Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

I’ve invited Matt to share some tips with you since he’s the guy with all the knowledge on this subject – he’s a real estate appraiser and broker (yep both!) with over 25 years experience.  I asked him to contribute some of his knowledge so he was kind enough to write up this article for you today. Matt’s taking the helm here to share his ten best suggestions for selling your home quickly and achieving top dollar at the same time.  Here he is:

“These recommendations depend on a variety of factors such as price range, time of year, region, and location, and this list is by no means all inclusive.

For first timers, the process of selling a home can be stressful, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the anxiety of the sale and secure the best sales price too. Most people buy the home they feel the most emotionally connected with – the one they can envision living in. Your goal as the seller is to give that feeling to the best of your ability to any potential buyer that comes through your door.

Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

1. First Impressions Matter.  The exterior of your home gives potential buyers the first impression and you want it to be looking its very best.  Start by power washing your home to get rid of any cobwebs, dirt, or grime. Rid your driveway of any oil stains and move any old cars off the property. Focus attention on an attractive and inviting entry with a new welcome mat, potted plants, and flowers. If your front porch light is old and/or broken spend $30 and give it a facelift with a new fixture. Spruce up the landscaping, mow the grass, prune the trees and shrubs, and replace or replant where needed.

2. Inspect the Exterior and Make Obvious Repairs.  Repair any peeling exterior paint or damaged siding, especially in the front of the home.  Make sure the front door hinges and hardware work perfectly, and the doorbell too since one of the worst first impressions is a non-working doorbell.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, place a note over the doorbell that reads “Please Knock”.  Sliders and doors all need to be oiled and working smoothly including the sliding screen doors too.  You want that smooth transition from room to room and from indoor to outdoor living.

3. Get a Pest Inspection.  This next suggestion is optional but is proven to prevent future headaches with the sale of your home. I recommend hiring a pest inspector to examine your home for termites and water damage and provide you with a report of any active problems with the property. Any future buyer will want the property inspected and you may end up with an inflated estimate for repairs from a potential buyer’s inspector so spend the money to hire your your own inspector.

Once you have your report, clear all (Section 1) problems that are actively  causing any problems. Hire a contractor or professional to make the repairs if necessary and have the inspector return to clear the problems in the report. This inspection can be given to any buyer who makes an offer on your home.

4. Empty the Garage.  This is my favorite recommendation for sellers because it’s one of the best tips for selling your home much quicker. A garage is typically the man’s space, but both guys and gals always want to see if they have room to store their stuff and they will always look in the garage. A clean and empty garage is always attractive to future buyers, so rent a storage unit and take everything in the garage and put it in storage for a month or two. You can also use the storage unit for the decluttering, which is the next step.

5. Clear Out the Clutter.  Difficult as it may be for any homeowner, it’s very important to declutter and depersonalize the entire house. Buyers need to be able to visualize their furniture and their possessions in your home and if you have too much of your stuff hanging around they won’t be able to do this. Less of your stuff in your house makes the room cleaner and larger and everything seems much calmer. A staged home is a good example of how much of your personalized possessions should be present – which is not much, especially in the main living areas.  Less clutter enhances the architectural details or unique accents in your home too.

6. Interior Sprucing.   Fresh paint on the walls is probably the best thing you can do to add appeal to the interior of the house for future buyers. Saturated colors on walls are less attractive than neutrals so as much as you love your lime green bedroom, consider painting it a gray, tan, or white so future buyers can envision their own color and art on the walls. Touch up the baseboards and trim too since dirty trim and scuffed up baseboards make a home look dingy.

Clean the whole house including the windows and the carpets to rid the home of dust and odors and keep them fresh and clean until escrow closes. Hire a professional window washer or carpet cleaner if necessary.

7. Price it Right.  Resist the urge to overprice your home especially in the current real estate market. Your personal attachment to your home may cause you to list the home for more than it’s worth, but you must be realistic about its true value. The ideal time for an offer is within the first 30 days, so setting the right price is key. If it’s priced too high, the home may not get showings, and you’ll be forced to reduce the price to leave buyers wondering what is wrong with your home.

The best way to obtain the true market value of your home is to hire a real estate appraiser who can give you a good idea of a listing price based on comparable sales in your area, and they may know even more about the real value of your home than your agent or broker.

