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Moving Closer to Family

The McDonald family wants to sell their home to be closer to family.

Looking to Move
New parents Jamie and Joe McDonald have a special new reason to move close to family, but selling their house could be a challenge. Good thing the Designed to Sell team of experts loves a good challenge!

The first team member on the scene is real estate expert Donna Freeman, who provides a candid assessment of the house. Overall, she says it is a great contemporary house, but is full of unfinished projects that deduct a lot from the sale price. She also thinks the homeowners need to show off the adorable curved brick path.

Designer Lisa LaPorta enters next and lays out a plan to whip this house into top selling shape. She intends to focus the team's efforts on the living room, kitchen and patio.

Step 1: Lighten the cave. Brighten dark areas that block out the home's true value.

Step 2: Tame the untidy. Cleanup cluttered and messy areas so they aren't hidden from house hunters.

Step 3: Escape the '80s. Update older features that aren't cool to 21st-century buyers.

On hand to help put LaPorta's plan into action are contractor Jim Collins and carpenter Brad Haviland.

Before: Dark Living Room
The living room was dark and uninviting, according to both Freeman and LaPorta. The furniture and accessories were awkwardly arranged, the drapes were only opened part of the way, and the fireplace was clearly an unfinished project.

After: Modern and Inviting
Now it's a modern masterpiece! Replacing the sofa with leather chairs clears the way to the patio door and frames the room's No. 1 selling feature, the fireplace. The shears on the window are gone, allowing in valuable natural light. Various accessories complete the look.

Here is how the $2,000 budget was spent:

furniture $888
fireplace supplies $309
kitchen updates $402
plants $173
window treatments $86
accessories $23
paint and supplies $107

Total: $1,988

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

kitchen table and chairs, 5064 and 3652
leather chairs for living room, 8087

Products from The Great Indoors:

cabinet handles, Brushed Chrome TPK 1590-G10
drapery panels for kitchen, Peri Homeworks Collection Princess, Taupe Goblet D4873-GTP

Products from Lamps Plus:

kitchen chandelier, five-light iron with shades 93269

Products from The Home Depot:

kitchen-light trims, 046335809024
baseboard molding, 070673528309 Colonial-style base
slate tiles for fireplace surround, 12" Autumn Slate 828406000154
living-room paint; color matched to pre-existing paint--no formula available

Products from Brazil Granite & Moulding:

Slate molding for fireplace surround, Lotus Style gray slate molding pieces

Products from Target:

red chenille pillows, 067081226
red chenille throw, 067100164

Products from Lowe's:

patio light fixtures, Kichler 28411
patio flowers, Primrose 84336

Products from El Dorado Nursery:

patio plants

Products from ICI Paints:

paint for kitchen, Dulux

paint from ICI Paint stores 617 Zepplin 30YY-46-036

Before: Unfinished Fireplace
A closer look at the fireplace area shows how unfinished it actually was, including a sizable hole in the wall at right.

After: Warming Focal Point
The finished version warms the room, literally. The tile LaPorta chose matches the surrounding floor to tie it all together.

Here is how the $2,000 budget was spent:

furniture $888
fireplace supplies $309
kitchen updates $402
plants $173
window treatments $86
accessories $23
paint and supplies $107

Total: $1,988

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

kitchen table and chairs, 5064 and 3652
leather chairs for living room, 8087

Products from The Great Indoors:

cabinet handles, Brushed Chrome TPK 1590-G10
drapery panels for kitchen, Peri Homeworks Collection Princess, Taupe Goblet D4873-GTP

Products from Lamps Plus:

kitchen chandelier, five-light iron with shades 93269

Products from The Home Depot:

kitchen-light trims, 046335809024
baseboard molding, 070673528309 Colonial-style base
slate tiles for fireplace surround, 12" Autumn Slate 828406000154
living-room paint; color matched to pre-existing paint--no formula available

Products from Brazil Granite & Moulding:

Slate molding for fireplace surround, Lotus Style gray slate molding pieces

Products from Target:

red chenille pillows, 067081226
red chenille throw, 067100164

Products from Lowe's:

patio light fixtures, Kichler 28411
patio flowers, Primrose 84336

Products from El Dorado Nursery:

patio plants

Products from ICI Paints:

paint for kitchen, Dulux

paint from ICI Paint stores 617 Zepplin 30YY-46-036

Before: Stuck in the '80s
The kitchen appeared to be stuck in the 1980s and was heavily cluttered, especially the eat-in area. It needed to be cleaned out and set up to allow potential buyers to picture themselves in the room.

