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Spicing Up for a Sale

The facade of a row house gets spruced up, making it ready for sale.

What a Nice Son
Homeowner Brandon Braud's parents lost their New Orleans home in hurricane Katrina, so Brandon wants to sell his split-level row-house-style place and use the profit to help his mom and dad buy a new home. Situated in northeast Washington, D.C. Braud's house is just minutes away from all the city's top tourist attractions. With three bedrooms and two baths, it is perfect for anyone looking for a roomy living and dining room and an appealing front yard.

Real estate expert Shirley Mattam-Male is on the scene to make her assessment. She immediately finds the house to be a conflicting mess of patterns and colors. She thinks he made a good attempt at landscaping, but it desperately needs to be pruned and cleaned up. The mold on the front steps and pipes that serve as a handrailing on the front entry provide absolutely no curb appeal. Upon entering the home, Mattam-Male thinks the living room's soft yellow color very soothing, but the lack of railing on the stairs is a major code violation. In the dining room, she is put off by the deep blue color and thinks the rustic table combined with the rustic floor is too much.

Designer Taniya Nayak agrees with Mattam-Male's critique and has a plan that will take this house from not-so-great to awesome.

Step 1: Add some curb appeal. Make the front entryway stand apart from the rest on the street.

Step 2: Put back the stair railing in the living room, and tone down the eclectic look.

Step 3: Change the color of the dining room, and make the space the focal point of the house.

Contractors John Allen and Matt Steele are on board to make sure everything gets done before the open house begins.

Before: Common Facade
The home's façade looks like all the rest on the street. For a profitable sale, it needs to be spiffed up so that it stands apart from the rest. The landscaping is sloppy and overgrown, while the paint on the patio and steps is chipped and moldy. The makeshift stair rail is made from pipes. The real estate expert considered this a big no-no.

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

After: Enhanced Entrance
Before, the mess and mold in the front yard would have been a deterrent to buyers. With many enhancements, it is now the most attractive house on the block. The patio and steps have been repainted, and the old red door that used to blend into the brick façade now has a new coat of blue paint that makes it stands out. Silver peel-and-stick house numbers placed in the transom window are clearly visible from the street and match the door’s new hardware. The unsightly pipe hand rail is replaced with wooden rails and posts. New trim around the door and window give the home classy, historical look. Plastic trim was used, so it will never rot away.

Cost breakdown:

landscaping $450
trim and railing $795
dining room table $285
molding $100
paint $240
accessories $110

Total: $1,980

Products for the front yard:

flower boxes #038776655001 and brackets #038776950076 - The Home Depot
concrete paint: Sandstone #50 50CS501106 - McCormick Paints
exterior paint: white latex #MCC271001 - McCormick Paints
front door paint: Hamilton Blue EXT RM - Pineapple Paint Company (Benjamin Moore Paints)
vincas and annuals - Lakeridge Nursery, Inc

Products for the dining room:

44-inch round glass/metal dining table - Upscale Resale, Inc.
paint: Pale Celery #2150-60 and Timothy Straw #2149-40 (both semi-gloss) - Pineapple Paint Company (Benjamin Moore Paints)
dining table placemat: #067020736 and pillar candles - Target
wall art: 48-inch - #316677 - HomeGoods

Product for the living room

toss pillows: #018196 - HomeGoods

Before: Unappetizing Dining Room
The real estate expert found the dining room to be too blue. Blue is not an appetizing color, which is why it is rarely used in restaurants. The homeowner’s rustic dining table is gorgeous, as is the room’s rustic flooring, but the two combined make the room feel heavy and dark. The ceiling has a lot of imperfections and marks, making it look damaged and sloppy.

The staircase in the living room (not shown) has no hand railing. The homeowner took down the railing to move some furniture upstairs and never put it back up. This is a serious code violation and must be fixed immediately. Also, the mismatched furniture and eclectic styling in the room should be toned down. Mismatched furnishings and battling patterns are never good when selling a home.

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

After: Enticing Color Scheme
Before, the dining room was coated in flavorless blue and ceiling imperfections that would curb anyone’s appetite. Now, it is a room that entices the palette with colors that flow with the rest of the house. Architectural interest is added with chair rail, panel molding and new crown molding. The two-tone paint treatment draws the eye up so buyers can see the new molding and ceiling medallion. A metal table with glass top makes the room feel bigger and lighter.

In the living room (not shown), the hand rails on the staircase has returned. Good thing the homeowner had saved all the pieces in his basement. The eclectic, pattern-on-pattern furnishings have given way to new, cohesive styling.

Cost breakdown:

landscaping $450
trim and railing $795
dining room table $285
molding $100
paint $240
accessories $110

Total: $1,980

Products for the front yard:

flower boxes #038776655001 and brackets #038776950076 - The Home Depot
concrete paint: Sandstone #50 50CS501106 - McCormick Paints
exterior paint: white latex #MCC271001 - McCormick Paints
front door paint: Hamilton Blue EXT RM - Pineapple Paint Company (Benjamin Moore Paints)
vincas and annuals - Lakeridge Nursery, Inc

Products for the dining room:

44-inch round glass/metal dining table - Upscale Resale, Inc.
paint: Pale Celery #2150-60 and Timothy Straw #2149-40 (both semi-gloss) - Pineapple Paint Company (Benjamin Moore Paints)
dining table placemat: #067020736 and pillar candles - Target
wall art: 48-inch - #316677 - HomeGoods

Product for the living room

toss pillows: #018196 - HomeGoods

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