What You Need to Know About Staging/Decorating for Executive Rental Units

Would you like to rent your income property for more money?

Professional staging/decorating for an income property is becoming more and more in demand. If you are looking for executive rental income for your unit, the property has to be presented accordingly.

Some of the apartments are quite new and others require some cosmetic renovations before decorating for rental. Some clients need help with managing the total project from beginning to end and taking care of things such as:

· Make the list of what needs to be fixed, repaired, painted or updated

· Select and purchase all the materials, tiles, light fixtures, etc.

· Provide renovation team to do the work

· Provide cleaning team

· Purchase all furniture

· Purchase all accessories

· Purchase linens, towels, even dishes if required

· Stage/Decorate the rental property for rental

Decorating for rental involves some clever and creative thinking. We want it to look nice but we don’t want to spend a lot. We have to keep in mind the necessities for someone renting the apartment but also be practical. The income unit has to look inviting but remain neutral in look and color. As we don’t know who will rent it, we need to stay away from gender specific colors or accessories!

We need to take into consideration our market and potential clientele we want to reach and stage/decorate accordingly. But chances are that our tenants will be less careful with our furnishings, so we need to plan for that as well. For example, I recommend darker color furniture and carpets as they will stay cleaner for a longer time. We want to include the minimum amount of furniture but it has to be comfortable enough for everyday living. In general, the objective of decorating for rental is the same as that of home staging; creating a great first impression and allowing our potential tenant to see himself/herself living in that space.

Recently, Home Staging Montreal team was involved in a full renovation/decoration project. The client purchased a two bedroom condo in the city and is planning to use it as a retirement place in a few years. Until then, he wants to rent his condo furnished in order to increase the rental price.

We were asked to take care of the whole project and were given a budget of $10,000 maximum. After evaluating the requirements, we first started by fixing up small things, adding a kitchen back splash, changing all light fixtures and repainting the income property. Then we went shopping for vertical blinds, and had the place professionally cleaned.

Keeping in mind our objective, we found some good looking but inexpensive furniture, carpets and accessories by shopping at large stores, such as Ikea, the Brick and Costco. We added some artwork, cushions, throws from Homesense (our favorite) and we put it all together for a simple but effective urban look.

The whole project took under 3 weeks to complete and we managed to stay under budget – the … Read More

Tips On How To Carry Out a Kitchen Remodel Project

One of the most important spaces in a house is the kitchen, and one of the best ways to add value to a home is to make sure the kitchen is not only a functional space, but also a beautiful one. Updating a kitchen can be done in many ways, but it usually involves adding attractive flooring, changing out the cabinetry and countertops, updating lighting and replacing old appliances with modern energy efficient models. If renovations must be done, its important to hire qualified professionals with references. Here are a few things that will help your kitchen remodel project go smoothly.

First and foremost, you are going to want to hire professionals. No matter where you live, kitchen projects involve a lot of electrical wiring, natural gas lines and water pipes. If you are re-doing cabinets, there can also be a lot of heavy lifting, cutting, and mounting. These are just a few concerns you may run into which is why hiring competent and reliable professionals is a good idea. Select a contractor who has similar project experience or specializes in the work you need. When searching for a construction company, ask for references and past work. Any good contractor will be happy to share their portfolio.

Second, you need to have a plan! If you aren’t an interior designer and you don’t know where to start, asking other people can help you narrow down choices and make final decisions. Asking friends, neighbors and family for their advice or opinions is a great place to start. Look through magazines or search online for inspirational kitchen remodel images. It also doesn’t hurt to hire a designer for consultation or ask your contractor what they recommend.

After you’ve created a plan and hired professional help, it is important to prepare your home and family for the remodeling process. As I’ve said before, kitchen remodeling can be complicated. Once the project is started, it can take quite a bit of time to complete, leaving you without full use of your kitchen. This can be stressful if you are used to cooking for a family every day. Preparing ahead of time will help ease the burden of being without a kitchen.

Knowing what kind of materials you are going to use is just as important as having a good design. Price can greatly range when shopping for kitchen materials, but choosing the cheapest materials won’t always save you money as they might wear out prematurely. Choosing better quality materials will ensure your kitchen remodel looks great and will last a long time. A great way to determine the best materials for the project is to ask the construction company or the contractor. Professionals often have insider knowledge with regards to materials and resources that people outside of the industry might not have. Visit stores, whether they are big box names like Home Depot or a smaller family owned businesses, they will have a wide range of samples to look at and the employees will … Read More

Air Cleaner or Purifier For Basements: Does Your Basement Make You Sick?

Are you lucky enough to have a basement in your house? Perhaps you are and it is useful sometimes isn’t it? You use it for a variety of things no doubt. Maybe your basement is used as sort of extra storage facility.

You put all the extra stuff you haven’t used since Christmas in or you just have a lot of extra things that never get used and you put it in your basement.

Basements sometimes get dirty. Fact. You might not think that you can do anything about it. You might not think that it’s worth the time to purify or clean the air. Consider the health of the family. Do you want a safe environment for your children? As a good parent you will want to do anything and everything to protect your children from allergies and all sort of nasty diseases.

Does your child have asthma? If so then not only is it absolutely necessary to keep your entire house clean but your garage, attic and your basement need to be clean as well. If you child has ever had an asthma attack then you will understand the importance of making sure the environment is clean, clear and safe.

Ever considered purchasing an air cleaner or purifier for your basement? You may be thinking it’s expensive but the prices are not as pricey as you might expect. As with all products you can find good quality at reasonable prices if you shop around. The Internet is a good place to start and you can find some great deals. When looking for an air purifier there are many good brands to consider.

