Tag Archives: interior design

3 Reasons to Buy a Fixer-Upper In a High-End Neighborhood

Several generations ago, buying a home was a goal that was in reach for most Americans. Now, however, purchasing a house is a more daunting process, especially in higher-end areas. One way to get into the neighborhood you desire and still stay within budget is to buy a fixer-upper. Then you can take time to invest in the work and bring your home up to par.

If you find that your home search leaves you wailing, “I can’t find a house I like,” then a fixer-upper might be the way to go. The team at Design Elements NW can turn your diamond-in-the-rough into the house of your dreams. Reach out and let’s connect.

What Is a Fixer-Upper?

Many people have different ideas of what constitutes a fixer-upper. But in general, the term applies to real estate that needs significant refurbishing or remodeling. Usually, these properties are not at the same level of quality as surrounding homes.

A fixer-upper will need large-scale work such as a new roof or foundation repairs. Or it may be for sale as-is. Typically, minor cosmetic repairs, such as needing fresh paint or carpet, do not fall under the fixer-upper category. 

Depending on the extent of work to do, you may be able to live in the home while renovations take place. In other cases, the remodel is so extensive that you may have to live somewhere else until your new home is habitable.

What Are the Benefits of Buying a Fixer-Upper?

The home buying process looks different for every buyer. Some have a seemingly unlimited budget and can purchase a house in pristine condition. Most, on the other hand, have some financial constraints to work with during their search.

One of the big draws for people who buy a fixer-upper is the ability to get into a high-end neighborhood at a lower price point. Here are three reasons you might want to consider this option.

1. Establish Yourself In a Good School District

Families with young children often want to move into areas with strong schools. And they often choose to do this before their kids are school age. Typically, homes in excellent school districts come with high price tags that young couples may not be ready to afford.

But working with an experienced realtor and an excellent designer, you may be able to find a hidden gem in your ideal part of town. Fixer-uppers generally sell for prices under the market value, so you may be able to secure a spot in your dream neighborhood well within your budget.

2. Get More House for Your Money

Are you ready to upsize but don’t have the budget for a bigger house in the right neighborhood? Choosing to buy a fixer-upper may be the ticket. When you are willing to purchase a home that needs a lot of work, you can get a lot more space than if you shop for something move-in ready.

As-is houses sell for less per square foot than do properties with all the bells and whistles. This means you can buy a lot of house if you’re willing to live with the renovation experience. You will be able to consider homes with more room or bigger lots or both. And you can still be in the neighborhood you love.

3. Make Your House Just the Way You Want It

Sometimes you just can’t find a house you love enough to buy. You might be looking for a home that has everything you want and need but can’t find it in your ideal spot. In that case, you may have to create it yourself.

When you buy a fixer-upper, you are in charge of the renovations from the beginning. Working with an interior designer, you will be able to create the home you’re dreaming of in the neighborhood you love. And the finished project will bring you joy for years to come.

How Do You Buy a Fixer-Upper?

Many steps of the home buying process are the same for fixer-uppers as they are for any other house. You will need to secure lending unless you are paying cash. 

You will place an offer, and the seller will accept it or not. There may be counter offers and negotiations before you enter into a contract. Your designer can give you an estimate of the remodel costs so that you can factor that into your offer. 

Depending on the level of work a home needs, there may be extra hoops to jump through for lending. Often, buyers can secure a loan that includes both the purchase price and money for the remodel. This type of renovation loan makes it easier to pay for all the work since repayment is included with the monthly mortgage. 

A renovation home loan will require you to agree to extra inspections and reports. The lender wants to be sure the work is happening as planned, so they can protect their investment and yours.

How Long Will It Take To Remodel a Fixer-Upper?

There is no simple answer to this question since each project is unique. The most critical piece is hiring a designer who fits the following criteria:

  • Experienced in working with total renovations, not just cosmetic updates
  • Connected to a reliable network of contractors and subcontractors
  • Available to handle the scope of your project on time
  • Ready to listen to what you want

A designer with the right experience and connections will be able to make this as seamless a process as any remodel can be. They will set the timeline so that work moves along swiftly. 

Have an Expert By Your Side

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of tackling renovations on your own, reach out to Kym at Design Elements NW. You can walk in the door saying, “Remodel my house!” and she will take care of it.

Choosing to buy a fixer-upper is the perfect way to get into your dream house. You just have to be a little patient waiting for the dream to come true. But with Design Elements NW on your team, you’ll be enjoying your new home before you know it! Reach out today to get started.

A Guide to Choosing Interior Design Styles for Your Home

As spring approaches, many homeowners get the itch to change things up in their houses. They are ready for deep cleaning and renewal and a fresh feeling. One of the most fun ways to give your home a new spring look is to update your take on interior design styles.

From furniture to artwork to paint colors, you can easily switch the look of your home to give yourself a mental boost. Fresh, new spaces always feel good to the soul. 

One stumbling block that comes up for homeowners, however, is where to start. There are so many interior design styles, and you may like a few elements of many of them. You might not be sure how to define or choose your style.

