Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dream home on Beautiful Turtle Lake!

Looking for a secluded lake home with beautiful views, on an exceptional northern Minnesota lake?  Look no further than this property of beautiful Turtle Lake near Bigfork, Minnesota!

Kathy just Staged an exceptional lake home!  This is a one of a kind log home that is unique in that it is handicap accessible and includes a guest suite! 
The 4376 sq ft, custom built walk out rambler log home has beautiful landscapting, multiple decks, sun porch and breathless views of Turtle Lake.

The home has an open floor plan with vaulted & beamed ceilings & large trapezoid south facing windows. 

The great room has a propane stove & custom railings & a door leading to a lakeside balcony. 

You'll appreciate the entry way room with double closets.
The kitchen is spacious with new stainless appliances and looks out into the great room and that gorgeous view!

The 2 bedroom home shares the main level bath.  
The home has an unfinished lower level with a spacious work room. This work room could be used for the hobby or craft person, or shop for the handy man. This room has double doors leading to the outside. Enjoy the 3 season rock wall sun room leading to the back yard. 

The guest suite has its own entrance and can be accessed through the shared laundry room.
What a perfect suite for visitors or aging family!
Contact MN Lakeshore Properties in Marcell to see this special lake home!
218-832-3121  /  MLS # 9924261

Monday, February 24, 2014

Downsize to your Right Size...

Thinking of moving to a smaller house, or just feel like you have too much clutter and want to Re-vive, Re-vamp, Re-arrange, Re-fresh or Re-duce your stuff?  Then join me as I share my tips in a Community Ed Class on Tuesday, March 4 at 6 pm.  Gain valuable steps to determine your clutter comfort level and tips for handling a lifetime accumulation of stuff that will allow you to down size to your right size.  I will share my Staging clutter control steps and guide you on your downsizing journey.  It's not too late to register at or call 218-327-5730.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thinking of Selling Your Home this Spring?

If the answer is YES, but you don't know where to start, keep reading...  As a Master Accredited Staging Professional, I know that the ONLY thing you have control over when selling your house is how it looks compared to your competition.  Think about can't control the market, the interest rates, or the economy.  And you can't control how your competition looks or the listing amount your Realtor sets.  The only thing you can control is how it looks.  It's actually all about presentation.  Want to know more?  Keep reading for my top 5 Tips to prepare your house to be listed:

First of all, I want to stress what Barb Schwarz, the creator of the Staging industry, says "The way you live in your home and the way you sell a house is two very different things!  You never want to just throw your home on the market to see what happens, because guess what....nothing will happen!  That's because you need to give prospective buyers a fresh clean pallet to visually move their things in.  If you have too much of your stuff left in the house, that's not going to happen.  Staging your house (not your home, pack away your possessions for the next place you live) is the ONLY way to gain the edge over the competition and make your house look WOW!


1)   CLEAN your house...outside and inside, in fact, anywhere a buyer may look.  That means from top to bottom, every surface, in closets, your oven, fanatical.  A clean house also means all odors are eliminated and every surface is shinning!

2)  CLUTTER FREE - Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are totally different. What first impression does your front entry give? If it's cluttered, remove all the excess.
And inside...if you are a collector (like I am) and you are truly committed to selling, pack away all those collections and think minimal!

3)  COLOR - Buyers today are looking for fresh clean neutral palettes.  When I walked into a home with the bedrooms painted the school colors (orange and black) I was truly mortified!  Yes, they loved it, but if they were truly committed to selling, they would have given it a fresh coat of light neural colored paint that would appeal to anyone! The other thing I see a lot in older homes is the paneling from 1970.  The picture below shows how striking the room look when painted a light color.  Look how much bigger the room looks!

4)  CREATIVITY - Buyers only know what they see, not the way it could be.  If your rooms are lacking in character, get creative.  I never recommend you go out and buy new furnishings to "decorate" your house to put it on the market.  Staging is not decorating. Decorating is personalizing your space, whereas Staging is de-personalizing your space.  That's where the creativity comes in.  That's the FUN part!

5)  COMPROMISE - I always tell people to start packing, because as a Staged House, it will sell quickly. But can you really live without all your stuff?  The things you love?  And I answer, YES...if you compromise. I realize I have a lot of stuff.   Do I really need 38 pieces of blue enamelware to make me happy?  I recently pared down my collection to my favorite 3 pieces and packed the rest away!  WOW, what a difference it made!

So those are the TOP 5 Staging Tips to get you started.  If you need help along the way, I am here to serve you and my goal is to help you reach your goals!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Creating Outdoor Spaces - Staging Your Garden!

Here in Minnesota, we have to wait a long time for spring and summer, and then it's over before you know it!  So I make sure to pack as much "summer outdoor" living as possible.  I've created welcoming outdoor rooms and entertaining spaces on my deck, porch and in my gardens.  Yes, that's right!  Why not create fun, whimsical rooms filled with re-purposed items that bring a smile and offer a place to rest and enjoy the beauty of a perennial garden!  That's what I've done, and it caught the attention of Judy Condon, author and antique dealer from the East Coast, who included my gardens in her spring garden book, as part of her series on country decorating.  And because of the book, I decided to show off my gardens this spring and summer by conducting a Community Education class in my garden.  

As an Accredited Staging Professional, I believe you should Stage everything!  That's right, everything!  Your home, yourself, your garage,and your fact, anywhere you look should be given the "Staging" treatment.

There are 7 C's to Staging and here is how I've applied them to my yard:


What's your curb appeal?  

What message does your home convey to people as they approach?  

