Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

WIshing you and your family a safe and happy holiday!

Shauna Lynn, Owner

Beyond The Stage Homes

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Tips from BTSH - A Gift for the Person That Has Everything

A great idea for the person that has everything and insists that you need not get them anything! Also makes a unique hostess gift. Give the gift of a donation, but allow the recipient to choose the charity of their choice with a charity gift card. Visit Canada Helps for more information:

Holiday Tips from BTSH - A Gift for the Person That Has Everything

A great idea for the person that has everything and insists that you need not get them anything! Also makes a unique hostess gift. Give the gift of a donation, but allow the recipient to choose the charity of their choice with a charity gift card. Visit Canada Helps for more information:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Tips from BTSH - Overnight Guests

During the holidays, whether you plan for overnight guests or not, you want to be prepared for the guests that have too much to drink, or poor road conditions, or whatever the reason, be ready for guests.

1. Stock up on extra toothbrushes - they don't need to be anything expensive or fancy, but think like a hotel concierge and stock extra toothbrushes in the case of the unexpected overnight guests.

2. Pull extra blankets and pillows out of storage and have handy to grab easily if needed.

3. Pick up extra slippers if you find these on sale.

4. If converting a couch into an overnight bed, have a tray table nearby that can be pulled over to keep an alarm clock, phone, and glass of water.

5. Colour-match towels and face-cloths and store a different set in each guest room

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Add some style to your home with Scotties!

Did you know? Scotties has teamed up with Umbra in their new designer series. There was a time when purchasing tissue box covers was all the rage, but these tend to get dusty from the tissues, don't always fit properly, and most simply were not attractive and eye-catching. Many tissue brand manufacturers have recognized that tissue boxes need to compliment your decor without distracting from it. For some great contemporary tissue boxes, check out the Scotties Umbra tissue boxes: http://www.scotties.ca/english/products.php?P=Designer

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Check Out ProduceHersInk.com!!

Last month, Shauna Lynn of Beyond The Stage Homes received the most clicks and views according to Google Analytics for her article on creating a re-usable advent calendar! Check out this month's contribution for Setting The Table, and getting ready for the holidays:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Latest BTSH Staged Property

Check out the latest from BTSH! MLS #1095427

3 bedroom 2 bath bungalow with large finished basement!

Monday, November 29, 2010

BTSH Preferred Vendors

Are you looking for a real estate agent? Mortgage broker? Perhaps you need moving supplies? Check out the BTSH Preferred Vendors for all your needs!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

BTSH Has a New Look!!

Over the last several months, Beyond The Stage Homes has been rebranding, and we want to invite you to check out our new look.

What Does Rebranding mean to BTSH?


Besides a new logo, and a refreshed website, rebranding means a clear, focused mission statement, and a renewed client focus.

BTSH Mission: To provide high-quality, cost-effective, creative solutions to homeowners in order to maximize their home’s potential. 

For more information, and to see the new look of BTSH, check us out at www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BTSH Has a New Look!!

Over the last several months, Beyond The Stage Homes has been rebranding, and we want to invite you to check out our new look.

What Does Rebranding mean to BTSH?


Besides a new logo, and a refreshed website, rebranding means a clear, focused mission statement, and a renewed client focus.

BTSH Mission: To provide high-quality, cost-effective, creative solutions to homeowners in order to maximize their home’s potential. 

For more information, and to see the new look of BTSH, check us out at www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

Q: How Much Does Staging Cost?

A: It varies depending on the how much or how little your home requires. A comprehensive consultation starts at $200. For a full list of my fees and services, see here.

Q: How Much Does Staging Cost?

A: It varies depending on the how much or how little your home requires. A comprehensive consultation starts at $200. For a full list of my fees and services, see here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Q: Is Home Staging A Way Of "Fooling" The Buyer?

A: Absolutely not! As a homeowner, you are still required to disclose any major flaws of the home that you are aware of. Home Staging does help to minimize minor flaws by drawing the focus to the features of the home. By staging your home, it also shows that you've cared for your home enough to show it off to it's greatest potential, and this will work to your benefit.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why Should I Paint My Home?

Q: Why should I paint my home before I list it, if the new homeowner is just likely to change it?

A: This is probably the number one question that I get from my clients. I understand that it might seem like a waste if the new homeowner might just change it, but there are a few reasons why this makes sense to do:

-       If the colours you’ve chosen are bold, it will distract potential buyers from being able to see the potential of the rooms

-       A fresh, neutral paint means the new homeowner doesn’t have to paint right away, and gives the home that “move-in ready” look

-       It is one of the least expensive updates you can do to your home, with one of the greatest returns on your investment

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why Does Staging Work??

Did you know that only 10% of people can visualize a space? By neutralizing the space and clearing out the clutter, potential buyers can better visualize themselves in your house. If your home is filled with personal items, clutter, and bold colours, buyers are often distracted and fail to see the potential of the space. Home staging is simply a tool that helps them to see to really see your home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

BTSH FAQ Week

This week's posts will focus on Frequently Asked Questions. I am currently re-working my website, and feature several of these Q & A's on the new site.

Today's FAQ: What is Home Staging?

A: It's simple. Home Staging allows you to market your home to the largest audience possible by maximizing your home’s potential while minimizing the flaws. This can be as simple as reducing clutter, removing personal items, and reorganizing the space, or as complex as bringing in all new furniture and accessories, or it may fall somewhere in between. Each home is unique and will require a different variety of services, but regardless of the services you choose, Home Staging is about setting your home up to sell faster, and for more money.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Make Your Own Advent Calendar

A great way to spend time with family, and produce an environmentally friendly, reusable Advent Calendar. Check out ProduceHersInk.com for this article and more! The relationship magazine with a focus on family, featuring Shauna Lynn of Beyond The Stage Homes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

BTSH Stats Week

 77% of people view homes first on the internet

Be sure that your home shows above the rest, by staging it first! Don't allow your realtor to list your property on MLS until your home is ready for show, and your realtor has taken viewing pictures. An online listing without pictures means missed opportunities.

Source: 2005 National Association of Realtors ® survey

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stats Week - ROI

According to a HomeGains survey in 2007, painting the interior walls of your home offers a 150% return on your investment!

