Lori Matzke

Since entering the design industry in 1999, I've had the opportunity to share my love for creating beautiful, livable, and affordable rooms as a business owner, Home Staging & Interior Redesign Expert™, trainer, columnist, contributor, and author. But it wasn't until I was forced to confront the failing relationship I was having with my own home that I truly came to understand the frustration one encounters when they no longer feel a connection to their space. After spending several angst filled years trying to make it work, I finally found my inspiration in the most unlikely place and made an amazing new breakthrough in design! Like any relationship, I discovered it's all about communication and for you... let the discovery begin right here and now with this blog!


Shop – Zig-Zag Dog Gate

Keep Fido safe without distracting from the beauty of your home with this Zig-Zag Dog Gate made of sustainably harvested Honduran pine. Available in Cinnamon or Dark Cherry from http://www.orvis.com with prices starting at $109.00

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Jan

07 2012

Shop – Campfire Quilt by Donna Sharp

Stay toasty warm this winter with the Campfire Quilt pieced together rag-style by Donna Sharp. On sale now through January 31st at http://www.paulshomefashions.com

Twin size starts at $186.99

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Jan

06 2012

2-Day Home Staging Workshops – Sign up now and $ave!

As the only working home stagers in the industry who also offer Home Staging training, we not only teach you to efficiently prepare a house to show, but place an emphasis on the skills you need to willingly engage your client in the experience and help them become part of the solution.

This is just one of the many differences between our program…and all the rest.

Sign up today and find out why we’ve been continuously rated #1 in the industry!

For further information, please visit us at http://www.homestagingexpert.com/


UPCOMING DATES

Toronto – January 30 & 31

Miami – February 16 & 17

Dallas – February 27 & 28





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Jan

06 2012

About that Seven-Year Itch…

Fifty years ago, the goal for the average American was to buy a house, pay off the mortgage, and live happily ever after.  At the same time, divorce rates were at an all-time low. Life was good! But today we live in a disposable society. From our house to our spouse, our culture seems to have developed a very short attention span. Everything is replaceable, and even the statistics seem to indicate we are more willing to replace and move on than we are to stay committed and try to repair whatever it is that’s ailing.

To prove my  point, consider this: A survey conducted by independent research firm Market Facts based in Schaumberg, Illinois, found that more than 1/3 of Americans have broken it off with a significant other and moved on in the past 10 years, citing the top three reasons as:

 

1) Infidelity!

2) Lack of Desire!

3) Grew Apart!

Now compare these findings to that of real estate expert, Elizabeth Weintraub of About.com, who identified what motivates a homeowner to end the relationship with their house including:


1) Longing to upgrade to a better product. (Infidelity!)

2) No longer attracted to the features of their home. (Lack of Desire!)

3) The house is no longer meeting their needs. (Grew apart!)

The same reasoning a person will use to dump a significant other, is the same rationalization a homeowner will use to unload their house. Interesting stuff, don’t cha think?



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Jan

06 2012

Eat – Easy Beef Stew

There is nothing like coming in from the cold to a hearty and heart-warming meal.  Beef Stew is a cold weather favorite, and McCormick Seasonings makes it easy to cook up a pot of this all-time favorite classic.

EASY BEEF STEW

2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 package McCormick® Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
3 cups water
5 cups frozen or fresh chunky cut vegetables for stew

 

1. Coat beef with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the beef; brown on all sides. Repeat with remaining beef, adding remaining 1 tablespoon oil.  Return all beef to skillet.

2. Stir in Seasoning Mix and water. Add vegetables; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serve with warm dinner rolls for a memorable meal.

 

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Jan

05 2012

Shop – Martha Stewart Glass & Mirror Cleaner

Well, she’s done it again, that Martha!   But this time, she’s actually bottled some of that home-spun know-how and turned out a line of organic cleaning products.  Tough on dirt, but easy on the environment.

Visit http://www.marthastewartclean.com for details.

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Jan

05 2012

Shop – Safavieh Classic Wool Rug

Update your decor and warm up your floors with this Safavieh Classic Wool Rug.  On clearance starting at $304.00 for a 5′  X 8′.

Order now before they’re gone from  http://www.rugstudio.com

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Jan

04 2012

Order the Home Staging – Home Study Course NOW and $AVE!

