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Archive for the 'STAGING/DECORATING' Category

Spring Cleaning

Spring has arrived…now it’s time for the famous Spring Cleaning! Here are some preventative maintenance tips from HGTV to help you get going. Keeping your home in shape will save you the cost of emergency repairs later.

OUTDOOR MAINTENANCE

Divert Water: Check your gutters for build up of leaves, especially if trees hang over your roof. Trapped moisture can lead to moss and mildew and could cause damage to your roof and walls. While you’re checking the gutters, make sure the downspout points 2 to 2.5 feet away from walls.spring clean outside

Check the Roof: Make sure you’re diligent about roof maintenance. Inspect your ceiling for wet spots after the next rainy day. Ask a licensed pro to check out the roof for wear and tear. If shingles are buckling or curling, then it might be time to replace the roof.

Check Your Paint Job: Look for chips or cracks in the paint on the outside of your home. Scrape off falling paint and then sand it down so there’s no rough edges. Power wash the house to brighten it up.

Cut Trees and Shrubs: Overgrown hedges and trees should be trimmed. Leaving them to grow uncontrollably could cause the growth of mildew. Make sure branches are at least 7 feet away from the exterior of the house, helping maintain your roof and siding. Clean up out of control vines because they can crack siding and let moisture and pests into your home.

Love the Lawn: Rake up leaves, pull weeds or dead flowers. Replace the flowers with low-maintenance flowers like begonias or pansies.

 

INDOOR MAINTENANCE

Fresh Air:Give your A/C unit a little attention. An efficient A/C unit removes moisture from the air in your home, which could cause damage to the foundation if there’s too much. Make sure you change filters monthly. To save money on your energy bill, get rid of dust and dirt (it will save you money on your energy bill). Check the connections for leaks. Makre sure the drain pans are draining properly. If you feel there might be a problem, call a licensed A/C technician.

Windows and Doors: Check all spring cleanwindows and doors for leaks or drafts, especially near corners. Peeling and chipping paint can indicate water intrusion, so look out for that. Seal open areas between the wall and the frame to keep water out. Neglecting these things could lead to hazards like mold growth.

Pest Control: Keep garbage and debris under control on the outside of the home. On the inside, check for gaps and openings where mice and insects could get in. Seal cracks. Use a liner if you’re mulching your lawn.

Plumbing: Check for sweaty pipes, leaky faucets, faulty water drainage systems and clogged drains. Check the washing machine hoses for cracks, dampness or bulges. Look under the kitchen sink for leaks and check the outside of the dishwasher for wetness. Also make sure to check the water heater for corrosion or leaks.

Tiles: Check your tiles for missing grout between the tiles in the bathroom or kitchen. A small crack now can lead to an expensive repair later on. Re-seal soon if need be. Get in the habit of wiping down shower walls and the tub after each use. It will help eliminate scum and soap build up.

Doing these small repairs now will not only make your home feel clean and safe, but it could also help prevent expensive repairs down the road. So go ahead and enjoy your Spring Cleaning.

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SELLING AN EMPTY HOUSE REQUIRES CREATIVITY

 

IT’S HARD FOR BUYERS TO ENVISION LIVING IN A HOUSE …IF WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING AT IS ONE EMPTY ROOM AFTER ANOTHER.

stagingI HAVE TO LAUGH WHEN REALTORS POINT OUT :  “THIS IS THE KITCHEN”… “HERE IS THE MASTER BATH”.  YOU MUST BE KIDDING!  THOSE ARE TWO ROOMS THAT ANYONE CAN RECOGNIZE (UNLESS OF COURSE THE HOUSE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!).  ALMOST AS BAD IS THE ALL-TOO-FREQUENT COMMENT ‘THIS IS A BONUS ROOM’.  BUYERS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A BONUS ROOM!