Here are some other interesting stats based on 10 areas of home improvement:

Download now or preview on posterous
PastedGraphic-1.pdf (284 KB)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stat's Week - Staged Homes Sell For More Money

Staged homes on average experience a 3% minimum increase in final sales price, versus non-staged homes.

Source: www.stagedhomes.com

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stats Week - Did You Know?

This week's Tweets and Blogs will be regarding Home Staging Stats and Useful Facts!

Did you know???

63% of buyers are willing to pay more money for a house that is move in ready
Source: 2005 & 2006 Maritz Research Staging Polls

By staging your home first, a potential buyer can better envision themselves in your home. Small repairs and fresh new paint show you've cared for your home, and gives it the "move in ready" look you want.

Another Property Sold...

The latest BTSH property staged sold in record time, spending only ONE day on the market!! Contact Beyond The Stage Homes to find out how we can help you sell your home.

Ph: (519) 496-4301
Email: ShaunaLynn@btshomes.com

www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MS Walk 2011 Registration Now Open

Beyond The Stage Homes continues to be a proud supporter of the MS Society of Canada. Registration and fundraising for the 2011 MS Walk is now open! To register, find your local walk, or learn more about the MS Walk, visit www.mswalks.ca.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy halloween!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Air Fresheners Are Causing Problems, NOT Solving Them

One of the number 1 things that I tell my clients when they are setting their home up to sell is to rid themselves of their plug-in air fresheners and opt for natural alternatives. The reason for this is that guests walking into your home, if overwhelmed by the artificial scent, may assume that the air freshener is there to "hide" something else. The other reason however is simply that they're not healthy for you and your family. As a natural alternative, I suggest baking a sliced lemon in the over, or fill a baking pan with about a 1/2" of water, and place orange slices and cinnamon powder in the water. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Your home will smell like fresh baking, a warm inviting scent.

For more information as to how bad your air fresheners are, please read the attached article:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recycle Light Bulbs

Did you know you can recycle your fluorescent bulbs and tubes? Canadian Tire has partnered with the Recycling Corporation of Ontario to take back your light bulbs, and recycle 98% of the material. The program was established in 2008 and has successfully collected and recycled over 1 million mercury containing lamps. Next time you change a bulb, be sure to return it to your local Canadian Tire Store.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Green Laundry

Check out Style At Home’s Green ideas for making your laundry room more energy efficient:

http://www.styleathome.com/greenlaundry

Friday, October 15, 2010

CSN Stores - Great online store!

Check out this great online store for deals on furniture and more for your home! Shipping to Canada and the US.

www.csnstores.com

As a special bonus, check out facebook.com/csnstores for discounts. This week, find deals on kids Halloween costumes!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness in Style

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Beyond The Stage Homes has found some great PINK products for your home!

Check them out:

http://www.beyondthestagehomes.com/uploads/Around_The_House_Month_of_Oct_2010.pdf

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Staging Success Story...

Another Beyond The Stage Homes property sold! Staging really does work. The latest property sold in less than a week! With so many homeowners investing in Home Staging, why aren’t you? Contact me today for more information: ph (519) 496-4301 email ShaunaLynn@btshomes.com.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing a very happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday to all my fellow Canucks! Gobble Gobble!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Glidden Paints for Breast Cancer Awareness

Help support Breast Cancer Awareness through Glidden Paints! As a corporation, they have a goal of $20,000, and each location is raising money in their own way. If you check out Glidden Paints on Fairway Rd in Kitchener, ON, they are selling raffle tickets for your chance to win a variety of great prizes, including a Gift Certificate from Beyond The Stage Homes! For each level they reach, a different staff member is required to perform a specified task. Way to go Glidden for stepping up to this challenge, and best of luck! Do you have a home reno project you’re working on? Pick up some paint at Glidden on Fairway Rd and enter yourself in their raffle to support a great cause.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness in Style

Octobers issue of "ProduceHers Ink" features Canadian home staging professional Shauna Lynn Simon of “Beyond The Stage Homes” who reminds us it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

http://producehersink.com/

Just another day in the life of a home stager...

Love the staging job I just completed, turned out amazing. Stay tuned for the MLS listing, this house will not be on the market long!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Staging Sells!

Did you know??

77% of people view homes first on the internet. Be sure that your home shows above the rest, by staging it first! (Source: 2005 National Association of Realtors ® survey)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Decluttering Tip - Using Gift Bags to Organize Your closet

A great way to organize your closets is with fun, decorative gift bags. This is also a great way to re-use those paper store bags. I use a number of different bags to store items such as my pedicure supplies, my craft supplies, paints, plastic bags, etc. It’s great for keeping everything you need for a project together, and keeps the closets looking clutter-free.

The best way to hang these great looking bags is with 3M command hooks. Let me first of all just start by saying that I do not work for 3M, nor are they a sponsor in any way, however I often feel like a spokesperson for them, as I absolutely love their command hooks. These hooks adhere to the wall with a plastic adhesive pad. They can hold a great deal of weight (each hook serves a different purpose and holds a different amount of weight – be sure to read the package carefully ensure you’re choosing the right one for your needs), and they remove from the walls without leaving any mark. I use command hooks to hang pictures for all my staging projects to avoid puncturing the walls.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thrive Juice Bar in Waterloo

It’s not often that I find myself using this medium to promote a business not related to my industry, however since I do aim to live a life of health and wellness, I was incredibly pleased to find myself at Thrive Juice Bar in the Bauer complex in Waterloo a couple of days ago. I came to learn of Thrive from a recommendation from a colleague, and I eagerly invited a friend to a late lunch to check it out.

Thank you to  Johnny for providing such an amazing experience. While famous for their fresh juices, they serve fresh quality food as well. We tasted a delicious vegan soup, made fresh in-house, full of flavours and not dairy or gluten. Then we each tried one of 4 choices of sandwiches (they’re currently not named, but we called them #2 and #3). We had our choice of fresh organic breads as well as a gluten-free option. Our meals were served with complimentary cucumber water, which was a welcome refreshment. Finally we finished the meal with a dairy free vegan coconut sorbet.

