Hot Home Trend: Geometric Patterns in Décor Posted in Home Trends, by Melissa Tracey on June 4, 2018 44 By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Color forecaster Pantone cited geometric patterns as one of the top home design trends to watch in 2018. Shapes and, in particular, circular ones are being showcased in more home decor. Greater use of bold, circular patterns are being infused into everything from accent pillows and rugs to wall art and even tile backsplashes. Wallpaper trends are showcasing more geometric shapes too. For example, check out these two photos below from designers featured at Houzz. One, showcases a geometric wallpaper that is more subtle in a silver color and used an accent wall. The other photo showcases geometric shapes in a more dramatic way where the wallpaper serves as a focal point and then the rest of the decor is in solid colors....

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Light it Up: Add a Party Vibe to Your Outdoor Staging Posted in Home Trends, Staging Tips, by Melissa Tracey on April 2, 2018 48 By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Outdoor lighting isn’t just for the holidays. You can illuminate your outdoor living areas anytime of year. Stringed bulbs are becoming a “hot” outdoor trend this year. These outdoor clear, vintage lights have big rounded bulbs that can really create a festive flair in a backyard. They’re reminiscent of the lights used at an outdoor street fair. Homeowners are draping them across the top of their pergola, or along their back deck. Some owners may stretch them above and across their yard to create a canopy of lights. Watch out that they don’t become an eyesore during the daytime. The glow at night are when these lights shine. Tuck them into the top of a pergola. Or, for a photo op, drape them temporarily across a courtyard. Take a picture of it at dusk for a listing photo that shows off the entertainment space of a backyard. Or, string the lights to illuminate the backyard during a twilight open house. Check out how these designers used them....

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Posted in Home Trends, by Melissa Tracey on January 22, 2018 By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Black is getting popular in home design. Black fixtures, appliances, and even black furniture are emerging as one of the hottest trends in the new year. Black fixtures are replacing brass or rubbed bronze as a trendy home hardware in 2018. Black makes a great finish because it goes with anything. In matted finishes, it can also be easier to clean than your lighter, polished metals–so that’s definitely an added perk for homeowners too.              Photo by – Look for bathroom design inspiration Black cabinets in the kitchen are getting trendy too. To offset the darkness, some homeowners are mixing the black cabinets with lighter cabinets. Check out this one from Weston Lodge… Photo by Woodale – Look for kitchen design inspiration Black stainless appliances are also gradually gaining more momentum in the kitchen. Black stainless was once again being showed in the newest appliance models at CES 2018, the consumer electronics show this year. As  more smudge proof, black stainless is proving itself as a trendy alternative to traditional stainless....

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2014/07/21/pillow-talk-how-to-use-pillows-in-staging/. By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource I gotta say it, I LOVE pillows! I’ve seen so many spaces transformed with the simple addition of pillows that I had to share some of my favorite photos of pillow inspired spaces, as well as my top six tips to styling and staging with pillows! My friend HSR Certified Gregg Churchill, an amazingly talented Australian Home Stager and Designer knows the art of pillow placement, so I’m using some of my favorite photos of his work exclusively to give you my top tips and to conclude with some of my favorite places to buy pillows … Tip #1 – You Can NEVER Have Enough Pillows, so Go Big!   Can you imagine if this furniture were not dialed in with pillows? This is a perfect example of how the right placement and selection of pillows can transform couches. Tip #2 – Don’t Get “Matchy Matchy.” Mix It Up! As a designer, there are things you want to “match” to add calm and symmetry to a space (like the tables and lamps above). BUT when it comes to pillows, have fun and get a little crazy! I love how Gregg completely breaks the rules here with his color and pattern choices to make this otherwise boring, white space…POP! Tip #3 – Use Pillows to Guide the Eye in Staging Okay, imagine this room without the pillows. Again, Gregg breaks some rules beautifully by drawing the eye up and away from the dated terracotta tiled floors to the colorful, selection of pillows contrasted against the white couches. Not only does he distract but he connects the floors with the space through the choice of two similarly colored pillows….love it! Tip #4 – A Square for Every Chair I have to say, I love the on-trend, coral pillows on the end chairs of this dining room as a way to connect the art with the space. By using a clean, bright, color palette of similar tones it all just flows well together, so add those pillow squares to the chairs when it works like this. Tip #5 – Add Drama and Go “Colorless” This is probably my favorite photo because Gregg removes all the color from the space for dramatic effect, so the buyers walk in and go…whoa! The reason this works so well is because he cleverly inserts plenty of textures and pattern (fuzzy rug, platinum lamps, geometric throw and pillows). Gregg deleted the color from the space, which allows a buyer to notice the architectural elements they are buying that are special in this room, i.e. the wainscoting and hardwood...

