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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Club Case...Come on Over!

Salvage Trim Wall
Welcome!  This is a personal invitation to tour a Kalamazoo home full of charm, character and detail.  Once an ordinary colonial in a extraordinary neighborhood, this home underwent a huge transformation...from top to bottom, inside and out!  Character is one thing it did not have, so my goal was to bring detail, architecture and interest to every room in this home.  Looking back to a previous post, you will remember the worn floors, corner toilet and lack of design.  A few months later and this home stops people in the street to come on in and take a gander!
Family Room w/Chippy Buffet
Starting at the front door,  I added a bench, rug and a new house number plaque...made by me!  Fresh paint on the shutters, trim, garage and doors make this home stand out from the rest on the street.  Speaking of the front door, it is new...I mean old!  New to these homeowners, but salvaged from an old home in Gull Lake by The Heritage Company in Downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, it brings light to the entry where it was much needed. 
Family Room
Just inside the door is my favorite part of the entire renovation...a salvage trim wall!  Oh my, oh my, oh my!  Hand-picked by myself and the homeowner, these trim pieces each have a story to tell.  Some crown, some base...some painted, some stained.  I love each and every one of them!  I installed them from the ceiling down, choosing each one carefully to complete the look I already had pictured in my mind. 
Family Room "Wall Unit"
A clear coat over the top to seal in the chippy paint, and it was complete, and exactly how I had imagined.  If you can take your eyes off that wall, you will notice the newly renovated staircase to the right.  The carpet was removed, the treads stained, a runner added, new spindles and the crowning old newel post found at KalamazooKitty!  I used Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint to give it a distressed, black finish to cap off the entire staircase design.  You may also notice the brand new Summer Harvest Hickory floors throughout the majority of the main floor.  This may be the most durable floor I have come across yet!  After stopping to touch the salvage trim wall, you can hang a left into a cozy & inviting family room set up perfectly for this busy family of 6 (that's 4 people and 2 dogs).  Resting nicely across from that fabulous wall is an old antique from the homeowner's family.  A small buffet, or possibly a desk, made of solid wood, is one of the most stunning pieces of furniture you will ever see (until you enter the kitchen, that is!).  Hand-carved lion heads act as drawer pulls, and the entire piece is covered in layers of the most beautiful, chippy paint you wish you knew how to re-create!  Rather than hanging new "art" over this piece, I found an old sign advertising, "Fresh Honey", that was the perfect color and fit.  I love it when I find exactly what I am hunting for! 
Family Room

