Seasonal Stuff!

Still searching for a great gift for your Valentine?

Pressured for a perfect idea?

No – flowers and candy will not be noted as original and spectacular.  Dinner in a crowded restaurant – not my idea of a good time either.

We’ve had some smart hubbies contact us for a Valentine gift certificate for a home makeover — (we call it room redesign or sending your home to the day spa)!

These homes are NOT horrible or messy but these smart guys are really out to save some $$.  They’ve heard or seen how a room makeover has given homes a fresh look and not cost a fortune.  They are banking on the fact that we’ll make the homes look fabulous and they won’t have to buy a house full of furniture.

On a day to celebrate love, what’s better than enhancing the place that is most special to all of us — our homes!

We’ve done lots of “room makeovers” this past year.  Clients have been thrilled and found the process so fun!  One client said “I’m so glad I finally gave my home the “spa treatment” and the attention it needed.  I never would have come up with some of these ideas and my friends are so impressed at how things look!”

Your home’s “spa makeover” is crafted to fit your budget and personalized needs, and can contain many elements.  For example:

  • Using your furniture and decor, our professional home stager will give your rooms a fresh new look!
  • Do you have a room that needs painted but paralyzed at choosing colors?  We’ve got beautiful paint palette solutions!
  • Want a beautiful space, but don’t have the time to pull the details together?  We know how!
  • Need some ideas on furniture, decor or updates, but stymied on where to start?

Make yourself (and your home) look good.  Skip the traditional and go for the WOW!  Sending your home for the spa treatment is something you’ll all enjoy for years!

Margaret Oscilia is a Professional Home Stager with Creative Concepts – Home Staging and Contracting serving Salem Oregon and surrounding areas who specializing in helping home sellers stage to sell or re-design to live well.   Need more tips to help your home become more “lovable”?   Contact Margaret at or 503-881-0886!


No Clutter Gift Giving Ideas

Please Santa - No clutter gifts only under the tree!

You’ve all had these type of bombs drop into your hands.

  • Gifts you didn’t need
  • didn’t want
  • Clothes that were wrong/ill fitting/etc
  • Perfume that smelled like it was from the 80’s
  • “Special” decorating items – (where should I hang this Big Mouth Billing the Singing Bass?)

You’ve probably given a few of these gifts too.

Like the plate of goodies to the diabetic, wine to the neighbor who is going to AA, or stuff that simply clutters up peoples lives.

We give gifts to make others feel special, they keep it because it was from someone special . . . no wonder most of us bemoan of too much “stuff”!

We hate clutter and while those slippers might be adorable – I already have three pairs – please don’t buy them for me!

Now I’m no grinch and love to give — but want to give something they will love — long after the gift wrap is tossed!

Here’s some quick, easy and no-clutter gifts ideas!

  • prepaid car wash card
  • tickets to an event – a movie, concert, dinner theatre, comedy show
  • Specialty things they can use up and don’t normally splurge for – specialty teas, coffees, wines
  • Donation to a local charity in their name
  • Gift certificate for a massage, manicure, pedicure
  • Organizing services – who doesn’t want to start 2011 with a fresh start?

Of course these are  my top favorites!  We have lots of clients booking these home improving services with us for 2011 — What a fun way to start the year with a fresh clean house, or a room that looks all new (with things you already own)!

The gift of cleaning (one time special cleaning or on a regular service) – sparkling clean with no sweat is DIVINE!

Interior Redesign Home Makeover – Make a home or room a tv star!  Create a fresh look for a room or the entire house using your existing furnishings and decor.  What a great idea to get a fresh start on 2011!

Color & Paint Consultations – Painting a room provides a huge impact for low dollar – if it is the perfect color! Paint it the right color the first time!

Make sure your gifts are loved far into 2011 and not tossed out with the fruitcake!  For more of  services click here. We also work with top notch contractors and service providers so love to give you referrals to experts you can trust!