IF YOU ARE SELLING AN EMPTY HOUSE,  YOU NEED TO MAKE IT MEMORABLE.  HERE ARE SOME QUICK AND SIMPLE WAYS TO DO THAT: Read the rest of this entry »

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Buying a House? Look Beyond the Staging!

 

As home owners increasingly rely on Home Staging and Decorating to sell their property, buyers need to know how to look beyond the “wow factor”.  It’s easy to get swooped up in the decor and showmanship, and miss  flaws or defects.

stagedAs you preview any potential property, look beyond the decor and the furnishings.   Take a look at ceiling height,  doors, windows… and traffic flow in an out of room.  Think about  Read the rest of this entry »

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WILL A BUYER REMEMBER YOUR HOUSE? FIVE WAYS TO MAKE SURE THEY DO!

 remember this house

I OFTEN HEAR REALTORS SAY:  “RE-PAINT THE HOUSE TO MAKE IT MORE  “NEUTRAL” and  MORE APPEALING TO BUYERS.” 

THERE’S A CERTAIN DEGREE OF VALIDITY TO THAT ” BLANK CANVAS”  THEORY …  BUT   … WILL  BUYERS  ACTUALLY REMEMBER YOUR  HOUSE … OR WILL IT BLEND INTO  UNMEMORABLE SAMENESS?  Here are Five ways to Make  Buyers Remember Your House! Read the rest of this entry »

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HOW TO SELL YOUR HOUSE (HOW TO DE-CLUTTER)

 

SELLING YOUR HOUSE?  DON’T GET OVERWHELMED BY  ‘WHERE TO START”.   START BY REMOVING THE CLUTTER:  BOX UP  PHOTOS, TRINKETS, COLLECTIONS… ANYTHING THAT COLLECTS DUST.  YOU DON’T WANT BUYERS DISTRACTED, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO LIVES THERE . 

EMPTY OUT THE CLOSETS, AND RE-ORGANIZE. YOU ARE MOVING ANYWAY!  WHATEVER YOU DO NOW, YOU WON’T HAVE TO DO LATER. GET RID OF WHATEVER YOU DON’T USE AND DON’T WEAR.  THERE SHOULD BE SIGNIFICANT EMPTY SPACE EN EVERY CLOSET (AND THAT GOES FOR THE LINEN CLOSETS AND PANTRIES AS WELL).  ARRANGE HANGING ITEMS  BY COLORS, OR ALTERNATE PRINTS WITH SOLIDS … LEAVING SPACE BETWEEN THE HANGERS.  BASKETS.

staged lrCREATE  A “MODEL HOME” OR A “HOTEL” FEEL  (YOU DON’T WANT HOME BUYERS  WONDERING ABOUT WHO IS/WAS THERE. YOU WANT TO CREAT A ‘”THIS COULD BE MINE!'” FEEL SO THEY CAN IMAGINE THEMSELVES LIVING THERE.  

PLACE THE FURNITURE SO AS TO CREATE FLOW AND DEFINE SPACE.  GIVE EACH ROOM A PURPOSE. REMOVE ANY FURNITURE THAT BLOCKS THE DOORS OR WINDOWS.  REMOVE EXCESS FURNITURE TO MAKE THE ROOMS SEEM BIGGER.  THE MORE FURNITURE, THE SMALLER THE ROOM WILL ‘FEEL’.

EMPTY BEDROOMS?   I TELL MY SELLER CLIENTS  TO STACK  THOSE BOXES ( EMPTY … OR THE ONES  FULL OF PHOTOS/BOOKS/PERSONAL NICKNACKS) AND CREATE A ‘BED’.  DRESS IT WITH LUXURIOUS LINENS AND PILLOWS AND YOU’LL HAVE AN ‘INSTANT’ ROOM.  BELIEVE ME, A ROOM WITH MINIMAL FURNITURE OUTSHINES AN EMPTY ONE.

