Ever wonder which home style is the top seller today? According to “Unsellable Houses” stars Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb, buyers are going nuts for the calm, coastal look—which explains why their latest renovation is awash in seaside vibes.
In the Season 2 episode “Nest Egg Reno,” Lamb and Davis meet Shannon and her mother, Monica. Monica wants to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Arlington, WA, for $400,000. But after three months on the market, it hasn’t gotten one decent offer.
Davis and Lamb invest $34,000 and three and a half weeks to give this house a new look—and, once the renovation is done, sell the house for a whopping $485,000. Here’s how they pull it off, including plenty of take-home lessons for home sellers and homeowners alike hoping to pick renovations (and decor styles) that’ll pay off.
Focus on curb appeal to reel buyers in
With this house being so close to the ocean, Lamb and Davis know that buyers will want a seaside style.
“I want to make this home like a calming, coastal living vibe,” Lamb says. “Really use light blues, light greens, and a lot of wood accents.”
Lamb and Davis do a lot of work giving the home’s interior a lovely, coastal vibe, but they know that buyers won’t see their work unless the exterior grabs them. So they paint the house a calm blue with gray trim. Now, the exterior complements the interior style.
“It’s amazing what a difference painting the outside of a house can do,” Davis says, “for not only the curb appeal when a buyer pulls up, but also it sets the tone for the rest of the home.”
Paint cabinets rather than replace them to save money
Monica’s brown, dated kitchen cabinets don’t fit the beach style. But since replacing them would be costly, Davis and Lamb decide to paint them light green instead.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to take out those cabinets ’cause Monica kept them in such good condition,” Davis says.
The paint ends up making them look like whole new cabinets—at a fraction of the cost.
“And then we can take that money and allocate it somewhere else in the budget,” Davis adds.
After they paint the cabinets, the sisters replace the old counters with quartz, add a beautiful backsplash, and even get rid of the tile floor. With so many other updates needed, it’s a good thing Lamb and Davis saved money where they could!
Use DIY aged wood for a fireplace mantel
Lamb and Davis know that the fireplace could really boost the value of a home—provided it looks fantastic. They decide to update the fireplace with some tile, shiplap, and a new mantel. The tile and shiplap are easily installed, but these sisters know that a typical mantel won’t work for this coastal abode.
So instead of spending a bunch of money on an old, rustic piece of wood, they age a mantel themselves by hitting the wood with a hammer, sanding it, and scraping it.
“We want this thing to look like we found it under a house somewhere,” Lamb says. “It’s got a story to tell, history that belongs to it.”
Once installed, the imperfect mantel gives the living room a beach-worn vibe. And the best part is this update doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Take down a lattice to open up the backyard
When Lamb and Davis see the backyard, they’re less than impressed with the deck, which is surrounded with an unsightly wood lattice.
“This probably isn’t as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as railings would have been,” Davis says.
The sisters end up removing the lattice and decide to leave the deck open. They then restain it a darker color to make the deck look a little fresher.
When the work is done, it’s clear that removing the lattice was the right choice. This open deck is now much more inviting, and it makes the backyard look huge.
Give a room depth with an accent wall
Just days before the open house, Lamb persuades Davis to do one last-minute project: paint an accent wall in the master bedroom. This bedroom is huge, and Lamb knows that giving one wall a different color will highlight how large this room really is.
Once the wall is painted, Lamb is pleased with the results.
“It really gave this room that depth it needed,” she says.
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