Margaret Oscilia is a Professional Home Stager serving Salem Oregon and surround areas who specializing in helping home sellers maximize their equity when preparing to sell.  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!

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

Here comes Santa!While our business is all about making  beautiful homes here is the Willamette Valley – there isn’t anything more beautiful than happy, secure children is there?

One cause near and dear to our hearts are homeless families, especially the homeless children here in Oregon.  It’s a staggering number of children whose homes may be in cars, friend’s sofas, and changing daily.  We serve on the board of homeless shelter and feel that by improving the stability of these families, we can improve our community.

The Salem Association of REALTORS Community Fund creates a magical Christmas celebration for children from the Salem-Keizer School District Homeless Education Program.  Last year over 150 disadvantaged children attended the party, complete with a visit from Santa Claus toting presents, food and fun activities.

This year over 250 children are anticipated and the Salem Association of REALTORS Community Fund needs your help.

Make a Christmas memory – every small donation creates magic — a smile on the face of a child!

See the information on the website of Salem Association of REALTORS Community Fund or contact us for donation information.

Here’s some highlights from last year’s party.

About the Author:  Margaret Oscilia, is a Professional Home Stager and partner of Creative Concepts – Home Staging and Contracting.

decorating for the holidays when home selling

Home Stagers can help when decorating for the holidays

We’ve written several blogs on home selling during the holidays recently, but came across this well written post, and also wanted to share it with our readers.  Yes – there are still homes selling and buyers looking in Oregon – even in December and January!
A real estate agent specializing in relocations in  Oregon, told me from her experience, there are more relocations in January than in any other month and always less homes available for sale.
So – if you want your home to sell, keep it on the market or get it on the market!  Here are some great points and for personalized assistance, our staging consultations start at $100 – a bargain for improving the sale-ability of your home!
by Phoebe Chongchua

As the year winds down, many homeowners fear that now could be a bad time to sell their home. While it’s true that the holidays can deter some folks from house hunting and making a major purchase—don’t give up.

If your house is on the market, step up the action plan to draw attention to it. Don’t let the holiday blues make you feel like there’s no hope. Homes are sold and bought this time of year. But the ones that get snatched up are the ones that are enticing to buyers.

Because this is a very busy time of year with personal travel and holiday celebrations, many real estate experts note that if you have buyers dropping by your open house or making an appointment to view your home, there’s a good chance they’re serious buyers.

There are some things you can do to make your home more “showable”. We often say in the real estate industry, “the way you live in a home is not the way you stage a home.”

So, while this time of year often brings out all the holiday decor, there is such a thing as too much holiday cheer. No, I’m not the Grinch. It’s just that not all buyers celebrate the same holidays.

A good rule of thumb, is to keep decor simple and subtle. If you celebrate Christmas, go ahead and put a tree up but don’t put one up in every room. Remember that buyers will be looking at your home and imagining their own holiday celebrations there. So, be sure to leave them room to envision their lives in the home.

This goes for the outside too. Holiday lights can be placed outside very tastefully but ditch the huge inflatable characters that make it look like your yard is an amusement park. Instead, opt for a nice holiday wreath and some subtle seasonal decor. Keep in mind that curb appeal is what gets buyers in the door. If your home isn’t appealing from the outside, buyers won’t bother to stop for a look inside.

Stash the gifts. If you usually put them under the tree or around the house, save them for the day of your celebration. There are two reasons: presents take up precious floor space and they are a distraction. It’s a good idea to keep as many personal belongings as possible in a safe, private place.

Especially in cold weather areas, cinnamon pine cones or some other mild potpourris can be a pleasant welcome. But don’t go overboard with different fragrances in every room.

Another nice touch is to spruce up the mantle. However, if you usually hang stockings with your family’s names on them, you might consider using less personal ones while showing your home. It’s the same reason, stagers will put away your personal photos—to create a space where buyers can imagine their photos and belongings in.