MOST BUYERS DON’T MIND SEEING STACKS OF BOXES IN THE GARAGE. IT’S  AN SOLID INDICATOR THAT THE SELLERS ARE SERIOUS ABOUT MOVING.  ALTERNATIVELY… PORTABLE STORAGE UNITS WORK WELL, AND CAN BE FILLED, AND CARTED AWAY.

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How To Turn A Simple Table Into An Antique Masterpiece For Your Miami Home!

Looking for a way to spruce up your home? Try something simple like taking an unfinished piece of furniture and making it look antique! HGTV has created an easy guide to getting this look.

There are a few materials you will need to get started, like the basic piece of furniture. Get an unfinished piece of furniture, such as the Ikea bedside table, Aspelund, Natural and then the working materials. To finish the piece, get some oil-based primer, 2 colors of satin-finish paint, a stencil, a small foam roller, a paintbrush, cheesecloth, a rag, dark paint and glaze mixture and some polyurethane.

Follow these simple steps to antiquing furniture:

Read the rest of this entry »

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10 Tips For Painting Your Miami Home

Looking to spruce up your home or are you simply tired of the same color on your walls? Painting is a fun way to change the feel of any room. Barbara Jacobs from HGTV has provided 10 tips to picking paint colors using “paint psychology.” She says that color accounts for 60% of our reaction to objects. The effects of color are psychological, physical, subtle yet significant. The color around us is influential in where we work and live.

painting-your-home11. Start Small: You may not be familiar with painting, so pick a small hall hall or powder room and experiment there. In order to see the results quickly, pick an area that’s quick to do. To start, pick a color from a piece of art, a rug, dishes or a piece of furniture as a main color or accent.

2. Think About Your Mood: Consider the mood of a room when selecting a color. Soft, neutral,  cool colors tend to create a quieter feel while the darker colors are more dramatic. When you think about what kind of dining room ambiance you want, do you think of something formal or something more casual and sociable? If you answered formal, use deeper blue-greens and neutrals. If you answered casual, use warmer, brighter and more contrasting colors.

3. Pay Attention To Lighting: Natural daylight works best for showing true color. Flourescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone while incandescent lighting brings out yellows and warm tones. A strong color might be effective when it’s used as an accent wall with indirect light, while the strong color might be too bright when used on walls that are next to a large window.paint cans

 4. Learn The Color Terms: Hue is what color is called. (ex-blue is the hue). How dark or light a hue is will determine it’s value. Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is…the red hue becomes less dominant as you go from red to pink. Intensity is the brilliance of the color. Pure colors like red are more intense than yellow-green. A stronger, more intense color usually has more hue. A very light color can feel too bright and stark when it shows up on all surfaces in a room. Instead, use two or more medium-light and closely related pastels to create a luminous effect when used in the same room. So, even if you want a light colored room, use colors that are more saturated than off-white or a light pastel.

couple painting5. Test Your Color Choice: Test your color choices out on a large area of the wall or a posterboard. Step out of your comfort zone by considering soft, deep neutrals like olive green or chocolate brown as main or accent colors. You could add a dramatic feel by using stronger colors on the ceiling, with a tinted celing creating a whole new look in a room.

6. Add Depth With Decorative Finishes: Transform bare walls into interesting spaces using subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color. Layered color glazes and metal finishes (copper, mica,bronze or antiqued silver and gold),  add depth.

7. Walk Into Another Room: Think of it this way-when you’re in one room, you will see a piece of the other room. Therefore, as you are choosing colors, think of how they will flow from room to room to create a complete picture.

bold paint8. Follow The Color Wheel: Use a small color wheel-it’s a great reference point to modify and intensify two or more colors. Take red and green, which are normally opposite colors. They become more intense when used together. You may learn to enjoy entirely new color pallettes when you discover how many colors work really well together. The color wheel also serves to illustrate the visual temperatue of color. Drawing a fine line from the yellow-green mark down to the red-violet, you will find that the colors on the left are warm while the ones on the right are cool.

