we can easily be blinded by our own "stuff". A second set of professional eyes can make a remarkable difference in, most likely, the largest investment of your life!

Michele, I am hoping you will continue to Guest Post in 2011.
Stay tuned for Michele's advice on getting your home ready for the HOLIDAYS!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday cards on

 I get so much enjoyment out of finding unique handmade items-hallelujah Etsy!
It's Holiday card time, and I love sending and being on the receiving end. My children are young, so I feel inclined to show them off via photo cards, but would love to send out these sophisticated beauties as well. 

 2010 HOLIDAY CARDFireplace card by Annechovie

LET IT SNOW -  ANGEL GIRL - CHRISTMAS CARDS - Pack of 4 - Folk Art By FLOR LARIOSAngel Christmas Card

Custom Watercolor of Your House and CardsCustom Watercolor of your house Card

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Butler's Pantry

According to Wikipedia, a Butler's Pantry is defined as:
A room where food, provisions or dishes are stored and served in an ancillary capacity to the kitchen. The derivation of the word is from the same source as the Old French term paneterie; that is from pain, the French form of the Latin pane for bread.

SIP924370_05112005I have most often seen a Butler's pantry between a kitchen and dining area.  I don't currently have one at home, but would love to carve out a space for extra dishes, serve ware, candles-I could go on...
SIP937756_05112005 all photo credits Better Homes and Gardens
What's your take?  Clever storage or a thing of the past?  I am excited to hear what you think and open to suggestions!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Can I Cozy up this Kitchen?

  Byers want a multi-functional kitchen and with the current market status, people are more demanding than ever.  For today's standards, a kitchen should be a place not only to cook but to watch TV, work, hang out and entertain.  No small feat!  I also just read that upper cabinets are slowing becoming a thing of the past.  I don't think I could completely eliminate all of that precious storage?  What do you think?

 Check out my new kitchen below...I have got a lot of work to do and it won't happen overnight.  Wish me luck with my circa 1979 oven-Thanksgiving at the parents this year!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Official

I have been toying with the idea of a 2nd business card and Holly Becker, author of decor8 confirmed, via her blogging class, Blogging Your Way that a business card is essential to building readership.  Hope you like it!:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tips from a Professional Stager

I am really excited to bring you some expert advice on home staging!  I have asked Michele Thrasher of Staging by MON BRIO to do the occasional post and share with all of us her vast knowledge and experience on how to prepare your home for market.
Michele Thrasher of Staging by MON BRIO is an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) who has Staged 100's of houses. Additionally, she is an involved member of International Assoc. of House Staging Professionals (IAHSP).

Staging by MON BRIO’s dynamic business approach has earned a reputation as NW Ohio’s and SE Michigan’s Premier Staging Authority. Passion for excellence in the industry and a unique perspective on the craft has joined together a network of skilled individuals that broaden the company's scope of work. Our team is the best of the best!

 Staging is a MUST in a Down Market!
Staging is about creating a dream home for buyers. It goes beyond just cleaning, de-personalizing and
de-cluttering. It's about engaging the minds of your buyers to envision themselves in the house. Staging will transform your home into a House For Sale, a product ready for market, ready to Be Sold! Professional Staging from Staging by MON BRIO works within your budget and timeline to make that happen!

Staging is About "Engaging the Minds of Buyers to Dream"

• Where buyers’ can imagine their lives in the home

• Where buyers can imagine their own things in your space

• Where they can see themselves relaxing and letting go of the day

• Where they can see themselves cooking for their families

• Where their dreams come to life

Benefits of Staging Your House for Sale

• Staged houses can sell faster

• Staged houses can get higher offers

• Staged houses look better in the MLS pictures, getting more potential buyers to visit the house (remember 80%+ of all potential buyers view photos on-line before deciding to see in-person)

• Staged houses have a competitive edge over competing properties

• Professionally Staged houses sell 80% faster than their non-staged competition, as the non-staged homes in-effect sell the Staged houses!

Decorating vs. Staging

• Decorating turns a house into a home

• Staging transforms your home into a House for Sale!

• The way we live and the way we Show & Sell are two different experiences!

You’re not selling your home, you’re selling a house!

By Michele Thrasher, ASP
Staging by MON BRIO

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fake it

with wall decals that is.  So fun and clever, is a fast way to liven up a room. 

Is your house for sale? Do you have an uninspiring guest room?  Add an Instant face lift and people will remember your home for it.  I will definitely be taking this idea to clients!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still lots of time for color...

My geraniums are looking a bit sad:(  Time to switch it up and move on to more cool weather plants and flowers.  Excited to see what my local nursery had to offer,  I was so disappointed to see a very uninspiring display.  I am certain I would of purchased a pre-arranged container...moving on to craft my own.

Thank goodness for creative posts on the web!  I'll make sure to let you know what I come up with along with what and where I decide to purchase.  Inspiration in tact!

Better Homes and Gardens

Tu Bloom Chicago

Check out this You Tube clip Gorgeous Fall Containers

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Listing at Catawba Island Club

Asking Price: 399,000
4379 East Harbors Edge Located on the property of The Catawba Island Club
3 bed/ 2.5 bath/ 2086 sq. ft.
Built in 2007  2.5 Attached Garage

This condo is situated on the 10th green of the CIC golf course. 
 Easy access to the club, pool, tennis and marina.
Call or E-mail for further information or a personal tour.
Kristie Feeback

listing and pictures courtesy of Tomi Johnson

Friday, September 3, 2010

Beekman Boys Season 2-Yippie!

