By Augustine Fischer. Home Decoration. Published at Sunday, April 14th, 2019 - 10:19:33 AM.
Chicago designer Rebecca Pogonitz, founder of GOGO Design Group, credits the Scandinavian appreciation for a simpler, more soul-nourishing lifestyle—often known by the Danish term ”hygge” (pronounced hue-guh)—for this move toward coziness and comfort. “My clients crave time for self-care and family,” Pogonitz says. “Many had this growing up but now find their family members arent together at home even for dinner. They want to recreate that human connection.” Now, this desire is finding its way into home design by way of spaces that are sometimes called “pajama lounges,” a cutesy name that suggests a room in which to gather before bedroom, literally in PJs or sweats. This space is usually closer to bedrooms, often upstairs, as an intermediate area for intimate evening hours after dinner and before heading off to sleep. “Its a place that has a totally different identity from a downstairs living or family room,” says Stephan Burke, a real estate salesperson with Cassis Burke Collection at Brown Harris Stevens in Miami.
Highlighting quality always helps. A design done well—whether its a fresh aesthetic, harmonious colors, layout with good circulation, or perfect installation—is likely to impress, even if its not in the buyers taste. “If you do anything really well and make consistent choices throughout a home, you can usually get away with them and appeal to a wide circle,” says New York-based designer Carolyn DiCarlo. Pogonitz agrees, noting a common reaction to the excellent execution of a wild design is “I can live with this for a while.” In one kitchen she updated eight years ago, Cheryl Kees Clendenon, owner of In Detail in Pensacola, Fla., made novel but quality choices not widely used then (though increasingly common now). “I painted upper and lower cabinets different shades and installed a glass countertop on an island. Some real estate salespeople seemed nervous, but the savvy listing agent played up that it was a custom design. It sold right away,” she says.
Spindler is active in local preservationist and historic groups. But perhaps the most important connection she can make is with a capable contractor. While the exteriors of many San Francisco Victorians are protected by historic preservation ordinances, the interiors are generally not. Electricians and plumbers often suggest that the only way to update a Victorian is to tear out original walls. But Spindler knows it can be less expensive to drop pipes and other infrastructure straight through the homes balloon framing or to wire electrical lines through an attic than to tear out valuable, original plaster work. “The crazy things that people do to these poor old houses. The walls never look the same,” Spindler laments. She compares the work of contractors who skillfully retain old Victorian walls to that of arthroscopic surgeons, who use fiber optic technology and video cameras to avoid open surgery: “Its better for the patient in the long run.” While Spindler is glad to see more young people interested in historic homes, she acknowledges her niche is limited by the number of Victorians in her market, estimated to be around 7,500 single-family homes. “Its not a lot, and we lose more every year,” she says. “Theyre not making any more of them, obviously.”
How you can take action: Your sellers dont have to revamp rooms completely. Make suggestions on incorporating a few pieces to get the look. “You can capture a concept with a single well-chosen piece. Make it bold, beautiful, and memorable, and your listing will stand out in buyers minds,” Chandler says. How you can take action: This small livable option can be a good investment for your buyers. Find out if there are any developments in the works in your market. “Many pay higher prices for lower-square-foot rentals,” Hunt says.
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