Posts Tagged ‘The Decorating and Staging Academy’

Is Your Mantel Crying for a Seasonal Update?

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Final­ly the weath­er is chang­ing and my over­all atti­tude is bet­ter. You cre­ative ones know what this means…it’s time for a redesign! I enjoyed the white ele­ments my man­tel had dur­ing the win­ter; it reflect­ed the snow out­side my win­dow. Now, my man­tel is cry­ing for some­thing fresh and vibrant. As inte­ri­or re-design­ers, we approach a small project just like we approach a larg­er space.



The Process:

1.) Remove all items from the man­tel: No cheat­ing, even the heavy items have to come down.

2.) Group all your options by col­or, tex­ture and type of item. (Can­dles, antlers, etc)

3.) Cre­ate the focal point or the largest piece was placed first. Keep in mind, you need to fill 2/3 of the space of the man­tel or it will be wimpy and we can’t have wimpy. (Try an asym­met­ri­cal arrange­ment by plac­ing the item off-cen­ter.)

4.) Fol­low your col­or sto­ry. In this case, the col­ors in the art­work told the col­or sto­ry. Bal­ance your col­or on each side. Even in asym­met­ri­cal arrange­ments there needs to be col­or bal­ance.

5.) Give a vari­ety of tex­tures. Wood, glass, green­ery, horns, shine, met­als and bark are all exam­ples of ways to add inter­est to the design.

6.) Force your eye to move. How are you going to do that? With the ele­ments you have used through­out the arrange­ment. Not even sure why thats impor­tant? When your eye moves around the man­tel or the room it cre­ates, space, depth and inter­est. By plac­ing items high, low, for­ward and set back you demand atten­tion and inter­est.

7.) Stand back and ele­vate the design as you go along.

8.) Shop for miss­ing ele­ments. Don’t have the right item for the next lay­er? Go shop your home, your yard and even your clos­et. I have used belts, scarfs and jew­el­ry to alter the col­or, tex­ture or to and inter­est.

9.) Snap a pho­to. Inspire your­self. I keep an album with ideas just for my man­tel.

Secrets from a Decorator: Finials add the Finishing Touch

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Rotated-3What is a finial?  It’s the dec­o­ra­tive top­per of a lamp with the pur­pose of hold­ing the lamp shade to the lamp harp with the harp con­nect­ing to the base.  That’s the func­tion of the finial but the cre­ative part of the finial is total­ly in your con­trol.  Most lamps are pur­chased with its coor­di­nat­ing basic finial. Let’s take it up a notch.

Let’s face it.  We place the lamp, we plug it in and then we for­get it. As long as we can see to read or find our path­ways we don’t revis­it or update our lamps.  This last week I need­ed a lamp finial for a client so the search began.  Online to spe­cial­ty lamp stores and then I just hap­pened to check out the light­ing sec­tion in Pier One…Bingo.  The finials ranged in price from the on sale $3.50 — $19.00.  I pur­chase the per­fect one for my client Rotated-1and then of course I added one for me.  I admit I had lost a finial in our recent move and com­plete­ly for­got about it.  It’s the extra atten­tion to detail that will set your room apart.  I went right back to Pier One and bought a few more just to update and increase the val­ue of a few more of my lamps and to have on hand for my clients.

What can be more eco­nom­i­cal than $3.50?  Attach an object of inter­est (rock, beach glass, pine cone, antique jew­el­ry or any unique object) to the basic finial that came with the lamp.  This small ele­ment can take an ordi­nary lamp to the unique, “Where did you get that?” lev­el.

It’s quick, eco­nom­i­cal and dra­mat­ic.



A First Timer Deco-Zone Experience

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

IMG_0661I am not a high end design­er with years of expe­ri­ence and I stay pret­ty safe with­in the realm of neu­tral col­ors that I know can match.   San­dra Racz told me about The DECO-Zone, an event held dur­ing Atlanta’s Amer­i­c­as­Mart with speak­ers shar­ing infor­ma­tion on Trends, Drapes, Florals,…the list went on and on.  I thought this could be fun learn­ing from top design­ers, meet­ing new peo­ple and shop­ping the Mart.  It wasn’t great tim­ing with my family’s sum­mer sched­ule and I was ner­vous about my lev­el of exper­tise but I made the deci­sion to sign up.  The first day of The DECO-Zone, toss in the fact I got lost, I walked in fraz­zled but I sat with some awe­some Ladies ( all at dif­fer­ent lev­els of expe­ri­ence and fields of inter­est).  One of the first speak­ers, JoAnne Lenart-Weary was engag­ing and fun­ny before I real­ized it I was relaxed and learn­ing which col­ors I should add to my own home and the col­ors weren’t neu­tral.  Dur­ing breaks I min­gled with smart women who ran busi­ness­es and want­ed to gath­er as much knowl­edge I did. There were Ven­dors and prod­ucts I had nev­er heard of and a step-by-step guide to shop­ping the largest whole­sale mar­ket.   Let me tell you, Amer­i­c­as­Mart is three huge build­ings with 20+ floors and it can be over­whelm­ing.  The tips of how and where to shop made it eas­i­er.

I had a won­der­ful time and most of all, I learned, meet won­der­ful peo­ple and gained men­tors for life!  All the design ele­ments that I learned I brought back to my own home and made it pop. I would rec­om­mend The DECO-Zone to any­one no mat­ter your busi­ness type or skill lev­el.  Check out

- Kate Brac­k­een

Are you Part of a Staging Team?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

BrackeenMasterAfterDSC_0696Team­work is Pow­er­ful!  Stud­ies show that work­ing as a team to accom­plish a goal results in a high­er suc­cess rate. Cre­at­ing your team of like-mind­ed pro­fes­sion­als will increase sales, encour­age cre­ativ­i­ty and allow for more pro­duc­tiv­i­ty result­ing in achieved goals and bench­marks for your busi­ness.

My cur­rent team shares sev­er­al goals: Assist home­own­ers to stage their prop­er­ty, cre­ate an emo­tion­al con­nec­tion with poten­tial buy­ers, and gen­er­ate the best offer in the short­est amount of time.  As a cer­ti­fied Home Stager, my role is to edu­cate agents, home­own­ers and ven­dors.  When home­own­ers under­stand the impor­tance of stag­ing sug­ges­tions, they take action to pre­pare their home for max­i­mum appeal. The home­own­er is part of the team too.  Any­one can cre­ate a long list of items for the home­own­er to change, remove and update, but cre­at­ing the prac­ti­cal list with pri­or­i­ties and solu­tions not only ensures a show-ready home it de-stress­es the process of sell­ing.

Dur­ing the list­ing appoint­ment, the Agent presents a mar­ket analy­sis and a mar­ket­ing plan that show­cas­es their team:  Their Com­pa­ny and Them­selves.  Now add the cer­ti­fied Home Stager pro­vid­ing a non-biased report with proven steps that sell homes faster then that team is even more impres­sive.

I work with many agents in Sum­mit Coun­ty, by cre­at­ing a team approach for their clients they excel at get­ting their prop­er­ties sold quick­er and more seam­less­ly.  A real estate agents job is sell­ing, mar­ket­ing, work­ing with home own­ers and prospect­ing adding  stag­ing will increase your effi­cien­cy in get­ting prop­er­ties sold and increase the like­li­hood of more list­ings.

Results are moti­vat­ing, so focus on cre­at­ing a team. One that is edu­cat­ed and like mind­ed in their approach.




Sandra Racz – Park City, UT – Phone: 435.901.1205