4 Easy and Affordable Ways to Get Your House HGTV Show Ready

living room areaWho doesn’t love to watch HGTV (Home and Garden TV)? From “Love It or List It” to “Property Brothers,” we spend hours watching the transformation of living spaces.

Try our 4 favorite tips to create a designer “look” at your house:

Buy new pillows and throw blankets. Add seasonal trends with textiles. The easiest way to perk up your couch and bedrooms is to drape a colorful throw and stack different sized pillows.

Rearrange your bookshelves or built-in shelving units. Take a photo of the “before” then remove all books, objects, and decorative items from the shelves. When you put them back arrange by size, color, and special grouping of items. You don’t need to fill every space, think in terms of a decorative vignette to tell a story. Then, take an “after” photo to admire your decorating skills.

Add some local items to your décor. Whether it’s a welcome mat with your favorite sports team or a bowl of pinecones collected from your backyard, local touches are great conversation starters when guests arrive.

Pick up battery powered twinkle lights and a remote. Why not have some fun with setting a festive mood even if you are the only one to enjoy it! String the lights on a mantle, around a bannister, or even tucked into a floral arrangement. Use the timer feature on the remote so you don’t have to worry about turning them off.

Need more decorating help? Jennie is an Accredited Staging Professional and can help you create your dream spaces. We make house calls to get your house “show ready,” whether it’s just for your own enjoyment, or, if you are thinking of selling.

8 Ideas for Your Spare Room

Do you have a guest room, but no guests? Or maybe you have a great bonus room … but have no idea what to do with the space. Rather than leave the space empty or fill it with junk, create a functional space that will add to your quality of life and your home value!

Here are our favorite 8 spare room transformations:



Home Office – A home office is probably one of the best and most popular uses for a spare room. Bring in a desk and comfy chair to create a workspace and home for your computer. Keep all of your mail and important papers organized neatly in a filing cabinet. Bookshelves are great for organizing, well, books, but also office supplies, knick-knacks, photos, etc. Paint the room a soothing shade of blue or gray to make a relaxing, tranquil space that you will want to work in.

Craft or Art Studio – A wood or laminate floor works best in this type of space as you are likely to  drop craft materials or spill paint. Install cabinets to store supplies, or opt for a bookcase or open shelving with baskets to organize and hold supplies. Bring in a large table or floating island to place in the center of the room to provide a flat workspace.

Game Room – Create a dedicated space to hang out with friends … or where your kids can hang out with their friends and not tear up the entire house! If you’ve got the space, a pool table is always a win for a game room focal point. But there are plenty of other options – poker table, bubble hockey, arcade games, or a folding table tennis table. Assemble a lounge area with seating and a coffee table or large ottoman to play board games or cards.


Home Theater – Who wants to spend $9 on a movie ticket when you can kick back and relax in the comfort of your home? Bring in a large sectional and some recliners or chaise lounges for plenty of comfy seating. Mount a large flat screen on the wall, or get tech and install a projector and screen for the ultimate movie experience. Add a surround sound system, blackout drapes, and an old-school popcorn machine and get ready for some binge-watching.

Boutique Closet – Ladies, this one is for you! Take that tiny extra bedroom and turn it into your dream closet with dressing room. Install tons of storage – hanging, shelving, and drawers. Up the ante by adding a center island with storage and a stone top to display your jewels. Bring in a full length floor mirror (or 2!) to lean against a wall. Add some dazzle with a sparkly chandelier.

Wine Bar – If your idea of entertaining includes uncorking a fabulous bottle of wine, why not create a room dedicated to good taste? All wine, red or white, should be stored between 53 – 57 degrees Fahrenheit, so you will want to invest in a wine refrigerator or build your own wine cellar with wine racks and a cooling system. Bring in a simple bar, a few bar stools, and a wall-mounted wine shelf with glass rack to complete the bar. Add some cozy lounge chairs for guests to sip and relax.

P: Green Heat Initiative

P: Green Heat Initiative

Home Gym – There’s no excuse not to work out when you have a gym at home. Start with wood floors or interlocking rubber tiles to support any heavy equipment. Add mirrors to one wall to check your form and bring in a TV to do your workout videos or watch The Real Housewives when you’re running on the treadmill.

Library – If settling in to a comfy chair with a good book is your ideal Saturday afternoon, then consider turning that extra room into a library. It really won’t take much – bring in a few bookcases, you can buy cheap bookcases at Ikea and add your own molding to make them look like an expensive built-in. Add a couple plush chairs, pillows, and soft lighting to create a relaxing reading space.

10 Holiday Decorations That Won’t Break the Bank

Love to deck the halls for the holidays? Who doesn’t like a little festive cheer in the home? At a time when money can be tight from the gifts to the food and parties, your decorations don’t need to break the bank.

Here are 10 great ideas for how to use what you may already have on hand, or a few inexpensive items, to add some comfort & joy to your home this season:

  1. P: Tara Dennis

    P: Tara Dennis

    Magazine Trees – upcycle your old magazines by folding the pages into triangles that will form a tree, spray paint and add some glitter and presto! A sparkly table top tree! Full instructions from Tara Dennis.

  2. P: Brittany Makes

    P: Brittany Makes

    Glitter Letter Banner – Use large alphabet stencils to trace and cut letters out of cardboard. Lightly paint 1 side of the cardboard with school glue and coat completely with glitter. Once dry, punch 1 hole on each side of the letter and string together with twine, ribbon, or yarn. Full instructions at Brittany Makes.

  3. Snowflake Hurricanes – Jazz up your glass hurricanes by printing this template from Martha Stewart, punch the holes, and adhere to the glass.
  4. P: Design Improvised

    P: Design Improvised

    Bow Wreath – you only need 30 minutes, a wreath form, and lots of cheap bows. The beauty is that you can make the wreath to fit your style by choosing shiny or matte bows, traditional holiday colors, all metallics, or all the colors of the rainbow. Design Improvised will show you how!

  5. P: Life Á La Mode

    P: Life Á La Mode

    P: Real Simple

    P: Real Simple

    Peppermint Topiary – simple to make with a few supplies from the craft store and so adorable! View the tutorial at Life Á La Mode.

  6. Ornament Chandelier – tie ribbons of varying lengths and colors to ball ornaments and tie ribbons to a plant hook or eye-hook mounted to the ceiling. For step-by-step instructions, check out Real Simple.
  7. FREE Christmas Printables – just print, frame, and display! Head to DIY Candy for a collection of free printables.
  8. Joy Wine Bottles – repurpose empty wine bottles into holiday decor! Spray paint 3 like-size bottles matte white (may take 2-3 applications), once dry either stencil or free-hand one letter (J, O, Y) on the center of each bottle with white paint. If you’re feeling creative, replace the O with a snowflake.
  9. Shiny Ornament Display – take pretty ornaments you already have on hand and place them on a cake stand, nestled in pine or leaves to create a simple centerpiece.
  10. Card Garland – glue strips of wrapping paper to clothespins and clip pins to a length of ribbon. Hang the ribbon along your banister or mantel and attach holiday cards as they arrive.