Wow, can't believe it's Friday. My( 2 ) post a week goal is not going as planned...Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

 I am officially hooked on The Fabulous Beekman Boys on The Discovery Channel.  They inspire me to want to own a Farm-Seriously!  Make sure to check out the live Goat Cam!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Autumn's Top 10 Design Trends

I am certainly not wishing summer away, but the back to school rush has had me thinking about cooler weather, cashmere throws and apple pie!

Thinking about selling?  I am happy to help  get your house "in season" and in excellent showing condition.  Additionally, I have a staging professional on call!

Here are the Top 10 Trends for that tailgating, wake up your senses season! for rooster pillow

1. Vintage accents. What’s old is new again. French-burlap is no longer just for sack-racing. This Earth-friendly fiber is being used for chic pillows imprinted with a vintage stamped design or even a family initial.

Accent chairs can also be seen covered in gray linen imprinted with vintage “document” script writing. Vintage couture lamps (and their replicas) are utter perfection this year, especially those with milk glass and natural material bases, drum shades, and antique brass finials.

Aged, color-washed wood accessories such as candlesticks, urns, and bowls are popular as oversized accessories to accent and update a time-worn look.

2. Wallpaper! With a decreasing demand for faux finishes and walls painted in solid primary colors, wallpaper is making a comeback in a big and decidedly fashionable way.

From bright and bold to subdued and elegant, today’s wallpapers are easy to apply and even easier to remove, making updating the seasonal look of a room easier than ever before. here are a seemingly endless number of choices from solids to patters, and everything in between.

3. Timeless art. When shopping for items to occupy wall space, ditch the quick fix, “matchy-matchy” picture. Art doesn’t have to be expensive but it should certainly have meaning. Buy what you love. Mix mediums and styles. To add depth and character to your pieces, forego the glass cover that can be distracting and casts a glare that actually detracts from your interior design.

4. Elemental color. While neutrals have made a strong showing in design this year for primary design elements like walls and baseline furnishings, boldly colored accent pieces give a space visual interest and appeal.

Brightly colored and/or patterned pillows, rugs and other accessories will bring an otherwise bland space to life. Of course, these accessories can be readily transitioned to exude the spirit of a given season.

5. Space simplification. With a strong desire to ease and reprioritize our homes and lifestyles, de-cluttering — even with respect to editing down furnishings and accessories — is the best way to gain control of your surroundings and feel a refreshed sense of purpose.

It is very important to streamline not only the lines of your furniture, but the bulkiness as well. But, this does not mean giving up comfort for style. Many times we place too many items in a room by way of accessories, pillows, throw rugs, and family photos.

Pick and choose very carefully the most important items and then pare down from there. There is brilliance in restraint.

6. Rug rage. There has never been a more exciting time than now in the area rug industry. Whatever style, shape, and design you can imagine is within your reach.

Even if a space has wall-to-wall carpeting, place an area rug to establish a layered look and add depth and personality to a room and also tie in other disparate color components. A rug’s color palette and pattern can easily establish the desired style and tone of a season.

7. Bed basics. Bedding has also changed this year. The pomp and circumstances of overstuffed pillows that seem to multiply in the night are out. Way out.

Exquisite, neutral colored linens are in, especially when paired with a luxurious top blanket and a clean lined duvet.

For those who desire more color that’s representative of fall or any other season, indulge in two medium sized pillows placed in front of each sham.

8. Pillow talk. Today’s pillow designs offer an array of textures, colors, shapes, sizes, and accents, and can completely transform a room’s aesthetic. Accordingly, pillows have become the ultimate interior design accessory, especially since they are so versatile.

Choose an assortment of pillows for the spring and summer and other set for the fall and winter. This is an easy way to seasonally transition a room in an easy and budget-friendly way.

Also, resist the urge to “karate chop” pillows to give them a center crease as this look is not style savvy.

9. Window treatments. While many love luscious fabrics, an overuse of material on your windows can quickly overpower an otherwise streamlined room. Linen panels are now very trendy since they beautifully outline and soften windows. This classic and timeless fabric is now available in a staggering array of colors to coordinate with any interior palette.

10. Brass. Yes, brass is back but a bit older and wiser. Antiqued brass and even antiqued gold have both made a large comeback on everything from drapery rods, to cocktail tables, to door and cabinet knobs to décor figurines.

The light reflecting surface of brass adds warmth, glow and movement to a space and, thus, is perfect in a room with a fireplace.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Luxury interiors expert Elaine Williamson is the principal of Elaine Williamson Designs, a full service, award-winning firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial interior design. She may be reached online at, accessed on Facebook at, and followed on Twitter at “ElaineWDesigns”.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Etsy and September's "House Beautiful"

Just received September's issue of House Beautiful in the mail, one of my favorites!  An entire page of the magazine was devoted to Jill Rosenwald's pottery.  I love that I can find it on Jill Rosenwald's Etsy page, it's functional and affordable!

Let me know what you think!