How to Pick Paint Colors to Fix Any Room's Quirks

Courtesy of  Jan Soults Walker

Paint colors can do a ton to fix a room's flaws for not much money.

Every home suffers a few negatives, but not every solution requires pricey structural changes. Paint is a frugal remodeler's go-to solution to perk up a problem room.


Here's how to pick paint colors to give any room a facelift:

Choosing Paint for a Room That's Too Small

Painting walls white, cream, pastels, or cool colors (tinged with blue or green) creates the illusion of more space by reflecting light. 

White or light colors on walls lifts the ceiling, bringing your eyes up, which makes you feel like you're in a larger room.

How to use paint color to make a room seem bigger:

  • Paint trim similar to walls to ensure a seamless appearance that visually expands space. 
  • Use a monochromatic scheme to amplify the dimensions of a room. Select furnishings in the same color. Lack of contrast makes a room seem more spacious.
  • Extend wall color onto the ceiling an additional 6- 12- inches. This will make the room seem taller.
  • Paint vertical or horizontal stripes. Vertical stripes enhance room height by drawing the eye up, horizontal stripes lure your gaze around the perimeter, making walls seem further away. Use similar light colors for low-contrast stripes, and your room will look even larger.
  • Get a bit of a similar effect if you really want a darker shade by selecting a high-gloss paint sheen, which reflects light and enhances space. 

For a Room That's Too Large

When a space feels cavernous, draw walls inward and make it cozy with warm colors (red-tinged) because darker hues absorb light.

Similarly, a dark or warm color overhead (in a flat finish) helps make rooms with high or vaulted ceilings seem less voluminous.

For a Room That Needs a Soothing Vibe

The right paint choice can lend tranquility to a bathroom, master suite, or other quiet, personal space. A palette of soft, understated color or muted tones help you instill a calming atmosphere.

Some good choices include pale lavenders, light grays or greens, and wispy blues.

For a Room With Special Features That No One Notices

Call out notable features in a room with paint. Dress crown moldings and other trims in white to make them pop against walls with color.

Make a fireplace or other feature a focal point by painting it a color that contrasts with walls. 

“Using a higher sheen of paint on woodwork, such as baseboards and door or window casings,” says Schwartze, “creates a crisp edge and clear transition from the wall to the trim.”

For a Room With Something Ugly to Hide

Not everything should stand out in a space. Using a low-contrast palette is a good way to hide unappealing elements or flaws.

Conduit, radiators, and other components painted the same color as the wall will seem to disappear.
Selecting low-sheen or flat paint colors also helps hide flaws. Unless walls are smooth, avoid using high-gloss paint because it reflects light and calls attention to an uneven surface.

How to Pick Paint Colors for Any Room

  • Sample paint colors on a few walls.
  • Use large swaths of paint so you can get a real feel for the color.
  • Add samples to opposite sides of a room to judge the paint color from different angles.
  • Check the space with the samples in place and watch how the paint color changes at different times of the day.
  • Check the color on cloudy days, sunny days, and at night when you've got artificial lights on.



Sotheby's Latin America: Modern Art Evening

During the Golden Age of national cinema, Diego Rivera looked to Matilde Palou for inspiration. Rivera’s portrait of the Mexican actress, part of Sotheby’s Latin America: Modern Art Evening sale on 25 May in New York, not only nods to a great era of film and art, but it also serves as a testament to the pride of the Mexican people. Watch the video to discover Rivera’s mastery of twentieth-century portraiture.

Want to see and learn more about Diego Rivera and Latin American Modern art? Don't miss the Heard Museums, Frida & Diego Exhibit running through August 20th. Purchase tickets online.  

4 Great Home Buying Tips

1. Determine your budget: Before you even start looking, you need to know how much you can comfortably afford. Don't waste your time looking at homes that you can't buy - that's a terrible way to disappoint yourself in the end.

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2. Get Pre-approved: This relates to tip #1 but it's also a way to boost your standing in the eyes of a home seller. Buyers that are pre-approved are nearly as good as people paying cash. Also, our Arizona real estate purchase contract requires an offer to be accompanied by a pre-approval form for the bank. 

3. Differentiate between your wants and needs: What do you really NEED in a home? It might be storage space, or it might be three bedrooms. You may only WANT granite countertops and walk-in closets. Be sure to know what you need versus things that you simply want. I see couples argue about these things all the time, so be on the same page with everyone involved in the transaction.