While I have made several mentions here to their vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menu, I assure you meat-lovers that you will not miss the meat when you dine here. There is so much to choose from, with all their foods bursting with flavour, you’ll forget that it’s actually good for you as well. Be sure to check it out soon!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Waterloo-ON/Thrive-Juice-Bar/109343865765229

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beautiful Bouquets of...Leaves?

That’s right! Create a beautiful arrangement of leaves fresh from your own yard or neighbourhood (if you plan to use your neighbours leaves, be sure to get permission first). Before the leaves have all changed and fallen for the season, be sure to enjoy them one last time. Fill a vase as you would with flowers, but instead use fresh leaves. Mix your greens with some colourful leaves if you have some available, such as from a Japanese Maple tree. Treat the leaves as you would flowers and cut the stems on an angle using clean, sharp scissors, then put in water right away. You can use leaves from your trees, or look to the plants in your garden as well. At this time of year, I know that my hosta leaves are big and bold, and I love to show them off. They’ll brighten up your house, and make for a great conversation piece.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Harvesting Your Sunflower Seeds

So you managed to grow some amazing sunflowers, congratulations! You’re probably now thinking that you would like to harvest these seeds, either to ensure that you get the same incredible crop for next year, or as a snack, or perhaps as bird feed. Whatever your use, here’s how to do it:

First, be sure your sunflowers are ready. Sunflower seeds begin to ripen on the outer edges of the seedhead first, but may not be ripe in the center for another week or two. Wait until the petals fade and dry before cutting the seedhead. If you notice birds are harvesting the seeds for you, then it means they’re ready to take down.

Cut down the sunflowers and hang upside in a dry area. Allow to dry out for a couple of weeks. Be sure to either wrap in cheesecloth, or attach a bag or container of some sort under the flower to catch any seeds that may simply fall out. As for the remaining seeds, the method that I found worked best for me was to use two sunflower heads to rub together to loosen the seeds. The seeds will fall out easily and can be caught in a container. Remaining seeds can then be rubbed out with a towel or picked by hand.

Now you can store away until next spring to plant, or feed to the birds, or to your family and friends. Consider roasting some with some pumpkin seeds as nice healthy treat!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Designing a Kids Room

Time to re-do the kid’s room? Check out House & Home Online for some great tips and ideas:

http://www.houseandhome.com/design/guide/kids-rooms-design-guide

Kitchen Tips - BTSH Around The House Tip - September 2010

From storage, to cleaning, to keeping food fresh, here are some tips that I have tried and tested, and am now ready to share with you.

Cleaning Odors from Your Cutting Board (and hands)
Fresh lemon, nothing works better! Cut a slice of lemon, and rub on your cutting board after using your board for strong odour foods such as garlic or onions.


Coffee Ice Cubes
Do you enjoy iced coffee drinks? Take unused coffee and pour into an ice cube tray and freeze to use as ice cubes in your drinks. Also great for black coffee drinkers that want to cool down their coffee quickly without watering it down.


What To Do With Bad Bananas
When you notice your bananas starting to turn brown, the best thing to do is throw them into the freezer while you decide what you would like to do with them. I enjoy smoothies and shakes all year round, so I’ll use the frozen bananas in these. If you peel and slice before freezing they’re even easier to use, but it’s not necessary. Another great use is banana bread. Most banana bread recipes suggest using over-rip bananas, and they’re easier to use once they’ve been frozen and thawed as no mashing is required. You can also use the banana peels in your garden. Bury in the dirt near your tomato plants or roses to add potassium to the soil.

How to Control Pepper Grinds
This tip actually came from my mother. She found a small, round glass dish, actually meant as a candle holder, and she placed this under her pepper mill. This is great for keeping pepper grinds from getting on your counter and table.

How to Clean Your Microwave—Naturally
Cut a lemon in half and place skins down in a bowl. Cover half the lemon with water, and place in the microwave. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes. After the microwave is done, leave the bowl with the lemon in there for another 5 minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe the microwave clean.

Keeping Onions Fresh
Once again, Mom to the rescue. She found me a great onion keeper, though unfortunately I’m not sure where she got it. I found a similar one online, and discovered that they also sell these keepers for tomatoes, and peppers. The keeper has a slightly raised, grooved bottom that keeps the onion fresher longer, while keeping the odour out of my fridge.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Friday, September 17, 2010

Curb Appeal - Day 5 - Curb Appeal For Selling Your Home

Now that you’ve made the necessary repairs to the exterior of your home, and cleaned up the outside, you’ll need to be sure to maintain the fresh look to ensure that every potential buyer enters the house. I can honestly say that when I was looking for my home, I refused to enter several houses simply because the exterior told a story that I didn’t want to hear. When you’re selling your home, you need to be sure that the curb appeal aspect is maintained as long as your home is on the market, and be sure that you are happy that all areas have been covered before the home is listed, and before any pictures of the home are posted with the listing. Here are some things to consider:

1.       Add colourful planters to the porch

2.       Keep the lawn mowed in the spring and summer, and clear of leaves in the fall

3.       Shovel the sidewalk, driveway, and patio, be sure to salt if the temperature is below freezing to avoid accidents

4.       In the winter, clear a walkway to your shed – even though it’s winter, your buyers will want to check out every area they can. Providing them with access shows attention to detail, and pride in your home

5.       Trim trees and bushes

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Curb Appeal - Day 4 - Cleaning the Exterior of Your Home

We’re always so busy keeping the inside of the house clean for company, that we often forget that it’s the outside of our house that is bearing all the outdoor elements, and may be in need of some TLC. Here are some useful articles that I found for helping you clean the exterior of your house.

Cleaning Aluminum Siding: http://www.ehow.com/how_2079865_clean-aluminum-siding.html

Cleaning Brick: http://www.ehow.com/how_2321798_clean-bricks.html

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Curb Appeal - Day 3 - Cost Effective Improvements

So you’ve decided perhaps your house could use an exterior “facelift” afterall. Here are 10 cost effective improvements that you can do to improve curb appeal, without hurting your wallet:

1.       Paint the front door – If your home is a neutral colour consider brightening it with a bold coloured door. Not sure what colour to choose? Again, you’ll need to take an objective look, so from across the street, take a look at your house, as well as the surrounding area. Do you notice any punchy colours that perhaps you can compliment with your front door? Consider also painting window frames and shutters to match.

