What Can We Expect From The 2018 Housing Market?

 

It’s the time of the year when I look deep into my crystal ball to see what’s on the horizon for the upcoming year. As we are all aware, 2017 has been a stellar year for housing across the country, but can we expect that to continue in 2018?

Here are my thoughts:

 

Millennial Home Buyers

Last year, I predicted that the big story for 2017 would be millennial home buyers and it appears I was a little too bullish. To date, first-time buyers have made up 34% of all home purchases this year – still below the 40% that is expected in a normalized market.  Although they are buying, it is not across all regions of the country, but rather in less expensive markets such as North Dakota, Ohio, and Maryland.

For the coming year, I believe the number of millennial buyers will expand further and be one of the biggest influencers in the U.S. housing market. I also believe that they will begin buying in more expensive markets. That’s because millennials are getting older and further into their careers, enabling them to save more money and raise their credit profiles.

 

Existing Home Sales

As far as existing home sales are concerned, in 2018 we should expect a reasonable increase of 3.7% – or 5.62 million housing units. In many areas, demand will continue to exceed supply, but a slight increase in inventory will help take some heat off the market. Because of this, home prices are likely to rise but by a more modest 4.4%.

 

New Home Sales

New home sales in 2018 should rise by around 8% to 655,000 units, with prices increasing by 4.1%. While housing starts – and therefore sales – will rise next year, they will still remain well below the long-term average due to escalating land, labor, materials, and regulatory costs. I do hold out hope that home builders will be able to help meet the high demand we’re expecting from first-time buyers, but in many markets it’s very difficult for them to do so due to rising construction costs.

 

Interest Rates

Interest rates continue to baffle forecasters. The anticipated rise that many of us have been predicting for several years has yet to materialize. As it stands right now, my forecast for 2018 is for interest rates to rise modestly to an average of 4.4% for a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – still remarkably low when compared to historic averages.

 

Tax Reform

Something that has the potential to have a major impact on housing are the current proposals relative to tax reform. As I write this, we know that both the House and Senate propose doubling the standard deduction, and the House plans to lower the mortgage interest deduction from $1,000,000 to $500,000. If passed, the mortgage deduction would no longer have value for home owners who would likely opt to take the standard deduction.

If either of the current proposals is adopted into law, the potential reduction in mortgage-related tax savings means the after-tax cost of home ownership will increase for most home owners. Additionally, both the House and Senate bills also end tax benefits for interest on second homes, and this could have a devastating effect in areas with higher concentrations of second homes.

The capping of the deduction for state and local property taxes (SALT) at $10,000 will also negatively impact states with high property taxes, such as California, Connecticut, and New York. Furthermore, proposed changes to the capital gains exemption on profits from the sale of a home (requiring five years of continuous residence as compared to the current two) could impact approximately 750,000 home sellers a year and slow the growth of home ownership.

Something else to consider is that all of the aforementioned changes will only affect new home purchases, which I fear might become a deterrent for current home owners to sell. Given the severe shortage of homes for sale in a number of markets across the country, this could serve to exacerbate an already-persistent problem.

 

Housing Bubble

I continue to be concerned about housing affordability. Home prices have been rising across much of the country at unsustainable rates, and although I still contend that we are not in “bubble” territory, it does represent a substantial impediment to the long-term health of the housing market. But if home price growth begins to taper, as I predict it will in 2018, that should provide some relief in many markets where there are concerns about a housing bubble.

In summary, along with slowing home price growth, there should be a modest improvement in the number of homes for sale in 2018, and the total home sales will be higher than 2017. First-time buyers will continue to play a substantial role in the nation’s housing market, but their influence may be limited depending on where the government lands on tax reform. 

Energize Your Home This Winter With Bright Hues

Bright hues are eye catching, confident and cheering — so if winter’s got you feeling less than energized, why not tap into the power of bright colors to lift your spirits and your decor? Read on for 10 reasons to give bright, zesty hues a try in your home this winter.

