Warm and Inviting Entry – Try Before You Buy

Warm and Inviting Entry After Mary Etta Designs Orange County California January 2017

Staging for an Occasion

My client’s request was to have a warm and inviting entry.  It’s not often that I get a direct call from my church pastor.  So imagine my surprise when I answered my phone and was greeted with, ‘Hello Sister McCurdy.”  True to form, he was on his way to another commitment,  But he personally made the time to ask for my help on staging the newly renovated sanctuary’s narthex (lobby).

Warm and Inviting Entry Before Mary Etta Designs Orange County California January 2017

The occasion was celebration of his 3rd pastoral anniversary. There would be many visitors to our newly remodeled sanctuary. The narthex, an entry where worshippers gather before service, also serves as a holding spot for latecomers to wait during prayer.  Before staging it looked like a long hall spanning several sets of double doors leading into the sanctuary. Opposite those doors is a wall of glass and double doors as the entry into the building.

Warm and Inviting Entry Mary Etta Designs Orange County Lobby Closeup California January 2017

StagingTests Functionality

Function is always the first concern when I select furniture for a space. And I knew that it would need to be furniture that would stand up to the traffic of weekly services. But we did not have to sacrifice style. Modular furniture gives total flexibility for changing events. The armless sofas and chairs allow more people to easily and quickly sit while waiting to enter the sanctuary.  And they look warm and inviting.  A personal touch was to have calligraphy of  the church’s mission statement and various bible verses sprinkled on the walls.  Some were done by hand and others were pre-printed appliqués.

Warm and Inviting Entry Credenza Mary Etta Designs Orange County California January 2017

Staging before you buy is a great way to test the pieces of furniture to see if the investment is good in the long term.  “Greeters” hand out the week’s bulletins, flyers, and brochures to worshippers as they leave the building. To that purpose, two credenzas with storage flank either side of the long entry.  They are functional and stylish.  This piece turned out to be a definite “yes” for a similar future purchase.

And, as always, I am happy when my clients are satisfied.  The highest compliment is a testimonial.  If you live in the Orange County, California area, contact Mary Etta Designs and let us show you how to warm up the entry in your home or business.

interior Spaces Blog Orange County Interior Decorator Mary Etta./logo

Letting Clutter Go

 Anaheim Hills Interior Designer Bar Area Staged.jpg

  Hubby and I have put our home of 14 years on the market.  And we are learning first hand about letting clutter go.  As empty nesters (with an occasional boomerang adult child), we still have some of our adult offspring’s clutter mixed in with our own.  

So when our realtor brought along a professional home stager, I figured, no problem.  As a design professional, I know staging your home properly will allow potential buyers to more easily see the home as theirs.  A couple of tweaks here and there and we’re done, right? 

Mary Etta Designs Letting Clutter Go Bar Area Before

WRONG!  We had gotten so used to all the things around us that hold our fondest memories, that they’d become part of the scenery.  The bar area above to us looked just fine.  But we needed to get rid of the knick knacks and a few art pieces.  I must admit it was a big deal to let go of those mementos.  Letting clutter go in the form of pictures, books, art, even food items was like saying goodbye to family members.

  No drapes at my French doors and nothing on the table to suggest that we actually live here is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  But it allows a potential buyer to imagine their tastes in decor for this room.  Make a great first impression to lure buyers to see more of your home.  Eliminate clutter whoever possible.  I tell my husband there should be no signs that we live here.  

Mary Etta Designs Letting Clutter Go.jpg

   The home stager was kind, but ruthless in telling us what should be put in storage and what could stay while showing our house to potential buyers. She even offered to help me pack for a small fee. And though I turned her down, it might have been less painful.

Who knew that emptying a curio would bring tears to my eyes? That packing my angel collection would bring a rush of sentimental thoughts of the gift giver or the vacation that gave me that treasure. Taking down art pieces from my “designer’s gallery” wall was like painfully moving me out of my home before actually selling it.  But I have to admit it is a head start on packing.

Mary Etta Designs Letting Clutter Go Chair

The anticipation of what’s in store for our future is exciting. I am being forced to let go. I am not only letting clutter go, but I am making way for the next family to make memories here.interior Spaces Blog Orange County Interior Decorator Mary Etta./logo

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