Tag Archives: home decor

California Closets’ Autumn Upgrade Event!


With baby #2 on the way (who was a pleasant surprise!), we had to get SUPER creative on our closet and storage space. We decided to keep the nursery a nursery for the new baby since Lola was just about ready to start transitioning to a “big girl” bed anyway! And the guest bedroom will now be Lola’s room. Sounds easy, right?

I wish! ;-)Not only does losing our guest bedroom mean we had to figure out where to put our guests when they stay over, but that room was also where I kept all my clothes (because my fashion-loving husband took up our entire Master Bedroom walk-in closet!).

So, we just had some construction done on the house to add another walk-in onto our Master, and we’re making some tweaks to the basement to now be used a guest suite.

Needless to say, I’m REALLY excited to soon have a closet attached to our bedroom since I’ve had to go into a completely separate room for my “closet” for years! And now I’m REALLY REALLY excited because I just learned about  California Closets’ Autumn Upgrade Event!!

So here’s the deal. They have three tiers of finishes: Classic is the first level, Lago second level, and Tesoro is their premium third level. The way the Upgrade Event promo works is you can upgrade to Lago for price of Classic, upgrade to Tesoro for the price of Lago. That’s a HUGE savings (up to 20%!) but it’s only going on now through October 31. You have to act fast if you want to take advantage of this free upgrade* to one of their exclusive Italian-inspired woodgrain finishes for the same price as their classic white finish.

These upgraded finishes give you amazing rich wood textures that give you some great color contrasts and hints of European design. Give them a call (513-793-3055) to request your complimentary in-home design consultation today, or drop in their FABULOUS Kenwood showroom. We just did an event there, and you’ll LOVE it! Such an inspiring place to create the closet of your dreams! 🙂

Sneak Peek: CiTiRAMA’s NEW Family Fun Day!

CiTiRAMA is coming up Sept. 10-18, 4P-9P Monday-Thursday and 12Noon-9P Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

This year’s show will be held in College Hill in a cul de sac community – Gershom Grove – and it features 4 Homes by Cincinnati’s Premiere Builders – DREES Homes, MARONDA Homes, Potterhill Homes and Bookstone Homes.

But just imagine Gershom Grove is a 36 lot community and you can have a home built your way, receive great special assessment incentives and live in the city close to downtown, shopping, parks, and the arts. So whether you are a young professional looking to build your first home or an empty nester that loves College Hill, CiTiRAMA is for you.

Prices of the Show Homes range from $200,000 – $350,000. And actually, the City of Cincinnati has adopted a special assessment policy for the Gershom Grove neighborhood that gives NEW CiTiRAMA homeowners the benefit of an equivalent of a 50% property tax abatement for 20 years.

What I love about going to CiTiRAMA is that it gives you a chance to tour the homes, meet the builders, see design trends live and in person (not just on your Pinterest board)

Admission to CiTiRAMA is just $10, and kids 12 and under FREE, You can get discounted tickets for $8 at area Kroger stores or at the gate for $8 with your AAA Membership. Parking is FREE!

This is the 13th CiTiRAMA over 20 years in Cincinnati and it’s produced by the City of Cincinnati and the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Cincinnati.

New this year is Family Fun Day on Sept. 11 from 12:30-3:30 where they’ll have a firetruck, animals from the Park district, sport demos, FC Cincinnati player meet-and-greets, and free Kona Ice for the first 200 people! Plus, for the Pokemon Go fans – College Hill is jam packed – you can pick up a Pokemon Go map at CiTiRAMA, tour CiTiRAMA first, then hit the Pokemon Go Tour after. There is no additional charge for Family Fun Day – it’s part of the CiTiRAMA admission, kids under 12 are free!

More details at www.cincybuilders.com!

15 Fab Ways to Stage Your Home

The summer buying season is heating up, and that means sellers will be flocking to list their homes. With so many homes on the market, it’ll be stiff competition for sellers who are looking to get out of their current home and into a new one. How do you get your home to rise to the top?

