riveting rooms

I can never sleep on Sunday nights and it drives me crazy.  I'm writing this at 1:30am.  I'm annoyed I'm up instead of sleeping in my cozy bed.  My friends and I call it the "Sunday night panics". Thoughts about the upcoming week are swirling around in your head instead of calm, relaxing stuff.  Pllff. At 1:30am, this bedroom looks mighty appealing. The blue rug is soothing and the fluffy, white duvet looks welcoming.  Don't you love it? photo by amy...
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tv consoles | which one do you like?

This week I'm on the hunt for a tv console for my brother's beach house.  He has a lot of wood in his place:  wood floors and a lofted wood ceiling.  He's still refusing to paint his ceilings white which I understand. (I really don't but he lives there, not me. I keep repeating this sentence hoping it will quiet my frustrated inner interior designer.) Which means he has to be careful not to overload his living room with too many pieces of wood furniture.  He recently built (I know!) a gorgeous mahogany dining room table. For the TV console, I think he should get something in a similar tone or mix it up with a white/wood console for contrast. My favorite is the first option, the Siena 3, but it's not cheap.  Either are the other two but they sure are pretty.  The console that Emily Henderson had built for Bri's living room (picture below) was my inspiration.  What do you think? links to the consoles: siena 3, mid centery console, mid century...
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7 tips to help sell your home

For the last several weeks, I've been prepping new listings.  While I love representing buyers, it's a lot of fun to represent sellers too.  Especially since homes are selling fast! Below are some tips I've learned over the years to get the most money for my sellers.   1. De-Clutter.  I know you love your collection of _____ (insert any collection) and think it's an interesting feature.  It isn't.  Box it up and utilize that space in a way that's appealing to buyers.  Take your appliances and knick knacks off the kitchen counters.  Put away your beauty products in the bathroom.  Take down the magnets and photos on your refrigerator. 2. Re-paint in neutral colors.  Red kitchens and dining rooms are so 2000.  Don't date your decor with bold colors.  Buyers are picky and one terrible paint color can make them over look your property.  A tan or greige paint color is the top choice for most buyers.  Boring but tried and true. 3.  Clean extensively.  Nothing is worse than a grimy bathroom or kitchen when you're viewing property.  Hire a cleaning service.  Your property should sparkle. Keep your place tidy while it's on the market.  Make your bed.  Put away your soiled clothing and clean laundry. Hang up your coat and put away your shoes. 4.  Rearrange/Remove your furniture.  Most sellers have too much furniture in their space.  If you have belongings in every single corner, get rid of them.  If it's over sized and makes your space look small, store it for your next place.  Rearrange your furniture to make it open and inviting.  Open your blinds/curtains to show the view and the sunlight. 5.  Make sure it smells good.  That old man/sock smell is not making your place more attractive.  On the other hand, you don't want to go over board.  Strong, floral plug-ins can make buyers suspicious.  The most appealing scents are cinnamon/apple, vanilla or citrus scents. 6.  Take good photos.  Use a professional photographer for photos of your property.  "Homes with professional photographs were found, on average, to be viewed 61 percent more online than others in that price range shot with a lower-end camera. The listings that used digital SLR cameras also commanded a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot, according to the Redfin analysis."  The stats speak for themselves. 7.  Don't overprice your property. The DC market is gaining ground at a rapid pace.  Last year, market prices rose 9.2%. ...
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new listing! 1604 Longfellow St., NW

1604 Longfellow St., NW Washington, DC 20011 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths 3,094 square feet | $6,084.73 yearly taxes list price | $875,000 Lovely four bedroom, three and a half bath home with refinished hardwood floors, updated eat-in French Country kitchen with limestone counters and a wood burning fireplace.  Walk out to the back yard deck and patio that's perfect for entertaining. Spacious living room with a bay window, separate dining room and a finished basement with a wet bar, guest suite and full bath.  Top floor features two bedrooms and another full bath plus a master bedroom suite with full bath and double vanity.  Two car garage.   Minutes to Rock Creek Park and Military Rd. Open Sunday, March 30th 1-4pm. ...
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buying in 2014? what you need to know

