Archive for the ‘Home Renovation’ Category

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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Designed to Stay

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Debbi DiMaggio

For every home we bring to market there is work to be done. It might simply be painting and staging, or  it could be a number of things including painting and staging…… from replacing counter tops, refinishing hardwood floors, changing out hardware, updating lighting and landscaping the front, side and back garden. In this case I updated a home for our clients to stay with the intention that one day they would sell and wanted it to be ready for market but in the meantime they could enjoy. At the time our clients were living abroad in the Middle East, and knowing they would soon return to live in their home, I was very nervous they wouldn’t like it. But thankfully it all worked out and they loved it.

Designed to Stay

It was back in 2016 when I first started using gold fixtures. Choosing the counters and back splash was harder than it looks. My intern Max went to a number of stores all around the Bay Area to bring back samples in various sizes and color variations while I was in Mexico. Every day while I was away we had Facetime meetings. A self proclaimed control freak I had to see what was going on. When I am in town I go 3x a day to check on the workers and the progress. Thank you MAX!

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Details Make the Difference.

Long check lists and punch lists, a google share doc, costs and expenses, a timeline and options, so many options. This remodel took about 2 months, full time. We updated 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, refinished the hardwood floors, painted every room, cleaned out the basement ( painted the garage and basement ) and changed out every light fixture. In a single bathroom there are so many choices and sizing has to be just right. From choosing a single toilet… there are many to choose from.. I usually opt for TOTO. Light fixtures, mirrors, cabinet pulls, faucets, tile and flooring all have to be chosen. And what size and shape of the tile are you going to use. And is the floor tile in the bathroom going to be the same as the shower tile? Choices choices. My suggestion is to start with a very long list. Keep it in a Google Sheets, then start sourcing and saving on Pinterest. You can see my many ideas at www.pinterest.com/debbidimaggio — Happy Pinning!

Sources: Lighting Sources: West Elm, Lamps Plus, Home Depot. For other recommendations reach out DebbiDiMaggio@gmail.com 510.414.6777

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