Your Inner Paper Bag Princess











Never judge a book (or blog) by it’s cover

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 7.59.32 PM









How come the prince always saves the princess? Why can’t the princess save the prince?

In Robert Munsch’s classic tale, The Paper Bag Princess, Elizabeth is a beautiful princess all set to marry Prince Ronald — until a dragon smashes her castle, prince-naps her beloved, and burns all her clothes. And she is Not Amused.

She displays immense resourcefulness by first making what must be the only flame-retardant paper bag in existence into a new outfit, proving that it is the only suit of armour that she will need to go save her prince.

We might say the same about rescuing your listings. But I’ll get to that later.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 12.39.25 PM











While Disney and Hollywood taught us that princesses should sing, wear pastel dresses, talk to animals, and be really, really, ridiculously good-looking, we of the ilk of Gloria Steinem, discovered that this isn’t very likely or, I might add, politically correct. Especially the part about the pastel dresses. We now know for a fact that princesses are also really, really, ridiculously good-looking wearing tool belts (often pink with rhinestones), while swinging a really mean hammer while hanging up all those minute pictures.
Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 5.45.36 PM










When Elizabeth finally tracks down her fire-breathing dragon, she knows that she can use the dragon’s strength against him by assuaging his ego with flattery.

Well, who hasn’t done this, while beguiling a lone Home Depot employee to search for that elusive brushed chrome door handle, which the computer says they have only-one-of-and-it-should-be-somewhere-in-the-upper-shelves-of-the-back-storeroom.

But I digress.

Goaded by Elizabeth to fly around the world twice, the dragon finally exhausts himself and falls asleep. She then rescues the hapless Prince Ronald, or in our case, to procure the only-one-left brushed chrome door handle.

Alas, it is not “so happily ever after,” as Ronald’s first reaction to being saved is not to thank Elizabeth, but to criticize her appearance, “Elizabeth, you are a mess! You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess.”

Now, I see the logic in this, as beauty is my religion and staging my career. But nevertheless, I still am obliged to be on the side of petite, self-assured Elizabeth, all the while getting rid of all the paper bags in the seller’s basement, closets, cabinets, pantry, under the stairs, in the front yard… you get the picture.

And now that spring is finally here, or it’s a really good substitute, it’s also time to clean up all those paper bags stuck under the shrubs. We Calgarians are never really sure, as spring is a season we only read about.

But here’s the clincher. Elizabeth aptly replies, “Your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat.  You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.”

Now I would love to think that buyers should be able to see beyond appearances in the home you are selling, like Elizabeth seeing past Ronald’s appearance down to his rotten core, but I would be lying.

For we all know, appearances really, really matter and homes on the market should be really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

Which is where I come in, not usually wearing a paper bag, but usually a pink tool belt and swinging a really, mean hammer.

One thing I particularly appreciate about this story is that it’s very matter-of-fact-ly, as Elizabeth doesn’t fret when the dragon hauls Ronald off, nor does she puff herself up and put on her brave face. No mention is even made of her being brave. It’s just the way it is. She moves on.

And on we move on very matter-of-fact-ly to your house. What should do we do with those walls?


Would you call this wall color, café au lait?

My painter calls it “brown paper bag”. This deep mocha brings a homey feeling to objects you’d expect to see against white museum walls. At night, this color is quite mysterious and looks fabulous with anything bronze.

And we are oh, so done with Builder’s Beigeville.

Here’s some of my favorite + paper bag + colors.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.05.28 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.27.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.26.26 PM








Needless to say, they didn’t get married after all.


Beauty Matters

Kairos – The Opportune Moment