Little Changes in a Bathroom – Big Impact for Your Home

It’s Spring. You are looking around your house and you feel like you need a change. Something needs to be brighter or cleaner or “more today” and you don’t know what that something is but you know it’ time for a change. How about refreshing your powder room? It’s that small half bathroom that you and all your guests use. Aside from the kitchen, it’s the place usually everyone sees when they come over. Here’s the thing, it probably doesn’t need a complete gut job that could cost you your tax refund and then some. It may just need a refresh. And before you get exhausted just thinking about it, this stuff is easy to do yourself or inexpensive if you hire a handyman to do it for you (Need a referral? Just me know at asklydia@lydiagable.com)

If the Walls Could Talk

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Go bold in color for a dramatic statement.

Painting your walls is the single most impactful change any room can make and a good gallon of paint is less than $40. If your powder room is the sage green that was so popular years ago, it’s time to lighten and brighten. Going with a neutral color for your powder room is a wonderfully safe bet. Neutrals tend to be classic and you can easily refresh it from year to year by just changing out your towels and accessories. White is making a huge comeback. More so, white walls with a white vanity/sink. If you want a clean, crisp look, white is it. A popular favorite is Cloud White from Benjamin Moore. But grab those paint chips from your local paint store to see which white is right for you. Who knew white could come is so many shades?! And here’s a few tips about using those paint chips. Never just grab one of any color. Grab at least 4 of the same color and tape them together so you can get a bigger visual of the color and then tape that larger section to your wall. Move this enlarged sample from wall to wall around the room so you can see the color from all sides because natural and fixtures lighting as well as mirror reflection can change a color based on angles and shading. Not a fan of white? Want a color more warm for you and your guests? Grey is the new neutral and it comes in a wide array of hues which is great because you can find the perfect shade that flows with the colors in the rest of your home.

On the opposite end of the paint spectrum, a deep paint color can be bold and dramatic, especially in a small, windowless bathroom. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this if you will be selling your home, but if the change is just for you, “go big or go home” may be your makeover motto. Try a navy – it goes with deep woods in your vanity or flooring or white sink and toilets.

Sink Into It

Before you go painting the walls, how’s your sink and/or vanity looking? If it’s the builder’s grade golden oak color wood cabinetry, we can bring that into “2016” so easily. Sure, you could swap it out for a terrific new cabinet. There are some great style options today with consoles that

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Painted cabinetry can be just as “new” as brand new.

have shelving and look more like nice furniture than the vanities of years gone by. But, if you are looking to keep costs low, a light sanding of the cabinetry and some paint can go a long way. Here white is the most popular choice. It’s timeless and cheerful. White walls and a white vanity can give a very polished look. White cabinets with pale gray or tan walls are something right out of the house magazines. Have you considered trying a bit of color on the cabinetry if the walls will be white or a pale neutral? Think gray or a deep chocolate color. A great idea would be a pale neutral and then simply paint the cabinetry a darker shade of that neutral – just go up three or four colors on it’s paint chip strip.

The finishing touch of a vanity makeover is the hardware. This is where you can go modern, traditional or whimsical, but please do me a favor and think outside the standard silver knob or no knob at all. Put your personal touch on the vanity with a great piece of hardware. It is a statement piece.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…and everything else

Today, mirrors are considered an accessory so make it reflect your sense of style. If your mirror goes wall to wall and from sink to ceiling, frame it out with molding and watch your powder room suddenly have go from ho-hum to chic. You can check out HomeGoods or flea markets to find a unique mirror if you would rather hang one. Just remember, taller ceilings require a taller mirror.

 

I am not even going to go over lighting since we discussed that last week. But a great new thought is pendant lighting in the powder room if it has tall ceilings.

 

When thinking about what to hang on the walls of your powder room, my favorite cheat is to look at Pinterest or Houzz to see what the designers have done and then hit Pottery Barn or Home Depot to re-create something similar. Maybe it’s a simple shelf that has a basket, a cute little plant and a tchotchke of some sort. Enlarging a photo in a great fame always works. You can do one large picture and mat/frame it or arrange several like-kind pictures together to create your own collage wall. It’s as simple as printing out some of your favorite pictures from your smart phone. The pictures could be amazing views from your last vacation, sweet shots of the kids or your pet or even a cool close-up of a flower from your garden. Experiment and have fun with it. Remember, the little stuff is easy to change out from time to time.

 

That’s it for this week. This is totally a weekend warrior project that you can make happen. The powder room in your home may just need one or two of the ideas here to make a big impact. Send me pictures at asklydia@lydiagable.com if you do decide to switch things up; I’d love to see them.

If you have any questions, please ask away! I am here for you and your home always.

