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New Job Merits Move

The Designed to Sell team cleans out a couple's garage and adds architectural interest to their home that is almost market-ready.

Homeowners Kathy and Ramon Jaramillo are moving from northern Virginia to New Hampshire for a new job. But, before they head north, they need to sell their house. Located in a suburb of Washington D.C., the 3,500-square-foot home offers an easy commute into the city. With four bedrooms, a two-car garage, separate dining room and big living room, this home is ideal for a large family.

Real estate expert Terry Haas pays a visit to offer her professional opinion on the home's sales potential. She likes the neighborhood and the two-car garage. But when she peers into the garage window and sees a huge pile of junk, she quickly changes her mind. A messy garage does not make a good first impression. A clean, usable garage can increase the asking price by nearly $15,000. Upon entering the home, Haas likes the big, formal dining room, but finds its lack of color terribly boring. In the living room, the vaulted ceiling could be a great selling feature if it were better emphasized and more in proportion with the rest of the room.

Designer Taniya Nayak agrees with Haas' assessment and devises a plan to fix the flaws and make sure this house sells for top dollar.

Step 1: Clear out the clutter in the garage and turn it into a strong selling feature.

Step 2: Liven up the lackluster dining room with some color and style.

Step 3: Bring the living room into proportion, and create a focal point that will highlight the room's great vertical space.

Contractors John Allen and Matt Steele are on board to complete each step so these homeowners can make a profitable sale.

Garage Before

The real estate expert was turned off with all of the junk in this garage, though a large two-car garage can be a great selling feature. She comments that if potential buyers think there is not enough room to park two cars in the garage, it could affect their offering price. Also, too much junk in the garage will give buyers the impression there is not enough storage in the home.

For specific product information, click on the After photos of the room.

Garage After

An impromptu garage sale and a portable storage unit helped clear out the clutter. New, custom shelving, cabinets and colorful pegboards keep all the tools neat and orderly. The garage-door windows are covered with an inexpensive vinyl for more privacy and better security. Red lines are painted on the floor so buyers can visualize how much storage they'll have after the cars are parked.

Cost breakdown:

tower materials $590
paint supplies and scaffolding $320
accessories $270
window treatments and lighting $180
fabric $130
organization storage $450
vinyl for garage window $60

Total: $2,000

Products for the garage:

refrigerator paint, Benjamin Moore's Deep Space, 2125-20, semigloss, Pineapple Paint Co.
concrete stain, 08247800010, Home Depot

Products for the dining room:

fabric for chairs, Carousel, 001701341and Brahms (Terra Cotta), 001625698, Hancock Fabrics
paint, Benjamin Moore's Roxbury Caramel, HC-42, eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
paint, Benjamin Moore's Putnam Ivory, HC-39, eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
ceiling paint, Benjamin Moore's white mixed with 30 percent Putnam Ivory, eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
84" drapery panels, 082327934350, Linens 'N Things

Products for the living room:

paint, Benjamin Moore's Dry Sage, 2142-20, and Gray Mirage, 2142-50, both eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
vases: 900-69744035, 900-71137562, 900-69813885 and 900-70804443, Burlington Coat Factory
wall art, 538154, T.J. Maxx
sconces, Amber Crackle, 066723, Kirkland's

Living Room Before

The real estate expert loved the view from the living room windows, but she felt the empty space was out of date and out of whack. The large, vaulted ceiling could be a great selling feature if the furniture and artwork was more in scale with the room's vertical space, for instance. With too much unused wall space, the eye gets lost and the room begins to feel too overwhelming.

The dining room (not shown) has some beautiful architectural details — a carved chair rail, crown molding and a ceiling medallion. But they're all completely lost in the solid-white color scheme. This room needs some contrast and color to make it stand out.

For specific product information, click on the After photos of the room.

Living Room After

Buyers love tall ceilings, so to enhance the height in this room, a floor-to-ceiling tower is built to serve as the room's focal point. The tower's built-in cubbies provide the eye a place to rest and make the lofty space feel cozier. The room's height is given further dimension with the faux-wood finish painted on the ceiling beam. By rearranging the furniture at an angle, the room now feels well balanced and potential buyers can see how to manage the space.

Before, the dining room's (not shown) nice architectural features were lost against the white walls and outdated furniture. Now, two new shades of neutral paint help the details stand out. A dark shade of beige was applied below the chair rail and a light sand color on top. For the ceiling, some of the lighter paint was mixed with white paint to help accentuate the ceiling medallion.

Cost breakdown:

tower materials $590
paint supplies and scaffolding $320
accessories $270
window treatments and lighting $180
fabric $130
organization storage $450
vinyl for garage window $60

Total: $2,000

Products for the garage:

refrigerator paint, Benjamin Moore's Deep Space, 2125-20, semigloss, Pineapple Paint Co.
concrete stain, 08247800010, Home Depot

Products for the dining room:

fabric for chairs, Carousel, 001701341and Brahms (Terra Cotta), 001625698, Hancock Fabrics
paint, Benjamin Moore's Roxbury Caramel, HC-42, eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
paint, Benjamin Moore's Putnam Ivory, HC-39, eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
ceiling paint, Benjamin Moore's white mixed with 30 percent Putnam Ivory, eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
84" drapery panels, 082327934350, Linens 'N Things

Products for the living room:

paint, Benjamin Moore's Dry Sage, 2142-20, and Gray Mirage, 2142-50, both eggshell, Pineapple Paint Co.
vases: 900-69744035, 900-71137562, 900-69813885 and 900-70804443, Burlington Coat Factory
wall art, 538154, T.J. Maxx
sconces, Amber Crackle, 066723, Kirkland's

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