Delaney Park – Two houses for the price of one – This traditional house on Delaney Park just underwent a transformation with professional staging. The house features 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in the main house plus a fully separate apartment over the 3 car garage in the back of the house. Designer Helen Bonello-Strauss created an effortless looking ambiente that shows of the charm and detail of this great house. Comfortable lounging in the front living room as well as another adjacent family room with a sectional show off the potential for gatherings and family fun. The house is available for showings. If you have questions about the house contact Realtor (R) Don Harkins from Keller Williams at 321-377-0341.
When it comes to Central Florida waterfront locations Windermere is one of the prime luxury spots to be. This gorgeous waterfront estate is being sold completely furnished turn key with everything that one might desire. From the stunning vistas to 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a heated pool and spa, boat dock, movie theater and beautiful but comfortable appointments. There are even two supercharged jetski in the garage that could convey with the property. Below is a video for a first look. For your private showing call your Realtor or contact the listing Broker Malte Strauss 407-416-9659.
College park home sold in 3 days – This bungalow in College Park was somewhat typical for the neighborhood. So what did Realtor Joe Newstreet dod to sell it quickly? He had it professionally staged. Designer Helen Bonello-Strauss suggested a grey paint color and a few minor fixed and improvements to tidy up the appearance. Then she gave the house a mid century modern overhaul to showcase the heritage and possibilities the property offered. The new furniture plays homage to the Jetson age without the dated look. It presented itself in a rejuvenated version of the mid century bungalow, crisp and current, clean and comfortable. What else did it need? The answer was found quickly: A buyer who wanted to immerse in the history of this desirable neighborhood close to downtown Orlando. It took only a few showings and 3 days to sell. Taking the essence of a building and to translate the architecture into a coherent design concept always reap rewards. In this College park property we see how the embrace of the mid century tradition worked to underline a design language that is so en vogue. While we don’t live on far away planets or frequent space stations, this successful staging job is proof that we, as a culture, embrace the style of the modern world, even in an older house.
Ready to saddle the horses? Go mid-western – The Midwestern style was quite popular in the 90’s and produced a plethora of native Indian artwork, pueblo inspired architecture and the occasional imitation artifact to complete a Mid-Western themed design. If you have a space that lend itself to a more rustic look, you can revive the style and take liberty with your vision of the mid western style. Think ranch, horses, the big sky. In this example of a Midwestern inspired room the designer Helene Bonello Strauss combined a cowhide with another rug for more depth of a layered look and some feel of an urban and conventional styling. You don’t have to go too much overboard with your barn look. Just take a few elements and play around with it. Make sure that you keep it simple and light enough. You want the feel of it without a myriad of small items cluttering the space. Instead of the dated 90’s artwork use photographs of horses or western landscapes for a contemporary aspect of the style. Take items that speak to you and incorporate them in your space. Create a simple color palette composed of neutrals and earth tones, and you will like the outcome. Don’t be afraid to use contemporary items like the modern leather sofa in the picture. The antique barrel takes up enough of the theme without making it look forced. The skull is a replica from the Homegoods decoration store. A fresh twist on your grandpas trophy. This room is proof that you don’t have to own a farm in New Mexico to pull of a mid western theme. So saddle up and ride in the sunset. Even if the destination is no further than your own backyard.
Open house Thursday October 20th, 2016 from 12 noon to 1:30pm – Come to our catered Brokers Open at 5300 Lazy Oaks Lane, Orlando FL 32839. We showcase one of our staged properties and offer a catered lunch with Jumbo shrimp, smoked salmon, lobster spread, Italian cold cuts, fancy cheese selection, salads and off course some champagne. It is a brokers open for the real estate industry but members of the public are welcome. If you can, please RSVP to listing agent Kisly Varga 321-two nine nine-3552.