4. Call me: I'm the best possible person you could talk to when you're looking to buy a home in Arcadia or Paradise Valley. I will provide you with the best real estate experience possible! I'll listen to your wants and needs and do everything within my power to satisfy you.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

What Will Cause Your Phoenix Home Sale to Fall Through?

Today we are excited to be talking about the major mistakes that you can make that will screw up the sale of your home. I’m going to give you four of the most common ones today, so hopefully you will be able to avoid them in the future. They are:


1.  Selling FSBO: Trying to sell your home on your own is admirable, but just doesn’t make sense. There are so many things to take into account when selling a home, not to mention the fact that most FSBO homes end up listing with an agent eventually anyways. Why waste the energy, time and frustration of doing it yourself, when you could just hire a professional to get the job done for a reasonable price and make sure your home sells for top dollar.

2. Mispricing your home: Incorrectly pricing your home can be a big problem. Price it too high, and you’ll get no showings or offers until you reduce it. If you underprice your home, you may get too many offers to keep track of, and it may be hard to sell for top dollar. A good agent can come in and help you price your home correctly for top dollar.

3. Using lousy photos:  We’ve all seen them online, the weird sideways pictures with bad lighting, and clutter in the background. Nothing turns off potential buyers more than bad online photographs. You need to have a professional photographer take pictures that tell the real story of your home, that’s what will attract people to your home online.

4. Ignoring the backyard and landscaping: Oftentimes, people will make a decision on whether they like a home or not in the first 15 seconds of seeing the property. Having nice landscaping will help quell buyers' fears. Don’t ignore the backyard though, that’s an easy way to turn buyers off as well.


There you have it, the four major mistakes that will screw up your home sale. If you are thinking of buying or selling soon, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love the opportunity to interview for the job, and I look forward to hearing from you!

How Can You Add Value to Your Home?

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Today I want to talk about the top five areas of your home that you can renovate in order to earn some money back when you sell your home. It's important to remember that many repairs will not earn you more money back. Below are the top five repairs for putting some value back into your home before you sell.

1. The Kitchen: Renovating your kitchen is a great way to earn some money back. Buyers love to see updated kitchens. However, if you spend more than $20,000 to repair your kitchen, you're likely not going to get all of it back.

2. The Master Bathroom: Everyone likes to have a large and luxurious master bathroom, and buyers will pay extra for this.

3. Paint: Keep your paint neutral. Earth tones are popular right now, so aim for beige, grey, off-white and white. 

4. New Flooring: It's unlikely that you can clean your carpets well enough to make people think that they're new. Investing in new carpeting or tiling is a great way to add value. Buyers will notice that 'new floor smell' and they'll have peace of mind.

5. Curb Appeal: When people drive by, you want to leave a great impression on the buyer. Plant flowers, trim bushes, and pull weeds. The more organized and orderly your lawn can be, the more attractive your home will look to a buyer.

These are the top five home renovations in our area. Pay attention to these and don't be distracted by other costly repairs because they will likely just cost you money.

If you would like to learn more about this, or if you'd like to speak about real estate in the Phoenix area, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Why Should You Take Zillow's Home Evaluations with a Grain of Salt?

More and more people head online to find real estate information nowadays. Zillow is by far the most popular - but is it accurate? Can Zillow really put an accurate value on your Phoenix home?

The short answer to those questions is no. Zillow pools a lot of data from different sources and comes up with a very good ballpark number of your home's value. However, there are many factors Zillow can't take into account, such as neighborhood details and any updates you have made to your home.

"Zillow is a good resource, just not for finding your home's value."

Zillow readily admits that it is often off by 5%-15%. If you have a $300,000 home, they could overprice or underprice your home by as much as $45,000! That's why it is absolutely essential to have a real estate professional assess your home. They will note the differences between your home and other homes that are selling in your neighborhood, and will account for other details that Zillow has no way of accounting for.

If you have questions about the home valuation process, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to help you get top dollar for you home!

How Can You Stage on a Budget?

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If you are looking to sell your home, your goal is to get the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. One of the best ways to add value and appeal to your home is through home staging. You have a lot of options for how you want to go about it. You could hire a professional staging company, but that comes with a hefty price tag. Most of the time, a few simple fixes is all it takes to transform a living room.

