Single Level Condo in Rancho Santa Margarita Open House

Come and check out this great opportunity at the Open House in Rancho Santa Margarita this Saturday, August 10, from 1-4pm. Super two bedroom, two bath single level condo located in the mission Courts II community close to the lake, shopping, dining, parks, schools and more. Park-like neighborhood, several updates but room for your own personal touches and priced right at $379,500. Property address 23 Blue Oak, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688.



A Rug In the Kitchen? Thoughts?

I recently asked a friend of mine how they felt about a rug in the kitchen. I had a large colorful rug in my otherwise white kitchen for a long time. My sister, as well, had a large area rug in hers. But a rug, no matter how lovely, is not always suited for kitchen use.

I liked having a soft covering underfoot as I went from one end of the kitchen to the other. In addition, it was a darker color, so dirt did not show so much. AND it was a relatively inexpensive piece, so I didn’t feel bad if it suffered some war and tear (which it really did not). Plus it added a lot of color in an otherwise plain space. I guess if i grew tired of the color, I could always change it easier than changing cabinets, paint and flooring!

But after I DID change my flooring to a laminate wood, I liked the look of the wood better than old tile, so I got rid of the large area rug. the space looked much bigger without the rug, and clean-up was easier. I missed the soft flooring underfoot, but the trade-off was well worth it.

If you DO decide to use an area rug in the kitchen, make sure you use a pad to avoid slippage, maybe opt for an indoor/outdoor material and understand that it will take more effort when cleaning the kitchen floors.

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!

Home Staging Tips

I enjoy staging my listings. It helps sell the home quicker and for more money. I enjoy creating an attractive space for prospective buyers to view and potentially see themselves living in. It is a win-win for everyone. But successful staging takes, time, thought and effort. I do have a few go-to tips and tricks that I employ and adapt to many of my listings.

Home Staging by Jackie Gibbins


I like to pull colors and themes from nature when I stage. I use color to set the mood of the home, targeting the type of buyer who will most likely purchase the property. The home above was occupied, but mostly furnished with neutral and wood furniture. It was easy to go with natural materials. I put down a large rug with great colors to set the mood.


I installed neutral drapery panels to the floor to frame the windows. I used new throw pillows in colors matching the rug. You could also purchase pillow covers to cover old pillows to save money. Pottery Barn has these on sale often throughout the year.

Focal Point

The fireplace was the natural focal point to enhance in this small living room. I started with a simple framed botanical print and then grouped some beautiful colored glass along side it. the homes owner had colored glass, so I added to and enhanced her collection. In a small space, don’t be afraid to use big pieces to expand the space. MUCH better than using a lot of small pieces.

Adding Life

I believe live plants add so much to the home, and I include them in all my listings. In this instance, the baskets went well with the organic feel of this home.

Adding Light

This home was already pretty light, but I did have to remove some darker items of decor and replaced with fewer, lighter pieces throughout.

Mini Updates

Not shown here, but sometimes just replacing an old lampshade with one more currently in style can update a whole room. Replacing old drawer pulls with new ones, installing a new faucet and painting an important room a trendy color can make it seem like you just spent thousands on recent updates.

The Details

Think of traffic flow when staging. Bring the outdoors in when you can (note the garden views in pic above). Incorporate your style and collections when you can in a way that makes sense and is interesting. Note the homeowner’s antiques placed here and there. Tie things together with either color, theme, details etc. throughout the home for a cohesive and pleasing feel.

Below is the kitchen of the same home with my Home Staging. This charming home sold in one week with multiple offers for thousands over asking price.

Mission Viejo Home Staging Jackie Gibbins Real Estate Agent