Having an AWESOME time in Roseville w/my kids & grand kids! Moving on to Los Gatos today for brunch w/my step son before the WCR conference in Sac City. Life is GOOD!

Published in: on May 31, 2009 at 6:08 am  Leave a Comment  

10 Ways to Spruce up Your Home for the Busy Summer Season

                                                                                                                         (Courtesy of HomeAway.com
 Redecorating your vacation rental doesn’t have to break the bank. By focusing on a few low-cost, high-impact projects, you can stretch your decorating dollars to create a dazzling “mini makeover” to impress prospective travelers and returning guests alike.  

1. Slip on a slipcover. Slipcovers are a tried-and-true way to refresh tired couches and chairs even (yes, really!) at the most upscale properties. To avoid the sloppy,“billowing sheet” effect, opt for a custom-tailored version – these can even be made with built-in zippers or Velcro to accommodate fold-outs. For beach rentals, designer KerryAnn Dame of Surfside Beach, South Carolina’s Posh Living, LLC recommends Sunbrella fabric, which stands up well to chlorine and suntan oil. Make sure to have an extra seat cushion cover on hand to rotate into the wash if one gets stained.


2. Dress down the dining area. To tone down the formality of a coordinated dining set, Dame suggests subbing in an old church pew, a vintage iron bench, or even an upholstered armchair, stool or loveseat. (Keep an eye out at tag sales and vintage shops.)Just be sure to stay in the same color family to keep the look cohesive. (Even the most eclectic group of wooden chairs can be repurposed with quick coat of white paint.) To punch up more traditional dining sets, recovering the seats of existing chairs is an easydo-it-yourself project all it takes is a few yards of fabric and a staple gun.


3. Color, color color! Even just a little bit of color can make a big difference in a room with four white walls. If you’re worried about going too bold, start with just one brightly-colored accent wall behind the sofa or around kitchen cabinets. (Some colors to consider: robin’s egg blue, deep turquoise, terra cotta, lemon yellow, or lime green.) In more formal spaces, a painted border in a color like indigo can add depth and character to a room without molding.


4. Think outside the frame. Take down any wall art that’s been water damaged (especially in the bathrooms) or faded by the sun. How to fill that blank space? When grouped closely together on a wall, an assemblage of even the most mundane objects (wooden canoe paddles, vintage sports pennants, a pair of colorful canvas kites) can create a striking visual focal point for a room.


5. Spray-on the shine. Resurfacing can give new life to grungy bathroom tile or a shabby-looking sink for a fraction of the cost of a full remodel. Beth Williams of Elizabeth Williams Design on Cape Cod recommends a professional refinishing company like Perma Ceram. A professional can reglaze a bathtub with a spray-on finish in about 5 hours, and they guarantee it’ll be ready to use just 12 hours later. When Williams recently had the tub and bathroom tile in her vacation rental reglazed, she says the project was completed in less than 48 hours for a total cost of about $1000. 


6. Focus on the details. To make any bathroom feel more luxurious, Williams recommends switching out your regular shower curtain for a curved one (the few inches of added elbow room feel wonderfully spacious), and adding larger mirrors above the sink. Consider adding a dimmer switch (especially if you have a big soaking tub), and for the finishing touch, pick up a few gleaming new switch plates in chrome, glass, or just clean, bright white.


7. Eliminate clogs. Be sure to clean out the screens on your faucets and showerheads (especially if you live in a hard-water area) and unscrew the stopper in sinks and tubs to make sure drains are clear of clogs. If kitchen back-ups are an ongoing problem, consider adding a garbage disposal to the kitchen sink. For leaks, you can easily replace old faucets and showerheads with new low-maintenance models for less than $20, or upgrade to a luxury rain-style or massaging showerhead for just a bit more. Just be sure to add those new amenities to the description of your property listings!

 8. Go green underfoot. When replacing dirty or worn area rugs, consider natural fibers such as sea grass or sisal. In addition to adding great texture and a coastal flair to your décor, both sisal and sea grass rugs are durable enough for high-traffic areas. Sisal is particularly well-suited to humid climates — the fibers are resistant to stains and bacterial growth, making it non-toxic and non-allergenic.

9. Add an outdoor shower. To prevent sand and dirt getting tracked indoors, consider adding an outdoor foot shower. Although free-standing outdoor showers run in the $1000-range, wall-mounted unit can be had for less than $200. Or, to save moneywithout skimping on charm, a simple teak shower mat and an ordinary steel watering can is a great low-tech solution.

10. Banish hidden dust bunnies. Last but not least: don’t forget to root out any dust lurking among your refrigerator condenser coils, in your air conditioner filters, and your dryer vent. You’ll save yourself from future maintenance headaches and protect yourself from fire hazards while cutting your energy costs as well.


 What’s your favorite low-cost decorating secret?



Althea Garner

Exit Beach Cities Realty
Your House Of Homes Online
(714) 264-3458

Search over 50,000 listings at my web site:

Women’s Council of REALTORS(R):
Treasurer – 2008 (Coastal-West)
Webmaster – 2009 (Long Beach)
Editor – 2009 (Long Beach)
Education Committee – 2009 (California State)

Orange County Association of REALTORS(R):
Education Vice Chair – 2009


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Check out my new foreclosure website:

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wow! Twitter is over capacity. Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again? Just a hint of its popularity!

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Althea has been touching up the paintwork in the house – now to update the WCR website

Published in: on May 24, 2009 at 3:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Seller agreed to list if I got his desired net. Crunched the numbers again & again and finally did without increasing price! Whoo-Hoo!

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Althea is working on TWO new listings!

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[sigh]…. Another GREAT day in Real Estate!

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Althea is looking for a TOP REALTOR(R) in N. CA to sell small hotel (Close to OR border). Call me (714) 264-3458

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 5:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Looking for a TOP REALTOR(R) in N. CA to sell small hotel (Close to OR border). Call me (714) 254-3458

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment