Chicago's North Shore - North and Northwest Suburbs Real Estate Archive

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How to Use Bold Color in Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

If you love bold colors and bright patterns, but you’re afraid to try it in your home, initially try creating a fun space that isn’t overwhelming. To guide you in your journey, follow these tips to help you learn how to use vivid colors without going overboard.

Start Small

Don’t start by painting the walls a bright shade if you’re afraid you won’t like it, but rather begin with an accent wall in one room or even the front door. Adapting to a new bold color without having it surround you on four walls will be easier this way. For an unusual touch of color, the walls could even remain neutral with the ceiling painted in an unexpected shade to add excitement to any room.

Begin with One Room

Don’t redo your entire house in bright shades. Instead, try selecting a “busy” room with lots of traffic to make your changes. A living room, a child’s bedroom, a play room or even a family or media room is a great place to add a burst of color to the walls. But keep the areas where you want to rest a neutral tone to maintain a relaxing atmosphere.

Balance the Color

Be mindful to not go overboard with too much color. If you paint the walls a bright tone, use neutral-colored drapes and accessories to tone it down or use lighter shades of the same color to soften the effect. For example, a bright blue on one wall should pair well with grey or with pale blue.

Also, to avoid feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to use one color family and opposed to combining several bold hues together. So for example, if you are accenting a child’s room in touches of primary colors, don’t paint complete walls in competing colors or the results may be too bright.

Stick with Accents

While the idea of adding color can definitely be somewhat frightening, starting with accent pieces such as pillows on the couch and table settings in the dining room will make the adaption and transition easier while allowing you to see the color in your home to determine if more color is the right move or not.

Bold colors aren’t for everyone, but don’t fear experimenting.  After all, paint is one of the easiest things to change and correct until you find the right look. For additional ideas on how to add more color to your home or for information about the buying and selling process and how inexpensive paint can add value to your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.   

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The Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Design

by Allyson Hoffman

While the words “contemporary” and “modern” are often used interchangeably to mean anything that isn’t traditional or outdated, in the world of design, these two terms are quite unique. When trying to decide on a new, updated look for a space, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and what fits each design style.

Contemporary Design

Contemporary design includes whatever’s current and trending today. It isn’t necessarily a specific style or look, but rather is determined by today’s designers, architects and stylists.  Designers often use unique materials and features that look to the future rather than the past.

Creating a contemporary design often includes using elements of varied styles and adding a new or different twist to them. For instance, an exterior design can be a unique color or lighting fixtures futuristic. Many times, a contemporary home will look unlike anything else around and provides the freedom to “break” design rules.

Modern Design

The word “modern” is actually misleading, because this type of design has its roots in the early-and-mid-20th century styles with special features found in most homes that truly fit this architectural scheme. For instance, there will be large walls of glass with structures often made of steel or concrete and an open floor plan.

Modern design utilizes little ornamental accents and alternately, creates a cleaner, less-cluttered look. The style uses features reminiscent of the machine age with metals and other hard elements for materials. Some common characteristics of this style include white stucco, right angles in the architecture and flat roofs.

One of the reasons for confusion in identifying contemporary design versus modern is that contemporary design is current while modern design reflects a style with open floor plans and simplicity that hearkens back to the mid-20th century unlike contemporary design which can change at any time.

For additional information on contemporary versus modern design or the buying or selling process, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

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What You Can Learn from Design Shows

by Allyson Hoffman

By watching or attending home design shows, owners can acquire skills to make their homes look magazine worthy. By applying these tips and techniques to your home, it’s likely that friends will be amazed at how fabulous it looks and buyers will be won over if you plan to list your property.

The Overall Picture

Keep in mind -- it’s the big picture that really counts.  Even on TV design shows where rooms are staged to show off a particular design element or product, first impressions generally embrace the entire space. Think of “the big reveal” from exterior to the interior with rooms that stand out.

