Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty


The bathroom is a room of sanctuary in the home. It is the one room where, for the most part, you can find cherished, quiet time all to yourself. Even if it means locking the door to keep the kids out for the best two minutes of your day.

Which is probably why creating a spa-like bathroom is a top trend at the moment. The best part about this trend is that it doesn’t have to be obviously trendy. It’s about subtle, minimalistic details that are both functional and visually appealing.   

For those looking to invest in renovating their bathroom with a nod to both current and future styles to come here are six spa-like features that are fully functional and will transcend time.  

A European-style walk-in shower is the epitome of a spa-like bathroom right now. Open any magazine or click through any Pinterest board and you would think this is the only style of shower available.

Not only does a walk-in style open up the room adding dynamic space but it is also incredibly functional. Especially if you plan to age in place. The walk-in showers lack a ledge or lip is ideal for those with limited mobility. So whether it be from age or a wild new move at your dance class you won’t have to worry about tripping.

A popular addition to the walk-in shower is a shower bench. Typically, tiled to match the rest of the shower area it offers a space to relax and the option to slow down and enjoy your You time. Wooden shower benches are another popular option cropping up in the pages of editorial spreads everywhere. A shower bench is also another great feature to have for future planning and certainly more stylish than those plastic chairs.

Due to the style of a walk-in shower, many homeowners are skipping having the addition of a tub altogether. Many people have found that after investing in a luxurious deep soak tub they just don’t make the time to use it. However, those who do enjoy a good soak opt for a free-standing tub. This separation of shower and tub allows for the tub itself to take a spotlight and emphasize the luxurious nature of your bathroom.

Another old favorite being ushered out is the medicine cabinet. Instead, homeowners are installing a large mirror that is a work of art and statement piece. The most popular shape of the moment is the circle. You may find that your new home already comes with a builder-grade mirror that just needs some creative details to spruce it up. Add trim board in your color and finish of choice to give it a whole new lease on life.  


After buying a gorgeous new house your old furniture can feel a bit… outdated and drab. Suddenly your favorite pieces are beaten up and shabby. And the ones you thought were okay are intolerable, eyesores.

If after your move a top-to-bottom redecorating project isn’t option right away, and for most of us it isn’t, you don’t need to feel stuck with unappealing furniture.

The truth is you just need some creativity and a few free weekends to dedicate to reworking your current pieces.

Start with the pieces that just need a facelift. Touch up scratched or scuffed paint and polish any hardware. Then experiment with their placement. Maybe the office bookcase looks better in the living room and the credenza is right at home in your bedroom. Being willing to experiment to find the most unique and best fit!

Reupholster chairs, stools or even your sofa for a whole new lease on life. If you’ve never reupholstered before start with a simple project like a chair before jumping into a more advanced one (like your couch). Choose a bold new color for a statement piece or fresh neutral for a crisp, clean feel.

Add new legs to a sofa, chair or table. And yes! You can change out the legs to a couch. Add thin modern legs to update an old couch or swap out a round shape for a square-one, or vice-versa. You can even DIY a new table altogether by installing your top of choice onto a set of legs.  

You don’t always have to add to your furniture to make it look fresh and new. Sometimes it’s what you take away that counts. Experiment with removing hardware altogether from drawer pulls and doors from cabinets for an open shelf look. Try removing arms from a chair or the back altogether from a sofa. These last two are perfect to try if you’re already upholstering the furniture.

Add contact paper in your color or pattern of choice to update a glass top or particle board piece. There are so many options and in classy options. You can opt for faux marble print or just a sleek black. Metal furnishings can be freshened up with metallic spray paint in a new modern tone. Or go all in and refinish a natural wood piece after sanding.

Avoid dwarfing your apartment-sized furniture by arranging it away from the walls. This will create a feeling of spaciousness in the room. If you have an area rug large enough to do so arrange all of your furniture within its bounds. This makes a room feel more pulled together and will keep your furniture from slipping all over bare wooden floors.

When it is time to upgrade do so slowly over time and prioritize by its importance to your lifestyle. This could be a new mattress, couch or cool new rug. What will make the biggest difference to your lifestyle? Start there.


You've found your dream home – at least, you initially thought you discovered your ideal house. But following the home inspection, you're starting to have second thoughts about whether you want to purchase a particular residence.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity for a homebuyer. It enables a buyer to receive expert insights from a property inspector about a house's age and condition. Thus, if a home inspection reveals myriad problems with a residence, a homebuyer still has an opportunity to walk away from a home sale.

Ultimately, there are many factors for a homebuyer to evaluate after a home inspection, including:

1. The Home's Condition

When it comes to evaluating a home's condition, there may be more than meets the eye. Fortunately, a home inspection enables a property inspector to take a deep look at a house's interior and exterior and provide detailed findings.

If a home's condition fails to match your expectations, don't hesitate to walk away from a home sale. By doing so, you can reenter the housing market and begin your search for the perfect residence once again.