If you want to make some updates but feel unsure how to go about it, reach out to the team at Design Elements NW. From new construction to a cosmetic changeover, we have you covered. 

How Do I Figure Out My Style?

If you put that question into a search engine, you will have at least a dozen quiz options pop up for you to peruse. These are often fun to fill out and can be useful for some people. But for many homeowners, these can add another layer of stress or confusion. They might create more questions than they answer.

Here are some tips to get you started as you settle on a design style for your house.

Learn the Basics About Several Interior Design Styles

If you are just starting the process of picking a style for your home decor, it’s best to familiarize yourself with several of the top choices. As you look through descriptions and photos, pay attention to the colors, shapes, and lines that draw you in. 

Get a feel for the overall vibe of any given style. You might want to curate a Pinterest board or a physical notebook with photos and color swatches that please you.

Take a Look at Your Clothes

If you spend some time looking through your closet, you may find the clues you’ve needed about your style preferences. Keep an eye out for any of these trends:

  • Is there a color palette that is common in your clothing choices? Do you prefer bold colors? Neutrals? Mostly black and white?
  • Do you see a lot of prints? Perhaps you’ll notice that many of your shirts are animal print, or floral, or geometric. Maybe you have a lot of ironic and quirky t-shirts. 
  • Do your clothes have a lot of structure or not much at all? If you lean toward fitted, button-down shirts and tailored pants, that can carry over into home design as well. Or if you are a slouchy clothes aficionado, that can point you in the right direction for your house.
  • Are there certain fabrics that make up the majority of your clothing? Do you prefer comfy cotton clothes or snug leather options? Do you have a lot of dry-clean only wardrobe pieces, or mostly wash-and-wear?

Consider a Favorite Piece of Furniture or Artwork

If you already have a statement piece that you love in your home, that can be an excellent jumping-off point. You might have a favorite painting that speaks to modern decor. Or maybe you own a stunning, large plant that has a bohemian feel. Whatever it is, you can use it to help guide your choices as you look at the different design styles.

Do I Have to Pick Just One Style?

One of the other problems people have when choosing an interior design option is that they feel stuck picking only one. The reality is that most people like elements of two or three different styles. And that makes for a perfect blend that fits you just right.

This is your home we’re talking about. It’s your sanctuary and haven. It has to feel right to you, not to some magazine editor who curates photos of perfectly arranged styles. Perhaps you mostly like art deco interior design but also want to incorporate a little industrial edge to it. Go for it! Don’t feel forced into one style or definition. That will never feel right to you.

Top Interior Design Styles

In general, most interior design styles can fit into one of two categories: period-inspired or location-inspired. Period-inspired options have to do with a time frame, such as modern or art deco interior design. Location-inspired styles stem from a place, such as Mediterranean or Asian. And then there are a few choices that don’t fit either section. Let’s take a look at several popular styles among these categories

Period Design

  • Industrial – Hearkening to the early nineteenth-century industrial revolution, this style combines some old-world looks with sleek design elements. You will see solid wood pieces with metal fixtures and fasteners. You might see exposed brick, copper fittings, and darker colors. The industrial style is popular in urban lofts and condos but certainly can be part of any home’s decor.
  • Art Deco – The Roaring 20s come to life with this design style. If you enjoy bold colors and sharp designs, you may be an art deco fan. With clean lines and an eye toward symmetry, art deco also evokes luxury and glamour. This style is fun to incorporate into any space.
  • Mid-Century Modern – Some of the most iconic American design pieces hail from the middle of the 20th century. This style uses simple lines and natural elements as it focuses on high-functioning items. The post-war era was transitioning into the modern one, and this style shows that move away from heavy, stylized pieces.

Location Design

  • Nautical or Coastal – This New England-inspired design style is warm and relaxing. It evokes the feel of a cottage on the coast where you can spend time with a book, a puzzle, or a glass of wine by the fireplace. Unfinished wood and linen upholstery make an appearance in a lot of the furniture. Neutral sandy colors with blue accents make decorating a breeze.
  • Scandinavian – With similarities to art deco and minimalist design, Scandinavian style uses clean lines and fun pops of color. With gray and white as the primary undertones, the Scandinavian design style is very clean, open, and airy. It relies on textures in pillows and blankets to bring layers of coziness to your space.
  • Farmhouse – This style pulls from a rural, country feel. It uses exposed beams and natural wood colors to evoke a sense of simplicity. Light colors and natural elements like wildflowers, fruit, and lavender often complete the feel of farmhouse design.

Neither Here Nor There

Some interior design styles fit into their own category. They do not necessarily rely on a specific time or place for inspiration. 

  • Bohemian – To bring this design into your home, look for natural fibers and ethnic patterns or fabrics. The Bohemian style is purposely “messy” rather than streamlined and structured. It suggests whimsy and travel and exploration and can involve trinkets and photos scattered throughout the space. The Bohemian aesthetic is carefree and relaxed.
  • Shabby Chic – The shabby chic design style has a soft, feminine feel. It hails from a French style and leans toward vintage furniture and accessories. Floral patterns and muted colors dominate this style. 

