My Wonderful Walls Blog — Customer Spotlights
How to Stage Your Home to Sell Quickly 0
Recently, Lori Smith from Red Violet Interiors shared great pictures of an accent wall and canvas art piece she created using our beaded pattern wall stencils. We caught up with Lori to talk to her about how wall stencils fit wonderfully in to her design plan and some tips for homeowners who are putting their house on the market.
Based in the Phoenix, AZ area, Lori has an extensive background in art and real estate and has been renovating and flipping her own properties for 14 years. She has taken her background and passion for design and brings that experience to homeowners who are looking to effectively renovate and stage a home to sell quickly and for a premium!
When Lori discovered the My Wonderful Walls patterned wall stencils she knew they were a great alternative for wallpaper on an accent wall. Accent walls are a super easy way to add drama and interest to a room and can also define a space in a multi-functional area. Our self-adhesive stencils are easy to use and offer you the flexibility of picking any color combination you want. They can also be re-used for future projects. Lori told us, “People need to realize how easy they are to use. I had to start over once the first time I used them because I didn't layer the stencil right. But no biggie, it's just paint and was easy to fix.” She also suggests going back with a small brush for any touch ups once you are finished stenciling. Lori used our Beaded Wall Stencils on both an accent wall and a 4 X 4 canvas so far and plans on using them again.
According to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp., staged homes spend half the time on the market than non-staged homes. So what if you are selling your home but can’t hire a professional to help you stage it or renovate? Lori offered these tips to getting your home ready for a fast and profitable sale:
- Depersonalize and declutter your space. What that means is take down family photos, trinkets, etc....potential buyers need to picture themselves in the home, not the existing homeowners and it needs to feel open and clutter free.
- Replace any outdated lighting, plumbing fixtures and if budget allows update the kitchen as much as possible with new countertops and kitchen cabinets. It's true that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. When renovating stay classic, not trendy.
- Clean, clean, clean. It's the details that potential buyers will notice, so with that being said it would also be a good idea to touch up paint on the walls and baseboards. And don't forget spaces like the garage, storage rooms, and patios. These are usable spaces and should be highlighted not looked over.
- Neutralize the space as much as possible. Having bedrooms painted in bright colors might work for your family but could be very off putting to a potential buyer. By painting the home, a neutral shade of gray, taupe or white would allow the potential buyer to visualize their furnishings in the space. It is great to incorporate an accent wall, as long as it ties in with rest of the house. This goes for furnishings too. Add pops of color in accessories not in large pieces of furniture.
- If your home will be vacant when you put it up for sale, stage it! It is a proven fact that homes that are staged sell in half the time as those that aren't staged. Here's why, it is very difficult for buyers to visualize their furnishings in the space. By staging the home, it adds warmth to the space and a sense of "home”. Use large scale, original artwork to make a statement (like the 4'x4' canvas with the beaded stencil) and unique accessories. It is crucial to add an emotional element to staging. The goal is for the potential buyer to fall in love with the property as soon as they walk in the door and see themselves living there.
So there you have it, if you are looking to sell your home and want to get the best price, consider hiring a professional like Lori or follow her tips to do it yourself. And for a fun and easy way to create an accent wall in your home, check out My Wonderful Walls Patterned Stencils. You can contact Lori at email@example.com for help with design and staging in the Phoenix area and email the My Wonderful Walls team any time for help with choosing the right stencils to create a brilliant accent wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Musical Wall Takes Center Stage in Vashon Island, WA 3
Here at My Wonderful Walls, we certainly appreciate a unique wall of art when we see one. Our customers often share photos of their wall murals created in their homes, businesses and schools. But a different kind of wonderful wall recently grabbed our attention all the way from Vashon Island, WA. This musical wall was created by Joe Schonbok for his daughter, Shelby’s classroom where Joe volunteers weekly. Joe is the owner of Strum Shop on Etsy where he builds and sells stick dulcimers, a three stringed instrument you play similar to an ukulele. These instruments are designed to be super easy to play and loads of fun because you simply can’t play a bad note. Read on to find out more about Strum Shop and stick dulcimers.
