Why Realtors Say You Should Rethink Your Floor

Guest Post via Colby Walker, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce at Lumber Liquidators

At Lumber Liquidators, we’ll admit an obvious bias toward hardwood and laminate. Simply put, we think our products will outshine carpet anywhere, anytime. So we decided to check ourselves against the opinions of those in the business of assessing homeowner preferences. We asked more than 100 real estate agents a simple question: Would you rather sell a home with hardwood or carpet?

In the eyes of those who sell homes for a living, wood is the unanimous choice. Why exactly? For one thing, most real estate agents feel that hardwood makes selling a given home a lot more likely. For real estate agents and the sellers they serve, that’s a no-brainer:  Whatever your local market looks like, everyone appreciates a leg up on the competition.

But homes with hardwood aren’t just more likely to sell period; they also sell for more. According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers pay $2,080 more on average for a home with hardwood over comparable properties. Consider our rock-bottom prices to find out just how much your profit margin could be on a hardwood upgrade.

After consulting the real estate agents, we also wondered how much hardwood could spruce up a room in the eyes of the average person. We polled more than 1,000 individuals from across the U.S., presenting them with photos of 10 homes before and after real LL customers installed hardwood. (For thousands of transformation photos like these submitted by actual customers, check out our remodelling page.) Here’s the effect of hardwood on the crowd’s perception of these homeowners:

That’s right: Having hardwood in your home might make a more powerful impression than you think. The crowd perceived hardwood homeowners to be almost one-third more stylish, and 20.5% wealthier. How about 14% happier, and 13.9% more welcoming? For good measure, try 17% smarter on for size: If hardwood provides all these benefits, maybe those with wood floors really are that much smarter (check out a full graphic with more results here). They say there’s no accounting for taste, but in these surveys, we’ve tried to do just that. When it comes to being crazy about hardwood, looks like we’re not alone.

The post Why Realtors Say You Should Rethink Your Floor appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

An Expert Guide to Choosing the Right Window Treatments for your Living Room

Guest post by Bali Blinds & Somfy Systems

Installing new window treatments is a quick home improvement project that immediately adds style and personality to bedrooms, living rooms, and beyond. Whether you’re excited about adding color, texture, and volume to a space, or simply rejuvenating a room by playing with the light, the 5 beautiful window treatments below provide plenty of inspiration.

Roman Shades

roman shades

Above: Flat Roman Shades with 6″ Valance and 1″ Teardrop Crystal Bead Trim in Light Gold 202 and Motorized Lift: Damask, Warm Amber 3264, Square Pillows: Dover, Rainy Afternoon 3721

Want to transform your space with the touch of a button? Pair the relaxed folds of a Roman shade with motorized lift. Motorization allows you to use a handheld remote control, wall switch or programmable timer to adjust out-of-the-way window coverings, lower an entire room full of shades to enjoy the last rays of the sunset, or dim the light (and reduce glare) to sharpen the picture of your favorite TV show.

Natural Shades


Above: Standard Bali Roman Natural Shades with Cordless Lift: Highpoint, Brook 35113 with 2″ Edge Banding: Taupe 1007, Room Darkening Liner, and 6″ Standard Valance.

Natural shades bring a rustic look to your windows, playing off of this season’s popular rough hewn wood furniture and accents, as well as other natural fabrics. Taking elements of the landscape inside, natural shades are hand woven with bamboo, jute, grasses, and other sustainable materials, adding an earth-friendly vibe your space.

Solar and Roller Dual Shades

solar shades

Above: Dual Shades with Motorized Lift and Cassette Valance: Roller Shade (Back): Rowland, Slate 20004; Solar Shade (Front): Terrace, Sterling 40233.

Two great shades that go even better together: Sheer solar shades protect your furnishings and rugs from harmful UV rays, while softening natural light. Room darkening or blackout roller shades can block out the sun like you’re flipping a switch.
Put them together in a dual shade and you have ultimate flexibility: either shade can be lowered or raised to match your mood, your activities, or even the time of day.

