No need to guess on this one, right? It’s the “before” of a kitchen. Note the change in flooring from lineoleum (?) to wood, the mix of black and white appliances, the island that is a combination of two pieces that don’t go together! Oh, what to do…..!

Ok, not a total win. But I thought I’d show you how simple it is to do a ‘refresh’ without going to the studs. The hardwood flooring is a major improvement (it’s not a huge space, so go for it), white paint, a new light fixture, and new counter tops look great. If you’re thinking of selling, this is a good lesson. Don’t go all out on a kitchen unless it’s a home you’ll live in 7-10+ years. You won’t get the return on investment you hope for. A little side note…..when we lived in LA, I was told that it was good feng shui to put a circular mirror over the stove for good fortune. Here they used a silver tray, which is kinda cute!

WOW! This is one of my faves. The top image looks dated, almost like an old apartment house. When they painted the brick (I advise most clients to do this if they have pink or red brick) a light gray, repainted the windows and shutters and the door is now gorgeous since they gave it new life. People, this is EASY and it will add thousands to the value of your home!

This one is a blast from the past. It’s a typical art deco style that was used in homes in an area in Dallas called Lakewood in the 40’s and 50’s. My grandmother’s guest bath was this color pink with a pale green trim/finish tile! The built-in vanity and double toothbrush holders were there, too. Now take a look at what this London homeowner did…..

Amazing use of the same space!!! This one is very pricey, but probably worth every penny to bring it into the current expectations of homebuyers. Classic black and white. The tub and free standing shower are what homeowners want and the nod to the original age of the home is in the tile pattern on the floor. Love the little black shutter on the window as well.

When you look at the top picture you see beige wallpaper, a dark wood mantle with an antique(?) mirror and a seating arrangement that closed off the room and makes it seem smaller. The re-do adds rich color and added raised wood to the walls, a new mantle that doesn’t cut the height of the fireplace in half visually (anything that adds height is a plus), mirror and lights and, best of all, the furniture makes it very inviting! This is a simple re-do with the biggest cost being the sofas and lighting fixtures. P.S. I would’ve ditched the coffee table, too!

I just realized all of these are round – something going on there, I think! I included two in wood or wood veneer – the one on the left is a little more modern and the one on the right is just a beautiful, timeless piece. The one in the middle is my pick because while I love the other two, I have kids and a stone or glass surface is hard to beat.

One last note. I work for Compass Real Estate (I work in Dallas, but for those of you in other cities, you’ll find us there as well). We rolled out a consumer produce called Compass Concierge for Sellers whose homes need a little updating in order for them to get the best price in the shortest period of time. This program might have easily paid for any of the updates featured here! Compass will pay for the updates and you will not pay it back until the closing, with NO interest. If you want to know more, just let me know and I’ll send you info. What I love most about this company is that we sink our capital into projects that will benefit YOU!

Until next time……..gailya


I am a huge consumer of design and love finding new features, materials, patterns, textures and more in my daily life. I'm a realtor, a homeless activist, a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend to a cadre of crazies! Join me as we explore design and trends in homes...I'll share what experts say and always, always, I'll give you my take on it! G