Joe Schonbok has played musical instruments almost all of his life, starting with a trombone in elementary school. He found it somewhat frustrating and eventually stopped playing but picked up string instruments as an adult and fell in love with music. Wanting his daughter to have the opportunity to grow up learning how to play a stringed instrument, he discovered stick dulcimers or “strumsticks” and set about learning how to make his own. Inspired by the story of Andy Mackie and his “Mackie Music Sticks”, Joe had the idea to create a classroom set for daughter, Shelby’s school.
What is a “Strumbolina” stick dulcimer? A stick dulcimer is a three-stringed instrument you play like a guitar or ukulele but it is fretted and tuned like an Appalachian Dulcimer. It is tuned to a single key. Since it is a single-key instrument, all of the notes sound good together. No stress, all fun! They are a close cousin to the cigar box guitar. Joe came up with the name Strumbolina for his stick dulcimers to set them apart. Made from sustainably harvested logs right from Vashon Island, these instruments are made with very little waste and are high quality handmade instruments.
At the Chautauquah Elementary School, the reaction has been very positive to the classroom Strumbolinas. The kids in Shelby’s classroom got to see the very first Strumbolina stick dulcimer Joe built and try it out. They were thrilled to be “in the know” about such a unique instrument. Now they have their very own musical wall where the dulcimers are stored and get to experience the joy of creating music for themselves. With so many schools not having art and music as an integral part of the curriculum, any opportunity to inspire a love of music is priceless. Kids as young as six can easily play a Strumbolina as it is perfect for their size and finger dexterity at that age. And parents will love getting involved with this frustration free musical instrument as well.
Joe plans to eventually add additional handcrafted instruments to his store on Etsy. He is currently working on a few ukulele designs. If you would like to learn more about the Strumbolinas and how you can get one for yourself, check out Strum Shop on Etsy or the Strumbolina Facebook page.
Annual Giving Garden Mural Growing at The Centers at St. Camillus 0
If you have ever worked at a non-profit or been involved with fundraising for your child’s school, scout troop or sports team, you know how hard it can be to find new and exciting ways to raise money. So when we were contacted by Michael Connor, Relationship Development Coordinator, at The Centers at St. Camillus in Syracuse, NY about using our garden wall decals in an effort to secure donors via an “Annual Giving Garden” we thought that was pretty genius. The folks at St. Camillus have not only created a beautiful mural throughout the halls of their center but have created a vehicle through which donors can give year after year and keep the garden growing! With messages of love and remembrance, this Annual Giving Garden has been a big hit with patients, families and staff alike.
The Centers at St. Camillus is a not-for-profit health care community offering comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and home care services, including brain injury rehabilitation, continuing care, subacute rehab, outpatient therapies, medical transport, adult day health services and more. Since its founding in 1969, St. Camillus has been a leader in rehabilitative health care dedicated to caring for life. In his role as Relationship Development Coordinator, Michael was tasked with developing a giving program for individuals, families and other groups. The challenge was to create the opportunity for donors to give more than once. Michael and his team also wanted to create something visual and uplifting. They chose to use a garden theme because of the universal appeal of flowers and nature and the power a garden can have to inspire and add to the overall quality of life of patients, families and staff.
The team initially purchased the entire Splendid Garden Wall Sticker Kit to get started. They also chose a handful of My Wonderful Walls design elements (with our permission of course) to develop a direct mail brochure to contact potential donors who had given to St. Camillus within the last three years. There are five levels of giving, from $50 leafs and $100 flowers to $1,000+ tree flowers. Once they had attracted their first 20 donors, Michael special ordered leaves and flowers from the Splendid Garden Wall Sticker designs personalized with either the donor’s name, or in honor of, or in memory of someone special to the donor. With their Annual Giving Garden, St. Camillus established that donors’ personalized leaves or flowers will remain in the garden for one year, and that by renewing their gift each year, donors can ensure that their leaf or flower remains in the garden annually. People have donated in memory of loved ones passed, in honor of staff or in celebration of their family as shown in some of the photos here.
