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How-To Tuesday: Give Your Guest Room a Boutique Hotel Makeover

In regards to decor and atmosphere, the guest room is probably one of the most overlooked rooms. Today, we’re bringing you some ideas for giving your guests the royal treatment—at least as far as accommodations are concerned. Here are just a few tips for giving your guest room the look and feel of a luxurious boutique hotel.

 

  • Create space by playing around with furnishings and decor. For example, mounting curtains at ceiling level draws the eye up and makes a room appear taller.
  • Add trim if you don’t already have it. Details like crown molding and wider baseboards can go a long way to dress up an otherwise basic room. If you already have crown molding, think about adding a customized touch with a smaller piece of molding underneath.
  • The bed and other seating options should appear plush and inviting. Make the bed with a fluffy duvet and linens with high thread counts. White linens with touches of color or pattern here and there are more inviting than all-over detail.
  • Use pillow inserts that are just a tad bigger than your pillow covers for another plush, custom look. Even the limpest throw pillow can become appealing using this technique.
  • Take chances where color is concerned. Most boutique hotels are good about using bold choices without them being too in-your-face. Use paint to create sleek, sophisticated touches. For example, paint the inside of the door a glossy black. Paint the closet walls a vibrant color. You can even leave the walls white and just paint the trim for an unexpected detail.
  • Small touches add up to make a big difference, but don’t go overboard with accessories. Think minimalism. Dress up the room with fresh flowers in chic vases. Group interesting embellishments into odd-numbered groups. Add a sleek, coordinated stack of books to a table. Leave a pitcher of chilled water and glasses on the bedside table.
  • Keep personalized details out of the guest room. Don’t leave family photos on the walls or winter clothes in the closet.


Put these tips to the test, and your guests will feel like they’re vacationing in the most luxurious hotel, making them happy and comfortable. What other ideas do you have for turning a guest bedroom into a boutique-style boudoir?

Easy Kitchen and Bath Updates to Help Sell Your Home

Springtime is one of the best times to sell a home in the Lowcountry. The weather is warmer, which can bring more showings, and inventory is low, which raises your chances of selling quickly. Even though Charleston real estate has recently hit record-breaking numbers, it is important to pay attention to what buyers are looking for. Simply listing your home without considering buyers' wants and needs could lead to more days on the market and lower offers. Two things that top the list of buyers' rants and raves are kitchens and bathrooms. If remodeling/renovating isn't in your budget, worry not! We've got some less costly, simpler options. In fact, the smallest details sometimes make all the difference.

Kitchen

Change cabinet hardware. This is a super easy way to update the look of a kitchen (or a bath). Check out your local hardware store or shop online for literally thousands of options at any price point.

Replace countertops. Stay with us here; replacing counters doesn't have to be a budget buster. There are lots of less expensive options out there right now. Even laminate countertops have gotten a modern look.

Paint or redo cabinets. A deep cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for outdated cabinets. Skim through a few decor blogs and magazines to get an idea of what buyers might be looking for.

Replace worn flooring. Sometimes, something as simple as swapping out vinyl for ceramic tile can give a kitchen or bath a whole new look. Ceramic tile can be purchased for less than a dollar per square foot, and it's not difficult to DIY it in a weekend.

Make sure things are cohesive. If you don't have a decorator's eye, recruit a friend or your Realtor to point out any issues that stick out.


Bath

Clean up tiles. Scrub grout and replace cracked or broken tiles. A little elbow grease goes a long way toward making a bathroom look new again.

Replace faulty or dated fixtures. Consider swapping out a plain, dull faucet for a shiny new modern look. Switch out rusty screws in any other fixtures. Even installing a new toilet seat can make a difference.

Add a large mirror. Interior designers have relied on this trick for a long time. If your bathroom is on the small side, a large mirror will create the illusion of space and light.

Paint walls and ceilings. A fresh coat of neutral paint is a must, especially if the decor is based on a theme or motif. Buyers don't want to see your personal touch. They want to see a neutral space that they can make their own.

While these two rooms are wildly different in terms of usage, the general idea should be the same: make it modern yet comfortable. What are some other easy, inexpensive improvements you've made recently? Tell us in the comments section below!

