DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION ARTICLES Spruce ups that SELL!
It Doesn't Cost Much....Just a Few Scents
Question: I've always heard that to help your home sell faster you need to make it smell great. What are your thoughts on baking cookies, and adding potpourri prior to the house being shown?
Our awareness and lasting memories of the smells, scents and odors associated with buildings, businesses and even our homes is inherent in all of us. The olfactory system, or our sense of smell, has served us well since the dawn of history. Our noses once played a vital role in our human survival by ensuring us of our next meal and a way to avoid lurking dangers. Today, it's not necessary to get a whiff of an approaching mastodon, but it is an excellent tool in helping a perspective buyer decide on which house will make his 'short list'. The uniquely identifying scent of each house can read like a valued book when used for detecting hidden flaws and problems; a heavy musty aroma gives clues to a probable water or rising damp situation in the basement, and a whiff of urine can lead the perspective buyer to think ' oh no… pets in the house and the carpet will have to be replaced'.
But aside from strong and obvious problem-indicating odors, the more subtle scents, particularly the ones that collect in your home over time and are derived from your daily living and lifestyle habits, are the aromas that will paint the most vivid picture of your true homes maintenance identity to a perspective buyer. The subtle scent of an older refrigerator, lingering cigarette smoke imbedded into the draperies and fabrics, and even the hard to define scent emanating from the piles of "stuff" crammed under the beds, are all scent impressions that will stick in the minds of perspective buyers as ones belonging to the house that had not been well kept and maintained. You can count on all of these thoughts to be going through the minds of perspective buyers because they are using their noses to assist them in their house hunting efforts. Through the sense of smell, immediate impressions of the house they are viewing will determine if this house will eventually be a place for them to call home. As an example of the veracity of certain scents to withstand the test of time and intervention of personal experience, think back and you'll find it's not too hard to call to mind the following scents and the impressions you first collected in these locations: new car, funeral home, nursing home, butcher shop, hair dresser.
So even if it's been years since you had the opportunity to "smell" these places first hand, the original impression has been made and imprinted on the brain through our sense of smell. Like I've always said, "memories and impressions are made through the nose, to the brain, by way of our assumptions". Whether we realize it or not, our own homes also have a defining odor, one that over time, we as the occupants of the space fail to recognize because we live there and the aromas and smells are not noticeable to us. However, our homes' unique scent 'signature" will not only create a lasting assumption in the minds of anyone new stepping through the doors, but the actual smell of our homes will offer the best clue to the perspective buyer as to the true condition of the house that they are considering for purchase. I know it's hard to realize, but consider it true, that in that first whiff, perspective buyers will make assumptions on your lifestyle, maintenance schedule, and overall soundness of your house.
With this daunting thought in mind, isn't it no wonder that the old tricks of fresh baked cookies and potpourri are a great way to make sure the scent of your home's weak and overlooked points are somewhat camouflaged and replaced with an inviting aroma associated with warmth and comfort? But these tricks alone will not compensate for a thorough top to bottom cleaning , no holds barred de-cluttering effort, lifestyle modification and needed repairs prior to listing your home if you want your house to quickly sell. So with that said, here's a few tips that will get your house in tip top "smell" condition and ready for a quick sale!
- For a quick all over "scent signature" worth remembering , try this no-fail trick for establishing your favorite potpourri aroma throughout the entire house. Start by going to your closet and removing a pair of old panty hose. Cut off the toe section about 10 inches above the ankle and fill this section with your favorite non- floral potpourri. Tie a secure oversized knot making sure to leave about 4 inches of unfilled stocking above the knot. In those homes that are utilizing heating/cooling methods with forced air technology, simply remove the floor vent covers from the heat registers and dangle the stocking -filled potpourri bag into the duct and secure with the weight of the vent cover. Whenever the forced heat or air conditioned air circulates thru the floor vents, the air currents will carry the wonderful aroma of your favorite potpourri throughout the entire house.
