Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Making Your Home Warm and Cozy for the Winter Months.


Often, the best part of winter is the joy you find in the cozy comfort of your own home.  This winter we will bring you many comforting ideas to help you get through the winter months.
This time of year is all about allowing more light into your home and organizing….I promise not to talk about diet or exercise!!  We look at winter as the end of the year, but we can also look at it as the beginning.  Its all about getting ready for the New Year!
The winter months is a good time to refresh your home.  This can be done simply by adding accessories and collections or a blow out design of new furniture, paint and art…  I hope that some of  the designs will inspire you in a positive way.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Here Comes The Bride

Did your daughter and/or son get engaged?  Didn’t it seem like just yesterday and now the wedding is  5, 6, 7, 8 months away…… June is the most popular month for weddings, then August, followed by September and October…. Do you have a lot of out of town guest coming?  Is your house ready? No?….. don’t wait until you have wedding brain (A less invasive, but more expensive version of a frontal lobotomy).  If the nuptials are in June you have 6 months….it take any where from 2-4 months to order custom furniture.  Window treatments 6-10 weeks…depending on what you are getting done…and there is the carpet, finding and hiring a painter, hanging wall paper, new lamps and on and on… So it is time to start planning… and writing down your goals along with a timeline…
From the moment guests begin to arrive in town through the end of the ceremony, the mother of the bride is the official hostess, helping each guest feel welcome.  I ask again is your home ready?  Maybe you need some new window treatments, a couch?  Perhaps just a little staging, some new accessories, pillows and new wall color?    Did you think about new towels?  Do you have some new unstained table clothes? OMG, the rungs of the chairs in the kitchen keep coming unglued….before you become unglued we can help with a fresh set of eyes in your home.  Call us at 917-699-1262 to help you make a punch list of things that we think need to be done before your out of town guests head to your living room for a gin and tonic.  Oh, no you forgot tall glasses….no worries give us a call we will take care of you needs… We are here to help you make your daughters/sons day a memoriable one at the home front.tumblr_nr81o66tKy1sbqfz9o1_1280

Friday, November 6, 2015

What happens behind sceen



Hello Friends,
Today it started out with measuring out my coffee into my coffee cup instead of my expresso maker…then, I closed my finger in the door as I was running out to yoga.. Not a good start. However it did get better…. At Harmonizing Homes we could be designing a house one day and/or staging a home for sale on another day….When I refer to WE – its Charles and I and we do everything from Social Networking, Book Keeping, Shopping, Drawing, Developing new concepts, meeting with clients, ordering memos and a lot of bantering through out the day to keep our sanity….
Here is the results of last weeks Home staging…photographs were taken by Motion City Media see information below.
After blasting our work on Social Media we finalized renderings for a presentation, shopped and planned for an upcoming December 4th event and announcement- more information to follow …
Rendering of Dining Room
We headed out to Sailor’s Trading for some inspiration and shopping….Guess who was taking all the pictures….while someone else was shopping…. Details on location will be under references
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Then we headed to a clients home in West Long Branch New Jersey….Super sweet couple who’s daughter is getting married early summer….so we are under a deadline to get everything done by then….. I just bought this great desk top computer that also works as a tablet ( Lenovo Yoga Home 900…..for demonstration purposes its amazing…We probably should have tested out prior to our demonstration….however we didn’t…..but we figured it out….Here is a sneak viewing of our presentation ….
That wraps  it up for this week in our design world…  Don’t forget save the date for our guests that have been harmonized December 4th from 6-9 pm…Great networking opportunities – Don’t forget your canned goods for Grandmother’s Cupboard!!!  PS… for those that will be attending we will be unavailing our January 15th kick off project….
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Motion City Media Frank Zrinsky
Crossroads Reality – House is located on 7 Avon Court, Toms River NJ – Detail of Home
Rendering by Charles Messenger using Sketch up

Monday, October 19, 2015

Top 10 stupid staging ideas

Top 10 Stupid Staging Ideas

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What is the first thing that happens when you walk into any house ??  Smell is often our first response to stimuli. It alerts us to fire before we see flames. It makes us recoil before we taste rotten food.  Justin Riordan wrote “your house should smell like nothing when it is being shown.  Scented homes lead to one of two reactions.”  For the full article by Justin Riordan
#10.  Masking Smells
  1. ” Buyers who are chemically sensitive get headaches, irrigated eyes, or nausea and want to leave immediately.”
  2. “Buyers wonder what you are trying to cover up and immediately become suspicious that you are a shyster”.