2.       Add some mulch to your garden, and around your trees. Not only will this give a clean, fresh look to your yard, but it’s great for your plants and trees. Mulch helps to control weeds and retains moisture, so less watering is required. Mulch is available in a variety of colours, so find one that blends well with your exterior.

3.       Re-seal the driveway – Sealing the driveway helps to preserve the ashphalt and prevent cracks and damage, it makes cleaning, plowing, and shovelling easier, and improves the overall look of the driveway.

4.       Upgrade your house number to a custom plaque

5.       Replace your outdoor light fixture

6.       Add solar/led garden lighting

7.       Powerwash the exterior of your house to remove built up grime

8.       Re-stain your porch

9.       Add a fresh coat of paint to your railing

10.   Add some potted plants to your porch and/or walkway

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Curb Appeal - Day 2 - How to Take An Objective Look At Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is incredibly important to selling your home. But you don’t have to wait until you’re selling to make some simple improvements. You might be thinking that your home doesn’t need any exterior improvements, but why not take an objective view of your home to be sure? Here’s how:

First, stand across the street from your home. You’ll be amazed how different your house looks from this angle. Notice any areas that can be improved? How does the lawn look? Does the garden need cleaning up? More plants? Look at each area of the house, including the porch, the house itself, windows, sidewalk, driveway, lawn, etc.

Next, take pictures. Again, you’ll get a much different view when you view the photographs.

Finally, take a walk around the house. Look for cracks, peeling, and other repairs needed. Don’t forget to look up!

While some fixes may be more involved than others, it’s good to take this objective look at your home to understand the improvements that are needed, so that you can budget accordingly. Some repairs may be more immediate than others, so be sure to prioritize. For some great cost-efficient improvements, stay tuned all week.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Get Them In The Door!!

In order to get a potential buyer to buy your home, you must first get them in the door! This week I’ll be focusing on curb appeal. It’s a term you hear often, but do you understand what it means? According to Urban Dictionary, Curb Appeal is “the aesthetic charm of a house when first seen from the road”. Here are some great front yard tips from Better Homes and Gardens (@BHG):

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/front-yard-landscape-secrets/

Stay tuned all week for more great tips!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The New IKEA Catalogue is HERE!!

Think IKEA is for students? Think again. If you haven’t checked out IKEA lately, give them a chance. @IKEA_Canada is continually evolving, finding new and innovative solutions to everyday household issues. As well, they have placed special focus on creating products that are stronger, and more durable, as well as better for the environment. While once considered a “cheap” solution for students, IKEA is now recognized for their universal designs, and unique ideas. Here’s one of my favourites from this year’s 60th anniversary catalogue, the STALL Shoe Organizer, perfect for any mud room: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50178091

Friday, September 3, 2010

Receive a $50 Gift Certificate for Home Staging or Redesign* with @AndreChinRemax

Andre Chin of Re/Max Real Estate Centre, Westmount Rd Kitchener (@AndreChinRemax) is the agent for all your needs. Buying or selling, he’ll take care of your real estate needs. Need a home inspection? Real Estate lawyer? Mortgage Agent? Home Staging? Talk to Andre, he’ll set you up with everything you need. As a special bonus, sign Andre as your Real Estate Agent and receive a $50 gift certificate redeemable towards a home staging or redesign consultation from Beyond The Stage Homes!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

Like most tomato growers, you probably have so many tomatoes in your garden that you’re inviting the neighbours over to pick as many as they can. A great use for these fresh tomatoes is a nice, simple, pasta sauce. Here’s a recipe for you to ensure that your tomatoes do not go to waste:

Ingredients:

10 medium to large tomatoes from your garden

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

½ an onion

1 large tomato, diced (optional)

¼ cup fresh basil (or tbsp dried basil)

1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place your tomatoes in a large saucepan and fill with water until all are covered. Place on high heat on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 10 minutes, until you can see the skins loosening. Remove from heat, drain water, and refill pan with cold water. Allow to sit until tomatoes are completely cool.

Once your tomatoes have cooled, drain water, and remove the skins. These should come off with little effort, but you may need a knife to puncture the skin. Cut off the tomato tops, and place all tomatoes in a blender. Blend on low setting until pureed.

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat, and add garlic and onion. Sautee until tender. Add diced tomato and sautee for another minute. Add pureed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Top your favourite pasta or pizza with this sauce, or use as a bread dip. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Investment In Staging Your Home is LESS Than The First Price Reduction

But don’t take my word for it! The Real Estate Staging Association has created an online calculator available to everyone to show you your savings: http://www.stagingsavings.com/stagingSavings.html.

Need some pricing information? Contact me at ShaunaLynn@btshomes.com or 519-496-4301 for all your staging needs.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plan A Garden

It may seem backwards to plan a garden at the end of a season, but I like to do this each year with my garden. With the main growing season coming to an end, I can clearly remember what grew well, what didn’t, what looked good, and what didn’t. For example, this year, I planted my cucumbers too close to my lettuce, and the cucumbers ended up smothering the lettuce. Next year I plan to build a small container wall for my cucumbers, and move them to a location where they can really branch out. Better Homes and Gardens offers a great garden planner, and it’s easy to use. Plan next year’s garden now. Did you plant something in the shade that didn’t do well? Consider moving it in the spring. Do you need more colour your garden? Consider adding some summer bloomers next year. Keep your ideas fresh in your mind by planning now!

