Fall Color Consults – Everyone is painting!

October seems to be the month for color consultations.  We’re starting to migrate back inside, my phone is ringing and wall color is the hot topic.  One of my clients will be doing BM-Stardust with BM-White Dove trim.  A gorgeous combo and I can’t wait to see the outcome.  I couldn’t talk them into Farm Fresh (below) on the ceiling……. the ultimate.

Benjamin Moore color trends 2012

Benjamin Moore 2012 colors

This client  is also doing a tranquil and soothing bedroom in Nimbus Gray (above) with White Dove trim.  Although it comes off as a blue, it’s in the grey family and is very soft, pretty and serene but can also be dramatic depending on how it’s used.

Another client is doing a BM-Conventry Gray living room (BM-Revere Pewter is an amazing gray as well).  With over 200 Benjamin Moore shades of gray (well over 50), Coventry Gray is one of my favorites.  It’s an extremely versatile, fresh color with blue undertones and is being used as a neutral in her living room.

Benjamin Moore HC-169 Coventry Grey

In a bedroom, the debate is over Sherwin Williams 6415-Hearts of Palm, much softer than the old granny smith apple, yet still bright and cheerful and 7732-Lemongrass, sophisticated and chic especially when paired with black and tan.

SW 6415 Hearts Of Palm

SW 7732 Lemongrass








Nobody has bitten on the Benjamin Moore color of the year, 331-Lemon Souffle …… just not feeling the soft yellow yet.

Benjamin Moore Color of the Year 2013 – Lemon Souffle







Anticipating The Staging Consultation

Are you a savvy seller? “The Staging consultation is like a treasure map to uncovering the equity in your house.” Two houses: same neighborhood, same type, same price range…. one is Staged to sell, one is not – which one sells first? Invest in an ASP Home Stager and at the very least have a professionally prepared consultation done. You will be left with a furniture layout plan or ideas, paint colors, flooring suggestions, and curb appeal recommendations and much more.  Ask your Agent if Staging is part of their marketing plan. If it’s not, be a savvy seller and call The Home Staging Source to schedule your Consultation!  

From webworldarticles.com

Sellers could just cleanup the yard, wash the bathroom, and mud the floors before placing an “Available” sign in the yard. However the market has changed: Individuals are very savvy, and you are rivaling brand-new construction whenever you sell your house.

When buyers select a house, they’re searching for the very best house they are able to get for that price they’re prepared to spend. The easiest method to get your house prepared to compete is as simple as using a complete staging consultation.

An entire staging consultation is really a thorough inspection of your house and property. The professional stager provides you with an itemized report of the inspection that usually appears like mom of “honey do” lists.

This list contains everything you planned to get to eventually but that you need to accomplish now, and a lot of items you probably never noticed. Moving is a lot of labor, sure, but don’t forget – the more you need to do to organize your house for that transition, the better your roi.

Some stagers offer a walk-through consultation with recommendations- an abbreviated version of the complete staging consultation. This sort of consultation isn’t as comprehensive.

The written report that you obtain following a complete consultation varies based on whom you hire. Some stagers give a handwritten report on the spot, yet others take notes while they’re at your house and then mail or fax a typewritten report later. Some stagers e-mail the report when it is ready. Because time is generally a factor when you are readying a home available, ask the stager when you can expect the report.

One stager we heard about actually tells the house seller throughout the consultation, “You’d better take notes while I talk.” Some consultation! When the stager doesn’t go ahead and take consultation seriously and fit everything in that he must do, then the way the remainder of his work be practiced?

An entire staging consultation should result in an extensive listing of recommendations that flow from area to area. It will likewise incorporate observations and strategies for the outside of the property. Consider it a step-by-step plan, a piece plan, a starting place. When the concept of doing all of this jobs are causing you to crazy, turn your thinking around and check out the staging consultation like a treasure map to uncovering the equity in your house.