8. Hire the Right Agent.  Find a real estate listing agent or broker who has experience in your market, who responds to your calls right away and communicates with you in a trustworthy manner. Once you have selected your agent, make sure that he or she is aware of all the selling points of your home such as upgraded appliances, air conditioning, new fixtures, modern technology, home alarms, etc. Your agent should also be aware of details about your specific neighborhood, including the schools, parks, and proximity to public services for marketing purposes. Be sure to indicate the best time of day for showing the home as well.

9. Insist on Good Marketing Photos.  Many real estate agents and brokers underestimate the importance of good marketing images of a home. Good images will attract more buyers, poor images have the opposite effect. The pictures of your home don’t need to be magazine quality, just bright enough to show off your home at its best. Go over the photos with the agent and make sure they look how you want them to look and are taken from the best angles.  Raise all the blinds, turn on the lights, and don’t be afraid to retake the photos several times to get them right.

If your home is empty, consider hiring a real life staging company or digital staging professional to give buyers an idea of furniture placement and living arrangements.

10. Show It Well (No Pets or Bad Odors)  Having a pet in the home isn’t always the best idea when showing the house to new buyers since they can be distracting. You want your buyers looking at the home and not worrying if it’s okay if the cat goes outside or if the dog is friendly or not. Pets need to be kept away from the showing, whether you take them on a walk, place them in a room away from buyers, or take them to a friend’s house while your home is on the market.

Also be sure your house doesn’t smell like your pets either. Clean surfaces and carpets are important and air fresheners are always a good idea. Fresh flowers on the dining room table or a bowl of fruit in the kitchen make your home’s living spaces feel fresher and more appealing.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to minimize anxiety in the process, reduce your home’s time on the market, and secure the best sales price too.

All the best in the sale of your home,


Outdoor Living Rooms

I was walking through my neighborhood as I try to do everyday, spring is in full bloom here in California. I noticed so many of my neighbors either relaxing on their porches or doing yard work. One was moving dirt to his rear yard in a wheelbarrow, the next neighbor was planting flowers in pots, and another neighbor was watering her garden and pruning her roses. It occurred to me that just about everyone is taking the time to improve their yards not just because we’re home now but with the knowledge we will be spending a lot of time in them in the next few months. It seems this summer’s mood will be more about backyard barbeques and small gatherings and not about traveling anywhere exotic.

With that in mind, creating an outdoor room at home becomes more important than ever. When the weather is nice, we will want to be outdoors and the nicer the environment we create, the more enjoyable it will be. I haven’t spruced up my courtyard since I did in 2016 so the time had come! I ordered new outdoor cushions in slate blue and I’m making my own pillows to accent my own outdoor room.

Below are some outdoor room ideas to inspire relaxing with families and in small social gatherings this summer.

twin sofas + round coffee table

jenn feldman designs

cement bench with cushions + stone firepit

sunset magazine 

outdoor porch swing

Eco Design Guy on Etsy

built-in benches + firepit

three bird renovations

covered porch + sectional + TV

molly wood garden design

stenciled patio + sectional + swing chair

old brand new

outdoor curtains

the cousins

angled deep seat cushion sofa

sunset magazine

privacy fence + cement block bench

source unknown

privacy fence + deep seat sofa & chairs

three bird renovations

bench + bistro table + globe lights

sonja olsen

adirondacks + in ground firepit

style me pretty

butterfly chairs around firepit


collected cozy mix

kyla mcgrath interiors

What plans are you making to create a cozy outdoor living space in your yard, patio, balcony, or porch?

Kitchen Design: Alternatives for Upper Cabinets

For so long we’ve defaulted to the style of upper cabinets with closed doors in kitchens, then about ten years ago floating shelves began surging in popularity as a replacement.

I wrote a post eight years ago questioning whether open shelves were timeless or trendy in kitchen spaces, and back then people had opinions. Looking back from 2020, having watched kitchen design trends all this time, it’s fair to say open shelves are now just as popular as closed doors on upper cabinets. They are often requested by homeowners to be included somewhere in small or large format in modern kitchens.

One thing I’ve been noticing is designers are thinking beyond the proverbial wisdom of basic upper cabinets. They are making bolder, more creative choices, pushing us to embrace alternatives for upper cabinets beyond closed doors or floating shelves.