The Home Staging – Home Study Course is available through January 31, 2012 from http://www.homestagingexpert.com for only $299.00 and includes shipping and handling.  But place your order soon…the price is increasing  for the first time in 7 years on February 1, 2012.

Earn your Home Staging Designation from the Home Staging Experts and take charge of your professional destination this year!



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Jan

03 2012

Shop – Java Hardwood Luggage Rack

Winter is a great time to update your guest room for warm-weather guests.  And while you’re at it, why not treat them to a  real Bed & Breakfast – like experience with this beautiful, functional Java Hardwood Luggage Rack?  Your guests will be impressed!

$49.00 at http://www.containerstore.com

 

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Jan

03 2012

Shop – Snow Wolf Wheeled Shovel

Don’t let our mild weather lull you into a false sense of security…before the snow hits, you have to be ready.  The Snow Wolf Folding Wheeled Shovel makes clearing the path to your home easier and is three times faster than normal snow shovels.

 

Available from http://www.northerntool.com for $149.99

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Jan

02 2012

Real Estate Picks for the Week

DALLAS, TEXAS  -  USA

$250,000.00  USD

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and this 5000 square foot home on a 5 acre treed lot is certainly proof of that.  The house is not yet complete, but the materials are on-site.   A great deal…take advantage.

Listed by Oscar Almarez with http://www.virginiacook.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARLO, NEW BRUNSWICK – CANADA

$98,000.00  CAD

This custom-built, beachfront home with spectacular views on the Bay of Chaleur has two living rooms, four bedrooms, two balconies, and more.  Listing 53327 at

http://canadahomesforsale.ca/atlantic/53327/#photos

MENDOZA – ARGENTINA

$185,000.00 – USD

Live out your dreams in your very own Spanish-style villa nestled in the beautiful hills of San Rafael wine country.  Surrounded by nearly 20 acres of meadow and 4 acres of planted alfalfa, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Listed by Pedro Bernacchi

http://www.viviun.com/AD-165343/

 

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Jan

01 2012

Shop – Hancock Bookcase

The Hancock Bookcase  from http://www.westelm.com will add a lively burst of color and style to any home or office.  Available in Clover as shown, or Chartreuse.

 

Prices start at $149.00.

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Jan

01 2012

GREAT STAGING SELLS – HOME SOLD IN 5 DAYS!

When it comes to a well designed space and creating flow between rooms, the principles of Home Staging are a good source for inspiration!

This sweet little tudor is a great example. As a class project it was perfect! Nice features, but hard to see under a frumpy furniture layout. We came in and re-vamped it for amazing results!

The sofa was originally blocking the view, and there was a large area rug concealing the hardwood floors. Over the mantel, nothing special made the fireplace stand out. We redirected the layout to highlight the fireplace & hardwood floors!


From this view, it is easy to see how open the space looks! The table was repositioned horizontally to create a more proportionate layout. This is the view buyers will see from entering the front door!



Looking from the dining room to the living room shows you what a difference it made to move the buffet to the living room and reposition it near the front entry. This space previously was bare…and made the entire living room feel off-balance. Moving the buffet out of the dining room also made the dining room look much larger!


This bright and cheerful kitchen had undergone a recent renovation. It was easy to stage! We just cleaned up the countertops and accessorized!


To make the family room feel larger and more user-friendly, we removed an area rug that covered the entire floor, added a sweet little antique table brought in from the living room, and brought in a lamp. The end result was a small addition that felt twice the size!

                                                                                                     Admittedly, not everyone is going to be a fan of these slanted ceilings! To make it feel more open and airy, we got rid of everything…bins, temporary storage, etc….that was blocking the flow, then added colorful bedding (found in the closet) and colorful artwork (found leaning up against the wall.) to create a more luxurious feel and take away attention from the low ceiling height!

While I am not totally opposed to a TV in the bedroom, we did make it look a little neater by removing the tv stand and using a small dresser, instead. Moving it down the wall a smidge…rather than it’s previous spot at the end of the bed…gave buyers room to walk through and visually made the space feel larger. A comfortable chair and ottoman…too boxy and large for the living room…added to the ‘master suite’ feel!