Craig N. Porter at 06172011



5 Savvy Fixes To Help Sell Your Home

Get the maximum return on your spruce-up dollars by putting your money in the areas buyers care most about

Kristie Barnett for Houzz
Color Expert, Interior Decorator, & Design Blogger (http://thedecorologist.com)….More »


No one wants to spend money on the home they are getting ready to sell, but it can be crucial if you want to sell the house quickly and for the price you want. Beyond basic decluttering and cleaning, there are areas where some money may need to be spent. While there are some areas that aren’t necessary to spend money on, you may need to spend a little cash in order to get your property sold.

traditional dining room by Michael Abrams Limited
1. Paint
Painting the walls in updated neutrals and on-trend colors will set your home apart and help home buyers remember each room. Open areas all should be painted the same color — maybe a light griege or muted-down color. You’ll want to skip the dark or intense colors in these areas.
traditional bedroom Guest Room Redesign
Master and guest bedrooms are best painted in muted but distinct colors. Muted versions of blues, greens and yellows are good bets.
This lovely guest room painted by Warline Painting in Benjamin Moore’s Georgian Green will be remembered over a similar one painted Builder Beige.
2. Make Necessary Repairs
Go ahead and make any repair work that you have left unfinished. Not only will the buyer’s home inspector find those issues anyway, but you are hindering offers if there are obvious repairs that need to be made.

Unfinished repairs or projects reflect badly on the overall maintenance of the home and send up a red flag to would-be buyers. Nothing will make a buyer pull out of a deal and run for the hills faster than a home inspection report riddled with needed repairs and safety concerns.

3. Replace Old Carpet
If you have old or stained carpet, you should consider replacing it before putting it on the market. Often a professional cleaning is enough to get it ready to show, but sometimes that just won’t do the trick. Stained or dated carpet is a huge turnoff to potential buyers, especially if you have pets. Even pet lovers are not interested in buying a home with carpet stained by other peoples’ pets.
bedroom by Freedom Restorations Co.

And before you even mention it, “carpet allowances” really don’t work well anymore. Mortgage companies are increasingly reluctant to allow a contract with repair and update allowances. Besides that, most people don’t have the luxury to stay a few extra weeks in their previous home after the closing date while new carpet is being installed. Fresh, new carpet is even more crucial when selling an empty property, since that is all buyers will see in an empty room.
Same thing goes for vinyl flooring — you’re going to have a hard time selling if it’s old, torn or stained. Replace it with a clean, neutral vinyl or vinyl composite tile (VCT).
4. Install Solid-Surface Countertops
You’ve probably heard that kitchens and baths sell houses. If you are interested in getting your house sold quickly, replacing laminate countertops in the kitchen will help make that happen. We can argue the particulars, but solid-surface, natural stone or quartz countertops will help sell your home.

When a property is above the $350,000 range, I highly recommend the upgrade. If it’s below that, there is absolutely nothing that will sell a home faster and for more money. Buyers on the lower end will swoon over them and will always choose a home with solid-surface countertops over other homes in their price range that don’t have them.

More on choosing kitchen counters

5. Find a Stager

Investing a few hundred dollars with a really good home stager can help you make tens of thousands when selling your home. Not all stagers are created equal. Do your homework and find a stager with a good track record and a great portfolio so you can see the work before investing in a consultation.

Spread out the cost — and enjoy some fixes yourself. If you are considering moving within the next couple of years, don’t wait until the last minute to improve your home to make it more marketable. Do a little at a time so that you can spread out the cost. Why not enjoy the improvements yourself before your house goes on the market?

Guides to selling your house
How to Sell Your House Faster to a Younger Buyer


Painting to Sell: What Color Homes Sell Best?

AOL Real Estate

By Christopher Moore   Posted Jul 16th 2010 3:10PM

exterior painting colors to sell your home  Wilma Horner said no to blue. And it paid off.

Horner, a broker for RE/MAX in Bridge City, Texas, had a client with a blue-colored facade. “I said we need to make a change because that’s not going to attract people,” Horner recalls of her exterior painting suggestion. Her clients agreed to go with a more neutral color. “It’s turned out to be a positive,” Horner says of the home’s new look, which netted more than $100 per square foot. That is the going rate for a much newer home in the neighborhood, the Texas Realtor says with considerable pride in her voice.

