Tag Archives: Philadelphia interior decorator

Older Homes: Restoring, Remodeling and Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

20 Dec

IMG_9387(1940’s Germantown home staging by Sunflower Creations)

Although we spend a lot of our time on new construction projects, we always get a special thrill out of working with older homes.  For better, or for worse, old homes are chock-full of reminders of the past.  Sure, you’re going to encounter some lumps and bumps and imperfections–  This is the character, the charm, the “cozy” factor!

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If you are an old home-lover, you may fall into the category of Preservationist.  Or, if you are like me, you may appreciate the old bones and cosmetic details, but opt for the conveniences of modern living.  So, I thought we’d talk a little bit about both options, provide some resources, and share some pics of our older home stagings.  Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your opinions and experiences!

The Basics of Old Home Buying

It really goes with out saying that in any home purchase, you should always bring in a licensed and qualified home inspector.  But in older homes, you will want to pay special attention to the functionality of the existing mechanisms.  One hundred years ago, people did not consume like we do today, so be realistic about the capabilities of the plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling systems.  Whether you seek to preserve or remodel, keep in mind that these basic functions of the home can dictate lifestyle, and be costly changes.  (Ex:  Will you be happy to turn off the air conditioner while you blow your hair dry?)  Pay close attention to the condition of windows, flooring, foundation, chimney, framing, and roof.  Also, be wary of grading/drainage issues that may result in pooling water damage, and could contribute to mold growth, and check for asbestos, which was commonly used in insulation before 1960.blog1(Broomall Home Staging by Sunflower Creations)

So, after reading all of those troubling possibilities listed above, why on earth would anyone want to preserve an old home?  Because we love projects!  If you think working around the house sounds like a fun way to spend your weekends, keep reading…  If you think learning history in a hands-on way sounds interesting, scroll on.  And, if you would rather post Facebook photos of your new circuit breakers than your cat, hang with us!

Restoration Resources

So, if you are a preservationist, you are looking to celebrate the history of your home.  Design-wise, you will probably opt for more “period” specific furniture, accessories, and window treatments.

A major cosmetic detail in proper preservation is paint color, both interior and exterior.  Sherwin-Williams has this invaluable section on their website that actually categorizes your home by period/style, and then provides paint color combination suggestions for walls, trim, and accents.

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A general theme that we hear in older home staging projects is that, charming as they may be, many old wood floors suffer from the “patchwork” phenomenon from many years of different owners and quick-fix repairs.  In some cases, a very simple cosmetic option is a nice big area rug.

IMG_9378(1940’s Germantown Home Staging by Sunflower Creations)

But, in terms of flooring restoration, there are many opinions out there about the best course of action.  OldHouseOnline is a great starting point for your venture because it discusses various types of wood flooring and various types of equipment you will need.    But, if you make the decision to take on the project, consult professionals.  You do want to be sure that the sander you use is appropriate for the type of wood.  Also, tongue and groove flooring restoration can differ from face-nailed flooring.  And, getting the finish right will highly impact your end result.  (BTW, OldHouseOnline also has an awesome section on a vast number of different “restoration how-to’s”.  Definitely worth bookmarking if you are into this…)

blog11(Rittenhouse Square Condominium Staging by Sunflower Creations)

On a final restoration note, I wanted to mention woodwork.  This is a project that I have taken on in the past, and I will be the first to tell you that it is a biggie.  The end result will be worth it every time you look at it, but it is methodical, labor intensive, messy and detail-oriented.  Since many homes built before 1960 may contain lead paint, you will want to seal off the room, wear a dust mask and gloves at all times, and keep away kids and pets.  First step is to treat a small, descrete area of the woodwork with denatured alcohol to determine whether the existing surface material is water or oil-based.  The process will vary a little in terms of materials, depending on what type of surface covering you are stripping.  And, again, you will definitely want to ask questions at the hardware store.  But, basically, from here you will strip the old paint with a chemical agent, scrape the remaining residue, clean up the debris, stain your raw woodwork, and seal to protect.  Simple, right?!  For more details, check out This Old House.

Going for the Update

On the other hand, if you decide to go for the modern spin on your older home, you have infinite possibilities…

One major difference between older and newer homes is the tendancy toward open floor plans.  In older homes, rooms were small, often for the sake of heating each space with its own fireplace.  It is very possible to knock out walls and create open spaces in an older home, but be sure that you know which ones are supporting the structure of the house (and stay away from those!).

