Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beach House Goes to Work

It's been said before...... do something you are passionate about and you will never work a day in your life. I wish I had followed this advice all those years ago, when I was making career choices.  The penny has finally dropped and I am now working in my dream job.  I have had to create my own business to do so, but I think if you do something you love the dollars will follow.  I have linked up with some local agents in the area and much to my surprise, they are sending heaps of work my way.

Now in my styling business, my focus is on making the most of what the client has.  This makes my services very affordable and captures a niche market, where the client does not want to spend thousands on furniture rental for the sales campaign.  This home was recently styled by me and is currently for sale on the Northern Beaches.  Here's the link if you are a serious player  With this home it was rather easy.  It had great bones and the clients' had some lovely pieces to start with.  If purchasing furniture it is best to go neutral, just adding colour pops with soft furnishings and props. Whenever in doubt I would always say go white.  Obviously not easy with kids but taupe and natural colours also work well.
Although I don't have before shots, when I first saw this room it was full of toddler toys, and the under shelf of the coffee table was chockers with games, books and magazines.  My aim was to encourage prospective buyers to notice the lovely outlook, so clearing the toys and stuff underneath the coffee table was a must.  If you are going to have a garage sale, have it before your house hits the market if possible so you have  a reason to clear out unwanted stuff.  Choose what you want to sell and then go through the house again to see if you can possibly part with anything else.
 In the kitchen, leave statement pieces, such as coffee machines on show, as they indicate to prospective buyers that this house is occupied by cool people who are just like them.  Sounds a little crazy, but you want to appeal to the aspiration purchaser.  Other than those types of pieces, the bench tops should be completely spotless and free of stuff, apart from flowers or a beautifully styled fruit bowl.
Light and space are the catch cry at Desire Empire, so with a serious declutter and the addition of some colour coordinated soft furnishings, we can usually improve the look of the room.  It's so important that the rooms don't look smaller than they actually are.
I usually go for a low prop on the coffee table so as not to interfere with any view across the room to an outdoor area.  The use of a guitar or special piece of art helps to create emotion in a potential buyer, which will allow them to see themselves living in and enjoying this property. 

Remove personal family photos, as you want the prospective purchaser to see it as their house not yours.
Book shelves can be potential areas of clutter so they need to be really organised and colour coordinated if possible.  Making them a feature rather than a jumbled mess.
A beautifully styled outdoor area creates an additional living room and is a great seller.  I use loads of cushions, which creates a warm and comfortable area to entertain family and friends.  I mean if you are going to spend lots of dollars on purchasing a property, you will want to show it off.  Gardens should be neat and tidy, with grass mown and a leaves swept up.
Display your entertaining props, such as ice buckets with tables set for dinner to soften the look of an area. 
Bedrooms and bathroom must be absolutely spotless as first impressions in these personal areas are important.  A renovated bathroom such as this is a great seller, as it means a new owner does not have to spend extra dollars creating an oasis that is already there.  Beautifully folded colour coordinated towels and strategically placed candles and shells are an affordable way to add appeal.  Make sure any leaks or other damage is fixed before your home goes to market.

A classic interiors rule is that props should be displayed in odd numbers.  That is threes, fives and so on.  This applies to the arrangement of flowers as well.
Make the most of all outdoor areas, even if you don't use them, it is essential to indicate to prospective buyers how an area could be used.  A simple chair can evoke reading nook or private hang out as a separate area to other family members.  Read kiddos here.

These clients were so happy with their 'new' home they invited Mr Beach House and I around to dinner as a thank you.  This was how my client set her beautiful table on the night.  I particularly like the reed wrapped around the inside of the vase, hiding the stems tied together so the flower arrangement holds together beautifully in the vase.

Catch ya tomorrow


  1. This was lovely Carolyn. Very inspirational. Congraulations on your dream. I'm totally with you about wishing I had learned earlier on to follow my dream. I'm working on it now. :-)))

    Have a lovely day!

  2. Lucky you to have found, or rather, created your dream job! AND, what a fabulous job it is! AND, you're fabulous at it!

    You did such a wonderful job for these folks and shared so many great tips for anyone getting ready to put their home on the market.

    Best wishes for a bright and fulfilling future.

  3. Congratulion! May your business grow! :)

  4. What a gorgeous home and you did a beautiful job decorating! I am so happy that you are able to do this and followed your dreams, you certainly have an eye for it. Good luck with all your future homes, I know that you will do amazing and thank you for sharing with us. :)

  5. You did a lovely job styling their home. I loved the outdoor areas. I was sold before I walked thru the door.

  6. congratulations on creating a job for was a great idea!
    cheryl x

  7. Gorgeous!! Thanks for coming by Sassy Sites and linking up at our ffa party! Have a wonderful weekend, and most of all... a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


  8. I think home styling is a great business to be in..., and work with what's there. Also, I'm still surprised how most people really cannot envision rooms, but have to be able to see how they are used and can be furnished. Fascinating. Gorgeous home and great styling!! The outdoor area is divine.

  9. Everything looks amazing but I love the daybed the best. Just wonderful.

  10. Great job!

    Susan and Bentley

  11. This is cute! Thanks for linking up at Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop

  12. Darling decorating job! Everything looks so warm & peaceful! Always good to wish & be inspired - looks like you found a calling you should pursue if you love it! oxox, tracie

  13. Over from AMM how wonderful to have a career you love and obviously are great at!

  14. Beautiful style here! Visiting from Homemaker on a Dime.

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  15. Hi, Carolyn! This is featured at Recognition Day Thursday found here: Please feel free to grab the feature button :)

  16. Absolutely gorgeous home and wonderful decorating! I love it! Thanks for sharing this at FNF!


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