The raised (or shortened) upper cabinet combined with a display shelf below has been trending for a few years, I wrote about this design choice in this older post.

house updated

This doorless cabinet style has been a part of design for some time, it’s the happy medium between closed cabinets and open shelving. This style of upper cabinetry gives the homeowner the decorative benefit of open display with a finished interior and a cabinet frame matching the surrounding cabinetry, similar to a dining hutch.

tom howley kitchens

something blue home

In recent years, there’s been a trend toward suspended kitchen shelving, I wrote about this option two years ago. See this article for more examples.

the mayes team

gregory funk

Metal shelving is a modern alternative to wood and a black finish is a contemporary choice.

joinery & design co. 

The long single shelf above a tile backsplash is a style found in many kitchens of Europe, Scandinavia, and the UK .

tom howley kitchens

fine little goods

roundhouse design uk

Here’s another look that combines cabinets and open shelving. This style incorporates open box shelving beneath shortened closed cabinets.

caldera kitchens

lindye galloway

These two kitchens have black metal glass front cabinets resting on the countertop. What they give up in counter space they make up for with a dramatic statement!

three birds renovation

chad james

These wood frame cabinets with glass fronts add texture and interest. Note the cabinets open by lifting up, not the typical vertical swing we often see.

source unknown

These suspended shelves hang in front of the window, allowing for light to penetrate the kitchen space, but also providing storage and display.

brooke wagner design


nicole hirsh interiors

katie hackworth

In Europe and the UK, sometimes there are no upper cabinets at all, leaving room for light fixtures, rods, small shelves, or as space to hang artwork.

devol kitchens

a + b kasha design

devol kitchens

And some designers are getting rid of upper cabinets entirely and swapping them for a wall of windows.

eye for pretty

Are you a fan of any of these new looks?

Green Kitchen Cabinets

Years ago I painted the center island in my white kitchen a pale gray green (Ben Moore’s ‘Camouflage’) and I’ve loved it ever since. Today I was at Home Depot beginning my search for cabinets for the kitchen at the flip house, and I’ve had green on my mind for some time.

I’m considering a white + gray/green cabinet combo using white cabinets above and greenish cabinets below. (Catch of the glimpse of the old kitchen cabinets here). I’m looking for a brand that offers a pale gray green and I found two potential candidates, Ocean Floor from Martha Stewart and the Zeus color by Decora, both are pale sage greens, the Martha color leans more gray. Decisions decisions…

gray green kitchen cabinet colors

Green is a beautiful choice for painted kitchen cabinets, it has an organic feel since it taps into the color we see most in nature. I’ve spied several kitchens popping up in designer spaces with cabinets painted in various shades of green. Most are brighter or deeper shades of green than I’m considering but all quite lovely.

pale green contemporary kitchen cabinets

elle decoration

green cabinets stylemepretty

style me pretty

green base kitchen cabinets

workbook by westbrook

apple green kitchen cabinets

new york times

green painted peninsula


green kitchen cabinets

jillian harris

green kitchen makerista

the makerista

green cabinets in kitchen

teddy edwards

army green cabinets

gregory mellor

olive green frameless cabinet

naked kitchens

forest green kitchen

deVOL kitchens

Is green the new gray with kitchen cabinets? If so, I’m on board.

Subway Tile Patterns

A great question landed in my inbox regarding subway tile installation, it’s one I haven’t tackled here on the blog, so today’s a great day to do so!

“Hi Kate, love your blog! I would love your opinion. I am using 3×6″ grey dove tile for a kitchen backsplash and now I’m confused about how to lay them! The picture shows a 1/3 offset, any help you have would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks!” ~ Franca

kitchen 1


kitchen 2.png

Most subway tiles come in 2 x 4″ or 3 x 6″ sizes, but there are other sizes too. I have white brick pattern tile in my own kitchen and I chose it 8 years ago because it’s timeless and I’ll never tire of it. With wood flooring, a random pattern is desirable but with a backsplash symmetry is important, and there are a variety of patterns you can create with subway tile.

