Fix-up or Sell As-is?

Does this make sense to you?

You have lived in your home for many years and now are moving, but before you can move you want to “fix-up” your dated house.

In this competitive market, perhaps you aren’t confident that your home will sell as-is or for the price that you want it to sell for. Some home owners do try to sell as-is. Selling as-is can be a problem; potential buyers may not have vision or time to fix up a new home. These buyers won’t be buying the as-is home because they can’t envision it any other way, or don’t want to get into a project house.

What do you do?!?!

Before you start to fix it up, have it inspected. The buyers will be doing that themselves, but as a seller I would want to know any big problems before they could ruin a sale. I hate surprises like that! Fix the big problems, then fix the cosmetic problems.

I have often wondered why we want to fix up our home for someone else; we should be doing that for ourselves!

Hunter Douglas EverWood® TruGrain® Blinds

Hunter Douglas EverWood® TruGrain® Blinds

Instead of living with that tired looking carpet, replace it now!  Why wait to the house goes on the market just so someone else can see the new floor?  Don’t we deserve the new carpeting or flooring?  Your home might need some cosmetic work too.  Don’t wait to do that just for someone else!  When replacing items for real estate we tend to think we need neutral colors, but it doesn’t need to be white.  White can be too sterile looking, not warm and inviting.  There are other neutral colors that appealing and are “move right in colors”. Update the lighting-  don’t forget to use brighter bulbs to bathe the room with light!  Replace dirty broken and dated window coverings.  Give your windows the warmth of wood on a budget by using Hunter Douglas EverWood® TruGrain® Alternative Wood Blinds. They look amazing and will go with any decorating style.

Afterwards you are going to say “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”  You will love the new look and the perspective buyers will appreciate the updated interior.  Hopefully you will hear “I want this house”!!


No Regrets: Be Bold with Design Choices

Have you ever settled for something then regret it later, wishing you had gone bolder?

Maybe you were debating about buying a fashion-forward fuchsia colored handbag and ended up buying the black, utilitarian handbag (even though you already had several black ones in your closet).

Perhaps you were smitten by the picture of a red dining room you saw in a magazine, but chickened out at the paint store and bought beige instead.

Palm Beach™ polysatin shutters

Maybe you really wanted Shutters, but you settled for a basic shade because you thought it was “too much.”

Well, I say NO more design regrets, go for it! Isn’t it time we do something we really want instead of settling for something more conservative or expected?

In my new home my living room had a nice, basic fireplace. Nice and basic are good, but I wanted WOW. On the side of my living room that has the fireplace, the wall rises up two stories with an open loft on the opposite side. I knew I wanted a mirror above the fireplace and had several mirrors to choose from that were in my last home. One mirror was smaller, but had some great detail to it- the other was HUGE and had a wide silver and golden colored frame around it.  I first thought the bigger one might be “over the top,” but I decided to go for it anyway. It took five men to get it above the fireplace and mount it where I wanted it, but I LOVE it! I also wanted to add some scones off to the sides of the mirror. I knew that because of the size of the mirror I would need large sconces to be in order to be in proportion to the mirror and space. I searched high and low until I found the right sconces; they are long, lean and perfect! Now, everyone who walks in says: WOW! And comments on how gorgeous it is and/ or how they wished they could do something like that.

My question is: Why not?

I really, really love the scones and mirror and am glad I didn’t settle for less! So, I say, it’s time to go bold!

Decorate More than Your Tree…

Several weeks ago I heard the familiar commercials start about school supplies and school clothing. Last week I went into a craft store and Halloween decorations were everywhere, pumpkins and gourds, jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, ghosts and goblins were all there. Now, even before Halloween has started, I have started to see Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday decorating items make their way into stores and various advertisements; I have already received catalogs that have Christmas decorations in them! It seems a bit early to start thinking about the holidays already! It’s still Summer!

Hunter Douglas Child Safe Window Coverings – Duette® and honeycomb shades with Duolite

I moved into a new home in January, which means I will have a new home to decorate for the holiday season. I have already started to think about how I am going to decorate for the holiday season and I have made a big decision:  This year it will be different.  This year I will be decorating more than just the tree for Christmas; this season I will spend the money I would have for new Christmas decorations and instead will use it for window coverings in my guest room. My guests can appreciate them throughout the year and I will love having my guest room finished! I won’t even miss those decorations that are out for about a month, then packed up and put away for the other 11 months.

