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Archive for the ‘Home Improvements’ Category

It seems many people are thinking of remodeling or adding on to their homes rather than moving given the real estate market we’ve had these past several years. If you’re one of these homeowners, here’s information on the Top 10 Remodeling Don’ts. A remodeling project is very often stressful. These tips may help reduce your stress levels and keep you on budget!
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And if remodeling simply won’t meet your needs, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Considering downsizing? Call us. We’d love to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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The home office. It’s become quite commonplace in homes today. Here’s some inspiration.

A home office in San Francisco

Chalkboard wall on one side and library design wallpaper on another in Vancouver

This one is about the view, and the bookcases.

A bright and airy upper level office in San Francisco

Under the stairs in Toronto

Thoroughly modern in Miami

Creative use of a dish drainer!

Another sunny spot, with room for family or friends to sit and read or listen to music or be creative

Luxury, man-cave version of an office space

Blue velvet and silver silk bring glamour to a woman’s home office

An accessible main floor office in Atlanta

A variety of textures and colors create a sophisticated home office in San Francisco

A closet home office can be closed off when not in use

Room for two in Portland, and both have a view

A pretty desk area off the kitchen in San Francisco

Traditional detailing and a stylish color palette create an inviting space in Minneapolis

An office with a Murphy Bed doubles as a guest room

Light and dark decor and glass shelving

“Homey” home office in Atlanta

An office in a bedroom closet in Minneapolis

Now that’s a view! In Boston

Incorporating the office into the living room with a mix of glamour and modern decor

Eclectic elements come together in style in this home office in Chicago

Elegant gold accents in this home office in Orange County

Floating desk and shelves in a condo home office

Eclectic elements in an interior designer’s home office in San Francisco

ASID-MN first place award winning office, craft and laundry room.

Fun with red and white in Chicago

Snazzy in Seattle

Utilizing pull-out shelves to hide equipment

Minimalist design with an artistic touch in Hong Kong

As you can see, the possibilities for a home office are endless! There are so many styles to love. What style will you create in your home?

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If I had a choice between having a porch or a deck, then a porch would win any day of the week. I’m devoted to screen porches in particular. There’s nothing like having a shaded or sunny spot with no bugs and a breeze. And if it’s raining, you can still enjoy a screened porch despite the weather(provided the rain is coming down rather straight and your porch is large enough to allow you a sitting spot away from the screens).

I spend time on decks but they can get too hot in the middle of the day. The mosquitoes can eat at you in the evening, or even dusk. Forget being out there when it rains, unless you want to be wet.

Here, then, some images showing a variety of porches. Summer is on it’s way after all.

A traditional porch in Boston

Note the blue ceiling on this porch

This one has a rustic feel with its wood furnishings

A conservatory style porch in London

Another conservatory, this one in Philadelphia

A sweet porch in Charleston

An octagonal porch in Chicago

A porch with motorized Phantom screens and a fireplace

A small cottage in Los Angeles with a sweet and inviting front porch

A porch decorated with colors and plants

A wraparound porch in Portland, Maine

This porch feels very open and airy with its high ceilings

I had to include this one because I know exactly which house this is. I’ve been inside this house and this porch! The views are lovely.

 

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I love hardwood floor in a kitchen. I know some people get concerned about ruining them due to all the cooking that takes place here. There’s really not a need to worry though. Hardwood flooring is durable with some care. Mostly we swept our floors. It’s a low-tech, quiet way to care for them. Wood is  also warmer both visually and underfoot than tile and concrete. Wood offers natural beauty and an organic nature that has timeless appeal. It adds so much to a kitchen.

Have you been on the fence about putting wood flooring in your kitchen? Does this help you make up your mind?

The homes I grew up in had wood floors in the kitchens. We had three dogs and numerous children in our house. My parents still prefer wood floors in their kitchen.

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Painting the front door of your home a different color than the rest of your home makes a statement and draws attention to your entry. Here’s a Cape Cod style home in Minnetonka.

I’ve tweaked the front door with Photoshop to show the difference with a door painted another color. An actual paint job would retain the depth of the panels on the door. See how the eye is drawn to the front door?

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Looking to transform a room with color? Ready to get moving with rollers and brushes? Now’s a good time to get paint at a discount! And you don’t have to paint right now to get the discount. Paint next week or the following week. You get the picture.