#9.  Live plants in a vacant home – quickly die with out water.
When home staging, or decorating a home, one important element that will instantly add life and a feeling of hominess to a living space is the presence of something green.  Don’t use real plants in a vacant home.   There are many beautiful silks on the market.

#8 a quote from Justin Riordam ” if they can’t see past that ‘_________’ then they don’t deserve to buy my house.” 

 The truth is , if they can see past “_______” then you did a poor job preparing your house for the market.   Let us also revisit “They don’t deserve to buy my house” Once you please your home on the market it becomes a commodity.  You have to take “you” and “your” feelings out of the equation.

#7  “I can just lightly stage this room and it will work”   Well, not really as you need to show the purpose and scale of the room.
#6 “I am paying for the staging, you should only stage with things I like”. This is a huge one, and it has happened to me.
 “Your going to use/hang that?”  As Justin Riordan, indicated in his blog “You have hired a stager just as a department store would hire a visual merchandizer to display their times to sell to a customer.  Your home is once again a commodity….  You need to detach totally!!

#5  “The style of staging should match the style of the house” – Not really – We want to make the potential buyer look at the house and how it was staged and see that their furniture can work in this room…
You don’t want to stage with exact period furniture – a well staged home will have various components to the staging style.

#4 ” We should make everybody take off their shoes before they enter. Really??    People are not going to want to take their shoes off to walk on your floors.
Shoes in hallway
#3 ” We should pull out the staging as soon as the house goes into pending”   Its never safe to removing staging items before the final inspection/closing date…..scheduled walk through…  It happens all the time – premature furniture removal and the deal falls through…
  1. you are not going to save any money on taking the furniture out early – you are under a contract for a specific period of time.
  2. the rental company is not going to redeliver the same furniture 3. the stager will charge you additional cost to re-stage.  Patients is a virtue.
Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House.

#2 Staging can fix  anything”  Wouldn’t that be great but ….look at this picture  ( don’t hit your way into the tub)- staged nicely but it doesn’t fix the bathroom issue.
#1  “stupidest” idea…”staging is easy” – Check this video out on what Barbara Corcoran has to say about staging.
Barbara Corcoran on the Benefits of Home Staging

Special thanks to Jeanette Schalpfer Broker/Sales Manager for sending me this article.
Author of Top 10 Stupid staging ideas – Justin Riordan
Harmonizing Homes – Corinne Kaas
RESA – look for a stager in your area

Friday, October 2, 2015

“If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky.”

FRIDAY FEATURE #5VISITING FRIENDS“If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky.”

NJ Beach
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Okay, what happened to summer??…..We left on Friday September 25th for a few days of vacation down in warm sunny South Carolina….Came back on Wednesday and summer’s door was slammed shut!  Its cold, grey and rainy….. and everyone is stocking and gassing up for….


but enough of things that are out of my control…….
We were able to spend a few days with some very dear friends of ours that moved down to Charleston area of South Carolina last year from Spring Lake Heights NJ…. Our visit was filled with laughter, food and wine….you can’t ask for a more relaxing vacation.. which is very hard for some people i.e. my husband!  He can not sit still… He had to do something.. talk about precision…..look at these pictures dead center and 2″ spacing….I would have eye balled it…
Before they left NJ…..we had talked about painting their bedroom set…which never happened for various reasons…Ellen decided she was going to try her hand in painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  We headed to Charleston Revisions in Mount Pleasant SC for our supplies.   First we worked on a few samples to decide what color we were going to use on this project… these are the colors that were decided on….
chalk Before we got started I wanted to show how various shades could be achieved by simply adding some old white to the Chateau Grey and Versailles….here are the results….with a little red wine splashed on there… we decided on  50% Chateau Grey and 50% old white without the splash of red wine.
Now we had to head out to the store for some sand paper, paint brushes….well lets say we ended up getting a cart…as we decided to do some planting also….
Okay now we get down and dirty…..we mixed up the paint and headed into the garage….put on some tunes and away we went…
We are done for the day………
Meet the Woodward’s aka Woody and Ellen
Here is some snippets of their beautiful home that they built on James Island South Carolina….


Here are same pictures of the surrounding area that we visited.. It truly is a beautiful part of our country…..with plenty of creative inspiration…..

Beautiful lunch at Blind Tiger in Charleston which was a speak easy in 1893….

Crosby’s Fish and Shrimp Company on Folly Road …great view and wonder fresh scallops

Living Room Furniture – Coral Berry Cottage 
Dining – FIG (Food is Good)
Builder – Freeman’s Point Front Door Community 
Until the next time we meet my friends…..
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