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Shake Things Up Occasionally to Better Enjoy Your Home

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By Bill Primavera    

As a realtor, I am frequently asked by clients, both sellers and buyers alike, how best to enhance a home, from interior décor to outdoor paint colors.

Judging from my own experience and what I’ve recommended to others, I would have to say that I’m somewhat of a traditionalist. Having gone to college at one of the nation’s oldest schools, the College of William & Mary in Virginia, founded in 1693, it was only natural that I should be influenced by tradition. 

After all, I sat in the same classroom as did Thomas Jefferson, and I worked part-time in a restaurant that was built on the foundations of a public house from the early 18th century.

When it came time to decorate my first apartment in New York City, I purchased reproductions from the old Williamsburg Shop that was located within the wonderful B. Altman’s. 

Throughout my bachelorhood and then early marriage, I decorated all my homes traditionally, which took my influencing my wife, who was originally very much contemporary in her decorating preferences.

Once a theme was selected for any room, it was decorated in a way we thought we could live with for the rest of our lives.

And when we purchased our first home in the “country,” we followed suit. Each room was decorated to stay decorated for a long time. That also applied to the outside appearance to our home. When we first purchased it, our house was painted a flat, deep brown all over, including all trim. At that time, there was a woman on our town’s Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance – on which I now serve – who greatly favored this color. It was as though all new developments were painted with the same palette. 

When it came time to repaint, my wife Margaret and I chose to lighten things up and selected a color somewhere between a light grey and beige, which we referred to as “greige.” Over the many years that followed, we stuck with this color until it had oxidized to a pleasant pale green, which I didn’t realize until people started referring to it as that large “green” house.

A few years ago, we sold that house to move to Trump Park, but every once in a while, we would drive by our old homestead just to check it out nostalgically.  Well, just last week, I drove by the old homestead and was surprised to see that it had been painted a very pleasant yellow, which represents quite a visual change. It’s as though it’s a totally different property. In fact, I found the change to be spectacular. I took a picture of it with my iPhone to show my wife once I got home, and I even e-mailed the current owner to tell him how much I liked the change.

It also gave me somewhat of an itch to change things around a bit in my current home. There is nothing I can do on the outside, but I’m looking to see what I can do inside.

So, let’s see. The walls are all painted one shade of off-white, which is good to serve as a neutral background for all the paintings and other artwork I’ve collected over the years.

So maybe there’s a new hue to consider to spice things up a bit. Maybe a pale salmon? Or beige? Nah.

Before she died Queen Elizabeth II stated that no one would know who she was if she chose beige over the bright colors she preferred when she dressed. But as for me, while I don’t prefer bright colors, I think I’ll keep things totally neutral with off-white. However, I reserve the option to effect change going forward, just by the wall décor I should choose.

Isn’t it fun at home to consider our immediate surroundings and have them cater to both our desire for tradition as well as that for change? That, as they say, is what makes for horse races.

Bill Primavera is a realtor associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and his blog is www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.



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