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Brightening the Bottom Line

Our experts help a family of five lose the log-cabin look for a top-dollar sale.

Susan and Oscar Montalvos and their three sons are ready to move on to bigger and better things. Their current home is bursting at the seams with the boys and all their toys. The Designed to Sell team signs on to help this family of five give their home a contemporary feel that creates a top-dollar sale.

First, real estate expert Shannon Freeman takes a look around and provides her honest assessment, starting with the exterior. She is concerned that the house is located on a main street with lots of noisy traffic right at the curb. Once inside, she is doubly concerned, saying that the log-cabin look is dark and gloomy, and the sellers are missing the mark by filling the rooms with furniture rather than showing off the windows and hardwood floors.

Designer Lisa LaPorta echoes Freeman's remarks and takes the analysis a step further by establishing a plan to create a contemporary, open feel in this house. Her focus will be on the living room, family room and combo office/bedroom.

Step 1: Light the way. Do away with dark elements so buyers can see their way to a sale.

Step 2: Simplify. Edit unnecessary pieces to highlight the value in each room.

Step 3: Knock on wood. Update the log-cabin look so the home has a contemporary feel and a top-dollar look.

Carpenters Steve Hanneman and Brooks Utley lead the charge to get this family out of their cave and into a new home.

The family room felt oppressive with all the dark wood wall paneling, flooring and accessories. The pool table dominated the floor space, hiding the square footage as well as the double fireplace that connects to the living room. Such an uncommon feature really needs to be played up to help boost the ever-important bottom line, so the sellers really missed the mark here.

For specific product information, click on the After photo(s) of the room.

Replacing the dated wood paneling with drywall and a fresh coat of warm paint really opens up the space. Removing the large pool table adds to that open feel. New window treatments, a new coffee table and accessories, plus furniture relocated from the living room pull it all together.

Cost breakdown:

furniture $1,700
paint and supplies $149
drywall $80
window treatments $68

Total: $1,997

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

two armchairs for living room, 3611
coffee table and sofa table for living room, 700138 and 700139
six dining-room chairs, 190062
desk, 5064
chairs for office, 5065
coffee table for family room, 720118

Product from Wickes Furniture:

Beige chenille loveseat for the living room, 13-60191

Products from Linens 'N Things:

84" living-room drapery panels, Pavillion 678298129507

Products from The Home Depot:

11 sheets of 1/2" 4 x 8 drywall for family room, 081099000270
base molding for office and family room, 099443778812
wall texture machine rental
living and dining room paint, Ralph Lauren's Tangier Island, NA05
paint for office, Ralph Lauren's Fairy Wren, NA61

This room had an identity crisis. Labeled as a guest room, it looked more like an office. The gloomy green wallpaper and large furniture pieces made it feel closed in and small. And just like in the rest of the house, the beautiful hardwood floors were not being shown off properly.

For specific product information, click on the After photo(s) of the room.

Now this room is clearly set up as a home office. A fresh coat of neutral paint and a contemporary new desk and chairs, plus shelving bought by the Montalvos top off this stylish workspace.

Cost breakdown:

furniture $1,700
paint and supplies $149
drywall $80
window treatments $68

Total: $1,997

Products from The Coaster Company of America:

two armchairs for living room, 3611
coffee table and sofa table for living room, 700138 and 700139
six dining-room chairs, 190062
desk, 5064
chairs for office, 5065
coffee table for family room, 720118

Product from Wickes Furniture:

Beige chenille loveseat for the living room, 13-60191

Products from Linens 'N Things:

84" living-room drapery panels, Pavillion 678298129507

Products from The Home Depot:

11 sheets of 1/2" 4 x 8 drywall for family room, 081099000270
base molding for office and family room, 099443778812
wall texture machine rental
living and dining room paint, Ralph Lauren's Tangier Island, NA05
paint for office, Ralph Lauren's Fairy Wren, NA61

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