Larry Costa REALTOR®
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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 2/8/2019

The wall finishes you loved five years ago seem a little stale now. Even though the walls have held up and don't need repainting, the look seems dated. Either that or your do-it-yourself gene wants to express itself again with something completely different. Go ahead. Splash some paint on those walls. Better yet, try a new finish to add warmth, depth, and sophistication to any room.

Decorative techniques

  • Sophisticated stenciling. Instead of flowers, paisley, and fleurs-de-lis think techno dashes or graphic geometrics. Try a single wall in the bathroom, or above the backsplash in the kitchen. For a fanciful finish, wrap your design around a corner and fade into the larger wall.
  • Stripes and checks. New painter tapes and smoother wall finishes lend themselves to stripes and checks. For an intricate detailing try graduating from wide stripes to narrow as you move up the wall or start with a darker color and move to a lighter one. Another sophisticated look is a plaid or check. Think gingham for a classic design. You'll need both a deeper and lighter version of the same hue to complete the look.
  • Strié. Different from stripes, strié is a faux finish utilizing glaze and brushes in a horizontal or vertical motion to create natural striations—fine ridges or grooves—on the surface of the wall. Because the process removes glaze with each brush stroke, it is a "negative technique" rather than adding it. The simplest version requires rolling a layer of faux-glaze over the entire wall, then removing it in lines with a dry brush.
  • Dots and harlequins. Add a bit of whimsy to the wall of a bedroom wall with polka dots or harlequins (elongated diamonds). Use a stencil for the dots and tap for the harlequins. Raise the bar a bit with your dots by placing them randomly rather than an evenly-spaced pattern or put larger groups of dots nearer the ceiling with fewer and fewer as they progress down the wall toward the floor.
  • Metallics. A newcomer to the paint scene, metallic paints such as pewter or copper in a glossy finish add drama to a niche or alcove. Use a metallic bronze above a fireplace or paint a powder room ceiling antique gold.
  • Sponging. Arguably one of the least complex finishes to master, sponging can date your home back to the 90s or move it into the modern era depending on the care and precision you use. A single color, say blue or green on a white wall, is the old version of this technique. To give a completely updated version, paint the wall a medium dark color, say an ocean blue, and then sponge on slightly lighter and slightly darker colors with a light hand to give the wall the look of aged azure stone. For a more formal look, lightly add metallic touches with a dry sponge to add reflective tones.
  • Color wash. For textured walls and paintable wallpaper, color wash creates a beautiful finish. Paint the walls in a satin finish paint, then, brush over it with a glaze mixture to bring out the texture.
  • Hand rubbed. Like color wash, the hand-subbed technique uses a soft cloth or old cotton sock, instead of a brush, to rub the glaze in a circular pattern onto the wall.

No matter what the technique, if you don't love the finished product, simply paint over it and start again. Before utilizing a specialty paint technique on the walls in a home you plan to sell, chat with your local real estate professional to see if it's the right choice for your home.




Tags: decorating   painting tips   DIY  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 6/17/2016

Humans have been thinking about the way they decorate their homes for thousands of years. In ancient India, Vastu shastra (literally, "the science of architecture") has been informing decorating techniques since as early as 6,000 BCE. The more commonly known influence for home decorating, feng shui, has its roots in ancient China where practitioners were inspired by astronomy. In the early 1900s, however, a modern science was founded that attempts to solve some of the problems that arise based on our environments. Environmental psychology is a field that focuses on the interplay between humans and the environments they live and work in. Scientists have studied the way humans (and other animals, like rats) are affected by their environment. Their findings help to inform us of how we can live more relaxed or focused based on how we decorate our home and workplace.

A place to call your own

As society becomes increasingly urbanized, many psychologists are studying the problems that arise from being in constant contact with one another, both physically and in the digital world. One thing that scientists have discovered is that it is important for humans to have a place of sanctuary during their day. Whether this is your cubicle at work, your home office, or your tool shed, everyone needs a place they can be alone. Ask yourself if your home setup provides you with a space that you can go to be alone.

How colors can affect mood

Have you ever been in a school or hospital that was painted an awful color that just made you uncomfortable? Many of us have trained ourselves to adapt and live with environments that aren't ideal for us. For example, the bright red walls of McDonald's or the blinding fluorescent lights in a department store probably aren't conditions we'd pick for our homes. Scientists have discovered that there is a correlation between colors, brightness, and our mood. Try to match the colors of your rooms with their functions. For example, you wouldn't want to paint your bedroom bright red, as your bedroom should be a place you can relax to fall asleep. Instead, go with a less-pronounced color for the bedroom.

