Entries in Houses (17)


How to Choose the Right Color for a Statement Front Door

Easy ways to freshen up your home with a colorful, statement front door.

home with bright blue front door

The sun will knock the intensity of any color down a notch, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a shade that’s a little bit outside your comfort zone.

What do you call it when your front door is so inviting, your welcome mat starts to feel a little left out?

Knob envy.

(We’ll see ourselves out.)

Really, though: When it comes to making a you-belong-here statement, few elements deliver the message quite like a home’s front door. After all, it single-handedly serves as your abode’s unofficial welcome committee, greeting guests well before your open arms have a chance to usher them across the threshold.

And it does it all with just a simple coat or two of paint — provided you choose the right color.

Whether you’re making payments on an 18th-century farmhouse or a contemporary ranch, the tips below will help you choose the just-right hue to declare your house your happy place with a statement front door.

Scope the overall exterior

Before you even peek at a paint swatch, you need to take a good, hard look at your home’s exterior. Head outside and make note of the existing paint scheme and roof color, as well as any architectural details such as shutters, siding, trim, flashing — even your landscaping.

Because let’s face it: That magenta hue would probably look out of place on your red brick Colonial, no matter how many times you favorite the color on Pinterest. Be sure to snap a few pics for reference later.

Evaluate similar styles

Overwhelmed by choices? Narrow down your selection by researching color schemes that are historically accurate — or just well-suited — to your home’s architectural style. Victorians can accommodate candy colors, for instance, while craftsman-style homes are traditionally painted in earthy, complementary hues.

And what are your neighbors doing? Decide if you’d rather blend in or stand out — or just ignore all of the above and go with whatever makes you happy.

Pick your palette

If the warm fuzzies are your endgame, then you can’t go wrong with yellow. Greens and blues are said to be calming, whereas oranges and reds are known to be energetic and vibrant. Of course, this all depends on the tint (amount of white) or shade (amount of black) of your chosen color. Jewel tones will emit more drama than muted pastels; a deep red sends a different message than cotton candy pink.

Learn how to use the color wheel

Remember learning about the color wheel in grade school? It’s time to take a refresher course, especially if you’ll be coordinating your door with your home’s existing paint colors.

Here’s a quick rundown of the color schemes most commonly applied in home decor:

Complementary colors are those directly across from each other on the color wheel (e.g., red and green); their contrast promises the most impact when paired together.

Analogous color schemes rely on sets of three or more colors that sit directly next to each other on the color wheel; think yellow, yellow-green, and green.

Triadic color schemes involve three colors that are evenly spaced on the wheel; picture an equilateral triangle pointing to three different colors, like purple, green, and orange.

Monochromatic color schemes make use of a single color and gain visual interest by using variations in its tint, shade, and tone.

Make a swatch board

What you see isn’t always what you get, so bring plenty of swatches home from the paint store.

Here’s a handy trick: Tape the swatches to a piece of white foam core, then place the board somewhere near your door. That way, you can get a true sense of how the color will appear as the light changes throughout the day.

Keep the weather and the changing seasons in mind too. Try to envision how the paint color would appear on a cloudy, snowy day, as well as those filled with sunshine and ample foliage.

Break out of your comfort zone

The sun will knock the intensity of any color down a notch, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a shade that’s a little bit outside your comfort zone. It is just paint, after all!

Still not convinced? Go with a front door in red or black, the two colors said to jibe with the broadest range of architectural styles. Reds with blue undertones, such as cranberry, are a tried-and-true favorite.


Commanding attention from the curb should be a team effort. Consider accessorizing your freshly painted door with shiny new hardware. Copper or brass handlesets and kickplates, for example, would pop against a door painted a deep shade of violet or indigo. Complete the look by flanking your door with planters, rolling out a cheeky welcome mat, installing new house numbers, or any combo of the above.

Bring the outside in

Fall in love with your front door’s new hue? Invite it inside by painting the other side of your door the same color. Just remember: Each side may require a different paint finish, particularly if they show differentiating signs of wear. For instance, while a high-gloss finish makes a color appear more vivid, it’s also known to highlight imperfections.

What are your favorite colors for a statement front door? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

- See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-color-for-a-statement-front-door/#sthash.WgAuFb3l.dpuf

By  | July 22, 2015


The 5 Latest ‘Must-Have’ Amenities of Home Shoppers

Posted in Home Trends, by  on February 9, 2015

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Besides an upscale kitchen and plenty of space, what are new-home buyers’ looking for when house hunting? Surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and homebuilder PulteGroup shed some light on a few of the latest in-demand amenities.

1. Walk-in closets: Large closets, particularly in the master bedroom, is among one of home shoppers’ top priorities, according to the NAHB survey of builders and remodelers. Indeed, 31 percent of 1,000 home owners recently surveyed by PulteGroup said they’d sacrifice another household feature in order to have his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom.