I know staging made a huge difference for my husband and I when we were buying our home. There were some homes that were empty and it was tough to see how you could use the various spaces. Then, there were some that were too cluttered and too personal, or unclean and unkept with a fixer-upper to-do list that gave me anxiety just walking around.

Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!
Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!

So, while you feel at home in your house, think about how those potential buyers will feel when they walk through instead. Staging with these 15 fab tips will help to sell it (and hopefully sell it quickly so you can start living in your dream home sooner rather than later!).

1) Clutter – Simplify, simplify, simplify! Too much furniture can make rooms look smaller. Same goes for the small stuff, too. Pack up any unnecessary items and personal belongings that you won’t need for a month or few months.

2) Great lighting – Increase the wattage of your lamps and fixtures to 100watts for each 50 square feet. Make sure you also have ambient lighting (general / overhead), task (pendant, reading, etc) and accent lighting (wall, tables, etc).

3) Neutral and appealing colors – Go for neutral paint colors that anyone will like. Bold colors have a way of appealing to a smaller market and reducing offers, so go for neutrals, especially in large spaces.

A few updates and a little cleaning go a long way — especially in bathrooms!

4) De-Personalize – Remove family photos and make it less personal so the future buyer can picture their family there, not yours.

5) Flower arrangements – Search your yard if needed! Pull summer blooms into a vase to welcome those viewing your home. Or run to the nearest store and get a small bouquet of flowers.

6) New Facings – If you can’t afford new cabinet doors but want to make them look updated, add new hardware and just new doors / new drawer fronts. Same with the dishwasher – you may be able to get a new front panel from the manufacturer.

7) Finish those unfinished projects – They will become eyesores to your potential buyers. Make sure you update them prior to listing your home.

They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!
They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!

8) Invest in updated appliances – They don’t need to be best or newest model, but stainless steel is a huge selling point for future homeowners. Make sure to spray stainless steel cleaner prior to showings to make sure there are no fingerprints. New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers in all of our markets!

9) Update bathrooms – Grimy bathrooms are a huge red flag! Even if you can’t afford to do a full update, make sure to get rid of surface mold. Give the room a new coat of paint, clean grout, replace the shower door and/or paint your tiles to give inexpensive but effective improvements.

10) Give the fireplace a facelift – If you have a fireplace, update the fireplace screen. Get a heat resistant spray paint to give the screen a facelift.

11) Curb appeal – Online people are first going to see the exterior of your home so make sure that this first impression gives the perfect impression! Paint the exterior, add new flowers, pull weeds, re-stain your deck, power wash your home, and wash your windows – inside and out! A welcome home mat and flowers on the porch are also nice touches to make those feel welcome.

Don't forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!
Don’t forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!

12) Floors – Have your floors professionally cleaned for carpets, and have wood floors cleaned or refinished if needed. You could even utilize discount sites like Groupon, Angie’s List, etc to find inexpensive ways to update these items.

13) Clean out! – Clean out your closets, cupboards, pantries, etc. Typically you can hide things in these, but these will all be opened when your home is up for sale. Buyers want to see storage areas and they definitely do now want to open the door and have items fall out or worse, hitting them on the head!

14) Pets – We all love our own pets, but potential homeowners probably don’t want your pet hair all over. Make sure to remove pet odors and stains from floors by getting them steam cleaned. Also, try to send pets (dogs and cats specifically) to daycare on when your house is being shown. Don’t have a daycare? Reach out to a friend or neighbor to see if you can have your dog stay their for a few hours! Make sure to vacuum extremely well to remove hair! Pets, as well as their smells and allergens, can deter potential buyers.

15) Outdoor Staging – Staging doesn’t stop at the door. It’s important to stage your outdoor living spaces, too. This includes your front porch, deck, patios and around the pool. This not only warms up the spaces and makes it feel like home, but it also gives buyers an idea of how useful the spaces could be to their lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a new home in the Cincinnati market, make sure to check out these gorgeous new homes. You won’t have to worry about any of these issues, since they are brand new!

