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Making Way for a Quick Sale

Designer Lisa LaPorta helps homeowners spruce up their house for a spiffy sale.

Evelyn and Robert Humpherys are ready to leave their starter home for something larger. They enlist of the help of the Designed to Sell team to turn this house around in short order and for top dollar.

Real estate expert Shannon Freeman is the first team member to get a look at the house. She is immediately impressed, going so far as to say that every homeowner should model their home after this one. Once inside, though, she says the Humpherys have blown it. A valuable dining area is being misused as a sitting area, the bathrooms are outdated and out of shape, and the master bedroom is cluttered with too much furniture.

Designer Lisa LaPorta arrives next. Her concerns echo Freeman's, but she takes it a step further and lays out a three-step plan below to get this place ready to sell. She wants to turn the sitting room into a breakfast area and concentrate on the home's two bathrooms.

Step 1: Serve it up. Create spaces that leave no question about a room's purpose and value.

Step 2: Update your assets. Modernize tired features to boost the bottom line.

Step 3: Deliver the goods. Buyers are looking for renovated bathrooms, so give them what they want.

Pitching in to help the Humpherys beef up their buying power are carpenters Steve Hanneman, Brooks Utley and Adam Hughes. See how they did below.


The Humpherys were wasting this valuable space by using it as a sitting room instead of the dining room it should be, Shannon says. That could take money out of bottom line.

The guest bathroom was showing its age. The mirror was shabby and oversized, the vanity outdated, and the flooring was starting to yellow. Bathrooms are an important selling feature because potential buyers recognize the difficulty of remodeling them.


Now, the room has a real sense of identity as an eat-in breakfast area, Lisa says. A new dining set replaces the hodgepodge furniture and accessories. The stylish chandelier is the finishing touch.

Now it's completely updated and sure to have buyer appeal, thanks to a new shower curtain, fresh paint, smaller contemporary mirror, attractive lighting and crisp slate flooring. But the real selling power comes from replacing the dated vanity with a new granite countertop.

Cost breakdown:

bathroom vanities $1,036
flooring $466
decorative mirrors $199
lighting $159
shower curtains and fabric $106
paint $33

Total: $1,999

makeover Information

Products from Brazil Granite:

stone flooring for master bath, Crema Marfil marble 16 x 16 tiles
stone flooring for hall bath, Oreon Green quartzite slate

Products from Lowe's:

wall-mount polished chrome sconces for master bath, 110649
glass Etruscan shades for master bath, 87317
Portfolio ceiling-light fixture for master bath, flush mount in brushed nickel, 170555
72" chrome tension shower rods for master and hall baths, Zenith's Twist Tight, 13997
Jamestown Bathware oval mirror with swivel for master and hall baths, 221273
Zenith high-gloss curtain rings for master and hall bath, 135507
Portfolio polished chrome three-light wall-mount sconce for hall bath, 35465
4" Peerless polished chrome faucet for hall bath, model D99696, item 100484
Portfolio six-light chandelier for breakfast room, aged-bronze finish, 79601
paint for hall Bath walls, Pratt & Lambert's Lambswool, 2269

Products from Golden Black:

Juparana granite countertop for master bath, Beige

Products from Contractor's Warehouse:

white oval under-mount sink for master bath, 693028
36" x 18" maple vanity for hall bath, 323659
white oval under-mount sink for hall bath, 692988
granite countertop for hall bath, precut 37" x 19" in Moss, 691121

Products from Bed Bath & Beyond:

shower curtain for master bath, 4873 Goblet Pleat Panels in Green
shower curtain for hall bath, 4873 Goblet Pleat Panels in Gold

Products from HomeGoods:

Taymor Classique collection towel bars for master and hall bath, 02-D8224
Taymor Classique collection toilet paper holder for master and hall bath, 02-D8524D

Products from JoAnn Fabrics:

fabric for breakfast-room chairs, Green Chenille

Products from The Home Depot:

Master Bath Cabinet Refinish colors

Minwax brand stain in Walnut and Antique Red
paint color for master bath, ICI brand, Alencon Lace, #20YY-60/104

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