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Turning Playtime Into Profit

See how the team helps get top dollar for the Swann family's home.

Kira and Ron Swann want to move their three growing girls closer to extended family. They hate to leave behind all the memories in this home, but it's time to move on and make some new ones. Before they can do that, they need to sell their current home. Lucky for the Swanns, designer Lisa LaPorta and the rest of the Designed to Sell team signs on to help them whip their home into shape.

Real estate expert Shannon Freeman gives this home a thorough once-over to help sell it in a flash. She has a really good feeling after seeing the home's neat appearance and the welcoming rosebushes at the entry. Her first impression fades once she gets inside, though. First stop: the living room. She thinks the fireplace looks more like a doggie door and less like money in the bank. Awkwardly-placed furniture and a dining table make for a confusing, crowded space. Once in the would-be family room, she says the heaps of toys are taking up valuable real estate while sabotaging the room's true potential.

Designer Lisa LaPorta signs on to help this family revamp their home for maximum profit. She wants to make the living room feel more formal with furniture placement that focuses on the fireplace. She also wants to transform the playroom into a casual living area that highlights the home's second fireplace. Here's how she'll make it happen:

Step 1: Chuck the yuck. Replace or remove anything that seems worn or dirty to give the home a fresh look.

Step 2: Pick a purpose: Decide what the room is for, so buyers can imagine themselves using it.

Step 3: Simplify the space. Remove personal items and preferences to attract a wide variety of tastes.

Carpenters Steve Hanneman and Brooks Utley are signed on to remake the spaces into buyer magnets.

Before, the biggest selling points were easily overlooked. Family photos dominated the room's style, and worn carpet was hiding one of the room's best features.

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

Now, buyers' eyes are trained to value-added features such as parquet floors and an attractive fireplace in this now-formal space.

Cost breakdown:

furniture $869
refinishing floor $510
window treatments $242
paint $115
lighting $92
decorative accessories $149

Total: $1,977

 PDF
Makeover product information

With so many toys in the space before, buyers likely wouldn't be able to picture a functional family room.

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

Now, with a coat of classic beige paint and a leather loveseat and chair, buyers will see living space they can really use. The room's best feature, the fireplace, is now the main focal point.

Cost breakdown:

furniture $869
refinishing floor $510
window treatments $242
paint $115
lighting $92
decorative accessories $149

Total: $1,977

 PDF
Makeover product information

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