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Little Changes in Lighting – Big Impact for your home

Have you been wanting to update your home, but don’t have a clue where to start? Sometimes even the smallest of home improvement projects are overwhelming – not knowing where to start, needing inspiration or ideas, and trying to be smart about making sure any money you spend will add value to your home. Refreshing your home in small steps is a great way to make your house the home you want it to be whether it’s for finally selling your home to move or just updating your home for you. So let’s get these projects started because little changes can have a big impact. Welcome to my news series of blogs here at www.lydiagable.com to provide you with tips of simple and relatively inexpensive ways to transform your home.

 

Since the whole unclutter your closet and get organized thing has been done and re-done, we are going to skip right over that. You have cleaned out your closets and donated unwanted or unused items, right? If you have not used it in the last year, it’s time to donate it, sell it on eBay or whatever local site works for you, or trash it. Seriously. This is basic stuff and too many times we rationalize keeping it because “you never know” when you might need it. Here’s the thing, you haven’t needed it so do yourself a favor and clear it out of your way. Now, let’s get on to more fun ways to give your home a little update.

 

Lighting can transform a room. If you don’t think so, just check out some of the homes for sale on my listings and see what people have done (or not done) in their homes. And before you think to yourself you can’t update the lighting fixtures in your home, hear me out. You can do this! Feel free to contact me at asklydia@lydiagable.com for a good electrician for the install or if you are handy yourself, have at it. There is always YouTube, my favorite place when I need a little inside information and guidance. I watch a few videos and suddenly, I have knowledge and know how.

 

Lighting Needs a Style

When you are choosing new lighting, it’s best to begin with an overall style you want to achieve. Take a look around your home. What style is the best piece of furniture or artwork in your home that you absolutely love? Capitalize of that look and feel in your lighting. Do you like casual traditional, modern glam or that rustic industrial feel? Pick your preferred style and then it’s time to decide on your finish: satin nickel, antique bronze, a wood element or something that has sparkle and glitz. All finishes have their place in today’s homes but keep the look consistent and unified. The finishes don’t have to match in as much as they should coordinate with one another.

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Possini Euro Design Glass Sphere 15-Light Pendant Chandelier Lamplus.com

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Eliana 6-light Black Linear Glass Globe Chandelier Overstock.com

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Constance 5 Light Chandelier Wayfair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All About the Layers

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Spray painted chandelier as seen on HGTV.com

The current trend in lighting is layering. The theory is no one light can do it all in a room. You need functional lighting to illuminate the space, accent lighting to add depth to the space (think recessed or track lighting), and then the wow factor lighting (a unique chandelier or a cool pendant light). And here’s when you can get your DIY on. There are many great websites for buying new, but sometimes, a crafty alteration is all you need to give the room some pizazz. Have a builders’ grade brass chandelier that you desperately want to change but it’s not in the budget right now? There are some great spray paints at your local hardware store that will give your chandelier a whole new updated look – you could go with a sleek flat black, a bright white, or even a hammered bronze to add texture. Think about using globe bulbs for a final touch and suddenly it’s a whole new look for your home.

Size Matters

Size matters. Yes, yes, it does in lighting. You want to make sure your light fixtures are in proportion to your room and furniture sizes. Below are some good general tips, but remember, if it doesn’t look right to you, go with your gut feel on height and size. And if you don’t trust your gut, flip through some home decorating magazines to get a sense of what the lighting in a room looks like according to professional interior designers.

Dining Room

  • The diameter of the chandelier should be about one half to two thirds the width of the table it will be hanging over.
  • The bottom of the fixture should hang between 30″ and 36″ from the tabletop assuming you have an 8′ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height you should add about 3″ to the suspension height.

Kitchen

  • For pendants, provide approximately 36 inches clearance above tables and countertops. Make sure it doesn’t block views from across the kitchen.
  • Space a pendant every 2 feet or so above a kitchen island and pick the right size of pendant to suit your island length. Small islands (4 to 5 feet long) can handle 1 large or 2 medium pendants. Larger islands can handle 2 large or 3 medium pendants.
  • Larger kitchens should boast medium to larger fixtures as small pendant lights will seem lost in the space.

Bathroom

  • Bar lighting is most popular and should be about 75% of the width of your mirror width and center mounted.
  • Sconce lighting on both side of the mirror offer more ideal lighting but not always possible

Foyer

  • Fixture should have a minimum clearance of 7 feet
  • When sizing a chandelier or pendant for your foyer, add together the length and width dimensions of the foyer area and make that same number be inches. For example, 18 feet by 12 feet is 30 inches total so the light fixture should be about 30 inches in width.

 

Hopefully, now I have you thinking and inspired. Dare I say, illuminated on the idea? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Try changing out one lighting element and you just may be hooked to do more! Good luck and see you back here next week for another fun idea on updating your home.

 

If you have any questions, I am here for you and your home always.

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A Real Estate New Year’s Resolutions List

NEWYEARSHOMERESOLUTIONS

Making a List and Checking It Twice…

Have you ever thought of writing a real estate new year’s resolutions list? New Year’s Day is weeks away and most likely most of us are looking back at our year and deciding what goes on our 2016 New Year’s resolutions list. But as a homeowner or potential homeowner, you should also jot down some real estate new year’s resolutions. It’s a good idea to get your real estate ‘house’ in order. Not to mention you can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t make a decision to get there. So on that note, here are five good real estate new year’s resolutions that can help you manifest your home owners’ goals more quickly.

