Set the Scene—with Home Mood Lighting

Posted by admin under Home Design

Mood lighting isn’t just for up-scale restaurants. Our homes can do with their own bit of romance, too! Whether you want lighting options to calm you down, or other setups designed for an energy boost, choosing the right bulbs is important. After that, we think light fixture itself is just as special for setting the scene—and creating a little magic.


Ambiance on the Main Level


Candles are a nice option if you want to embrace that warm glow ambiance in the evening. But they aren’t always practical. Going with a permanent lighting option can be a better way to enjoy your space. We love homes that make a statement with their lighting fixtures, like this open concept kitchen and family room. The overhead lights look so sleek set between these wooden beams. And these globes over the kitchen island are a great statement piece.


Installing new lighting fixtures can be such a smart way to refresh your home because the process has a relatively low investment cost. Rather than replace the kitchen countertops or cabinets, you can just swap out some of your overhead lighting options for a more modern look. Just use this kitchen as inspiration!


Lighting Options with Home Staging


As home stagers, we usually don’t have a say in a home’s lighting fixtures, so it’s always nice when a room already has a nice setup installed. The classic warm glow of this shaded chandelier was a great starting place. We took a hint from the gold fixture with the mirror over the bed (which acts like its own type of headboard). Then we found a similar tone for the lamp shade on the end table. It all looks super cozy, right?


We also made sure to keep all of the lights on when we took this pic. One of the keys for a great home listing is to make the space as bright as possible in your photographs. So you’ll want to turn on the lights in each room. This make it easier to see all of the home’s architectural details. It would be hard to notice the tray ceiling in this master bedroom if the lights were off. Plus, you get the full impact of the chandelier itself when the bulbs are lit.


Take Natural Lighting to the Max


If you aren’t sure what to do with your lighting, starting with natural lighting can help. We love how this master bathroom amplifies the light coming in from the walk-in shower. All it takes is a can of bright white paint. Other hues—even a cream or an eggshell—might dull and mute the overall lighting. Sticking with white really makes this bathroom come alive and feel fresh. That’s its own type of ambiance. Sometimes we want an energized space instead of a relaxed feel. (It would certainly make it easier to wake up in the morning as you get ready for the day!)


Lighting can create such a strong emotional baseline for any room. That’s why we believe in giving each space the best presentation possible. When you think of mood lighting, you don’t have to reserve it to Valentine’s Day. Every day of the week can become more romantic and intimate (or welcoming and bright) with the right home accents. If you need help finding the right balance, you can always reach out to us for a consultation. We’d be happy to meet with you!

Home Color Schemes We’re Loving for 2019

Posted by admin under Home Design

Every designer is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to the year’s breakout color. Since there’s no single trend-setter to get behind, there’s plenty of room for interpretation. Whether you want to be bold and experiment with PANTONE’s 2019 hue Living Coral or stay more reserved with Behr’s 2019 color Blueprint, you’ve got plenty of options for a new color scheme this year.


The Metropolitan Color Scheme


We can’t help but love chic cream and gray tones. As professional home stagers, we often lean toward schemes that are more neutral. This stunning master bedroom is a prime example of how these tones are working in recent years. That’s probably why Benjamin Moore’s color of the year is Metropolitan, a balanced gray that’s beautiful in just about any room. It’s definitely one of the trend-setting hues to watch for in the 2019 year.


You can pump up any color scheme similar to Metropolitan with bright golds, like we did with furniture hardware and light fixtures. Or you can try using different textures in the room to add depth to these subtle tones on the wall. Fluffy area rugs help ground the space. (Of course, it also helps that this home has a great view of the woods outside!)


Playing with Enthusiast Colors


If you want a complete playbook for your color scheme, you might like the 2019 Color Forecast from Sherwin-Williams. They’ve pulled together some fantastic combos to suit a handful of different styles. This can be a great resource when you’re looking for a total redesign.


We were inspired by colors similar to their Enthusiast scheme for this Fountain Square home. The lush, deep green on this couch is just irresistible for a fun, energetic space—just like the downtown area itself! It’s easy to pair these deeper hues with all kinds of geometric patterns. Finding unique accessories also helps make these settings shine.


Soft and Calming Muted Pastels


A few other colors are predicted to stand out in 2019, but we’re keeping our eyes on the muted pastels. We tend to gravitate toward these hues for our home staging projects because they’re practical favorites for all types of buyers and homeowners.


When you want a calming, relaxing atmosphere, you really can’t go wrong with this color scheme. That’s probably why they made their way onto this House Beautiful list. In this room, we took direction from the off-white walls with a hint of green. A couple accent chairs in a light blue-grey and some lovely abstract artwork help tie this room together. Now, it’s a welcoming space that anyone would feel at home in, and it totally fits that pastel scheme.


Ready to Shake Things Up?


The early months of a new year can be a great time to try out a new trend for paint colors and home décor. Why not try out a new accent wall this season? Or a whole new color scheme for the living room? It can be so invigorating to keep things fresh. Your home will feel even more comfortable when it breaks out of the color doldrums!