Don’t lose sight of the big picture when adding accents or deciding on features. It’s easy to over-focus on each one. Instead, make sure all your components work together and create the cohesive look you want.

Invoke Emotion

When planning your own design, decide how you want people to feel when they enter your home and rooms. Every aspect of your design should work towards that goal.

To confirm this, check out any design show on HGTV and watch for the reaction to the end result of a makeover.  Monitor how you also personally feel.  Correctly-designed rooms should evoke an emotion such as a relaxing family room, romantic bedroom or fun playroom. The foyer could be inviting while the kitchen engenders a sense of warmth and welcomes you in.

Embrace the Unexpected

Try visiting a home design showroom to see the latest styles, materials and products.  Innovative ideas for your home may be among the many unique and unusual displays. Unexpected design elements incorporated within a complete picture, add a fresh look, interest and excitement to the space.

So, don’t be afraid to try something new in your home. You can start small with accent items that are easily replaced.

For additional information or advice regarding decorating and/or home design elements that maximize home values, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.
   

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Smarten Up Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Smart home technology once belonged in the realm of fantasy – but today it is a top feature that buyers are looking for in a home. This feature is exciting and still somewhat new; and can help with the marketing of your home. Smart homes are here, and homeowners are surprised at how affordable it is to convert an existing traditional home into a cutting-edge smart home.

Integrating smart technology into your home can improve your quality of life, and it could also improve the resale value of your home if you ever decide to sell. Anything that sets your home apart in a positive way is potentially beneficial. So, given that the cost is relatively small as compared to the possible return, why not take the initiative and smarten up your home?

Smart homes used to be well beyond the budget of the average consumer, but with increases in technology, and the fact that nearly everyone has a smartphone or tablet, the cost of integrating smart technology into the home has plummeted. Before long, smart-technology integration may be a requirement rather than a bonus feature, especially in the luxury real estate market.

To get ahead of the curve and make the transition now rather than later, here are a few things you can do right now for a relatively small investment.

Smart Interior and Exterior Lights

For a long time, and with limited success, people have been trying to figure out how to turn off the lights without the need to get off the couch or out of bed. Now, using just a screwdriver and a few spare minutes, almost anyone can install smart lights switches throughout a home and control them via a smartphone app or by voice command. These lights can be set to turn on or off at preset times or when the sun rises and sets. Smart light switches cost about $50. For those not wanting to install new switches, or with a healthy fear of electricity, choosing to install smart light bulbs by Phillips can be a path to savings. Each bulb can then be controlled through a smartphone and no screwdriver is required.

Smart Door Locks

Have you ever lost your keys, had to rush home to let in a visiting friend or open the door for a handyman? With the addition of a new Smart Lock System, these worries can be a thing of the past.  An example of the technology includes the August Smart Lock which unlocks as soon as an authorized person approaches the door. Doors can also be unlocked and relocked remotely. Temporary keys can be issued to people such as contractors or short-term guests. Smart locks similar to the August Smart Lock typically cost between $150 and $250 and can be installed in just a matter of minutes.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most popular thermostats currently on the market is the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat eliminates the need to program because it programs itself. Simply set it and adjust it as you normally would throughout the day. It will remember and begin to adjust itself in the future. The Nest Thermostat also provides the ability to set and monitor temperature via a smartphone or tablet. A Nest Learning Thermostat costs only $249 and can be installed in under an hour.

Smart Appliances

Finally, there are the new smart appliances. These are the most expensive upgrade to a home, because there is no way to turn a traditional appliance into a smart one. Buying new appliances is necessary. So if you are already in the market for a new refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker or washer and dryer, going the smart route is something to consider. Imagine a refrigerator that alerts you via text if you are low on milk or a coffee maker that cleans itself. Or how about a washing machine that tells you if there’s a problem or an unbalanced load?

