Clear Signs You’re Ready to Redesign Your Layout

Posted by admin under Home Design

The changing seasons can get homeowners looking at their space in a whole new way. Those warm tones you loved a few months ago could be losing their touch. And you might be itching to start some new remodeling projects with spring right around the corner.


It’s normal to want a change every now and then. But how do you know when it’s time to rework your layout? The top designers say that fads come and go, but real style is forever. Your home décor isn’t so much about trend-setting—it’s about being true to your family’s lifestyle.


Lifestyle Changes and Your Home Design


If you’re on the fence about switching things up, take a step back and look at how your life has evolved over the past couple years. Ask yourself these questions, and think carefully. Changes in your career, family setup, and even your hobbies and interests will all impact how your home’s layout ought to be.


bedroom-home-staging_Home MattersIs the family structure shifting?

Maybe your children are growing up or you’ve just welcomed a new pet into your life. Shifting family structures often require some changes to your home’s layout. Maybe the guestroom needs to get redone so your children can have separate bedrooms. Kids flown the coop? Take a look at your living room. A carefully designed sitting area can help get you ready for hosting the next cocktail party.


Does your home support your work and hobbies?

A new job or big career move can impact your home life a lot. Consider giving your home office a better layout to improve your productivity. Need a place to relax? Try converting some areas to focus on the things you love. When you put your hobbies on display—like your new guitar, collection of books, or knitting—you’re more likely to feel rejuvenated at home. A new design for the living room can help you emphasize what matters most.


professional indianapolis home staging_Home MattersAre you entering a new decade?

This is a cause for celebration! If you’re still hanging on to furniture you bought right out of college, maybe it’s time for a shift. Does your home office needs to be transformed into a library now that you’ve retired? Or maybe the patterns and paint colors your used to love aren’t as sophisticated as you once thought. A couple easy fixes can help your home reflect your life today.


When to Hire a Professional Home Stylist


Sometimes it can be hard to start redesigning your home—even if you know you’re ready to! A professional home stylist can give you the insight you need to create a home that’s uniquely “you.” These questions can help you figure out if it’s time to bring in a pro. Answer honestly!


Do truly love your home and its current setup?

Or is it feeling a little bland or dated? Having furniture pieces that don’t fit the room’s dimensions is really just the same as having clutter. The right size and style of furnishings can take your ho-hum home to a perfect 10.


white-kitchen-design_Home MattersHave you (finally) finished the upgrades you’ve been wanting?

Installing new kitchen cabinetry or re-tiling your master bathroom can make a world of difference. When these kinds of projects are complete, be sure to update your furniture accordingly. Your 20-year-old kitchen table might still be sturdy, but you’ll want it to match your home’s fresh new look.


Are you really embracing your home’s best qualities?

Style can never be forced—that’s why effortless looks are always so popular! The same goes for interior design. Trying an ultra-modern industrial décor in a farmhouse layout can feel strangely disjointed. A professional home stylist can show how to keep every room suited to your tastes—and your architecture.


Do you think you want to move?

You might be indifferent about your space because your property’s location or size just aren’t cutting it anymore. Maybe what you really need is a professional home stager. If you’re getting ready for a move, a home staging company can help accentuate the best aspects of your home. The right experts will help you get the house sold quickly, and for a great return on your investment.


There are lots of valid reasons to redesign your home’s current layout. When you need some extra guidance on how to get started, just reach out to the design experts at Home Matters. Our property stylists would love to meet with you! Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

11 Questions for Your Realtor When Selling in Indy

Selling your home can be a chaotic time. You know you need a strategic asking price, but you still want buyers to offer top dollar. Interviewing your realtor can help ensure that you’re on the same page from the get-go. If your realtor can confidently answer these 11 questions, there’s bound to be a big “SOLD” sign in your future!


1. Can you show me the CMA for my area?

For the real estate industry, this is square one. You need to understand the lay of the land and selling prices for other homes in your neighborhood if you’re going to get good offers. Cross-reference what your realtor says about your property with a CMA, or Comparable Market Analysis report.


2. Are you working solo or with a team?

There isn’t exactly a “right” or “wrong” answer here, but how realtors answer can reveal a lot. Will they be someone who answers their phone 24/7? Or do they have office staff to help field their calls? Try to get a sense of their communication style upfront to make sure it fits with your expectations.


3. What makes you different from other agents?

If your realtor didn’t make this clear before, now’s their chance to shine. Maybe they have a passion for educating homeowners about the area—which can help highlight your home’s address. Or perhaps they have a niche working with high-end buyers?