If you need some guidance along the way, our designers are just a phone call away. While home staging is at the core of what we do, we also love working with homeowners on design services. You deserve to love the home you’re in. Let us help make your space one-of-a-kind. We’ll work with you to find a style that’s all your own. Just send us a message to get started on your consultation.

2018 Real Estate Review for Central Indiana

Posted by admin under Real Estate

As another year wraps up, we’re taking a look at how Central Indiana has handled the ever-changing real estate market. A couple trends around the Circle City have stood out, but what does that mean for 2019? By reflecting on the past, we’ll have a better understand on where the new year might take us!


A Year of Low Inventory in Real Estate


Across the country, inventory shortages have proven to be a new norm in 2018. Just in the first six months, the number of homes for sale was 18.2 percent lower than in the first half of 2015, according to an article from This decline has led to more bidding wars, higher prices, and lower selection for buyers across the board. But that hasn’t been bad news for sellers.


The drop in real estate inventory has proven to be even more true for the Indianapolis area. The changes here have been even more dramatic than in other parts of the country. In just three years, we’ve seen inventory decrease by 49.6 percent. That’s a pretty significant shift! And compared to the coasts, pricing around Indy is still more affordable. The growing economy might see an influx of new buyers coming in from out of state, as well as more people staying put. Without enough property to go around, we’ll probably see home prices continue to rise.


Faster Home Sales around Indianapolis


We’ve also seen faster home sales this year in Central Indiana. One article from May 2018 described this frenzied market in a straight-forward way: “A house goes on the market, you get a bunch of showings right away and there’s multiple offers.” This has been a sweet setup for sellers, but the fierce competition makes the house hunt that much harder for buyers. Whereas homes would stay on the market for months in the past, in 2018 some were sold just hours after getting listed.


Of course, not every sale this year happened in one day. According to Trulia’s June numbers, Marion County saw homes on the market for 46 days on average. In Hamilton County, the average was 55 days. These shorter timeframes for listings has also been reflected in price range. Marion County saw an 8.9 percent increase in the average sale price this summer. But even if prices are going up, buyers don’t seem to mind. Although new construction has been happening all over the area, there’s still a high demand for homes. This puts the spotlight on existing homes. Buyers are willing to pay for the features they want most—wherever they can find them.


Looking Ahead for the 2019 Market


So long as you have a great team on your side for listing and staging your home, you should expect to see more great outcomes with the 2019 market. According to the November 2018 Market Indicators Report, the one-year change saw a 7.1 percent increase for the month of October. The year-to-date statistics are even better, at 8.5 percent. This is great boost for sellers! The median sales price for homes in our area has continued to rise over the 2017 numbers, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down.


If the number of homes on the market continues to be slim in 2019, we could expect to see even more competition amongst buyers, since pending sales improved this year. Buyers seem to be especially eager to put in offers throughout these low-inventory months. This might be the main reason why the sales prices have been looking so good. The October 2018 numbers show a 5.5 percent uptick from 2017 YTD pending sales, so the activity is still hot.


Of course, sellers still need to know how to distinguish their home from the pack. A neat and tidy home with a great inspection report may not be enough to attract your ideal buyer. That’s why your listing photos and a fantastic walk-through can really help your property to shine. Buyers are more interested in fighting for homes when they have an emotional appeal. Professional home staging does just that. By painting the picture of what life would look like in a new home, you can help make your listing the must-have home for your area.


If you’re looking to make a move in the new year, Home Matters can help! Give us a call today to start planning your home’s marketing strategy with great furnishings and design. We’d love to hear from you.

9 Guestroom Essentials for the Holidays

Posted by admin under Home Design

The holidays aren’t just about food, family time, and fun. With all the out-of-towners coming in for the holidays, you want to make sure comfort takes center stage, too. Opening your home up for family (or friends that are like family) for an extended weekend means you want them to feel relaxed and welcome during their stay. That’s why it helps to know that your guest bedroom is on-point. With these tips and must-haves, your space will truly be great!


1. The Basic Home Must-Haves

All those travel-size lotion and shampoo bottles you’ve collected over the years are meant to be shared. Don’t leave them alone under your sink. Consider buying a few extras to add to the mix, then find a nice way to arrange them for guests. It’s so easy to forget the essentials when you’re packing. A new toothbrush can go a long way to show that you care.


2. Plenty of Good Lighting

Every bedroom should have a good lamp or two. If your guestroom hasn’t been use in some time, be sure to check the lightbulbs. No one wants to be left in the dark. You may even plug in an extra floor lamp in the corner to brighten up the space near a mirror. This makes it easier for guests to get ready for the day. (Especially if they have to share a bathroom with others in the house!)


3. Some Fresh Greenery

In summer, you might buy a fresh bouquet of flowers to freshen up your guestroom. In the fall in winter, why not mix things up with some other greenery? If you have spare plants around the house, it might be worth moving them into your guestroom temporarily for a warm touch. Or you can create your own arrangement with cedar or pine cuttings—they go great with birch or other branches.


