Archive for April, 2011
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Okay, I am not going to launch into the misery of the housing market right now. What I will say is that competition is fierce for the sales being made. If you want your house to sell, you absolutely must do all you can to prepare your home to show it at its very best.
So what changes should you make to your property before you sell?
And what should you leave alone?
1. Kitchens: This is not the time to do a major kitchen remodel. You will not get your money out of it and it’s too late for you to enjoy the new kitchen. But you can make updates that count and will really appeal to buyers. Paint older wood cabinets that are too old to appeal to buyers looking for contemporary style and too new to appeal to buyers looking for historical properties. 1980′s oak is not vintage and it’s never coming back in style! White cabinets are more popular than ever, so painting your cabinets white is almost a no-brainer. If you have brass colored cabinet hardware or the hardware is cheap looking – replace it. Satin nickel or oil rubbed bronze continue to be the most popular and your choice depends on the rest of the kitchen finishes. Only replace the counter top or sink if they are in bad condition or not a neutral color. Remove wallpaper and paint a fresh, current color on the walls.
2. Bathrooms: Again, this is not the time to do a major remodel.. But you should update outdated bathrooms as much as possible. Attractive, up to date lighting fixtures and hardware are relatively easy upgrades that make a big difference. Again — get rid of brass and replace with satin nickel or oil rubbed bronze. It can also be worth it to replace the vanity and sink with a current style if yours is outdated or is in poor condition. Replacing a builder wall-to-wall plate glass mirror with a beautifully framed mirror is another simple and affordable upgrade that appeals to current buyers. Only re-tile the tub surround if the tile is in poor shape or not neutral in color. Remove wallpaper and paint a fresh color on the walls.
3. Flooring: If your carpeting is not a neutral color or it is worn out or stained you need to replace it – period. Do not even THINK about leaving it and offering a carpet allowance. The very sight of a worn, stained, or colored carpet is a deal breaker for buyers. The only buyer interested in a home with a worn, stained or colored carpet is a professional house flipper. They will scoff at your carpet allowance and offer you a low-ball price so low it will take you a week to get your jaw back up off of your worn, stained or colored carpet.
Kitchen Flooring especially takes a beating. It is often a different flooring than the rest of the house, so replacing it can be affordable and go a long way toward making the kitchen feel new and fresh.
4. Entry: Your front door needs to look wonderful! Remove screen or storm doors from your front door. If your door is a beautiful one that is just in need of paint or stain, then freshen it up that way. But if you have a front door that doesn’t even look pretty painted, it is worth it to install a new front door. Check out this blog I wrote to see before and after photos that show just how big of an improvement a beautiful front door can make.
New Front Door & Exterior Paint Color Selection: Just Two Changes Make a Huge Difference
5. Paint: Remove wallpaper, and paint any room that has beat up looking paint or that is a color which will not have wide appeal to buyers. It does not matter how tasteful – cheerful – cute – beautiful – vintage – _________ (insert your glowing adjective here) you think your wallpaper is. Having wallpaper — ANY wallpaper — will seriously reduce the percentage of buyers that will consider buying your house.
Is the exterior paint on your house in poor shape or a dated color scheme? Tan with forest green trim? Dark brown with tan trim? White with brown trim? Or perhaps a strong color? Bright yellow? Bright blue? Then you need to paint your exterior also. Exterior paint colors can be tricky to select. A a paint color consultation will help you get it right the first time. When I give exterior paint color consultations I take into consideration any stone or brick on the house, your roof color, and the neighbors’ house colors to be sure that yours will look attractive.
For a little help on interior paint colors to select when selling your home check out this blog I wrote.
Tags: Bathroom, color, Design Tips, Flooring, Home Staging, home staging portland, Kitchen, Lighting, paint, portland home staging
Posted in Bathroom, Colors, DIY, Design Dollars, Design Tips, Flooring, Home Staging, Kitchen, Lighting, Mistakes: Avoiding & Fixing, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Great song, isn’t it? If anyone knows how to make changes, it’s David Bowie! Some people just have a knack — other people — not so much.
When it comes to your interior decor, making changes can give you a real lift — or it can be a big disappointment if it doesn’t turn out well. So it’s no wonder that people often hesitate to make desired changes. We hold such hopes that the change we plan will be exactly what we need — and simultaneously worry that we will make a big and costly mistake.
