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Thursday, July 21, 2016

First-Ever KalamazooKitty Marketplace!

KalamazooKitty Marketplace May Day
So you may or may not know that KalamazooKitty hosted the biggest & greatest shopping event of all time on May 1st...and it was fabulous!!  But if you missed it, don't fret, we are having another one on Sunday, October 16, 2016! 
It is hard to know where to begin to recap the day because so many wonderful things happened, so let's start with the facts:
KalamazooKitty Marketplace:
*Over 100 awesome, hand-picked booths filled with vintage items, painted furniture, signs & art, boho clothing, salvage and so on and so on!
*9 local food trucks/vendors set up before the gates opened with everything from hot coffee to made-to-order omelettes!  Did you get one of those omelettes?  They were the talk of the day!
*Vintage campers....glampers!  Wow were those cute...

*Kalamazoo Speedway on Ravine Rd.

*Sunday, May 1, 2016, 10-3
*UPCOMING: Sunday, October 16, 2016

*To bring local shops & food trucks to one place in Kalamazoo for an incredible day of shopping!
*To showcase local vendors and beyond...
*To give Kalamazoo a shopping experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

*Almost 6000 shoppers attended this event, with the majority of them being Pre-Sale ticketholders!
*Mothers, sisters, friends.  Husbands, wives, coworkers.  Neighbors, cousins, daughters.  Pickers, collectors, makers.  Me, you and everyone else!

So in preparation of the upcoming KalamazooKitty Marketplace, I would like to reflect back on some great memories that were captured by Butterfly Girl Photography on May 1st.
The Marketplace Team
We may look like professionals (heehee), but this was our first rodeo!  The KalamazooKitty Marketplace Team was small, but mighty.  On the left is Stacey, social media extraordinaire!  She was the one posting pics and announcements on Facebook & Instagram.  If you asked a question...she answered!  On the right is Gena, master of all booths & vendors!  Once the jury selected the booths for the Marketplace, Gena roped them all in, kept them up-to-date & informed, and helped them along the way to the finish line...their incredible booth on May Day!  That's me in the middle.  It isn't everyday you see a picture of me, but the photographer insisted, so there I am.  I was mostly working behind the scenes on advertising, event organization, venue details, name it!  But on event day, I was easy to spot in my cowboy boots, cute apron (made by Mia & Mot) and "KalamazooKitty green" STAFF shirt.
My Crew
My booth.  Really?!  I really thought I could pull off a first-time huge event AND have a booth?  Not just a booth, by the way!  When I do something...anything, it is all-in.  I don't "make do" or just throw something together, I PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!  So I planned.  I drew.  I painted.  I created.  I built.  Did I mentioned that I planned?!  So let's just say that it didn't come out as planned.  Let's just say that 80% of it never made it to the Marketplace.  And let's just say that I didn't have a spare 5 minutes, let alone 5 hours, to put it all together on Marketplace Day.  So a HUGE thank you goes out to everyone in that photo (my mom & dad, my daughter, 3 nieces, future nephew-in-law, 2 sisters) in addition to my brother-in-law and the hardest working person of husband, not pictured.  They did a great job with what they had, and no one actually knew that anything was wrong...except me!
Let's talk treasures!  Stuff!  The kinds of things that make my mouth water when I see them from across a field with a price tag attached.  (That happens to everyone, right?!)  Check out the fabulous stuff in this picture.  Pewter, corbels, posts, platters, milk glass, mirrors, an industrial sorting bin, a painted spool, and so on! It's lucky for the person who bought those corbels that I was too busy to shop that day!  I install a set of cool, old corbels in just about every house I decorate.  They are necessary, like toilets and sinks.  You know what I'm saying...admit it!  I also use those old platters in kitchens to add interest to a boring backsplash.  Just lean it up there, stand back and enjoy!  Then it is at your fingertips when you are ready to serve up veggies for your next 4:59 party.
2 Travelin' Sisters
What a fabulous booth!  These awesome girls are no strangers to booths at KalamazooKitty, and the shoppers love it!  From vintage maps to furniture to flowers, they did not disappoint.  And as if their wares weren't fabulous enough...check out their check-out counter!   Hand made from recycled wood and metal, it provided the perfect spot to wrap up your purchase, or to stop and listen to the many stories that come with the items they have found on their travels. With a smile and a thank you, they send you on your way with a treasure you will treasure for life.  But wait...there were over a hundred more booths, all fabulous in their own way.....

Best of Show Award!
Congratulations to Michigan Stamped!  With a collection of painted, created, found & rescued, they pulled together a variety of items that won them the first-ever KalamazooKitty Marketplace Best of Show Award!  Something old, something new, something local, something blue.  They displayed everything beautifully and caught the eyes of the judges and shoppers alike.  Watch for them at the Fall Marketplace on Oct. 16th....they won a free booth space!

