Happy 4th of July!! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the soldiers out there, those still fighting, those retired and those who didn’t come home. Specifically, my sweet Pops, who fought his tail off in Vietnam 212 Infantry Delta Co 1969. Love you Dad! Thank you for your sacrifices I know they were many! I love you! https://www.212warriors.com/ And my beloved, thank you sweetheart for your service! You are loved larger than life!
After such a long bloggy break it’s fun to be back blogging about one of my greatest passions and one of the reasons I started this blog, décor, specifically décor for the purpose of maximizing a home’s value.
I recently became a licensed realtor. Something I should’ve done long ago as the profession combines my desire to help people and my love of all things home and design, and it’s something I have been doing in my own homes and for friends throughout the years.
Without going into a long litany of houses I have decorated, redecorated, staged, and sold fast for top money, suffice it to say I’ve had success with each home and/or project I’ve worked on. (Sadly because it was before I even thought about doing it professionally I have no before and after pics.)
There is a whole internet full of tips on designing a home, staging a home etc. Today I’m going to offer suggestions you may never have heard before. In fact are likely the opposite of what you have been told. At the moment I’m going to focus on one of my favorites, bathrooms, but these tips also apply to other areas of your home and should be taken into consideration when selling, buying or building new.
So, lately I have been in quite a number of homes in a wide variety of price ranges, styles, and ages. In so many of them there was a stand- out theme; bathrooms ranging from no way, to meh. We all know how bathrooms can affect a homes sellability or value. They are expensive to renovate, difficult to DIY, and so easy to get wrong.
Let’s face it in today’s economy the majority of America does not stay in the same home for their entire lives. The big house you thought you needed when the kids were little no longer makes sense when everyone heads off to college, the awesome loft intown that worked in your early 20’s presents some challenges after the first kiddo comes along, job changes that keep you moving from city to city every few years, people move around, sometimes a lot. These days it makes more sense to carefully consider the future before you make choices or changes to your home.
We all want “our style” in every room, and I know we all have great taste… but everyone’s taste is different. You will never appeal to all people all the time, and appealing only to yourself could land you with a house you can’t re-sell, or something you hate in a few years. Making choices that take into consideration the taste/needs of a future buyer while allowing for some personal style is the way to go. There are LOTS of ways to do this.
One way is classic, neutrality. At least in the permanent fixtures. If you want a wild, colorful bathroom, use wallpaper and paint. Don’t use your grandmother’s crushed teacups and grout for the countertop. Stick with neutral, classic tile and fixtures that will stand the test of trends and time, then choose wallpaper, stencils, and paint to put your personal stamp on it.
These bathrooms have flawlessly integrated personal style and classic fixture choices. If I walked into any of these houses I would not be calculating how much it would cost to replace all the tile, fixture, lighting and cabinetry, but simply thinking that wallpaper removal or paint is all that’s needed. The one caveat here is that if you know you are going to be in your house forever and have money to burn do whatever you want, with whatever you want. These suggestions are intended for the budget conscious and/or design challenged.
Another way is accent tile. Slightly more expensive and difficult to change but a great way to inject your flair while keeping most things neutral.
(all images from http://www.pinterest.com/thejala/)
I have had the opportunity to build a couple of new houses. Through good decisions, mistakes, and ignorance I have a lot to say on the subject, but will stick to bathroom advice today.
1) Don’t settle for builder selections. Go out, shop and supply what you want. Builders tend to upcharge when you “upgrade” your tile, lighting, flooring, etc. Were you to go out and purchase those same selections they may be less expensive. With that said, shop for deals and sales on what you want, supply it to the builder (in their timeframe) for installation. A builder’s flexibility to do something like this varies so make sure you vet this possibility with them when choosing a builder or in the very early planning stages.
2) The upgrade threshold…you don’t want to upgrade yourself out of affordability, nor should you under-upgrade. The base selections for builders will vary significantly from one to the next. I am a firm believer that you can do a lot with a little. So consider slightly upgraded tile laid in a particular pattern, with some accent tile, or bordered. Consider very neutral tile on the walls, and putting something different on the shower floor. If you need ideas www.pinterest.com is the answer!
3) Upgrade your faucets, shower door, and door knobs. They seem like small things but can make such a HUGE difference, not to mention are challenging if not impossible (think bath tub faucets) to replace without considerable expense. Satin nickel, and oil rubbed bronze finishes have stood the test of time and are offered with most new construction. (Tip #1 also applies here-many builders will let you supply these items and you may even be eligible for a credit – but CHECK WITH THEM FIRST).
Realizing that there is an entire design/decor industry that is built upon personal style and my advice may be in opposition to the industry line. This advice is intended to increase the future sellability of your home, and help you appeal to a greater audience when it comes time to make a move. Maybe even give your choices longevity and endurance…with that I leave you with a few of my favorites.
All pictures are courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com