Quick Kitchen Upgrade: Open Shelving

One of the first places homebuyers want to make changes is to an outdated kitchen. Visions of granite countertops, new cabinetry and shiny appliances grace the pages of architectural and remodeling magazines and websites and get our creative juices running … only to come to a screeching halt when we starting to price those new cabinets, countertops and appliances.

There are some things you can do, however, that cost just the price of a quality can of paint (and some wood filler). One of these is open shelving.

You mean … taking the doors off and exposing my messy cupboards?

Well … sort of. First of all, you’ll need to consider who uses your kitchen. If you have small children or grandchildren that visit frequently, you won’t want to remove all the lower doors. After all, you need to keep cleaners and other potential dangers locked away out of sight. You also might think twice about this if you’re in a very earthquake prone area, but, historically, many homes utilized open shelving for dishes and glassware, dry goods or canned goods and to display decorative items.

In fact, removing old doors and painting the open shelving can give your kitchen an immediate upgrade and added personality to boot. Other ideas include backing the cabinets with a bright wallpaper or painting them a deep contrasting color to give your kitchen character and personality. You can also add molding and trim to make the open cabinets appear original or intentional.

Be sure to use a quality wood fill to fill in the holes left by removing the door hinges and follow manufacturer guidelines when painting previously stained wood or fiberboard products.

If your cabinets are in rough shape, or they don’t lend themselves to the sizes you need to store your items, consider removing them and replacing them with floating shelves. You’ll achieve a sleek, modern look to brighten a dark space and give you the sizes of shelves that you need.

Here are some best practices for open shelving and attaining the look you want:

  1. Dishes: Remember that anything stored on open shelving is exposed to gathering dusts, so consider them for dishes and glass wear that you use frequently, or that you use infrequently but won’t mind giving them a quick rinse before using (large serving bowls, soup tureens and platters, fancy glass wear you only use occasionally, or pretty vases).
  2. Cookbooks: Open shelves are perfect for cookbooks and remind you to try new recipes periodically.
  3. Wine racks: Turning open shelving into a wine rack gives you a place to display your favorite vintages.

If you’re not sure about having open shelving, start slowly by just removing the upper doors and living with that for a few weeks, or just have one or two open cabinets. If you like it, you can move forward, but if you don’t, you can just put those doors back on and start saving.

About IMPACT Properties

IMPACT Properties is a premier real estate company located in Southern California with multiple offices in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Their professional REALTORS® service home sellers and buyers with buying and selling homes, condos, land, apartments, and commercial properties all throughout the area.

IMPACT Properties was founded by Aaron Zapata, a licensed Real Estate Broker with more than 20 years of real estate industry experience who has closed more than $100 million in sales, placing him in the top one percent nationwide among REALTORS®.

A California corporation, IMPACT Properties, Inc. is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate (Lic. 01922671). Phone: 714-660-2122, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Specialties:
Homes, Apartments, Light Industrial Commercial, Bank Repos, REOs, REIT Assets, and Shorts Sales

Fall Inspired Home Decor

These 25 gorgeous fall-inspired spaces are splashed with red, yellow, brown, blue and orange, perfect for giving your home the seasonal refresh it needs. 

Click here to see the spaces and read full article. 

 

About IMPACT Properties

IMPACT Properties is a premier real estate company located in Southern California with multiple offices in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Their professional REALTORS® service home sellers and buyers with buying and selling homes, condos, land, apartments, and commercial properties all throughout the area.

IMPACT Properties was founded by Aaron Zapata, a licensed Real Estate Broker with more than 20 years of real estate industry experience who has closed more than $100 million in sales, placing him in the top one percent nationwide among REALTORS®.

A California corporation, IMPACT Properties, Inc. is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate (Lic. 01922671). Phone: 714-660-2122, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Specialties:
Homes, Apartments, Light Industrial Commercial, Bank Repos, REOs, REIT Assets, and Shorts Sales

Creating an Idea Book for Your New Home

Contemplating buying a new home or remodeling the one you have? Before you call your real estate agent, hire a designer or head to your local Do-It-Yourself superstore refine your ideas by creating an idea book.

An idea book, exactly as the name implies, is a repository for all the ideas you have about what you’d like. These include style—a Ranch, Cape Code, Victorian, French Country or maybe an Arts and Crafts style home—colors, size, layout and all the other things that go into the perfect home of your imaginings.

Old School

Using a notebook or scrapbook, include cutouts from magazines, advertisements and brochures. Or, hang pictures on a corkboard or stick them up on the refrigerator. You can go simple with a notebook, scissors and glue stick or fancy with a 12″ x 12″ scrapbook with decorative pages and embellishments in slip-sheets.

