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From One Family Home to Another

A team of experts work to get top dollar for one family's house sale.

Jeanine and Bradley May are moving from one family home to another. They are selling the townhouse Bradley grew up in to move into Jeanine's dad's childhood home. Helping them increase the bottom line of their sale is the Designed to Sell team of experts, who are armed with a $2,000 budget.

Real estate expert Shannon Freeman is assigned to give the house a thorough exam, pointing out areas that need work. She begins with the exterior, noting that "there is nothing that makes this house stand out." Moving inside, she is even more disappointed, likening the home to a two-star hotel!

Resident designer Lisa LaPorta steps in next to lay out a plan for putting Freeman's suggestions into action. She intends to focus her efforts on the living/dining room, bathroom and master bedroom.

Step 1: Modernize for money. Create an updated style to gain widespread appeal.

Step 2: Light the way. Use natural light and new fixtures to brighten the homebuyers' view.

Step 3: Find the center of attention. Play up the home's focal points to step up the asking price.

Carpenters Steve Hanneman and Brooks Utley sign on to help LaPorta and the homeowners implement the changes.


Living/Dining Room

Before: This combination living/dining room was dated by bright-green carpet, printed furniture, long sheer drapes and busy fixtures and accessories. All that took attention away from the fireplace, which is typically a fantastic selling feature.


After: Now it has widespread appeal, thanks to warm carpet, paint and furniture in the living room. The fireplace is now the focal point, which should add tremendous value, and a new table and chandelier create a stylish dining area.

Here is a look at how the costs broke down for this project:

furniture $727
lighting $380
window treatments $238
hardware and accessories $412
paint and lumber supplies $212
steamer rental $25

Total: $1,994



Before: The bathroom was stuck in a time warp. The pink wallpaper, gold fixtures and dated lightbox all had to go.


After: This neutral palate is more soothing. Warm paint, a new shower curtain, hardware and accessories did the trick.

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

two side chairs, 3615
dining table, 7901
four dining chairs, 4466
coffee table for living room, 7619

Products from The Great Indoors:

chandelier for living room, Triarch International, 33054
chandelier for bedroom, AFL Lighting, 3900-6H
lamp set for bedroom, 94177
vase for bath, 11199
cabinet knobs for bath, 20419

Products from Anna's Linens:

window panels for living room in Gold, 813593
dining chair slipcovers for living room in Gold, 832171
pillows for bedroom, 829942, 829944, 829935 and 829947
chair slipcover for bedroom, 832364

Products from Marshalls:

decorative iron accessory above fireplace in living room, 017198051
two wall sconces for bedroom, 017186186

Products from Lowe's:

Portfolio lamp for bedroom dresser in Bronze
two Portfolio vanity lights with Etruscan glass shades for bathroom
Stamford toilet-paper holder for bathroom

Products from The Linen Outlet:

Baronial Manor duvet cover used as fabric for cornice boxes in bedroom and for bedding, 740845037747
Baronial Manor sham covers for bedding, 740845037785

Products from Home Fabrics:

fabric for custom-made drapery panels for bedroom

Products from IKEA:

Tvilling Art, 70078986
Fanaholm frames for living room, 50055735
Felicia shower curtain, 70078062

Products from Target:

two Ramona antique bronze curtain rods for living room, 48"-88", 233434-125

Products from Big Lots:

two curtain rods for bedroom, 42437012133
shower curtain tension rod, 1463500191274

Products from The Linen Outlet:

two washcloths, 817711
two hand towels, 817719
two bath towels for bathroom, 817709

Products from The Home Depot:

wallpaper steamer (rental), 0770503136
paint for living room and master bedroom, Ralph Lauren Tangier Island NA05
paint for master bedroom accent wall, Pratt & Lambert's Almond Toast
paint for master bath, Behr's French Castle 770-A3


Master Bedroom

Though a great size, this master bedroom needed some personality, LaPorta said.

Before: The bed was dressed with out-of-date linens, the chest of drawers was covered in clutter, and the ceiling border was an unpleasant distraction. Plus, there's more of those sheer curtains.


After: Now it's a cozy hideaway that potential buyers are sure to adore. Contemporary bedding, new end-table lamps, window treatments and various other accessories create a warm, relaxing atmosphere.


Before Another angle shows more of that bright-green carpet, an area rug that made the room appear smaller, and more of those sheer drapes. Once again, the fireplace was not being played up properly.


After: The rich carpet adds warmth, and the new cornice boxes provide drama and architecturally frame the room. The wall sconces above the fireplace draw much-needed attention to it and add the perfect finishing touch.

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