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Lia Lee says the best part about owning a mobile retail store is that everything — opening times, location and inventory — is flexible. Originally published on October 10, 2014 9:28 am It might be easy to mistake Lia Lee's business — a big, light-pink vehicle — for a food truck specializing in sugary treats. How to Start a Decorating Project12 Key Decorating Tips to Make Any Room BetterDo It Yourself or Hire a Pro?How Much Is This Going to Cost Me?
Many of us are pinching our pennies these days, so extravagant Christmas decorations aren't at the top of our shopping lists. Veronika's unique take on an advent calendar is beyond easy, and is wonderfully minimalist. Veronika filled her wall shelves with Christmas lights, little wrapped boxes, and garlands of paper rings to complete the modern-crafty look of her dining room. Hadfield painted it blue so that the ladder would go with the rest of her home's color palette. To give standard jars and vases an extra special touch, Graham accented them with a little glitter, and then filled them with simple blooms and LED candles for a charming centerpiece for the table. Freeman made this extravagant looking wreath a€” rolled up music sheets glued together a€” at a craft party. The 'CouchBunker' is available in a wide range of styles, leather and fabric coverings, 'creating choices from game room casual to living room formal,' the company says. The vault is quick and easy to access, they say, under the sofa cushions, with one key opening the double lock. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. From Miranda Kerr's secret rooftop haven to Kim Kardashian's white roses: Celebrity gardens REVEALED!
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Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price. She works with home sellers, listing agents and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles.
Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, occupied home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations, move organization, redesign, and interior design. For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email. Michelle, Lovely work as always, the floors are gorgeous by themselves, but the great persian rugs pulling the seating area together make the look. Michelle ~ The floors are really gorgeous, but the rugs really tied the furniture together and go so well with it!  Nice job! Michelle, I am always amazed at how the simplest things can make such a dramatic difference.
You point about too much of a good thing is right, the hardwood floors are beautiful but the rugs really anchor the space. WOW, I am surprised what a difference the rugs made.They make the rooms look much more warm and homey!! Jackie: I was pretty shocked when I saw the before and after photos myself, and I was actually standing in the rooms! What a difference adding the Persian rugs made!!  I am impressed with how it really pulls the whole room together!  Great job!
Michelle, Your pictures show the difference between putting furniture in a house and professionally staging it. I love rugs for hardwood floor but they are a bit of a pain to store - anyone have some great ideas? Hi Kim: I store my rugs rolled up and standing on end, or folded and rolled like they do at a Persian rug store. Post © 2016 Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA). Street Boutique is a pop-up truck that's similar to the many food trucks in the area, except it sells clothes and jewelry. Owner Lia Lee offers jewelry, bags, scarves, clothing and shoes, and changes her inventory often. Luckily, the economic slump has inspired a creative crafters to create beautiful, simple, and affordable DIY decorations.
Paper garlands are a great, affordable Christmas decoration a€” try something simple like paper rings, or attempt more intricate paper snowflakes. She can leave it up all year long and use it to display invitations, artwork, or just as decoration. Brown craft paper is a great makeshift tablecloth a€” give kids a set of crayons, and they'll be occupied for the entire meal. But those living in an apartment without an elevator may want to consider the logistics of how to get the 900lb couch into their home. We also stage model homes, REOs,foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers.
The space looks larger, more defined, and I belive subliminally, you are sending a message to the buyer that the home is wll maintained as carpet is placed under heavy furnishings.

I am planning to add some more rugs to my inventory (they are typically too expensive to rent). I do not use rugs all the time based on budget but I will start factoring that cost into my bids.
The home I staged recently that sold in two days also had expanses of Brazilian cherry that we toned down with a gorgeous Bokhara carpet. I wouldn't be able to use these big rugs without a couple of big, strong men to do the lugging. Rugs help anchor a room and with the high dollar homes you stage the Persian rugs make a great statement.
Here is my little secret regarding rugs: I ask my rug supplier to bring 2 or 3 that I think will work for each room.
If you need something new to spice up your tree, try these easy, modern DIY ornaments from Lisa Storms. Veronika of A Few Things From My Life transformed her London dining room into the perfect setting for a chic holiday party. For a festive wreath that'll last longer than the one you usually pick up with your Christmas tree, try your hand at this DIY candy-cane striped wreath from Heather of Whipper Berry. Alicia Parsons of Atypical Type A doesn't haveroom for a full-sized Christmas tree in her house, so she's gotten into the habit of reusing one of her old wedding decorations a€” branches in a moss-filled pot a€” instead.
Parsons used a power drill with a fine bit to drill a hole through Scrabble letters and string together cheerful holiday phrases with festive red embroidery thread. Shannon of Madigan Made loves crisp white holiday decor, and had a vision of a little white forest of trees covering her kitchen cart.
Jen Hadfield of Tatertots & Jello decided to do something a little different for her family's holiday advent calendar. Christie of Three Pixie Lane decided to mix things up a bit by placing a holiday garland in a slightly unexpected place a€” the foot of the bed! Lauren Hufnagl of With Two Cats has a lot of tips and tricks for entertaining large holiday parties in small spaces.
The wooden village below is one of Freeman's most favorite possessions a€” her mother bought it for her and her brother on a family vacation to Germany when they were little.
Christy Wallace of Everyday Giggles wanted to make a fun and colorful advent calendar for her 1-year-old daughter. It is the same rug dealer I always use, and as stated above we have a mutually beneficial arrangement. Most of the homes I stage are $1million+ so I tend to use higher quality rugs in those homes. Too oft, the rugs are just too small and it almost makes the furniture look like its floating. The house has been on the market for 6 months (before we staged it 2 days ago) with no offers.
Once the rugs are there it is easy to decide because the furniture is there and you can see the rugs and how they will work right in the home.
Using border punches, she punched out patterns in colorful strips of paper in different lengths, and stapled together the ends so they buckle in the shape of an ornament. A wreath hung from the ceiling becomes an impromptu chandelier, while evergreen trimmings, a linen tablecloth, and lots of candles create a subtle and elegant Christmas ambiance. She wanted a good place to hang holiday cards, and thought that using a ladder would be festive and unique.
Little canvas bags are attached to baker's twine with red clothespins; then Hadfield put hooks on the sides for Christmas stockings.
Rather than getting warm in front of a toasty fire, odds are you'll be trying to cool down with an evening dinner outdoors. A handmade red and white garland in her daughter's room adds a surprisingly festive touch to the space. Believe it or not, Myra of My Blessed Life made this stunning Christmas decoration from three bags of peppermints, a hot glue gun, and a white foam wreath form.
This cheerful DIY art was made simply by sticking Christmas lights through the back of a canvas. Heracles was formed in 2007 to provide 'innovative solutions to critical safe storage and other personal security needs'. The Persian rugs weren't part of my original contract, but the homeowner, Realtor and I all agreed that they were really necessary. By the way, if you are unhappy with your local rug selection, many Persian rug dealers will ship a rug to you.
The Realtor said there were a lot of access issues in the past, but now the owner is committed to selling (as evidenced by the fact that he hired me and paid for staging).
If I have it available, I bring a swatch or throw pillow of the predominant fabrics to the rug showroom, which helps me pick the 2 or 3 I want to see at the house. I also work with a rug dealer from whom I have purchased a number of rugs from for interior design clients. The sideboard at the end of the table turns into a bar for easy drink access and extra food storage. When she couldn't find a good ladder at thrift stores, she made one.She got a ladder in the exact size she needed, and the whole display cost her less than $20.

