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Stephanie Villani
REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRS
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Articles Tagged "decor"

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Community Guides | 50 Posts
Home Tips | 6 Posts
December
2

Home Improvement Projects You Still Have Time to Tackle in 2022

Houma Home Improvement

Are you looking for ways to spruce up your home? Whether you have thousands to spend or you're on a tight budget, our Realtors® can recommend a variety of DIY home improvement projects that will make a lasting impression.

Take a look at ten budget-friendly home improvement projects that you can easily tackle before 2022 is over.

  1. Paint the Front Door
    Louisiana weather can cause your front door to look dingy and faded over time, but you can fix that with a fresh coat of paint. Choose a bright color that makes a good first impression, and buy a semi-gloss paint that's durable and easy to clean.

  1. Install Home Security
    For extra security, install a smart lock on your front door and a security camera near your home's entrance, so you can see who's at the front door. Some smart locks include cameras that can be viewed by your smartphone whether you're home or not.

  1. Upgrade Exterior Light Fixtures
    You can give your home's exterior a low-cost facelift just by upgrading outside light fixtures. Consider a new porch light, walkway lights, and accent lights for your landscaping. Solar lights will cost less because they don't require wiring, but they may not be as bright.

  1. Pressure Wash Your Driveway
    If you don't own a pressure washer, go get one. They cost less than $50 and can be used to clean driveways, walkways, porches, decks, and even siding and windows. With little effort, you can wash away dirt and grime and make your home sparkling clean.

  1. Lay Low-Cost Flooring
    Many older homes have outdated 12x12-inch vinyl tiles in entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms. By replacing old vinyl tiles with laminated wood planks, ceramic or porcelain tiles, or stone pavers, you can bring an older home into the 21st century with style.

  1. Add a Runner to Stairs
    If you have a two-story home with a staircase made of wood steps, adding a runner will increase fall safety and interior style. To keep the budget down, look for off-the-shelf woven runners and supplies from a local home improvement center.

  1. Install a New Dishwasher
    An old dishwasher can wreak havoc on your electric and water bills. By installing a Star-rated energy-efficient dishwasher, you can save about $50 a year on power and 500 gallons of water. If you're washing your dishes in the sink, you're using 40% more water with every wash.

  1. Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
    Dark wood cabinets can make your kitchen feel smaller and outdated. Instead of spending thousands on new cabinets, give your cabinets a fresh new appeal with paint. All you need is a cleaner, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and a little elbow grease to let in the light.

  1. Upgrade Your Hardware
    Installing new fixtures and hardware in your kitchen and bathrooms is a quick way to increase design appeal. Replace your old sink and shower fixtures and cabinet pulls with shiny new chrome, brass, or bronze ones that update style and convenience.

  2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
    If your home still has an old-fashioned dial thermostat, it's time for an upgrade. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive and easy to install with a drill and a screwdriver. You can program your thermostat to adjust the heat and cool settings based on your daily activities and sleep schedules.

If you're considering Houma homes for sale or nearby communities, we can help you find the perfect place to call home. Contact us today.

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.

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!

March
30

Interior Design Trends That Are Making a Comeback

Interior Design

Are you ready for a fresh take on interior design in 2022? As it turns out, what is old may be new again this year.

Our real estate agents have noticed a few older interior design trends coming back into the spotlight. Check out these retro interior design concepts that have caught homeowners' interest this year. 

  • Bold Colors and Patterns 
    Soft, neutral color palettes have enjoyed a long period of popularity in interior design. In 2022, though, they will finally start to fall out of favor. Bold, statement-making colors like mustard, terracotta, and chocolate are becoming increasingly popular. 

    This trend has also brought back stripes, polka dots, and other eye-catching patterns. Look for them on wallpaper, backsplashes, and upholstery, usually in combination with the bold colors discussed above.  

  • Cozy Details 
    After another year spent working, learning, and playing mostly from home, many people have embraced the idea of making their space into a cozy retreat away from the stressors of modern life.  

    Homey elements like live plants, mix-matched patterns, cushy throw pillows, and antique furniture are popular ways to give a space the comfortable, lived-in atmosphere that is so appealing to today's homeowners. These accents are also very affordable and easy to add to any room, making this one of the most accessible design trends on this list.  

  • Personalized, Functional Spaces 
    More and more people are embracing mindfulness and living in the moment, and the priorities of interior design have shifted in response to this trend. Instead of focusing solely on aesthetics in the home, homeowners are interested in creating old-fashioned functional spaces that allow them to enjoy their everyday activities in comfort and style. 

    Hobby areas like a sewing corner or video game den are common features in 2022's interior design. Some homeowners are experimenting with dedicated homework rooms that function like office spaces for children. Whatever it is that you do, look for ways to bring that activity into your design and make it a vital part of your home.  

  • 70s-Inspired Finishes 
    Many of 2022's design sensibilities harken back to those of the 1970s. This year, look for the return of popular 70s finishes such as wood-toned paneling and textured fabrics like corduroy and burlap. You'll also find eye-catching trim (think braid, tassels, and fringe) on fabric elements, such as upholstered furniture and blankets.  

  • Sustainable Materials 
    Sustainability is a major concern for modern homeowners, and many are decorating their homes accordingly. Rustic materials like reclaimed wood and natural fabrics are surging in popularity due to their eco-friendly nature. 

    Many people are also taking care to fill their homes with classic pieces that last a long time and won't look dated in a few years. The idea is to keep each item around for as long as possible, minimizing the impact of their design choices on the environment.  

  • Traditional Furniture 
    2022's furniture trends also take inspiration from the old over the new. Pieces with old-fashioned silhouettes like roll-arm sofas and wingback chairs are back in style, adding a touch of classic elegance to any room. Statement pieces like this require more thought to integrate into a room, but if you pull it off, you'll create a beautiful space that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time.  

Want to really switch things up in 2022? Why not move into a whole new home? Our Lake Charles homes for sale are the perfect canvas for all of your interior design dreams. Contact us today for help buying or selling homes anywhere in the Lake Charles area.  

March
18

5 Furniture Interior Design Trends

Furniture Trends

Spending more time at home has created a strong desire for interior spaces with visual interest, creative energy, and stylish features. Our real estate agents are noticing some special interior design trends regarding furniture in 2022.

  1. Return to Traditional Style
    In 2022, you can expect to see a return to a traditional design style. Look for traditional furniture elements like English rolled-arm sofas, wing-back chairs, and accent pieces with elaborate details. Organic materials including real wood, stone, marble, and wool will make a strong statement on floors, walls, countertops, window treatments, and upholstery. The days of "buy it and throw it away" are gone. Homeowners want lasting, quality furnishings that are beautiful, unique, and good for the environment.

  2. Mindful Spaces
    Homeowners are designing interiors that promote a healthy lifestyle. Interior spaces will reflect the owner's personality and personal interests. Many Lafayette homes for sale offer personalized spaces such as:

    • Home Gyms – Rooms dedicated to physical fitness are big design trends. Spare bedrooms, garage spaces, attics, guest homes, and outdoor sheds are being filled with home gyms and fitness equipment for homeowners who want to stay in shape.

    • At-Home Spas – Homeowners are investing big bucks in features that promote well-being and relaxation. Many homes now have outdoor spas, hot tubs, saunas, and lap pools, as well as bathroom features like walk-in jacuzzi tubs and rain showers that promote relaxation.

    • Wine Rooms – Current design trends show a big demand for dedicated wine tasting rooms and storage spaces. With more people entertaining at home, elaborate wine tasting rooms with cold storage and comfortable seating areas for tasting parties are big business.

  1. Bold Color Palettes
    Bold colors and patterns with rich textures are trending. Homeowners are stepping out of their comfort zones and taking risks with bold paint colors and wallpapers that inspire creativity. You can expect to see this trend impact furniture as well! If bold colors are a bit much for you, try using them on accent walls in larger spaces.

  2. Comfortable Smart Beds
    Emotional health is on everyone's mind, so it's no surprise that quality sleep and comfortable beds are in the design spotlight. Homeowners can now choose from a variety of smart bed designs that raise and lower mattress areas, sense movements while sleeping; adjust mattress firmness and support; adjust heating and cooling for body temperatures, and track sleep quality throughout the night. Queen and king beds have split mattresses and dual controls so two sleepers can easily program their side of the bed without affecting the other sleeper.

