Nature Inspired Decor

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In the spirit of EARTH DAY, let's talk about bringing the outside in!

Whether you're planning a move or planning not to move for a long time, natural elements are always smart decor.

When staging a home for sale, I always incorporate some nature-themed items into the plan. Decorators often do as well.

Natural elements help transition indoor spaces to the outdoors. This idea has increased the importance of our outdoor spaces - making them a true extension of the home. In model homes, a true blending of spaces is incorporated. This concept lends to a better flow of the floor plan and seems to almost increase a home's square footage. If it works in model homes - it will certainly enhance your space!

Have YOU gone GREEN in your decor?? Share your ideas!

The NEW Neutrals of Paint Colors

Friday, April 16, 2010

The New Neutrals of Paint Colors:

Paint is THE most cost-effective investment you can make! The new neutrals add warmth and definition to a space. It can define a focal point such as a fireplace or view.
It can make your home stand out from the rest in your neighborhood.
These new neutrals are derived from colors in nature – think sand, mushroom, wheat!
Tans, honeys, and sages sell!

Highlight any architectural details like crown molding or wood trim in a contrast color – like glossy white. It will really stand out.
For those who have ever been to a model home – you’ll note you’d be hard pressed to find white walls. White walls are cold and uninviting. Color affects our moods, our appetite, our working efficiency and our very health.
Paint can contribute to the high-end look today’s buyer prefers. First, begin by inspecting current conditions of the walls and trim and ceiling and fix anything that needs repairing before painting. Then get started!

Let’s talk about Wallpaper. Wallpaper is like a bathing suit – it rarely fits 2 people! Wallpaper is too personal and will not appeal to the taste of your buyer. Add value by removing that wall paper and painting! Buyers may be more willing to re-paint a room, but they do not want to have to remove your wallpaper.

So be a weekend warrior - grab your gear and start painting! No other home improvement project provides such instant results :-) !!

Share your favorite neutrals and where you've used them in your own home!!

Does YOUR home have Curb Appeal ?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Here in Reston, VA, Spring has literally sprung. Everything is alive and fresh and green with sprinkles of color!

Your home’s first impressions begin even before the front door. Your home must have appeal from the street. If it doesn’t appear welcoming on the outside, buyers will either keep on driving or form negative opinions before they come in the front door.

It can be very difficult to look at your own house objectively and with fresh eyes. If this is the case, enlist the help of a very honest friend. I think we all know 1 brutally honest person!

Stand across the street, then look at the property from each corner – is the landscaping overgrown? “If you can’t see it, you can’t sell it!” Add color to beds and plants of varying heights. Add fresh mulch or ground cover. Remove any dead plants and cut back all shrubs to window height. Clean all debris and moss from roofs and gutters.

Look at the condition of the lawn. Does the mailbox need replacing? What about the shutters and the window screens? And just how welcoming is your welcome mat? Does it say “Go Away” or “Attack Cat on Duty”? Then you might consider replacing that.
When choosing a door mat – the wider the better. This gives the impression of a wider entry way.

Perhaps the front door could use a fresh coat of paint, how about the trim – remember to check with your HOA for approved colors. Repainting the doors and trim help to make the house look crisp and in good condition and it’s one of the least expensive things you can do to dress up a home.

If you have a garage or driveway – be sure they look well maintained as well.

Garages and carports need to be swept out and organized. If it is necessary to use part of the garage or the entire garage for storage – just keep it neat. Children’s toys, firewood, etc should be stored in the back of the home.

Hopefully you've gotten some ideas for YOUR appeal!!!

Want my FREE report on "Preparing your home for sale"?? Send me a message!

Have a wonderful Spring.

Selling your Reston home? Upgrades that get the BEST ROI!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Buyers look for and appreciate updated kitchens and baths not only here in Northern VA; but pretty much everywhere. These are the remodels you stand to gain the largest payback on! Spend your money on the rooms that have running water as a general rule.

A buyer is likely to subtract literally hundreds of dollars if they see a dated bathroom vanity with 70’s faux marble top and chipped sink. A small, new furniture-style one piece vanity popular with buyers can be purchased at any home improvement store for about $100.00. Such an update provides value.

For bathrooms, inspect all tile, grout and hardware. Clean or repair grout. Use vinegar to remove soap residue from shower heads and shower doors. Look at the floor ~ peel and stick vinyl tiles in a faux stone look can be a very cost effective update.

Brushed nickel is still the finish of choice – just updating simple knobs and towel bars can give a bath a fresh look. Go with a spa-like motif and invest in neutral towels, shower curtains and accessories ~ you can always take them to your new home. Keep bath products to an absolute minimum. Clutter undermines all your hard work!

Everyone knows a kitchen can sell a house! While it’s true that stainless appliances and solid surface counters such as granite are the #1 choice of buyers, your budget may not permit. Laminate countertops with a solid surface look can give an updated feel. See what tips Home Improvement Magazine has at!

If you can’t replace appliances; ensure they are squeaky clean and in proper working order. Wash cabinets to remove any grease build up and consider replacing hardware. Backsplashes and under cabinet lighting add additional value to a kitchen. Tile backsplashes are inexpensive and can be installed by any do-it-yourselfer.
Remove “stuff” from counters, above cabinets and top of fridge – it shouts “Hey, this kitchen has no storage!”.

Remember, glass front cabinets and hutches are for display – not storage. Use them accordingly. Take all magnets, artwork off the fridge.
Lastly – look at the flooring. If solid surface replacements are beyond your budget, remember those vinyl tiles. is also a good reference.

Have YOU received a big bang for your upgrade $$?? Let me know about it.

Best of luck preparing your Reston home for sale!