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Stephanie Villani
REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRS
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Community Guides | 50 Posts
Home Tips | 6 Posts
October
21

Halloween Decorating Trends for 2022

Halloween Decor

Halloween is just around the corner, so it's time to get your home ready for those ghosts and goblins who will be knocking at your door. With Halloween decorating trends from our Realtors®, you can create an atmosphere where yummy treats and spooky creatures come together for a fun-filled night.

Whether you're planning a Halloween party, a night of scary movies, or just passing out candy, you can make your night more festive with decorations. Take a look at some Halloween decorating ideas that are sure to add an extra layer of spooky fun.

Create a Spooky Yard

Whether you're into fright night or something a little less spooky, start by creating a Halloween atmosphere. It's easy to find a variety of Halloween decorations that you can add to your yard:

  • Paper ghosts

  • Woden bats

  • Fuzzy black spiders

  • Plastic skeletons and skulls

  • Halloween lanterns and string lights

To create an eerie atmosphere, place some foam tombstones in the yard and hook up a fog machine, but be careful not to cause any tripping hazards that can injure little trick-or-treaters.

Invite Goblins to Your Door

To set the stage, hang a Halloween wreath on the front door and black paper bats from the porch ceiling, then place different-sized pumpkins and gourds on the porch, steps, and railings. To dim the light, replace your porch light with a black bulb, then scatter jack-o-lanterns filled with candles around the porch and along the front walkway. For extra fright, buy a life-size skeleton and put him in a rocking chair on the porch, then add a spooky black cat and some scary sound effects.

Make Special Treats

Halloween is meant for kids, so why not give them some special treats with Halloween decorations to take home? You can decorate a special treat bag filled with Halloween candy, favors, toys, and surprises they will love. Along with safely packaged candy, you can add Halloween stickers, fuzzy bats and spiders, finger puppets, and small coloring books to treat bags. If you're creative, you can include a hand-painted burlap trick-or-treat bag they can use next Halloween.

Throw a Spooktacular Party

If you're hosting a Halloween party, get your house ready with decorations that set the mood. First, pick a color palette that works with your home's interior. Choose limited colors like black and white, black and orange, or black and gold, so it's easier to decorate with pumpkins, flowers, candles, plates and napkins, and special Halloween effects.

If your party extends to the backyard, add some comfortable seating, Halloween lanterns, spooky string lights, and spider webs in the bushes. If the weather permits, consider some outdoor games like pumpkin tic-tac-toe, jack-o-lantern can toss, and a candy corn pinata that's sure to top off the night.

Decorate a Halloween Tree

Although it may be a little unconventional, decorating a Halloween tree at home can be a lot of fun. If you have an artificial tree or even a large floor plant, you can create a Halloween tradition this year.

You can decorate the tree with orange lights, black and white ribbons, straw brooms, paper pumpkins, skeletons, spiders, bats, candy, or whatever else you choose to celebrate the season. If you have kids, this is a great way to kick off Halloween with age-appropriate decorations and activities.

If you're thinking about a new home in the Lafayette area, contact us to explore Lafayette homes for sale and Lafayette open houses that fit your schedule.

September
16

Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Kitchen

If you're looking to update your kitchen but think it would be costly and time-consuming, it may be easier than you think. There are several budget-friendly ways to update your kitchen that will not take long to achieve. They'll help quickly transform the room, so it's more attractive and pleasant to work in.

Our Realtors® suggest the following kitchen updates that won't break the bank:

  • Add a Rug 
    Bring in a rug from another room to give your kitchen a nice dose of color, pattern, and texture. Neutral colors in just one or two variations create a subtle look, while using more colors in more vibrant hues creates a bolder look. This update couldn't be easier, and if you'd like a change, you can always choose another rug from your home or buy one.

  • Paint Your Cabinets
    Giving your kitchen cabinets a new coat of paint gives them a fresh, clean look. Remove the hardware (making sure to number them, so you'll know where everything goes) and clean and sand the cabinets' surfaces. Use two or three coats of self-priming paint, and if you'd like some variation, paint your upper and lower cabinets in contrasting colors.

  • Add Character With Artwork
    Use a poster, painting, or photo to add some color and character to your kitchen. This can be achieved with a large single piece, or you can add some smaller pieces on open shelves or above the kitchen cabinets.