Call it exterior painting to sell. Horner’s basic rule, one underscored repeatedly by others with firsthand knowledge of what’s selling, is to go mainstream. Try to appeal to the widest possible swath of buyers. This is no time to be idiosyncratic.

Or as Jackie Jordan, the director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, puts it: “Get rid of anything that’s kind of obnoxious.”

After all, Jordan is not just a color expert at one of the world’s most famous paint companies. She’s also a Dallas-based professional who has boughtand sold many homes over the years. She always looked to make sure the color of the home she was selling had broad appeal. “Anything I thought would not appeal to the masses … I painted over it,” Jordan said.

Aaron Hart, a RE/MAX broker in Colorado, championed cream and light green and light brown for exterior paint color schemes. As someone who invests with others in properties, Brown has seen how brash colors can turn off his business partners. “They’re typically more hesitant to look at the house and sometimes even skip it,” he said.

Other tips on exterior painting to sell:

• “Drive around your neighborhood,” suggests Sherwin-Williams’ Jordan. “Get inspiration that way.”

• Think about your part of the country, but don’t get too stuck in that mindset. “There’s definitely regional color,” Jordan explains. Spicy tones might work in the Southwest; tropical areas might be more used to a little blue. But with more and more transients landing in new places, some newcomers do not necessarily adapt to their new neighborhood. Some take their style (and their furniture) with them from one part of the country to another.

• Earth tones abound. They should, according to Ainslie Dougherty, a RE/MAX Realtor in Colorado. “What I suggest to all my sellers is that they start with earth tones, nothing too bold and nothing too taste-specific.” No lime greens. No oranges. “No pink unless you have an old Victorian and you are fixing it up,” Dougherty says.

• Look at new home construction, Dougherty suggests. Copy what the builders of new construction are doing.

• “Make sure that your front door is beautifully painted,” advised Jordan. Front doors matter, which is an argument underscored by at least one company, Therma-Tru Doors, of Toledo, Ohio. Heather Sonnenberg, the director of product management at Therma-Tru, says the biggest hurdle is getting someone into your home. When it comes to painting the door, Sonnenberg advises: “You can add a little drama, but you want to steer clear of going too far.” And don’t put a Craftsman-style door on a contemporary house.

Want to be all about color? Do it later. “People are more brave with color when they know they are going to stay for a while,” Jordan said. “They’ll go with the chocolate-brown or bright-red dining room.”

Or as RE/MAX’s Dougherty puts it: “After the house is yours, do what you want.”

In the meantime, Horner insisted that it’s all about curb appeal. Too often sellers think about what they would want, the Texas broker says. “If it’s a bright person, they think about that bright color.” Her suggestion: Don’t.

Think about painting the exterior to please. After all, as Horner has learned about selling homes: “It’s a business, not an emotion.”


New Uppercase Living Catalog

Uppercase Living® has a new catalog, 75% of the expressions are brand new and it’s time to celebrate! From July 1 – 31, 2012 all of the expressions in the new Celebrations Edition Idea Catalog are Buy Two, Get One FREE!  Now that’s something to celebrate!.  Whether you want a stunning Two-Part Expression for your formal living room or a playful border for the nursery, Uppercase Living® has just the right expression. Browse through these pages to find yours!

Click here to view the new catalog.




Roadside Gems

Being thrifty allows us to reuse, repurpose, and recycle.  For me, it’s not only environmentally responsible, it’s rewarding and very relaxing.  I consider myself a pretty thrifty person.  A gift from my Mom. She can take trash and envision an exquisite treasure.  She can see the finished product before it’s started, has a terrific eye for color and always has a collection of shabby finds ready for a makeover.

My favorite finds come from the Salvation Army, Goodwill, estate auctions and of course, on the side of the road.  Some of my finds are priceless, especially in light of re-emerging retro styles.  Several of my favorite staging pieces come from piles of what most would consider non salvageable.