Listing your home for sale during the holidays doesn’t have to make you blue; in fact it can truly brighten your spirits by putting some green in your bank account. Just be sure to focus on making your home a buyer’s dream this holiday season.

Published: November 12, 2010

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy.


Related Posts:  Should I take my Home Off the Market for the Holidays?

House for Sale – Should I put up a Christmas Tree?

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

We’ve heard from a few home sellers that they plan to take their homes off the market until spring.

  • Do experts think prices will be higher in the spring?    No.
  • Will interest rates be lower in the spring?    Very unlikely!
  • Will there be more competition in the spring?   Yes.

Wondering how to improve your odds for a successful home sale in Oregon?

Keep the thermostat set at least 62 degrees, make sure each room is well lit for evening showings and make sure the curb appeal and staging remain in tip top condition!

This blog by Catherine Condon says it so well:

Via Catherine Condon (Integrity Residential Brokerage)

Selling Your Home During the Winter Months
Here in New England we are blessed with 4 seasons and we’re coming up on winter. Whether you’re a REALTOR or the average person, I’m sure you’ve heard this statement “I’m going to take my house off the market because no one is looking to buy during the winter.” Or, how about this? “I’m going to wait until spring to put my house on the market when there are more buyers looking and prices are higher.”  While on the face of things, these statements may seem logical, let me point out a few reasons why it may not make sense to wait.
Let’s take a look at the first statement:
No one is looking at houses during the winter – Interestingly, we aggressively market and sell property year round but Integrity Residential Brokerage closed more homes from October – February than during the spring.  I find that serious, well qualified buyers look at housing year round.
Less inventory = Less competition: That means that those “serious, well qualified buyers” that are looking at homes will have less to choose from. Your home will have less competition which may, in fact, result in a better sale price.
Young home vs. new construction: Perhaps you own a young home and you’ve been competing against aggressively priced new construction.  During the winter months, unless the foundation has already been poured, construction of a new home is quite difficult.  Your young home now looks mighty attractive for someone who needs to move now!
Relocation Buyers: Statistically, more relocations happen in January than any other month.  This is an excellent source of potential buyers that you may be missing, if you’re waiting until spring.
Less showings: You may get less showings but the folks viewing your home are likely serious, well qualified buyers, who want to move now.
Now, let’s take a look at the second statement:
I’m going to wait until spring when there are more buyers and prices are higher – Waiting until spring to market your home may result in more showings but how many of those are motivated to buy at that time?  Typically, in the spring, we’ll see buyers who are thinking of moving, have a house to sell, haven’t been pre-approved, or want to consider owning vs. renting.
Are prices going to be higher in the spring? Only time will tell but I wouldn’t count on it. During the past couple of years, values have been declining markedly.  While “waiting for the spring” might have been a good plan 5 years ago, it no longer has merit.  Every passing month could result in a lower sale price.
In summary, there are plenty of serious, well qualified buyers searching for homes during the winter months.  Interest rates are at a historical low.  Your competition is sitting it out waiting for warmer days.  Now may be the just the right time to sell your house!
Posted by:  Catherine Condon, Broker MA & NH
Integrity Residential Brokerage (978)433-0000

Moving or improving? Creative Concepts and Contracting has the expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time.  Wondering how to best market your home for sale in Oregon?  Check out our blogs or contact us at 503-881-0886.

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

Just had to share these photos I saw on the Thrifty Decor Chick site . . .

isn’t this the cutest table!  I especially love the centerpiece.  (Yes of course I’m going to copy the idea and use something similar in a house I’m staging this week!)

If you check out her blog she has full instructions on how to make it too!

I love the look of white and green combined for a fresh classy look!

Affordable and beautiful Easter decor

This centerpiece can be easily changed for any season!

If you haven’t read her blog she has some great affordable decor ideas and a fun and fresh writing style too!

Creating a beautiful home doesn’t have to be expensive!