Wood Blinds with Drapery

wood and drapery

Above: 2″ Wood Blinds with Cord Lift/Wand Tilt and 4-1/2″ Eloquence Valance: Fig 1851, Cloth Tape: Willow Dark Taupe G696 and Bali Custom Drapery: Dresden, Olde Town 3443

Wood blinds offer great light control—adjust the slats just so, to let in as much sunshine as you need. When lowered and tilted closed, these blinds also let you enjoy total privacy. Add drapery panels to accentuate (or create!) long lines, cool contrasts in texture, or to make wall colors pop. Full folds of fabric can both brighten and soften the space.

Sun Up/Sun Down Cellular Shades 

sun up

Above: Cordless Sun Up/Sun Down Cellular Shade in 3/8″ Single Cell Sheer Bliss, Butter Cream 0161 (top) and 3/8″ Double Cell Storm, Lemon Drop 3938 (bottom)

With the Sun Up/Sun Down cellular option, it’s a snap to pair fabrics of different styles, colors, and privacy levels to create the perfect combination shade. The split makes all the difference when you mix sheer and blackout fabrics to let in light through the day and have absolute privacy when you need it.

These are just a few of the possibilities. Are you ready to re-do a room? Or overhaul the whole house? Remember, if you can dream it you can do it. And Bali can help.

For more great information and galleries of pictures to add to your inspiration wall visit Bali Blinds powered by Somfy or the Bali Blinds blog.

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Getting Your Potted Plants Ready for Cooler Weather

Now that the evenings have dipped into the low 60s in most of the U.S., it’s time to begin your potted garden transition. If you’re like me, you have tons of terra cotta containers spread out on your porch or deck, and maybe a few scattered in the yard. Now’s the time to devise your plan. Here are four steps for finding new indoor homes for your potted garden during the cooler season ahead.

1. New Spaces. Set aside this weekend to clear out new indoor spaces for your potted friends. The south, southeast and southwest corners of your home receive the most light so look to these rooms first when deciding your cooler season redecorating layout.

2. Light a Fire. The south area of your home is the Fame and Reputation center in Feng Shui. Fire is the element for this bagua, and wood fuels fire so your plants will do well here. Think about borrowing a floor lamp from another room to add more light so your plants continue to thrive indoors this season.

3. Creepy Crawlies. You’ll want to inspect and treat your plants for any insects before you bring them indoors. Of course using natural remedies versus toxic chemicals is the way to go.

4. Temperature Check. Now that you have your new space ready, be sure to bring in your potted plants a few weeks before you turn on the indoor heating. Your plants need some transition time.

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5 Ultimate Entertaining Homes

All of us remember that one friend growing up that had the ultimate party house.  Maybe he had a pool or a basketball hoop or the latest gaming console. While we’ve grown up a bit since then, we still love a great party.  These 5 Ultimate Entertaining Homes take the house party to a whole new level.


The Bowling Lane

This home spared no expense in the fun department.  It certainly strikes the right cord with us!

Firepit in pool

The Firepit Pool

On a cool night this would be THE spot!  Take a quick refreshing dip in the infinity pool and then warm up around the fire pit. Rinse and repeat!



The (Real) Home Theater

This home takes home movie to a whole new level.  Pick up junior mints and a soda at the in-house concession stand, plop down in one of the plush red velvet cinema-style seats and launch your own private screening.

Command center

The Command Center

I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I dreamed of being an astronaut.  I built a “space shuttle” in my closet.  This command center is my childhood fantasy come to life.  This interactive space ship arcade was built for playing video games! The entire unique home in Weston, MA has plenty of fun features, including an indoor basketball court, media room and art-inspired decor throughout.


The Game Center

Practice your jump shot or your serve on this multi-tasking home court.  Can’t you just picture your fans cheering you on from the second floor balconies?