 

Bright Hues 1: Bronwyn Poole by Touch Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

1. Bright hues help with the whole rising and shining thing. Zingy brights are like caffeine for your space. If you’ve been dragging on these dark winter mornings, perhaps a colorful bedroom makeover would help things along. Artwork, pillows and a throw can be easily swapped out now, and again when you feel like a change.

 

Bright Hues 2: Bronwyn Poole by Touch Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

2. Bright hues are playful. Lighten the mood at home with fun, colorful pieces, like the oversize geometric artwork and bright blue vintage rug shown in this space. Colors this bold are packed with personality and perfect in spaces where you host parties or play with your kids.

 

3. Bright hues are a winter palette cleanser. Been feeling oversaturated by red, green and woodsy decor? Acid brights can act as a refreshing palette cleanser. Clear away the holiday decor and start fresh with a clean, crisp pairing of white and brights.

 

Bright Hues 3: Emma Blomfield, original photo on Houzz

 

4. Bright hues are mood boosters. Bright, bold colors are undeniably cheerful. Even if you typically shy away from bright hues, consider making an exception in the winter. The infusion of color can be a great pick-me-up!

 

5. Bright hues are gutsy. Claim your space and make a statement with a big decorating move, like bold wallpaper or a bright, graphic rug. Bright hues exude confidence — perfect when you are looking to make a fresh start in your life.

 

Bright Hues 4: Tobi Fairley Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

 

6. Bright hues offer contrast to the gray outdoors. Dismal weather got you down? Cheer up your foyer with sunshine yellow. Spaces with large windows can also become a bit of a downer when the skies are cloudy — refresh a living room or kitchen with sunshiny hues to counteract the gloom.

 

7. Bright hues bring a dash of romance. From the shiny red of London buses to the bright turquoise of a zippy Italian scooter, the colors of a place are often one of the most memorable parts of traveling. Bring back a bit of the romance of your favorite destinations with a collection of colorful travel photos on the wall. Or pick up colors from your most cherished places in smaller doses — like bright buttons on a dapper gray armchair.

 

Bright Hues 5: 50 Degrees North Architects, original photo on Houzz

 

8. Bright hues can help you feel more productive. Give your home workspace a jolt to keep yourself sharp and focused. Try a brightly hued desk chair or filing cabinet, or arrange your bookshelves in rainbow order. Even a vase of bright blooms and a new pen cup on the desk can do the trick!

Related: Outfit Your Workspace With Stylish Office Furniture

 

Bright Hues 6: Reiko Feng Shui Design, original photo on Houzz

 

9. Bright hues wake up winter white. If your winter decorating scheme tends towards pure wintry whites and subtle glints of metallic hues, consider punching things up with a bright accent or two. In the space shown here, a cluster of pillows and a glamorous chandelier dripping in turquoise beads transforms a plain landing into a jaw-dropping one.

 

10. Bright hues give you a taste of spring when you need it most. Why wait for the first daffodils, when you can have a wonderfully bright yellow door right now? Stop trudging through winter waiting for spring, and treat yourself to springy colors today.

 

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

Empty Nesters: Remodel or Sell?


Your kids have moved out and now you’re living in a big house with way more space than you need. You have two choices – remodel your existing home or move. Here are some things to consider about each option.

Choice No. 1: Remodel your existing home to better fit your current needs.

  • Remodeling gives you lots of options, but some choices can reduce the value of your home. You can combine two bedrooms into a master suite or change another bedroom into a spa area. But reducing the number of bedrooms can dramatically decrease the value of your house when you go to sell, making it much less desirable to a typical buyer with a family.
  • The ROI on remodeling is generally poor. You should remodel because it’s something that makes your home more appealing for you, not because you want to increase the value of your home. According to a recent study, on average you’ll recoup just 64 percent of a remodeling project’s investment when you go to sell.
  • Remodeling is stressful. Living in a construction zone is no fun, and an extensive remodel may mean that you have to move out of your home for a while. Staying on budget is also challenging. Remodels often end up taking much more time and much more money than homeowners expect.

