10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Kitchen

Does your kitchen have a case of the drabs? Truly the central gathering spot of many homes, it may need a jolt to liven it, like a shot of espresso in the morning. Take a shot at playing with color. Well placed use of color in your kitchen can give it the feeling of more energy.

You don’t have to overload your kitchen with color to make a bright statement. The following ideas will help to add a little or a lot of color to breathe new life into your home’s hub.

1. Accent Wall

Paint or tile one wall with a colorful splash to instantly change the mood and look of your kitchen.

Accent Wall Kitchen

2. Cabinets

Paint your cabinets a favorite color, perhaps drawing from a favorite vintage linen or tablecloth, or even dishes. If you’re feeling bold, paint cabinets one color and the walls a contrasting but complementary color.

If you want to test out a smaller area, play with painting small areas around the cabinets a contrasting color. The walls under your cupboards, a small area above the backsplash or above the cabinets all give you a chance to try out different colors.

Pale Blue Kitchen Cabinets

3. Appliances and Accessories

Experiment with different colors for accessories like dishes, dishtowels, spatulas, small appliances like toasters and blenders, or larger ones such as the refrigerator or stove.

Teal Refrigerator

4. Paint or Wallpaper Inside Shelves

If you’re afraid of committing to color, try painting or wallpapering the inside back wall of open shelving, or paint the inside of cabinets for a cheery surprise when you open the cabinet doors.

Blue Interior Kitchen Cabinet

5. Flooring

A colorful rug is easy to switch out with the season or your mood, or go a bit more permanent with colored accent tiles on your flooring.

Red Kitchen Rug

6. Kitchen Island

Make your island stand out by painting the outside of a kitchen island a color that contrasts with the counter top and the rest of the cabinets.

Rustic Kitchen Island

7. Ceiling

The ceiling is often overlooked, but it’s a large, open canvas to play with color. A sunny yellow could mimic a sunny day or a cool blue can tone things down.

Blue Kitchen Ceiling

8. Seating

Instead of wood stained or metallic ones, try candy-colored chairs or stools.

Yellow Kitchen Stools

9. Soften Up

If bold colors are not your style, soft pastels can add a colorful warmth to the room.

Pastel Kitchen

10. Add Art

A colorful poster, piece of art or even vintage ads can add color in a size that fits your space, and can be changed out when the mood strikes.

Kitchen Wall Art


Do you need help with a home improvement project? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professionals in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.

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The post 10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Kitchen appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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10 Ways to Add a Pop of Color to Your Kitchen was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home


3 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal Over a Weekend

Adding some curb appeal to your home doesn’t have to mean breaking ground or breaking the bank. With a few hours of an afternoon, or over a weekend, you can add some personality and make your home stand out on your block.


Small Brown House


1. Paint

Painting the door, trim and shutters takes between four and six hours, and uses only a few gallons of paint. Be sure to choose a color that is complementary to the rest of the house. Choose something lighter or darker, but in the same color family, or go with a bold color for the door. A fresh coat of white paint is also a smart option to go with. Tip: If your garage door faces the street, or is part of the facade of your home, make sure you give it a fresh coat of paint, too.

Woman and Man Painting House Exterior


2. Pressure Wash the House

Giving your home a good wash down can give it an instant facelift. You can even do the pressure washing in stages. Start with the front of the house, then the sides, then move to the rear area. Be sure to wash the front walkway, too. Over a weekend, you can break this down into chunks of work time, and still get in some R&R.

Pressure Wash Siding


3. Clear the Clutter

Remove clutter from the yard, driveway and corners like near the garage, the front porch or areas near the front door. Remember, first impressions count, especially from foot traffic of people who may end up being a prospective buyer.

Clearing Yard Clutter


Do you need help with a home improvement project? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professionals in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.

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The post 3 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal Over a Weekend appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal Over a Weekend was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

5 Ways to Make A Kitchen Feel Like Your Own (Without Remodeling)

Finally found the perfect home, only to realize it doesn’t exactly have the perfect kitchen? Don’t pass it by just because you’re not sure you’ll have the cash to make renovations right away (or never, if you’re renting).