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Parade of Homes (New Homes)
September 8-30

Remodelers Showcase
September 28-30

Homes open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6pm

There are very few new homes on the Parade this year compared with other years. There are far more remodels. This is not surprising given the real estate marketplace of late.

We’re featuring these two St. Paul remodels because we recently had clients close on their new home in St. Paul and they plan to do some remodeling. They are seeking to make the new space blend and match the original period of the house. This is always a good way to approach a remodel and addition; big differences in the feel of spaces will hurt sellers when it comes time to sell.

839 Osceola Avenue, St. Paul

Here is a description of this project from the Parade of Homes website: “This kitchen and bath remodel in a historically significant house in Saint Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood illustrates how to remodel the heart of a house without losing its soul. Next Level Renovation, with designer David Heide, replaced the 1980’s kitchen in this 1890 residence with a space that features period sensibilities and the latest amenities. The original house was designed by Cass Gilbert, the turn-of-the-twentieth-century architect, notable for his classic homes and other buildings, including the State Capitol in Saint Paul.”

683 Portland Avenue, St. Paul

From the description on the Parade of Homes website: “Come and see how the convenience of a modern kitchen blends seamlessly with a stately home in the historic Summit Avenue neighborhood of St. Paul. The three-story addition also provides an art studio, main-floor laundry/mud room, and a cozy wine cellar with tasting room. In collaboration with architect David Herreid, McDonald Remodeling proves again that you can have it all: character, style, and convenience in your existing home!”

Contact us for more information if you are considering a remodel or an addition and would like to discuss keeping your home and design as salable as possible. Visiting the Remodelers Showcase homes is a good way to meet remodelers and see their work in person.

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Kate and Ellen Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

This week’s photo challenge is to depict something wrong. As in, there’s something wrong here. Here is a photo of a house I came across while out and about one day. It’s a stately home that has seen better days. I’ve been by it before, a few years ago, and it doesn’t appear to be getting much maintenance on the outside. This area definitely needs repair: this is serious wood rot.

Here’s another photo showing more of the front exterior and the way these pillars hold up the roof of the front porch and the third floor space. What keeps these homeowners from repairing their home? Is it financial issues? Is it lack of interest? Do they feel overwhelmed with the rest of their lives? I hope they can have it fixed before it comes crashing down.

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Wall Organizer by Vuur Design

Clear your kitchen table of clutter and keep it on the wall. Use this multipurpose wall organizer to temporarily unload your life. It hangs jackets, scarves, bags, and hats as well as holds gloves, wallets, cell phones, mail, books, CD’s, and even spare change. The slim design is perfect behind doors and in tight spaces, and the unit is seamless and elegant. The video below shows how it works:
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These wall organizers are available in black or white. They’re constructed of steel and coated with a durable powder coat finish that is made to last. And it’s made here in the Midwest by a local company.

Like it? The cost is $55 plus shipping. It’s available directly through Vuur Design.

Dimensions (per company): 2′ long by 3″ wide by 4′.5″ high

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Five Short and Informative Articles
on Keeping Cool

It‘s been hot this past week. I‘ve comfortably dined outdoors at lunch this week; I enjoyed the comfort of shade while sitting under a tree. Trees are nature‘s way of providing relief from the heat. Here are articles on trees, keeping cool, saving energy, gardening, and apps.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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There are plenty of good tips in this article from The Associated Press. If you want tips specific to your home and getting it ready for selling, give us a call. Our background in antiques and interior design has paid off for our sellers with faster than average sale times.

Low-Cost Things
Homeowners Can Do to Spruce Up Property

When times are tough, women who can’t afford a new dress often purchase a new accessory or lipstick to recharge their wardrobes. Known as the “lipstick effect,” the tendency applies to homeowners too.

Barry Culkin, CEO of Questech Corp., a tile manufacturer in Rutland, Vt., noticed sales of his $5 cast stone and marble switch plate covers rose whenever the economy faltered. Last year, sales of their covers at major retailers were up 15 to 20 percent.

As homeowners rein in spending, more opt for small indulgences and postpone major renovations. Whether the goal is a new look for a worn kitchen or simply an injection of color in a room, here’s a list of some of the best ways to give a space a quick uplift. Many cost much less than a designer lipstick and a few don’t require any financial outlay.

