Archive for the ‘Home Renovation’ Category

How To Make A Big Home Feel Cozy

Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

 

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If living in a spacious luxury home with your loved ones has always been your dream and you can afford it – go for it. But don’t forget that there is more to making a big space comfortable than just being in good company. It all starts with quick and smooth home relocation, but it is just the first step. What comes next is settling in, systematically unpacking, and personalizing your new residence. If you’ve wondered if you can easily make a big house feel cozy, yes, you can, with just a few simple, affordable, and practical tips.

Cover the big empty surfaces

How can you tell that a furnished house is still empty? It echoes. It lacks the most important inner coating you can get, the one that makes it warm and intimate. The moment you stop hearing the tap of your heels and the metallic ring to your voice, you know that your home has become cozier.

The walls and windows

Admit it; as soon as you enter a room, you look for a tale. Every piece of furniture tells something about the owner. And what better shows off a person’s personality and style than wall art? If you intend to make your home welcoming and enjoyable for family and visitors alike, your walls should tell the story of their residents. The paintings, mirrors, and souvenirs from far and exotic places make your home as much as your life. A gallery layout is ideal for vast surfaces. It allows you to combine different elements and textures into a unique mosaic.

A bedroom with bed, curtains, and pillows in soft beige, gray and metallic tones.

A bedroom with bed, curtains, and pillows in soft beige, tan and metallic tones.

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And what about the windows? Even soft and delicate curtains add to the feeling of warmth because they create a sense of privacy. And the feelings of privacy and security are essential if you wish to make a big house feel cozy, intimate, and relaxed.

The floors and stairs

Regardless of the material of your floors, there is always a way to cover them without obscuring their beauty. Even the most luxurious floors can benefit from clever emphasis, and particularly elegant floors need a bit of homey warmth. You can take the chill out of your marble or stone tiles with the strategic placement of carpets and rugs. Depending on your local climate, choose their thickness. The goal is not to induce heat fatigue but feel secure and snug as a bug (in a rug).

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And can you resist the sheer elegance of the fabric stair runner over your marble stairs? Walking on the red carpet (or any other color or design of your preference) has never been closer to you.

A big home should brim with life.

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Nothing brings a sense of connection with nature into your home and a touch of luxury like indoor plants. Choosing the right indoor plants and placing them in good (s)pots can make all the difference. The results can be stunning.

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A spacious living room with a large window and plenty of indoor plants.

Instead of a cold and sterile-looking environment, plants have the power to produce a vibrant atmosphere that roots you in the present moment. That is all we sometimes need to feel content and make a big house feel cozy, welcoming, and as luxurious as your choice of plants.

Create a warm atmosphere with ambient lighting.

The right fixture with the right amount of light does wonders. The shadows created as the result of cleverly placed ambient lighting soften the edges of your room. Appropriate lighting makes the space as big as you want it to be, simply by focusing
your attention. And the best part? Purchasing and installing light fixtures doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. The offer of various designs of ambient lights is so extensive, it will certainly fit both your style and budget, regardless of how large
your home is.

Don’t let a big home become a burden: Consult the experts.

Not everybody has the time or passion for making continuous upgrades and small renovations. At some point, people either realize that the home is just too big for their needs and move house or resort to remodeling. Whichever option resonates with
you, think twice and think well, because both investments demand careful consideration. Also, if you aren’t satisfied with your home size but lack creative skills, hire a home designer. An expert with the ability for abstract thinking and a good sense of
aesthetics will transfer the feel-like-home dream into reality for you.

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A philosophy of home design that brings harmony and coziness to your home

Although most people tie Feng shui with minimalism, in its essence, it represents the absence of excess. Its principles make a good guide for people looking to furnish their home without overstuffing it. You can use Feng shui to improve your home without the risk of going overboard, both aesthetically and financially. As a result, you will create a tidy, comfortable home that has everything you need in the right place. That’s the prerequisite to feeling healthy, relaxed, and cozy.

A couple of important last notes

If you’re aiming to make a large house feel more intimate, you have options. Either you invest your time, energy, and aesthetic skills into a DIY home improvement, or you ask the pros for a piece of advice and assistance. Should you embark on a slower (although more rewarding to some people) journey of self-made home improvements, make a plan.

