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Best Staged Plans

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,052 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She's eager to put her family's suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Belinda Fry
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a fun read. Esp since I enjoy HGTV and the whole "staging" concept. Liked the main character, she was funny.
Barbara Sissel
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book last fall and have been meaning to review it ever since. The title says so much. Who hasn’t had a best-staged plan? In Sandy Sullivan’s case, best staged can be taken literally. Sandy’s a professional home stager, an expert on interior design. That intrigued me. It’s something I can imagine myself doing, but what hooked me was the opening scene, where Sandy has accidently wrapped her reading glasses in with a package she mailed. That’s something I can see myself doing too, to my ...more
Carolyn West
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate that Claire Cook let me read her book prior to it's June 7th release date. As an aspiring writer myself, I love finding an author who reads like I think. If I could write a book, I would want it to sound like a Claire Cook book.

So I'm sitting in my bedroom reading and I'm getting kind of creeped out because it was as if I was reading about my life. How on earth did Claire know so much about me? The main character of the story is Sandy, a middle-age home stager. Me? I'm Carolyn, a
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book!!!!!!!!!
Not so much the story but the witty tips and trader joe secrets ;)
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Essentially a Lifetime movie in print. Sandra Sullivan fits perfectly into the stereotype of a middle-aged American woman. Beverage of choice; nonfat latte. Outing with a friend; pedicure. Method of drowning her sorrows; chocolate. No longer cooks but assembles meals with a little help from Trader Joe's prepared food.
A professional home stager by trade, she grows increasingly exasperated when her laid-back husband and bat cave dwelling son take their time prepping the family home for sale. Offer
Michelle Robinson
Apr 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wallbangers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With her typical humorous outlook on the everyday things in life, Claire Cook introduces us to Sandi Sullivan. Sandi stages homes in the hopes of getting them sold. This also branches out to helping people stage homes that they are going to stay in.

Sandi's husband is now retired and spends his days playing tennis and running. Sandi's son lives in the basement, which she refers to as the "bat cave". They have decided that it is time to sell their huge, old home and move on but don't know where t
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fiction, first-reads
Claire Cook saw into my soul, pulled my life out of the air and wrote it down in page after page of uncanny insight. Each person in the storyline is someone I already know and, with a couple changes here and there, Sandy could be me.

Best Staged Plans is about professional home stager Sandy Sullivan, a married, mid-life, empty-nester, mother of 2. We have son Luke, who has no reason to leave home since his job is computer portable, so turns the basement into his personal fortress, and daughter,
Claire Cook is back with another gift for beach readers and book clubs everywhere--Best Staged Plans. This is a fun romp involving a woman trying to get her nest emptied and sold so that she and her husband can start their next stage of life (whatever that may be). Unfortunately, the son in the basement and the husband on the tennis court aren't really helping with the project. Sandy is a professional home stager (the person who pretties up a home to help it sell), but she just can't get her own ...more
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I like a nice cozy book, just right for reading when life is more difficult than usual, but I got much more than I imagined possible in Best Staged Plans. I can thank Claire Cook for her gentle prods to actually see homeless persons -- and there are two men, drinking on the street in the cold Washington DC drizzle, that can thank her as well.

As I was negotiating the rain, the closing pharmacy, no parking and people jaywalking in the dark rainy night, two guys in the next doorway pointed o
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Liked it, didn't love it. I never really connected with Sandy and I found her to be selfish, shallow and whiny. All she cared about was herself and selling her house. There was no compassion for her husband or children, only disdain for the fact that they didn't do things the way or as fast as she wanted them to.

The narrative was conversational and the staging tips were fun and added an interesting note. There were moments of laugh out loud funny humor, but overall the story was shallow and fel
Jun 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great short story to read. I did enjoy it but there really wasn't anything that captured my attention to not be able to put it down. We have a woman that stages other people's homes but can't seem to stange her own life. Annoyed with her husband's lack of motivation to put their house on the market she takes a job out of town and leaves. While staging a boutique hotel she finds her best friend's boyfriend cheating and a homeless woman that she takes under her wing to help. This is pre ...more
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book as it was light and uplifting. Nothing depressing but a nice story with some much appreciated humor and a few good tips from Trader Joes cooking to decorating and a bit of lifes lessons. Being the same vintage as the main character, I so understood where she was in life and her struggles. Great uplifting mini story (no spoilers here) and motivated me to look for similar opportunities. Cant remember the last time I read a book in only two seatings. Only gave it three s ...more
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sandra's adapted to career changes along life's journey & hung onto her husband, Greg, raised 2 kids, but hanging on to their big old house is something she needs to change and she can't do it alone.