Choice No. 2: Sell your existing home and buy your empty nest dream home.

  • You can downsize to a single-level residence and upsize your lifestyle. Many people planning for their later years prefer a home that is all on one level and has less square footage. But downsizing doesn’t mean scrimping. You may be able to funnel the proceeds of the sale of your existing home into a great view or high-end amenities.
  • A “lock-and-leave” home offers more freedom. As your time becomes more flexible, you may want to travel more. Or maybe you’d like to spend winters in a sunnier climate. You may want to trade your existing home for the security and low maintenance of condominium living.
  • There has never been a better time to sell. Our area is one of the top in the country for sellers to get the greatest return on investment. Real estate is cyclical, so the current boom is bound to moderate at some point. If you’re thinking about selling, take advantage of this strong seller’s market and do it now.

Bottom Line

If your current home no longer works for you, consider looking at homes that would meet your lifestyle needs before taking on the cost and hassle of remodeling. Get in touch with a Windermere Real Estate broker to discuss the best option for you.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere Eastside blog.

Windermere Foundation Reports Record Day of Giving

 

Every week, the Windermere Foundation disburses grants to support non-profit agencies dedicated to helping low-income and homeless families. On a given day, thousands of dollars’ worth of grants can be issued. However, on one particular day, November 15 to be exact, an amazing thing happened…the Windermere Foundation disbursed nearly $254,000. This was a record day of giving for the Windermere Foundation!

 

A total of 35 non-profit organizations benefitted from the record-breaking $253,782 in donations that day. The largest beneficiary was Attain Housing in Kirkland, WA, which received $56,000. Their grant was funded by the Windermere Real Estate East, Inc. group of offices which are located east of Seattle in Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, and Kirkland. The funds will provide affordable housing to homeless families with children, as well as case management for setting financial and social goals.

 

     

 

Attain Housing helps homeless and at-risk families with children in King County to become stable and self-sufficient. Here’s a story of one of their recent clients:

 

When Jeremy and Lisa entered into Attain Housing’s program just five months ago, they had a lot of hurdles ahead of them. They were both only nineteen, had a newborn, had been homeless since they were fourteen, and had never experienced stability. As soon as they moved into one of Attain’s transitional housing apartments and began working with their case manager, Jeremy started attending a skills training program. He has since earned his GED, acquired his driver’s license, obtained a vehicle, and started full-time employment. Jeremy’s family is on track to successfully complete the program by the end of their first year, but they already have plans to move into market rate housing within the next two to three months. This is success!

 

According to Kathy Fleming, Executive Director at Attain Housing, “The $56,000 gift from Windermere ensures that five families (including 15 children) will have safe housing and supportive services for an entire year. This is a significant gift and the largest grant that Attain Housing has received from any organization or company. Thank you!”

 

The Windermere Foundation is fortunate to have generous owners, agents and staff that contribute to their offices’ Foundation fund pool. This pool of funds, combined with Windermere transaction donations, monies raised through Windermere office fundraising events, and donations from the public, allows the Windermere Foundation to disburse much-needed funding to local non-profits in the areas that our Windermere Real Estate offices serve.

 

If you’d like to help to help non-profits that provide services to low-income and homeless families in your area, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

Giving Back to the Community One Home Sale At a Time

   

OB JACOBI . Co-President  |  JILL JACOBI WOOD . Co-President  |  GEOFF WOOD . CEO                                    CHRISTINE WOOD . Executive Director . Windermere Foundation

 

