Five Beautiful Home Décor Blogs to Follow

Five Beautiful Home Décor Blogs to Follow

Are you in need of a little home décor inspiration? Maybe you’re getting ready to flip a property, demo a bathroom or your living room just needs a little revamping. I’ve scoured the Internet over to find the best home décor blogs that provide insight into everything from redecorating an entire property to picking the perfect kitchen countertop. Check out my recommendations below for the top five Home Décor blogs you need to be following:

 

Waiting on Martha: This Atlanta based blogger focuses on fun, bright, southern styling. This is a great blog if you’re looking to modernize your home décor and add some trendy pieces. You can directly purchase items that you see in posts to get the look. Favorite Feature: The home décor blog features a series on the “One Room Challenge”, dedicated to transforming just a single space in a residence.

 

Paula Rallis: A local favorite! While Paula essentially runs a lifestyle blog, her insight on interiors is spot on. She emulates sleek southern style at its finest. Favorite Feature: Rallis and her husband have a home flipping business and feature several of their flips on her blog.

 

Huff Harrington Home: Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, the dynamic duo this is Ann Huff and Meg Harrington are admitted Francophiles and Southern Belles. Their home décor and art blog is inspired by trendy French Country and of course, our country. Favorite Feature: The blog’s designer profile highlights local interior designers and their personal style and favorite décor tips.

 

City Farmhouse: Focusing specifically on the home and all it encompasses, this blog follows the ins and outs of a young couple’s dream home. This blog specializes in modern (you guessed it) farmhouse décor that is both functional and stylish. Favorite Feature: Easy, DIY projects with simple fixes that can help to elevate an entire space.

 

My Sweet Savannah Blog: Where rustic meets sophisticated this home décor blog is dedicated to the chic, Southern style made popular by the hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper. Melanie’s authentic style repurposes pieces with a vintage look for a comfortable, inviting style. Favorite Feature: This blog provides a lot of inspiration on how to incorporate thrift shop or vintage finds into your existing décor.

Maximizing Your Entertainment Space for Football Season

Maximizing Your Entertainment Space for Football Season

Go Tigers, Go Gamecocks, Go Dogs…It’s Football Season! Whether you’re a pro fan (Go Panthers!) or a college die-hard (choose wisely), everyone can agree, football is king during the fall here in South Carolina. The camaraderie, food and atmosphere during football games always make lasting memories for family and friends. For the weekends you’re not able to set up the ultimate tailgating experience at the game, gathering around the flat screen in your home is a great way to gear up for the game and cheer your favorites on to victory. If you’ve invited   friends over for a Saturday of football and fun, you’ll need to make the most out of your family room, screened porch, backyard…really anywhere and everywhere you can fit your friends! Here are my tips on how to maximize your entertaining space for football season.

 

Take advantage of your oversized backyard for large parties and take the game-watching outside! Consider renting an inflatable TV screen with surround sound from Silly Bob’s Inflatables to watch the game, or a projector from Professional Party Rentals to project the game on a sheet in the backyard or on a blank wall. This is a great option for early in the season when the evenings are the perfect temperature to enjoy the outdoors. Concerned about seating? Blankets on the lawn and BYOC (bring your own chair) are always great options to get many folks together outside without spending a fortune. A great resource for college sports team branded blankets, chairs, tents, apparel and more is The University Shoppe on E. North Street.

 

You can’t have a football game viewing party without one very important factor – food! A potluck is a great way to keep costs down if you’ve invited a large number of friends and family. Take inventory of what sort of serving and dining surfaces you have at your disposal and don’t be afraid to rearrange some furniture to optimize your space. If you’re like me and prefer someone else to handle the cooking, a great local resource is Blake Lewis of Concierge on Call (just call early as he is very popular!). If you’ve got carpeting that you want to keep stain-free, consider keeping messier snacks in the kitchen or outside. Investing in a solid carpet cleaner is a good idea to undo damage from food and drink spillage and foot traffic, or call Steamatic of Greater Greenville for a detailed after-party clean up.

 

Rep your team (or teams)! Even if it’s just small additions to your fall décor, add in a few pieces to show off your team spirit. Flags, serving pieces and flatware are classic staples to show off your school pride. Kick it up a notch with something unique, like a custom corn hole set or framed team jerseys. Are you living in a house divided? There’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned football rivalry! Even if your teams’ colors clash, the features will add an element of fun to the party. The Vault in downtown Greenville has a great selection of collegiate apparel as well as local high school gear and pro teams. Or, if you’re a Clemson Tiger fan like me, visit Mr. Knickerbocker at The Shops at Greenridge for all things orange!

 

No matter what team you root for, I hope you have a wonderful football season! To help make your next tailgate party a winner, I’m giving away a $100 gift certificate to your choice of a local resource mentioned in this article. To be eligible to win, you must like my Facebook page and sign up to receive the weekly Upstate Clutch eNewsletter at http://upstateclutch.com/.