List all the features of your home that require attention and search for ideas that will make your home feel warmer. A list will help you outline a budget, too, and estimate the duration and amount of work to be done. With the organized approach, you can do everything you imagine, and even more, if you allow specialists to assist you along the way. Even make a big house feel cozy, just as a home does.

Need a recommendation or design ideas, reach out and allow us to assist or direct you to design professional.

10 Easy Ways to Transform an Affluent Kitchen to a Minimalist Kitchen

Sunday, August 15, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

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Are you considering living like minimalists? If yes, you’re doing a great favor not only to yourself but to others around you.

Starting a minimalist life could be challenging, but it’s worth every second of your life. In this post, we have shared only ten ways to transform your grand kitchen in to a minimalist kitchen. Most of the upgrades are easy to do, and anyone can do them. But there are some areas where you might have to hire a professional.

Let’s begin our journey to living a minimalist’s life.

Tips to Create a Perfect Minimalist Kitchen

Clutter-free Kitchen

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The easiest step to a minimalist kitchen is to get rid of the clutter. And by clutter, I don’t just mean taking out the trash.

Start with cleaning the kitchen from tip to toe. And then take out the unwanted items.

The key here is to get as much space as you could. 

Hide Your Silverware and Dishware

The next tip is to place everything accurately in a comforting zone. Starting with silverware and dishware, assign a proper place for these items. I’ll suggest drawers with suitable cases for each item. If you live in a condo and don’t have enough space in your kitchen, use a combination of cabinets and drawers for the silverware and dishware.

And if you’re still short on space, use some creative ways to store utensils.

Remove Extra Knives

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Minimalists aren’t a fan of excessive items, like knives and other silverware. And if you want to live a life like that, get rid of unused knives and other cutlery.

If you want to keep all of them (and use them often), at least find a suitable case for these sharp items.

Say Good-Bye to Unused Dishes

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Minimalists don’t like to stuff things up. They only try to keep things they use (and we all should be like that). Just like removing extra cutlery from your kitchen, take out that extra dishware from your home. I’m sure there’ll be many dishes that you haven’t used in years, and you still don’t want to ditch those. But it’s always better to keep things simple and clutter-free.

Ditch Add-ons

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Our kitchens usually have more things than we need. If yours is like that, get rid of the extras. If ditching these extras is not an option for you, you could at least pack them and hide them in an unused space in your home.

Hide Away Appliances

Hide Away Appliances

So you might not agree with me on it, but I’m confident you would agree once you hear my justification for that.

Kitchen appliances like toasters, coffee makers, spice racks, etc., are almost daily used items. But they take a great deal of your kitchen’s space. And if I’m right, they also create a mess once you’re done using them (like the bread crumbs dropping from the toaster). 

So to give a minimalist look to your kitchen, you may have to do some extra chores, but it would always pay off once you’ve cleared the space.

So an excellent way to hide them is in the cabinets. The challenge is when you’re living in a condo. The space is usually less. So you might have to think of other ways.

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Relocate Your Microwave

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Microwaves and other appliances are best hidden. Remove your microwave from the countertop and have it built-in –above or below your kitchen counters.

Get Rid of the Knobs

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Now that you have cleared up the mess, it’s time to do the minimalist makeover.

The first thing that you could do is get rid of the knobs and replace them with plain, solid-colored doors without knobs. If this goes beyond your budget, think of replacing pointy knobs with bar handles. And if that still doesn’t work for you, try using solid-colored knobs (or paint them matching the cabinet tone). Do the same with the drawers.

Replace Faucets

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Choose the sleekest and modern faucets to give a more minimalist approach to your kitchen. If you already have one in your kitchen, no need to replace it.

Give an Elegant Tone to Your Kitchen

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That’s going to be one of the best things to do with your kitchen (and it’s my favorite one). Use a solid color palette (preferably neutral tones).

Try using the same color or a bit of variation. But keep a similar tone.

Do You Want to Transform Your House into a Minimalist Home?

Meet Guest Author – Jessica Watson

Jessica is a passionate content marketer, primarily working with real estate businesses in the USA and Canada. She loves writing for the web. In her free time, she likes watching movies and hanging out with friends.

Selling Your Home?

