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Home Staging 101: Resources, Tips, & Tricks

To anyone getting ready to sell their home, the idea of staging can be an intimidating thought that conjures ideas about feng shui or concepts of interior design. But this need not be a complicated task, and when done correctly staging the home can help give it a much-needed advantage in a difficult marketplace.

The idea of staging is to clean and arrange the home in a way that makes it most attractive to buyers. While there are countless websites or books that can help with this topic, at its heart it is simple—turning the home into a blank slate of sorts, a place potential buyers can imagine their own details. The first step is to take a thorough examination of the home, looking in every room and try to see it as a buyer would. If it helps, bring in a friend or family member to give you a fresh perspective, someone who wouldn’t be afraid to make difficult suggestions to you.

Home Staging ChicagoWhen it comes time to start the staging, address the basics first. The house needs to be clean and free of clutter. Potential buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home, but if all they see are the dirty dishes in the sink and piles of laundry, they might not even finish the visit. Eliminating the mess also makes the house seem larger, more open.

Once you have cleaned, it is time to get rid of all the clutter as well. For those who have lived in a home for a long time, this can mean addressing years or even decades of accumulated things that are no longer used and this alone can be stressful. So keep it simple and don’t try to get rid of everything at once. Take a room-by-room look at clothing or boxes, and use the general rule that de-clutter experts suggest—if you haven’t used it or worn it in the past year, get rid of it. Separate things into piles for the garbage, for donation and the last for a garage sale. Don’t think you can just throw everything into a box and shove it in a closet, because potential buyers will want to see what kind of storage space your house has as well. If you have a spare room or other space that is being used as a storage space for all this clutter, move it out and give the room a new purpose like a sitting room or library for your extra books. If it helps keep you motivated, think of the move ahead and how much easier it would be without having to move all the junk you don’t use anyway.

Now that it’s time to stage the house, keep in mind that you want it as a blank slate for the buyer to fill in with details. Remove bulk furniture, big pictures and the other things that might be taking up space. If you have unused space, try to fill it creatively with plants or bookshelves—if you can use something from another, more cluttered room, that’s an even bigger bonus. Some people think that placing all the furniture against the wall will showcase the size of a room, but staging experts say that placing them together in small groupings makes the space seem friendlier to users. Finally, be sure everything is clean, freshly vacuumed and neatly arranged.

Try to keep the rooms simple as well. If your choices of paint color are too bold or personalized, change to a neutral paint. Take a careful look at lighting as well, replacing light bulbs with tints that seem most attractive or adding new blinds that let in more natural light.

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to Nassau Rental Properties, Hamptons Real Estate, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

“Man Cave” Interior Design

The term “Man Cave” has chiseled its way into home design over the past decade with a vengeance, although the idea has always been a part of the traditional American home. Dad’s room, the study, the den, or in some cases, the garage have all been in essence a man cave. It is simply someplace for men to get away from the wears of the world, providing the same relaxing experience others might find in a trip to a day spa. So what makes a man cave a man cave?

It is important to keep in mind the best Man Cave designs are extensions of the men for who they are designed. Here are a few “must haves” when it comes to designing the perfect Man Cave.

John Belushi Man Cave1. John Belushi
Love him or hate him, nothing beats framing the classic black and white photo of John Belushi in “Animal House” wearing his “College” sweatshirt in all of its glory. Putting it in a fancy frame lets people know, “I’m much more mature, but still appreciate the simple things in life like a good toga party and thinking the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor”

2. A Bar
Bars are getting expensive and drinking and driving is not worth the risk, so instead of having the man go to the bar, bring the bar to the man. Whether it is just a quick cocktail after work to put the day behind him, or setting up rounds for his friends when the big game is on, having access to his own bar will ensure the Man Cave is well on its way to Man Cave glory.

 

Bar in Man Cave3. Patio Access
Many times this gets overlooked, but for those men who enjoy a good cigar or a pipe to unwind, being able to transition from their Man Cave to their Man Patio makes any Man Cave that much cooler. In addition, wives will appreciate keeping the smoke outside the home instead of it wafting throughout the house.