Jot down all five of these practical and some more enjoyable tips onto your New Year’s resolutions list for 2016 so you can see all your homeowners dreams realized this year.

  • Annual Property Tax Assessment

This resolution can set you on a better financial path in the future. Maybe you are saving for a better home or want to make upgrades to your current home. Every little bit saved helps. So, if you are a homeowner and your home appraisal value has dropped even by a smidge this year, you be able to pay less for property tax by contesting your property tax assessment. Many realtors will even issue an annual reminder to clients to remind them to review their property tax. You may also not be aware that if you do discover that your property tax is too high vs. the current value, you may request a hearing date within a limited time frame. Call me for more information on this. Bottom line: put this on your must-do’s for 2016.

  • Home Owner Insurance Discount

Now, still on the financial goals side of things…Did you make any major repairs or upgrades to your home this year? If so you may be able reap the benefits of this even if you don’t plan on listing the home for sale. Major repairs or improvements that you made to your home last year may qualify you for a discount on this year’s home owner’s insurance coverage. Be willing to do a little research and prove the costs of the repairs but this resolution can be well worth the effort. Don’t forget this one your list. Home owner’s insurance discount, resolution #2, 2016.

  • Upgrades… Finally

Resolution #2 flows very nicely into this resolution which is… Resolve to make those “put off” home owner upgrades finally this year. As you can see, even if you don’t sell, it may definitely pay off in the way of discounts. But if you are planning to sell, do it now. Don’t wait until the last minute. Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas that will pay off most in the sale so be willing to make the investment. Granite countertops, spa showers and pedestal tubs. A 2014 article in U.S, News Money & World Report says there are definitely home improvements that will boost your home sale:

As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” When people drive up and first see your house, you want them to think of it immediately as a home that has been maintained and well cared for. “It’s you putting your best foot forward,” says Christy Biberich, owner of Christy B. Design in Los Angeles who appears on the HGTV show “Brother Vs. Brother.” “We do judge a book by its cover.” 

  • De-Clutter, De-Stress

Maybe you have no plans on selling just yet or perhaps you have even just moved in – whatever the reason, a cluttered home is not a happy home. Your home is supposed to be a sanctuary away from the hectic outside world so treat it as such. A blog on Luxury Simplified suggests starting with the most clutter-prone areas like closets. Says the writer:

Empty closets. These are the graveyards for all the belongings homeowners don’t know what to do with. Spacious closets are a coveted feature among buyers. Make yours appear larger by being uncluttered and well organized.

  • Find a Real Estate Pro

As with any high stakes endeavor, a coach or mentor can determine success. So if you know that your dream home is your next goal but it’s a full one year away, use this time now, effectively. Research. Seek out your best team, now. A realtor can make all the difference between buying your dream home and simply buying any old house in price range. And to that I would say, look around your neighborhood. Look at potential dream homes. Go to open houses at home that you have deemed “dream homes” so you can decide if these houses are actually living up to the idea in your mind. Then find a real estate professional while you have the time to interview and decide. A top real estate agent can make all the difference!

  • Find Your New Dream Home 

A home is more than just a front door, a living room and a few bedrooms and bathrooms. There are several factors that can boost a home’s potential: different designs, commuting and proximity to local highways, luxury location, lot size, taxes, interior dimensions, façade and curb appeal. Take the time if you are so privileged to do so. Put “finding your dream home” on your resolutions list now and then take your time and search thoroughly.

Lastly from all of us at Lydia Gable Realty Group, a happy and safe holiday to all. My wish for you in 2016: All of your home owner new year’s resolutions come true and that all your dreams are realized right where you are – happy at heart and happy at home.

 

 

 

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HOLIDAY HOME DECORATING TIPS

HOLIDAY HOME DECORATINGHum-Drum to Holiday Happy

It’s holiday time again and when there are holidays, you can bet there are homeowners thinking up new holiday home decorating ideas. Some folks really embrace the idea of holiday decorating but for some, it’s not as easy either because of a lack of ideas or a lack of funds. But you don’t have to spend a ton of money nor does it have to be complicated. There are simple ways to decorate your home so that it reflects the joy of the season! With a few of the following tips, you can go from hum-drum to holiday happy in just minutes. Take a look at the following list of holiday home decorating ideas.

A Festive Centerpiece

An article on RealSimple offers some great tips. I particularly like the five-second centerpiece. The idea here is to use what you to make a gorgeous decoration with simplicity. It’s not only simple but it makes for an elegant centerpiece for any holiday party.

Mix clementines or oranges and peppermint balls in a single glass compote (or a grouping of three).

