The Art of Home Staging

• August 17th, 2016 •

   Selling a house is a big deal!  You want to sell it and sell it for the right price.  However, most sellers don’t consider a stager.  The value of a stager in this writer’s opinion is paramount in this day and age.  That is why I am so passionate about my friend, Deb Goode’s recent article that appeared in the latest issue of “Annapolis Home.”  You will agree with me once you read the article and view the photos that Deb is the BEST stager in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County!!


Annapolis Home Article:  The Art of Home Staging

by:  Deb Goode of A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging

You ask, “What’s the difference between interior design and home staging?”  Although these two professions seem to have similarities, they are, in reality, worlds apart. An interior designer’s role is to create a home that reflects the owner’s style, tastes, and preferences. A home stager aims to turn your property into something that lots of people will like so that it will sell faster and for the best price possible!
Home staging sometimes involves reducing or reorganizing the owner’s belongings and rearranging them. It’s not a mystery that potential buyers like to see clean, well-defined spaces, so clutter and the owner’s personal effects must be removed.

When a home is vacant, a stager provides furniture and accessories that will “show off” the best qualities of the home. The home stager’s objective is to transform the property so that it appeals to the widest range of prospective buyers.

Most buyers find vacant homes challenging because only 10% of us have the ability to visualize a space once furnished. To further complicate matters, today 97% of home buyers begin by searching the internet where empty rooms all look alike. Staging helps identify the purpose of a room, shows potential furniture placement, and most importantly, gives the room life!

My “before” and “after” pictures show an empty room and the same room that’s been “staged.” Here, I’m working with existing window treatments and wall color, so I designed the room around that color scheme.  Here’s how I designed this Great Room.

First, I establish a “focal point” (the one area in the room that draws the eye); in this case, it’s the fireplace and magnificent artwork.  To embellish the fireplace but not overwhelm the art, I added topiaries and gold accessories.

Second, I placed a seating arrangement across from the TV – still close enough to the fireplace to enjoy the warm ambiance of a fire.  I also created a conversation area by placing the loveseat against the wall and flanking it with slipper chairs.  I added the neutral “eyelash” area rug to unify this area.

Third, I used a monochromatic color scheme to add elegance and accentuate the gold and black silk window treatments and pale yellow walls.  Typically, I use neutral-colored furniture for staging because it blends best with variously-styled homes.  In this room, I chose a cream loveseat and beige slipper chairs.  The black and gold accent pillows, as well as the leopard throw, coordinate with the drapes and add contrast–all of which contribute to the room’s unity, rhythm and balance.

Finally, for finishing touches, I added tall, iron candlesticks, a tray on the coffee table and a few topiary balls to coordinate with the topiaries on the mantel. Then, I added accessories on the other table to give the room a complete look.  The starburst mirror over the loveseat reflects light and color but doesn’t detract from the other pieces in the room.

Remember, a well-staged home helps buyers envision themselves living in the property which will lead to a faster and more profitable sale.




Main Level-Living Room-_DSC3198 Main Level-Living Room-_DSC3195 04_30_16_JWilliams_LR_After (2) 04_30_16_JWilliams_LR_After (3)

 To view more of Deb’s work or to set up your consultation, please visit her website and Facebook page.  If you are thinking of selling, please consider using A Goode Start Decorating and Home Staging to showcasing your home and setting it apart from your competition.  You will be so glad you did!



The Value of A Portrait

• August 9th, 2016 •

The Value of a Portrait

“No, I don’t think so, I am too {fill in the blank}.  Is this you?  Is this what you say when it comes to portraiture?  If so, STOP the nonsense and listen to your words!!   Believe it when I say to you, “You are beautiful just the way you are!” 

Let me show you in a Visual Concepts Elegant Portrait Session.  It all starts with your personal consultation.  I will ask you, “How you do see yourself being photographed?”  Your session is tailor made for you because it is my job to empower you through beautiful elegant, classic timeless portraits so you will see what I see; a portrait of a beautiful, strong woman that will reflect back at you and you will fall in love all over again.

