Do you visit model homes for the sole purpose of getting decorating ideas? Come on, admit it.  And why not do it? Looking at a brand new model home can give you lots of inspiration and an instant view of what’s trending in home decor and design.  (The on- site salesperson may not be thrilled about it, but just tell them right off the bat what you are doing there. They will appreciate your candor and leave you alone.) Well, today I’ve saved you some gas on the quest of model home decor inspiration. I was inspired to take a few main-areas photos of a new model home I worked in recently, because I really like the gray/gold/cream color theme. It reminds me of Candice Olson’s style. Have you seen Candice on HGTV’s Divine Design? She’s a genius. (Wow, I’m realizing just how long it’s been since my last post. It’s busy season in real estate, so my poor little blog has to take the back seat in the spring/summer.)

Enjoy… :)

Model home decor inspiration

Home Study Decor

Kitchen & Family Room Model Home Decor

Family Room Model Home Decor

Family Room Decor

Kitchen White Cabinets [Continue Reading…]

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A home seller in Tennessee wrote to me asking for some advice on what changes she could make to help sell her house quickly. Job relocation has prompted her and her husband to list their property for sale. Jennifer’s home has been on the market for quite a while with no offers. They have a 16 month old and are expecting their second child soon. Jennifer is a busy mom who needs some quick, effective solutions. The girl needs to sell ya’ll!

The property is a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car-garage home with 2,619 sf in Sevierville, TN. It is a lovely home with some really nice features. Sitting on the edge of the Smoky mountains, close to Ashville, NC, it has beautiful views and surroundings.  I love this area of our country–one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. So why, then hasn’t Jennifer’s house sold yet? It is likely due to the fact that the master bedroom is located on the second floor. In many parts of the country, especially in the North, it seems that it is preferred to have the master bedroom upstairs–but in the South–not so much. It’s a privacy thing. We generally don’t want to be on the same floor as our kids after a certain age. But, when you have little ones, it’s ideal.

So how do we overcome this perceived negative feature that can’t be changed? By showing off the awesome-ness of the exterior!  I’m mean–look at all of that space and potential! We do this by tricking it out, and helping buyers see the plethora of things they will be able to do in this yard. Jennifer must counter any negative ideas about the master bedroom location by creating a WOW factor–in this case, by highlighting one of the best selling features of the home–the exterior. Here are some virtual staging ideas to help sell this home…

Here is the BEFORE. Pretty cute as-is, right? Good condition, nice front porch, healthy-looking and ample greenery.

“Wow it up” Suggestions; (1) Paint the porch posts/trim white to make it pop (2) Add shutters on either side of garage window in either charcoal gray or dark brown (3) Plant vibrantly colored annuals (4) Add a bench or two chairs to the porch with colorful accent pillows & varied pots/plants. Since Jennifer already has a bench, these projects will only cost her about $200.

Exterior Staging Makeover BEFORE

Pretty! Just Needs a Little Tweaking…

Exterior Staging Makeover AFTER

Just a few touches to enhance curb appeal

You can see from this BEFORE shot below how great this lot is! Nice deck and lovely surroundings.

“Wow it up” Suggestions: (1) Balance the deck with landscape & a feature (fountain) (2) Add a shade feature & color to deck (3) Create a stone path leading from the bottom of deck stairs into the yard to help expand the outdoor living space (4) Add an outdoor vignette at the end of the stone path to show potential buyers another way to enjoy the backyard. Don’t leave it to their imaginations. If all of these items needed to be purchased, it would cost about $2K. But about half of that are items that she can take with her when she moves. So really, it’s a $1K landscape investment in the property. Small investment when you consider how much they are paying each month to remain in a house that keeps them living apart.

Exterior Staging Makeover BEFORE

Awesome Lot! But Lacks a “Wow Factor”.

Exterior Virtual Staging Makeover

Potential buyers love outdoor living spaces. If you’ve got it, show it off!

Deck staging makeover BEFORE

The deck is really nice as-is. Adding a shade feature and a few accessories is all that is needed.

Deck Virtual Staging Makeover

All that is needed here is a little ambiance!

Jennifer has already made many of these changes. You can see her progress HERE.

 Do you need some virtual staging suggestions? Visit my critique boutique page.

 For more home staging ideas, please see my post Using Buyer Psychology to Stage a Home

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Time for a spring/summer refresher to liven up the place a bit. I normally don’t gravitate toward bright primary colors, but I have to say I am digging rooms I see with  lots of colorful accents. I see a pattern in which rooms are floating my boat– they all have an artsy, bohemian, eclectic, & vintage vibe about them.

This is such a happy, vibrant space–no? It just screams summer–my favorite season. Lovely vintage/eclectic elements.

Eclectic Vintage Living Room


artsy eclectic decor
via Tumblr


(My vintage inspiration board using found items.)

Colorful Vintage

Far out, man. I want to meet the person that lives here. Signature Bohemian style, marked by worldly accents and casual, highly-patterned fabrics.

Bohemian Living Room
via The Decorologist

I adore the  funky mix of fabrics, pop of yellow, & whimsical light fixture in this Boho Chic library…

Boho Chic Library


A little Jasmine-esque at times, Bohemian Style can whisk you away to far-off lands…

Boho Chic Bedroom
via Pinterest

(My bohemian inspiration board using found items.)

Bohemian Color Study #1


There is a fine line between Boho, Cottage, Vintage, Eclectic, and Flea Market styles. They all have a “collected over time” artsy look and can easily cross styles. My favorite of the bunch has to be eclectic. The concept of eclectic–combining your favorite pieces, no matter the assigned style–love that! Being a sticker for uncluttered spaces, I have to admit I am not into over-the-top themed decor. Having a white backdrop and versatile, basic furniture pieces gives you the freedom to change out accessories as the mood strikes and keeps things a bit cleaner looking.

Eclectic Living Room

via Pinterest

Eclectic outdoor space
via the

Eclectic Bedroom

via Athens Photographers Corynne Pless

(My eclectic inspiration board using found items.)

Eclectic Vibe

Blue chest/ Retro prints/ Chandelier/ Leather Pouf/ Woven Chair/ Silver Garden Stool/ Throw Pillows/ Hurricane Vase/ Snake Eyes Rug/ Turquoise Lamp

Do you have eclectic decor in your home? What are your favorite pieces? Share your thoughts! And if you’d like to receive email notification when new posts are published, simply click here to subscribe! Subscribe to Elegantly Grounded by Email.


Granite Alternatives

February 23, 2014

I get bored very easily. And honestly, I am getting a little bored with granite. It’s everywhere here in the Dallas area. As everyone knows, granite countertops are a hugely popular choice for kitchen and baths. So much so, that in the pre-owned and new-build housing markets, it has come to be an expected/demanded feature. […]

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