4. An Assortment of Pillows

Everyone has a different preference for their pillow. That’s why it’s smart to give guests multiple options for a good night’s sleep. Load up the bed with soft down pillows, a couple firm pillows in the back, and a few decorative pieces for a really inviting feel. Then guests will be able to pick and choose whatever works best for their needs.


5. Piles of Fresh Towels

This one is basically a given, but it bears repeating. Help your guests feel really pampered by presenting them with a stack of big, fluffy towels in their room. If your current towels have seen better days, consider investing in a new set. It’s always nice to get a little indulgence when you’re away from home. You can even give each guest a different color of towel to prevent mix-ups.


6. Empty Dresser Drawers

If you use your guestroom as storage for linens or out-of-season clothes, be sure to clear out some drawers for your guests’ belongings. They should be able to make use of that dresser, too! The same goes for closet space. Push items to the side and toss in a handful of hangers so they can arrange their clothes and get unpacked right.


7. Extra Blankets at the Ready

The colder months often call for extra blankets. Even if you don’t keep the thermostat low, your guests might like to bundle up under the covers in the evenings. Set out some different types of blankets next to the bed so they can make their ideal setup. Whether you go with fleece, wool, or another woven pattern, you’ll feel better knowing that they can’t be cold!


8. A Cozy Reading Spot

When your room has the space for it, an attractive accent chair will make a great impact. These pieces epitomize the link between style and function. If your guests ever need to get a little work done, they’ll appreciate the option to work somewhere other than the bed. And if they’re craving a little quiet time, you’re giving them permission to comfortably hang out in the privacy of their own space.


9. Thoughtful “Room Service”

Following the tricks from luxe hotel rooms and cute bed and breakfasts will really set your guestroom over the top. Not everyone will feel comfortable raiding your pantry, so it’s nice to designate an assortment of snacks just for them. Lay out some granola bars, chocolate, pretzels, or other snacks on a tray in their room. Then they’ll be able to satisfy any craving.


Once you get these comfy design elements in to your guestroom, you’ll be ready to open your front door to anyone you please. Putting a little extra thought into this part of your home will really make you the hostess with the most-est!

Clean Homes Aren’t Enough for Buyers—Here’s Why

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

Most buyers expect to see clean homes during their tours. And it would be hard to overlook a pile of dirty laundry on the floor or unwashed dishes in the sink! Yet all too often, sellers think that a clean house is enough to seal the deal for potential buyers. This simply isn’t true. When it comes to a real winner, you’ll need to show off more than dust-free bookshelves and vacuumed carpet. Homes that get offers at asking price—or higher—succeed because they put in extra effort.


Listing a Clean Home


Listing a clean home is a huge priority. No well-respected realtor would tell you otherwise. You make the beds, put the dishes away, and make sure there isn’t a trail of dirt in the entryway. These are some of the hard and fast rules when it comes to home listings. It also helps to tuck away any personal belongings. Even family photos can send the wrong message to buyers. Feeling like they’re touring someone else’s house, rather than their new, potential home can be distracting.


Getting rid of clutter is a great first step when getting ready to list a home. But a clean home is just the beginning. Sellers should understand that a clean home doesn’t attract the same attention as a staged home.


The Difference with Staging


Anyone can list a house that’s relatively clean. But tidying up only goes so far in the housing market. What’s considered “clean” by most people’s standards doesn’t feel the same when a house is up for sale. An organized closet, for example, might feel neat and tidy for the homeowner, yet a buyer might view it otherwise. A walk-in closet can suddenly seem cramped or crowded when full of clothes.


Professional staging helps home give the right impression. Instead of triggering subconscious signals that a room is too small or awkward, staging works to set a tone that’s welcoming. This goes beyond just being clean. Wiping down the counters in the kitchen won’t feel too special for a couple looking to buy. A bare room, although clean, feels more neglected than inviting. That’s why furniture and accent pieces help liven up a space. Strategically placing a few interesting objects in a room helps direct your eye to all of the room’s best features. This happens in the kitchen, as well as any bedroom or bathroom.


How Do You Know It’s Ready?


Cleanliness can be subjective, and staging can be, too. So how do you know whether your home is approved for a great showing? Well, it helps to study pictures of the home’s interior. Going with your gut reaction tends to be best. When you view photos of your home or another listing, do they look polished? Would you feel comfortable walking through the spaces, and do you think you could kick-back and relax?


For example, hanging artwork on the wall and filling a couch with pillows that have different textures and pops of color make your home’s photographs interesting and inviting. Buyers falls in love with homes through pictures even before they walk through the front door. Having a stager who knows how to style a home goes far beyond the basics of tidying up.


A professionally staged home speaks to you on an emotional level. Of course, you should also be able to look at it from a practical perspective. You can quickly tell if a home’s furnishings are outdated. Staging helps you avoid those pitfalls. A designer also works to place each item in a functional space so no room feels too crowded or empty. Everything has a purpose in staging. Whereas cleaning just gets rid of dust, dirt, and clutter, professional staging works to elevate a home by highlighting its best features. Instead of removing the negatives, staging adds some real positives to every room. While you need definitely need to clean for a great listing, staging is truly what sets homes apart!