Coffee Rescue Warms the Crowd
Don't panic!  There was not an emergency...unless a shopper needed some caffeine!  The Coffee Rescue, in addition to 8 other food vendors & trucks, saved the day!  I think we can all agree that May 1st could have been a touch warmer, but lucky for us, we had hot coffee!  The food trucks did not disappoint!  You could find toasted almonds, pulled pork, caramel corn, chicken salad croissants, muffins, and oh yeah...the omelettes!  And as if that wasn't enough, the Girl Scouts were there with everyone's favorite...Tagalongs....and Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils....okay, okay, you can't pick just one to be the favorite!  The upcoming Fall Marketplace is shaping up nicely with the same food vendors from May, and a few new ones jumping on board, so come hungry!
Local Michigan
 Michigan, Michigan, Michigan!  I bet if someone went searching the Marketplace for everything Michigan, they would have found dozens and dozens of items!  In addition to these wood key chains, I saw Michigan marquees of upper & lower peninsulas, shirts, shirts and more shirts, jewelry & hand-made signs.  That famous mitten was up for grabs in metal, wood, canvas, fabric, plastic and paper.  If you couldn't find a way to show your love of our Great State, then you were too distracted by the awesome music!  Local musician, David Greeley, entertained shoppers with a variety of music that pleased the ears of young and old.
Vintage Campers

Have you ever seen anything so cute?!  This camper was adorable inside and out!  A growing trend in America right now is the remodeling of vintage campers into something fabulous...a glamper!  Don't need a camper, but you need vintage camping gear?... Look here!  Coolers, chairs, cookware, etc.  Look for more vintage campers at the Fall Marketplace and make sure you ask to peek inside or you will miss the best part!

Please and Thank you!
I couldn't resist one last photo.  Buckets, bins, watering cans and all kinds of awesomeness!  I actually have many more great pics from Butterfly Girl Photography, but you have to click here to see the rest.  Need more info on the Fall Marketplace??:

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 10-3
(Pre-sale ticketholders get in at 9:45 for early-bird shopping!)

Where: Kalamazoo Speedway at 7656 Ravine Rd., Kalamazoo, MI  49009

Who: 100+ hand-picked booths, local food trucks, local shops, vintage campers & a musician.

Pre-Sale Tickets are available at both KalamazooKitty locations starting on August 2, 2016.

Tickets are also available at the gates on Marketplace Day!

This is from Kalamazoo... to you!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Setting the Stage for a Quick Sale!

Exterior of Staged Home
Kitchen BEFORE
Kitchen AFTER
In the world of real estate, the best house wins!  At least that's what I think, anyway.  I have been staging houses to sell for over ten years now and it is still one of my favorite things to do.  My husband, Phil Copeland, is the only Realtor I stage for, so I want his houses to shine like no other house on the market!  Using awesome pieces from KalamazooKitty, I collect up everything I need for the home to get it ready for picture day, open houses and showings.  Picture day?  Of course!  Potential home buyers are not shopping for houses out on the road anymore.  They are shopping in their pajamas, at all hours of the day and night, from the internet, in the comfort of their own home.  So when I make a big deal about picture day, it's because it is the most important part of the process of selling your home quickly and for as much money as possible. 
Family Room BEFORE