  • Update Your Backsplash
    A dated, dingy tile backsplash can be easily addressed to help modernize and brighten your kitchen. Tile can be painted a bright color and then sealed. Or you can also use peel-and-stick tiles, which can be applied over your existing tile. It's simple to install and can help give your kitchen a more expensive appearance.

  • Swap Out Your Hardware
    Your kitchen hardware may be showing its age, so why not replace it for an easy update? Metal and glass are two popular options, but if you choose metal, use just one finish for everything. You can find a wide variety at a home improvement store, but if you want something more unique, try looking for handles, knobs, and pulls at a flea market.

  • Install New Lighting Fixtures
    New lighting fixtures can make your kitchen more attractive as well as more functional. Swap out your older lighting for brighter hanging lights in an interesting shape, size, and/or style to add more personality to your kitchen. You can also add lower hanging lights, sconces, and other types of lighting to brighten up dark areas of your kitchen, making meal prep easier.

  • Hang New Window Treatments
    A fresh window treatment can add style to your kitchen for under $100. Consider woven shades that can, if you'd like, be layered with drapery panels. Don't cover too much of the window, however, since you'll still want to let natural light shine in.

  • Add Molding
    If your kitchen lacks molding, adding it can add architectural interest to the room. It doesn't have to be complicated or fussy-looking since a simple piece of molding with a single shape, and single depth will achieve what you're looking for.

Contact us if you're ready to find a new home and would like to see Lafayette homes for sale and visit Lafayette open houses. Our firm is the top real estate company in the Gulf South, and we have over a century of proven results. We'd be happy to help you find your new home in the area! 

August
17

How to Avoid a Bad DIY Project

DIY Projects

The DIY approach is not only affordable but also gives you more control over your results. At various Baton Rouge open houses, we've seen some lovely DIY remodeling jobs and decor projects. So, how do you ensure your own DIY project goes well and yields beautiful results? Here are a few tips to help you avoid a bad DIY project.

  • Know What You're Capable Of
    It's okay to challenge yourself a little with a DIY project, but you don't want to take on something so outside of your abilities that you end up doing a poor job. Before you take on a project, make sure you have the tools necessary to complete it. Also, make sure you have the skills necessary or can learn them easily.

    A good rule of thumb is that plumbing, HVAC, and roofing work should always be left to the pros. These fields require licenses and certifications for a reason; they're technical, and mistakes can be costly.

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once
    Getting measurements wrong is one of the most common ways to mess up a DIY project. You don't want to cut an expensive piece of flooring or wallboard to the wrong size and have to start over!

    Those in the building industry use the phrase "measure twice, cut once." If you're someone who often makes mistakes with numbers, have a friend or family member check your work before you make the cuts.

  • Prepare Your Surfaces Properly
    This is a common mistake homeowners make when painting. If you're painting, make sure you sand and prime the surface first. If you're putting down a floor, make sure the subfloor is level. Or, perhaps you're re-staining a deck. If so, you'll want to sand down rough spots and remove any oily residue before applying the stain. 

    Usually, finishing products like paints and stains will tell you how to prepare your surface prior to application. Read and follow these instructions closely.

  • Use a Level
    When you walk into a Baton Rouge home for sale, you notice whether pictures are level and the furniture is sitting evenly. Of course, you want your own home to have this same balance. So, use a level when tackling any DIY project that involves hanging wall art, positioning furniture, and the like.

    If you don't have a physical level, there are level apps you can download to your smartphone.

  • Have Your Paint Matched
    If you are painting something to match an already-painted surface, don't just go buy another gallon of paint you assume is the same color. Instead, bring a sample of the old paint with you to the paint store. The technicians can match it, so you end up with the perfect match.

    Pay attention to paint finishes, not just color. If the surface you're trying to match has an eggshell finish, for example, your new paint needs to have an eggshell finish, too.

  • Use a Stud Finder
    So many DIY projects involve hanging or mounting things on the walls. When you do this, you need to make sure you're drilling into wall studs, not just into the drywall.

    There are a number of stud-finding tools you can purchase, and also some stud-finding apps for smartphones. Use them to locate wall studs so you can mount things to them securely.