Today we are going to go through some of our most favorite, inexpensive home staging tips or you. We hope these will help you save both time and money when it comes time to sell your home.

A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea. Neutral, warm colors work best for highlighting the natural light in your home. This will make it easier to punch up the room with some colorful accessories and pull everything together.

A common design problem facing many homeowners is that they have no real entry way, as their front door opens up to the living room. To fix this, you can add a table, some lighting, and a rug to "fake a foyer" and make it feel like the living room and entryway are two different spaces.

A patterned rug, some pillows, or bright curtains add a ton of texture and an eclectic layer to the space, which is essential to a well-designed room.

In some cases, a "make-under" is just what you need. In the case of most fireplaces, taking some accessories and clutter away enhances the look and feel of the room greatly.

"Add thousands in value by spending hundreds of dollars."

You could spend well over a few thousand dollars with a staging company, or you could do these fixes yourself for around $500. That's a small investment considering the value that you add to your home by adding those pieces.

If you have any questions for us about staging your home or anything else real estate related, give us a call or send over a quick email. We are always here to help, and would love to hear from you!

Pretty Cool Auction

This is not your typical Sotheby's auction! On December 10th, Sotheby's will be hosting: A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk to Furya kaleidoscopic survey of the history of rock & roll, pop, folk, and punk. Featuring important manuscripts and memorabilia from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Eagles, and a rare offering from the Sex Pistols’ seminal album Never Mind the Bollocks (the original working autograph manuscript of "Problems"), among others. A highlight of the sale is John Lennon’s Broadwood Upright Piano upon which he composed “A Day in the Life,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and many other iconic songs. See the auction catalog here 

John Lennon's Piano

John Lennon's Piano

In advance of Sotheby’s 10 December auction  A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk to Fury, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins talks about how living with rock & roll memorabilia is like being surrounded by old friends. He also offers his personal take on some of the highlights from the sale including an original awning from the legendary punk club CBGB.

Historic Homes


For the right owner, maintaining a home graced with the patina of time is both an honour and a duty. When purchasing exquisite luxury goods – paintings, sculptures, textiles, furniture and wines – provenance matters. Similarly, when well cared for, homes enriched with the prestige of age and history can acquire the patina that only decades or centuries can bestow. With it, they take on unmatched nobility and grandeur. Read More...


St. Helena, California

St. Helena, California

A Renovation Challenge an Architect Would Kill For: An Entire Factory

An ex-plant houses an office with 250 employees in 45,000 square feet.

Let it be known that Moment Factory, a Montreal-based multimedia studio, takes it name seriously. So seriously, in fact, that when the company needed a new office, with room for a production studio and cafeteria, it turned to the former industrial area of the Mile-Ex to scout factory space. There, they found a disused 45,000-square-foot plant, and, with significant help from MU Architecture, transformed it into a vibrant, open work environment. More...

Courtesy of

Heading Out to Slopes? Here is Your Guide

A comprehensive list of must-have items for your next big snow day.

Whether you’re planning a big trip to a ski resort this winter or are simply lucky enough to have a place nearby where you can ski whenever the next big snow day arrives, we’ve put together a practical list for you. From must-haves and innovative items to new favorites, read on to discover the best freeriding ski gear for this winter.  More...

Courtesy of the Gessato Blog on

Spike in Dollars Per Square Foot Number, Why?

I keep a rolling 12-month average of price per foot sale amounts for the general Arcadia area, which includes Arcadia Lite, Lower Arcadia and Biltmore Heights.  This month, I noticed a large jump in the price per foot, as seen below...

We have been on a nice, steady and maintainable increase in prices, which is what people should be excited about. The gains in 2005 and 2006 were huge, not healthy and backed by loose lending practices (Watch The Big Short).  When I see a jump of over $12 in one month, which is greater than the gains from the last 11 months combined,  I get that weird sinking feeling in my belly. I wanted to find out why.  

The answer is the mix of sales for the month of October. There were 59 sales in the general Arcadia area, which is typical.  The interesting thing is that 25% of the sales were over $1 million and there were 5 sales over $2 million. Of those 5 homes, a few sold for over $400/foot, not so rare, but two sold for per foot prices over $500, the highest at $529.  More of more of the new homes sold in Arcadia Proper on large with large square footage are selling for prices over $500 per foot.  It will be interesting to see how this average number changes next month.