Category Archives for "Home Staging"

Home Staging Services in Tampa and St Petersburg FL.  HSR Certified Home Stager, E-Designer, Interior Paint Color Consultant, Interior Decorator

Title: Spotlight on Cathy Di Leo: Voyage Tampa Magazine Features a Local Interior Decorating Maven

We are thrilled to announce that Cathy Di Leo, the esteemed founder of Di Leo Design & Staging, has been featured in Voyage Tampa Magazine, a publication known for highlighting local talents and entrepreneurs. This well-deserved recognition highlights Cathy’s exceptional skills, creativity, and dedication to the world of interior decorating. Join us as we delve into the insightful article and learn more about Cathy’s journey, inspirations, and the passion she brings to every project.

Unveiling Cathy’s Artistry: The article in Voyage Tampa Magazine delves into Cathy Di Leo’s illustrious career, showcasing her expertise as an interior decorating maven. With her keen eye for design, Cathy has transformed countless homes, elevating them with her unique blend of style, functionality, and attention to detail. The feature highlights Cathy’s commitment to delivering exceptional service, collaborating closely with clients, and bringing their visions to life.

A Journey of Inspiration: The article also provides a glimpse into Cathy’s personal journey and the experiences that have shaped her as a designer. From her early fascination with colors and textures to her continuous pursuit of knowledge in the field, Cathy’s passion for interior decorating shines through. Voyage Tampa Magazine captures Cathy’s unwavering dedication to her craft and her constant drive to stay on top of the latest trends and design techniques.

A Testament to Excellence: Being featured in Voyage Tampa Magazine is a testament to Cathy’s outstanding reputation within the local interior decorating industry. Her ability to transform spaces and create harmonious environments has garnered recognition and admiration from clients and peers alike. Through her exceptional work, Cathy has carved a niche for herself, setting the bar high for innovation, professionalism, and personalized service.

Cathy Di Leo’s feature in Voyage Tampa Magazine is a celebration of her talent, creativity, and the impact she has made in the world of interior decorating. Her ability to bring beauty, functionality, and style together in perfect harmony has made her a sought-after professional in the Tampa Bay area. As we celebrate this well-deserved recognition, we invite you to explore Cathy’s portfolio, get inspired by her work, and experience the magic of her interior decorating expertise.

#CathyDiLeo #InteriorDecorating #VoyageTampaMagazine #DesignInspiration #TampaBayInteriors

Home Staging Essentials

As a Realtor, I’m sure you’re always trying to find that “Thing” to set you apart from the other Realtors in your area. You’ve carefully crafted a listing package that gives you differentiation and shows potential clients that your services far exceed the services of other Realtors. Whatever your marketing strategy, Staging Walk & Talks are just one of the many Home Staging Services I offer and a great way to add value to your listing package without spending a ton of additional marketing dollars. I’ve also included some of my favorite staging essentials below as the beginning of a shopping list! Share this with your sellers and get the most from your listings!

What is a staging Walk & Talk? It’s a 2 hour tour of the home (inside and out) to identify what needs to be done in order to photograph and list the home. As an HSR certified staging professional, I am trained at how to view the home through a “buyers” eye. I provide objective recommendations on what needs to be done to sell the home faster and for the most possible money.

Ninety percent of potential buyers are looking on line at listings before choosing homes they want to visit. Additionally, they’re only picking a hand full of homes to see in person. Once inside the home, buyers know within 10 seconds whether they’ll make an offer. Regardless of the market conditions, creating that emotional connection with buyers is what produces results and offers! Fast sales for the most money possible= happy clients!

When I’ve completed a staging Walk& Talk, sellers will have a 14 page comprehensive list of EXACTLY what needs to be done to prepare the home for sale. This could include decluttering, painting, adjusting the flow of furniture and purchasing some small items to freshen the look of the home. Staging does not need to involve emptying the home. In many cases, I recommend that the home owners leave furniture in the rooms so prospective buyers can get an idea of the size of the rooms. Occupied homes can be staged using items the owner currently has, and adding a few accessories to update the look. Small items like towels, lighting, greenery and rugs photograph great and add that extra layer of detail to a home.

