Add your own flair to your home through art with these creative & inexpensive ideas.
Your home should reflect your personality, interests, and all the people and things you love. One of the easiest ways to accomplish that is through the artwork you display around your home. When my husband & I moved into our apartment, we initially worried about finding art that was not only beautiful, but at a price point that wouldn’t break our budget. Here’s what we discovered:
Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas
Some of our favorite artwork displayed in our home is actually photos we took ourselves while traveling, and had blown up & printed onto canvas. Snapfish allows you to create your own canvas photo art starting at $39, and it’s the perfect way to show off your favorite family photos or pay homage to your favorite vacation spot as a reminder to get back out there!
One Word: Ikea
I have somewhat of an Ikea obsession, and their “decoration” department is no exception. Between their extensive collection of artistic prints, frames, and accessories, you could truly find something for every room in your home — and still have money left over for those Swedish meatballs on your way out.
Joss and Main
Clicking around on this website is like digging for treasure – except you always find one .. or two, or three. This site is beautifully curated with discounted art, furniture, rugs, bedding… you get the idea. The best part? You can browse by style, so if you’re going for a certain vibe – coastal, bohemian, rustic – the site will only show you items that align with that style.
One of our favorite pieces of art in our home is one we made ourselves. I find my inspiration for these projects on – you guessed it – Pinterest! It’s not only a great way to add something totally unique and special to your home, but it provides a great excuse to gather up your art supplies and enjoy a relaxing day of creativity. You can see a few of my favorite Pinterest DIY projects here, here, & here.
Need more home decor ideas? Click here to discover 12 ways to make your home even more awesome!
Not sure what element to make the attention getter in your room? Find some great choices here.
Houzz Contributor, Gabrielle Di Stefano
Well-designed rooms often have a focal point — the first thing your eye sees when you enter. Choosing the right item to emphasize sets the tone and mood for a space. Whether it’s an architectural feature, a texture, a color or a light fixture, putting the spotlight on one of these elements will help create a visually interesting and pleasing interior. But what’s the best way to do this? Here are some ways to create a focal point that doesn’t dominate or compete with other objects in a space.
Architectural feature. A central element, like this fireplace, can help you position your furniture in a room. Notice how the furniture in this space revolves around the fireplace. The stone surround also sets the color tone for the sofa, chairs and drapes.
Getting the size of the architectural element right in the room is vital. If it’s too big, it can look and feel uncomfortable. If it’s too small, your furniture will become the focal point, taking away from the main feature.
Artwork. This painting is positioned perfectly — centered between the two doors, above the console — to create an instant focal point that allows the rest of the room to shine.
The size and tone of your art are important. Choose a painting with the appropriate scale for your space, in tones that stand out and draw the eye in but don’t clash with the rest of the room. One large, bold piece of art looks fantastic against a neutral wall and furniture. A series of prints can make an impact too, whether they’re framed identically or have an eclectic mix of frames.
View. When you have a view like this, use your home’s architecture to emphasize it and make it as big and grand as possible. This oversize window instantly makes the forest view the best focal point this room could have.
Choose simple furniture to complement a dream view like this. The minimalist bed and furniture allow the window to truly shine.
Texture. Add texture to create a focal point in a monochromatic color scheme, giving your room character and depth. Smooth, shiny objects will give off a cool vibe, while soft, raised textures add more warmth. This kitchen’s neutral, minimalist palette immediately draws the eye to the texture and color of the counter-to-ceiling backsplash. The tile finish glistens against the stainless steel appliances.
Pattern. Pattern can be a striking focal point. If a room is lacking in architectural features, use a more permanent, patterned finish — like tile or stone — as a bold statement.
The organic, flowing pattern and subtle color of the granite feature wall carries this powder room — no need for other decorative elements. Clever backlighting highlights the stone and emphasizes the floating vanity top.
Highlighting the ceiling with wallpaper adds interest and character to a room. Directing the eye upward also makes the room look bigger.
Color. Narrow hallways can feel dull, but painting the doors a gutsy color and adding texture with studs created multiple focal points in this one.
Pay attention to how you can use color on your home’s architectural elements to draw the eye to or away from certain parts of your home. Notice how emphasizing the skirting in this hallway with bright turquoise leads the eye from door to door.
