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Design Intervention

The Bucknell family needs to spruce it up so they can downsize.

Not Appealing to the Masses
Sheralyn and Paul Bucknell love their large home but not all the work that comes with it. They have decided to downsize to a smaller house, and have enlisted the Designed to Sell team to help get their home in better selling order. They have a $2,000 budget and seven days to get it done.

Real estate expert Shannon Freeman provides the initial assessment of this house, starting with the exterior. She immediately notices dead palm fronds, which do not make a good impression on her. The landscaping should be alive and healthy. She also doesn't like the trampoline in the front yard or the toys strewn about. When selling your house, you need to ensure that it appeals to the masses, she says. Potential buyers may not have children, so those kinds of things should not be visible when the house is on the market.

Before: Boring Living/Dining Room
Moving inside, Freeman and designer Lisa LaPorta agree that this combo dining/living room has a nice flow and furniture placement. Freeman is pleased with the fact that the living room flows right into the kitchen. The living room is in good shape, but boring in design, and it doesn't play up that great fireplace.

The all-white kitchen is drab and filled with outdated appliances and accessories. Things like this can be unattractive to potential homeowners, who may not want a fixer-upper.

Before: Outdated Kitchen
The kitchen needs improving. The all-white theme makes it appear cold and sterile, and pitted countertops don't look as clean as they could be. It's also filled with outdated appliances and accessories. Things like this can be unattractive to potential homeowners, who may not want a fixer-upper.

LaPorta agrees with most of Freeman's points and lays out a three-step design plan to liven up this house:

Step 1: Play the field! Appeal to the widest audience by removing kids' stuff and neutralizing colors throughout.

Step 2: Cook up progress, modernizing the dated kitchen, and other areas.

Step 3: Focus on the features--showcase the strengths to pump up the bottom line.

As usual, she has her team of contractor Jim Collins and carpenters Nick Ralbovsky and Brad Haviland to help accomplish these goals.

Most of the rooms just require a little TLC here and there and some fresh paint, while the kitchen is a big problem area. LaPorta insists that this one room can make or break the sale of a house, so they will concentrate most of their efforts here. New tile and all new appliances will take up most of the budget, but she thinks it will be worth it.

After: Warm Living Room
This living room used to be a stark canvas, but now it's warm and inviting. Faux finishing the fireplace to look like natural stone really warms up the room and only cost $40 for the supplies.

Product from Frigidaire:

oven, model FGB24L2AS

Product from Broan:

range hood, model 404201

Product from Stone Mart:

kitchen tiles, New Venetian Gold

Paint colors used:

for the living-room fireplace, Ralph Lauren's Tangier Island NA05, Behr's Mochachino 740D
for the family room and kitchen, Ralph Lauren's Cotswold Breeches NA16

Products from The Home Depot:

lampshades for dining room, item 074080543
dishwasher and cooktop, GE
sink style: White Cast Iron
faucet, Price Pfiste's Marielle
drain, air gap and disposal kit
grout for kitchen, Haystack

Products from The Great Indoors:

knobs and handles for the kitchen, items 20419 and 20432

Products from Anna's Linens:

four Jacquard throw pillows for living room, two Gold and two Cream

Products from IKEA:

two drapery rods and brackets for living room, Nickel
two drapery rods and brackets for kitchen and family room, Black

Products from Levolor (purchased at Lowe's):

drapery rod and bracket for dining room

Products from Target:

five valances and two drapery panels for living room and dining room, Waverly, Gold Cotton Twill
two valances for kitchen and one pair of drapery panels, Waverly, black-and-white toile
one balloon shade cut up for chair cushions, Waverly, black-and-white striped

After: Updated Appliances
The kitchen is now a stylish, state-of-the-art room featuring all new appliances, including a dishwasher, oven, cooktop and hood, and a new sink. The new granite tile countertop takes center stage, though.