 

 

Interior Design Man Cave4. “Turn it up…”
If Lynyrd Skynyrd sang it, there has to be some validity to it. Bring a home stereo into the Man Cave that can provide the ease of the Rat Pack to relax a man over a glass of bourbon, as well as crank up some old school Guns ‘N’ Roses when the need to rock out hits. Having a solid system to crank tunes definitely elevates a Man Cave’s status.

5. Make it Your Own
Whatever else trips the man’s trigger, make sure it is in there. Plaster the place with his favorite sports team memorabilia, pictures of his heroes or favorite games. Remember, even Superman and Batman have their own Man Caves, and whereas re-making the Fortress of Solitude might prove a bit costly, building his own version of it does not have to be.

                                                                                         Good Luck!

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York Luxury Real Estate, Long Island and Nassau Rentals, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

What I am loving today…

I am doing a little research for a project, and so often I use bronze or pewter metallic paint in my designs. Today I am inspired by PLATINUM!! I am LOVING it!!! Check out this wall finish below, how sexy is this bathroom?

Platinum metallic wall finish

This finish was created by:
www.arteriorsfaux.com

West Loop Bathroom Remodel… post #3

Here are a couple of pictures after the demo work was completed. Next on the agenda… put the bathroom back together!!

Vanity wall- during construction

View into shower- during construction

Stay tuned for the reveal of the new bathroom!

West Loop Bathroom Remodel… post #2

Today I wanted to share some of the design elements that are going into this Chicago bathroom remodel I am doing for a client in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The bathroom uses bathroom tile and finishes that are some of my favorites. If I were to remodel my own condo’s bathroom right now, it would turn out very similar to this modern loft bathroom remodel!

The main bathroom tile that was used for a majority of the floor is from Daltile. We are using large 12″x24″ pieces in a brick pattern on the floor. We are also using the large pieces on two walls in the shower, as well as on the shower floor. This creates a clean, consistent look throughout the entire bathroom. If you are ever working on a bathroom remodeling project and you have a small space, remember that it is best to keep all of your finishes unified. If you chop up your tile work, it will make the space appear smaller.

Modern Bathroom Remodel Picture

Daltile Fabrique in gris linen

In the coming weeks, one of LD’s bathroom tile contractors will tile the shower’s back wall with exceptionally beautiful glass mosaic tile. I love the linear quality to this tile and the soothing color palette.

Glass Mosaic Bathroom Tile

Mirage Glass Mosaic Tile- Cane Series

The plumbing fixtures are all Hansgrohe, set in a brushed nickel finish. I love the quality and the design of their fixtures.

Hansgrohe Faucet

The sconces that will flank the custom medicine cabinet are from George Kovacs. I love the vertical lines and the simplicity of these fixtures! We needed something very narrow to work with the design of the medicine cabinet, and these fit the bill perfectly.

George Kovacs Sconce

The counter top is made from honed Lagos Azul limestone and has a 3″ face. Our counter top installer mitered the top portion of the limestone (at the edges) to give the appearance of a thicker stone. This is a great bathroom remodeling tip for those involved in their own remodeling projects!

Limestone Bathroom Counter top

Lagos Azul Limestone

Below, you’ll see an elevation view of the bathroom vanity wall. The tile behind it is a 2″x16″ solid gray glass tile.
BathroomDrawing
Stay posted to see the progress and updated photos!

West Loop Bathroom Remodel- Post #1

One of my current projects is working on a bathroom remodel for a previous client. He started the kitchen remodel without me, and then hired me to pull everything together and finalize the finishes. The previous owner of his condo sold the unit with no kitchen appliances or cabinetry, so that was first priority. Now we have moved onto the rest of the condo. I love working with this client, because his style is very similar to mine. He lives in a modern loft-style condo and loves contrast and clean lines. When this bathroom is done…. it will be hard to leave!

