Make a Holiday Centerpiece for Under $75



Thanksgiving Centerpieces can be elegant and with some planning, reusable and relatively inexpensive to make. Here’s how:

  1.  Look on Craigslist for oak boards that you can pick up for a small price or for free.  The dimensions (1/2″ thick boards) of this box are 46″L X 9″W X 5-1/2″D
  2. The box has mitered corners glued together with Tite Bond glue.  It also has splines cut into the corners for stability.
  3. I used black gel stain from General Finishes to finish the box and my husband (I always sucker him into projects!)
  4. A week before Thanksgiving, I went to Michaels and picked up floral items that were marked down 80% off.  Another option is to hit the Dollar Store early for floral supplies.
  5. I secured the floral pieces with foam blocks that I purchased at the Dollar Store.

I picked up battery operated pillar candles and tapered (drip-free candles) from Meijer and set them inside of the box on top of blocks (pillar candles) and the tapered candles are sitting in candleholders.  For the center, I used an old mercury glass pumpkin that I already owned but you could use a small pumpkin (painted or unpainted) or a rounded candle holder for the middle.

First Impression Home Staging can help make your home festive for the holidays!  Call us today for a consultation (248) 761-3380.


Save Your Back This Winter! Easy Outdoor Pot Winterization

Our Solution to Saving Garage Space!

This year, my husband and I purchased new outdoor furniture and realized that we no longer had room to store our outdoor pots inside of the garage. Not only that, but we were tired of moving these heavy things!  So, we came up with an idea to protect our pots from filling with water, freezing and cracking this winter WITHOUT moving them from the patio!  We covered 4 pots for less than $30!  Here is what you’ll need:

  1.  3/4″ thick plywood
  2.  Tite Bond wood glue
  3. 1-1/4″ exterior screws

First, measure the outside and inside dimensions of each pot.  Cut the a circle equal to the outside dimensions of the pot. Cut a second circle equal to the interior dimensions of the pot.  Center the smaller circle to the larger circle and glue the two wood pieces together.   Secure them by also using a few exterior screws to provide extra support.  Use a roller and brush to paint them with an exterior paint color of your choice.  We chose to match them to the pots but a variety of colors would work!  Good luck!

First Impression Home Staging and Interior Design specializes in redesigning your custom living spaces.  Call us today for a free consultation!


5 Patio Trends That Will Be Huge In 2017

It may be raining and cloudy outside but this is the perfect time of year to start planning your outdoor patio.  This year’s trends will include a variation of bright colors, textured furniture and a variety of furniture shapes and textures to fill your outdoor living space.  Here are the top FIVE trends for outdoor living spaces in 2017:

1.  Unique Silhouettes

Statement pieces will fill the outdoor landscapes and will include chaise lounges, conversational sofas, high canopies, sling chairs and a variety of textures to make your living space more comfortable and interesting.  Outdoor furniture will resemble the look of indoor living spaces, creating a seamless transition from your home to the patio.

2.  Vibrant Colors

Blues and greens will be a big hit outdoors this year.  From the coastal blues to the vibrant greens, stores are offering a variety of pillow textures and trims that resemble the look of an indoor fabrics.  Woven fabrics such as jute, offer a nice neutral tone that can be added to any look.

3.  Accessories

The accessories offered by online furniture stores are unlimited. For instance, outdoor lighting is a hot trend this year.  From overhead string lighting to lanterns, the options are unlimited.  Do you have a small backyard with a fence, try adding an outdoor mirror to reflect your garden area and create the look of a bigger, more formal space in your backyard.

4.  Woven Furniture

Woven furniture in a variety of colors is a big trend this year.  This style adds texture to the backyard and can be combined with any combination of colors or furniture styles.  Manufacturers have been featuring furniture in reds and more recently, blue to add more interest!

5. The Outdoor Living Room

Mixing an outdoor sofa with single chairs will give your guests a variety of choices for seating.  Mixing these furniture pieces and zoning your patio into different functional areas will create a comfortable living space for entertaining this summer.  Are you looking for a custom look?  An interior decorator can create a custom look by choosing choosing the right furniture for your space and custom fabric to create the perfect look for your backyard.

First Impression Home Staging and Interior Design specializes in custom living spaces.  Call us today for a free consultation!