Holiday Garland for Decorating

Do you have columns at your entrance or maybe a trellis? This could work with both or even just a fence. Wrap the columns or drape the fence with white lights and green garland. The entrance is the perfect holiday starting point for decorating because guests will feel the holiday spirit as soon as they step on your property.

Hanukkah Holiday Decorating

Hanukkah is the first week in December this year. Decorating isn’t just for Christmas. If you celebrate Hanukkah and want to add some festive flavor to your home, SFGate has some ideas for you. One of the best ones involves window decorating. Says the piece:

Set up a raised platform on the sill of the central bow window during Hanukkah and cover it with a silver-and-blue velvet cloth. Place a large menorah — one that holds candles or a decorative menorah with powered lights — on the platform so its light is clearly visible through the window.

Holiday Home Decorating: Curb Appeal

Don’t forget holiday curb appeal – your mailbox can be covered in red bows and wreathes which is small decoration that packs a big punch. It’s just a simple way to add a touch of holiday decorating without doing too much and being called the Griswolds of the cul de sac. I also like the idea that Southern Living had which if done well can add such a classy touch. They decorated the window sill with a view varied vintage-looking Christmas lanterns. It’s the small touches really and that doesn’t cost much. You can paint some old lanterns you may already have or pick up a few interesting pieces at the local flea market.  Says the article:

Arrange a grouping of festive lanterns at your entryway for quick-and-easy holiday style. Consider using flameless candles as a worry-free alternative to regular pillars.

The Smell of a Christmas Home Sale 

Maybe you are putting your home up for sale, decorating might be a bit much. But you would be surprised how the smell of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven, hot apple cider, the smell of pine in the entrance or even a scented hot chocolate candle, can evoke the emotions of home. If you are staying in your home over the holidays and want to still enjoy the feeling of the festive season, but you don’t want to go overboard with decorating because you plan on listing it during the holiday season, don’t forget the smells of Christmas. It can make all the difference. A gorgeous homemade wreath on the door and the smells of Christmas past, could be just the added touches of staging you need.

The Home is the Hearth

Let’s be honest we all decorate for our guests and neighbors to enjoy. But don’t forget, your home is your hearth. When you walk in, it’s the place to leave all your cares from the outside world on the doormat. So set a tone that is comforting and even festive. Maybe you are from family this holiday year or perhaps you just moved into a new home. Turn on some holiday music, grab a few friends and family members and start decorating. It’s a fun way to bond with others but also a lovely way to make your house feel like the home you always dreamt it could be. You take such good care of your home, let it take care of you.

Oh and last but not least… A happy and safe holiday season from all of us here at Lydia Gable Realty Group. From my home to yours, I wish you joy and happy holiday home decorating!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Conejo Valley: There’s So Much to Do!

CONEJOVALLEYThe Conejo Valley : Doin’ It!

The Conejo Valley is an activity haven. If you are seeking a new neighborhood chalk full of things to do or if you currently live here, check out the local happenings. It doesn’t get much better than this eclectic mix of things to do for you and the whole family. And of course if you are on the hunt for a new home, taking part in some of these happenings is a fantastic way to test-drive a potential neighborhood.

The Taste of Conejo

The Taste of Conejo is an annual fave especially among the Westlake Village locals. The seventh Taste of Conejo will be presented by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 1, 5-8 p.m., at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village.

If you are a foodie or a wine aficionado, you will be in your glory at this event. But in any case, who doesn’t love good eats? The Taste of Conejo is an all-inclusive evening of gourmet food, wine, beer and spirits. Enjoy tastings from over sixty local restaurants, breweries and wineries.

VIP tickets are available at TasteofConejo.com for $100 a person, which includes complimentary valet parking and a one hour early entry into the event from 4-5 p.m.

General admission tickets are available until Oct. 1st, tickets online for $75. There are a limited number of tickets that will be sold at the door. 21 and over only will be allowed admittance.

For more on the events and its participants visit TasteofConejo.

The 11th Annual Reyes Adobe Days Festival

The Reyes Adobe Historical Site at 5464 Reyes Adobe Road, Agoura Hills holds an annual festival. This is good time for the whole family. And if your pre-teens are Disney fans, well you will make them quite happy if you plan on attending the parade. While the event runs from October 1 – 4, 2015. The weekend festival will take place 10/3 & 4 from 11am – 4pm.  But on 10/3 the Reyes Adobe Day Parade with celebrity grand marshal, Corey Fogelmanis, who plays Farkle Minkus on Disney’s “Girl Meets World”, starts at 10 am. RAD is not only fun but educational. The whole family can celebrate unique California culture and history on the grounds of an original 1845 California rancho. Rancho activities include pony rides and a petting zoo; art boutique and gallery featuring local artists; local craft beer; food; museum tours and more.

TICKETS: The family weekend festival admission is FREE of charge.  For select events (Senior Fiesta, Night@Adobe, RADrun, Gymkhana), purchase tickets at reyesadobedays.org 

Celebrate Westlake Village – More to Do!

