It’s probably safe to assume that at some point in our lives we have looked at a room in a magazine and wished our own home could look just like that. Unlike magazines, however, we don’t have the luxury of having a professional design team putting in hours of their time to make each room on our house look perfectly put together. However, we still find ourselves wishing ours could look just a little bit more polished like the ones in the glossy pages lining drugstore shelves.

Below are some tips you can use to add a designer’s touch to your own home without having to hire one:

Three’s a charm – choose three colors and/or shades you will use throughout the room. You will want one as your main color, one as an accent and another for a minor accent. If you tend to be drawn to all warm or cool shades, use the opposite tone as an accent color to restore balance to your color palette.

Texture – mixing up textures will add more depth and visual interest to your room. Fur, tufting, velvet, tile and wood-grain and wainscotting are all classic ways to add texture to a room

Balance – strike a balance within your room by mixing large and small or bulky and delicate furniture together. By mixing pieces with varying structures your room will feel less cookie cutter and more curated.

It’s all in the details – bowls, baskets, and trays throughout a room add a thoughtful touch while offering alternative storage. Added bonus: this is also a great way to add more texture to a room.

Get artsy – adding unique artwork to a room adds the professional touch you are looking for. This can easily be done at home and even a project that can be done with children. All you need is some paint and a few canvases to paint abstract shapes on to.

Everything in its place – avoid clutter taking over counters by giving everything a dedicated place. Homes in magazines spreads have the upper hand in that they are not actually lived in. Having a day of the week where you go through your home to ensure everything is either in its assigned place or given one will guarantee a neater, tidier home over time.

The finishing touch – fresh-cut flowers add that certain something to a room. You are sure to find them in any given room found in the pages of a magazine. If your room seems to be missing something and you can’t quite put your finger on it, a floral bouquet is probably the finishing touch you’re looking for.

While a perfect home can’t be guaranteed, after all, we live in the real world and not one curated for a photo shoot, there are steps you can take to replicate those found in the glossy pages of magazines. Whether you switch up your furniture pieces to include a variety of shapes or add a DIY abstract painting you can easily add a designer touch to your own home!

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When you are looking at buying a home there are don’ts you should be aware of. Many times the handling of the negotiation can mean the difference in huge amounts of money. This is why it is vital to have an experienced agent on your side. Here are just a few common pitfalls to avoid.

 

Not doing your homework

Doing your homework is important in such a large purchase. Ask your agent for a list of comparable homes recent sale prices. Look to see how long comparable listings have been on the market and what the average sale to list price ratio is. This will give you the information you need when making an offer and negotiating a final sale price.

Not understanding the seller

Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. A sale is typically emotional for a seller. When making an offer try not to insult the seller, offering a fair and realistic offer to purchase will typically get you further in the negotiations. If you know the seller’s motivations for selling you may also be able to offer terms that might be more attractive like a quick close or inspection.

Showing your cards

While you want to know as much about the seller as possible divulge as little about yourself in the negotiation as possible. Any knowledge the seller has about your motivation can be used as leverage in the negotiation.

Getting your heart set

Buying a home can often be an emotional process. Identify several properties you’d be happy with as well. Be careful not to get your heart in the way of your head as it can sometimes hinder the deal.

Trying to win

In a sale there needs to be two ingredients: a seller who wants to sell and a buyer who wants to buy. Try not to getting caught up in the game. Ultimately it is about buying a home and not winning a negotiation.

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