A Home For More Than Just The Holidays

As we all prepare to host or be hosted it seems like the entire country is taking a collective look at their living room and making a concerted effort to clean up a bit, and maybe decorate a little. My Mom used to joke the best way to make sure the house was at its best is to have guests.

That said, I wanted to share some news about how a little redecorating of my own made 2018 a year for which I am thankful.

While working with a property owner this spring, I was not only be the real estate agent for the sale but also the project manager to help remodel and stage the property. I brought in my good friend Russlyn Seiler who is not only a design guru but my mentor in interior aesthetics. We made that place SING! From that one job we decided to start a new business. Our company is called Return on Design, and it all came together like a pair of European squares and a chunky throw (that’s designer speak for pillows and a blanket, Russlyn taught me that).

Without a doubt redesigning homes before bringing them to market is the most fun ever. Equally rewarding is that our design work is paying for itself. There is not one property that we have staged that hasn’t sold within weeks of us putting on the finishing touches proving that a small investment in design will be returned in a higher sale price in a shorter time on market.

So with that, I want to let you in on some of our trade secrets so going into this season of fetes your home can look its best.  And here they are:

The top 5 things to spruce up your house 
#1 Stuff management:
Nothing stresses people out more than piles of clutter all over the place (just ask my wife Amy). Do yourself a favor and shove it all under the bed. One or two carefully- placed items on each surface is enough. Holiday cards are great to receive but displaying them only makes us all realize we forgot to send you one.
#2 It’s easy being green:
Bring the outdoors in: If you are getting a tree, don’t stop there, #GoGreen. Grab some pine or bay leaf garland, maybe even a few bulbs in a pot from the local nursery. No reason not to have the whole house bursting with color. Plants make a home literally filled with life. Oh, if you have pets don’t worry about the poinsettia, they are only mildly poisonous, you know, like Jägermeister.
#3 Shine on you crazy diamond:
Put the blue stuff down and step away from the Windex, trust me, pick up a can of Sprayway glass cleaneinstead and consider your life changed. But first, go clean your windows — no one will know how much fun you are having at your holiday party if they can’t see though your dirty windows. Unless you invite them that is.
#4 The smell of the season:
Pick up a few special scents for the holiday and let’s have a party for our noses. If you’re into the pine thing go for a Frasier Fir diffuser but if your more sort of a Cedar scent kinda person, grab some Incienso de Santa Fe. If your mood is slightly more herbaceous or you’re just looking for a more global scent be sure to check out November 19. This adorable shop in Hell’s Kitchen offers an array of incense from around the world along with magnificent selections of Japanese housewares. Alternatively, just burn some sage, just be mindful of the smoke detector.
#5 Have a harth:
I don’t know anyone with a working fireplace in Manhattan so if you’re like me and you’re lacking a hearth, fret not. Your Apple TV has a Fantastic Fireplace available for only $.99. No matches are required to light up your 57” flat-screen with a roaring fire. Call me crazy but it will feel like your whole room magically warmed up five degrees and it will make your apartment on the 17th floor seem like a cottage in the Adirondack Mountains.

So there you have it, five quick tips to stage your house for the season and one bonus parting tip. If you’re invited to a holiday party, step up your game. Anyone can re-gift a bottle of wine but when you show up with a bottle of bourbon, your host will remember who the thoughtful one was…