Creating an Inviting Family Home after Divorce or Separation

Article written by Erin Lazer at SpaceStyle, featured at http://www.benmor.com/cas.php#25 Benmor Family Law Group

 

When a couple decides to part ways, it is often hardest on the children.  They are forced to adjust to a new routine and a new or secondary home.  To ease them into their new reality, parents need to create a warm, inviting and personalized space for the children so that they feel comfortable. Here are some tips on how to make a new or second dwelling feel like home:

1)  Create a ‘Kids’ Zone’. Ensure there is a designated space for the children. Having their own bedroom will make them feel less like a guest and more like they’re at home.  If finances don’t permit, try to make the shared space special to them or designate a part of that space specifically for the children.  Ensure the space has the functionality the children require such as sleep space, homework space, play space, space for friends, etc.

2)  Involve the children in the process. No matter how old they are, have the children help decorate.  If hiring a professional, have them consult with the children too.  If they are older, set a budget and partner with the children in the design of their space. If they are younger, let them pick out their own pillows, bedding and decorations. If budget is a factor, create some DIY projects they can help with to save money. If they have a hand in creating their space, they will be more excited about it and it will be a more positive experience for them despite their parents’ separation.

3)  Don’t be a hotel. Ensure they have a second set of key things so that they do not have to pack a suitcase every time they come over. They need to feel like it is their home, not a vacation. They may even want their room decorated the same way as their other home – which is fine. A second toothbrush and other toiletries, a good supply of clothing and pajamas, linens, toys, school/art supplies, etc. would be great to have. If they have a specific item they are attached to, try to purchase a second one. This way when they come over, they are coming home, rather than coming to visit.

4)  No surprises. Keep a calendar visible that shows the children’s extra-curricular activities, when they will be with mom and dad, any family events they will participate in, etc. This way, they will feel more in control.

These tips will help ease children into their new environment and routine. If they are in a happy space, it will definitely help boost their mood and help them better cope with some of the feelings they may be having related to the separation. Even if it takes a small investment, it will be well worth it in the end.

By Erin Lazer, Owner of SpaceStyle Home Staging, Organizing and Design, www.SpaceStyle.ca, erin@spacestyle.ca

Share

SpaceStyle Recognized Among Top 10 Rising Star Home Stagers of the Year North America by RESA

Home Staging Association Award Finalists and Top 10 Lists Announced

Erin Lazer of SpaceStyle Home Staging & Organizing in Vaughan, Among Them

 

RESA Award Winner Erin Lazer

RESA Home Staging Industry Award 2013
Top 10 Rising Star Professional Stager of the Year Erin Lazer

Vaughan, Ontario- December 20, 2012 A Vaughan business woman, Erin Lazer, owner of SpaceStyle Home Staging and Organizing, and a member of the Real Estate Staging Association, the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers, was named as one of RESA’s Top 10 Rising Star Home Stagers of the Year™ North America.

Erin Lazer will go on to compete for the overall title of RESA’s Rising Star Home Stager of the Year™ North America.

Erin Lazer operates SpaceStyle Home Staging and Organizing and has been a professional real estate stager since early 2012. Lazer services the Greater Toronto Area.

In support of our ever-growing industry, we are pleased to announce that the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is recognizing leaders within the staging industry for their outstanding contributions and personal accomplishments in 15 total categories.

“It is an honour to be recognized by the industry association for my accomplishments in the one year I’ve been in operation. I am truly passionate about what I do which is why I believe I have experienced so much success in such a short period of time. With my background in Marketing and my passion for real estate, interior design and organization, marketing properties through home staging has come as a natural talent. I am very much looking forward to 2013 and all of the opportunity it holds for my business, and myself personally”, said Lazer.

“We would like to thank everyone for their participation in the awards process. Without the support of our membership we would not be able to recognize so may well deserving people in our industry. All of the finalists in all categories can be seen at www.HomeStagingIndustryAwards.com . All of the winners will be announced at the annual Home Staging Industry Awards convention and banquet January 31 to February 2, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, just outside of legendary San Francisco” said, Shell Brodnax, President/CEO Real Estate Staging Association.

About The Real Estate Staging Association®

The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers.  For more information about the awards please visit www.HomeStagingIndustryAwards.com.   For more information about real estate staging, contact Shell Brodnax above, or visit the RESA® Web site at www.RealEstateStagingAssociation.com or the Canadian site at www.resa-canada.org.

About SpaceStyle Home Staging & Organizing

SpaceStyle offers a wide range of services, including home staging consultations, staging of vacant and occupied houses and condos, furniture and accessory rentals, and assistance in managing repairs and small renovations that will increase the value of a property.  In addition, SpaceStyle offers design services and professional organizing services for clients looking to improve their existing spaces. SpaceStyle is owned and operated by Erin Lazer, MBA, Certified Staging Professional® (CSP®), and a member of RESA, and the Professional Organizers in Canada® (POC®). For more information, please visit www.SpaceStyle.ca, or contact SpaceStyle at 289-597-3321, or info@SpaceStyle.ca.

Share

SpaceStyle is in the Houzz!

