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Sell Your Home 82% Faster with Feng Shui

Jennifer is an HGTV-featured Feng Shui Master, Interior Designer, and Color Consultant with 25 years of experience, and hundreds of clients.

The Entrance: The First Impression!

fengshuistaging

Discover the magic way to sell your home for the price you want!

A staged home will sell 82% faster than an unstaged home. Getting a Feng Shui consultation is going a step further than staging, in that the results are perfectly tailored to you, your home, AND buyers.

When people walk into a home for sale, they decide within 15 seconds whether they want to buy it. Obviously first impressions count! Although we recommend a full blown Feng Shui consultation for pumping up all areas of your life, if you're selling your home, the common sense principles of Feng Shui can be used to increase your bottom line in a major way.

Jennifer Emmer of "Feng Shui Style" has been studying and practicing Feng Shui since 1995. She uses the power of Feng Shui to help home sellers achieve a quick and profitable sale.

Kwan Yin creates a peaceful backyard

Kwan Yin in the backyard

Kwan Yin in the backyard

What the heck is Feng Shui?

Originating in China almost 6,000 years ago, Feng Shui literally means "wind"(Feng) and "water"(Shui). It is also referred to as "Geo-mancy" or "Earth Wisdom" -- an ancient method of constructing and optimizing residences to bring about happiness, abundance and harmony. It includes architecture, urban planning, interior design, garden design, and placement of objects in our environment. It also involves the layout, framework, materials and colors of building structures.

There are different types or "Schools" of Feng Shui. This accounts for a great deal of confusion. The two oldest schools are the Form School, which addresses external and internal environments and their effect on the occupants and the Compass School, which uses a compass to determine the orientation of a home and therefore its prosperity.

At Feng Shui Style, we use the Form School, Compass School, and Eight Mansion Theory because we have found them to be the most effective methods.

This bathroom stimulates the Metal element in Feng Shui

fengshuistaging

Why is staging with Feng Shui important?

When people walk into a home for sale, they decide within 15 seconds whether they want to buy it.

What if your home could attract not only buyers, but money, success or even love? Feng Shui practitioners believe that arranging your environment can enhance your life in all of those areas.

Now that Feng Shui is finally becoming a household word, people are starting to embrace it for staging their homes for sale in the cooling real estate market.

Have some fun!

A bright red front door pops off the cheery butter yellow body of this farmhouse in Saratoga, California.

A bright red front door pops off the cheery butter yellow body of this farmhouse in Saratoga, California.

The First Impression: The Entrance!

In China, red is supremely powerful. It represents relationships, fame, reputation, and wealth. It's also a fabulous color to paint your door. It's very welcoming, and it leaves no guesswork up to potential buyers. They will be able to find the door quickly and easily. It also conveys that the owners are powerful, and even thwarts burglary!

Since people are naturally drawn to red, use the "Law of Attraction" to bring them in the door!

Approach your front entry like a visitor would...

Victorian entry with plants

Victorian entry with plants

Pump up your entrance - it's how the world sees you

Painting your door red is a great way to add curb appeal, and help your buyers find your house. One of our favorite colors is "Heritage Red" by Benjamin Moore. Another great one is "Caliente", also by Benjamin Moore.

HOWEVER! Do not paint your door red if it faces East. You would be figuratively burning up your family and health.

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Believe it or not, studies have shown that having a red door also thwarts would-be burglars.

If you're not quite ready to take the plunge, you can add 2 plants flanking your front door, or dramatic red vases with flowers to make a great first impression. I recommend dramatic white ones, such as spider mums.

When showing your home, let there be light!

Make sure you turn on all the lights when showing your homes. You might also want to burn some candles for ambiance, and a nice scent.

Make sure you turn on all the lights when showing your homes. You might also want to burn some candles for ambiance, and a nice scent.

Your landscaping should be on point!

Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California

Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California

And don't forget Curb Appeal.....

A curvy walkway that leads buyers to your front door is not only good Feng Shui, it's good curb appeal. Plant some colorful flowers, especially red ones, and make sure to fix anything that is broken or dirty. If you house is overgrown with shrubs, have them trimmed back. Buyers need to be able to see what they are buying.

