#DesignerFavorite Top 5 White Paint Colors for Trim

It’s funny how something as simple as white should be can cause so much stress. That is because white is not simple at all, and when choosing the right white for your home you should take in consideration the undertones.
My top five favorites are all Benjamin Moore simply because I really like their Advance line of paint for trim and cabinetry, in general.

1.  White Dove OC-17 – It the one white I use a lot and it’s all around my house. I consider it to be the general donor of white paint as it goes with pretty much everything. It has a tiny bit of grey touch to it, but it is a really soft white. It looks crisp, but creamy paired with navy in this dining room we recently remodeled.

Interior Design Project Malvern PA - dining room

Wainscoting and trim BM White Dove  OC 17

2. Simply White OC-117 – Benjamin Moore’s color of the year and for good reason: it’s the perfect soft white feels warm but not too creamy.

BM imply White

BM simply White

3. Cotton Balls OC-122 – It has more creaminess to it reminding me of fresh coffee cream, but it still reads white and it feels pretty clean.

Cotton Balls OC

Trim and Cabinets Cotton Balls OC-122


4. Swiss coffee OC-45 – I have to admit the name was what attracted me the first time to this white. It is pretty similar to White Dove, but a bit more creamier. And how darling is this kitchen?

Kitchen Cabinets BM Swiss Coffee

Kitchen Cabinets BM Swiss Coffee

Design by Martha Angus; photo by Bruce DaMonte

5. Chantilly Lace OC-65 – It’s the whitest white in the bunch, the white against which you can compare the others. It is a great choice if you’re looking for crisp white and it looks great with marble like here:

Bathroom Cabnets BM Chantilly Lace

Bathroom Cabnets BM Chantilly Lace


Perfectly Neutral White Warm White Crisp White

White Dove OC-17


Simply White OC-117


Swiss Coffee OC-45


Cotton Balls OC-122


Chantilly Lace OC-65

Do you need help finding the perfect white for your kitchen cabinets or trim? Or maybe selecting paint colors for your space? I would love to help! Please contact us for more details.

How to Choose the Paint Color Right the First Time

Choosing a paint color is not a decision to be taken lightly as it impacts how a room will feel and how it will relate with all your furnishings. As a color expert and professional home stager, I always see people tend to make the same mistakes when choosing paint colors. Here are my tips for getting it right the first time:

1. Consider the big picture.

What is the color of your fixed elements, lightning and how will the paint color will go with your furniture. You will have to take in consideration how your room will relate to the other rooms around it, especially if you have an open layout. You don’t want to be matchy matchy (you really shouldn’t) but there has to be cohesion and flow with each room otherwise your home will look choppy.

2. Take in consideration how do you want the room to feel

The fact that you like a color it doesn’t mean you will necessarily like the way you feel surrounded by it when it will be up on four (or more) walls. I like all kind of shades of reds, but the thought of waking up to that color doesn’t sound appealing to me.

3. Test the paint before painting.

I cannot stress this enough, but you have to test the paint before painting it all over your house. Yes, the color looked great at your friend’s house, it’s the most popular color on Pinterest and HGTV. Sure, you should research it and see how it looks in different houses and different lightning, but you MUST look at a large sample in your home because there no two rooms with the same lighting and finishes.

4. Always look at the paint chip against the wall. 

If the paint goes up on the wall then that’s how you should look at the paint chip – flat against the wall.

But, don’t do this:


5. Don’t compare paint colors with each other

paint against wall

 or with your current wall color especially if that wall color is completely different or bright. When I am doing a consult and face this issue I put up a larger piece of white paper behind the sample we’re looking at.

The correct way to try the paint samples is by painting large area of one paint color on a white paper board and putting it flat against the wall. Of course you shoulmoving it around to see how different light affects the color

6. Don’t forget the finish – it can make or break a color decision. Usually darker colors can read very flat and the finish of the paint can bring out or take away from the hue. The same goes for whites. For example, using Linen White in a flat finish it will read pretty much read blah and, well, flat as compared with painting it in egg shell finish that will bring out the cream.


