Sometimes it’s the minor details that make a major impact. While staging helps home buyers visualize the spaces and create a picture of them living there, the structural elements that can’t be found at another home are what is really turning heads, and dollars right now. Room accents – particularly those that give you the biggest bang for your buck – might be worth consideration if you’re planning a remodel of your not quite forever home.
Brick walls and exposed beams inject personality and warmth into a space. When used proportionately with a mix of new features it can create a unique standout look for your home. The growing revival of 1960’s architecture, decor and fashion are encouraging buyers of older homes to think twice before removing or painting over structural elements that a few years ago were viewed as dated. HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper,’ design and remodel couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, helped change buyer’s thinking on these elements and created the now popular modern farmhouse look. Fair warning, it’s overplayed, so don’t go crazy copying Pinterest ideas. While exposed original home elements complement any décor, from traditional to modern, its often best to stick to working with what your home already has, or originally may have had, rather than adding new faux features in.
Built-ins and Natural Wood
Buyers went crazy for a would-be simple Rancher in Willow Glen because of its originality and character. Most notably present right when you enter the front door, is the 1960 original built-in Oak bookshelf with copper lined planter and slanted dividers. Besides creatively separating the entryway from the living room it offered a unique look to an ordinary space. Change up the tile, light fixture and front door and you’ve got a one-of-a-kind mid-century modern entryway. And please don’t paint it white or you will be dating yourself and your home. Oak is back along with Pine, Beech and Ash. Do not fear Oak, it’s not the cringy Oak cabinetry and furniture from your childhood that was stained glossy, and heavy looking, what’s here now, is the streamlined Scandinavian inspired looks that are in same design realm of the 1960’s. If you are refinishing anything wood be sure to use a matte stain.
The interlocking wooden boards known as shiplap are more than just a passing trend, they’re versatile decorating components that work just as well in a powder room, kitchen, outside gathering space or ceiling. Even when used sparingly, maybe as a backsplash or above a fireplace, this detail can be powerful. Different vibes can be achieved by painting it or even staining it to highlight the rich colors and natural grain.
Focal Point on the Sink
Dishwashing procrastinators may want to skip this one but for those looking to infuse some interest into a kitchen remodel while keeping it timeless, consider upping the budget for the sink. The very popular Farmhouse sink offers a deeper more flat bottomed squared off look with the apron front showing off more of the sink itself. You can get them in all sorts of materials and sizes now, just search up Farmhouse Sinks online and click on images. This one shown here is one of my all-time favorites. It was in a client’s home in Cambrian Park and it’s all copper. Not only does it infuse character into the kitchen it will patina over time and continue to take on its own unique look depending on how much and how you use it. The real benefit of a copper sink is that copper is an antimicrobial metal, killing 99.9% of microorganisms within two hours of contact.
While we Californians enjoy more days of sunshine than many other parts of the world, the desire for natural light and a connection to the outdoors remains one of the highest desires of Bay Area Buyers. This remodeled Eichler in Saratoga had everyone swooning. Although an Eichler isn’t the home for everyone with its smaller bedrooms and flat roofs, all viewers appreciated the connection between the indoor and the outdoor living spaces. A well thought out investment in your backyard will always pay-off in the bay area real estate market and an extra bonus is when you can open up a wall a bit to bring more of the outside in.