- Never discount the smell of freshly polished wood; there's something comforting in the rich warm aroma associated with the scent of well cared for wooden furnishings. To carry that lemon- fresh scent a little further, simply spray a quality furniture polish on a cotton cloth and wipe on and around each and every door knob in the house. Whenever anyone touches the knob, especially the front door knob area, the smell of the polish will linger in the air thus giving your home a 'just cleaned' scent.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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The Endless Possibilities of Painting
Question: We will be placing our home on the market this Fall and plan to repaint the kitchen. Currently the walls are covered in a grimy film and there is a dark yellow ring around the ceiling. Any suggestions for color and for getting the paint to stick?
It's not the paint color you should be concerned with, but rather the preparation BEFORE you paint. In any room where there has been poor indoor air quality habits such as cigarette smoke, heavy use of candles, and hours of frying foods, you're going to end up with walls and ceilings that are crying out for special attention. Here's how to prep the walls to ensure your painting efforts will "stick" :RUB WITH THE GRAINS You'll first need to wash the walls and ceiling using a granulated cleaning powder. A cleaning product like Spic & Span or TSP works well because it is slightly abrasive and leaves no soap residue. Don't try to skip corners here and use a liquid cleaning product, the sudsing agents in these types of cleaners will only smear the grease and cause the paint to 'slip'.COVERAGE INSURANCE Next you'll apply 1 coat of a shellac base sealer. This is a fast drying, opaque primer that ensures complete coverage and prevents 'bleed through' if applied properly. Most paint stores carry several brands, but the industry standard is a product called KILZ. Since this is a shellac based product, and not a PAINT, please remember to read the label carefully for clean-up and pay special attention to the indoor air quality safety instructions; unlike paint, shellac based primers stink and the denatured alcohol used in the clean up of the primer can be toxic if not properly handled and ventilated.PAINT WITH STAYING POWER To ensure a perfect paint job and to make your kitchen irresistible to perspective buyers, use only a high quality paint in either a latex enamel or alkyd semi-gloss finish.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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|On The Market Makeover
Before the ink is even dry on the listing contract, most homeowners are already in a panic with such thoughts as : how am I going to get my house ready to show, what can I do to make it look larger, and of course the universal question, how and where am I going to hide all of our junk?
The answer is simple; just use the stuff you already have in new and unique ways and don't be afraid to think outside of the decorating box! By that I mean, approach the 'showing' of your home as if you were a design pro skilled in turning any decorating dilemma into an inviting upscale SHOW house. And the best way to start practicing your new 'design pro' mindset, is to begin your spruce up efforts anywhere in the home where there is an opportunity to display and arrange decorative items such as books, family photos, and vacation souvenirs. Rooms with bookcases, entertainment units, bakers racks, open cabinet shelving etc. are the best place to start because they are the main rooms where most perspective buyers will get their first impression of how this house can be transformed into their idea of an inviting home.
With that in mind, here's a few tips on how to incorporate your existing decorative items and household what-nots into great looking shelving arrangements that will immediately give perspective buyers the sense that this house is large enough to look stylish while attractively displaying those items that go into turning a house into a comfortable home.
SHELVING BASICS. Arranging and decorating the individual shelving of any bookcase or open storage unit can create a tricky situation unless you remember back to good 'ole high school math class . I know it may be hard, but try to think back and recall the basic shapes from geometry class, because it's these shapes that you will be using while you create your individual shelf arrangements. Shapes such as the triangle, square, circle and rectangle will play an important role in determining your finished decorative shelf arrangement and make working like a pro easy and fun!
BRING ON THE SHAPES. Just like arranging a group of pictures on the wall, decorating a 3 section shelving unit calls for a variety of textures, colors, and interesting shapes and "fill" patterns on each shelf as well as maintaining a uniform balance with the individual shelf contents directly above and below each shelf. Sounds confusing??? Don't worry, it's nothing more than shape geometry so even if you flunked math class, you can't fail in this class ! Here's an example to get you started on decorating your bookcases, bakers racks and any other shelving area within your home.
