Interior Design Photos on our web site

Interior Design Photos on our web site
For More Interior Design Photos: ^ Click Above ^ - Hundreds of Before & After photos

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kill Ivy forever with 4 steps, before it kills your trees and cracks the mortar in your brick.

You can kill Ivy by following these four steps precisely. Other blogs say the ivy will keep coming back but I can tell you this procedure WORKED! If you're considering Ivy as a ground cover know that it can take over your trees, your shrubs, your lawn, it will choke out & kill everything. It can even ruin the foundation of your home. It's illegal to plant ivy in some states, for good reason.

Some people think it's impossible to get rid of ivy but you CAN kill ivy if you follow these 4 steps! It's been over a year, so I can confidently say it worked! Not a single sprig of ivy came back!  If your ivy is out of control, fear not, this can work for you.

Below is a photo of my neighbors trees, notice the ivy was choking out and killing their Leland cypress trees, and it was killing all our privacy shrubs that were finally huge after 20 patient years.

Ivy is not a desirable ground cover, it can kill everything including beautiful, it's a haven for snakes and rodents.


Photo of Ivy that climbed trees and killed them

   Four steps to kill ivy forever:

1) Pull out ivy by the roots, yes, it's grueling work, and to make matters worse, mine came from my neighbors yard, I didn't even plant it! So, spending the time to pull it out was not fun. But at least it's good exercise! Be sure to wear long sleeve shirt and gloves, or you'll probably get poison ivy during the process! Note: you must get all the ivy that is growing up the bark of trees as well. This part's important: bag it up and toss it, do NOT mulch it!

2) Spray salt water at each root. Be careful not to spray it close to your shrubs.

3) Put down thick black plastic (sold by the bolt at Home depot or Lowes), this step is important!

Don't let the above photo scare you! You don't need a Skid Steer or Bob Cat unless you have a massive area. If you do decide to rent one, or to hire it done, be sure to get one with tracks instead of rubber tires, so it won't leave ruts in your yard.

4) Get a load of cheap clay dirt (I got it free from a builder who was bull dozing at a commercial sight). Spread it on top of the black plastic. Top this clay with mulch (if you want a natural area), or with top soil and grass seed.  Now for the reward - see the amazing transformation below!!

If you desire privacy, you can now plant arborvitae evergreen trees (also known as big giant). They are much more resistant to damage than leland cypress.
Zero Ivy after more than a year 
For more landscaping ideas, patios, porch styles, & paint color tips, see our other blogs at this link. We hope you'll become a follower, you'll receive 2 to 3 blog tips per month! 

How to build an inexpensive fire pit:

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Outdoor kitchens & Patios:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to get the best price when selling my home? What color should I paint the walls for resale?

When selling a home, your goal is obviously to get the best price. With that said, it's hard for any of us to look at things from a buyers perspective. A good way to detach yourself is to study a photograph of each section, (each wall), ......then ask yourself some tough questions:
  1. Would my spouse & I fall in love with the home the way it looks now?
  2. Do the photographs in MLS make people excited about a tour?
  3. When you enter the foyer, are you intrigued to want to see more? 
If you don't want to sink thousands into painting or getting new carpet, you can create an "inviting mood" by updating things you can take with you. Notice the impact we achieved through updated rugs, art, lamps fabrics, & even by rearranging the furniture. However -- if you have rooms with dated wall paper or unappealing wall colors, I still suggest painting. Dark rooms will look more cheerful with a fresh coat of paint. 

Your goal is to sell a feeling, a mood, that makes your  home stand out from 
the other homes the buyer is considering. 

Sitting Room after adding art, bench, floor lamp for stage setting

The buyer's first impression is an important one!
The areas the buyer will see first need to look their best
Upholstered headboard with nail head trim, fabrics in a popular color

AFTER above Before Below
We added custom drapes & art. We replaced all the small nic nacs on the shelves.

The mantle needed art to tie the wall paint colors together.
We moved their mirror to the bedroom, where it looked amazing. 

Custom window treatments and larger art

Notice the impact by removing a dated rug

After above
The upgrades made the MLS photos look much better while the old house was for sale. 
Each piece had a planned spot in the new home. 

Before Below:


For hundreds more before after photos:
Do you have a resale story or suggestion for what worked for you? We'd love to hear your comments! Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead. 

To get the best price when selling your home, consider how it compares to the competition. 
Rather than stage setting the home with lots of inexpensive "nic nacs", remember that a few large 
high quality items will have more impact. As for what color to paint the walls - if they are in terrible condition, consider Camel, a light cream, or tan. Be sure to avoid paints that have a pink undertone!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's furniture, color and accessories are popular for Spring 2014? See these High Point Furniture Market popular items!

Fabrics and color trends are light, bright, and soothing this Spring. The High Point Furniture Market popular trends for Spring 2014 are clean, colorful, with lots of crystal, or silver, lamps & chandeliers! Notice the transitional and contemporary furniture.  Red is popular, as well as Raspberry, every shade of blue, and gray continues to be strong. 
Out with the old - in with the new! These clean retro styles are funky, fun and here to stay!
Silver chandelier, white cocktail tables, Ivory chairs

Contemporary cocktail tables

Crystal chandelier, dining tables, every shade of blue, blue rug

Tufted headboard, tufted contemporary ottoman, bench for foot of bed

Rasberry wall paint with crystal lamps

Red chairs, transitional and fun 

What type window treatment hardware, wood, iron, or metal?

Window treatment hardware varies from very thin, clean, and contemporary, to the opposite extreme of wooden poles, that are fluted with ornate finials. I'll list some of the advantages of each style....I will say that in the end the hardware will not demand much attention, because other items such as the drapes, rugs, paintings etc will demand more attention.

I like hardware like this platinum finish - notice that is won't compete with wood tones on the floor or furniture.

In a large room with tall ceilings & big moldings, you will want hardware that is substantial 
(larger in diameter). See photo below, the 6" finials were needed, since smaller hardware 
would've looked too skimpy. 

Wooden finials and poles in silver finish, bronze, or taupe
are a nice option 
I also love thin iron hardware, when it's high quality, it can be simple and elegant, see below.

If you'll be opening and closing the drapes often, you may want to consider one continuous rod or at least a 1" diameter rod with strong brackets as shown above. A continuous rod is a lot more expensive than a telescoping rod, because it cannot ship by UPS, it has to go common carrier freight line. We quote both types of hardware, and bring options to the home.
Two short window treatment rods are a nice touch if you don't need
to open and close the drapes for privacy. 

This two tone finish hardware (above photo) can be an interesting touch for your window treatment hardware.

Window treatment hardware can vary from very inexpensive to inexpensive.The big difference - if it's an expandable rod, it will make it a little more difficult to open and close the drapes every day (where the rod telescopes the fabric or rings will "catch" ). Some people say they don't feel that's an issue, others say it bothers them, it's personal preference.