Want to learn the art of Staging a Home to Sell? We have another 4-Day Workshop coming up in Minneapolis in May, and a 2-Day Workshop coming to New York City in June! Check out our calendar for workshops coming up around the country at www.homestagingexpert.com!

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May

02 2011

Shop – Windsor Picnic Basket

“April showers bring May flowers!”  And frankly, I have had it with these April showers and am finally looking forward to a little summer fun.  So what’s more fun than a summer full of picnics?   Maybe picnics with this English-style picnic basket with accessories to accomodate four including porcelain plates, stainless steel mugs, wine glasses, silverware, and more!

From www.lawnanddeck.com for $172.46

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Apr

30 2011

Shop – Guest Bed Ottoman

It’s a guest bed!  No, wait!  It’s an ottoman!!  Ok.  So which is it?  Well…cleverly disguised as an ottoman in the off-season, this funky little space saver does double – duty as a guest bed when it’s time for you to play hostess-with-the-mostest!  If you’re short on room, this might be just the solution you’ve been looking for.  In cream or brown.

$199.00 from www.brylane.com

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Apr

29 2011

Shop – Songs of Summer Hanging Wind Chime

I hereby grant you my permission to be the annoying neighbor this summer!  (But you’ll be annoying in an old-fashioned, charming sort of way.)  Each terracotta pot has been hand glazed and kiln fired to create this handmade wind chime.  Available in a variety of color combinations and since they are clay pots, they don’t actually tinkle, they clunkle!   Would be super cute on the front porch, or perhaps hang several on your garden shed.

From MyOtherLittleShop at http://www.etsy.com/listing/72491350/songs-of-summer-hanging-wind-chime for $18.00

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Apr

28 2011

Shop – Bollywood Beauties Beaded Knob

Glam up your cabinet doors with these gorgeous beaded pulls!  Would be very chic in a powder room, or equally as stunning on a lingerie cabinet or vanity.  They come in black & white (shown), blue, green, aqua, raspberry, bronze, and umber.  Definitely worth a peak!

Small Knob $9.20, Large Knob $10.20

From www.atlashomewares.com

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Apr

27 2011

ATTENTION REALTORS!

We feature beautiful homes in our “Looking for Love” section weekly!  There is NO FEE for this, you will get a FREE FEATURE on our website if your home meets our criteria! 

1)  Listed for less than $250K!

2)  Currently on the market!

3)  An outstanding property!

4)  Beautiful photos of the interior and exterior!

5)  Not in a location yet featured!

We feature listings from anywhere in the USA, Canada, or the rest of the world.  Check out our ‘Looking for Love’ section to get an idea of what we are after.  And tell your friends!

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Apr

26 2011

4-Day Workshop – Minneapolis, MN

Staging a Vacant Home, Staging an Occupied Home, Interior Redesign, and Business & Marketing…we cover it all!  Sign up for the most COMPREHENSIVE workshop in the industry, limited to 6 for individual benefit.   $1499.00 per person

Includes manuals, starter kit, lunch, and lifetime listing at www.homestagingexpert.com  Sign up now to start a successful career and be your own boss!

BEFORE

 

 

 

 

AFTER

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Apr

26 2011

Eat – Ham & Swiss Rosti

With Easter behind us, I’m guessing many of you have a little leftover ham!  While scalloped potatoes are always a treat…ditto with a grilled ham & cheese…how about adding a new ‘go-to’ recipe to your files?

Rosti is a tradional Swedish potato pancake typically served as a side dish, but plumped up with ham & Swiss, it makes a perfect weeknight supper with it’s own side of steamed asparagus!

Ham & Cheese Rosti from www.eatingwell.com

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup diced ham, (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim Jarlsberg, or Swiss cheese, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  1. Beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in ham, 1/2 cup cheese, shallot, rosemary, pepper and salt. Add frozen potatoes and stir to combine.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pat the potato mixture into an even round in the pan. Cover and cook until browned and crispy on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Place a rimless baking sheet on top. Wearing oven mitts, grasp the pan and baking sheet together and carefully invert, unmolding the rösti onto the baking sheet. Wipe out any browned bits from the pan. Return it to the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Slide the rösti back into the pan. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, cover and cook the second side until crispy and browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Slide onto a platter, cut into wedges and serve.

 

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Apr

26 2011