Category Archives: Increasing Your Home’s Value

DIY Wood Pallet Wall

I know the title of this post probably sounds really weird,  but trust me on this! I have been seeing this idea all over Pinterest & “Blogtown”. Honestly it’s brilliant. It’s inexpensive, recycled wood – so it’s Eco-Friendly and gorgeous! I always like incorporating a little rustic into a space. Adding a natural element seems to make a space feel more grounded and homey. Idk, maybe that’s just me.

These walls are made out of FREE wood pallets!! Loving this beachy shabby chic look. To achieve the whitewashed shabby look, brush over the pallets with something like this and then lightly sand with 60 grit sandpaper. You might want to water down the white wash stain, depending on the look you want.

This tutorial shows you how to create a wood pallet wall & the weathered/white washed look. They did an incredible job.

{Via Real Housewives of Bucks County}

{Via Design Sponge}

{Via Just A Girl}

 This darker wood makes the whole room into a masculine and edgy boy room. Love it.

{Via Just A Girl}

Wood pallets are typically FREE, just call around your local area!

This adorable baby boy nursery is the cutest! This Blog has a really good pallet accent wall tutorial as well & great safety tips.

{Via Bower Power}

I am highly obsessed with The Lettered Cottage. See how they re-did their reading room. Simply amazing. I love how the room looks like it’s right out of a Pottery Barn catalog!!

{Via The Lettered Cottage}

Can you believe creating a  wood pallet accent wall is cheaper than painting?!? Not to mention it looks like it’s a billion times more expensive than it actually is.

By the way, this would absolutely increase the value of your home. Just in case you were wondering.

Xo, Melissa & Virginia

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Going “green” in the kitchen {by Erik Braunitzer & Elliman Real Estate of NYC}

This is Erik Braunitzer, from Elliman Real Estate in New York City. I am very excited for the opportunity to guest post for Melissa & Virginia here at House To Home Blog.

Tips for a greener kitchen

By Erik Braunitzer, and compliments of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Company, agents for NYC Rentals.

There’s a lot of emphasis these days on going green, but one of the places it’s heard most is in the housing industry. The way we use resources in our homes as we go about our daily lives has a tremendous impact on our carbon footprint, and this is especially true in one of the most energy-heavy rooms of the house: the kitchen.

Appliances: A home’s kitchen is its heart. All too often, it’s the heart of our electrical bill, too. Kitchens are full of large, energy-sucking appliances. One of the most direct ways to reduce home energy use is by ensuring that all major appliances such as stove, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher are energy-star compliant at the very least. Exceeding those standards would be even better. For dishwashers and faucets, purchasing models that use less water or utilize low-flow technology is another key element. Look for appliances with the energy star sticker. Not only is this better for the environment, but you will save loads of money on your bill.

{via Comparance}

Lighting: A combination of natural lighting during the day and efficient lighting in the evenings add up to green savings. Compact fluorescent bulbs can be used in existing standard-sized sockets, and last up to ten times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Alternatively, LEDs are even more efficient, lasting up to ten times longer than CFLs. During the day, try to not flip a switch on at all, and instead use the light from windows. If existing windows are old or drafty, consider replacing them with an energy-efficient alternative. Most of a home’s heat loss occurs through its windows, so it’s important to find a balance that allows plenty of natural light without sacrificing excess energy loss.

Counters: Counter tops are the real workhorse of a kitchen, but green can still be tough. Kitchen counters can be made of recycled glass, sustainable hardwoods, renewable bamboo, or natural stone. Any of these options provides a beautiful, chemical-free alternative to the typical plastics-based counter top that may be off-gassing toxins into your home for years to come.

Reclaimed wood counter tops – beautiful & recycled{Photo via Fresh Interiors}

{via CoolCounters}

Flooring: Replacing worn vinyl with new vinyl doesn’t solve any environmental problems. Vinyl is a petroleum-based product that cannot be recycled, does not degrade, and has a limited lifespan. The production process required to create vinyl includes toxic waste as one of its main byproducts. Natural linoleum or cork flooring is comparable in price to high-end vinyl, have natural antimicrobial properties, and are both very durable. Both are renewable, and biodegradable, making them ideal for the homeowner who wants to go green. Natural tile and bamboo are other good alternatives.