After: Stylish Kitchen
Now it's a chic, welcoming place to gather. New light covers, cabinet hardware and fresh wall paint and accessories make it feel bright and open.

Here is how the $2,000 budget was spent:

furniture $888
fireplace supplies $309
kitchen updates $402
plants $173
window treatments $86
accessories $23
paint and supplies $107

Total: $1,988

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

kitchen table and chairs, 5064 and 3652
leather chairs for living room, 8087

Products from The Great Indoors:

cabinet handles, Brushed Chrome TPK 1590-G10
drapery panels for kitchen, Peri Homeworks Collection Princess, Taupe Goblet D4873-GTP

Products from Lamps Plus:

kitchen chandelier, five-light iron with shades 93269

Products from The Home Depot:

kitchen-light trims, 046335809024
baseboard molding, 070673528309 Colonial-style base
slate tiles for fireplace surround, 12" Autumn Slate 828406000154
living-room paint; color matched to pre-existing paint--no formula available

Products from Brazil Granite & Moulding:

Slate molding for fireplace surround, Lotus Style gray slate molding pieces

Products from Target:

red chenille pillows, 067081226
red chenille throw, 067100164

Products from Lowe's:

patio light fixtures, Kichler 28411
patio flowers, Primrose 84336

Products from El Dorado Nursery:

patio plants

Products from ICI Paints:

paint for kitchen, Dulux

paint from ICI Paint stores 617 Zepplin 30YY-46-036

Before: Dated Dining Room
The dated table in the eat-in area was too dark, improperly placed and surrounded by various forms of clutter.

After: Valuable Furnishings
Now the dining area, including the new table, elegant chandelier and fashionable window treatments, adds major value to this room.

Here is how the $2,000 budget was spent:

furniture $888
fireplace supplies $309
kitchen updates $402
plants $173
window treatments $86
accessories $23
paint and supplies $107

Total: $1,988

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

kitchen table and chairs, 5064 and 3652
leather chairs for living room, 8087

Products from The Great Indoors:

cabinet handles, Brushed Chrome TPK 1590-G10
drapery panels for kitchen, Peri Homeworks Collection Princess, Taupe Goblet D4873-GTP

Products from Lamps Plus:

kitchen chandelier, five-light iron with shades 93269

Products from The Home Depot:

kitchen-light trims, 046335809024
baseboard molding, 070673528309 Colonial-style base
slate tiles for fireplace surround, 12" Autumn Slate 828406000154
living-room paint; color matched to pre-existing paint--no formula available

Products from Brazil Granite & Moulding:

Slate molding for fireplace surround, Lotus Style gray slate molding pieces

Products from Target:

red chenille pillows, 067081226
red chenille throw, 067100164

Products from Lowe's:

patio light fixtures, Kichler 28411
patio flowers, Primrose 84336

Products from El Dorado Nursery:

patio plants

Products from ICI Paints:

paint for kitchen, Dulux

paint from ICI Paint stores 617 Zepplin 30YY-46-036

Before: Overgrown Patio
The patio needed quite a bit of maintenance. The general appearance was of overgrown brush and scattered leaves.

After: Full of Life
Now it's cleaned up and full of life, thanks to the removal of the large brush and the addition of bright, new foliage.

Here is how the $2,000 budget was spent:

furniture $888
fireplace supplies $309
kitchen updates $402
plants $173
window treatments $86
accessories $23
paint and supplies $107

Total: $1,988

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

kitchen table and chairs, 5064 and 3652
leather chairs for living room, 8087

Products from The Great Indoors:

cabinet handles, Brushed Chrome TPK 1590-G10
drapery panels for kitchen, Peri Homeworks Collection Princess, Taupe Goblet D4873-GTP

Products from Lamps Plus:

kitchen chandelier, five-light iron with shades 93269

Products from The Home Depot:

kitchen-light trims, 046335809024
baseboard molding, 070673528309 Colonial-style base
slate tiles for fireplace surround, 12" Autumn Slate 828406000154
living-room paint; color matched to pre-existing paint--no formula available

Products from Brazil Granite & Moulding:

Slate molding for fireplace surround, Lotus Style gray slate molding pieces

Products from Target:

red chenille pillows, 067081226
red chenille throw, 067100164

Products from Lowe's:

patio light fixtures, Kichler 28411
patio flowers, Primrose 84336

Products from El Dorado Nursery:

patio plants

Products from ICI Paints:

paint for kitchen, Dulux

paint from ICI Paint stores 617 Zepplin 30YY-46-036

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