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/nature-lovers/welcome-to-plan-a-garden/

Monday, August 30, 2010

Big city shopping close to home

For anyone living in the tri-city area, a beautiful part of the location is being so close to so many great shopping areas, like London, Niagara, Burlington, and Toronto. While all these are within about an hour’s drive, it’s even better to shop local. Xclusive Elements is located in downtown St. Jacobs, and in Waterloo Town Square, and offers excellent “urban lifestyle” decor. Before heading to the big city to shop for your home, be sure to check out these local guys, they have a great flair for finding fun, unique, decorative pieces: http://www.xclusiveelements.com/.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Great Redesign Job - A fresh new look on a budget

This entertainment room needed a fresh new look. The homeowner still loved the dramatic red walls, but the furniture was outdated.  With some new furniture, artwork, and accessories, the room has been revived, and is now a great social gathering place!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Controlling Pests - ATH Tip from BTSH

Warm weather and humidity can bring many unexpected guests. No, I’m not talking about family and friends “popping in” this summer, I’m talking about the unwelcome little critters that can be found in and around your home. Here are some natural methods for ridding your home of these pests:

Fruit Flies
I have heard a lot of remedies for getting rid of fruit flies, but the one that I find works best is the “trap”. Place a piece of fruit in a jar (something sweet like strawberries or peaches I find works best). Pour vinegar in the bottom of the jar, about 1/2 cm. Place the lid on the jar, and poke holes in the lid. The fruit flies will be attracted to the fruit, and get trapped in the jar, then drown in the vinegar.

Ants
If you have found the ants entry point to your home, the best solution is to patch the hole, but if it’s not that simple, then sprinkle coffee grinds or mint leaves around it to deter future entry. Sprinkle chilli powder or cinnamon in their path. Make a natural repellent of citrus peelings and water in a blender and pour it over the anthill. To create a bait, mix Borax with confections’ sugar.

Spiders
Only cool around Halloween, and then it’s only the fake ones that I like!

First off, keep all other bugs out of your home in order to prevent spiders from setting up shop. Spiders eat other bugs, so if they don’t have an easy meal to catch, they’ll look elsewhere. Of course, if you have a real bug problem, leave spiders as the last pest to rid your home of, as they’ll help you get rid of the others!

I like to vacuum any nests that I find, but you can use a broom as well if your vacuum doesn’t have an attachment that will reach. Essential oils are great to killing spiders. To keep spiders from returning, mix soap, water, and citrus oil and spray areas that spiders like to hang out.

Prevent Return Visits!
In order to prevent the return of these pests, be sure to keep your home clean!
- Wipe counters and tables with a mix of vinegar and water
- Be sure that all holes are patched and vents are screened
- Don’t let food sit out
- Be sure your garbage has a tight fitting lid, and empty regularly.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
- Don’t allow water to sit out for a long time

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

@AndreChinRemax is my "Go-To Guy"!

Had an amazing lunch yesterday with @AndreChinRemax! He really helped me out of a tough situation, and reminded me why he is THE “go-to guy”. Selling your home? Buying a home? Looking for some real estate advice? Talk to Andre, he’ll point you in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alex Kalotinis of Owen and Associates has recommended Shauna Lynn!

Alex Kalotinis of Owen and Associates has recommended Shauna Lynn on LinkedIN: “Shauna has a flair for seeing the potential in any home. While sticking to a budget and maintaining a professional attitude, she transforms your home. I will be sure to use her for all future endeavors, whether selling or simply re-organizing my current home. Her expertise and attention to detail are unmatched!” August 5, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Starting Plants from Seeds - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

A few weeks ago I talked about getting your yard ready for spring. While it is a great time to rake, clean up the debris of winter, and cultivate soil for our gardens, it may not be wise to put out new plants just yet. There is still some risk of frost, therefore it is best to wait for a couple of weeks. You can however get a head start by planting your seeds indoors, and allowing them to grow for a couple of weeks indoors before transplanting.

Tools You’ll Need
Seeds of your choice
Peat Moss Pots
Sharpie
Plant Marker Posts
Large Container for Pots—I used an aluminum roasting pan
Small Watering Can
Soil
Plant Food (optional)

Getting Started
All plants will have somewhat varying instructions for planting. These should be printed on the back of the packages of seeds. Be sure to read through these carefully before you begin. This year I chose to plant beans, peas, carrots, cucumbers, and rosemary. I noted when reading through that peas are actually safe to plant directly outdoors, prior to last frost. All others were planted in pots according to their directions.

Next, decide how many pots of each seed you wish to do. Using your sharpie, label the peat moss pot to easily identify the plants later.

Fill your peat moss pots with soil. Plant seeds according to the package directions. Top with soil as needed. Place pots in the container you’ve chosen (as I mentioned, I simply picked up an aluminum roasting pan and arranged my pots in there). Lightly water the seeds, and place indoors in the sunniest location.

Caring for Your Seeds
Water your seeds daily. After a few days, the seeds will start to germinate. Once you start to see some signs of plant-life, you can use some plant food if you like. Allow a couple of weeks for the plants to grow to a reasonable size before moving outdoors, ensuring that the chances of frost are minimal. The beauty of the peat moss pots is that these can be planted directly into the soil, no transferring required. Plant according to directions on the seed packages again, careful to lay out the plants based on available sunlight and their needs. For plants that grow into the ground, such as carrots, poke a few holes in the bottom of the pot to allow it to break through easily. Continue to water regularly. By summer, you’ll have a thriving, healthy garden!

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

How To Make a Simple Spring Door Hanger - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

I often see some fun door hangers for spring, but always find that they’re just not quite the right size, or colour. This year, getting inspiration from my budding tulips and daffodils, I decided to try my hand at making my own. This was a lot of fun to make, incredibly inexpensive, and really quite easy. This is a project that could even be done with older kids (age 8 and up).


Tools You’ll Need
This is really up to you, depending on how you would like to decorate your wreathe, but I have listed what I used (all of which were simply purchased at the dollar store), and you can feel free to modify to your style:

Kraft Wire String
Ribbon (2 different complimentary colours)
Artificial flowers
Craft Butterfly
Glue Gun

Making The Wreath
Now that you’ve selected your tools, start by making the wreath. To do this, I first made a circle to the size I wanted out of the kraft wire. Then I looped it again to double it, and then I wrapped the wire around the length of the circle, to give it stability. Then, I detached my flowers from their “stems”. The pink flowers were actually a part of a wreath already, but cut them off at their ends still. Next, I attached two of the larger flowers to what would become my outer two edges of the wreath. To attach, simply wrap a piece of kraft wire around the stem, and around the wire wreath (see picture at right). Next, wrap the whole wreath in one of the ribbons that you’ve chosen. I chose the green lace, and decided it would make the most sense to do this before attaching the remaining flowers. Use the glue gun to secure the lace to the wreath in it’s last loop around. Wrapping the lace in this way provided the wreath with even more stability, and gave it a great background colour to work with. Continue to attach flowers and/or butterflies or other accessories with kraft wire around the wreath until it is as full as you desire.

