Thursday, October 15, 2020

The world of windows!!

The world of window treatments

There are so many options when it comes to window treatments; it can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, functionality, aesthetics, and design.

Well, I am here to help you understand the different types of window treatments that are available. Some you may know, others you may not.

Let's get started.

1 Hard Window Treatments - These are shutters that can be louvered or fixed slats. It can be made from wood or plastic. They offer privacy and control the amount of light being filtered.

2. Woven Shades - Sometimes called a bamboo shade. Great way to add texture to any space. They can also have an exotic surface like reeds, grass, or wood.

3. Cellular Shade - Looks like honeycombs. They are energy efficient and help insulate your home. They can be light-filtering or room blackout. They are made from clothlike material. They can come in a single, double, or triple honeycomb.

4. Pleated Shades - Similar to cellular shades but no honeycomb. They pull up to sit flat at the top of the window.Thereby giving you an unobstructed view of the outdoors.

5. Venetian Blinds - The can be made from wood, metal, or plastic (not my favorite as they can break easily). The slates rotate, so they overlap, blocking the light from coming in. Slats can also come in different widths from micromini to 2 1/2" slats.

6. Shoji Panel Screen - Originated in Japan, they are made from translucent rice paper. Easily allow light into the room so not great for bedrooms. They do offer an exotic look to any living room or dining area. They can made from out of wood or bamboo.

7. Panel Tracks - Often referred to as sliding window panels. They are great for patio doors or picture windows. Come in many different shades of colors and widths.

8. Vertical Blinds - They can be custom made. They can come in fabric, plastic, metal or faux wood. They were very popular in the 90's not so much today.

9. Roller Shades- They are called roller shade merely because they roll-up. You may remember them from your grandma's house, but I can assure you they are not the same. They come in many colors, texture and feature a simple and elegant way to treat a window.

10. Roman Shades - Fabric that hangs flat when closed. The fold into pleats when raised. They come in many different styles, fabric and offer insulting features, a beautiful way to add material into any space without cumbersome bulk of drapery.

11. Silhouettes - The vanes appear to float between the two sheer panels to create shading. When vanes are opened they provide sheer light diffusion. When closed, they offer privacy.

12. Drapery - Also known as curtains. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, patterns, and sizes. They are the most versatile and most likely the least expensive window treatment.

Pole Pocket

Pinched Pleat

Tailored Pleat

Inverted Pleat


13. Sheer - Made from translucent fabric. It doesn't offer much privacy, but it does prevent people from looking directly into your home. Comes in many different colors and texture.

14. Cafe Curtains - They may cover the lower portion of the window or the upper part of the window. Sometimes they can do both. It allows light to filter in, while keeping the room semi private.

15. Austrian shades- Fabric that is gathered into scallops when down and pulls into tighter scallops when pulled up. Fabric can be sheer. I do not like these as they are very "heavy" looking. Honestly, they remind me of Dracula's coffin. No thanks!!

16. Swag - Material that swags across the pole. They can be free form or custom made. They were very popular in the '90s. I still see them in homes today, but they are very outdated in my opinion.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider. It can be overwhelming at times. Just choose the one that is best suited for your space. And if you need help, reach out to me. I'll be more than happy to help.

Images Via Pinterest


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Is it wood? Or is it something else??

Is it wood? Or is it something else?

Wood flooring has been around for a very long time. But unfortunately, wood was not always possible or even affordable.And wood does not do well on concrete. But today there are so many many wood-like products. You can have the look of wood without the problem wood flooring can create.

1. Vinyl Floors - Great for mudrooms or any room that has a high traffic area or moisture issues. Easy to install and affordable. They click together or come in the adhesive that attaches.

2. Ceramic or Porcelain Ties - These tiles look so real it's hard to tell the difference. They even have hand-scrap wood tiles. Great for kitchen or bathrooms.

3. Engineered wood floors - They are resistant to higher moisture levels. They can be glued down and applied over concrete slabs. There is a layer of real wood on the surface. Once installed, it's nearly impossible to differentiate between engineered and the "real thing." That's what makes them so popular. They are also less expensive than real wood.

4. Laminate floor - Relatively easy to install. They can be used over concrete slabs. Less expensive then wood, but they are made from recycled wood fiber, so if they get wet, they will expand. Laminate floors have come a long way since their introduction. The quality is much better, but they are not as popular as they use to be. 

Nothing beats real wood. Otherwise, why would they try so hard to replicate it? What is it they say, imitation is the best form of flattery. Wood must be very flattered indeed.

With all the different types of wood flooring out there, it's easy to find the look of wood in the selection you like and at the price that you want to pay.

Image Via Pinterest


Thursday, September 17, 2020

My New Shed

My New Shed

Building and organizing my shed was a time-consuming project but well worth the time and effort. It's also a great selling feature when it's time to sell your home. In my case, I needed a shed to put all my tools and outdoor items. I bought this pre-fab shed and had my contractor New Island Remodeling put it together. They did a great job as usual.

1. Building Phase -  Reading those instructions was time-consuming. Looking good.

3. Painting - Construction is done; now, the painting begins—a lot of work on my part but worth it. I painted the inside and the outside. Why do you ask? Because it brightened up the interior and protected the outdoor against the weather elements.

3. Organizing - This shed came with two shelves. Very handy, it allowed me to store my tables and outdoor area rug. I added hooks to hang items that were large or bulky. I labeled all my items—this way, when my kids use the items, they know where to put it back. No excuses!!

I bought these white storage cubes from Home Depot. They are great because they are plastic. I bought three sets. They come in in a two-pack.