An imaginative paint job is another way to play up your house. If you are lucky enough to have interesting architectural details, use different coordinating colors to maximize the effect. A buttery yellow is welcoming and makes the house feel grounded.

Appeal to all the senses

Home Staging with Food Vignette

Home Staging with Food Vignette

Let's get down to business!

Balancing out specific rooms

If a client's home has a room that is all wood paneling, we would say it had "too much Wood". We would balance out the wood by adding metal and fire, to "bring the wood down" a bit. Metal and Fire could be literal, or figurative. A metal table would qualify as "Metal", but so would a large gray rug, since gray is the color of metal.

Adding Fire might mean adding red candles all along the mantelpiece of the fireplace, or painting some of the walls red, which is the color of Fire.

Oftentimes home stagers place a bowl of fruit out in the kitchen. A Feng Shui consultant might place that bowl of fruit in the Southeast corner of the kitchen, or the "Wealth Corner", since fruit is a symbol of wealth, to pump up the wealth of the occupants while they are selling the house.

Display fresh flowers in vases

Heavenly lilacs

Heavenly lilacs

Scent-sations

It may seem obvious, but the best thing you can do for your home is to clean it (thoroughly) and remove all the clutter. When selling, you want to affect all the senses of prospective buyers. Even if the place looks amazing, a cat box smell can be a real show stopper.

Light some pleasant smelling candles during your open house, or simmer a small pot of water on the stove with cinnamon or other spices in it. It will fill the home with a smell of something baking in the oven.

Men's favorite scents? Fresh cut grass, apple pie, and vanilla. If you can find a way to have all three going at your open house, bravo! [Interesting note: "Tommy Girl" perfume contains all three scents...]

Women's favorite scents? Warm scents (like vanilla) top the list of Midwestern women's favorite scents. Women in the South go for clean/soapy scents. Almost everyone loves lavender and roses.

Painting furniture is all the rage, BUT....

Make sure it's not a priceless antique first!

Make sure it's not a priceless antique first!

When in doubt, keep it classic

Going classic in the kitchen

Going classic in the kitchen

The Kitchen - The #1 Deal Maker or Breaker

Avoid the two red flags - outdated and dirty

If you can swing it, the biggest bang for the buck is replacing outdated fixtures, countertops, etc, with inexpensive but lush-looking solutions:

  • a stainless steel "cover" for your dishwasher to instantly update it.
  • paint your fridge to match updated appliances (use appliance paint - see more below)
  • a concrete poured counter - stain any color you like, then seal
  • tiny glass mosaic tiles for the backsplash - a great shot of color

In both kitchen and bath, you can regrout the tile - in lieu of replacing it - for a fresh, clean look.

REGARDING YOUR FLOORS:

Vinyl tile and linoleum are the most cost-effective quick fixes, but make sure you choose something that either looks REAL, or desirable.

For example, if you go with vinyl, choose one that looks like stone, not one that looks like vinyl.

For linoleum, you could do a really retro checkerboard with two modern colors - like alternating brown and robin's egg blue tiles.

Of course you want to update the whole kitchen with the same scheme - so paint the walls and/or cabinets to coordinate with whatever you choose for the floor.

A WORD ABOUT CABINETS:

Men tend to love demolition. Before the man in your household pulls out the sledgehammer, consider this:

The fact is, probably 80% of kitchen cabinets out there can be salvaged! Many just need a coat of paint, or stain (dark stains are in). Remove the cabinet doors, take them outside, and sand them before painting or staining.

New hardware (drawer and cabinet pulls) covers a multitude of sins, and can steer your kitchen into the 21st century. Pay attention to contrast. For example, if you go with dark cabinets, make sure walls and floors are lighter, to create contrast, and keep things light.