Saturday, March 27, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

Looking to gain insight on real estate? Check out Debbi DiMaggio and Adam Betta’s Real Estate website, and get in touch for assistance with selling your home!14 (2)

Top Tips for Getting Your House Ready to Sell

Selling a home is a multi-step process. Taking a house from your family residence to an attractively presented listing requires a systematic approach and an eye for aesthetics. This is often a guessing game for sellers, but staging is, in fact, the most important step in preparing your home for sale.

Refresh Every Surface – Inside and Out

Staging actually starts with deep cleaning. Though a home may be broom-clean, you want it to look sparkling-clean for buyers. Your agent will probably recommend that you steam-clean the carpets, scrub the hard floors, and bleach the grout in the bathrooms. You may also want to power-wash your siding, driveway, and sidewalks to make the entire home gleam. Look for subtle signs of grime or built-up dirt on seldom-noticed surfaces, but don’t worry too much about scrubbing painted walls. We’ll deal with those next.

Repaint with This Year’s Neutral Colors

A simple coat of fresh paint can make a home look brand new. For this reason, every wall in the home should be repainted in fresh new hues. The colors most popular in the housing market shift from year to year. Your agent will be able to tell you which hues of paint look best in your home and will be most appealing to area buyers.

Strategic Furniture and Decor

With a freshly repainted home, it’s time to stage it with furniture.  You can stage with your own furniture, rented furniture, or even pieces your agent might have tucked away. The idea of furniture in staging isn’t actually to furnish a house; rather, it’s to give the impression of how each room can be used.

Moving Mountains Design explains going small and sparse will emphasize the spaciousness of each room, while still providing context for buyers to see “This is the living room,” or “This is the second bedroom,” instead of facing empty, featureless rooms. In other words, you’re sparking their imagination for how they will use the rooms.

In terms of decor, neutral is best, which means removing anything that reflects your own personal tastes. Potential buyers may not share those same tastes with you, and they may look elsewhere if you keep your personal style on display.

If you’re stumped on where to begin, you can search through local listings to see how other homeowners are staging their homes. Still need help? There are professional stagers who can help you make your home look fantastic.

Create Curb Appeal

Staging isn’t just about the home’s interior. Actually, many buyers will make up their minds whether or not they like your home based on the exterior. With that in mind, it’s crucial to amp up the curb appeal. Tidy the landscaping, manicure the lawn, and then add some blooming flowers for a welcoming appearance. Pay extra attention to your entryway, and if your front door looks tired, paint it and install new hardware. For the finishing touch, add a new doormat to greet house hunters as they arrive.

Take Amazing Photos

Once the house is staged, it’s time for photos. In the age of internet home searches, most people rely on property photos to cull homes. If you’re uncomfortable with a DIY approach, your agent will know exactly how to take a vivid and flattering photo-tour of the home. They will walk from room to room snapping photos in the best light and may come back for a better shot to make sure your online listing is perfect.

A proper presentation ensures your listing, showings, and open house events are top-notch. Clean, declutter, spruce up and arrange with house hunters in mind. By going the extra mile with your efforts, you’re sure to be rewarded with a quick sale.

From Drab to Fab, Re-Designed to Stay

Monday, February 3, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio

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Selling homes is what I do, love to do, and have done for over 30 years, and what has transpired by default, if you will, is become pretty good at design.  Each year we bring about 20 homes to market, and in doing so I provide a complimentary service to each of our clients, I call them mini makeovers, some, not so mini, they can be fairly significant.

Renovating a home is one of the many aspects of the home selling process I love most.  I am now offering my clients and you, my newest service, Designed To Stay, rather than Designed To Sell.  Here is what my team and I can do for future clients interested in maximizing the enjoyment of their home.

Below this home had carpet, black painted wood hand railings, carpet, a granite fireplace and green walls. The BEFORE photo shows Phase 1. carpet, white railings and neutral walls, and the granite removed. AFTER: In order to create a more open loft like environment the railings were removed to open up the room, the room painted bright white and bleached white hardwood floors installed. What you can’t see is that the walls were not flat, they had that ugly sprayed on texture representative of a bad apartment. It took two crews, the first crew did not do a great job of removing the texture, so crew two had to come in and continue the sanding until the walls were truly flat. I must say it makes a huge difference.