The balance between cluttered and sterile

Much of the way we choose to decorate our homes is informed by our childhood. If you learn meticulous cleaning habits from your parents, you might carry on with this into adulthood. As a child, you probably went to a friend's house and marveled at how differently they did things. Part of that lesson is learning that the way someone chooses to decorate and clean their home is part of their personality. But like most things in life, it's important to find a balance. If you find yourself restless or distracted you should ask yourself if the room is too cluttered or messy. Maybe it's the opposite; you could just as easily become distracted or uncomfortable by an environment that is too sterile looking.

Listen to yourself

The most important thing to remember when decorating your home is to follow your intuitions. Decide if you decorated a room a certain way because that's what everyone else does or if it actually makes you feel more at home.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 6/10/2016

It is great to have a room renovation every once in a while but painting and changing the look of a room can be costly and time consuming. Here are three quick and simple ways to change the look of your room without busting the budget.

  1. Window Treatments are one of the quickest, simplest and most affordable ways to change the whole look and feel of a room. If you prefer to take the focus away from the windows, choose neutral colors, and a simple style. If you would like to create a dramatic look and emphasize the view, choose more color or a bolder style in the window treatments. A layered look with sheers or a top treatment will also do the trick.
  2. Lighting can definitely add color. A simple solution would be to add colored bulbs to some of your light fixtures. Incandescent lighting can also add more warmth, and accent lighting can highlight an area of the room. Transform a room’s mood with dimmers, uplights, and sheer textile lampshades. Wall sconces, floor lamps and even candles can also change the look of a room.
  3. Artwork can change the look without busting the budget. Artwork can be from a local gallery, children’s drawings or just what you already have hanging around the house. Choose pieces that showcase intense colors but also work well with the existing pieces in your room. Try moving your current artwork around. Photos, vases, and other collectibles can give new life to a room. Group them in sets of three or five for an instant eye-catching display.
The possibilities are endless. You can infuse a lot of color into any room without once having to pry open a paint can or spend a fortune. Have fun!  





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 5/13/2016

By placing a mirror on the wall in almost any room in your home, you can change a mildly decorated space into a classic masterpiece. Placement of the hung mirror is critical. Keep in mind the reflection that you see when gazing into a mirror should be soothing to the eye. For instance, the reflection may be that of a fancy lamp, piece of artwork or a glamorous chandelier. What you don’t want to do is hang a mirror so that it reflects the pile of clutter on the kitchen counter that you are trying to hide. Hanging a mirror on the wall in the dining room is the most popular decorating trick. Once the mirror is hung, you will know why. The mirror will create the illusion of space and light. This is by far, the most popular spot for a mirror to be hung or rested against the wall. Be careful hanging a mirror in a busy room. This can cause a reverse effect on your decorating plan. Placement is important and the reflection is even more so. If your room is busy with lots of furniture and artwork, you may not need the mirror. What you want the mirror to do, in essence, is make the room bigger. So the room will look as if the wall is not even there. Remember, enhancing a wall with one mirror, can change the feel of a room, open the space up and change the mood of all who enter, so get decorating.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 5/8/2015

              Painting your home for staging purposes is a little different than painting your home for personal pleasure. While your daughter may love having her walls painted Barbie pink, a potential buyer may see this as a distraction. Choosing neutral colors will enable buyers to imagine themselves in your home much easier. And while a fresh coat of paint on your walls may initially seem to be a costly endeavor to undertake, consider that painting your home can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars in some cases. Below is a basic guide to what colors you should have in mind if you plan on painting your home for show. The Kitchen - Kitchens do well with yellows, oranges, and reds. As long as the shade is neutral, these colors will serve to highlight home appliances, kitchen size, and overall comfort. Picking these food-friendly colors will definitely kick your kitchen up a notch. Bathrooms - Bathrooms, because of their size, are best served by very light colors such as tan or pale yellow. The darker you go, the smaller your bathroom will look. In addition, Light colors will also give a sense of cleanliness to a bathroom. If you happen to have a bathroom that already boasts a robust color due to architecture or tile, then pulling colors from these may be an option. For instance, if you have a tile floor in the bathroom with a blue or red in it, then drawing from these colors and choosing a paler shade for the walls could potentially work for the overall flow of the bathroom. Bedrooms - Bedrooms should always steer clear of bright colors, but other than that, you can have a bit more freedom here. Things to keep in mind include the color and style of flooring and fixtures, and whether or not your master bedroom has a master bathroom. Be sure to pick colors that compliment each other if so. Hallways and the rest - Again, you get a bit more freedom here. Salmon-hued paints have a tendency to make people look lively and energized, while beige and blue tones can convey a sense of tranquility and calm. Beige with green tones can be energizing, so it may be something to consider once you reach the living room. Bright reds should probably be avoided in hallways, as they have a tendency to keep people from fully relaxing. This may sound a little crazy, but it's true.




Tags: decorating   paint   painting tips  
Categories: Help Around the House