Taking on staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta for her BFF, Denise's, new boyfriend, Sandra leaves Greg & Luke to get the house in shape while she stays with her daughter Shannon and new son-in-law Chance.

Great home staging & decorator tips, a look a homelessness with a face, light hearted
Anita Johnson
I enjoyed this very real sounding account of a woman who is frustrated by her family's lack of cooperation in getting their home ready to put on the market. She has a career as a stager and is constantly learning that you can change a room to be what you envision a whole lot more easily than you can a person. Claire Cook always shares her humor with the reader while focusing on some real life issues.
Kater Cheek
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more. I'm not dissimilar from the protagonist demographically. Like me, Sandy is pretty much post-kids, eager to downsize and move on to the unfettered child-free part of her life. I too have dealt with the monumental task of getting a big family home full of memories (and stuff!) ready for strangers to view. I understand the resentment from feeling as though I'm herding cats to get other people to work towards a supposedly common goal. I can also get pretty excited ab ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing: characters were mostly unlikeable, plot full of holes and unbelievable, the usual Yankee snobbism about the South. One thing I like was having a middle aged heroine, this is always a plus to me, and the scenes describing her family activities were wonderful, so why did this crazy lady want to give it all up?
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually like this author, but I just really didn't like these characters. This lady who's been married like 25 years thinks maybe her perfectly happy marriage has run its course and maybe it's time to move on to other adventures. Oh please, grow up already.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun...learned tons of stuff about organizing a house and a life!!! On a mission to find Lysol Linen Scent spray
for everything!!! Learned how to pack a suitcase so that it looks like a pack of cigarettes!!!
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Met Claire Cook at an author event on June 7, 2012. She is as warm and charming as her books. Definitely recommend her work for a light but heartfelt summer read.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Claire Cook. Amazing how it always seems I'm reading about me in her books.
Dec 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Chick lit. Main character is a bit hard to take. The plot of the novel is hard to understand"," why doesn't she just talk to her husband about where they're going?
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book by accident ... but as I read it, I wondered how much of an "accident" it really was.

I either reserve all my library books online and run in for a quick pick-up, or walk into the library with a list of authors/books in hand. As I passed the "Staff Picks" kiosk, Best Staged Plans caught my attention, and I decided to add it to the pile of books I checked out that day. What a great find!!!!!

The dialogue in the book was so real, so engaging ... so relatable!!! It made me laugh a
Kate Garvey
This book, from the author of "Must Love Dogs", is not a great literary work but it is entertaining with some witty dialogue, cookie cutter characters, and a somewhat believable story line. I almost stopped reading it after a couple of chapters but it's an easy read and there were a couple of plot points that captured my attention. Take this one on vacation. #beachbook
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first career was as an interior decorator so I was intriqued enough by the main characters job as a home stager to pick-up the book. I continued reading drawn in by characters that are smart and funny. A light read, perfect for summer.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite book by Cook, but it definitely had some delightful moments. Sandra seemed selfish and vaguely one-dimensional as did her family and her attempts at contrition. But, at the same time, it's a fun and relaxing read with great diy tips--what could be better?
Carlyn Marie
Nice bubblegum reading. I liked that I didn't really know where it was going. A satisfying read and I enjoyed connecting with the main character that is so different than myself! I like Claire Cook's style of writing.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thin but entertaining read. Interesting tidbits about decorating/staging intertwined with a the story of a middle-aged woman questioning the life she's lived thus far. Melodramatic and funny-good quick read.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book love the author!!!
A very quick read about a middle aged woman figuring out the next steps in her life and relationships.
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I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I'm now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 18 books. If you have a buried dream, take it from me, it is NEVER too late!

I've reinvented myself once again by turning Must Lov
“What do I want? What kind of question is that? I want what everybody wants. I want someone who has my back. I want someone's name to put in the space after "in an emergecy please call." I want someone who will drink the other half of the bottle of wine so I don't. And someone to make it worth sitting down at an actual table to eat. I want someone who's dying to get home after a long day because I'm going to be there.” 27 likes
“You just pick someone who has your back and wants the same things as you do, and then you make it work.” 0 likes
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