The Finishing Touches
As a final touch, I loosely wrapped the sheer pink ribbon around the entire wreath, careful not to fully cover any of the flowers. I used the same lace to tie a loop at the top for hanging. This is now proudly displayed on my front door to welcome guests!

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, April 12, 2010

Creating The Outdoor Experience - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Yesterday afternoon, while I should have been writing my Around The House Tip of the Week, I was instead drawn to the outdoors. It really is hard to resist enjoying the sunshine, and soaking up a little vitamin D. Though it is a typical spring day, with the sun mixed with a cool breeze, it’s not quite summer yet. In fact, it is just the beginning of spring, and while I was working on preparing my yard and gardens, I thought of how I could further improve my yard and make it an inviting “room” for entertaining. Manufacturers and retailers have really focused on outdoor entertaining, and provide solutions to all your entertaining needs. Regardless of your budget, you can create an outdoor retreat to enjoy for all as long as the season allows.

The Backyard Bartender
Every time I visit a sunny southern destination, I consider picking up and moving, and becoming a beach bartender. While that may be a far-off dream, I can certainly enjoy creating some tropical cocktails in my own backyard. Having been a bartender for over a decade, the bartender in me has dreams of a custom built and well-designed outdoor bar. If you decide to go with custom built, be sure to hire the right professionals to take care of the plumbing and electrical. Consider combining your grill and your bar, for the full entertaining experience. While custom-designed is always a great idea, it may not be the most practical, especially if you spend very few months of the year entertaining outdoors, as you’ll need to ensure that any outdoor permanent fixtures are protected from the elements in the winter months. There are however many great portable outdoor bars available with great functionality, but also give you the option of moving into a shed or garage in inclement weather.

Create The Mood
Want the warmth of a fire, without the hassle of collecting wood, starting the fire, and then maintaining it? Not to mention the smell of campfire that sticks to your hair and clothes for days (mmm...campfire). While not a new concept in outdoor entertaining, there is a greater selection than ever now of outdoor fire bowls, such as the Venetian Fire Bowl from Canadian Tire (pictured at right). There are lots to choose from these days, ranging from tabletop size, to full size. You can even get a gas fire pit (pictured left). These are operated on propane, and are portable enough to be place almost anywhere in your yard. They help to provide heat on a cool night, as well as create a warm ambience.

The Outdoor Living...Room
Decorating your outdoor room can be done with the same concepts in mind as decorating indoors. Look for inviting furniture with colours that compliment the surroundings, and create an enjoyable atmosphere for the activities that you enjoy outdoors. Look for durability and functionality, as well as comfort, for a room that you can enjoy all season long.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Friday, March 26, 2010

Choosing The Right Flooring For Your Home - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

While it would be difficult to tell you all you need to know on the various choices of flooring in one article, I wanted to hit some key points for various flooring options available today to allow you to make an educated choice. I’m a “carpet-free” believer, so have focused on bringing you information on hardwood floors, as well as some great hardwood alternatives.


Cork Flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak series. The bark naturally re-grows and can be harvested again in 9-12 years without any harm to the trees. It provides great sound and heat insulation, and is naturally resistant to mould, mildew and bacteria. It is incredibly durable, and very compressible and elastic, meaning that if dented, it will often regain shape once the pressure is released. Cork is considered one of the comfortable most flooring options available. It has a unique cellular structure, with millions of cells enclosed with a gaseous substance. It gives a soft feeling to the feet and joints of people walking and standing on cork floors for long.

Bamboo Flooring has attracted a lot of attention over the last several years as bamboo is a rapidly renewed resource that is generally grown without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. These floors can be very durable and long-lasting, and come in a variety of styles, similar to hardwood. There are some cautions when it comes to bamboo though. Be sure to look for a mature bamboo, such as Moso which is harvested after 5 years. As well, to prevent warping look for a kiln-dried bamboo to ensure a low moisture content.

Leather Flooring, while once reserved for the rich and famous, is now quite economical, in addition to being eco-friendly. Eco-engineering has made it possible to create beautiful, durable leather flooring that is environmentally friendly and sustainable with an innovative use of recycled leather. Torly’s Leather has been a leader in this field, and backs their leather floors with a 25 year warranty. Torly’s leather floors contain no harmful VOC emissions, no added formaldehyde and exceed California Indoor Air Quality standards, giving you a healthier home.

Hardwood Flooring today is available in a great variety of styles, widths, and colours. Always a classic choice, today’s hardwood floors are easier to install and easier to care for than ever. Hardwood floors can still fade due to direct sunlight, and can scratch fairly easily. They generally need to be refinished every several years, but can last for the life of the home.

Laminate Flooring is a much less expensive alternative to any of the other floors mentioned in this article. It is scratch, fade, impact, and stain resistant, and is very easy to care for. These floors give the look of hardwood, for a fraction of the cost, and can be installed almost anywhere in the home. While they never need to be refinished, their life expectancy is generally less than 20 years. Be sure to keep this in mind when choosing to install in your home.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, March 22, 2010

Storage Solutions - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

I continually hear people say “I wish I could be as organized as you!”. I am always looking for ways to better organize my own home, and make things easier to find and access. I’m a firm believer in having everyday things at my fingertips. The first step in organizing is to sort through the areas of clutter and arrange a system. Categorize the items by what needs to stay where it is (but in an organized way of course), what is truly junk and can be tossed, and what is worth keeping, but is in the wrong place. Once you’ve done this, start with the “wrong place” items, and put them in the correct place immediately. Next, conquer the clutter and organize the items that are going to stay put.

Small Solutions
Jewellery trays—these don’t have to be your traditional silver trays, but can be a vintage ceramic plate or bowl. I keep one in every bedroom in my house, so that guests have a safe place to put their jewellery, watches, and other tokens.
Store remote controls in a decorative dish or basket (one with dividers is ever better!). This could also be a good place to keep a pen and paper handy.
Use small clear containers or reseal-able bags to store small items such as paper clips, hair elastics, travel shampoos, etc. By using a clear container, it will be easy to find, and keeps all like items together. I have a large collection of craft items and find that this is the best way to keep all my thingamajigs and doohickies organized.