5 Resolutions for An Organized Home in 2017

As I was taking down my Christmas decorations last weekend (thankful that my husband was willing to climb up into the attic in 10-degree temps), I thought about how I could re-organize my living areas so that I could create more usable space in my home.

As a professional home stager and interior decorator, the first recommendation that I have for home owners and home sellers is to declutter as much as possible.  However, we still have items that we use regularly and therefore, we need to find space system to make them accessible without creating clutter. Here are 5 EASY tips on how to become better organized in 2017:

1. Work in One Room at a Time

My friend, who is a professional organizer, recommended a great organizational book called, ‘Organizing from the Inside Out’ by Julie Morgenstern.  In this book, she recommends tackling one room at a time instead of trying to reorganize multiple rooms on the same day.  Otherwise, we become distracted. For instance, you might decide to organize your main office and while sorting the built-in shelving unit, you see a book that belongs in another room.  You then take the book to the bookshelf in the other room and notice that it is completely disorganized and begin organizing the bookshelf.  After  hours of organizing, you realize that the room you set out to organize is in even more disarray than when you began.  It is best to put that ‘misplaced book’ in a pile to be moved later into the correct spot and finish the room you started.  When I took down my Christmas decorations, I practiced this technique by stowing items from one room at a time.  Next year, when I open my boxes, every item in each box will go back into the same room and it will make it much easier for me to redecorate in December.

2.  Downsize!

If you are a parent, I’m sure you can relate to an over-abundance of toys and clothing in your house after the holidays.  It is time to decide as a family which items are ready to be donated to those who can use these unused items in your home.  Charities like Purple Heart and the The Salvation Army are easy to contact online and they will gladly pick up your donated items.  If you aren’t sure, ask yourself,  “Have I worn this item of clothing in the past year?”  This year, I gave my kids a couple of bags and asked them to make choices on which toys they still play with each week.  I was surprised at how many of them they were willing to part with and they felt good about giving to charity too.  This is a great way to empower kids to make decisions and in turn, become more charitable and organized adults.

3.  Divide Each Room by ‘Zones’

Another tip that I learned from Julie Morgenstern’s book is to divide each space by zones.  For instance, in a living area, you may have an entertainment zone where you need remote controls, blankets, pillows, space to set food.  You may also have a reading zone where you need storage for books or magazines.  Another zone might be for toys or display.  Each zone should have storage for your necessary items and these storage boxes or baskets, etc. should be nearby so that it is easy to clean up after you are finished using these areas.  If storage is not accessible, it becomes easy to leave things out, creating a cluttered room.

4. Keep a Schedule

Keep a weekly cleaning schedule for you and your family.  It helps us stay on task.  Even if you have outside cleaning help, they will not help if your house is cluttered and disorganized.  To make the job easier, first have a schedule of when you do what: For example, laundry is Monday nights; bathrooms are Saturday morning; trash is Sunday nights, etc.

5.  Limit your Organizing Time and Take Care of Yourself

When you have an organized home, you have more time to eat right, exercise, socialize and take care of yourself and your family.  When you decide to begin organizing, limit your project to 2-4 hours and set a timer.  Otherwise you might burn out and decide to quit too early.  These first steps of organizing are the building blocks that create a happier and healthier life.

For more information on improving your home, visit

Do you have any organizing tips?  Leave your comments here. 

Fall Staging Tips to Make Your Home Unforgettable


1. Cozy Up the Place

It’s important to make the home feel warm during these cooler months.  Add a soft blanket in the living room, use seasonal flowers or anything that will make the buyer feel as though they want to relax in your home and move right in.

2.  Add Seasonal Scents…but not too much!

Add some scented candles in the room or bake an apple pie before an important showing.  This will evoke the feeling of fall and bring back memories of the season.  Try not to mix too many scents, as it could become overwhelming.

3.  Bring in the Light

The days are becoming shorter so be sure to light all of your lamps  before a showing.  It’s best to have different light sources in a room.  It also might be a good idea to add battery operated candles in these colder months.

4. Add Fall to your Yard but Don’t Overdue it.  

Good Idea:  Add seasonal decor such as pots of mums or pumpkins

Bad idea: Don’t add the large scarecrow display or the extensive spiderweb collection on the front bushes when you are trying to sell your home.   I

Keep it tasteful so that your seasonal decor adds character to your wonderful home & doesn’t distract buyers as they walk up to your front door.