Here’s a few cosmetic ways to open up space:

Utilize the color wheel- Paint ceilings white, and choose cool, light colors for accent walls.  (And, while we are on the topic, be sure to use a flat or eggshell paint finish.  A less shiny finish will hide more of the unevenness in older walls.)  Lighter color flooring materials will brighten the room, also making it feel larger.

Play visual mind tricks-  Hang long accent panel curtains as high as possible above windows.  The long vertical lines will make the ceilings seem higher, and the rooms more spacious.  And, if you are installing directional flooring, you can create the feeling of more space by the direction that you lay your new floor.

IMG_9373(1940’s Germantown Home Staging by Sunflower Creations)

Now, if you love your older home, you obviously have some affection for things antique and vintage.  But, if you are like me, you might want to get eclectic with some modern surprises.

blog3(Fishtown Home Staging by Sunflower Creations)

Consider updating with contemporary light fixtures.  Switch out kitchen/bathroom drawer pulls with something artsy or something clean-lined.  A glass/ceramic tile or hammered tin backsplash is an excellent little addition that is not terribly expensive or invasive.

blog4(Mount Airy Home Staging by Sunflower Creations)

Here’s some other simple and complex renovation ideas to think about:

http://voices.yahoo.com/cheap-ways-update-old-house-8757691.html?cat=30

http://www.diynetwork.com/home-improvement/10-budget-updates-and-easy-cosmetic-fixes/pictures/index.html?i=1

Well, that does it for today–  Thanks so much for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new construction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

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So Much New Construction in Fishtown!! Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

18 Nov

letterly1Often, in new construction homes and rehabbed properties, spaces are designed to be very, very neutral.  The idea is to make the property beautiful, luxurious and upscale, but appeal to the masses in order to attract the greatest number of interested buyers.

As Stagers, we bring the mood, the warmth, and the energy.  We play detective a little bit, and try to figure out WHO our buyer will be in the end.   Then, we try to appeal to him/her based on our design knowledge and expertise.

This project was a little bit different–  The builder of this Fishtown treasure made some really unique design choices that gave the home a spirit of its own.  Check out the diagonal direction of the hard wood floors, that makes the space feel very open.

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The kitchen’s apron front sink, exaggerated drawer pulls,  and white subway tile back-splash bring an element of ultra-modern sleek to this gourmet kitchen.

And take a gander at these bathroom finishes…

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We followed suit, and chose pieces that would accent and enhance these fun features.

So, needless to say, the BRIGHT GREEN accent wall in the main living space was a big no-brainer!

Purple is an awesome contrast, and the silver accents are a little edgy…

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A little mixture of industrial with more traditional pieces is fun, and appealing to a wide range of lookers.

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And finally, the relaxing, serene master bedroom.

This is the view out the window:

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Thanks so much for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new construction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

Point Breeze Rehab- Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

15 Nov

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Although we are coming to the end of the busy, busy, BUSY Fall Market, we are still staging away like crazy!!

Since our entire business is built on our reputation,

and our reputation is built on the presentations we put out,

we are always trying to keep our stagings fresh and new.

As we head into the quieter months, a major focus for us is examining our inventory in order to retire the older pieces, and make room the new ones…

Keep checking our blogs to see all the great new pieces that we’re bringing in!

Here’s a property that we just did in the Point Breeze neighborhood of South Philly.  You can read the full listing description by clicking on this link.

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We’ve been gravitating towards yellows lately!

They are perky for summer, sophisticated for fall, and cozy for winter–  It all depends on your color pairing…

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We’ve had our eyes on this antique-washed cabinet with mirrored doors for a while now!4 IMG_8848 5 6

This awesome washboard-look dresser was the inspiration for this bedroom–

Black, white, and shades of brown with lots of pattern and texture.

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Thanks so much for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new construction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

Suburban Rehab in Broomall, PA- Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

14 Nov

marple3As soon as we set foot inside, we could not wait to get our paws all over this place!

This is a REALLY cool rehab, with original flagstone entry floor, beautifully salvaged hardwoods, shutter windows, and modern updates!

We’ve got built-ins, secret doors, fireplaces…  What fun!!

Here’s a few pics of the great room/dining room, and bedrooms.

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The sectional sofa serves a few functions in this room.  First, it defines the space that is the living area, as opposed to the dining area.  Second, it allows for lots of seating without monopolizing the wall space, which is filled with all those terrific built-ins.  And finally, it creates the perfect frame for that beautiful fireplace.marple7marple1

Here are some shots of the master, and 2 additional bedrooms:marple4 marple5 marple6Thanks so much for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new contruction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

Rehabbed Home in South Philly’s Up-and-Coming Pennsport- Staging by Sunflower Creations

8 Nov

moore2We did this staging over the summer (we’ve been super busy, and are JUST starting to catch up on our blogs, etc).  The house is a beautiful renovated row home on Moore St. in Pennsport.  Looking back at the photos, I really love the bold color punches!  It looks very neat and clean.

