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Nov. 22, 2022

Make Thanksgiving Dinner Extra Special with These Table Decor Ideas

Make Thanksgiving Dinner Extra Special with These Table Decor Ideas

Show off your party-planning prowess.

the table is beautifully set in nature
Maryna TerletskaGetty Images

When you're hosting Thanksgiving, your table should be your focal point. (As a prelude to the delicious desserts, of course!) This is, after all, where your party will gather together to give thanks, break bread, drink wine, and maybe even bond over festive tunes.

And while you can certainly go all out with elegant Pottery Barn-style decorations complete with overflowing floral centerpieces, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create a beautiful table. With the right inspo photos (that’s where we come in) and a little creativity, you can fashion gorgeous place settings on a budget—we're talking dollar-store cheap. In this case, less truly is more, so you don't have to overthink it. Just go with the flow!

First, narrow in on your preferred aesthetic—think traditional farmhouse, classic elegance, or even modern and colorful. This will help you focus on what you need to buy, what you might be able to pull together from your own closet or even your backyard (think pine cones or evergreen sprigs), and what DIY decorations you might want to take on.

To get inspired, browse these photogenic spreads in a variety of tones and themes. You’re sure to find something that appeals to your senses—and is guaranteed to stand out in a sea of other tablescapes on your social feed come Thanksgiving day. This is the time to experiment with the patterns and props that speak to you the most. You might even consider making your own name place cards or decorative signs for the table.

But we should warn you: It might be difficult to pick just one! No matter which option you pick, your guests will remember the elegance for many Thanksgivings to come.

Use Plenty of Natural Elements


Don't be afraid of a bare table. (Bonus: You won't have to struggle to get those stubborn red wine stains out of your linens!) When you use plenty of natural elements—pine cones, eucalyptus, and white pumpkins—your Thanksgiving place settings will look just as elegant.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Stick with Neutrals
neutral thanksgiving table

Think neutrals are boring? Not if you incorporate plenty of textures. When peppered with pampas grass, rattan vessels, and dried flowers, a mostly monotone table looks incredibly elegant.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Embrace Autumnal Shades


If you love the traditional Thanksgiving look, make sure to include plenty of autumnal shades like brown, burnt orange, ivory, and moss. To enhance the classic farmhouse style, do as the designers at Flourish and Flounce did—add a shabby chic candelabra and create a table runner out of muted flowers and gourds.


Use a Bold Tablecloth


Rather than the classic white linen, make a statement with something a little more unexpected—like a black-and-white buffalo check. When combined with jewel tones and natural accents like wheat sheaves, pine cones, and wood slices, the fun pattern is elegant enough for the holiday.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Use Decorative White Pumpkins


This lovely tablescape incorporates gorgeous vintage pieces, but another element that caught our eye was the use of decorative white pumpkins. Lovingly placed among items of brass, green, and silver tones, they're the perfect nod to the fall season.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Don't Forget to Add Metallics


An easy—and inexpensive—way to take neutral Thanksgiving table decor to more elegant and sophisticated heights? Add a selection of metallic accents, whether painted pumpkins or brass candlesticks.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Raid Your Own Pantry


You don't have to spend a fortune at Pottery Barn to create a beautiful Thanksgiving table. In fact, this elegant arrangement can be replicated for about $10. Most of the elements—the fruit and flowers—were found in the backyard. The rest—two bundles of Trader Joe’s spray roses and a persimmon—was purchased for just a few bucks.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Experiment with Color


There's something incredibly alluring about this bold, modern table designed by Ooh! Events. The aqua table runner provides the perfect backdrop for the stunning floral centerpiece, and the classic china ensures the look doesn't skew too far from traditional.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Play with Patterns


For a truly beautiful Thanksgiving table, experiment with decor in a mixture of patterns. The trick to making it cohesive? Using complementary colors.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Use Plenty of Red


Save yourself some time, effort, and money—lean on reds and greens to bring your Thanksgiving table decor to life. This way, you can leave the centerpiece intact for another month. The bright red pomegranates, evergreen sprigs, and dried orange slices make the farmhouse-inspired setup perfectly suitable for Christmas, too.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Pepper in Copper Accents


Adding metallics like copper is one of the easiest ways to make neutral Thanksgiving table decor look instantly more elegant. Plus, who doesn't love a fancy Moscow mule as an aperitif?

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Opt for a Dark Nordic Vibe


For something a bit more unexpected, leverage eucalyptus and other natural greenery as your runner. Don't have a bunch of black plates and elegant gold flatware lying around? Consider renting what you need for the night through a company like Social Studies, which will ship you everything from the votives to the forks. When the party's over, simply rinse and send it back in their handy boxes.

