Homes That Make a Good First Impression Have 5 Things in Common

House Staging

NEW YORK – Jan. 17, 2018 – It takes just 26 seconds for a guest to form an opinion of your home when they walk through the front door. What does your space say about you? While we try to resist the urge to judge, there’s no doubt that first impressions count.

Whether you’re expecting guests or you’re hoping to transform your spare room into a rental, experts agree there are five key areas that friends notice first about your house. Thankfully, it takes minutes to correct them. Here, Miranda Cresswell, brand director at OneFineStay, and Ariel Kaye, CEO of Parachute and the newly opened Parachute Hotel, explains the most effective ways to update your home before guests arrive. Got five minutes to spare? Make these simple changes for a home that makes a lasting impression.

A styled entryway

“A clean and welcoming entryway is crucial in leaving a good first impression – it’s the first thing a guest sees!” says Cresswell. When transforming a home into a OneFineStay property, she says it’s crucial that the entrance introduces a design theme. “A good first impression – that moment when a guest’s breath is taken away – comes from stepping into a home with striking, deliberate design,” she says. “Think bright, organized and neutral. There’s a place for the eclectic or quirky, but the entryway is not that place.”

Instant fix: If you don’t have time to restyle your entryway, Cresswell says updating wall decor is a simple way to unify the space. “Rather than cobbling a bunch of different frames or odds and ends together, choose a few specific things that pair perfectly. A precisely placed mirror can make a space look much bigger and brighter.”

An uplifting scent

If you only pay attention to the look of your home, you’re missing one of the most important factors that influence guests: fragrance. “Scent can be one of the most immediate factors in making a first impression, and it is often overlooked,” says Cresswell.

A Trulia study suggests it could also increase the value of your home; 30 percent of real estate agents said scent was the single most important sense during an open house and named vanilla and fresh scents as the most popular among house hunters.

Instant fix: Light a vanilla or citrus candle in the living room or near the entrance to infuse your home with an uplifting scent. If you’re turning your home into a rental, be sure to use a tall lantern to shield the open flame. “Flowers always add an elegant but subtle fragrance, and baking cookies is another great way to get a welcoming air on arrival,” says Cresswell.

A lack of clutter

It’s time to address that discarded pile of magazines or strewn shoes – when it comes to first impressions, clutter counts: 73 percent of real estate agents said cleanliness is the most important sight-based feature during a viewing, possibly because unnecessary furniture and decor can make a space feel small.

“A foyer should have absolutely no clutter,” says Cresswell. “Everything, from decorative knickknacks to practical things like shoes, should have a designated place. Keys should be hung neatly on a key rack, and shoes should have a rack or boot tray. As for cleanliness, dusting and vacuuming go a long way.”

Instant fix: Use decorative baskets to mask mess. Position them by the doorway, under a coffee table, or beside a sofa to fake a cleaner-looking home without removing any items.

White paint

The color you choose to paint your home can have a big impact on its value. A report by Zillow Digs found that slate gray was among the most disliked colors among guests and cut the value of a home by over $1000. If you’re painting a guest room, real estate agents told Trulia that white, ivory, and eggshell are the most appealing shades to create an inviting space.

Instant fix: If repainting your home isn’t an option, pay attention to lighting. A carefully chosen floor lamp with the right colored bulb can subtly change the intensity of paint and is a perfect way to make a slate-gray room feel bright and fresh.

Thoughtful touches

To turn a good first impression into a lasting one, Kaye says personal touches matter most. “A well-made bed is the most important thing you can offer your guests. It is the key to making your visitors feel completely comfortable, cozy, and relaxed!” When creating the brand’s first-ever hotel, Kaye channeled five-star vibes with a few expert touches. “You should always provide at least two pillows of varying firmness per guest and dedicate a few sets of towels and sheets for guest use only. This will allow them to last longer than if you added them to your daily rotation of linens.”

Instant fix: Caught off-guard by unexpected guests? Try this hotel-approved towel folding method for a thoughtful guestroom touch. “First, lay the towel flat on a surface, and smooth out any wrinkles. Then, starting with the long side of the towel, fold the length in thirds,” says Kaye. “Grasp the short side, and fold the towel in half. Repeat this step,” and you should be left with a neat square.

