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Focal Rooms

We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about how to apply all those wonderfully hip and happening ideas you find on HGTV and Pinterest to your homes. Whether you’re listing your home for sale or making improvements for your own enjoyment, it really is fun to scroll though pages and spend a few hours watching design shows.  It can also be super overwhelming. If only we all had unlimited budgets, tons of extra manpower and a professional designer at our beck and call.  But, even if that last sentence doesn’t describe your life, you can still use these channels and sites as inspiration and make meaningful and wise choices that will increase the equity and enjoyment you hope to find in your home.

Last week, we talked about how to build spaces for privacy in homes that weren’t originally designed that way.  The week prior, I wrote about creating open, airy spaces… even if your house is a bit older and boxy.  Today, our mission will be much easier, because no matter when your home was built and no matter what style, I’m pretty sure it has a kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.  These rooms are the focal points of your home… the rooms where you do most of your living.  So, it only makes sense that you’d want to make sure these spaces are the most beautiful in your home.   If you have limited time and funds to make changes, focus on these rooms and keep the following tips in mind…


Kitchens are kings when it comes to buying and selling homes.  A great kitchen can overcome other challenges and a less than stellar kitchen can really sabotage a great house.  First and foremost, I always recommend that my clients consider installing luxury countertops.  Even in small homes, granite or quartz countertops can really set the stage for a fantastic kitchen.  Many people think that granite is too expensive, but there’s a huge range in pricing and with a bit of shopping, you should be able to find something that doesn’t break the bank.  And remember… you will almost always recover the money you spend on this type of kitchen renovation when you sell your home!  If your kitchen cabinets are old, dark wood and show signs of aging, you can give your kitchen a quick and easy makeover by painting them white or light gray.   Similarly, changing and upgrading cabinetry hardware can yield a huge change with little cash outlay.
A living room is often described as the heart of the home and it should market itself as the place where your nearest and dearest will gather to share quality time.  A fireplace goes a long way toward creating a warm and welcoming ambiance, so if your current living room doesn’t have a fireplace, consider installing an electric fireplace.  Like granite, many homeowners think this is cost prohibitive, but a quick visit to your local home store will yield lots of ideas on how to install a fireplace that is cost efficient.  Built-in shelving is also popular and trendy.  If you already have built-in shelves, paint them a bright white, then fill them sparingly with heirlooms.  The rule of thumb is that you should have at least five books per shelf, but then only 1 or two additional items or knick-knacks.  Don’t overfill shelves.  Instead operate on the “less is more” principle.  Lastly, arrange furniture so that it lends itself to conversation.  Furniture doesn’t need to be shoved against the walls of the room.  If your living room is large enough, move furniture into intimate clusters and center it around a fireplace or the like.

The best master bedrooms are Zen and peaceful and the quickest and easiest way to accomplish that goal is to paint the bedroom in a soothing, neutral palette.  Crown molding gives master bedrooms a touch of elegance… if your master doesn’t already boast crown molding, consider installing it.  This is a weekend project that will make a huge difference in this important space.  A lighted ceiling fan keeps a master bedroom feeling bright and airy.  If you’re installing a new fan, choose one that comes with a remote control.  If you already have a ceiling fan in your bedroom, but it doesn’t have a remote control, you can buy kits to remedy that!  Like a living room, arrange furniture so that the bed is the focal point, but not the only place to rest and recharge.  If space allows, create a small and cozy sitting area in one end of the room.  Finally, ensure that your master bedroom is uber-peaceful by removing heavy, dust catching curtains.  Light and breezy sheers or panels are the best choice for window coverings in your masterfully designed master bedroom.

Next week, we’ll tackle your outdoor living spaces (the sky is the limit with this topic!!) and round out the HGTV-effect that will help you sell or savor your gorgeous home!

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