Focus on Candles


Love the idea of inexpensive decor that makes a big statement—especially once the sun goes down? Arrange pillar candles in a variety of heights, tuck evergreen around the whole thing, and make sure your place settings feature plenty of metallic accents.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Use Pumpkin-Shaped Napkin Rings


Thanksgiving is a time to go all out on the fall theme, but these pumpkin-shaped napkin rings don't have to be bright orange, of course. No matter what color you choose, aesthetically, they'll fit right in.

Learn how to DIY this tablescape here.


Go Big with Florals


For Thanksgiving table decor that will really wow, commission a larger-than-life floral centerpiece that spans the length of your farmhouse table. And don't worry: It's entirely possible on a budget. Visit a store known for a good flower selection (like Trader Joe's!) and DIY your own bouquet.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Go Light and Airy


You don't have to select table decor in dark, moody hues to be Thanksgiving-appropriate. This light, bright blue-and-white tablescape expertly straddles the line between contemporary and traditional. Plus, it's a great option for those who live in warmer climates.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Use Kraft Paper
butcher paper tablecloth

Instead of a traditional table runner, try kraft paper. To make it more elegant, add some calligraphy (you can use a stencil if need be), then top the whole thing with a gorgeous floral centerpiece. A nice bonus: You won’t have to wash anything—simply toss it when dinner is done.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


Go for a Moody Palette


With moody Thanksgiving table decor—dark tones and plenty of glowing candles—your holiday spread will skew ultra-romantic. It's the perfect aesthetic for an intimate gathering.

Read more about this Thanksgiving table here.


You Can Even Try Pastels
pastel thanksgiving table

Equally modern and fun? A Thanksgiving table studded with soft pastel colors. It's easy to DIY: Just paint a variety of small pumpkins in the hues of your choice. To preserve your project for another year, make sure to use faux pumpkins.

Learn how to DIY this tablescape here.


Go for a Jewel-Toned Look
thanksgiving tabletop

How stunning is this? The founder of Bird's Party Blog, Cristina Riches (also known as "Bird"), has a simple formula to create this jewel-toned look. It includes colored glassware, bright taper candles, and more. She also suggests checking thrift stores for supplies.

Learn how to DIY this tablescape here.


Use a Garland


This beautiful decor includes rich colors of orange, cream, brown, and green. The natural eucalyptus garland running down the center of the table draws the eye while bringing a piece of the outdoors inside.

Learn how to DIY this tablescape here.


Make Your Own Name Placecards
chestnutlanehome ig post

This Thanksgiving table setting might inspire you to break out a fancy calligraphy pen—or a pretty marker—and write down the name of each guest in your best script. Everyone at your gathering will feel special, and might even take theirs home at the end of the night.

Learn how to DIY this tablescape here.


Include Festive Language


The "Grateful" message on this small blackboard place setting is a reminder of how important it is to gather together for Thanksgiving. This host (@rsvptomytable on Instagram) wrote that she listed "something different" on each one, using the moment to communicate her emotions to her attendees. How unique!

Learn how to DIY this tablescape here.


Posted in Holidays
Nov. 2, 2022

Things Home Stagers Wish Real Estate Pros Knew About Staging

6 Things Home Stagers Wish Real Estate Pros Knew About Staging

November is Home Staging Awareness Month, and home stagers are setting the record straight about their services.

By Felicia Pulley, Real Estate Staging Association

Round mirror with flowers

© NiseriN/Getty Images

Some real estate agents don’t understand how home staging actually works. The Real Estate Staging Association recently spoke to home stagers and asked them what they wish real estate agents better understood about professional home staging. The following are some of the most common misunderstandings they cited:

1. Staging is not interior design.

A professional home stager is an interior designer in reverse. Their objective is to make a home look as inviting as possible to a broad audience. So in other words, they take away design elements rather than introducing new ones.

Decluttering a house is always the first thing on a seller’s to-do list. Professional stagers simply organize and fine-tune that process. When all the extraneous items are taken away, the stager may add some neutral touches that will help buyers see themselves in the home. (Learn more about the process: The Consumer’s Guide to Real Estate Staging(link is external).)

2. Professional home staging services are too expensive.

Home stagers wish real estate agents and sellers understood that their overhead can be pretty high. They maintain constantly rotating inventory and storage or warehouse costs. They also have to pay for transportation and gas, as well as ordinary business expenses such as insurance, payroll, and business licenses. “I wish other agents would understand the cost of labor these days,” says Klara Dove, a home stager and REALTOR®. “It’s not just about hauling a couch over there. The moving prices with labor that’s insured is expensive. Movers make more money than I do sometimes!” (Tip: Find out the laws in your state regarding moving expenses and income taxes. In some states, sellers can deduct certain moving expenses, and staging service may be included.)

