Our First Styled Shoot

We have kicked 2017 off with a bang, y'all! Multiple stagings already finished and a styled shoot! I was so excited to have linked up with Jenn Gallardo of The Wild Bloom Photography. She was the organizer and leader of this shoot and did a fabulous job with it all! There were three other photographers and a videographer there to capture our work. I will share a photo from each at the end of this post so you all can see their talents and unique styles! 

In case you aren't aware, a styled shoot is when a group of vendors get together to create a mini photo shoot. These shoots are used to build portfolios, create inspiration, and meet/work with new vendors. This particular group had a jewel toned winter boho vision. 

Lynsey provided some wonderful jewel toned stationary with a unique marbling pattern on pieces and gold foil on others. Christin, of Every Bloomin Thing, provided greenery and deep colored floral pieces. These look especially stunning on the naked cake that Frosted Bee Company provided! The shoot took place on a new, expansive venue, Carlee Farm in Oxford, NC. The farm was beautiful in the winter, I can't imagine how stunning it must be weddings in other seasons with bright greenery or fall foliage! The only thing that could make this any better would be an adorable couple, with the bride wearing a dress from a local bridal salon. Oh, we had that too! Gilded Bridal provided the perfect winter gown for us. I mean, long sleeved lace?! Who doesn't love that?

I learned a lot from this styled shoot. The most important being, I adore styling tables for weddings and parties. I was worried that maybe it wouldn't make sense to expand the business this way even if it's all rentals and styling in the end. Having had this experience, I no longer care! It was wonderful and I had a blast and we will keep providing these services as long as people ask for them. 

Other things I learned, Wow does it take a lot of organization to pull off a shoot like this! Y'all, Pinterest makes it look so easy! Aside from the countless emails I sent in the weeks leading up to the shoot, I've never wanted my own endless supply of clear storage bins more than I did the day we packed up the decor. And finally, how to style a table for photos versus what may actually look best in real life. There was definitely some on site tweaking going on.

Alvin learned that he desperately wants to be the subject of a styled shoot. I'm being very serious. If you are reading this and are a photographer in the Triangle, NC area please help me out and make his dream come true! He seriously can't stop talking about it, haha! 

Looking at these amazing photos, though, can you blame him?! Who wouldn't want to be dolled up and photographed in such an amazing location by talented people?!

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer/Videographer: Charis Weddings

Photographer/Videographer: Charis Weddings

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Company

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Company

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Vendors:

Photographer: The Wild Bloom Photography

Photographer: Melissa Toma Photography

Photographer: Elizabeth Ellen Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Videography: Charis Weddings

Florist: Every Bloomin Thing

Stationary: Lynsey Trembley

Staging/Rentals: Mint To Sell

Cake: Frosted Bee Bakery

Models: Laura and Drew

Hair: Hair Art by Naomi

Make-Up: Kim Barry

Dress: Gilded Bridal 

Venue: Carlee Farm

Here are some of my favorite "behind the scenes" shots some of us got. As you can see, we all had a blast and were very much "in the zone"! I hope to do it again soon!

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

Photographer: Mint To Sell, we were just playing around. We don't do this professionally!

Photographer: Mint To Sell, we were just playing around. We don't do this professionally!

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Echo Photography

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

Photographer: Laura Memory Photography

 

 

September Re-Cap

Holy cow. Where did September go?! So much happened for Mint To Sell in September it felt like one big whirlwind. So instead of writing a bunch of blog posts about each thing I decided to just re-cap the month for you so we can move on to better topics like the DIY backsplash I'm doing :)

So here's what happened since the last time I posted.

One Woman Shop Baton

I held the One Woman Shop Baton! It was so cool to connect with other women entrepreneurs from around the globe! If you are a fempreneur I highly recommend checking them out, and possibly holding the baton yourself. It was so great to see that other women connected to a day in my life. 

The rules were simple, log into the Instagram account on your day then post a few photos of your day. Pretty easy, right?! I was lucky and my day aligned with the first day of the Downtown Raleigh Home Show. So my day was a bit more exciting than a usual day at the office (my guest room) where I send emails and work on inventory. But, I bet many entrepreneurs would have connected with that as well! 

My favorite part was just how many people understood the struggle when it's late and you can't decide if you need wine or coffee. And I absolutely loved how many agreed that wine was the better choice! 

Downtown Raleigh Home Show

I participated in the Downtown Raleigh Home Show. It was exhausting. And I learned a lot. It's still hard to say how it effected business but if anything I think it legitimized this company as one who wants to be full-time and professionally providing home-staging. This is important because there are many in the area who provide staging services on the side or as a hobby. 

I also learned there are way more people flipping houses in this area than I ever imagined. This is great news because I love working with flippers! Woot woot! 

Worked With Two New Flipping Teams

Ok, not new to the area, but new to me. Flipping teams are my ideal client. It helps that both of these teams were really sweet and easy to work with. Highly recommend reaching out to them if you need to sell a house quickly, The Revive Guys and The Inspiring Investment. This by no means implies that I do not enjoy working with other clientele. It's just that when I work on flipped houses it makes me feel like I'm on HGTV :) 

You can see their work (and mine) in the Portfolio area of this site. 