One bold item, such as a colorful striped rug, instantly sets a playful mood. This look works particularly well in contemporary rooms with little or no architectural detailing.
Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog
Living in a big city doesn’t mean you don’t have great outdoor spaces. Take a look at some of our favorite urban backyard and terraces on coldwellbanker.com tailor-made for summer entertaining.
How alive the city is, how alive, how alive, how alive.”
– Alfred Kazin
Contrary to popular belief, there is no better time of year to be in a big city than during summer. Sure, the subway stations feel like they’re 123 degrees, but apart from sweltering train commutes, the city is a magical place during this time of year.
In a big city anything can happen, especially during summer – and only in the best ways. A trip to the farmer’s market can lead to day long expeditions to unexplored neighborhoods in town, and a cup of coffee with friends can lead to great conversations with strangers at a rooftop party later in the day. The great weather and relative calm that comes with a less congested city make summer a time for coming together, meeting new people and discovering new reasons to fall in love with your city and your home.
While we may not have sprawling residences or acres of backyard space, we do in fact have outdoor areas tailor-made for entertaining come summertime. Our yards are our little havens from busy city life, and our terraces are where we sit and admire the ingenuity of man.
This urban refuge offers up sweeping views of Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, The Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle! Featuring not just one but two outdoor terraces, this home gives you plenty of space to enjoy beautiful Summer nights with good company.
Sometimes the best views of New York City come from just outside New York City. This meticulously renovated brownstone on the Hudson River features a sprawling terrace that offer up some of the best Manhattan skyline views you’ll find anywhere!
This home really does have it all. You’re located in the heart of Chicago, but it also feels like you’re tucked away on your own little private island. It doesn’t get more zen and restful than this sprawling rooftop terrace with ample spaces for relaxing and enjoying that great Chicago summer weather.
This penthouse residence at the Park Hyatt has the tallest balcony in the prized building, offering you unobstructed water and glitzy downtown Chicago views.
Miami!! The city where you can at once feel like you’re living in a city and right on one of the finest beaches in the world at the very same time! This beautiful home offers up stunning waterfront views and even a pool out on the terrace..because it is Miami.
Join us next Friday for another installment of our “Summer Fridays” series.
Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog
This isn’t your Grandmother’s veranda! Take a peek at these great outdoor seating spaces. Enjoy!
If you have to sit, you might as well do it outside and during summer! Here are a few of our favorite outdoor seating areas from homes for sale on coldwellbanker.com
In limited web research, I’ve gleaned that on average, we’re seated for an astonishing 7.7 hours per day. Those almost 480 daily seated minutes are mostly spent at our desks as we type away diligently, in our cars as we sit in traffic, and on our couches as we binge watch our “shows” – because you know, it’s the golden age of television…we have a duty to watch these things.
Today I boldly proclaim that it is summer and if you have to sit, you might as well do it outside! You can catch up on Game of Thrones another day! Do you smell that? It’s called non-recycled air. Enjoy it while the weather is great. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor places to sit from homes listed for sale on coldwellbanker.com.
Locals call this house Hale Palekaiko, or House of Paradise – and for good reason. The home is located on world renowned Kailua Beach, but who would want to leave home when your home is basically a resort?
This exquisite home in Santa Barbara transports you to the Mediterranean. Kick back with some local red wine, some good friends and enjoy those sweeping mountain views. This is how you summer!
As the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…well if I were to ever visit this awesome 37th floor residence and all the amenities the building offers – I’d stay in Vegas too. Forever.
Take your pick. Sit on one of the numerous terraces and balconies as you look out at your three acre kingdom, or get closer to the action by taking to the pool and patio areas to soak up some Vitamin D.
What’s better than an all-brick restored roaring 20s estate resting on over 3.9 pristine acres of land? Not much. One of my favorite parts of this seriously hip turn of the century home is this seating area surrounded by lush gardens and vegetations all around.
Source: CB Blue Matter
Banged up thumbs, crooked frames, and things that go crash in the night? Here’s how to do it RIGHT!
Your home is on the market and you really thought it would go into contract that first month, but it didn’t. Its not. No offers. Nada.
What’s up with that? Read on!
When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you’ve put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn’t panic if the house doesn’t sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.