Product from Frigidaire:

oven, model FGB24L2AS

Product from Broan:

range hood, model 404201

Product from Stone Mart:

kitchen tiles, New Venetian Gold

Paint colors used:

for the living-room fireplace, Ralph Lauren's Tangier Island NA05, Behr's Mochachino 740D
for the family room and kitchen, Ralph Lauren's Cotswold Breeches NA16

Products from The Home Depot:

lampshades for dining room, item 074080543
dishwasher and cooktop, GE
sink style: White Cast Iron
faucet, Price Pfiste's Marielle
drain, air gap and disposal kit
grout for kitchen, Haystack

Products from The Great Indoors:

knobs and handles for the kitchen, items 20419 and 20432

Products from Anna's Linens:

four Jacquard throw pillows for living room, two Gold and two Cream

Products from IKEA:

two drapery rods and brackets for living room, Nickel
two drapery rods and brackets for kitchen and family room, Black

Products from Levolor (purchased at Lowe's):

drapery rod and bracket for dining room

Products from Target:

five valances and two drapery panels for living room and dining room, Waverly, Gold Cotton Twill
two valances for kitchen and one pair of drapery panels, Waverly, black-and-white toile
one balloon shade cut up for chair cushions, Waverly, black-and-white striped

Before: Pastel and Awkward
The family room needs some attention, too. The bright pastel paint overwhelms the family room, and the dated furniture is awkwardly placed.

After: Sophisticated Family Room
Now the family room is chic, smart and sophisticated, thanks to a new wall color, crisp window treatments and new furniture brought out from storage.

Product from Frigidaire:

oven, model FGB24L2AS

Product from Broan:

range hood, model 404201

Product from Stone Mart:

kitchen tiles, New Venetian Gold

Paint colors used:

for the living-room fireplace, Ralph Lauren's Tangier Island NA05, Behr's Mochachino 740D
for the family room and kitchen, Ralph Lauren's Cotswold Breeches NA16

Products from The Home Depot:

lampshades for dining room, item 074080543
dishwasher and cooktop, GE
sink style: White Cast Iron
faucet, Price Pfiste's Marielle
drain, air gap and disposal kit
grout for kitchen, Haystack

Products from The Great Indoors:

knobs and handles for the kitchen, items 20419 and 20432

Products from Anna's Linens:

four Jacquard throw pillows for living room, two Gold and two Cream

Products from IKEA:

two drapery rods and brackets for living room, Nickel
two drapery rods and brackets for kitchen and family room, Black

Products from Levolor (purchased at Lowe's):

drapery rod and bracket for dining room

Products from Target:

five valances and two drapery panels for living room and dining room, Waverly, Gold Cotton Twill
two valances for kitchen and one pair of drapery panels, Waverly, black-and-white toile
one balloon shade cut up for chair cushions, Waverly, black-and-white striped

After: Increased Curb Appeal
The Bucknells spruced up the front door area on their own time, clearing away all the dead landscaping and toys and even applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door.

Here is how the costs broke down for this renovation:

granite tiles $340
appliances $1305
kitchen hardware $50
paint & supplies $125
window treatments $120
accessories $50

Total: $1,990

Product from Frigidaire:

oven, model FGB24L2AS

Product from Broan:

range hood, model 404201

Product from Stone Mart:

kitchen tiles, New Venetian Gold

Paint colors used:

for the living-room fireplace, Ralph Lauren's Tangier Island NA05, Behr's Mochachino 740D
for the family room and kitchen, Ralph Lauren's Cotswold Breeches NA16

Products from The Home Depot:

lampshades for dining room, item 074080543
dishwasher and cooktop, GE
sink style: White Cast Iron
faucet, Price Pfiste's Marielle
drain, air gap and disposal kit
grout for kitchen, Haystack

Products from The Great Indoors:

knobs and handles for the kitchen, items 20419 and 20432

Products from Anna's Linens:

four Jacquard throw pillows for living room, two Gold and two Cream

Products from IKEA:

two drapery rods and brackets for living room, Nickel
two drapery rods and brackets for kitchen and family room, Black

Products from Levolor (purchased at Lowe's):

drapery rod and bracket for dining room

Products from Target:

five valances and two drapery panels for living room and dining room, Waverly, Gold Cotton Twill
two valances for kitchen and one pair of drapery panels, Waverly, black-and-white toile
one balloon shade cut up for chair cushions, Waverly, black-and-white striped

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