If you can dream it, we can find it.  Start your home search on coldwellbanker.com.

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How to Make a Grey Color Palette Work for Your Home

Guest post by interior designer John Douglas Eason.

Long before the hair on my head turned silver-grey, even before my wardrobe evolved towards similar hues, I realized that my favorite rooms were almost always in shades of grey. Tonal grey rooms are among the most dramatic and glamorous rooms in which to reside.

To my eye a grey room is timeless, but at this moment is it also quite on trend. Chances are that a glance through a current design magazine or book will turn up a moody grey room or two. Compared to their more colorful counterparts they are as easy on the camera as they are on the eyes.

Flecked with taupe, brown or a shot of black, a grey room exudes a sense of quiet sophistication. And yet, a grey room needn’t feel as though it is lodged in a somnambulist state of dreary haze; they are fantastically receptive to doses of pink, purple, yellow or turquoise. A pale grey room with bright yellow accents can feel as fresh as spring. A pop of shiny gold against a grey backdrop is anything but dull.

living room_eason

My own very gentlemanly grey living room, with its large windows onto the steely New York skyline, incorporates purple mid-century Blenko glass to lively effect as an accent on a console. I also used purple accents in a smoky grey bedroom – pulling the color out of a Hudson River school landscape painting above the bedside table. In another client’s guest bedroom I selected pale grey for the walls and deep Down Pipe grey by Farrow & Ball for the cabinets and trim. This very serious backdrop became the perfect foil for the client’s collection of multi-colored antique carnival prizes.



Color, however, is by no means required to make a grey room a success. For the annual Kips Bay Show House I lacquered the ceiling of a twenty-five foot high stairwell of a Romanesque mansion with Benjamin Moore’s classic Gray and then suspended a cloud-like gold Ingo Maurer chandelier to give a sexy update to the staid McKim, Mead and White building. I covered the walls with a hand painted horizontal stripe of metallic silver, platinum, pearl and gold. Grey anchors and enhances the otherwise glitzy metallic colors.

Kips Bay

In my years of favoring it I have learned that much like white, grey is a ‘color’ with many subtle personalities. Grey can be warm or cool, it can have hints of red or blue, it can be dark or light. Yet as it reads easily as neutral it can accommodate the companionship of color, either by toning it down or providing a dramatic contrast. I value it for its magical versatility and sophistication and I hope I’ve inspired you to consider how it might work in your own home.


John Douglas Eason is a New York based interior designer with more than twenty years experience decorating homes in New York City and its surrounding communities. His sophisticated urban sensibility is tempered by his foundational years working in Greenwich Connecticut’s grand homes. From Manhattan pied-à-terre’s to country estates as far-flung as Texas, John’s serene and smoky interiors are curated for the cultured but also built for living.

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Creating a Zenful Yoga and Meditation Space in Your Home

September is national yoga month, and I haven’t been to my local yoga studio once this month. However, I did make sure to designate a place for my yoga and meditation practice when I moved into my new house a few months ago. I love taking classes at my yoga studio, but sometimes it can be difficult to fit in a class during the work week. Creating your own personal zen spot at home can be the perfect remedy to releasing the day’s pressures while also having another reason to love home. Here are 9 things to keep in mind when creating your yoga and meditation space at home.

1. Choosing the location: I used fung shui to help guide me to the area of my home that I set up as my yoga and meditation spot. The front left corner of your home is called the knowledge and wisdom bagua (area), which I thought was the perfect location for my personal zen corner.

2. Flooring: If you already have hardwood floors, you don’t need to incorporate a different surface into your space. However, if you have carpet you’ll need to consider bringing in a board to place under your mat.

3. Mirror mirror on the wall: There’s no need to bring mirrors into your yoga space. If you already have them in this room, consider relocating them to another spot in your home. Why bring potential judgment of your practice (and yourself) into the space that you’re setting up for well-being?

