Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 9/6/2020

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The short answer to our question of the day is...

We all know what we like when we see it. 

New flooring can greatly increase your home's beauty in the eye of the beholder, yet it's impossible to know what kind of flooring will attract your home's next buyer. That said, here are the top selling points of three popular options. 

Kudos for Carpeting

Carpet, especially if your home will be shown in the winter, is a popular way to add a comfortable look and feel to a home. Most often chosen for bedrooms, carpet can also hide a multitude of flaws beautifully and without a big dent in your savings. To spruce up a home for sale quickly, carpeting can be a great choice.

Now, for the possible drawbacks. Carpeting can cause issues for people with chemical sensitivities or allergies. It doesn't last forever, and it usually won't be as stylish in five years as it is when first installed. 

Tip: Going with one flooring choice throughout your main living spaces can produce an expansive, well put-together look.

Hoorahs for Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is a classic choice. Walk into a home with hardwood floor, and you get a sense of elegance, comfort and beauty. Over time, the essential oils of the wood offer a subtly aromatherapeutic and natural appeal. A well-maintained wood floor lasts for decades.

Yes, a lot of moisture can impact its look, and the kids and pets can scratch it. And refinishing is a big job involving chemical abrasion, although fans of the DIY method point out to us that there are wood and laminate refinishing kits on the market for under $100.  

Tip: A great, cost-effective alternative is engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood comes prefinished, can be easily installed without a subfloor. 

A Toast to Tile

Tile is as practical as it is handsome. Well-chosen tile will last the home's lifetime. The richer the hues, and the narrower the space left for grout to show, the easier tile is to clean.

In kitchens, either tile or laminate styled as tile works well. Expanses of tile are especially desirable in homes and condos throughout Florida and other warm states.

If you have tile, talk it up! Note its ease of cleaning, especially to potential owners with pets.

Tip: You can buy tile or laminate that looks like hardwood and have the hardwood look—without the refinishing needs.

Sellers Can Offer Options

If you're selling, and your flooring could use updating, considering offering to trim a little off your sale price, encouraging potential buyers to install their own choice of new flooring as desired. That offer itself might just make a deal happen.




Categories: home improvement  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 12/1/2019

Image by Breadmaker from Shutterstock

A fireplace is a cozy addition for a home that can add aesthetic value as well as warmth to your space. Whether you’re building new, retrofitting, or shopping for the perfect home there are options for most situations. You’ll find many design options as you start to shop but the initial consideration should be to determine a fuel source.

Wood fireplace

Wood-burning fireplaces offer the crackle of the fire, the fragrance of pitch, and the soft glow of coals. For some, there's nothing better than a perfectly lit wood fire. But along with the cozy flames and the perfect scent come some considerations. 

Potential for smoke: If the flue does not open correctly or if there is a blockage within the chimney, you may find smoke coming into your room instead of out the flue.

Chimney maintenance: The wood you burn and the temperature of your fire determines how clean your chimney stays. At least annually, have your chimney professional swept to remove the buildup of creosote that can cause house fires.

Ashes: You will need a plan for disposing of the ashes once the fire is out.

Natural gas

A fireplace that burns natural gas can either be open or closed. An open hearth appears to be the same as a wood-burning fireplace and requires a chimney. These are called "vented" fireplaces. You can easily convert a wood-burning fireplace to a vented gas fireplace if you have access to a gas line. 

An enclosed gas fireplace is a “ventless” unit. These require more intensive construction but are great to give you the “look” of an open fire without access to the flames. These can either operate on natural gas or propane.

Gel system

A gel fireplace doesn't require specialized installation. Canned gel burns in a special unit that does not need ventilation. Often available in modern, minimalist designs, these fireplaces do not need access to gas lines or electricity. They can be installed anywhere on any wall.

Electric

Outside of the gel unit, the most effortless option to incorporate is an electric fireplace. Rather than flame, they use heated coils to provide warmth and a fan to project the air into the room. They often include flickering lights and simulated flames. Electric fireplaces require no vents and can install anywhere within proximity to an electrical outlet.

No matter which fireplace you select, take care to install it properly and operate it by the manufacturer's instructions. If a fireplace is an important feature to you, make sure your real estate agent knows it's on your "must-have" list.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 7/7/2019

Are you considering adding some new life to your home? Then you may want to introduce some elements to your home using the current design trends. Even though some of the trendiest contemporary space feel out of reach, there are several easy techniques that you might take advantage of to renovate a home that won't necessarily require you to demolish your house completely. Below are some added embellishments that can make your home look a little more modern.