  3. Something Old, Something New
    In 2022, interior designers are predicting a renewed interest in antique and vintage furnishings and accessories. Design trends are showing old antique rugs, draperies with tassels and fringe, and upholstery with tufting and buttons. To keep things fresh, antique and vintage furnishings are mixed with modern light fixtures, colorful paintings, black-and-white photography, sculpture, and accessories. Emphasis is placed on natural lighting, natural ventilation, and fresh greenery.

Contact us to see available properties that match your lifestyle and financial needs or to learn more about Lafayette open houses.

October
18

7 Tips for Adding Personality to Your Home

Home Decor Tips

When you first move into your new house, you might find it beautiful, but it may not quite feel like "home" yet. In order to make it feel like home, you need to give it some personality! Here are some fun and easy ways our real estate agents recommend bringing your own personality into your new space.

  1. Display Your Souvenirs
    Do you have souvenirs from vacations you've taken? Perhaps you have a collection of shot glasses from different cities, or maybe you have a few prints you've bought at key destinations. Work these into your decor. They are part of your story, and they're great conversation pieces that will prompt visitors to ask you about your travels.

  2. Add Meaningful Decor
    Not every piece in your space needs to have a story or call lots of attention to itself. In fact, if every piece is a conversation piece, the space might feel overwhelming. A good strategy is to choose mostly "plain" items to decorate with and then work in a few key, meaningful pieces that speak to your interests and personality. These key pieces will then hold your attention more readily.

  3. Avoid Clutter While Decorating
    Clutter has a way of getting in the way of a room's personality. It distracts from the decorations you've chosen. So, as you decorate your new home, make sure you don't allow clutter to accumulate. Include lots of storage so you can hide away things like keys, note pads, and pencils. Make sure every item in the room has a home.

  4. Purchase Some Custom Artwork
    Decorating your whole home with custom artwork can get expensive, but including a few custom pieces is pretty manageable. Work with an artist to have a large painting created for your living room and perhaps one for the dining room. Make sure this painting depicts something you love. For example, if you are an equestrian, you may wish to have a custom painting of horses made for your home. 

  5. Choose Colors You Love
    Different colors evoke different feelings. Red is energetic and exciting. Blue is cool and calm. Think about your personality and the colors that best represent it. If you're a really quiet person, for example, including a lot of blue and green in your home can help give off that personality. If you're an energetic person, you may want to decorate with orange and yellow.

  6. Design Areas for Your Hobbies
    Throughout your home, aim to create spaces where you can comfortably engage in the activities you love most. For example, if you love reading, you might want to create a reading nook in your living room. If you enjoy cooking, you might want to deck out your kitchen with the latest cookware, displaying it on your shelves. Don't forget the yard, either. You can put it in a garden or a grill area if those things suit your personality.

  7. Decorate the Entryway
    Sometimes there is a tendency to dismiss the entryway as a purely functional part of the home where you keep your coats and shoes. But this is the first place guests see when they come over! Make sure you decorate it with a few personal items, like family photos or souvenirs.

Remember, you don't have to decorate your home in one day. Work on it slowly, using the tips above to add personality along the way. If you're still looking for New Orleans homes for sale, don't hesitate to contact us. Our helpful real estate agents can guide you every step of the way.

September
27

How to Prepare for an Open House

Alexandria Open House

When you list your home for sale, an open house is a traditional activity that boosts the exposure of your home. Before you set a date for your open house, there are some preparation tasks you should know about. Our real estate agents recommend the following tasks to help your home make a lasting impression during your open house.