Here is a basic list of items I use to get started with staging an occupied home. This can be passed along to sellers and allows them to easily click the shopping links to purchase. Items used in staging don’t need to be expensive so purchasing from Amazon, HomeGoods or Ross is my recommendation. I white comforter and shiny lamps can go a long way in making a room look great in photographs!

By bringing in an “Expert” to stage your listings, your credibility with the seller is automatically elevated.  Professional stagers go through hundreds of hours of training in staging and many times hold additional certifications in color consultation and design.  You have to maintain a strong relationship with the client in order to make it through the entire escrow process. Use the home stager to address sensitive issues and to facilitate hard conversations about preparing the home to sell. Stagers can take the “heat” off Realtors so they’re better able to focus their area of expertise- selling homes!

Click Here to schedule a 2 hour Staging Walk Through

Tampa Interior Decorator, Cathy Di Leo wins Best of the Best for February 2021!

As a Tampa and Wesley Chapel interior decorator I was so honored to be named the one of the “Best of the Best Home Interior” decorators for the month of February 2021 by Home Staging Resources.

The HSR Best of the Best awards showcase the decorators and stagers that are among those certified by Home Staging Resource under the guidance of Audra Slinkey. Winners are hand-picked by four judges out of hundreds of photos every month!

The winning photo (featured above) has a really funny backstory you can read all about by clicking here. I’ve been so fortunate over the last year to have the opportunity to decorate and stage some amazing homes. Even with the pandemic, my clients have been amazing and business has been fantastic!

What an honor it is to be on this list and to have the opportunity to create beautiful homes!

Time’s Up on Tuscany Decor!

Peanut butter brown…gold or burgundy paint…Faux Finishes…

wrought iron chandeliers with 12 tiers weighing 800 pounds, window treatments with fringe, fake plants on the tops of your cabinets, metal wall décor, dark wood kitchens…oh how the Tuscany Style from the year 2000 haunts us!  

If you’re like the majority of my clients, you’re watching HGTV getting depressed.  Moving or building a new home seems easier than remodeling, but is not always the answer.  If you’re in a great neighborhood and love the bones of your Tuscan style home, fear not! Updating is not as difficult as you may imagine.  You can go at it alone or click here to schedule a free discover call with me.  

The first step in updating your home, is to determine your style and have a plan.  Whether your home is Transitional, Mid-Century Modern, Farmhouse or Contemporary, the style should be curated to reflect both your family’s personality and the style of the home.  Also remember to keep the chosen style cohesive throughout the entire home so there is a flow rather than a disruption to that flow.  

Updated paint creates a fresh bright look

“Update a home by using an outdated color or palette”, said no one EVER!  A good rule of thumb is that if it resembles peanut butter, you should repaint.  The tricky thing with homes built 15 years ago, is that the trim and wood colors are not compatible to today’s trends.  Many homeowners want to paint in the grays or cool colors that are trending and end up getting a result that doesn’t quite feel right.  This leads to having to repaint or live with a bad result.  There are some great warm neutrals that will give your home an updated look, but still match the undertones in granite and travertine used in Tuscan homes. Painted Accent walls and faux finishes are highly discouraged! Many people add an accent wall when they want a pop of color.  However, many times this is not done purposefully so it ends up giving a less than desired results.  Accent wall are a great idea, but need to be used to accent architectural features, or improve the space.  They are the exception, not the norm!

Consider table and buffet lamps for entryways to create a warm welcome.

Many of the mid 2000 homes I go into have very ornate vanities with gilded gold or tile encased mirrors. Even worse, they have a builder mirror that’s glued to the plaster!     Replacing this type of mirror with an oval or round mirror is an easy way to lighten up and modernize the bathroom. When considering paint for the bath, painting the walls and vanities will easily add value to your home.  Walls in blue are always a good choice and bathroom cabinets will benefit from paint if you’ve got dated, dark wood.  Add updated and coordinated cabinet hardware, towel racks, toilet paper holders, lighting and Voila!  No more Tuscany!

