Make Your Home Appealing By Staging An Outdoor Room

ideas for decorating your patio

There is nothing like coming home and relaxing on the front porch, back porch, patio, deck or a nice corner on the lawn or garden. Does your home offer an outdoor refuge?

If you are selling a home, you may want to stage such an outdoor space because buyers desire them! Outdoor living spaces have grown in popularity. 63% of young renters say that outdoor spaces would be important to them in deciding upon a home to buy.

Ideas to make your outdoor spaces more inviting:

Fire Pit
Have a few seats grouped around a fire pit to make a cozy space.

Get Rid of the Old Grill
Has your grill seen better days? Get rid of it and replace it. You want buyers to think of entertaining outside on their own new grill, not be repelled by your rusty one.

outdoor rooms

Stage the Porch or Deck
Show buyers how to use the space (whether small or large) so they can see how the porch or deck can be used for entertaining. If you already have outdoor furniture, make the setting more inviting with pillows, some magazines and perhaps a glass of lemonade.

Outdoor kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen
The National Home Builders Association reports that outdoor kitchens add 130% to a home’s value. (Kitchens can range from a built-in grill to the addition of a sink, storage, pizza oven and refrigerator.)

Fountain in a back yard

Water Feature
A water feature adds a serenity value to your outdoor space.

Want some inspiration for your outdoor rooms? Look at Sibcy Cline’s Pinterest Outdoor Room board.

Great Lighting – Increase Your Home’s Value!

Lighting ideas for your home

If you are getting your home ready to sell, think about how the use of lighting can help make it more appealing and increase in value. Here are some things to think about when staging your home:

Living area with large windows

Take Advantage of Natural Sunlight
If your home has rooms with large windows, open up the blinds and curtains to take advantage of the light that can pour into your home. Swap out heavier drapes for lighter-weight fabric so light can shine through them. Use sheers to diffuse light it the room is too sunny.

Large mirror in a hallway

Use Mirrors
Carefully positioned mirrors can help to redirect sunlight into rooms without sunny windows.

Highlight Positive Features 
Accent or targeted lighting can draw attention to your home’s best features. Have an accent niche and highlight it!

Lighting ideas for your home

Update Lighting
Consider updating the lighting in your kitchen and include under-cabinet recessed lighting – a very popular trend in kitchen design. Use an up-to-date chandelier in your dining room to give it a fresh look. Remove the tired (or ugly) shades from your lamps and replace with new ones. Target has great deals on shades. Add unexpected lighting – like a table lamp on a kitchen countertop. This addition can add warmth to the space.

Adequate Lighting
When staging a home to sell, usually “less is more”, but with lighting, more is best. Try using multiple light sources in a room with overhead lights, sconces as well as lamps or can lighting focused on wall art.

Need help hanging your lights? We can recommend local electricians through Sibcy Cline Home Services.

Learn About Power Generators for Your Home

home generator

Home generators offer a solution to power up your home when there are outages. You can keep the refrigerator running, lights on and air conditioning going. Here are some tips to consider when purchasing a home-generator system:

How Much Power?
Think about how much power your large essential appliances need. Refrigerators, air conditioning, sump pumps and electric water heaters will have the highest power draw and are some of the most essential items you want to have live during power outages.

Many generator manufacturers will have online wattage calculators to help you determine what size you will need. Or, calculate the number by finding the wattage rating for each appliance. It will say: “Starting Watts” (how much power used when first turned on) and “Running Watts” (how much power used once running.) If only the “Running Watts” is listed, multiply that number by three. A small- to medium-sized home usually averages 5,000 to 7,500 watts.

Here are some sample appliances and their average watts:
Refrigerator: 600 watts
Sump Pump: 1,500 watts
Portable Heater: 1,500 watts
Window A/C: 1,000 watts
Lights: 60–600 watts
Computers: 60–300 watts

Size of the Generator and Noise
You will need to place the generator close to your home. Fire protection code requires a generator to be five or more feet away from doors and windows. Smaller generators are permitted to be 18 inches from an exterior wall. (Larger generators are around 30″x30″x48″. Smaller versions are 24″x24″x36″.)