14 More Hacks for Homeowners

Need a way to hide your television when it's not in use? Tired of wrangling those paperclips and rubberbands? Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution! Our previous post on homeowner hacks was so popular that we thought we'd bring you a few more. Read on for a new list of 14 hacks for homeowners.

1. Can't figure out where the studs are in your walls? Studs are typically 16 inches apart. Find one, and you're golden!

2. Keep locks from seizing by spraying with Teflon once a year.

3. Televisions can bring down the decor in a room. We love these ideas for hiding them when not in use. 

4. Clean stove vents in a jiffy. In a stainless steel pot, bring water to a boil. Add baking soda until you get a good fizz. With a pair of tongs, dip the vents in for about a minute. If they’re too big to fit in the pot, do one side at a time.

5. Never misplace paint colors again! Stick a piece of painter’s tape on the back of a light switch cover. With a permanent marker, write the color name, swatch number, and date. Include a piece of the color swatch if desired.

6. Turn your shower into a spa by hanging a sprig of eucalyptus from the shower head. 

7. Never lose another thumbtack or paperclip. Use a spice rack to organize small office supplies or craft items. 

8. Keep track of nails when hanging pictures by gluing a magnet to the bottom of your hammer.

9. Ants in the sandbox? Add about a cup of ground cinnamon. It does wonders to keep bugs out.

10. Speaking of bugs, burn a little bundle of sage in your outdoor fire pit to keep pesky mosquitoes and gnats away.

11. Save money on dryer sheets. Soak a cloth in fabric softener and hang it out to dry for a couple of days. Instead of using fabric softening sheets, add the dried cloth to every dryer load. You should get about 30 uses out of it.

12. Mount a small wire basket under a desk to keep a power strip off the floor and out of sight.

13. Tired of basic brass doorknobs? Give them new life with a paint like Rustoleum Oil Rubbed bronze spray.

14. Clean baseboards with dryer sheets. It keeps dust from sticking, lengthening the time between cleanings.

There you have it! What other hacks can you think of for homeowners who need a quick fix?

 

Image courtesy of papaija2008 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Charleston Real Estate by the Numbers // February 2015

February home sales hit the 1,000 mark this year. The last time this happened was February 2006! 

"For several years, the tri-county region has been the focus of worldwide attention and now, our local economy is enjoying the benefits," says 2015 CTAR President, Matt DeAntonio. "Through the efforts of organizations like the Charleston CVB, the Chambers of Commerce, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) as well as the local colleges and universities, Charleston has been well marketed and it has resulted in an influx of business, industry and people to our area. Whether coming to retire, to work, or to simply enjoy living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the buyers are speaking—Charleston is the place to call home."

Homeownership by the numbers

Last-Minute Showing? No Sweat!

Living in a house that’s for sale isn’t the most ideal situation in the world. It can be hard to balance regular home life with showings, especially if you have children or pets, but there are a few things you can do to keep your house show-ready at all times. For instance, pack away items that don’t get daily use. You’ll be packing them up later for your move anyway. Get family members into the habit of making their beds and tossing dirty clothes into a hamper or basket. While it’s important to be prepared for a viewing at any moment, however, sometimes you find yourself in the middle of a post-lunch, pre-laundry home and a request to view the house in half an hour. Don’t fret! Keep your sanity with our show-ready checklist. Whether you have fifteen minutes or an hour, there’s plenty of time to make the house presentable. 

 
If you have…
 
15 minutes
  • Tidy up any unmade beds
  • Throw clutter and laundry into a basket and put into the car
  • Empty all garbage
  • Close toilet seats
  • Give counters a quick wipe down
  • Turn on all lights and open curtains to let in natural light
 
1 hour
  • Do all of the 15-minute items, and…
  • Vacuum
  • Sweep and spot mop
  • Clean all glass and mirrors
  • Clean toilets and wipe down tubs
  • Clear off the kitchen counters
  • Wipe down cabinet fronts
  • Sweep and tidy front porch or stoop
 
Sure, last-minute showings can be inconvenient for sellers, but try your hardest not to turn them down. You never know; the next person who views your home could be your buyer!

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