Leaving the Suburbs
The Gardners want to move to the city, but need help getting their house ready to sell. After Real Estate expert Shannon Freeman assesses the house, she finds the major problem inside is improperly placed furniture.
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Meleane and Brian Gardner have decided to sell their suburban home and move closer to the city. They have lived in this multilevel townhouse, which is 1,486 square feet, for two years. Originally built in 1979, the first floor has a combined kitchen/dining room, spacious living room and back patio. The second level has a master suite, and the third has two more bedrooms and bathroom.
Real Estate expert Shannon Freeman assesses the house and is generally pleased. She finds nothing wrong with the exterior from the front, but the stark backyard is not much more than dirt.
The major problem inside is improperly placed furniture. You have to do the work for the prospective buyer, she emphasizes. The only other issue is the bright paint colors in the guest bedroom, office and third-floor bathroom--harsh colors are not welcoming.
Resident designer Lisa LaPorta agrees with Freeman. The house is in really great condition. In fact the main problem is quite the opposite of most of the homes she's examined--it simply doesn't look as if anyone lives there. Her three-step plan to get this condo in shape for the open house is as follows:
Step 1: Appeal to the masses. Remove any personal touches throughout the home.
Step 2: Play up the focal points. Spotlighting the home's main attractions is a must for bringing in more money.
Step 3: Wake it up a bit--make it feel lively and inviting.
She's got her regular crew on board to help make it happen. Let's see how it turned out:
Before:The living room is nice and open, with high ceilings and lots of natural light, but the furniture is not positioned as well as it could be. A few new pieces could provide some effective contrast.
After:A combination of furniture rearranging and the strategic placement of new pieces in the living room draw attention to a major selling point.
Before:LaPorta insists that wallpaper is a big drawback in a house that's on the market. This room is a classic example of that, as it is entirely surrounded by ivy-themed wallpaper.
After:In the dining room, that ivy wallpaper is gone, and a neutral paint color on the wall, new light fixture and window treatments make for a homier feel.
Before: The guest room is anything but warm and inviting. The bright yellow walls are especially harsh when paired with the wrought-iron bed frame.
After: The new bedding and draperies tone down that wall color, and the bed frame is reconfigured into a canopy style to create the illusion of a slightly larger room.
Before: The wall color in here has to go, LaPorta says. Since it is the office, there isn't the option of fabric to mute it.
After:: With new paint and furniture accents, this room is much improved. Now buyers can see it as an office or bedroom.
Before: The boring cement wall and planters in the backyard needs some livening up, and some grass should be planted. Clearly the Gardners don't spend much time here.
After: The backyard is now abloom with colorful flowers and fresh grass. Extra touches include the faux finish on that large wall and decorative lattice to hide the air-conditioning unit.
Here's the breakdown of total costs:
window treatments $340
paint and supplies $205
decorative accessories $124
Products from Home Depot:
Home Depot-brand compost fertilizer
redwood lattice and 2 x 4s
three gallons concrete stain
Behr New White
D.I.F. wallpaper remover, 3 cans, 041072040556
Behr Colormatch-Benjamin Moore Brookline Beige HC-47 flat
Behr Colormatch-Benjamin Moore Brookline Beige HC-47 enamel
Behr Mochachino paint
Behr Restful paint
Products from Anna's Linens:
three panels Manhattan 84" Gold Velvet
two 6-yard Manhattan Gold Velvet scarves
one 6-yard Manhattan scarf
two panels Manhattan 84" Gold Velvet
comforter set Egyptian Patched California king size
54" valance, Gypsy
80" x 84" panels, item 819733
one 48"-86" rod
Jacquard 84" J057 panel with Bullion Fringe
D-609L/13 Shower Tension Rod
Amber hand towels, bath towels and washcloth
Products from Target:
Bronze rod 068070248
two standard pillows 060050502
three bronze-finish drapery rods 068070246
Product from Robinsons May:
two Charisma loveseats 12999991
Products from Green Arrow Nursery:
300 square feet Marathon grass
2 English Lavender
Products from Coaster Company:
Cappuccino-finish coffee table, 5525
Cappuccino-finish sofa table, 5526
Products from Big Lots:
fruit and vinegar bottles, items 23111100609543, 2311100610624, 2311100610749
A cute bungalow gets its interior colors toned down and its backyard revamped.