Classic 50% offset pattern for subway tile (sometimes referred to as “running bond”) looks like the images below, with every other tile’s edge matching up in a vertical line. You can choose no grout and skip the spacers, or with spacers match the grout to the tile or choose a different color grout for contrast, or instead of basic white opt for a marble or colored subway tile like you’ve chosen.

offset white subway tile backsplash

marble subway tile backsplash bhg


better homes and gardens 12

If you want to continue with the one third or 33% offset as indicated in your picture the movement will be different, it will look more like this:

offset one third

 drawing courtesy of tile tramp

Rectangular subway tiles can be installed in many different ways, the symmetry makes them all great candidates for a backsplash, it’s just a matter of personal taste, whether you want to go with the a basic offset 50% or 33% offset or mix it up with something a bit different like the examples below.

brick pattern layout

brick pattern tile layout



offset tile patterns


basketweave layout etc


Take a peek at Apartment Therapy’s roundup of examples of subway tile in real spaces in alternative patterns.

herringbone subway tile backsplash


Elsie at A Beautiful Mess pulled together some tips and this graphic, visit their blog to view more inspiring images of these patterns in real spaces.

subway tile pattern samples


One traditional way of changing up the basic offset pattern is to use the same tile but in a different layout behind the range framed by pencil tiles (I did this in my own kitchen with white tile.)

brick pattern herringbone behind range

austin bean

herringbone and classic subway tile

 rw anderson homes

gray subway tile backsplash

better homes and gardens

Here is personal favorite installation for subway tile, I’d love to do this in a bathroom or kitchen, it’s the straight (or 90 degree) herringbone pattern, classic with a twist!

straight herringbone subway backsplash tile

design sponge

So Franca, it’s up to you which way to you want to go. You really can’t go wrong as long as the install is done symmetrically in any of the patterns featured above.

Readers, chime in! What subway tile pattern have you used in your home? Feel free to link to images/posts showing your subway tile installations!

The Best Home Improvements for Resale

I was asked by a reader recently about improvements to make to her home before they put it on the market for sale. This is a really common question, every homeowner wants to know what to do to increase the resale value of their home so it stands out, sells quickly, and you get the most for your efforts. Here’s Kathy’s question:

Every home is unique in its needs for resale, and value is a truly a regional question, one that depends on the home, the neighborhood, and the market. Of course modern kitchens and bathrooms that have been remodeled are big sellers but there are other improvements that add value as well.

“I have a question. What improvements make sense if you plan to move? My husband and I plan to retire soon and live closer to the coast. I would love to do an inexpensive update to our kitchen but want to make sure it will not be money wasted. We would also love some ideas on what else can be done to the home for resale.”  – Kathy, Westford MA

I thought Kathy’s question was a great opportunity to ask two experts on the subject, my husband Matt who is a real estate broker and appraiser, and Liz from It’s Great To Be Home, an experienced home flipper (she’s on her 10th!). They’re here to share the most cost effective ways that don’t include major remodeling. As Liz says, “Sinking lots of cash into the house so that someone else can enjoy it probably isn’t very high on your list of fun things to do. Instead, focus your energy and dollars on smaller improvements that will give you a lot of bang for your buck.”

Properly Operating Systems

Liz: As a flipper, my absolute favorite homes to buy are those that haven’t been touched by human hands since they were built…except to maintain the furnace, foundation, etc. Those issues always come up in an inspection, and 10 out of 10 buyers would rather put their money into a fancy new chandelier or surround sound instead of a new hot water heater so make sure the HVAC system is working properly and structural issues are addressed.

Matt: Make sure the slider and the screen door work properly too. Poor working sliders or broken screen doors turn buyers off quickly. Many people don’t realize that stuck sliders can be fixed easily by removing the door and replacing the rollers. It may take some time and a trip to the hardware store but it can be done for under $20. There are plenty of videos on YouTube which show the process of taking apart the slider.

welcoming entry

Freshen and Neutralize Paint and Flooring

Liz:  I don’t think that you need to run out and paint or recarpet your entire house to prepare it for sale (unless it’s really nasty) – most buyers will put their own touches on at least a few rooms once they move in, and I can tell you first hand how frustrating it is to put in new carpet only to have the new owners instantly replace it with hardwood!  However, you should definitely take the time to shampoo carpets and remove stains, as well as repair any chips, smudges or dings in the paint (no one wants to buy a grungy house).  Also, be sure to paint over any “polarizing” hues that would prevent buyers from being able to envision the space for their own needs – your hot pink craft room might not translate so well to a fellow pining for a man cave.

