Seven strategies that’ll “Wow” your next home guests!

1.  MIX UP YOUR SURFACES.

“To freshen up the look of your home,” Baer says, a designer and home stager to the stars.remove all of your accessories and books from bookshelves, consoles, and coffee tables, and give each piece a new home.” Bonus: “Moving things around a bit may even help you clear some clutter,” she says.

2.  AIM TO MAKE A VISUAL IMPACT.

Add playful style to your home by color-coding your bookshelves. “Group books together by the color of their spines to create a dramatic effect on your shelves,” Baer explains. “Color-blocked books can be almost as striking and powerful as a great piece of art.”

3.  SKIP THE FLORIST.

“Sometimes a few blossoming branches in a glass vase with water can be just as striking as an expensive bouquet from the florist,” Baer says. “I often trim a branch here or there off the magnolia trees in my neighborhood when they are in bloom.”

4.  CLEAR OFF COUNTERS.

Your bathroom should look like it’s in a hotel. As Baer puts it, “this means a counter free of products except a couple that have pretty packaging.”

5.  STYLE YOUR COFFEE TABLE.

 “Start with something large and wonderful in the middle,” Baer says. “Try a floral in an interesting pot or a huge bowl filled with something interesting. Then build out from that – stacks of art books, candles, sculpture, or pottery. Make it interesting and change it regularly.”

6.  ELEVATE YOUR CURTAINS.

Doing so will elongate your ceilings, a major selling point. “To create an illusion of a taller ceiling or larger windows,” Baer explains, “hang curtains from as high up as possible.”

7.  CREATE A BEDROOM SEATING AREA.

Have an extra table and chair? Move it from your living room to your master bedroom. “It seems counter-intuitive to pack in more furniture, but if you have the space, put an upholstered chair and a side table in a corner. It’ll give the impression that the room is larger.” And bigger is always better, right?

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The steps to make an old bathroom new again!

1. Clean the grout.
Whiter-than-white grout will make your bathroom look like new again. We promise. There are plenty of grout cleaning methods out there, or you could just use this Miracle Grout pen. Easy.

2. Think about storage.
First, declutter (you don’t need four hairbrushes, OK?) and then have a think about the way you use your bathroom. Where do you cleanse? Do you apply makeup and perfume here, or in your bedroom? Once you’ve had a think, strategize your storage. It’s simple, but planning your storage ensures you’re using your bathroom effectively.

3. Invest in extra storage.
Got a spare bedside table or stool lying around? Use it in the bathroom as storage.

4. Arrange a candle shelf.
There’s nothing more luxurious than a whole cluster of candles lit at once. If you have a spare shelf, or a window ledge, arrange a line of candles (varying shapes and sizes work best) along it. This works especially well if you want to hide ugly frosted glass or cracked tiles.

5. Use old or mismatched teacups, vases and bowls as bathroom storage.
They’re perfect for makeup, hair ties and cotton balls, among other things.

6. Have coloured tiles that aren’t exactly your cup of tea?
Instead of trying to change the tiles themselves (a major overhaul), why not work with the colour? Paint the walls a complementary shade and just roll with it. Pink tiles would pop on dove grey walls. Bright yellow looks great with navy. Peach tiles will pair well with minty green. Painting the walls is far easier than changing the tiles. And if you hate it? Just paint over it with white.

7. Give your towels new life.
This is simple but it’ll make a difference. For old, hard towels, add ammonia or white vinegar to a wash, and indulge in towels as fluffy as marshmallows.

8. Add greenery.
Potted or hanging plants are unexpected – but beautiful – in bathrooms. Use a bathroom ledge or a pot stand, or hang from the ceiling.

9. Go minimalist.
Clear off your vanity, and swap your shower toiletries for clear, label-less bottles. There’s something lovely about not seeing product names and labels everywhere.

Your kitchen fridge isn’t just for keeping things cool anymore!

BRIGHT COLOURS

Forget boring white – one of the biggest trends in fridge design is bright colour. Think fire engine red, cool blue, black and even bold pinstripes.

Hot tip
The trick with bright colour is to use it in small doses – balance a statement fridge with neutral cabinetry in white, grey, black or warm timber.

