How to Pick the Perfect Gray

 

For about a decade we were painting nothing but earth tones.  It all seemed to start with Shaker BeigeHC-45, but then we progressed to HC-44 andHC-43. Color was like a drug. We started with the light tones, and got progressively darker and darker.  Soon we were looking at colors like Townsend Harbor Brown,HC-64 and Van Burren Brown HC- 70.  It was as if Shaker Beige was the gateway drug.

painting with earth tones

Then one day, and I can still remember that day… everything changes.  It was a beautiful day, and I was headed to Boulder, Colorado. I was headed to see a long-time customer who had painted for at least three times. Several years prior we had painted their new house in a myriad of earth tones.  After a few minutes of chitchat and catch me up she made her announcement. I want to go gray. She had several swatches from Benjamin Moore. She had done her homework. She had the telltale sign of someone truly ready to make a change: Color squares painted on the walls in various places.  I remember telling Wiesley that today was the start of the change. Which she loved because she liked being the trendsetter. This was at least six years ago, can’t quite remember exactly when, but it feels like a decade ago.

 

Over the next few years we started to paint more and more houses in the gray. Now it is about all we do.  Everyone is talking about the color gray right now.  We are painting on walls and ceilings and on cabinets; mostly, the lightest gray.  I get questions all the time on Facebook, “What color is that?  I love it!”  To which I usually reply, “The perfect gray walls to paint fabulous.”  I don’t like to share details like that with the universe. Color is so personal. It’s not just that we don’t share color because it’s one of our competitive advantages, even though it is.  The truth of the matter is a color that looks great in your friend’s house will not necessarily look great in your house.The perfect Gray walls to paint

Color is affected by two major things. First color is affected by light source. Do you get natural light or is it artificial light…and how much of it? The next major factor of how a color will look is what are you seeing it with. If you see a medium tone gray next to white doors it will have a tendency to look much darker then if you see that same gray next to a dark brown.  It may even look white.

When picking the perfect gray, I would start with looking at the other colors that you have in the space. Look at your artwork, your window treatments, your photos, couches, and your rugs.  Are they all cohesive? And if so, can you select a color from them. If you do I would grab a Benjamin Moore Classic color deck, and see if you can match one of the colors. Once you were able to find a color that matches if you have a large walls and a lot of natural light and I would go two shades darker than the match.  This is because in big spaces colors will have a tendency to look lighter than what you selected. Before you go and buy 20 gallons of this color though, buy a pint or quart and paint it on at least a 2 x 2′ square board and look at it in the space at different times of day. I also recommend not holding it over the existing color on the walls but hold it in front of things that will still be in the room such as couches and doors if they will remain the same color.

I see people agonize over color all the time. The one thing they are afraid of is change.  Don’t be afraid. It’s only color.

Go bold and have fun!

Tips for Selling in Denver’s Booming Market

We’ve all heard, or experienced in some way, how aggressive the Denver Real Estate market has been over the last few seasons. Events such as the evolving cannabis and hemp industry, the rapid growth of technology companies making head quarters in our town, and the plethora of startups that have decided to pick Denver as their home have created the perfect storm of steady population growth.

I’m sure we’ve also all felt the pains that come along with this growth be it during your morning commute or weakened cell signals however there’s a positive to all the madness. If you own a home, there’s a high chance that your year over year equity growth has sky-rocketed over the past few years. If you’re thinking about putting your house up for sale in the near future, you’re not the only one.

Here’s a few secrets that will put you ahead of the competition.

First impressions are everything

Any homeowner knows there’s a certain type of pride that we have in our home. Maybe it’s the common factor in our family memories or maybe it’s the results of hard work and your own sweat and craftsmanship regardless, chances are it’s been with you for awhile and it’s been lived in and appreciated for all it has to offer. Sometime this means the home is in “lived-in” or “well- loved” condition. The good news is that’s how it’s supposed to be. Most of us don’t live in a magazine cover worthy space 24/7/365.

Do you remember when you bought the home or heard a story of a friend who recently has and recall hearing the idea of simply “falling in love with the home?” No matter how amazing the characteristics of your home are, a bad first impression can leave you in an uphill battle for the rest of the time their in your house. I can’t tell you the number of times a client has shut off their open mindedness simply because they didn’t like the outside of the home, the front walk or the first impression they received when they opened the front door of what could be their first home. I’ve also see the flip side where clients of walked up to a home excited by what they see as they walkup or the pictures they saw online only to walk in and have their dreams crushed by a less than memorable first impression or maybe too memorable in the wrong way.

