Products We Love

If you’ve never read my blog before you have missed my rants about lighting.  Updated light fixtures are so affordable and improves the look of a room dramatically. Shopping for lighting and overwhelmed by choices here’s a hint — DO NOT BUY ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE THESE!  Cheap Cheap Cheap!

These are inexpensive, and look that way too!

Light bars like these are inexpensive but look cheap and the light is glaring

Dated Entry fixtures

I know they still sell fixtures like these . . . don't be fooled - they aren't stylish and the bulbs are expensive!

Wonder what kind of light fixtures interior designers would choose?  We are in the process of an update in our bathroom and I just had to give you a sneak peek!

I knew I wanted something a bit unusual for our own bathroom and didn’t want to buy the ordinary.  These are great bathroom light choices, but aren’t really unique.

Bathroom lights - do they go up or down?

Light sconces for bathrooms can go up or down

3 light bronze light fixtures

This is one of my favorite choices for bathroom lighting

square design for bathroom light fixture

Our choice for bathroom light fixtures

When we saw this light fixture I thought it was really attractive and unique.

stylish bathroom lights

Here they are installed (mirrors to follow)

I just love the squarish shape and how close to the wall the lights are.

The cabinetry we had made is shaker style – more square shapes.

How do you like the lights with the backsplash?

light fixture should coordinate with other metal colors in the room

light fixture should coordinate with other metal colors in the room

beautiful mosaic glass tile backsplash

Love Love Love this backspash!

Can you see in the backsplash tiles how the glass is actually crackled — another unique feature I just loved!

unique bedroom ceiling light fixture

Light coordinates with our master bedroom fixture too

Some people like to have themes for their rooms — Beachy, Tuscan, Palm Trees, but in my humble opinion these design styles  get tiresome very quickly.

Rooms can be coordinated by color and by shapes.  I think our square shapes look quite stylish – how about you?  Can’t wait to complete these spaces and share the final pictures!

Thanks for letting us share our remodel with you!

Margaret Oscilia is partner and a Professional Home Stager with Creative Concepts – Home Staging and Contracting which offers home staging and interior design services throughout the Salem, Albany and Corvallis areas. Creating beautiful spaces to come home to, and winning strategies for home sellers is their specialty! 503-881-0886

When you find a product that really works and that over half your clients need and also rave about, you get a little excited.  Especially when its affordable and easy to find.  Yesterday I was speaking for Women’s Council of Realtors in Albany Oregon.  I think they thought I was a little crazy about my enthusiasm for Restor-A-Finish — but wait till they try it!

Most homes with wood trim or cabinetry over time get some nicks and bumps that make the trim look less than perfect.  Once wood trim and cabinets get damaged, how can you make it like new without painting it all white?

Restor-A-Finish does exactly what its name says . . . restores the finish AND without stripping, sanding or varathaning.

Yes, I get so enthused that I did a quick demonstration yesterday.

I had a piece of trim that had lots of damage and applied some product to half the board while I was talking.  We passed the trim piece around the room — it was already dry and the finish looked like new.

You couldn’t see all the scuffs and damage. Ahhhh — I just love how easy, quick  and well it works!

It comes in a variety of colors, and could also be used for furniture and other wood surfaces.

Yes, there are similar products available, and I’ve tried several of them.  None of the results compare to what we’ve achieved with Restor-A-Finish.

It can be found at most hardware and home improvement stores and is under $10.

Check out the website for more information and I’d love to hear your experiences as well!

Here’s an example of a one piece of trim that I cut in half and the applied Restor A Finish to half of it.

The lower trim piece looked EXACTLY like the piece above it before adding this product.  Amazing!

Moving or improving? We love helping home owners create spaces people love to come home to and share ideas on how to do so affordably and easily!  Learning how to make your home feel special can be as easy as an affordable staging consultation! 

Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  Contact us at 503-881-0886 for more information!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

Using the right tools can make all the difference — even in small situations!

Love glass tables but they have to sparkle!

As you can imagine, we clean lots of glass and mirrors.  We have many glass tables that look great when they are smudge free and when we stage a home, we want everything clean and sparkling.

I’ve never put too much thought into glass cleaners (ok I confess, I’m not usually the one cleaning the glass!), and thought all glass cleaners were created equal.  Wrong wrong wrong!

Recently, we were staging a home which also included some cleaning.  Our awesome cleaning person Judy had cleaned the large mirrored doors, and they still had streaking and smoke residue despite her efforts.  A client had given me a glass cleaning product from the Legacy of Clean line so we decided to do a product test.