Chevron reclaimed wood floors {Via Pinterest}

{Via Pinterest}

Cabinets: Remember, being green isn’t just about using non-toxic, renewable, or energy-efficient products. It’s also about keeping waste out of landfills and making the most out of your existing resources. If current kitchen cabinetry is dated but still functional and sound, a quick coat of glossy zero-VOC paint can bring them up to date. If the alternative is to rip out the kitchen and dump the cabinets in a landfill while replacing them will all-new cabinets made from recycled or sustainable materials, which option is really better for the environment? High-quality non-toxic paint is a whole lot easier on the budget, too.

Reclaimed wood cabinetry goes with any style. Whether you like rustic, modern, contemporary or a mix of a few.. you can achieve that look with reclaimed wood

{Images via Pinterest}

Remember, going green isn’t just about physical surroundings. It’s about the decisions we make every day. This includes making smart choices about water usage by taking short showers and only running full wash loads, recycling, composting, and carpooling. A few small changes tossed in with all that remodeling will make it easy to be green.

Erik is a member of the creative writing & web strategy department at PDE. Along with an experienced team of writers, he blogs mostly about interior design and issues of sustainability. For more information, feel free to contact Erik directly.

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OlioBoard Obsessed

I recently came across the most amazing website known to man.. or should I say women. It’s called OlioBoard and I am beyond obsessed. I spent approx 3 hours playing around with the site & designing my ideal home office!

Here’s the gist of how it works; You create your own digital mood/inspiration boards on their site & save them to your profile. A lot of interior designers use this site + regular people who want to design their own space.

 It’s free to join. They do have a pro version that enables you to choose wall colors, add text & use the budget feature, which is $8.99 a month.

All the images you select on the site are fully available for purchase and they list the product’s specifications & prices!! Amazing! You can even upload your own inspiration photos from your computer or photos of your current furniture.

I put this board together for my ideal home office. What do you think?

{Click to enlarge}

It really helps you envision the room you are trying to create.. instead of buying items at stores only to find out that they don’t match your current decor – talk about a major time saver.

White Parson desk $299 from West Elm ** Round Coco sunburst mirror $199 from West Elm **Aqua glass table lamp $502 from Layla Grayce ** Grant Wing Back Chair in Ivory w/Nail head trim $999 from Home Decorators ** Reflections white storage shelf $349 from Home Decorators  ** 9 drawer mirrored dresser $1,963 from Layla Grayce ** Paris Flea market collection champagne chandelier $700 from Layla Grayce ** Distressed metallic pillow $48 from DwellStudio ** Gold Leaf Cade table lamp $179 from Home Decorators ** Gold table clock $74 from Layla Grayce ** Glossy red boxes – set of 3 $79 from Dwell ** Small wire basket $13 from Crate & Barrel** Yellow laquered magazine storage $22 from West Elm ** Pearl box $48 from West Elm ** White washed weaved storage bins $39 from West Elm ** Trina gold corkboard $49 from Home Decorators **Owl Coin bank $10 from All Modern  ** Bold Black & White Stripped rug $399 from Overstock** Metallic Gold Leather Moroccan Pouf $199 from Overstock

 

xo, Melissa

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Pinterest Favorites {Wall colors + design}

I’m going to warn you, I have been really into hot pink lately. Like REALLY into it. I am now counting the days until we can buy our own house (which should be happening in about a year). The main thing that blows about renting = you have to run everything by your landlord. Our landlord is amazing, but I really doubt he would let me paint his hardwood floors white or paint/wallpaper every room in this house! Anyway bottom line, I can’t wait to own again! Until then, I will just dream.

{Here are some of my all time favorite paint colors/wall coverings/ideas}

Ok although this space is overall very industrial, I love the fact that they brought their own style to it! Perfect mix of rustic, glam, urban, industrial. One of my favorite things in decorating is to mix styles. It brings something unexpected & unique to the table.

Imperial Trellis stenciled ceiling – One word. GORG. Quite possibly the cutest ceiling in the world.

I would love to do something like this in the nursery or bathroom.

Next up is this vintage glamorous bathroom – Loving the pink walls with white accents. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your paint. With the right accessorizing, it could look amazing beyond words.

Bold pink walls & neutrals. The mirrored bed – to die for.

Wallpapered pink kitchen & ghost chairs. Again super unexpected, yet amazing if done right.

Gorgeous chic trellis stencil.. I have been dying to try this on something. I have been thinking about buying a second hand bookcase for my storage challenged home office. As soon as that happens, I’ll be all over this.

Gross cloth walls, stunning chandelier + white deer head hmmm.. you can’t really go wrong with these items!

Color coordinated bookshelf = A-mazzzz. It’s like where do you get all those pink books though??!

Love this funky geometric wallpaper + the hot pink tissue box doesn’t hurt either. A bright pop of color, is sometimes all you need to give a room that wow factor.

