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Lessons From Listing Photos

Lessons From Listings Photos: See the Power of Staging in This Pennsylvania Carriage House

September 16, 2020

lessons from listing photos

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

These days, staging a home—redecorating it with furnishings and decor selected to appeal to buyers—is an important step that nearly every homeowner should think about when it’s time to sell their house.

When potential buyers view a home—whether online or in person—you want them to be able to picture themselves in your space. But it’s hard to do that when your personal stuff is everywhere. That’s where staging comes in. It’s a tool to highlight the strengths of each room and eliminate anything that could give potential buyers pause—be that clutter, personal belongings, or design decisions that just aren’t for everyone.

If you’ve ever doubted the power of staging a home before listing it, this Pennsylvania home will make you see the light.

Built in 1925, it has many great features and tons of character, but it still didn’t sell when it was listed for $810,000 in August 2019. In June 2020, it was relisted with brand-new photos of fully staged interiors. We’re talking streamlined furniture and rugs in clean, neutral colors. No more mismatched wooden furniture! And just two months later it was sold for $820,000, a little more than the initial asking price.

Since home staging costs around $2,000 to $2,400 a month (the furnishings are rented), that seems like money well-spent, especially when you consider the money lost on extra mortgage payments while the home sits on the market.

We went right to our experts to find out why the staging of this house attracted a buyer—and how you can have the same success in your home. Here’s what they had to say.

Living room

The living room in this house had a lot of great features, but the original setup didn’t allow them to stand out.

“When you have a feature wall, such as the stone wall shown here, it’s best to showcase that instead of covering it up with bulky furniture,” says Dawn Gerali, a real estate agent with West USA. “The modern, lighter-colored furniture and minimalist artwork works well to make this a comfortable, inviting space.”

“By simplifying the color of all the furnishings, it is less distracting to the eye,” explains Lisa Vail, designer with Vesta Home. “A potential buyer can easily find themselves stepping into the space and making it their own.

Vail adds that swapping out the furniture is a quick and easy move that gives the perception that the entire house has been updated.

Kitchen

There was nothing really wrong with the original kitchen in this house, but it had a mismatched vibe that made it hard to present a functional, uncluttered space. Yet the magic of staging changed all of that with just a few simple swaps.

“The kitchen island has been staged with bigger stools and place settings, and the shelves have been cleared as well,” says Will Rodgers, a real estate consultant with KW Realty McLean. “This gives the buyer the idea that the kitchen can be a good area for meals, and makes it appear less cluttered.”

Jill Valeri, a home stager and owner of Welcome Home: Interior Design Solutions, says the staged version of the room just feels better to potential buyers.

“The matching stools, place settings, and small vases by the stove create a visually appealing rhythm in the space, while emptying the built-in shelves makes them less distracting,” she says. “The overall effect is that the buyer can now focus on the beautiful marble and vast counter spaces.”

Dining room

Obviously the selling point in this dining room is the gorgeous ceiling beams, but unless the room is staged right, they may look more like a hindrance than anything.

“The ornate furniture in the before photo competes with the wood-beamed ceilings and windows. It detracts from the room’s architectural features,” explains Gerali. “The sleek, modern furniture in the after photo draws attention to the beautiful ceiling and the natural light coming in through the windows.”

Marla Perez, account executive with Vespa Home, agrees.

“Staging this dining room made it feel larger and more grand,” she says. “Changing the orientation of the dining room table elongated the dining room, and adding a neutral rug brightened the space. The updated furniture and upholstered dining chairs created a more formal dining [area] for entertaining.”

Bedroom

Very little has changed in the bedroom of this home, save for the new furniture and decor, but it feels like a totally different space.

“They have elevated this room simply by adding the appropriate-scale bed and neutralizing the color palette,” says Vail. “The original bed was way too high for the room and drew attention to the odd nook it was set in. But now it looks like the nook was built intentionally for the bed.”

Rodgers emphasizes the impact of the cosmetic changes.

“This bedroom feels more airy and natural after the old chests and dressers were replaced with plants, neutral-colored linens, and a serene piece of art over the bed,” he says. “This gives buyers a relaxing feel upon entering the room, which is perfect for a bedroom.”

The post Lessons From Listings Photos: See the Power of Staging in This Pennsylvania Carriage House appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: An Outdated Texas Jewel Shines After Major Makeover

January 23, 2020

Lessons From Listing Photos: An Outdated Texas Jewel Shines After Major Makeover

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and this massive 5,000-square-foot home is no exception. Built in 1970, it was once a sparkling gem in the center of a still-prestigious west Houston neighborhood, but the interiors didn’t age well over the years. As you’ll see from the before pictures below, it’s the type of home anyone would walk into and say, “Bless your heart.” Clearly, it was high time to bring this beauty up to date.

Renovating this home would be a daunting task for anyone, but the most recent sellers were game—and this clearly wasn’t their first rodeo. They bought the property in September 2018, and sold it a year later for about $600,000 over the price they paid.

So what did they do to help modernize this Southern manse? And more important, how can you have the same success with your own home?

When asked to identify which renovations and decor choices made all the difference, our experts obliged. Here’s what they had to say.

Before: Sitting area

sitting_before
There’s way too much going on in this room.

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After: Sitting area

sitting_after
Now you can really enjoy the space of this sitting area.

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It won’t take you long to figure out what changed in the sitting room—and these renovations vaulted it forward three decades.

“The marble columns served to provide more of an obstacle than any sort of enhancement,” says interior designer S.A. “Sam” Jernigan of Renaissance Design Consultation. “The room now exudes lightness.”

The absence of those bulky columns may be the first thing that strikes you, but that’s not the only major change this room has experienced.

“Removing carpet and replacing it with hardwood is a must if your home is competing with pricey, new construction. Buyers don’t want carpet, especially on the first floor of the home,” says interior designer and home staging expert Jill Hosking-Cartland, of Hosking Interiors.

Home staging expert Lori Matzke also says changing the paint makes a huge difference.