The key to getting top dollar

In our current market, the objective isn’t to have the best home with the highest price tag but rather to have the most interest. With a limited inventory the homes that sell the fastest and for the most are the ones with multiple interested parties. These are the homes with a dozen or more cars out front during showings, have you seen or heard one of these?

These buyers have seen the home, they “fell in love” and are at the point where they don’t want to “lose” it to another buyer. I’ve seen several homes that enter the market with this goal sell not just for over the list price but with guaranteed funds over the appraised price if not a strong cash offer. Wow, right? What more can you ask for when selling your house and cashing in on what’s probably your greatest investment.

As we’ve discussed, there’s an order that buyers will see your home and it’s important to consider each one before you put your house on the market.

1) Interior and Exterior pictures for the MLS

2) The exterior of your home as seen from the street

3) The front walk and exterior doors

4) The walls and view from the front door

These items make up a first impression and if you nail these experiences correctly, the rest will take care of itself!!

Inside or out?

The importance of a good first impression on buyers cannot be emphasized enough. And the first impression that potential buyers have of your home is its exterior. It’s vital to make sure that the front of your home is as well-presented as possible. Peeling or faded paint or unfinished projects will be off-putting to buyers and may well cause them to offer a lower bid or simply look elsewhere. By painting the outer walls, trim and shutter of your property can increase ‘curb appeal’ and make your home stand out from the neighbors’ houses. Often the first picture in the MLS is of the front of the home and that picture is your hook. With new listings popping up literally everyday buyers can easily scroll past your home and just outright miss it. What a shame that would be, knowing how beautiful the inside may be or what upgrades you’ve made over the years!!

Making a good first impression with a tidy exterior is important, but the interior of your home should be given just as much attention. Peeling paint, fingerprints or dark spots in high traffic areas inside your home will imply to buyers that you haven’t taken good care of the property and that there may be other problems lurking below the surface. Wallpaper usually turns potential buyers off as well because it often is designed for a niche and appeals to less people plus can be one of the first items on that “honey do-list” as an item to be removed. Previewing homes can easily become sensory overload. Make it easy for the buyers to focus on what’s important, meaning the best features of your home!!

Picking a Color

In picking a color, I can’t urge you enough to stay away from the color you’ve always wanted to try. Keep in mind the character of a neighborhood. If all the houses on the street are beige and tan, don’t paint your house pink. Common sense, right? Not for all people. The color should also reflect the landscape. Consider the shrubs and trees and any other landscaping when deciding on a color.

White is one of the safest, and most popular colors, to paint your home. According to one survey, nearly 40 percent of those questioned liked white. For one thing, white can make your house look larger. White also soaks up the light in a shady yard, and is also clean-looking. The one caution with white is it can make a home harder for buyers to picture themselves there. All I’m saying is remember that white isn’t just white; it comes in many hues.

Earth tones, Earth tones, Earth tones!! This can including shades of brown, green, blue, orange, and some reds are  warm and inviting however just as in life, moderation is key and if you stray too far from the white family just remember to be subtle and that a little color can go a long way however the operative word is little.

Now for the most important part

You’ve painted, you’ve cleaned and now what? Give Sean Savitt a call and let’s sit down and review the market around your house and get an idea of where it falls compared to the competition. I’m always happy to provide this information free of charge. My goal is help you understand and stay current with the value of your house and your best strategy for getting the most out of it.

Spring Clearing is Just Around the Corner

Think Spring Clearing, not Spring Cleaning!

With Spring comes renewed energy and ambition. Many of us take this time to revisit our New Year’s Resolutions (remember those?). If getting organized was one of your goals in 2016, here are three simple steps you can take to start getting organized today.

Step One: Stop the Incoming!

The first and best way to maintain an organized home is to stop clutter before it comes into your home! Hyper-consumerism is the culture we live in, and we have to make a conscious effort to break the cycle. Before you bring anything new into your home, ask yourself “Do I need it?” and “Do I have space for it?”. Consider how the item will be used and if you already own something you could use instead. Be strict about what you allow into your home. Once the deluge of stuff and papers slows down, you will have a good chance at winning the battle against clutter.

Step Two: Conquer the Clutter

Research has proven that 80% of the time, clutter is not due to lack of space, but to disorganization. Furthermore, orderly homes reduce housework by 40%.