Family Room AFTER
At the expense of sounding like an advertisement, I will throw in one more tidbit about my husband, and then move on to the details of this home I just finished staging.  Phil and I work together on every listing to prepare it for the market.  No, I am not a realtor myself, he handles all that stuff, but I am the
driving force to making each home sparkle and show like a million bucks!  So let's get to that house!
The Stats: This mid-century home is nestled on 4.9 acres in an awesome part of the Kalamazoo area!  Just off the beaten path of West Main & 6th Street, this home is close to shopping, the highway and restaurants.  Four bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths make this the perfect home for a growing family.  The main floor has an open concept for entertaining, yet is cozy enough for everyday living.  So what did I do in this home to prepare it for the market?  For starters, I brought in a home organizer to help the homeowner get packed up and ready to move.  Remember, you are planning to move anyway, so pack up 80% of your belongings and get it off the property into a storage unit or a friend's garage.  Keep only your everyday essentials to get you through while your house is on the market. 
Living Room BEFORE
Once the home organizer was finished, the house was deep cleaned, painted in a few places, and ready for staging.  Starting with the main living area, I hung some clocks, ladders and neutral art.  Always remember to keep all your wall hangings neutral and simple.  Mirrors, clocks and ladders work well!  The two living spaces just needed a few new pieces of furniture added to what the homeowner already had.  I rearranged the furniture to make the rooms feel spacious and added a few accessories and blankets to warm it up. 
Living Room AFTER
I prefer my staged homes to feel cozy, not empty and stark. 
Powder AFTER
The master suite underwent a few changes as well.  I switched out the king bed for a queen because it fit the space much better, then added mirrors, lamps and new bedding to pull the room together.  The attached bathroom was recently completely remodeled with a new walk-in shower and double vanity.  I simply added fresh towels, rugs and art to pull all the colors together.  This home features a huge dining room with a built-in buffet for china storage and endless serving possibilities.  With the addition of curtains, a bench, side tables and art, this room is now ready for a party, or pictures anyway!  The lower level of this walk-out offers tons more living space with a fabulous view!  The main area contains a wet bar with a refrigerator for entertaining inside, or out on the deck by the hot tub and mature trees. 
Lower Level AFTER
Lower Level BEFORE
This lower level family room is spacious enough for a card table and conversation area by the fireplace (one of three in this home!).  You will also find three more bedrooms, one being used as a home office.  I added new bedding, art and accessories to each room to make them look fresh and inviting.  A full bath with sauna, huge laundry room and cedar closet finish out this large level of this home.  I used simple accessories, wall hangings and rugs to dress each space up to show off it's size and functionality. 
Bedroom AFTER
Bedroom BEFORE
Last, but certainly not least, I cleaned up the screened-in porch off the main level family room.  This is a room that will be used regularly by the lucky new family who purchases this home!  It overlooks the beautifully landscaped yard and is the perfect place to watch for wildlife, while sipping a cup of morning coffee.  That completes our tour of this Kalamazoo home.  Feel free to borrow any staging ideas you need, or email if you need your home staged to sell!  You can also join us for a FREE staging class held at the West Main KalamazooKitty location.
NOTE: These are NOT the professional photos that were used for the listing!  These were just my quick pics I took for my own use.  To view the entire home photos, please visit my website

Interested in purchasing this home?  Please contact Phil for the address to view the professional photos online.

This is from you!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Peek Into Kitty's House...

My Backsplash & Medallion
If I had a nickel for every time someone has
asked me what my house looks like!  Well, to be honest, it is a work in progress.  We have lived in our home less than 3 years and to many, that is plenty of time to make a house a home.  To someone who spends her days decorating, renovating and staging other people's homes, I need time!  So room by room (sort of), I am working my way through our little gray cape cod.  When it is finally finished, I will have professional photos taken and post them, but until then, I am showing snippets of areas that I particularly love.
My favorite room in my house is the kitchen.
Last summer we demolished it down to the studs and built it back up.  I wanted open shelves, dark gray cabinets and a classic backsplash that fit with the style of my home.  I went with an elongated white subway tile in a herringbone pattern.  Dark gray grout was must!  I hate cleaning white grout and I hate the look of dirty grout, so that was an easy decision.  The leaded glass medallion (pictured above)
Mugs & Coffee Grinder
from KalamazooKitty, is the perfect piece hanging over the stove.  We left out the upper cabinets in the kitchen, so I used leftover pieces of butcherblock from my island to make the open shelves that I had in mind to hold my creamy white dishes and glassware. They also hold my collection of Restaurantware mugs and vintage coffee grinder. I am often asked where I hide all my "ugly" kitchen dishes.  The answer is simple...I don't have any!  Living with open shelves in your kitchen requires a strong sense of organization and simplicity. 
A huge collection of travel coffee mugs and water bottles do not have a home in my kitchen!  Almost everything "on display" is either creamy white, metal or clear glass.  That keeps everything looking clutter-free and pretty.  Open to the kitchen is the informal family room.  A casual
sectional from KalamazooKitty fills the room perfectly.  I added a collection of old windows to an entire wall and more clocks than you can count on one hand.  My kids think it is fun to stand in one spot in our house and see how many clocks they can find without moving.
Yes, I have a clock problem! This cozy family room also has a gas-burning fireplace with a wood mantle for hanging stockings or holding a rusty metal bird off-season.  During the short summers of Michigan, we can open up the sliding french doors to our favorite room outside of our house...the screened-in porch!
Dining Room
We LOVE this room.  Eating breakfast, playing cards or enjoying dinner are just a few of the many things you will find us doing in that room in June, July and August.  In addition to our informal family room is our informal living room. 
Let's just say we are informal people!  Another sectional and
collection of bookcases from KalamazooKitty fill this room nicely.  Speaking of will also find dozens and dozens of books, vintage suitcases, folding rulers, and some of my favorite "finds" from my many hunting trips over the years.  This dress form is on the top of my must-have list!  The foyer is still in the process of a make-over, but so far I have painted the stairs, added a runner, hung a barndoor, and placed a HUGE "up" arrow in just the right spot! 
Going up?
Barndoor & SAM
Some giant metal letters spelling SAM (who is SAM anyway?!) and a painted bench make this small area quaint, yet functional.  A previous post gave you a glimpse into my office and laundry room make-over, but I included a few more photos anyway! Metal bins and old crates make up the dividing wall between these two rooms.  Check out this post for more.
Office Bins
Getting hungry?  I know...I know...I'm rambling!  Come on into my dining room and I'll fix you up the most delicious meal you have ever eaten...Paleo, of course! 
My Boots!
While there, you can take a minute to count up all my old levels that I have gathered from the Traverse City area, southern Michigan and right here in Kalamazoo!  They seem to have a way of finding me :).    Nestled between two upholstered chairs sits an old drum for a side table.  A drum?! 
Drum Table, literally!
That's right!  Pound away or set your drink down, but I just love it!  That is one of my favorite KalamazooKitty finds to date!  The last room on my main floor is the powder bath.  The walls are covered with the same tile from my kitchen, a vivid wallpaper and lots of trim pieces. An old metal "office" sign finishes it off!
Powder Room...get it?!
Powder Room