The DC Spring real estate market usually starts the weekend after the Super Bowl. Except this year. After months of snow storms and low inventory, I’m finally seeing an increase in available listings. Are you interested in buying in 2014 but have no idea where to begin? I’ve put together a cheat sheet to guide you through the buying process. 1.  Talk to a lender.  Picking a competent lender is the most important step in the buying process. Obtaining a loan is difficult these days.  Your credit has to be good.  You debt to income ratio has to be just right. Lenders need reams of documentation. Stay away from the big banks.  Work with someone who’s local and knows the market. Once you’ve spoken to a lender and they have all the info they need (bank statements, salary stubs, financial records, your credit score. it’s invasive. get ready.) you’re pre-qualified and ready to start searching.  2.  Find a property.  Discovering real estate you want to purchase involves looking at listings online and visiting houses/condos/coops.  A picture can only convey so much.  It’s wise to visit as many properties as possible to determine what appeals to you.  The search can take a day or several months.  3.  Make an offer.   Once you find a property you love, write an offer.  The DC market is competitive which means you’ll need to make quick decisions.  If a listing is priced well, looks good and is in a desirable location, it’s going under contract in 1-7 days and often has multiple offers. 4.  Execute the paperwork.  After your offer has been reviewed and ratified, the contract is sent to the lender and the title company.  The title company reviews the title work.  Their job is to make sure the property is delivered with a clear title.  The lender starts processing your loan and orders the appraisal. 5.  Fulfill the contingencies (if there are any).  With the increase in multiple offers, contingencies have been on the decline.  If the sellers accept an appraisal, financing or home inspection contingency, fulfill them.   If they go smoothly, you’ll head to closing. 6.  Execute final reviews.  Before closing, you do a final walk through to see if the property is still in good shape.  You will also review the HUD1 (the closing statement) to make sure all your fees are correct.  If everything is in order, you sign the closing documents. 7.  Complete the documents.  Once...
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riveting rooms

Last week when I was searching for ideas for my brother's house, I came across this stunning bathroom.  That tile!  Isn't it fantastic?  I want to put it everywhere: in his house, in my parent's beach house, in my condo.  Happy Monday! photo via prue...
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ready for the weekend?

After the craziest weather week ever, it finally feels like Spring.  Fingers crossed this lasts beyond the weekend. I'm getting ready for an action packed weekend: client meetings, property showings, photos for another listing and an Open House on Sunday (stop by if you're in Cleveland Park: 3001 Porter St, NW #100 1-4 pm).  Meanwhile, everyone else will be relaxing.  March Madness anyone?  My husband is going to the games in Raleigh.  If you're in DC, here's the best places to watch. 23 Ikea hacks that are really impressive.  Too bad I'm the most impatient person ever and I'll never attempt any of them.  Well maybe the driftwood lamp for my brother.  Or is that cheesy? This oil pulling thing is everywhere.  Naturally, I had to try it to see it's legit.  First impression: kinda gross.  Will get back to you about the second and third impressions. Check out Emily Henderson's AIRBNB she designed for Snoop Dog (Lion).  It's...
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rustic beach house

My brother is still on the hunt for a new couch. I've been helping him and as I've shopped, I've been day dreaming about re-doing his entire place.   His home has a lofted wood ceiling that I'd love to paint white.  His entire place would instantly appear 100% larger.  I'd gut the bathroom, install tile that mimics fish scales in the shower area, add open shelving with baskets and a cool vanity. In the bedroom, I'd add floating side tables and simple sconces. Last but not least, I'd paint the kitchen cabinets white and add a simple back splash.  I'd add a rug in an indoor/outdoor fabric for easy cleaning, great art and a new dining room light fixture.  Rustic beach house at it's best!       photos clockwise: prue rusco, casa tiba, house and leisure, amy trowman...
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‘hood happenings

links and photos top to bottom: Urban Turf, Washington City Paper, Prince of Petworth, Urban...
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new listing! 3001 Porter St, NW #100

3001 Porter St, NW #100 Washington, DC 20008 650 sf | $411.00 coop fee (includes utilities and taxes) list price: $235,000 New listing alert!  It's a one bedroom, one bath coop in Cleveland Park.  It's been updated with hardwood floors, the bathroom has a river stone floor and a Kohler tub, new Pella windows were installed in 2007, the kitchen has a granite counter top, stainless steel appliances and a cork floor, there's an Elfa closet plus an enormous storage room.  There's no underlying mortgage and the coop fee includes all utilities and taxes.  Another fantastic feature is the common backyard with a community grill. It's one block to Cleveland Park Metro, restaurants and retail.  Open House Sunday, 3/23 from...
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dance a jig

Listen to bag pipes, wear green, eat shepard's pie, drink a Guinness and have a happy St. Patrick's...
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noteworthy

At the beginning of the week, it seemed flowers and sunshine were around the corner.  Instead, Mother Nature pulled a fast one and it's freezing again.  This week has been a good one and I'm prepping two new listings.  One will hit the market next week and the other at the end of March.  Meanwhile, my buyers are slowly coming out of hibernation. People don't like to look for a house when the temperatures are frigid.   While I haven't had a lot of time to futz around on the internet, here's a few things I found noteworthy: 10 amazing console tables.  Use in your foyer or behind a couch or that wierd wall where nothing fits. Creepy real estate agent photos.  This cracked me up.   Shameless plug alert: did you read my eat here | columbia heights piece on Urban Scrawl? It's my favorite places to eat in CH.   DIY wide plank floor made from plywood.  I would never attempt a DIY project of this scale but it looks fantastic.     ...
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