Source: American Cleaning Institute

It is a true phenomenon that, after awhile, we stop seeing the things that surround us. We simply get used to things the way they are, even if the “way they are” is messy, cluttered and makes us crazy! Try this exercise – take a walk around your house and look at it with an objective eye. Do you see things that are broken, unused or outgrown? Do you have items that you find ugly or remind you of something negative? These are the items to start with. Gather them in a box and get them out of the house right now! Make a trip to your local donation center, or call to have a pickup scheduled. Remember: Focus only on your own stuff! You cannot get rid of other people’s stuff without permission. This is your chance to lead by example.

Step Three: Organize One Space at a Time

Clutter and disorganization happen over time, not overnight. It is not realistic to expect to have your whole home “perfect” in a day.

Start your “Spring Clearing” small, choosing one drawer or one closet to work on. Focus solely on that space and think about what purpose you want it to serve, and who will use it. It may help to draw a picture or write down your goal and post it nearby to keep you on track and motivated.

Now take everything out of the space, sorting like with like. Grouping like items together helps you see the actual volume of stuff being held in that space. You will not know you have 16 rolls of Scotch Tape until you stack them all together! Also take this moment to wipe down shelves, put down liners, rinse out containers, vacuum up crumbs.

Holding the vision in your mind or referring to your posted goals of what that space will be, decide which items will go back into the space. If an item does not serve the space’s new purpose, decide if it belongs somewhere else in your house, or if you can discard or donate it. If you have multiples of an item, decide on a reasonable number of duplicates (for example, you may want a flashlight on each floor of your home) and donate the remainders. Do not get discouraged by the feeling that you are throwing money away. Unused items cost space and time. Relieve yourself of the stress of excess and pay yourself back in uncluttered space.

Establish homes for the items returning to the space. You may want dividers or bins to separate items. Don’t become paralyzed by trying to make everything look “perfect”!  Re-purpose shoe boxes or plastic bags as containers until you have the space functioning properly. Then you can update containers according to your aesthetic.

Finally, label! Labeling not only helps keep everything organized, it also gives direction to the rest of the household and takes the burden off of one person having to be in charge of where things go.

storage closet - MM

Beyond Spring Clearing 

Start a habit of returning items to their homes daily. Set aside 10 minutes a day for family clean up time. Play fun music, or make it a game for younger children to see who can put away the most items in that time. You will be surprised at the difference a few minutes a day makes!

 

Major Mom is on a mission to combat clutter and chaos one household at a time. To learn more, visit www.majormom.biz or call 888-549-8854 to schedule your free estimate with a Major Mom Liberator. Our Organizing Store brings the Major home to you in audio lessons such as “Eleven Rewards for Downsizing Your Stuff” or our video workshop “Secret Weapon to Getting Organized”. Don’t delay – get organized today!

The Process of Painting Cabinets

Who knew painting cabinets would be so popular?

At the end of 2014, I had a crazy thought…what if people wanted to paint their kitchen cabinets? Up to that point, we would only paint a set of cabinets or two a year…and boy was it a pain. We would paint them how most painting contractors in Denver would do them. We would take over the homeowner’s garage for about 2 weeks, we would lay out all the doors and drawers on the floor. We would paint a side, let them dry, flip them over, paint the other side, flip them over paint the other side, etc., etc. It was a tedious process, and it was very hard to get a really good finish on the cabinets; as the cabinets would be drying, dust and particles would land on the cabinets, so we would constantly be fixing and cleaning them off.  On top of that, when we would turn over the cabinet, even though it would be dry to the touch, the paint would be fairly soft, and would mark easily when it was turned over, and put back on itself.  There had to be a better way!

painting kitchen cabinets

Highlands Ranch painting contractor

Around that time, I was helping a friend move. As we emptied the truck, I stood in it and thought, this would be a perfect place to paint cabinets. Instead of buying a truck, I bought a 20 ft. trailer.  We installed a wall and created the perfect place to spray the doors. We turned the back of the trailer into a big closet for hanging the cabinets. This process sped up the time it took to paint each coat because we could now paint all six sides of the doors and drawers, and control the environment of dust and debris.  My problems were solved!

We bought that first trailer in December of 2014, and now we have four mobile spray booths for spraying cabinets.  I believe we paint more cabinets than any Denver paint contractor.

Why is painting cabinets so popular?