What do you think? Do you have any fun & unique plans for your walls?? Feel free to follow me on Pinterest for more ideas.

Happy Friday!! Xo, Melissa

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My weekend + Our living room before & after pics!!

I had such an amazing weekend! I spent Saturday with a couple of friends up in Sonoma. One of my bffs Allison & wedding vendor friends Erin & Yasmin were putting on a wedding event/fair called the Lab Event at Cline Cellars Winery – which just so happened to be right across the street from where we got married! This event was unlike any wedding fair I’d ever been to. It was honestly more like a party than anything else. Great food. great wine. dancing. fashion show + all the pretty wedding details made by local wedding vendors. The girls did an incredible job! Honestly it kind of made me want to re-plan my wedding. Well……… not really. Ha!

Click here to see more of the incredible Lab Event

{via Pinterest}

Now on to our living room update  – as promised I took some much better pictures of our living room!!

Well let me first remind you what the living room used to look like

{BEFORE}
Notice the horrific ceiling fan in the mirror.

{AFTER}

Ta-dah!! The sofa is from Zgallerie – Oscar Sofa, vintage chandelier is from the Alameda Point Antique Faire – $70

Bronze nailhead trim & turned legs

If you are considering the Oscar Sofa for your home, I definitely recommend it. It’s timeless, chic and oh so glamorous! The soft cushy pillows make it ridiculously comfortable. This is the perfect couch if you are looking for pretty & practical (well besides the white fabric.)

We painted the aqua accent wall with Benjamin Moore’s Bird’s Egg. For the sunburst mirror DIY click here + my picture frame gallery wall DIY here.

Modern Linen beige tufted lounge chairs are from Overstock – Super comfortable, in case you were wondering!

Waterfall glass coffee table by Viva Modern is from Ebay

Lattice grey rug is from Pottery Barn Teen. Who would have thought?!

I spray painted this metal table from Pier One with Rust-oleum Metallic Gold Spray Paint

This is what it looked like before

This gorgeous shabby chic Pottery Barn inspired mantel was made by my bff Lizzie & her incredibly talented husband

I purchased this mirrored silver side table from TJ Maxx 4 years ago! It’s crazy how a gorgeous sofa can make everything in the living room suddenly look 100 times better.

I spray painted the vintage milk bottle my mom gave me (she was about to throw them out!) The wood flowers are from my wedding bouquet

So now I’m thinking about getting a mirrored chest of drawers for the corner by the gallery wall. It’s so bare over there.. plus it would be nice to have some extra storage (opps, sorry for the crooked pic!)

I’m thinking something like this

{Via Pinterest}

Thoughts? I could always go the less expensive route – Find something on Craigslist, paint & update the hardware. I just can’t stop thinking about the mirrored chest of drawers! So damn gorg. We’ll see.

Xo, Melissa

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FAQs When Selling Your Home

Recently we have been getting a lot of questions from our clients about selling their homes. Questions like “How do we get our home ready for the real estate market? What do we fix and or not  fix..?” “How do we price our home to sell?”

So we have compiled a home seller’s Q&A for you!

What price should I list my home for?

Once you have decided you want to sell your home, the first step would be to have us come out to your property. In this first visit we assess the home from top to bottom, observing all upgrades and improvements that have been done to the property. Examples: New roof, remodeled bathrooms, new carpet or hardwood flooring, family room additions, 2 car garage etc. We take all of these into consideration when pricing your home.

In deciding what price to list the property we also compare your home to other similar homes that have recently sold (less than 6 months ago) to figure out what price your home should be listed for. Once all the research is done,  We present you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) report. This will show you exactly what your home should be listed for based on all the comparable houses in your area.

Are you wondering what your home is worth today? Give us a call for a free no obligation comparative market analysis today. 408-921-3601 remaxva@yahoo.com

What if I owe more than my home is worth?

You have a couple options.

#1 If you are looking to stay in your home you might be able to workout a loan modification with your lender. This can make your payment lower and more manageable. Contact your lender to possibly work out a deal.

#2 Talk to your lender about doing a short sale. A short sale is when the property value is now worth less than what you originally paid. Meaning the lender will be short if you sold the property. Example: Say you paid $405,000 for your home two years ago.. the property values have dropped substantially and your home is now worth $270,000. If you sold it and paid the lender back, you would be short by $135,000 hence the name “Short Sale” The lender will sometimes approve you to sell the property with a Realtor. Banks have become more willing to approve of short sales these days, due to current market conditions. Short sales have less effect on your credit than a foreclosure. They are completely different. If you have further questions please call or email us 408-921-3601 remaxva@yahoo.com.