THINK SQUARE. For a three unit bookcase or display cabinet area, begin your shelving 'arrangements' on the middle shelf of the middle bookcase unit. Notice that the space you will be working in will be a RECTANGLE so try to incorporate a few shapes that are square or circular in nature. Be sure to include small groupings of family photos and hard bound books with lively jackets covers all tied into your overall room color scheme. Be sure to fill the entire space so that when you step back and look, this entire shelf or rectangular space , seems to be completely filled.
Next arrange approximately seven to ten collection of hard back, novel sized books in the center of the uppermost shelf. Secure the books with a pair of great looking bookends and prop a few 5 x 7 photo frames on either side of the bookends. This overall book and frame arrangement will form a SQUARE directly in the middle of the rectangular shelf opening.
On the shelf directly below the middle shelf, duplicate the same square shape but instead of the books, substitute a large bushy plant and position it slightly off center to either the right or left side of the shelf. Proceed to add the photo frames etc just as in the shelf above. For the plant, be sure to select a variety that has a few trailing leaves and positions these so that they are dangling off of the shelf and into the next opening below.
Now, for the remaining shelf , create a similar arrangement but be sure to insert a large CIRCLE or prominent object that has a circular shape. Baskets work nicely for this, as do decorative plates and round trays. Position these round objects in the corners and WOW….. when you step back and look, you've just created a wonderfully arranged bookcase unit!
For the other two units, repeat this overall geometric pattern making sure to keep staggering the shapes between shelving units and shelf openings. For added interest, remove the center two shelf boards so that the centermost space located within the center unit will actually form a square instead of a rectangle and fill this space with one "knock out" decorative object such as a unique floral arrangement or interesting piece of pottery or sculpture. Another good choice to fill in this "focal point" space is a grouping of your framed diploma and other certificates propped on small easels and leaning against the back of the unit … see, and all of these years you've had them stored in boxes!
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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Create Then Decorate
Question: Even though our home is only a few years old and located in a great neighborhood, it has been shown several times but still no offers ! Is there any thing that can be done to the inside that will make it more attractive to prospective buyers without spending a lot of money?
Over the years and thousands of decorating tips later, I still come back to offering this most basic of advise… OBSERVE, CREATE and THEN DECORATE! Whether you are thinking about a few cosmetic changes or getting your house showcase ready for a quick sale, the same advice holds true.
OBSERVE: Before you tackle this or any decorating project you first need to look around and really OBSERVE your surroundings and examine your house and property with "Fresh Eyes". Take a good look at each and every room including the front porch and try to imagine how a guest coming to your home for the first time will encounter each space. Will he or she trip over the entryways' cracked floor tiles, notice the smell from last night's dinner because there is not enough adequate ventilation in the house since the windows have been "paint sealed for years", or worse yet, get an unspoken warning alerting them to the fact that the house has little or no storage since all of your closets are now overflowing and PACKED to the ceiling!?
Looking at your home with objectivity is always difficult, so here's a simple and inexpensive trick to help you see your home from the perspective of the buyers point of view. Take at least 4 photographs of each and every room making sure that the photos overlap offering a panoramic view of the entire space when they are displayed side by side. Now REALLY look at the photos as if they were a magazine layout and you were the very critical design editor. What areas cry out for decorating HELP, where are the locations that cause you embarrassment, and finally, make a list of all of the " I didn't realize it looked that bad!" sections of your home. Now you have a plan!- a starting list of where your decorating attention and dollars can do the most good.
CREATE: The hardest part of any decorating project is the time it takes to be creative! And it is especially hard when you are trying to juggle the dollars between fixing you the old house to sell and saving for the new. It is so much easier to just go to the store, buy whatever is on sale, paint the walls your basic off white
and throw down a few yards of tan carpet. A good design and decorating scheme whether you are creating for a quick sale or many years of contentment takes restraint from "impulse decorating".
