property styling


How to create the perfect home office

As many more of us are working from home due to current circumstances, our homes are required to be multi-functional.
You may have started working from home in a rush and not had the time to figure out the best space for you. By using these simple and effective tips, it can be an easy and fun process to merge your home space into an office.

  1. Create a space that is just for you and your work

Find a room or corner of your home that’s most suitable and begin by getting rid of anything that is distracting or reminds you of other things you could be doing; even things like clothes drying racks, boxes that should be in the loft etc.
You’ll get a lot more done in your working day without these distractions, which will then allow you to have breaks and your evenings will be free to enjoy.

  1. De-clutter

Having some things around you when you’re working isn’t all bad, but those items need to be conducive to your work in some way.
As a follow on from point 1. make sure you start with a clean slate, so take everything out of the room and slowly add in items you need.
You’ll want to add in things, not layer on top of things. By doing it systematically, you’ll be left with a pile of things you definitely don’t need in that space.
This process may make it easier to get rid of items that no longer serve you well in your home.

  1. Keep it clean and organised

At the end of each day, clear your work surfaces and file things away where possible. Keep a little duster nearby to give your desk a quick wipe down too.

  1. Inspire

Whether you work in the creative industry or not, it’s a good idea to create a sort of mood board or planner that is changeable, that you keep on a wall near your desk.
This can be a constant source of inspiration and enable you to keep on track with your plans.
It’s also a brilliant solution for brainstorming and sketching out big ideas, if you’re short on desk space.

  1. Use colour

Colour can really help to focus your mind, deep blues particularly and blue-greens.
Blue promotes communication, trust, and efficiency. It also helps people with creativity by opening the mind to new ideas.
You could use art or cushions as accents of colour in different areas of your office.
Steer clear of red as it stimulates the pulse and can raise blood pressure (good in some cases, but perhaps not all day) and yellows can be over stimulating and cause anxiety.

  1. Use scent

Oil diffusers are affordable and you can order them online. Usually these come with a set of oils such as rosemary, lemon, lavender and eucalyptus.
These can help with focus, concentration and relaxation. 

  1. Pay attention to your posture

I suppose you’ve heard by now that sitting is the new smoking.
We were not made to sit down all day long, but if you are having to do so for fairly long periods of time, ensure that your chair is at the correct height for you.
Your legs/knees should be at a right-angle when your feet are firmly on the floor, and the top of your screen needs to be at eye level.
Any issues with screen height, just find a stack of books to place your monitor on.

Now that you’re working from home you might feel free to take a little stroll about your home every 30 mins.
If you’re sitting down for longer than an hour but you’re in the zone, take a moment to stretch your arms up high and your legs out in front of you.
There are some apps which set timers as a reminder to move, or you could just set yourself a timer every 30 mins.

  1. Light your space

One of the main delights of working from home is that you can be flexible about where you want to work.
Choose an area that is well lit, preferably near a window, but without the direct sun glare on your screen.
Pay attention to the way daylight moves around the room. As the evening comes, use a desk lamp for focused work. 

  1. Shut down

Once you have completed your work tasks for the day, make sure you save your work (of course) and shut down your computer.
This way your work life wont blend into your personal time at home and you’ll choose to complete tasks rather than leaving them open for your arrival the next day.

  1. Use plants for oxygen (and company)

Invest in some glorious green friends, they will not only keep you company, but also help with your oxygen levels while giving you something to look after (and possibly talk to).
A few large house plants will help to bring nature in and/or one smaller plant on your desk.

  1. Fuel your body and mind

Keep a stash of healthy snacks nearby such as nuts, seeds and dark chocolate and a supply of fresh water.
Take regular breaks and get outside if possible or open your windows to get some fresh air and vitamin D.

So to recap, the items that will enhance your office space are:

  • Mood board/wall planner
  • Colour – through art and accessories
  • Scent – using an oil diffuser or candle
  • Desk lamp
  • Plants

I hope that’s been helpful for you in some way. You might find some time to set your office up over the weekend, so that you’re feeling fresh and ready for the next couple of weeks.
I wish you all the productivity, success and happiness in your home working space.

Top 10 tips on how to stage a house for sale

Staging a house for sale is a game changer when it comes to getting your property ahead of the rest. In this blog post I’m going to give you 10 simple tips on how to stage a house for sale.

  1. Declutter

    You have a space that you’re looking to show off and sell every part of, so if your buyers can’t see the corners of the room for clutter, they could have a hard time imagining how their things would position in your home. By decluttering you also down-size for your next move and more importantly you take only the things with you that you love. More on decluttering here.

  2. De-personalise

    Remove family photos as these can be off putting to buyers. As painful as this might feel, it will help you to move forward and detach from your home. You can still love living there and your home will still give off that vibe to people viewing your home.

  3. Paint

    A fresh lick of white paint in your property will elevate the entire space – white being the important word here. It’s worth the investment as it will increase the value of your home while showing it as a blank canvas with lots of light.

  4. Bed linen and towels

    Choose white bed linen and towels to keep each room light and airy. Ensure you not only make the beds up to a hotel standard for your photographs, but also each time a viewer visits your property. You can add colour through some cushions and small floral arrangements on the bedside tables. Fold the towels nicely onto your bathroom rail and ensure they’re fresh each time you have a viewing.

  5. Plants

    By having a selection of different plants you will add life to your home. Choose a mixture of tall, short and very small succulents to create different levels of interest. By doing this you will “frame” the rooms. They’re one of the best finishing touches I can recommend.

