Moving to the BeachHomeowners Renai and John Albaugh are leaving their suburban Washington, D.C., home to migrate to coastal South Carolina. They love their 2,000-square-foot home and its location near a historic downtown in northern Virginia, but it is time to move on. Their three-bedroom home should be an easy sale — its spacious kitchen and formal dining room are sure to appeal to a growing family.
So Renai and John can get top dollar for their home, real estate expert Terry Haas will point out the things that buyer's won't buy. Haas is a big fan of split-level houses and likes the exposed brick and large bay window, but her compliments come to a screeching halt in the dining room, where she points out the mismatched chairs and oddly placed wall guards. In the kitchen, Haas makes note of the three different kinds of countertops, the big light fixtures and missing cabinet hardware. The master bedroom is way too purple; Haas thinks most homebuyers won't find it appealing.
Designer Taniya Nayak agrees with Haas' assessment and has a $2,000 design plan that will have these homeowners southward bound.
Step 1: Make the dining room more formal by toning down the color and replacing the mismatched furniture.
Step 2: Unify the kitchen countertops, cabinet hardware and lighting.
Step 3: In the master bedroom, neutralize the colors and coordinate the fabrics.
Contractor Simon Ley and carpenter Lynn Kegan have all the right tools and talent to get the job done.
Before: Mismatched and SloppyThis is a nicely sized kitchen, but the problem is there are a lot of loose ends and clutter everywhere, including the ceiling. Two mismatched light fixtures and large pot rack hang down from above. The cabinets look sloppy because some doors are missing hardware, and what is there doesn't exactly match. The space above the cabinets also gives the room an untidy look — it is a useless void that just collects dust and cobwebs.
After: New Color PaletteBefore, the kitchen's mismatched countertops, missing hardware and cluttered ceiling added up to a jumbled, disorderly space. Now, the kitchen is much easier on the eyes from bottom to top. The new wall color, countertops, hardware and range hood coordinate beautifully and match the existing floor. A new, French door floods the room in natural light and lets homebuyers see the gorgeous backyard. Soffits are built to close off the space above the cabinets. This makes the cabinets appear taller, thus adding height to the room. A bar-height table and chairs also add stature. The ceiling is no longer overcrowded. The double-light fixture is moved to the dining room making the room feel more open and airy.
French door and table $500
soffit and hood $198
window treatments $160
headboard and bedding $230
paint and accessories $494
Kitchen makeover products
valance: Linens 'n Things - Imperial Double Ascot 885308030016
teapot: T.J. Maxx - 966935
cabinet hardware: The Home Depot - 10-pack knob 781266322869
paint: Monarch Paint & Wallcovering Company - Sherwood Green HC-11 (eggshell)
wall art: HomeGoods - 416199
Before: Purple WallsThe real estate expert says the purple walls might be a bit too much for buyers. She explains that during the open house, homeowners want to hook buyers and have them take ownership of the room. But the purple walls, red bedding and green lampshades are too distracting for that to happen.
The dining room (not shown) wall color is also an issue. The deep green won't be to everyone's taste. The mismatched chairs and wall guards may also be a little too eclectic for most people.
After: Neutral and SpaciousThis bedroom used to feel too small and too purple to attract a buyer. Now, a new furniture layout and neutral wall color help the room feel more spacious. Lowering the bed and eliminating the footboard creates the illusion of more space. Potential buyers are always looking for square footage. Now, when they walk into the room, that's what they will see.
Before, the dining room (not shown) sported wall guards, mismatched furniture and too much green. The wall guards have been removed, and the walls are repaired. New dining chairs and window treatments complement the neutral wall color, and a wrought-iron chandelier that used to hang in the kitchen now adds a touch of elegance to the dining room.
Tip: When hosting an open house, be sure to set out a floor plan with the dimensions of each room so that potential buyers can see exactly what they're getting and can envision furniture placement in the space.
Master bedroom makeover products
bed skirt: Bed Bath & Beyond - Hotel 600 18" - 1048213932
brown toss pillows: T.J. Maxx - 665095
comforter: T.J. Maxx - 504540
queen sheets: Marshalls - 016114276
bed pillows: Target - 062050168
suede fabric for headboard and grosgrain ribbon: Hancock Fabrics - Chocolate Plush 001627876 and 261581515
curtain rod: The Home Depot - 843623004051
ceiling medallion: The Home Depot - 091421265161
table lamps: The Home Depot - 050276871576
paint: Monarch Paint & Wallcovering Company - Jonesboro Cream 241 (eggshell)
Dining room makeover products
dinette set: Kmart - 07200082923
window panels: Linens 'n Things - horizon 80 x 84 - 029978017995, 029978017926
blue plates, blue cased bowl and scalloped plates: Ross - Coba Inca - 400023136081, 400018854754 and 400021742949
napkins, table runner, vase, dining room chairs: T.J. Maxx - 689058, 956238, 274195 and 307379
table cloth: Bed Bath & Beyond - 70 x 104 Baycrest 5163707024
chandelier: The Home Depot - 718212076477
candles and batting: Jo-Ann Fabrics - 8545337 and 5019237
place mats and napkins: HomeGoods - 477374 and 416975