If you follow these tips, you should have better luck with all of your DIY projects. Contact us if you're still looking for a new home to live in. Our Realtors® can help find you a place worthy of your DIY efforts. 

August
12

Moving Tips: Should You Utilize a Storage Unit?

Lafayette Moving Tips

Moving definitely has its ups and downs. You spend weeks attending Lafayette open houses before finally finding the one. You get all excited to move in and set the home up the way you like. But then your start scheduling your move, and you realize how much there is to do. If you're like most people, you are looking for ways to simplify the process. Renting a storage unit is a good option. Here are some reasons to rent a storage unit during your move.

  • Get Delicate Items Out of the Way
    You might have some delicate items, such as paintings and special china, that you want to move yourself. You don't want these items to end up damaged when you're moving furniture and boxes all around them. Rent a storage unit, and you'll have a safe space to stash them until you're otherwise moved in, and life has calmed down.

  • Store Large Items Until You Know What Will Fit
    Do you have any large sofas, sectionals, or entertainment units that you're not sure will fit in your new home? Instead of selling them, you can store them in your storage unit until you're able to get into the new home and measure. Or, you might move in and realize you don't have space for these large items. Then, you can sell them directly out of the storage unit.

  • Stash Out-of-Season Items
    Chances are, you have some boxes or totes of seasonal items, such as sporting goods or holiday decor. These take up a lot of storage space in any home. If you rent a storage unit, you can move your seasonal items straight into it. You can keep the items there until you need them, at which point you can bring them into your new, freshly organized home.

  • Get a Head Start
    Once you find the perfect place for you among the Lafayette homes for sale, you can't wait to get started with the move. But it may still be a few weeks before you close on the sale and can get into the home. If you rent a storage unit, you can get a head start. Start packing things you use less often into boxes. Then, move them to the storage unit where they're out of the way. When you're ready to move in, you can easily take the boxes from storage to your new home.

  • Declutter
    Moving gives you the perfect opportunity to declutter. And if you are listing your current place for sale, decluttering helps you better stage the space to appeal to buyers. If you decide to rent a storage unit, you can place items you don't immediately need in there. That way, potential buyers won't see all your stuff. Instead, they'll just see a perfectly staged home!

  • Reduce Moving Costs
    Renting a storage unit and moving some of your items into it pre-move means you can get away with renting a smaller moving truck. Or, if you hire movers, they will have less to move. Either way, this approach can help keep your moving costs lower. You can move items from storage to your new home a few at a time in your own vehicle, which is more affordable.

Contact us if you're still looking for the perfect home to purchase. Our Realtors® can help you find a unique and enjoyable space in the New Orleans area.

June
29

8 Tips for a More Organized Kitchen

kitchen tips

The key to a functional, inviting kitchen is organizing it well. A well-organized kitchen will be an enjoyable space, whether you're cooking, snacking, entertaining, or just hosting a no-frills evening at home with your family. Do you feel like your kitchen is a cluttered and intimidating place to cook or relax in? Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for making this space more organized.

  1. Tackle Problem Areas
    What areas of your kitchen seem like they lack organization the most? For many people, frequently used areas like junk drawers, countertop clutter, and the pantry pose the biggest problems. You may also find while you're cooking that it's hard to locate and access the pots, utensils, or small appliances you need. Once you determine what needs your attention the most, you can start there.

  2. Purge What You Don't Need
    Before you get started, go through your cupboards and ruthlessly get rid of any food that's expired, small appliances you rarely use, and dishes or equipment you don't need. It's easy to forget what's in the dark recesses of your cabinets. But if you don't even remember what's in there, chances are you don't need it.

  3. Make a Plan for Traffic Flow
    For your kitchen's organization to make sense, it should prioritize anything that you access more frequently. For instance, many people choose to keep glasses near the sink, spices and cooking oil near the stove, and pots and pans under or above counter spaces that are frequently used for food prep.

  4. Prioritize Frequently Used Items
    Similar to thinking of the traffic flow in your kitchen, make sure that your most often used items are easy to access. For instance, even if you don't keep your coffee machine on the counter, if you use it daily, it should be kept someplace easy to access, such as in an appliance garage or a cabinet near where you plug it in.