The Legacy of Clean product costs about the same as leading brands of window cleaners, but we were blown away by how quickly, streak free and well it worked.  Plus it SMELLED GREAT! No ammonia smell – and it’s an environmentally friendly product.

Okay, I’m sold – and so was Judy.  She will be switching to this line of cleaning products for all her clients and we are adding it to our bag of tricks as well!

They also have other cleaning products in this line (I’ve tried the multi-purpose cleaner and it is great).

No one wants to spend extra time cleaning so – save yourself some time and effort, reduce your environmental footprint too. We’ll be giving this entire product line a try!  So glad Amber had us give it a try – (Thanks Amber!)

Here’s the link!

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Wanting to add value to your home? Whether you’re selling or thinking of making updates, it can be a daunting task!  HGTV and home design television shows make it appear that homes can easily be tranfsformed from drab to fab in 30 minutes and on a shoestring budget.

Many home sellers can testify that preparing their homes for sale or making decorating updates can be a little more challenging!  Here’s a project do it yourselfers can do easily and the results are fantastic!

Affordable Tile Backsplash

affordable updating of backsplashes and kitchens

Looking for a way to spice up your bath or kitchen and have a formica back splash?

Here’s a before pic of a recent project.

spice up boring backsplashes affordablyDon’t be distracted by all the stuff . . . check out the backsplash — boring and dated! (If you are updating your formica countertops please . . . don’t use this option!  There are so many other beautiful options to choose for just a few dollars more!)

These glass tiles were at a local home supply store for $3.82 per square foot.

It is sold in one foot squares and has webbing on the back for EASY installation!

using glass tiles for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes

The tile squares can be cut to the height and length desired with scissors.

We install these glass square tiles without using a tile cutter!  If using the subway style I have a trick so email me if you need help.

We were on a budget in this example, so covered the existing area only, but it could have run all the wall up to the upper cabinets too (yum).

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Carefully remove existing formica with razor and putty knives, limiting damage to drywall.
  2. We run a razor knife along the top of the formica first – breaking the “seal” where the paint can easily be damaged
  3. When existing formica is removed, seal it with waterproofing sealer before adding tile
  4. Do a “dry fit”.  Before using adhesive on the walls plan how the tiles will be laid out.  We do these applications without cutting tiles if we plan properly! (If using square tiles – we have a trick for the subway style too so contact me if you need advice!)

kitchen backsplash after installing glass tile backsplash

Here’s the same kitchen after the new backsplash is installed. (yes we’re changing the handles next . . . that’s another blog altogether)  The new look is so much more contemporary and upgraded!  And for less than $2 a linear foot!

If you’re hesitant to install tile, we can recommend an AMAZING tile installer who has traveled from Corvallis to Portland for our clients.  Installation cost is $5-$7 per foot.

master bath before updating countertop and backsplashHere’s another before and after example on a bathroom.

Materials for this bathroom backsplash was under $20 —


master bath after home staging updatesHere we also had the counter formica professional replaces which cost less than $50.

What an incredible updated look for less than $60!

Need advice or have questions?

We’d love to help!  Email us at or give us a call at 503-881-0886.  Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and receive our weekly tips!

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Yes – as a home stager I shop all the time for clients and to keep our inventory cool and up to date.  But I’m really excited about a store opening that isn’t decor or furniture this week!

Trader Joe’s,  the cool and quirky grocery chain so popular in Eugene and Portland is opening in Corvallis on February 12th!

Carrying organic and quality grocery items (and some great cheap wine), Joe’s has been a frequent stop of our families while in Portland.

The new store is located in the  Corvallis Market Center at 1550 N.W. Ninth St. I’m in this shopping center all the time because it includes TJ Maxx (where I get lots of cool accessories for our staged homes) and Michaels Crafts (silk plants, stones and fancy papers always tempt me here).

One staging tip we use is to put a live orchid by the kitchen or bathroom sinks, on a nightstand or in the living room.  They are compact, but look elegant — perfect decor in homes for sale.  Larger orchids make a great simple centerpiece.  These are so affordable at Trader Joe’s – and are something I always pick up there.  (They last a long time too – even if they are abused!)  We shop for lots of other staples we always stock up on there – great cereal, cheeses and wine.

If you see a woman with piles of decor struggling out of TJ Maxx along with orchids, wine and cereal from Trader Joe’s – come help this Salem home stager load up her Corvallis stash.  Yes – we Salemites are still jealous that Corvallis got a Trader Joe’s before Salem!