Update the Light Fixtures

Matt: Modern light fixtures say so much about a home. If the light fixtures are dated and dusty this is a clear indicator as to how the rest of the home has been maintained. Go into a home and see 1980s lacquered brass lighting everywhere and you have a good indication that the homeowner was likely a reactionary owner, only making upgrades when things didn’t work anymore. Light fixtures are very cost effective way of updating your home and showing the buyer that you are a more proactive homeowner than one that would fix only the things that broke down. However if your home possesses valuable vintage fixtures that complement the style of the home, it’s best to leave those in place.

updated light fixtures

Update Hardware and Electrical Outlets

Liz: We all know that kitchens and baths sell houses – and they’re also the rooms where most of your cabinetry is concentrated. Instead of a major, pricey overhaul, consider transforming the vibe of your kitchen or bath for just a few dollars and a trip to the hardware store. This is just about the easiest and cheapest update there is, especially because you can do it yourself.  Along with fresh paint, we’ve transformed original cabinetry with new hardware herehere and here.

Matt: After you have taken the time to paint the home you should replace any and all dated electrical switches, outlets and plates. This can be an expense that many people fail to consider and it doesn’t always turn off a buyer when it hasn’t been done. However, when it has been done it makes the home feel more modern and completes the paint job and interior updating. It’s something Kate and I always do.

Declutter and Remove Personal Items

Liz:   Homes that are staged look spacious and inviting for a reason – there isn’t any clutter!  Keep the essentials, and everything you need to be comfortable in your home while it’s on the market, but everything else needs to be packed up and either donated or stored.  Please don’t shove everything into closets or the garage.  Instead, invest in a storage unit so that potential buyers never come face to face with all of your stuff – seeing all of your clutter will just ruin the illusion you’ve created with your gorgeously pared-down home.

neutral bedroom

Matt: Empty the garage, this is a big winner. So many people leave the garage half full of stuff that they just took out of the house. The garage is the man’s space and guys want to see a clean slate with storage areas, work benches and clean floors. Typically guys have little to say about a house but when they see that big, beautiful garage you will get their vote every time. Rent a storage space for a few months and empty your garage, it is worth the extra expense.

Create an Extra Bedroom

Liz: If you can swing this one, do it!  It’s no surprise that a 4 bedroom home is more valuable (and sells more easily) than a 3 bedroom home.  Did you know that you might be able to create an extra bedroom in your home’s existing footprint?  If your house has a room without a clear purpose or use, take a weekend to frame out a closet – voila, you’ve got an extra bedroom. Make sure that the room also has a window large enough for egress, a code requirement for bedrooms. We recently did this at our 10th flip and the extra bedroom gave us instant equity.

Improve the Landscaping

Matt: In my opinion, one improvement that gives you the most bang for your buck is great landscaping, it’s not uncommon to see big return on cost v. value in this category. Poor landscaping takes away, but exceptional landscaping adds value and even if the home is dated on the inside, attractive landscaping that includes mature trees and well cared for shrubs will sell the house. Home flippers like Liz always plant flowers by the front door and for good reason, it creates a good first impression. Also consider improving hardscapes (patios & walkways) and creating attractive outdoor living. The market and climate will have a lot to say on what you can and should do. For example, in the southwest United States a covered outdoor area to protect against the summer heat and sun will help to sell the home.

attractive hardscape and landscaping

Other improvements where we’ve seen return on value especially with our current fixer upper is the removal of popcorn ceilings, brand new hardwood look tile flooring, closet organizers, window replacement, and new plantation shutters. One thing you want to avoid is over improvement for your neighborhood because you won’t reclaim that investment.

If you’re looking for more tips, here’s another article on more costly but effective home upgrades for resale, and this article on Cost v. Value is insightful as well.

Decorating with Analogous Color

Today the focus is on analogous color mixing. Analogous colors are those adjacent to each other on the color wheel and these examples below show this method of mixing color is another no fail way to combine hues in successful pairings by partnering your color of choice with its closest neighbor.

Using complementary colors often adds energy to a space because your mixing opposites on the color wheel, a cool color with a hot/warm one. Decorating with analogous colors can either create a soothing space when the hues are pale, muted, or cool tones, or the technique can be invigorating when the analogous combinations are bold, saturated, or hot colors.

