A Front Door, Flooring and Other ‘Happy’ Home Upgrades

It’s no secret that an improvement or remodeled room can make being at home that much better. (Who doesn’t want more counter space?) The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently identified the projects with a “Joy Score” of 10—the highest happiness level for homeowners. Amp the feel-good factor up with these upgrades: 

Source: Suzanne de Vita, “A Front Door, Flooring and Other ‘Happy’ Home Upgrades,” October 12, 2017, RISMedia

Do-It-Yourself Fall Decor for the Decidedly Uncrafty

Are you feeling less than competent in the arts and crafts department? This can be especially difficult in the fall, the season that tends to kick off the DIY bonanza. The great news is, homemade décor projects have gotten a lot more creative and a lot simpler, making crafting accessible to even the less skilled among us. Here are some simple ideas with stunning results. Not only do you get a lovely little objet d’art for your home, but the made-it-myself bragging rights to boot.

  • Glam gourds. Sure, a well-placed pumpkin or two is always a nice touch this time of year, but paint them gold and you’ve suddenly got a magical design statement. For smaller gourds, use a paintbrush and some gold leaf paint; for the larger variety, get out a drop cloth and the spray paint.
  • Fall topiaries. Nope, you don’t need to be Edward Scissorhands. Just grab an inexpensive clay pot or basket and fill it with florist’s foam. Then snip a few branches from a colorful fall tree or berry bush and arrange them in the foam. Keep the foam slightly damp, and your fall topiary will live indoors for several days.
  • Chalkboard welcome. This great idea from Country Living involves taking a decorative tray (the kind with handles) and painting the center of it with chalkboard paint. Write a pleasant welcome message for guests on it—or leave a space for guests to write their own note—then decorate the handles and edge with fall leaves or berry vines. Hang it vertically on your front door for a creative alternative to a wreath.
  • Harvest votives. This quick idea from Martha Stewart involves taking a piece of dried corn husk—the kind from Indian corn is most colorful—and wrapping it around a small glass votive by tying it with a small piece of twine. Once the candle is lit within, the effect of the translucent husk is simply lovely.
  • Pumpkin pie potpourri. Another ridiculously easy but brilliant idea from Martha Stewart, this craft involves taking a smallish pumpkin, cutting the top off to form a lid and thoroughly cleaning out the inside. From there, carve round vents into the lid and base of the pumpkin with an apple corer. Next, push cloves into the lid and rub it with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices. Light a tea candle, place the lid back on the pumpkin and enjoy the smell of pumpkin pie spice for about six hours.

Aside from lovely crafts you’ll produce, the best part of these projects is the opportunity they provide to immerse yourself in the season. Grab your kids, your bestie, or even mom and dad and craft away together for even more fun.

If you’d like more information about homeownership, please contact the Petersen Partners team at info@petersenpartners.com or read more about our #1 team at www.PetersenPartners.com

Sherwin Williams’ Pick for 2018’s Hottest Color

Oceanside_Sherwin3A rich blue with jewel-toned greens is forecasted to be 2018’s hottest color of the year, according to Sherwin Williams, which unveiled its 2018 Color of the Year choice this week. Other paint companies will be announcing their paint choices over the next few weeks.

Oceanside SW 6496 is a statement color. It can add a bold, attention-getting pop to wall colors, furnishings,  accessories, and even a home’s front door.

“Green-blues in deep values, such as Oceanside, respond to changes in light, which is a quality that creates intense dimension,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “It is a tremendously versatile color, and harmonizes with other diverse color groups.”

Oceanside is reminiscent of a marine-inspired look. But Sherwin Williams says the color can be woven into practically any design style, from mid-century modern to Mediterranean, traditional, or contemporary. Sherwin Williams says the color is versatile enough to be paired with any number of other colors, from hot pinks, yellows to navy or sky blues.

For 2017, Sherwin Williams had selected Poised Taupe (SW 6039) as the hot color. The company has been pushing the brownish-gray hue into more color schemes this year. Sherwin Williams had predicted taupe to become the next “it” color base for many homes today, edging out the popularity of gray.

But for 2018, Sherwin Williams is returning to a bolder shade for its hot-pick.

“People today have a growing sense of adventure, and it is making its way into even the coziest corners of our homes,” Wadden says. “We are craving things that remind us of bright folklore, like mermaids and expeditions across continents. Oceanside is the color of wanderlust right in our own homes.”

Oceanside_Sherwin2

Photo credit: Sherwin Williams

Source:  Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine’s Staged Styled & Sold, October 5, 2017.

Home Renovation for (Less Than) the Cost of an iPhone 8

With every new iPhone release, we discover new ways we can’t live without our devices. The iPhone 8 is waterproof, rustproof, and has the most durable glass yet. It has enhanced stereo speakers, wireless charging, a stellar camera and more. However, it comes at a hefty price: $699-$949.

You may see that price tag and think, “There is so much I could do with $1,000!”—and you’re right. With $1,000, you could buy a thousand donuts, fly to Europe and back, or even take a couple of cruises—or, you could tackle a home renovation, which will add value and character to your home. You may be surprised by the scope of projects you can pursue with a $1,000 budget. Here are a few to get you inspired.