To overcome this common trait of soon to be "sellers", I recommend that you go back and study again your photos, take them with you when you go to the store and then just stand there in the isle and THINK. Yep, that's right, just stand in the middle of the store and let your creativity flow. Think of how the new paint color will compliment your home's features that will NOT be changed during your pre-sale spruce up such as your cabinets, hard surface flooring and plumbing fixtures.
DECORATE: Who said that dramatic results come only from deep pockets? Once you have examined your project areas, defined and outlined your approach and then allowed the necessary time for creativity to kick in, the decorating part is a piece of cake! With your new found creativity, you'll be amazed at how by simply rearranging your existing furniture, cleaning out your closets, and displaying your most prized accessories in a different room can make a huge difference in not only the look of your home but in the "feel". And afterall, that hard to define feeling of comfort is what decorating is all about and what buyers are looking for in a home.
So when it comes time to decorating for the sake of a quick sale, keep your eye towards the buyers sense of COMFORT. Simple things like, playing soft music as a background to your homes' design style, is always a great way to get perspective buyers in the mood to stay and look around a little while longer. For a modern contemporary styled home, a little Frank Sinatra helps with the swing of things , just as for a more traditional styled home, classic lite rock or new age instrumentalists like YANNI can do wonders for setting a tranquil sense of comfort to any home.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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Sometimes A Little is A Lot
Question: My husband and I are at odds over what to do; please help! We are transferring to a new city and must leave our yet unsold house. Since we will need most of our furniture in the new house, what pieces do you suggest we leave in the old house in order to keep the house from looking so empty?
Take heart and… take it all! Yep, that's right; whenever faced with filling a vacant house with a only a few left over items of your existing furniture, the smart answer is to leave NOTHING. So go ahead and pack up all of your belongings and furniture and move it all to your new location. Instead, I recommend that you invest in a few low cost decorative accessories and position these items throughout the house in strategic locations in order to help sell your house. The fact that you'll only be spending on average under $500.00 makes this an affordable way to position your house into the mindset of a perspective buyer. After all, when a buyer is looking at several houses, the house that stays in their memories and haunts their conversations is the one that they usually buy. So what better way to make a memorable impression than to 'dress' your vacant house with a few well chosen new decorative accessories instead of your left over furniture which will only reinforce the idea that this is a 'used' and well worn house.
By using only a few well chosen NEW accessories, this affordable way to merchandize or market your house will actually help to enhance your square footage and create an instant sense of 'home' to any perspective buyer who walks through the door.
This decorative technique is somewhat unique but is now being used in many sections of the country for both new construction and to assist in the sale of existing houses. It started as a business technique that I teach in my seminars for new home builders, developers, and real estate professionals for them to be better able to sell their unsold housing inventories without actually creating a high priced typical model home. It's a technique that I like to call modified merchandizing © and it utilizes the same principle for both unsold new construction and also applies to homes left vacant while still on the market.
Given the fact that empty rooms do absolutely nothing to help sell a house, and the alternative of creating a fully furnished 'model' or professionally 'staged' house is expensive, my concept of modified merchandizing is a natural way to bridge the gap and create a comfortable sense of 'home' for any vacant house. Through simple modified merchandizing© techniques such as the correct light bulbs to install, a few well chosen area rugs in key locations and the all important kitchen accessories to display on the countertops, there is an affordable way to 'ready' your vacant house for perspective buyers without resorting to leaving worn and 'left over' furniture scattered about. To get you started, check out these ideas:
- Something so simple as a fresh and attractive dish cloth can make such a big difference to a perspective buyer's first impression. To give a warm and inviting appeal to your vacant kitchen, simply arrange two new dish cloths creatively draped over the handle of the stove front. Select a color of towel that will compliment the wall color and serve as an accent to your rooms' overall style. In other words, a light blue 'cutsey' kitchen towel emblazoned with cats and dogs will not work in an ultra modern kitchen whose color scheme is black and white.