Sometimes just changing up a few key things in the kitchen can totally transform it into one you can love — at least for a year or two. Read on for some easy, inexpensive ideas to update a kitchen without remodeling.

1. Add statement storage

Short on storage space? Instead of more cabinets, why not bring in a piece of furniture you love, such as a hutch or sideboard, to add instant charm and a place to stash your stuff? If it’s a piece you already own, give it new life in your new place with a fresh coat of paint.

Renter hint: If you move to a new place where you don’t need the extra kitchen storage, your hutch can serve a new purpose in another room.

retro kitchen

2. Get appliance appeal 

If you “inherited” some functional but less than attractive appliances from the previous owner, update them with appliance paint. Companies such as Krylon and Rust-Oleum make paint specially designed for appliances, so even if the fridge is looking dingy or the oven is scratched, you can get a few more years out of them. As a bonus, you get appliances in custom colors to match your kitchen color palette, without the custom appliance price tag!

Renter hint: Check with your landlord first, but if they’re planning to replace the appliances in a year or two anyway, they might just approve your custom paint job.

3. Open up

Sure, you can always give ugly cabinets a face-lift by painting them, but if you’re craving open shelving, you can get the look (without ripping the cabinets out) by removing just the doors and painting the frames and shelves. Put your prettiest dishes, canisters, and even canned goods inside for dual-duty shelving that’s functional and beautiful.

Renter hint: Mark each door with a painter’s tape label indicating placement so you can just put them back up when you’re ready to move on.

4. Start small

Dreaming of gorgeous tile or pretty wallpaper? Just because you’re not ready to fully renovate doesn’t mean you can’t get started. Pick a small area, such as the sink backsplash or an open wall, to start with, then add more as your budget allows. You’ll get a big visual payoff from a small payout.

Renter hint: Look for removable “renters’ wallpaper” or stick-on tile to get the same effect and still get your deposit back.

green tile kitchen

5. Get floored

Stuck with dingy tile or dated laminate? While you’re saving up for your dream flooring, find a washable rug or an outdoor rug in a pattern you love to cover some of that existing floor — and give you something soft to stand on while you work. (Don’t forget to use a nonslip pad for safety.)

Renter hint: Changing out accessories, such as a rug, is an affordable and easy way to give your kitchen a fresh feel without doing anything you might regret when moving day approaches.

What ways do you update a kitchen without remodeling? Share your best tips and tricks in the comments below.

Trulia’s Blog

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

5 Ways to Make A Kitchen Feel Like Your Own (Without Remodeling) was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

6 Ways to Make a Home for Your Hobbies After You Retire

Retirement is all about doing what you love in the comfort of your own home. But is your home set up to help you with the hobbies you love?

With all the extra time you have to relax, your home should reflect your lifestyle. Follow these six tips to reorganize your home and create new leisure spaces for your hobbies.

Rebuild your reading nook

Turn an old workspace into a refreshing reading nook. That way you can set aside investment newspapers and scholarly journals and turn to a favorite novel instead.

  • Sit comfortably. Place a favorite chair next to the window for natural light.
  • Kick up your feet with a footstool. A small footstool will provide extra comfort for long hours of reading.
  • End the hunt for your reading glasses. Keep reading glasses close at hand with a small side table.
  • Add an overhead reading lamp. When the sun goes down, you can still turn to the next page.

Renovate your garage workspace

Avoid a dark and unorganized garage, and create new space without sacrificing inventory.

  • Raise the height of your workbench. You’re less likely to strain your back when you don’t need to hunch over a low table.
  • Add a pegboard wall for tools behind your workbench. You’ll have a place for all your tools – no reaching for the toolbox required!
  • Organize your supplies by type. Separate motor oil from antifreeze to avoid confusion when working under the hood.
  • Install proper overhead lighting. Don’t stumble in the dark. Add a light switch next to the door to avoid missteps.
Image courtesy of Remodeling Guys

Revamp your baking area

Pulling freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies out of the oven is great, but forgetting the chocolate chips is not. Find a place for everything, and you’ll never overlook that crucial ingredient again.