Laura Jones, founder of Home Harmony, says the cost of home staging can pay off in the end. “I wish agents realized how much less staging a home professionally is versus a $10,000 to $20,000 price reduction when they don’t get an offer in a reasonable timeframe,” she says.

3. It’s more than installation day.

Professional home stagers need time to prepare. “We don’t drive around town with a truck filled with furniture,” says Andrea Young, founder of Intuitive Design Studio. “There is planning and preparation that goes into it.” Real estate pros should bring a home stager in for a consultation as early as possible so that they can work with the client to discuss the listing agent's process, timeline, and budget for staging. “Staging shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be a priority, like photography or cleaning,” says home stager Savannah Jones, founder of Where the Heart Is.

4. Stagers really mean it when they say the property needs to be ready on installation day.

In a perfect world, the property would be vacant, and the landscaping and cleaning would already be done. But too often, stagers find a house that isn’t fully prepped.

For a vacant staging project, Rebecca Boler, founder of The Rebecca Bolder Company, broke down an ideal situation: Agents and homeowners would have all work (contractors, landscapers, cleaners, etc.) completed a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival. The access details would be provided a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival and no other people (including the homeowner and agent) would be onsite for the duration of the stage. Then, the photos would be scheduled a minimum of 24 hours after the trucks arrive.

5. Let the home stager sell their services directly to sellers.

You don’t want to jeopardize the listing by pushing outside services. Not to mention, home stagers say, it’s usually easier for a professional third party to tell a seller that their cat odor is really bad. Let the professional home stager do the dirty work.“

Far too often real estate agents pass along our bids to the sellers, void of context and the expertise to sell staging at a high level,” says Ryan Marsh, CEO of OnStage Inc. and a member of the RESA National Board of Directors. “Simply by allowing us to meet with sellers directly, the odds of selling our services and increasing the competitiveness of their listing increase ten-fold.”

6. Professional staging is your silent partner.

Some agents may balk at the idea of professional staging. But according to the National Association of REALTORS®, 82% of buyers’ agents report that professional staging helps clients visualize a home as their own. As more and more buyers search for properties online, it’s more critical than ever that sellers make a great first impression. Staging a property has a tremendous influence on a buyer’s decision to see a property in person, and perhaps even make an offer.

“Professional home staging can be an agent’s silent salesperson,” says Nicole Schenk, founder of Simple Elements Home Staging. Plus, agents will have another professional by their side: RESA home stagers adhere to a code of ethics.

“Stagers want to be real estate agent’s partners to elevate not only the value of the property but elevate the agent’s value and brand,” says Kathryn Lenhardt, a home stager and founder of First Impressions Staging + Design in Seattle.

Posted in Home Design
July 18, 2022

North Carolina continues to benefit from remote-work migration

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Data: Equifax, Moody's Analytics; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

North Carolina continues to be a destination for those moving out of high-cost West Coast and Northeastern states.

Driving the news: Some 46 million people moved to a different ZIP code between February 2021 and February 2022 — the most of any 12-month period since 2010 — according to a new analysis by Moody's Analytics shared with Axios and first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: North Carolina has been a big winner of that movement. The state had the third-highest in-migration during that period, only trailing Florida and Texas.

  • North Carolina gained 64,970 residents, according to the analysis.
  • The states that lost the most residents were California, New York and Illinois.

Context: The pandemic accelerated Southern migration trends that were already happening, Adam Kamins, a senior director at Moody's Analytics, told Axios.

  • Remote work, Kamins said, appears to have been the biggest game changer, allowing people the freedom to choose where they lived based on housing costs, lifestyle and weather.
  • Lower-income taxes could also be having some effect, Kamins said. North Carolina has aggressively cut income and corporate taxes in recent years.

What they're saying: "There is less of a pull to being in a big city or even near a big city" because of remote work, Kamins said. "You might as well move somewhere cheaper with better weather and keep the same wages you had before."

  • "How strong and durable that shift is still to be determined," he added.

Raleigh and Charlotte are obvious destinations for out-of-state migrants. But remote work could also stabilize the populations of cities that have seen brain drain in recent decades, like Rocky Mount, Kamins said.

  • Rocky Mount "isn’t going to draw in residents from New York or D.C.," he said. But college-educated natives who might have otherwise moved to a bigger city for work now "might be able to stay home and still find a job."

What's next: The mass movement of the last three years could have political implications, the Wall Street Journal noted, as most of the migration appears to be people leaving politically blue states and moving to red states.

