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Adding style to interiors doesn’t necessarily require wads of cash. Whether you prefer to keep money in the bank or desire to incorporate creative solutions, updating your home while saving money can be rewarding. From shopping your own space, to finding amazing lighting or re-purposing found items, consider these tips and tricks to create a luxe room — without breaking the bank.
Let there be light
Does that dated, fluorescent light box in your kitchen have you feeling less than chic and savvy? Good news is that you have the electrical junction box already installed to connect a design-driven fixture instead. Whether you use a surface-mounted version or a sparkling chandelier, your kitchen will go from drab to fab in just a few minutes, and for not a ton of money.
Play out of the box
Acquaint yourself with other designer tricks, like painting interior doors black — instead of standard white — and adding architectural molding to less than lively spaces. You will soon be on your way to creating a rich-looking space without spending a lot of dough.
Pump up the details
Sometimes a small detail, like an extra-large overstuffed throw pillow, can make your entire living room feel more luxurious — even if your sofa isn’t top of the line. Simply by adding a down and feather 22-inch insert in a 20-inch pillow cover, you can achieve a plush, luxurious look for little money.
Shop what you got
“Sourcing” furniture and accessories within your own space is the best — and cheapest — way to decorate on a budget. Shifting old furniture to a different room or using it in a fresh way, like re-purposing a kitchen cart as a side table, can deliver amazing results without spending a dime.
Refresh paint and hardware
Kitchen remodels are infamously expensive — but savvy homeowners can slash those costs with a bit of creativity. Consider working with what you have by painting your cabinets and your updating hardware to give your existing space a lift. Consider painting doors or appliances with chalkboard paint for a truly interactive experience.
This post was originally published by Zillow Digs Contributors on Zillow Blog. See the original post here.
Kerrie Kelly is a Northern California interior designer and the founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab (www.kerriekelly.com). She is an award-winning interior designer, multimedia consultant and an author of two books: “Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide” and “My Interior Design Kit,” with Pearson Professional and Career Education.
Imagine living in a shipping container. Cramped? Claustrophobic? Dark? It doesn’t have to be. Shipping container homes can be more than you ever dreamed.
New construction re-purposing the enormous metal containers into shipping container homes has taken hold across the country. From tiny Elizabethtown, KY, to bustling Seattle, WA, stories of shipping container homes have started stacking up.
To learn more about the movement, we spoke with agent Michael Rastatter. He’s working on a project in Cleveland that uses shipping container materials to create a unique, industrial-looking home. While the home has yet to be built, he has renderings, plans, and a plot of land on which to plop this steel structure.
Rastatter touts the benefits of re-using containers.
“I had an empty lot in Cleveland I had purchased before the bubble burst,” he says. “I did some online research and found people using containers throughout Europe, and I thought it would be a great idea to bring to Cleveland.”
“This city has many unique examples of architecture throughout its neighborhoods dating back to the 1800s,” he adds. “I think a modern take on homes could be the next wave for the city.”
He notes the home will be warm in the winter, be eco-friendly, and use recycled and sustainable materials throughout.
4219 Orchard Ave, Cleveland OH — $385,000.
In addition, we found two other shipping container homes on the market. The Michigan example uses a blend of wood, concrete, and shipping container to create an intriguing modern look.
16180 Stones Throw, Union Pier, MI — $795,000.
The New York home is a smaller house based solely on the footprint of the renovated metal box.
4896 Vega Mt Rd, Roxbury, NY — $220,000.
This article was originally published by Erik Gunther on realtor.com. See more photos and the original article here.
At its most basic, a green roof consists of a carpet of hard-to-kill plants in a thin layer of soil. Luxury homeowners, however, are opting for bespoke greenscapes as carefully curated — and sometimes as costly — as art collections. With the right design, these eco-chic gardens also add insulation, absorb storm water runoff and deflect heat from the sun.
David and Henrie Whitcomb’s vertical garden redeemed a chunk of unusable space on their 2,500-square-foot wraparound terrace in New York’s Greenwich Village. The green wall must be replanted each spring, “based on what plants will survive there, and what plants will hold the soil,” said Emma Decaires, the Whitcombs’ horticulturalist. “I’m guessing that it might have been, by itself, a half-million dollar installation,” said Mr. Whitcomb.
