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Study: Paint Colors Affects House Price

Homeowners looking to sell should immediately paint their slate gray walls a new color, according to findings from Zillow Digs, a website where users can browse millions of photos for home improvement and design inspiration.

Zillow Digs analyzed photos of nearly 50,000 homes sold across the U.S. over the last 10 years and determined that a room’s paint color influences the selling price.

The report took into account the wall color and the type of room, with controls for all other wall colors, square footage, the age of the home, the date of the transaction, and the location.

Creamy yellow or wheat-colored kitchen walls were most alluring to buyers, increasing a home’s sale price by as much as $1,360 above the expected Zillow estimate (or Zestimate). Light green and khaki were also popular, with bedrooms painted in those colors fetching $1,332 more than expected. Purple was found to be a nice fit for dining rooms, and homes with mauve, eggplant, or lavender walls earned $1,122 above the expected price.

When it comes to colors that exert a less-than-positive influence on home price, buyers shied away from terra-cotta and orange-toned living rooms (houses with these hues sold for $793 less) and dark-brown bathrooms ($469 less than normal). But slate and dark gray hues were found to be the biggest turnoffs. Homes that featured dining rooms in those colors sold for $1,112 less. Lighter grays, particularly living rooms painted in a dove tone, fared much better, earning $1,104 more than expected.

White and eggshell-color in kitchens, surprisingly, could also have a negative effect on a home’s sale price. Generally a popular choice for designers because of the color’s versatility and clean, timeless appearance, homes with kitchens painted white sold for $82 less than expected.

“A fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to improve a home’s appearance before listing,” said Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, in a statement. “However, to get the biggest bang for your buck, stick with colors that have mass appeal so you attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Warm neutrals like yellow or light gray are stylish and clean, signaling that the home is well cared for, or that previous owners had an eye for design that may translate to other areas within the house.”

How To Photograph Your Home Like A Professional

There are several different reasons a person may have for wanting to take a fantastic, magazine-worthy photograph of their home. A recent remodel or renovation has possibly left you breathlessly impressed with your own creative skill and now it’s time to share the final result with the virtual world.

Perhaps,  you’re reaching out to an interior designer who has requested shots of the space in order to aide his/her planning and design. Or maybe you are selling your home and want to take stellar photographs to post online.

Regardless of your reasons, the task of taking professional-looking photos of your home sounds easy enough, but the reality is —amazing pictures take amazing effort.  Luckily, even if you don’t have all of the professional equipment and skills, it doesn’t mean a professional-esque picture of your home is out of the question.

Here are few simple tips and tricks for making your home photos magazine-worthy:


Clean Your Home First

Before snapping any photos, you must de-clutter first.  Especially if the home is for a real estate ad, you’re going to want to clean up and eliminate anything that takes away from the space in an effort to give prospective buyers a clear view of the potential.

If the photograph is being taken for a rental as or Bed and Breakfast that you run out of your home, these pictures need to be extremely tidy. Clients will be looking for clean lines that indicate order within a homey space. This may require the hiring of a home staging expert—they know how to make your home look open and welcoming.

Additionally, it may be necessary to create a focal point where one didn’t before exist. Sometimes, capturing the entire room isn’t the most effective choice. It can create an overwhelming visual that doesn’t give the viewer a real chance to focus in on what’s great about the space. Consider picking a corner or specific set up, such as a dining room or fireplace, to focus on—this will help you photograph your home like a true professional.

Above all, take enough care with your photograph to keep blurriness at bay. Nothing screams amateur like a well-staged interior photograph of a home with blurry edges or lines. If you’re going to do this the right way, make sure you put as much care into the actual picture as you do setting up for it!

Lighting Livens Your Home (Inside and Out)

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to photographing your home like a professional is lighting. This ever-changing dynamic can make or break a picture. Similarly, it can alter the feel of a photograph drastically within a matter of minutes depending on the time of day.

Go into your photography session with a plan. If you’re looking to create a softer feeling around your photograph, consider taking the majority of your shots in late afternoon as the sun filters dimly through the room. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bright and airy photograph of an interior room, mid-day is going to be your best bet for the clearest light. And don’t forget to turn on all the lighting sources in the room such as lamps, overhead fixtures, and wall sconces—layered lighting creates an overall sense of warmth and openness (and gets rid of any dark corners in the room).

If you are taking exterior photos, then be sure to take them when the weather conditions allow for a clean and clear shot—without any harsh sun glares. You will not want to take a shot of the front facade when the sun is on its way behind your house as this will create glare and dark shadows.

If all else fails, it may be necessary to turn to technology in order to achieve prime results. Sometimes, no matter what angle you attempt, the best-laid shot of a room is only going to happen with a wider lens or with the help of photo-fixing software.

Invest In The Right Photography Equipment

It would definitely be convenient to just pull out your smart phone and snap a perfectly professional shot of your home or business interior. However, this just isn’t a realistic expectation. Without a little assistance, homemade shots just aren’t going to make the cut.

Professionals in the industry spend extraordinary amounts investing in the right equipment to get the perfect shot every time. While it’s not recommended that one spend their life savings on equipment for a single picture, it is highly beneficial to invest a little into buying (or possibly borrowing) the proper equipment— no matter what, it will be less expensive than hiring a professional photographer for the project.