  1. Clean and Declutter
    An open house is a fantastic opportunity to show off your home to potential buyers, but you only have one chance to make a stellar first impression. Make sure that you've thoroughly decluttered every inch of your home and deep cleaned every room. When you clean, clean in a circle to make sure you don't miss any spaces. You should also clean from the top of the room to the bottom to ensure you don't have to clean any areas more than once. Try to remove half of the things in your home, and store them off-sight in a storage unit or friend's garage. The less stuff you have in your home, the larger it will seem. It's also easier for buyers to take in a home's features when it isn't overwhelmed with too many things. On the day of your open house, stash any personal belongings (like shoes, pocketbooks, backpacks, and coats) out of sight. Vacuum or sweep the floors, and see that all the beds are made. Don't forget the outside spaces! Use your leaf blower to quickly rid your deck, porch, and driveway of dirt and leaves. 
  1. Accomplish Any Maintenance Tasks on Your To-Do List
    Perhaps you've been meaning to refresh your living room paint or fix that noisy faucet. Any repair or maintenance tasks should be completed before your open house. Check that all your lightbulbs work and that your heating and cooling system has a fresh, dust-free air filter. If buyers notice that routine maintenance tasks are past due, they may assume that you haven't properly cared for your home. This leads them to assume that the home needs work and can result in a lower offer price. 
  1. Have a Plan for Your Pets
    Even homebuyers that adore animals tend to view homes with pets as less appealing. Individuals with allergies or high standards for cleaning are even more likely to forgo a home with pets. When it's time for your open house, get your pets out of the house until it's over. You should also remove any obvious pet gear, like litterboxes, toys, beds, and food and water dishes. 
  1. Depersonalize Your Home
    It's hard for potential buyers to envision themselves in a home when personalized items decorate a space. Remove any pictures of your family and friends, and see that you grab any piles of homework or bills lying around.
  1. Embrace the Fresh Air
    Fresh air makes any space feel more inviting. If the weather permits, open the windows to freshen the air in your home. This helps remove odors and "stale" air in rooms that you don't frequently use. 

    Want more info about selling your home and listing it among the other Alexandria homes for sale? Contact us today!

    September
    22

    Fall Season Decorating Tips

    Decorating Tips

    The cooler fall weather means we can turn the air conditioner off in the mornings, fling the windows open, and enjoy some fresh air. What's more, the change of seasons gives homeowners permission to launch some stunning decor changes inside and outside the home.

    If you're listing your home among Baton Rouge homes for sale, you might want to look into some decorating ideas to help potential buyers see your home at its best. Welcome the fall season with these decorating tips. 

    1. Welcome Fall at the Front Door
      Start your fall decorating at the front door by putting out a falling leaves-themed welcome mat and some container plants with bright fall chrysanthemums in yellow, rusty red, and orange. Don't forget the wreath of dried leaves, pumpkins, pine cones, small apples, and pomegranates. 

    2. Boost Your Curb Appeal with Fall Flowers
      Once the weather cools down in October, Baton Rouge front yards come alive with cheerful pansies and violas in a rainbow of colors. Mix yellows, oranges, whites, violets, and maroons, or plant a swath with purple bordered by yellow. Plant them in flower beds or containers.

    3. Change Your Entryway Rug
      Out with the bold summer colors, and in with the striking hues of autumn for your entryway rug. Choose an accent rug with blocks of colors: rust, gray, orange, and brown. 

    4. Bring out the Autumn Scents 
      You want to avoid strong scents while showing your home, but subtle essential oils or candles are fine. Citrus, cucumber, thyme, and rosemary are good. Pine and cinnamon are two fall scents that potential homebuyers generally respond favorably to.

    5. Set out Your Copperware
      Fall's a good time for showing off your copperware in your kitchen. Hang pots and pans from a heavy-gauge copper-finished chandelier rack. Copper vases are also a nice touch. Make sure to polish, so it shines!

    6. Clear out Clutter
      If you're listing your house and getting it ready to show, take a good look in every room and minimize all those personal items, like photos and anything that might be construed as clutter, such as a rack full of magazines, stacks of books, or clusters of pillows. Minimalist is the way to go. It is, however, just fine to put out a couple of fall accents, such as a simple fall arrangement on a coffee table or entry table. Go easy on the pumpkins -- but a couple of unique choices would not be amiss: experiment with navy blue or white wooden pumpkins and some dried foliage.

    7. Spruce up the Patio or Deck
      Potential buyers viewing your home will, of course, want to see the patio or backyard entertainment area. Drape a fall blanket on a chair or chaise longue for a cool evening. Got an extra mum or two? Set them on outdoor tables. The backyard entertainment area is also a nice setting for decorative fall gourds and, yes, even a pumpkin or two. 

    Even if you're not selling your home, these tips will help you greet the fall season in style. If you are listing your Baton Rouge house for sale, our real estate agents can help. Contact us today. 

    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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