Design Friday – Five Easy Ways to Transform Your Home Decor

Autumn started officially two days ago but it was 90 degrees in Marin County, CA today and it rather felt like summer. So I don’t know about you, but I am not quite ready yet to decorate my home with the seasonal pumpkins and dry foliage (although I have to confess I did get a small white pumpkin for my desk.) If you are like me and have not switched your decor from summer to fall, but would like to make some simple, yet very dramatic changes, here are five easy ways to transform your home decor right now.

Start with small steps or dive right in. Trial and error is the best way to learn your true taste and what works in your home. Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake, especially if you leverage that mistake into a learning experience. 

  1. ADD A BOLD PIECE OF ART:

    By bold I mean a piece of art that is very large, or very colorful, or unusual or surprising: for example a blown up photograph, as in the Marilyn Monroe photo below which adds a hint of sexiness to this bathroom. It can also be a piece of art that is different from the main theme of the room. If you have antiques in the room, add a very modern, contemporary piece of art or vice versa, if your interior is very contemporary, add a more traditional painting. Mixing antique and modern adds a lot of interest to a room when done well. For examples and inspiration, visit my Bold Art Pinterest Board.

e6b5ae52487422b44ade52bc29089880

Photo from InteriorDesign.net

2. ADD A SPLASH OF COLOR TO CHANGE THE MOOD OF THE ROOM:

Paint a wall bright pink and add a chair in the same color to transform a home office, as in the picture below. Get a bright yellow couch, or just bright yellow (or orange, or red or blue…) pillows for your couch. Change your bed linens, and/or bath towels and go with a bold color. It will brighten the room. Take small steps if you are not sure you are ready for a lot more color than you are accustomed to. Visit my Living With Color Pinterest Board for inspiration. And if you want to introduce fall colors, check out this House Beautiful article with 12 Fall Color Schemes.

680b959f8527eebfefbc64c358b59cb0

 Photo from ApartmentTherapy.com

3. ADD A COOL LIGHT FIXTURE TO ANCHOR THE ROOM:

I am particularly enamored right now with mid-century modern inspired light fixtures, as pictured below. Again mixing styles can be very dramatic. Add a very modern light fixture in a room filled with antiques or an antique chandelier in a contemporary room, or a fancy chandelier above a very rustic table. The contrast can add a lot of interest to the room. Visit my Cool Light Fixtures Pinterest Board for great examples.

012-willow-glen-residence-lizette-marie-interior-design Found on HomeAdore.com – Design by San Francisco Based Designer Lizette Marie

4. USE PATTERN TO ADD INTEREST: 

You can introduce pattern or prints in many different ways: starting with pillows, throws, curtains, linens, an area rug or new floor or wall tiles in a kitchen or bathroom. You can also experiment with temporary fabric wallpaper on an accent wall: wallpaper is back in style, but I am seeing it used mostly on accent walls or in small rooms such as powder rooms.. I particularly love the Fornasetti wall paper in the photo below and find it adds a lot of depth to this room.

8e545f6c4d19ceca952206005c38f877

 Photo from TheDecorista.com

5. GO DARK:

Go dark and moody. Whether you paint a single wall (as in the home office pictured below,) your fireplace hearth or your kitchen cabinets BLACK, or buy a black couch, or pillows, or linens, you are instantly transforming your home decor and introducing a touch of sophistication and glamour. Channeling this darkness in your home may seem quite intimidating, but start slowly and see how you like it. Visit my Dark Interiors Pinterest Board for inspiration.

Black-Painted-Walls-31-1-Kindesign

If you are thinking of selling your Marin County, CA home, updating your interior decor may be an easy way to add a very stylish edge to your home and increase its value without breaking the bank. Remember however that you may want to stay more neutral to appeal to a wider net of buyers. Let’s strategize on how to best prepare and price your home for maximum returns. If it’s time to buy, let me know so I can give you the inside scoop on each neighborhood that may be right for you.