15 Fab Ways to Boost Curb Appeal


Kids are almost out of school, and people have more time to shop around (and move in) during the summer, so as the weather heats up and so does selling season! If you’re trying to sell your home to get into a new home – use these suggestions for boosting your curb appeal!

Curb appeal is your first impression as someone drives by or walks up to get a closer look. And as they say, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so here are 15 helpful ways to make sure it’s great!

  1. Clean Windows: A quick wash to make the windows sparkly clean will not only make your home gleam, but it gives the impression that the home is clean and cared for. Plus, your home is covered in windows, so you don’t want people to walk up and immediately add something to their cleaning to-do list before they even walk in the door.CH_SERENITY_ELEV_01_HDR
  2. Fix the front door: The door is the first physical contact that a potential buyer will have with your home, so make sure you WD40 the squeaks, tighten any loose knobs, fix the storm door, clean any glass, and re-paint if it needs a new coat.
  3. Paint the front door: If you do paint the front door, give it a color that makes it pop!
  4. Remove/update rotted wood around the home: Give your home a good once-over and fix any wood that may have gotten damaged over the years. An inspector will always spot this and have you fix it anyway, so you might as well do it now
  5. Powerwash your home, walk ways, patios, driveway etc. It’s amazing how a good powerwash removes years of dirt, mildew and build-up to make it look almost new again.
  6. Give your porch and deck a facelift: Restain if you can, or another option is to use the “Deck Over” product from Home Depot, which gives a similar look to fresh stain without all the work.
  7. Paint fences, mailboxes, house number: While you’re restaining, cleaning and painting, make sure your fences, mailboxes, and house number all look pristine too!
  8. Bold house numbers: While we’re talking about house numbers, make sure these are bold and easy to spot. The worst thing is to have someone searching for your home from the MLS and not be able to find it.
  9. CRB_AINSLEY_ELEV_01_HDRGive some love to the landscaping: New mulch is such an easy way to give a fresh look to your home’s façade! Try the red mulch for a great pop of color!
  10. Change up your porch lighting. Get a beautiful pendant light, or solar lights along your front walk way.
  11. Paint your Garage door, or if you’re really up for a challenge, repaint your home! You’ll be amazed at what some new paint can do to an older home.
  12. Add a new door knocker: New hardware will give it an updated, modern, cared-for appeal. Plus, you’ll be able to hear when people are knocking on your door for all of those showings!
  13. Add window boxes, potted plants to the exteriors, etc. Think about those things that are constantly catching your eye when you’re on a walk or driving. Make your home truly stand out with these items.
  14. Plant perennials of different colors throughout your home: Think of eye-catching color combos like reds, yellows and oranges!
  15. Last but not least…Think like a buyer! Don’t think of this home as your home anymore. Think about it this way – you’re window shopping at the mall. What attracts your attention and is going to make you want to look at that item more? Do this to your home.

Once you have your home sold, make sure you start looking into purchasing a new home. You’ll be amazed at the layouts and different options that you can put into your home.

If you are interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes, call my friend Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

Top 10 Considerations – New vs. Used Home

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 4.58.04 PMOk. You’re on the hunt for the perfect home, but you can’t decide if you want a fixer-upper or a move-in-ready new home. Obviously, my friends at M/I Homes are a little biased on this topic, but they’ve also overheard a lot of home-buying discussions. They compiled this list of real reasons real people told them why they chose new homes versus new, and I thought it was interesting so I’m sharing!