The noise factor will be a consideration in what type of generator you purchase. Most generators have an average of 60 to 70 decibels. By comparison a vacuum cleaner usually has 70-80 decibels.

Fuel for the Generator
Generators either use liquid propane, natural gas or both Propane gas is affordable and burns “clean”. It’s easy to find at hardware stores, gas stations and many grocery stores. Generators that run from natural gas can be tied to the home’s natural gas line.

Solar-Powered Generator
There are solar-powered generators to consider as well. This innovative system is connected to a breaker panel. It can provide about 3000 Watt hours. Solar panels and expansion batteries can be added to recharge for endless power. Systems range from $2,200 up to $8,000. Read more about this type of generator.

Benefits of a Home Generator
A home generator good for 5,000+ watts will be set to take over (with its Automatic Transfer Switch) as soon as power goes out. Some models have a remote start button.

Smaller units with up to 2,000 watts cost between $400 and $1,000. They are the lightest type of generator and can be easily transported.

Mid-sized units with up to 3,500 watts range from $1,000 and $1,700. This type of equipment can keep the refrigerator and lights running for 8–18 hours using 2–3 gallons of gas. If you rarely have black outs, this might be an option for your home.

If you rarely have black outs, a Portable Generator is another good option. These type of devices provide power to specific appliances such as the refrigerator. With up to 7,500 watts, the price will range from $700–$2,800. (Note: many of these generators can weigh up to 300 pounds!) If you use this type of generator, you will need to be careful about protection from rain or snow.

Large Inverter systems have up to 7,500 watts and cost $1,400–$4,000. These type of appliances are quiet and fuel efficient. They can provide enough power for your refrigerator and small air-conditioning system. They run on stabilized gasoline. Large inverter generators are best for homes with frequent or prolonged power outages.

Home Standby generators have up to 20,000 watts and cost $2,000–$6,000 and will weigh up to 600 pounds. Installation costs can be as much as the cost of the generator. These systems need to be installed permanently next to your home. They run on natural gas or propane. This system should not be exposed to flood-prone areas.

Read more about selecting a home generator here.

Home-Generator Safety Tips:

  1. Portable generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide. Be sure to have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home. They should have battery back-up to assure they will work during a power outage.
  2. A generator should be placed at least 20 feet from the home with the exhaust pointing away from any windows and doors. Never run a portable generator inside your home.
  3. The generator should be on level ground or a pad, with a generator tent in place to keep it out of the rain. Most generator manufacturers suggest and sell tents for their products.
  4. The generator needs to be properly grounded so it won’t electrify the puddles of water or wet ground adjacent to it.
  5. Never “backfeed” your home. You can risk electrocution risk to utility workers using the same transformer or can start a fire. (Backfeeding means powering your home electrical systems by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.)
  6. Allow time for the generator to cool before refilling it with fuel.
  7. Check the fuel line periodically for signs of wear or cracks that could cause a fuel leak and subsequent fire.
  8. Plug only essential appliances such as a refrigerator or freezer directly into the generator outlets. Use a heavy-duty cord when connecting to an appliance.
  9. Consider having an electrician install a transfer switch directly into the existing circuit breaker panel that can help feed electricity to areas of the entire residence.
  10. The generator should be started periodically to check it is operational with sufficient fuel and oil to operate quickly and safely.
  11. If you use a propane or gas-fueled generator, have extra fuel on your property. Store in an approved container in a cool, well-ventilated place. Adding a stabilizer will help the gas last longer.

    Need help getting your home’s electric system ready for your home generator? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend a vetted electrician to help you.

Colors of the Year for 2022 – Ideas to Use in Your Home!