Virtual

Using Houzz, Pinterest, Photo Stream or other virtual options helps you focus on what you really want. In fact, many contractors suggest using one of these boards to help you show them what you’re really looking for.

Get Started

At first, add whatever tickles your fancy. If you see it and like it, stick it in the book or on the board. Your idea book might seem cluttered and disorganized at first. You can help this by dividing it into sections such as: rooms (kitchen, bath, living), architectural style (mission, craftsman, modern), colors (blues, greens, reds or cool vs. warm), even feelings (happy, restful, family-friendly). As your ideas grow, reorganize the sections or re-combine images and colors to whatever pleases you.

Over time, you’ll refine what you like. You’ll notice that you’re drawn to a certain style home, specific types of cabinets and finishes, flooring, fixtures and countertops, even distinct roof shingles and slopes. You’ll see drawer pulls and doorknobs appear over and over in your additions to your book. Get as specific as possible, or leave yourself open to options, but use your idea book to frame the things that are most important to you. When a dominant style, color or type appears, move it to the front of the idea book and narrow down your choices even more. Go look at samples of tiles for the backsplash, flooring and hardware. Take pictures of what you like with your smart phone and add them to your board. Look at model homes and attend open houses (but if a home is occupied, get permission before taking pictures).

When you keep coming back to the same images, you have a pretty good idea of what you want. Take time to remove items that no longer inspire you or that you realize don’t work for your situation, family size, living style (i.e. do you truly want a formal dining room, or just a bigger family eating area?).

Now, you can take that book to your real estate professional or designer to get an idea of how to locate the perfect home for you, or remodel the home you have into the one of your dreams.

About IMPACT Properties

IMPACT Properties is a premier real estate company located in Southern California with multiple offices in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Their professional REALTORS® service home sellers and buyers with buying and selling homes, condos, land, apartments, and commercial properties all throughout the area.

IMPACT Properties was founded by Aaron Zapata, a licensed Real Estate Broker with more than 20 years of real estate industry experience who has closed more than $100 million in sales, placing him in the top one percent nationwide among REALTORS®.

A California corporation, IMPACT Properties, Inc. is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate (Lic. 01922671). Phone: 714-660-2122, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Specialties:
Homes, Apartments, Light Industrial Commercial, Bank Repos, REOs, REIT Assets, and Shorts Sales

Lighten Up Dark Spaces Naturally

You saved up your money and survived the rigors of mortgage underwriting, packed up your apartment, loaded the truck and moved into your new home. After several urgent days of unpacking, rearranging furniture and filling cupboards, you settle into your new place, ready to enjoy the pleasures of home-ownership.

You wake up on about day ten to the realization that your new home is a cave—literally! There is no light coming into your house. You know you have more space, but it feels like less.

Now what do you do?

Many older homes, especially those built in warmer climates, do not have the expanses of glass that newer homes boast. Some just have tall, narrow windows and other have small windows up near the ceiling. In times past, these smaller windows acted as a conservation measure. Less light into the home means a cooler home and therefore, a lower air conditioning bill. In winter climates, smaller windows translate into less heat loss and lower winter heating bills.

While your long-term plans may include enlarging window openings and installing high-efficiency windows, in the meantime, you need to lighten up your home so that you can enjoy it now.

Use a light hand when decorating

When the goal is to bring more light into a dark space, reflective surfaces are your friends.

Lighten up your paint.

Interior paint colors come rated by light reflective value (LRV). The LRV scale goes from zero percent—no reflective value— to 100%, which translates to a completely reflective “white” value. In the real world, neither zero percent (black), or one hundred percent (white) reflectivity exists, but other colors fall in the spectrum between the two extremes. For example, an average black (think chalkboard paint) may range about five percent while basic very white wall paint is nearer to 85 percent. Dominantly yellow colors may fall into the higher ranges as well.

You may find the LRV code on the back of a paint swatch, or in the “fanbook” that your paint retailer should have. The higher the code value, the more light the color reflects and the brighter your room will seem.

When choosing paint with light reflection in mind, you can maximize the daylight entering your smaller windows with a ceiling paint with a higher LRV, and complementary wall colors with slightly lower values to visually warm up your room.

Add reflective surfaces.

Use mirrors, glass and metallic surfaces to bounce the existing light around the room. Setting mirrors on opposing walls allows light to reflect into infinity. A mirror at the end of a narrow entryway allows it to appear more spacious and open. Use mirrors to balance walls with off-centered or asymmetric windows.

