[0:54] Tell us about your process and services
[3:36] When staging a house, whose furniture do you use?
[7:46] How to approach a full-house remodel
[11:25] The most important factor in picking an exterior color
[12:32] Christmas decorating services
[13:59] 3 top decorating mistakes
[17:09] How to contact Leslie
BB: Tell us about your process. If someone wanted to do a single-room makeover, where do they start?
LR: First of all, it starts with a phone call to schedule a consultation. Our first consultation is free. We come in, meet you, talk about your expectations and how we can help. That’s a simple, simple call, and we come out and visit with you.
BB: Let’s talk about your staging business. In my world, I see houses that need to be sold, and often they’re empty or almost empty. In this situation, do you use the owner’s furniture if it’s left there, or can you bring in your own furniture?
LR: I always tell my clients that staging is a marketing tool. You are taking a home, and you’re positioning it for sale. It’s like selling your car: you need to clean it, remove your personal items, make it smell good and look good. That’s exactly what we do with a home.
First, we take your personal things out of it. People are very drawn to pictures, especially family pictures, but they can’t really see themselves in the home if your pictures are everywhere. When we stage a house, we go through it with the buyer’s eye. You want, at the end of the day, the person to remember the great kitchen, the wonderful windows, the light that comes in, as opposed to the house with the angel collection.
Then, on the other hand, an empty home does not sell as quickly, or for as much money as a home that has been staged with furniture. You may be surprised to hear that an empty room looks smaller than a furnished room. I have furniture and artwork that I can bring in for a monthly rental fee. Another option is staging assessment, which is designed for people who still live in their home. During the assessment, we come in, go room to room, and provide room-by-room recommendations in the form of 5- to 6-page report, which we email to the client. Then the clients can do this work themselves or have us come in and do it for them. Sometimes, all we need to do is bring a couple of pieces of impactful artwork or help them rearrange furniture.
BB: How long does staging take?
LR: We do it in one day. There are some rooms that we don’t necessarily stage, such as children’s bedrooms, if it’s an empty home. We always do the master bedroom, and we always do all the bathrooms, and any living spaces. This is not necessary, and it cuts down on cost, too.
BB: Let’s talk about full-house remodel and how that works. Where do you start your work?
LR: We do it however the client wants us to do it. Many times they contact us right at the get-go. They don’t know who to turn to, what to do. I have resources: a contractor, plumbers, electricians, so forth and so on. I can advise on that and then help with the planning. If they already have a builder, or they already have someone that they’re working with, we certainly are happy to work with them, too.
Sometimes people bring us in clear at the end, when they just need help with finishes, furniture, arrangement, size. Often people don’t have the vision, so we show them exactly how we would do it, help with colors, and so forth.
Also, we incorporate a lot of client’s own things. We always say, “Walk us through your house. We want to see what your style is. What you like and don’t like.” We have them go through magazines and circle, “I like this chair. I like this rug. I like this window treatment.” This gives us a good idea of how to proceed for them.
BB: Will you shop for them, if that what they want? How does that work?
LR: We give the client every option. If they want to come and shop with us, that’s perfectly fine. If they want us to shop and maybe text them or email them some pictures of what we are thinking, with pricing and so forth, we can do that. We can bring things to the home. For example, we are working on a house out in Blair. We just brought four rugs in for the clients to see, in the home, because the light is different in every room, and it’s important to let them see how it would look. Of course, we love the clients that say, “This is my budget. This is what I want you to do. Just do it. I don’t care.”
BB: You will also consult on the exterior color of a home, too. What to paint the outside of the house, which I think is interesting.
LR: Picking an exterior color is completely different than picking an interior color. In picking an exterior color lighting is everything. There’re a lot of colors, and you just really have to know how it’s going to look in the light, and what direction does your house face, and so forth. Trim color’s important.
BB: You do Christmas decorating as well. Since we’re nearing that time of year, let’s talk a little bit about that?
LR: People call us to come in and decorate their homes. We used to use our own décor, but now we try to use what they have, or what they want us to use in their home. Maybe, use their décor differently, in a way that they haven’t thought of. Often, there are areas that we think they could decorate that they’re not getting to. Budget’s important in deciding what we’ll bring in to decorate.
Some people just want us to decorate their tree. Come in and put together their tree. It’s a really fun thing for us to do. A lot of people don’t love to decorate their homes for Christmas.
BB: Or take it down…
LR: Or take it down. We haven’t been asked to do that yet.
BB: Tell us about some common mistakes you see in decorating, design, or placement of furniture.
LR: The biggest thing, for me, is hanging artwork too high. The rule of thumb is that the center of the picture should be at 60 inches, which is eye level for most people. Of course, if you hang it over furniture you have to make adjustments. You always hang it closer to the furniture than you do to the ceiling.
Another common mistake is buying a rug that is too small for the room. The rule of thumb, again, is either all your furniture fits on the rug, or at least the front legs of the furniture fit on the rug. If you buy a rug that’s too small, and you put it in a room, it shrinks the room. It just isn’t a good thing to do.
The third issue is lighting, that is, not having enough lighting in the home. They don’t put enough lamp lighting. Adding lamp lighting is one thing that you can do to really change the look of the room.
BB: You mentioned the furniture placement. In living rooms, I’ve seen people’s living rooms with their furniture pushed all the way out to the walls. Is this a good idea?
LR: Generally, we pull furniture off the walls, because when you push it all the way to the walls, the room doesn’t breath. You need to move it a little bit away from the walls. Think of having a conversation. You’re not going to yell clear across the room. Put it so it’s conversational. Sometimes, in huge rooms especially, you’ll have two different separate areas for conversation. That’s perfectly fine. Just cozy it up, and a rug, of course, which helps define that area.
BB: How do people get in touch with you?
LR: You can go to my website, which is www.designwithless.com. You can get to me through there, or you can call me. My number is 402-515-1271, and that’s probably the best way.
Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed this interview. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us:
To contact Leslie Regan, call 402-515-1271
To contact Brad Boyum, call 402-991-5410 or click here