Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stage it up.

The day after we got the job offer, I got to work on our house. I have seen enough HGTV to understand the importance of home staging. I am far from a professional decorator- that's where Pinterest came in handy. There are a million pins about "how to stage a home" or "model home" to get some realistic ideas. After a lot of prayer, Pinterest scouring, and hard work, we had a contract for full asking price, the day before our house went on the market.  Here is how we did it!

First thing's first:

1. Get a storage building.
You cannot stage effectively without one of these. We found a good deal online. Either way, you gotta have it. Now is not the time to decorate. It's time to take away and depersonalize.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

2. Remove all pictures and personal items. Kiss them and smile because you will see them again very soon. Seeing all your pretties will make it feel like Christmas. Pretty much everything on your walls needs to be packed away.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120
Keep out a couple of pieces of art and a few mirrors. No need to buy anything here. You can make something you have work. I needed art for my bathroom, so I framed a picture from a book.

3. If your kitchen needs a face lift, do it. Do it now.
Don't be afraid to haggle with the granite store. Going without my husband worked in my favor, I believe. If you feel comfortable, I think this can help- Plus, if you are selling like we were, you"re going to need to divide and conquer. I took my dolled up daughter...we batted our eyes...were as sweet as pie...and we weren't picky in the least. Ask to speak with the owner and see if they can give you a deal. You may be surprised!
We got to enjoy our granite for 3 days before we took staged photos. It was a little painful.

4. Clear out closets.
Donate, Trash, Love, Repeat.
*Use black trash bags when donating or trashing. Your kids will be less likely to go through "trash bags." Also, if you can go through their things in the evenings when they are asleep, you'll save your sanity ;) 

5. Pack up toys.
Depending on your time frame here, you can decide what your kids can live without for a while. Or, in my case, what can I survive without...Me? I had to keep out a small basket of basic legos, a few books from the library, soldiers, a baby, and some high heels. All art supplies had to go. It was rough, y'all. You can always invite yourself over for play dates :) I think we went to Chick-fil-A every day. Seriously.

6. Pack up your kitchen to maximize the look of storage space and organize pantry.
No more Costco trips between now and the move.
Use Styrofoam plates to protect your dishes and china.

7. Clear off counter tops (even your coffee pot).

If your kitchen is tiny, like mine, add a small vase of bright flowers in the same color. If your kitchen is larger, stage with green apples or lemons in a white bowl.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

8. Stop cooking. Give yourself the ok to eat fast food and sandwiches, for the time being. My kids were devastated when we stopped frying bacon... But unless you're making cookies and you're on your game, the smell can be a distraction. Make the switch to paper plates and plastic cups. It's amazing.

9. Clear off bathroom counters. Add bright white towels that are only for staging. Put away bathmats and used towels for showings.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

10. Start lighting vanilla candles for a few hours everyday. It will get the scent going. Ask your agent to light them during the open house.
Before a showing, you can make your house smell like Williams Sonoma by simmering water, tsp. vanilla, lemon slices and rosemary sprigs.

11. Put most of your furniture in storage and use lots of lamp lighting.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

12. If you have bunk beds, consider taking them apart and storing the top's mattress underneath. My boys thought it was the best thing ever and it totally opened up the room.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

13. Curb appeal is super important. Clean up the outside, add flowers, water and sweep like crazy. Add a new wreath.
6211 Stonepath Cir, Centreville, VA 20120

14. Do you have to move by a certain date? If you're on a time table, call and get some quotes from moving companies and reserve a truck, if you're moving yourself.

Remember, you need to pre-pack before you even have staged photos of your home. This is the hardest part, but try to stay positive. Reward yourself in the evenings with a TV show or ice cream. You're burning calories!

Whenever you find yourself getting discouraged or sad as your home starts feeling less and less like you, start researching your new home. Make the new step your focus for a bit.

I hope this helps! Best to you if you are looking to sell!



I haven't been very good with keeping up my blog. I have good intentions and a ton of furniture projects to post, but everything around me is craziness (and I'm not talking about my three kids!) :) If you haven't heard, we are in the middle of a cross country move, from DC to our home state of Texas.

We have been praying for quite some time about moving back home, with our hearts open to God closing that door. It's such a weird feeling to actually pull up roots and go, even though I know with every fiber in me, that it's what we want and what God desires for our family. It's still intimidating to start all over in a place where people already have bonds and history together. When we moved to DC, we had only been married a year, and it was just the two of us starting over together. It was fun and wild and special. I cherish those newlywed years. Fast forward eight years and three kids, starting over as a family of five is a different story. We went to church in our new town on Sunday, and as we were standing in the hallway, nervously awaiting the Sunday school class doors to open, all I could think about was "thank goodness I have a buddy," of course my kids went into their classes brave, tearless, and alone. God is good. We went into church feeling the big Texas welcome and left feeling like we had a place to make friends and serve. It was a milestone day for me.
I want to remember this whirlwind time because we are never ever doing this again. Ha! Stay tuned! I will post about how we staged our townhome to sell before it even went on the market...our last family hike...and making our new home ours...I may cry :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Project Special

I just recently refinished a sewing cabinet and stool, for a client. It belonged to her late grandmother and had been untouched for forty years. Here is a picture of what it looked like before.

The client wanted to modernize the cabinet, without the paint stealing the show. You would think that this would have been an easy task, but for a person who will paint anything any color, without a second thought, this ended up being quite challenging for me :)

My client decided on "curio" milk paint for the project, which is a beautiful, yummy chocolately brown. This particular milk paint can be watered down to use as a stain on raw wood. It can be used as an undercoat to mute a top color. Or, in this case, it can be used as the finishing color. Here it is, all finished, displaying her grandmother's sewing machine.