Top 10 Stupid Staging Ideas

Top 10 Stupid Staging Ideas is excellent article written by my staging colleague Justin Riordan of Spade and Archer Design Agency, and it outlines in a humorous way how staging is a highly misunderstood tool. Used properly and professionally staging can be one of the best marketing tools a home owner and realtor can have.

Some of my “favorite” misconceptions are:

If they can’t see past that ‘__________’ then they don’t deserve to buy my house.” 

The truth is, if they can see past “____________” then you did a poor job preparing your house for the market. If you find yourself saying this, think again.

My personal pet peeve:

I can just lightly stage this room and it will work.”

Light staging or, as I call it, “the placing of random objects in a room,” like a chair and a rug in a bedroom, does not help sell houses. It will actually slow the process down. Staging is only meant to do three things:

  1. Show the room’s purpose
  2. Show the room’s scale
  3. Add light to the room

Random objects in a room serve only to draw attention away from the house. Light staging is like hiring a clown to dance in front of a rack of dresses to help sell the dresses. Your buyers end up paying more attention to the clown than they do the dresses. Either stage the room completely, or don’t stage it at all.

I am paying for the staging, you should only stage with things I like.”

You are correct in that you are paying for the staging, but you are incorrect in that you think you are the customer. Really when it comes down to it you are now a retailer, trying to sell a product. You have hired a stager just as a department store would hire a visual merchandizer to display their items to sell to a customer. Your stager is concerned about what the potential buyer will like. You should be too.

Staging can fix anything.”

I couldn’t agree more: staging can fix issues that price reduction wouldn’t, like a problematic layout or a room that seems too big or too small, too dark, etc and creates an environment that allows potential home buyers to fall in love with your home. But if your home is painted in rainbow colors or has a leaking roof, no amount of staging can help you and these issues need to be fixed before staging. If the budget doesn’t allow for both then things need to be fixed instead of staging and this is where a two hour consultation with a professional home stager is going to save you money. A professional home stager will know to advise you which price eroding items you should take care of first and how.

#1 “stoopidest” idea … “Staging is easy.”

It is amazing how many sellers I meet on a daily basis. Nearly every single day somebody calls me to explain to me why they don’t need staging services. They say they know exactly what their house needs in order to sell, and how they have a lot of experience doing what I do and they could just do it themselves. I always wonder to myself, “Then why are you calling me?” The truth of the matter is, home staging is not as easy as it looks.

I often compare it to women’s gymnastics. You know you are doing it right when it looks effortless. If you get a chance Google “Nadia Comaneci, perfect score” and watch the video. I don’t think she even broke a sweat. Good home staging looks like that.

What it all comes down to is that “staging is easy” is the No. 1 biggest myth we would love to perpetuate.


Bottom line, bad “staging” does not help you and it could actually hurt your sale. If you want top dollar for your house you will want to work with a competent home stager.


Should I stage my empty house for sale? | Home Staging Chester County PA

No matter if your house is vacant or occupied, a flip, rehab or new built, staging a house for sale is always a good idea if you’re looking for a faster sale. The faster a home sales, the more likely you will get a better price and staging is known to always accelerate the process. But if you still wonder “should I stage my house for sale or should I leave it empty?” these are the first things to consider: how your property will appear in the online listing because more than 95% of buyers are starting their search online and that buying a house is based more on emotion than logic. Logic reasons like size, location are what are going to make the potential buyer to come see the house in person but the condition and emotion they will get when visiting is going to bring in an offer.

When deciding if staging your home is a good investment consider these things:

1. It is counter intuitive, but empty rooms look much smaller in listing photos. Since the online listing will help buyers decide whether to view the house in person, the staging will make your home look more attractive and drive more foot traffic. And more buyers is always a good thing.

2. Rooms too large. If your house has an open floor plan and the rooms are large the buyers will have trouble envisioning their furnishings in the space. The space may seem awkward and will raise problems. The buyers will wonder if they don’t pay for space they don’t actually need or use. Quality staging will help answer questions and solve problems buyers might have in regards to purpose of the room and furniture placement.

IMG_9101  living_staged_Paoli_no

Or rooms too small….If a room is empty it may as well look too small. Take this room for example: will a king size bed fit in here or not?