Community has always been a big part of who we are at Windermere. Back in the early days of the company it was pretty simple; we would see a need and help where we could. But as we grew, we realized we could accomplish much more if we had a stronger focus, so we started the Windermere Foundation in 1989 with the goal of helping low-income and homeless families. From that point on, whenever a Windermere agent sold a home, a portion of their commission went to funding our Foundation. In its first year, the Windermere Foundation brought in $90,000. This year we are on track to raise $2.3 million for a grand total of $35 million. Christine Wood, Executive Director of the Windermere Foundation, is the passionate, driving force behind this effort. – OB Jacobi, Jill Jacobi Wood, Geoff Wood

 

The Windermere Foundation is funded by more than 7,000 individuals, made up by agents, staff, management, owners, as well as public donations. We keep our administrative costs below three percent, so the vast majority of these donations go back into the hands of our agents and offices to decide how best to use them in their local community.

 

The result is more support for families who are struggling to keep food on the table. More kids who will be able to eat school lunches. More homeless who will have their most basic needs met – and the dignity that goes with it. The need is overwhelming, but every bit helps. 

 

As the year draws to a close, I want to personally thank everyone who has supported the Windermere Foundation. The generosity of our agents, owners, staff, and the public never ceases to amaze us; they raise the bar every year. And in turn, every year, we are able to do more for those who need it most, one home sale at a time. – Christine Wood

Windermere’s Winter Drive Collects over 3,000 Items for Homeless Youth

  

 

As part of Windermere’s #tacklehomelessness campaign with the Seattle Seahawks, 37 Windermere offices* in King and Snohomish Counties collected new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and warm socks for Windermere’s “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive. The recipient of these donations was YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit that provides critical services and support to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area. 

 

Over 3,000 items were collected during the four-week drive, which included some 737 pairs of socks, 391 hats, 467 pairs of gloves/mittens, 111 scarves, and an assortment of other accessories and cash donations. Two agents out of the Mill Creek, WA office even made 32 scarves by hand for the Winter Drive. We are thankful for these generous donations which will go a long way towards helping keep homeless youth warmer this winter season.

 

The folks at YouthCare were all very thankful to receive the delivery of eight bins full of donated items. And to make the day even more exciting, Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, was on site to oversee the delivery of the items to YouthCare!

 

Brittny Nielsen, Communications and New Media Specialist said, “We were thrilled to see our friends from Windermere and Gentle Giant dropping off a semi-truck full of donations for homeless youth this season. Having Blitz from the Seahawks show up to help us celebrate was icing on the cake! This crucial donation from Windermere brightens the holidays for youth in need. We’re so grateful!”

 

 

 

All of us at Windermere are very grateful to Gentle Giant Moving Company, who partnered with us on this drive, and generously donated their time and trucks to pick up all of the donated items from our offices and deliver them to YouthCare.

 

Thank you to our participating offices, the Seahawks, and all those who donated, for making Windermere’s Winter Drive a success!

 

*Participating Windermere offices

Bellevue, Bellevue Commons, Bellevue South, Bellevue West, Burien, Chelan, Issaquah, Kirkland Central, Kirkland Yarrow Bay, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Monroe, Property Management – Bellevue, Property Management – Edmonds, Property Management – South, Redmond, Seattle-Ballard, Seattle-Capitol Hill, Seattle-Eastlake, Seattle-Green Lake, Seattle-Greenwood, Seattle-Lakeview, Seattle-Madison Park, Seattle-Magnolia, Seattle-Mount Baker, Seattle-Northgate, Seattle-Northwest, Seattle-Queen Anne, Seattle-Sand Point, Seattle-Wall Street, Seattle-Wedgwood, Seattle-West Seattle, Services-Marketing, Snohomish, Woodinville

Personalize Your Home with Christmas Tree Centerpieces

 

December is a busy month with Christmas around the corner, so I try to do as many tasks in advance as I can — if not my shopping, at least my decorating!

 

In November, I decide on my decorating theme for the season. I like to introduce a few new decorations every year — this year, I chose an abundance of artificial trees.