I bought these fabric storage bins from Target. They are called Threshold Fabric Cube. They come in different colors and fit perfectly in those white cubes.

I used PVC tubing and cut them on an angle then nailed them to the wood. This allowed me to store my large items. Very organized.

Lastly, I use these hooks to hang my ladders, hose, and eventually, my snow shovels.

It's not done until I add some piazza to it. Couldn't help myself!! 

Now it's all done. It gives me a lot of storage. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished on my own. I'm not done yet; I will be adding cement sometime soon. This way, there won't be such a big step getting in or out of the shed. It will also prevent it from getting muddy.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Color in the Kitchen!!

Color in the kitchen

Color in the kitchen? Why, yes, please. Today's kitchen has a lot more color then they have in the past few years. Do you remember the 50's when colored appliances were all the rage? Since then, color in the kitchen has all but phased out. But I'm starting to see the return of color in the kitchen, and I love it.

Don't want to invest in major (color appliance) purchase? Afraid it may be outdated in a few years? Then how about using smaller appaliances?

There is so much to choose from. Anyone of these appliances can add so much color to your kitchen without a considerable commitment. Are you tired of the color? Switch it out to another color. Yes, it will indeed be expensive to switch out your coffee pot, toaster, or blender, but its a lot less than switching out your stove.

Image Via Pinterest

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Taking on DIY projects

Taking on DIY projects

In today's economy, we're seeing more and more homeowners doing DIY projects. DIY projects can potentially save the homeowners hundreds of dollars and increase the value of the home. Although I give kudos to anyone attempting to improve their home, it can be a disaster. How many times have you walked into a house and thought, "who botched up this job?" only to find out that the homeowner did it?

I understand that people are trying to save money ( who isn't?), but I say don't take on more then you can handle, or the outcome can cost you money.
When considering doing the job yourself, use these simple guidelines to ensure that you can handle the situation and that it's being done right.
  • Use resources like Home Depot or Lowes to get ideas of what the project is going to cost and how difficult it's going to be.
  • If you don't have the right equipment, consider renting it rather then buying it. That can save you money, of course, you should consider buying it if you intend to do more projects.
  • Ask friends or family who have experience to help you out. You can offer to pay them or barter out your service if you have something to offer them.
  • Find your local trade school and see if they have an apprentice program. Sometimes these apprentices are looking to gain experience or hone their skills. They might be willing to work for very little pay. You will get a knowledge student and a helping hand.
  • Research the project on the internet. You have vast tools at your disposal, use it.

If, after doing your homework, you find out that this might be a bigger job, then you thought, consider hiring an expert. This way, you know it will be done right, and it will probably cost you less in the long run, especially if you started a project, botched it up, and now have to hire a professional to fix it. 


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Vacant Staging, why is it such a tough sell??

Vacant Staging, why is it such a tough sell??

Why is it such a tough sell? When you take the cost of carrying the mortgage plus expenses like utilities, times that by the many months it has "Sat" on the market, it can add up to a substantial amount. Staging a vacant home could potentially save the homeowners thousands of dollars, yet they cringe when you show them the cost of staging their home.

Some stagers state the fact that the reason some homeowners don't want to stage is that they would have to dish out the money. While reducing the listing price is just "paper money." This may be true, but if you have the chance to increase your profits, why wouldn't you take it?? Vacant staging works because buyers can't see the potential of the house. Have you ever looked at MLS listing of a vacant home? Can you tell me what purpose the room serves? 

I recently had a call from a homeowner who had a vacant home on the market. When I looked at the MLS listing, I couldn't tell which room was the master bedroom, dining room, or family room. The only space I could identify was the kitchen (for obvious reasons!). This was a 3.6 million dollar home!! I should have been "wowed," but I wasn't. It has been on the market for over seven months. Imagine the expenses the homeowner is carrying?? Yet when I told her the cost of staging her vacant home, she didn't want to spend the money. Call me crazy, but I don't get it. 

When you break it down, vacant staging is worth the cost, so why can't homeowners see that? The fact that they would rather continue hemorrhaging money is baffling to me. If you take into consideration what it will cost you in the long run, staging a home will save you money. And that my friend is a fact you can take to the bank.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Staging a Semi-Vacant house

Staging a Semi-Vacant Home

Recently I stage what I call a semi-vacant home. What does that mean? Well, it means that the house is indeed vacant, but I was able to use some of the client's furniture. By doing this, it allows me to keep the cost down, which is what every client wants!!

I don't normally do this simply because there usually is no furniture in the house. However, sometimes the homeowner has left some furniture behind. If I feel that I can utilize the furniture, then I will.

The before pictures.

In the living room, I had the client remove the two armchairs. I felt they were a bit outdated. I did use the coffee table, the chest by the front door, and the metal end table, as well as the lamps and area rug.

The kitchen needed a table and chairs which the client had.

In the dining room, I kept the table but switched out the dining chairs. I did use the server.

I even used their wicker furniture for the spare room, which I turned into an office.

Here are the after pictures.

As you can see, just by switching out the armchairs and adding a sofa, it completely changed the look and feel of that space. I added my accessories to finish the look.

In the kitchen, I used her table and benches. I set the table and accessorized her kitchen.

Much more updated look just by changing out the chairs. The server was a good fit.

Here is the office. I eliminated all those stuffed animals, utilized her furniture, and used my accessories instead.

As you can see, adding some furniture updated the space. This will entice the buyers to schedule a visit to the home. That is what you want to attract buyers!!