1. You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it’s simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can’t just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.
2. Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don’t forget to highlight unique features, as well.
3. You’re always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don’t want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.
4. You’re too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there’s a good chance that you’ve become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn’t want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you’re going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.
5. You haven’t had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
6. You haven’t staged your home. If you’ve already moved out, then don’t show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.
7. You kept up all of your personal decor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal decor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
8. Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child’s room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don’t want to pay for features they don’t want.
9. Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.
10. Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don’t want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it’s just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.
11. You chose the wrong real estate agent. In our opinion, choosing the right real estate agent is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home. A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.
All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent.
Paint can make or break a room…here are some handy tips before you pick up the old paint brush!
Paint colors play a crucial role in successfully selling a home, having the power to influence a homebuyer’s decision to make an offer or move on and the best colors, according to a new Zillow analysis, are blues and grays.
Homes with bathrooms that have soft blue walls (e.g., periwinkle, powder blue), specifically, sold for $5,440 more than expected in the analysis, as well as homes with a “greige” (beige/gray) exterior, which sold for $3,496 more than homes with brown or tan stucco exteriors. Homes with dark navy blue and/or slate gray front doors also sold for more: $1,514.
Certain colors, though, have the opposite effect, lowering sale prices by a few thousand dollars or more. In fact, homes with bathrooms that have white walls sold for $4,035 less than expected, while homes with darker walls (e.g., brick red, terracotta) sold for $2,031 less than expected.
“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray, not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space. Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well, as the color complements white countertops and cabinets a growing trend in both rooms.”
The analysis considered over 32,000 photos of sold homes across the U.S.
I don’t like watching a blurry movie, do you? Then why would you like to view a potential purchase with blurry pictures?
Makes perfect sense to us!
When it comes to listing your home, posting high-quality photos online is probably the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyers consider online listing photos to be more valuable the the home’s written description. Due to the fact that nearly half of all prospective home buyers first step in the home shopping process is searching online, posting high-quality pictures of your home is an absolute must.
You wouldn’t buy a car online without knowing what it looks like, why should a home be any different? Read on to learn some of the most important reasons why hiring a professional to take online listing photos can make or break a sale.
Giving the Right Impression
When potential home buyers look at listings online, any photographs give a powerful first impression. If listing pictures are out of focus, off-center or blurry, it can create a false impression of the home. For example, dark dingy photos of a home’s bathroom can make it appear dirty, old and undesirable. Sometimes out of focus photos of the exterior of a home can make it look creepy and decrepit. If photos are of poor quality, they can often be more damaging than posting no pictures at all.
When taking pictures of your home, a bright, sunny day and a steady hand go a long way that’s why professional photographers are a worthy investment when trying to sell your property. Make sure to have your home’s photos taken on a day that is bright and dry to minimize haziness and shadows. Professional grade lighting used in the interior of your home help to brighten up your room and make them appear more clean and spacious.
Painting a Picture for Buyers
One of the most important parts of showing your home to potential buyers is creating an environment that helps them imagine how great their life would be if they lived there. That’s why it’s crucial to stage your home in a way that’s simple, inviting and pleasing to the eye.
Many sellers hire professional home stagers to arrange their home’s furniture before taking listing pictures. Staging your home is a great way to accentuate certain aspects of your home and show off its best assets. Even small touches like changing out old light fixtures for newer ones and updating kitchen and bathroom hardware can add value to your home resulting in a higher selling price.
Giving Buyers the Full Experience
Just as pictures are an integral part of creating a home’s overall appeal, online video tours can really make an impression on potential buyers. Watching a virtual tour of a home from the comfort of their own couch is an extremely enticing aspect of online home-shopping. Seeing a tour online before attending an actual showing can really give buyers an idea what to expect and helps them prepare any questions they may have about the property; making the showing a more productive experience.
Source: Dream Casa
The Jury is IN! You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Curl Appeal is one of the single most important details you need to address when putting your home on the market! If your home looks amazing on the outside, Buyers will naturally assume that it looks equally as awesome on the inside. Here’s how:
How attractive your property looks when viewed by passer-byers can make all the difference in today’s market. To make sure potential homebuyers get a great first impression, consider improving your place by doing the following:
1. Revamp the front door.
Never underestimate the impact the main entrance of your house has on its curb appeal. Make sure it looks great by giving it a new coat of paint that stands out but still fits in with the rest of the home’s color scheme. Unless it’s worth replacing, in which case we recommend a custom wood door, be sure to give the door a good cleaning and polish before painting it.