A new sectional, lamps and rug serve as the "weight" of this room, while a 3-piece wall unit holds the ever-so-coveted TV on the opposing wall.  This 3-piece "unit" is actually three individual, non-matching pieces of furniture, all painted with chalk paint, distressed and waxed alike.  The buffet in the center belonged to the homeowners and the two mismatched bookcases came from KalamazooKitty
Family Room
Once painted alike, they look like they were always meant to be together.  And what would a room be without a floor mirror and a stool or two?!  But taking center stage is the old trunk that already belonged to this
Family Room Listening Chair
Dining Room
family and now serves as a coffee table perfect for holding drinks and resting feet.  Lastly, the piano and a listening chair finish off the family room at the far end.  Are you counting clocks??  You should be!  Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with clocks.  You will find many, many clocks of all shapes, sizes and colors in this home!  Old, new and everything in between.  Opening up around the corner of the family room is the dining room.  Situated in the perfect spot for family dinners and block parties, this room needed a large scale table that was durable and chunky.  Found at KalamazooKitty on Portage Rd., this table was the perfect fit all around! 
Dining Room
Rather than going all matchy-matchy on the chairs, I mixed it up with black wood chairs found at the West Main KalamazooKitty and an upholstered bench for texture.  What's that?  You have never seen a ceiling medallion like the one in this room?  That is because it is a piece of art!  I removed the metal center, which is hanging on the wall behind the shelf, and used the outside as a ceiling medallion to frame out the new chandelier.  Two for one!  Eight large woven baskets add more texture to this room and provide great storage for homework supplies, cookbooks and a deck of cards.
The curtains throughout the home are all linen, hung by rings on dark metal rods.  Simple and very similar in color to the paint on the walls, they keep the home feeling peaceful and pretty.  A dark, shag rug anchors the space and hides the occasional crumb that the dogs may have missed.  Peek just beyond the dining table through those french doors and you will find a hidden treasure! 
A room the homeowners seldom used before, is now their favorite room in the house.  Simple curtains frame the windows without blocking the view, and a cozy seating arrangement calls out to neighbors to stop by for a drink.  An adorable wood and metal bistro table tucked in the corner is home to morning coffee and a friendly game of dominoes (see first picture at the top of this post).  Speaking of coffee, and coffee the know where I'm going with this!  The kitchen is centrally located in this home, and wide open to the dining room, at least it is now
Kitchen Island
Once divided by a wall, the kitchen was small and closed off, but give the homeowner a hammer and a crowbar, and that wall never had a chance!  The amount of space gained by removing that wall allowed us to add the VERY most beautiful piece of furniture you have ever seen, to serve as an island and centerpiece for this kitchen.  It is the coordinating antique that you saw when you first stepped in the front door.  A chunky, hand-carved buffet in the same chippy paint with plenty of storage behind doors and drawers.  Again, a family heirloom just waiting in the garage for a new purpose and a little love.  Topped off with walnut butcherblock, this island is unique and special to this family alone.  Speaking of this is so full of detail now that I could talk about it for days! 
The oversized amber pendants above the island are nothing short of spectacular!  They cast a warm glow across both rooms, yet are bright enough for cooking and cleaning.  Exposed brick?!  How does someone get lucky enough to have exposed brick in their kitchen?!  And on an entire wall?!  Well not this family.  I added the brick for texture, architecture and age.  This isn't a new house, but it isn't an old house either.  That leaves it somewhere in the middle, lacking all character and charm. 
So when a kitchen is boring...add texture!  In addition to the brick, I added old corbels in the framed opening to the dining room, chalk painted the kitchen cabinets a creamy ivory color and added open shelves for interest & a place to show off dishes and platters.  Absolute Black granite countertops & trim on the soffit to draw your eye up, and this kitchen is a showstopper now!  Not sure what is hanging above the sink?  A unique pendant light, designed by me, casts the most beautiful pattern of light on the ceiling and cabinets at night. 
Kitchen/Dining Room
Made from a metal candle lantern, I turned it upside down, drilled a hole and added a pendant kit.  Just down the hall from the kitchen is the backside of the house.  The garage entry, closets for storage, a small bathroom and a warm & cozy family room fill the space.  But this back hall is no boring place!  Adorned with custom vinyl, it is no secret that dogs are part of this family.  Every dog name & nickname imaginable fill the wall in memory of a past dog, as well as the two canines calling this place their home.
Dog Wall
Powder Room
Powder Room
I designed and installed this wall "art" from matte, black vinyl cut at a local sign shop.  This is an easy way to fill a tight space without intruding into the walkway.  It also adds a personal touch that makes your house your home. Just to the right of the dog wall is a well-used bathroom that was in need of a major remodel!  With a corner toilet and very low vanity, this powder room was very inefficient and a tight squeeze for these tall homeowners.  After gutting the space, the toilet was centered under the window and a dresser-turned-vanity was installed over the most incredible cement tile floor you have ever seen! 
Back Family Room
