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Whether you are looking to buy or sell a house you want it to look as great as possible. Here are some useful home improvement tips, ideas and advice.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices North Properties


HOME improvement ADVICE

How to Choose New Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets set the style for any kitchen, and with advances in functionality as well as beauty, your new cabinets should transform your food prep workspace. According to Consumer Reports, new cabinets account for about 40% of an overall kitchen remodel budget, so it’s important to get the look and features you want.

The most popular cabinet doors today are flat fronted or framed with hidden hardware for a modern esthetic. Look for “quiet closing” cabinets that close on their own to prevent slamming. Storage options that pull down, rotate or lift up can deliver equipment to you without bending over or getting a stepladder. Drawers that pull out under countertops are easier to use than shelves because you can see everything that’s stored. Cabinets that reach the ceiling can accommodate items you don’t use daily, like holiday dinnerware.

Many new kitchens have various wood grains and stains, factory-painted wood, and porcelain or laminate cabinet fronts. Island cabinets often feature a contrasting color to the wall  cabinets.  

HOME improvement ADVICE

Staged Homes Sell Faster

In a survey released this year, the National Association of REALTORS found that 83% of buyers’ agents said that staging helps homebuyers visualize themselves living in the home and influences them enough to make higher offers.

Sellers’ agents report that homes sell faster and for more money. Over half said that staging sells a home faster, and about 22% say offers improve by 5%, while 17% reported improved offers of up to 10%. Two percent say offers increased by over 20 percent – over $50,000 for a median priced home, reports

These are just a few of the advantages to staging your home to sell, but there are other benefits for home sellers. 

Staging gives you a deadline. Getting your home ready to sell can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to list it until it’s complete. Online photos and agent showings should showcase your home at its best – decluttered, freshly painted and staged with new furniture and accessories.

Staging gives you great ideas. You’ll learn a lot about making rooms flow, creating focal points, improve lighting, and how to use color.

Staging helps you decide what to keep or discard. If your furnishings are hand-me-downs, out of date, or not your taste, why take it all to your next home? Staging can help you determine what you love so you’ll have far less stuff to move.

Ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional if staging is part of their service or to recommend a good stager.

HOME improvement ADVICE

Hiring an Interior Designer

Don’t call them decorators! Interior designers are trained, degreed and licensed professionals who do far more than choose curtains. Their job is to transform the interior of your home to make it more functional and beautiful. If your home could use more space, better traffic flow, better lighting, or an additional room, an interior designer is the one to call.

They save you money. Interior designers can buy appliances, cabinetry, flooring, fabric, furniture and accessories that are sold “to the trade” only. While they charge for their time and/or add a mark up to each item they choose for you, you’ll pay about the same for unique wow-factor results as you would for big-box, off-the-shelf items. 

They save you time. The interior designer learns your lifestyle, personal preferences and space concerns. They know the latest products and design solutions, and if they don’t have an immediate answer, they do the research so you don’t have to.

They help you prevent mistakes. An interior design is like a symphony – every detail should compliment everything else in utility and beauty. Designers give you what you want, but they also expand your tastes to try new ideas. 

They have resources. Many design solutions aren’t available at retail. Designers have their own go-to teams of contractors, upholsterers, artisans and craftspeople, so they can customize solutions for you.

Most designers offer a free consultation to help you decide if you’ll work well together. Contact the American Society of Interior Designers for more information.


How to Create a Luxury Bath

According to Kitchen and Bath Business, homeowners have higher expectations for their bathrooms than ever before. They want a luxurious, spa-like space like the wealthiest mansion-dwellers enjoy.

So what are the secrets to achieving a luxurious bath? Consider the following concepts:

Space: Getting ready for the day or night out is done in one large room, with adjoining closets and separate sectors for bathing, grooming and dressing.

Privacy: A master bath should be inaccessible to any other rooms besides the master bedroom. Separate “his and her” water closets, along with separate dressing areas, help keep the marital romance alive.

Serenity: You’ll find most luxury baths in, or upper echelon magazines are done in soothing colors, like gentle shades of water.

Task lighting: The lighting in luxury baths is designed to enhance the task at hand, like shaving, avoid glare and flatter skin tones.

Quality: Wealthy people choose designs that stand the test of time including high-quality metal fixtures, solid-core doors, and fine wood, stone, and tile.

The future: Many luxury baths have features with a secondary purpose. Wider doorways, levers instead of knobs, zero-step showers, and textured flooring look great but also allow homeowners to gracefully age in place. 

  1. Remodeling isn’t practical for everyone, but you can incorporate some ideas for your bath that will help you enjoy it more. Meanwhile, buy yourself some fluffy new bathsheets, light the candles and dim the lights for a long soak in the tub. You’ll feel like a million.

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