Why is painting cabinets so popular? I believe it is because of a few factors. First, there are so many home that were built with oak and maple cabinets. These cabinets have yellowed over time and have started to look very outdated. Second, it is very costly to replace or reface cabinets. I tell people that the cost to reface cabinets is roughly 3 to 4 times the cost of painting. To replace your cabinets, you would need to spend 5 to 10 times the amount. Because our average cost to paint cabinets in a kitchen is around $3000, it is the perfect solution for updating a kitchen. On top of that, the turnaround time for painting a kitchen is roughly one week. Not bad when you consider the average kitchen remodel is about three months. There is literally nothing you can do to update a kitchen that is more affordable or as quick as painting your cabinets.

painting cabinets

Many painting companies can give you an estimate for painting their cabinets, but few will go through the process that we have created. We use two different types of primes based on what type of wood you have. We know how to reduce the graininess of oak cabinets (a common request by our customers), most companies use the wrong primer (if you see a can of Kilz, you need to start asking questions), many will take your cabinet doors off-site, and you will not see them for 6 to 8 weeks, and if Milk Paint is discussed…you better think twice. Painting cabinets white is not a DIY project as it is as technical as it gets. If you don’t spray the doors, you will have lots of brush marks, which will create a non-professional look.  We have a page on painting kitchen cabinets that goes through our entire process.

So if you are considering a kitchen cabinet update, painting cabinets is a good way to go, but you need to make sure the painting contractor has done their homework. We give a lifetime warranty and we can only offer that because we have done the right research, and have created the right process. If you are interested in talking to us about painting your cabinets, please contact us here.

Tips on the Right Color for Your Home

Love This Living Room Paint Color Storm Benjamin Moore My Benjamin Moore Living Room Colors - Living Room Ideas

Benjamin Moore Storm – AF -700

We’ve all been there; the time has come to paint the walls in your home.  The first task at hand – to search the internet of course! Saving all those perfect color pallets and photos to our Pinterest boards.  Like this beautiful gray, Dovetail – from Sherwin Williams. (It’s on my Pinterest board!) Then, it is time to go to the paint store and look at the hundreds, no – thousands of tiny color swatches and find those chosen few colors.  Then all you have to do is hand over the colors to the painter and you are on your way being featured in a perfect color blog; your living room will look just like this photo, it is that easy – right?  WRONG.

 

SW dovetail prple

Similar to Benjamin Moore – Secret 1469

 

Color should be chosen in context – not by popularity online or your favorite color.  Will that popular color work in your home?  Possibly.  Is it the BEST color for your home? Probably not. That gray paint goes great with the black chairs and minimal color elements.  Introduce some greens, that paint could show more of a purple color, like the photo above. (which if that is what you’re going for, great…but usually not for a living room).  I would guess that there is a color that will work with your tile, furniture, granite – etc. better.  I am not saying to stay away from Pinterest or design blogs – they are great (really, I don’t know if I could survive without all that inspiration!)  But make sure the color works in your home, lighting and surroundings before painting it on your walls.  Look with in the family of that popular color and find one that works best with your home. Context is key.  Look how nicely this paint color works with the tile below.

BM 3

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter – Credit Remodoholic.com

 

So, the question is HOW do I find the right color?

  • Work with the fixed elements in your home. That granite you had to have or the couch you love, the color of your walls should complement these elements.  Find your inspiration piece or bossy fixed element you need to work with.
  • Tone down a color you want to hide. Choosing a color to blend out that strong yellow or orange in your tile is important.  A contrasting color will bring this out, instead you need to find a color that blends or hides that strong color a neutral or another color in the granite you want to pull out.
  • Hire a professional. Companies like Walls by Design or Your Color Consultant will bring the color to you, so you don’t have to look at hundreds or popular color online then seek them out in the paint store only to find out that something is off.  A professional also knows how to work with your fixed elements and even use large color samples to help you to envision what the color will look like in your space.   A color professional can create the mood and feeling you want to have when you enter a space.

2) httpfortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com201306the-barn-room.html

Barn room credit – For the love of a home – Color similar to Sea Haze from Benjamin Moore 2137-50

 

The right color is important; and once you have the right color, it can do the following:

  • Improve the function of a room through. Do you want to have a sense of trust and security in your business?  Create a problem solving environment?  Provide a creative space?  All this is possible with the right color choice.
  • Improve outlook – Color influences emotion and even memory. The right color brings the positive mood into your home or work space.
  • Bring value to your home – Yes, you can actually devalue your home by choosing the wrong paint colors, a common mistake many homeowners make. A professional knows how to bring out the hidden value through color.

Certified Architectural Color Consultant Kelly Paulson is a color consultant with Your Color Consultant. She works regularly with Walls by Design and will be providing her color insight quarterly. You can find more information about her at www.yourcolorconsultant.com