 

 

Artificial trees come in a variety of sizes and color options. Choose from natural shades of green to frosted white to whimsical pink and silver. I used a trio of 15-inch snowy pines “planted” in galvanized tins, but you can opt for larger trees depending on the size of your table and room. If you have a large dining table and high ceilings, trees as large as two or three feet add a dramatic look that’s perfect for holiday parties. If you choose pre-decorated trees, you’re already halfway done!

 

 

I added two more trees to complete the table: a large 18-inch pine and a matching mini version. Having similar items of varying heights makes any display more interesting. I used vintage books with faded red covers to add height to the arrangement, then finished with red and white ornaments, snowflakes and a red table runner to make everything more festive.

 

 

I decorated the mini tree simply, with just a gingham ribbon and used a piece of quilt batting as the “snow” surrounding each tree. A Christmas scene wouldn’t be complete without candlelight, so I made candle rings from a decorative red and white garland twisted around petite candle tapers.

 

If you want to extend your tablescape, try these other centerpiece ideas:

 

  • Light up the room with battery-powered lights strung on each tree.
  • Decorate artificial trees in a color scheme that matches your room’s decor. It may be Christmas, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be red and green!
  • Have a small decorated tree at each place setting at your dining room table. Host a dinner party and have your guests take the trees home as party favors.

 

It doesn’t take much to create a “tree-mendous” centerpiece that you and your guests will love.

 

 

By Merri Cvetan

Merri Cvetan is an interior designer who loves to decorate for Christmas. She writes for The Home Depot about decorating tips, including using Christmas decorations and artificial trees to create a unique look.  You can find more artificial Christmas tree ideas here on The Home Depot site. 

 

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to our site at our request and is published for the benefit of our readers. We have not been compensated for its placement.

Food for the Holidays

 

As temperatures cool and the leaves start to change color, we know that the holiday season is upon us. Many look forward to spending time with their families and friends over a home-cooked, Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, many families struggle to put food on their dinner tables every day, let alone a special occasion.

That is why many Windermere offices hold food collection drives and donate to programs that provide food for those in need. These are just a few of our offices that have stepped up to collect food for families who might otherwise go without.

 

Walnut Creek, CA

The Windermere Walnut Creek and Walnut Creek-Diablo Realty offices are hosting their fourth annual food drive for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano Counties this holiday season. The Windermere agents distribute bags in their neighborhoods and then collect the donations. After bringing community donations to the food bank, agents and staff help sort and box items for delivery. The food bank services 188,000 people each month—many of those are children and senior citizens—and distributes over 50,000 pounds of food every day. 

      

 

Boise & Caldwell, ID

During the week of November 13, the Windermere Boise Valley and Caldwell offices started collecting food items in support of the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries food drive for their four area shelters. Single packets of stuffing, dessert mixes, cake mixes, canned fruit, coffee, and creamer were some of the items they are collecting. All food collected will help feed the men, women, and children staying at the shelters. They will be accepting donations through December 11.

 

Bozeman & Missoula, MT

For the second year, the Windermere Bozeman-Downtown office and Windermere Missoula office, competed to collect the most canned goods for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. The “Can the Griz/Cats” food drive is in coordination with the Montana State University and the University of Montana Cat/Griz football game. Each office collects as many canned food item donations before the November football game. This year, the losing office has to take a photo holding a sign that says, “We got canned by the Cats/Griz.” It was a tight match up, with the Bozeman-Downtown office collecting 980 pounds of food and the Missoula office collecting 959 pounds.

    

 

King, Pierce & Snohomish Counties, WA

From October 20 through November 10, Windermere Property Management offices of Lori Gill & Associates participated in a canned food drive for Northwest Harvest. They received donations from tenants, owners, and vendors, and collected 155 pounds of food during the drive.

