Toys In the Yard

As kids, we had playhouses or tree houses where we could create our own world; where we could let our imagination go wild. Or, like me, you had to create a playhouse or a fort from what you had. As a kid, you don’t care, just so long as you are playing and have the space to play! I think as adults, we are still taking our toys outside to play!

My latest free podcast episode.

Dolphin topiary Jackie Gibbins podcast

Using Paint to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

You want your home to stand out from the other homes that a buyer may see. You want them to fall in love at first sight! You want to give the impression that the home has style, character, warmth or just that it is well-maintained.  Paint is an easy and quick way to accomplish this!

Paint Your Patio Furniture

Do you have a porch swing or a chair on your front porch? Give it a fresh coat of paint! Add matching throw pillows to make this space even more inviting.

Your Front Door

You can opt to paint your front door a solid color OR make it more custom by stenciling or detailing it. Talk about a focal point!

Your Porch Light

Do you have a porch light stuck in the 1980’s or is simply rusty or faded?  There are several wonderful metallic paints you can use to make it new again. Try copper for a warm, updated look.  Black or dark brown has a more formal look.

Your House Numbers

I created a house number plaque for one of my listings by painting a decorative plaque and then mounting house numbers to it. It was very unique! You can do this or a variation with paint, stencils and materials.  make sure your creation is readily visible from the street!

Shutters and Trim

Add a punch of color to your facade by painting your shutters and trim a new bold color. You can even choose to stencil or detail the shutters to add charm and whimsy.

You can also paint your garage door, paint some ceramic pots to add color and paint window boxes!

Behind the Sale: Mission Viejo Home

These days it takes a little more than sticking a “For Sale” sign in the yard, holding open houses and following up on calls. Today’s home buyer can be more savvy and perhaps more finicky than in years past, even in a seller’s market. They often have high expectations, and if you want a quick, smooth sale, as a seller, you should try to meet some of those expectations before you even list it for sale. That is what I advise my sellers to do, and I often go the extra mile by preparing a plan and helping execute that plan.

Here is the story behind the scenes of a sale of smaller Mission Viejo home where I helped the seller to stage and prep their home before going on the market.

The photos below show the home as the sellers lived. A cute home in good shape, but a little bland, and the decor was not very cohesive. There was pretty much no curb appeal either.

I needed to appeal to a wide range of buyers PLUS keep the sellers happy while they lived there. I decided to keep the sellers’ cottage/vintage style, but make it more cohesive, add focal points, de-clutter and add a modern/updated look with new decor. I also needed to add life and color with plants.

I implemented my Simple Staging by bringing in some of my decor and small furniture from my own inventory. This is a complimentary service to my sellers. It takes a little time and effort and planning, but you can see the huge impact it makes. It is a different home!

The master bedroom (pictured above) was really transformed to something more charming and inviting and upscale, too.

Even the back yard went through a huge transformation. One of the big selling points of this home was the size of the yard, privacy and view. Before, though it had a cute fence and a nice fruit tree, the yard was a little rough and had dirt planters. I added some cottage-type plants, used the owner’s pots, bench and other accessories and created an enchanting retreat.

We weren’t sure what to price it at since there had been so few sales recently of the same model, and this one was so much better than the others. We priced it well above the latest comp, took professional photographs, held back on showings for a few days to drive demand, and then had a huge open house. We received multiple offers, all over asking price, then selected the buyer that seemed most motivated and qualified. We got it into escrow in a week with a wonderful buyer.

My wonderful clients were then ready to find a new home! And that is another story….

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Beautiful Reflections – Art Glass in a Sunny Window

Garden Windows can sometimes look dated or they may look out toward something unattractive. Or they may light and modern and allow you to enjoy a gorgeous garden! Either way, I love how glass objects bring sparkle and light to these types of windows.

I had a listing that had a big garden window that looked out to a wonderful pool, but it also exposed how close the neighboring home was and how exposed the bathers may be. I didn’t want the eye to go straight to the neighbor’s home, so I filled the west-facing window with colors of the rainbow to attract the eye. It worked!

I also employed this technique in my own garden window at home. i have a nice garden, and I don’t want to fill the window with opaque things that block my view. So I chose various pieces of glass and glass vases to sparsely fill the void. The sun sparkles through the glass in a most beautiful way.

In a dining room with ample light from the patio, I used art glass placed in front of a gorgeous round mirror to reflect other beautiful pieces already in the room. The effect exceeded my expectations!