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Bye-Bye 'Burbs

A couple wants out of the suburbs and back into the city, but they first have to sell their house.

Bored in the Burbs
Former urbanites Andy and Sarah Kahlenberg don’t care for the suburbs. A few years ago they thought they would like it, so they bought themselves a cute house out in the bucolic burbs. But, after two years, they are bored and want to get back to the exciting city life. Before they can return to their urban lifestyle, the couple is going to have to sell their 2,000-square-foot home.

Real estate expert Brandie Malay stops by to offer her expertise on the home’s selling potential. She is impressed by the exterior — the brick work and nice landscaping provide wonderful curb appeal. The living room and dining room are modern, clean and simple, where as the kitchen cabinets are so outdated it looks like granny lives here. Malay finds the guest bedroom overwhelmingly blue, too much of one color can be shocking. Malay says the backyard is a classic example of an asset that is just not being played up. People moving from the city to the suburbs are going to be looking for outdoor space, so this patio needs to stand out.

Designer Monica Pedersen agrees with Malay’s statements and has a $2,000 design plan that will update the old, highlight the positives and eliminate the blues.

Step 1: Modernize the kitchen by refinishing the granny-style cabinets and replacing the dated hardware.

Step 2: Transform the backyard into a festive, outdoor entertaining area.

Step 3: In the guest bedroom, replace the blue color scheme with a buyer-friendly, neutral palette.

Carpenters Robert North and Chad Lopez are on hand with all the right skills and tools to get the job done.

Before: Unused Outdoor Space
This patio is a lost opportunity. The real estate expert pointed out that potential buyers in the suburbs are going to be looking for outdoor space. A relaxing outdoor room will help sell the home and boost the bottom line.

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

After: Perfect for Entertaining
This patio was once a wasted space, now, it is built for entertaining. The beautiful pergola makes the house feel bigger by providing structure, privacy and a little shade. New outdoor furniture, plants and accessories make for a welcoming gathering spot.

Cost breakdown:

pergola $815
patio set $216
cabinets $465
bedding $299
paint and supplies $126
decorative accessories $78

Total: $1,999

Kitchen makeover products:

paint: J.C. Licht Benjamin Moore, wall - 1524 Nature’s Scenery, cabinet - HC-71 Hasbrouck Brown and HC-71 Branchport Brown
hardware: Knob Depot – satin-nickel bar pulls T-M429, T-M430 and T-M432
fabric for window treatments: Loomcraft Textiles

Bedroom makeover products:

paint: J.C. Licht Benjamin Moore, wall - 1074 Alpaca, ceiling - OC-17 White Dove,
furniture - 1238 Falcon Brown
picture frames: Wal-Mart - 11x14 TTD/ 007859211798 and 003855543495
tablecloth fabric: Wal-Mart - 7696781023
window treatments and canopy fabric: Loomcraft Textiles - large-scale beige/cream plaid
round table: Wal-Mart - 2364511920
pillow case: Marshalls - cream 018096044
bedding: Wal-Mart - vanilla flat sheet 002882830126, standard pillowcase 002882830118 and 7665776247, sheet set 7665776257
throw pillows: T.J. Maxx - 213904
rod for canopy: Menards - metal conduit
curtain rod for window: Wal-Mart - 4243729020
lamp base and shade: Wal-Mart - 070299281287 and 5027689317

Patio makeover products:

cedar posts: Menards
furniture: Sears - Laguna five-piece set 2071 87031
outdoor rug: Hobo
paint: The Home Depot - white exterior

Before: Bedroom With the Blues
Warm, neutral color palettes are perfect when selling a home. This house has that in every room, except the guest bedroom. It is overwhelmingly blue — blue walls, blue comforter, blue mirror and blue artwork. The angled ceilings are another issue. They should be painted the same color as the straight walls not the ceiling. This will make the room seem larger.

Real estate Brandie Malay referred to the dated kitchen cabinets (not shown) as granny style. The contemporary countertop, newer appliances and eat-in kitchen are very nice, but the old cabinets are bringing them all down.

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

After: Inviting Guest Bedroom
The guest bedroom used to be drowning in blue. Now with neural paint on the walls and repainted furniture, this room is buyer ready. To make the room feel bigger, the angled wall above the bed is painted the same color as the walls not the ceiling. A canopy hung over the bed also adds height and a touch of elegance. New bedding, window treatments and accessories complete the soft, inviting look.

Before, the flat-panel cabinets (not shown) were out of style. Now, with a new finish and hardware, they blend in perfectly with the contemporary countertops and floors. The kitchen no longer feels like it’s from granny’s era, it has a very fresh and modern vibe that works with the home’s modern style. Replacing kitchen cabinets can be very expensive, the Designed to Sell team saved a lot of money by repainting the already-existing cabinetry.

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

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