Posted in Relocating
June 23, 2022

Mooresville Lakeside Living: Things to Consider Before Buying a Lake House

Posted in Buying
June 23, 2022

Surging NC economy rises to No. 7 in US

Information is brought to you by
Lisa Cernuto
Mooresville Realty, LLC

Surging NC economy rises 4 spots to No. 7 in US, says new report

Surging NC economy rises 4 spots to No. 7 in US, says new report

Image by wgappens5 from Pixabay

RALEIGH – North Carolina has one of the best state economies in America, according to a new analysis from financial news and information site WalletHub. And this report is based on data compiled before Meta reportedly is preparing to pick Durham as a home for an expansion project.

Even without Meta, the Tar Heel State continues to punch above its size.  Though the state ranks 9th in population, according to the most recent U.S. Census, North Carolina ranked 7th overall in the new analysis from WalletHub.

That’s up four spots from the 2021 rankings, when North Carolina ranked 11th.  This year’s study measures and analyzes 28 indicators in three broad categories: economic activity, economic health, and innovation potential.  The 2021 study included an additional metric that was related to the COVID-19 pandemic that was removed for the 2022 analysis, a spokesperson for WalletHub told WRAL TechWire.

The study was not published in 2020, and in the 2019 iteration, the state ranked 10th.  In 2017, the state ranked 15th.



Among the 28 indicators measured by the analysts behind the WalletHub report, North Carolina performed best for its ranking on nonindustry research and development investment as a share of the state’s gross domestic product.

In this metric, North Carolina ranked fifth.

The state, which is No. 9 in terms of population, ranks 11th for innovation potential, 12th for economic health, and 14th for economic activity.

Those rankings show good balance compared to other similar states that are often seen as competitors for economic development, including Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas.

Georgia is ranked 8th overall, and is 5th for economic activity but just 24th for innovation potential and 15th for economic health.

Tennessee, which is ranked 11th overall, is 4th for economic activity and 5th for economic health, but 38th for innovation potential.

And Texas, which is ranked 12th overall, ranked 8th for economic activity and 9th for economic health, but 23rd for innovation potential.

Washington state is ranked first overall, and Utah is second.  Other U.S. states that outrank North Carolina in the WalletHub analysis include California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Colorado at third, fourth, fifth, and sixth overall.

prior analysis from WalletHub ranked North Carolina as the 19th most innovative state.


The state also ranked highly for activity in building permit issuance, finishing 7th among all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, which was also analyzed in the study.  Building permits are also among the measures included in an economic analysis released periodically by Dr. Michael Walden, an economist and a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus at North Carolina State University.

And North Carolina ranked 8th overall for the growth in state personal income between 2020 and 2021, with a measured growth rate of 8.9% according to the WalletHub data set, which was shared with WRAL TechWire upon request.  Similarly, the state ranked 8th among all states analyzed for the percentage change in state gross domestic product, or GDP, with an increase of 6.72% between 2020 and 2021.

But where North Carolina could improve is in the relationship between median household income and cost of living, where the state ranked 31st among the 51 areas analyzed.

The state ranks 43rd among all states for the percentage of the state’s population who is uninsured.  Should the state pass the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion, said Dr. Anne York, a professor of economics and program director at Meredith College, in a prior interview with WRAL TechWire, “our health rankings would likely improve.”

Another area where North Carolina could improve: the share of the state’s population who is living in poverty, with household income under the federal poverty line.  North Carolina ranked 37th among all states, according to the WalletHub analysis, with the share of poverty measuring 14%.

Posted in Real Estate Market
June 15, 2022

Iredell Was Ranked 3rd Fastest Growing County In Charlotte Region

Information is brought to you by
Lisa Cernuto
Mooresville Realty, LLC

Charlotte Region population swells by more than 30K people


The United States Census Bureau recently released updated population estimates between July 1, 2020 and 2021. As expected, the Charlotte Region continued to grow steadily. About 84 people moved into the Charlotte Region every day in 2020-2021. The 15-county region saw its population grow to a total of 3,084,405 people – a 1.1% increase. The growth in the region outpaced the rest of the country which averaged .1% growth.  

As a traditional population hub, Mecklenburg County participated in this trend, adding 3,936 people to its population, a number that represents a .4% growth rate. Mecklenburg County's gains in population came from natural increase rather than in-migration.  

However, the highest rates of growth came from counties surrounding Mecklenburg. The top three counties in terms of growth rate in the Charlotte Region are Lancaster, increasing at 3.8%; Lincoln, which grew 2.8%; and Iredell, at 2.3%.