Do not miss the City of Westlake Village’s 13th Annual City Celebration on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 3pm to 8pm. If you aren’t from the area, this is the best way to find out what we already know. Westlake Village is the best community to live and work in – I can attest to that. At the celebration which features local performers, food trucks, and even a twilight run, your whole family will enjoy tons of fun. Be sure to check out the Goblin Gallop, magic show at 6pm and the popular White Oak Elementary Family Festival which features rides, a cake walk, inflatables, and a bake sale and silent auction. The Triunfo YMCA Twilight Goblin Gallop 5K starts at 5:30pm. There is also a one Mile Trick or Treat Fun Run at 6:15pm for kids. How fun is that? Kids who participate can stop at the numerous Trick or Treat stations along the course. Not only just for the little ones, this annual city event offers exciting performances and scrumptious food for all who attend. Free admission. For more information visit the festival website.

Booh! You Better Run! 

Haunted Trails of the Night 5K/10K Family Run/Walk is Saturday, October 17th at Paramount Ranch. Packet pickup at 6pm; race starts at 7pm. Runners of all levels and abilities are invited to experience trail running at night. This is open to the whole family. Those who are running or walking on the moonlit trails, will have a unique experience in the historic motion picture town of Paramount Ranch. If you are feeling extra social, stay after the run for a haunted post run hang in the historic old ghost town of paramount ranch. Drinks, food and fun. Also dress up in your best costume, there are awards!

Address: Paramount Ranch

2903 Cornell Road Agoura Hills

Parking and restrooms on site. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult. For more on the event visit the socalultrarunning site to sign up.

Home is Where the Heart Is…

Last but not least, don’t miss the 41st Conejo Valley Home Remodeling & RV Show. Homeowners, if you are planning fall and winter home improvement projects, now is your chance to talk with professionals for ideas and tips. The fall show is Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11 at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza (880 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village). And it may be local, but this is no small production. Attendees will have access to over 170 vendors with information on everything from kitchen and bath remodeling to interior decorating and landscaping as well as advice for pools and spas. The latest RVs and offroad vehicles will also be on display from Simi RV & Offroad. In case you are a foodie, this event has you covered. Gourmet food trucks will be on site at the show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 10.

Home Show hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free passes are available online at The Conejo Valley Home Show site. Admission at the door is $4 per person. For more information, call 805-529-0760 or e-mail showkase9@gmail.com. 

Bluegrass Music, Fire Engines, and Pumpkins!

The Underwood Family Farms’ 18th Annual Fall Harvest Festival will take place October 3rd to October 31st.  Here are only some of the highlights… 

  • Friends of the Farm Weekend on October 3rd & 4th. Proceeds will help benefit The Ventura County Sheriff’s Charity Organization Cops Running for Charity and The Ventura County Fire Department’s Charity Groups. Not only is this a worthwhile cause to support, your kids will love the demonstrations including fire trucks, ambulances, tank type vehicle, bomb squad with their bomb robot, police car/motorcycle and much more.
  • October 10 & October 11 listen to the best country and bluegrass music. And if you are a pumpkin lover, there will be a Giant Pumpkin Contest on Sunday, October 11!
  • Antique Tractor Weekend is October 17 & 18 (10am-4pm) with antique tractors and a tractor parade!
  • October 24 & 25 is Western Weekend – from 11am – 3pm, there will be stunt ropers, a covered wagon, music, magic and much more! At 3:00, the cowboys ride off, but the festival continues until 6:00pm with music, games, rides, races and tons of family fun.
  • The final day of the festival is Saturday, October 31, “All About Pumpkins” weekend, with live entertainment from 10:30-5:30! Also on the weekends, food vendors serve up the Lion’s Club hot dogs, hamburgers, roasted corn on the cob, pie, Spencer/MacKenzie’s Mexican food, shave ice, kettle corn, cookies and more.

The 2015 festival will be open from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Admission to the festival is $15.00 on Saturdays and Sundays and $6.00 per person Monday through Friday. Children under 2 are free PLUS parking is FREE! For more info visit the website at Underwood Family Farms.

This is just a small taste of why I love living and working as Real Estate Agent in Westlake Village. If you are a home buyer and looking for an award winning real estate agent, contact Lydia Gable Realty today to view current listings in Westlake Village and surrounding communities.

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Pantone Color of the Year 2015: Ideas for Home Decor

Elle Decor

Moving to a new home or upgrading your existing interior design?  Well, consider your timing quite lucky as you read on – The new Pantone 2015 Color trends have just been released!  Following, I will share all the juicy encapsulated details tailored specifically for you, the home owner. Why do you need this information?  If you plan on selling your home in the next year, it’s good to be “in the know” as to what colors are trending. Also, it’s just fun if you are redecorating, to get ideas.  I ran the 2014 color trends article last year and it was wildly popular, he we go… The 2015 Pantone Colors…

The 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone has named the 2015 color of the year – it is Marsala. Yep as in the wine…quite the switch from last year’s blue hues that were trending.  According to the Pantone website, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®  says with regards to the color in the home:

Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth. Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances and linens throughout the home.