We Hired An Intern

Woot woot! We met Zachary at the home show. He is an interior design student who has an interest in home staging. Perfect, right?! I am so excited that Mint To Sell is in the position to not only need an extra person on the team, but can support one. 

 

I am hopeful that this is only the beginning and that Mint To Sell will continue to grow at a rapid rate. Can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds for us! 

5 Home Staging Tricks You Can DIY

Stock LR Photo.jpg

So you want stage your home to sell but don’t know where to get started. No problem! I’ve created a quick list of the first things I look for when doing a consultation. These are tasks that are easy for the homeowner, like yourself, to do on their own.

 

  1. De-clutter. You see this one on every staging tips list because it is important. So, de-clutter. Then, look at the space and take away one more item off each shelf/table. The decor should add something to the space, not take away from it. If there is too much stuff laying out it can make a large room feel cramped.
  2. Take down photos. This one is hard, I know. But, buyers have trouble picturing themselves living there when they are looking at the current homeowners. You can leave up quotes that will help your house still feel like home while trying to sell.
  3. If you have books on the shelves, take half of them down and turn the other half backwards. It’s easier for the eyes to scan a room if it’s not being distracted by bright book covers. Another reason to do this is that you never know what might offend a potential buyer so best to play it safe. The exception to this would be antique books, classics, and books on art/style. Let's hope no one will be offended by your collection of Sherlock Holmes.
  4. Make sure all walls are light neutral colors. This no longer means they all need to be beige. Light grey is in right now so you have a few more neutral options to choose from, since you are still living in the space. For a darker neutral, Sherwin Williams' color of the year (2017) is Poised Taupe.
  5. Plant flowers in the front yard. Don’t have a garden bed around your mailbox? Create one. It’s a cheap weekend project that brings a lot of curb appeal. Don’t have a garden space by the front door? Purchase flower pots that match the shutters and/or door and plant seasonal flowers in them then place these on the doorsteps. 

 

I hope these tips help you feel more confident staging your own home!

DIY Concrete Countertops

I know I said we were going to do butcher block counters, but then I thought about a few things. First being we're paying for a wedding so is paying thousands for new counters really a priority this year? Second being we already have a lot of natural woods in our home and I didn't want to stress about the counter wood matching other décor woods. Then I discovered there's a concrete overlay product you can put right on top of the laminate. Say what?!

Immediately I loved the idea of grey counters with our new white cabinets. Added bonus, this DIY really wasn't too difficult and it came in under $200. In case you forgot, here's what the kitchen looked like before we did anything.

Here's what it looked like after the cabinets were painted. Better but I still hated the counters(and backsplash, that's next).

And here it is with a brand new concrete counters! Ta-Da!

7708 Winners Edge 2.jpg

I won't post much of a how-to because we followed Young House Love almost to a tee. Here's there post on how to do it. The only differences are that we used Henry's Feather Finish because we could pick it up at Home Depot and I can get too excited about projects to wait for shipping. Our counters did turn out a bit darker than theirs look and I wonder if the Henry's is darker or if we did something else different.

Pro tip: If you are planning on selling your home soon I highly recommend this project if you need to update your kitchen on a time crunch and on a budget. Worried buyers won't like the concrete look? I get that. But I know more people will like the trendy concrete over the dated laminate.

We also did super small batches and worked slowly to make every layer as smooth as possible. Minimal sanding needed. Roughly one cup of mix and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. water was just the right amount of concrete mix for us o be able to take our time and still use it all before it hardened in the bucket.

The final difference is that we didn't wait a full 24 hours between coats. I believe the shortest time between layers was six hours and it turned out fine. We were trying to get it all completed before I left for my Cali trip.

We did the sealant just like they did. Honestly this project only takes so long because there's a lot of waiting between coats of concrete and sealant coats. But totally worth it. I can't say I'll never end up with different counters but I can say these new counters are MUCH better than the laminate.

Next on the list, backsplash! Although the tear in our (clearly) cheap laminate flooring means new floors are coming soon too! Careful moving those stoves during these projects, guys! :o 

Updating Your Banister

So the kitchen started this all. I immediately knew I wanted white cabinets. Then I thought we'd get rid of the counters and install butcher block (I love it and it's less expensive than marble). Then I knew we'd need a new backsplash, which will probably end up being glass subway tile. So with that in mind, the oak banister simply would not do. The living room looks into the kitchen and the stairway. I want a cohesive look. 

View from the living room. Just wouldn't do.

View from the living room. Just wouldn't do.

What's a girl to do? Oh right, break out that sander! Remember when I said the DIY kitchen cabinet project wasn't for the faint of heart? That's not the case with the banister project. It was super easy. 

You start by sanding down the banister, just like the cabinets. I used a sander to cover most of the area but this could be done with sanding paper if you don't feel like investing in a sander. We got this one down just far enough to take off the glaze. We chose black paint for the banister so we didn't feel the need to sand too much. Using a dark stain is also a great way to update it. All in all this project only took a couple of hours and cost a whopping $13!! 

Cost breakdown: 

  • $9 HGTV Showcase pint. It was on sale!
  • $4 Krylon matte finishing spray paint

Seriously, though. You can't beat the ROI on this project! Such a great way to update the home whether you're selling and want to appeal to buyers or you just want a change. Interested in those windows turned mirrors? Stay tuned because that DIY project will hit the blog soon!