It's hard to believe, but the time has finally come to put my current house on the market. Although I am excited about the new house that we are building (due to be finished this summer) I love my current house and it feels a bit strange to start letting go of it - and putting it on the market is really the first stage of letting go. It is the house that my husband and I purchased 14 years ago when he was about the graduate from business school, the only home my three children have known. In 1997, my husband and I saw the house on a weekend trip to Atlanta, fell in love with it, and put in an offer that same day. The first weekend it was on the market (back in 1997), there were five offers by the end of the weekend! It was a different real estate market back then, but illustrates the appeal of the house and the floorplan.
The house was designed by the nationally known architects Spitzmiller & Norris; it was one of the early projects of the firm, which was established in 1985 (my house was built in 1988). Visitors to my home can't believe that it is almost 23 years old, because it has such a fresh feel to it, with an open and flowing plan, rooms that are defined and beautifully proportioned, yet also flow well into one another for optimal living and entertaining spaces. Of course, those of you who read my blog won't be surprised to learn that my husband and I are meticulous about maintenance of the home, and it has never looked better!
My house is filled with light, and looks over a 15+ acre nature preserve, giving it a great feeling of privacy despite the fact that it is on a small (no maintenance) lot. There are so many aspects of the house I will miss, and so many things that are familiar - the lovely curve of the railing on the stairs, which I hold the same way every time I walk downstairs; the patterns of sunlight that are different at the various times of day; the amazing floorplan of the house, which worked great for us before we had children, and just as well now that we have three children; my wonderfully spacious master bedroom, which is truly a tranquil sanctuary; the screened porch, which expands the living spaces and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors; the renovated master bathroom, which has an incredible view to the back yard; the stunning beauty of the back yard, which changes character through the seasons, and is like a nature preserve with the dozens of birds that I see every day.
To prepare for the real estate photos, and for listing the house, my realtor enlisted the help of two wonderful stagers to get things in shape - Abigail Cancelliere and Blair Anderson of RSG Interiors (to contact them, email Readysetgo@bellsouth.net). I am a big fan of the staging shows on HGTV, so was thrilled to have the opportunity to see what kind of changes they would implement! Privately, I thought my house was in pretty good shape from a decor perspective, and I had spent months decluttering and packing to prepare for listing the house. However, Abigail and Blair came in and 'swirled things around' - they moved furniture, art, and paintings from one room to another, started a collection of items that I needed to pack away in order to give the spaces breathing room, and with some easy updates, completely reinvigorated the look and feel of the house. I am a firm believer in the art of staging, and highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about listing their home!
Here is a case study in staging. This little table was in my family room, but was never really at ease there. Abigail and Blair moved it up to the upstairs hall (which was empty), leaned one of my architectural renderings against the wall (carried in the Quatrefoil Design store), added a view items found around the house, and voila! I wish I had done this years ago. Source: my images.
I bought a few items to freshen up the rooms, but not many. For staging projects. Abigail and Blair like to work first and foremost with the items that the client already owns, so we looked around my home and attic for items that would work for our purposes. There were a few easy things that Abigail and Blair asked me to update - for example, my kitchen chandelier shades. I had some cute shades from Pierre Deux (left) that were cheerful and green - my favorite color - but Abigail and Blair recommended that I change them out for neutral shades that have a more modern shape. A small change, but it has a big impact in the room. (Source: my images)
Here are a few of the real estate photos; I think they came out so well, and they really capture the fresh and light feel of the home.
The front hall remained the same. I think this picture beautifully reflects the light and airy feel of the house - it gets really beautiful light all day long. Real estate photo.
The books that I had on my dining room buffet were cleared, in order to make the space less cluttered. I also tend to use my dining room as my office, so I cleared out all of the paperwork and put it away. Real estate photo.
The living room was fluffed a bit - mainly some of the knick-knacks were removed, and the mantel was cleared of the candlesticks and accessories that were previously there. This room gets a lot of use because of the piano, so the kids are trying to keep their piano books neat and tidy. Real estate photo.
I love this view from the family room to the living room - it is one of my favorite views in the house. It also shows how well the rooms relate to one another. We truly use every room of our house, which is a wonderful thing about our floor plan. Real estate photo.
I really enjoy my master bedroom - it is such has such a peaceful place to retreat at the end of a long day. Abigail and Blair didn't need to do too much in this room - and they loved the Amanda Talley painting above the fireplace! Real estate photo.
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