“I am seeing quite a bit of Yankee ingenuity in my customers. They are getting pretty smart about using and repurposing items to add some zip to their living spaces,” says Shirley Walsh, owner of Kalembar Dune, a vintage home decor shop in Boston.

Simply moving furniture and accessories around and borrowing from other areas of the home can give a room a whole new look. If you want to splurge, consider hiring a designer who specializes in redesign.

The instant gratification of having it all accomplished in a day is hard to resist but “it’s also low stress because it uses familiar furnishings,” observes Pam Faulkner, owner of Faulkner House Redesign in Oak Hill, Va. The cost to have Faulkner make over a room ranges from $400 and $700 depending on the space.

A little elbow grease also can go a long way. Sparkling windows bring in light and make the entire house shine. Often, all carpets and rugs need is a thorough cleaning and they will feel almost new. The same holds true for wood floors and trim.

Nothing is a better quick-change artist than paint. But you don’t have to go all out. Rather than entire room, paint an accent wall, trim or piece of furniture. “Never underestimate the power of paint and pillows, always the best lipstick for your home in any shade,” advises Marcia Richards, a Phoenix, Ariz., interior designer.

Give a living room or bedroom a facelift by shifting the color scheme. Pillows add instant color, but to complete the look, mix in color keyed accessories, such as a throw and new lamp or lampshade. If your budget allows, go a step further and add a rug and/or slipcovers.

Orders for fabric by the yard are up, says David Petersen owner of Maine Cottage Furniture in Yarmouth, Maine. He notes that more consumers are re-covering rather than replacing worn furnishings.

Small luxuries can have a big impact on our moods and our homes. Flowers and new plants inject new life and color to any space. Try replacing regular light bulbs with full spectrum bulbs which are more like sunlight.

Sometimes all it takes to spark up an entire room is a unique accessory or piece of individual art.

New hardware is traditionally a quick fix for dated kitchen cabinets. But elsewhere, exchanging old doorknobs for polished bronze or nickel can give an entire house an up-to-date look. Using levered handles also increases a home’s universal design quotient.

And maybe you can’t afford to change the tub or the tiles, but a dated bath can get a quick uplift simply by altering a few elements. Instead of remodeling, Michelle Samuels spent about $150 to give a bath in her Mill Valley, Calif., home an update. She replaced her antique gold towel racks and faucets with updated brushed silver versions. She painted the frame around the mirror a soft silver with craft paint and completed the effect with new door handles.

Removing old fluorescent lights and replacing them with pendants or a more contemporary fixture also has a big impact.

Don’t wait until you can renovate to give your kitchen a new look. Sometimes changing only one facet can refocus the entire space. New hardware and light fixtures are quick and inexpensive. Don’t forget refacing or painting cabinets if new is beyond your budget. If the countertops are in good shape, consider tiling the backsplash. Reorganize cabinets so the space works better. Add new accessories or update countertop appliances so they coordinate.

Increasing curb appeal is traditional advice for anyone selling their home. But nothing is more akin to applying lipstick than revamping the entry. Replace a worn front door if the budget permits. Otherwise give the old door a new look with paint. Seasonal plants, new house numbers, a new doormat and trimmed walkway will make you feel like you are coming to a new house.

Shop thrift and consignment stores for some unique finds; then polish and paint. Also think about creating your own artwork in colors that will make a room pop. You will save a bundle and possibly discover an inner artist you didn’t know existed.

© 2010 Camilla McLaughlin, Associated Press

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Ellen Walsh | 612.220.3304 | emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh | 612.220.3309 | info@designhouse9.com

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Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.
April 28–29, 2012

This weekend offers an opportunity to take a FREE, self-guided tour of 60 Twin Cities remodeled and/or reinvented homes. See homes projects that were both “on-a-budget” and “blow out”. You can tour examples of remodeled kitchens and baths, room additions, and whole house renovations.

These projects are unique in that they cover a wide range of housing eras. The home tour is also unique in that homeowners, contractors and/or architects are available to discuss the projects with visitors. This is a wonderful way to learn about remodeling, meet contractors and architects, and discover different neighborhoods.

This is the twenty-fifth year of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour. It all began when some Minneapolis real estate agents and city officials were concerned about suburban flight. They took it upon themselves to promote city living and the home tour was born.

Homes will be open to visitors:

  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul Home Tour Preview – a video showcasing information and home tour highlights.

