Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®



Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/7/2020

Image by Pixabay from Pexels

What do you picture when someone says 'laundry'?  Is it piles of dirty clothes, sock singles lost to some undisclosed dimension, a moldy smell and lost hours?  Or is it shrugging on a warm shirt straight from the dryer, lemon scent and the zen of folding: a little pocket of peace and quiet on a hectic, cold day?

People who fit into the latter category aren't from Stepford.  Chances are, they've made the deliberate choice to craft a laundry room the way they design other rooms in their house: for their comfort, convenience, and in the case of the laundry room, for utility and ease of use. 

Often a key component to creating a harmonious space is to minimize clutter.  Check out these three tips for creating a clutterless, clean, and welcoming workspace!

Incorporate Drying Racks

Drying delicates can create a lot of clutter!  Where do you put the stand-up drying rack?  Where to put it when you've folded it away? 

Solve that problem in a snap by making fold-away drying racks part of your interior design straightaway.  You can easily purchase or create cabinet-style drying racks like these:

The bars swing down for ease of use, but when you release them, they snap upright to keep your drying clothes out of the way.  Centsational Style shows you how to make your own here

Alternately,  you can incorporate rails on which to hang your clothing from hangers right in the laundry room, for things that are best dried while hanging, or just to store clothing that's clean and ready to wear. These rails are best incorporated under cabinets or a ledge that may not be in use.

Even small spaces can make use of this trick.  Try creating a  hanging bar, made simply from two thick, leather straps and a copper rod (or metal rod of your choosing).  It looks incredibly upscale but would cost very little to make. Just fix two, 3-4 inch leather straps to a ledge or underneath weight-baring cabinets, then slide the rod through.

If you're feeling crafty, you might also consider making an old ladder into a drying rack for a farmhouse feel.

Keep Your Laundry Basket Space in Mind

Keep laundry baskets out of the way by creating drawers or shelving space for them.  If you're staging a house, buy baskets that fit so that these drawers' purpose is clear to potential buyers -- and so no one has to hunt for the right-sized baskets later on.

You can also create a laundry basket holder of your own from freestanding shelving units if you don't have built-in drawers or have trouble finding a fitting that will work for your space.

Feeling crafty? Here's a great article on how to create a do-it-yourself mobile laundry basket holder.

Keep Your Ironing Board Out of the Way

Your ironing board can take up a lot of space if you keep it set up, and it can be a challenge to yank it forward out of a nook or wrestle it down from a high spot if you keep it folded. 

Consider hanging it up on coat hooks.  Be sure to hang it so that the cloth of the board (where you'd grip it to lift) is at shoulder height, making it easy to set down and hook back up.

You can make one of these from scratch using these instructions from The Inspired Hive, but you can just as easily purchase one and unscrew any extraneous hooks before hanging it.

Employ these space-saving tactics and your laundry room will be a calm, peaceful, and orderly oasis!




Categories: Home improvement  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 7/18/2019

Nothing can quite compare to the emotional cocktail of excitement, fear, and anxiety of being a first-time home buyer. Being a homeowner is made out to be a huge milestone in life, and rightly so. Have you ever signed your name 37 times in a row? It's enough to intimidate anyone. By the end of the entire homebuying ordeal, you will have signed your name so many times that you'll feel like you should have just made yourself a signature stamp. You're in for quite the bumpy road being a first-time home buyer, some highs, some lows and everything in between. 

The lows? 

Oh boy, where to start? Did you know your credit score before you started looking for a home? Sure, maybe you have a credit card you keep some line of credit in your name. However, a house? It’s a whole different ball game! What is a good credit score? They did not teach us this in high school, but thank goodness we all know the order of math operations as P.E.M.D.A.S. (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) right? What’s an escrow? What if the inspector missed something? When is my first mortgage payment due? You’ll have so many questions about being a first-time homebuyer, so do yourself a favor and get a realtor who can adequately answer all those questions! A great realtor can make the entire process feel like a cool Island breeze.

The highs? 

House shopping honestly is so much fun! Getting to figure out your unique taste in the architecture of your home is a fantastic experience. Sure, there are things that you must specifically look for to fit your needs, after all, you'll be spending the next 20-30 years of your life in this house if you do it right. The day you close on your home is exciting as well, disregarding the whole signing your name a thousand times. The moment comes with a sense of pride and accomplishment that you'll feel on closing day. Looking for your first home can be a long process, and sometimes can take months to years depending on the market. So, when it finally happens, and all the stars line up you can't help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. High five yourself on that day, cause all the stress and worries that you had in buying your first home are finally coming to a close. Now you can focus attention on the fun part: home improvement! 

 Being a homeowner can be such a fun-filled adventure, but hold on, because it will be a bumpy ride. Let your professional realtor navigate those bumps for you.





Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/30/2019

Not all homes have vast lawns and flower beds to add curb appeal. If your home doesn’t have a wrap-around porch or arched entry, you can still make it the more eye-catching home on the block by merely changing out the garage doors. Front-facing garage entries give you the opportunity to create a whole new look by either partial or complete makeovers.

Garage door hacks

  • Hardware. Simple adding new equipment to your garage door can give it faux carriage-house looks. Add faux carriage hinges on the sides and grab handles in the middle for a quick makeover that makes your entry stand out.
  • Windows. Change out one of the upper panels. Multi-panel overhead garage doors can be tedious, but you can change out one of the top panels for one with windows or decorative trim to make your home distinct from your neighbors. If you can’t change out the panels, add faux windows to the front. You can find magnetic and stick-on versions at your local hardware and DIY stores and online.
  • Paint. Most contractor-grade garage doors come in white, off-white or beige tones. Make your stand out by giving it a darker hue. Choose a color that complements the shade of your home and stands out from the trim color.
  • Faux finish. Another option that requires a little practice is to put a wood-grain finish on the door. From the street, your home will appear to have expensive wood doors. Finish off with sparkling hardware, and you’ve got instant interest. Talk to your local specialty paint store for advice on using gel stains and faux finished that can hold up to the use your garage door gets. If you’re not sure about tackling this project yourself, hire a professional garage-door contractor that has the know-how to get it done for you.
  • Reface your garage door with wood veneer. Glue or screw (or both) wood veneer to your door’s exterior to give it an upgraded look. Go vertical for a Mid-Century Modern vibe, or horizontal with wrought-iron hardware for a traditionally carriage-house look. Garage door openers and springs work in tandem with the weight of the garage door. So, make sure you have a strong enough system to handle the extra weight.

If you’re not sure how to do any of these on your own, ask your realtor for recommendations for local contractors that know to give you a look you want.







Tags