Sometimes, real estate brokers have to get creative to market a house. "This home in Oakland, California, was a tiny two-bedroom of about 900 square feet," says Jennifer Montague Clark of The Home Co. "To maximize resale value, we felt we had to show buyers the garage’s untapped potential. We painted it white to emphasize how light and bright it was, then staged a day bed and game table to illustrate potential uses." Take these tips to your own home (whether it’s for sale or not): A fresh coat of paint works wonders, as do some colorful furnishings and accessories—no major investment required.
Ilana Wiles, creator of Mommy Shorts, relies on scooters to get around Manhattan with her daughters, now that they’ve outgrown strollers. “My oldest daughter got hers when she was three and it was a game changer,” says Wiles. “We could cover so much more ground while we were walking around the city. My younger daughter started before she was two and they scoot everywhere now.”
This playhouse structure is clad inside and out with rough-sawn spruce boards, which are naturally weather resistant, making it good for the family and the environment. Storage cubbies offer easy access spaces for toys and games, while a chalkboard wall encourages drawing and writing. A blue racer rocker, made of recycled milk bottles, offers fun yet durable seating. A ladder leads to the second floor loft area where twin skylights provide daylighting and the ability to follow the evening stars with the telescope.
As seen on HGTV and DIY Network's House Crashers, licensed contractor Josh Temple takes a quick break from assembling a game table in front of Jason Melius' and Tiffany Price's Burbank, California, home. Temple and his team transformed the under-utilized sunroom off of the back of the home into a beautiful space for entertaining with custom pebble flooring, slat wall treatments, and a custom bar and lounge area.
Decatur is known for its distinct, historic neighborhoods, eclectic food, and vibrant downtown: it is not known for log cabins. My clients are the owners of this unlikely urban retreat and wanted to design a space that provided a TV-free zone to read, relax, eat, and play games as a family. This angle shows close-ups of the great texture and color we were able to put in there with the vintage rug layered over the jute, the green pillows and the awesome art that made it feel personal and cozy.
A selection of exquisitely wrapped gifts are perfect for pop-over guests and for sprinkling around the house for touches of holiday spirit. "Welcome guests with a porcelain compote filled with tiny boxes of chocolate wrapped in colorful, patterned paper from a stationary store," home stylist Matthew Mead says. For kids, "cards, puzzles and mini games can be wrapped and trimmed with candies." He suggests keeping other little pre-wrapped surprises, such as books and gift cards, on hand as well. Photo courtesy of Matthew Mead.
Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs have been upping their dining game in the past few years and Avalon has done a great job of attracting the city's top chefs with satellite restaurants. A local favorite The El Felix is from area star chef Ford Fry, kingpin of a head-spinning number of Atlanta restaurants. Fry taps into his Tex Mex roots growing up in the Lone Star State with crowd-pleasing, uber-satisfying Mexican comfort food with a twist. Word of advice: you need the chili con con queso compuesto. Trust us on this.
The mirrored nightstand and luxurious tapestry headboard give off a glamorous sparkle in this bedroom designed by Tina Mellino, but they belie a family-friendly functionality. "Everything in this room is durable," Tina says, "because I designed it as an adult guest suite where the client's grandchildren could also come to play video games. The duvet cover, for example, is a soft machine-washable linen." The wall behind the bed features a custom-mixed coppery paint treatment from Variance that's applied with a trowel and lightly buffed. "It creates a wonderful soft texture that reflects light differently at different times of day," Tina says.
Step up your gifting game with this sweet jar topped with a silver ballerina and snowflake jewels by Hostess with the Mostess. To make this darling jar, spray paint a small plastic ballerina silver (a cake topper works perfectly!). Paint her dress with glue, and then sprinkle with a fine craft glitter in your favorite hue. Use hot glue to attach both parts of the jar lid. Next, glue on your ballerina and add a bit of quilt batting for the snow. Embellish your jar with stickers and a tag for an even cuter look!
Once inside the man-cave, the cool angles and architectural features clearly identifies it as a former attic space. The room is accessorized with black and white images of career milestones and nostalgic art that references the homeowner's home town. There are two seating areas, a game table, a live edge counter with four barstools and of course a massive television. This room meets the needs of whatever type of guests our homeowner is hosting. There are four large club chairs for casual business meetings, a comfy sofa for lounging, or we can fill every seat for a big sporting event. Every element in this room has a purpose, but we still managed to inject good design principals into finishes, the space plan and overall mood to ensure a great result.