Minneapolis Home Tour Map

Saint Paul Home Tour Map

msphometour.com – the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour website.

Visit HistoricSaintPaul.org for information on: “Historic Homes for Everyday Families” workshop, why preservationists will enjoy the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour, walking tours of “Storybook” houses with architect Bob Roscoe, and more.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Call Kate and Ellen Walsh and we’ll help you make all the right moves.

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Home and Garden Show

February 29-March 4, 2012
Minneapolis Convention Center

$2 Off Discounted Tickets to the Home and Garden Show

The Home and Garden Show is taking place at month’s end. This is an opportunity to get lots of ideas and advice on these two topics. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the Minneapolis Convention Center. Show highlights include:

Innovation Avenue

Green Scene

The Ultimate Backyard Lounge

Glorious Feature Gardens

The Idea Home

The Chandelier Fashion Show

Taste on Third Avenue

Shop the Marketplace

The Annual Plant Sale (5pm on Sunday)


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What show would be complete without celebrity guests? Here’s a partial list of celebrities at the show this year:

Chip Wade of HGTV’s Curb Appeal, The Block and Designed to Sell

Mark Brunetz of Style Network’s Clean House

Pat Simpson, nationally recognized home building and remodeling expert

Marjorie Johnson, a national star in the world of baking (and a Twin Cities native)

HOURS:

Wednesday Noon – 9pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 9am – 9pm
Sunday 9am – 6pm

ADMISSION COSTS:

$13.00 adults;
$4 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

Maps – Minneapolis Convention Center

More information on Gardens

Here’s a link to Entertaining–Green/Eco Tips–Recipes | Tips Trends and Tools for those who can’t make the show in person.

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Home and Patio Show

February 16-19, 2012
St. Paul River Centre

$2 Off Coupon for the Home and Patio Show

If you’re planning to make some changes to your home or gardens this year, here’s an opportunity to get ideas and “how to” information. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the three levels of the River Centre. Home improvement seminars will be presented by the Home Depot Pros. Topics include:

Do-It-Yourself Tile Installation: Ceramic, Porcelain and Stone

Do-It-Yourself Installing Pre-Finished Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

Do-It-Yourself Light Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Landscape Lighting

Do-It-Yourself Toilet Installation and Repairs

Painting Tips and Techniques


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Looking to spruce up the landscape and garden? The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is sponsoring the garden seminars. Topics include:

Container Gardening for the Balcony, Deck or Patio

Small Space Vegetable Gardening – Jennifer Porwit, Master Gardener

2011: Oh, What a Year! – Bobby Jensen, KARE 11 and The Lawn Ranger

Ornamental Grasses Susan Oven, Master Gardener

Crafting Cool & Creative Containers – Don Engebretson, The Renegade Gardener

Organic Gardening – Mark Armstead, Linder’s Garden Center and Greenhouse

Master Gardeners will be available on Saturday and Sunday to answer questions. Looking for bulbs? Check out the bulb sale each day.

HOURS:

Thursday Noon – 9 P.M.
Friday Noon – 9 P.M.
Saturday 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Sunday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.

ADMISSION COSTS:

$9.00 adults;
$2.50 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minnesota Home and Patio Show

Directions to the River Centre

The Renegade Gardener

LessLawn.com

More information on Gardens

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Pillows That Double as Art

The other day I wrote a post about getting inspired and adding color to your home. One way to do this is to add colorful pillows. Here are some that are not only colorful, but artistic.

Some of these pillows can be found at Three Rooms at the Galleria in Edina, Minnesota. Here’s information on the shop Three Rooms:

“A gallery devoted to the ingenuity of American artists and craftsmen, Three Rooms, with its 38-year history, is an art institution in the Twin Cities where you’ll find fine art, unique lighting, furniture, decorative accessories and hand-crafted jewelry.”

Three Rooms is one of my favorite shops in the Twin Cities. It appeals to the artist in me. Here is a link to the hours and directions to Galleria.

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Add a Bit of Color

It’s been beautifully foggy for a few days this week. No sunshine though. I miss the sun. This photo reminds me of sunny, colorful days.

If your home is beginning to feel a bit dull and uninspired, try adding color. It can be as simple as pillows, artwork, a rug, towels, or the like. Use your imagination. Find something you love. Sometimes small changes make a big difference.

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Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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