Michael and the rest of the Marketing Department with the help of the Maintenance Department created the first garden in about a week working on it an hour or two every other day or so to let the up to three coats of background sky and grass, as well as frame paints to dry. He told us, “The actual stickers went up lickety-split, even though we had many of them and there were three of us placing them on the wall (which led to occasional friendly differences of opinion!)”. The team found the wall stickers very durable and forgiving if removed and repositioned on the wall.
Space in their original Annual Giving Garden mural (four feet high by 11 feet wide) was fast becoming a
premium, so they added two more, slightly smaller wall gardens just down the hall. After having created the first garden, the subsequent garden murals were even quicker to put up. Their third order to My Wonderful Walls included 18 more leaf and flower decals personalized for donors, as well as several additional elements from both the Splendid Garden and Forest Friends Wall Sticker designs to help complete the look of all three gardens. And a fourth order was well on its way to St. Camillus as this blog post was being written.
So far the center has already reached 85% of their Annual Giving Garden fundraising goal with the remainder of the year left to meet their goal or perhaps surpass it. They consider this an ongoing initiative and strive to keep the garden growing. The reviews from families, patients and staff about the garden mural have been very positive and remarks like “how beautiful” and “what a great idea!” can be heard in the halls. The best result is that the garden immediately uplifts everyone’s spirit, and sparks a multitude of meaningful, engaging conversations between generations of viewers.
When asked what he liked best about this project, Michael said, “It’s a three-way tie between the beautiful 3D fabric designs, the affordability, and the terrific customer service we’ve received all along the way from the staff at My Wonderful Walls. They truly took a special interest in us and our new project from the beginning; they felt like a partner in the project, and wanted us to succeed. From the way I’ve answered this question, I suppose it’s My Wonderful Walls’ customer service, after all!” Which is of course what we strive for every day! We are honored to be a small part of such a wonderful project and worthy cause.
If you or someone you know would like to support the Annual Giving Garden at The Centers at St. Camillus please visit their website for more information or call Michael at (315) 703-0822.
Blog post written by Tara
Self-Adhesive Wall Stencils Ideal to Create Sibling’s Room Murals 1
Home improvement projects are so much better when they are a family affair as proven by mother and daughter team Tamara and Becky. Tamara was kind enough to share the pictures of the two rooms they created with our wall stencils for Becky’s son Jackson, then age 4 ½ and daughter Caroline, age 3. Though Tamara has been stenciling for 30 years she was thrilled to find our wall stencils and found them a great way to create a professional looking wall mural for any child’s room or nursery.
Tamara said as a young mother on a tight budget she found stenciling a great way to give her kids fun and interesting rooms since paint was inexpensive and you could change it easily. Her husband was in the military and since they moved a lot, she was always creating new rooms but found it lots of fun. Tamara even won Volunteer of the Year in Florida because she learned how to be very crafty with very little resources at her kids’ school. But now in her role as grandma she has just as much fun helping her kids with projects for their own children. Tamara had already helped with the décor in two of her other grandchildren’s rooms so when Becky bought her own house and Jackson and Caroline had rooms with blank walls, it was time to get to work again. She found My Wonderful Walls on the internet but didn’t buy right away, searching in stores and online for what would be the best décor.
The themes were pretty easy; Caroline was already a sweet princess and loved the big tree with a swing Grandma had in her and Jackson’s room at her house. Jackson loved cars, planes and trains so his theme was easy. As she searched for the right products, Tamara kept coming back to My Wonderful Walls. She found it interesting that the stencils needed no tape and would cling to the wall so after years of stenciling, she thought this would be so cool and easier to work with so she gave us a try.