On the other hand, if a home's condition is not a deal-breaker, feel free to move forward with a home sale. And in a short period of time, you'll likely soon be the owner of a great house.

2. The Home's Age

A home's age may dictate whether substantial home repairs or improvements may be needed down the line.

For example, a home's furnace usually needs to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. If a 30-year-old residence still has its original furnace in place, this device may need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

A home inspection should provide clear-cut insights into potential home improvements that you may need to perform in the near future. Use these insights to your advantage, as they may help you if you try to renegotiate the price of a house.

3. Long-Term Home Improvements

Spend plenty of time with a home inspector and don't hesitate to ask this professional plenty of questions. Remember, he or she is available to help you make an informed homebuying decision. And if you learn about potential long-term home improvements now, you may be able to avoid severe home problems down the line.

If a home inspector discovers roof problems or other substantial house issues, take his or her recommendations seriously. That way, you can avoid the danger of buying a "money pit," i.e. a house that may prove to be more trouble than it's worth.

Lastly, if you need help at any point during the homebuying journey, reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the best home inspectors in your area and allow you to minimize stress throughout the homebuying cycle.

Ready to make your homeownership dreams come true? Consider the aforementioned factors after a home inspection, and you can move one step closer to purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.


If relocation and house hunting is in the foreseeable future for you and your family, making a list of requirements and preferences will help ensure that you're satisfied with your next home.

Checklists are available from a variety of sources, including real estate agents and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

While it's nearly impossible to find an affordable property that's a short drive from everywhere and that meets all your requirements, creating a prioritized list will help you clarify your goals and help you get the real estate features that are the most important to you and your family. Having a well organized list of priorities will also make it easier and more practical for your real estate agent to locate properties for sale that are aligned with your needs and preferences.

While the ideal home should be comfortably close to jobs, schools, childcare, and supermarkets, there are other conveniences and necessities that are sometimes overlooked by home buyers. Here are a few additional items to consider:

  • Medical and dental offices: Although it's difficult find the ideal house that also happens to be located just a short drive from all your family's medical and dental care providers, it's a goal worth considering when evaluating different properties. Being close to a preferred hospital can also be a desirable feature -- especially if you expect to be looking for top-quality maternity care in the near future.
  • Houses of worship: If you and your family attend religious services several times a month, it would definitely make life easier to live a short distance from your favorite church, synagogue, or mosque.
  • Automotive services: When you need an oil change, state inspection, AC maintenance, or car repair, it's much more convenient to have it taken care of close to home.
  • Transportation: Whether this item ranks high or low on your priority list depends on how often you plan on traveling for work, business, vacations, college, or family visits. For some people, proximity to airports, train stations, bus depots, and major highways can be a major benefit.
  • Recreational facilities: For families with active lifestyles, being close to tennis courts, golf courses, fitness clubs, playgrounds, walking trails, and other recreation facilities would be considered a big "plus". For others... not so much.
  • Entertainment: Again, it depends on individual lifestyles, but some people enjoy going to the movies, restaurants, concerts, and the theater on a regular basis.
The value of creating a list of requirements and a "wish list" boils down to clarifying in your own mind the conveniences, services, and facilities that are most important to you and your family. It's also a more efficient method of communicating your hopes and needs to your real estate agent. His or her objective is to help you find the residential property in your target area that best satisfies the majority of your goals, desires, and dreams.


Every home seller wants to enjoy a positive property selling experience. Yet ensuring your home selling strategy goes according to plan may be difficult, particularly for a seller who lacks property selling expertise. Lucky for you, we're here to provide the help you need to achieve the optimal results at each stage of the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reap the benefits of a positive home selling experience.

1. Set an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price

How you price your home will have a significant impact on how quickly your residence sells. If you establish an aggressive initial home asking price, you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence as soon as your home becomes available.

Check out the prices of available houses in your area that are similar to your own residence. Then, you can establish a price range for homes in your area and price your house accordingly.

Furthermore, it often helps to evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can find out whether you're getting ready to sell your home in a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Remove Clutter

Clutter is problematic, particularly for a home seller who wants to streamline the property selling cycle. Fortunately, home sellers who identify clutter now can eliminate this problem before they list their houses.

Antiques, paintings and other excess items inside your home should be removed. You can always rent a storage unit, which will enable you to keep these items safe until you sell your house. Or, you can host a yard sale or sell excess items online prior to listing your residence.

Don't forget to remove lawn decorations and other clutter from outside your house as well. By doing so, you can instantly improve your house's curb appeal and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is prepared to do everything possible to ensure you can enjoy a positive house selling experience. In fact, this housing market professional will offer plenty of support at each stage of the home selling journey.

Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you before you list your house. He or she then will craft a home selling strategy designed to help you accomplish your home selling goals. Next, a real estate agent will promote your house to dozens of potential buyers, set up home showings and open house events and keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your residence. And if you decide to accept an homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process.

Ready to reap the benefits of a positive home selling experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.