Bathrooms can be easily updated with paint, new lighting and fixtures

Kitchens are definitely an area of the home that echo the century in which the home was built. If you have carved grapes, ornate columns, or other decorative cabinetry, you may want to consider some updates.  While it can be more expensive and time consuming to update your kitchen, cabinets can be painted to completely change the look of a home.  If you’re not yet ready to commit to painting your cabinets, consider an accent color on the island.  These changes can be made easier than completing an entire kitchen renovation, and it’s a lot less expensive.  Even a simple change to the cabinets such adding or updating hardware can completely makeover the kitchen and get you a little closer to the modern era 

Kitchen update with paint, tile, cabinet and fixtures

Updating your lighting is another great way to give your space an updated look.  Change out that heavy iron multi-tiered chandelier with an orb or visually lighter iron pendant.  Lighting should create a focal point in a room without overpowering.  Pay attention to scale when selecting chandeliers. A good rule of thumb is to measure the length plus width of the room in feet. This should equal the width of a chandelier in inches.  It’s also a good idea to check the height of chandeliers above tables which should be no lower than 30 inches above the tabletop 

Pay attention to scale when choosing new chandeliers and pendants

A makeover would not be complete if we didn’t touch on furniture and accessories.  It’s time to say bye-bye to the leather furniture! Nothing sucks up the light in a room or screams Tuscany like a leather sofa.  I get it! Leather is exceptionally durable for families and easy to clean with pets.  However, leather isn’t your only option.  There are many performance fabrics in the market like Crypton and Sunbrella brands, for durable, stain resistant upholstered furniture.  Cream, Ivory or oatmeal are great color choices in updated silhouettes with track arms.  This can be as little as an $800 investment and will catapult you into this decade quickly. Keep the leather to a minimum and consider using it for an accent chair or a beautiful ottoman.  Add the finishing touch with metal, wood, glass and white accessories with a pop of color in your pillows and rug.. and you’ve got a fantastic looking space! 

Occupied home staged in Tampa FL

De-Tuscanizing your home may take some time, but keep in mind simple, clean lines with lighter colors is the key to catapulting your home into this century and adding value!

Di Leo Design & Staging Featured in Redfin

Di Leo Design & Staging was recently asked to participate in a Redfin Article by Emily Huddleston entitled “Staging a House on a Budget”. As staging experts, we were proud to provide tips along with some other top stagers in the industry. We hope you enjoy the article!

To view the full article, click the link above or read below.

Staging a House on a Budget: Tips from the Experts

When it comes to selling your house, appearance is everything. Home staging is an art designed to show off your home in its best light, and because of that, it can make all the difference. But what do you do if you don’t have a large budget set aside for home staging?  

Don’t worry yet, we have good news! Fortunately, whether you’re renting out a condo in Portland, OR, or selling your home in Atlanta, GA, staging a house on a budget is a totally viable option. To help you get started, we asked expert stagers from across the country to share some quick and easy ideas that will make your house look great (and more importantly won’t break the bank).

Showcase what made you fall in love with the house. If you’re ready to sell, ask yourself: what made you fall in love with your house? Most likely those things will be the ones that attract buyers. Make sure those areas are cleaned up, de-cluttered, and emphasized so they shine and wow buyers. – Style Fusion Home Staging

Remove excess furniture. While many people want to display the many possibilities for each room, it is critical to keep a clean and open layout. Removing any excess furniture reduces clutter and opens up the airflow. Too much furniture can shrink an area dramatically and hide the true space of the room. – The Staging Tree

Try virtual staging. The most efficient and cost-effective way to stage any room in less than 24 hours (with zero furniture) is with virtual staging. On-demand virtual staging provides sellers the unfair advantage in the marketplace that will allow them to display any space in various setups and styles. – LRB Design Studios

Stage with items from the grocery store. When we’re staging homes, our final step is a trip to the grocery store. We generally stock up on 6-12 bottles of Pellegrino and attractive cans for the pantry area, a bowl of limes, and some margarita mix for a wicker cart. – Zesty Staging

Keep color and style consistent throughout the home. When color and style are a common thread throughout the home, buyers are more emotionally comfortable and connected. The use of no more than three main colors (use slipcovers on furniture if necessary, especially if they are well ‘loved’), and one style (be it transitional, modern, contemporary, western, traditional, etc.), will do the trick! – The Efficient H.O.U.S.E

Hang neutral subject artwork. A cost-effective way to hang neutral subject artwork is to buy inexpensive IKEA “Ribba” picture frames (24″ x 35″) and insert leftover wallpaper or fabric that you (or friends) may have on hand that coordinate with your home’s color scheme. For impact, hang two or three frames together approximately 5-6″ apart above a sofa or on a large wall. – Mackenzie Creative Home Staging

