Monday, February 28, 2011

wide open spaces...yikes!

Yesterday morning, this was an empty house. And by empty, I mean not a single stick of furniture or accessory in sight.

By last evening, this was a nicely staged home that is now warm and inviting to potential buyers (I think!).

This lovely house has been on the market for a little while now. It’s a newly renovated, beautifully finished, family home in a great neighborhood. But it didn’t necessarily show that way to those who visited simply because it was entirely empty. And empty can come off as cold, echo-y…and this may surprise you…but smaller than it actually is.

So, with a little rouge and a lot furniture that the client could “beg, borrow and steal” (thankfully he and his friends have good taste, so there were some gems tochoose from!), the key areas in the home are now warm, welcoming and much more inviting to potential buyers.
Dining room, kitchen, living room, main floor office, one kid’s bedroom and master bedroom were addressed. Very minimal staging was done in the kitchen and all three bathrooms just to add a little something as well. Two bedrooms and the finished basement were left alone.
The key to staging an empty house is to put just enough in so that potential buyers can instantly see how the room would be used (as in “ah...this is an office. This is the dining room”…etc). You may think that should be obvious, but trust me, it’s not always the case with potential buyers. And if they have to think too hard to figure out what the space actually is, they won’t buy your house.
Put just enough in for them to get a sense of how their own furniture could fit in that space. When a room is completely empty, it’s kind of like shopping at Costco. You lose all sense of scale. Ever get home and wonder just where exactly you are going to store 72 rolls of toilet paper?

Well, it’s the same here…an empty space can be deceiving and may look small. You may be left wondering if bed will fit in the room because you have nothing to give you a sense of size. So put enough in the room to leave no doubt. A good tip is to not push all the furniture against the walls…leave breathing room to show potential buyers that not only is there room for furniture, but there is plenty of open space to accommodate other things as well.

You also want to put just enough in so that the eye skims over what’s there, rests for half a minute and then easily moves on to admire the selling features – the view, the wonderful flooring, the fixtures or architectural details. Nothing too personal, nothing to showy, nothing too unique that would attract and hold attention.

rouge is happy with the results and hopes that our work may help generate new interest in the house. Another open house is planned for the weekend, so time will tell….

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, February 20, 2011

lamp makeover

A while ago, I nabbed this lamp at the 50 mile Musquodoboit Valley yard sale (see 50 miles of possibilities, September 11, 2010). I’m pretty sure I paid $5 for it. I loved the size and the shape….it just needed a new lampshade. I wasn’t crazy about the stripes painted on it and would have preferred an all white lamp base. But there were options….

So this weekend, I decided to finally change it up and give it another whole new life. With just a few easy steps, it now looks fresh and modern.

What you need:
1 can of Tremclad spray paint (your choice of color) -- $10
1 new lamp shade -- $12.95
Small piece of sandpaper
Painters tape or masking tape

Here are the steps:
1. Use painters tape to cover the metal bracket for the shade, the light socket and the electrical cord. Tip: use paper lunch bags (or any other small bag to slip over the bracket, socket and cord. Tape them closed and you can be sure no paint will reach them.
2. Lightly sand the entire ceramic base to remove some of the existing gloss finish. Wipe clean with damp cloth.
3. Carefully and slowly spray the ceramic base, starting at the top and working your way around and down to the bottom until entire lamp base is covered.
4. Wait to dry and spray on another coat. Repeat until you’ve got a good coat of a nice, even, full paint coverage.
5. Let dry overnight. Remove tape and attach new lamp shade.

Two notes of caution….spray paint is hard to control and if you hit it with too much paint, you will get runs. Be patient and add to paint in layers and you will get a wonderful glossy finish of rich color you are looking for!

And, please use spray paint in a well ventilated area. Preferably outside, but not when it’s windy. This stuff gets EVERYWHERE….I’d recommend using a mask as well, because it’s hard to do any type of spray paint project without breathing some of it in (yikes).
Tip: WD40 is fantastic at removing paint from just about any surface that you might accidentally get paint on. Prepare for the wide range of overspray, but have some hefty paper towels and a can of WD40 on hand for speedy clean up immediately after you ’ve done spraying.

I’m thrilled with the results of my mini makeover. Total cost of this project was $28…and I just saw a similar ceramic lamp in one of the fancier d├ęcor stores. It was a bit smaller, but similar in shape and the exact same color…and it was priced at $240!

I like mine much better.

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, February 13, 2011

reno chronicles #12

I thought it was time to give you a little update on my own reno project.

I’m thrilled to say all is still on track…and now I’m just waiting for old man winter to do his thing and pass us by. Estimated start date for my project is the beginning of April.

As you can see by this recent picture, it can’t come too soon! ( embarassing!)

I fear that by the time the demo crew gets here, there won’t be much left….at least that day will be an easy one for the work crew!

Until then, here’s hoping that plastic and strapping can hold up to Mr. Winter for a little while longer…

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, February 6, 2011

rouge 101

rouge is celebrating a milestone – this is officially the 101st posting for the just a little rouge blog!

Who knew I’d have so much to talk about? Who knew anyone would be interested in reading it?

Certainly not me…in the beginning, at least!

Sending my gratitude to all just a little rouge readers – whether you are one of our many faithful readers or brand new – and no matter how you found rouge…through my personal facebook page, rouge website (, or via or I’m very happy you are here!

As always, we love to hear from you…so please send your feedback, suggest topics you’d like to hear more about, or just drop us a line.

Here’s to the next 101 posts that will try to add just a little rouge to your life!

xx rouge.

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/