Turning your house into a “smart home” is a great way to boost your home’s value with a relatively small investment, and make life a little more convenient in the process. For additional ideas on how to improve the value of your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Image courtesy of Grant Sewell/Flickr.com

Bring Your Home Back to Life

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are buying a historic home or selling yours, restoring its original charm may be worth the effort. Buyers may prefer to go all out to make an old home look authentic while a seller may only choose to do only what is necessary to help it sell for top dollar. Regardless of the goals, the focus on restoring an old home is similar.

Know the Difference between Restore and Rehab

To truly restore a historic home means returning to its original design and this could mean no plumbing or electricity! Alternately, rehabbing involves preserving the 

character and charm even if the materials and design of the original home cannot be used. In many cases, a homeowner will blend restoring and rehabbing to produce the best and most practical result.

Know the History

Before making changes to the house, know its origin. A home built in the early 1920s could now have retro green or orange shag carpet of the 1970’s era. This is not original to the house, and it would be easy enough to tear out and replace. The more times a home has sold, the more likely it will have design features throughout the house that are not original to the property.

Know Your Budget

Rehabbing a home, especially an older home, is an expensive endeavor. It’s even more costly when trying to find materials that aren’t in common use today. So before beginning any project, be sure to know the costs relative to how much money you have to spend.

Set Priorities

Buyers may choose to first work on specific areas of the home such as those that guests will see first – kitchens and living areas are popular choices. Sellers will likely have a different focus, such as flooring and paint, with the objective of making the entire house presentable to prospective buyers.

Whether you buy or sell a vintage home, making the most of its original charm in a way that will fit your budget and preferences is a worthwhile challenge. For additional information regarding popular features of historic homes, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

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Green for 2017

by Allyson Hoffman

Home ImprovementGreen isn’t just about being environmentally friendly. For 2017, it’s also the color of the year, according to Pantone, which sets color standards for various industries. The shade is a yellow-green that is lively and brings to mind the beginning of spring, known as Greenery.

To avoid overpowering a room, according to some designers, the shade works best as an accessory. It blends well with blues and purples as well as shades of aubergine. Green also works well with floral prints.

Green is a hopeful color, organic and based in nature. It’s one ideal option for those who like earth-based shades and it adds warmth to a room. Green can also be used to balance a more industrial or minimalistic decor.

Where to Use Green

If you have plans to redecorate in preparation of selling your home, here are a few ideas regarding how to incorporate this color:

  • Throw pillows on a couch
  • Accent pieces in the living room on a coffee or end table
  • Green as the highlight color in paintings
  • Green plants
  • Accent pieces in the kitchen

Green is a relaxing color, but don’t go overboard, especially with this bright yellow-green shade. Instead try choosing a toned-down lighter and less bold version for wall paint. It’s also a great way to bring the outdoors in if you have a fabulous sitting area on your patio.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Look at Benjamin Moore’s color, Shadow, to see a very different hue. This grayish eggplant shade is deep and dark.  Depending on your room and how much light you can let in, take care in how you use this color as well to avoid creating a dark space.

Shadow works best when combined with light colors. For small rooms, its best as an accent, but it can add warmth to a large space. Since it’s technically a neutral color, you can pair it with almost any shade. Consider a light gray, as well as blues and purples or even a green.

As you update your home in anticipation of listing for sale, be careful how color impacts the look and feel of a space. Try to select shades that make rooms feel bigger and more spacious, or tones that add warmth and create a cozy feeling. For additional ideas to maximize the benefits of preparing to sell your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you determine the value of your home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

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5 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, getting top dollar will undoubtedly be a priority. Home improvement projects can add value, but not all tasks have the same return on your investment.  So, if you have current or future plans to remodel, consider these five ways to most benefit your property.

1. Kitchen or Bath Remodel

If you have a few thousand dollars to spend on a remodeling project, upgrading either your kitchen or your bathroom is a smart bet. These two areas not only attract buyers, but they can deter them if the rooms look outdated. Even if you have only a limited budget, it is advisable to consider partially updating these areas with new fixtures, paint and/or flooring.