Get the latest on home decor trends, design ideas, shopping guides and food news, and take a look inside your favorite celebrity homes on DomaineHome.com.

Copyright © 2018, Clique Media Inc., Sophie Miura Domaine. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Top 5 Home Design Trends of 2017

The current trends are all about utilizing rich color, maximizing texture and creating comfortable interiors you can’t wait to relax in. Use these trends to get inspired to makeover your home’s interiors and create spaces you love that also appeal to your personal style. Remember, if you plan to sell in the next few years, you may want to avoid doing anything dramatic and instead incorporate small changes that would appeal to buyers.

Why are these trends gaining popularity?

The underlying theme of these trends is creating a home environment you love; one that appeals to your emotions and feels like a retreat from the stresses of the world. Although the home is a place where you can relax and spend time with loved ones, work expectations are beginning to blur the line between work and home. Even if people don’t work from home specifically, many are stretching their work hours into their evenings and weekends to complete work projects.

It’s no wonder the Nordic concept of hygge (most often pronounced “hoo-gah”) has become a hot trend. A centuries-old concept, incorporating hygge in the home means creating simple and comfortable spaces that make you feel cozy and safe and appeal to your senses.1 The emphasis is on simplicity and fostering positive experiences, whether you’re spending time with family, reading a good book or catching up on work emails.

WARM AND RICH COLORS.

Whether you want to play with a bold color or stick with neutrals, one thing is clear—paint is the foundation of a great design. Painting your interiors has a return on investment of about 75 percent and is a relatively inexpensive project to complete, costing between $25 to $100 for paint alone.2 If you’re thinking of refreshing your home’s interiors with a coat of paint, popular colors include warm taupe, fresh green and dark tones. These colors are popular choices because they evoke feeling of warmth and coziness when you walk into a room.

Wondering how to pair these colors? Taupe is the perfect alternative to traditional neutrals, such as gray and white, and goes well with cool blues, earthy greens and deep shades of wine. Green goes well with other earthy shades, such as copper and moss, as well as deep plum and bright pink. If you’re hesitant to paint your walls green, incorporate it into your home by way of accent pillows, rugs, lamps, vases and other accessories or add a few house plants.

If you’re interested in adding more drama to a room, include bold, dark colors. Dark shades add color and sophistication to any space. Plum and dark gray pair well with pale blues, warm whites and light gray.

Try one of these Colors of the Year:

Poised Taupe – Sherwin Williams

Greenery – Pantone

Shadow – Benjamin Moore

RICH MATERIALS.

Lux materials create a space in which you can’t wait to kick off your shoes and relax at the end of the day. The Danes use a mixture of materials and pattern as a way of adding character and interest; however the overall look still needs to adhere to a color palette to prevent it from looking distracting.

Natural materials and textures allow you to maximize the comfort of the bedroom, living room or family room. Wood accents give rooms an earthy feel. Incorporate rustic wood sculptures, trays and furniture into your space. Choose furniture made with sustainably harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or use reclaimed wood for an environmentally friendly alternative.

If natural elements aren’t your style, but you want to add more visual interest to your room, try mixing patterns. Although it may have been avoided in the past, mixing stripes, florals and geometric prints actually help ground a space as long as the patterns feature complimentary colors or different shades of one color. If you’re worried about going overboard and making your room look “busy,” focus your mix in one area of the room. For example, add throw pillows in a variety of patterns to your sofa.

GOING GREEN.

According to a recent study from the American Psychological Association, people are more stressed than ever, with 24 percent of adults reporting they’re experiencing “extreme stress.”3

Top sources of stress include work and money. By incorporating small changes, like making your house more energy efficient, you can start to lower your bills and get back to relaxing and enjoying life like the Danish do (who consistently top the polls as the happiest people).

Save money on your energy bills by sealing the “envelope” of your home, which includes the windows and doors, walls, floor and roof. The better insulated your home is, the less heat will escape and the lower your energy bill (and stress level) will be.

