Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

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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Favorites come in 5’s

Friday, January 3, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio
Styled Stock Photos for Instagram and Social Media, Flatlays, Social Squares from the SC Stockshop

I can’t watch a movie, read a book or flip through a magazine without focusing on the words, the images and the design. I am always seeing something deeper, my mind begins to wander, just like it did this afternoon as I was flipping through the pages of Elle Decor. Within the first few pages I was inspired once again to pick up my laptop, begin to dream, Blog, and share. While watching a movie I can become distressed just trying to fathom how an actor can memorize lines while feeling the passion of what they are saying. How do they do that? Sifting through a magazine I am mesmerized by the beauty and simplicity of a well placed objects on a coffee table, the layout of a room or if I love or dislike a light fixture. And when reading a book I oftentimes re read as my mind wanders I have to pull myself back… did it really say that? did I misread it, or wow, that was an amazing passage. How did the author weave those words together so brilliantly? Or if let’s say they are writing about a place I love, like Nantucket or the Hamptons, the book will transcend me back. Who knows, maybe your mind wanders too. Sometimes I wish I could just turn it off, my mind that is, and simply watch to experience what’s in front of me. Then again, if it’s truly a great piece, it will, and it has. Any great books, TV shows or movies I should read or watch please share. I would love and appreciate your recommendations. The last time I truly recall being immersed into a show was one holiday season between Christmas and New Year’s my husband and I binged Breaking Bad. I recall becoming so immersed I felt I looked as disheveled and drugged out as the characters on the show. I wasn’t, mind you, I was just really into it. While flipping through my recent copy of Elle Decor a few of my Top 5’s came to mind. So I grabbed a Sharpie and began taking notes on the glossy pages. So here goes.

Top 5 Places I Enjoy Stopping into while visiting New York ( oftentimes, every time! )

IMG_10621. RH Home Flagship Store in the Meatpacking District – RH Home is filled with more than just furnishings. RHNY Flagship has a barista bar on one level and a beautiful restaurant on the top floor. It’s a visual journey. Preview Video Below.

2. ABC Carpet and Home – Multiple levels of beautiful accessories and things for the home, small and large. IMG_36753. Eataly in the Flatiron District – Yes, it’s chaotic, hectic and you’ll be on sensory overload, but it’s a feast for the eyes and the palate. IMG_70444. Chelsea Market – What can I say but, come hungry. One can find anything from lobster rolls at the Lobster Place and sushi, to unique food stands like Takumi Taco a delicious combination of Japanese and Mexican. The list goes on. Chelsea Market also has great shopping, artisans, music and events. I can never get enough. IMG_33565. International Spy Museum – My latest find. It’s a hands on experience with a plethora of interesting historical facts. Spy movies just so happen to be my favorite genre.

And 5 Historical Favorites Not to Be Missed — The Whitney, The Met, Museum of Modern Art, Central Park and Rockefeller Plaza.

 

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And New York would not be NY without exploring the city with my beautiful daughter Bianca who is a current resident working and living the dream in Manhattan.

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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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where are you from?

Sunday, March 3, 2019
Debbi DiMaggio

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We all come from somewhere. Only our stories are different. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Meet my newest friends, Walter & Wagner, Brazilian twins. We connected two years ago on Instagram and finally met last night, in person. (They live in Iowa, while I hover 🚁🚁🚁 between Oakland & LA in California.) It was as if we had known one another a very long time. What I didn’t know was that these talented, positive, energetic, happy and fun people were raised in the slums of Brazil. We laughed all evening. Read their amazing story. And if you want to book The Twins for an event, small or large just reach out to me. I produced a film a few years ago, so why not add music producer to my resume? Go to @b_2wins on Instagram Music 🎶

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Meet a few of my other insta connections @debbidimaggiostoryteller

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.

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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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©2020 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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