Becky and Tamara spent time looking at the site and talking over the phone to choose what stencils they wanted. They ended up deciding to go with the flower garden stencils and princess stencils for Caroline’s room so she could have elements from both and the Transportation Fascination Stencil Kit for Jackson's room. Tamara went to Becky’s house to help with the rooms as Becky had never stenciled before. She quickly became a pro though and Tamara left a lot of the final touches to her after she went home to Kentucky. It took the pair about a week and a half total to complete the two murals with the kids having to share rooms so Mom and Grandma could work steadily on one room or the other. Tamara found our stencils were easy to work with and had such little paint bleed which she loved. She also liked the ability to be able to reuse them. But said the best part was being able to go to her daughter’s house and work on it together.
They added a lot of unique touches to both rooms with paint and accessories. For example, they painted faces on everyone and painted a princess into the carriage in Caroline’s room and added rings to the unicorn’s horn. In Jackson’s room, Tamara painted in the clouds using a sea sponge and white stencil paint, a technique she’s been using for years. They added lights to the city scene and Becky put Jackson’s picture in the space rocket which he thought was pretty cool.
Tamara’s tips for anyone just starting out on their wall mural? “Just take your time have fun. Plan what you’re going to do before you start even laying the stencils out. Make sure you know where your furniture is going. But most of all have fun and think out of the box like the child that is going to be in the room!”
Great advice and what great rooms this dynamic duo created! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures with us Tamara.
Mom and Dad Create “Abigail’s Garden” with Splendid Garden Wall Stickers 0
Often times our customers have already pictured in their mind a specific theme for their baby’s nursery mural and are just not 100% sure how to execute that theme. We offer two great ways to create murals for baby nurseries or kids’ rooms, wall stickers and wall stencils for painting your own mural. Mom to be at the time, Alicia had a color scheme in mind and knew the colors she had chosen would lend themselves to a bright garden theme room. Her goal was to have a room that would work beyond the "nursery" phase and that could be enjoyed for several years. When she found My Wonderful Walls on Pinterest, she discovered our Splendid Garden Wall Sticker Kit and knew it was a perfect fit because, although she had someone who was willing to paint a similar design for them, she wanted the texture and layers of color within each flower, the tree, and overall feel of being in an actual garden. Alicia felt our fabric wall stickers delivered that and much more.
Here’s what she had to say about her nursery mural:
My Wonderful Walls: Who created this garden mural?
Alicia: My husband, Charlie and I did.
MWW: Who is this nursery mural for?
Alicia: This nursery is for our baby girl Alicia. (Who at the time hadn’t been born yet.)
MWW: Why stickers over stencils?
Alicia: After watching the demo video using the fabric, I was impressed by the durability and versatility of the stickers. I like that the stickers are able to be moved to get them in just the right spot. Stencils require you to have the design exactly where you want it from the beginning. Sometimes, things need to be moved a little to the right, or left, to give the mural the look you want.
MWW: How long did it take you to make the mural?
Alicia: 1 ½ hours
MWW: What is your artistic comfort level?
Alicia: I'm fairly comfortable with design and using colors within a room to create the vision that is in my head. Creating is the easy part for me, but when it comes to drawing or painting, that's where I enlist the help of products like yours!
MWW: Have you used other wall stickers before?
Alicia: We have a vinyl phrase in our dining room that was torture for a perfectionist like me to display. I had a hair dryer and Popsicle stick going over tiny sections at a time to rid it if wrinkles in the wall and assure that it would adhere to our textured walls! The fabric went in so easily and smoothly. No hair dryer or tears of frustration necessary!
MWW: What did you enjoy about the process of creating your own room mural?
Alicia: Creating the scene was so incredibly easy! The fabric went in smoothly, the pieces were able to be moved as needed and the colors within each piece were beautiful and vibrant!
MWW: Did you add any personal touches to the existing mural as packaged?