A new mirror, well old mirror from KalamazooKitty actually, new lighting, a woven shade and privacy film on the window, were all added to finish off this tiny space that gets lots of use.  An old metal cooler with a lid makes a perfect waste basket next to the toilet, while keeping the dogs at bay.  Painted a grayish-blue, the walls highlight the floor and add interest to the rest of the house, which is done in monotone colors. Moving down the hall, you will find the last room on the main floor of this home.  This is where this family lives!  Game night, movie night and afternoon naps on the couch (Jericho!), this room does it all.  Using an existing sectional the family already owned, I created a cozy space for this family to be a family.  New carpet under foot, painted brick on the fireplace and a place for coats and backpacks, make this space functional and pretty all at the same time. 
The entrance to this family room serves as a much needed mudroom that this home lacks.  I made custom hooks from old wood I found in their garage and added an adorable, rustic bench underneath that I found at KalamazooKitty.  Placing their sectional near the fireplace to cozy up the space gave me plenty of room for a huge bank of cubbies, also snatched up at KalamazooKitty!  I filled most of the spaces with baskets to add texture and more storage space, then finished it off with a collection of books, old and new, but all in the color range of black and gray.  I always handpick books for shelves by spine color and page color.  The result is a full and pleasing bookcase, that isn't busy or cluttered. 
Painted Brick Fireplace
To balance out the weight of the cubbies, I created a photo wall using pallet wood, metal bins, old rulers and canvas prints on the back wall above the sectional. Rounding out the room is a wall of brick, original to the house, that I updated with fresh paint.  A few found objects on the mantle give the illusion that this room has evolved over time!  Old brass candlesticks, some well-read novels, a wood mold with candles, and last but not least...a clock, of course.  I also dug around the garage and found an old screen sifter that the homeowner uses in the garden and simply gave him a new place to store it...on the mantle!  When this family is ready to call it a night, they head upstairs and down memory lane all at the same time.  Stretching the full length of the stairs is a one-of-a-kind display of silhouettes of the family members and dogs alike. 
Silhouette Gallery
I created these pieces of art from family photos, had them cut on black vinyl, then adhered them to laser-cut wood plaques, painted the same color as the trim in the house.  Hanging from an iron pipe and black chain, this gallery of silhouettes showcases both sides of the family, including those infamous dogs.The landing at the top of the stairs serves as a great place to take off your shoes and get ready for bed.  An antique dresser for extra sheets and towels, a mirror made from barnwood and a tufted gray chair fit perfectly into the space created by the new stair railing, spindles and newel post. 
Going Down?
Notice that this new, yet old, newel post does not match the one at the bottom of the stairs.  Painted alike, they add symmetry and character that any basic stairwell would benefit from.  Although I remodeled the majority of this house, I did not touch the office, extra bedrooms, basement or hall bath upstairs.  So the crowning touch to this house tour ends in the master bedroom and bathroom.
Salvage Trim Headboard
A soothing blue on the walls, harlequin curtain panels and woven shades, make this room feel like a luxury hotel room every night of the week!  Headboard look familiar?  I designed this beauty and had the homeowner create it himself.  Made only of those salvage trim pieces, this king-sized headboard is an heirloom-in-the-making.  A soft gray rug underfoot, with simple bedding, create a relaxing haven that these hardworking homeowners can retreat to after a long day on the job.  The wall of mirrors in this master bedroom are, again, family pieces just waiting for new life. 
Antique Frames
I found all these frames in the basement of this home, then had glass installed to each one to create a focal point that this small room needed.  What better way to show off cowboy boots then showing them double...or triple...or quadruple! Mismatched side tables are the only way to go in my book. 
Master Bedroom
For this room, I chose an old sewing table painted a distressed black, and a tall green table with sexy, long legs.  I flanked the headboard with metal, accordion lamps for nighttime reading, and a round, metal mirror hanging above each table. 
Master Bedroom
A vintage clock (who knew?!) and some simple accessories, and this room is ready for 10:00!  The last stop on our tour is the tiny, yet charming, master bathroom.  The original floor tile had to stay because it is super cool, but the grout was not going to make the cut.  A few hours of "coloring" and this homeowner changed her grout from drab to fab using grout markers in the perfect shade of gray.  New subway tile in the shower with dark gray grout makes this bathroom simple and classy, all at the same time. 
Master Bath
A dresser the homeowners already had made the perfect vanity with large drawers for storage.  New light fixture, mirror and toilet freshen up this space and bring it up-to-date, yet appropriate for the age and style of this home.  I added small cubbies above the toilet to hold the homeowner's collection of essential oils, and a bottle drying rack for jewelry and towels.  "Last one is a Rotten Egg" hangs above the cubbies, and a small reminder of the time, sits atop.  Speaking of time...our time is up.  The tour of this bicentennial colonial is complete.  Want more?  Click here for the remainder of the photos...

This is from you!

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 1, 2016...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!

UPDATE: The Marketplace has changed!  Now called the KalamaozooKitty Mini Market, it is held at the KalamazooKitty West Main location @ 6883 West Main, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.
2017 Dates: Apr. 29, July 29 & Oct.7

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!