    As Mies van der Rohe once said – “less is more”

  6. Art

    Everyone has a different taste in art; some people like nudes whereas some people may find them uncomfortable to view, therefore the best selection of art is abstract, neutral and with soft tones of colour. Select either landscapes or still life artworks that accentuate the colours in the room and compliment the furnishings.

  7. Floral displays

    If possible arrange a fresh bouquet of flowers in the living room, with a couple of smaller vases in the bedrooms. Plants will bring life to the rooms but flowers can add a splash of colour. Faux floral arrangements can look just as good, especially with some of the incredibly realistic flowers online. Use a mixture of flowers and greenery to make the bouquets.

  8. Accessorise

    Cushions, throws and ornaments are like the accessorise to an outfit. As Mies van der Rohe once said – “less is more” so if you’re not too sure how much to add then keep cushions to a maximum of 6 per sofa (based on a 3 seater) and 4 per bed. Throws look great at the end of beds and sofas as they add an element of texture. Be selective with ornaments and arrange them with plants and books on places like a coffee table.

  9. Scents

    As with artwork, people are drawn to different scents. The best way to entice potential buyers is by using neutral scents such as lavender in the bedrooms, citrus in the kitchen, floral in the living room and musky/fresh cotton in the bathroom. You can buy diffusers for this purpose or scented candles.

  10.  Lighting

    Having different levels of lighting creates a welcoming atmosphere. Use a mixture of floor lamps and table lamps where possible and turn off main lights. If you need to use main lights (for example in the kitchen and bathroom) choose warmer bulbs and under-counter lighting in the kitchen. Even during the day, lighting can create warmth and zone certain spaces in the home.

If you’d like some more advice on how to stage your home for sale, get in touch for a complimentary chat.

How to declutter to instantly improve your home

Decluttering what you have in your home helps to sell your property. Clutter can distract potential buyers from seeing their ideal vision of what it would be like to live in a home, so creating a clear space enables that vision to come into reality.

You may even have a few personal touches in your home that need to be stored away throughout the time period of selling your home. By doing this you’re not putting any boundaries in the way of your buyer.

Here are 6 steps to clearing the clutter:

  1. Remove everything

    With each room in your home, take out everything from the cabinets, drawers and any other storage. This may sound a bit extreme but it’s the best way to see the full picture of what you have.

  2. Select your favourite items

    Things that you know you’d like to keep – this might be a beautiful vase, all your favourite clothing and the essential items a kitchen needs. By selecting the items that are truly useful and important to you, the rest is much easier to donate, sell or recycle.

  3. Deep clean

    Once you have organised what you’d like to keep, give your storage a proper deep clean and put the items back carefully and in an organised way. Buyers will want to look inside cupboards so this is your opportunity to show that you have ample storage in your home.

  4. Store

    If you’re moving to a larger property and would like to keep some larger items for the new home, put as much as you can into storage. Your next home may have the capacity for more, but your current home may not.

  5. Donate

    Anything that is left over can be donated or recycled at most charity shops or local dumps.

  6. Style

    Once your home is clear it’s time to style it with your favourite pieces. You can add in some floral displays and fresh plants to bring life to the space. More on how to style your home to sell here.

Taking the time to declutter your property before putting it on the market is so important. It means that you’re able to show off more space and you’re far more likely to get your asking price.
For more information on how to clear space to sell your home, get in touch with me below:

The Incredible Benefits of Property Styling

“Staging is preparing the home for sale so the buyer can mentally move in”

Barb Schwarz  – president of the international association of home staging professionals

The more I speak to people about property styling (more commonly known as home staging), the more I realise just how many of us don’t know what it is or don’t know of its importance. I’m here to tell you that property styling is an incredible way to sell your home quickly, beautifully and at your sale price! (or above in some cases)

Need more convincing that property styling is right for you? Take a look at some statistics:

  • Property styling deeply affects buyer’s perspective: Over 95% of buyers agents say that property styling has had at least some effect on the buyer’s view of the home.
  • When buyers can visualise the product as their home, an offer is made: Over 81% of buyers find it “easier to visualise the property as their future home” when it’s styled.
  • Even a flawed home has hope when styling happens: Almost a third (28%) of buyers are more willing to “overlook property faults” when the home is styled.
  • 12% of real estate agents believe that styling “increases the monetary value of the home” at least 11-20% more!

National association of realtors 2015 profile of home staging report

Reasons to stage:

  • Your home will make money – A survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp found that styled homes spend half the time on the market than non-styled homes and sold for more than 6% above the asking price.
  • Your house will sell faster – the national association of Realtors (NAR) found that the longer the home stays on the market, the further their price drops.
  • Your online photos will stand out – the same NAR survey found that 90% of potential buyers search online first.

    “You will make your money back – the average styling investment is between 1-3% of the homes asking price, which generates a property styling ROI of 8-10%”

  • Styled properties spend 73% less time on the market, if styled before it’s put on the market, they’ve sold 79% faster than those styled some time after being listed.
  • Properties that were styled post listing on average sold in 198 days, properties styled prior to listing sold in 42 days.
  • The longer your property is on the market, the longer you have the pay the mortgage and cannot move forward to your next home purchase.

Put off by the fact these stats are American? There’s no need to be.
Property styling isn’t common in the UK, therefore you’ll be putting your property even further ahead of the competition on the housing market by making that extra effort with the appearance.