  • Store baking ingredients on a Lazy Susan. Access everything you need for the recipe in an instant.
  • Clip your cookbook to a pants hanger. Hang the cookbook from your cabinets at eye level for easy reading.
  • Invest in lightweight pots and pans. Forgo the struggle to lift heavy cast-iron cookware. Aluminum pots and pans are lightweight and durable.
  • Use a timer. Don’t leave the apple pie in to burn. Set a timer to have perfectly golden brown crust every time.

Reorganize your crafting

Skip piling crafts on the kitchen table, and convert the old office into a craft room.

  • Use a height-adjustable table. Move the table from sitting to standing height whenever your back needs a break.
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair. Proper back and spine support will make it easier to craft until your project is finished.
  • Store all your supplies in one place. This reduces the need to move supplies around, and prevents them from piling up in unwanted areas.
  • Add a pegboard wall. Take a tip from your garage and hang your crafting tools for easy access.
Photo from Zillow listing

Renew your love of shopping

You don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to go to the store. Stay cozy while shopping from home.

  • Unplug from the desktop computer. No need to hunch over a bulky computer monitor. Invest in a handheld tablet for easy shopping throughout your home.
  • Choose a firm couch. Support your body while browsing – keep a cushion and a soft throw blanket handy.
  • Turn on sales notifications. Never miss a sale again! Sign up for online sales notifications, and jump on them right away with your tablet.
  • Return with ease. Did the order not work out? Schedule a return service pickup from your home so you don’t have to make the trip to the post office.

Restore your napping space

Enjoying an afternoon nap used to be a luxury. Now that it can be an everyday practice, make sure your bedroom is properly equipped.

  • Invest in a new mattress. A firm ergonomic mattress keeps your body supported while you sleep.
  • Hang new window shades. Choose shades that reduce or completely block light to allow your eyes to rest.
  • Add background noise. Soft classical music or nature sounds will help your mind relax.
  • Set an alarm. Avoid post-nap grogginess by resting no more than an hour.

Never stop doing the hobbies you love

Retirement should be easy, so don’t let your home slow you down.

Your redesigned leisure spaces will leave you free to create and explore new avenues with your favorite hobbies.


Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

6 Ways to Make a Home for Your Hobbies After You Retire was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

9 Easy Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Itchin’ to change your kitchen? But honey says there’s not much money, and definitely not enough for a full renovation. Don’t despair, we found some easy, inexpensive ways to revitalize a tired kitchen in just one weekend. You can turn that lackluster room into a dramatic space without much effort and still not break the bank.

Here’s how:

1. Transform the Cabinets

Paint your cabinets so they look like new, either by spray painting or using a brush or roller. Laminated cupboards can be re-laminated with wood or vinyl veneers. To add some more style to the room, replace the doors and drawer fronts. You can send them out to be changed, but you’ll need to paint the frames to match the new doors and drawers.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets

2. Switch Out Cabinetry Hardware

Sometimes all you need to do for a like-new feeling to the room is replace the knobs and pulls with bright, shiny new ones. You can choose something whimsical like beach glass or go modern using hardware with sleek, sharp lines.

Cabinet Handles

3. Replace Appliance Hardware

Can’t afford new appliances, then spiff them up with new knobs for your oven and handles for the dishwasher and refrigerator. You can also change out those pans under your stove’s burners.

Burner Drip Pans

4. Convert to Built-In Appliances

If you want to make your kitchen look bigger, you can change some of your appliances to built-ins. You’ve had this option with stoves, ovens and microwaves for many years now, but new to the game are built-in slim refrigerators.

Built In Appliances

5. Replace the Sink

Instead of altering everything, start with the kitchen sink. Choices include stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, solid surfaces and composites. Then there’s single bowl or double bowl, farmhouse, top mount or undermount. You have a variety of options.

