Two MortgagesHomeowners Sara and Jonathan Wolcott have outgrown their 1936 Cape Cod-style house in Alexandria, Va. They have already bought another home just a few blocks away, so they are anxious to sell because they can't afford two mortgages. The home is located in the Belle Haven neighborhood, a historic area that started out as Mount Vernon's first suburb.
Real estate expert Shirley Mattam-Male stops by to deliver her blunt critique, aimed at helping the homeowners make a quick sale. She adores the charming English-cottage look of the exterior, then she enters the dwelling and her praise dwindles. In the master bedroom, she loves the high ceiling but not the mismatched window treatments and dents in the wall. She thinks the bathroom is overly pink, is filled with too much clutter and has stains on the floor. Mattam-Male refers to the guest bedroom's dull deocr as simplicity taken to the extreme.
Designer Taniya Nayak agrees with Mattam-Male's comments and has a $2,000 design plan that will help get these homeowners back to paying just one mortgage.
Step 1: Add some color to the master bedroom, and coordinate the upholstery and windows.
Step 2: Declutter the bathroom, lay down a new floor, and paint over the pink.
Step 3: In the guest bedroom, replace the dull furnishings and refinish the scratched wooden floors.
Contractor Simon Ley and carpenter Lynn Kegan are on hand and ready to get the job done.
Before: Loads of PotentialThis master bedroom has some unique selling features. The beautiful high ceiling and tall dormer windows should be played up and highlighted. The mismatched blinds and drapes do nothing to emphasize the interesting windows. The real estate expert also noticed quite a few dinks and dents on walls and proclaimed that a new paint job is a must.
After: Potential FulfilledBefore, this bedroom had mismatched window treatments and damaged walls, but it still had lots of potential. Now, its potential has been fulfilled, and this room is gorgeous. The walls were painted three shades of green to highlight the room's height and architectural detail. The wall behind the bed is re-covered in beadboard to help ground the space and add more interest to the dormer wall. A new crystal chandelier adds elegance and draws the eye up to the lofty ceiling. Finally, radiator covers conceal the big cast-iron radiators and provide decorative shelf storage.
faux finish $87
radiator covers $300
bathroom upgrades $350
floor refinishing $80
paint and accessories $770
Master bedroom makeover products
toss pillows: HomeGoods - 192663
toss pillows: Linens ‘N Things - Havana 18 x 18 Blue 085989485345 and 10 x 19 Chocolate artwork 086569336682
duvet cover set: Overstock.com - Hepburn floral 10397699
paint: Benjamin Moore - Nob Hill Sage 450, Norway Spruce 452 and Cedar Path - 454 (all eggshell)
standard bed pillows: Wal-Mart - 002569500448
fabric and grosgrain ribbon: Hancock Fabrics 001281658, 001524404 and 001518315
chandelier: Lowe's - 29-inch, nine-light black crystal 1265559
Bathroom makeover products
towels and shower curtain: HomeGoods - 091569, 084619 and 148178
wall art: HomeGoods - 41635
mirror: HomeGoods - 011379
shower rod: Tuesday Morning - 000007161447
light fixture: Lowe's - two-light 226809
floor tiles: Lowe's - 12 x 12 Italia Stn Bianco peel and stick 81117
sink faucet: Lowe's 4-inch 44493
silk flowers, ceramic pot, foam and clay: Wal-Mart - 084344100089, 004762500631, 004650193687 and 002844451858
radiator covers: Colors Furniture
Guest bedroom makeover products
storage baskets: JCPenney - 781/9999
twin comforter set w/matching toss pillows: JCPenney B722-87773D
fabric, pillow form and grosgrain ribbon: Hancock Fabrics - Ivy 000767632, 000578880 and 000976373
sheets and pillowcases: Linens ‘N Things - Wellesley 085989453433 and 085989483297
Euro pillow and bedskirt: Linens ‘N Things 0796337836599 and 030473085464
paint: Benjamin Moore- Baywood Brown 1234 (eggshell)
bronze leaves wall art: Burlington Coat Factory - 706-70694909
light fixture: Lowe's - three-light leaves flushmount 155438
lamp: Lowe's - 31" antique bronze leaves 153484
Before: Too Many KnickknacksReal estate expert Shirley Mattam-Male wondered why there was no shower curtain in this bathroom. She also negatively commented on the overabundance of knickknacks and the horrible stains on the floor.
In the guest room (not shown), Mattam-Male thought the room lacked pizzazz and didn't think guests would feel all that welcome. The room's wooden floor is scratched and worn, as if it were original to the house and never refinished.
After: Classically CleanBefore, the bathroom looked like an explosion of pink stomach medicine. Now, the space is classic, cleaned-up and calmed down. A new shower curtain rod, faucet and radiator cover give the bathroom an updated look. Laminate floor tiles were easy to install and look great.
The guest bedroom (not shown) used to be dull and uninviting, but now guests and potential buyers alike will be impressed. Newly refinished floors and built-in shelves are top-notch selling features that are sure to get noticed.