2. Include nice porch furniture
If you have a porch that’s visible from the street, you can make your place look more inviting and homelike by adding some furniture. Things like nice wooden benches and a wicker patio set can make your curb appeal skyrocket. If you have the money, swap out your ruined rockers and other old porch furniture in favor of something new gliders with matching ottomans, for example.
3. Redo the house numbers
There’s just something about neat, eye-catching house numbers that leaves a good impression, especially to people on the hunt for a new house. If you don’t believe us, walk around your current neighborhood and you’ll see the difference big, bold house numbers make. It also helps to make them stand out by using aged copper, hand-painted tiles, or something unique when compared to other nearby houses.
4. Light up the place
Making sure the front of your place has great landscape lighting can improve your home’s curb appeal while making it a safer place. Switch out old lamps, pendant lights, and wall sconces with new ones that look better and offer more lighting. Pathway lights, especially solar-powered, that illuminate the walking path in your home will make the property appear better and more secure.
5. Spruce up the verdure
While there are exceptions, most people find a house with no plants outside boring-looking. If your front yard is lacking in the foliage department, invest in some new plants to give your home some vibrancy. Plant flowers, add potted plants, replace ugly weeds with a fresh lawn whatever it takes to make the area look lively and attractive.
6. Tap into your artistic side
Add a touch of style and class to your front yard by including outdoor artwork. We’re talking about things like birdbaths, fountains, and sculptures that leave a lasting impression on passer-byers. If you’re on a budget, even a few wind chimes or home-made wheel planter can do their part to improve your house’s curb appeal.
7. Doll up your windows
Unless your windows are already gorgeous and just need a good cleaning, consider investing in attractive shutters made of materials that complement the rest of your house These days exterior shutters can be made of anything from vinyl and wood to aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. You’d be surprised by how much your home’s curb appeal goes up thanks to beautiful windows.
8. Replace (or touch up) anything else that looks old
At the end of the day, it may just be an old gutter system or exterior walls in serious need of repainting that’s dragging down your property’s curb appeal. Cracked walkways, time-worn fences, and even a rusty door knocker are all things you should look out for. Instead of adding to the front of your porch, sometimes all it takes is revamping the old to significantly improve your home’s look.
Source: Dream Casa
Breaking out the paintbrushes, fabric samples and hitting Home Goods and Pinterest for some good ideas? Here are some 8 steps you need to know before you get started!
Here’s how to prioritize your game plan for your room makeover.
If you have a DIY decorating project on your horizon but don’t know where to start, here’s a practical guide to help you navigate the process.
1. Commit to a Budget and Timeline
First, figure out your total project budget. If you skip this step, you’ll likely spend much more than you anticipated and make poor purchasing decisions you’ll later regret.
Also pick a date to complete your project by, even if you don’t have a looming reason to do so. Creating a complete-by date will fuel your project so it can take flight. Completing one stage of a project informs the next and the next. Otherwise, approaching your project piecemeal will delay completion, if you even complete it at all.
Set up a good system to keep track of your expenditures. I use an Excel spreadsheet, but even a spiral notebook can work for smaller projects. The key is to keep it updated.
Here’s an example of how I keep a running log of project expenses. While the main goal is tracking the total amount spent, I also indicate the store (which I left off here because stores will vary based on your location and preference), method of payment, general description and any notes, such as delivery fees — useful information that may come in handy later.
Keep all of your receipts together in one location. You can refer to them easily for warranty information and returns, if needed. I use a small zip pouch made for holding pens and pencils while I’m out shopping. After I return and enter them into the spreadsheet, I stapled each receipt to a piece of paper and store that neatly in a project folder.
2. Evaluate Your Needs and Lifestyle
Separating wants and needs is a hard one. Prioritize your needs by first creating a list of the furniture and accessories you envision going into your space. List any work you want to do, like painting or wallpapering, too. Then rate each item 1 through 5, with 1 indicating an absolute must and 5 reflecting a nonnecessity. Reorder the items on the list with the necessities at the top and the more wishful items at the bottom. Involve other family members in this process. They may identify overlooked items.