When it comes to the right camera, there are plenty of choices to be considered on the market. One that often finds its way into homeowner hands is the SLR, or single lens reflex camera. Many agree that this type of camera gives a very stabilizing effect and creates very clear shots overall.

Even if you’ve invested in the right type of camera, don’t be afraid to spruce up a photograph when all is said and done with a little photo editing. While you don’t want to create a falsified image, giving your photo a slight face-lift is all the norm in the world of interior home photography. There are several apps available that can help you erase any flaws out of a photo— and it’s really not cheating.

Take Time Playing With Angles

While the end goal is obviously to get an amazing shot of any given room, many people make the mistake of stopping the photo shoot too early. In order to get the perfect shot and angle, you’re going to have to invest a significant amount of time and memory card space.

When it comes to photographing your home like a professional, you’re going to have to buckle down and think like one. This means you’ll need to take more pictures than seem necessary and be willing to play up all the weird and funny angles you can find. As lighting changes and angles change, the best photo can be born out of the most unexpected of shots!

Similarly, it’s important to be brave with your setup choices. If getting a stellar photo means taking the time to set up some helpful artificial lighting—so be it. And don’t be afraid to move furniture and accessories around to improve the space, even if it’s only temporary.

If you find yourself struggling with the final results, never hesitate to reach out to friends and family—they are sure to give you an honest answer. Run some of your final pictures by them and ask them what type of feeling it invokes. If you get the answer you’re looking for, great! If not, it’s time to keep on clicking because after all, you’re out to do this like a professional.

While doing your own home photography can be a challenge, the results are often worth the risk. It gives you a chance to not only create your own space, but put your personal touch into the final product in nearly every way.

If you’re willing to invest a little in order to save a lot, photographing your own home can be an extremely rewarding experience. Why not challenge yourself to take one professional looking picture of each room in your home in 2015? Even if you never use the photos for anything other than memories in your scrapbook, at least your photos will be a lasting keepsake of your glorious home.

Decorating in Blue

The color blue can be bold and bright or soft and soothing. Get inspired by these looks starring blue, and find your favorite shade for decorating.

Adding color to a room doesn’t have to involve paint. White walls and whitewash furniture in this entryway create a gentle backdrop for a collection of cool blue accessories and decorative elements. A vase filled with orange roses adds a splash of contrasting color for visual interest.

More From Better Homes and Gardens

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Rule4 Presents: Fall 2012 Color Trends

Fall is fast approaching and a time for refreshing and updating your home before the holiday season.  There’s still plenty of time to repaint your dining room with new color before you begin planning your Thanksgiving Meal. So what are the trends this Fall? Pantone ( released their take on the 2012 Fall Trends for fashion – the can also be applied to the home. Tangerine Tango has been voted color of the year – but how can you use it?

HGTV have done a good job of showing you where you might some of the colors above, or at least color similar to them.  HGTV – painting with fall colors

Here’s their idea for Tangerine Tango, plus a lovely blue to match.  We love the teaming of white with Chartreuse as well.  Not to mention Raspberry (or Pantone’s Pink Flambé).



Rule4 Lite provides interior and exterior professional painting services.  Once you have chosen your color, Rule4 will ensure a professional job from start to finish.  A customer recently posted on Angies List:- “excellent job from start to finish.  true professionals who know what they are doing. clean and efficient. highly recommend.”

For more information about Rule4’s custom paint and other services, visit Rule4 Lite

Bath Remodel Strategies: Dealing With Low-level Budgets

A small budget for a bath redo is considered to be under $10,000. What kinds of limits does this impose, and how can you work around them?

Despite a lackluster economy, a lot of people are thinking of remodeling their baths and are willing to pay to do so. However, experts say, you don’t have to have Bill Gates’ income to create an attractive, comfortable bath for your family.

“I would tell you,” says Thompson Price, president of Callier and Thompson Kitchens, Baths, and Appliances in St. Louis, “that for a standard 5′ x 9′ bath redone from floor to ceiling, the minimum price is not going to be much under $10,000. That’s not top-of-the-line products, but it’s not the most inexpensive products, either. It’s good quality, decent products done properly by licensed tradespeople.”

To redo your bath for $10,000 or less, the watchword has to be quality. You can get results you’ll be proud of for $10,000 or less, but of necessity you will find yourself focused on return on investment. Here are some of the strategies for keeping your eye on the prize:





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Love White Jeans? What About White-on-White Rooms?

by Kayla Kitts in Design Inspiration, Designers & Shops, Paint Colors & Palettes

Are white jeans the fashion equivalent of the white room? A crisp, clean (and glamorous) look but impossible to keep, well, white? I have an awesome pair of white jeans that I never wear. Ever. Because it seems that any time I wear white, I manage to dribble something on myself, like bright yellow mustard. Likewise, I doubt I’ll ever enjoy the luxury of a white-on-white room. (Can you say pet owner?) Design icon Syrie Maugham popularized the all-white room in the 1920s and ’30s, earning the nickname “White Queen.” Fast forward to 2011. Designer Jonathan Adler never hesitates to don his signature white jeans, and many of his top decor pieces are in a bright white. The author of Happy Chic Colors calls white “the ultimate soothing backdrop.

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