“While the before photo certainly feels homey, too many colors distract from the features of the space,” she explains. “The crisp, white walls really help to play up the size of the room, and extend the space right through to the back garden.”

Before: Parlor

parlor_before
In a word? Yikes.

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After: Parlor

parlor_after
Now this room is airy and chic.

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This parlor is a huge room with a lot going on—and according to our experts, that’s exactly the problem.

Matzke says the old room had so much furniture, its intended use was confusing.

“The updates in the after photo not only brought in more light and created a much more open layout, but they also defined the space, leaving no doubt in potential buyers’ mind exactly how this area should be used,” she says.

“This layout utilizes the amount of square footage better and brings attention to the focal points: the fireplace and the view,” says Hosking-Cartland. “More seating makes the room feel cozier, while removing the mantel and doors makes the room look larger. Painting out stained woodwork contributes to the more modern feel of the room.”

Before: Master bedroom

master_before
This master bedroom was nothing special.

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After: Master bedroom

master_after
Now the master bedroom is an oasis of calm.

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Jernigan calls the original version of the master bedroom “very tired-looking,” and she’s not wrong.

“The master bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the home to a buyer. After all, the occupants of this room will be paying the mortgage,” says Hosking-Cartland. “With its taste-specific bedding, dated furnishings, and patterned wall-to-wall carpet, the before photo of this room in no way communicates serenity or retreat, the two things most buyers want in their next master bedroom.”

But the overhauled master bedroom showcases some great decor decisions: a neutral color scheme, comfortable furniture, modernized fireplace, and inviting seating area.

Before: Kitchen

kitchen_before
Dark brown finishes date the kitchen.

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After: Kitchen

kitchen_after
The contrast in colors makes the kitchen look luxurious.

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The kitchen before was spacious, but that’s not enough to make it what home buyers are looking for.

“The face-lift performed on this kitchen makes it look 30 years younger,” says Matzke. “The ‘before’ was fine, but very dark, gloomy, and dated. Brightening up the cabinets and replacing the countertops make it feel younger and brighter. But what really took this kitchen over the top were the updated light fixtures. They make this kitchen feel a lot more special and luxe.”

Hosking-Cartland says an updated kitchen is a must when you’re trying to compete with other homes on the market.

“Updating the finishes, flooring, and lighting in this important room goes a long way to communicate to a buyer that your home has been well cared for and maintained,” she says.

Before: Dining room

dining_before
This dining room looks a tad too personalized.

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After: Dining room

dining_after
The refined decor brings the dining room into this decade.

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“The decor in the ‘before’ photo did make this room feel a little tired, too personal, and dated,” says Matzke. Those are things that can make it difficult for a buyer to picture themselves living in your home.

“Buyers love light, bright rooms, and in this dining room it was smart to remove the curtains to let in more light,” says Hosking-Cartland. “It also brings attention to the architectural focal point, which is the large bank of windows. Changing the wall color to a light neutral and adding artificial light at eye level also contribute to the room appearing brighter, especially for night showings.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: An Outdated Texas Jewel Shines After Major Makeover appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: An 80-Year-Old Ranch Gets a Rustic-Modern Makeover

January 17, 2020

lessons from listing photos

realtor.com

It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

Within California’s capital city lies the posh neighborhood of East Sacramento, an area filled with historic and diverse homes, ranging from Tudors to bungalows. Some homes, like this 80-year-old, four-bedroom, four-bathroom ranch, are badly in need of an update.

When the property hit the market in 2018 for $900,000, it was clearly a very valuable place.

When they bought it in 2018 for $900,000, the new owners quickly zeroed in on its considerable strengths. The original architectural touches, like built-in cabinets and an arched soffit over one of the bathtubs, give it a unique charm. It’s also located in the tony enclave known as the “Fabulous Forties” (the streets are named after numbers in the 40s). But they also realized it would need considerable work to bring it to its full potential.

An eight-month renovation returned the home to a level of sophistication it hadn’t seen in decades. And when the refurbished house went on the market, it was eventually sold for $600,000 over what the sellers paid for it just a year earlier.

So what design choices worked to the sellers’ advantage the most? We went straight to our experts to find out what they did right, and how you can have that same success in your space.

Before: Front of the home

front yard_landscaping_before
The house was hidden by overgrown greenery.

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After: Front of the home

front yard_landscaping_after
After renovations, you can’t miss this gorgeous entrance.

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You’ll have to look pretty hard to find any similarities in these before and after images, but we promise that it is the same house. It’s simply come out of hiding from behind all that overgrown greenery.

According to our experts, it’s really just several small changes that made such a huge difference in the appearance of the front of the home.

Kobi Karp, principal at Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design, loves the way the dark roof, door, and shutters contrast with the white panels on the house.

“The color palette makes the home pop,” says Karp, who’s also a big fan of the new landscaping.

“The lighting creates warmth, and the addition of potted wildflowers usher in the farmhouse vibe without going overboard, and creates a welcoming entrance,” he says.

Of course, nothing sells a house better than an entrance that welcomes prospective buyers, right?

Before: Living room

living room_before
The old living room was closed off and outdated.

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After: Living room

living room_after
Opening a wall—and losing the fireplace—makes it larger and improves flow.

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The sellers may have added a ton of style to this living room, but they also took away something fairly major: the fireplace!

So how do our experts feel about losing a feature than many consider central to the room’s design?

They don’t miss it at all. In fact, Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design, thinks the room greatly benefits from letting the fireplace go, as it helps gain more of what really matters: space.

“This is a beautiful and bright space made even larger by removing the fireplace and opening up the wall between the living and dining rooms with an arch, enhancing the architectural details,” she says. “I love the added stained-wood casing around the other door to warm up the space. The new stain color of the floor is perfect for the update. The previous oak floor was too yellow and orange.”

Karp admires the universally flattering and stylish decor choices.

“While the color scheme is still neutral, the space is brought to life with plants and wooden accents,” he says.

Before: Office

office_before
This old room held hints of its former charm.

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After: Office

office_after
A few simple touches created an inspiring office.