4. Alter of thanks: Why not find a small piece of furniture to place in your yoga and meditation spot that you can place items that remind you of gratitude? Consider filling it with intentions of the commitment you are making to yourself.

5. Flora friends: Maybe you already have some house plants that might want to join you in your new zen spot, or perhaps the next time you’re in the garden center you might want to pick up a few new friends to green up your new yoga and meditation space. Either way, bringing in plant life helps improve the indoor air quality.

6. Soothing sounds: Don’t forget to find a spot for a speaker so that you can bring in those zenful sounds of nature.

7. Lighting: If your yoga spot is located in an area of the home that doesn’t get much natural light, think about adding a dimmer so you can adjust the lighting during your practice.

8. No pet zone: I learned the hard way during my first meditation at home that my cat didn’t understand why I was sitting on the floor and had to come sniff me out. Talk about jolting me right out of my skin.

9. Clearing the room: Now that you have your new home yoga and meditation space set up, be sure to clear it energetically by burning some sage in the room.

Looking for some visual inspiration, check out this Coldwell Banker Pinterest board.

The post Creating a Zenful Yoga and Meditation Space in Your Home appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

Callowhill: A Music Lover’s Dream Come True

The Callowhill section of Philly might not appeal to everyone. It’s got a bit of an industrial feel to it, thanks to the presence of a number of old warehouses and factories, many of them converted to lofts (giving the area its other name, The Loft District). The neighborhood is also partly cut off from the rest of Center City thanks to Interstate 676, or the Vine Street Expressway.

But for people looking to buy a home in an area full of music and art, the neighborhood is somewhat perfect. Although the area’s reputation as a place for avant-garde art dates back to the 1970s (it is even said to have inspired David Lynch’s surreal first film, Eraserhead), in recent years a number of new venues for music and art have popped up, cementing its reputation as the place to be for music fans.

Music Venues Galore

One of the older venues in the Callowhill area is the Electric Factory. While the name of the venue dates back to the late 1960s, it’s been in its current location (an actual old electric factory) since the mid-1990s. Concerts at the Electric Factory typically feature nationally known acts.

Two newer venues in the neighborhood include Underground Arts and Union Transfer. Union Transfer is located in the sprawling building that once housed a Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant. It features a main floor area, balcony space, a few bars, and a concession stand. Shows in the space are typically all-ages, although there are a few 21-plus events. While the concert schedule leans heavily towards indie rock, a few shows feature hip-hop, soul, or classic punk rock acts. Located in the basement of the Wolf Building, Underground Arts is committed to being just a little bit weird and to providing support to artists. It’s not just a concert venue. It also features local theater productions and art shows.

Punk Rock Flea Market

Held twice a year on N. 9th street, the Punk Rock Flea Market gives you a chance to score vinyl records, as well as various odds and ends, such as handmade jewelry, electronic equipment, and vintage toys. The $3 admission fee supports R5 Productions, the company that books shows at Union Transfer and a number of other venues around the city.

Check Out Visual Arts, Too

If you enjoy visual art as well as music, Callowhill turns out to be home to a few up and coming galleries. The address 319 N. 11th Street is home to two galleries. Vox Populi, located on the third floor, has a long history of supporting local artists. One floor below Vox Populi is Grizzly Grizzly, whose gallery features a rotating exhibition of works from contemporary artists.

Don’t Forget to Eat

All that music and art might make you hungry. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in this neighborhood. Cafe Lift, on N. 13th Street, is committed to serving brunch all day, every day. The nearby Prohibition Taproom features an extensive beer list, as well as lunch and dinner options. Spring Garden Street restaurant Llama Tooth has a funny name, lovely garden seating area, and a classic New American menu.

Whether you decide to live in the area or not, Callowhill is a great neighborhood to check out if you want to get an idea of what’s going on in Philly’s arts and music scene.