Creative Concepts and Contracting expertise to showcase your home’s full potential, stretch your budget, and maximize your time! Need help creating a fresh new look using what you have on hand? Contact us at 503-881-0886

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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

Thinking about decorating for Easter dinner or just wanting to bring some springtime into your home?  Me too!

Here’s some photos that I found inspiring today . . .

blown egg/napkin ring flower holder - classy!

I love the idea using flowers and things that you have on hand — like these mason jars.

Or using candy as filler in the vases!

Flower arranging isn’t my forte . . . but creating these arrangements will be quick, easy and guest pleasing!

There are wonderful craft ideas online that using some ribbon, paper, blown egg shells and other free items, you can find creative and beautiful ideas to make your holiday table fun and attractive.

I love trimming flowering shrubs/trees too and using them in centerpieces (daphne – yum!).

egg cups with flowers! Darling!

What can you do with some ribbon and paper?

What can you do with some ribbon and paper?

cuttings from flowering branches create great centerpieces

Most importantly . . . I think I’ve finally found a use for PEEPS!

Isn’t this just darling!  Happy decorating!

Happy Easter!

Margaret Oscilia, Home Stager of Creative Concepts and  Contracting loves creating great looks for less!  Sometimes its knowing how to use what you have in different ways that can create a great look — (even with peeps!).

Need help creating a fresh new look using what you have on hand?  Contact us at 503-881-0886

Searching for a great gift for your Valentine? Feeling pressured for a perfect idea?

Something they’ll love, original, and memorable would be ideal!  We can help you give something that exceeds all these expectations!

Give your Valentine a gift certificate for an interior redesign!

A room or home mini-makeover can improve their daily life and bring hours of enjoyment!  Whether spicing up spaces  with new colors, providing a serene atmosphere or providing design solutions – this gift is sure to please.

On a day to celebrate love, what’s better than the gift of helping create a special look for the place that is most special to all of us — our homes!

Instead of the traditional roses or candy which are gone within days, a room redesign is a treasured gift lasting for years!  Your home’s mini-makeover crafted to fit your budget and personalized needs, can contain many elements.  For example:

  • Using your furniture and decor, our professional home stager will give your rooms a fresh new look!
  • Do you have a room that needs painted but paralyzed at choosing colors?  We’ve got beautiful paint palette solutions!
  • Does your sweetie want a beautiful space, but doesn’t have the time to pull the details together?
  • Need some ideas on furniture, decor or updates, but stymied on where to start?

Put the pros to work and give a gift that is not only memorable, but improves quality of life as well.  Consultations start at $100 and our expertise will save you money by using what you have or providing shopping recommendations!

A great idea not only for a loved one, but for the new homeowner, newlyweds, downsizing friend, an expectant mom or someone going through a tough time.

When helping clients prepare to sell they nearly always say – “I wish I had done this earlier – I love my room and had never thought of these ideas!”

Don’t wait to improve your rooms and create special spaces!  Start a mini home makeover with a consultation and create rooms that will be loved and enjoyed all year!

Contact us at 503-881-0886 for more information and gift delivery ideas!

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!

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

By the time the holidays are done I’m really tired of the extra decorations, clutter and hub-bub.  Most people will agree its fun to decorate for Christmas, but decorations that were so much fun to put up are really a drag to take down.

Another problem is that our holiday decorations continue to expand and take over more and more valuable storage space.  This year, take a few extra minutes and add some planning while packing away the holiday decorations.  Here’s some great ideas to help storing your holiday decor be anything but ho-hum!

First check out the items you didn’t use this year.

Are they really items you’ll use again?  If you are holding on to them for sentimental reasons, is there another family member or friend that would use them and cherish them?  Maybe it’s time to pass on ornaments to the kids or grandkids?

Do you know a young family that probably doesn’t have many holiday decorations?  Sharing these decorations can be wonderfully fun – especially if your decorations will be enjoyed and displayed in years to come.