Thank you for trusting me with such a special piece. It was an honor to refinish it for you!

Monday, February 10, 2014


Ask anyone that knows me and they'll probably tell you that every time they come to my house, something is different. Truth. It's actually become a joke that I don't laugh at, but it's true. For a person that struggles with life change, I have fun changing up the décor in my house. It's kind of been therapeutic for me- helping me roll with the punches more and not hold on to things so tightly. My husband and I are always saying, God's plan is so much better than ours. I say that, but it's taken me a very long time to trust that. He's had to show me that by force. I never walk into life change with a big smile on my face. I smile after I understand, while some people smile because they trust in the end (my sweet husband). But me- I start out confused (think angry bird eyebrows), then I ugly cry (like Chelsea from Teen Mom, minus the "PINK" sweats), then I finally feel like I understand, and only then can I wear a smile of gratefulness. Why am I so dramatic? Don't answer that, Mom :) Why don't I just trust, despite not knowing the details?.. Working on that :)

I have had requests from people to do an updated tour of our ever-changing home. It's definitely not finished, but it's in a happy place. This past year, I started getting rid of things like crazy. I think it's important to surround yourself with things you love and not fillers. I have many unfinished spots in our house- vignettes in my head, but I haven't come across those special pieces yet, so I just leave it. My style has definitely evolved. I don't even know what to call it, but it works for us. I love having a clean, put-together-anyone can drop by and you don't have to speed clean-kind of home. Even though I have three energetic kiddos, I honestly believe that it's doable and they can still live like rowdy kids in their home. Please don't mistake this as perfect. If you were here, you'd see a pile of unfolded laundry on my bed and soldiers, set up for battle on the dining room table. My expectations are lowered in the perfection area. I look around our home, I see three happy kids chasing and screaming and playing together. I want our kids to look back on their childhood home and smile because it was a happy place. That, in my book, is perfect.

This week, I'll be showing you our little townhome.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Edie, from Life{in}grace is one of my most favorite bloggers. She has the most fun-decorated house ever, makes the most yummy-looking food, and she tells you like it is, while using "y'all"... I love her. Today she wrote a post, titled 4 Resolutions Every Mom Should Make. Unfortunately, I'm not one for making resolutions. I know people who spend New Years Eve going around in a circle, reflecting on the year and sharing their goals for the one ahead. I, on the other hand, would just prefer to laugh and drink champagne. Much better, right? :)  It is definitely not because I don't have a million and one things I could be doing better in this new year, that's for sure. Perhaps it's because I know I'll forget about them when we hit February. Yeah, that's probably it.


After I read the 4 resolutions, it made me think about the huge responsibility I have as a mom. Huge. And it's an honor. And it's wonderful. And it's hard. And it wears on you. And it blesses you. And I could do better. Much better. The resolutions are easy, but putting them to practice every single day is the thing. But I look at my four and I want all things good for them and I want to be one of those good things, so I'm going to try my best to listen to them with my ears and eyes, to laugh more, be kind to them with my words and actions, and inspire them, instead of telling them what to do. I think that may belong on my fridge. Thanks, Edie!

It's Friday! Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Restylin' and profilin'

My name is Meagan, and I have problem that I totally blame on my mother.

I like to rearrange things. Kind of every day. It was kind of a secret between me and the four people who live with me, but now it's kind of out :)

I think it's fun to rearrange and style my home. It's my hobby. Since I am a stay at home mom, and our home is where I spend the majority of my time, I like it see some change. Thanks to Pinterest, new ideas are never far from reach.

This is one of my most favorite furniture redos. This gorgeous chest of drawers, that I painted in "coco," which is one of my favorite chalk paint colors. This chest as the ability to be used in every room of the house, and since it's on wheels, it nearly has been. Ha! It happens to hold a lot of our homeschool things, so I use it all the time. I like to fancy it up for our living room, but since we host a lot of get togethers, it's easily turned into a bar/drink station or dessert table. I never knew how versatile this piece we be. Now, if I could only find another one...

And the pictures go on... :)

If you ever find an antique chest of drawers for a reasonable price- my favorite is free- get it! You'll never regret it. Dressers aren't just for bedrooms anymore. You can use them for anything- in an entry, a kitchen, a dining room, etc. Keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Back in the groove

I wish I could say that I was kicking off 2014 with a bang. I don't know about you, but after the holidays, I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of things. I wish I was doing a little more of this...

...and a little less laundry, cleaning, and breaking up wrestling matches :) Thank goodness for coffee! After a super fun New Year's Eve bash, our house is still covered in gold confetti and streamers from the blowers the kids tore up. It sure feels like it should be Saturday, doesn't it?

Early this morning, the hubby texted me and said he had a flat on "the silver" (that's what we call his car). We've been talking about getting new tires on both of the cars and we put it off. I guess that was a mistake. Thankfully, he wasn't stuck on the side of the highway. Luckily, the silver was out of gas and he noticed the flat at the gas station. After filling it up with some air, he was able to make it to the tire store, but the poor guy had to walk all the way home from the store, in the cold. Bless his heart, he didn't want me to have to wake up the kids to come get him. He's a keeper :)

Hope you have a happy Thursday and doing a better job of getting back into your routine that I am :) Maybe a quick episode of "Hoarders" would kick me into gear.