  1. Avant-garde Furniture - Large pieces of furniture will always draw a lot of attention to themselves, so if you want to change how a room looks, an excellent place to start is merely replacing the furniture. Furniture pieces that shun the traditional and regular sofa and chair shape always have a more updated and give an almost futuristic vibe. If erring on the side of safety, do not do anything too bold. You also might want to think about some of the more minimalist and modern ways people are using furniture. At the moment, neutrals seem to be somewhat popular, but mixing them with brightly colored single accent pieces can help a room shine even more.
  2. Symmetrical Light Fixtures - Another way to add a more modern look to your home is to think about changing the lighting fixtures. An elaborate lighting fixture can undoubtedly change the way any room looks. Its stylish chrome design and industrial-style exposed bulbs make it quite the eye-grabber. A new lighting fixture will go a long way in setting the general atmosphere for a more modern look. You can opt to go for chrome or sleek metallic pieces. Lighting fixtures are also rather easy to change, but they make it look like you did some major hardware renovations in your space.
  3. Change the Wall Art - Changing the art on your walls is an easy way to modernize a space without doing anything too extreme. Having a large-scale piece of art can produce a visual centerpiece, so changing or adding new items can help set a new tone in the room. A good piece of modern art can go beyond the age it represents with its color, raw sensations, and visually appealing designs. Having a work of abstract art can also serve a design purpose. 

 Visit your local gallery for exceptional pieces that you can purchase for your home.




Tags: home decor   furniture   Paintings  
Categories: lighting   home decor   furniture  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 5/19/2019

Sometimes you just can't decide if you like modern, traditional, antiques, or transitional. The decision to choose one over the others is even more difficult if you've inherited family heirlooms with which you simply can't part. So, what do you do? Make a mashup that expresses all your styles!

Mix and match

Avoid the confining idea that furnishings need to match in order to “go.” A traditional sofa, Mid-Century Modern chair, an Art Deco table, and antique lamps can fit together as long as you remember and practice some of these "rules"—actually, they're more like suggestions since everything depends on what you own and want to keep.

  • Size matters. You can blend nearly any style together in your eclectic home as long as each piece is of similar “weight” in the overall scheme of things. What is weight? The thickness of the wood, height of the chairs, balance of the materials, all contribute to how a piece dominates the room. A heavy traditional leather sofa might overshadow a fine antique table, so perhaps they belong in different places.
  • Composition communicates. When everything in the room is modern except that one piece, it might seem out of place. Compose a balanced creation that has a few items from each era to make your design purposeful.
  • Texture transforms. When mixing several wood types or finishes, find a unifying texture to tie the pieces together. Make your sofa pillows of a similar feel to your throw and tablecloths so that it pulls the look together. Or utilize disparate textures in similar hues to drive the narrative of the room.
  • Metals magnify. Mixing metallics such as a metal and glass side table with natural wooden chairs and painted bookshelves makes layers in light and crisp, reflective and matte, to give your room depth and dimension.
  • Color calms. As mentioned above, utilizing a similar hue or range of shades from the same palette pulls the look together while deliberate splashes of a contrasting color provide interest and draw the eye.
  • Frame it up. To create equivalent mass to wall art, balance a large modern piece on one wall with a collage of smaller art in a variety of frames opposite. Spotlight a large framed mirror above a fireplace to add drama, or set it atop a Mid-Century Modern credenza to juxtapose eras.

Ultimately, your style is all about what makes you happy. If your pieces don't yet lend themselves to an utterly eclectic look, keep adding to your collection until they do. And if you're looking for an especially unique home, let your property specialist know what's on your mind.




Tags: home decor   furniture   antiques  
Categories: antiques   home decor   furniture  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/16/2017

Are you a lover of all things Disney? Do you wish that you could be in Disney more often than not? Well Disney lovers rejoice! There are simple ways to add subtle and classy touches of Disney into your home, inside and out. Here’s how to add subtle hints of Disney to your home: Art: Disney has stunning pieces of artwork and sculpture for sale in their parks and online. There are various artists that create these works of art for Disney and the themes vary. You can find Mickey and Minnie, theme park, attraction, and other character themed pieces and in all different sizes. There’s even artwork for various seasons and holidays such as Christmas and fall. There are pieces to fit all styles from vintage to classic that would look great in entryways, bedrooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Family Room, Bed & Bath Accessories: Small signs, accent pillows, throws, a toothbrush holder, and towels are among the many accessories available for living spaces. bedrooms and bathrooms. Add accent pillows to your couches and beds, small signs to your nightstand and shelves, and a toothbrush holder and decorative towels to your bathroom. Kitchen Accessories: There are so many great kitchen accessories that you can purchase in the parks and online. There are items ranging from salt and pepper shakers and silverware to wine glasses, mugs, plates and dishes, hand towels, and so much more. Create a small display of the various Disney mugs from the resorts you’ve stayed at or display Disney plates in your dining room or kitchen. Outdoor Accessories: Disney and other retailers sell various types of accessories for the outdoors. Items such as lawn gnomes, string lights, and solar lighting are great ways to add a little Disney magic to your outdoors. From Mickey and Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck to theme park and attraction themed items, your possibilities for brining Disney home are endless. And with so many possibilities you can add the touches of Disney that you love the most.