David and Henrietta Whitcomb are pictured in their master bedroom, which has a direct view of the green wall. Their penthouse, which public records show was purchased for $8.7 million in 2007, came with “a great big 15-foot-high, 15-foot-wide ugly tan brick wall” that ruined the view, said Mr. Whitcomb, who founded Automated Trading Desk, one of the first high-frequency trading firms.
The Whitcombs, who own a second home in Hawaii, couldn’t tear down the brick wall: It’s the 1928 building’s chimney. So they transformed the eyesore into the centerpiece of their terrace garden, which also features a grove of Japanese maple, gray birch and serviceberry trees, and an evergreen that can be pushed on a built-in track to a prime spot at their living room window at Christmastime.
A view of the Whitcombs’ grove. During the 26-month remodeling project, the Whitcombs’ architect, John Tinmouth, and landscape architect, Linda Pollak, designed a wall of panels with a water feature and recessed slots for 600 plants which could be bracketed to the chimney. Future Green Studio, a New York-based firm specializing in green roofs and green walls, embedded the panels with ornamental grasses and trailing plants in shades of green, silver and purple—many of which eventually had to be replaced. The plants are watered by a drip irrigation system.
The CEO of developer DDG Partners, Joe McMillan, is pictured in the garden of his condominium apartment in a DDG building at 41 Bond Street in New York City.
A view of Mr. McMillan’s garden. “When you look out the window, it’s like a framed picture,” Mr. McMillan said. “There’s a certain sense of calm that you get from having green.”
The exterior of 41 Bond Street in New York City. Plants and vines creep across the bluestone facade from irrigated window boxes. Although Mr. McMillan’s master and guest bedrooms are at street level, they are shielded from view by the living woodland tableaux planted in the recessed windows: a mossy rock garden overgrown with ferns; witch hazel, yew and cypress trees growing out of thick plantings of grape-holly.
A view of the green roof at 41 Bond Street. In New York, the impact of a green roof on an apartment’s resale value is a matter of debate. “Every square foot that you sacrifice for landscaping as opposed to usable space is going to make the terrace less valuable,” said Michael Vargas, CEO of Manhattan-based Vanderbilt Appraisal Co.
Thirty-five stories above Manhattan’s Battery Park, Fred Rich can stroll through his groves of Japanese maple, spruce and pine trees or sit under a pergola hung with grape vines, where wild strawberries and thyme grow between the paving stones. He is pictured in his orchard of apple, plum, peach and nectarine trees.
With landscape architect Mark Morrison and a team of engineers, fabricators and organic farmers, Mr. Rich has created a 2,000-square-foot garden irrigated by recycled water on the rooftop of his $4.8 million penthouse.
“There is always something in bloom,” said Mr. Rich, who will be dining on fresh arugula, spinach and radishes from his vegetable beds, shown, this week. “I do my yoga in the morning and the birds sit there and watch.”
Mr. Rich, a 57-year-old partner at Sullivan & Cromwell law firm, declined to say what he spent on his rooftop retreat, which has views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
For Ken Hilgendorf, an architect and builder in Los Angeles, a sloped green roof was the solution to a complicated renovation of his home in the city’s Westwood section. Set on a hill 30 feet above street level, “it was the lowest-cost house in the neighborhood, because the hill was so big,” said Mr. Hilgendorf, who paid about $600,000 for it in 1999. Mr. Hilgendorf, Darsi Meyer, and their dog Franky pose for a portrait on top of the garage of their home.
During a four-year renovation, Mr. Hilgendorf built a 75-foot-long garage at the foot of the property, then spent $54,000 on a green roof and landscaping designed by Stephen Billings of Pamela Burton and Co.
A massive earthwork sculpted from 150 cubic feet of “fluffy” custom-crafted soil, the garage roof is planted with a sycamore tree, ornamental grasses and a bright green hillock of no-mow grass — a fescue mix that tolerates excessive heat and drought conditions without losing its color.