I strive for "Welcome"!

Part of "Clean" for me is to have well maintained, weed free beds with crisp edges. 

It can be a struggle to keep up with it, but once you've invested time to weed and edge the beds in the spring, the rest of the summer is a breeze. 

Here's a vignette you will see as you drive up to our home, a little gathering spot to say hello!  

This is a hard one for me because I am a collector and I like to live with my stuff.  It's a fine art to know when to stop!

Just adding a few Staging elements will add some color to an otherwise bland and BIG shed! 

Keep the lines smooth and flowing and your beds will appear clutter free.

Just a simple wagon can add some interest to this shrub bed. 

Create areas that are interesting and offer a spot to rest and enjoy your yard and gardens. No need to invest in expensive patio furniture when a vintage metal lawn chair does the trick!

Look for focal points, and if you have a dull area, jazz it up!  Here I've painted the door red and added an Americana banner! 

As I wait for the fall perennials to bloom, I'll add a punch of color by planting a vintage bucket with red geraniums, along with an old red oil can. 

Integrate interesting found objects among beds to add interest and color.  Here an old red trunk, planted with annuals, found a resting spot under my Rugosa Rose bush. 

I love the yellow border with the cat mint planted behind it.  This is my cat's favorite bed, I might add!

Adding a red bike and birdhouse to this center bed adds another focal point and a bit of whimsy!

Why all the red accents?  
I took my cue from the Red Tin Roof!

Sometimes we must compromise!
Especially when it comes to weather, family hobbies or pets!  

Here is Liger when she was a kitty. She was always in my hosta beds.
Now that she's grown, she is my gardening buddy!

Gardening allows you to explore your creative side!  I like to add a bit of whimsy to my gardens, like this bed which I call my musical garden!

A bit of humor in what I call my "bowling garden".  It all started because I'm not home enough to water potted plants, so I decided to use my urns as bowling ball planters.  They do so well without water! 

I created this vignette that I view from my kitchen window all year.  (The red chair receives a Christmas Wreath during the winter months!)

In addition to focal points, I am mindful of creating vistas and backdrops to accent the surrounding woods.  Here I have added a chunk of old snow fence on the edge of the woods, and I think it makes a great backdrop for the gardens! 


What does your outdoor space say about you and your family members?

How about FUN...adding this scarecrow adds a bit of whimsy in the foreground.

How about COLLECTOR... my collection of birdhouses steal the show in the background.

Nestled among the hostas and astillbes is a butterfly house, complete with front deck and chairs! 

Upon entering our front porch, you see this cozy resting spot.  After all, we are not all work and no rest!  
We often use this spot for watching the birds as they come to the feeders and have our morning coffee. 


Having a yard and garden as large as mine takes a real commitment.  To keep it maintained, I invest a lot of time and effort in the spring, and then I coast the rest of the summer. 
I am careful to not let the garden take over my life.

I find ways to minimize my investment for my greatest return.  For me, it's all about the pleasure I receive by investing my time in the garden.  Simply, it gives back to me, as much as I put in. 
I use my garden 
to find my stillness,
my spiritual fulfillment,
my abundance.

My wish is for you to find yours within your garden.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why use an Accredited Staging®Professional®?

Myth....Anyone can Stage a home, all you need to do is watch one of those HGTV shows, or go online for tips...

Well, the truth of the matter, is the Staging Industry was invented by Barb Schwarz.  With over 40 years of  experience in the Real Estate industry, Barb has developed a very specific Staging® process that is part of the Staging® Accreditation process.

What does that mean?

An Accredited Staging®Professional® is a dedicated professional who has studied and learned the proven and powerful techniques of Staging® homes.

An Accredited Staging® Professional® (ASP®) has successfully completed a detailed ASP® course and
passed a required thorough examination on preparing homes for sale.

Staged® Homes traditionally present themselves better than the competition by being clean, clutter-free, and ready to show to prospective buyers.

An Accredited Staging® Professional® (ASP®) is committed to the principles and practices of
marketing properties as Staged® Homes.

Lucky for you, you have an Accredited Staging®Professional® in your area....


I personally trained with Barb in February of 2012, and again in October of 2012, when I received two additional Accreditation's, the ASP-REO®, Real Estate Owned Properties and the ASP-SRS®, Senior Relocation Specialist.  I am ready to serve you and utilize my unique skill set for:

Staging® to Sell, for individual homeowners and REO, both occupied and vacant properties
Staging® for Seniors, Managing your relocation project from start to finish
Staging® to Live, using the Staging® Concepts to get a sensational new feel to your home
Staging® Events, Adding the memorable WOW factor
Staging® your Garden, Using the Staging® Concepts to create unique outdoor spaces

Let me tell you how I work.  Simply, I can do as much, or as little as you'd like - and I always work within your budget!  Step one would be a consultation to talk about your needs!

Remember, Staging® is a communication tool for any area of your life.  Staging® is investment for any area of your life, whether selling, reorganizing or creating outdoor spaces or great events!

 I am completely flexible, so give me a call today and let's get started.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Do you wish this was in your back yard?  Well it can be!  This beautiful lake property on Pokagema Lake, Sunny Beach Road, 5 miles from Grand Rapids is on the market now!  100 year old pine and oak trees adorn the private lot with excellent lake views, southern exposure for all day sun.  The beautiful Staged home has recent updates including granite countertops, stainless appliances, and interior & exterior painting. This beautiful contemporary home, with georgeous lake views and spacious open floor plan is move in ready!  Call today!  MLS #9922179

Staging by Kathy

Ruttgers Vacation Properties