Adding metallic or glass tiles to a backsplash or shower increases the reflected light in a room. Or, simply add reflective touches to your décor such as silver or shiny brass sconces, metallic frames or crystal vases.

Avoid dark surfaces.

Dark window coverings, furnishings and area rugs absorb light too. When choosing Venetian blinds, pick white or anther light color rather than wood-grain or faux-wood styles. Blinds tilted toward the ceiling reflect light upwards, offering both light and privacy. You may achieve a similar effect with Panama shutters, but remember that the shutter frame may reduce the window opening, therefore diminishing the reflected light.

After you’ve saved up for renovations, consider skylights and solar tubes to increase your interior light without changing the historic design of your home.

We have a list of trusted contractors who can help you achieve the home of your dreams. Contact us today and we’d be happy to send you recommendations for any home improvement needs.

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About IMPACT Properties

IMPACT Properties is a premier real estate company located in Southern California with multiple offices in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Their professional REALTORS® service home sellers and buyers with buying and selling homes, condos, land, apartments, and commercial properties all throughout the area.

IMPACT Properties was founded by Aaron Zapata, a licensed Real Estate Broker with more than 20 years of real estate industry experience who has closed more than $100 million in sales, placing him in the top one percent nationwide among REALTORS®.

A California corporation, IMPACT Properties, Inc. is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate (Lic. 01922671). Phone: 714-660-2122, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Specialties:
Homes, Apartments, Light Industrial Commercial, Bank Repos, REOs, REIT Assets, and Shorts Sales

Does your television stand out and not in a good way?

For some, the appearance of a television in a living room doesn’t offend. For others, it is essentially a giant black maw that upsets a room’s perfectly designed look. Thankfully, the act of disguising a television is a happy medium that can allow it to quietly visually recede into the background when not in use. These eight rooms are proof that camouflaging a TV can work.

Read More

Famous U.S. Homes Worthy of a Visit

It’s never too early to dream up your next vacation. Whether you’re interested in a fun, educational destination or you’re on the hunt for home inspiration, visiting these famous estates may pique your imagination.

Architectural Icon
A tour through the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio just outside of Chicago is like peering into the creative mind of one of America’s most iconic architects. Constructed in 1889 for $5,000, this Oak Park house served as the family home for Wright, his wife and their six kids. Bold, geometric shapes on the exterior and the interior’s high, barrel-vaulted ceiling make this visit a must for architecture enthusiasts.

Literary Cats
One home of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway is tucked away in the heart of Old Town in Key West, Florida. The estate boasts Spanish colonial architecture and lush grounds; however, the Hemingway home is also well-known for its current occupants. No less than 40 polydactyl (six-toed) cats, descendants of those owned by Hemingway himself, still live on-site.

Presidential Family Estate
Get a historical perspective with a visit to Hildene, a 1905 Georgian Revival mansion in Manchester, Vermont, that belonged to Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Guests can take year-round tours of the home’s 24-room interior, stroll down approximately 12 miles of walking trails and visit the working farm.

As Seen on TV
Popularized by more than 70 feature films and television shows, including “Full House,” San Francisco’s Painted Ladies are a staple of the city’s skyline. This row of quintessential Victorian homes, also known as the Seven Sisters, ascends one of the city’s hilly neighborhoods. Snap a gorgeous photo from the famous Alamo Square Park across the street.

How the Right Words Can Help Sell a Home

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4 Home Projects That Add Instant Value

Do you have a list of changes you’d like to make to your home this year? Completing cosmetic updates is easiest when the weather’s in your favor. In honor of May’s National Home Improvement Month, here are four upgrades ranging from curb appeal projects to large-scale expansions that often yield high returns.

  1. Replacing doors and windows: Homeowners are often encouraged to consider projects that boost overall curb appeal. Swapping out a wooden front door for a steel model or replacing front-facing windows can pack more of an ROI punch than renovations made inside the home.
  2. Constructing a deck: Create a beautiful transition from your back door to the outdoors by building a deck. The update turns into a major selling point that can recoup your initial investment when it’s time to move on.
  3. Adding insulation: Of all the projects listed in Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, adding loose-fill insulation to your attic is the only one with returns that exceed 100 percent of the cost. It can also help reduce year-round heating and cooling costs.
  4. Building a second-story addition: Even with a slight increase in construction costs, completing a significant two-story addition resulted in a substantial year-over-year increase in value from 2016 to 2017. Adding the extra space will likely catch the attention of buyers.

Home renovations and repairs are on the rise and expected to peak this year. Now’s the time to start planning your investment-savvy home improvements.