Stop by Joe’s and buy an orchid for your sweetie for Valentines Day this week!  We give home selling consultations or stage in Corvallis about once a week–maybe I should start a Salem delivery service!

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Nearly every home I go to has this problem — caulking that isn’t maintained around tubs and showers. Sometimes it’s yellowed, other times it’s mildewed — and sometimes as illustrated so well here – it is causing permanent damage to the flooring.

When recaulking, be sure to remove all old product and use a quality caulk to protect your flooring investment. Caulk comes in a range of uses and qualities — use the best quality mildew resistant caulk — those few extra dollars will help the caulking do it’s job longer!

time to fix thisPlaces that water is present are generally layered. If one layer of protection fails there will be a second to prevent damage. This is true of properly constructed roofing and exterior components but not the other area in the home that sees a lot of water: the bathroom.

The seam between the bathtub and the flooring is especially vulnerable and is sealed with a flexible caulk. The subfloor is usually an engineered particle board and can be very sensitive to water exposure. The purpose of the caulk seam is to try to seal this joint as the two different materials move independently. The more water the seam sees the more likely it will open up, and particle board acts like a sponge that expands as soon as it is exposed to moisture.

I see grout used between the tub and the floor often, on home inspections, but it is not a very good solution. The tub is made of a different material and the grout will fracture and break.

Caulking is the best but it will need to be maintained. That means when it fails the caulk should be removed and a new, fresh seal should be applied. Seriously, when the caulking joint opens up, it is time to get in there with the razor blade and remove the old caulk. This should be done before damage to the flooring occurs.

Do not put this little maintenance item off unless you want some major changes to the flooring. If you want a comprehensive list of things in your home that you “ought to get around to,” in the Salem, Oregon area, call me.

Do these little details matter?  Yes!  Showing your home as well maintained helps put buyers at ease and become confident that your home is “the one”!  Looking for more ideas and tips on how to prepare your home for sale?  Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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Want a super durable and easy to maintain floor – but one that has more class than linoleum?    Love the look of tile or stone but don’t like the coldness it can have (especially here in Oregon)?

We’ve used and recommended Duraceramic by Congoleum dozens of times and never been disappointed.   Whether you’re looking to remodel your home and want a floor that will last for years and remain beautiful, or want a great look for selling your home – this product is affordable, beautiful and durable.

We installed Duraceramic in our mud room several years ago.  It can be installed with or without grout (I like the grouted look best).  Our mudroom gets lots of traffic and still looks like new – even the grout lines.  Because the grout is a synthetic product they never have to be resealed and don’t chip or break.

Installation is easy too – can be done easily by most do it yourselfers.  Best thing about installation – it’s so easy to cut – doesn’t require a tile cutter or tile saw – just a utility knife.  The adhesive is slow drying and is this products only negative aspect.

We purchase Duraceramic from Jerry Havlinek at JK Carpet Center. He gives us great service, prices and advice.  (Ask him for a discount and mention our name – he’ll give you one!)  JK Carpet Center works with do it yourselfers or can schedule one their installers to make sure the job is done perfectly.  They have a display of color options available in their showroom located at 985 Broadway N.E. Salem OR, 97301.  Phone: 503-363-6033

What’s the hardest part of updating flooring in any home?  Making the right choice of product and the colors that will enhance your home’s overall ambiance.  We’d love to help make these choices easier for you, so contact us with your questions or concerns.  If we don’t know the answer, we know experts who do!

Creative Concepts and Contracting is a professional home staging company in Salem, Oregon which provides the Willamette Valley with professional home staging, remodeling ideas, tips and contractor services.   Moving or improving? We have the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

View our website See our YouTube Videos Connect with us on facebook! Subscribe to our blog

Margaret Oscilia – Home Stager and Redesign Specialist 503-881-0886

real deals home decorWe get asked all the time “where do you shop for such cute things?” For over a year we’ve been counting on Real Deals in Portland to have just the “right thing” – and have bought tons from their darling store – from clocks to furniture, metal art to candles.  We are SOLD on Real Deals which is a franchise featuring incredible buys on home decor.

real deals decor clocksWhether you are looking to spice up dated decor, add seasonal items or maybe a perfect gift — we know we can always count on Real Deals to have that ideal item.  If we’re under a deadline and need some items to give a room some “wow” factor – we always head to Real Deals, knowing we won’t be disappointed!

