Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 4/24/2016

Is your bedroom in need of a slight makeover?  Surprisingly enough, many people don't spend too much time thinking about how their bedroom looks.  How many times have you been on a tour of a friend's new home, and the tour stops short of their sleeping area?  If you don't want to fall into the trap of feeling like your bedroom isn't a "show off" room, then take a few steps to jazz it up a bit. By paying a little attention to a few areas in your bedroom, you can leave that door open with no shame. New Bedding - Depending on your sleeping preferences, your bed may well be the biggest piece of furniture in your home.  Coincidentally, your bedding may also be one of the largest decorations in your home.  Do you like your bedding?  Does it match your home and personality well?  If it leaves you wanting, then consider outfitting your bed with a new bedding set.  With this one improvement, the entire mood of your bedroom can change.  If you can manage to find curtains or drapes that complement your bedding, it will tie your bedroom together in a big way. Floors - Bedrooms may have the least amount of floorspace visible, but that doesn't mean that they should be neglected.  Consider buying a decorative rug for your room.  Or, if you're feeling adventurous, consider installing a new carpet or flooring.  The sky is the limit here, and any change made is likely to be an improvement. Laundry - Piles of unfolded or dirty laundry can be an eyesore. Even a visible laundry hamper is enough to be a distraction.  Consider outfitting your closet door with a hanging laundry basket, or instituting a "no dirty laundry in the bedroom" rule for yourself. Lighting - If you rely solely on overhead lighting in your bedroom, then consider buying a lamp or two.  Lamps will serve to highlight your furniture, as well as create a more relaxing environment.




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Posted by Kathy Foran on 3/13/2016

If you’re going to be putting your house on the market, you want it to be in the best condition possible for when prospective buyers come and look at it. A little sprucing up can add a lot of curb appeal and increase the chances of selling your home as soon as possible. Make Over Kitchen Cabinets An older, out of date kitchen can be given a face lift with the addition of some paint and new cabinet doors. The doors on the kitchen cabinets can make or break the way a kitchen looks. If you don’t have the funds to buy new cabinet doors, consider painting the cabinets. Avoid any type of wild paint, sticking instead to solid colors or the tried and true basic white. Add interesting touches like removing one cabinet door and paint the inside of the cabinet and shelves a different color. You can keep it open, or add a glass door. Adding some new knobs and handles will improve the look even more. You can go basic, or get really fancy with some high-end hardware, depending on the style of your home. Give the Entrance a Makeover Brighten the entrance to your home by painting the door. Choose an accent color from the rest of the front of the house. Add brand new hardware for a totally new, finished look. Place potted plants on either side of the door, or if you have wide steps, place them on the steps. Paint railings with fresh paint, being sure to scrape off the old paint first. Place solar lights along your walkway to add even more brightness. Replacing your mail box will also add character and instant curb appeal to your home. Be sure your house number can be seen from the road by placing large numbers on both your mail box and the house. Organize Closets People, especially women, always take closet space into consideration when looking for a house to buy. Purchase closet organizers and have them installed, or install them yourself. Then organize those closets and get rid of everything you don’t actually use. This will make your closets seem much larger and add so much more storage space by utilizing empty spaces in the closets. Alternately, if you have two closets in one bedroom, take the doors off one closet and turn that one into an office. There are “office in a closet” kits that come with shelves, and a deeper shelf to use as a desk. Add a desk chair, a computer and place a few books on the shelves and it looks like you have a home office, virtually creating a whole new room within a room.    





Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/11/2013

Odds are, you don't give your electrical outlets and switches much thought beyond safety and an occasional surge protector purchase.  However, many new kinds of switches and outlets are now on the market, any one of which could be a major boost to your home's convenience and ambiance, and could even make your home a little more fun to be in. USB Outlets - Many of our cell-phones, laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices utilize a USB port for charging purposes.  With the addition of an outlet with a built-in USB port, the days of trying to find room to charge your electronic devices is over.  No more unplugging items in order to charge your phone or laptop.  If you choose to wire this new outlet yourself, you're only looking at spending $20-$40 dollars per outlet. Programmable outlets and light switches - Not only are these outlets and switches a great way to manage your home's power usage, they are also quite affordable.  These types of outlets safely turn off power after a certain amount of time, and most come equipped with a built-in surge protector. Programmable light switches work in the same fashion, which makes them ideal for kid's rooms.  Both of these will run an average of $25-$50, depending on the features. Hands-free light switches - These have been around for a while now, but while the idea isn't new, the technology has improved greatly.  Some come with body-heat detection, motion sensors, AND a time delay, which fixes the earlier issue of the lights shutting off once they didn't detect movement. The infrared light switches are paired best with smaller rooms, but sound-triggered switches (remember The Clapper?) work very well in large rooms.  For versatility, look for a unit that offers multiple lights settings.  Also, be sure that spontaneous noises, such as a loud TV or crying baby, won't accidentally trigger the lights to shut off.  These switches start at $20 dollars for simple sound-trigger options to as much as $200 for the infrared models. LED touch panel lighting - LED touch panels allow you to simply touch a panel to turn on a light, or a stroke of a finger to adjust the amount of light in a room.  Not only do these varieties make your home look sharper, they also save a lot in utility costs.  While these have been enjoyed in Europe for some time now, American manufacturers are starting to take a keen interest in developing these technologies here.  These can be ordered online for about $70-$100 per panel, and are starting to catch on here in the states.  The price will eventually become more affordable once domestic manufacturers start churning them out.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 4/7/2013

Updating your home can be costly. So any home improvement that you can do yourself will help save money. An easy update that doesn't cost too much and that you can do yourself is replacing your moulding. Whether you have basic trim, or common colonial style, there are a variety of new looks you can give to your home. To start, you'll need these tools:

  • a miter box or miter saw, for those angle cuts
  • a coping saw, for thin cuts so moulding meets flush to each other
  • finishing nails
  • a hammer, or finish nail gun
  • a nail set to sink nails below the wood surface
  • a tape measure
When making cuts, where the pieces of wood join together will determine what type of cut to make. Mitering allows for to pieces to join, like around the window. Splicing is used for long walls where one piece of wood is not enough. The moulding joins together by creating 2 45 degree angle cuts, cut opposite, creating a scarf joint, which is less noticeable. Coping is used on inside corners, where only 1 piece of wood is cut at a 45 degree angle and butts up against the other piece of wood. Your moulding doesn't have to be just the style bought at the store. Layers varies types of trim can add a more elaborate and dramatic touch. Home improvement stores will often have free booklets that give you ideas. Just remember to choose a style that matches your home. Something too dramatic in a home that is modest may look out of place. And don't forget there is more to moulding than your baseboard and window casing. Chair rails and crown moulding can really transform a room. There are a variety of decorative trims to choose from to add your own personal touch. Moulding tends to be around $1.00 a foot so depending on your room size, whether you layer trims, and if you add on elements such as chair rails, you could redo a room for a couple of hundred dollars. And make a big impact at the same time.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/6/2013

Everyone is on a budget nowadays so redecorating your house can seem like its impossible. Yet, with some small, inexpensive updates, you can transform the look of your house. The most basic way to update the look of a room is color. A new paint color on the walls can transfer a dull room to a stunning room. With a gallon of paint around $25, you can repaint a room for under $75. Top it off with a chair rail (around $9 for a 8ft piece) and you have a completely different room. Not in the mood to paint? How about some throw pillows on the couch? Or a new comforter? A little splash of color can go a long way. Now let's get creative - have plain knobs or handles on your kitchen cabinets or none at all? Get some decorative knobs for around $1.00 a knob and you have yourself updated cabinets. (Try this on any cabinet in your house!) Add some drama to your dining room or entry way with a new chandelier. For as low as $50.00 you can add a focal point that will wow. And how about that bathroom? Adding a new shower curtain and bath mat can really change the whole look of the room for under $50! No matter what room you are looking to update, house gutting renovations are not needed. With a little imagination, the smallest updates can create a whole new look for a room. Need some ideas? Take a walk around your local home improvement center and see what catches your eye. You never know what you might find that sparks an idea for a inexpensive update!