Fall Home Decor Trends

Fall Home Decor Trends

Kiss the humidity goodbye and break out everything pumpkin spice-centered—Fall is coming y’all. While I’ll definitely be missing the warmer weather, I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove of school, the changing seasons and, of course, the changing decor. I always look forward to changing seasons as they allow for the perfect opportunity to try a new trend or update your look—especially in the home! I am already seeing some great autumn decor trends and tricks hitting the scene that will be the perfect finishing touches to your home to help you transition with the seasons. Here are a few of my favorite trends and some fantastic local resources:

Farmhouse Chic—It’s safe to say, Chip & Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper have brought the farmhouse out of the country and into each and every one of our homes. Fall is the perfect time to test out this trend and incorporate it into your home. Whether you love all things rustic or you have a more refined style, you can incorporate this is look into any type of decor. I adore these rustic lanterns from Vintage Now Modern located at 633 S. Main Street, as well as these items made from natural materials at The Rock House Antiques at 415 Mauldin Road in Greenville.

Wicker Baskets—With hectic households, you can never have enough storage. Functional can still be trendy and cute with these wicker baskets from Pottery Barn – visit locally at the Haywood Mall. Store everything from toys to blankets and everything in between. Varying sizes are great if you need to fill a large space or if you want to do a set. Fill a basket with pumpkins and gourds from The Fresh Market at 27 S. Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville to really set the mood for autumn.

Snuggle Up—One of my favorite parts of Fall is snuggling up on the couch with the family to enjoy a fire or a warm cup of coffee. With the colder weather coming in, the beginning of Fall is a good time to take inventory of your blankets and see which ones may need to be retired. A great Fall throw has texture while reflecting your personal style. Mast General Store, located at 111 N. Main Street in Greenville currently has some unique quilts in their Mercantile department, new wool plaid blankets by Woolrich®, as well as some South Carolina-themed blankets in orange and garnet – perfect for watching the Clemson Tigers and University of South Carolina Gamecocks play football!

We are so lucky to experience all seasons here in the Upstate and our homes are the perfect places to display a few nods to Fall. Whether it’s a few additions here and there or a total autumn makeover and takeover, refreshing your home décor this season will be a great way to usher in Fall.

Common Seller Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Common Seller Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

We are fortunate that Greenville’s real estate market has been hot for years. The combination of increased demand, lack of inventory and low interest rates has resulted in fewer days on the market and a higher return for most sellers. But, even in a strong market, sellers have to be realistic about their home – how it stacks up against the competition, its true value (not what the neighbor sold their house for, the tax record assessment or the recent Zestimate)—its real condition, and how to get it from listed to sold. If not, it is going to be a long, rocky road!

 

Are you selling? About to sell? Then read along for the top five home seller mistakes:

 

Overpricing Your Home

I run into this one a lot. The common misperception is to price it high and if it does not sell quickly, then lower the price and it will sell immediately. Or if you price it high then you have more room to “come down”. If you price your home too high initially, you set yourself up for real failure.

 

The best chance at selling your home to the most buyers at the highest price is immediately upon listing. So, if it is priced correctly, you are more likely to get a full-priced offer, or even multiple offers. If you price it too high, agents and buyers will think you are not serious and then the home will sit, and sit and sit. Then you’ll have to lower it substantially to hit a different buyer pool.

 

Think of your home like a new dress that comes into a store. It is exciting and most coveted when it immediately hits the store – especially if it is priced right. You will probably jump to purchase it. How about the dress that is sitting on the clearance rack with many reductions made on it? And it is still sitting there week after week you go into the store. It is not that exciting anymore, is it?

 

Making Showings Challenging

The primary goal after your home hits the market is to get as many buyers into your home as possible. That way you do not miss the opportunity window. So, test the new cut keys to verify they will unlock and lock the doors. Make sure the lockbox is easily accessible. Do not ask for 24-hour notice for showings. Do not cancel showings. A dream scenario is to list your home and then leave for the weekend so the maximum number of people will be able to come through your home. Then, maybe you will return on Sunday with multiple offers!

 

Not Countering An Offer

I have dealt with this issue many times. Sometimes I had buyer clients who wanted to submit a lowball offer and other times I represented sellers who received unrealistic offers. The one thing I have learned is that it is always best to counter the offer. Sometimes buyers just want to “feel” out the sellers to see how motivated they are to sell—if they are in a desperate situation or not—or just to feel better that they tried to “steal it” even if they could not.

 

While it is not the best practice for buyers to submit offers that are not based on comparable sales data and advice from a real estate agent who knows that market, it does happen. The best advice I can give to sellers who receive a lower offer than expected is to counter it – even if the original offer is insulting – because more often than not, it will work out. It was just a test. And, you will not know if it will work out if you do not even try.

 

Property Condition Denial

Many sellers have an unrealistic perception of their home’s condition. When you live in a home, it is often easy to overlook all the smudges on painted walls, scratched up floors, cracked windows, and items that just do not work as they should.