SpaceStyle at Houzz event in Toronto

SpaceStyle attends Houzz event at SOFA in Toronto

If you haven’t already heard about www.houzz.com, then now is a good time to check it out. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s going to be huge and could really revolutionize the interior design industry. On November 29th, I attended a great event hosted by SOFA–the Source of Furniture and Accessories, (@visitSOFA) where Houzz (@Houzz_Inc) presented some great research findings. My biggest takeaway was just how big this online platform can be not only in helping design professionals, including home stagers like myself, showcase their work, but also helping home owners to define and communicate the vision that they have for their spaces.

Are you thinking of tackling a home renovation, decorating or design project?  Are you looking to sell your home, or purchase a new one? Houzz should definitely be your first stop.  You can browse through hundreds of thousands of photos of projects completed around the world.  Be as specific as you’d like in your search. You can select a specific room that you’re thinking of working on, and specific style of design that you like (e.g. traditional, modern, etc.)  If you see something you like, you can simply click “add to idea book” and save it. You can make notes on exactly what you liked in the picture so you can remember what it was later.  Maybe you just really loved the chandelier in the picture of that dining room. No longer do you need to rip articles out of magazines and save them in an inspiration binder (if you’re organized like me). You can create as many idea books as you want, say, one per project.

One of the great features is that you can share your idea books. And you can use them to collaborate. For example, if you’re thinking of hiring a designer or decorator for your space, you can share your idea book with them. If you allow it, they can add photos to your idea book as well if they think they’ve found something you’ll like. It’s an amazing tool to help you better communicate with the design professional you have hired. Rather than saying, “So, I want to redesign the living room, but I can’t explain what I want”, creating an idea book in houzz will save tons of time and in the end, money, because you can pinpoint the type of look you are going for right off the bat.  I know I’ll want my clients to create an idea book so that I can understand better what they’re looking for.

Of course, the design professional who posted the original photos that are viewed and saved will be given credit, so if you find a design that you love so much, you can actually locate that designer if you wish.  You can also use Houzz just like any directory to find the professional that’s right for you. Again, using a search function, you can search for the type of professional you are looking for, like a Home Stager, Designer, Landscape Contractor, etc., and of course you can narrow your search by location, like Toronto, or Vaughan, as well to find local professionals.

SpaceStyle currently has a Houzz  profile which can be viewed at http://www.houzz.com/pro/spacestyleco.  Up until now, we haven’t been too active on Houzz, but given all I’ve learned today at the Houzz event, I can’t wait to dive in deeper and have some fun!

If you’d like to share your idea book with SpaceStyle, feel free! We’d love to see what you love!

Happy surfing!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

Share

Creating Broad Appeal When Selling a Home

One of the most important things I tell clients, or prospective clients (i.e. home sellers) and real estate agents is that staging is about creating broad appeal in order to attract as many buyers as possible. Many believe that home staging is the same as decorating, but that could not be further from the truth. When I am working with a client to design or decorate their home for them to live in, the most important thing is to appeal to their personal tastes and likes, and to create a space that will feel like home to them. When I am working with staging clients who are selling their home, the most important thing is to appeal to everyone else.

As a case in point, I recently staged a condo in Toronto. My client was a lovely, single woman. One of the first things that I recommended be changed were the paint colours in her 2 bathrooms and her kitchen. The bathrooms were both painted in a soft pink colour, and the kitchen was painted in a dark, intense orange.  She loved those colours, and could not understand, at first, why they would have to be changed. I tried to explain to her exactly what I spoke about earlier–that we are trying to appeal to as many people and demographics as possible, so neutral colours would be more effective at doing that. What if the prospective buyer was a young, single male? would he be able to picture himself shaving in a pink bathroom. Likely not.

By painting the bathroom in a neutral colour, replacing the feminine shower curtain with a crisp, fresh white one, as well as adding accessories to give the space a spa-like feel, we were able to create a space that would appeal to any buyer.

Master Bathroom-Before Staging

Master Bathroom-Before Staging

Master Bathroom-After Staging

Master Bathroom-After Staging

For the kitchen, the first step, of course, was decluttering. Taking everything off the fridge and most items off the counter created more space. The orange paint and coordinating orange-striped window treatment made the space feel small, like it was closing in. By brightening it up with a neutral colour, changing the light fixture to a more modern pendant, and accessorizing with hints of green to add freshness, the space was completely transformed.

Kitchen-Before Staging

Kitchen-Before Staging

Kitchen-After Staging

Kitchen-After Staging

We also removed an office desk and instead brought in a shelving unit from another room to create an area for more kitchen storage which did wonders to make it a true chef’s kitchen.

Kitchen Eating Area-Before Staging

Kitchen Eating Area-Before Staging

 

Kitchen Eating Area-After StagingKitchen Eating Area-After Staging

So after all was said and done, the condo sold in FIVE DAYS, my client got the price she wanted and was able to purchase the property of her dreams for the next phase of her life.

Happy Selling!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at info@SpaceStyle.ca, or suggest a topic for a blog post.

www.SpaceStyle.ca

Share