Swap out your old front door.
The front door is a signature part of your home’s first impression. If you’re selling your property, a brand-new door in a flattering color can help draw buyers. If you’re renovating for yourself, you can choose a door that speaks to your personality and makes your house feel fresh.

Front Door Installation: $900

Give your bathroom an upgrade.
With this budget, you can have both your toilet and your sink replaced professionally. These two elements can instantly change the way your bathroom looks and feels. Seriously: Each installation takes less than two hours! If you’ve always wanted a porcelain vessel sink, consider treating yourself now.

Sink Installation: $400
Toilet Installation: $400

Get the kitchen island you’ve been dreaming of.
Didn’t realize you could have kitchen island for less than $1k? Now that you know, it’s time to get to planning! These fixtures afford so many conveniences. You can chop and prepare foods, create an eating area, or use their drawers and cabinets for storage. You can get a medium moveable island with cabinets and a butcher block top for $225-$550. Built-in ones typically range in price from $500-$2,000.

Kitchen Island Installation: $130-$2,000

Ditch that rickety garage door.
An old garage door can make you feel less secure and bring down your curb appeal. With a new one, you can change up the color and style, and consider useful features like insulation. Some homeowners brave this as a DIY renovation, but that approach is not recommended. These doors are heavy, and if the electrical system is compromised during the installation, you could be looking at a big headache.

Garage Door Installation: $1,000

Try your hand at a DIY project.
You can make some excellent additions to your property all on your own, with a little bit of handy work. Follow a step-by-step guide or buy a ready-made unit to guarantee correct installation, and you’ll be flying through the renovation like a pro. Here are a few which will come in under $1,000.

Add cabinets to your laundry room. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Even one or two cabinets can make a huge difference, allowing you store laundry items out of sight and keep the room more manageable. Basic cabinets run about $150-$200 each.

Treat yourself to built-in bookshelves. It sounds more complicated than it has to be. You can actually purchase pre-made shelving units and install them yourself for $200-$500. Gather all of those books and knick-knacks from cluttered surfaces and integrate them into one cohesive, organized space.

Spruce up your outdoor space with a bistro patio. This is a big project, but it will be well worth it to have an outdoor gathering space for those good weather days. These patios are typically seven feet by seven feet, which is a perfect size for the DIY-inclined. Outfit it with a few chairs and a firepit, for casual nights under the stars. Materials cost anywhere from $400-$900.

There are many possibilities with a budget the size of an iPhone 8 price tag. Each of them has the potential to add value to your house, by upping the curb appeal and creating useful amenities. If you have $1,000 to put toward a home renovation, you can make it go a long way with any of these high-impact projects.

 

Source: RISMEDIA, Friday, October 06, 2017. This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Effect: Home Staging Tips to Spark Love at First Sight

Photo provided by Phil Karp

 

It’s no secret that a properly staged home can sell faster than an empty one. But how far do you need to go to inspire the “chocolate chip cookie effect,” where a buyer walks in the front door and immediately feels right at home? Sellers often look to their agent for home staging advice, which can be based on initial impressions and feedback from early showings.

Here are five tips for effectively staging a home before the next potential buyer walks in the door.

1. Create a Welcoming Entry Way

When it comes to selling a home, the importance of curb appeal can’t be stressed enough. Buyers need to fall in love at first sight — which happens around the time they pull up to the front of a property. For sellers who need to spruce up their yard, recommend inexpensive outdoor projects like a garage door replacement or an exterior power wash.

2. Enlist All Five Senses

Rather than focusing solely on how a home looks, give buyers a multisensory experience. Smells like fresh-baked cookies or scented candles can help create a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere. Calming music can also help to set the proper mood for open-house tours.

3. Encourage Decluttering

When a buyer walks into a home, they need to believe in the possibility that this house could belong to them. Seeing personal articles like photographs, kids’ artwork, or pet toys can detract from the appearance of a home that’s ready for move-in. Any loose papers and other stray items should be removed from countertops and tables to avoid distraction.

4. Turn on the Lights

To avoid a dark and dingy look, be sure to maximize the use of available lighting. Open curtains for natural light and turn on overhead lights in every room. If further accent light is needed, consider bringing LED candles or portable lights to showings.

5. Keep It Natural (and Neutral)

Neutral colors are still a favorite of house hunters looking to add their own style to a home’s decor. If you decide to add accessories for staging purposes, go for neutral accents such as throw rugs, shower curtains and towels or linens. If sellers are willing, replace window treatments or repaint rooms with dated color schemes. Natural touches like flowers and plants can also add a breath of fresh air to a home.

Home staging can range from simple decorative touches to repainting rooms or removing furniture. As buyers move through the house, they should have a clean, consistent experience designed to show off the home’s best features and make them want to move in immediately. 

 

Source: “The Chocolate Chip Cookie Effect: Home Staging Tips to Spark Love at First Sight,” By Phil Karp, posted on Styled, Staged & Sold