New Kitchen Sink

6. Change the Faucet

For a fun and inexpensive modification, get a new fixture. A spray attachment can come in very handy as can a faucet with a built-in soap dispenser. Detachable heads also make washing veggies for meal prep a breeze.

Kitchen Faucet

7. Alter the Lighting

A blend of overhead, natural and under-cabinet lighting can make the kitchen glow. You’ll finally be able to see what you’re cooking. You might want to add a dimmer switch to your new lighting for those times when you want the room a little mellower.

Kitchen Lights

8. Paint the Walls

Paint covers a multitude of sins and freshens up even the dullest kitchen. If you choose to only make one change to this room, you should paint it. Definitely opt for a different color than the old one.

Navy Kitchen Walls

9. Add New Décor

To give your kitchen a new farmhouse, rustic or modern look, buy some already-framed prints to hang on the walls or small design touches. Match those with new kitchen towels and potholders as well.

Kitchen Decoration


Do you need a professional to help upgrade your kitchen? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professionals in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.

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The post 9 Easy Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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9 Easy Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

13 Ways to Prevent Getting Screwed When Hiring a Contractor

Go to a current job. A prospect should be proud to show off his work-in-progress.

Summer is the season Americans set aside to complete home renovations before the new school year starts. According to U.S. Census data, Americans spent $ 130 billion on remodeling projects in 2013, and that figure is expected to keep rising.

Maybe you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen or master bath. Maybe it’s time to convert that attic space or basement into a home office or den. Or maybe you have some upgrades to complete before you put your home up for sale.

Whatever the project, it’s important to land a reliable contractor. Here are 13 ways to select the best contractor and prevent getting screwed.

1. Third time’s the charm

You should interview at least three contractors and get three bids before making a final decision. Don’t automatically go with the guy your sister used for a completely different project. Angie’s List is a great resource to find contractors if you don’t have any word-of-mouth references.

2. Compare apples to apples

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when getting estimates from contractors is lack of consistency. Make sure you request a bid on the exact same work from each contractor. Don’t add tasks to different bids; it can get confusing, and you’ll never be able to make a fair comparison.

3. Callback turnaround

If you don’t hear back within 48 hours, forget them. You want someone who is responsive. If they don’t return a call promptly now, you can pretty much assume they’ll behave the same way when you’re mid-demolition. Not a pretty picture.

Set up interviews. If one doesn’t show, cross them off your list. Contractors and handymen are notoriously overbooked. If they can’t make the interview, you can imagine how they will be on your job.

4. Know their specialties

Find out what his or her specialties are. Residential rehab, commercial buildings, new construction, and kitchen renovations are all very different projects. You want your potential contractor’s expertise to match the job.

5. Get the skinny on the crew

How big is their staff or main crew? How many men work for them full time? Does he or she run an entire company, or are they an individual contractor?

6. Is “sub out” in their vocabulary?

Which jobs does your contractor “sub out”? Do they hire a subcontractor for the plumbing or electrical? What does the “in-house” crew do? If they’re subbing out all the big jobs, you may want to hire some of the subcontractors yourself to save on commissions.

7. Busy body

How many jobs does your contractor have going at the moment? The number of jobs the contractor is juggling is very important and directly related to how quickly your work will be finished. If your potential contractor owns a small company, you want to make sure they’re doing no more than four jobs at any given time.

8. Ask for (and call!) references

If a contractor stalls on getting references to you, there may be a reason.

9. Check out the work

Go to a current job. A prospect should be proud to show off his work-in-progress. Ask to look at other examples of his work. A contractor worth his salt will have before-and-after photos of his best jobs.

10. How close are they?

Look for contractors that are close to your job site. The closer they are, the more likely they will be there each day — and on time.

11. Experience counts

Interview only contractors who have been in business at least five years — and under one name. For example, if Joe’s Contracting Service had problems, it may resurface a year later as Joe’s AAA Contracting Service. That’s a major red flag you don’t want to deal with.

12. Insurance

Ask about both the general liability and workman’s comp certificates from each prospective contractor. Then call the insurance companies to make sure coverage is current.