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This room didn’t see as many changes as the rest of the house. But our experts agree that the modifications made the room more stylish and functional.

“This is a perfect example of how designer staging completely transforms a space,” says MacNeil. “With the placement of some key furniture, art, and an area rug, the space now has purpose.”

“The floors were also darkened to match the rest of the house and add warmth to the room,” says Karp. “All these elements make this a space where you can create, reflect, and feel inspired.”

Another nice touch: keeping the original built-in cabinet. It’s a nod to the house’s historical roots and provides more storage space.

Before: Bathroom

bathroom_before
The old bathroom had nothing going for it.

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After: Bathroom

bathroom_after
Mosaic tiles and a wooden vanity give this space life.

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Perhaps the most genius move in the whole house was transforming the arch above the bathtub into a unique design element.

“I am in love with this bathroom,” says MacNeil. “The original arched soffit over the tub looks stunning clad in this small mosaic.

It “is an element that would typically be removed during a renovation, and I am so happy they kept it,” says MacNeil. “It brings an architectural design feature that speaks to old European design.

The rustic sink vanity also gives a nod to the modern farmhouse aesthetic that crops up in other rooms of the house.

Before: Backyard

backyard_before
The old backyard was overgrown.

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After: Backyard

backyard_after
A new patio and grass make this a place you’d want to spend an afternoon.

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The original backyard looked a bit like a wasteland with no place to sit and relax. But several additions make this area a comfortable place to enjoy that California sunshine.

“A covered patio is such a great selling feature,” says MacNeil. “They took this one to the next level by creating two massive, open gables in a gorgeous stained wood. I love the exposed steel fasteners that give an edge to the design.”

Karp sees this outdoor space as the perfect complement to the renovation.

“Ultimately, they created a space that thrives on rustic details and pure functionality,” he says.

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: An 80-Year-Old Ranch Gets a Rustic-Modern Makeover appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: This Rehabbed California Ranch Is Giving Off Major Modern Farmhouse Vibes

December 24, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

Taking a look at nothing but the property description, this four-bedroom, 2.5-bath ranch home in Loomis, CA, sounded like a buyer’s dream when it was previously up for sale in January. It had plenty of space and privacy (thanks to the 3-acre lot) and a great neighborhood.

But a quick flip through the listing photos revealed one big problem with the house. It screamed 1970s both inside and out—an issue that surely would have sent many prospective buyers running. The truth is, many people are looking for a home that’s move-in ready and may be reluctant to buy a home that’s in disrepair, so a major remodel could be a deal breaker.

Thankfully the sellers knew what had to be done. They did a down-to-the-studs renovation before putting it back on the market in August—proving along the way that Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t the only ones who can pull off the modern farmhouse look.

Below, our design experts discuss what parts of the renovation made the biggest impact, and how you can have the same success in your own space.

Before: Bathroom

bathroom_before
This old bathroom was ’70s overkill.

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After: Bathroom

bathroom_after
Now the bathroom is fresh and clean.

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Paging Marcia Brady! This bathroom looks like something out of a ’70s sitcom.

“Carpet in a bathroom is just disturbing,” says Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home. “The layout was also awkward because of the two separate rooms.”

A much-needed redo brought this bathroom into the current decade.

“These new Moroccan-inspired mirrors make the room look really on-trend,” says Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design. “While the palette of this bathroom is serene and calm with all whites and grays, the hit of black really pulls the space together.”

Our experts agree that knocking down the wall next to the sink made a huge difference to the layout and added major space.

“Removing the separate room for the toilet and shower was a smart move,” says Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. “It allows for a larger shower and more open feel.”

Stix also appreciates the pendant lights (that coordinate with the mirrors) and the classic polished-nickel finish on the faucets.

Before: Bedroom

bedroom_before
The old bedroom was dingy and bland.

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After: Bedroom

bedroom_after
New floors and trim make this room classy and comfortable.

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The bedroom went from college dorm to grown-up getaway, and our experts are loving the changes.

“New flooring is a fairly simple update that has really cleaned up the space,” says MacNeil.

Stix was also most impressed by the flooring change.

“The existing carpet looked nasty,” she says. “I’m glad they changed it out for hardwood, and a pretty hardwood with warmth and movement.”

But the floor wasn’t the only big change that caught her eye.

“Removing the popcorn ceiling was well worth it, too, and adding recessed can lighting and a ceiling fan bring light to the space,” she adds.

Before: Dining room

dining area_before
That old fireplace dated the entire space.

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After: Dining room

dining area_after
Now the dining room is open and welcoming.

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“This room had the most drastic and necessary changes,” says Fasone. “Removing the old fireplace and adding the hardwood floors and the new color palette make it feel like an entirely new home.”

Stix agrees that removing the fireplace was the right move.

“In a lot of renovations you see people keeping the fireplace. But in this case, I think it was smart to sacrifice the fireplace for the larger, open concept kitchen,” she says. “Plus the stone wasn’t very pretty.”

Staging the dining room also helps sell the space and gives potential buyers an opportunity to imagine themselves living there.

Before: Kitchen

kitchen_before
This closed-off kitchen is like a step back in time.

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After: Kitchen

kitchen_after
Opening it up made all the difference.

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Hello, bigger kitchen! The transformation to an open concept is surely something potential buyers loved.

“By removing the kitchen peninsula and old drywall, the whole space has opened up and become more functional,” says MacNeil. “The new kitchen holds all the key elements to a shabby-chic or farmhouse kitchen: subway tiles, white and gray color palette, dark finished hardware, and rustic wood elements.”

“I’m glad they removed all the cabinets and created a large center island,” adds Stix. “They kept it simple and appealing.”

Before: Front exterior

front_before
The original exterior kind of blends into the landscape.

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After: Front exterior

front_after
Now the front yard looks homey and inviting.

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The exterior color chosen for the renovated house does a great job of capturing the rustic-chic vibe that’s going on throughout the inside of the house.