4. Can you explain your realtor fees?

mid-century-living-room_Home Matters Staging-0117Real estate agents are typically paid with a percentage of your home’s final sale. This usually benefits sellers because it means your realtor has an actual vested interest in how much your home goes for. The exact percentage can change between realtors, so confirm their rate before you start working together.


5. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell?

The real estate market is always changing, but looking at the recent seasons can give you a general idea of what to expect with your home—especially if the realtor has worked around your neighborhood before. Can you afford to have it on the market for a couple months? Or do you need to sell ASAP?


6. And when they sell, how close is the final price to the asking price?

If their sellers get the full asking price the vast majority of the time, you’ll probably feel more confident that their listings that are fair. (And have a better idea of what to expect out of your own property.) You don’t want to be tempted with a high asking price, just to get knocked down when buyers won’t bite.


7. How do you market your sellers’ homes?

home-staging_swimming-pool_Home Matters-0117You’re hiring your realtor for their connections and industry resources. The best realtors should have lots of marketing techniques up their sleeve. Check to see if your realtor will hold open houses to get traffic through the door, or if they’ll post your listing online or through other media outlets.


8. In your opinion, what are my home’s selling points?

It’s always nice to get some compliments! Make sure your agent can speak to the good qualities in your home—they might even say things that you hadn’t thought of. If they know what’s “hot” for buyers in your area, they’ll be interested to promote those aspects.


9. What drawbacks do you see for this home?

A good realtor will be able to share the tough love too. It might be hard to trust someone who can’t be realistic with you and (politely) share the cons as well as the pros for your home. If they can help you improve your listing, you’ll want to hear it—especially when it can increase your asking price!


10. Can you recommend any prep work before we list?

Here’s the kicker. Your realtor should be able to give concrete advice for how to move forward and position your listing to sell—all while keeping your timeline and ROI in mind. If they’re well connected, they might even be able to refer you to qualified home professionals.


11. What will it cost to sell?

eat-in-kitchen-staging_Home Matters Staging Company-0117You might need to make a couple investments to get your property in peak “showing” condition. Does you realtor have estimates for sprucing up your front yard? How about for general cleaning services before showings? It’s nice to know these numbers if you don’t want to do the work yourself, but the one thing you don’t want to “DIY” is home staging in Indianapolis.


For today’s sellers, professional home staging is more important than ever before. The area is booming, and professional staging can definitely help your listing stand out in the crowd. Ask your realtor about the benefits of staging, and follow up on these other 11 questions to find an agent that represents you and your home in the best way possible. A little investment upfront can go a long way in getting your property sold on time—and for the best price.


Ready to take your listing to the next level? Contact Home Matters today for all your home staging and design needs!

How to Stage a Brick Fireplace—Any Time of Year

Posted by admin under Home Design, Home Staging in Indianapolis

A fireplace should be the crown jewel of any room. Whether you’re showing your house to sell, or just getting ready for the holiday spirit—staging your fireplace can make a grand statement. Dress it up right to make a great impression in every season.


It’s natural to pay more attention to the fireplace in wintertime. We hang stockings on the mantel and cozy up by the fire in the cold winter evenings. But this home feature can still be a major highlight when it’s warm outside. From fireplaces in the living room to the bedroom, proper staging should be a year-round focus.


The “Rule of Three” for Staging

living room fireplace professional staging_Home Matters 1216Your fireplace doesn’t need to dominate an entire wall to make an impact. Even smaller fireplaces can have a luxurious vibe. In this living room, basic brick is bordered with beautiful crown molding. This simple touch gives the narrow mantel a bolder effect. To help draw the eye upwards, hang a nice piece of large-scale artwork in the very center of the firebox.


Professional stagers will often utilize the “Rule of Three” to create intrigue with fireplaces. Choose items of a similar color scheme or pattern to complement the rest of your room. We decided to use copper-toned vases here with a delicate flower display. By working with accessories that have varying heights, you can create instant intrigue and drama to any size fireplace.

Fireplace Staging Symmetry

classic brick fireplace design_Home Matters Staging 1216Sometimes you need to keep your staging simple. If you’re pressed for square footage on either side of your fireplace, a small side table or floor lamp can help balance out the space. Traditional brick fireplaces with simple mantel shelves can get an updated look with a sleek flat-screen television. Just try to size your technology to your room. A bigger screen will actually make your living room feel cramped if it overpowers your fireplace.