  1. HERS RatingYou can design your “Dream Home” exactly how you pictured it. You get to put your personal touches into your home, without having to do an entire home remodel, or find a used home that checks the most things off your “must have” list. New home builders have specialists to help you design your home. Yes, that means you can bring yourPinterest inspiration boards to life in your new home!
  1. Energy consumption/new building requirements = low cost of ownership. HERS index is your home’s rating. The lower HERS score, the better. Think of it like MPG in your car, but for your home. You want more MPG for your car, but for your home you want a lower HERS score. The lower the HERS score, the lower energy your home is consuming, which equates to lower energy bills. In fact, you can click here to calculate the savings you could have with a new home’s lower HERS score.
  1. Bye bye replacement/repair bills! Everything is new, so you won’t have to worry about updating your air conditioner, repairing the water heater, replacing the floors, getting a new roof, etc. All of those items are brand new, so time and money spent on replacing those is in your savings (or shopping) account instead. Those items typically all come under manufacturers warranty as well!
  1. Resale Value. Communities that are building new homes are large business ventures for home building companies. They are building in areas that are expected to grow and have spent a lot of time researching the area to ensure they have an area that’s a good value. Costs of these homes build in an upward or growing area will only increase, vs. purchasing a home in an older area of town that might be declining in value
  1. Warranty. New homes come with warranties from the builder, and typically have warranties on all of the appliances and products within the home. With a resale home, unless everything was recently remodeled and includes warranties, there won’t be warranties available on those homes.
  1. Less personal time spent on home projects. Let’s face it. There are only so many hours in a day. Do you want to spend all your free time covered in sawdust, realizing that it looks a lot easier on HGTV? Since you can decide what items you want in your home as it’s being built, you will spend less time working on home improvement projects. Things like remodeling your bathroom, upgrading the floors, etc won’t be an issue since you can choose to have them completed for you! You’ll have more time to enjoy your home, throw parties, spend time at the community amenities, etc.
  1. Keypad Locks - TechnologyAdvanced technology and design. Since your home is brand new, so will all the technology that comes with it. And in today’s tech-savvy age, EVERYTHING has some sort of technology attached to it. For example, M/I homes come with things like Schlage Keypad locks (which offer key-free touchpad entry), built-in thermostats, and many other high-tech appliances.
  1. Choose a floorplan, layout and homesite that meets your needs. Want to be on a wooded homesite with three-car garage? You might spend months, or even years looking for that perfect home that’s already built, but with a new home, you can select your homesite and then the floorplan that fits your family’s need. Again, saving you time (see a trend here?).
  1. Comfort and air quality. My husband has really bad allergies, so this one especially hits home (pun intended) with me. Because new homes have the latest building standards for a home, you will get a better “sealed” home that keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter! That also means you get state-of-the-art ventilation and the best air quality possible.
  1. What’s your Homestyle? Last but not least, this one’s all up to you. We have a new “What Homestyle are you?” quiz on our website, so click here to take it and see if you’re a good match for new or used!

If you’re interested in learning or talking with someone at M/I Homes, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

Free “Home Chic Home” Event at Stetson Square Sept. 19!

I’m kiiiiind of obsessed with HGTV. I spend way more time watching the shows and being inspired, than actually doing any of the things I see on the shows though. Same problem with Pinterest, but I digress… 🙂

So, since I’m an event planner at heart, I’ve always wanted to do an HGTV-ish event. After talking to my friends at The Village at Stetson Square, I knew I found the perfect place and people to host it with! So, we’ve picked a date, secured the sponsors and the event is now up on our site for you to learn more about it and RSVP to it!

Check out all the info about it below – click here to read more about The Village at Stetson Square in a story we did about them in this week’s issue of Cincy Chic – and click here to RSVP to the event on Sept. 19. It’ll be one of my first events back from maternity leave, so I hope to see you there!


Home Chic Home

When: September 19, 6-9pm

Where: The Village at Stetson Square, Luxury city home condominiums
3010 Eden Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

RSVP: at www.hch.eventbrite.com

Enjoy: Complimentary valet parking, swag bag, wine & light bites, as well as shopping with various local vendors and boutiques, condo tours, meet & greet with local interior design experts, and a “tips & trends” presentation by California Closets.

Presenting Sponsor: California Closets

Booth Sponsors: Tyson DesignsChampion WindowsIt Works! by Shrink Wrap Me SkinnyRodan + Fields Dermatologists with Rebecca NossStella & Dot with Amy Olinger

Brought to you by: Cincy Chic, the only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati.

Home Chic Home

Revamp Your Home for the Holidays!

