"Lived in" look beats bare walls

    Off topic, but do you ever watch “House Hunters International” on HGTV—ever had a dream of buying a nice farm house in France or a townhouse in Milan—well, houses cost a lot everywhere! Eye-opener! The second some guy blats on about Euros, you know you are done for.

    Over here we can’t get ours sold or recoup our investment, but it’s not like huts are going for a song elsewhere.

    Usually, on these shows, though, you see some furniture in the rooms. This is called “staging.” There are companies that make a house looked lived in, but not socks on the floor lived in. Or you can google this and get tons of tips.

    I read an article by Kara G. Morrison (AZ Republic, Sept 6, 2009) in which homeowners said they lost items when stagers “neatened” their houses and felt very stressed trying to keep everything looking like a model home.

    Some tips for staging:

    Replace dated knobs and pulls.

    Update damaged furniture and match it to the style of the home.

    Keep things simple and spare.

    The clutter is not charming and must go!

    Same for the collections.

    Replace vinyl shower curtains—apparently these are a gigantic no-no. Get cloth.

    Add plants.

    Define spaces—don’t put the exercise bike next to the desk, that sort of thing.

    Oh, please, my cement floors are painted red and blue, and one is not even painted—glue marks from the carpet pulled up when we had the fire five yrs ago.

    Think loft.

    PLEASE think loft.

    Oh, who am I kidding.

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