Every year colors are monitored for their use by entertainers, influencers, artists, fashion and home furnishings. For 2022, the most popular color palettes have ranges from shades of green and blue to tan. Take a look at what THE colors are for this year:

Very Peri Color of the Year Pantone 2022

Very Peri by Pantone
Pantone selected a purple blue shade (aka periwinkle) called Very Peri. This is a fairly strong color that might be best used as an accent wall or with accessories. This is a high-energy color and represents gratitude and hope.

light green kitchen october mist color of the year

Breezeway by Behr Paints
This silvery green screams beach or sea glass! Breezeway denotes peace, tranquility and harmony. Behr says this color is one “where a breath of fresh air meets a fresh coat of paint.” It’s a great color for doors, cabinets or walls.

Light green walls

October Mist by Benjamin Moore
A soothing green shade, October Mist is a quiet, meditative color. It would be perfect for a home’s walls or as accent pillows.

Evergreen fog Sherwin Williams 2022 Color of the yearr

Evergreen Fog by Sherwin-Williams
This Sherwin-Williams’ pros selected Evergreen Fog as their color for 2022. This grey-green color does have a foggy vibe. It looks great on walls or cabinets.

Color of the year sprig

Olive Sprig by PPG
This gray-green color is a warm neutral to try. Olive Sprig has an organic feel to it.

Bright Skies by Dulux
This light blue color is neutral while adding color. Bright Skies is a U.K. pick because it offers “fresh air” to spaces where it is used. Watch a video about this color.

Art and craft color of the year

Art and Craft by Dunn-Edwards
Looking for a classic brown tone to decorate with? Art and Craft has an earthy feel. Use this color on walls and your lighter-toned furniture and accessories will “pop”. This color continues a 1970s trend for interior design.

Guacamole color of the year

Guacamole by Glidden
Avacados rule! This is another color with a nod to the 1970s. Guacamole is an energetic color with a blend of boldness and calmness to it. Although we do not suggest using this for a stove or refrigerator color as experienced in the 70s, it is a wonderful color to use on walls and home accessories.

Breathe blue color of the year

Breathe by Graham & Brown
The pale and powdery blue hue has inspiration from the sky. Breathe would be a perfect color for a bedroom with its soothing tone.

8 Popular Home-Staging Trends

home stage tips when selling

Thinking of selling your home? Read about some current decor trends for staging your home:

Do you have an attractive “outdoor room” that needs to be highlighted? Show off how this space can be used for entertaining purposes. Set out a few dishes to set the table for an outdoor meal or barbecue. Add a hammock with a book and a comfy blanket.

Look at some of our outdoor rooms on Pinterest here. Go here for porch ideas.

A new trend for kitchens is white and bright. If you are not willing to paint your cabinets, perhaps consider showing off spare, white accessories that will make your kitchen seem brighter.

Gold and brass are back in style! Think framed mirrors and brass bar carts. Use these types of accents sparingly. Get some inspiration here.

Navy blue is an easy color to work with and is popular. This is a strong, neutral hue to use as an accent wall. Navy blue looks great with yellow, tan and chartreuse.

(5) BLACK 
Black elements can be found in lighting, framing or a statement piece of furniture. It’s good to use as a focal point. See ideas using black here.

Is your dining room an empty space? Do not worry about staging this room with a full suite of matching furniture. People are using unique pieces in their dining rooms. Chairs do not have to match the table. The side board can be an old dresser. Get some ideas here.

Home offices are coveted rooms. If you have a home office, be sure to showcase it. If not, think about converting a rarely used corner of a spare bedroom into a mini office. Many people have used their dining room tables staged as desks when selling their homes.

Live, indoor plants, macrame and Scandinavian-style furniture are current design trends that reflect natural elements. Plants add energy to rooms and a neutral look is calming and appealing to home buyers. (Think IKEA designs.)

Need help staging your home to sell? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put your in touch with professional stagers who can provide consultations or temporary use of furniture.


Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 – How to Use Them in Your Home!

pantone color of the year 2021

Thinking of adding some color to your home this year? If you want to be on top of the newest trends, Pantone suggests Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow for 2021.

Why these two colors?
Per Pantone, gray is the color of strength and fortitude. Yellow is a color for aspiration and hope. Yellow also denotes positivity and warmth. Read more about these colors here.

