August/September 2016
Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company 
Staging and Interior Decorating

As I was thinking about what to write for this late summer/early fall edition of the Style Report, I was interrupted by calls for information on our staging services, scheduling staging projects, and discussing with clients, prospects, friends and family why it is so important to get your property ready to sell before listing. I even experienced my own staging/updating revelation when an appraiser recently came to my home. I asked him his thoughts about the current market and what he believes is important in selling homes today. He could have been part of our team as he discussed all of the things we say to our clients - decluttering, updating, painting, repairing and staging are all key to selling quickly and for top dollar. As far as my home was concerned, he agreed that putting up Sheetrock in our "campy" 1969 garage that my husband loves would be beneficial before listing.

Many of our readers who are thinking about decorating and updating their home, as well as wondering where their money is best spent if they are considering selling in a few years ask us "Why should I invest in updating the carpeting, painting the bedrooms, or doing any improvements to the bathroom or kitchen when I am selling my home?" Here's what I tell them:

1. Over 95% of today's buyers shop online for homes and that can be either on the computer or their phone. What that means is 1) those listing photos need to look fabulous and 2) dated painted or custom painted walls (think pink, red, or any personal color), worn or dated flooring, specific and personal furnishings, and blatantly dated kitchens and bathrooms will make that buyer click off of your listing and move to the more updated, and even staged property down the block from you.

2. Consider who your potential buyer is. Over 60% of buyers today are Millennials and they are looking for move-in ready homes. Why? They don't have the time, money or interest in renovating a new home. They are also the group that lives "online" and they can use the Internet to find out anything and everything about your property and neighborhood. 

3. If you think staging is too expensive and it can wait, remember the saying "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression." If you don't stage before you list, you will inevitably lose time and money as the cost of hiring a professional stager is always less than the first price reduction.
4. Finally, if you think you can do it yourself, remember an accredited home stager has the experience and objectivity to prepare a home for mass appeal in the current marketplace to engage as many buyers as possible - no matter what their personal style.
The article below will provide more ideas on this topic including insights from experienced realtor, Patty McCarthy of William Raveis, Fairfield County who we have partnered with to stage homes for several of her clients. 




The goal of every agent and seller in today's market is to capture buyer interest, take them from the online listing to the front door and ultimately sell quickly and for top dollar. Investing in home staging before placing a "for sale" sign on your property will help make that goal a reality. But sellers must first understand why this initial expense will outweigh the risk of having their property sit for months with a possible price reduction and additional carrying costs (think mortgage, utilities, landscaping, etc.). Below are the key reasons why home staging is worth the investment in creating an all around successful sale.

In only two days after staging, this beautiful contemporary colonial received multiple offers 
and sold over asking! The PJ & Co team decluttered and updated 8 rooms with modern styling including neutral wall colors, fresh window treatments, simple area rugs and pops of color 
in wall art, pillows and other accents.

Boost Perceived Value and Selling Price
According to The International Association of Home Staging Professionals, 95% of staged homes sell on average in 11 days or less and for 17% above the asking price compared to a non staged home, in a similar market. Patty McCarthy, an Exceptional Properties Specialist for William Raveis Real Estate in Fairfield County, says "Millennials and Gen X consumers are willing to trade time for dollars. In other words, they will pay more if everything is done and they do not have to worry about doing it themselves."

Stand Out From The Competition 
Once a home is decluttered, depersonalized and updated with the latest design styles, it will capture the attention of a broad buying audience ready to move quickly on a sale both through online photos as well as at the showing. McCarthy says she has "continually seen staged homes sell for more money in a shorter period of time." 

After decluttering, updating, brightening and the work of the PJ & Co team,
this gorgeous colonial home  received multiple offers and sold in just two weeks!

Allow Buyers To Emotionally Connect
Most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 15 seconds. If they don't connect with the property right away they'll turn away.  A recent National Association of Realtors survey indicates that 81%  of realtors feel that staging helps buyers visualize a property as a future home.  McCarthy  believes that  "sophisticated buyers today buy on emotion more than ever and are seeking an identity with a lifestyle they would love to attain."

Enhance Property's Key Features 
When staging a home, a great way to showcase its key features and universally appeal to both genders is by choosing neutral tones and furnishings that are clean lined yet stylish. That combined with strategic furniture layouts will also enhance the flow and perceived size of the property. McCarthy says that "as soon as one of my sellers, who was having difficulty selling her home, repainted the interior with more neutral tones, the home took a deposit." 

Less Stress for Seller 
Home Stagers will work with homeowners and realtors as partners in the process, guiding them with their expertise and helping them emotionally detach from their home in order to transform the property into a product that appeals to a wide range of prospective buyers - no matter what their taste or style. 


Early fall is the perfect time to step back and assess your kitchen, the heart of the home where you'll be preparing meals and entertaining guests for fall and winter holiday gatherings. Even if you aren't in the market for a total re-do, one or two of the following on-trend updates is all it takes to breathe new life into your kitchen again.

Kitchens Decorated and Remodeled by PJ & Company

White & Grey Palette

White cabinets paired with grey walls and countertops continue to be the hot combo in kitchen decor. These soft, neutral tones exude a clean, modern feel that are a great complement to hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances and pops of colorful accessories. 

Fresh Accent Hues 
Personalize your kitchen style and offset the neutral backdrop by adding splashes of bright colors in creative ways. Try mixing things up with a new backsplash and wall tiles,
re-upholstered stools, painted chairs, cushions and pillows in solids and patterns, rugs,
wall art, window treatments, etc.

Modern Fixtures
Create some drama and a focal point in the room by switching out lighting with modern pendants that are available in many different designs, sizes, materials and colors. Be sure to create depth with kitchen lighting and layer for both tasks and ambience.

Quartz Countertops
Quartz and natural stone remain popular choices for countertop materials as they are both durable, practical for families and busy cooks as well as sleek in design. They are also now available in a variety of new neutral colors to choose from.

Eco-Friendly Elements
From energy saving appliances to automated faucets to sensor-activated lights, incorporating green friendly kitchen elements is a trend that is here to stay.


Let the new season inspire you to add fresh, personal style with a mix of warm, earthy hues reminiscent of the changing leaves (think caramel, tan, pumpkin, burgundy, rust). Add a twist by pairing these safe, traditional hues with pops of unexpected on-trend colors such as navy, poppy, violet and gray. We hope our colorful collage below inspires you to add some bold seasonal touches to your favorite rooms!



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