- Pantry cabinets are a great place to showcase available storage space. On the clean and freshly painted shelving, creatively arrange three to five large cans of soup, veggies or oatmeal on every other shelf in order to offer a sense of depth and a welcoming appeal to whomever opens the door.
- On the countertop, arrange a stack of carefully selected oversized cookbooks with jackets whose colors compliment the overall color scheme found within the kitchen. On the top of the stack of books with the spines directed into the space, arrange an artificial plant to one side and a large platter displayed on a plate stand in the center of the books. Position this decorative 'arrangement' in the darkest corner or section of the countertop. If you have glass front cabinets, be sure to display several luncheon sized dinner plates on stands making sure to include also a few accent items such as glass salad cruets, wooden salt and pepper shakers and smaller brightly colored cook books on every other shelf.
- For the kitchen chandelier, be sure to install 60 watt crystal faceted bulbs to give a cheery glow to the breakfast area, and for overhead fluorescent fixtures, new tubes rated for 4100 Kelvin with 87CRI will go a long way in "showcase–ing" your former kitchen in the best possible light.
- Since the empty family room will seem so overwhelmingly lost and featureless devoid of furniture and 'stuff' , try adding a 9 x 12 brightly colored area rug diagonally positioned across the floor or over top of the wall to wall carpet . Be sure to once again select a color and pattern that will compliment the overall room color scheme and feature a pattern that will enhance the friendly feeling that you want to project into the empty house. Avoid oriental styled rugs and contemporary patterns that are highly geometric or ultra modern since these styles tend to alienate the average perspective buyer especially when the rug is the only decorative feature in the room.
- For any empty space with a well proportioned fireplace, a simple artificial green plant with trailing leaves is the best solution for instant appeal. Add the plant to an oversized oval or rectangular ceramic container and position the arrangement to the right of the mantel . Add an oversized framed mirror propped on the mantel shelf behind the arrangement and WOW…instant character!
- To fill the visual space and to create a sense of welcoming comfort to any typical living room, add an oversized 24 – 30 inch tall floor plant container with a 6- 7 foot artificial palm to the left corner of the room. Locate an inexpensive floor uplight portable fixture with a compact fluorescent bulb directly behind the plant and leave it turned on 24/7. The energy saving bulb will last over 10,000 hours and cost under $9.00. This one 'touch' of glowing light will enhance the overall room and give it a new found sense of style irresistible to most perspective buyers.
- A smaller decorative rug that compliments, but does not match the area rug found in the family room, can be situated within the space to establish a sense of balance and will give a bright touch of personality to an otherwise empty space. For inexpensive area rugs with a decorative pizzazz that are easy on the pocket book, check out the selections offered at most larger home centers and upscale discount stores.
Once again, remember to keep in mind the existing wall colors and the targeted 'ideal' perspective buyer whenever making your selection, afterall, you are decorating the house to SELL not to live in yourself.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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Transform Your 1990's Home For a Quick Sale
Throughout the country, we're in a building boom and everyone seems to have the itch to check out the latest innovations in residential design and construction . A lot of folks are now even including 'house looking' as part of their normal weekend activities even though they may not be actively searching for a new place to call home. Face it, it's voyeuristic fun… there is something exciting and wishful about poking about a construction site and touring model homes where you get the chance to dream and imagine how you and your family would utilize and live in the new structure. But all of this interest and awareness in new construction is taking the toll on existing home sales. With scores of newly constructed homes featuring light-filled smaller square footages and family-friendly open floor plans designed to accommodate the casual lifestyle of the 21 century, who can blame the perspective buyer for choosing the newly constructed house over that offered by the hum drum older house? With the current building, architectural, and style updates which virtually eliminate wasted space and endless dark and dreary hallways, is it no wonder that most perspective homebuyers are opting to purchase a newly constructed home even though older existing houses may have more square footage, established lawns and mature landscaping?