Using these colors in your home
If you are inspired to add gray and yellow to your home’s decor, here are some ideas:

1. Accessories
Using gray and/or yellow accents with pillows, blankets, curtains or art are simples ways to splash these colors without having to invest in expensive items such as furniture. Another idea would be to use gray-colored pottery. Remember – use yellow sparsely since it is such a strong color.

2. Kitchen
If you have considered painting your kitchen cabinets, Ultimate Gray might be the perfect color. This gray pairs well with other colors. You could use accents of yellow with kitchen accessories.

3. Bathroom Accents
Ultimate Gray looks nice as a bathroom wall color or as a backsplash or floor tile.

4. Front Door
Consider Illuminating Yelllow as the color for your front door. Yellow will stand out especially against gray siding and roofing materials. Use a white trim for the highest contrast.

5. Bedroom
Gray on the walls creates a neutral, calm setting for a bedroom. If you want to add yellow, consider a rug or pillows.

Are you making updates to your home? What colors are you using this year?

If you need assistance with any of your home’s updates, connect with Sibcy Cline Home Services. They have many vetted, local vendors providing all kinds of services for the home!

Pandemic-Triggered Home Trends

The pandemic of 2020 has changed a lot of things and the housing market is no exception. Perhaps no one predicted that lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and a record number of employees working from home would cause a surge in buying and selling homes, but it has.

Along with this surge has come a change in the reasons why sellers list their homes as well as new trends for what buyers want in a home. Recently, Sibcy Cline President Robin S. Sheakley spoke to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s journal REALM to share some of her insights into the changes happening across the region. Here are some of her observations.

Staying at home forced people to take a good look at the space they live in.

“When the governor issued stay-at-home orders, you saw people really taking stock of their housing and understanding that if they’re going to be locked inside they want different things for their homes,” Robin told REALM, “People were realizing their houses were too big, too small, too urban, too rural, perhaps too open, perhaps too choppy.”

Home improvement efforts triggered a desire for something new.

“We saw a huge trend in home repair and home improvement, and then a lot of people started realizing I’m ready for something different,” Robin said.

The way people shop for homes has shifted drastically.

“There are plenty of stories of homes that were bought without people ever physically going in them, but purchased virtually,” she said. “With the amount of drone photography and videography now, there are all sorts of ways to get a really great sense of a property without standing there yourself.”

In addition to why people move and how they shop for homes, Robin noted a few trends in what buyers are looking for in homes. Here are the top trends she’s noticed:

Spa-like Bathrooms

The need for stress relief is greater than ever, so people are shopping for bathrooms that offer some space for retreat and relaxation.

Home Offices

In the era of working from home and online schooling, homeowners are in need of more space to separate and focus. “We’ve seen people converting bedrooms to offices a lot,” she said.

Outdoor Entertaining Space

The need for social distancing in well-ventilated spaces has increased the desire for more space to gather outside. “People want to be outside. They’re looking to be able to cook, serve, and entertain outdoors,” Robin said.


Some homeowners spent time during the pandemic assessing their space needs and concluded that they need less space, not more. Some want to reduce the time and money they spend maintaining a large home. “There are many people who spent the past nine months looking around asking, Why do I have so much space?” she said.

Ready to make the move? Visit to browse homes for sale or find an agent.

What Millennials Look For when Buying a Home

What Millennials Look For When Buying A HomeDid you know 66% of Millennials (born between 1981-1996) plan on buying a home within the next five years? This home-buying generation makes up 34% of all current home buyers and 66% of first-time buyers.

Having your home “Millennial ready” is a very good idea for this large buying group. Here are some tips on making your home more appealing to them:

Everything Needs to be Just So
Millennials prefer homes in top shape and move-in ready. Have your home up-to-snuff with all repairs and upgrades completed. If you cannot have update your baths or kitchen, consider at least replacing the fixtures in those rooms.

Open Kitchen Floor Plan

Millennials prefer homes with open plans flowing from room to room. Almost 50% of them desire a luxury kitchen. Dining rooms are not a top priority, but a home office is appealing.

These buyers are looking for low-maintenance features. Wood floors and granite countertops are viewed as hassle-free.