13. If the city permits

Go to the city building department and see if there are any complaints against your prospective contractor. It’s an extra piece of legwork for you, but you’ll sleep soundly at night knowing the person working on your home sweet home is the best in the biz.

Have you learned any valuable lessons when hiring a contractor? Share in the comments!

Trulia’s Blog

13 Ways to Prevent Getting Screwed When Hiring a Contractor was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Are You a Risky Borrower? 4 Ways to Find Out

Are-You-a-Risky-Borrower-4-Ways-to-Find-OutMost people will tell you that acquiring a mortgage can be a lengthy, complicated process. Throw into the mix a few credit blemishes or a heavy debt burden, and the path to homeownership can suddenly become an uphill battle.

Before you pick out your dream home and start mentally placing your furniture, it’s important to know if your financial situation will make potential lenders deem you a high-risk borrower. If they do, you don’t have to resign yourself to being a lifetime renter — there are steps you can take to improve your situation and increase the likelihood of being approved for a loan later on.

Tammi Robson, a mortgage broker at Metro Lenders Inc. in Denver, CO, determines loan eligibility using a three-pronged approach. “Approval of a real estate transaction depends on the approval of three things: the borrower’s credit, the borrower’s income, and the house itself. The borrower’s credit must meet minimum guidelines, their income must support their ability to repay the mortgage, and the house they want to buy or refinance must appraise for the amount needed.”

While every situation is different, here are the four major red flags that can cause potential lenders to consider you a risky borrower.

1. Your credit score is below 620

One of the quickest ways for a lender to get a snapshot of your ability to make future payments is to check your credit score and see how you fared with financial responsibility in the past.

You can receive one free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) once a year, and some lenders will run an analysis to determine what can be done to bring your score within an acceptable range.

2. You don’t have steady employment or you have less than two years of self-employment income

W-2 employees working a minimum of 40 hours per week are the most attractive to lenders. If you are working part time, or if you don’t have at least two years of tax returns to properly represent your self-employment income, acquiring a loan becomes trickier. For the latter, Robson suggests having a mortgage professional look over your tax returns to determine how much home you can really afford.

3. You have financial responsibilities you aren’t taking care of

While credit scores and income are important, Robson explains that even more pressing are larger issues like delinquent child support payments, unpaid income tax liens, and delinquent federal student loans.

“If serious delinquencies show on a credit report, an underwriter will simply deny the loan,” says Robson. “Therefore, a borrower should bring those accounts current, and/or re-establish a payment history prior to pursuing home loan qualification.”

4. You don’t have a down payment

Lenders prefer that borrowers be financially vested in their new home from the get-go. So if you don’t have a down payment, you’ll have to jump through more hoops to showcase your financial worthiness, and private mortgage insurance will most likely be a requirement of your loan. However, your lender may be able to help you find down payment assistance programs to help bridge the gap.

How can you improve your chances?

When guiding clients through the process of acquiring a loan, Robson has a laundry list of things she suggests they tackle or monitor. Among the top items are acquiring a credit report, working to pay down debt and bring all accounts into good standing, and either securing funds for a down payment or searching for homes that allow 100% financing.

In addition, she suggests avoiding large purchases — like a car — prior to or at any point during the loan approval process. “Many borrowers ask me what is the maximum they can buy that won’t affect their loan qualification,” says Robson. “I tell them $ 30. If it costs more than $ 30, don’t buy it!”

Trulia’s Blog

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

Are You a Risky Borrower? 4 Ways to Find Out was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

9 Effortless Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill Right Now

We all want to save energy and money, right? But it’s not always so easy – perhaps you don’t have the time for a home energy audit, or maybe there simply isn’t room in the budget for that energy-saving appliance you want.

No worries! Here are some quick and easy ways to reduce your home energy usage right now.

Reduce hot water usage

Don’t worry – you don’t have to take a low-flow shower! But heating up hot water does require energy, so take the simple and painless route:

  • Adjust the water heater’s temperature. Lower your water heater to 120 degrees F (49 degrees C). An added bonus – you’ll lower the risk of scalding accidents.