I have just started to think about my guest room window: I need a window covering that provides privacy and also helps to darken the room. I also need to think about child safety and make sure that my window coverings keep my young visitors safe! Hunter Douglas has so many options that meet all my needs, I may have a hard time choosing!

With the holidays not far behind the start of school and Halloween, I am glad I have started thinking about my “holiday decorating.” Soon, I will be filling that guest room with family and friends and they, in turn, will be filling my house with love, laughter, and fun. After all is said and done, I don’t think I’ll miss my traditional holiday decorations at all!

Going for the Gold

The Olympics are over and I miss them terribly!  I wonder what I am going to do with all my time now that it is over.  I know I am still suffering from Olympic withdrawal; for two solid weeks I was glued to the television set watching every heat, match, and race that my schedule would allow. I will have to admit to being an Olympic junkie. I had read all the magazines and gone online to find out all I could about my favorite athletes.  I am proud to be an Olympic supporter.  I would cheer on the US Olympians like they were my family.  It has had an effect on me!

First I am sleep deprived, staying up late to watch events that I am only interested in watching every 4 years, but at the time they seem so important.  Second, I have found myself doing things as a result of watching the Olympics.  My bed is a tall  and I now wish I had a pole to pole vault into it. When I hop out of bed, I also think about sticking my landing and I even raise my arms over my head like an Olympian.  Then, when I get out of the bathtub I am aware that my movements are much more precise and I find I am pointing my toes (note: I do not have an Ester Williams cap or nose plug).  When the neighbor’s ball came into my yard I realized I threw it back to him like I was Hope Solo defending a goal.  I also march around the house like I am getting ready to mount the balance beam.

I know that I am not the only one who is affected by the Olympics.  At the local pool a young man in a swimming cap, nose clips and ear plugs soaked me while flailing around trying to do the butterfly stroke.  To be honest I think his butterfly was still more of a caterpillar in the cocoon, but in his mind he probably thought he looked like Michael Phelps going for a new world record.  Who knows, maybe with lots of practice and a few years you will see him in a national event!

Hunter Douglas Silhouette® window shadings with LiteRise®

I love the team spirit and the individual’s competitive efforts to be the best they can be.  It is with the best products that help them to go for the gold.  Think about the special swim suits and the beautifully made gymnast’s outfits and the technically advanced bikes just to name a few.  It is with that competitive spirit that I look for the best products for my home, including window coverings. Why settle for a bronze when I can go for the gold with Hunter Douglas window coverings?  Did you know that this year, 2012, Hunter Douglas won “Product of the Year” from the Window Coverings Manufacturers Association (WCMA) with the introduction of Silhouette® with LiteRise®? It’s like the gold medal in window fashions!

At my age I will never be an Olympic athlete but I go for the gold every time I open my window coverings!

Be a “Good Sport” with Your Child’s Room Décor

If you have a child I am sure you have asked yourself: “how can I decorate their bedroom on a budget in a style they can live with without it being too ‘cutsey’?”

If your child is in to sports I have some suggestions for you to “run” with (sorry about that pun!):