Stage Your Home for that Generation
Most of Millennial home buyers do online research for hours ahead of time. They are going to look at your home’s photos online – on their mobile device. The decor in your home should be appealing to them.

Staging your home for this generation could work to your advantage: Statistics indicate 76% of Millennials drove by a home they saw on the Internet and 60% had personal tours of homes based on photos they viewed.

Staging a home is helpful because it makes a buyer feel at home right away. Mid-century decor is very popular right now with clean lines and edited accessories.

Most Millennials (65%) will select their home based on how close it is to work. Walkable neighborhoods are also appealing, so if your area has a good walking score, play it up.

Technology and Energy Efficiencies
Millennials value strong wireless and Internet service. Land phones are not necessary. Smart home features are also attractive to them.

Homes with green features are appealing to these buyers. Although this is not a top selling feature, if your home is efficient, it could draw more interest. Think about upgrading old appliances for Energy-Star versions.

Statistics source.


Pantone Color for 2018 – Ultra Violet!

Several opened cans with paint inside.Purple…aka “ultra violet” rules as the color for 2018! Pantone 18-3838 is a color that “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.”

Great Accent Color
Ultra Violet is a very strong color. Although it may be too intense on a wall since it is a very trendy color, think about using it as an accent with bedding, pillows or towels. This color does very well in contemporary-styled homes.

Want to be inspired? Look at some Ultra Violet photos from Houzz.

My Grandma and Purple
My grandmother loved the color purple. When she moved to Southern Florida in the mid 1960s, she gave up all of her traditional furnishings in her Cincinnati home for brand new pieces all dripping in purple. She had purple carpet, purple couch, purple cushions, purple side chairs and purple bedding – along with French Provincial white furniture.

Although my grandmother’s villa home had sunny palm trees on the outside, the inside was 100% royalty-styled grandeur. (Oh, and did I mention that she covered the carpeting, couch and chairs in sheets so that it all stayed new? I cannot remember, but if I had to bet, those sheets were purple, too.) Whenever I seedeep purple, I fondly think of my grandmother and all of her purple wonderfulness.

Spruce Up Your Patio or Deck for Spring

With spring already here and summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time for homeowners who plan to spend a lot of time on their decks and patios in the months ahead to put a little work into making them as welcoming as possible. There are plenty of ways to do that with simple DIY projects that don’t take a lot of expertise or even financial investment.

One of the easiest ways to make a deck or patio look better – especially if it hasn’t been touched up in recent years – is to repaint or re-stain it before the summer begins, according to House Logic. This can be done regardless of the material the patio or deck is made of, and there are actually plenty of ways to add a little pizazz by  painting with patterns or using bright, bold colors.

Outdoor furniture on a deck or patio can start to look worn out, so repainting chairs and tables – or simply replacing weather-resistant cushions for benches – is another quick fix that doesn’t require a major cash investment.

Putting in More Work
For homeowners who feel more comfortable working with tools, it might be possible to make an outdoor space even more welcoming. For instance, building – or simply buying – outdoor storage pieces like crates and chests can really clean up the clutter not only on the deck or patio itself, but around the yard. Ensuring these storage units match the new paint or stain job on the deck or patio goes a long way toward making the whole area look great.

For those with more construction skills, building a new fire pit will make staying out on the deck late into the evening even more inviting. There are plenty of DIY instructions about how to do this type of project quickly, easily and safely. (Go here and here for instruction.)

A Little Greenery Goes a Long Way
For those homeowners who have a green thumb, you might want to consider the benefits of making a deck or patio a lot more plant-friendly, according to the Seattle Times. There are so many ways to incorporate plants into a design overhaul, and most can be done at a low price point. After all, if plants just need plenty of sunlight and water, it can be easy to accommodate those needs in the summer, and make an outdoor gathering space a lot more attractive.

One of the easiest ways for owners to get inspiration for how they want a new deck design to look is to simply surf the Internet for a few hours. The number of great ideas they’re likely to find with a simple search can provide all kinds of good plans that are easy to carry out in short order.

Need professional help with your deck or patio? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

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