SUPER TIP FOR THE KITCHEN:

If you can't afford to do a full-blown renovation in the kitchen, use appliance paint to cover up your old "harvest gold" 1970s appliances:

For more, click here:

Update Your Kitchen for Under $100 with Appliance Paint

FINAL STAGING:

In the kitchen, stage it so people can imagine cooking there. A large bowl of Granny Smith apples is a wonderful design touch. Or, put a bottle of wine on the table, with a decorative cheese and cracker plate next to it. Help the buyers use their imaginations.

Make your rooms memorable

Feng Shui Bathroom

Feng Shui Bathroom

The Bathroom

Make sure people want to rest in your rest room!

THINK SPA

In Feng Shui, the bathroom is about getting rid of waste - consequently, you want to make the experience as pleasant and "spa-like" as you can.

  1. Add some plants, seashells, or other things from nature. Spring for some new colorful towels to quickly change the vibe. Remember, a can of paint costs about $25 and it provides the single biggest impact.
  2. To create the illusion of space, many people are replacing their old sinks with new "retro" pedestal sinks, which create visual space by exposing more of the floor.
  3. If you prefer a vanity/sink combo, go to a stone & marble place and ask for a granite "remnant". Use this as your countertop for a really luxurious and updated feeling. You'll save a lot of money this way - especially if you do the demo yourself.
  4. If your bathtub is basically in good shape, but has resistant stains, it is possible to apply a new coat of enamel with a paint sprayer. Get a professional to do this for you. Look in the yellow pages under "bathtub resurfacing". You can also change the color of a dated tub to something more neutral.

SUPER TIP FOR THE BATHROOM:

Scour your filmy shower door with one part muriatic acid and 10 parts water. Scrub it with steel wool. After rinsing, your shower door will look brand new.

The Master Bedroom - Should appeal to both men and women, and appear LARGE

Sumptious Bedroom

Sumptious Bedroom

Keep the Master Bedroom "gender-neutral"

THE GOAL: GENDER-NEUTRAL

The master bedroom should appear large, balanced, and "gender-neutral". This means that a flowered bedspread and pink walls are out. A classy duvet cover is a great inspiration for a design theme. Colors like beige, brown, cream, yellow, gold, maroon, and green are "gender-neutral".

If you need help, call the pros. People definitely need to see the master bedroom as a large, luxurious space. Remove personal items, such as framed photos, and stacks of papers. The buyer wants to picture what it would be like to move right in. Having personal items around makes them feel like an outsider.

Make sure everyone is included! Two nightstands, two lamps, etc. Symmetry is a good thing in the bedroom.

Seeing the outside from the bedroom is a big plus. If you can, install french doors that lead to the garden.

Don't forget the outdoors!

Gorgeous patio, fully staged

Gorgeous patio, fully staged

Living rooms - focus on fireplaces, seating and lighting

Portland Living Room

Portland Living Room

Fireplace Facts

FIREPLACES

If you have a fireplace, consider yourself lucky.

  1. If it's blah, you can quickly add zing by either painting it a contrasting color to the wall, or painting just the fireplace wall a different color from the rest of the room to make it pop.
  2. If the actual mantel is uninspiring, you might consider adding decorative hand painted tiles on the surround, for example.
  3. NOTE: If you have a historic home, do not do any major work to the fireplace without consulting a professional. You could seriously bring down the value of your home by disturbing original elements. When in doubt, send me an email at jennifer@fengshuistyle.us
  4. Keep items on the mantel to a minimum. Just a few key pieces is all you need. Put at least one tall, dramatic item on the mantel - a vase with flowers, a tall statue, candlesticks, a topiary, etc.
  5. Hang either a key piece of artwork over the fireplace, or a mirror - but make it dramatic.
  6. When grouping your seating, make it "L-shaped", or "U-shaped" not "confrontational". In Feng Shui, when two couches are placed opposite each other, it actually causes people to become confrontational with each other, instead of having a nice flow of conversation.

GENERAL TIPS

To make the room feel more formal, make sure each piece of furniture has an end or side table. To make the room feel less formal, use a large ottoman instead of a coffee table.

Stage the room with a snack or fruit on the coffee table, and some soft music playing. By all means, unless it's 90 degrees out, have a fire blazing in the fireplace! If your fireplace doesn't work, put a large candelabra inside, and light candles on it.