With that in mind, the challenge is tough for anyone trying to sell an existing pre-1990 home; it takes more than a great price and neighborhood, it takes a bit of designer magic to transform the typical dark and dreary older home into a viable contender with the numerous streamlined light- filled newly constructed homes. But since the goal is to SELL your house, not spend thousands by remodeling it, you'll need to get the most 'bang for the buck' with whatever attempts you tackle. And the place to start is in the long and dreary hallway found in most older residences. It's the common hallway that is the universal hallmark of poor design , inadequate lighting, and wasted space especially when compared to today's open and flowing floor plans featuring minimal use of transition or hallway space . To get you started on transforming your style dated hallway, here's a few tips:
LOOK TO HOTELS FOR INSPIRATION. In order to overcome the long and narrow hallway design challenge, simply think back to your last vacation. No , not the scenery or the poolside fashions, but try to recollect the wall décor of a typical hotel hallway. I know this may seem to be a strange suggestion, but when you think about it, a hotel is a great example of good hallway design, because once you leave the lobby, the rest of the building is nothing less than a series of long narrow hallways between guest rooms much like the wasted space found in most older homes. Now, to test your memory, see if you can recall that there were usually very few, if any, pictures, prints or paintings hanging on the side walls. That's not an effort of the hotel simply trying to save money, but rather the lack of artwork on the walls is actually a planned design element , or what I like to call the shoulder rule. Simply stated, if the commercial hallway is 4' to 6'wide , you can almost bet that someone's shoulder is going to be rubbed up against the wall as they pass by, thus knocking off whatever was hung on the wall. The same rule can be applied to your home's three foot wide hallway as well.
Another reason for not using the side walls of a long and narrow hallway to hang pictures and artwork, is that by hanging lots of little pictures along each side of the hall, will only help to elongate the space further, thus giving the illusion that indeed this is a lot of long boring space. With that in mind, the same rule of 'keep the walls bare' will also apply to your space as well, so nicks the temptation to hang lots of little pictures and other wall decorations on each side of those long hallway walls.
JAZZ IT UP WITH FLOORING. By now you're thinking, if I can't hang pictures on the wall…what's left? The answer is close by, actually you're standing on it… that's right… decorate the floor! Just like in the hotel hallways where the answer to numerous long and boring hallways are solved with lots of interesting floral and patterned carpeting, a decorative floor covering is the solution to your home's long and boring hallway. To avoid re-carpeting your entire space and to keep your cost down, try adding a contrast border to your existing carpeting, or simply overlay a nifty area rug runner down the center of the hallway. A stiff and sturdy area rug pad designed specifically for use over top of broadloom carpeting will keep the area rug secured and looking great!
LOOK UP FOR EXCITEMENT. The most important area for hallway improvement is on the ceiling. Yep that's right… that's the one space that everyone seems to forget whenever it comes to decorating. A simple trick, but necessary design element, is to consider painting the ceiling a pale tint of a color which is in contrasting harmony with the wall color. Notice, I did not say to paint the ceiling a pure WHITE. This is actually a poor paint color choice in a hallway because it will only appear dull grey especially in a hallway without windows so seriously consider ceiling colors such as pale teal, pale peach and blush pink to brighten up the space.
CATCH THEIR EYE WITH LIGHT. Another designer touch to enlighten the path of the perspective buyer, is the addition of increased lighting levels. Since it's the lack of proper lighting that causes the blah atmosphere found in most narrow hallways, consider installing an eight foot strip of track lighting or a series of recessed light fixtures positioned every six feet along the center of the hall ceiling. You'll be amazed at the difference a few additional light bulbs will make ! As soon as you pump up the light lumens in your dull and boring hallway, the entire space will immediately "feel " more comfortable and spacious. This is because the increased light levels in the hallway are now the same as those found throughout the rest of your house and the hallway will actually appear much shorter than the floor plans indicate.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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Please Just Give Me My Space!