Bedroom before staging guest bedroom staging after


3. Selling a house is selling a lifestyle change. An empty house feels uninspiring and wont be remembered by much. Ask real estate agents and they will tell you that buyers absolutely adore a (well) staged house. A house that was staged properly will look inviting and fuel the buyers imagination. So leave them something to remember your property by…

bedroom_staging_Paoli_PAHome Staging Vignette

4. Professional home staging will give you an an edge over the competition.

Elegant and Bright Living Room Design Plan

One of the recent designs I worked on was for a wonderful client, Cindy. She and her husband relocated from New York in a 1860 house reproduction, in a more rural area. One of their biggest issue  was with the living room: a long, asymmetric room with two doorways and windows on all the sides. They were really confused as how to better place their furniture in the room and after trying a different ways they decided to call me in.

The house they moved in is packed with old-time charm and character that both Cindy and her husband love, but they were looking to transition into a more light and relaxed design. One of the things she mentioned on our first meeting was that she also considered moving to Florida and always loved the look of those coastal inspired homes, but didn’t think it would be a good fit for the area and house they currently lived in.

First we took care of the layout and came up quickly with two options to make their floor plan functional and this is the one they loved:


After getting to know them better, my goal was to combine the comfort of country living with elegance and the relaxed and calm feel of a coastal home in an eclectic style that would offer them both what they wanted. And this is how their mood board looks like:



The next items on the agenda are a custom built-in bookcases to flank the fireplace and new fireplace surround that will conceal their TV.

If you would like to learn more about our design services, local or even if you are outside the Philadelpia area send us an email at info@reimagineinteriors.com or give us a call.

Home Staging Chester County, PA|Should I have my house professionally staged?

What is home staging?

One of the popular beliefs is that Home Staging and Decorating are the same thing, but staging a home for sale is far more than decorating.
Home Staging is the best Marketing tool one can have. It’s about real estate and making a profitable sale!

Home Staging is preparing a house for the reak estate market using creative design elements to merchandise it to the potential buyers. The more buyers are interested in a property the more offers and the quicker the sale. The ultimate goal is to maximize the return on the sale of the most valuable financial asset one has.

Home Staging is getting more money on your property!

Goals of home staging include correcting any perceived design flaws, drawing attention to the positive aspects of the property, downplaying the negatives and making the space appear as large and light as possible while creating emotional connections for potential buyers.

Location. Condition. Price. Today’s buyers want a well priced home in a good location that looks move in ready, and when these three factors are in place a home sells fast and for the most. Outdated homes seem neglected, and don’t leave a good impression on home buyers and this is why they have a hard time to sell and sell for less. We create lifestyle and purpose to each room. The curb appeal, exterior and interior will be market ready and look attractive, memorable and desirable. Each piece of furniture or decor item will be strategically placed.

staging_living_area_before_and after

Between two products equal in price, function and quality, the better looking will out sell the other. – Raymond Loewy

Why should I have my home professionally staged?

It is very difficult to be subjective about something as personal as your home, and we can help you see it through buyer’s eyes. For a home to be staged successfully it requires not only creativity, but also design, merchandising and real estate knowledge. Knowing how to emphasize the positives while downplaying the negative as well as what expenditures will bring maximum ROI (return on investment) is crucial and this is why you should reach out and hire a professional stager.

Another advantage of hiring a professional home stager is thinking outside the box. We see the home with fresh eyes and we have the ability to do make changes that haven’t been considered before in order to create great results that make your home sell.

Each house is unique and requires a creative talent. The properties staged by ReImagine Interiors are tailored to reach the target buyer. It is important to create an atmosphere that helps buyers to feel home, and make them want to submit an offer.

Is home staging expensive?

Staging doesn’t have to be expensive. An investment in staging can cost as little as a few hundred dollars for a consultation to several thousand dollars for full staging services, furniture and accessory rentals or purchases, and minor repairs and updates, such as repainting and updating lighting, plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware.

Staging has been proven to get a home sold sooner (staged homes sell 73% faster than unstaged houses) thereby saving money on taxes, utilities, maintenance and mortgage. Almost always the cost of having your home professionally staged it is going to be less than the first price reduction.