Here some pictures of this beautiful home:
Why you should not buy a whole room at once – Furniture stores want to make shopping easy. They often advertise a whole room for sale. “8 Pieces for the price of 5”, says the ad. The designer sees this like the screeching sound of chalk on a blackboard. A bedroom set with its big four poster king bed, matching night stands, dresser, a highboy and all in the same shape, wood and color. Your room will look exactly like the furniture catalog and that is a look that can be very boring and predictable. Just because the furniture manufacturer offers any possible type of furniture piece with the same design, no one dictates you have to have them all. Designers almost never take a so called “bedroom suite” and stuff it in a room. They mostly take time and judgment and select single pieces that they combine for a visual interesting look. The reason those professionally designed rooms look so great is that the designer takes inspiration from a myriad of shapes, colors and textures and select the pieces that tell a story and set a mood. Consider a basic rule. The items you pair should unite in either of the following ways. Select them by color or material choice. You also can combine items by similar shape. If you go with something wooden, see if you can find another piece with a similar color and texture of the wood grain. If your elements have metal, seek similar metals. So if your bed has chrome feet you may want to find similar metals and perhaps don’t use nightstands with aged bronze hardware. Or you can group a number of vases that are made of different materials but show a similar shape. The elements in the space have to reference each other enough to form a somewhat coherent design without being matchy matchy. Even your nightstands can be of different shape if they are made of the same material or vice versa. It is a bit tricky and if you are not sure consult a designer to assist you with the choices. Last not least, keep in mind that if you think of buying all of the available matching options from the store, you have to have a bedroom the size of the furniture showroom. Chances are your space is not all that big. If the room is overstuffed with a huge bed, enormous nightstands and three large dressers and you live in a tiny apartment, your bedroom will be so full that there is hardly any space left to feel relaxed and welcome. Make sure you leave room to live your life. This is the space that you and your loved ones will occupy. Your house is not a museum, but a space that surrounds you and that should cater to your very own needs. One of the most important things to consider in your interior design is the room you leave open. It is essential and it is easily overlooked. No one likes a room that does not leave enough space for their own being.
The top 5 reasons why you sell a house that is staged much quicker: It sounds like a crazy idea. To sell a house one takes the effort of completely furnishing it, just for the time until a buyer is found. Then all the furniture and decoration is removed and the house gets sold without it. This concept is not an invention by the three stooges but used in many real estate transactions nationwide. Why would you want to go through the trouble and cost doing this? The reason is simple. To enhance your bottom line with the sale. Professional staging will have a few effects on your sale.
1) The first and very important benefit is that your advertising will look better. Your pictures will become more attractive and your listing will stand out very much. Buyers start their search online and most likely will look at pictures of your property well before they step foot into your home. If your house looks anything but stunning it may not make it on the showing list. Buyers frequently rule out houses they deem less attractive from the virtual representation found on real estate websites. If you don’t get the potential buyers excited from the start, you may loose them before they even have seen your house.
2) Agents are more likely to put the property on the showing tour. Staging a house signals the real estate professional that you are serious about selling. You have gone through the trouble of making the house attractive and competitive. Staged houses are more likely to be chosen and real estate professionals prefer to have a sale rather on the first viewing tour than on the fifth. So they natural select the houses that will be most likely to create a sale. After all, most Realtors are paid commissions not an hourly wage.
3) Buyers can envision the use of space. Once they enter the home it will present them with an idea how they can use the space. It gives them a reference point to room sizes and how their furniture will fit the space. Last not least it will give them the vision how they could live in the house. It creates a mental picture how they will live after the move to your home. It showcases a lifestyle they could have. A vision of holiday dinners in the fabulous dining room, moments of solitude and peaceful relaxation in the master retreat, inspiring conversations with friend or a fun playoff party. When they enter an empty house it is difficult for most people to envision how they would furnish it and live in it. The staging paves the road for their imagination.
4) Empty spaces are very difficult to judge sizewise. What makes it easier are furniture pieces who give the visitor a scale to measure the room size. How often have agents heard the words “My King size bed wont fit in here”. One will be surprised how often that assumption is wrong. Once your master suite is decked out that questions is off the table. Buyers see how furniture can be set up. It gives them a better appreciation of the space and shows how they could make the best use of it.
5) Buyers start to form an emotional bond to the property. They often fall in love with the decoration although it will not be part of the transaction (at least that is the case in most typical real estate transactions). The furniture gives the home character and ambiance and it helps the buyer to remember it from all the properties they toured. Will they remember any of the empty spaces in any of the vacant houses? The one they remember at the end of the day is the one with the large dining table where they could have the Christmas dinner. The also remember sitting on the comfortable couch while they were discussing who they would invite to the housewarming party. They also remember how they felt in the room. There was something different about this home. The reasons to decide to purchase a home were most likely quite rational: Saving money and building equity; providing stability for the family; locate to the preferred school district to benefit the children’s education, and so on. The decision which house they will purchase is often a more emotional one. The buyers most likely will buy the house that feels right. How can one argue with that.