9. Play Up Monochromatic Schemes: If you think one color is boring, create bold variations by within one color group by using contrasting paint finishes. You can use closely related colors or a single color in different finishes for walls in one space. To create an accent color, use warmer (reds) or cooler (blues) colors to complement the main color group.

10. Choose Different Paint Finishes: To create a cohesive look in rooms with lots of windows and doors, use a different finish on the paint. You can use an eggshell finish on walls and a satin or semi gloss on trim. The color will look slightly different on each surface.

Happy painting! For other home decorating tips, click here.  If I can help you with any of your real estate needs, please send me a note or give me a call.

 

 

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How To Clean Your Miami Home- It Only Takes 10 Minutes A Day!

Cleaning your home can be a daunting task, but home economist Deborah-Taylor-Hough says it can all be done in 10 minutes…here’s how:

kid cleaning floor-Make a game out of it-Set a timer for 10 minutes and have the kids race to pick up all they can before the alarm goes off.

-Use the dishwasher to clean non-dishes. Clean things like candlesticks, vases, even children’s toys.

-Prevent bathroom mirrors from fogging up by rubbing dish soap into the mirrors and letting it dry. Rub the soap in vigorously, but it should prevent foggy mirrors for up to two weeks.

-If more than one child uses the bathroom, use old shoeboxes with labels to seperate the toiletries.

living room clean-Remove dust from stuffed animals by placing them in the dryer on fluff cycle with a dryer sheet.

-Take 5 minutes a day to clean up each room. It is not in place of a deep cleaning, but it will keep the clutter to a minimum in the mean time.

-Vacuum and then dust, so the vacuum doesn’t kick back dust into the air and onto furniture.

-Refrigerator odors can be absorbed by placing an open bowl filled with two or three charcoal brickettes on a back shelf.

These simple steps can keep your house looking fresh and clean…and it only takes 10 minutes!

If I can help you with any of your real estate needs, please contact me.

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Home Improvements on a Dime! “Unsellable” to “Sellable” in Minutes

 

CIMG1921

Simple  Home Improvements …  on a dime!  By  replacing outdated cabinet hardware, this Miami kitchen goes from dated … to SELLABLE … in minutes   (spending about what you might  at Starbucks!) .  

A screwdriver and a handful of wrought iron cabinet  knobs:  Outdated gold knobs on the left  –  Trendy ‘wrought iron’  hardward on the right (Lowe’s, Home Depot, or online). 

Are you considering buying or selling real estate in Miami?   Please give us a call.    Our listings are selling!

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Create A Kitchen Island For Your Miami Home

Some kitchens need more space and adding an island is one way to solve that problem. HGTV gives us these tips on how to build your own island. Follow these steps to making one.

kitchen-islands-101.Measure the space where the island goes.

2. Before you start, get an estimate of the width and depth for your island. You can use the size of the tiles, but be sure to factor in the space for the grout lines, to fine tune the measurements and draw a diagram of what the island will look like.

3. Use a tape ,measure to measure the birch plywood. Score the birch plywood using the T-square, which will keep it from flaring when you cut it.

4. Cut the plywood pieces with a circular straw.

5. With a table saw, cut a 45 degree mitered angle  for the side panel of the island. Be sure to cut from the underside to get a straight line with no flared edges. Repeat for the other side panel.

6. Glue and nail side pieces to top and bottom pieces and then sand any rough edges. Prime and paint the island.

7. Using a table saw, cut the bottom shelves to size. Prime and paint them.

8. Install the bottom shelf and cut frames for the bottom shelf out of wood stock, using a miter saw to cut each joint at a 45 degree angle. Prime and paint the pieces and attach the frame to the precut bottom shelf using glue and nails.

9. On the frame, dry-fit the bottom shelf and screw it into position. Do the same thing with the center shelf.

10. You can use the same countertops that are throughout he kitchen or get creative.

Once you revamp your kitchen, contact me and I’ll help you sell your house!

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