When specifying upholstery for a beachfront house belonging to an active family, designers Betsy Burnham and Max Humphrey of Burnham Design opted to cover all the furniture in indoor-outdoor fabric. "Every piece is done in Sunbrella fabric — even the pillows and the custom area rug underneath. Outdoor fabric was the perfect choice for this room, which is "command central" for TV-watching and game playing.” And, they note, “In terms of the furniture plan, sometimes it’s dramatic to do fewer pieces and keep the scale large of each and bold; that’s the case here. We selected the largest sectional we could fit in the space and made sure it was super deep and comfy. We paired it with a large upholstered ottoman, which serves double duty as a coffee table and great place for everyone to kick up their feet.”
Talk about a customized closet! This space was designed by Ehrlich Architects for an African art dealer/big game couple, reflecting their trademark styles of dress, which they refer to as “the hunter and the hunted.” He only wears camouflage, while she is devoted to animal prints. The zebra print rug unites them both, as does the spectacular African sculpture in the center. It’s interesting to note the differences in storage space requirements: He needs more shelves for casual folded clothes and duffel bags, whereas she has more hanging space for professional wear suited to her work in the art world.
Decatur is known for its distinct, historic neighborhoods, eclectic food, and vibrant downtown: it is not known for log cabins. My clients are the owners of this unlikely urban retreat and wanted to design a space that provided a TV-free zone to read, relax, eat, and play games as a family. Red chairs were the pop that this space needed. The table was custom made and can expand for guests. We lined store-bought curtains to make them look higher end and put a roman shade of the same material over the large kitchen sink. It pulls it all together. It's a cabin, yes, but that does not mean every detail needs to be rustic!
Just 10 miles from Panacea, the town of Sopchoppy has an area of just 1.5 square miles and a population of nearly 500 people. Have you ever seen worm grunting? If you attend their annual Worm Gruntin’ Festival, you can. In addition to the worm grunting demonstration from a professional baiter, the festival includes a 5K race, games, food, live music and arts and crafts. If worms aren’t your thing, and you’re just looking for a place to eat, visit the Sopchoppy Pizza Company for a slice of the “Sopchoppy Supreme,” a local favorite. Their pizza crusts feature a special, not-so-secret ingredient: Tupelo Honey made in Wakulla County.
Decatur is known for its distinct, historic neighborhoods, eclectic food, and vibrant downtown: it is not known for log cabins. My clients are the owners of this unlikely urban retreat and wanted to design a space that provided a TV-free zone to read, relax, eat, and play games as a family. This little reading nook is my favorite vignette. It is my client's favorite spot in the house. She has her morning coffee there daily. The chair was hers but the shelves were added to have storage and interest go up the wall and showcase their family pictures and items I sourced in flea markets all over Atlanta! The pouf and blanket were "must haves" from the very beginning.
Put a fresh spin on a classic game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey with Add the Cherry To the Ice Cream Cone. To make this, you’ll need a roll of craft paper, several shades of acrylic paint, paint pens and assorted colors of construction paper. Trace the shape of an ice cream cone directly onto the craft paper, outline the edges with paint pens and fill in the tracing with acrylic paint. For an extra layer of decoration, trace and paint sprinkles onto the paper as well. Next, make cherries by cutting red construction paper into 6-inch wide circles, and then add double-sided tape to the back. Tape the craft paper to the wall, add a blindfold to the first willing participant and let them have at it!
As seen on Love It Or List It, Too the room was previously open on the garden facing wall, but had a shoebox for a kitchen and an underused bathroom. Jillian's solution was to blow out the bathroom entirely and insert a 30ft steel beam to support the already vaulted ceiling. With an extra 10 inches of space found in the renovation Jillian's team added a coffered ceiling to delineate the space adding intimacy and definition. The grid prints are of traditional Italian hunting scenes often found in family homes of Italian expats and are a nod to the grid design of the ceiling. A custom sectional was designed so that the homeowners could entertain many guests and take in a football game or two. The wrought iron wall hanging is actually from Egypt, but Jillian felt it gave a country feeling to the home. The components console is custom made. New french doors have been added to the patin entrance and a new gas insert sits on the far wall made of Venetian plaster and box posts, designed to draw the eye upwards into the grand vaulted space.
Of course, apple pie is the go-to dessert everyone knows and loves. Whether you’re serving deep dish, double crust, lattice-top or Dutch crumb, it’s tough to beat this American classic. This year, up your pie game by trying some new twists on a family favorite. Marry apple with other tasty ingredients to deliver a whole new crowd pleaser. Good apple combinations include cranberry, raisin, raspberry, dates and pear. Toss nuts into the filling, or switch up spices, swapping cinnamon for Chinese five-spice. Trade pastry for a ginger snap or cinnamon graham cracker crust. You can freeze unbaked apple pies for a quick dessert that’s equally cozy and impressive. Or save your freezer space by making home-canned apple pie filling. It comes together in a snap with a boiling water bath and turns out wonderful fresh-tasting pies for the holidays and beyond.