A popular analogous color combination is blue and green, the colors reminiscent of the sea, sky, and the botanicals we are drawn to in the great outdoors.  

blue and green bedroom

jennifer flanders

blue and green dining room

better homes & gardens

blue and green sitting room

rachel reider

blue and green sitting room bhg

better homes & gardens

blue and green living room

bowley builders

Violet sits on the other side of blue as its neighbor so shades of purple or lavender always play well with blue hues.

lavender and blue bedroom

amanda nisbet

Things get exciting when a third analogous color is introduced into a space, for example look at the green + blue + violet medley. The blue plays middleman while green and violet accentuate, deep saturated hues make a bold statement, lighter or muted shades combined with neutrals or white are more subdued.

green blue purple dining room

katie ridder

green blue purple living room

rachel reider

blue green violet living room

katie rosenfeld

lavender blue green sitting room

lg interiors

Any color can be the center of an an analogous color trio, below are examples of mixing green + blue + yellow.

rachel reider blue entry abstract art

rachel reider

blue green yellow in living room

deborah w llewellyn

Pinks and oranges are hot colors and attention grabbing indoors just as much as they draw our eye in nature (think sunsets and summer garden beds in bloom). A vivid pink and orange combination will energize, a mix of paler tones like blush and apricot is a softer more soothing approach.

pink and orange bedroom

angie hranowsky

bright pink and orange bedroom

amanda nisbet

pink orange bedroom

artistic design for living

pink orange accents on deck

interior desires

Decorating with analogous colors is a favorite of mine in my own home especially the blue and green medley, I never get tired of it. What’s your favorite analogous color combination?

Decorating with Monochromatic Color

Do you ever look at a space and love it but feel overwhelmed in trying to recreate it? Often it’s the designers mix of pattern and color but there is one way to simplify the process and that’s with monochromatic decor.

A medley of color is wonderful, but so is tone on tone or single palette styling. You can get away with a mix of pattern and style – abstract, traditional, contemporary, large and small scale, it all works when your palette is limited to one color. These neutral spaces are great examples of how calming an edited single palette is.

black and white accents

burlap & lace

blue gray elegant bedroom


neutral pattern soothing bedroom

house to home

neutral living room

scheinholtz associates

Blue and white never goes out of style, mimic a retail styling trick you often see in catalogs by pairing multiple prints and accessories in a single colorway. Keep it classic by sticking with one blue hue or mix in lighter shades of aqua, paired with natural textures the medley creates a chic coastal vibe.

blue and white pattern mix

how to decorate

blue and white family room

apd architechts

dining room shades of blue

mabley handler

If there’s a color you adore, let it take over a living room, home office, or bedroom.

layered green living room

house to home

yellow and gold sitting room

jeff andrews design

orange and black home office

cristi holcombe

lilac bedroom

spg architects

I love a space that owns a color like an actress on the red carpet, and a powder room is one place to pull it off with flair. 

aqua bathroom house beautiful

house beautiful

pink brushstrokes house beautiful

house beautiful

lt’s inspiring to look at new outdoor furniture when it’s released each spring, some of the styling is monochromatic to showcase the collections. One palette decorating works beautifully outdoors too!

frontgate outdoor collection

frontgate (spring 2015)

plum accents outdoor space

hayneedle blog

green fabrics outdoor deck

 aura collectione

Monochromatic color is a no fail way to layer a space with multiple patterns that work together, have you tried it in your home?

Coffee Table Styling

We don’t have a coffee table in our family room anymore, we took it out a few months ago because I was tired of it, but I’m looking at others with different proportions. I’m taking my time finding the perfect one, but I do so love a beautifully styled coffee table with an organized collection of considered elements. Coffee tables offer us a place to gather and display our favorite things.

Can we look at some pretty ones today? Yes, let’s. Here’s a great go-to grouping that works well: stacked books + vase of flowers + decorative object or two.

books and lilys

jennifer worts

flowers books on coffee table jillian harris

 jillian harris

side by side gold coffee tables

at home in arkansas

coffee table books flowers

apd architects

coffee table studio mcgee

  studio mcgee

amanda carol coffee table

amanda carrol interiors

Another useful trick is to include a tray in the mix to corral a small collection of items so they feel controlled, also consider candles for ambiance and scent.

jessie miller coffee table styling

jessie d. miller

coffee table books flowers tray

susan glick interiors

coffee table jute

jute home

tray with boxes and flowers bhg

better homes and gardens

styled coffee table ann lowengart

ann lowengart

coffee table styling

foley & cox

coffee table styling with tray

the everygirl

Five Reasons to Invest in New Windows

On my list of things to get excited about, room reveals or seasonal decorating certainly rank higher than home improvement projects like toilet repair or how to install a sink. The topic of new window and door replacement was equally dry to me but I’ve had a change of heart on the matter. I now think installing new windows and doors is a hot topic, especially when you witness the true life transformation of ugly to pretty over two days which results in a huge crush on of all things your windows.