Image Source: Flickr

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5 Laundry Rooms That Sparkle

The laundry room is one of the most utilitarian rooms in the house.  But, these beautiful Coldwell Banker homes prove that the laundry room can be both functional and beautiful.  Take inspiration from these 5 fabulous laundry retreats where dirty linens don’t stand a chance.


Plenty of storage, clean lines and top-of-the-line appliances make this modern laundry room both pretty and functional.


We’ve heard of double ovens, but how about double washers & dryers?  This laundry room layout could handle the loads of a family the size of the Brady Bunch.


Sleek Italian-style black cabinetry is an instant upgrade for your laundry nook.  Designing your laundry room to incorporate natural light can also make a huge difference.  No more matching blue socks with black ones!


Adding a washer/dryer to a butler’s pantry makes tackling table linens a piece of cake.

Mud Room

Incorporating laundry into a mud room makes perfect sense.  Grass-stained soccer uniforms and mud-spattered socks go right into the hamper before the grime gets any further into the home.


Adding under-counter lighting can turn a drab laundry room into a bright folding station.


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The Cutest Baby Nurseries

The arrival of a baby is probably one of the most exciting things in the entire universe. Before he or she comes you’re understandably overwhelmed with all kinds of preparation that will ultimately ensure that your baby is as safe and happy as possible.

Included in baby prep is completing the nursery. It’s a crazy feat because decorating for someone you’ve yet to meet can be a little scary. The way I see it, your nursery should be an equal reflection of both mommy and baby.

Here are 10 very different but equally stunning design inspirations that will hopefully guide you or someone you know that is expecting along their design journey.

This is a unique nursery because one doesn’t often see this sort of crib placement. 

The perfect nursery for a princess in the making. 

A great neutral nursery for either a boy or a girl. 

The frames on the wall are an original way to decorate. This nursery is very vintage chic.     

Certainly the most luxurious nursery I’ve ever seen.     

A bohemian style baby nursery that is also very gender neutral.     

This nursery does a beautiful job as using wallpaper and a statement chandelier to make the room pop.   

A very simple nursery.   

Again, the use of wallpaper takes this room to the next level. 

This nursery is would be perfect for any little gentleman. 

Keep up-to-date with Coldwell Banker by checking out our Pinterest page: 

Visit Coldwell Banker’s profile on Pinterest.


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Tips and Tricks To Make You Fall in Love With Your Small Bathroom

As the social media manager for Coldwell Banker I get to see some of the most incredible and luxurious bathrooms from around the world. From bathrooms with a view to a shower that is bigger than some of my rooms, I have seen it all. Of course, this make me feel less than in love with my small bathroom. In an effort to maximize my space I have found some interesting ways to give bathrooms an upgrade without breaking the bank…

Feeling Confined? Lighten Up with Brighter Shades of Color

Bright Bathroom 1

Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Boulder, CO

Dark shades of paint may make a bold statement but they can also make a room feel confined. Consider opting for a lighter shade of paint to make a room appear larger than it actually is.

Bathroom Boring? Add Some Character

Adding a wall to wall mirror or wainscoting are affordable and elegant upgrades that can completely change the look of a small bathroom.

Declutter! Less is More in a Small Bathroom

Beautiful Half Bathroom

Listed with Coldwell Banker BAIN Seattle, WA

A cluttered counter space can drive a person crazy. When possible, utilize cabinets and your linen closet so the room feels clean and organized.

Shower Space Tight? Hang Another Shower Rod

Via Reddit

Showerhead racks are bulky and can make a shower feel overcrowded. Adding another shower rod will allow you to hang baskets.

Go With Glass

Listed with Coldwell Banker BAIN in Seattle, WA

An opaque shower door may add privacy but it also cuts off the space in your bathroom. A glass shower door will open the space back up.

Short on Storage? Consider Mounting Drawers

via Shelterness

If you need more storage you can always consider ways to use wall space. Another great spot to add storage is above the bathroom door.

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