I love this little jewel box that everyone sees when they come over for a party!  It is, however, still patiently waiting for an old workbench to hold a galvanized tub as a sink.  Can't you just imagine it?  It will make the perfect utility sink that I need desperately for washing paint brushes and cleaning up projects.  Watch for a future post when that room is complete.  That is just about where the renovations stop...for now.   The upstairs bathrooms will both be gutted,
I hope, and in will go a clawfoot tub with galvanized roofing material as a tub surround to go with the horizontal boards on the wall, painted the perfect shade of white.  I can hardly wait!  The bedrooms need paint, new lighting and floors.  Floors?  Oh yeah!  I forgot to mention that I ripped out the carpet the day we closed on the house and it has never been replaced. 
Folding ruler
I am hunting for floor boards to match the existing boards in the upstairs hall, but in the meantime, I painted the subfloor!  I have to admit that I like it a lot, so I'm not in a huge hurry to find those boards.  My husband, on the other hand, is not a big fan of it, but he sure does tolerate my nonsense!  At this point, the upstairs and basement have been virtually untouched since we moved in.  Maybe next year...
I packed in as many pictures as I could, so I apologize for the layout!

(Still wondering who SAM is????  Those are the first letters of my children's names!)

This is from you!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Master Bathroom Masterpiece

Aw...shucks!  Is it really a masterpiece?  Absolutely!  I know this because the home owner loves it; which is what makes it a REAL masterpiece.  So where did this remodel begin, you ask?  As you can see in the before pictures, it was your basic master bathroom found in many homes across America.  A standard vanity, vinyl flooring and nothing extra or special.  This Kalamazoo homeowner wanted to spice it up and create a retreat that felt unique and all her own.  The first step in this project was finding the perfect piece of furniture to serve as the vanity.  It had to be 60" wide, exactly!  I knew just where to start my hunt...KalamazooKitty!  This beautiful buffet came in in rough shape, so I rescued it and created the perfect look for this rustic, yet stylish, master bathroom.  Using Heirloom Traditions Black Bean paint, I covered the piece from top to bottom. 
Buffet used for vanity BEFORE
Vanity AFTER
A little distressing with a sanding block and some Dark Umber wax, and this piece was ready to be set in place! But not so fast!  Large rectangular tiles on the floor set in a brick pattern, and a new tub and tile surround had to come first.  All the new tiles in this room make it feel warm and inviting, with the soothing neutral tones.  We chose grout colors to blend in, rather than stand out, to keep a simple look throughout.  But the piece de resistance?!
Pallet Wall Install
Pallet Wall
The pallet wall behind the vanity!  I started with a variety of pallet boards so that the depth, color and look of each piece was unique.  After marking the studs on the wall, I started nailing up boards from the top down, being sure a nail went into the studs on each board. 
After the wall was completely covered with wood, I sanded it with a power sander to smooth out any rough areas.  I next added stain to a few of the newer boards so they would blend in nicely with the aged ones.  Finally, a topcoat of clear, oil-based satin will give this wall durability and scrubbability (add that word to your dictionary).  The same process was used to replace the outdated medicine cabinet with pallet wood and glass shelves.  Once the vanity was set in place (we pulled the vanity away from the wall a few inches to make the counter a bit deeper and more functional), a quartz countertop with undermount sink was installed.  To carry the look of the
Shelves AFTER
dark wood into the toilet room, we added solid butcherblock
shelves over the toilet to hold essentials.  Installed "floating" and stained dark, they are the perfect touch in that small space!  Lastly, an oil-rubbed faucet and vanity light were installed.  After a new shower curtain from Pottery Barn was hung, and "his" and "her" hooks, this room was ready for action!  This tub-soaking homeowner can bask in the beauty of her new master bathroom night after night.

This is from you!