“Architectural details like the window boxes play a key role here and really complete this look,” says MacNeil. The same can be said for the carriage-style garage doors in that gorgeous honey-brown shade.

Fasone agrees about the new color scheme, saying it feels very clean and neutral.

“Updating the garage is such a smart way to add value and functionality,” she says.

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: This Rehabbed California Ranch Is Giving Off Major Modern Farmhouse Vibes appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: This South Carolina Mansion Went From Traditional to Trendy

December 12, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

There was nothing wrong with this Sullivans Island, SC, home when the sellers purchased it. It was built in 2005, so it hadn’t acquired decades of wear quite yet, but the decor did display furniture trends and colors that were hot in the early 2000s.

Before they put it on the market once again, the sellers decided to update a few of the home’s interior details, embracing many of the hottest trends of the moment. It’s a great example of how small touches can make a big difference—and how you can stir up more interest in your home without a major renovation project.

Below, our design experts highlight the stylish changes that the sellers made, how they likely affected the sale of the home, and (most importantly) how you can make the same thing happen in your home.

Before: Bedroom

south carolina before and after
The old bedroom looked crowded with too much furniture.

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After: Bedroom

south carolina before and after
Now, the bedroom has a strong design point of view.

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south carolina before and after
A smaller dresser makes the room appear more spacious.

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There’s no denying that this is a comfy bedroom, but the design in the after photo is a lot more on-trend than the other—and our experts were quick to point out why.

“The before image is very matchy-matchy, which is slowly going out, while the layered, textured, and eclectic design in the after photo is in,” says Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. “The antique-looking bed mixed with more modern bedside tables and area rug is very trendy. All-white walls is also something you see a lot these days.”

Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design, says the white room allows a few colorful features to pop.

“This is a huge trend and really allows you versatility in the space,” she says.

Before: Kitchen

south carolina before and after
The kitchen was perfectly functional, but needed a design refresh.

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After: Kitchen

south carolina before and after
Small touches make the kitchen look more polished.

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You have to look pretty closely to see the changes in the kitchen, but once you do, you won’t be sure how you missed them.

“This kitchen had great bones; I would die for this space,” says MacNeil. “Shiplap walls, artisan subway tile, exposed beams, and great natural light. Who could ask for more?”

But despite the architectural quality of the kitchen, there was still room to update the decor, brighten up the space, and bring it into this decade.

“By opting for clear-glass pendants over the island and sink and removing that piece of art over the range, the whole space now breathes and feels so warm and inviting,” says MacNeil.

“The bar stools have a lot more personality, and are very trendy,” says Stix. “The woven vinyl look with curved wood frame play off the other wood tones and add more visual interest. They fill the space a lot better and are more comfortable than backless stools.”

Paul Trudel-Payne, founder and creative designer of Casa Consult+Design, says the simple changes in the light fixtures and bar stools really updated the space and infused true style into the kitchen.

“While this update is not major at all, I really feel like buyers will resonate with the attention to detail,” he says.

Before: Living room

south carolina before and after
Before, the living room decor was basic as can be.

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After: Living room

south carolina before and after
New furniture and a fresh coat of paint give this space a new vibe.

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This gorgeous living room is where the biggest decor changes were made.

“It almost looks like an actual renovation took place” says Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home. “Previously, the living room felt very dated and heavy: the white slipcovers, all of the different wood tones in the floors and furniture, and the dark bricks on the fireplace. … The new style feels more current.”

Fresh white paint helps the room feel open, airy, and modern.

“They also did a clever trick by simply whitewashing the brick to tone down the red of the original brick. This really softens the space, but still leaves the history and texture intact,” MacNeil says.

The white walls also leave room for the new colorful furniture and artwork to take center stage.

“I love that they contrasted the blue sofas with the citron geometric rug,” says Stix.

“The luxe vibe created with the royal blue velvet sofas is everything,” adds Trudel-Payne.

Before: Porch

porch_before
The old porch was a cozy place to hang out.

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After: Porch

porch_after
Now, it’s a chic lounge.

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Who wouldn’t want to spend a Sunday morning sipping coffee on this redesigned back porch? The space itself is idyllic, but the previous design—which included turquoise sofas and pillows that looked more suited for a child’s room—left much to be desired. But brand-new furniture and a revamp of the fireplace make this space just as tasteful as the interiors.

“This porch is now a design lesson in how to do white on white properly. You need texture, and lots of it,” explains MacNeil. “The ceiling joists, which are exposed, and shiplap walls are part of this texture. In the furnishings they made selections that had texture, like the woven armchairs and the rug all in tone-on-tone white and off-white.”

Fasone agrees that going all white was a good move, and sees another benefit to the redesign: “The porch feels more like part of the exterior now that they used outdoor woven patio furniture instead of the oversized aqua matching love seats,” she says.

Before: Sitting room

sitting room_before
Not everyone is a fan of turquoise walls.

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After: Sitting room

sitting room_after
White paint on the walls elevates the design of this room.

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The sitting room was probably the most outdated space in the whole house, and our experts say the sellers embraced all the right trends to bring it into the present.

“This room felt so stuffy before with the furniture choices and wall sconces. Now it has a perfectly curated, eclectic feel,” says MacNeil. “The key here is the rug has an aged look, and matches so well with the floors so it blends together and creates the perfect base. The traditional turned-leg desk feels so sweet, but juxtaposed with the black and white artwork it gives it a real kick. Throw in the Eames chair, and it’s the perfect balance of traditional, modern, and rock and roll.”

“Getting rid of that robin’s-egg blue wall is long overdue. That, plus the removal of ornate gold art, bulky furniture, and dated sconces really brings the space into this decade,” says Trudel-Payne. “Although my favorite new detail is the refinished original hardwood floors that were sitting beneath the carpet.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: This South Carolina Mansion Went From Traditional to Trendy appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: A 1900s Bungalow Gets a Gut Reno, and We Can’t Stop Staring

December 5, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

When the sellers purchased this Sacramento, CA, bungalow in late 2018, it was dated and dreary. But they made quick work of renovating it. Less than a year later, the bungalow was back on the market with the addition of modern touches that make it a California home buyer’s dream.