From July 2020 – July 2021 the Charlotte Region ranked as the 7th fastest growing metro in the nation. Along with fresh population estimates, the United States Census Bureau also recently released a report finding that United States migration was on a decline from 2020-2021. However, migration across the four regions in the country experienced this trend unevenly. For example, the Northeast lost about 227,000 people, while the South gained about 253,000. Even with slowed migration across the country, the Charlotte Region has still managed to make some gains.  

The Charlotte Metro Area still sees its largest migration population come from one of those Northeastern areas, with the largest number of movers, nearly 7,000, coming from the New York-Newark-Jersey City Metro Area.    

Another noteworthy trend for the region came in the form of strong migration patterns from the Hickory MSA. Since 2015-2019 about 1,000 people have been on net move from the Charlotte MSA to the Hickory MSA every year. Additionally, about 500 people were on net move from the Asheville MSA to the Hickory MSA every year. 

The Charlotte Region remains one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. With competitive advantages like comparatively low cost of living, low cost of doing business, strategic location for live, work, and play, there is cause to expect this trend to continue going forward.


Provided by Alliance News, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance on March 30, 2022

Posted in Real Estate Market
June 7, 2022

The Housing Market Just Hit a Turning Point That Could Change the Homebuying Game

Information is brought to you by
Lisa Cernuto
Mooresville Realty, LLC

The Housing Market Just Hit a Turning Point That Could Change the Homebuying Game

(Getty Images)


The Housing Market Just Hit a Turning Point That Could Change the Homebuying Game

By Margaret Heidenry

Jun 2, 2022

Mark your calendars: The month of May might go down as a turning point in the red-hot real estate market that’s been scalding homebuyers for the past few years.

The number of new listings that hit the market last month rose for the first time since June 2019, according to a new report from®. As a result, May home shoppers had 8% more active listings to scroll through compared with this point last year.

“We’re seeing more homeowners decide to sell,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of “Buyers can expect more inventory going forward, more homes to choose from.”

Granted, there are still only half as many homes available for sale compared with pre-pandemic levels two years ago. Nonetheless, this recent uptick could offer a glimmer of hope for buyers who’ve been scrambling for homes amid bidding wars and way-over-asking offers.

“For context, even though we’re seeing inventory grow, it remains quite low,” says Hale. “This is one of the reasons that we are still seeing home prices go up and homes [spending] a record-low amount of time on the market for sale.”

How high are home prices now?

Despite growing inventory, many homebuyers might still feel squeezed in terms of their pocketbooks.

In May, the median asking price of a home soared to yet another new apex of $447,000. That’s a 17.6% increase over last year, and up 35.4% compared with May 2020.

Combined with rising mortgage rates (now over 5%), the cost of financing a home is up 50% over a year ago. As a result, some homebuyers have given up their house hunt until home prices and/or interest rates fall back within realistic reach—whenever that may be.

“Monthly [mortgage] payments are higher, and that’s knocked some buyers out of the market altogether, while others are proceeding with caution,” says Hale. “For buyers who are able to continue their home search despite higher costs, more inventory means more choices for them.”

And over time, this could trickle down to help the rest of the homebuyers, too.

“More inventory should eventually translate into a slower pace of sales and [slower] price gains,” says Hale. “With prices still growing at double digits, we’re a long way from price declines, but price growth is likely to slow.”

How fast are homes selling today?

Even though more homes are going up for sale, buyers aren’t wasting any time to make a deal.

Nationwide, the typical home spent just 31 days on the market in May. That’s almost a full week (6 days) faster than last year, and the shortest time on record since first began tracking this data in 2016.

Cities where home prices are falling

The 50 largest metropolitan areas saw a significant jump in median listing prices, with asking prices averaging 13% more than last year. (Metros include the main city and the surrounding suburbs, towns, and smaller urban areas.)

Yet at the same time, many sellers are finally feeling forced to slash their prices. Nationwide, homes with price reductions jumped to 10.5% in May, compared with 6.2% last year. Austin, TX, had the most price reductions of any city (+14.7%), followed by Las Vegas (12.3%) and Phoenix (11.6%).

This softening seen in these red-hot markets might mean that sellers’ expectations have not yet caught up with the realities of this rapidly shifting buyer-seller dynamic.

“Most housing markets remain in seller’s market territory,” says Hale. “But the market is a little more buyer-friendly than we saw last month, and we expect that to continue.”

The take-home lesson for home sellers?

“Sellers should make sure that they’re tapped into the latest local market data when making a decision about their asking price,” says Hale. “If a seller aims too high in this market, he may have to cut the price to attract offers.”

Posted in Real Estate Market
March 17, 2022

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

Information is brought to you by
Lisa Cernuto
Mooresville Realty, LLC

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell


If you’re hoping to sell your home soon—ideally for top dollar—you’ll first want to take a step back and assess what you’re selling. Is your humble abode in the best shape to impress buyers?

