May 2015
Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company 
Staging and Interior Decorating

Spring is finally here! Most of us can't really believe it after this long winter. It's my favorite time of year as the tulips and daffodils bloom in my garden, the lilac bushes are showing their tiny buds, and the grass actually looks green without any snow! We are all taking wonderful deep breaths and shedding our winter gear for lightweight jackets and spring colors. And speaking of spring colors, we can now take the deep jeweled tones of winter currently decorating our homes and pack them away to let the bright colors of coral, yellow, turquoise and the classic navy and white combination enter our spring decor. I am finally starting my own interior decorating project this month and taking my Country French Sun Room and turning it into a navy and white modern retreat with dark hardwood floors (maybe that new porcelain tile that looks like wood) textured linen, and two leather poufs that I recently purchased on a trip to Morocco. I promise to share some before and after photos once the job is done! What is your project this spring? Share with us what you plan to do by clicking HERE to email us and we'll be happy to offer some advice.  

May is also the time to consider those home projects you have been thinking about all winter. Painting can transform a room, adding wallpaper (read more below) can add elegant style to a Powder Room, and simple accessories like pillows, mirrors, lighting and rugs can give your home that lift you have been wanting all winter. For those of you who are thinking of selling in the next few years or even few months, looking at your property with a critical eye and beginning those updates now (I just had my painted cabinets repainted) will help save you time and money in the long run. We have just helped several clients update their properties this past month to get them ready for sale. 

Enjoy these days of spring and a very Happy Mother's Day. 





Recently, PJ & Company worked with realtor Lisa Ditullio of Century 21 in Southington, CT and her clients (who happen to be her parents) to stage their spacious 5,000 square foot custom built Southington home featured below. We asked Lisa to share the story that led her parents to ultimately decide to stage their home for sale as well as some of her insights on the process.


 Family Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating


Discuss the history of the home.  

Being builders, my parents built the home to their taste and needs. They chose a beautiful three acre back lot with tons of privacy. With a big Italian family, they wanted a large kitchen and dining room for gatherings. The kitchen had two sinks so everyone could partake in the cleanup. Equally important were the three different seating rooms -- one great room which is attached to the chef's kitchen, a formal living room which is next to the 20 seat dining room and the porch with many windows overlooking the Koi Pond and woods. After 25 years, our family talked them into downsizing


Kitchen Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Why were your parents reluctant to the idea of staging originally?


They were accustomed to selling thousands of homes that were vacant in prior years and didn't think twice about cleaning out their own home to get it ready for sale. They then took pictures and listed the house for the spring market but without furniture no one could appreciate the room sizes, the flow of the space or envision themselves living there. In fact, there was only one showing in five months so we decided to pull it off the market in the winter. 


Living Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

What changed their mind?


At that point, they had two choices -- reduce to a ridiculously low price or take their chances on staging their property. While they realized that professional staging would be an upfront expense, they were willing and ready to take the chance in order to get the home sold. That's when we hired Patti and her team who were patient and understanding throughout the process and gave their professional suggestions on what changes needed to be made to attract buyers. Everything went smoothly and the house is now beautiful and move-in ready. We're hoping for a quick sale!




Lisa Ditullio is a Real Estate Professional with Century 21 in Southington, CT. See all her properties for sale including the Southington, Ciccio Road property and contact her online HERE. 


 Powder Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

We removed the dated wallpaper in this powder room and painted with a neutral color to give the room a more modern style. Texture and pattern were added with wall accents and area rug.


When Selling, Remove Outdated Wallpaper

When helping clients prepare their homes for sale, one of the first things we assess are the condition of the walls - are the paint colors unappealing to most buyers' tastes and if there's wallpaper, is it outdated and too personal?  If so, buyers will be distracted from focusing on the room's features, won't be able to visualize their own furnishings in the room and will dread the thought of the work and expense involved to remove the paper and/or repaint. Therefore, our first recommendation for a cost effective update would be to hire a professional to properly strip and prep the walls and paint a neutral color to attract buyers.

  Kitchen Staging by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

We removed the dated wallpaper and border in this kitchen and painted with 

a neutral warm grey to appeal to buyers. 