What can a seller or real estate agent do to make a house stand out in a crowd of other listings? See what happened to this house in Winter park. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath pool home seems like many others from the outside. However, the inside reveals a fully decorated showhome with features like a barn door to the master bath, designer wallpaper accents and beautiful trim and fixtures. This investor flip is a good example of how the average can become something stunning. The interior designer Helene Bonello-Strauss had her crew transformed this distressed property to a stylish but comfortable home. The style is transitional with some modern aspects but mostly traditional appeal. “This mix is something that a lot of people react positively to,” so the design professional. “We had great success with this kind of design language, as it is appealing to a broad audience of different ages and creed.” While December is known as the slow season in Central Florida real estate, we think it is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd. The few buyers that are actively looking this time of the year are typically quite serious. So Helene will be busy before Christmas to dress up at least one but possibly two more homes before the man in the red suit calls for a break. By the way, the house with a Winter Park address is located in a great school district and just got listed for sale. The asking price is $ 246,800 and it is available for showings right now. MLS O5408988 – 5441 Justine Way, Winter Park 32792. If you want to get your house or listing ready for the new year feel free to contact Helene at www.idesigntosell.com
Is your fireplace caught in a time warp? – As taste changes, so do interior design features and materials. Unfortunately, not everything that is old becomes a charming ‘vintage’ element. Not everything turns into a ‘classic’. Some things remain just tired and old and makes a house look dated. In this example we transformed a family room with some small cosmetic changes. This transformation included removing the small white glossy tile on the fireplace and replacing them with travertine and glass mosaic tile for a fitting and updated look. The mauve colored carpet was changed to travertine tile set in a 45 degree pattern and the old and indestructible recliner sofas had to make room for a contemporary sectional that features low lines. The change of accessories and some modern artwork completed the transformation. Not a drastic renovation but a fairly simple update that has a big impact. Sometimes it only takes a few smaller changes instead of the large gut remodel to deliver the desired result. Pick the items that are the worst visual offenders and see if you find a viable solution to replace or update them. In this case the fireplace surround with its 80’s rounded drywall corners is everything but up to date. But with the main offenders removed from the crime scene, this transformation makes the room more palatable and quite acceptable for many people. If you renovate to sell your house, this is the way to go. This renovation yielded twice its cost in increased returns. A truly money making proposition for the homeowner, who sold it shortly afterwards.
How to sell mortar and stone real estate with fabric – When decorating a room consider other aspects than just the major furniture pieces. When homeowners describe their ideal house you hear descriptions like comfortable, warm, inviting. While the house is built mostly out of wood, stone, glass and occasional metal, the soft touch is something that has to be implemented after the last building contractor leaves the space. I am talking about your textiles in a room. In the example above the Interior Designer Helene Bonello-Strauss wanted to preserve the nice architecture of the house. She had the old wood ceiling painted in a glossy white finish for a polished look. Now the ceiling reflects light and makes the room open and airy. The fireplace wall was accentuated in an inexpensive dark paint treatment to create some needed contrast. The plush area rugs define the different vignettes and soften the room and they pay homage on the materials used in the sixties and seventies. The floor to ceiling curtains add drama and balance the light coming in from the corner windows. They provide some clean line structure that is conducive to the mid century look while offering a fresh clean backdrop to the more modern appeal of the interior. The bamboo hardwood floor offers a great hard wearing surface for years to come while creating some rich looking warm texture. This house had offers within hours of going on the market. We are not so surprised; there are many people that love mid century architecture if it is presented in the right way. Here the balance of clean lines with the use of softening texture made this space comfortable and stylish at the same time. When it comes to modern design, this room is proof of the fact that clean lines and a truly modern design language does not have to be cold and uninviting. Who would not want to lounge in this timeless space.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall – How a mirror reflects your style. The question is not why to use mirrors in design but rather why not. Artwork can be very personal and specific and can add great drama to a space. A mirror can do that as well but adds also a different twist to things. A mirror can reflect light where it would be beneficial. So you can use it to highlight an area and use incoming light from an opposite wall as well as reflecting a different angle of the room. It is as you will another viewpoint of the room. So you can take a nice view out of the window and have a mirror project that in another direction. Maximize the assets if you will. The other great benefit is the versatility of a mirror. It is great to anchor a vignette with a console table and fill a wall space. When you have already enough artwork in a room but you want to fill some wall space for a balanced look a mirror is a great option to give you the visual impression you are seeking for. When designing a room you seek for the right balance between empty wall space and items to define the space and create visual interest. You can also use a mirror to mimic somewhat of a window space. There are rooms that are falling short when it comes to window space. A mirror can add that extra bit of natural light by reflecting of the existing windows and bouncing that light back into the room. When placing a mirror it is important to consider what the mirror will reflect from the most likely vantage points of the room. Ideally you want to reflect an angle that adds something to the overall design. You want the reflection to propose an attractive image of the room when you enter. So placement will be key for the successful design. After all, the mirror will be last not least a style statement, just as the other parts of your design. Make sure you have a coherent design concept that integrate the mirror as part of the overall design idea. Don’t let that any item be an afterthought but rather a piece of the puzzle. Consider color, texture and shapes when selecting the mirror. When it accents the room nicely and helps to elevate the design from great to fabulous you made the right choices. You want the design choices to look great and at the same time reflect your design identity.