  • Don’t overuse the dishwasher. Try to run your dishwasher only once a day or when it’s completely full. See if your utility company offers savings for running appliances at off-peak times.
  • Wash clothes in cold water. Most modern detergents clean clothes very well with cold water. If you have items that you really need to wash in hot water, save them up and do one hot load every few weeks.

Projected savings: Up to $ 250 per year, depending on the number of people in your home.

Turn it off

Little things add up! An easy way to save money on your energy bill is turning off the lights, electronics, and other energy users when you’re not using them.

  • Leave a room, switch lights off. Make a habit of turning off everything in the room when you leave it – the TV, lights, your computer, etc.
  • Get the kids involved. Make a game out of turning off the lights instead of constantly reminding them to do it. Offer some sort of small, nonmonetary reward for remembering to turn off their bedroom lights for a week.
  • Install countdown timer light switches. For intermittently used rooms, such as the bathroom or laundry room, install a countdown timer light switch that will turn off the lights after a specified period, so you don’t ever have to worry about it.

Projected savings: Between $ 100-$ 300 per year, depending on the number of people and rooms in your home.

Heating and cooling bill savings

Generally speaking, the furnace and air-conditioner are the big energy hogs in your home. Here are some easy ways to reduce your dependence on them – and save money!

  • Use windows strategically. Install heavy drapes or blinds on windows located in sunny areas of your home. Open the blinds on cold days to take advantage of the sun’s warmth, and close them on warm days to block out the sun.
  • Install ceiling fans. This one takes a bit more effort than the others, but the payoff can be quite large. Run ceiling fans counterclockwise or downward during the summer to force cool air down into the room. Run them clockwise and upward in the winter to better distribute the warm air.

  • Adjust the thermostat. Yes, this sounds obvious, but one of the best ways to save on heating and cooling bills is simply lowering the thermostat in the winter and raising it in the summer! A programmable thermostat is ideal, but you can save money even with a traditional thermostat. In winter, lower your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for at least eight hours – when you leave for work, before you go to bed, or both – then raise it when you’re back.  If you have air-conditioning, do this in reverse come summer.

Projected savings: From 10-30 percent on your heating and cooling bills each year.

Saving energy doesn’t have to be a chore. With some very simple lifestyle changes, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save big!


Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

9 Effortless Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill Right Now was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

Small Updates, Big Return: 5 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Whether your home improvements are for you or potential buyers, consider their impact on your home’s potential resale price before picking up your toolbox (or the phone to call a contractor).

A brand-new kitchen or bathroom will undoubtedly wow potential buyers, but there’s no guarantee you’ll recoup the money you put into those pricey remodels.

To help you navigate the choices that lead to the best return on investment, we asked two industry experts (and one enthusiastic DIYer) to weigh in.

Kitchen renovations

“Renovating the kitchen is always the biggest way to add value to your home,” says Grace Fancher, real estate agent at Kansas City firm Sarah Snodgrass. “People love to cook, and everyone tends to gather in the kitchen. If you add seating, such as an island with barstools, buyers go crazy for that.”

A full remodel is a major investment, but smaller projects make a big difference if you can’t – or don’t want to – go all out. “Nicer appliances really stick out to potential buyers – even if you’re planning to take them with you,” Fancher says.

She also suggests replacing tired finishes with fresh, neutral materials. “You don’t want to be too trendy, but you want it to look up-to-date,” she says. “Everyone loves clean, white subway tiles now, but they’re really a timeless look.”

Replacing dated countertops (quartz is your best bet, according to Fancher) and flooring is also worth the time and money.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Bathroom updates

The smallest rooms in the house can have a big impact on its value, so Fancher suggests adding a second bathroom or upgrading existing ones so your home features at least two full baths.

Joe Monda, co-owner of Seattle-based general contracting firm Promondo, agrees. “People are spending more on upgrading their houses before listing them,” he says. “They really want to maximize the potential house value.”