In any case, thanks for stopping by, I hope my Design Friday posts will inspire you to create an interior that you love, improve the aesthetic quality of your life and increase the value of your home.

*******************************************************************************************************************************

White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout the Author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I am an award winning, top producing Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I offer a wide range of innovative and comprehensive real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point. It also empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. 


Ten Key Trends in August 2015 – Marin County Market

Here are the ten key trends of the Marin County Real Estate Market for August 2015 for single family homes. For a detailed analysis of these trends, read my August 2015 Marin County Market Update.

Case Shiller Index December 2010

  1. Housing inventory is nearly 34% lower right now as compared to August 2014 (down to 315 from 475)
  2. The number of new listings though August was down 10% year over year.
  3. The median price has been hovering around $1,100,000 for the past six months. .
  4. The average sales price was $1,639,948 in August (largely affected by a record breaking $47.5 million sale in Belvedere) compared to $1,268,911 in August 2014 and $1,348,846 in July 2015.
  5. The average price per square foot was $746 in August 2015 (5.5% higher than last August).
  6. Days on Market: It took an average of 52 days to sell a house in August (up 12 days from July and down one day from August 2014.)
  7. Sales volume is 6% higher so far in 2015 compared to last year
  8. Sales volume was 3% lower in August 2015 compared to August 2014.
  9. There is a 1.5 month supply of homes for sale (slightly lower than the 1.8 supply in August 2014).
  10. The number of pended properties (homes that went in contract) was down 3% year over year in August.

If you are considering selling, let’s meet to discuss how these ten key trends have affected the Marin County market and your neighborhood’s values, and strategize on how to prepare and price your home for maximum returns. If it’s time to buy, let me know so I can give you the inside scoop on each neighborhood that may be right for you. 

Day 15 - Sausalito Floating Homes - www.YourPieceofMarin.com - do not reproduce without permission.

 

About the Author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I am an award winning, top producing Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I offer a wide range of innovative and comprehensive real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point. It also empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. 

 

 


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – August 2015

This summer the Bay Area’s real estate market remained red hot and a further fall surge is expected. Its latest boon, as reported in a recent Wall Street Journal, has been driven by the imbalance between buyer demand, fueled by an influx of high-paying tech jobs and, in some areas, overseas buyers looking for investment properties and the limited seller supply of homes to purchase. According to this article, the scarcity of listings is sending prices to new highs.

Locksley Hall - Photo By Vince Valdes
Locksley Hall in Belvedere sold for $47.5 million – Photo By Vince Valdes

In June, the number of new listings in San Francisco was down 23.1% from a year prior, according to the San Francisco Association of Realtors. The average listing spent 26 days on the market, compared with 31 days in June 2014. San Francisco’s median home price sat at $1.175 million in August. That figure is up 22 percent over last August, when the median was $955,000, and fall usually sees another price spike. Real-estate agents say bidding wars are most common on properties priced below $2.5 million, and that buyers often make offers on numerous properties—anywhere from two to 20—before finally winning one.

In this hot seller’s market, it’s no longer about setting the price at the right market value, it’s about setting it just low enough to create an “auction dynamic” that stimulates competition and draws high bids. “The challenge now is that sellers aren’t even willing to accept asking price these days,” a Palo Agent said. “You’re almost bidding blindly as to what they want, which encourages you to come in way above ask.”

Underpricing can drive traffic and create momentum, but I have also seen it backfire. There is never a guarantee that a home will receive multiple offers and sometimes Realtors end up with egg on their faces if a home gets no offers or only one low offer.

Sellers need to keep in mind that, even in this extreme seller’s market where bidding wars are common, upfront prep work and smart marketing are essential to getting top dollar for a property. Sellers who invest $15,000 or more when listing their homes can recoup their costs many times over. Sellers who have been house hunting themselves understand their home will face tough competition as the norm in today’s market is to bring homes on the market looking like model homes. The prep work can take several week, and typically includes landscaping work, repainting and re-carpeting, refinishing hardwood floors, making necessary repairs and staging. Some San Francisco sellers lease contemporary paintings from local galleries through the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to give their home the contemporary, edgy look that is very appealing to today’s buyer. Working with an agent who has a great sense of style and keeps up with current interior design trends is paramount in order to receive the proper advice on how to make your property shine.

