Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two bloggers collaborate for a Home and Garden article

While at the blogger party in Oregon, Aubrey and I collaborated for my latest Home and Garden article. We wrote about her home staging business and bringing the beach home. Here are two scanned pictures of the article.

Here is the full text of the article:

CANNON BEACH – I have gone from coast to coast in a week’s time. My last article was written from Boston. Now, I am writing from Cannon Beach, Oregon.

I am here for a blogging convention where I have met, for the second time, my BFF (Blogging Friend Forever), Aubrey Petersen. Aubrey is a Colorado native that now resides with her family in Bellevue, Washington. She is not only my BFF, but also an ASP, Accredited Staging Professional.

I’ve been inspired by the beauty of the northern east and west coasts of America. But, how do I take the beach home with me without it looking like Captain Ahab is having a rummage sale in my living room?

Sitting in the cute, cozy, and clean kitchen of our rented beach house, Aubrey and I had a Q & A session about her business and her advice on how to bring the beach home to the Western Slope.

Annie: Tell me about your home staging business.

Aubrey: There are various aspects to my business. I stage homes to sell, I stage homes to live, I stage offices and retail shops. I can travel to you and do it for you or I can give a consultation over email if you would like to do the work yourself.

When staging a home to live, I get to know my client, their personality and style and ask them what their ideal home is, complete with the kind of feel they want in their home. I am also careful to make everything in their home as functional as possible. So, for instance, when my client says that he has a hard time figuring out where to put all of his video game equipment in a way that is pleasing to his wife, I search for the perfect way to organize that, whether it is a shelf or a cabinet.

When staging a home to sell, I stage it just like how you would market a product. I declutter, de-personalize, rearrange furniture and generally accentuate the positive in your home so that prospective buyers can see themselves living in your house.

Whether staging to sell, staging to live or staging an office or retail space, I can work entirely with the furniture and accessories my client currently has or, if my client has more of a budget, I can bring in additional furniture and accessories.

Annie: Do you have a personal philosophy when it comes to home staging?

Aubrey: My philosophy on staging is to keep everything uncluttered, functional and classy. Most people, right now, could look around their home and see furniture or accessories that they either don't like or don't use. When you free up that space and then arrange your remaining furniture in a pleasing and welcoming way, along with adding beautiful accessories, you will create a space that you love and feel comfortable in or for those who are looking to sell their homes, a home that will attract prospective buyers.

Annie: Colorado is a land-locked state. I love the beach, I love the sand, I would like to create a space in my home with an Oregon coast-feel, but I don’t want it to look like Bob’s Fish and Chips. What do you suggest?

Aubrey: Well, the northern coasts of the U.S. have more muted, light colors as opposed to the more tropical locations with bright colors and a surfy feel to them. I would suggest keeping the wall colors light. White, tan or even a pale blue would work. The same goes for the furniture, keep it light or earth-toned.

Annie: What about window coverings?

Aubrey: I like the idea of something flowy and natural. You can hang white voile or linen curtains or even some earth toned roman shades or bamboo blinds.

Annie: What if I have only a small space to work with?

Aubrey: Don’t be intimidated by small spaces. Using mirrors helps add depth and brightness to your smaller beach space. Pottery Barn has some great frameless mirrors. They can be hung alone or with a natural rope or raffia for a more organic feel.

Annie: What about accessories? This is where a lot of people go “overboard,” so to speak.

Aubrey: Once again, I suggest keeping it natural. Bring in nature: Large table corals, small pieces of driftwood and green, leafy plants. And don't forget seashells and sand! Keep it simple and uncluttered by filling various sized glass vases or bowls {which can be found easily at thrift stores} with shells and sand. You could even bring in a nautical touch if that appeals to you. A pretty model sailboat perched on the mantel next to some large shells would look great. But not too much! Remember that you are channeling the seaside here. Clutter will not help you achieve the airy, relaxing feel that you are wanting. So, less is more! Keep your accessories to a minimum.

Annie: What about hanging things on the walls, like a captains hat or a life preserver from the S.S. Minnow (jokingly)?

Aubrey: While I was window shopping in Oregon, I found an overabundance of shops aimed at tourists wanting to bring the beach home. I paid close attention to what you could decorate your walls with. Everything from wooden plaques with seaside sayings painted on them, to enormous framed paintings of the beach. I even saw various sizes of beautifully polished ships helms. I personally enjoy going into someone’s home and seeing photographs. It adds a personal touch to a space and is a great conversation piece. If you took some great pictures of the kids playing in the surf, frame them. Or if you took gorgeous pictures of the sunset, frame those. Keep is simple and uncluttered. A pretty montage of 2 or 3 pictures with the same earth toned frames, placed on a certain spot on the wall is perfect. More than that, it gets too chaotic. So, paintings or photos, black and white or color, pictures of the kids on the beach or just a shot of the ocean. Bring the beach into your home through pictures you have taken or have bought.

Annie: I think I am ready to put some of your advice in the practice and put a little of my beach vacations into my home. Do you have any more advice?

Aubrey: Whether you want a strong coastal influence in your home or just a touch here and there, the main thing to remember is to keep it simple, uncluttered and comfortable. Anyone can achieve this look and feel, even on a tight budget, but keeping the clutter to a minimum will make all the difference.

For more information about Aubrey Petersen ASP, Accredited Home Staging Professional, visit her website at or e-mail her at

This article is also available to read online at


  1. That is so cool! I'm glad you posted a link to her site. She does such great work!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry that comment was me.

    Great article. Thank you for posting it.

    I feel inspired to do something to my home--thanks.

  4. I love the interview style. You guys actually sounded serious. :)

  5. Woohoo! Now you are BOTH famous! And I can say I know you...

  6. The Captain Ahab line was pure brilliance!!!

    In my perfect world, I would hire Lori to dress me, Annie to life coach me, and Aubrey to decorate my house. :)

  7. The article was great. And to think I was just across the kitchen table...

  8. What a fun idea to interview Aubrey! I loved the article. Now I'm looking around my home thinking "Hmm..." :D

  9. Great article!! Have I mentioned that it drives me crazy that you are beautiful AND talented?

  10. thanks, again, annie! i loved having the opportunity to do this with you! xo

  11. This was so interesting to read! You're both very wonderful and famous! :)

  12. Sorry annie, I left my browser open like for 3 hours :)
    YAY!!! I love this! :D I placed a link on my blog to Aubrey's site.

    You're so talented.

  13. Do my comments show how much I love you?

    Your post above, with the picture of Mrs McCain, I was loving it.
    So controversial! Geeeez Louise ;)


I see you sitting there. Leave a comment.