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What I do:

Planning I begin with a walk through, assessing the property and home with a keen eye. What I scrutinize: curb appeal, gardens, walkways, light fixtures, paint, floors, carpet, appliances, hardware, rooms and bathrooms, fireplace, electrical, furnace, the basement and, finally, the foundation. I inquire about systems you cannot easily see like the roof and the sewer. I take it all in, commit to memory, and visualize a plan. Window washing, a detailed cleaning and staging are the finishing touches after we complete the mini, or not so mini, makeover.

Paint, I can’t say enough about paint.

Debbi DiMaggio - Piedmont CA Homes - 04Estates Editorial Spreads - 16Estates Editorial Spreads - 08From drab to fab!

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Removing window coverings is usually one of the first things we do. And paint, wow, paint goes a long way to beautifying an indoor space as it does the exterior.

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Choosing fabulous light fixtures is another inexpensive touch. Of course it can me expensive, depending on your pocket book.

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Preparation Whether we are working on the transformation together, or should you decide to do it on your own, obtaining bids is the next step. I have a team of amazing service providers who will meet with me at a moment’s notice, so I am able to line up everyone over a one or two-day period in order to obtain our estimates. Upon receiving the bids, I then sit down with my client and review … We discuss budget and how much, if all, of the recommendations we implement. Then we prioritize, together.

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Transformation A commitment from the homeowner and attention to detail is critical as there is much work involved. The client must be available to approve or disapprove of choices. I will project manage and offer choices. Ideally I do that up front so we can make the transition quick and seamless since most often our re design clients will be living in their homes. ( A timely vacation is always an ideal option during this time. ) I have many wonderful service provider partners who will work with me to create an environment you will want to say, “instead of going out for drinks, come over to my house.”
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I love the process and even more so the results. From “Lived In” to “Staged to Stay”, the transformation is exciting each and every time.

So, from LIVED IN to Staged To Stay, or Lived In to Staged to Sell, give me a call. I look forward to creating an environment so wonderful you’ll fall in love with your home all over again.

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XOXO Debbi

PS. So where will you vacation?

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designed to sell

Saturday, June 22, 2019
Debbi DiMaggio

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When you have been doing something for over 30 years that thing you do becomes second nature. For me designing homes is one of those things. Each time we take a new listing there is work to be done. Of course it varies from home to home. And once in awhile a client chooses to sell cleaned and vacant. Usually that only occurs when a home is too far gone and the investment out ways the return.

Let’s break in down.

Obtaining inspections is the first step. It’s not unlike what happens when we get a check up at the doctors office with the addition of further testing and bloodwork. We do the same for a house. Adam and I will book appointments for the following inspections: Termite, Comprehensive Home (checking all systems), Sewer Lateral, Foundation (if recommenced by the home inspector), Roof including Furnace and Electrical if those systems are outdated and require a bid to fix, update or replace. In the Piedmont East Bay these reports will be passed on to the Buyer and paid for up front by the Seller. Area standards vary from area to area, city to city. In Los Angeles where we also work, Buyers pay for any and all inspections the deem necessary, but do not preform such inspections until after they are in contract.

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The second step is the design aspect. This is my favorite part. I enjoy the creativity and the process from bringing a home from lived in to staged to sell. I manage each aspect. First we obtain bids: Staging, Painting and note any repairs, as well as Garden Clean Up, Window Washing, Floor Refinishing or Carpet Replacement and Lighting Updates. Sometimes we update kitchen and bath countertops. Once we have produced all the bids we pass them on to the seller to decide how much or how little they would like to invest. Most of the times our Sellers see the benefit and agree to making the investment. After all they will reap the rewards of a higher sale.

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Having just returned from a listing consultation in the very neighborhood I grew up, and the same neighborhood we raised our children, I realized that we had sold quite a few within a few blocks of one another. As we chatted with the Sellers we reminisced about all the old neighbors. In Piedmont homes are referred to by name, the name of the original homeowner. Even though a home could have had 3 different homeowners since the original homeowner or the one that just stuck in our minds during our childhood.

Here are just a few homes we sold in the neighborhood and brought from Lived In to Staged To Sell.

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80 Cambrian ( Remodeled the home and Leased it. ) Sue Tornlof, PHS

308 Sea View Avenue

7 St James Piedmont

148 Sandringham Road

180 Sandringham Road

199 St James Drive

148 Estates Drive

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If you are interested in a complimentary analysis and design consultation please do not hesitate to call. Adam and I are happy to stop by.

 

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