Despite the massive makeover, this house still had a major factor working against it that couldn’t be changed: its location just down the street from a busy freeway. But the gut renovation was effective enough to attract buyers who were willing to make the trade-off in order to live in a pristine, stylish home. After just 27 days on the market, it was sold for $200,000 over the original purchase price.

So what did the sellers do to make this house so desirable to buyers, and how can you have the same results in your own home? We went straight to our experts to find out.

Before: Front exterior

front exterior_before
The original exterior blended in with the surroundings.

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After: Front exterior

Front exterior_after
This new exterior was designed to stand out.

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New paint and landscaping took this house from dilapidated to delightful.

“I love this all-gray palette, it really allows the mustard front door to sing,” says Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design.

Curb appeal goes a long way in the eyes of buyers, and Paul Trudel-Payne, founder and creative designer of Casa Consult+Design, says the sellers’ changes like removing the old screen door and adding a bold pop of color make an impactful first impression.

Before: Living room

living room_before
All this wood weighs down the room.

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After: Living room

living room_after
The white and gray decor lightens things up.

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Everything about this space says fresh and clean after the renovation, but the bones—and the character they bring to this bungalow—are still all there.

It’s “by far my favorite room transformation,” says Trudel-Payne. “They honored and brought new life to the home by keeping all the intricate architectural details that make every space drip with charm.”

MacNeil agrees that the juxtaposition of the traditional millwork details with the new midcentury modern furniture and fixtures works in this room. Even if the new owners decide to swap the Eames chairs for something a bit more rustic, this neutral space can accommodate many different design schemes.

Before: Kitchen

kitchen_before
There are too many mismatched surfaces in this kitchen.

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After: Kitchen

kitchen_after
A clean, streamlined look brings order and freshness to the kitchen.

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We’d call this house a bona fide fixer-upper, but this kitchen needed the most help out of any room. Pre-renovation, the mismatched materials, colors, and prints would make anyone’s head spin, but now the coordinated interiors and soft color palette bring a calmness to the home.

“Removing the linoleum flooring and replacing it with hardwood was the first step in the right direction,” says Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home. “Changing out the old, two-toned wooden cabinets to new gray cabinets with brass hardware gives the space a clean, streamlined look.”

Our experts agree that gray is a nice alternative to white if you’re looking for a neutral hue to paint your cabinets. Trudel-Payne also says that gray cabinets work exceptionally well with a subway tile backsplash, which is another trendy material that buyers tend to favor.

Before: Bedroom

bedroom_before
The old bedroom was a little scary.

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After: Bedroom

bedroom_after
After renovations, the bedroom is a place to relax.

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No, that’s not a screenshot from a recent horror film—that’s really what this bedroom looked like before the renovation. Clearly it was in need of some love in the form of new flooring and fixtures that added personality to the room.

“It was a great idea to add barn doors to cover the built-in shelves,” says Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. “They allow the storage space to remain but hide the mess. Plus, they slide so they don’t take up any room.”

MacNeil also appreciates the industrial vibe the barn door hardware adds to the space.

Before: Bathroom

bathroom_before
The old bathroom was cute but dated.

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After: Bathroom

bathroom_after
A fresh white bathroom wins every time.

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Some of our favorite bathroom renovations are the ones that don’t require a big budget. Most of the changes that occurred in this bathroom are purely cosmetic.

“The previous mismatched paint colors made the bathroom feel old and dingy,” says Fasone. “Minor updates—including the fresh coat of paint, the new medicine cabinet, and the vanity—give the bathroom a total face-lift.”

“What a quaint space,” says MacNeil. “I love the traditional vertical shiplap walls. This is a look that many designers covet, so they are lucky to have this original detail.”

Trudel-Payne reiterates that being smart (read: frugal) about aesthetic choices can help your bottom line in a big way, especially if you’re renovating the home to sell it.

“More than half of a renovation budget usually goes to things no one sees like electrical and plumbing,” he says. “But using the existing architectural details is the key to a budget-friendly transformation.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: A 1900s Bungalow Gets a Gut Reno, and We Can’t Stop Staring appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: A Minimalist Home in Portland With Major Scandinavian Vibes

November 20, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

This spacious Portland home has an innate cool factor, thanks to its high ceilings and midcentury architecture. When the sellers purchased it for $548,000 in 2012, it was already a unique home—but the dark, outdated interiors were badly in need of a refresh. It’s a good thing this place had so much potential!

A total redesign with a Scandinavian minimalist twist turned things around, and in 2019, it sold for $920,000.

So how did embracing less result in a home value that nearly doubled? We went straight to our experts to find out what the best design moves were from the sellers—and how you can make it happen in your own space.

Staircase (before)

staircase_before
This room has floor-to-ceiling windows but is still noticeably dark.

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Staircase (after)

staircase_after
A new coat of paint brightens this room up.

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If you ever doubted how much power white paint can have on a space, look no farther than this room.

“So simple, yet so effective. It completely changes the staircase and makes it feel more architectural and modern,” says Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. “Yay for keeping the pendants—they’re so classic and add to the ‘white on white’ layering and texture.”

One of the main architectural features in this room is the staircase, which now blends into the design instead of standing out.

“Not only does it make the room seem twice as big, but—true to Scandinavian design—it provides the perfect backdrop for decor to shine,” says Paul Trudel-Payne, founder and creative designer of Casa Consult+Design. The color palette is now neutral and natural, which makes the house feel cozy.

Kitchen (before)

kitchen_before
The old kitchen was minimal and mismatched.

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Kitchen (after)

kitchen_after
A clean, white kitchen is often attractive to buyers.

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We know that retro kitchens are trendy, but (as you can see in the “before” photo) this one just wasn’t cutting it. The sellers did keep one key element that our experts say enhances the new additions.

“I’m glad they kept the stainless-steel countertops,” says Stix. “It looks amazing with the marble and white.”

Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design, appreciates the new slab doors on the upper cabinets. They hide clutter and give the kitchen that streamlined feel that the sellers were obviously searching for.

And you can’t move on from the kitchen without talking about that new island.

“It updates the space and allows for an ideal kitchen flow, with optimal prep room,” says Trudel-Payne. Plus, few buyers can resist a marble countertop.

Fireplace (before)

fireplace_before
The floor-to-ceiling bricks weren’t doing a lot for the room.

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Fireplace (after)

fireplace_after
Now the room looks modern and fresh.

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Many buyers still have an affinity for the industrial-style look with exposed brick, but the floor-to-ceiling design was a little much, and didn’t fit in well with the rest of the home. Thankfully, the sellers had a solution.

“What I love about the Scandinavian aesthetic is that it allows for you to work with what you have,” says Trudel-Payne.

“Making everything white, and building out that ledge below the fireplace is all that was needed to completely transform this dated area. It’s such an adaptable aesthetic that helps transform a dated space into something modern, without losing any of the personality.”

MacNeil notes that this part of the house now feels defined, whereas before, it felt wasted.

“Now it allows the fireplace to be the focal point,” she says. “And by simply placing a seating area around the fire, it allowed the space to be more functional.”

“Drywalling the brick fireplace and adding the marble ledge across the entire wall was a very nice choice,” adds Stix. “It makes the room feel more luxurious and usable. Someone could sit there and enjoy the fire. I know I would!”

Den (before)

den_before
There’s plenty of room to socialize in this den, but the decor could use an upgrade.

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Den (after)

den_after
The new owners probably won’t miss the old fireplace.

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The den was once the most dated room in the house, but now, it’s the place where families would probably be most likely to hang out.

“This room previously felt like a dated log cabin, but now it feels like a bright modern space to entertain in,” says Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home.

Trudel-Payne says he sees a lot of Scandinavian inspiration in this room. “Keeping the rustic element of exposed wood ceiling, but adding a white treatment to everything, really speaks to that Scandinavian style,” says Trudel-Payne.

He also notes the smart use of angular furniture and eclectic accessories, such as the gold drum table and the simple but comfortable accent chairs.

“I want to curl up on this cozy sofa with a tea and enjoy the beautiful view outside,” adds MacNeil. “Before, the room felt busy and cluttered, but now you can truly enjoy the setting outside and feel wrapped in warm layers of textures inside.”

Bathroom (before)

bathroom before
Such a luxurious bathroom deserves a more glamorous look.

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Bathroom (after)

bathroom_after
Scandinavian simplicity at its finest

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Such a striking transformation in this room was likely made with very little effort. Here, the sellers used a paint change on the ceiling to lighten up the bathroom and make it feel like an oasis of calm.

“I love that they did a rustic white finish to the redwood ceiling that previously was so aggressive in the space,” says Trudel-Payne.

Stix agrees, saying that painting the wood ceiling keeps texture and interest in the space but makes the room feel bigger.

“That simple change makes everything else seem very modern,” she says.

“I love how spalike this room now feels,” adds MacNeil. “The focal point now is the luscious vanity and the flora and fauna, inside and out.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: A Minimalist Home in Portland With Major Scandinavian Vibes appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: A Once-Stale Tudor Is Now the Portrait of California Charm

November 6, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

Built in 1926, this Tudor-style home in San Diego is packed with all the original charm of homes built in that era. The main living room is centered around the fireplace, the front door is arched, and there are tall, narrow windows throughout the house.

But before the sellers got their hands on the property, the interior design was heavy and stale, and pulled the focus away from the home’s best assets. They purchased the home in April and quickly brought the interiors up to date, and then put the refreshed home back on the market in July.

As you’ll see in the photos below, their hard work paid off. The home sold in a quick 49 days for $300,000-plus more than their original purchase price. So how did they pull off this success story? We asked our design experts to point out all the right moves they made so you can bring these ideas to your next renovation project.

Before: Living room

living room before
Even with white walls, this room felt dark and closed-in.

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After: Living room

living room after
After the renovation, it’s light and bright.

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In true Tudor fashion, the hearth is still the star of this room, but our design experts called out the design changes that made this room feel more comfortable, modern, and stylish.

“It’s great that they squared off the drywall opening leading to the dining room,” says Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. That change, while a small one, updates the room and allows your eyes to land on more interesting features of the room—and there are lots of those.

Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design, points out the white color palette and the decor choices that complement it.

“The key to making this all-white palette pop is bringing in some color through nature like the fig tree as well as the beautiful art over the fireplace and pillows,” she says.

Before: Kitchen

kitchen before
The old kitchen was classic in all the wrong ways.

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After: Kitchen

kitchen after
Now the kitchen is a home chef’s dream.

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The original kitchen was quaint, but honestly, it’s not a place where anyone would like to spend a few hours cooking for a crowd. The new kitchen is now a home chef’s dream—and a nice place to hang out.

“Homeowners want bigger kitchens than in the past, and almost all of the clients I’ve had want an island,” says MacNeil. “By reconfiguring the layout and incorporating the dining area into the kitchen, this space is open and allows for a more functional kitchen. This space now becomes the hub.”

Stix agrees that this is a better use of the kitchen space.

“Combining the two rooms to create a larger kitchen with an island is way more practical,” she says.

Changes like installing hardwood flooring, removing the cased opening, and adding can lights help to modernize the kitchen, but Stix says a splash of color could have given the kitchen a bit more originality.

“I wish they incorporated some color—however, this kitchen is a nice neutral base for a potential homeowner to expand upon and make it their own,” she says.

Before: Dining room

dining before
The dining room was practically begging to be brought into the current decade.

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After: Dining room

dining after
A fresh coat of paint and clean lines completely transformed the dining room.

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The updates in this room took it from grandma’s dining room to a place you’d be proud to entertain guests.

“This shows you how small changes can have such big impact,” says MacNeil. “By painting out the trim to all white and updating the furniture and lighting, this space feels totally different. It’s now clean and modern, light and bright.”

Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home, notes how the removal of the window treatments brightens up the room. After overhauling the room behind the windows into an office, there’s no reason to cover up a beautiful space like that up.

Before: Bathroom

bathroom before
The old bathroom was drowning in outdated tile.

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After: Bathroom

bathroom after
Now, it’s modern and bright, but still retains classic features.

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Our experts agree that this is by far one of the best room transformations we’ve seen in a while. Now, the bathroom looks clean, elegant, and more spacious.

“The space literally doubled in size by removing the enclosed shower and making it glass,” says Stix. “It’s much nicer to shower in natural light versus a deep, dark hole.”

She also endorses moving the toilet to the other side of the vanity. “It blocks the view of the toilet, so it’s not the first thing you see when you walk in,” says Stix.

“I absolutely love the serene palette of all white with a dove gray vanity and brass hardware,” says MacNeil. “The mix of the soft gray with the warm metals keeps the room feeling warm and not clinical.”

Before: Backyard

backyard before
Too much furniture clutters this small backyard space.

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After: Backyard

backyard after
Decluttering does wonders for this outdoor space.

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In a sunny place like San Diego, the backyard is basically an extension of the living space—which means it has to be just as great as what you see indoors. But a plethora of outdoor furniture—including chaise lounges and a fire pit—and a cumbersome pop-up tent made the backyard look crowded.

Part of the backyard transformation included packing the heavy furniture up and leaving a clutter-free, wide-open space for the new owners to enjoy the Southern California sunshine. Lesson learned? Less is more when staging a house to sell.

“This is a testament to what just a little cleanup can do for your space,” says MacNeil. “Decluttering this backyard has really brought it to life!”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: A Once-Stale Tudor Is Now the Portrait of California Charm appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: These Absurdly Easy Interior Updates Added Value to a Townhouse

October 30, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

The owners of this Arlington, VA, townhouse had been renting it out since 2007. In 2019, however, they decided to leave the landlord life behind them and put this property on the market.

With just a few cosmetic changes—mostly paint and staged furniture—the sellers were able to breathe new life into this dated property without the cost or hassle of major construction.

As you’ll see in the before and after photos below, these updates made a huge impact on the quality of the listing photos. It just goes to show that increasing the value of your home doesn’t necessarily require a pricey renovation. The home sold in September 2019 for more than $200,000 over what the sellers paid for it.

So what changes made the most difference? And more importantly, how can you replicate these simple—and successful—methods in your own space? Our experts weigh in.

Before: Living room

living room before
The living room before was very ’90s.

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After: Living room

living room after
Now the same space is light and bright.

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This living room proves that just a little bit of effort can make a difference when you’re redesigning a space for listing photos.

“The color on the wall [in the after photo] is much more modern,” says designer Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. “The previous color screamed ’90s! Pairing the light walls with light furniture and a natural rug allows the room to feel light and fresh. The room gets a lot of light, which is great, and the lighter walls allow you to appreciate the two-tone color of the blinds.”

Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design, focuses on the new accessories in the space.

“Texture is playing a key role here. The tortoiseshell on the wall, the pillows, the jute rug, and the hammered-nickel coffee table are the elements that bring life to the space,” she says. “That is how you achieve a perfect monochromatic design, by playing with textural elements.”

She also points out one of our favorite decorating tricks: layering rugs. An easy way to pull off this look is to use a sisal or jute rug as the base and layer a faux animal skin rug (like the cowhide above) on top.

Before: Dining room

dining room before
The dining room was dark and like a cave.

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After: Dining room

dining room after
The room looks more spacious.

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The biggest changes in the dining room are the new paint color and the brand-new dining furniture. So what do our experts think of this transformation?

“When in doubt, go light!” says Paul Trudel-Payne, founder and creative designer of Casa Consult+Design. “Removing the dark paint and opting for the perfect shade of gray make this room finally look alive.”

Stix says painting the fireplace wall the same shade as the other walls makes the room feel much bigger.

“It makes the room feel like it connects with the rest of the house,” she says.

The sellers also made quite a difference by switching up the bulky furniture with more modern, mismatched pieces.

“The benches are a good solution for more seating and also take up less visual space,” says Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home.

And we can’t tell if the spot above the fireplace has been filled with a TV that doubles as a work of art or an actual painting, but removing the screen makes the room feel more refined.

Before: Bedroom

bedroom before
The bedroom before was just plain boring.

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After: Bedroom

bedroom after
Now it’s a luxe place to rest your head.

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This after photo proved that strategically arranged furniture can have a huge impact on the appearance of a room. What felt like a college apartment is now a luxurious, glamorous master bedroom.

“Changing the color scheme and layout in a room is often one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to update without the need for any outside help,” says Trudel-Payne.

The light gray and white palette is key to bringing the relaxing vibes in this bedroom, but MacNeil also loves the small accents of black in the lighting, pillows, lamps, and console table in the sitting area.

“It takes it from beige and boring to hotel chic,” she says.

Speaking of the sitting area, Trudel-Payne says the revamped alcove off to the side of the bed “helps show buyers the function of the oddly shaped room.”

And while some people think putting a bed in front of a window is taboo, this after photo proves that it’s actually an effective way to make the room feel more spacious. The sellers used a black room divider as a headboard in this room, but you could use any headboard you have on hand.

Before: Bathroom

bathroom before
This bathroom was dated and clunky.

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After: Bathroom

bathroom after
With only paint and new decor pieces, the space feels like a spa.

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It’s hard to believe there were no major renovations in this bathroom, because it looks like a completely revamped space.

“Painting the room all the same color is genius! It makes the room way more cohesive,” says Stix. “The dark paint made the room feel extremely choppy, and it accentuated the dated fixtures. The white palette draws your attention away from those elements and brings the focus to the airiness of the space.”

Fasone agrees that the contrasting black and white parts in the before photo made the bathroom feel very ’80s.

“The new color choice, serene artwork, and white fluffy towels make the bathroom feel more spalike and more inviting,” she says.

Before: Parlor

parlor before
The bulky sectional sofa does little more than provide a comfortable place to sit.

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After: Parlor

parlor after
After, the parlor is a light-filled dream.

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The revamped parlor follows the rest of the house with light paint colors and more on-trend furniture that brighten up the room.

“The last wall color was very dull and depressing,” says Fasone. “The new color on the walls and the white trim feels modern and crisp and brings life to the room.”

After looking at the before photo, most of our designers were focused on the elephant in the room: the giant sofa.

“That massive leather sofa soaks up every ounce of light,” says Stix. “The before image looks like a man cave where you’d binge-watch Netflix and never leave the house.”

Most home buyers like to see pictures of rooms where they could entertain guests or spend time with friends, and this makeover certainly achieves that.

“In any room that does not have an excessive amount of breathing room for a larger sectional, do yourself a favor and just say no,” says Trudel-Payne. “This sofa/chaise lounge combo is the perfect alternative to increase seating and maintain comfort in the room.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: These Absurdly Easy Interior Updates Added Value to a Townhouse appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Lessons From Listing Photos: 1950s Dallas Home Goes Ultramodern

October 23, 2019

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It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pics highlight the home’s best assets.

In homes built during the 1950s and 1960s, we can usually expect to see classic characteristics, like clean, angular lines and minimal finishes. Many buyers go gaga for this type of architecture, so you can only imagine our surprise when we took a look inside this 1950s home in Dallas. The “before” photos clearly show it was full of mismatched features (stucco arches in the living room! Three different types of tile!) that didn’t reflect the trends of the period when it was built.

Thankfully, the most recent sellers knew how to make sense of the space. They purchased the home for around $700,000 in 2017, completely modernized it, and turned it into the treasure it was meant to be all along. And buyers noticed, because just two years later, it was listed again for around $1 million—and sold.

So how did the sellers make such massive changes in such a short time, and what renovations made the biggest impact? Our design experts spill their thoughts on the makeover, and on how you can pull off a similarly successful overhaul in your own space.

Before: Living room

living room_before
The old arches dominated the living room.

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After: Living room

living room_after
The new living room is clean and modern.

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The big change in the living space is easy to pick out in these photos—gone are the strange, out-of-place arches in front of the windows. Our experts agree that those arches had to go.

“Removing the arches is the smartest thing they could have done to make the room larger and more modern,” says Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. She also applauded the sellers for replacing the outdated floor tile with hardwood, as it gives a much more luxurious look that’s consistent with the rest of the house.

Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design, believes that the finishing touches really bring the living room together.

“This space has made a huge transformation into a beautifully textural and monochromatic space,” she says. “The trick with schemes like this is to layer lots of texture, and this is done perfectly with the rug, pillows, oversized artwork, upholstery, and finally with the contrasting black steel door system.”

Before: Staircase

staircase_before
The old staircase was big and bulky.

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After: Staircase

staircase_after
The new staircase is sleek and stunning.

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The original staircase in the entryway of this home was an eyesore. Big and bulky, it spiraled out and took up most of the space. Plus, the newel post was far too large for the room and didn’t match the style of the house.

Luckily, our experts say the renovation was perfectly executed.

“This staircase goes from pure function to form and function,” says MacNeil. “I absolutely love the steel spine staircase that gives the treads a floating effect. It becomes a sculpture in the space, accentuated perfectly with simple steel spindles.”

Notice anything unique about the hardwood?

“I love that they used the same hardwood in the entry but did it in a herringbone pattern!” says Stix. “It makes the entry feel special and important.”

Before: Kitchen

kitchen_before
The original kitchen had a ’90s vibe.

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After: Kitchen

kitchen_after
The new kitchen is ready to entertain.

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The footprint of the kitchen didn’t change all that much—part of a wall came down, and there’s a new island. But some significant cosmetic changes made this room sing.

“These simple moves had a huge impact on the space,” says MacNeil. “Also, losing the ceiling fans removes the visual clutter and allows your eye to rest on the stove and backsplash tile.”

“The biggest benefit here is the layout of the island,” says Stix. “The previous L-shape screamed ’90s renovation. The large island centered with the range wall seems much more practical and functional for eating quick meals.”

Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home, agrees that continuing the hardwood flooring into the kitchen is a smart way to make the design feel consistent with the rest of the house.

Before: Dining area

dining area_before
The old dining room seemed more like a sunroom.

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After: Dining area

dining area_after
The new dining room feels like part of the home.

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The biggest change to the dining area—aside from the fact that we’re no longer haunted by the memory of those unsightly arches—is that it’s now on the same level as the living room.

“Getting rid of the arches was majorly impactful,” says Stix. “It completely takes the room from old to new.”

Although a rectangular dining table would fit, the circular table looks great with the new chandelier and gives a softer feel to the modern space.

Both Stix and MacNeil are in favor of the oversize windows and doors.

“They give an industrial feeling and allow a great view to the freshened-up backyard space,” says MacNeil.

Before: Backyard

backyard_before
The old backyard was a fairy tale gone wrong.

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After: Backyard

backyard_after
The new backyard is clean and crisp.

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Speaking of the freshened-up outdoor space, it’s nearly impossible to tell we’re looking at the same backyard. The transformation is apparent—but not everyone is happy with the changes that were made here.

“The backyard prior to the renovation was something I would have kept intact,” says Fasone. “I really love how secluded and private it felt. With updated modern furniture, the original theme would still have been able to fit into the new style of the home.”

Stix is more on the fence about this one, but agrees it may have been the right step for a house on its way to being listed.

“I personally think the ‘before’ image is quite charming.” she says. “I love the quaint, ‘Secret Garden’-type vibe. But the renovation certainly cleans it up. Removing a lot of the foliage might be attractive to potential homeowners who’d prefer not to mess with the upkeep.”

MacNeil, however, is a big fan of the changes.

“This is a great backyard, with many levels of area to entertain, and a great patch of grass for kids to play,” she says. “The designer has given it a great modern update by clearing away some of the flora and allowing the new doors to be a showpiece.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: 1950s Dallas Home Goes Ultramodern appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.