Odds are, your home has sustained some wear and tear over the years. You might be used to that creaky floorboard or sticky door, but buyers who are seeing your home for the first time might not like these flaws so much… and may have plenty of other options on where to live.

If you want your property to stand out from the competition, you might want to prepare, and make a few adjustments, so it comes off in the best light. Here’s how to make sure your house is ready to sell, plus some things to fix and upgrade now that will pay off when you get an offer.

Tally the age of various items

No matter how great your home looks at first glance, any savvy buyer will point to various parts and pop the question: How old? Since guesstimates won’t cut it, you will need to gather some paperwork to get your house ready to sell.

If you’ve purchased your home in the past few years, check your home records or seller’s disclosure for the age or last repair of big items (namely your roof, HVAC system, water heater, and gutters), or dig up copies of your own maintenance records or receipts.

How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the model and how well it’s been maintained, but you can get a general idea of average lifespan from the National Association of Home Builders. For example:

  • Wood shingle and shake roof: 15 to 30 years
  • Central air-conditioning unit: 15 years
  • Electric water heater: 14 years
  • Gutters: 30 years


Do your own walk-through

Channel Sherlock Holmes and go through your home, room by room. Look for signs of damage that might drag down its value. Chandler Crouch, broker for Chandler Crouch Realtors in Fort Worth, TX, suggests looking for these common problem spots:

  • Wood rot around outside door frames, window ledges, and garage doors. Condensation and rain can cause these areas to weaken and rot.
  • Water stains on the ceiling or near doors and windows. This can indicate a leaky roof or rain seeping in from outside.
  • Leaks under sinks or around toilets.
  • Bulges under carpet or discoloration on hardwood floors, which can indicate flooding problems or an uneven foundation.


Next, test what’s called the “functionality” in every room. For example, “Cracks visible in the walls and floor, doors that don’t shut right, broken handles on cabinetry, basically anything that doesn’t work perfectly should be repaired,” Crouch says. And don’t forget to inspect the outside.

“A lot of sellers skip the outside, but it is so important. That is where buyers will make their first impression,” says Darbi McGlone, a real estate agent with Jim Talbot Real Estate in Baton Rouge, LA.

Since you might be used to some of your home’s “little quirks,” it might help to get your real estate agent’s opinion on what should get fixed.

Consider a pre-inspection

Once you’ve done your own walk-through, you may want to have a pro take a second look before you decide you’re ready to sell. These people can spot flaws you overlooked, because either you’re used to them or you didn’t realize they could cause trouble. You can enlist a real estate agent or hire a home inspector to do an inspection (or pre-inspection) to pinpoint problems from bad wiring to outdated plumbing.

While the cost varies, people pay $300 to $500 for a home inspection. Go to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors® to find a home inspector in your area. It may cost a bit, but it will buy you the peace of mind of knowing you’re not in for any surprises down the road. In fact, having a home inspection report handy to show buyers can inspire confidence that they (and you by association) aren’t in for any nasty surprises as you move toward a deal.

What to renovate before you sell

Once you know what in your house could stand for repairs or upgrades, it’s time to decide where to infuse some cash. Don’t worry, not everything needs to be done before your home is ready to sell. And while you’re probably not jumping at the idea of renovating a property you’re going to sell, certain fixes will give you an edge over the competition, which means more/better offers. Remember, real estate is an investment!

But don’t just obsess over the obvious—e.g., your kitchen could stand for new cabinets. After all, many buyers will want to tweak cosmetic details to their own tastes, so you could be throwing money down the drain. Instead, focus on fix-its that are less susceptible to personal preferences that buyers like to know are in good shape.

For example, one study by the National Association of Realtors® found that upgrading hardwood floors reaps an estimated 100% return on investment, essentially paying for itself. Upgrading your insulation can net you a 95% ROI, a new roof a whopping 105%! Because what buyers don’t like to know they’ve got a solid roof over their heads?

Posted in Selling
Jan. 13, 2022

The Top 10 Home Trends to Watch This Year

Sage green paint, comfortable outdoor living, the return of the dining room, and other big home and design trends to keep things interesting in 2022.

vintage trend 2022 Cherish
Courtesy of Chairish

If you feel conflicted about home design trends, trust us, you are not alone. Buy the right furniture, and it’s supposed to last a lifetime, right? Sinks are not intended to be swapped out seasonally. But it’s human nature to hanker for something fresh and new on occasion, especially at the beginning of a new year. So if you’re on the hunt for simple, mindful upgrades to make your living space feel fresh and exciting, we’ve got you covered.