If you’re not thrifty but would like to be, great inspiration can be found at one of my favorite blogs:

Better After – the best of your before and afters.


Fresh Flowers

Source:  The New York Times – April 25, 2012

Q. Is it worth spending money on flower arrangements for an open house?

Flower arrangements for open house.

A. “If you spend $200 on flowers, in the grand scheme of things, compared to the amount of money that you’re selling your apartment for, it’s totally worth it,” said Lisa Lippman, a senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens in Manhattan. “Flowers just make a place look lived in, in a good way. It makes it seem like somebody cares about the home.”

Flowers can also help ensure that buyers’ olfactory senses aren’t offended.

“They give a fresh smell,” Ms. Lippman said. “It can potentially cover up an animal smell, stale smell, mothballs or whatever.”

Sandra de Ovando, owner of the New York floral design company Ovando, said she often creates arrangements specifically for open houses.

“Flowers can make an apartment more appealing because they bring a space to life,” she said. “People can relate to how they would feel in the home, because it’s warm and intimate.”

Just don’t go overboard.

“All the flowers for an open house should be simple; I’d do bunches of flowers,” Ms. de Ovando said, adding that she often prefers using only white flowers. “I wouldn’t really do anything too complicated, with designed pieces.”

The flowers should enhance the surroundings, she suggested, not steal the show.

Ms. de Ovando suggested putting one bunch of flowers in the foyer and another on a coffee table in the living room, at the very least.

“If there’s the budget for another, I would also do something in the kitchen,” she said.

To get the most for your money, she recommended using seasonal flowers whenever possible. In the spring, that might mean hyacinths and peonies.

“For summer,” she said, “I love gladiolas, because once they open you get so many flowers, and it’s such a big impact.” In the fall, she likes large mums, and in the winter, amaryllis.

If you want something fragrant, she recommended lilies or hyacinths. But for open houses held over consecutive weekends, she suggested orchids, because “they’re a little more long-lasting.”

As for how much you should spend, Ms. de Ovando advised that the cost of the flowers should reflect your home’s asking price. That means your budget could range from $200 to $1,000, she said, depending on whether you’re trying to sell an entry-level apartment or a more luxurious home.

And if you’re just doing a simple arrangement, Ms. Lippman pointed out, it’s possible to do it yourself.

“It depends a little bit on how good you are at arranging flowers,” she said. “But you can go get daffodils or tulips and put them in a couple of vases.”

The payoff for the extra bit of effort is clear.

“If you see an apartment that looks really neat and put together, with flowers on a couple of tables, it’s just much more inviting,” she said. “Even in an apartment that needs work, it makes a difference.” TIM McKEOUGH marketready@nytimes.com

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The Notebook

Every time I watch The Notebook I can’t get enough of the scenery.  Here is a treat for fellow Notebook lovers c/o Hooked on Houses and some interesting movie mistake Bloopers as well.

Hooked on Houses

The Notebook - Noah's House


Back to the Spreadsheet

Youngstown/Lewiston, NY

A great riverfront house in Youngstown. Note to self - keep appropriate footwear in vehicle at all times.

Spring Home Staging in Western New York is in full swing.  Several open projects have me resorting back to my spreadsheet system.  A problem I welcome.

This week was all over the board.  It was primarily consumed with designing and packing for a vacant. The painting is complete, the color palette is hot and the design is coming together nicely.

Interestingly, I’ve seen an explosion in the number of requests for exterior color consultations.  The “artsy” neighborhoods in Buffalo are a favorite.  The older homes have quite a bit of gingerbread and architectural detail.  They allow for a little more creativity with making funky color choices.

By now, we all know staging a property is such a smart investment!  It works and it does send the message of a well cared-for home. That series of first impressions highlighting your home‘s features, allows the buyer to feel at home, not in your home.  The before and after photos tell the story.  Eventually, I’ll spend a day editing and uploading pictures.  Until then, the Staging itself is the priority!

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