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Shar Sitter
Minneapolis and St Paul Metro
Home Stager with nine years of experience in getting your home in top selling condition!
Interests: Reading, Knitting, Rescuing St. Bernards, Sitting at the Beach
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If your house is like mine was as a kid....there are hard boiled colored eggs everywhere come the evening of Easter Sunday. There is that special time of dying the eggs with your kids, then there are all the egg hunts where more are collected (they used real eggs when I was a kid, do they still do that?). So you could end up with more eggs than you bargained for. You hate to throw them away but you can only eat so many hard boiled eggs. So what else can you do? Egg Salad sandwiches are a given but I love this recipe that takes it a step further. The recipe is from Whole Foods (so I'm sure it's healthy, ha). Curry powder is fabulous enough but then add in the crunch from the pistachios and a slight peppery flavor from the arugula and you have a variation of a classic. Stuff it into a Pita instead of ordinary bread and YUM! Here's what you need to know: Curried Egg Salad with Arugula & Pistachios INGREDIENTS 4 eggs 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios salt and black pepper 2 cups baby arugula 1 pita DIRECTIONS Mix together the mayonnaise, curry powder, and pistachios in large bowl. Peel eggs and chop. Combine with mayonnaise mixture. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Split the pita in half. Stuff some arugula inside each half, then spoon in egg salad. Okay....I really have to try this next recipe. I love Egg McMuffins from that fast food establishment with the arches but I know they are so bad for you. These look better and much healthier. English-Muffin Egg Pizzas INGREDIENTS 4 English muffins olive oil tomato slices 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced grated mozzarella oregano kosher salt DIRECTIONS Toast 8 English-muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle each with olive oil, then layer on tomato slices, hard-cooked egg slices (½ an egg each), and a little grated mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano and kosher salt. Broil 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. SUPER EASY and it's a pizza for breakfast. Or lunch or dinner. I hope that gives you some new ideas for all those easter eggs or that it inspires you to make your own variations. Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Easter! Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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It seems as though it is either a love or hate response when I ask that question to my design clients. The #1 reason people tend to not like them is "My mess will be out in the open for everyone to see." Or...."I will have to keep them neat all the time and that will be too much work." I get that, I totally understand that response. I have seen some kitchens with all opening shelving and I think "where do they hide their mess?" as everyone has at least one junky area in a kitchen that needs to be hidden! But my oh my, if you can just get past that first instinct about floating shelves, they are so beautiful. You don't have to use them everywhere.....maybe just one set in a kitchen, bedroom or family room. I really believe if floating shelves are done correctly they make an incredible statement in the room and can even be a selling feature of the home. Take a look at these examples. In this home I used floating shelves above a bar area with a dark navy accent wall behind them. The combination creates a wow factor for the family room and leaves the area with a more open feeling then if there were enclosed cabinets on the walls. The shelves still allow plenty of storage area to display fun glasses, bottles of wine and a couple eclectic accent pieces. The shelves I selected for this area are a little rustic to fit the casual feel of the room and are about 4" wide which is all you need for glasses and bottles. Now look at this kitchen in which I put in floating shelves. Now that is a statement! I tiled behind the shelves on the entire wall for extra drama. Aren't these incredible instead of just more cabinets. The dark stained wood is such a great contrast with the white and these shelves are 10" wide allowing depth for dinner plates. They are a more sleek smooth finish so not as rustic as the ones pictured above. There are so many options to create your own fun wall! You can have the shelves bolted into the wall like I did here or have fun brackets under them. Adding pocket lights under them like on these examples is an added bonus. So what is your verdict on floating shelves... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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I love most things old, including myself! Ha. But really, I love an old piece of furniture mixed in with new for a character piece. It is also fun to take an old chair and reupholster it with modern fabric for a twist. But every once in a while you just have to scrap the old completely. No matter how cool the nostalgia. This 1920s kitchen had seen it's better days but it had an actually ice box. Yes an ICE BOX!. And it had the pass through window for the milk man to leave his daily delivery. I love that stuff!! It would have been so nice to have incorporated those into a new updated kitchen somehow but it just wasn't possible. The kitchen was just so small for today's standards that we needed every spec of space to make a buyer want to buy this rehabbed home. New bright white cabinets, vinyl wood plank flooring, quartz counter tops, and a vintage look back splash brought this kitchen into the current century as well as the current decade. The original heat register is still there which is so cool and that, along with the vintage inspired back splash, keeps this modern kitchen having tons of charm. Buyers loved it and the home sold with multiply offers and over list price. Sometimes the old just has to go....... When rehabbing a home for sale be sure to bring in the professionals. A professional Home Stager and experienced Realtor will be able to assist you with achieving the best return on your investment. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Okay maybe you have a dessert you like better....maybe ice cream like me but I can't say I don't know anyone who dislikes pie. That's not possible! And of course the #1 flavor in America is apple. That makes sense. My favorite pie is Rhubarb. Not Strawberry/Rhubarb. And not the ones that add so much sugar that you can't even tell it's rhubarb. I like the old fashioned tart rhubarb pie like my Grandma made, picking the rhubarb fresh from the garden. I was reading the AAA magazine* and they listed three Minnesota places for great pie so I thought I would share: Betty's Pies If you haven't been to Betty's Pies when you are on the North Shore what are you thinking? By far my favorite pie shop. I will admit that my husband and I bought a whole pie there on our last visit (it was an economical thing because a whole pie isn't that much more than two slices for crying out loud). Then we proceeded to grab a couple of forks, walk down to the shoreline of Lake Superior, and eat the whole pie! What a perfect day!! AAA sites Betty's Pies as the best for Traditional fruit pies like Great Lakes Crunch boasting as many fruits as there are Great Lakes; apple, blueberry, rhubarb (yum), strawberry and raspberry. AND if you aren't heading to the North Shore anytime soon, you can order Betty's pies online and have them shipped to you. A couple local Minneapolis spots named for pie were: Turtle Bread Company AAA stated this was a great place for Chocolate pie in all forms. The Chocolate Cream is a "decadent semisweet darling with a just-right hint of bitterness". If it is Pucker-Producing Citrus pies you want (ME, ME) then they said to check out The Birchwood Cafe. I haven't been there so I will be adding that to my list! Their favorite was the Key Lime featuring tart curd on top of a buttery graham cracker crust, chilled and topped with unsweetened whipped cream. I will think I am in Florida! So if your mouth is watering now like mine.....have a slice of pie. Or a whole one! *Credit to AAA Magazine for portions of this post. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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The Minneapolis area has one of the best Chocolate Factories in the country and some people don't even know about it. If you haven't visited Abdallah Chocolates you just need to go. With a brand new location in Apple Valley it is even bigger! Now in it's fourth generation of family ownership, it started in 1909 at the corner of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. They have quite the story of success, to bankruptcy during the depression years , and back to success which you can read in full on their website. A great American story! The good news is they have a new fabulous store front, the bad news it is 2 blocks from my warehouse! YIKES!! My favorite item they carry is the Sea Salt Alligators. Highly addictive. But their many flavors of creams and their well know Grizzly's aren't too far behind. You can order ONLINE but if you live in the area I would definitely stop in for a visit. Oh.....the chocolates, the smell. Abdallah Chocolate 6075 147th St W Apple Valley, MN 55124 Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 10a - 6:30p Saturday, 10a - 4p, Sunday, closed Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Step back and look at your fireplace objectively. Is it dated? In rooms that have fireplaces, the fireplace is normally the focal point of the room so ask yourself "Is my fireplace a good focal point?" If your fireplace has dated brick paint it....please! I know it is scary. I know you may like it the way it is and if you aren't selling then great....keep the dated brick. But if you are selling, or if you want to update the look of your home, PAINT IT! It makes such a difference to the overall look of your fireplace and your room. Some who have dated brick think they need to rip it out or cover it with tile or stone. You don't have to go to all that work to update it. It is relatively easy to paint brick and once it is painted it is easier to repaint to change the color. White or soft white is always a classic look for a fireplaces and here is an example of a room that I suggested the brick be painted. The room was so dark (we painted the paneling too) and the mantel and beams looked like they needed to be ripped out as they looked dated too. But the mantle and beams weren't the problem! Rustic chic is very in style right now and that is exactly what the mantle and beams were but you couldn't tell that due to the brick. By painting the brick white it gave it a clean and modern look which people love. The buyers thought so too as it sold very quickly. Look at that mantel and those ceiling beams now! Stunning! So please....I know it is scary but please paint your dated brick. Especially that red/orange brick. I think you will be happy you did! A professional Home Stager or Designer will be able to help you make those tough decisions including color selection. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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The St Paul Winter Carnival is great family event and there is still time to catch some of the activities. This is a great yearly event and I have to sadly say I just haven't taken the time to attend any of the events the last few years. What was I thinking? There is so much to do and it is just nice to get out in the fresh air and stop hibernating. Last weekend we visited Rice Park to see the ice sculptures, watch the pony rides, eat some junk food and take photos with the Charles Schultz characters. So fun. Today we are going to the St Paul State Fairgrounds to see the snow sculptures. I can't wait! These are incredible works of art and seeing photos I know won't do them justice. There are still a lot of activities to attend at the St Paul Winter Carnival before it is over on Sunday Feb 5th. The parade is tonight! For more detailed information visit TwinCities.com Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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I was at a home yesterday doing a Home Staging Consultation and I ran into an issue that I see over and over again. Lack of light! Plain and simple.....buyers do not like dark houses. I think you could look at hundreds of feedback comments on homes and never see "The house just had too much natural light." or "The house was just too bright." You just never hear that. But you do hear, "The house was so dark." or "Boy there just wasn't any natural light." Perhaps your home has all of it's windows facing north or it was built in the decades when installing ceiling/recessed lighting wasn't a common practice. It's okay. It's an easy fix!! Lamps, lamps and more lamps. An easy and inexpensive fix to any room. A Few Tips: In a living area such as a family room, great room or living room: Use 3 lamps in a triangular pattern. This will spread the light well throughout the room. One floor lamp is okay but don't use three floor lamps. Table lamps are needed on the end tables. In a Master Bedroom two lamps on either side of the bed on the nightstands is a must. Make these large lamps to frame out and accent the bed nicely. All other bedrooms at least one nightstand with a lamp on it. Use as high of wattage as possible in all lamps. A minimum of 100 watts (or equivalent lumens) and even better a lamp with a 3 way bulb up to 150 watts (or equivalent lumens). Watts and lumens are another whole topic so stay tuned! Use white or cream lampshades that will allow a lot of light through. Dark colored lamp shades are great ambiance lighting but not great for selling. If you have ceiling lights as the only light source in the room where lamps cannot be added (such as a kitchen, dining room or hallway), make sure your light fixture allows a lot of wattage. You may need to get a new light fixture or buy LED light bulbs that have more lumens. My advice to you if you are selling your home. Walk through your home on a dreary day and in the evening. Is it bright and well lit in every room? How many lamps do you have? You may need to put a lamp buying trip on your to do... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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You know that time of year when you just put your Christmas decorations away and you haven't brought your normal stuff back out? Your house is looking a little bare and maybe you are liking the uncluttered look. Or maybe you can't wait to get everything back out and in it's right place. This is the perfect time to give your home a new look without spending any money! It is amazing how the simplest changes can bring a fresh look. First, look at how your furniture is arranged. Perhaps you had to move the furniture to make room for your Christmas tree so before you put it back to where it has always been, think about a new arrangement. Can the sofa go in a different spot? Can the chairs be moved around? There is nothing easier for a new look than shifting your furniture. Next, put all your accessories in one big pile on the dining room table. I mean ALL your accessories . Grab them from your living room, family room, office, dining room, bedrooms, etc. Now.....put each piece out in a DIFFERENT place than it has ever been before. Think outside the box. Mix things up. Be daring. I love mixing up my accessories and getting a new look. When people come to my home they always comment that I have new things and I don't. It is just in a different place! Play music, get inspired, push the right side of your brain. Even if something may not be in what you think is a perfect spot, that's okay. Just let it be different. Maybe you will want to add a couple new things to finish a look but at least it will have shown you that things can be used many ways and in many places. Have fun....I would love to see some photos of what you created! Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Have you ever seen a blue porch ceiling? Maybe looking up and thinking "well that's pretty". It is pretty but there is a history behind them. You don't see the blue ceilings much in the north as it was originated in the deep south. It made its way to the east coast into Victorian homes and has recently seen a revival of interest throughout the country. Originally called 'Haint' blue, haint is the Gullah pronunciation of haunt. First used in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1800s the blue was thought to keep evil spirits away. The superstition was that spirits could not cross water and the blue tricked the spirits into thinking it was water thus not entering the house. Apparently the blue ceiling has a second 'tricking' factor which serves a practical purpose. It is said that insects such as spiders and wasps think the blue ceiling is the open air sky, thus making them move on to build their nests elsewhere in more protected areas. I personally like the blue porch ceilings for the simple reason that they are pretty but another great benefit to homeowners is that the blue ceiling gives the appearance of extending the daylight hours. What can be better than watching the sun set but the blue above keeps that summer day feeling from ending. Blue is a calming and tranquil color. I can't think of a better place to bring calm than an area your guests first see, making them feel relaxed from the moment they approach your door. And who doesn't want a great place to relax after a long day of work? By adding comfy chairs, lighting and a ceiling fan, if brings the comforts of the indoors outside. If you are from the Northern region of the country like me, I try to capitalize on my outdoor time and extend it as long as possible before the brutal winter hits. So make your porch feel like another room of your house. A blue painted ceiling will do just that! Haint isn't an exact blue. You won't be able to walk into a paint store and ask for it. Now they may have recommendations but it really is up to you on the hue. Light and soothing or bold and bright. The style of your home will play a factor in the haint color best for you. If you would... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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In my last post I showed photos of a farmhouse that I designed from the ground up. Not everyone has the luxury to buy or build a new home but they like the farmhouse look that has been made popular by Chip and Joanna Gaines of the hit HGTV show "Fixer Upper". If that's you, know that you can achieve the look in your home. I really think the reason this look has become so popular is that it is a throwback to a simpler time. The home is warm, inviting, and looks like it has been put together over time. Items don't match but look like they have a story behind them. I too love the style and wanted to bring it into my home even though it is far from the farmhouse look architecturally. I got the chance to visit Joanna's store "Magnolia" in Waco, TX for inspiration and of course brought home a few pieces! Here are suggestions on how you can achieve the look. 1) Trays. Use them on an island, a buffet, a coffee table or a bar. Use a tray that has a farm house look or use any tray you have and place a few farm house accent pieces on it. Here is a great farm house tray that also serves a purpose on my island. Plus it is a great place to showcase my Grandma's owl cookie jar! A mixture of modern and vintage. Vintage iron trays have so much character and can be filled with any items you like. Use eclectic pieces in trays or other containers that may be a throw back to the farm house days of old. Old keys, spools of twine...get your creative juices flowing! These types of pieces can be great conversation starters especially if they hold a personal story. Use pieces that have meaning to you, perhaps something handed down from your Grandma or Grandpa or reminds you of a special time spent with them. 2) Wood of any kind is always a great way to bring the farm house style into your home but it also adds texture, warmth and a natural element. Both of these pieces I purchased at Magnolia and can be bought online however look at your local flea markets and antique stores. You will more than likely find unique pieces there too! A large butcher cutting board which can be... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Is there a certain food or cookie that brings up memories of Christmas past? A visit to Grandma's house? A favorite cookie that Mom made at Christmas time only? It may be something that you didn't even like but it still brings a fond memory. One that makes you feel like you have 'come home' when you see it. For me it was 'Ribbon Salad'. My Mom made it every Christmas from the time I was a child until decades into adulthood. I didn't like it and neither did my sisters. It is a red and a green jello square with a mayonnaise middle served on a bed of iceberg lettuce. Although to me not the tastiest, it definitely had a festive look. As I got older I realized it wasn't about the taste but the tradition my Mom enjoyed. It was served in my childhood home every Christmas Eve as well as each Christmas when I would visit my Mom as an adult. With Mom passing away two years ago I wish I could have some of her Ribbon Salad with her this Christmas. Personally I have a recipe that I started making as a young adult, kept making it as I got older and then continued making it every year for my niece. It didn't seem like my Christmas baking was complete until I made them and my niece couldn't wait for me to show up with them. Cereal Wreaths! I even brought them to Florida and lugged them onto a cruise ship two years! I hope she remembers the tradition and begins it herself. I have seen them made with Cheerios but yeck.....they just have to be made with Cornflakes. :) it is a basic easy recipe, a little time consuming on forming them, but oh how festive on your plate come the holidays. RECIPE: Ingredients Yield 16 wreaths 1⁄3 cup butter 1 (10 ounce) packageregular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows 1 teaspoon green food coloring 6 cups corn flakes red cinnamon candies Directions In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring. Add corn flakes cereal. Stir until well coated Using 1/4 cup dry measure coated with cooking spray, evenly portion warm cereal mixture. Using buttered fingers, quickly shape into individual wreaths. Dot with cinnamon candies. If you haven't tried these give... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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The farmhouse style home is all the rage right now, made famous by Chip and Joanna on HGTV's show 'Fixer Upper'. I just had the opportunity to design a farmhouse style house from the blueprints up, and then stage it. What a fun experience and may I say I want this house! It has elements of rustic but with modern and chic mixed in. A warm and cozy home for sure. I want to share the photos with you so if you also are a huge fan of 'Fixer Upper' like I am, you may enjoy these. House Before Demo Day: House now rebuilt: Great Front Porch, note the light blue ceiling: Look what awaits you when you open then front door! A foyer that opens up to an office with a barn door for privacy: Would you really even mind working in a cozy office like this? Complete with a Shiplap accent wall! A great....Great Room. A White Shiplap accent wall gives this room texture. Open Concept Floor Plan into the Dining Room: I want this kitchen!! A huge island: Galvanized pendants lights: Custom made rustic floating shelves: A farmhouse screen door closes off the pantry: A custom range hood: A mudroom for the kiddos but a barn door to close off the mess: A fun laundry room: Jack and Jill Bath (do you see Jack and Jill?) :-) Guest Suite Bath: Half Bath and Lower Level Full Bath - Fun throw-back light fixtures: Stunning Master Suite: And check out this master bath!! Every farmhouse needs a claw foot tub and of course bubbles on the ceiling: Mornings just got better with this shower! The bar area in the lower level family room continues with rustic charm with more custom made floating shelves. So do you see why I had a blast designing and staging this one?? If you love this style but are not able to buy this property, just know you don't need a farmhouse style home to incorporate the look into your space. Stayed tuned to my next post on how to bring some of that farmhouse charm into your own home! Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Well the great thing about area rug rules is that you can break them! Really, it does come down to personal preference for both size and style but I want to address some common size options that you have. Although it is personal preference, I do believe there are times when a room can look odd if the area rug is placed wrong or if it isn't the correct size. Let's look at the main living area of the home such as the living room or family room. Option 1: The rug comes up to the front edge of all furniture. In this option none of the furniture actually sits on the rug except the coffee table but it comes right up to the sofa and chairs. I like this option, it pulls the room together by defining the space and making it feel cozy. It is a great option for extremely large rooms when buying a larger rug may be cost prohibitive or the rug will intrude into traffic areas. Option 2: The rug is an accent only piece, perhaps an eclectic rug that is a statement piece all on it's own. You see this a lot with animal skin (real or faux) rugs. I like this look when it is an irregular funky rug. I do not care for this look of a small accent rug when it is an ordinary rectangle rug. To me this room below looks odd and not balanced because the rug is too small. It not only makes the room itself look smaller but are you suppose to walk on the rug, around it, have your feet on it when you sit or not? Option 3: The rug encompasses the entire room, showing only a border of 6"-18" around the perimeter of the room. I have to be honest.....this isn't my favorite option. Not only is it extremely expensive to buy a rug large enough to fill the entire room, but if you have hard