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We started out with a black, white, and turquise “less-is-more” design on the first floor, and it seems to have carried on up the stairs, as well.

Our client chose to have us stage the two smaller bedrooms, because rooms really do feel larger with the right furniture in them.

So, we did a twin set up for  a child’s room, and a full set up, which would be ideal for a teenager:

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moore6Thanks so much for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new contruction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

 

$1,000,000 Condo Listing in Rittenhouse Square- Sunflower Creations, Philadelphia Home Stagers

1 Nov

s. 17th st3This beautiful condo is located in “the coveted and elite” Rittenhouse Square.  It features brilliantly shiny parquet floors, tall ceilings, enormous windows that provide views of three sides of the city, and TONS of built-ins.

And, we LOOOVE built-ins, because it means we have an excuse to seek out the most fabulous, quirky,

interesting, and peculiar accessory pieces to showcase!

…Such as this oversized faux ivory tusk magifying glass…

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…this wise old owl…

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…and, this sweet turquoise lamb…

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We staged the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, office, and guest bedroom.s. 17th st2

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Another cool find, this great big aged jax:

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And, we couldn’t resist this bench-  Every inch of it is amazing!IMG_1769

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Thanks so much for looking!

Whether your project is ultra-modern new construction, a charming rehab, or traditional home in need of an updated restyle–

We understand the subtle differences.

 

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our service keeps clients coming back time and again.

 

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

 

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

 

267.207.9298

 

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

 

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

Northern Liberties Condo Pics- Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

17 Oct

2nd1This two bedroom condo has great light, a super-cool loft space, and fabulous roof deck.  We wanted to make it fun and youthful, but still sophisticated in style.  Such is the Northern Liberties market!

2nd2In terms of accessories, we were going for minimum clutter, maximum impact.

Here’s a favorite:

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Loved the color in this bedroom.  It was the inspiration for the scheme we used throughout the unit.

And, mixing frill with some industrial elements gave the space an edge feel.  Perfect for this condo!2nd3

Thanks so much for looking!

…Whether ultra-modern new contruction, a charming rehab, or a traditional redesign–We understand the subtle differences.

Our “look” helps homes sell quickly and our process keeps clients coming back time and again.

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

Pennsport Rehab Under Contract in 20 Days! Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

9 Oct

Interesting fact from RESA (Real Estate Staging Association):

In controlled tests selling identical homes, professionally staged vs. those not staged, the non-staged houses sold in 102 days, while the staged houses sold in 45 days.

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This rehabber has a great talent for designing for the unknown buyer.  Her rehabs are always sophisticated, yet fun, and they always sell quickly.

She adds great modern details (like this terrific lime green accent wall), while keeping with the integrity of the original home.  And, she has a good sense of where staging is needed to fill in the gaps.

We staged the upstairs bedrooms, to add some interest for MLS photos and showings, and to provide space planning assistance in small rooms.

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Thanks so much for looking!

If you need help with home staging or interior design services, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

A Home that Lives Up to Its Name- Staging by Sunflower Creations

2 Oct

appletree2This charming home on Appletree St, in Logan Square, is bursting with Autumn.

Perhaps, we were inspired by the name, or was it the view…

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This is the living room, with fabulous built-ins and original shutters.appletree9 appletree3

This is a more casual lounge area, attached to the master bedroom.

appletree4 appletree5 appletree8 appletree7For more information on this home, visit the property listing

Thanks so much for looking!

If you need help with home staging or interior design, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy

A Mature Look in Point Breeze- Home Staging by Sunflower Creations

30 Sep

latona1For this beautiful modern rehab with a traditional flair, we chose a more sophisticated decor.

We brought in deep hues of purple and blue to accent the traditional color palette, wainscoting and and dark wood floors.

We also went with a more formal look in the dining area, and plushed up the place with lots of textile.

We kept competing prints to a minimum in this space.  But, we definitely create interest with lots of different textures in the pillows, accessories, and area rugs.

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Thanks so much for looking!

If you need help with home staging or interior design, please contact us:

Ali Kutner, Home Staging Coordinator

267.207.9298

akutner@sunflowercreationsonline.com

or visit us at Sunflower Creations Home

sfc logo copy