The most heat loss occurs through the walls of the home: up to 35 percent of heat loss, to be exact.4 Ceramic insulating paint is a space-inspired coating of paint mixed with ceramic compounds and applied to interior or exterior surfaces. It seals your walls and prevents heat from escaping, which means reduced energy bills all year long.

THE FUNCTIONAL HOME OFFICE.

Twenty-four percent of employed people do some or all of their work at home.5 Since more people are working remotely than ever, home offices are becoming more popular. Even if you don’t plan on working from home, a home office gives you a place to pay bills, work on personal projects, plan your family’s schedule and more. Home offices tend to be multifunctional, serving as a guest room when family and friends visit, and have the potential to meet other needs that arise.

The key idea behind hygge is to enjoy the environment around you and for each room to be a sanctuary to sink into at any given moment. Your home office is no exception! Maximize your productivity, efficiency and focus by painting the walls shades of green or blue.6 If space is an issue, create a nook by installing docking and tech cabinets that are big enough to store a printer and other small office equipment and files without taking over the room.

If you don’t have room in your home for an office, look no further than your backyard. Shedquarters, small structures or sheds built in the backyard for use as an office or home-based business, are an attractive option for homeowners who don’t have a room to dedicate to an office and don’t wish to add on their homes. while the jury is out on how much value these structure add to a home, they can convert easily into a storage shed if you plan to sell in the future.

SPLURGING ON KITCHEN RENOVATIONS.

The kitchen is often the busiest, most hectic room in the house and one of the top renovation projects with a high return on investment.7 We do more than cook meals there; it’s where homework is done, bills are paid, weeks are planned and more.

Kitchen remodels consistently show a respectable return on investment. According to the 2017 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel touts an 80.2 percent return on investment.8 You don’t need to overhaul your entire kitchen to make it more hygge. Smaller additions can transform it into a relaxing and functional space you enjoy spending time with friends and family in.

What does a “minor kitchen renovation” entail? In addition to replacing the fronts of your cabinets and drawers, it also includes replacing out-of-date appliances and fixtures. You may also consider replacing countertops. Quartz and quartzite are becoming more common as are other green laminate options, including ones that mimic stone, wood and concrete. Laminates install in less time, often over the existing countertop, make it an ideal choice for busy homeowners as well. Other hot kitchen trends include incorporating sustainable materials like bamboo into your countertops and floors and water filtration systems.

Want to improve the look and feel of your home’s interior? Are you thinking of upgrading to a home that better fits your changing needs? Please call us—we’d love to help you achieve all of your home-related dreams.

Sources:

  1. Time, Hygge, the Nordic Trend That Could Help You Survive 2016
  2. Quality Smith
  3. American Psychological Association, 2015 Stress in America
  4. Department of Energy
  5. Department of Labor
  6. Entrepreneur, How the Color of Your Office Impacts Productivity
  7. com
  8. Remodeling Magazine, 2017

Loving Safety Harbor

We just relocated our offices to downtown Safety Harbor, and absolutely love this quaint waterfront town.

Setting up our new creative workspace has been a blast.  We found a small building on an old brick road just off main street, within a 2 minute walk from the Post Office, Chamber of Commerce, Library, Outdoor Market, Safety Harbor Spa, Restaurants, and the magnificent Waterfront.

Assisting us in this new adventure was Jill Lifsey who initiated all the right IKEA moves.  Integrity Movers took care of the boxes, and Cavern and Storr who completed the look providing accent pieces and storage cabinets.

McAuliffe & McCormick, Inc. provides complete sales and marketing services to various industries including housing, hospitality and health care, along with small businesses and start-ups.

We are very excited to be providing sales and marketing success for several local companies, and look forward to meeting and helping new clients.

Does This Kitchen Make My Butt Look Big?

Putting off my intense fitness plan a month, I decided that today’s Ground Hog Day celebration was the perfect time to start.  I’m calling it, “Operation Shadow Shrink.” 

But, I never thought off a Diet Remodel?  Just prior to Phil seeing his shadow this morning, the National Association of Realtors published an article on kitchen makeovers exploring different ways to keep these glamorous/tempting spaces from sabotaging our diets.