Also, be honest about your family’s lifestyle requirements today instead of at some far-off idyllic future date. For example, if the kiddos use your family room as a playspace, include toy storage on your list. You may have some child safety needs too. Also note any special concerns about pets, such as shed fur or the potential for furniture to get clawed.
3. Decide What Stays and What Goes
Based on your list, identify any pieces of furniture or accessories that you absolutely want to keep in the space. Remove the pieces you don’t plan to reuse; consider donating them if they’re in good shape or selling them online or through a local consignment store.
4. Draw a Preliminary Furniture Plan
If your project is small, this step may not be necessary. However, if you’re buying new furniture or just considering a new configuration, it’s extremely helpful to try out pieces in different locations to see what fits and what doesn’t. The last thing you want is to end up with a too-big piece of furniture. You’ll need a tape measure or laser measuring tool to measure your space and a scale ruler to draw it to scale. A simple sketch illustrating only the outside dimensions is all that’s necessary.
If you don’t have these items or don’t feel comfortable with drawing to scale, an alternative is to “draw” the outlines of furniture with masking tape on your floor or cut furniture-size shapes out of butcher paper to maneuver around on the floor.
Don’t forget about circulation space. Ideally, you’ll want to keep 18 inches between the edge of the sofa and the coffee table. Maintain 36 inches for comfortable general circulation. Since you may not have found specific furniture pieces yet and don’t have detailed furniture dimensions, you may need to revise the size of some furniture pieces as your project progresses. Nonetheless, this exercise is a good starting point.
Also measure your entrance door and the pathway to the room, including building elevators if you live in a high-rise. Bring these notes with you when shopping. If there are any delivery dimension concerns, you can address them then and there.
5. Concentrate on Big Items First
Focus first on the big-impact items, then concentrate on smaller accessories. Too often people get hung up on a small detail that can derail the flow of the bigger items. The idea is to work from large to small.
Find furniture. Unless you’re lucky to find the furniture you want in stock, most furniture takes eight to 12 weeks for fabrication. However, even in-stock furniture may not be delivered right away. If available, get a swatch of the upholstery or finish sample to help with other room selections.
Unless you’re comfortable working with a complex color palette, minimizing your scheme to two colors, as in the space here, will make shopping easier — and your space will look sharp and put-together.
Work the walls. Compared with any other design material, wall paint gives a room the most bang for your buck. I find it easiest to select a wall paint color or wallpaper after the furniture is selected. You have much more leeway with paint color choices than furniture upholstery. Plan to get your space prepped and painted prior to the furniture delivery.
Hit the ceiling. Color instead of conventional white on the ceiling is another cost-effective attention-grabber, especially if you have crown molding to separate it from the walls, like in this living room.
6. Move Toward the Mediums
After you’ve figured out your furniture layout and color scheme, focus on finding the midscale items that will pull your space together, such as an area rug. Your scaled drawing will also come in handy to see how prospective rugs will work with your furniture layout.
Window treatments like Roman shades and drapery can offer lots of style compared to run-of-the-mill Venetian blinds. They can minimize less-than-perfect windows and help save on energy bills, too. New window treatments don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Ribbon-trimmed cordless shades like the ones shown here here can be ordered online for $100 to $125.
A feature light fixture, like the one in this dining room, can become a stunning design focus.
7. Save the Small Stuff for Last
Fill in your scheme with decorative accessories toward the end of your project. You’ll be able to see what areas need attention and have a better sense of scale, especially with artwork. With the furniture in place, you’ll also have easy access to key dimensions, like the clearance between shelves.
I also like to shop for table lamps, particularly lamps that will sit behind a sofa, after the furniture is delivered so I can see how all the heights work or don’t work together. Cord lengths and switch locations are also easier to evaluate when the furniture is in place.
8. Leave Room for the Unexpected
You may come across something surprising in your decorating journey that has special meaning or even adds a bit of humor, like these Hulk hand bedpost toppers. Don’t discount originality or quirkiness; it’s what makes your home truly yours.
Source: CB Blue Matter / RisMedia
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