Purge ruthlessly — realizing that decorations that didn’t get used this year probably won’t be used next year! (Sharing is caring!)

Store them well.  Walk through any store this time of year and there are storage boxes galore on sale.  Measure your storage space and buy a few well fitting boxes or totes with lids.  A tall narrow box for wrapping paper is super handy as well.

We store much of our decor by color.  Each year we have a color theme for our tree.  If the theme is for example, silver and red –  we have fewer boxes to sort through as we unpack and decorate because the other colors are sorted to separate boxes.

I love to buy wrapping paper and cards on sale after Christmas and by having good storage and well labeled boxes it’s in perfect condition and easy to find next year.

Wind lights around  paper towel tubes or rolled newspaper.  Leave the end that is plugged into the outlet on the outside of the roll.  Next year you’ll be able to test the lights and have no tangled messes to deal with.

If you are moving in the coming year:

  • Make sure to add extra packing materials and pack for the move now.
  • Label the boxes and seal so they won’t need to be evaluated and repacked later.
  • Purge, purge, purge and don’t buy the year end holiday sale paper or cards.  It isn’t worth storing and moving!
  • Give away your excess cards and wrapping paper.
  • If hard to move items like your Christmas tree stand aren’t in great shape, toss them now rather than later!

Next year as you pull out your holiday decorations you’ll appreciate the moments you spend now organizing!

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

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!

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

Santa baby . . . I keep telling you . . . I’ve been a very good girl.

When you zip down the chimney this year can we work on a few things?  No you don’t need to load your pack with that ’54 convertible, (light blue), this year . . .

I’ve got a few other things in mind.

Please help me get:

  • New paint colors that look right – the first time please
  • A new look for my living room without spending a ton of $$
  • A de-cluttered and peaceful home to welcome me
  • An closets and drawers that stay organized
  • A bedroom that says “retreat” when I walk in the door.

Now Santa – I don’t mean to sound picky or ungrateful for other gifts I’ve received.  I use the vacuum I received last year and am especially appreciative.  And the sweater I know will fit if I just get to the gym more in 2010.

But this year – I really don’t need more.  I need to know how to use what I have and want  to make my home look better.  These white walls need to go.  But I’m fearful I’ll end up with a “pinky” beige.

Somehow I’d like to make my furniture look newer, the room seem sleeker and have a more contemporary “feeling” but still be one that is comfortable for my family.  You can do that can’t you Santa?

So please Santa – let’s go “green” this year.  I was wrong!  I don’t need the sable or the convertible – just help me redecorate my home. A home that looks like those in the magazine – you know the look I love!

A new year is coming — I’d like to spend it in a home that feels special to me and my family, but don’t have time to get it done.  I need some magical help to achieve it.  Where do I start?  Where do I shop?  How can I possibly pull it all together without breaking the bank?


Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight

Dear Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight,

After reading your letter I’ve decided it’s easier to deliver that ’54 convertible (light blue).  Asking me to help you pick out paint colors is a HO HO HORRIBLE idea.  I like Red and White . . . never thought about beige!

I could use a little help in organizing the workshop and maybe Mrs. Claus would want a new look for our home as well.

I’ve heard rumors of a company that specializes in this type of magic — they call it home staging and room redesigns – all sounds confusing to me.  But I see they know how to:

  • pull together a great look on a budget
  • recycle and use what you have
  • make sure your paint choices look great (hey they even know about carpet, tile, lighting and other updating suggestions)!
  • update your home so it’s not only beautiful but functional too

They’ll help you decide on a look you’ll love and make it work for your family and provide as little or as much help you need to get the job completed!

Maybe if you’re really a good girl you’ll be seeing a gift certificate for a room redesign in your stocking this year!



Thinking you need a fresh look for 2010? Have a room that just doesn’t have a look you love?  Learn how to make your home a haven with a room redesign consultation!  A special gift that lasts for years!

Professional Home Staging – Reliable Contractor Repairs – Beautiful Results!

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

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