Once you have your fireplace “centerpiece,” you can play with symmetry by using other small, matching décor pieces. Miniature plants or bookends can help frame the television and add balance to your room. If you need help finding the right style or pieces, just reach out to a local staging professional. Their design sense will help you accentuate the positives of your home in every corner.


Modern Bedroom Design

modern bedroom fireplace design_Home Matters 1216Accent colors on your fireside should play off the color palette already in the room. For the master bedroom, you’ll probably want to stick with calming and neutral paint colors—especially around the fireplace. A white-washed effect on this fire surround softens the hard brick and keeps the tone muted.


Bright whites are refreshing any time of year, so the fireplace can easily be the major focal point for this room in winter as well as springtime. The white shelf and molding go great with the darker tones we tend to use for traditional holiday decorating, and the classic design still looks fabulous in the warmer months too. Greenery and garland in winter—with white birch logs or colorful flowers in springtime—are winning combos for this classy white fireplace.


No matter what room your fireplace is in, dressing up your mantel can make a huge difference in your home’s selling price and how you enjoy your space. With the right staging and design style, your fireplace can easily be the one thing that ties your entire room together!


All images on this website are the property of Home Matters LLC. They come from our actual clients and staging projects, so be sure to contact us if you like what you see!

What Will Indiana Homebuyers Want in 2017?

Posted by admin under Home Design, Home Staging in Indianapolis

When you consider all the amenities we have living in the Crossroads of America, it’s really no surprise that the housing market in Indiana is staying strong. One real estate report shows that the number of homes sold in the 15-county region around Indianapolis has jumped 6% from September 2015 to September 2016. That includes a 12.4% increase in Boone County and a 9.4% boost in Marion County. A lot of the features homebuyers want most in 2017 are right here in Central Indy. It’s great news!


That being said, families who want to get the best investment for their home need to make sure that it stands above the masses—especially with the number of home sales are on the rise. You’ll be sitting pretty if your house gives buyers what they’re looking for. When we consider the latest trends and numbers, it all comes down to a few key features.

Modern Style

modern_kitchen_home_design_Home_Matters_1116Homebuyers today are all about the top-of-the-line appliances, kitchen décor, and hardware. But the request for “modern” does come with a bit of a caveat. Families still want a space that truly feels like home—not some sort of uber-modern medical institute. Blending modern design with softened home aesthetics was one of the top 2016 home trends, and it’s sure to continue into 2017.


It’s really good if you’ve already got an updated look in your kitchen. Keeping it clean and properly styled will have your potential buyers swooning. Try to minimize any kitchen knick-knacks and let your cabinets and beautiful granite countertops do all the talking. And if your kitchen is still leaving a little something to be desired—like you’re missing stainless steel or a big ol’ island in your kitchen—fear not. Home staging can help you out. The pros always know how to accentuate the positives in a room!

Home Office Space

home_office_design_Home_Matts_Indianapolis_Staging-1116More and more professionals are working remotely and need a quiet room in their home for work. You’re sure to get brownie points if your house can provide this coveted space. Even a room that you’ve used in the past for another purpose (for say, the kids’ playroom) can take on a new life when you’re getting ready to sell.


Consider staging it as an office or spare bedroom to show buyers that your property can give them what they need. We especially loved this home’s hardwood floors. The French doors give a cozy home-feel to this otherwise traditional office setup.

Energy Efficient

The perks of an energy-efficient home are many. Not only do you spend less on heating and cooling with an efficient space—it’s also means your home is a lot more comfortable throughout the year, even during our unpredictable Indiana weather. If your home was built after 2004, it’s bound to have a great HERS Index Score. (That’s how homes are ranked on energy efficiency.)


For spaces lacking in any of the categories, consider upgrading your HVAC unit, water heater, or windows to give buyers some of the upgrades they’re looking for. Even adding a new layer of insulation to your attic space can make a huge difference on your HERS ranking. It’s widely considered to be the single best upgrade you can make on your home because it has such a fantastic ROI.

Open Concept

historical_Indianapolis_home_staging_1116New home builds have relied on the popular open concept floorplans for years. Lots of couples love the idea of having big living room and kitchen spaces for socializing with friends. Growing families like being able to spend time together as a family after school and on the weekends in these areas too. Of course, not every home has the luxury of being truly “open.”


Older and historical homes have their own set of perks. The unique built-ins and wood detailing are what set these house apart. Even if your house has its rooms in neat little compartments, you can still give homebuyers that open concept sensibility with good home staging. Working with a professional stylist can help you maximize the square footage in every room by using with the right-sized furniture and tasteful pops of color. Show buyers your home has “flow,” and they’ll be more likely to put in an offer.