Switch out personal photos with scrapbook or wrapping paper. If you already have picture frames hung up, a great way to cover up personal or family photos is to use scrapbook paper or even neutral wrapping paper as inserts. Choose muted colors and patterns that coordinate with your space. Simply cut the paper to size and insert it into the frame, covering the current photo. – My Nest Is The Best 

Address visual clutter. The biggest reason people give for moving is a lack of space in their current home, so selectively prune anything that distracts buyers from seeing the great features of your home. Stacks, even if neat and straight, add weight and visual clutter to rooms. The Dezign Zoo motto is “when in doubt, take it out.” – Dezign Zoo

Paint the front door. A quick and inexpensive way to increase curb appeal is to give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Choose a bold, contrasting color that will stand out and immediately draw the buyers’ eyes to it when they pull up to the house. Black is always a winner, or you could choose a bright, trending color like turquoise, yellow, or orange. – Larimar Home Staging

Stage an extra bedroom as a home office. Since so many of us are now working completely from home or more remotely, this tip can go a long way in appealing to today’s buyers. With this, you want to make sure everything flows and is as open as possible to create a positive and uplifting working environment. For a budget-friendly office, sometimes simpler is better. There’s no need to go overboard with accessories and desk decor, clean and fresh is the way to go. – Universal Staging Company

Have matching lamps and side tables. A great low budget tip is to have matching lamps and side tables in the primary bedroom so it feels and looks expensive. Staging isn’t about pretty, it is about creating value in the buyer’s eye. – Ask for Staging

Declutter. Spend at least a few weekends to completely declutter closets (we want to see baseboards!), pantries, cabinets, and bookshelves. Take closets down by 50 percent, remove magnets from the fridge, etc. If you aren’t convinced if something is de-cluttered enough, take a photo and see if it still looks cluttered through a camera lens – Curly Willow Design Studio

Remove all small appliances, toys, magazines, and pet items. – Utah Elite Staging

Incorporate biophilic design. This design approach seeks to connect the outdoors with people indoors. Open all your window treatments, let in the sunshine and the view, and bring the relativity of nature in with a few, well placed live houseplants, or fake, silk trees to set the green tone. This enhances vitality and psychological wellbeing, as buyers judge homes with all of their senses. Just be sure to avoid heavily fragranced plants or flowers because some people are sensitive to strong scents. It pays to be green in staging, as gorgeous greenery will always be in fashion. – Domaine Luxe

Make the floors sparkle. Open up your space, let the light in and clean it up. It starts with your floors; if you have hardwood floors and want them to sparkle, mix up some of your household items, 1 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, distilled water, spray, and rub. – DDG DESIGN STUDIO

Buy cheap Goodwill books for shelves and coffee tables. Book selection is critical because when people see a book it tends to invoke thoughts and feelings. When staging a downtown condo, I want to see big coffee table books that are focused around modern art, the city where the condo is located, or an interesting modern photography book. Oftentimes I will see a cartoon or comic book as these are common coffee table books but it’s hard for the buyer to envision their new upscale living with a cartoon book. I also like bookshelves to contain thought-provoking books and avoid anything controversial. – Vize Virtual Staging

Style the front hallway. The front hallway is the first impression for your home when buyers walk in. Get it right. Add a mirror for a great reflection of light and to make the foyer seem larger, add fresh flowers like roses or lilies. First impressions count. – Margery Wedderburn Interiors

Freshen up a room with a new coat of paint. If you don’t need a lot of paint and are maybe just doing an accent wall, many local stores like Home Depot have discounted paint cans from incorrect orders – whether it was the wrong finish, incorrect tint, or something else. These ready to use paint cans can be heavily discounted – even as little as $5 per gallon. – Roomhance

Use fluffy white towels. I always recommend new fluffy white towels in master bathrooms. White denotes cleanliness, and fluffy towels add a fresh spa-like feeling to the bathroom. Towels are inexpensive and can be purchased at any large retailer, plus the seller can use them again in their brand new home. – Lenko Design

Take great listing photos. 90 percent of homebuyers start their search online. To make sure your photos look great, take a picture of your exterior and every room – this is what potential buyers will see. Add and edit your belongings until the photos look worthy of a compelling listing photo. – House Candy Home Staging