We've all heard the real estate sales mantra 'location , location, location' but in today's world the plea from perspective buyers is swiftly becoming 'storage, storage , and MORE storage space ! ' One only has to look at any new housing development to find countless homes featuring generous walk –in closet rooms, and oversized pantries all designed to catch the buyer's eye.
So what's the average home seller to do when the house they are trying to sell is an older home with shoe- box sized closets and smaller still pantry areas? The answer is simple…. use the design trick of 'if you can't make more space, than create the illusion of space !' To get you started, here's a few tips for the one area that catches every perspective buyers attention; the master closet.
GET BRAVE and begin by removing every stitch of clothing from the closet and then hang everything them in specialty designed clothes 'hanging boxes' available from any moving & storage company. Move this box to the garage, your mother in laws, or any off- site storage locker; just get it out of your house.
EXAMINE CLOSELY and repair any damage to the bare closet walls, and then paint the entire closet interior including the trim, walls and ceiling the same color as the closet door. If the door is a stained wood or dark color, then paint the closet interior a soft off white in an alkyd satin finish.
PURCHASE & INSTALL a series of multi-level wire racks to cove the entire closet wall directly across from the door. And to further create the illusion of space, be sure to change the light bulb to a higher wattage or simply replace the fluorescent tube to a higher KELVIN rating. I recommend at least a rating of 4100K to create more light and to present your clothing in the most flattering of light.
WITH A CRITICAL EYE examine the clothes hanging in the storage box and return to the closet only those items that you will need in the next 6 weeks including, shoes, hand bags, belts, etc. Aside from the seasonal need, six weeks is a good target date to shoot for in selling your house when you'll be moving your clothes to your new closet.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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Creating a home that is comfortable and environmentally safe for our families is at the top of everyone's list. With that in mind, here's a few tips that will showcase your home for any buyer searching for a new place to call 'home SAFE & HEALTHY home':
Ever wonder why a carpeted basement smells musty ? The culprit is the underlying pad! Because of the "rising damp" that occurs in all concrete areas located below the exterior surface grade, carpet padding containing foam or recycled foam chips can act as a breeding ground for mold, mildew and fungus …all agents that smell as well as prove to be a health concern. To solve the problem, simply remove the carpet and pad and then go for the latest in decorating trends; a painted concrete floor with lots of brightly colored area rugs.
NO MORE TEARS
Installing new carpet to help the house sell? be sure to add several live house plants- the natural air cleaning process of the live plants will help to absorb and get rid of the new carpet smell and air irritants commonly known as VOC's. It's the volatile organic compounds that can prove harmful to anyone with compromised immune systems and may cause watering eyes, stuffy noses and other problems for weeks afterward.
Considering a major overhaul to make your home more marketable? be sure to consider these safety warnings: Prior to 1996, most imported plastic and vinyl mini blinds contained harmful levels of lead which is extremely dangerous to young children. To learn how to safely remove the blinds, contact the Window Coverings Safety Council at 800-506-4636.
Another possible threat lays hidden under foot. For vinyl or vinyl tile floor installed prior to 1985, never scrape, pry , remove or otherwise disturb the flooring (or glue used to install the floors) since most of these floors contained asbestos. For more information on how to address the problem, please call the Consumer Products Safety Commission at 800-638-2772 to learn more.
© copyright 2000 DESIGN SERVICE INC.
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Spruce Ups That SELL!
Homes & Real Estate Magazine
Deborah Burnett appears regularly on HGTV, National TV and worldwide radio with design ideas and decorating tips. She is a nationally recognized health and wellness design authority and keynote presenter bridging the gap between science and evidence based epigenetic design which explores how the body and brain are affected by the interior environment. As a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine she specializes in research and design pertaining to how color, light, sound and daylight affect sleep.