Location, Location, Location

Neighborhoods all around Indianapolis rank high for location because the cost of living is low and job market is doing well. It also helps that we so close to dozens and dozens of nature trails, parks, and sports clubs. Great schools keep families moving from out of state interested in our region too. When it comes to quality of life, there’s not much these counties are missing! Check out the latest reports on to see how your community is doing.


For other home design and home staging advice, be sure to check out our other blog articles. And if you’re in the Indy area and have any questions about getting you home to be the best it can be, please give us a call! We’d love to hear from you!


All images on this website are the property of Home Matters LLC and come from our actual clients and staging projects.

The 5 Biggest Home Staging Mistakes—and How Pros Avoid Them

Posted by admin under Home Staging Education

Bringing in a professional home stager can help give your listing an edge on the completion. Choose the right staging company, and you’ll rake in a fabulous ROI. But if go with the wrong one, your potential buyers might lose interest. An inexperienced stager can end up costing you big time.


When deciding who to hire, it’s important to be as selective as possible. Do your research, read their client reviews, and scan the portfolio to find your best fit. Once you know the top no-no’s with home staging, you’ll be sure to stay clear of the wannabees and go with a true pro.

1. Not matching furniture to the home’s style

kitchen-home-staging-company_Home-Matters-0916The number one rule for staging a home is to stay neutral. A neutral palette helps make every room feel more spacious and helps with the floor plan’s overall flow. (Super important when potential buyers are doing their walk-through!)


Along this theme, a professional stager knows that less is more. Using furniture that’s more subdued means that they can best match the home’s architecture and style. With staging, it’s not about how “great” the couch or chair is on its own. It makes more of an impact when the pieces complement the major features of the home—like pairing kitchen cabinets with chairs and stools that in a similar style.

2. Forgetting to emphasize focal features

Using accessories is one of the trickiest parts of staging. Some people think they have a knack for it, but all they end up doing is making a space feel cluttered. Experienced stagers are more selective in where these eye-catching details are placed.


A cluster of objects on an end table, or a big piece of artwork help create interest in any room—but only if they’re placed just right. Professional stagers use pops of color to add depth to an otherwise typical living room. They use décor accessories as tools. Experts don’t place these items willy-nilly. And they don’t go overboard. Choosing the wrong size for fireplace décor can get potential buyers thinking, “This room feels small!” The expert’s staging strategy pays attention to even the smallest details. Their choices are all about creating the “I can see myself living here” vibe for a nice, quick closing.

3. Not knowing how to utilize extra space

entryway-home-staging-Indianapolis_Home-Matters-0916Your stager should also be able to make sense of any odd spaces or corners in your home. By selecting just the right furniture pieces, a professional stager is actually helping you maximize every room’s square footage for potential buyers.


This is especially important for entryways, stairwells, and small nooks. The right splash of color and a perfectly-sized end table can totally transform a space. An awkward landing just needs an editorial eye to set the scene—and these staging techniques aren’t as easy for a DIY-er to pull off. Your stager can transform home flaws into real “ah-ha” solutions. Utilize the stairwell as a practical zone for dropping off mail and keys proves your home has a great setup. Buyers will be more eager to put in an offer when they see zero wasted space.

4. Ignoring the basics of gender-neutral design

neutral-bedroom-design_Home-Matters-Staging-0916Couples make up the vast majority of people in the buyers pool, so it’s important that your home appeals to both masculine and feminine styles. Professional staging is great way to get both sides on board with your home.


Of course, making a home “gender-neutral” isn’t as simple as nixing the floral patterns and adding in leather. An experienced stager will mix textiles and patterns for a more universal design appeal. The result is room that’s styled to be new, fresh, and still relatively neutral. This works best in the master bedroom. It can be a real turn-off for buyers if that one, particular room is staged wrong. By staying gender-neutral, your rooms have a chance to appeal to every type of buyer and both sides of a couple.

5. Not having a polished, professional portfolio

Last but not least, your research hunt for a quality stager should always wrap up with a careful review of their design portfolio. Making sure your staging company uses high-end furniture that’s appropriate for a variety of home types is a huge plus. You want to make sure they can work with all budget types too.


If the images on their website or Facebook page are up to your standards—go ahead and give them a call. If they’re taking professional-grade pictures, your home is likely to stand up the same way online. So many buyers are relying on online information nowadays, so having a photogenic home is well worth the investment. An inexperienced stager won’t have a solid portfolio (or the inventory) to back up their work. Look for those magazine-worthy images to know you’ve got the real deal!