2. Landscaping

The old adage, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is inherently true when it comes to selling your home. So investing in some eye-catching flowers, bushes or other landscaping attractions as well as cleaning up clutter or overgrown plants can have a major impact on a buyer’s initial reaction to your home and the price you’ll obtain.

3. Go Green

Whether you would like to install new windows or replace an old furnace with an energy-efficient model, eco-friendly projects can reap big rewards. Many buyers are attracted to minimizing their own costs as well as choosing energy-friendly improvements in their homes.

4. Paint

One of the least expensive and easiest ways to improve the value and the look of your home is by painting. At a minimum, consider putting a fresh coat of paint in main rooms of the house. If you have more available funds to spend, exterior paint can make your home look brand new.

5. Add Storage

Most homeowners value storage space as a priority, so if you can fulfill that need, it can reap rewards in the selling price of your home. Easy ways to accomplish this objective include installing shelves in a garage, custom-fitting an existing closet to maximize the use of the space or even adding small closet in a large room.

Thus as you begin to consider selling your home in 2017, also start planning the improvements for changes to increase its value. For additional ideas regarding preparing your home for sale, the selling process or moving tips, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

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Take Advantage of Winter Cabin Fever

by Allyson Hoffman

Home ImprovementTypically, the winter is a notoriously slow time for home sales in the Chicago area. So, if you are considering a move anytime soon, try capitalizing on your indoor period to get your house ready for the market. This is a great opportunity to convert cabin fever into a time of productivity and get ahead of the competition. Tackling this project, room by room, is the best way to proceed and these ideas provide a great starting point for preparing to list your home for sale.

Begin in each room with cleaning, decluttering and depersonalizing. While areas that are not in immediate view such as the interior of closets, basements, and garages are less important, in the overall picture they should receive some attention once visible areas have been addressed.

Start the process by inspecting each room and making a list including what to improve and what can remain untouched.

Kitchen – this space should be ultra clean, counters cleared, and the refrigerator devoid of pictures, papers etc. Appliances should sparkle and all of them should be in good, working order if possible. Show that the kitchen has an eating space which can be highlighted in any way that works given the available size.

Bathrooms – clear the vanity top and make sure the entire area is spotless. Toilets should be closed and no clothing left lying around. Hanging fresh/new towels and adding a pretty, new bar of soap can help to make the room feel more attractive.

Living and Dining Rooms – depending on the size of the space, keep furnishings to a minimum and arranged to enhance the easy flow of traffic through the room. If there is a fireplace or picture window, be sure it is showcased. Pay special attention to the floors. Hardwoods should be clean and shiny, and carpeting should be vacuumed or deep-cleaned, if necessary.  

Master Bedroom - beds should always be made, preferably with new, clean linens if possible. This area should be serene, inviting and depersonalized.

Additional Bedrooms – clothing, toys, wall decorations and electronics, along with other personal items, should be stored away.

Basement – clean and dry is critical.  If there are leaks, have them addressed before showing to eliminate odors, mold and/or dampness. Have furnaces, other mechanical systems, and the electrical box easy to access.

Garage – clean the garage and either discard or donate items you don’t intend to keep. Organize and store belongings so that the space appears ample for more than just a car, if possible.

If you’re motivated to make additional improvements, there are plenty of projects that will make a big impact, such as fresh, neutral paint throughout the house and/or new flooring. So quell those wintertime blues and boredom and productively tackle the task of preparing your home for showing to potential buyers in its best light – this time, well spent, will likely shorten your time on the market and increase your profits in the process! For additional information on preparing to sell your home, feel free to contact me today for an onsite consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Image courtesy of Nancy Hugo, CKD/Flickr.com

Protect Your Home from Winter Weather

by Allyson Hoffman

Winter Home MaintenanceWith the arrival of winter weather, it’s time to consider how to protect your home from the elements. The winter months can wreak havoc on homes, so here is a list of suggestions designed to safeguard your home. For recommended contractors to assist you in your winter home protection endeavors, get in touch with me today! 