Alicia: We are planning on adding a heart to tree trunk with the initials C+A to mimic a carving within the bark to add a special touch to the room. We will do this with a light brown paint and thin brush.
MWW: Do you have a favorite element of the mural?
Alicia: Oh gosh! It's hard to choose just one favorite thing about the scene! The fact that the scene looks hand painted and natural is the best feature overall for sure. If I had to choose one specific thing though I would have to say the bumblebees. Something about them adds a special touch to the scene to make it feel like an actual garden along with the butterflies.
MWW: What was the reaction to the finished room?
Alicia: Our little girl has not arrived just yet, but her 4yr old cousin never wants to leave what she calls "Abigail's garden." She smiles as she touches each flower, the frog, and the stems and loves to play in front of it.
MWW: Do you have any helpful tips for those just starting out with the mural making process?
Alicia: Watch the videos! I would have never thought to draw the hill with chalk first before painting it! Out of all the work we put into her room from flooring, to crown molding, painting, decorating, organizing, I was most nervous about the hill messing it all up!
The videos give you confidence that it really IS that simple!
MWW: Tell us a little bit about your experience with the product and with My Wonderful Walls in general.
Alicia: The product was packaged nicely with no wrinkles, tears or issues. It was easy to remove from the backing and went in textured walls with ease. It arrived sooner than expected with clever instructions, including a celebratory dance upon completion, and was even better than I expected. The company has been excellent regarding communication and incredibly friendly!
This Pearland, TX mom and her husband are polar opposites when it comes to the decorating front. Alicia, an elementary school teacher, loves to play with colors, fabrics and decor to give a room the certain "look” she has in her mind. While, Charlie is a software engineer who likes things to be black and white, measured, and is happier if all the furniture is lined up around the room without any of her “crazy diagonal shelves or chairs”. So when they come together to work on a room it can be interesting but usually works out and in this case Alicia said they were both very pleased with “Abigail’s Garden”.
Pet Salon Uses Dog and Cat Wall Decals to Make Their Clients Feel Right at Home 0
No wonder customers flock to the Canine Carousel to have their four legged family members pampered in style. This unique grooming salon is five star when it comes to giving pets the all-star treatment from the loving, well-trained staff to the services they offer to the décor. That’s right folks, dogs and cats need a colorful place to get their beauty on too! That’s why Lil and daughter Nikki came to us when they wanted to redecorate their Ashburn, VA location. Our Paws Park Wall Stickers were a wonderful way to add some animal inspired décor with ease. For a family run business in a hurry to add some fun elements to their blah walls, our fabric wall stickers did the trick!
Canine Carousel Pet Salon and Boutique has been around since 1977 and has locations in Ashburn VA and Herndon VA. Lil is mom to four daughters, three of whom work in the pet salons with her as well as dad who helps run the business and drives the pet taxi. They also count their other staff amongst their family and take a lot of pride in their vocation.
When Lil and Nikki were looking for dog and cat stickers online, they found My Wonderful Walls. They thought stickers were a better fit than stencils because of their time crunch. Though their form of art usually comes by the way of pet grooming, they felt pretty confident when using our wall stickers. Being able to move the stickers around with ease was a big plus. The pair were able to use our customer gallery photos for inspiration and painted in two toned hills to add depth to their mural. Being able to stand back and admire their final masterpiece in less than an hour (after painting) was impressive.
The owners at Canine Carousel say their customers had nothing but good things to say about the dog and cat mural. Now when pets come in for a spa day, they will feel right at home in this animal friendly environment.If you are a dog and cat lover or want to spruce up your pet business, check out our Paws Park Wall Decal Set as well as our Paws Park Stencils for mural making. You can also purchase these stickers and stencils a la carte if you just want to add a few touches here and there. Our fabric wall stickers are tear-resistant, repositionable, eco-friendly and have no white edges so they look painted on. Our self-adhesive stencils are easy to use and use again and again. We even sell the paints and brushes to make your own mural a masterpiece!