2. Luxurious laundry rooms: Buyers are looking for more than just a place to stick their washer and dryer. They want upgraded laundry rooms – complete with skylights, built-in ironing boards, space for folding clothes, extra storage, and upgraded appliances, according to the NAHB survey.

3. Energy efficiency: Home buyers are looking to cut utility costs, and energy efficiency appliances and products can be one way to do that. Low e-windows, Energy Star appliances, and programmable thermostats are more in demand among home shoppers.

4. Great rooms: These large open spaces that often merge dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens continue to be in high-demand among home shoppers, according to NAHB’s poll of builders. “Great rooms are wonderful places where everyone in the family can sit around, or where the kids can do their homework while you get dinner ready,” Stephen Melman of NAHB told MainStreet. “Today’s great rooms are large, bright and just make you feel good being there.”

5. Taller first-floor ceilings: More home buyers want the first floor to stretch beyond the typical eight-foot ceiling. They’re asking builders for nine-foot ceiling heights. The taller ceilings can open up living rooms, dining rooms, and other spaces on the first floor. But home shoppers say they can do without the cathedral ceiling in the family room, which can be too costly to heat and cool. Also, they aren’t preferring the higher ceilings on the second floor, which many home buyers say they want to feel more cozy, Melman says.


Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: November 14, 2011

Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion.


I'm lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.

Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.


The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.

If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.


Light the way: Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.

  • Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow. 
  • Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
  • Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
  • Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
  • Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
  • If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.

Sleeping arrangements

If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house. 

To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.

Bathroom storage

Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.

If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.

Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?

Read more:  http://members.houselogic.com/articles/tips-how-prepare-your-home-holiday-guests/preview/#ixzz3IKoQz07T 
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook



Protect Home From Break-ins

Did you know that every 15 seconds a home in the United States is burglarized? That's why it's essential to secure your home and protect your family against break-ins. For a more secure home read these common myths about burglaries and get the facts to protect your home:

Myth: Burglars break in through discreet areas, like the back of the house.

Fact: Securing the back of your house is important, as first floor windows and the back door are among the top targets for burglars. But shockingly, the most common point of entry for home burglaries happens to be through the front door. Install deadbolts on the front door and any exterior doors, as they are harder to pick. Put strong locks on glass doors and lock-up whenever you leave the house. The garage is another common area for burglar access – don't share your garage door code with others, and don't leave the garage door opener in your car – it's a quick way for thieves to gain access to your home.

Myth: Most burglaries happen at night.

Fact: Most burglaries actually occur during the day while homeowners are away from home and at work. Locking doors before you go to bed may be a common practice, but ensure your home is also secure during daylight hours too. 

Myth: If you're running out for a few minutes, it's okay to leave your door unlocked -- no burglar could get in and out that fast.

Fact: Burglars are faster than you think. The average burglar spends only a few minutes in your home. So, lock the door no matter how soon you're planning to be back. Burglars can also make fast work because they know common hiding places – the key under the doormat, the jewelry in the master bedroom. Leave your spare key with a neighbor and consider putting valuables in a safe.

Myth: You don't need a home alarm system if you live in a safe area with a low crime rate.

Fact: Even if you live in a relatively safe neighborhood, homes without security systems are 2 to 3 times more likely to be broken into, says the Better Business Bureau, yet few U.S. homes are armed with one. According to the Alarm Industry Research & Educational Foundation, 74% of burglaries are prevented by having an alarm in place, and can go a long way in protecting your home and giving you added peace of mind.

Author: Sharon Hurley Hall, Liberty Mutual 


Top School Districts Lift Home Prices


Homes within highly rated school districts tend to have a higher median sales price, sell for a greater percentage over the list price, and sell faster, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

Highly rated public schools were found to have homes with a median sales price of $474,900 compared to $290,000 in an average-rated school zone. Redfin researchers also found that homes in top school districts are more likely to sell for 30 percent above the list price versus 23 percent. They tend to sell faster too: A median of 25 days on the market versus 21 days.

School Impact:

Homes in top-level school districts can be more difficult to come by, the study shows. For every 100 homes in a neighborhood, on average, only 5.8 were on the market in the past year compared with 6.5 for the greater metro area.

Redfin analyzed test score data from GreatSchools ratings, provided by Onboard Infomatics, in 22 major metro areas to determine the neighborhoods that have the most highly rated public schools. Redfin also included data on median sales price, and the percentage of homes that sold above the asking price.

The following metros have some of the top rating averages from GreatSchools, and listed below them are the top three neighborhoods containing the most highly rated schools within each metro. (For the full list of 22 metros and the top schools identified, visit Redfin’s research blog.) 

There are numerous outstanding school districts in South Jersey! Let me help you find the right one for you and your family.