{Style Cents} Best Renovations for Resale Value

This may seem random, but I sometimes read up on home remodeling and staging tips from professional stagers all the time. I’m not looking to sell my home, I just LOVE to see what’s new in home decor trends and how I can make my house even more visually appealing. Below is a cool infograph from eLOCAL to help homeowners and prospective buyers decide which remodeling projects will give the largest bang for their buck in the end.  Even if you are like me and just looking to keep your home looking magazine ready, it’s great to understand the rate of return on your renovation. 

Renovations with the Best Resale ValueSource: eLocal.com

What Improvements Have You Made to Your Home?

Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com

Vamp Up Your Home on A Budget!

I believe that one’s home should be a reflection of one’s personality. It should be a place that you want to come home to, hang out in, and entertain in. A friend of mine from high school gave me one of the greatest design compliments when he told me that my house was so me. So how do we help make your house more you? Here are some of my suggestions…

  1. Know when to splurge and when to save. I discussed this regarding fashion in an earlier post, but the same advice rings true here. Splurge on the bones of the room: like your sofa, bed, closet systems, and chairs (Disclaimer: I have a serious addiction to chairs. I have three in my bedroom alone). Save on the fun things like trendy throw pillows and other decorative accessories.

  1. Have a Signature Scent. I believe a woman should never leave the house without a scent. I find it very feminine, alluring, and sexy to do so. The same goes for your home. Find a candle, air wick, or incense to fill your home with a scent that you love.

  2. Make Every Inch Count. Most people opt out of using their vertical space. Find storage solutions that make the most of your space.

  3. Make and Break Your Own Rules. Just because the floor plan labels a room something doesn’t mean that’s how you have to keep it. In a house I was doing, I moved a closet to another bedroom and put the home office into the closet. Most people would make their extra bedroom into an office. However, I thought it would be a better use of space to move the home office into the closet because it was just a desk, chair, and storage. Whereas one’s closet consist of clothes for all seasons and occasions, accessories, shoes, large mirror, etc. times two if your share your closet with your significant other. Why try to stuff all of your clothes and accessories into a standard walk in closet when you can take an entire bedroom?

  4. Don’t be afraid to display what you love. My sister has her collectors Barbie dolls on display in her house. I have ballet figurines and pictures of people I love displayed in various places in my house. It is all about what you love.
    Photo Credit: Danielle Boler “Ballet”

    Photo Credit: Danielle Boler “People I Love”
  5. Don’t be afraid to color outside of the lines. I have wanted to paint a wall black since I was about 16 years old. When I finally got my place, I had no one telling me that I couldn’t do it. People said that it would make the room feel smaller, creepy, and a little goth, but I thought it I could make it fun or sophisticated. My BFFSLFG (Best Friend Forever Since Like First Grade) suggested that I use chalkboard paint so that people could write on the wall. BEST ADVICE EVER!!! People love coming over and writing little notes and I love discovering new messages on the wall.
    Photo Credit: Danielle Boler “My Wall”

  6. Only buy what you love. If you like chandeliers, bling it out! I saw a big giraffe while shopping with my mentee Dana and thought, who would put this in their house. Then I saw something similar in a friend’s house and thought, wow…that looks awesome. I like nail trimmed furniture and almost anything tufted. In my opinion, those are two very classic design features that can go in a traditional, eclectic, or gender neutral room. Buying what you love will also help keep your wallet fatter, as you will see in the next point.
    Dana & the Giraffe

  7. Shop Within Your House. Instead of buying new things to redecorate when you are bored with your space, shop within your own stuff. Tired of seeing those same throw pillows on your sofa, put them in a bedroom for a new punch of color or print. I have justified my chair addiction to some of my family members by explaining that when I am tired of my fuchsia chairs in my living room, I will just move them to the guest room. Viola, your rooms will look totally different without you having to spend any extra cash.
  8. Stop Saving. No, I don’t mean stop saving money. Stop saving things for a special moment. Make ordinary moments special. I was reading a memoir by Gretchen Rubin called The Happiness Project and she discussed how she wanted to stop saving the good china for special occasions because it never got used. It made me think of my mother, who is always saving something and never using it. A few years ago, I gave my mother a beautiful jewelry box and yet she still puts her jewelry in some Popsicle stick creation I made when I was 7 years old- all because she is saving the nicer box for when she can organize and update the pieces she already owns. I stopped saving the good stuff and I am enjoying the good life.
  9. Know when to shop. Everyone has their own special style and taste, but how do you find items in your budget. To get exactly what you want on your budget takes time and patience. I wanted a button tufted headboard  or a nice floor lamp for my bedroom but I was not willing to play an arm and a leg for it. So, I did my research and waited until a holiday to make my big purchase. Holidays are always a good time to shop because you can usually find a discount on the item or free shipping.
    Inspiration for my bed
    My Tufted Headboard


Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Venture outside of the traditional big furniture chain stores. You don’t want someone walking in your house and say, oh wow, we have that too. Try Overstock.com (my fav). The prices are reasonable but you will not beat their shipping fees anywhere. HomeGoods is another favorite. I have become such a regular in there that I even know the days they get a new truck in…lol. HomeGoods is the place that has fostered my chair addiction, by the way. Craigslist is another good option, just remember that the same rules for safe shopping for Craigslist cars applies here. Check out the safety reminders, here. Lastly, antique markets. It sounds old and lame and something a fab twenty something like myself would not be into, but I have found some really cool stuff in vintage and antique markets. #imjustsaying



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Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com

This post contains a sponsored link from Hinkley Lighting.

Buy vs. DIY: Wallpaper vs. Stencils

Click here to see the finished product of my guest bathroom!

People who know me well, know that I take extreme pleasure in de-cluttering, designing, and decorating residential spaces; specifically my own.  Currently, I am obsessed with large print wallpaper that I would love to put in my own home.  Here are a few examples of my latest home décor obsession:

Polished Beauty Lounge

Graham & Brown- Purple Damask

Graham & Brown Diva Wallpaper

At roughly $70.00 per roll, is it in your budget? Is it something you will still be in LOVE with in five years? If not, here are a few options with less commitment that won’t break the bank.  Two words for you…. WALL STENCILS.  Yes, they take time, effort, and most of all patience, but are they worth it.  Here are some of my inspiration pictures:

Wall Stencil


All you need for this project is the actual stencil, a pencil, some paint (I like metallic paint), and I would suggest some repositional spray adhesive.  To see my guest  bathroom transform from boring to my favorite wallpaper look for less, stay tuned.

What do you think?  Would you BUY the wallpaper or DIY the wall stencil?  We would love to hear from you!