The power of art – Many public spaces are created with architectural focal points that are built around art pieces. They add visual interest and create drama. Consider art as an integral part of your design. There are plenty of choices where you can find great art. If you like original art you might want to visit a local art show to source items that give your home a bit of an artistic flair. If you live in an area without galleries or art shows you can turn to the internet to find great art at good prices. Websites like Vango or art.com offer art on a commercial platform for inspiring artists. Generally one-of-a-kind originals are pricier than prints or glichees, which are replications of an original that often are produced in limited editions series. Generally you should look at size for the space and consider larger pieces for greater impact. In this examples we have a museum quality original called “Angel” in the breakfast nook. Not the typical place to display larger artwork. The art piece is composed of two separate sections and takes up a large wall space. It is one of the earlier pieces of the European artist Alfred Peters. The placement is somewhat unexpected and creates some sense of drama in a more or less conventional space.
The formal living room is open over two stories. Such a high ceiling is asking for something to give the design composition some height. A vertical format is ideal for this room as it allows to expand up, and to draw the attention to the high ceilings. Here we have placed a unique large abstract by the central Florida Artist Nancy Jay. The piece shows a lot of dynamic movement and vivid red accents that proclaim underlying dominance in the composition. The artist Nancy Jay is well know in the Central Florida region as an prolific artist and educator. Her mostly abstract pieces show an emotional side that is hard to find in her genre. This piece is outstanding and elevate this room from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The furnishings are kept stylish, simple and geometrical. The idea here was to create a room that emulates the appeal of a urban gallery, something that shows sophistication and visual interest. It is the space that visitors see first when they entering the house. We have the opportunity to set the mood and elevate the house to a location that asks to host gatherings and to entertain in. We seek to impress by simplicity, and the artwork plays center stage in this production.
The adjacent dining room possesses equal dramatic lines. The designer had chosen a glass table to show the contemporary side of this room. The chairs are arranged on opposite sides while we forgo the common head chairs at the end of the table. Three glass vases are in line to comment on the chairs setup and to reiterate the orderly form at the table. The artwork appears equally impressive as in the other spaces. Here we have gone with an inexpensive art piece from an online supplier. It works so well because it features the same shades of grey as used in the curtains and the chair fabric or the living room rug and sofa. The sweeping skull of a bull is hiding in the shade while drawing the eye to the dead center of the room. The repetition of the monochrome design helps to increase the visual impact. The fact that we used a rather affordable mass reproduction art piece versus a highly priced original, becomes meaningless from a designers viewpoint. The designer Helene Bonello-Strauss attests that “It is not about the price you pay for a piece, it is all about how your piece conveys your message.” To Helene art can be used to set a mood or to anchor a vignette. She takes art as pawns in her ever changing battlefield, to create order in the chaos of our surroundings. It is a way to find uniqueness in an ocean of conformity, a way to express ones individuality that transforms a space to singularity. “Only if I am able to create something that offers a sense of order and familiarity, while maintaining a tension and visual interest to the composition, I am successful in my approach.” so the designer. “We want to create something people can understand and relate to, while keeping them interested and intrigued.”
If you want to learn more about how you can use art in your interior design, contact us at www.idesigntosell.com for a personal consultation.
Just re-designed 2409 Northumbria Drive in Sanford – This beautiful two story home got transformed by Interior Designer and Stager Helene Bonello-Strauss. The staging transformation features a modern design aesthetic combined with family friendly appointments. Who says you can not impress your guests while you entertain and at the same time live comfortable and casual in your house. This gorgeous home looks quite polished and stylish. The dominating color in the design concept is a rich dark grey that finds it use throughout the space in the curtains, sofa, dining table or master bedroom headboard. The use of fabrics lend itself to a tailored look.
See the walk through video for a more personal impression of the Sanford listing that is on the market right now. Please feel free to share and re-post.
Just Staged – a 6 bedroom home in Orlando’s popular Conway area – If you are looking for a house with space and plenty of bedrooms this newly finished staging project might be worth a look. Listed by Realtor Scott Butts this property on Pecan Lane in a community off Gatlin offers a lot of square footage for the $ 379k asking price. It is 3,541 square feet under air and heat with a total space of 4,461 sq. ft. under the roofline. This pool home has three bedrooms on the first floor, and 3 on the upstairs level. We have decorated one of the downstairs bedrooms as an office. The goal was to show off the hardwood trim work and create a color scheme that makes the wood color work well in the space. We repeated the wood tones in accessories and the furniture and kept a neutral palette. The formal living area received an understated modern sectional to show that a transitional/contemporary design concept can work well in a house with plenty of traditional features. We use black as the accent color to enhance the contrast. Here in the living area the throw and the picture frame, as well as the lamp shade, has the same dark accents as the dining table and the newly installed Chandelier. This room is proof that an accent color can be black and technically a total lack of color. Sometimes it pays off to ignore the rules and try something different.