When we first bought the fixer upper house in Las Vegas my initial thought was to cover the old windows with layered window treatments but Matt is the real estate appraiser and gave me the “honey, this makes sense” speech because he knew that new windows would add value to the home, especially when we sell it in a year or two.

So today I wanted to share the reasons why we believe it was a wise investment. I know, that sounds like a commercial right? And I hate to sound like a commercial but when it happens to you, new windows are a real true to life “I’m so glad we did this” experience. 5 reasons to invest in new windowsWe got a few bids over the summer, and chose to work with Home Depot since they had a 10% off deal and we liked their rep. We bought a combination of double hung and a custom picture window for the living room, two light sliders for the bedrooms and sunroom/dining room, divided light for the front windows to match the neighbors homes, and a new French rail sliding door for the family room.

The installer took perfect measurements and the windows were ready five weeks later. Home Depot sent very courteous and experienced contractors who arrived on time and did a fantastic job on the installation process. Their supervisor stopped in twice to check on work and our satisfaction.

It took two full days to replace the first and second story windows and the sliding door, we chose the Simonton brand, and we’re so pleased with the results for these five reasons.

1) Aesthetic – The new vinyl windows look a million times better than the old aluminum ones. The new white frames are modern and fresh, more light (but not heat) enters the house, and the view of the trees and yard are visibly clearer.

2) Temperature Control The old owners had applied dark window film on several of the windows to restrict sunlight and over time it had bubbled and peeled off in places. The new windows have insulating “low E glass with argon gas” which blocks UV rays so the temperature stays lower.

According to their website, low E glass is “a transparent metallic oxide coating applied to the glass surface that allows short-wave energy to pass through but reflects long-wave infrared energy for greater thermal efficiency.”

Standing next the new windows in the Las Vegas sun you can feel the temperature difference that the new windows offer. Before the new windows, we would stand next to them and feel the heat coming through but we’re no longer pelted by sun and heat and there is a much clearer view of the yard.

3) Energy Savings – With energy efficient windows, we will receive local energy rebates that will add up to major savings. New windows cost thousands of dollars but the lower heating and cooling bills are definitely something to smile about and will pay for themselves over the course of time.

4) Performance – Compared to the old, the new windows and sliding door are a breeze to open and close. The old ones were a pain to maneuver, the metal was heavier, it would catch and not slide smoothly, now they open and close with the push or pull of a finger.

I watched the process over the course of two days, the contractor removed each window from its frame, then prepared the surface for the new vinyl energy efficient windows. The team of two used shims to level each window, filled gaps with foam, and caulked each window with silicone for weather proofing and insulation, then used a white trim kit to frame the windows inside and out.

The old metal sliding door was the worst, it had to be lifted up by its handle to be moved at all because the ball bearings were completely shot, we hated it so much and cursed every time we had to open or close it. This is the main door in and out of the backyard so it was important to have something that functioned and looked better. old aluminum slider 
The sliding door required removing the entire door frame and it took the most time. They used a special trim kit for seamless installation.

I’m still planning on installing window treatments right here but at least with the new glass this room stays a lot cooler.

5.) Value Here are Matt’s thoughts on this point. “The value of new windows can be very important depending on the market, especially in areas with severe climate changes. Areas of extreme heat or cold require double or even triple pane windows. Aluminum windows have inferior insulation qualities and also a dated appearance.

Even first time buyer recognize new windows and their real estate agents are quick to point the benefits including lower utility costs. In my experience, new windows typically add dollar for dollar value, depending on the the quality and price of the windows. New windows also have safety latches built in for greater security and protection. Also consider getting a transferrable lifetime warranty to pass on to future buyers.”

With the new flooring, new windows, and smooth retextured walls the house is on its way to feeling brand new. Have you experienced the same benefits by replacing your windows or sliding doors? . …