Design Elements Can Help You Create Your Perfect Style

Whether you are building a house from the ground up or want help redecorating one room, the expert team at Design Elements NW is here to help. We walk with you on your design journey to make sure your home is the haven you deserve. Reach out today for a free consultation and get started on creating a space you will love to call home.

5 Best Home Improvement Projects for Resale

Interior design in Portland, OR

As spring approaches, many homeowners are thinking about getting their houses on the market. But it’s rare for a property to be sale-ready without some work. It can be hard to decide which home improvement projects are best for resale. But if you’re ready to list your home, or just want to enjoy some improvements, some remodeling options will give you the most bang for your buck.

And if you feel stuck about where to start on your updates, reach out to Design Elements NW for a consultation. Whether you’re ready to sell or just moving in, we have the expertise to make your dreams a reality and turn your home into a haven. We offer stunning interior design in Portland, OR, for all your home project needs.

How to Choose the Best Home Improvement Projects

Homeowners can often go into a state of “paralysis by analysis” when it comes to updating their homes. There is so much information in our modern world of Pinterest boards and DIY websites that it can stop you in your tracks. You could end up overpaying for something that won’t serve your purposes.

Perhaps you are getting ready to move and are wondering which renovations are a good idea. Or maybe you just want to be strategic in your home improvements for future resale. Either way, you are eager to get the ball rolling on some upgrades for your house. You can’t go wrong with these five top home remodeling projects since they bring an excellent return on your investment.

1. Kitchen Overhaul

Kitchen Interior Design

Long gone are the days of the kitchen being tucked away, out of sight. Now it is often the centerpiece of a home’s layout and welcoming design. Friends and family enjoy cooking together and lingering in the kitchen as they prepare meals. 

A beautiful, functional kitchen generally ranks at the top of the list for prospective buyers, so it should be the first area that gets your attention if you’re thinking about resale. You have a wide range of projects to consider, depending on your timeframe and budget.

For a simple update, consider fresh paint, new counters, and new cabinet faces. Making sure these pieces look clean, modern, and inviting will go a long way to showcasing your home. An interior designer can help you narrow down your color and style choices to just the right fit for your house.

For a more significant wow factor, consider a full kitchen remodel. Working with an expert designer and project manager, you can create a stunning showstopper. New cabinets, upgraded appliances, and a practical layout will give you a kitchen you can love for years to come, or one that will make potential buyers say, “Here’s our fabulous offer!”

2. Bathroom Addition

A bathroom addition may sound like a big undertaking, but it is well worth the time and money. Adding another bathroom or half-bath can recoup up to 130% of your investment, making it one of the best home improvement projects possible. And you don’t need to carve out as much space as you might think for this project. Even 18-20 square feet can work for a half-bathroom.

Bathroom Interior Design

Potential homebuyers often won’t even look at a house with only two bathrooms, so adding a third is a smart choice. And if you aren’t ready to sell yet, you can enjoy the convenience of the extra space while you still live there. 

Work with an interior design team to make sure the addition goes smoothly, and you end up with useful square footage to boost the value of your home. Many people choose to tackle this project when they are preparing to refinance. The ROI is high enough that it’s worth getting it done.

3. Energy Efficiency

Millennial homebuyers are looking for particular items on their must-have lists, and energy efficiency is one of them. Updating your appliances, windows, and insulation might not sound very glamorous, but they are valuable improvements. 

If you plan to sell, then these changes make your home more marketable. If you plan to stay in your house, then you will reap the benefit of lower energy bills. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.

4. Bathroom Upgrades

Adding a bathroom to your home is a valuable option. But if you’re not ready to tackle that job, consider updating the existing bathrooms in the house. A bathroom upgrade is one of the top home remodeling projects for resale. To make a simple transformation that will have a huge impact, consider replacing the following pieces for a fresh, attractive look:

  • Flooring
  • Vanity
  • Lighting
  • Mirror
  • Tub or shower
  • Paint
  • Tile
Bathroom Interior Design

Old, dingy bathrooms turn potential buyers away. But with an expert designer at your side, you can have beautiful spaces that make your home look fantastic and draw top-dollar offers. You can turn those outdated bathrooms into luxurious, modern mini-spas. And if you’re not looking to sell yet, then you can enjoy the renovations for yourself. 

5. Think Outside the House

Although everything inside your home is a potential selling point when you list your house, don’t forget about the outside. A prospective buyer’s first impression is critical. If the interior is now stunning, but you neglect the exterior, your property will not show well.

If you want to make your home sparkle for all of your guests and potential buyers, it may be time to replace or refresh these items:

  • Front Door
  • Garage Door
  • Deck or Patio
  • Landscaping
  • Front Porch

People want to have outdoor spaces that feel and look great, so these updates can bring a significant return on your investment. And by handling these projects at the same time, you make it easier to ensure a cohesive, put-together look for the outside of your house.

Work with the Experts

If you are considering any home updates, reach out to Kym at Design Elements NW. As the premier interior designer in Portland, OR, Kym is beautifying the Pacific Northwest one home at a time. From new construction to upgrades for resale, Kym will help you turn your home into a haven for all who enter. Give her a call today.