Light Up Your Landscape

The days are getting shorter and landscape lighting becomes even more important. Make sure the exterior of your home is safe as well as stunning.

Inviting Entryways

Nothing says Welcome like a beautiful entryway.  It sets the tone for the entire house.

Budget Decorator

I love reusing and repurposing existing items. Take a look around your home and see all the possibilities for “budget decorating”.

It’s All In The Details

Most homeowners believe they have to make large scale, expensive changes when redesigning their homes. Often times, updating the little things can have a huge impact on how you feel about your space.

Great Curb Appeal

Great curb appeal matters. Whether you’re staging a home for sale or redesigning for your own enjoyment, an appealing entry into your home is always a welcoming feature. These photos from show how a custom entryway can really personalize your home.

Clever Organizing

Redesign a Bathroom

Think outside the box when redesigning your bathroom. No more of those plain, no frame, rectangle mirrors over the sink. The possibilities these days are endless…so let your imagination run wild!

A Tale of Two Listings in Howard County MD


As a Maryland Home Stager, I do many consultations as well as additional staging when needed.  Sometimes I propose renting furniture and /or adding accessories from the Refreshing Homes inventory.  I find that sellers either understand the value of home staging or they do not. A big part of our job is to help them see the benefits and when they do, the results can really pay off.  Cases in point:



I did a staging consultation in Howard County MD on a mid-range priced house that had a lot of unfurnished rooms.  It was somewhat unclear what the rooms should be used for so I recommended adding some furniture/accessories to better define the spaces.   Cost to the seller was to be approximately one half of one percent of the list price.  After much questioning of me and the original listing agent, the seller declined further services.  “Not worth it…don’t need it” was the seller’s reason for not proceeding with the staging. 

Price Reduction
Maryland Home Staging


As of the date of this post, this property is on the market, unstaged, with another realtor. It has been on the market for 90 days and has had one price reduction (for well over the proposed staging cost).   As a home stager in Maryland, I have seen this all too often.  So, I wait and watch.  What will the outcome be? 


At the same time, I did a staging consultation in Howard County MD for a similarly priced property that needed a lot of prep work to get it ready for market.  The seller reluctantly listened to me and the realtor and did everything that was recommended.  However, when it came to my proposal to add some Refreshing Homes inventory to update and refresh the look of the home, the seller balked.  We needed to get some great pictures for online and I knew my final vision for the home would photograph beautifully….just needed to convince the seller.  Fortunately, she put her trust in Refreshing Homes. Below is her testimonial that says it all:

I was very impressed by your creative vision to help transform a house that I loved into a house that potential buyers could love too! My house sold very quickly for an excellent price and I think you played a key role. The cost of your services paid for itself many times over. You were very sensitive to my changing understanding of what it takes to sell a house and were extremely responsive in every way. Your work made me realize that your “profession” is very important in selling a house.

Home Staging Maryland

This listing had multiple offers within 5 days and sold for over list price. Every listing has a tale to tell…what will yours be?

HOME STAGING MARYLAND…Do you have the vision?

I recently did a presentation for a group of Howard County MD Realtors.  As I got to the end of my spiel, I presented the following photos of a recent staging job in Columbia, Maryland.

Living Room BEFORE

Dining Room BEFORE

I asked them what they would tell the sellers to do to prepare this listing for sale. Most said “declutter and clean up”.  One agent finally replied, “I would tell them to call a home stager”.  Luckily, the agent for this listing did call Refreshing Homes/Home Staging and Interior Redesign.  Most sellers need more direction than being told to “clean up”.

As a professional home stager in maryland, I provide the sellers with very specific instructions to help them through the preparation process. I also prepare well thought out proposals to add furniture and accessories if needed.  For this listing, we did complement some of the seller’s items with inventory from Refreshing Homes, however, I have seen many a listing sell quickly and for top dollar just by investing in a home staging consultation

I try to educate Maryland realtors so that they have a plan to compete in today’s market. Many agents are now offering staging as part of their listing presentation. Many sellers and For Sale By Owner properties are calling me before calling a Realtor. Be proactive! Contact Karen Ellis at Refreshing Homes to learn how to make home staging a part of your listing presentation.

Oh, and the listing in Columbia MD…well it had multiple offers within 5 days and sold for over the list price!  Needless to say, the seller and agent were very happy with the results!

So Many Design Ideas…So Little Time