Consultations are complimentary.  Call 410 626 7474 or e mail to set yours up today.  Exist in portraits for your loved ones for one day these images will be their most valued treasure.  

Meet our 2017 Senior Reps

• August 2nd, 2016 •


(in Davidsonville, Maryland)

serving Anne Arundel County, Annapolis, Greater Annapolis, South County and beyond….

Meet our Visual Concepts 2017 Senior Reps by watching the video below showcasing our beautiful reps from Archbishop Spalding High, Arundel High, South River High, Bowie High and Annapolis High.  These gals not only rock the camera but have big plans for college studies from medicine to engineering!!  I am amazed at the talent but also at the humbleness of these beautiful models!

The studio showcases the loft studio, the southern front porch, the brand new swing that hangs from the magnolia tree. our custom-designed gardes and, of course, our neighbor’s barn which we have exclusive rights to use.

This is a milestone in your child’s life as he/she is about to leave home and embark on his own.  Don’t leave these photos to the school portrait photographers who, quite frankly, don’t have a vested interest in your child.  We would love to sit with you during a consultation, meet your senior and get to know him/her.  From there we will discuss the best photography options that will represent your child.  You will say, “Yes, you caught her spirit!”

Consultations are complimentary.  Please call 410 626 7474 to set up your consultation today.  You will be so glad you did!





• July 31st, 2016 •





She/he is leaving soon…this is the time to capture those special moments in a Visual Concepts Portrait Session.  Don’t leave it up to the school photographer who doesn’t have a vested interest in your child.  Let us meet with her/him to establish a rapport and let us photograph your child so that in years to come you will remember the wonderful moments through beautiful, thoughtful portraits.

Book your session and we will give you a complimentary family portrait session before your child leaves for college!

Please call 410 626 7474 to set up your complimentary consultation today!!!

The Power of a Photograph

• July 14th, 2016 •




My son recently posted this photo of him and all his cousins on his father side that I had taken many years ago on a beautiful, happy day in England when all the family gathered around for a reunion.  It was my goal to take a series of photographs of the family and one great image of all the grandchildren together under the tree in their grandmother’s back garden where they had all played together for many years. They all showed up in jeans and white shirts (the uniform back then) and gladly let me direct them as I saw fit under that very special tree.  Mission accomplished, I made sure copies were given out to everyone and as an added bonus, I had a deck of cards with that image on it made for their grandmother.

As time went on, the family reunion became a distant memory.  Their father and I had divorced and I went on with my life with no more excursions to England.  Their grandmother passed away, her belongings packed up and dispersed and that lovely old home stood empty and silent until a new family took up residence.  Most likely that tree is now making new memories with a new family (at least I hope that is how it played out).

But what is so significant about that photo is that it is most likely the one and only photograph of the complete set of grandchildren on my son’s father’s side.  You see, years later one grandchild from that photo was tragically killed in an automobile accident. In a split second, one family’s life was changed forever, one extended family’s life changed forever and this one photograph is all that remains of a complete set of grandchildren photographed under their favorite tree on a warm, sunny happy day at their grandmother’s house.

The power of a photograph….never underestimate it.  It is what sustains us, brings us back to a happy place; if only for a moment.  Cherish your moments, create your memories, take lots of photos and embrace your family’s love…photographs will freeze time for you to reflect upon the happy memories you created on a lazy summer day a long, long time ago.

For His Eyes Only in the Secret Garden

• June 29th, 2016 •


You are cordially invited to a


in our


on July 17 ONLY

For more information, please call 410 626 7474 or


~surprise the man in your life with a beautiful outdoor boudoir session ~

and give him a little black book all wrapped up in a bright red bow (addt’l cost)


includes professional makeup “Natural Looks” by Victoria, a 20-minute portrait session and one digital image of your choice.

Girls’ Nite Out!

• June 22nd, 2016 •




Get together with your girlfriends for a fun day out this Friday, June 24 from 3-6 at Origins, 1915 Town Center Blvd, Annapolis Towne Center.  Origins will be offering a complimentary makeup session and Visual Concepts will be offering a complimentary model photo session and a digital image suitable for social media.

To reserve your spot, call 410 266 7276.

