Empty Nesters Downsize
Will the Cernanskys' home be ready in time for the open house? They get the help of the Designed to Sell team to get their home in better selling condition
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Built in 1955, the 2,400-square-foot house of Louise and Joe Cernansky has four bedrooms, two baths, a spacious kitchen, formal dining room and master bedroom that all look out onto back courtyard. It has been on the market for three months with no takers, so they've enlisted the help of the Designed to Sell team to get it in better selling condition.
Real estate expert Donna Freeman has a look around and point out areas that need work, starting with the exterior: Trash cans should be out of sight, the landscaping needs updating, and the dark front door is not welcoming.
Inside, she finds that the wonderful open space in the living room needs furniture rearranging to allow in more light. The bedrooms are cluttered and feature unattractive window treatments, and the bathroom decor is outdated! See for yourself:
Next to inspect the house is designer Lisa LaPorta, who devises a three-step plan for the Cernanskys, their friends and her crew to implement:
Step 1: Play up the positive and uncover the hidden features throughout the house.
Step 2: Maximize the floor plan, creating a layout that showcases the home's potential.
Step 3. Break out of the past--update the aging full bathroom.
Most of the money from the $2,000 budget will go into the bathroom--the old wallpaper needs to come down, and the cabinets and walls need painting. The lighting needs to be updated, and new window treatments are in order. The other main problem area is that backyard. Grass needs to be planted ASAP, as it takes at least two weeks for it to grow.
After completely clearing out rooms to provide a clean slate, then painting, rearranging existing furniture and adding some new pieces, each of the problem spots start to come together. The backyard is even looking better.
The grass in the backyard grew in beautifully. Not only does it look great from the inside, but it is also an ideal spot for family activities and gatherings.
Remember that bright blue and burgundy bathroom? LaPorta decided there wasn't time to completely re-tile, so she and her team decided to just soften up the room a bit. There was enough money in the budget to knock out the far wall and allow natural light to flow into the room.
The largest concern in the bedrooms was the window treatments or lack thereof. Personal accessories don't have wide appeal to potential buyers and appear more like clutter.
LaPorta decided to put the bed in storage in a corner bedroom, play up the large set of windows and turn it into a home office. She's betting less furniture will draw the eye to the beautiful windows.
With the workstation gone and new round table and accessories in place, it is now great location for entertaining.
Here's the breakdown of total costs:
window treatments $530
bedding and accessories $260
front doors $235
paint and supplies $80
grass seed and fertilizer $45
Products from Peninsula Glass & Mirror:
2 panels, 3/16" reeded and tempered glass
Products from Coaster Company:
living-room coffee tables--wood, Sandy Nickel, glass, 7131
living-room end tables--wood, Sandy Nickel, glass, 7132
dining-room table--silver-gray base with 48" round beveled glass top, 7057
dining-room chairs, Hunter Green fabric, 4550HGN
two master-bedroom lamps, metal base, round fabric shade, 1151
Product from Target:
master-bedroom bedding skirt, 060100072
Products from Anna's Linens:
living-room throw pillows, Camel quilted faux suede
bathroom window treatments, Corn Silk quilted faux suede, Promenade Harvest
Bathroom shower draperies--Jacq Victorian Blue Ascot window valance and rods and Jacq Vict Blue Ascot window panel pairs and rods
master bedroom pillows, 002636081
office window treatments, Black Tempo valances and valance rods
Products from Ikea:
living-room candleholders, stainless steel
dining-room window treatment rods and brackets, metal
dining-room art frames, stainless steel
Products from Lowe's:
dining-room light fixture, Laguna stainless steel ceiling pendant with glass
master-bedroom window treatments, Elegance Green Silk curtain panels, Hammered Ball curtain rods and brass rods
office light fixture, Semi-Flush ceiling pendant
Products from The Home Depot:
bathroom wall paint--Benjamin Moore Decatur Buff HC-38
bathroom cabinet, two recessed lights with switches, IC 662400654759
ceiling and trim paint, Behr Harvest Tan
bathroom light fixtures
office paint, Benjamin Moore Grand Teton White OC-132
Product from Marshalls:
master-bedroom duvet, Green Silk
One-story, open-space floor plans offer ease and amenities.