Playrooms, Home Theaters, Bonus Rooms - Show off your square footage

Home Theater

Home Theater

Random Deal Breakers

Anyone lucky enough to have these types of rooms should pay special attention to their impression. Don't make the mistake of thinking "Well, this room is really big, so they won't notice the....."

  • fake 1970's wood paneling (you can paint it - don't bother ripping it out)
  • VERTICAL BLINDS!!!!! (trash them with our blessings)
  • ugly and stained carpet (clean it or remove it)
  • horribly mismatched furniture (edit!)
  • cold industrial blinds (see #2)
  • blah white paint job..... etc. (how about a little color?)

Sometimes less is more. Take a long, hard look at the room. What jumps out at you as "wrong"? If it's furniture, you are lucky. Remove it!

WHEN IN DOUBT, PAINT!

A lackluster paint job is another easy fix. When repainting, make sure you use a gender-neutral color that appeals to the widest audience. If you have paneling that you want to get rid of, paint it! You can degloss the paneling with TSP, or a light sanding.

MAKE SURE TO PRIME the paneling first, before painting. TINT YOUR PRIMER with the color you intend to paint over the paneling. This will save you many coats!

Use a low-gloss paint (like eggshell), which will minimize the lines of the paneling.

Since basement rooms are often paneled, I prefer to paint over it, since the vertical lines help give the feeling of height, and therefore space. Furthermore, many a hapless homeowner has removed their paneling only to find a nightmarish situation underneath. See the "All you ever wanted to know about paint but were afraid to ask" section.

THANK GOD FOR LINOLEUM

Regarding floors, did you know that linoleum is back in style? Amazing! There are many new, fun colors available, too. It's very reasonably priced, environmentally friendly, lasts forever, and comes in easy to install tiles. For playrooms, pantries, laundry rooms, and even finished garages, you really can't beat it. For more on this, see the links below.

ENORMOUS TELEVISIONS

Home theaters are becoming more popular, as people want a place to hide their enormous TV's. Cardinal rule of seating? Try not to have people's "back to the audience". In other words, you don't want to walk in the room and bump into the back of the couch. Make sure you have enough lighting. Lighting can often create a mood that can radically change the feeling in the room.

For example, changing the lighting from fluorescent to an incandescent pink lightbulb can take the room from industrial/cold to warm and inviting in about a minute! Pink lightbulbs are available anywhere you find lightbulbs, and they are VERY light pink - to cast a subtle glow around the room.

AND DON'T FORGET ARTWORK!

Bare Walls

Feng Shui is trap for the unwary - only follow the teachings of a TRUE Feng Shui Master! If they don't refer to a compass, they're not doing Feng Shui!

How about some art? ("Very Dry Martini", Michael Leu)

How about some art? ("Very Dry Martini", Michael Leu)

How about some art? ("Very Dry Martini", Michael Leu)

Play up your unique features

Gorgeous loggia

Gorgeous loggia

Make your home stand out

In Feng Shui, water is like money, flowing around you. If you have a water view, by all means play it up. Other super selling features are sun porches, wraparound porches, guest cottages, detached garages, finished basements, and original historic details.

Any way you can distinguish your home will help it sell. To pump up your home's "reputation", place red objects in the southern part of any room. Red is Fire, and Fire is the Element of Fame/Reputation.

Amazing Feng Shui on the patio

Give yourself some shade, and enjoy

Give yourself some shade, and enjoy

Chic Chinoiserie

Chic Chinoiserie

Chic Chinoiserie

Feng Shui and your personal taste

Feng Shui is really an art, or a science. People often worry that Feng Shui will "clash" with their personal style. Others fear that it is a religion! Feng Shui is definitely not a religion. It is a way of balancing out an environment such that the energy meanders and flows in a beneficial way - and that, in turn, is palpable to the occupants and guests.

People tend to fixate on things they have heard, such as "Purple is wealth". While purple is definitely a prosperous color, if the client doesn't like it, we can offer a variety of other options, depending on their personal taste, and what's best in the environment.