The Style Report

Home Improvements: The Smartest Move Sellers Can Make -- Remodeling Magazine's 2014 Cost vs Value Report

STAGED TO SELL: Five Styled and Staged Transformations



Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedIn


Join Our Mailing List!
MARCH 2014                                        V0L 3.3
Photo Credit: Jeff Kaufman Photography
We have just returned home from a 10 hour staging project in South Salem, NY, our sixth staged home in less than five weeks. These clients -- and their real estate agents -- understand today's highly competitive real estate market, buyer demands, and the importance of putting their best foot forward prior to listing their home for sale. I would like to thank Bill, Leta and Carl, Suzanne and Louis, Megan, Lorraine, and William for engaging in our services and believing that staging is an investment in getting a property sold. All of these properties took advantage of the early spring market and the low inventory of homes available. You can see the transformation of some of the properties below. 

In our feature story, Home Improvements: The Smartest Move Sellers Can Make, we were surprised by how many homes in our region were built before 1990. On the other hand, I live in a 1965 colonial -- and I just renovated my master bathroom to enjoy today but to also add to my home's value in the future. We share this story to help those of you who live in older homes and considering selling in the near future determine what updates might provide the most value in the long term.

Finally, we are all thinking about yet another cold front heading our way, so enjoy our color swatch for March -- Freesia -- to imagine that spring is around the corner.


Remodeling Magazine Releases 2014 Cost vs Value Report


As the housing market recovers, more homeowners are looking to remodel their home to boost it's value and equity.  Remodeling Magazine's 2014 Cost vs Value Report shows a positive trend when it comes to recouping dollars spent on home improvements when it comes time to sell -- particularly in New England where a higher percentage of older homes can benefit from improvements. 


Even homeowners who aren't selling today, but remodeling for their own enjoyment can increase the value of their property by considering updates that will deliver the biggest return and pay off in the future.  


It's always important to consider future plans to possibly sell when making updates to ensure the home will appeal to buyers. Low-cost remodeling projects particularly in key rooms such as kitchens and baths can really boost a home's appeal to buyers and selling potential. Staged homes also consistently sell for more money and more quickly than non-staged homes. 


For The Second Consecutive Year, Cost vs Value Data Shows The Value Of Remodeling Is Up For All 35 Projects In The Survey

One of our favorite points as interior decorators and professional home stagers is Remodeling Magazine's finding that the best-performing kitchen and bath project is a minor remodel -- which includes new appliances and counter tops, a face lift for cabinets, updating outdated vanities and faucets, and adding new cabinet hardware. We do this all the time for our interior decorating and home staging clients and as pictured below completely transform an outdated space.



 This kitchen update by PJ & Company included professionally painting cabinetry, replacing Formica counter tops with granite, adding new light fixtures as well as trim and detailing to the existing island and cabinets providing a custom look.

This year's report also indicates New England homeowners are recouping more remodeling dollars than in past years and above national averages. This is good news given Connecticut and New York have a higher percentage of older homes and updates in these markets will be important considerations for homeowners thinking of selling or wanting to boost their home's long term value.

Attic bedroom and basement remodels are among the biggest gainers and have a high ROI. Both areas of a home represent valuable square footage that may be underutilized but with some updating can deliver additional living space within the homes existing footprint and without having to add on.

An extension of the home, a deck addition is also a top performer with a high ROI and represents homeowners increasing desire for outdoor living space for entertaining.

To see the full report click here: Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs Value Report. 


Five Different Home Transformations
Staging and low cost updates can benefit homes big or small and our recent staging clients are proof! In the past few weeks alone, PJ & Company has staged two, million dollar homes -- a custom, new construction property in Avon, CT and a 1949 colonial in Irvington, NY -- a contemporary home in South Salem, NY and two smaller homes in Danbury and Hamden Connecticut.

Regardless of the style or size of a home, staging can completely transform a space and make a home more marketable and attractive to buyers, who otherwise can't envision a house as their home.

Below is a glimpse at some of our staging work designed to help get these homes sold!

The living room in this $1.9 million, 5,700 square foot colonial in Westchester, NY is a large room perfect for entertaining but the decor was outdated. The layout of the furnishings also wasn't inviting. Using some of the existing furniture, painting a new neutral, yet warm, wall color and adding modern accents, this room now looks like it should be in the pages of a magazine and will engage buyers both online and in person.


 The master bathroom of this contemporary South Salem, NY home features beautiful tile but the custom double vanity was outdated and too expensive to replace. We suggested professionally painting it a modern, dark espresso finish. The transformation updates the entire space and offers buyers a move-in ready master retreat. 



  This new home in Avon, CT is a beautiful custom built home, however, unfurnished it would leave buyers uninspired and unable to envision it as their home. Vacant homes also look smaller to buyers who will spend less time in the property during a showing. Our team staged key rooms to give buyers vision and showcase the space.  



 This 1900 square foot Danbury, CT home offers buyers a bright open living room.  Mismatched and dated furnishings, however, detracted from the beautiful architectural details and charm of the room. New furnishings define the space and give the home a modern, fresh look buyers will love.   



  This Hamden, CT home was another vacant property. The master bedroom pictured above is a huge room but has dated wallpaper and looks small when unfurnished.  We removed the wallpaper, painted a warm neutral color, installed new beige carpeting,  and added furnishings to showcase this move-in ready space. 

This month in Color Swatch we continue to highlight Pantone's Spring 2014 color picks in home decor. After a snow filled winter we're ready for warm, spring sun and our pick this month -- Freesia -- represents our readiness for spring.

Freesia -- a bright and joyful, blazing yellow is "illuminating" the fashion world according to Pantone and is a surprisingly beautiful  and refreshing accent in home decor. Freesia pairs easily with this year's trending colors in home decor including warm greys, teal and blue hues as well as Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, featured in the January Style Report.

Designers of the 2014 HGTV Dream Home paired freesia furnishings with beautiful grey and blue tones in the home's living room, pictured below. By using different textures and patterns, the designers incorporate freesia throughout the space. A sleek leather ottoman, modern wing back chair, pillows and even counter stools in the kitchen carry the color throughout creating a modern, sophisticated look.  

Also Shown Below in Freesia For Your Own Home:
Woopsy Desk Lamp / Lamps Plus,  Ikat Rug /,
Botanical Print / Anthropologie, Yellow Lily Dining Chair / One Kings Lane

We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to send your thoughts, comments, or questions to

The Style Report is PJ & Company Home Styling's e-newsletter designed to inform, entertain, and engage our clients, colleagues, friends, and other style followers about topics in interior design, fashion, and special events.