After living in a home for a while, you often just get used to these things or you may forget that the roof, HVAC and hot water heater are all 20+ years old.

 

My best advice is to get an accurate picture of your home’s condition prior to listing from an agent who can also tell you what needs to be done to get the most return on your investment. If you put yourself in a buyer’s position, wouldn’t you be more likely to pay top dollar for a home with newer systems or that looked fresh?

 

Selective Disclosure

Make sure that you honestly disclose everything you know about the home. It is easy to point out all the positives, but you need to also accurately state the ages of the major components in the home, any issues you had and what was done to resolve it (include contractor documentation). Leaving disclosures blank or vague only heightens buyers’ doubts and concerns and will not result in a good offer if one comes at all. Be honest!

 

Contact me for more tips on how to successfully sell your home, for the best price, in the shortest amount of time!

Maximizing Your Indoor/Outdoor Living Space

Maximizing Your Indoor/Outdoor Living Space

We’re in that sweet spot between spring storms and intense summer humidity when the days are long and the sun is bright. Now that school is out for the summer, we can truly enjoy these gorgeous summer days and nights with our families and loved ones. It’s the perfect time to enjoy your backyard and make the most out of your indoor/outdoor living space. Whether you’re looking to make a big change, or just add a few finishing touches, I’ve got a few suggestions that will make you never want to leave your backyard.

 

Mix up your seating area: Your outdoor living area doesn’t have to be limited to a few simple chairs and a table. Double the relaxation with a hammock, porch swing or chaise lounge. Be sure to invest in furniture and fabrics that are weather resistant and will hold up well against wear and tear. Add a fun pop of summertime color with outdoor throw pillows. One of my favorite local places to get these is 4Rooms on Augusta Road.

 

Light up the night: Incorporate various forms of lighting to help your indoor/outdoor space transition from day to night. Ornate, oversized candles in decorative holders are a great way to brighten up your space and show off your personal style. I spotted some wonderful scented candles at Gages last weekend during Summer on Augusta. Purchase citronella candles to do double duty and keep bugs at bay. Another popular choice for outdoor lighting is bulb string lights. String them along your fence or above your patio for a fun, carefree summer vibe. Check out World Market on Woodruff Road for a great selection.

 

Add an element of fun: People will be drawn to an indoor/outdoor living space that allows them to enjoy themselves. Whether it be as simple as an outdoor television or as exciting an all-purpose Ping-Pong table, adding a focal point to your space will draw your friends and family out of the house and into your yard. Add a beer tap to your outdoor kitchen for parties or opt for a fire table in lieu of a fire pit in order to enjoy your meals around the fire with ease.

 

Purchase Party Essentials: No matter what you are looking for in terms of party décor and essentials, you can find it at The Pickwick Pharmacy and Soda Fountain. They have a wide variety of color coordinating cups, napkins utensils, plates and even balloons that you can pre-order and they’ll have ready and waiting for you! Another local favorite for party essentials and unique décor is Paisley and Paper—also on Augusta Road!

 

Get ready to party! After you’ve gotten your indoor/outdoor space ready, it’s time to party! A couple of favorites from Greenville, SC locals are Itz Spritz, a flavorful sparkling alcohol beverage crafted with simple, natural ingredients that pairs well with Carolina Girl Cooks orange cardamom, lavender, rose and chocolate rosemary sea salt tea cookies.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Augusta Road

Neighborhood Spotlight: Augusta Road

Traditionally one of Greenville’s most affluent communities, this historic area is full of winding residential streets lined with beautiful mature trees. Charming homes boasting various architectural styles from bungalows to stately Georgian mansions add to the Augusta Road area’s appeal (more to come on architectural styles in another post!).

Businesses

Some of Greenville’s oldest and most successful independent businesses, as well as many nationally-known favorite establishments, populate Augusta Road’s business district. Visit www.onlyonaugusta.com for a list of must-visit spots!

Housing

While single-family is the most predominant type of home in most of the primary neighborhoods of the Augusta Road, Alta Vista, Club Forest, Chanticleer and Greenville Country Club area, there are also 14 condo and townhome communities from the Cleveland Park area to Chanticleer. For information on a few documented neighborhood associations, visit www.greenvillesc.gov/727/Neighborhood-Associations.

 

Schools

A primary attraction of the Augusta Road area is the award-winning public schools, including:

Additionally, there are many coveted preschool programs in the area. Hint: get on the waiting list as early as possible because lists can be long!

 

Lifestyle

There’s always something fun to do in the Augusta Road area! A few highlights are:

 

A few of my favorite smaller greenspaces are Rockwood Park, Afton Park and the Rock Quarry Garden. Plus, there are many beautiful churches, locally-hosted art events, fashion boutiques, athletic events and races, fundraisers and much more.

 

Contact me to learn more about why this neighborhood is so popular and how you can become a part of it!