Archive for the ‘Home Renovation’ Category

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Lateral, Foundation (if recommenced by the home inspector), Roof including Furnace and Electrical if those systems are outdated and require a bid to fix, update or replace.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 brining 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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Refresh Renew | Piedmont Before and After

Saturday, August 12, 2017
Debbi DiMaggio

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Nothing quite like taking a home from lived in, to staged to sell. The transformation is always heart-warming to me, and successful for the seller. Real Estate is one of your biggest assets, so improving your home for sale is crucial to realizing its potential and reaping the rewards.

Reinventing Our Lives after the Empty Nest

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Quentin Bacon

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Real Estate is obviously a passion of mine.

From helping our clients to redesigning homes, I just love it! So when it came to making our move after the children flew the coup I knew exactly what I wanted.

It started with a vision. I knew I wanted low maintenance with a loft like open floor plan. I envisioned freedom and space and lots of white.

When our son left for his Freshman year at CU Boulder following in his sister’s footsteps I began to re upholster the furniture one piece at a time. Before I knew it all our dark furniture was pink! Or some shade of pink. I researched textiles, fabrics, wallpaper, re-upholstery providers and more. I leafed through magazines and immersed myself in Pinterest. The ideas were rampant.

By the time Chase returned home for Thanksgiving break his home had evolved. Tired of the things from our Scottsdale home — all of the oversized and brown furnishings….  pink and white and gold began to take over.

And by the time he was gearing up to head back to CU for his Sophomore year we were moving out of Piedmont ( where I had lived my entire life, except for a few interruptions ) to the home we visualized, discussed and successfully found. We shipped all of Chase’s favorite furniture to Boulder for him and his 5 other roommates to enjoy, while we kept ‘our’, rather, ‘my’ favorite things. Since I loved the style and design of the remaining pieces I re-purposed everything I chose to keep. I found a great re-upholstery tradesman and fabrics I fell in love with! From bench seat cushions and a sofa to ottomans and chairs, I recovered and re-purposed it all!  Reuse, re-purpose, recycle.

Beyond the furnishings, the interior renovation was next. It was nice to have so much time before actually moving in so I was able to have all the furniture re-upholstered and ready for placement when our new home was complete, rather then moving in and starting from scratch.

I had it all planned, every last detail.

I had visualized everything over and over again — had all the pieces ready, so once we completed the renovation and remodel everything was ready for placement!

The walls of the townhouse were awful — puffy, popcorn textured walls which took two weeks to sand, flatten and paint. It was a dust bowl!

Removing the wall to wall carpet was next.

Since I had everything pinned on my Pinterest Boards I knew exactly what I wanted. All I needed to do was hire the team and begin the work.

Creating Our Desired Look

Wide plank bleached white hardwood floors replaced the carpet on the first two levels which included an entry way, hallway and two bedrooms on the main level plus the main staircase, living, dining, kitchen; and powder room on the master bedroom level. The biggest impact came, as we worked to create our new look from Traditional to Modern Contemporary, was by removing all handrails and banisters. By removing the banisters and handrails the home opened up nicely and created a much more open and spacial feeling. The dramatic vaulted ceilings didn’t hurt either.

Eventually we will be adding lucite or acrylic hand-railings and a glass banister which will line and divide the stairwell from the living room.

Our son really wanted a plush carpet in the bedrooms. So I had our carpet guy, Felix, drop off sample after sample until we found the most plush, most comfortable, softest thick pile carpet. Nirvana!

The carpet was installed – last – in our master bedroom as well as in our wall-to-wall lined mirrored closet and in the third floor loft. We knew that would be where Chase would hang out while home from college.

The loft, with it’s stupendous San Francisco Bay Views and large picture window, a huge flat screen TV plus his two favorite cushy bean bags, he’s had since childhood, quickly became the perfect spot to relax and recline. We have had those furry brown bean bags for over 10 years no doubt — when he was ten and now at 20, he and his friends still play video games and watch TV immersed in those two bags of fluff today. Such wonderful memories and good times.

 Once the space was opened up, painted and new floors installed the kitchen and bathrooms were next.

For now we are going to live with the current kitchen configuration but we did replace the counters with Carrara marble and once our contractor frees up some time ( I have him pretty busy working on all of our listings for our clients ) will be back to install the shaker cabinet doors to match the newly installed shaker doors we added throughout – swapping out the original Traditional doors, baseboards and moldings to create our new, more modern look.

We remodeled two bathrooms with our master bath to follow once we gain a second wind.

Resources & Inspiration

Our tile came from Siena Tile and Stone in Danville and my ideas inspired by scrolling through multiple Pinterest Boards.

Restoration Hardware sink in the powder room, Toto toilets in all three bathrooms and Carrara marble and 9 x 36 porcelain tile from Siena Tile and Stone adorned respective bathroom floors.

First Floor Full Bath: Cabinet and Sink by Duravit, plumbing fixtures from Rubenstein Plumbing in Oakland.

Built-in lighted shelves discovered on Pinterest implemented by my trusty tradesman Jose and team.

My favorite – Z Gallerie – spherical chandelier appoints the dining room while sparkling crystal lighting from Lamps Plus complement the foyer and upper hallway.

When Your Kids Move On, Life Changes

so having a project really helped me during this transition. And it was really quite exciting to watch my vision become reality.

I just love our new home — it’s everything I’d imagined.

For those experiencing the empty nest, although life is different, you still do see your kids. And if you are anything like us you visit often, no matter where they venture.

Whether visiting Bianca in Australia or in Florence, Italy or meeting up with Chase during family weekend or on the road to catch a lacrosse game in Scottsdale, Arizona, Newport Beach or Boulder, Colorado or joining them for a ski weekend in Vail.

We are there!

Or as things go, this week…  Adam departs SFO to Tokyo to visit our daughter in Japan!!

So I guess the “Empty Nest” isn’t so bad after all.

XOXOX!

For suggestions, questions, resources or inspiration email me at debbidimaggio@gmail.com

Happy Designing!

and share your empty nest stories with us too.

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©2019 Debbi DiMaggio – A Grateful Life! | All Rights Reserved | 342 Highland Ave, Piedmont, CA 94611 | +1 510.414.6777 | debbi@debbidimaggio.com | Privacy Policy
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