So Dieters Beware: Your dream kitchen remodel may be your biggest nightmare. Experts say that big and attractive kitchens contribute to big and unattractive waistlines.

“If a kitchen gets you there and keeps you there, you’re going to increase your consumption,” says Mark Blegen, an associate professor at St. Catherine University in Minnesota, who studies why people eat.

You mean remodeling a small and dreary kitchen into a big and fabulous one is hazardous to our health?

How tempting is your refridgerator? How handy is your storage?

Full article…

  • Is Your Kitchen Making You Fat?

    When it comes to weight gain, we blame our genes, our metabolism, and wrong foods that taste so right. But maybe our kitchens are to blame. Here’s why. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

http://www.McAuliffeMcCormick.com

A Home Stager’s Favorite Staging Tips

Guest Blogger, Ann Alderson offers expert home staging, room re-designs and color consulting in the Tampa Bay area.

When you’re short on time, here are some savvy tips from expert home stager Ann Alderson on how to give your living spaces the illusion of cleanliness and organization.

  • A clean kitchen sink goes a long way in making your home feel more organized. Decide that you will always have a dish-free sink and that clean feeling will spill over to the rest of the house.
  • Make yourself look organized, even if you aren’t. Remove all items smaller than a cantaloupe from kitchen counters and shelves.
  • When in doubt, use white in the bathroom; white towels, white shower curtain. It spells CLEAN, plus, it matches the toilet.
  • Just because your vanity is a catchall for makeup doesn’t mean it can’t look put-together. Place a platter on top and fill it with seldom-seen china pieces, like a sugar bowl and a creamer that can hold cotton balls, nail files, and brushes.
  • Light a candle. Everything looks better (and cleaner) by candlelight.
  • When it comes to organizing accessorizing, three is the magic number. And rather than setting your trio of accessories out in a row, imagine a triangle and place one object at each point.
  • Do not fear the dimmer! One of the best things you can do is to add a dimmer switch to every single light in the room (do this with every light in the house if you can). The ability to soften or brighten the light allows you to totally change the appearance of the room. They’re not expensive and it makes a huge difference.
  • The #1 mistake people make in the living room is using an area rug that’s too small. Remember that all of the furniture should comfortably sit on the carpet. If space doesn’t allow it, make sure that at least the front legs of any large upholstered pieces are on the rug. Sisal rugs have become the jeans of home decor. And you can afford them.
  • Mirrors can be displayed in every room of the house, but my favorite spot is the entryway. Entries can be great places for mirrors because they create an opportunity for creative lighting, art and reflectivity.

Contact Ann at 813-785-8553 or http://stagingsouthtampa.com

Candice Tells All

How can you not like, appreciate and admire”Divine Design’s” Candice Olson?  Candice has a new HGTV show, “Candice Tells All”  showcasing one principle or design scheme per episode. This short 5 question clip was in the Detroit Free Press a few days ago. 

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a designer?

A:I always knew I wanted to do something in art. And I knew I couldn’t always play volleyball. (Olson was a member of the national women’s volleyball team in Canada.) I have a degree in interior design from Ryerson University here in Toronto. With almost 20 years in the business, I’m really excited about the new show. There is a real thirst for great design that is not only informative but also entertaining.

HGTV's Candice Olson

Q: What defines your sense of style?A:I look foremost to clients. It is their space, their home, their lifestyle. This should be a room that is about them, not me. There has never been a room that somebody doesn’t like. There have been rooms that were not my particular style. I bring sensibility to a more contemporary, casual and livable space.

Q: What are some of your favorite design tricks?

A:Probably not a trick, but overlooked, is lighting. I love using lighting tricks to bring up highlights. When I started (as a designer), I had to take a $30 blouse and with proper lighting make it look like a $300 blouse. I use that in residential design. Take drapes — with the proper lighting, they can look more expensive.

Q: What is the biggest design mistake that homeowners make?

A:A lot of time, people don’t do a reality check. They see something in a magazine that they like. But does it work for your lifestyle?

Q: What do you see as a trend?

A:People are looking for modern contemporary with natural materials. That element of craft brings softness and warmth to contemporary design.