Brands like Austin Air, NQ Clarifier, IQ Air HealthPro and AllerAir 400 are the best products for cleaning and purifying the basement. The Austin Air Allergy Machine Air Purifier is the same product that is used in many hospitals. Hospitals have to be clean to avoid highly contagious germs like MRSA that spread easily in a hospital.

With all the human contact that goes in and out of a hospital they need a product that can be relied upon to clean and purifier to a quality standard. What’s safe in hospitals is safe for the home.

When choosing a product however make sure that you read the specifics because some products are more targeted toward allergies and some to killing germs. Protection from allergies for the whole family is essential and a fact of modern life.

With our ever-faster pace of life you can’t spend your spare time thinking about cleanliness. You need products that do the work for you automatically. An Air Cleaner or Purifier for your basements is a step in that direction. Be safe and be clean.… Read More

03c – Phelps Residence – 2041 La Salle Ave – 1905 (E)

03c - Phelps Residence - 2041 La Salle Ave - 1905 (E)

West Adams Heights

“Nowadays we scarcely notice the high stone gates which mark the entrances on Hobart, Harvard, and Oxford streets, south of Washington Boulevard. For one thing, the traffic is too heavy, too swift; and then, again, the gates have been obscured by intrusions of shops and stores. At the base of the stone pillars appears the inscription “West Adams Heights.” There was a time when these entranceways were formidable and haughty, for they marked the ways to one of the first elite residential areas in Los Angeles. . . In the unplanned early-day chaos of Los Angeles, West Adams Heights was obviously something very special, an island in an ocean of bungalows—approachable, but withdrawn and reclusive—one of the few surviving examples of planned urban elegance of the turn of the century.”

– Carey McWilliams, “The Evolution of Sugar Hill,” Script, March, 1949: 30.

Today West Adams Heights is still obviously something special. The past sixty years, however, have not been kind. In 1963 the Santa Monica Freeway cut through the heart of West Adams Heights, dividing the neighborhood, obscuring its continuity. In the 1970’s the city paved over the red brick streets and removed the ornate street lighting. After the neighborhood’s zoning was changed to a higher density, overzealous developers claimed several mansions for apartment buildings. Despite these challenges, however, “The Heights,” as the area was once known, has managed to regain some of its former elegance.

The West Adams Heights tract was laid out in 1902, in what was then a wheat field on the western edge of town. Although the freeway now creates an artificial barrier, the original neighborhood boundaries were Adams Boulevard, La Salle Ave, Washington Boulevard, and Western Avenue. Costly improvements were integrated into the development, such as 75-food wide boulevards (which were some of the first contoured streets not to follow the city grid), lots elevated from the sidewalk, ornate street lighting, and large granite monuments with red-brass electroliers at the entrance to every street. These upgrades increased the lot values, which helped ensure the tract would be an enclave for the elite.

One early real estate ad characterized the neighborhood stating: “West Adams Heights needs no introduction to the public: it is already recognized as being far superior to any other tract. Its high and slightly location, its beautiful view of the city and mountains make t a property unequaled by any other in the city.”

The early residents’ were required to sign a detailed restrictive covenant. This hand-written document required property owners to build a “first-class residence,” of at least two stories, costing no less than two-thousand dollars (at a time when a respectable home could be built for a quarter of that amount, including the land), and built no less than thirty-five feet from the property’s primary boundary. Common in early twentieth century, another clause excluded residents from selling or leasing their properties to non-Caucasians.

By the mid 1930’s, however, most of the restrictions had expired. Between 1938 and 1945 … Read More

Interior Log Walls – The Causes and Repair of Water Stains on an Interior Log Wall

Causes of Interior Water Stains

Water stains are the result of water contacting unprotected log surfaces. Before you begin to remove the stains on your interior log wall, you need to determine where the water originated. This may have occurred during the building process, gaps between the log courses due to settling or broken gaskets/caulking that have failed. Water stains can also be the result of a previous plumbing problem or just windows left open repeatedly allowing water to enter. Once you are certain the situation has been corrected, you can begin to repair the water marks.

Repairing Water Stains on Interior Log Walls

There are several methods used to remove water stains from an interior log wall. The best method may depend on the depth and severity of the staining. If they were caused during the building process and the staining is severe, you may want to consider hiring a log home professional to have the walls media blasted with corn cob, glass or walnut shells. Although this can be messy and will involve removing all objects from inside the room, it is very effective. Most log professionals will do their best to seal the area and help minimize dust from traveling into other areas of the home.

Usually water stains are in a more confined area and not too severe. If you decide to tackle the project yourself, start by using regular sand paper (fine to medium grit, depending on the log species) and a traditional palm sander. Begin sanding at the edge of the water mark. If they can not be easily removed it may be necessary to use an orbital sander or belt sander. Concentrate on blending the darker edges. It takes patience and care to remove the water stained area without removing too much of the log fibers. You can easily damage your log wall creating an uneven and undesirable look. You may be able to achieve good results by sanding the water stained area only and applying a pigmented stain. However for best results, once the water mark has been removed, lightly sand the entire log wall to allow for even absorption of stain and avoid color variations.

Staining Interior Log Walls

Interior log walls are exposed to areas of indirect or direct UV rays through skylights, windows and doors. Even if your interior log wall was not previous stained, chances are that over time the characteristic of the log wall will appear different.

Most log home coatings companies have developed products designed specifically for interior log walls. These products are typically water based and available in different finishes. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose a clear (non-yellowing) finish in a gloss or satin. If you prefer a pigmented stain, most offer different shades. Whether you are trying to match an existing log wall or deciding what color would best blend with your existing finish, most manufacturers are happy to mail color samples of their products. Applying a finish to interior walls … Read More