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Antique to Chic

Karen and Baron Burems seek help selling their 100-year-old home.

Plantation-Style Home
Karen and Baron Burems are ready to leave the hectic city life and their 1905 Plantation-style house for a quiet community better suited for children. Problem is their house is in no shape for selling, and they don't know where to begin getting it ready to put on the market. That's where the Designed to Sell team comes into the picture. Armed with $2,000 and a whole lot of expertise, they eagerly take on the challenge.

First up is the blunt advice of real estate expert Shannon Freeman, who is immediately struck by the seemingly lifeless but huge wraparound porch. Though a wonderful asset, it needs to be livened up with some fresh flowers or plants.

Before: Hidden Potential
Once inside, she notes that some great architectural details are hidden by window treatments, there are spots where paint jobs have been left unfinished, and some fixtures are outdated. The living room is the first room real estate expert Shannon Freeman sees. It does not give her a good impression, as it lacks cohesiveness. The living room is also more spacious than it looks because of the dark red paint. In addition, there are cluttered areas in each room, creating a lack of definition.

Before: Out-of-Style Dining Room
Team designer Lisa LaPorta is next to assess. The dining-room table is very narrow and long, but the room is square. Complementary shapes work best, LaPorta insists. In addition, the light fixtures need updating, and the trim and cabinets need to be repainted. Taking into account Freeman's observations as well as her own, she lays out a plan for shaping things up before the open house in just a week.

Step 1: Show it off. Play up the home's architectural details to entice buyers.

Step 2: Streamline. Eliminate the home's multipurpose messiness so future buyers can focus on the positives.

Step 3: Make it new again. Update the out-of-style elements so the home feels completely current.

After: Fresh and New
Carpenters Brad Haviland and Nick Ralbovsky worked diligently to sand away 100 years worth of paint in preparation for a fresh new look. LaPorta and the Burems put in their fair share of sweat and tears, too. The resulting improvements are sure to net the multiple offers they sought.

The living room, which used to be dark and dreary, is now a bright open space that welcomes potential buyers. The new window treatments draw the eye straight to those great bay windows, while still allowing in plenty of light.

After: Updated Dining Room
The "after" dining room is a showpiece in and of itself rather than the cluttered mess of before. A new round table better fits the space, and fresh chair slipcovers and decorative accessories bring this room into the 21st century.

Before: Cluttered Countertops
The kitchen got a makeover, too. It was out of style and plagued with tons of appliances on every square inch of counter space.

After: Open and Airy Kitchen
Now the kitchen is open, airy and attractive. It boasts a new oven hood, dinette and window treatments, plus a warm paint color on the walls and freshly painted white cabinets.

The open house was a success, proving that attention to detail pays off. Here's how it all broke down:

furniture $935
molding $200
special projects $315
window treatments $260
paint and supplies $165
accessories $85

Total: $1960

Products from Target:

five iron drapery rods for living room, Black, 068 07 0242
two chenille throws for living room, Black, 067 10 0063
tile art for living room, Ceramic Vintage Advertising: "Mossant," by Leonetto Cappiello, 074 12 0135
plant holder, 084150082
picture frames for dining room, Harbor Town: Museum Collection, 065-07-0814
votive candles for dining room, 054091893
vase and bowl for dining room, 065100179 and 065100173
Green candles for dining room, 054091840
two barstool cushions for dining room, 067090175
three valance rods, 068050278

Products from Anna's Linens:

chair slipcover for living room, Imperial Satin: Tex Style Home Fashions, 818776
five Black velvet drapery panels, Majestic Velvet: Rod Pocket Drape, 20159
four valances, T. Victoria, 19725

Product from Orchard Supply and Hardware:

living-room plants

Products from Gelson's:

flowers for the kitchen and living room

Products from Coaster Company:

four Parsons chairs for the dining room, 4550
dining-room table, 7236
two dining-room barstools, 4237
kitchen table and chairs, 4241 and 4117

Product from Lowe's:

Hood for Kitchen

30" range hood N/V White, 413001

Product from The Home Depot:

exterior wall lantern, 725916806354
16" ceiling medallion for dining room, White, 091421265185

Product from Lamps Plus:

dining-room chandelier, Inverted Amber Tiffany, 22025

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