Category Archives: Decorating

Decorating Dilemma: How can I make the entry to my home more inviting?

CIMG1388Entryways set the mood for how you and others respond to your home – every time you walk in. Some tips for a great entry…

Clear the clutter: Clutter is the number one enemy of a nice entry space. Watch what collects in your entry and get creative and realistic about places to store it.

Storage: Place a dresser or storage piece near the door to set your keys, mail, phone and for extra storage of newspapers, umbrellas, hats and gloves.

Light Fixture: Invest in a beautiful light fixture—it’s one of the first things you see when you come in.

Accessories: Fresh flowers, a pretty lamp, and mirrors/art can make a huge difference. And don’t forget a nice rug!

I’d love to help with your entryway! Contact me today: jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369

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Decorating Dilemma: Will I get my money back when I sell?

Kitchen moneyIf you’re planning to sell in the near future, some renovation projects might be a better investment than others.

Check out the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report for estimated recouped cost of various home projects in Washington DC.

A few examples: Basement Remodel: 90.7%, Bathroom Remodel: 98.5%, Minor Kitchen Remodel: 99.9%, Two- Story Addition: 95.3%, Siding Replacement (fiber-cement): 123.9%

I’d love to assist with your renovation project! 202-905-5369 / jennifer.macomber@gmail.com

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The Power of a Front Door: January 2014

January 2014Tip of the month: Casing (also known as trim) on a front door can make a huge difference!

One of the things that makes this door so pretty is the casing, or trim around the door. Interestingly, the front doors of many houses do not have casing.

It’s easy for a contractor or carpenter to add, and relative to most home improvements, pretty inexpensive – especially given how much it adds to a home’s curb appeal.

Check your front door. If it doesn’t have casing, consider adding it. Take pictures of doors with casing.  I recommend selecting houses similar in style to yours. Show the photos to your contractor / carpenter.

If I can help with your front door, let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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Decorating Dilemma: How do I get my basement to look less like a basement?

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I recently studied many pictures to figure out what made some basements look less like basements. Here’s my list:

1) Enough artwork: Bare walls accentuate that a room is a basement because there’s nothing else to catch the eye. We might not think to put artwork in the basement, but it really helps reduce the basement feel.

2) Finishes like the rest of your house: Repeat features from your house in your basement (i.e. glass knobs, glass pane doors). It creates continuity and makes the basement feel more like the house.

3) A couple nicer pieces of furniture: Basements tend to collect the hand-me-downs. That’s fine, but have a couple of attractive pieces. Maybe include a pretty headboard in the guest room or a nice entertainment cabinet.

4) Lighter paint colors: I think darker colors tend to accentuate low ceilings and a lack of natural light. Usually in rooms with less light, I’m an advocate for darker colors. But in basements, I generally like lighter colors.

5) Better ceiling height: Digging a basement is a big undertaking, but often not as difficult as anticipated. You can gain significant ceiling height. Stay tuned for a future post on digging basements.

6) Full size windows: If digging, consider creating full size windows. These add a lot of light, provide safe egress, and make it feel less like a basement.

If I can help you with your basement, let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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The Power of a Front Door: November 2013

November 2014Tip of the month: Brown is a great alternative to black!

If you like a classic look, but are bored with black, consider brown! It’s especially pretty with red brick.

Benjamin Moore’s Exterior Ready mix colors are usually a safe bet. So you might start with Tudor Brown, or Charleston Brown if you like something lighter.

If I can help with your front door, let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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The Power of a Front Door: September 2013

September 2013 DoorTip of the month: Don’t be afraid of bold colors on doors and shutters!

Using a bold color on an otherwise neutral house can make a great statement. Confine it, however, to just the door and/or shutters.

Colors to consider: turquoise, purple, yellow, green, and orange.

If I can help you improve your front door, let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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The Power of a Front Door: August 2013

August 2013 DoorTip of the month: Don’t forget about light fixtures!

An attractive light fixture adds charm and a sense of finish to a front door. One with some twinkle will also be pretty at night.

Good resources: Bellacor, Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, and Restoration Hardware.

If I can help you improve your front door let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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Decorating Dilemma: Where to start with painting?

new 2 doorsPaint is one of the most cost effective improvements you can make to your home – especially when you first buy or are getting ready to sell.

A few tips to help you get the most from a paint job:

1)  Use a professional: I don’t recommend painting yourself. Painters are cost effective and well worth it. Plus, painting yourself always takes more time than you anticipate.

2) Evaluate quotes: Paint quotes can very widely. What’s important to verify is the prep (i.e. fixing cracks, filling holes, priming). The cheapest quote may have very little prep and the final job will reflect this.

3) Paint the trim: While it is more labor intensive and can be costly, it is usually well worth it to have the trim painted. Trim gets beat up and scratched. If you just paint the walls, you probably won’t get that freshly painted and finished look. And don’t forget the ceilings – they get dingy too.

4) Create continuity: I think interiors look bigger and more finished if the same trim color is carried throughout the house (see above photo). Also think about how colors will work together from room to room.

5) Add finishing touches: I like a “quarter round” – the small round piece of trim at the base of your floorboard – painted the same color as the trim (versus stained).  For a traditional look, I like painting the back of stair risers the trim color, leaving the actual steps stained.

6) Indicate level of sheen: Paints are made with different levels of sheen.  It is generally recommended to do light or no sheen (eggshell or flat) on walls and more sheen (semi-gloss) on trim. Bathroom and kitchen walls can benefit from more sheen (satin or semi-gloss), making them easier to clean.

Do you need help with a decorating project? Check out my services! I’d love to assist you:  202-905-5369 / jennifer.macomber@gmail.com.

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The Power of a Front Door: July 2013

July 2013 DoorTip of the month:  Something green – flowers, shrubs, vines – near a front door bring it to life.

The lightweight planters now available at most nurseries and garden stores make this easy. Set up one or two planters next to your door or on your front steps. Be sure to check the light and select plants accordingly.

If I can help you improve your front door – to sell your home or just to enjoy yourself – let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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The Power of a Front Door: June 2013

June 2013Front doors are powerful in real estate – the focal point of that first impression.

And they send a message….

Tip of the month: The easiest way to say welcome and cared for is a fresh coat of paint. Try Google images on front door paint colors to get ideas. Research Feng Shui’s guidance.

Have fun with it. Give your house some personality!

If I can help you improve your front door – to sell or just to enjoy yourself – let me know!  jennifer.macomber@gmail.com / 202-905-5369.

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