If you are ready to sell your home faster and for maximum profit, contact ReImagine Interiors today at (484)318-5629 or send us an email at info@reimagineinteriors.com.

The Value in Staging a Vacant Home in Chester County PA

One of the recent projects ReImagine Interiors was involved was staging a new built property in a nice neighborhood close to shops, restaurants, and the train station. Our clients recognized the value in staging a home for sale and  knew that leaving the property empty would not allow the buyers to fall in love with the space and help them visualize it as their own.


Vacant Staging Chester County PA

In a matter of hours our team was able to transform this spacious 4 bedroom, 3 bath property into a home that busy families would aspire to live in.  While houses in this market are spending an average of 65 days on the market, our sellers accepted an offer in 3 days. The new owners took possession 4 weeks after the offer was accepted. By staging at the beginning of the sale process our sellers avoided at least two months in carrying costs and price reductions and they’re off already to new projects!


living room before stagingliving room after staging

So, if you’re a builder or a developer, a flipper or a homeowner with a vacant property on the market, don’t waste your valuable time and resources. Hire a professional home staging company before the property is even listed!

Call ReImagine Interiors @ 484-318-5629 or send us an email to discuss the options available to market your property and book your appointment.


Does Home Staging Work?

According to the 2015 NAR Home Staging Profile, 81% of the REALTORS™ think that home staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home and 32% buyers’ agents believe staged homes increases the dollar
value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent.
Scroll or click on the infographic below to read more:

2015 Profile of Home Staging

Decorating Rules of Thumb – Furniture Placement

Space planning can be a challenging task but is one of the most important aspects of interior design and when staging your home to sell. When a room is not laid out well it can feel cramped and awkward, and will not function well. If you keep in mind the basics and these helpful tips it may be easier than you think.

 1. Consider the function. The way a room is used and how many people are using it will be one of the most helpful things when choosing the type of furnishing and the amount required.
2. Find the focal point of the room: it can be a fireplace or windows with a beautiful view or you can create one: like an interesting chandelier in the dining room or a single large piece of art in a two story foyer.  The idea is to set up the furniture so the eye will be drawn that way.
The idea is to set up the furniture so the eye will be drawn that way.
 Decorating - furniture placement
3. Don’t forget the traffic flow and keep it simple. An inviting room is a room that doesn’t have any obstructions on your path. The correct choice of furniture when decorating is the one that fits you and your family’s needs but also the size of the room.
4. Create conversation areas. When  a room is described as large or spacious it is usually a good thing, but it can be difficult when experimenting with furniture placement. The room might end up feeling cold and unbalanced. You may be tempted to add too much furniture or too less.
Instead, try creating multiple conversation areas and symmetry is what you have to keep in mind when dividing a room in a rectangle or square shape. Area rugs can be used to define conversation areas.


via Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro

5. If you’re feeling lost or not happy with how your room feels there is always a #designer happy to help! Give us a call at (484)-318-5629 or send us an email at info@reimagineinteriors.com

How to Get the Right Paint Color for Your Home

As a home stager and interior redesigner in Chester County, I often recommend paint colors. For a redesign project, choices can be and are much bolder than when you stage to sell. Whether you plan to sell or to stay here are some tips to help choosing the perfect color:

1. Find inspiration: find images that you like and pin them so you will have a clear idea what style and mood appeal to you.  Use your favorite pillow, scarf or a piece of fabric for pulling the color palette. One of my favorites websites for inspiration is design-seeds.com

colorpalette   colorpalette2

via design-seeds.com

2. When choosing a paint color never look at it horizontally in your hand unless it is going on the counter tops or the floors. Always look at the paint chip vertically against the wall. Always paint a large swatch and move it around to see it in all different light conditions. Two colors that may appear to match in one light source may not match under another light source so always pay attention to lighting. The natural daylight will show the truest colors, but you should always see how your paint color looks under the other light conditions present in your home

3. Keep in mind the big picture: it is really important to see how will your paint color go with the fixed elements in the room (rug, tiles, countertops, cabinets, trim, etc)and the flow with the adjacent rooms, especially in an open space.

To set up an appointment for a Paint Color Consultation, contact me at info@reimagineinteriors.com or (484)318.5629.