Stage Manager

Trying to sell a home?  Here’s one tip … probably your listing pictures should NOT include Christmas decor.  That just screams “This house has been sitting on the market for MONTHS!

Here’s another tip: Don’t underestimate the powerful power of staging.  It’s so powerful, it should be one of the elements.  They should have named the group Earth, Wind, and Fire and Staging.

You could hire an expert, like the staging-guru Robin at Madison Modern Home, who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to really set the scene.  I love how she updated this fireplace, makes a world of difference here.


glass wall - white living room before


modern living room - gray brick - makeover |

This dining area also benefited from her expertise. Notice how the large-scale table and chairs makes you think the room is much more spacious than the crowded little set before did? I like how she even pulled the chairs away from the table, emphasizing all that spaaaaaace. Heck, you could have a barn dance in here if you wanted to now.

plain dining room before


modern dining room - sleek- makeover |

But if hiring a pro isn’t in the cards for you, don’t fret.  There are lots of steps you can take to make your home staged to sell.  Clear the clutter and personal belongings, define each space clearly, use furniture and accessories to enhance your home’s best qualities and distract from its worst, and you’re already on your way!

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A vision of living room luv.

Hey gang!

I’m pretty much back to normal, hooray!  About 90% there.  Not seeing perfectly yet, but at least the pain is gone.

HOLY COW, THE PAIN. Thank you so much for all your kind comments and emails checking on me and wishing me a speedy recovery. It really means so much.  Big thanks especially to the commiserators who have gone through PRK too, and reassured me that there is indeed an end to the terrible pain and sensitivity and blurriness and pain.

My doctor really didn’t prepare me for it at all, and I was certain I had destroyed my eyes permanently and my new normal would be stumbling around my darkened house wailing and cursing. There was one instance where my protective contact lens shifted while I was alone, and I couldn’t get it back in place, and it exposed my eye for one horrible horrible hour. I surprised even myself with the guttural howling I was capable of. It was seriously pleading-with-God type pain.

Anyway. Whew.  Glad that’s over.  Can’t wait to join the ranks of everyone else who insists that corrective eye surgery was the best decision of their lives.

And now, let’s get to a makeover why don’t we?

If your home could use an update from that wannabe-yellowish-beige color that was so common a few years ago (ask me how I know, I spent three years with walls the color of urine) (but hey, if you still like it, don’t let me stop you, you go on with your warmy-beige-loving self!)

But if you’re so over it, check out this lightened brightened living room from Alicia at Thrifty and Chic.  Maybe it’s just my tired eyeballs talking, but I find the monochromatic palette so very soothing.


big living room before

White - Bright - Living Room - Makeover |

PS: We finally have a Slipcovers With Shelley Giveaway!  Congrats Rhonda Anthony!  Please check your email.

Don’t forget, Better After readers get an EXCLUSIVE 30% discount on all Shelley’s products, from her DVDs to her ebooks, including the new Styling Cents, so hop on over there and take advantage of that deal.

Use code BETTERAFTER at checkout.

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Trim & Proper

I always like to punch Monday mornings in the face, which usually translates into me ferociously making the bed and starting a load of laundry.  Take that, Monday! I’m going to kick this week’s butt! *karate kick* However, I seem to run out of steam as the week goes on … so … around Tuesday.

But today is Monday, and we are going to punch Monday in the face! This makeover from Christine at Bijou & Boheme does exactly that. It is just jaw-droppingly good.  Prepare to be stunned.

Living room makeover before

Light pink living room makeover from Bijou & Boheme |


I mean.  Wow. This girl has vision and talent and deserves a round of high fives. It went from fusty old living room to high fashion glam. The trim! The tile! I feel the urge to trim every wall in my life.


living room makeover before  Light pink living room makeover from Bijou & Boheme |

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A Little Mix Up

Here’s a sweet and simple makeover for you.  It’s not wildy dramatic, but maybe it will help you remember that it’s always possible to freshen up your home without actually leaving your home.  Anything that doesn’t require putting on pants is A+ in my book.

See how easily Lorraine filled out this room? She simply pulled in a coordinating piece of furniture she already had, which elongated the entertainment center and minimized the TV-i-ness of the TV. Added a few items of decor to balance it out, and boom! That’s it. Done.

Take a look around your house; I bet there’s something you could do right now to breathe some new life into it.  Don’t you have some pictures you’ve been meaning to hang?  What if you moved that one chair to a new spot? Switched around a rug or two? Or painted that thing in the garage?

Wow, this little pep talk is inspiring myself! I think I’m going to go hang the family pictures that have been sitting on my floor for the last three months.  What about you, I’d love to know!

See more from Lorraine on her blog South Meets Southwest.


sitting room before |

simple sitting area makeover |

Hey Phoenix/Mesa locals!  My amazing sister-in-law Kalli is re-opening her vintage market, Old Brick House after a summer-long hiatus!  Tomorrow (Sept 11th) is the big day, will I see you there?

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