wood floors why would you want to cover most of them up? Now if it is a small room I can see why it works or is needed....I am just not a fan when the room is large. Option 4: The rug comes under the front legs of all pieces of the furniture by 3"-6" but the back legs are off the rug. This is my favorite of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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One of the largest sporting events in the world is being hosted by Minnesota this week, in the town of Chaska about 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Started by Samuel Ryder in 1927 for the European golfers to take on the United States golfers. I had the privilege of attending two days of the practice rounds and what an experience it was. Walking into the venue is majestic and awe inspiring. A tribute to Arnold Palmer just inside the gates for people to write their sentiments is a great reminder of one of the games greatest....the King. The grounds are immaculate..... The players are up close and so fun to watch play...... The crowds are in typical Minnesota fashion...HUGE! We do love our sports here. The Opening Ceremonies was the largest attendance in Ryder Cup History with 48,000. Grammy winner Aloe Blacc sang along with Minnesota's own Grammy winners Sounds of Blackness. One of The Voice's winners, Allison Porter, sang the National Anthem and brought chills on the sunny day along with the fighter jet fly over. The big event is Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 30, October 1 and 2. Even if you are not a golf fan, this is one event you may want to turn into. It's the excitement of the Super Bowl with National Pride at stake like the Olympics. GO TEAM USA!! Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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I do get that question when I am doing Home Staging Consultations. The good news is the person asking it is up on the current trends, the bad news is usually they are trying to justify their decision to not remove their wallpaper before putting their home on the market. A couple things on wallpaper: 1) Yes it is back in style but I say that with caution as it does depend a bit on the region of the country you live. Some areas the trend isn't there yet or you only see it occasionally. 2) Then there is the issue of style of wallpaper, the pattern, the area of the home where it is located and the amount of wallpaper. The trend now is wallpaper on perhaps one accent wall, in the foyer or the back wall of bookshelves. It is not an entire large living room or bedroom. The current style you see is usually a large pattern, bold and many times metallic. Not small floral prints and not busy patterns, so let's just say not your Grandmother's or even Mother's wallpaper. When I work with clients who are not moving and are interested in using wallpaper I still caution them. If they don't have any plans of moving for ten or more years then I say go for it. If they may move in a 1-5 they need to know their time and cost may be short lived. Either way that wallpaper may need to come down when they go to sell their home. Here's the deal with wallpaper: 1) People either love it or hate it. 2) If they love it but hate your pattern they basically still hate it and see it as a chore to remove it. It is a HUGE negative in the eyes of buyers. My advice to sellers is to always remove it. I do have a few exceptions but they are few. So if you are looking for my expert decision on wallpaper when selling, remove it. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
All of us in the United States celebrate it. Maybe a day off of work? Parades. Picnics. But do you really know what Labor Day is all about? Here are some interesting facts that I found on the Department of Labor website: Labor Day: What it Means Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The First Labor Day The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. A Nationwide Holiday The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. The article can be read in full at DOL - History of Labor Day Save Save Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Houses are just tired sometimes and need some new life. That was the case at this property in New Hope, MN. Most of the changes were very light cosmetic things. Paint, flooring and new lighting. The kitchen and bathrooms did however get a full makeover bringing them into the current decade. Take a look! First impressions are key and this is the room you see right inside the front door. Yes the room was painted but the key to this room was exposing the original hardwood floors under the carpet. Having them refinished added extra glam and shine. Paint and light fixtures are huge when updating a house. What I want to point out here too is the lack of carpet in the Dining Room. Carpet in a dining area is a dated look and no one wants carpet under a dining room table anymore. Worth changing if you can. The kitchen is THE most important room in the house and will make or break any sale. Having an updated kitchen is so important and the Return on Investment is high. Always bring in a professional though so you make the right choices for your investment. Amazing what paint can do! Even if a bath is small it can be functional and feel luxurious! This full bath got a new vanity and the dated wall tiles were removed. Paint and a new light of course! My favorite part of the update was the fireplace. I mean really....look at those beautiful beams around it as well as on the ceiling. They were lost in the dark brick and paneling before but now they are showcased. All houses need new hope once is awhile. What in your house may need a little sprucing up? Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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I love to turn old things into new. If I had more time I would have a blog just on DIY trash to treasure projects. So whenever I do have the time for a project I get so excited. This latest project sat in a corner for a couple years and I finally got it out and finished it. What took me so long? It literally took me about an hour to do. Here's the story of this trash to treasure find: I staged a vacant house a few years back where the homeowner had passed away. The home was built in the 1940s (with a stunning view I might add) and the basement was filled with items the children didn't want. One of the children said I could have whatever I wanted but I did pay her. I just couldn't walk out with her Mother's things for nothing. I found a few true treasures in my eyes. You know those candle wall sconces that every home had in the 1050's and 1960's? You know the ones....they usually were on each side of a large mirror behind the sofa. Sometimes you saw them on each side of a large mirror in the formal dining room. :) They came in all different sizes and shapes, usually dark brown metal or bright brass depending on the decade. Well I saw a couple and my eyes lite up. The were a full half sphere and dark rusted brown. I didn't take a before picture of mine (what was I thinking) but you get the idea. I spray painted them white, put them back to back and wrapped wire around them. Hung them from a shepard's hook in my backyard and take a look!! How cool is that?? It creates the best ambiance in my backyard! So take a look around you, search those basements and flea markets. You never know where your next treasure is hidden. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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If a chair could tell a story I wonder what it would say? Especially this chair. I saw this chair in a house that was going to be remodeled; I was hired to do all the design selections and then stage it. When I saw the chair I knew it was a classic, well made and had been a stunner in it's day. Who had owned it? What stories had it heard? The house had basically been abandoned after a death and estate issue. I asked the investor if I could have the chair and he said "sure." I called my upholsterer, had him pick it up and I went on a hunt for fabric. It got a new look, face lift, some new guts and delivered back to me all spiffed up. When I went to stage this home I just knew the chair had to go back for one more HURRAH! To say "Here I am back to my full glory!" Here is the chair, back in the home where I found it. The house sold in a couple days with multiple offers and over the list price. I think this chair is smiling about that. It now sits in my living room where it commands a focal point, will continue to hear more stories, and support many 'seats'. The moral of this story....don't overlook the old. What was meant for the trash can become a treasure once again. The story of life perhaps? If you want to see all the photos from this complete renovation here is a link to my previous blog showing all the before and after photos. "A St Paul Renovation" Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Yup, I am finally doing it. I have looked at pictures of patriotic cakes, vegetable trays, fruit trays and such for years and always say "Aren't those cute! I am so going to do that." And then I never do. Well this year I have the perfect opportunity because I am going to a BBQ on Sunday the 3rd of July and need to bring an item. Since cake is WAY more fun than vegetables or fruit and I love to bake, I am making the cake. I hunted for recipes over the internet because of course I had never saved any when I saw them. There were some that were cute but just plain cake underneath. I was already contemplating in my head how to doctor it up when I found this one. Who doesn't love Strawberry jello and white chocolate pudding inside their cake! So...here is the cake I am making. I wish I could tell you it turned out great but I am not making it until Sunday morning so check back...I will let you know. Betty Crocker Red, White and Blue Poke Cake Ingredients 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ white cake mix Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box 1 box (4-serving size) Jell-O™ strawberry-flavored gelatin 1 cup boiling water 1/2 cup cold water 1 box (4-serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix 1/3 cup milk 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries 1/2 cup fresh blueberries Directions Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Pierce cooled cake with fork at 1/2-inch intervals. In medium bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until dissolved. Stir in cold water. Carefully pour mixture over entire surface of cake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until serving time. In large bowl, mix pudding mix and milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Arrange strawberries and blueberries on top of cake to look like flag. Store loosely covered in refrigerator. Here is a link to the original site with a printable recipe. Red White and Blue Poke Cake Happy 4th of July! May your Freedom Holiday ring sunny, bright and fun wherever you are. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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I love renovation projects and lucky for me I have been doing a lot of them lately for an investor. It's always fun to see old homes with so much character brought back to life. This project was in St. Paul in a great neighborhood. Sadly the house had been neglected with no one living there but now it is vibrant once again with a great family. My favorite TV show is 'Fixer Upper' and I especially love when they start each show with "Do you have what it takes for a Fixer Upper?" I do, I do!! Take a look! Living Room Before and After: Dining Room Before and After: Den Before and After: Office Before and After: Main Floor Bath Before and After: Kitchen Before and After: Master Bedroom Before and After (the ceiling was able to be raised): Kid's Bedroom Before and After: Upstairs Bath Before and After (yes, we pushed back a wall): These old homes are so precious. I am so glad they are being restored to their glory along with modern updates. Looking forward to the next one! Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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A lot of people know what buyers want: Stainless Steel Appliances Open Concept Move In Ready And so on. But it is just as important to talk about what buyers DON'T want. Actually this is a little tougher to talk about as sometimes people take it personally. Don't take it personally. These are things we all need to know to get our homes sold. 1: BUYERS DON'T WANT SMELLS I am not talking about smelling fresh flowers, although fake fragrances and air fresheners are bad. Many people are allergic to fragrances so be careful. The smells I am talking about are: A. Pet Smells. I have dogs, large dogs. And when I sold my house my #1 goal was to make sure my house did not smell like I had dogs. I received feedback that the buyer's couldn't believe that there were pets in the house. Perfect! If t he buyer doesn't see pet bowls, pet toys, pet beds and SMELLS they won't think about potential scratched woodwork or potty on the carpet. Walking into a house that smells like dog, kitty litter or anything else pet related is a total turnoff to buyers. B. Cooking Odors. If you love to cook fish that's great. But cooking odors can be a real turn off as well. A lingering fish smell is never pleasant to walk into as well as strong spice odors. So watch what you are cooking while your home is for sale. 2: BUYERS DON'T WANT DIRT Buyers don't want to see your dirt. When buying a home the buyer wants to know the house was loved and well cared for. Clean is the best way to show that it was. Even dust and cobwebs covering the furnace and water heater can signal neglect. It is proven over and over again that clean sells. Buyers may even overlook some outdated features if a home is clean and well maintained. SO.....clean clean clean. If you were going to sell your car you would have it detailed. Tooth brush clean. Do the same with your house and make it sparkle. 3: BUYERS DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR PERSONAL ITEMS This means your toothbrush, make up, comb, wet towel, dirty laundry, pile of mail and all your hobbies. It's great that you love to scrapbook but if it takes up an entire room you may need to put that hobby on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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This tiny...and let me reiterate tiny, 119 year old farmhouse now located in the middle of a metropolitan area needed some love. I won't even mention how narrow and steep the staircase was, I should have taken a picture of those! I love that these century old homes are being saved rather than being torn down. The best part of this renovation was that a newspaper from 1898 was found inside the wall! But the house turned out super cute for a starter home, young professional, couple or small family. Sorry....it already sold. A little drab.... A wonderful office now! The ceiling needed a little attention. And becomes a stunning Living Room. The Dining Room wasn't real appetizing but it is now! The Master Bedroom needed some pizzazz. The open air concept is not such a great idea in a bedroom..... But becomes an adorable kids room! Caught in the act of demo day on this not so attractive bathroom. Who wouldn't want this bathroom now! The kitchen was a blast from the past. Look at that wallpaper. The new kitchen needs no words. I am so thrilled these century old homes are being saved! They are a part of our history plus have so much character. Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN. CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer www.RoomsWithStyle.com 952-567-1124 Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2016 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog