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Lessons From Listing Photos: A Portland Home Goes Modern, Nearly Triples in Value

October 9, 2019

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 midcentury modern–style home in Portland, OR, does exactly what a home in the Pacific Northwest should do—it embraces the natural beauty of the city with ample views and a great outdoor space. The home itself is tucked among the trees, but all of that gorgeous foliage didn’t get to be appreciated when the inside of the house is cramped and stuck in the 1960s.

The most recent sellers knew exactly what major renovations were needed to make the property shine. They purchased it in 2011 for $351,000 and brought it up to date with modern finishes and a reworked floor plan.

Eight years later, they listed the home, and their hard work paid off big-time. They sold it for $975,00, nearly tripling its value.

So how did they do it? Our experts analyzed the before and after photos to determine which changes made the biggest impact, and how you can make it happen in your home, too.

Before: Entryway

This dark entry gave the house zero curb appeal.

Now it’s bright, open, and welcoming.

After: Entryway

Before the renovations, this home had a large front porch that was hidden by a faux wall. Removing that wall allowed the homeowners to showcase the larger entryway.

“This is the epitome of a curb appeal transformation,” says Paul Trudel-Payne, founder and creative designer of Casa Consult+Design.

“The white exterior walls with the natural wood ceilings delivers that special ‘wow’ moment.”

The most obvious update is the Chartreuse color on the front door. It’s a bold shade, but it suits the modern architecture.

“Even in the rain, the pop of yellow is so bright and happy,” says designer Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio. “Who wouldn’t want to come home to this? I love how it contrasts with the black trim, wood ceiling, and white house.”

Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home, notes how the tall windows and wood porch make the entry feel cozier than the original concrete pavement.

Before: Foyer

The old front door opened right into the 1960s.

The new bright and cheery foyer sets the tone for the whole house.

After: Foyer

The foyer is the first chance to make an impression on buyers when they step inside your home, and this one was—how do we put it?— dreary. Thankfully, the renovation gave this space the attention it deserved.

“The foyer before was ho-hum, and now it’s vibrant with the continuation of the yellow door color inside,” says Nisha MacNeil, design manager at Kerr Construction & Design.

“This is a great trick homeowners can use to liven up their foyer versus just having a plain white door inside.”

“Getting rid of the carpet and adding hardwood makes the biggest difference,” says Stix. “Carpet in the foyer is never a good idea.” That makes sense, considering the area by the door is where all the dirt and grime from outside comes to rest—and it’s way easier to clean up hardwood.

Of course, the most noticeable change from the original design is the staircase. Not only was the old spiral design dated, but a staircase this narrow was likely difficult to get up and down. The updated staircase is safer and way more stylish.

“Changing the curved glass railing to metal and wood takes about 20 years off of the house,” says Fasone. “I’m a huge fan of the living wall, too, because it carries the outdoors into the home.”

Before: Living room

living room_before
This living room was lined with windows, but somehow still dark.

After: Living room

living room_after
White paint and fewer walls make the space brand-new.

The wall of windows was the star of this room, even before the renovations, but the sellers made some strategic design decisions to brighten up the room and open up the floor plan.

“I like that they didn’t add any window treatments to the windows. It feels modern and focuses on the view, which is so pretty and private,” says Stix.

White walls and hardwood flooring also contribute to the clean, airy feeling of the living area.

“Removing the worn-out carpeting and adding the hardwood floors reflect the light,” says Fasone. If you’re looking to make the square footage look as expansive as possible in your home, consider hardwood, vinyl plank flooring, or another sleek option for your living room.

Before: Kitchen

The galley kitchen is all kinds of awkward.

After: Kitchen

Hello, spacious kitchen!

The old galley kitchen, awkwardly situated next to the foyer, wouldn’t inspire any culinary creativity. But knocking out a wall and borrowing a bit of space from the oversize living room made all the difference.

“The previous layout felt very closed-in and dark, but opening up the wall between the entryway and kitchen makes it feel like you’re looking at a completely different home,” says Fasone.

While opening up the floor plan made the most obvious impact, it’s not the only big change that happened in the kitchen.

“I love how they kept the skylight but made the ceilings taller and added recessed can lighting,” Stix says.

Before: Patio

The old patio was dated and depressing.

After: Patio

The new patio adds even more enjoyable living space to the home.

One of the biggest selling points of this home is the surrounding foliage, and while the outdoor space was functional, it was in need of an update. By removing the sunroom, the sellers added more patio space and made it match with the rest of the exterior changes.

“Adding the wood decking is the best way to tie in the wooded surroundings that make this home special,” says Stix. “I love that it connects to the front porch and works well with the white glass railing.”

Stix also didn’t miss the detail added to the underside of the roof.

“Adding the shiplap wood to the ceiling adds texture, repetition, and clean lines, which are pleasing to the eye.”

The post Lessons From Listing Photos: A Portland Home Goes Modern, Nearly Triples in Value appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Lessons From Listings Photos: This Bold Boston Townhouse Proves That Color Can Sell a Home

October 1, 2019

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 over 150 years ago, this Boston townhouse is filled with classical features that would make any lover of traditional architecture swoon. But before its transformation, the interiors appeared a bit stuffy. Plus, townhouses like this are quite common in Beantown, so it needed something to help it stand out from similar properties on the market. That meant doing away with the bland interiors that might be found in any home.

When the sellers purchased this 3,000-square-foot home in 2016, they embraced all the character it retained from 1853—they just reimagined the decor in a more eclectic way. As you can see from the after photos, they leaned into interiors that are a mix of 1960s mod and Hollywood Regency. After spending three years injecting the home with personality and fun, they sold it for $2 million—nearly $400,000 more than they bought it for.

The unapologetic use of color and glamorous furnishings made us interested to dive deeper into this home’s transformation. What did the sellers do right during this vibrant transformation, and how you can make it happen in a space you have that needs a little life? Here’s what our experts had to say.

Entryway (before)

The original entryway was traditional.

Entryway (after)

The new entryway makes a big first impression.

The first thing you notice when you look at the before and after pictures of this home is the addition of lots of bright colors. Our experts were quick to show their enthusiasm.

“I am so excited to see a design that has so much punch and color. How refreshing!” says designer Nisha MacNeil at Kerr Construction and Design. “I think all designers dream to have a client that allows them to do something so fun!”

Going bold the right way means you have to balance the colors and prints out, or else risk having space that’s just too much. Thankfully, it seems the sellers knew this trick.

Designer Katie Stix, partner and design director at Anderson Design Studio, zeroed in on the changes in the woodwork.

“I love that they painted the handrail black and the stairs all white. That, with the addition of the applied molding, adds a very cool and subtly dramatic backdrop for the bright bench and gold mirror,” she says. “A mirror in the entry is always important to help the space feel more open.”

MacNeil points out how the gold fixtures, like the mirror and sputnik light fixture, pair well with the bright color palette.

Living room (before)

living room_before
These neutral colors were just too safe.

Living room (after)

living room_after
living room_after

Anyone who’s afraid of color should take a page from this room—neutral is not always better!

“Even though the color is super bright and fun, the space feels warm, homey, and classy,” says Stix. “And I love that they painted the ceiling a lighter shade of teal. Much better than a typically white ceiling.” According to her, adding lots of color to the walls is the easiest way to make a big impact without taking a major hit on the budget.

Tiffany Fasone, owner and CEO of Voila Design Home, called the wall colors a “brave statement,” but she was more focused on the furniture.

“Adding the bar makes the space feel like more of an entertaining area,” she says. “The bright furniture attracts the eye and is fun and interesting.”

MacNeil did note one classic addition to the room, and she approves. “I absolutely love the designer’s nod to the traditional architecture of the home in the chandelier,” she says. “That really grounds the room.”

Kitchen (before)

The original kitchen was functional but boring.

Kitchen (after)

The new kitchen is exactly where you want to get cooking.

This ain’t grandma’s kitchen anymore!

“This doesn’t even seem like the same space,” says Stix. “It has a completely different vibe with the relocation of the island. Making the island the same height as the countertops is much more functional and modern.”

MacNeil says the kitchen is still classic, with white cabinets and marble countertops. It’s the extras that really count in this space.

“What really takes it over the top are the two over-size black metal pendant lights and bronze stools,” she explains. “I love how the fridge is hidden and built- in. There are no upper cabinets, which leaves the kitchen feeling light and bright.

A black-and-white kitchen is always classic, but pops of color bring it to life.

“I absolutely love the bold green interior doors,” Stix says. “They’re unexpected but full of personality.”

Bathroom (before)

powder room_before
The original bathroom was just too basic.

Bathroom (after)

powder room_after
powder room_after

Welcome to the jungle—we’re pretty sure you’ll love it here. Our designers do!

“Before, the bathroom was outdated,” says Fasone. “Adding the statement wallpaper over the black painted clawfoot tub gives the powder room a hip New York hotel feel.” That’s exactly the type of luxury you want potential buyers to experience when they tour your house.

While many designers advise sellers to depersonalize their home when photographing and showing it, this is a good example of how you can get away with experimenting with prints. The powder room is a great place to be a little more eccentric with your design.

“Bold, quirky, and fun, this bathroom feels like an exciting escape from reality,” says Stix. “I probably would have done a different shower curtain to get a little relief from the palm-leaf pattern, but it would be very easy for the new homeowner to change it out.”

Remember what we said about the importance of balancing out the bold details? Stix notes that the black window trim and black-and-white floor tie the room together.

“Again, the designer selected very traditional lighting, which feels so fresh against the fun palette of the room,” says MacNeil.

According to Stix, this finished home is perfect for a certain type of buyer. “Overall, this home would be perfect for a bright, happy, bold homeowner that wants a reaction from guests,” she says.

The post Lessons From Listings Photos: This Bold Boston Townhouse Proves That Color Can Sell a Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.