Buy new, neutral throw pillows for the sofa and large accent chairs. Most of us have dark furniture because it hides more everyday use, but it also photographs poorly and can make a room look small and dingy. By adding new fluffy throw pillows to your furniture, it will update the room and brighten up the space. – The Staging Team

Depersonalize your home. Depersonalizing and decluttering makes a world of difference when selling a home that you’re living in. Keep the staging neutral and bright to help the home appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. – Witty Rentals

Creating a soothing sanctuary. The master bedroom is where we spend 1/3 of our lives, so why not make sure it looks soothing, clean, and stylish. Add solid white bedding (avoiding busy patterns) and layered pillows while removing excess furniture and clutter. A well-staged master bedroom helps showcase an inviting and calming feel for prospective buyers, making someone feel like they can move right in. – Step By Stage Interiors

Float furniture away from the walls. The way you choose to arrange your furniture can dramatically change how big or open a room feels. Sellers shouldn’t be scared to float sofas and armchairs away from the wall, as long as they are placed parallel to one of the walls in the space. This is especially effective with open floor plans, where the placement of a large sofa between two spaces can help define the separate living spaces. – Jodi Maturo Design

Make easy changes in the bathroom. Remove all floor rugs in the bathroom as it makes the floors look bigger. Add a small succulent or white orchid next to the sink. Your go-to towels are white, fluffy, and crisp — new hand towels will give a spa-like ambiance. – Maple&Moss

Arrange table lamps and floor lamps in a triangular configuration. Doing so spreads light evenly throughout the room. If you can’t add a third light consider hanging a clean-lined mirror on the wall to bounce additional light and open up the room. – Synergy Staging

Update your cabinet hardware. If you don’t have the time or resources to update your kitchen by replacing or painting cabinets, consider switching out your hardware instead. Updating your cabinet hardware to something more modern does wonders for your kitchen while keeping your project extremely budget-friendly. I recommend using a matte black pull and purchasing from Amazon to keep the cost well under $100.00. – Homeslice Studios

Create a kitchen that feels spacious and functional. Whether you’ve got a massive kitchen with a large island or a smaller galley-style space, all homebuyers will be looking for a kitchen that feels spacious and functional. Keep countertops cleared off so they seem more expansive. I like to keep my staging items to a minimum: a large bowl of fruit, maybe a tall, simple display of flowers or branches if there’s an island. If there are open shelves or glass-fronted cabinets, keep your color scheme neutral and monochrome. It will make the space feel clean and cohesive. – A Simpler Design, Dallas based stylist and furniture painter

Add flowers. A simple (and cheap) bouquet from a grocery store or some stems from the backyard is all that’s needed to add brightness to any home. The key is to choose the tallest stems that can be found and pair it with a large, clear vase for that look of sophistication while adding that perfect homey touch. – MM Decor

Try alstroemeria flowers, they look fresh and can last two weeks. They also look great for MLS photos and showings. – Preston Interiors

Only stage the key rooms. The key to saving money with staging is to only stage the key rooms. If it’s an occupied home try to use as much of what you already have, then throw in what’s needed to complete the job. – Lancaster Home Staging And Design

Let the light in. Good lighting is so important in making a home look and feel great to buyers. Take down any unnecessary window treatments to allow as much natural light into the home as possible and introduce some artificial lighting into each room with additional floor and table lamps. Light helps a space feel much larger and more open. – DL Custom Designs

Visit second-hand stores to find unique and low-cost pieces. These budget-friendly stores can help homeowners design inviting spaces for both their property listing photos and open houses. The trick is to be creative and think outside their personal decor preferences when shopping. – In Good Design

Focus on color. Color is essential when it comes to staging your home. We advise sticking with warm, neutral colors for painting. Lighter shades are not only more attractive to the eyes, but it helps buyers to visualize their own household items in the house. – Stone House Stage + Design

Incorporate fresh greenery. Fresh cut greenery can go a long way to enhance the decor of a staged home.  If you live in a tropical area, Palm leaves placed in a clear glass vase look amazing on a coffee table. Other greenery that can be used is Eucalyptus, Fern, or Fiddle Leaf Fig stems. – Di Leo Design & Staging

Originally published by Redfin

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