Where to look
The brands to look out for are Smeg, Bosch, Sharp.

 

METALLIC FINISHES

Stainless steel fridges are hugely popular and it’s easy to see why – they’re easy to co-ordinate with your other appliances and give your kitchen a sophisticated, modern look. But other metallic finishes are gaining momentum too, such as matt and black stainless steel, platinum and pewter. Glass fronted fridge doors in black or white are another emerging trend – the give you a high gloss look that contrasts beautifully against matt cabinetry.

Hot tip

If you’re buying a family fridge, look for one with a stain and finger-print resistant metallic finish.

Where to look
The brands to look out for are LG, Samsung, Bosch, Whirlpool.

 

FLAT LINES

When it comes to design, the latest release fridges are all about simplicity. Super flat lines, seamless detailing and elegant bar handles are common features among all the big players. The absence of fussy detailing makes it easy to integrate even large family-size models into a low-key, open plan kitchen space.

Hot tip
Simple, flat lines mean less cleaning and maintenance.

Where to look
The brands to look out for are Fisher & Paykel, Whirlpool, Liebherr, Electrolux.

 

SMARTER STORAGE

Fridge storage is becoming smarter and more attractive. Check out the latest range of French door fridges at LG, Samsung and Electrolux, which offer easy access to chilled and frozen goods, plus a huge amount of storage space. Some, such as LG’s GR-L219CSL and Electrolux’s EQE6007SB, now come with four doors, giving you two separate freezer drawers for short and long term frozen storage. Inside the fridge section, you’ll find adjustable shelving that allows you to change the internal configuration of your fridge to fit large platters or tall bottles.

Another smart storage solution to look out for is the in-door refreshment hatch, which gives you quick access to everyday items such as juice and water without having to open the fridge door (available on Smeg’s SR620X side by side fridge).

Hot tip
Some models even offer motorised controls so that you can move shelves up and down at the touch of a button.

Where to look
The brands to look out for are LG, Smeg, Samsung, Siemens.

 

MODULAR DESIGNS

Trying to fit a fridge into a small or awkwardly shaped kitchen? Consider one of the new customised fridge-freezer combinations, such as Gaggenau’s Vario Cooling series and Electrolux’s E:Line range, which allow you to mix and match a range of different fridge and freezers – and even a wine chiller – to suit the size and layout of your kitchen.

Hot tip
Pigeon pairs are another popular choice, giving you the option to fit a large fridge or freezer side by side, or in separate rooms altogether.

Where to look
The brands to look out for are Gaggenau, Electrolux.

 

ELECTRONIC TOUCH SCREEN CONTROLS

You no longer have to turn a dial to change the temperate of your fridge – temperature controls have gone decidedly high tech in recent years. Electronic touch-screen control panels give you precise control over the temperature inside your fridge and freezer, allowing you to adjust up to six separate areas at one time. Models to look out for include Miele’s 14842SDCS bottom mount fridge, Westinghouse’s WBM4304SB bottom mount fridge, and GE’s PFSA5NJDSS French door fridge.

Hot tip
Some models, including Smeg’s SR620X side by side fridge and Electrolux’s EHE5107SA French door fridge, allow you to switch between pre-set modes such as energy saving, gentle defrost or rapid freeze at the touch of a button.

Where to look
The brands to look out for are Whirlpool, Siemens, Liebherr.

How your Realtor establishes your home’s “comps.”

One of the first things an Agent will do is run an analysis of current market data and Comparable Market Analysis, or CMA. These are known as “comps.”

Your agent will use the value of nearby properties of comparable size and quality to determine a ballpark price for your home. Comps in your neighborhood are houses of lesser and greater value that your agent takes into consideration to determine a fair median value for your property.

Your agent will work with you to establish a listing price. The process includes a walk-through of the property and/or a preliminary appraisal by a professional appraiser. With comps as the starting point, a walk-through will show the agent the parts of your home that add value. These might include upgraded appliances, hardwood floors, a new roof, a landscaped front and backyard (succulent garden, anyone?), and close proximity to schools, nightlife, restaurants, public transportation, etc.