As a realtor I can say I agree and disagree with some of these. But a great read nonetheless:
Tyler Whitmore, owner of the staging and design firm Ta-da! Homes in Bethesda, Md., joined staff writer Jura Koncius recently on The Post's Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt:
Q: I've heard that one should remove "personal" items when staging a house for sale. Does that mean all family pictures? I think a house looks a bit cold without some reminder that real people live there. We're not talking clutter here, just a few pictures of the kids, weddings, etc.
A: This is one of the toughest jobs for homeowners — depersonalizing their home. I tell clients to remove all family photos, anything of a religious nature or very taste-specific items. It may look cold to you, but you want a potential buyer to come in and say, "I could live here." If they see family photos, it makes them feel like they are on a house tour and not looking at their future new home.
Q: We are just beginning the design phase of a much-needed kitchen renovation. I want white cabinets and counters with the look of marble but not the bother. Is there an indestructible (or nearly indestructible) material that has the look of Carrara marble without the fuss?
A: I just happen to be working on a kitchen that fits your description. Quartz is the way to go. It comes in a finish that resembles Carrara marble with easy maintenance. Make sure to measure, measure, measure. There is nothing worse than having cabinets delivered and finding something does not fit on the day of installation.
Q: I cannot decide on a backsplash for my kitchen. All the tiles seem to look outdated as soon as they come out. So I've decided to paint my backsplash black in my all-white (cabinets and counters) kitchen. The counters are white quartz, which is pretty shiny, so what kind of paint should I do: glossy or more matte?
A: Very bold. Love it. And if it doesn't work, hey, it's just paint. I would go with an eggshell or semi-gloss finish. It's easier to clean. You can get a sample of finishes, similar to paint chips, at your local paint store.
Q: I'm selling my parents' 40-year-old house, and it's empty. I've added a few vignettes to warm up it up — books on shelves, a few pictures on walls, new towels in kitchen and baths — but no offers. It's spotlessly clean, with new paint and carpet throughout.
A: You may get more traffic if the photos that are posted online are more inviting. Maybe you need more furniture, art and accessories. Also, furniture gives scale to a room. That helps when people are looking at a bedroom, for example, and know their king bed will fit.
Q: I'm looking for a nice chair for our home office. My husband works from home at least once a week, so it does need to be comfortable for working at the computer for a full day. Everything I find that's "ergonomic" is a hulking black behemoth. We use a front room (decorated in yellow/gray scheme) as the office, so I'd like something a little more decor-friendly.
A: Chairs can be tricky. You really need to shop around and sit in them. Maybe an occasional chair with a combination of wood and upholstery.
Q: Short of wall-to-wall, which I do not want, what is the best way to use carpet in a master bedroom? I'm going for a comfortable look. I have a queen-size bed and the room is 11 by 7 feet.
A: I would consider a carpet remnant that is bound or edged with a border. You can specify a size that fits best in the room.
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