Why can’t we just list the property at a higher price and see what happens?

Pricing your home too high from the beginning can lead to unnecessary stress and added time on the market. The more time your home sits on the market, the more buyers are going to think they can get a better deal on your property. They will likely offer a much lower price. If you had just listed the property at a competitive price to begin with, you would have gotten a lot more interest and the probability of receiving a full price offer is a lot higher. Why would a buyer want to purchase your home when a comparable property around the corner is $10-$20k less?

Why do we need to get home inspections right away? Are they necessary?

We strongly suggest that you get a termite, roof, property inspection & natural hazards reports right when we list your house. (We help order these for you). The reason for this is when buyers are interested in a home, they want to see reports to make sure there are no unknown problems with the home – For instance if the home has an active termite infestation problem, this could cost the buyer thousands of dollars or if the roof needs to be replaced and has leaks.. this will really affect the buyer’s feeling about what price to offer for the home; or even if they still want the home at all. This will hold up the process every single time. We have seen this time and time again. YES it is necessary to get your home inspections, before receiving offers. Everything should be disclosed upfront to prevent any problems during the transaction. Trust us!!

What do we need to do to get our home ready for the market?

Your goal with this is to make sure your home is clean, bright and comfortable. Keyword clean. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home. You don’t need to go crazy fixing up your house, but to get top dollar for your property make sure these key things are completed:

  • Clean carpets to remove stains and replace flooring if necessary.
  • Clean windows, doors (finger prints), keep kitchen clean; remove all food products, cookware, etc from counter tops.

{Source}

  • De-clutter the home. Get rid of the nick-knacks. Simplify the space.
  • Tip – Pretend you are a potential buyer. Clean up and repair everything that would turn you off if you were looking to buy your home.
  • Clean bathrooms; get rid of mildew and mold, toilet bowl rings and remove personal hygiene products. Bathrooms and kitchens are top sellers so get them in the best condition possible.
  • If necessary remove pieces of furniture to make a room feel bigger or flow better.
  • If you have dark or bright colored paint on your walls, we suggest you paint them a neutral light color. Wild colors don’t appeal to buyers. Neutral sells.

For help hiring a staging company or if you have more questions, email/call us 408.921.3601 remaxva@yahoo.com

My Bff ‘s gorgeous living room really shows my point – no clutter, neutral paint, clean, simple.. not to mention amazing!

{Source}

  • Handle all minor repairs around the house. Examples: fix faulty electrical wires, replace lose tiles in the bathroom, replace cracked electric plates, replace light switch plates, fix leaky faucet, repair sprinklers, re-calk shower.

Click here to see our handpicked vendors list – for various tradesman  – plumbers, house cleaner, electricians, contractors, painters, etc.

  • Install Carbon Monoxide detector – mandatory – the law as of July 2011
  • Install fire alarms in the home or make sure current ones are in working order.
  • Mow the lawn and plant some pretty flowers (flowers optional). It’s always nice to have nice landscape curb appeal, so do what you can!

{Source}

The idea is to make your home look welcoming. I came across these 20 Ways to Add Curb Appeal on bhg.com – Really great tips!

{Source}

We hope that helps. Any other questions, feel free to email, call or text us anytime.  408.921.3601 RemaxVa@yahoo.com

Xo, Melissa & Virginia

DRE Lic #’s 00888876 & 01893876


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Faux Garage Door Windows

Are you looking for a fun little DIY project to do over the weekend? Look no further! I came across this idea while watching the Nate Berkus show the other day. I have become highly obsessed with this show over the last year. Anyway! This lady was on the show with a design dilemma. She didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend to replace her beat up ugly garage door. So they came up with the idea to paint the door and add faux carriage windows!

Honestly.. it looks pretty good for being faux windows

{See details over at Two Peas In a Bucket}

Before

During

After

Up close looks great too!

I will never stop being amazed by the magic of spray paint.

Here is what you will need to achieve the same look for your garage door:

  • Carriage door hardware can be found here on Ebay for around $25 – Very easy to install, you just screw it right in
  • Painters tape
  • Rustoluem black gloss spray paint – found at Home Depot or Lowes

From a real estate agent standpoint, this is such a good way to add curb appeal without shelling out a ton of money for a brand new garage door. A definitely must if you are planning to sell your home soon or just want to increase your property’s value.

Enjoy your weekend!

Xo, Melissa & Virginia

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