Kitchen Storage
Perhaps the room that simply never seems to be big enough, or have enough storage space! When doing staging projects, one of the first things that I always suggest to homeowners is to clear off the kitchen counters. From a resale point of view, buyers want to see the counter space available, so you don’t want to hide it. The problem? Homeowners shriek at the thought of having to find room in their cupboards for the items that are sitting on the counter! As a first step, I always recommend looking at what is on the counter, and see what is used several times a week. For items that are not used as often, consider how important it is to the kitchen, and whether it can be stored in another storage area (such as a crawl space, closet, or even the garage), or whether it can be tossed altogether.

A Few More Kitchen Tips
Add drawer dividers to keep even your junk drawer organized
Use clear, stackable containers to store flour, sugar, rice, etc in your cupboards
Make use of the empty space above the fridge—place baskets or storage boxes to keep it looking clean and organized, and store takeout menus, recipes, and special occasion dishware.

I Know I Said To “Toss” It, But Please Don’t Throw It Out
Since this article touches so much on “tossing” unnecessary items, which may not be the most environmentally friendly approach, consider donating to a salvage store, or selling through a local classified paper or online site. The latest in re-using is “Freecycle”, which allows only free items to be posted in an effort to keep them out of landfills. Search online to find a site for your region.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Prep For Your Yard and Garden - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Wow, in some areas the snow hasn’t even finished melting, so why are we thinking about getting our yard ready for spring? Well, believe it or not, this weekend will mark the first day of spring, and in order to make your yard tasks less overwhelming this year, it’s best to get an early start. So, when the sun is shining, take it outside, soak up some vitamin D, and get your yard in shape.

Raking and Seeding
This is a great time to rake up any left-over leaves from the fall, as well as clean up any other debris that has blown in and around your yard over the winter. Raking also helps to prepare the grass for growing season. By giving your lawn a good, deep rake, you can remove any built up thatch, dead grass, as well as lifting any matted blades to allow for new blades to sprout. Overseeding is a great practice that can be done even before the last frost. After raking, spread new seed and fertilizer throughout the lawn, concentrating especially in any bare patches. For uneven areas, add some fresh soil to level out. While some recommend that you wait until fall for overseeding, I prefer to do this in both the spring and the fall. If doing this in the spring, be sure your new seeds get lots of water. With rainy season approaching, you may be able to capitalize on this method of watering.

Herbs and Vegetables
If you’re thinking about a herb and/or vegetable garden this year, now is the time to plan. There are several things you will want to take into consideration when planting.

Annuals vs Perennials—Determine which plants are Annuals (will need to replanted each year) or Perennials (will return year after year). For lower maintenance gardens, try to focus on planting mainly perennials.

Planting from Seeds or Plants—If planting from seeds, you will want to start potting these indoors soon to ensure proper germination. For best results, plant indoors approximately 2 weeks before last frost, and transplant into your garden after last frost.

Placement of Plants—Take into consideration how the sun rises and sets in respect to your garden and be sure to plant accordingly. Some plants will require more sun than others. As well, be sure to take into consideration the anticipated size that the plants will grow to, and avoid blocking the sun from smaller plants with larger plants. Space your plants appropriately. Some plants require more growing room for roots then others. Most nursery plants and seed packs will provide instructions for this.

With all this being said, if you live in Canada, don’t put that snow-blower and shovel away just yet. While many areas have experienced spring like temperatures in the recent weeks, there is always a possibility for more snow. Check with your local weather authority to see when they are forecasting last frost to ensure safe transplanting.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, March 8, 2010

Displaying Your Artwork - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

As a general rule, artwork should always be displayed at eye level. This means that while it might seem like a good idea to center the art on the wall, it may not catch your eye the way that you would like. Of course, this rule is often broken, so if you’re looking to break away from tradition, here are some ideas for displaying your art.

Don’t Hang It, Display It
Who says you need to actually “hang” your artwork? Consider displaying pieces of art on narrow art shelves. Or, display several pieces on a mantel. Choose different sizes and overlap slightly for extra effect.

Grouping Art
Group several similar pieces together and display as one unit. Each piece should share a common theme, whether it’s simply a colour tone, or image similarity. You can choose to hang symmetrically, by framing all in the same frame style and size, or you can choose to display all different size pieces. If choosing this method, I suggest laying them out first on the floor or a table, to determine placement. Then measure the whole unit and ensure that the space you have chosen is appropriate.

Lighting Your Artwork
A beautiful piece of art can be lost if not properly lit. Display in a well-lit room, or provide accent lighting, such as wall sconces on each side, or installing a picture light above or below the piece of art. This technique for lighting your artwork also makes the piece a focal point in the room, and captures attention.

Hanging It
For a more casual atmosphere, hang your groupings in an asymmetrical pattern. Wherever you choose to hang your artwork, be sure to choose picture hangers appropriate for your art, and your wall. If you’re unsure, ask for assistance at your local hardware store.

Choosing Your Artwork
This has been touched on briefly in other pieces I have written, but I like to compare choosing art to choosing wine—there really is no wrong choice. If you love it, then make it work. Be sure to blend colours to the room and the art’s surroundings though. Also, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Some great artists create masterpieces through metal works. It’s not just about a brush to canvas. Wreaths, empty picture frames, old windows, architectural pieces, and other objects can all impart unique style to your home. Take a favourite hi res photo and enlarge and frame it. Whatever it is, let it inspire you, whether it’s by the colours the artist has chosen, it’s unique style, or the story it tells. Remember that you are looking at these pieces more often than your guests, so be sure to select pieces that you will enjoy.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, March 1, 2010

Making a Big Screen TV Work - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

So, you have done your research, and you have carefully chosen that big screen TV for it’s sound, picture, and size. But have you figured out where you’re going to put it? When staging a home, it is common practice to eliminate TVs wherever possible. Unless we are showing a room as a “man den”, we don’t want the TV to be the focal point. This is generally easiest to do when the home is not being occupied. However, realistically, the average person watches about 20-26 hours of TV each week, so eliminating the TV altogether isn’t always practical. When entertaining, drawing the focus away from the TV can often be a dilemma. While occasionally your entertainment is centered around the big game, generally you aim to distract from the big TV in the room.