  • If your child is a runner or into cross country or track, use a long peg board hung up high on the wall.  Tie shoe laces together and hang shoes on rack with a label to which race they were running in.  Hang any ribbons they might have won next to the shoes.
  • If your young one is into biking, hang a bike tire over the bed and use chip clips or clothes pins to clip stories, metals, or photo’s to the spokes of the wheels.
  • If you have a ping pong player in your family, hang paddles in groupings to create patterns (and therefore, art work). You could also glue ping pong balls around an inexpensive mirror.
  • If your child loves tennis, use a net as a valance over any Hunter Douglas product!  Tennis rackets also make great art for the walls so don’t forget those too.
  • If their sport is golf, use woods or irons to hang side panels of draperies over a wood blind.  You could also use old woods or irons as architectural elements over a grouping of photos or art work or have golf balls drilled to use as drawer pulls for the dresser.  A putting green flag combined with green felt hung on the wall would resemble a golfing green and add that drama!
  • If they are football fans, open up one end on two footballs and insert large diameter wood pole for draperies; the footballs become the finials!
  • If dribbling a basketball is their forte, hang a basketball hoop above a dirty clothes basket to make a “slam-dunk” for cleaning their room.
  • If baseball is their passion, hang pennants over the headboard or multiple pennants as a border around the room.  Use a peg board to hang their favorite baseball hats on.  To display baseballs, use clear cubes and a baseball bat on a shelf.
  • If your child seems to live in the water and loved watching the Olympics, line up several kick boards and use them as a headboard.  These kick boards can also be used as bulletin boards. You can also add their medals to a drapery rod either at the end of the panels or hang between panels as if it was a valance.  Don’t forget to hang up goggles too!
  • If they love to sail, try hanging an old sail from the ceiling over a bed as a canopy. It’s a dramatic statement!
  •  If canoeing or kayaking is their sport, paint oars in their favorite colors and hand them on the wall. You can also add hooks on them to hang medals.
  • If they are a surfer; a surf board makes a wonderful piece of artwork! Palm Beach™ Polysatin Shutters can also help bring the beach feel into the beadroom.
  • For multi-sport loving children, hang a shelf over a window to hold trophies (this especially looks great over a wood blind).  You could also stitch favorite sports t-shirts or sweatshirts together to create a soft blanket or a pillow sham. To create a sweatshirt sized pillow, close off all openings to a sweatshirt and stuff it! These are wonderful to hug and will become a true keepsake.

Vignette® Tiered™ Modern Roman Shades with LiteRise® cordless operation

Whatever your child’s sports theme, make sure your window covering is child safe.  Here are a couple of suggestions available on multiple Hunter Douglas products:

– The Hunter Douglas UltraGlide® operating system has a single retractable cord, which means there are never any long, dangling cords.

– The LiteRise® cordless system takes safety to a new level; simple push up your window coverings to raise them and pull down to lower; no cords means no chance of your child getting tangled.

For a few dollars more you will have some peace of mind.  Aren’t your children worth it?!  If your Hunter Douglas dealer doesn’t suggest it, make sure you ask them about child safety!  Too many children get hurt or die from double cords.  You can make a difference one window at a time!

The Fabrics of the Season

I love everything about summer and also love just about anything that reminds me of warm days, summer fun, and my favorite time of the year.  I just cleaned out my closet and put my wool and heavy clothes in my storage closets and exchanged them with my light cottons and linens. I am not alone, just look at any fashion magazine and find apparel for men and women in these seasonal fabrics now being featured.  I love these natural look fabrics, not only to wear them, but also to live with.

Luminette® Privacy Sheers and Vignette® Modern Roman Shades in Linen

Natural fabrics can be used year round in the home.  Love linen?  Get the look of linen in upholstery, drapery, wallpaper, and window coverings; try the new linen texture from our Vignette® Modern Roman Shades, Duette® Honeycomb Shades, and Luminette® Privacy Sheers.  You get the look of linen without the wrinkling of real linen. :-)

I also love seersucker. I have a favorite seersucker suit that is crisp and fresh and is a timeless classic.  The great thing about seersucker, like linen, you can wear it or live with it. This pattern looks great in bedding, drapery, upholstery, and window coverings and, unlike my suit, seersucker home goods are season-less!

Read all about it! Fashion to Home Décor

I sit on an airplane for hours and hours each week; luckily I love to read.  Sometimes I read magazines on design or fashion and sometimes the latest spy thriller, whatever fills in the time!  I am always looking for interesting design or the latest fashion trends in the publications I purchase.

I recently bought a fashion magazine which entertained me for hours with over the top fashion from the latest catwalks.  Both the editorial articles and advertisements in the magazine were unbelievable. The colors were scrumptious in hues of coral, tangerine, fuchsia, and the best seller- black.  Surprisingly, these colors are also popular for the home.

We in the design industry always follow fashion, knowing that many times if we are comfortable wearing a color, we will be comfortable living with that color in our home. Many times we just use these trendy colors in accessories, but they can be lovely paint colors too.  Many consumers are more comfortable with more neutral colors for the major purchases and choose to use these more saturated colors in pillows, floral arrangements and accessories.  That’s fine! White and off-white window coverings are still the best sellers, just don’t forget to add some additional color to your room!

What color should you add?  It doesn’t matter if its trendy, classic, or fun- that is up to you!  The point is to make sure you are comfortable with it. You might even browse the fashion magazines to see what colors might inspire you and what you might want to try adding next…