Check your furnace. Call an HVAC professional to visit and evaluate the functioning of your furnace, change the filter and make any repairs now, if needed.

Remove all debris and leaves from your gutters and downspouts. Avoiding the formation of ice dams is crucial in allowing melting snow and ice to have an escape route from the roof.

If you have a fireplace, inspect and clean it before use. Ensure the damper permits proper air flow, and remove leftover residue and soot to avoid fire potential.

To prevent pipes from freezing, consider insulating all exposed piping, and wrap pipes located near exterior walls with heating tape or pipe insulation. When the temperatures really drop, leave a small stream of water running from an interior faucet. Lastly, keep your house temperature at a minimum of 68 degrees even when you are away from your home. For more tips, please click here.

Turn off all exterior water spigots. Drain, remove and store hoses for the winter.

In case of an emergency be prepared to address the problem and turn off systems. So review the location of all disconnects and shutoff valves to your home including water, gas and electricity.

Check your foundation for cracks. Repair and seal any cracks to prevent air drafts, moisture penetration, or the worsening of a problem.

Make sure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and have back-up batteries should these devices not be hard-wired.

Prepare and store an emergency winter kit which includes candles, matches, batteries, non-perishable foods, water bottles, emergency phone numbers, and a small first-aid kit.

Keep your driveway and walkways free of snow and ice. Pre-salt, and/or shovel as needed.

Reverse your interior ceiling fans to counterclockwise. This will prevent cold air being pulled up, and will help circulate the warm air.

Assess the insulation in your attic, garage and crawl space. Ensure there is an appropriate amount, and that it is properly intact.

When you are ready to act, feel free to contact me for the names and contact information of trusted and reputable professionals to assist you in these tasks as you take precautions to protect yourself and your home’s value.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Image courtesy of june66/Pixabay.com

 

What’s Trending in Kitchen Appliances

by Allyson Hoffman

Kitchen TrendsThanks to smart homes and the Internet of Things, kitchen appliances can do more than ever before. They can make the time spent in the kitchen more efficient, and can make kitchens look fabulous and modern. If you’re planning to sell your property, smart appliances may also make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Here are some of the latest trends in appliances to consider when shopping for new products.

From Cool to Warm

Stainless steel has dominated kitchen appliances for the last several years. While this style is in vogue, new options are also available. Ranging from copper to brass and even rose-gold, these three finishes add warmth to your space. You’ll see them on everything from pots and pans to fixtures and large appliances.

Refrigerators to Manage Your Food

Smart refrigerators do more than just keep your food cold. They’ll let you know when food is about to go bad or even provide images of what’s inside so you’ll know when you’re running low on certain items. Typically, they also feature an interactive touchscreen which allows you to find recipes or even order food online.

Two Ovens in One

Cooking holiday meals can be complicated when you need the oven for multiple dishes that all require different temperatures. Modern ovens resolve that problem with a dual convection system that enables two dishes to be cooked simultaneously at two separate settings. The single oven works as two, cutting cooking time in half.

Innovative Dishwashers

Contemporary dishwashers are designed to clean dishes both faster and more effectively. Some models have separate settings for various zones in your dishwasher to provide higher heat and water pressure for pans and dishes that are hard to clean. Others use a faster clean cycle for smaller or lighter loads to help save energy and water.

Built-ins

Another popular trend in appliances is the built-in look. This design allows your appliances to be integrated into the space without being overwhelming. The result is a clean look for your kitchen.

From microwaves that work like convection ovens to washers and dryers that clean your clothes in a smart way, modern technology has enhanced most of today’s appliance options. Find the technology that improves your life and makes your kitchen more streamlined and efficient. For additional information regarding helpful improvements to any home you may want to sell or buy, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to help you determine the value of your home, or help you find your dream home

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Image courtesy David Berkowitz/flickr.com

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RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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