Choosing Your TV
While I can’t tell you how to choose your TV from a resolution point of view, or whether LCD is better than Plasma, I can advise you on choosing the appropriate sized TV for your room. It’s been shown that choosing a smaller TV that fits the room appropriately will allow for a more enjoyable viewing experience then choosing one that is just too large for your room. Sometimes bigger really isn’t better. The chart to the right provides a bit of a guideline to ensure that you get the most out of your HDTV.

Positioning Your TV
For starters, lose the traditional entertainment center. Today’s flat-screen TVs offer the advantage of being able to mount them almost anywhere. You can mount on a flexible arm so that you can store flat against the wall when not in use, and angle appropriately to maximize viewing when it is in use. This helps to minimize it as a focal point. Another idea to “camouflage” the TV is to use a dark paint or wallpaper on the wall, so that the TV blends into the wall. Media accessories can be stored in decorative cabinets above and/or below.
Another idea is to surround the TV by artwork. An asymmetrical design works best for this, helping to blend the TV into the background. For an added touch, consider adding a frame to the TV.

Perhaps my favourite method though for concealing your big screen TV when not in use is the 2-way mirror. This is one of those ideas that you see, and really wish you had thought of it yourself. While I can’t take credit for the idea, I can certainly promote the cleverness of it. When the TV is off, you simply have an elegant mirror mounted above your fireplace or other focal point, however when the TV is on, it comes through the glass brilliantly.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, February 22, 2010

Murphy Beds - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

What Is A Murphy Bed?
A Murphy bed or wallbed is a bed that is hinged at one end to store vertically against the wall, or inside a closet or cabinet. The term “Murphy Bed” was patented in 1916 by William Lawrence Murphy To achieve this, the mattress is attached to the bed frame, often with elastic straps. Wall beds are a great space saver, and while they have been around for almost 100 years, they have changed significantly over this time, though the basic concept is the same. Unlike sofa beds or futons, the mattress is not folded, and keeps it’s natural shape, and in fact most standard mattresses can be used in a Murphy Bed.
Murphy beds are usually hidden in the wall by faux cabinets or shelving that opens or slides to the side to allow for the bed to come down.

Why Should I Consider A Murphy Bed?
The obvious answer to this one is simple—space. As metropolitans grow, accommodations get smaller, and when finding yourself in a studio apartment every inch counts, and you want to make the most of it. Have a two-bedroom home where your guest room sits empty majority of the time? A Murphy Bed allows you to make daily use of this room as your office, but still accommodate guests. Don’t have a guest room? Add a Murphy Bed in your family room. The cabinetry can be customized to contain your entertainment devices.

Where Do I Find a Murphy Bed?
This is the tricky part. The original Murphy Bed manufacturer is located in San Francisco, now operating under the name “Murphy Bed Co. Inc.”, and has distributors in most major cities in the US. They have also been known to ship to Canada, though this can become costly. If you are in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, you would be looking at getting a bed likely from London or Toronto. To name a few, check out Toronto Wall Beds by Cabinetworks Ltd., Urban Cabinetry (locations in Etobicoke and London), and Roman’s Murphy Beds in London.

How Much Does a Murphy Bed Cost?
Pricing for a Murphy Bed will vary, depending on the size and the cabinetry that you choose. You may be able to save some money if you already have a mattress that can be used in the Murphy Bed. Generally it is recommended that the mattress has a thickness of no more than 12”, but ideally less than 10”. Pricing for the bed frame and cabinetry and hardware generally starts around $1000, and can go up from there. A worthwhile investment, a Murphy Bed can also add to the sell-ability of your home, and add to the overall value on resale. Some companies offer you the option of installing yourself. Unless you are skilled in this area, I recommend spending the extra money to have it installed, to ensure it is sturdy and safe.

Written By Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lighting Your Home - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

No matter how well you’ve designed your home, if it’s not lit properly, the whole effect can be spoiled. Lighting affects the mood, atmosphere, and overall appearance of a room.

Did You Know??
Cleaning your windows regularly helps to significantly increase the lighting in your home, which not only improves the look of the home, but also helps to save energy. In order to properly showcase your home, keeping your windows clean is just as important as keeping the rest your home clean.

Setting The Mood
Before you start changing up your lighting, you need to determine the use of each room, and the mood that you would like to set.

Task Lighting—For areas such as the kitchen or the office, you’ll want to be sure that you have appropriate task lighting for areas where work is accomplished, for example the sink, stove, desk, etc. In the office, this could be as simple as a table lamp, but in the kitchen you can either place light fixtures over specific areas, or install track lighting.

Ambient Lighting refers to the general lighting of a room. The room should be evenly lit, and at a level at which people’s eyes can feel comfortable. Recessed lighting is a great way to light a whole room evenly, however can be costly if not installed when the home is built. If you are building a house and think that this is something that you would want, be sure to address this before the room is completed. Chandeliers are often used to light rooms, however they shine light up towards the ceiling rather than down towards the room, and may need to be supplemented with appropriate task lighting. Use of a dimmer switch on your task lighting is a great inexpensive way to decrease the amount of the light in the room when it’s not necessary, and help to soften the mood.

Accent Lighting—If you want to highlight certain features of a room, you’ll want to add some accent lighting. Accent lighting is often used to illuminate accessories such as artwork, collections, or cabinets. Install a picture light above or below your favourite piece of art. Or place a light inside your china cabinet. The light will reflect off of the glass and china to showcase your favourite pieces. Wall sconces are another great way to enhance a room. Installing in an archway can help to showcase the unique architectural details, or hang on either side of a large painting. Always be sure to hang in pairs.

As a final consideration, think of the mood that you wish to create in each room. Bright and natural light can create an upbeat, uplifting mood, while soft, warm lighting, yellowish in colour, can be intimate. Cool lighting, the kind with a bluish tinge, helps to promote deep relaxation and sleep.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes
www.beyondthestagehomes.com