Home Staging is the art of making a home appealing as a part of the process of selling a home as swiftly and profitably as possible. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product to the highest number of potential buyers. After 9 years of helping clients meet with success in greater Los Angeles, Just The Right Touch founder Cheryle Brown-Williamson knows all of the ins and outs.
“This company was born out of a story for me. I had just purchased a home, and I was working closely with an Interior Designer whom I really appreciated, and I turned and said to her: ‘I want to do what you do!’, Brown-Williamson explains. “She educated me on the process and encouraged me to get certified, which I did. And after helping my first handful of clients, I learned about Home Staging, and realized this special niche in the real estate marketplace interested me more than simply decorating houses. Home Staging clients need their homes to sell, and I can bring-in design elements to make that happen very quickly.”
Indeed, that business aspect at the core of Home Staging differentiates it from interior design or other home improvement projects. For example, a home may be occupied by its owners while being on the market, in which case Cheryle’s job is to bring design elements, furniture or even small repairs and remodels, to compliment and work around what they already have. People often add paintings, accessories, lights, greenery, and carpet to “stage” the home, and give potential buyers a more attractive first impression of the property. In such instances, Cheryle may suggest rearranging or "temporarily replacing" furniture. “Properly executed staging is the art of leading the eye to attractive features while down-playing flaws,” she explains.
Just The Right Touch takes care of staging homes for sellers, investors, real estate agents and real estate developers all over Los Angeles, including Long Beach, Orange County and even all the way out to Dana Point. “Especially for a charming, eclectic waterfront community like Dana Point, who wouldn’t be willing to make the drive. I love that area,” Cheryle explains with a warm smile. During our interview, Brown-Willamson discussed the extensive networking that supports her efforts to grow her impressive list of clientele, and how she attends a variety of networking events in all areas of real estate, all the while keeping a keen-eye on developers. “I would say that relationships with real estate developers are key to the thriving business at Just The Right Touch, as they often own multiple properties,” Cheryle continues. “But at Just The Right Touch, we take pride in being attentive and responsiveness to every player in the sale of a home, from Owner/Seller to big-time real estate investor, to licensed real estate agent.”
Another key to Brown-Willamson’s success is maintaining a healthy base of relationships with contractors and handymen, who she can pull-into projects where her consultation reveals the need for a small repair or remodel. “I’ve seen some houses where, upon walking through the front door, you just know that paint, curtains, carpet or light fixtures just… aren’t gonna be enough to help!” Cheryle says with a chuckle. A lot of times, this decision for her client is significantly impacted by financial considerations. “If a major repair is going to be pricey, and they don’t have the budget for it, well that’s when I roll-up my sleeves and put my Interior Design training and expertise to work.”
In producing the sale of a home quickly and profitably for her clients, Cheryle Brown-Williamson has “Just The Right Touch!”
By Flip Barnes
Like every other advanced city in the world, Los Angeles has begun to embrace the Sustainability Movement. In an era where ecological concerns lay at the forefront of our awareness, one of the biggest areas where we can improve energy efficiency and reduce deforestation is through the smart design/build systems and methodologies in the construction industry. Erla and Tryggvi founded mnmMOD in 2007, with the stated objective of changing the way that people build. It was as if they were preparing to be poised for the moment. Visionaries are that way.
“We wanted to encourage the utilization of steel and foam, and reduce the utilization of trees,” Erla explains. “Traditional wood framing is prone to termites and fire, requires more energy to heat and cool, and contributes to the continued deforestation of the planet.”
Their modular construction technology uses panels that are a blend of recycled steel and EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) insulation, making the system extremely energy-efficient, fully customizable, modifiable and affordable Green-alternative to traditional home-building techniques. In the distinctive dialect he shares with Erla (they both hail from Iceland) Tryggvi chimes-in on the challenge of introducing change to the traditional American construction industry: “In the beginning, there was a constant, ongoing educational process that we needed to support; with architects, engineering firms, developers and owners. After 12-years of this, we feel like there now exists a base-level of knowledge about who we are and what we do, in Los Angeles, and the world. We can feel the wind in our sails. We’re answering inquiries every day.”
When talking with Erla and Tryggvi, one clear and recurring theme is a “creative minimalism” that characterizes not just their panels and construction methodology...but also their work. “In Los Angeles, Designers, Builders and Owners want to work with a system that is straight-forward, cost-effective, ecologically-sound and with a long life,” Tryggvi explains. Complimenting the simplicity, efficiency (and energy efficiency) of this modular system is the fact that mnmMOD’s manufacturing process is environmentally-friendly. Their panels utilize “cradle to cradle” certified, extruded polystyrene and 30% of the steel used is recycled. As confidently humble as Erla and Tryggvi are, this writer wouldn’t fault them for boasting proudly about the fact that there is zero waste generated throughout the panel-fabrication process. Such a positive production process compounds the original earth-friendly benefit of countering the demand for wood as a primary building material in the first place. With the number of traditional construction firms in Greater Los Angeles - and the world - continuing to deal in practices that threaten to dramatically reduce our precious forests, and remembering as well that these forests are also habitats for many creatures, Erla, Tryggvi and mnmMOD are the best news we could have. With their design having been tried, tested and true on projects over the last 12-years, mnmMOD is poised to continue meeting the demands of green-building initiatives of Los Angeles...and the world!
By Patrick Pitre
When you think of the latest trend of online “influencers”, you think of fitness models, celebrities and other individuals of stature that we aim to emulate. Not often do we picture flower gardens, stately cabbages or manicured lawns. In the Los Angeles area though, this is starting to become a trend that hundreds of thousands are following. Those who put the time and effort into their lawns are starting to see a high level of engagement and interest from the general public.
What’s popular week to week on the Internet has always been a bit of a mystery to unravel. From attractive retail checkout clerks to a dog’s happy dance mimicking the cha-cha, it can be difficult to understand the particular movements of the online world. Seeing a rise in interest when it comes to home and garden maintenance is a welcome trend, as it not only provides a wholesome gathering point for individuals across the country but also can serve the added benefit of getting individuals interested in the maintenance of their own properties, thereby elevating the appearance of their neighborhood.
With the fortuitous climate of the Los Angeles area, coupled with the general care for the overall appearance of our properties, it’s no small wonder why gardens in our neck of the woods have become the popular choice for individuals on social media platforms to follow. Take a trip through any neighborhood in the city and you will see perfectly manicured lawns dotting all manner of neighborhoods, worthy of stopping for a few snapshots to share with the world. This passing hobby though, with the help of the internet, has turned into a fad that seems to be sweeping the platform.
It’s great to see an aspect of our community reach this level of popularity in the online space. Being able to have our city and its inhabitants recognized for a positive impact being made not only to the neighborhood but also to the planet as a whole is always a great thing and something we can take pride in when it comes to that which gains attention in the Los Angeles area. It’s nice to be known for something outside of the glitz and glamour, Hollywood Boulevard and the stars of the silver screen that normally get the highest views.
If you’re one of these individuals who has put this time and effort into your landscaping and gardening, then we salute your efforts and look forward to seeing exactly how far you manage to bring your space over the next few years. We wish you all the best when it comes to the online platform of choice and the level of visibility that you experience in that regard and we thank you for putting yourselves out there for individuals across the country to enjoy and to be inspired by. A positive influence is always something to celebrate where our community is concerned.