  5. Utilize Storage Bins
    Don't forget the power of corralling smaller items in a bin. For instance, clear, stackable storage bins for the fridge and pantry make it easier to organize and find small items like spices and kids' snacks. Fabric or plastic bins or woven baskets enable you to organize in style in readily visible places like open shelves or on top of the fridge.

  6. Make Items Accessible
    If your cupboards are full of deep, dark recesses that are difficult to access, or if you forget what you have hidden back there, consider upgrading your cupboards. Modern pull-out cabinet drawers enable you to utilize all of the cupboard space available to you while making the "back of the cupboard" items easy to access.

  7. Invest in Custom Storage
    Things like coffee makers, crockpots, and stand mixers make our lives easier, but they also cause a lot of countertop clutter. Consider investing in custom cabinetry such as appliance garages and pop-up appliance shelves to keep them out of sight when you don't need them but still readily accessible when you do.

  8. Add More Storage
    Walking through Alexandria homes for sale, you'll notice some creative solutions for kitchen storage. Pot racks, magnetic knife strips, and open shelving on available walls all provide ways to add additional storage.

Have you outgrown your current home and its kitchen? The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house because of how much waking time you spend there. If you're ready to upgrade your home, contact us today, and we'll help you get your search started.

June
24

Helpful Tips for Finding Your Decor Style

home decor

Worried that your home's furnishings don't complement one another? It's time to figure out your decor style!

While there's no rule that says you have to consistently stick to a specific decor style, it's usually easier to find pieces for your home when you know what style you find most appealing. Your home will also look more cohesive and put together. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips to help you determine your decor style. 

  • Use Your Current Home's Architecture
    Take a cue from our home's architecture to learn more about your decorative preferences. For example, if your home is a craftsman with a simple design that seems to blend in with nature, you'll likely prefer minimalist, nature-inspired decor or rustic furnishings. Or, if your home has a more flashy Queen Anne design with steep roofing, towers, vertical windows, and numerous decorative features, your decor style may lean towards traditional pieces (think classical, elegant items) or even art decor that embraces ornate home furnishings. 
  • Take a Home Decor Style Quiz
    A fast, effective way to learn your preferred home decor is to take an online quiz. Then, your results will tell you what your preferred decor style is. 
  • Flip Through Magazines
    Another way to determine your ideal home style is to flip through magazines. Don't look for anything in particular; instead, flip through the magazine and mark any rooms or pieces that are appealing to you. Go back through the pages you saved to get a better idea of why style you tend to gravitate towards. 
  • Check Out Other Homes
    Drive around your town, and make a note of any homes with an exterior that you instantly love. When you go to Lafeyette open houses, look for rooms or homes that you find appealing. Seeing specific decor styles in real life can assist you with narrowing down your home decor tastes. 
  • Examine Your Wardrobe
    Your wardrobe offers a lot of insight as to what style you tend to prefer. Are most of your clothes neutral, or do you tend to gravitate towards cheery prints and bright colors? Does your clothing have clean, straight lines, or do you prefer flowy, romantic pieces? If you like a specific style for your wardrobe, you're likely to prefer pieces with a similar style in your home. 
  • Take a Tour Through Your Home for Inspiration
    Go through each room in your home, and look for pieces that you like and would select again for your home. Use these furnishings and decorative items to figure out what they have in common and help you get a better sense of your style. You can also use these items to help you stage your home's rooms before adding it to the list of Lafayette homes for sale

Finding your home decor style can be tricky, but once you know your stylistic preferences, it's easier to find items that fit your aesthetic preferences and budget.

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

Latter & Blum
430 Notre Dame St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(866) 794-1022
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/04/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/04/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Houston Association of Realtors (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 12:32:26 AM EST) or Fort Polk MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:30:06 PM EST) or Greater Southern MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:35:12 PM EST) or Greater Baton Rouge MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:30:40 PM EST) or GSREIN MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 1:09:58 AM EST) or Bayou MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:20:45 PM EST) or Pearl River MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:24:17 PM EST) or GCLAR MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:12:09 PM EST) or MGCMLS (last updated Mon 10/04/2021 9:31:53 AM EST) or Realtor Association of Acadiana (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:22:29 PM EST) or Southwest Mississippi MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:15:23 PM EST) or MLS United (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 1:36:09 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Latter & Blum may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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