6-18-14 by: ADMIN

We all know that fashion in clothing and furniture changes with time. Well the same is true for homes and that is not just true with cabinets and countertops but with the layout and even the size. During the recession many people wanted smaller home because there is less to clean and heat. Now the trend is changing but just by a little bit. People do not seem to be going back to the McMansion that was so popular before the real estate crash.

So what is really popular now? Open floor plan everyone just loves that. There is no wasted room and when you have guests you can be with your company even if you are still fixing the meal. The most popular aspect of this design is that the family room is open right into the kitchen (like this one) and there is no formal living room. I can say from my own house that does not have an open floor plan that I tell people the only thing I do not like is having a formal living room. I say that the only thing we use our living room for is to walk through and unfortunately to set stuff in as we go in or out of the house.


And if you can also have a game room extend right off the family room that is even better. The entire party can go on without anyone being left out in another room.


And of course unlike the past where everyone liked wall to wall carpet (why I will never know) now everyone wants hardwood flooring. The floors are a large part of the décor because as you know it is everywhere. And if you keep one floor going throughout the house then the home will look much larger. The hardwood or engineered wood is much more durable than it used to be so I would not hesitate to put it in the kitchen just make sure you wipe up any large spills immediately. I still prefer tile in the bathroom (except the powder room) because that floor can get really wet when people get out of the shower or bath.

There are other features that are popular now but I will have to go into those later as I’m out of time today.


5/28/14 by: ADMIN

When designing and building a home it seems that the most thought goes into the kitchen and/ or the great room. After that it is the master bed and bath. But for today we are going to talk about the kitchen and more to the point the countertop.


More and more I hear people talking about quartz like this from Lowe’s Quartz Countertops. Quartz is the most durable countertop I have found which is why it is becoming so popular. I put it in a remodel that I did not too long ago and that is what sold the house. We all know that the kitchen is the most important room in the house so put your money into that room. It is still the gathering room which is why the great room has become so popular. Anyway quartz does not need to be sealed, ever. You can put hot things on it straight out of the oven. If you spill wine, or anything for that matter, it will not stain. And whether or not you know it vinegar will damage granite but it cannot hurt quartz at all. I like quartz like the one above. Which you can tell right away it is not granite. Quartz is a mixture of natural stone and a manmade material.

But you can also get it in a design like the one below and it does look like granite. Now the quartz that is made to look like granite can also be distinguished from real granite if you look closely and know how to tell it apart. However most people still will just take a close look and think it is granite and not give it a second thought.

Are more people getting granite, which of course is still very popular, or quartz? Well it really comes down to what you like and how much abuse your house will take. I especially like quartz for people with kids because when they are teenagers and starting to do some cooking I assure you the kitchen counter will be abused.


But you may wonder what is cheaper and the answer to that is they are about the same price. So you do not get quartz to save money you only get it for the easy care. Granite will always be more unique because it is not man made and therefore cannot be reproduced.

April 14, 2014


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Next to a kitchen remodel people love to remodel their bathrooms and you can do quite a job without moving walls and all the difficult things that go along with that. Some of these ideas may seem a lot like decorating but the two are sometimes so closely related that it is easy to talk about them in a site like this.

You can find great ideas at sites like http://www.call1stchoice.com/remodeling/bathroom-remodeling/ where I found this one. Today everyone loves a large bathroom and you have to have 2 sinks.


Most everyone that is looking to buy a home wants a separate bathtub in the master bathroom. They do not want just a shower anymore or a shower tub combo. If you are building or remodeling I always recommend a separate tub even if you do not take baths. Someday you will be selling the home and it is much easier and cheaper to put it in now. You will get your money back without any trouble.

And you should really consider how much tile you will put in. http://www.rebaththesouth.com/remodeling shows this bath which is done just the way I like it. You should take the tile in the shower up to the ceiling and go half way up the walls all the way around the rest of the bath. I love travertine and so do most people. I would get the largest tiles you can and lay them as close together as possible. The only complaint people have about tiles of any type is cleansing the grout line so that is less of a problem if they are laid close together. And make sure you seal the grout with a really good sealer.



Generally the floor is the only place that gets really dirty, the walls are not that hard to keep up and neither is the counter top. Colored toilets, tubs and sinks are starting to make a comeback so you may want to consider that, of course I don’t think you can ever go wrong with white.

Anyway next to a kitchen remodel the bathroom is a wise choice and if you can do it without changing pluming and walls it should not be too expensive.

Thinking of selling your home and wondering if the expense of staging a home is worth it? Well as a Realtor I can assure you that it will make a huge difference. You should be able to sell if for at least enough to offset the cost of staging. So if you spend $2000 to stage it I would expect to get a least $5000 more in the net sales price (really you should be able to get more). I was part owner of a condo with a fabulous view and at first we thought  with the beautiful renovations and the view the condo would sell itself. So here is a picture of the living room and the view before we staged it.



What we found out is that people cannot image the room with furniture in it and that stops them from being able to image how they would live in the home. This is really a great room and so you have to image more than one purpose for this room.



Now we have the same room with a living room set in it. What most people can do with furniture placed is start to image how they would place their own furniture even if their furniture does not look anything like what the home is staged with. Also when you add small decorations and pictures they can start to think of what walls they would put pictures on and where they would put the TV.

After this condo was staged it sold within a week and many people who had seen it both ways were just shocked on what a difference the furniture made. Another thing that furniture does is cut down on the echo. All empty homes have an echo especially if they do not have wall to wall carpeting. In this case the echo was so loud that people could not image what it would be like furnished. Once the furniture was in the echo was dramatically reduced.

So stage your home for sale.

At last spring is here and we hope this long, cold, snowy winter is coming to an end and we can enjoy preparing our homes for warmer weather. I really do believe in spring cleaning. Take a week-end (get you husband to help) move all the furniture and vacuum under it. Wash all the bedding (not just the sheets) this will make you look forward to going to bed. Dust the pictures and on top of shelves everywhere we normally skip (don’t forget the blinds, door frames and baseboards). Vacuum all the couches and chairs; if you have carpets get them cleaned. After this you are ready for some fun and you can take some easy measures to brighten your home.


Get some new bright decorative pillows for your couch like these that I found at Macy’s. They add pop to your room and will just make you want to sit and enjoy. There are many sales right now and Macy’s often has coupons. Just look around for something with your colors and add some bright accents.




Next get some throws like these that I found at Overstock.com. They also have great prices and a throw is another easy way to add color and interest. If you already have patterns in your furniture then you need to stick with solid pillows and throws. Just start looking and you can get great ideas from magazines and going to model homes if there are any near you.

Good Luck!!!

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