Afterwards, join in the fun as Peterbuilt will be performing in the free Friday Night Summer Concert Series from 7 to 8:30 pm.  Come check out this original country rock band from Annapolis and make sure to stop by Annapolis Town Center food market and beer & wine garden, hosted by P.F. Chang’s!

For His Eyes Only June Special

• May 13th, 2016 •





In time for Father’s Day, perhaps a birthday or just because…surprise the man in your life with a FOR HIS EYES ONLY BOUDOIR PORTRAIT SESSION that will surely surprise and please him.  I have polled many men recently to ask them if they would LOVE to have a little black book and as always I get a resounding “YES!”  However, when I ask them if there wives would agree, almost all would say, “No!”  That is sad to hear.  We, as women, are so hard on ourselves and we don’t want to because….{fill in the blank}.  I will let you in on a little secret..this is as good as it gets!! You are beautiful, just the way you are.  I have photographed thin women, curvy women, tall women, short women, young women, senior women…and guess what?  They were all surprised to see how beautiful they looked in their portraits.  Don’t believe me?  I will guarantee great results…you are under NO obligation to purchase anything!!

Come along a journey of discovery on Sunday, June 5 as we rock the camera together in a boudoir portrait session that will leave him breathless!!!  Your $99 includes a professional makeover with Victoria Ronan of Natural Looks by Victoria.  Bring along a friend and receive your session FREE! 

Please call 410 626 7474 or email for more information!!



A photograph to remember

• May 4th, 2016 •

9 Spot Collage 4 -2h-2s1


I recently finished a family photo session of which I took time to photograph each aging parent.  I always do this at each session so that they exist in photos.  At the projection, the daughter said, “I want one each for the funeral photo.”  My jaw dropped!!  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  Her mother agreed and said, “Don’t you just hate it when you go to a funeral of an older person and all you see is a photo of them when they are 18.  Guess what folks, She ain’t 18 when she died!”  And there lies my case.

Luckily for me, my mother existed in photos.  ALL.THE.TIME!  It didn’t matter what she looked like (well, it did as she took time to gussy herself up) and she would always strike a pose. Not a conceited (oh, look at me pose) but a pose that says this is who I am at this point in my life and I want a record of it.  She was well ahead of her time!!  My regret?  Not photographing her in the studio.  She would have loved that.  At the time, I had two young boys underfoot and it was enough just to put one foot in front of the other.

Don’t be like me and regret not having a formal portrait of your mother.  It is the one gift that will be treasured by her, her children, grandchildren.  For one day, this will be their most valued possession.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner!  What better gift than a day of being pampered and having beautiful portraits done of her so that she will see what we see..a beautiful, strong woman.  A woman of substance! 

Our gift vouchers are $150 (VALUE $400) which includes a complimentary consultation, a hair and makeup artist, lite fare, a full portrait session including up to 5 outfits! Please call 410 626 7474 or e-mail today to purchase your gift voucher and give her the gift of a beautiful, elegant portrait session that will be treasured for generations to come!  EXPIRES:  MAY 10, 2016



Spring Sessions to benefit AAMC NICU

• April 27th, 2016 •

celebrate Mom/siblings/children/family/generations

(in time for Father’s Day!!)



($99 check written out to AAMC) 

includes a complimentary consultation, a tour of our gardens, and a full portrait session.

With your portrait order of $250 or more, you will receive our hot seller,

the modern 8×12 metal desk portrait (valued at $250).

Call today to book! 410 626 7474 or email for more info.

SOME PORTRAIT IDEAS: family/children/birthday theme,  MOMMY & ME Portraits (in time for Father’s Day), GENERATIONS, ELEGANT PORTRAIT SESSIONS


SATURDAY APRIL 30 (limited availability)

SUNDAY MAY 1 (limited availability)

SATURDAY, MAY 7 (10, 12, 2, 4)



Tag your sister, your mom and your friends to share the news!! HELP THE TINIEST, MOST VULNERABLE PATIENT AT AAMC W/YOUR PARTICIPATION!!**

*must be conducted at farmhouse/studio; other offers/vouchers not applicable with this session*