 

Poulsbo, WA

Agents Liz Bailey and Terry Burns from the Windermere Poulsbo office have worked with North Kitsap Fishline on their annual food drive for many years. 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the Annual Forest Rock Hills Food Drive to benefit North Kitsap Fishline! Every year the Forest Rock Hills neighborhood comes together to provide much-needed food and toiletry items to community members in need. With the help of volunteers, Liz and Terry go door-to-door on the second Saturday of November to collect donations. This year, 52 families donated a total of 1,513 pounds of food to the cause! In addition to the neighborhood food drive, Windermere Real Estate/West Sound, Inc. offices (Kingston, Poulsbo, Silverdale) are donating 50 turkeys to North Kitsap Fishline to provide holiday meals to families in need.

 

Seattle, WA

The Windermere Ballard office has been a longtime supporter of the Ballard Food Bank. The Ballard Food Bank serves the Ballard, Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhoods in Seattle with a grocery store model food bank, as well as a litany of other services to support neighbors in need. Last year, the Ballard office gave $8,867.00 through donations from the Windermere Foundation, along with a $900 donation from a fundraising event at Reuben’s Brew in Ballard.

Along with monetary donations, they also support the food bank with volunteers. For the last 10 years, volunteers from the office have driven a van every Monday morning doing “grocery retrieval,” which involves picking up thousands of pounds of vegetables, meat, bread, and other needed food to be brought back to the food bank to be sorted and prepared for shoppers.

 

Seattle, WA

The Windermere Mount Baker office donates $1,000 to the Rainier Valley Food Bank in December. The food bank is based in Columbia City and provides assistance to nearly 18,000 Seattle residents monthly. The office also supports the food bank in January, when donations are typically down, by hosting their annual food drive. Their next food drive runs from January 17 through the end of February. Food and cash/check donations will be accepted at the Windermere Mount Baker office.

 

Snohomish, WA

During the month of October, Windermere offices in Snohomish County (Alderwood, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mukilteo) participated in the annual Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors Food Drive. The Lake Stevens office alone collected over 1,200 pounds of food and $240 in cash donations.

 

Tacoma, WA

On October 26, the four Windermere Professional Partners offices hosted a fall carnival and food drive at Narrows View Intermediate School in University Place. They collected 935 pounds of food (that’s 701 meals!) which was donated to local food bank, Families Unlimited Network in University Place. They have been holding a food drive every year for the past 15 years. This year was the first that they implemented a carnival with the food drive, and it was a huge success—from the cake walk, to the photo booth, festive face painting, and kiddos dressed up in costumes, a good time was had by all and food donations collected for a good cause!

 

Vashon Island, WA

On Sunday, November 19, brokers from the Windermere office on Vashon Island, WA collected donations of Thanksgiving food items outside of the Vashon Thriftway for their 17th annual Basket Brigade. Collected items were sorted and placed into baskets/boxes with the ingredients for families to cook their own fresh, healthy Thanksgiving meals. Volunteers from St. Vincent de Paul then distribute to selected island families in need. This year they were collecting food for eight families (approximately 35 people). Most years, they collect more food than is needed for the families—typically an entire truckload of food—so any additional food items are donated to the Vashon Community Food Bank.

 

Thanks to events like these food drives, as well as a variety of other fundraisers held by our offices throughout the year, the Windermere Foundation is able to continue to support non-profit organizations that provide food assistance and meal programs to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.

If you’d like to help, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation. To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

Local Market Update – November 2017

Prices in our area have now been rising faster than anywhere in the country for twelve months. Sellers seem to be getting the message that now is a good time to put their home on the market. There was an increase in new inventory in October, but with homes selling rapidly, there still aren’t enough properties to meet demand. As a result, counties throughout the Puget Sound area saw year-over-year price increases in the double digits.

Eastside

Click image to view full report.

The median price for a single-family home on the Eastside rose 10 percent from a year ago to $845,000. Homes in West Bellevue hit a new record median price of $2.6 million. Despite soaring prices, demand has remained strong in this desirable area. And the continued robust economy makes it unlikely that home prices here will cool any time soon.

King County

Click image to view full report.

