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for Painters  & Home Repair Specialists
D.C Brooks Painting
Residential & Commercial
336.601.1224
dcbrooks17@yahoo.com

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Sunday
Jul032011

Newsflash! Staging Works!

The last 2 homes I staged sold in 3 weeks each!  Staging really works - a staged home, contrasted with a furnished but non-staged home OR a vacant home...sells up to 30% faster!  Sometimes even faster!!

Sunday
Jun192011

Decorating 1-2-3

I found myself in this predicament/opportunity, in a new-to-us home as a married-all-of-six-months wife in a brand new town.  How hard can it be to decorate a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home on a budget, quickly, and in a brand new city in the days before GPS and cell phones and computers?


I wanted to spend very little money, spend a lot in sweat equity, but also wanted to surprise my husband with my awesome skills as a budget-conscious life partner, who could use her creative gifts and talents in big ways to make our house a home.


I got smart.  I asked other newcomers and people who had moved a lot what they did to get a kick-start on decorating.  “Hire an interior decorator or designer for 2 hours.  Have that person come in and make a list of to-do’s, prioritized by ease and cost first, then more complex projects or purchases later.”


What a great investment!  For around $50 an hour, I got the great experience and training of a professional and was able to put her ideas into use immediately.  I have used that list each time I have moved, and was able to set up house very quickly.  Why does it matter?  Because, you may be someone whose family will move quite a bit.  You may be someone who has to hit the ground running, carting kids around, working inside and/or outside the home, and all in unfamiliar territory, which takes extra time at first.  You also want to make the best use of your time, and simultaneously make a house into a functioning and inviting home.  You will never regret trying these steps, or a similar layering process, whether you have been in your home forever, or your home as soon as possible.


The 3 best take-aways that I received from this professional designer have held the test of over 25 years of moving and re-decorating:


1.  Use inexpensive mirrors on opposite walls from the largest light source in a room to bounce more light around and make the room look bigger and brighter.


2.  Paint.  The best dollars we spend at first were to purchase a light-color paint to give life to a 60’s-inspired fake wall paneling.  This cave of a room, which at first was meant to symbolize a library feel came alive with the right application of paint, primer, and prep.


3.  Place ALL accessories, including pictures and art into one room, like a living room or dining room that you are not likely to use much in the first months after your move.  You will be SHOCKED to realize that you have great “stuff” already and it has just been placed in so many rooms, all apart from each other, that you didn’t realize what impact they could have in one space.  It was true in my case; I realized that I had a collection of wooden boxes and a collection of blue/white accessories that, when placed together, made a whole room look like a magazine spread in BH&G.  Keep an open mind, place like objects together in your new “shopping room,” and get to it.  Use the best advice of a professional, see what you can do yourself, and then plan for the rest as you can afford it.

Sunday
Jun122011

Fear of Color - Don't Let It Make You Blue!

I was helping a client choose colors for EVERY wall in her home, and she had a major fear of anything but white.  We had to help lower her blood pressure a little, as we came out with the “fan deck” (fanned samples of color that can be bought at any paint supplier).  We literally held hands, gave side-hugs, enlisted the entire family, and – after two hours of choosing, we did it!  We have now pulled another believer onto the Color Train, with a one-way ticket to more color, more “you” that will be seen in the home.

Worried about resale after you take the plunge into the waters of many colors?  Don’t be.  You DO have to be judicious with newer home floor plans, because one room seems to move into another with lots of open doorways and choosing colors without a plan for the whole home is not good.  What you should probably choose is different hues or tones of the same main color, starting first with the rooms you live in the most. 

After that, sleep on those decisions.  Then find your energy to keep going.  People like me can help for very little money because we know how to make the flow of your colors go with the flow of your home and we also know how to help you choose the best colors for your family’s tastes.  Money spent on professional help up front will SAVE YOU BIG-TIME CASH later.  Instead of seeing the mistakes after they are already up on the wall, you will love the time and small expense of asking for help before the first drop of paint comes in the house.

A lot of times, you can rely on your painter, as well.  Find a good painter with experience in interior jobs, then ask his opinion.  Note the painting group that I recommend on my website.  DC Brooks has seen it all in the world of paint, will recommend colors that will fit your lifestyle and the home’s architecture, and will tell you what not to use, too.  Even if it takes some painting projects off his list, he will steer you in the right direction.

Like the decorating world tells you, it IS only paint; true enough, it is the best bang for your buck that you can use to decorate your home.  BUT!  We in the decorating/staging world also know that deciding paint colors is one of the biggest fears of a homeowner.  It’s OK.  The good ones of our industry will NOT make fun of you, and we WILL hold your hand all the way through!