September is usually the single month with the greatest number of new listings, and those that hit the market in the 4 to 5 weeks after Labor Day feed the vast majority of autumn sales activity until the market goes into hibernation mode just before Thanksgiving. Preliminary indications are that this may be a very big new-listing month, even for a September. If this is true, and especially if it marks the beginning of a trend of more listings coming on market, that could cool the ferociously competitive, low-inventory, “seller’s market” of recent years.

The Marin County real estate market is a little less intense than the San Francisco market, but we have our share of multiple offers, frustrated buyers and properties selling way over their asking price. Let’s look at the details for August 2015.

Marin Market Snapshot

Overall activity has remained stable in Marin for the past five months with moderate increases and decreases in the number of sold and active homes. Lack of inventory is an ever-growing challenge not only in Marin County but also throughout the entire state of California.

August is typically our slowest month of the year as most of us are vacationing away from home. The month of August in Marin saw a decrease in the number of sold and active homes, although the average sale price experienced a steep escalation largely due to the sale of a $47.5 million home in Belvedere. With the largest increase of sold homes in August taking place in the $3-$5 million price range, the luxury market remains strong, a good indication for sellers on the higher-end of the real estate spectrum.

The number of active listings decreased year over year from 475 in August 2014 to 315, a whopping 34 percent drop. With respect to the number of sold properties, we experienced a slight decline as well year over year from 213 in August 2014 to 207. The average sales price in August 2014 was $1,268,911, compared to $1,639,948 this August (largely affected by one very high sale as mentioned above.) Comparing July 2014 average sale price of $1,391,536 to July 2015 of $1,348,846 allows for a more accurate comparison year over year.

With continued economic conditions improving, we hope to see a gradual increase in sales while the year’s peak buying season is still active. Thus far 167 new listings have come on the market in the first two weeks of September, compared to 195 for the whole month of August.

 

Marin County Real Estate Market Snapshot August 2015 - Single Family Homes - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Home Sales by Area

The number of homes sold in Marin County decreased month-over-month by 23 homes. Home sales in the Beach Cities increased by 3 compared to no sales the previous month. Tiburon also had a notable increase in home sales during the month of August with 4 more sales than the previous month. Belvedere, Greenbrae, Ross, and San Anselmo also had increased sales.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - Single Family Home Sales by Area for August 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Homes in Contract

Overall, the percent of Marin County homes in contract in September has decreased month-over-month, although Corte Madera takes the top position for the second month in a row with a growth of 7%. Fairfax and Larkspur also showed an increased percentage throughout August.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - Percentage of Homes in Contract for August 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Average Sale Price

The month of August experienced a spike in the average sale price of homes in Marin County, in large part due to the high-end sale in Belvedere. Average list prices remained steady month-over-month.

Marin County single Family Home Average Sale Price in August 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Marin Market by Price Point

Active listings in Marin County decreased slightly overall with the exception of properties ranging from $2-$5 million. The $3-$4 million price range increased in active listings by 6 properties, which was the most significant increase in August.

Marin County Real Estate Market Activity by Price Point - Single Family Homes - August 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Number of Homes Listed and Sold

The activity in Marin County has been fairly stable over the past 5 months, with a slight decrease in August of sold homes by 23 and active homes by 7. Overall, these numbers do not reflect dramatic spikes or drops in Marin County activity.

Marin County Single Family Homes Listed and Sold in August 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

If you are looking for a home to buy, your dream home may be coming on the market in the next few weeks. If you are thinking of selling, you may consider putting your home on the market now instead of waiting until next spring when interest rates may be higher and the market dynamics changed. Feel free to contact me for a no-obligation market valuation of your property.

******************************************************************************************************************

White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout the Author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I am an award winning, top producing Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I offer a wide range of innovative and comprehensive real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point. It also empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.