A coat of soothing paint or some new placemats for your dining table, once you reclaim it from those stacks of mail and Zoom-school projects, may be all it takes to liven things up. And if that old sofa has reached the end of its lifecycle and you need a replacement, or if this is the year you’re taking the plunge with a bathroom renovation, we have ideas for that, too. Read on for more inspiration.

1. Vintage Revival

Lobster Trap Lamp
Vintage decor is expected to be a major trend in 2022.

Thomas J. Story

According to a national survey conducted by Apartment Therapy, 70% of interior design professionals polled say that vintage decor will be a major trend for 2022. Motivated by two separate but intertwined forces—the continuing supply chain crisis, which has added months to projected ship dates for new furniture manufactured overseas, and the increasing focus on sustainability—secondhand furniture has never been hotter. Facebook Marketplace is a convenient stand-in for the old-fashioned garage sale. And Chairish, the online marketplace for vintage furniture and home accessories that was founded in 2013, has never been hotter. Its business doubled in 2020, and continued to grow 46% in 2021. On the Chairish trend forecast: bright colors, “biomorphic” furniture in curvy shapes, ‘70s-era ceramics, tiger print, and classic Schumacher florals.

2. The Return of the Dining Room

Lauren Soloff Home Tour Dining Room
For homeowner Lauren Soloff, a long table with room for dinner and homework was a priority. Soloff painted much of the woodwork (like built-in shelves) white to make this house feel light and open.

Thomas J. Story

Wait, did the dining room ever go away? Or was it just buried under stacks of Amazon boxes? That same Apartment Therapy survey reported that 50% of pros say dining rooms, that place where people sit around a table to enjoy a meal together, are making a big comeback. In recent years, the trend had shifted toward more casual entertaining in the kitchen, around built-in banquettes or a more casual table, and dining rooms were repurposed to accommodate work-from-home setups. But people are craving more elegant spaces to entertain at home, it seems. It might be time for some cool new placemats, glassware, or dishes to host that next dinner party in style.

3. Sage Green Paint

sage green kitchen cabinets Sarah Stacey
Sage green paint, especially in the kitchen, continues apace as the soothing color of choice. Interior design by Sarah Stacey.

Courtesy of Sarah Stacey Interior Design

While Pantone is banging the drum about its 2022 color of the year, Veri Peri, paint brands are singing a different tune. Sherwin Williams’ pick, Evergreen Fog, and Benjamin Moore’s selection, October Mist 1945, are both soothing shades of sage. Texas-based designer Sarah Stacey’s favorite green is Clary Sage by Sherwin Williams. “My favorite way to use sage is on any dominant piece like kitchen cabinets, or a sofa,” says Stacey. “It is a calming color, and low-key enough to use as a neutral. I love pairing it with navy, cream, and burgundy.” 

4. Open-Air Living

outdoor living space ceiling fan big ass fans Ferguson
Indoor outdoor living, and open-air living rooms, are coming in hot (and cool, thanks to a giant Big Ass Fans ceiling fan) for 2022.

Courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

One thing we know for sure is that—post 2020 and 2021—we will never feel comfortable packed into a cramped, airless room again. Hold on…did we ever feel at ease in an airless room? Anyway, indoor/outdoor entertaining, and outside living areas that feel as luxe and comfortable as a home’s interior, are in demand heading into next year. The design team at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery has pulled together a trend report, and the consensus is that they love these Big Ass Fans (yep, that’s the brand name). They increase airflow, shoo a few flies, and make outdoor spaces livable in those sweltering summer months. Inhale. Exhale. Enjoy. 

5. Nubby, Soft Upholstery

Lulu and Georgia Deco Gillian Rug Bedroom
A curved bench, a plush headboard, a round side table and light fixture from Lulu and Georgia’s Soft Deco collection.

Courtesy of Lulu and Georgia

One universal theme heading into this new year is comfort. Seems like everybody needs a hug, or the closest thing to it, which is a soft chair or sofa to curl up on. Bouclé upholstery fabric, with a snuggly, soft texture, has been a growing trend in recent years, and its popularity shows no sign of slowing. According to Apartment Therapy, 68% of those polled say bouclé is here to stay. Instead of creamy whites and beige, expect to see it in bolder colors like blue or earthy browns. 

6. Curved Lines and Rounded Edges

Plum, lavender, yellow—and the pale strawberry ice cream pink of the dining room in the background—is a subtle but super confident color palette.

Christopher Lee Foto

A whopping 83% of designers in the poll endorsed those soft, sinewy, curvilinear sofas and chairs that hover lower to the ground and started popping up everywhere last year. They say the look is here to stay, for now. They’re inspired by shapes from the ‘70s (a popular decade for decor inspiration), with a little Art Deco mixed in, and have all but replaced hard angles in stylish homes across the West.