The great news for Salem Oregon is we have a new Real Deals that just opened!   They are located at the corner of Gaines and Liberty at  1320 Liberty St NE.  I had the pleasure to stop by and see them yesterday (and of course pick up a couple of things I couldn’t resist) and loved the assortment of home decor items they had available!

Stop by and meet Sherlai and Maggie and you’ll be amazed at the variety of products they carry and better yet the prices!  We’ll be shopping here frequently and confidently referring clients too!

Creative Concepts and ContractingCreative Concepts and Contracting is a professional home staging business in Salem Oregon and serving the Willamette Valley.  We love sharing our secrets on how to achieve great looks for your home! Whether you’re moving or improving – it can be fun to create a beautiful space!

I confess – I don’t like to clean.  I love to make things beautiful and I like things clean, but to me cleaning isn’t fun. My latest little secret is that when I’m cleaning I’m thinking about a spa!  Think that cleaning and spending a relaxing time in a spa are similar is crazy?  It’s true!  When is the last time you felt inspired or invigorated spraying a cleaner?  It’s time to put some inspiration and joy into our routine!

Why do we love walking into a luxurious hotel or spa?  Because it is so nicely decorated and so spotlessly clean, right?  Well this cleaning line not only cleans, has beautiful containers but smells incredible! I find that once I start cleaning I’m looking for things to clean just so I can see how great it works and how good it makes the room smell!  If I’m inspired to clean I’m certainly recommending them to my clients as well!

I love love love the cleaning product I’ve been using from Caldrea. It is the Countertop Cleanser in Ginger Pomelo.  cleaning products you'll loveEach time I use it the wonderful scent reminds me of a lotion I received from a swanky hotel in California – delicious!

They have seasonal scents as well and “From relaxing herbal to energizing citrus, these distinctive fragrances bring luxury to every household task.”

Caldrea Countertop Cleanser is safe and effective on all non-porous surfaces.  Since I was so thrilled with this product, I had to check out their website and see what other items they had available!  Loved the opening line on their website that said “We believe that luxury and utility are perfectly compatible, so every product is made to perform beautifully.” Guess I’m not the only one that feels luxurious using these products!

So many of my friends will especially love the fact that this is that it is a environmentally friendly product line.  Their tag line is “Beautifully clean – Elegantly green”!

green cleaning productsI’m going to give myself a treat and get their window cleaner – maybe I’ll like cleaning them better without the ammonia smell!

The countertop cleanser was purchased at Pomagrantes in Silverton and you can check here for a local store that carries their product line.  In addition to cleaning products they have a variety of laundry, baby, skin and cleaning tools that look interesting.  I can imagine how great their dryer sheets must make clothes smell!

Maybe it’s time to have a spa day here at my house.  Think my friends may be disappointed if I invite them over for a “spa experience” and we clean using these products? I’ll have to work on this idea!

home staging business in Oregon

Creative Concepts and Contracting is a home staging and contracting business serving Salem Oregon and surrounding areas.  Preparing a home for sale or starting a remodeling project can be stressful and we can help! Specializing in vacant and occupied home staging, interior redesign, repairs, updating and remodeling.

Recently we were doing a staging project on a home that had beautiful vinyl flooring in the kitchen – but the sheen in the center of the floor was dull and made the flooring appear old and tired. When viewed from the adjoining dining room a buyer would assume the vinyl must be replaced. We used Rejuvenate on the floor and it did live up to it’s advertising claims!

shine up those floors

The floors are as shiny as new!

The floor was thoroughly cleaned before using and two coats were applied.

The entry for this home was a slate that was dull and had some stains as well. This product made the stone shine and look refreshed and beautiful.

before after restoring floors

Rejuvenate Floor – Restorer and Protectant is a polymer-based floor finish that instantly restores shine to almost any floor in one easy application. It fills and protects from scratches, eliminates dull spots, brings back shine, and seals and protects from stains.

One 16 oz. bottle covers 325 sq. ft. (12 x 15 ft room) or one 32 oz. bottle covers 650 sq. ft. (one 20 x 30 ft. room or two 12 x 15 ft rooms) and is sold nationwide on QVC and at stores such as Home Depot, Target, and others.

I’ve used Armstrong’s Shinekeeper product previously and had wonderful results with it as well. These products are more expensive than normal floor wax, but well worth the price for the incredible results!

CCC Logo

Creative Concepts and Contracting loves helping homeowners achieve fabulous results affordably! Home Staging, extensive furniture and accessory inventory and product expertise at your service! Contact us at 503-881-0886!