But if you’re remodeling a bathroom just to put your house on the market, keep it simple. “Most people don’t want to pay for upgrades, so you want it to be a neutral space that doesn’t look straight out of the big DIY warehouse stores – even if it is,” says Fancher.

She adds that an easy solution is spending a little more on details, like high-quality towel bars and upgraded hardware for those big-box store vanities.

Not in a position to remodel? “Re-grouting tile, or even just using one of those grout paint pens, gives any bathroom a fresher look,” says Sharyn Young, a self-proclaimed DIY addict from Minneapolis.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Lighting upgrades

“The brighter a room feels, the bigger it looks,” says Fancher. “And when you’re selling, you want every space to look as big as possible.”

She recommends replacing flush-mount ceiling lights with recessed and/or pendant lighting – a relatively cheap upgrade that looks modern and makes a huge impact.

“LED lighting has changed everything,” says Young. “There are so many readily available, inexpensive options now that are easy to install. I added Ikea under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen of my last house, and I was amazed at how that one simple upgrade made the space feel larger and cleaner.”

Photo from Zillow listing.

Fresh paint

Like lighting, a new coat of paint can also make a space feel cleaner and brighter. Stick to neutral shades, such as light gray and beige, and if you don’t have time or budget to do the whole house, start with the living areas you see when you first walk in.

An even quicker fix is refreshing just the trim. “Beat-up, dirty trim can give buyers a subtle impression that the whole house is dingy,” Fancher says. “Repainting gives a sharper look and shows the buyer that you’ve taken care of the house.”

Photo from Zillow listing.

Landscape improvements

“A lot of people overlook how important landscaping is, especially when you’re selling in the spring or summer,” says Fancher, adding that you can increase curb appeal by just putting down new, dark-colored mulch, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on planting.

Monda suggests paying special attention to the entry. Repair or replace any damaged stepping stones, concrete paths, and porch plants, then give the front door a fresh coat of paint and add some potted plants. “You want people to be excited to walk in the door,” he says.

Photo from Zillow listing.
Top photo from Zillow listing.

Get more home improvement ideas on Zillow Digs.


Tips & Advice – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

Small Updates, Big Return: 5 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

7 Ways to Use Gray in Your Home

Decorators call gray the little black dress for your home’s interior, the new white, a chameleon and other terms of endearment. No longer is this color associated with a depressing, dowdy look. Gray blends with any style, adds breadth and compliments anything on the color wheel. Use it on the walls as a base or an accent. Bring it into the room with furniture or art. Try these ideas to enrich your décor.

1. Looking to Revamp the Bedroom

Pair charcoal gray with hunter green and black. These rich, bold colors play well together. Assign a supporting role to the black while giving the gray and green center stage.


Gray and Green Bedroom


2. Baby on the Way

You’ve decided to wait until the birth to find out the sex of your newest family member, so paint the nursery a gender-neutral gray. Bring in accents in the color of your choice – yellow and coral exude warmth, while blue and mint lower the temperature a little.


Gray Yellow and Coral Nursery


3. Getting Ready to Sell

Prospective owners want to imagine a house furnished with their own panache so go with a neutral color. Paint the walls with a flat, light gray to hide a multitude of blemishes. Then brush a creamy shade onto the trim for a well-defined look.


Gray Walls


4. Decorate the Man Cave

A deep gray and a vivid red evoke a robust, masculine feel. The same color combo also makes a dramatic impact on the living room.


Gray and Red Man Cave


5. For a Bold Effect

Cover the walls in gray and the ceiling two shades lighter. You’ll add dimension and give the room a snappy, fresh look.


Gray Theater Room


6. Opt for a Lavish Bathroom

Charcoal, slate and silver all articulate luxury and elegance. Infuse the room with tiles, paint, grass cloth or wallpaper in those colors.


Gray Bathroom


7. Makeover the Kitchen

Pewter, blue-gray, slate imply simple and reliable according to color psychology. Pair several shades together for a more complex feel. Use a glossy paint to create a modern look.


Gray Kitchen


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7 Ways to Use Gray in Your Home was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home