Ok, ladies … our husbands all have one thing they’ve held onto from their single days that we just can’t seem to talk them into getting rid of. For me and my husband, Pete, it was the “Ugly Chair.” He bought it right after a bad break up when he moved into a new place, furnished the whole place, and this was his accent chair. Problem is that it looks more like the 80s threw up on it than an “accent piece.” And our dog has taken a liking to it over the years, which means it’s now covered in rips and tears.

I have been trying to talk my husband into getting a new chair, but he said he just couldn’t let it go. Then I looked into getting it recovered in distressed leather and it’s just as expensive  as a new chair, so I couldn’t let that happen. So we were at an impasse. That is, until I found this “Surefit” slipcover site that has a ton of different high-end fabrics, and they’re easy to put on…. a “sure fit” if you will. haha! The fabric is a bit stretchy and it’s elastic around the bottom, so I guess that’s what makes it fit so snug.

So, I ordered one, and I literally had it on in 5 minutes and I love love love it! I had it on the chair for Thanksgiving (I hosted for the first time this year!) and people thought we got a new chair! Little did they know that deep down, it’s still the Ugly Chair. What a happy compromise! 🙂

Check out their site at www.surefit.net.

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Agricola Redesign Courses

I hope you enjoyed all that spring-like weather this weekend! It was soooo nice to feel that sun shining on my face for the first time in what feels like for-ev-er.

It got me in the mood to clean up my landscaping, prune everything back, mulch and I even got some fresh flowers to put around the house. That was one of the things I mentioned in this blog last month with my friend (and local interior design expert) Diane Agricola’s tips on how to welcome spring into your home’s decor.

I swear, between all the time I spend watching HGTV, on Pinterest looking at cool home decor ideas, and getting tips from Diane, I should just become a interior designer! (as if I needed any more jobs and hobbies! haha!)

But seriously, if you’re considering being an interior designer, Diane actually does offer courses to certify you and teach you everything you need to know about the trade! Below are all the details about the courses that I copy/pasted from their website, in case you’re interested in attending. More info here.

The Agricola Redesign Training Specialists (ARTS) programs are designed to promote and enhance the interior redesign and home staging industry through quality training for our students.

We currently offer a 3-Day Training Course, a 5-Day Training Course and a Color Confidence Class, held in our 1600 sq ft redesign firm in Glendale and taught by ARTS programs certified instructor and mentor, Diane Agricola.

Spring has officially sprung at Chez Scalia!!


Spring into New Home Decor Ideas!

Super cute paper table runner and placemats at A Village Gift Shop!

I don’t know about you, but I’m officially done with all this snow and I’m SO ready for Spring! One of the ways I get ready is to do a little spring cleaning, and then add in a few new pieces to officially welcome in the warmer weather. (Click here to see all the spring decor ideas I’ve been pinning on Pinterest!)

Cincy Chic just had an event at A Village Gift Shop in Glendale, which is also home to Agricola Redesign. At the event, the owner, Diane Agricola, gave me some great tips and tricks, too. She said spring colors is always her go-to way to add spring to her step at home (she actually just wrote this article about how to incorporate the Pantone color of the year, emerald green).

Her shop also has some unique table runners, which are great for switching up the look of a room without a lot of fuss. I especially loved the cutting boards and bottle toppers that are slate that you can write on with chalk — how great would that be at a dinner party? Also great for a party are the paper runner and place mats that they had at our recent event (pictured above!) that gives you the look of a runner and place mats, without the worry of washing them!

And of course, April showers bring May flowers, so floral arrangements are a natural (literally) way to bring spring into your home! That can be through actual flowers or all the fun floral prints coming out on fabrics and accessories now. I pinned a ton of great floral arrangement and door wreath ideas here.

I told Diane I would be doing this blog, and she was so excited (love her!). She even said she’d like to offer a $50 discount on an in-home design consultation if you mention this blog. And don’t worry… she’s not one of those overpriced designers. One of the things that’s great about her is that she likes to use items that you already have in your home, but repurpose them or “re-think” them that you wouldn’t have otherwise. It just sometimes helps to get a fresh perspective to help give you new ideas! I definitely recommend giving her a call! Here’s her #: 513.771.3927