7. Colorful Refrigerators 

Samsung Bespoke Refrigerator colorful appliances
If you can’t commit to just one unexpected color for a major appliance like a fridge, try mixing and matching. Samsung’s Bespoke line of French door refrigerators can be color blocked, and swapped out when you’re tired of the finish.

Courtesy of Samsung

We’ve already built a compelling case for a pale blue refrigerator. And the Ferguson team confirmed that the momentum around selecting appliances in unexpected colors is growing. The team is seeing a surge in interest in bold appliances in unexpected colors, like the matte black Cafe Appliances collaboration with Kelly Wearstler. Samsung also introduced a Bespoke French Door refrigerator: Three- and four-door models can be color-blocked to your heart’s content, and swapped out when you want to redecorate. 

8. Burl Wood Accents

burl wood desk CB2
Burl wood, which shows the natural texture that comes from tree growth, is on trend for 2022.

Courtesy of CB2

Step to the left, rattan and cane. Burled wood finishes are taking over. The unique swirls and patterns formed from tree growth add some organic, lovely texture to everything from small tabletop accessories to larger, elegant pieces, like this chic and simple desk from CB2. And there’s plenty of vintage burl pieces to be found on Chairish (see No. 1). 

9. Golden Touch

Brushed gold bathroom fixtures from Thompson Traders, designed by Kara Cox, make an appearance on Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery’s 2022 trend report.

Courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Ferguson has included these soft gold sinks and bathtubs from Thompson Trader’s in its trend forecast as part of the “organic modern” movement, and the enduring popularity of raw textures like brushed metal, rope accents, and ceramic that feel pulled from nature. As far as we’re concerned, there aren’t many worries that a soak in a luminous tub couldn’t alleviate. So, if a bathroom reno is in your future, it might be time to go for the gold. 

10. Warm Minimalism

Finished harvest fall centerpiece


Thomas J. Story

About 80% of the designers surveyed said that the uncluttered, light-filled, soft look of warm-minimal interiors is what will finally nudge the farmhouse aesthetic, and decades-long obsession with mid-century modern, off of the pedestal. Think pops of joyful color, pale wood, statement light fixtures, and great tile with natural texture used sparingly and well. Warm minimalism is a soothing look that invites you to sit down and stay a while, and doesn’t work too hard to impress anybody. And that’s a trend we can get behind.


Posted in Home Design
June 3, 2021

Convert a Spare Bedroom Into a Luxury Closet

Information is brought to you by
Lisa Cernuto
Mooresville Realty, LLC

Convert a Spare Bedroom Into a Luxury Closet

If you’re like many people with an expansive wardrobe, you will agree with recently surveyed homebuyers that a walk-in closet—with perhaps a dressing area—is the second most important feature wanted in an upscale home.

Respondents to a National Association of REALTORS® Buyers Home Feature Preference study ranked the extravagance just under air conditioning in terms of superior comfortable living—and 60 percent of them said they would spend the money to install the feature if the home they bought did not have one.

Installing the ultimate walk-in is easy to do without major upset, designers say, if your home has a spare bedroom adjacent to the master suite.

First, suggested one designer, be strategic. Take a good look at your clothing and accessories to determine the kind of space you need. Do you require a lengthy hanging space for full-length dresses, for example—or more than average space for shoes and purses? How much shelving will it take to hold your sweaters and folded shirts? How much drawer space for socks and underwear, and/or jewelry and accessories? And speaking of jewelry, do you want a wall safe built into your new walk-in closet?

Lighting is important. Whether you choose track lighting, recessed fixtures, or crystal chandeliers, you will want to be sure they provide enough ambient light to illuminate all the room’s contents.

Do you want a seating area? Having a room-sized closet means you also have space to add seating, so you can sit down if you wish. Plan for a comfortable armchair or chaise lounge you can sit on while you put on shoes, and/or a lighted vanity where you can sit to put on makeup or accessories.

Every good walk-in closet needs a full-length mirror—and depending upon the size of the room, a qualified custom closet designer will provide more ideas for turning your spare room into the walk-in closet you envision—beautifully finished and perfectly organized to maximize space and light.

From double-hanging rods and floor-to-ceiling shoe shelves to hanging or expanding wall pegs for belts, scarves or ties, there are other options a creative designer will suggest based on your needs and specifications. Whether you find your designer online or through a personal recommendation, be sure to review photos of his/her past designs and chat with two or three past clients about their room conversion experience.

That unused bedroom can provide much more than a little extra closet space. Done right, it can become a spacious wardrobe oasis.


Posted in Home Design