The number of new listings in King County increased at the highest rate in more than a year. But, they were grabbed up quickly, with most homes selling in well under 30 days. The shortage of homes for sale propelled prices up, with the median home price in King County jumping 15 percent over the same time last year to $630,000.

Seattle

Click image to view full report.

Seattle remains the hottest real estate market in the country, with prices rising here at more than double the national rate. Rents in Seattle are also rising faster than almost anywhere else in the country, pushing more people into the home buying market. High demand and slim supply helped boost the median price of a single-family home nearly 18 percent to $735,000.

Snohomish County

Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home in Snohomish County in October was $440,000, an increase of 14 percent over the prior year. The market here may be moderating slightly. Brokers note that while multiple offers are continuing, listings are experiencing longer market times and fewer above-list price offers.

 

6 Extreme Interior Paint Makeovers

Today we’re looking at how paint has changed your rooms, from the kitchen to the bedroom, from the living room to the laundry room.

 

Makeover 1: Stephanie Van Dyke, original photo on Houzz

 

AFTER: Houzz user Stephanie Van Dyke’s newly dark living room walls.

 

Makeover 2: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

 

BEFORE: Van Dyke wanted to switch up these light walls. The new colors are Ralph Lauren’s Smoked Glass and Tibetan Jasmine. “The Smoked Glass is a beautiful, dynamic color that changes throughout the day,” she says.

 

Makeover 3: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

 

BEFORE: Houzz user and blogger c2marsha did not have much love for this pale green color in her bedroom. “The old pale green color just felt really stale and boring; we wanted something bolder but not bright or harsh,” she says.

Related: Add Style and Function With a New Bedroom Bench

 

Makeover 4: c2marsha, original photo on Houzz

 

AFTER: “We chose Behr Bitter Chocolate for our master bedroom, which sits on the second floor of our Dutch colonial in Minneapolis,” she says. “We didn’t want our room to feel too feminine or masculine, and we wanted it to feel like it fit us well, which made it very difficult to pick a color!”

The rich brown brought in a modern touch that works with their mix of vintage and traditional pieces.

 

Makeover 5: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

 

BEFORE: Maple trees surrounding the house and the colors on the walls made Houzz user hellovijp’s home in Quebec City very dark inside.

 

Makeover 6: hellovijp, original photo on Houzz

 

AFTER: Because one room flows into the next and the spaces were lacking cohesion, hellovijp painted the entire floor the same color, SICO’s Portobello #6185-41. It really lightens things up while keeping the look warm.

 

Makeover 7: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

 

BEFORE: Amanda Haytaian wanted a fresh look for her living room; pink walls and a dated fireplace were no longer working.

 

Makeover 8: Amanda Haytaian, original photo on Houzz

 

AFTER: She brought the pink into the room via smaller accents. A beautiful new coffered ceiling and marble fireplace surround freshen up the space. The walls are Benjamin Moore’s Etiquette in matte, and the trim is Benjamin Moore’s Steam in semigloss.

 

Makeover 9: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

 

BEFORE: Becky, of the blog this is happiness, had been dreaming of a whiter kitchen.

 

Makeover 10: Becky, original photo on Houzz

 

AFTER: “It’s still a work in progress, but we took our very dark kitchen to a cheerful, bright white,” she says. Kwal acrylic paint in Pure Snow did the trick.

Tip: She recommends having the cabinets spray painted to avoid brushstrokes.

 

Makeover 11: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

 

BEFORE: “This laundry room is a great example of white not making a poorly lit, windowless room light and airy; it just made it gray, dingy and scuff-marked,” says Cathy Zaeske.

 

Makeover 12: Cathy Zaeske, original photo on Houzz

 

AFTER: Going for an industrial chic look, she chose a new pendant light and Sherwin-Williams’ high-gloss 6076 Turkish Coffee. The new room is much better at inspiring the homeowners to want to do their laundry.

 

By Becky Harris, Houzz