Have you been putting off making changes to your home? Worried it won’t turn out right? Not sure where to start? Can’t do everything you’d like right now so you think you shouldn’t do anything? The strategy you use to implement those changes can make all the difference. Read on for my …
5 Tips For Success in Changing or Updating Your Decor
1. Make a List of ALL the Projects You Plan To Do Now and Eventually
When I start with a new client I ask them to write down this list for me. It keeps me from inadvertently advising them to do something now that will create problems for a future project I didn’t know they were contemplating.
Once you have this list, prioritizing and deciding where to start will be much easier. You may realize there is a project you need to complete before one that you’d like to do right away. But knowing this can save you from having to re-do work or from finding that a project will be more costly because of poor planning. Going over this list with your interior designer or contractor can help you sort out and avoid any potential trouble spots.
2. Enlist the Aid of Your Interior Designer Right From the Beginning of Your Projects
An experienced interior designer will help you plan your projects so they are done right the first time saving you time and money. If you are planning a remodel it should be your interior designer helping you to select your tile – carpet – counters – cabinets – paint and so on, NOT your building or paint contractors. Now before my contractor and house painter friends get all insulted — this doesn’t mean that I don’t think a contractor can have good taste or that a house painter can’t have a great eye for color. But your contractors are not involved with the big picture. They will not also be helping you in the selection of your upholstered pieces, window treatments, art and accessories, so their choices may hem you in when you get to those later parts of your project.
I talk to people all the time who are sorry about choices that were made in the selection of finishes in their remodel or new construction and are now calling in a designer because they can’t find things to go with their tile, carpet, ________ (insert whatever your big mistake was). A few hours of consultation right up front can save lots of grief down the road.
3. Don’t Throw Good Money After Bad
Never continue to work with a mistake. If there is something in your space that was a mistake and you try to “fix” it by using your other decor decisions to make it better, you just end up compounding the error.
You’ll be most tempted to do this when you have two items you love — but that just don’t work together in the same room. Because you love both things, you try to convince yourself that
Sometimes the fix is easy — move that new clashing chair into a different room or reupholster it. But sometimes you have to bite the bullet and make a serious change — like when a counter top clashes badly with the flooring. Making the tough decision and fixing the mistake will keep you from sending more money down the drain with attempts to force clashing elements to work.
4. Know When To Be a Don’t-Try-To-Do-It-Yourselfer
DIY television shows abound. They make everything look so easy, don’t they? Watch enough HGTV and you’ll almost feel guilty that you’re not installing bathtubs — laying hardwood floors — and building custom upholstered furniture from scratch. Sometimes in our zeal to save money, we take on projects that are better left to a professional.
Do you think I’ve never made this kind of mistake? Oh no … I’ve learned many lessons the hard way. I know how to set tile — oh yes, I do! But tiling my own floors with Saltillo paver tiles took me months! A pro could have done in a few days. On top of that it was heavy – dirty – physically grueling work and my back will never be the same.
I’ve done just about every DIY project you can imagine in my life before my Interior Design career. Many projects went well. Some projects turned out beautifully, but cost me way too much in time and energy or unexpected expenses and then some projects just didn’t turn out as well as they could have — which is why I now have a very good grasp of what is better left to a pro. Remember to put a value on your own time and energy and to know your strengths and limitations. Get help when it makes sense.
5. Mock-Up Whenever Possible
Do you have a hard time visualizing how a new element in your decor will look along with everything else? You are not alone! Most people can’t see in their mind how the new chair will look with the old sofa — or how the new counter top will look with the floor tile. It’s hard enough to visualize when you’re only changing one thing — but when you are changing all kinds of things in a room, it’s impossible for most people.
I help my clients by creating various mock-ups of the elements we want to combine so that as closely as possible, they can see how things will look together. I actually have 3D software I can use to give clients a very good picture of what their project will look like when it’s finished. If you don’t have access to 3D software, here are things you can do to help yourself visualize.
- Get samples or pictures of the items you are selecting and put them in the room where you plan to use them so you can see them next to all elements in the room.
- Take photos and samples of all your room elements — fabrics, paint colors, tiles, furniture you already have — with you when you shop. Although you might remember what your 3 year old sofa looks like when you are out looking for accent chairs — it is enormously helpful to be able to have a photo of it right there in the store when you are looking at the chairs under consideration.
- Using photos side by side of furniture and other elements is a tool I use all of the time to help clients visualize. I’ve even used a photo of their room and pasted a picture into it of a new piece of furniture. Anything you can do to give yourself a “picture” of what items will look like together will help you make better choices.
You May Also Like …