As usual designers and home décor experts, once the color is announced, forecast further what color trends are likely in 2015. Here are a few expert opinions on what the color trends will be in 2015…

Many designers are suggesting using this color on the “accents’ in the home since it is such a bold choice and certainly not indicative of spring tones.

Elle Décor

As pictured on Elle Décor they use a red side chair. They say it’s, “best placed in rooms with white walls so it can best pop! As seen here in a dining room designed by Michael Coorengel 

Stella Design

Pantone2In addition to the Marsala color of the year, Stella Interior Design also predicts that its complement color Mustard will be trending in 2015 as well as some spill over hues from last year, the sea foam blues and greens.  According to Stella says Mid-Century Modern will be all the rage and… 

Mustard yellow and burnt sienna shades of untouched territory and au courant create a lively atmosphere while adding sleek texture to wooden finishes. Light turquoise blue and sea foam green tones amplify elusive shapes.

House and Beautiful

Pantone3While many home designers are not fond of the “wine” hue and suggest using it only for accents, House and Beautiful has fully embraced Pantone’s choice going so far as to show photos of  Marsala room examples or ones where the deep red color is the centerpiece of  the room. Here is one choice they showed for the kitchen. They say in their article, 8 Deep Red Rooms for Fans of Marsala, the Pantone Color of the Year 2015:

Designers Carey Maloney and Hermes Mallea created a vibrant kitchen in a New York town house. The Burgundy La Cornue Chateau 150 range is the kitchen’s focal point and showstopper. “Everything else recedes into the background,” Maloney says. “I mean look at that stove doing its thing — you don’t need any more statements.”

In case you are wondering, they call it the ‘statement stove’ –  not sure I would suggest going this bold if you are selling any time soon. But hey, if you just moved in – make a statement, go for it! 

If you are a prospective home seller and you’re ready to list your home, or you are looking to view homes in and around Westlake Village contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

 

 

 

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Home Buyer Turn-Offs

Don’t Repel Your Home Buyer…

Many home sellers don’t know the art of attracting the home buyer and in turn end up repelling potential candidates. As agents, we know you are eager beaver types want to move to close yesterday —we do too—but if you do these top “don’t” you may end up turning away buyers instead of closing the deal. Here is a list of home buyer turn-offs that you will want to avoid. If you have a good real estate agent to guide you in the process, you probably won’t make these mistakes. But just in case…

Top Five Home Seller No-No’s…

1.) Bad Home Listing Photos

Highlight your home in the best light so buyers do show up to the open house. Highlight the best features of the home. But also, accurately represent the home in the photo. Check with your agent as to how s/he lists pictures, look at some current listings. If you skip this step and you do use a poorly lit, blurry or just plain bad photo, here’s what may happen:

  • A Bad Photo Will Turn Away a Client
  • A Bad Photo May Misrepresent the Home – A Disaster
  • A Bad Photo May Not Accurately Align with the Price

2.) Hovering Home Seller

Don’t be a hovering over-eager home seller. Your enthusiasm may translate to desperation. Your best bet is not to attend the open house – let your Realtor® objectively show the home. Trust your broker here. If you insist on being at the open houses, buyers may feel pressured and not free to express what they like or don’t like. Let your Realtor® run the show. So the bottom line…

  • Stay Out of the Way of the Sale

3.) Dirty Dens Don’t Dazzle

Over-cluttered and dirty homes are the fastest home buyer turn-off. Do a walk through with your agent and get a real assessment on the cleanliness and spaciousness on the home. Again your Realtor® can be more objective than you can and hopefully s/he is an expert of home staging – See more on this in a recent article, The Art of Home Staging.

  • Hire a Professional Home Cleaner Before Showing
  • Hire a Realtor® Who is a Home Staging Expert

4.) Your Taste vs. My Taste … Stay Neutral

Home fixes and upgrades are a great idea right before listing a home. Sure it’s a great idea to do a countertop upgrade from Formica to Granite or maybe replace the faucet fixtures in the bathroom. However, one mistake home sellers make is making upgrades according to their own tastes as ifthey were buying the home. So if you are going to paint the living room, crimson may not be the best bet. Tiling the bathroom? Pepto-Bismol pink —while you may love it—may not appeal to most buyers’ tastes. So remember…

  • Stay Neutral!

5.) A Realtor Who Inspires Confidence

  • Finally and perhaps the best tip of them all to avoid turning off potential home buyers is:
  • Find a Real Estate Agent You Believe In

Actually this is the easiest step. But if you don’t where to start, ask friends for referrals. Do your research and follow these tips from this blog. Now you can’t go wrong – Happy home selling!

If you are a prospective home seller , it is paramount that you have confidence in your real estate agent. The agent you choose can often determine how successful your listing is. Communication, experience and honesty should be the first qualities you look for so that you can be assured that you will be realistically and honestly guided through the sale process. If you are ready to list your home in Westlake Village or surrounding communities or for more articles like this, visit the Web Site or contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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The Art of Home Staging

In order to get an offer on your home, you need to first impress a potential buyer in a way that will make him or her envision a future life in that home. What is the best way to do this? The absolute best advice is to get a Realtor who is a home staging expert. Staging the home in a way that a prospect will absolutely start to imagine living there is an art form. It’s not a matter of arranging furniture necessarily. It’s more about knowing what buyers look for, what they dream about and then giving them a small slice of that picture.

A Realtor Who Sets the Stage for Home Sale

As an experienced Realtor, I have decades of experience as a home staging expert. Having helped sellers throughout Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, and all over the Conejo Valley, I know how to sell quickly – particularly with the help of little masterful home staging. The truth is it really is an art form of sorts. It really takes a keen eye –your Realtor needs to know the trade secrets which only truly get more refined with experience. But I can assure you, a well-staged home can make a huge impact on the “feeling” conveyed during a walk through and ultimately the entire home’s presentation. If you are about to list your home, make sure you talk with an agent about their home staging experience. It can really be the difference between a quick sell to close experience or a stagnant listing. Below are some tips on staging. While just a a brief synopsis of the process, at least you will know what better to look for when you have a home staging conversation with a potential Realtor.

1. A Pristine Parlor

The first easy, but often overlooked step is to clean the house so well that you can eat off the floors. No matter how beautifully the room is arranged, potential buyers certainly don’t envision sweeping the floors as their new dream home fantasy. A few crumbs scattered on the floor or errant dust balls can absolutely destroy a perfectly pristine, picturesque setting. Before you arrange the furniture just right, each room in your home should be spotless. A professional home cleaner is indicated here – leave no stone unturned, no counter dusty. The carpets must be steam cleaned and all upholstery cleaned and deodorized. Ideally, you should also add a fresh coat of paint in all the rooms.

2. Simple and Spacious

Keep it simple. Scale back the furniture – make the rooms look modern, minimalist, and spacious. Why should you not fill a room with your gorgeous antiques and ornate furniture? It doesn’t allow a buyer to dream about the possibilities and too much furniture can make a room look small. Says an article on Realtor.com, less is more.

Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger.

3. Paint a Picture

Certain added touches to a room will draw the eye right toward it. You should aim to highlight the “possibility” of luxury, not the personality of the present owner – who by the way is leaving, not the story you want to tell. For instance, luxury bath soaps in the bathroom on a shell dish or clean spa scented candles will affect one type of buyer. A fireplace with the logs artfully placed will give just a touch of the Rockwell appeal to a different type of prospect – this works especially well in a room where the fireplace is the centerpiece. Add fresh flowers to the foyer for example or perhaps, in a well-lit home, change out the drapes with sheer curtains. Even an artsy umbrella stand with wooden handled umbrellas at the door and saysRealtor.com an “in process chess game” especially on an expensive Brooks Brothers Chess board, paints a very specific picture.

A Narrative and a Winning Track Record

This is just a sliver of how home staging can drastically change the ‘narrative’ of the home story you are attempting to tell and ultimately the home you wish to sell. In the final analysis however, you really need to work with the right Realtor® who is not only a staging expert, but also knows the community, the potential buyers in that market, and has a proven winning track record in that very market.

If you are looking for a Realtor® with the aforementioned staging expertise and proven home sales track record, Westlake Village Real Estate is top ranked. Getting ready to list your home in Westlake Village, Agoura Hills or a surrounding community? Contact Lydia Gable at Westlake Village Real Estate today for an appointment.

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“Do-It” Upgrades to Sell Your Home

Is your home stuck in the 70s but you want it to sell well in 2014? If you are ready to sell your home now and feel the need for upgrade projects to increase the chances of listing success, there aresome ideas that are more worthy than others. A word of advice before you start: Take into account long-term projects v. short term ones – in other words some larger projects can turn into behemoth jobs that will actually delay the home listing. So plan accordingly. Also some projects just don’t pan out when it comes to investment v. selling price. Below are the top must-do projects that can increase your home sale price and add to the beauty and appeal of your home when showing.

  1. Upgrade Your Kitchen: One Piece at a Time

Most homeowners think they have to undergo a complete kitchen renovation, to modernize a very outdated kitchen tile or linoleum. But it can really be as simple as painting the kitchen cabinets or changing the counter tops to granite. A recent article on Yahoo Homes titled,Selling your home? Three projects you should and shouldn’t tackle, quotes Erica Lugbill, the owner and lead designer of Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based residential design firm. Erica recommends some easy tips that can be done on a budget:

Focus on small “face-lift” projects, such as painting your cabinets, switching out your hardware, installing a tile backsplash, or replacing the countertops…You can go to a stone remnant yard where there is often a large selection of discount pieces of granite or quartz that can be installed for a fraction of the cost.

  1. Up on the Roof

If you can potential buyers can see the roof of the home when they drive up and your roof is currently shabby, it may be time to make some repairs to move from shabby to chic. You’d be surprised what a beautiful roof can do when it comes to curb appeal. If there are fix-it issues like leaks or damage, definitely fix these as it will be more than an eye-sore issue but one of home inspection and could derail the sale. But beyond the practical elements, a cosmetic upgrade—which is actually a low cost remodel—will do wonders for your home sale.

  1. A Bathroom Redo: Don’t Flush Away Your Money

Instead of redoing an entire bathroom, knobs, cabinets or even a pedestal sink can make a big difference. If your bathroom tile is atrocious, you may need to replace it but if you do this, keep it neutral. The potential buyer will have his or her own taste anyway and may decide to renovate in which case you will have wasted an investment. Better to go for a repaint or vanity replacement to make some subtle changes but save money.

Upgrade Don’ts…

Try to avoid larger-scale projects – the kind that start out with good intentions but can turn into giant month-long overhauls. Room additions, master bedroom renovations and sun deck add-ons are probably not worth it. And, look at the cold hard truth, says the Yahoo Home article:

A room addition might sound like a great idea, until you realize that doing so could cost you as much as $100,000. In fact, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report, a master suite could cost over $106,000, while adding a family room could run you around $83,000.

If you are unsure, ask around. See what’s hot in the neighborhood. Are your neighbors having to do upgrades to sell or their homes or are properties flying off the market faster than the inventory? And lastly, if you work regularly with a Realtor you trust, give her a call. Ask her about curb appeal and the current trendy must-haves at open houses – no one knows better about home sales than someone who’s doing it daily!

An award-winning Realtor®, Lydia Gable is a Realtor who pays special attention to maintaining diligent communication with clients to assure a successful home sale. Lydia Gable lives and works in the community. If you have any questions related to this topic or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in and around Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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At Home: 2015 Interiors Trends

Often the path to a new home starts right where you are – at home. As we usher yet another fall season, as the leaves change and another year passes, renewal is right around the corner. It’s a good time to change, throw out the old, and find new ways to express yourself through your home design. So I thought it would be nice to share the home interior trends for 2015. Just a few ideas that you may not have thought of that could allow you to make some small changes in the home either to give you a boost of new or to prepare for a home sale in the near future. Last year we did a similar article which was well received. So once again, here are the thoughts of experts – a forecast of the trends in home interiors for 2015.

The Blues ‘with a Modern Twist’

Elle Décor says the colors for the season are blues and olive green. However it’s not the muted sea blue palette of 2014. This is a ‘Greek blue’ as described in the article titled, The 2015 Color Trends You NEED to Know Now, a cerulean blue says Alessandra Branca.

The combinations of greens, plums, cerulean blue, beiges and whites- and the mixing of patterns and textures, as seen in many Renaissance paintings.
Alessandra Branca, Branca Interiors

I’m seeing a lot of deep rich blues with a glossy finish—often paired with white for a surprisingly modern twist on a classic.
Susanna Salk, Elle Decor Magazine Interior Design Manager, Today Show contributor, Author

At Home: Where Classic Meets Retro

Lushome says the ‘7 Modern Interior Trends in 2015’ are about ‘Reinventing Classic Luxury and Versatile Functionality’ – old meets new, lots of bold modern textures with antique accents.

Modern interior trends 2015 reinvent classy luxury, serenity, creative recycling and versatility in furniture design and interior decorating. Classic, retro and contemporary design ideas, traditional and new materials, fresh colors, exotic motifs, and surprising blend of textures…

Nature: Inside-Out

One big trend, that all the experts agree upon, is the idea of bringing nature and natural elements indoors. This was a theme in the 2014 forecast and it looks like it’s even more in-vogue for the coming year. In fact, the news coming out of this year’s StockholmFurnitureLightFair which takes place in February is all about one word: Nature. In their article, The Interior Trends 2014/2015, they state:

Natural materials, such as stone, wood and glass, dominate this style. Natural elements, represents a contemporary feeling in design and form, with natural materials in furniture and permanent fittings. An exciting mix of wood, metal and leather … Basket weave and other plaited details on furniture… Natural colors … Cold shades of brown, in combination with granite, and with hints of leafy green in nature’s color scheme.

Inspiration to Hang Your Hat On

Are you inspired? Are you ready to redo your entrance way or spruce up your living room with natural elements? Whether you are staying put this year or plan on selling, it’s definitely fun to dream about a “new” home. Either way make your home your blissful place because there was never a truer statement that home—no matter where you hang your hat—is where the heart is.

If you like what you’ve read or you’re interested in viewing home listings or would like to list your home, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Real Estate. If you are ready buy a new home or to sell your home in and around the Westlake Village area, call Lydia Gable at (818) 934- 8902.

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