Here are a few before pictures:

View looking at the shower

View looking from the hallway

View looking at the closet

Notice the “pinkish” porcelain tile and cheap white vanity that I am Oh so excited to get rid of!

We have big plans for this space, I will fill you in on my next post! Demolition started last week, and tile work has officially begun.

 

 

Designer Bedroom Pictures by Lugbill Designs

Hi Everyone,

Ever wonder what some of the other projects look like? Well, starting with this post, we are going to try and do a better job of filling you in on some more of the Chicago interior designer remodels that we have done. This week, we’ll start with the bedroom designs that Lugbill Designs has completed. Enjoy!

Rogers Park, Chicago Fireplace Makeover… Before and Afters!

I am so very excited to post these pictures today. These Rogers Park condo owners have been way to much fun to work with! My job is so much easier when I am working for great people. It is always bitter sweet when a job is finished. It is such a feeling of accomplishment, but you get to know so many great people (and some not so great 🙂 ) and I am not a fan of goodbyes. That is another part of my job that I love- there is never really a true goodbye- as home renovations are never truly finished!

Before I came into this space, these condo owners were very unhappy. They have been living in the condo longer than they anticipated- and were ready for change. The first thing we did was update light fixtures. It is amazing what the correct lighting can do for a space. Secondly, we repainted the master bedroom and the main living space. I have found that painting is the easiest way to transform a space completely while on a budget! The color before was bright red- which was very unsettling. Especially when you are talking about a 2 bedroom condo- the living area is the center of your home and should be a relaxing space.

My favorite part of this condo update was tackling the fireplace. We transformed the previous fireplace that was falling apart into a built in media storage area. Not only did this add the WOW factor that the condo needed- it also opened up a ton of floor space. You condo-owners out there know how valuable that floor space is when in a 2 bedroom unit! Enough talking…. here are the pics

Fireplace: Before

Rogers Park Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: After

We turned this entire corner into a custom media storage area. We added the cubbies for electronics storage and the new mantle piece and side columns to make the fireplace feel more built in. To finish off the space- we added 5/8″ glass and stone mosaic tile to really make a statement.

Fireplace: After

Fireplace: After- close up

There is a misconception out there that if you are on a tight budget, you cannot afford an interior designer. However, my specialty is knowing the correct places to put your money into to transform your home. The way I see it… you can’t afford to not have me around 😉

To see more great tips, follow us on Facebook

Until later,
Erica

Chicago (Elmhurst) Bathroom Remodel Complete

I apologize for not posting these Chicago bathroom design pictures earlier. Things are really picking up for the summer season. I didn’t realize how time consuming being a small business owner is. Although, I’m not complaining- I am loving life!

This post is a continuation of the last few in which I went through the bathroom design process, so feel free to look back over the before pics and details to see the transformation. Let me help refresh your memory with one before picture- ugly green bathroom tile, oak vanity- ringing any bells?

Chicago Bathroom Design Before

Elmhurst Bathroom- Before

Now for the final reveal of the bathroom…

Chicago Bathroom Design

Elmhurst Bathroom Vanity Area- After

Chicago Bathroom Design

Elmhurst Bathroom Shower Area- After

Chicago Bathroom Design

Elmhurst Bathroom After

Chicago Bathroom Design

Details

Chicago Bathroom Design

Elmhurst Bathroom After

After 3 weeks on construction… I’d say it turned out pretty good! Isn’t it amazing what having a bathroom designer can do to transform the space? We accomplished the classic, clean, light and airy feeling that we were trying to achieve with the new bath design. Below is a video slideshow if you are interested in seeing more bathroom pictures

If you need help with your Chicago bathroom design, let Lugbill Designs help.

I’ll try not to wait so long in between posts next time. Until later… Erica

@ 2019 Lugbill Designs   Downtown 211 W Wacker Dr, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606   North Side 7005 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626-2812    (773) 572-9049