Modern or Historical Wallpaper Designs Can Add Style

Although it's one of the first things to remove when selling, wall coverings can be used in so many ways to make a decorative statement in home decor this spring. We love the array of beautiful options available in a variety of styles, designs and textures. Here are a few tips to consider to get the most impact when using wallpaper as a finishing touch to any room.



  • Incorporate wallpaper as an accent wall and paint the rest of the room the same color as
    the background of the paper as shown in the elegant grey print in the bathroom above.
  • If you're feeling daring, a bright color such as turquoise can make a bold statement.
    The trick for keeping it from feeling over-the-top or out of place is pairing it with accents that are a similar shade (drawers, chair and door shown above).  
  • A paper in a geometric design used on all walls of a hallway works best if it leads toward solid, complimentary hues in an adjacent room. 


  • Try adding some natural texture to your walls with one of many colors and materials available such as hand-woven grass or jute cloths, silks wovens or embossed vinyls. 




It's time to celebrate the season of renewal with some fresh style for your home, both inside
and out! Not sure where to begin? We hope the following tips will inspire your imagination when deciding the best ways to brighten, renew and add curb appeal.
Photo Credit: Ballard Design

  • Bring The Outdoors Inside. Place a variety of natural garden-like elements such as potted plants, topiaries and moss-covered balls on mantels, floors and shelves. Accessorize with beautiful botanical prints, fresh cut fern or boxwood clippings in glass vases, dried flower or pussy willow twig wreaths, ceramic bird figurines and plates which will make you feel closer to nature.
  • Add a Fresh Coat of Paint. Go brighter, crisper and cleaner for spring. Start by choosing one new color such as yellow or green for an accent wall and combine with complimentary accessories which will make the room feel cohesively inviting.
  • Update Bedding. Consider purchasing new bedding for your master bedroom, guest room, or kids room. Layer with white and add some of the freshest colors for spring - coral, turquoise, or butter yellow. To top if off, add accent pillows, new shams, and large European size pillows to transform the look of your room.
  • Get Bold With Fresh Colored Accents. Add color and texture to your entertaining areas by switching out winter pillows with new spring colors and organic designs. Navy and white, orange and yellow, and linen pillows are great accessories to liven up any space. Don't forget about your lamps which are also available in many different colors this season from green to orange. 


Photo Credits: Pier One and Pottery Barn

  • Refresh Kitchen and Patio Accessories. Switch out dinnerware for ones with bright, nautical or mediterranean patterns which pair well with lighter weight tablecloths and place mats in natural woven textures. Replace umbrellas that are stained and damaged with the latest trending patterns and colors. Add complimentary accent pillows along with a cozy rug for under the table. Finish off with some beachy scented candles and you'll be reminded that summer is just around the corner!
  • Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal. Repair cracks in driveway, walkway, front porch steps and patios. Add personal touches to entryway with a beautiful floral swag or wreath, a new welcome mat, clusters of potted spring flowers on the porch and a hanging swing if space allows. Refresh with new accessories such as house numbers, lighting fixtures, door handles and knocker to create added appeal. Remove dead shrubs, prune bushes, and add pops of color with new annuals. Assess the condition of your lawn and decide whether to reseed or add sod if uneven and patchy. Add a generous layer of natural mulch to beds to complete the whole look.




Having trouble coming up with the perfect gift for the mom that has it all? Remember that Mom always said its not the size, shape or price that counts, but the thought! We put together a fun mix of gift ideas that we hope will spark your interest and help show that special mom, sister, wife, or inspiring friend how much they are appreciated. For retailer info and more ideas, click here to visit our Mother's Day Pinterest profile

Let the sun shine in with this hot spring hue

There are so many vibrant hues to have fun with this spring and yellow is one of the hottest. It exudes confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. No matter how you choose to use it -- as a highlight in decorative accents and accessories, in wallpaper, window treatments or furniture, blended with cooler tones of blue and grey, or paired with white for simplicity, this vibrant color will certainly lift your spirits. See our Pinterest board for more bright ideas


We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to send your thoughts,
comments, or questions to
or contact us at 203-640-3762.

The Style Report is PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating's
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