Remember! It only takes buyers LESS THAN 5 MINUTES to form an opinion on your home!

First Impression Home Staging helps homeowners maximize the potential of their home so that they are ready for their first showing.

Call us for information on our custom in-home consultations

(248) 761-3380.

Hottest Patio Trends for 2016


As we gear up for the busy summer months, many of us are thinking about how to plan our outdoor spaces.  Here are some of the hottest outdoor trends for 2016.

Industrial Clean Lines

A contemporary style is making a comeback for outdoor furniture.  This space, which serves as an extension of our indoor living areas, focuses on a simplified look with a mixture of textures and colors.  The weather washed look (gray) furniture, mixed with other textures such as cement, teak, metal and woven materials, gives the 2016 outdoor patio a very industrial, clean look.

Neon Colors and Navy

Neon colors are here to stay.  Neutrals provide a great base color for larger seat cushions but the neon pillows, umbrellas and outdoor rugs add fun accents to our outdoor living areas.  Bright blue is popular, as it gives us a feeling of enlightenment and a welcoming vibe.  Navy has become the new neutral color, creating a beachy, nautical feel.  Add some metallic, such as gold and silver to planters and hangers, and it creates a nautical accessory that  mimics the inside of seashells.

Outdoor Kitchens

Are you a grill master or the king or queen of the margarita mixer? When planning an outdoor space, narrow down what you’ll use when entertaining.  Outdoor refrigerators, bar carts, fun string lights and torches are popular this year to create a festive look outdoors.  Barstools and a built-in bar create a fun outdoor entertaining area for those who want their guests to enjoy refreshments and food from the grill in one location.

Fire Elements

Outdoor fire pits are becoming very popular in recent years.  They provide a focal point to  your backyard and ad a cozy, warmth feeling.  These spaces encourage visiting, eating and a gathering space when the weather is too chilly for sitting on the back patio.  Stores are now showing tables with fire pits built into them for a more economical and space saving feature.

Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens create another type of focal point for the outdoors.  They can either draw attention to an area or disguise unattractive views.  These creations are popular because they are made for the apartment dwellers, urban gardeners or the large, traditional garden homes.  Climbing plants can be places on trellises or simple houseplants can be planted inside of decorative structures and attached to the wall.

If you are looking for help dressing up your living space, contact First Impression Home Staging & Interior Design, LLC (248) 761-3380 for a consultation.

What Changes are you planning to make to your outdoor space this year?  

Please share your thoughts here. 



Must-haves to Attract Young Home Buyers

‘Must-Haves’ to Attract Young Home Buyers


Today, those born between 1980 – 2000 (Millennials) comprise the largest segment of home buyers. The average age of today’s homebuyer, according to the National Association of Realtors, is 33 years old.  Their list of requirements are different from their parents because they are looking for turnkey, move-in ready homes that require little or no work.

This HGTV-watching generation is more likely to comment whether or not a home is staged properly because they are looking to buy a lifestyle.   Homes that are staged to target the buyer’s lifestyle are proven to sell 75% faster and for 8%-10% more than homes that are not stage-ready.

Here are common ‘must have’ features for young buyers:

Updated Kitchen and Bath

Today’s young buyer is on limited budget, spending their money on interest rates, the downpayment and furnishings. The kitchen and bath are the most expensive rooms to update so they will value a home that does not require them to update these areas.

Home Office and Technology

As technology improves, many more young professionals will have the ability to work from home and space for a home office is valuable.  This generation doesn’t believe in cable or landlines. However, internet, cell phone access, or any technological features of a home are very important to these buyers.

Open Kitchen

Dining rooms are becoming a room of past generations.  Younger buyers are looking for an open-concept floor plan with a kitchen that opens up to a living space.  The kitchen is a gathering area where people cook and socialize in a less formal setting.

Walkable Location

Homes that are located in areas where transportation, stores and shops are within walking distance are very attractive to young buyers.  They are not the generation looking to take care of acreage or drive an hour to the local grocery store.  They want accessibility and convenience.

Are you looking to prepare your home for the market? Call First Impression Home Staging for a consultation (248)761-3380.

What are your top ‘must-have’ features when looking at a home?  

Please share your comments!