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Archive for the ‘Staging Tips’ Category

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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Fluid Movement Against a Brick Wall

I came across this scene in a neighborhood composed mainly of modern architecture and design. I love this sculpture outside the front of the home where it can be enjoyed by passersby. It adds an artistic element to the home’s exterior as well as providing fluid lines and movement amongst the more angular lines of the home.

Bethesda Dancing CoupleDo you have any sculpture outside your home?

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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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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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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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Finding the Unexpected

Photo of the Day
December 15, 2011

Here’s an example of a home with attractive holiday curb appeal. Lighted trees flank the front door, a lit wreath hangs on the chimney, and a lit shrub on the left side balances the trees by the door.

I came home and looked at the photo on my computer’s large screen. I noticed a surprise element in the photo. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.) Can you find it? Does it put a smile on your face?  Happy holidays!

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Bringing Nature to Your Home Brings Beauty and Tranquility


Guest author: Neal Klabunde, owner of Gardening at the Crossroads

Folks selling their home have a lot on their mind. Prices, agents, open houses, etc. In the midst of all this, it’s easy to overlook some simple steps that can improve the curb appeal of your home. Some steps are pretty obvious such as painting or cleaning the exterior of the house, or replacing the front door.

The point of this article, however, is to focus on the landscape improvements that you can make. There are a lot of little things that when added together can give you a healthy return on your investment. The American Nursery and Landscape Association’s research has shown that landscape improvements can increase a home’s value by 7 to 15 percent and that a well-designed landscape can raise the selling price by almost 7 percent.

The best place to start is to look at your house as if you’re visiting it for the first time. Look for problems or issues and note what you saw and why it bothered you. We asked Lisa Ciofani Basham, a Certified Professional Home Stager in NE Ohio, if the impressions formed as a potential buyer walks to the front door for the first time are important. “Absolutely. The walk to the front door is where opinions are formed. Look at your home through the eyes of a buyer and take a critical look at your homes outside as you walk to the front door. It’s that first impression that is so important.”

Look at your lawn first. Is it tired looking and full of weeds? Renovating a lawn is one of the items that you can do and realize a good return on investment. Keep the lawn cut to the proper height for the season and make sure that the sidewalks and driveway are edged.

Look at the shrubs around the foundation. Are they neat and compact or overgrown? Trimming the shrubs and trees is an easy task.

Speaking of trees and shrubs, there is an old proverb that says-“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.” If selling your home is three or more years down the road, planting shrubs and perennials sooner rather than later will help them get settled in and blooming. Have any branches that overhang the roof trimmed back.

Make sure that the landscape beds are weed free and have fresh mulch on them. Fresh mulch will make the plants stand out.

Entryway with Planters and Seating

Containers such as urns, hanging baskets, and large pots can be a versatile way to add spots of color to your home. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively. Hanging baskets will do fine as a planter if you remove the hook. If necessary, place the basket inside another, more decorative, container. You don’t even need to get your hands dirty!

Seasonal annuals add an instant pop of color. Pansies in the spring, petunias and zinnias in the summer, or asters and mums in the fall give the house a lived in, cared for appearance. Add a wreath with seasonal flowers or colors to the front door for a special touch.

Adding landscape lights are another inexpensive way to spruce-up the exterior of the house. These are fairly inexpensive and easy for the home owner to install, especially if you get the solar variety.

Window boxes add views from both outside and inside.

Another landscaping design issue that is often overlooked is how the landscape vistas are framed in the major windows of the house. Home owners spend a lot of time looking at the outside from the inside. Think of your windows as a canvas and plant a lovely view.

All things considered, a well maintained landscape shows the potential buyer that the house is well cared for; more than an overgrown, unkempt one. You don’t want to overdo it, though. Stay main-stream in your landscape choices. While you may enjoy a large rose garden, a dozen or so roses or a water feature might scream “high maintenance” to a potential buyer.

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Neal Klabunde and his wife Catherine live in North Eastern Ohio and are avid gardeners. They are the owners of Gardening at the Crossroads, a gardening website that covers all aspects of gardening and is geared towards gardeners of all skill levels.

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All photos ©Kate Walsh/designhouse9.com

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