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Re-posted from http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/30-cant-miss-home-staging-tips Designed to Sell designer Lisa LaPorta shares some of her best home staging tips. Grimy bathroom walls are a major red flag to buyers. Here is an easy way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Just spray it on the wall, and watch the mold disappear. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red flag to red-hot. Don’t replace a yucky shower door: Just scour it. A grimy glass shower door can really wash out your sale. Instead of replacing it, clean it with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and about 10 parts water. Scrub with steel wool. After wiping it down, reinstall the door and you’ll have a shower that’ll help you clean up at the open house. Avoid dated tile by painting. Bathrooms sell houses, but dated tile in a bathroom doesn’t. A low-cost alternative to replacing the tile is to use paint. First coat the tiles with a high-adhesion primer. Next, brush on a special ceramic epoxy covering. For a fraction of the cost of new tile, you will have an up-to-date bathroom that brings in big bucks. Pedestal sinks are a big hit with buyers. They show off square footage in small bathrooms beautifully. First, your old vanity has to go. Next, just hook up your new sink, and your bathroom will have dramatic appeal that brings in big bucks. Plus, buyers will see how much floor space your bathroom has. A master bedroom should appeal to both sexes. When you are selling, your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes. Get rid of features that seem too gender-specific. Paint the walls a neutral color, and choose bedding that matches. Then accessorize with items that complement the overall color scheme. Do you have an overpowering brick fireplace that sticks out like a sore thumb? Here’s an easy way to tone it down with paint. Use a rag or brush to rub a light coat of paint on the bricks, one at a time. This will give them a new tone without covering them completely. And, if you use a paint color that matches the walls, your fireplace will go from sticking out to standing out. Updating an old fireplace screen is a cheap (and quick) fix. After removing the screen and wiping it down to get rid of the dust, mask off the windows so you won’t get paint on them. Then, using a can of heat-resistant spray paint, give the screen a facelift. Hold the can about 18 inches away, and use long, even strokes....

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From post on http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2017/01/these-doors-can-modernize-your-listing-s-look We realize that this copy targets real estate brokers specifically, but you can easily imagine it addressed specifically to you. Just substitute “your home” every time the author says “your listing.” Good luck! JANUARY 2017 | BY MELISSA DITTMANN TRACEY A front door with pizzazz has always had a starring role in a home’s curb appeal. But lately, the doors inside a home are getting a closer look for their ability to add style and address design challenges. Strategically placed doors can offer privacy in open floor plan environments or increase the usability of cramped spaces.   Real estate pros Helene Bonello-Strauss and Malte Strauss with Trust International Real Estate LLC in Orlando, Fla., who also manage the staging blog idesigntosell.com, have used barn doors hung on sliding tracks above door frames and pocket doors, which tuck inside a wall, in several remodel and staging projects. “We use [barn doors] all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub [and] commode area,” says Bonello-Strauss, also a home stager. In some older homes, vanities are located in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom, a style that quickly can date a home. “Now we just close those off with a barn door, and buyers love that solution.” She also recently used two barn doors hanging from each side of an open door frame to solve an open floor plan’s privacy issue. The homeowners had built an addition off the living area that could be used as a guest bedroom, but they never installed a door to separate the bedroom from the main area. Bonello-Strauss added the double barn doors so the space could be used as a guest bedroom or opened to expand the living area when not in use by a visitor. “It truly makes the room and provides an architectural interest to an otherwise bland wall,” she says. But don’t be thrown off by the word “barn.” Your listing doesn’t have to be country chic to benefit from this space saver. The concept works in many styles, from walnut barn doors for traditional homes to galvanized metal doors for urban lofts, says Lynn MacMillan, with Gem Home Staging & Designs in St. Catharines, Ontario. Pocket doors vary widely too, from all glass to all wood and from designs that stretch to the ceiling to those that are only waist-high. Sliding doors can attach to a kitchen island and can be used to close off areas to pets or children when needed. “I prefer using sliding doors in all my projects,” says designer and architect Lilian...

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