My studio….on a major budget!!


Okay, so the photos didn’t turnout as well as I had hoped, but here they are.  This room was done for only $336!!!  I used things I already had, shopped Craigslist and made a trip to IKEA.  There are a few finishing touches I need to add, such as a rug and some candles.





Here is where the room started.  Typical room. White walls and blue plush carpet. 


 Bedroom 3 Empty2



 Because this room was done on a tight budget, I scoured the garage for paint.  I found a partial gallon of a soft green from my last house.  Luckily it was still good and even luckier I had just enough to get the room done.  The carpet was probably about 15 years old,so it had to go.  I have always wanted white floors in my studio and I found some at a great price at IKEA.  I will itemize my purchases later.

   I already had the drafting table, and I knew I wanted to place it under the window, flanked with bookcases.  I made a shopping list for IKEA (because it is a 3 hour drive each way, you have to go with a plan!!).  I wanted white bookcases.  While on IKEA’s website I found the perfect ones for about $70 each.  I decided to click over to Craigslist…..just in case.  The very newest post in furniture were the exact bookcases I wanted for only $15 each!!!  They were black instead of white, but they were only a year old and in perfect condition.  I removed the backs to let the paint color show through.

The next thing on my list were magazine file boxes.  I wanted these in white as well.  Guess what?? Sold out!  So again I had to settle on black.  But that’s ok.  Each bookcase has 4 of these boxes.  I also have some pink ones that I had bought on a past trip.  I did buy a few other accessories.  I found some black and white metal tins, and pillows with a similar pattern.  Then I found a cute pink blanket.  It was only $4,so might as well!!n I also purchased the black and white striped boxes to hold computer cd’s.  The little black “table” in front of the loveseat, used to be a TV stand in my son’s room. Great example of repurposing furniture!!  The candlesticks on top were purchased at yard sales if I remember correctly.  And the black candlesticks placed on my drafting table were “stolen” from my sister at our Christmas Party.We do a white elephant exchange.



Here is a breakdown of my budget:

Paint                                                  Free

Sofa                                                    Free

Light Fixture                                     Free

Candle Holders                                  Free

Shelves                                             30.00

Floors                                              180.00

  Window Treatments                      80.00

Magazine Files                               16.00

Pillows                                               26.00

Pink Blanket                                     4.00

Total                                              =336.00



Before and afters of a staged home


I recently got some wonderful comments from a past home staging client…. 


It was a pleasure to work with Jamie! Our family had three weeks to get the house in order to move out-of-state for Dad’s new job. I called Jamie begging for help! She quickly rolled up her sleeves and got to work creating a “sellable” house. WOW! What a transformation! My ordinary home filled with all the artwork, toys, and clutter that accompanies four kids was now a beautifully staged house that would appeal to so many buyers. Jamie professionally created the WOW factor my house was missing! Staging with Bella Traverse Design was so good for me because Jamie had the ability to take on the stress of the house so I could focus on my family’s needs and saying my good-byes to loved ones!

Thanks Jamie for a job well done!

I strongly recommend hiring Jamie as your stager!
-Cathy C.



Here are a few photos from that home…

Foyer Before
Foyer Before


The foyer is where the homebuyers’ get their first impression.  Your entry should be uncluttered and un-personalized, yet inviting.  We achieved this by removing the coat rack on the wall that housed jackets and backpacks.  Seeing such personal items can make the buyers feel as though they are invading someone elses home, instead of picturing themselves living there.  A piece of artwork was hung on the wall to warm up the blank canvas.  A rug was placed on the floor, to draw you toward the kitchen.  As you can see, the clutter was removed from the refrigerator, which also helped with the look and feel in the foyer.


Living Room Before 



The living room is right off the foyer.  Since the back wall was already a nice pumpkin spice color, we staged the rest of the room to coordinate.    This room wasn’t furnished so I had to fill the entire room, and without spending a lot of money.  Most of the furnishings were found in other rooms, so I was able to spend the whole budget on the sofa and rug. 

The chairs were originally in the family room, and were updated with slip covers.  The pillows came with the sofa, but I repurposed them because they had an orange and blue print fabric, which tied the chairs and the window treatments together. I found the end table in the bedroom.  The artwork behind the chairs were originally on the opposing wall, with family photos.  I replaced the photos with some ornate scrapbook paper.

The artwork above the sofa was already in the room, but on smaller wall.  Because of the scale of the piece, it was better suited over the sofa.  I found the pillows at a buy one get one free sale.




My intention today was to post some pics of my studio.  I am learning about taking better photos, so I have been playing with my camera settings all day.  Because of the blizzard outside, no matter what I tried, the windows were showing up way too bright.  So instead I took a picture of my puppy.  He is enjoying his snowday on my leather club chair and french country pillow!!


Organization….The paper trail




So on to our discussion about organizing.  I recently moved my studio from a large 15×18 space to an 11×12 space. This meant I had a lot of sorting and organizing to do in order to fit into the smaller room.  With any large space, where do you start????

One of my biggest challenges for any room in my home, are the papers.  Stacks and stacks of mail, magazines, kids artwork…….aahhhhhh.  So I decided to start with the magazines.  I recently made a trip to IKEA.  I was hoping to purchase several white magazine files.  Unfortunately they were all sold out, and I live almost 3 hours away from the store, so I decided to buy the black.


I actually have eight.  Four of them are on the side of the room.  I have not filled out the labels on them because I am trying to organize a bit further.  Now that the studio is done, and I have a little extra time, I am flipping  through the magazines and tearing out the actual articles I want to keep.  I have 3 large binders that I keep the tear outs in.


Another paper problem I have, are rolls of blueprints and renderings.  I did have them rolled up and stacked  on top of a drawer unit.  I needed to find a better solution.  A few years ago I purchased this white metal trash can.  I really didn’t need a can this large, so I emptied it and filled it with my drawings (after sorting of course:).


Hello world!

Happy New Year!!!  My New Year’s Resolution is to kick my design and home staging business into high gear!  I think starting a blog and joining Twitter are a good start for day one.

The new year usually means two things….weight loss and/or organizing.  I think we will talk organization!  Dive into that guest bedroom that has morphed itself into the storage room. Or better yet….the basement!!!  Sounds scary huh?  I recently moved three rooms around in my home, including my design studio.  I had years of magazines and unfinished projects, screaming to be sorted.  It didn’t happen overnight,  but it’s finally done.  I will posts pics and tips on how I did it and how you can get organized too.

Stay tuned for affordable projects you can do to bring style to your home whether you are selling or staying:)