Michael Gerstner created a dense meadow-scape on the roof of his Tribeca penthouse, inspired by New York City’s High Line elevated park. “I like nature and the presence of nature—I don’t like a sterile wood deck,” said Mr. Gerstner, 39, who works in investments. He bought the duplex in a converted 19th-century industrial building in 2011 for $3.1 million, according to city records, and spent two years remodeling it to “bring the outside in,” at a cost he declined to disclose. Here, his dogs Emmett and Archie enjoy the roof garden.
Sedum plants that were put in last year sprout from recessed containers in the garden floor. Elsewhere, juniper bushes, lavender, bright yellow yarrow and Scotch broom frame an ipe-wood deck. Although the plants have been selected for their hardiness in excessive sun and wind, they still require tending. A gardener makes regular visits to the 1,000-square-foot space, and a drip-irrigation system delivers measured amounts of water to different plant zones.
Once a caviar warehouse cooled by giant blocks of ice, the structure was strong enough to support 15,000 pounds of plant and soil. Instead of using a more bulkhead structure to access the roof, Mike Gerstner and his designer decided to build an atrium with a staircase leading to a retractable skylight. The atrium serves as an elegant entrance to the rooftop, and helps to bring the outside in, drawing natural sunlight into the duplex’s central living area.
Among its practical benefits, the meadow cools the duplex in the summer and insulates it during the winter, enabling Mr. Gerstner to leave the building’s original wood beams exposed. It has also saved him the cost of a summer rental in the Hamptons. Pictured, Mr. Gerstner’s dogs Archie and Emmett scurry down the steps from the roof garden into the home’s terrarium-like inner courtyard.
Buying a new home is so personal. Yet, to sell yours, you’ll want to remove so many of your homey, personal touches. This is part of staging your home: buyers should be able to picture themselves living in your house—not picture you living in your house.
Successful staging will boost your home’s appeal—and your chances of selling. And there are two rooms that often need the most staging: bedrooms and bathrooms.
You might decide your house looks good enough as-is. But even in a strong market, a little staging could boost the offers you receive.
Think like a buyer
Staging lets you see your house with fresh perspective and helps you correct any eyesores you may have become used to over the years. It helps you to view some of your beloved items as clutter and gives you the initiative to clear away unneeded items.
Staging will also help you in the packing process, which inevitably involves streamlining and downsizing.
Bedrooms equal comfort
A bedroom should be a place of serenity. Stage your bedroom to convey a tone of comfort and relaxation. You want it to appear spacious. Here are some tips for presenting your bedroom:
- Paint it in soft, neutral tones
- Remove all furniture other than a bed, a dresser and a few knickknacks
- Remove at least half of your wardrobe from your closet to make the closet seem larger
- Clear away clutter, shoes, reading material and family photos
- Invest in new linens and throw pillows
- Steam clean the carpets, clean the windows and dust the shades
Bathrooms can be beautiful
Purchasers don’t spend a lot of time in bathrooms, so your bathrooms have to make a great first impression. Bathrooms should be impeccably clean and somewhat modern. Here are some bathroom staging tips:
- Replace old bathroom fixtures, such as towel rods and faucets, with sleek new ones
- Hang luxurious-looking towels to match the bathroom’s color scheme
- Layer towels on the rack, smaller towels over larger towels
- Before an open house, put a bouquet of fresh flowers in the bathroom
- Ruthlessly clean mold and dirt from tiles and shower doors
- Add spa-like accessories, such as candles, scented soaps in baskets and glass containers holding cotton balls
Cleanliness is a virtue
Cleanliness trumps all. Buyers have to imagine themselves living in your home, and they will have a hard time picturing themselves living in a dirty house. In fact, the top of your to-do list when you list home to sell should be a deep, thorough clean, like your house probably hasn’t seen since you moved in.
- Remove mold and mildew
- Scour away lime stains left by hard water
- Clean windows inside and out
- Steam carpets
- Wash all linens and curtains
If you smoke or have a pet, be especially vigilant about eradicating those odors—because a clean, well-staged home should bring you a quick and profitable sale.
This article was originally published by Anne Miller on realtor.com and based on an earlier version by Gilan Gertz. To see the original article, click here.