Belinda Graham of The Happy Home Blog set up a mix of indoor and outdoor chairs in her private courtyard for a simple Christmas meal. She added a ring of Red Hots to fill some white space, and then hung the entire thing with a festive ribbon. If your space is already small and cozy, there's no need to dim the lights to make guests feel comfortable. Freeman made all of this mantle art herself, and accented it with ornaments from Wal-Mart and deep green velvet stockings from Hobby Lobby. Using her Cricut machine, paint, and a lot of decoupage, she gave the kit her own custom look. The shipping costs are often under $100 even for a larger rug, which is usually covered by the savings in sales tax. While I won't discuss specifics, we have a mutally beneficial arrangement that has worked out very well for both of us. In the past few years, hundreds of women — and some men — from fashion students to longtime retail workers who want to open their own stores, have launched trucks to sell clothing in every region of the U.S.
She wrapped the outside of the jars and lids with plastic and tape, and painted several thin coats of white a€” on the inside. Light linens and flowers are accented with touches of glitter for a little holiday sparkle.
Instead of using more traditional Christmas colors, she decided to go with pink, red, and gray theme for a different look. But in this case, the hardwood floors were too much of a good thing and needed to be subdued a bit. Many of the rooms were empty or scantily furnished and other rooms (bedrooms) had beds that were way too big for the size of the room. She painted the entire thing white, put it together with her drill, and then wrapped 12' of a marabou feather boa around the dowel rods. A great Persian rug can elevate a not-so-special home to a home buyers will fall in love with.
Kate glued a cute white bird to the top of the tree for an extra touch, and then added some sparkly ornaments in metallic hues. With such a small space to work with, Lee changes her inventory regularly, but right now, skinny jeans are going for $35, a kimono sweater is $40, and stackable bracelets are $12 each. The shoe department is just a shelf, and the dashboard becomes storage for unused mannequins and a bin of hangers.
Lee props her back doors open with mannequins, she says, so people don't think she's selling cupcakes. Stacy Frazier, a Washington-area resident, strolls by on a recent afternoon when Lee is parked in Arlington, Va. B, wait till you have the capital to do this or C, just get a job in retail if you really want to work in it so bad," Lee recalls. Lee chose the first option, and for her it was a smart economic move to open a mobile retail store.
Her original business plan for a brick-and-mortar shop required about $80,000 to $105,000, but she bought the used truck and remodeled it for just $20,000. It's an international directory with several hundred listings, and Lee says she adds about 20 to 30 trucks every month.
She launched the site in December, she says, because she constantly was asked, "How can I find you?" Lee helps her customers find her own truck by tweeting when she'll be in a specific area. Finding a good spot isn't always easy, she says: Cities and counties have different zoning laws about where, and for how long, retail trucks can park. Lee created the DC Fashion Truck Association earlier this year to advocate for changes in regulations, such as increasing the number of allowed locations and lengthening the time a truck can stay open.
Now, a year after hitting the street, Lee says the best part about owning a mobile boutique is that everything's flexible. She just shuts the pink doors, pulls out of her parking spot, and she's done.Copyright 2014 NPR. Transcript RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now to a new type of business that's popping up on street corners. NPR's Lucy Perkins went to Arlington, Virginia, to find out how you put a brick-and-mortar business on wheels. PERKINS: Two years ago, Lia Lee was told by her financial advisor that she didn't have enough money to open a traditional store. LEE: A - get creative or B - wait 'till you have the capital to do this or C - she was like, just get a job in retail if you really want to work in it so bad. PERKINS: A year after she opened, Lee says the best part about having a mobile boutique is that everything's flexible.

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