Transforming an Awkward Combination into a Rustic Design Beauty – Another Jo Project

office intro

I don’t do exercise. I do projects. Although both require significant energy, I have found that my long-term results are significantly better with design. As I access my creative side, my stress dissipates and excitement takes its place. I feel reinvigorated when I can put together a unique or fun new addition that brighten up someone’s living space.

I enjoy finding items that appear to be awkward combinations and pairing them in interesting ways. My other goal is to create a high-end product via the use of low-end inputs. I firmly believe that you do not have to spend endless amounts of money to achieve beauty in your home or office. With that said, if you do happen to have endless amounts of money, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I would love to work with you and have specific helpful suggestions regarding where you can put those unused funds (make the check to “Jo Price”).

office windows

For the rest of us currently stuck in reality, there are countless ways to put together eye-catching design pieces at very reasonable prices. One item I frequently incorporate into rooms is one or more old windows. Most vintage and antique dealers have these, but there is no need to buy the most expensive window you can find. I look for windows that have interesting glass panes with minimal breakage and low levels of wood rot on the frames. If it’s truly an old window, it’s tough to avoid the wood rot, and you get better deals if you are willing to buy and clean these up a bit.

You will have to wipe off any dust, mold and general funk. As many of the old windows have lead paint, gloves and masks are a must. I sometimes redo the paint and frame, but I actually love to see the old rusty hardware and previous paint colors showing through. However even if the paint doesn’t need to be redone, I still take steps to reinforce the frame.

Stanley-National Hardware 8-in Zinc plated Corner Brace

You should be able to find metal corner braces at most hardware stores.

I typically reinforce the windows by using a screw driver to attach metal corner braces. Be careful when you do this as you don’t want to split the wood nor do you want to break the glass. As corner braces aren’t my favorite design accent, I either cover them with a few strokes of chalk paint, or I hide them altogether.

office window bracketMy primary window accent is typically a shelf bracket. Yes – shelf bracket. You screw them down into the window versus up into a shelf.

Attaching an intricate bracket to the corner(s) of an old beat-up window creates a surprising look of elegance while further reinforcing the stability of the window frame. I don’t mind a few cracks here and there as I feel like those give the windows more personality, but large brackets can sometimes be used to hide some defects or breaks in the panes.

If you want to attach further hardware to hang your window, be sure that the wood is strong enough to bear the weight. I spent more time than I care to admit attaching elaborate hardware to the large window pictured in this post. Ultimately, I decided that I prefered the way it looked when it was leaning against the wall. It was an annoying realization, but the end result was worth all the trouble regardless.

My style of decorating may be very different from yours, but it wouldn’t be any fun if we all danced to the same beat anyway. The point is to take a little time every now and then to make your space beautiful. We feel better on the inside when we surround ourselves on the outside with pieces that strike us as beautiful. They warm our living spaces, speak to our inner style, and give us a sense of pride. This has nothing to do with how much you spend. It’s truly about creating ways to transform simplicity to sophistication and mundane to magnificent.

Best of luck to you!  Jo Price

Originally posted on anotherjoproject.com.  🙂

The Paragon of Purchasers – Get Out of My House Goldilocks

a white cabinets.jpg

“Doesn’t want white kitchen cabinets” – So sorry about the misleading photo.  I should have explained that these are NOT those fancy color-changing cabinets that look white in pictures but are actually dark brown in person.

Having your house on the market is a monster headache.  People keep their shoes on, but they leave their reasonable standards of decorum and general sanity at the door.

Shoes on?  No sweat.  You may enter.

Basic consideration and sanity off?  No way.  You may bite me.

***Quick note of clarification – In our area, the seller’s realtor is NOT typically present at the showings.  This means that potential buyers will view a house accompanied by their own realtor only.  Consequently we have to rely on those other realtors to monitor their clients who are unable to behave like adults.  Sadly that doesn’t happen as often as we would like.

a map

“Wants to be on a cul-de-sac” – We mistakenly believed that the map on the listing showing that there was zero possibility of our home actually being on a cul-de-sac would have clarified that in advance.

I would like to highlight and respond to certain feedback left by a handful of memorable prospective buyers AFTER they viewed our house.  These paragons of home buying madness serve as the model reason for never wanting to go through this crapola again.

If you are a home buyer with eyeballs (and based on security footage, they have all had them so far), I know that you viewed the detailed photos available online before you scheduled the showing.  Every realtor and buyer within a zillion miles does this.  Many of these same shoppers also had lengthy conversations with our realtor about our home prior to their appointments.  They could have asked her about their specific requirements if they were in fact subject to ocular limitations.

a roof

“No upstairs patio.” – Let me start by thanking you for the few minutes of notice you gave us before demanding that we leave our home with our 2 giant dogs and 3 young kids because you HAD to see it right then or never.  Although the online photos (the ones you mentioned you had reviewed extensively before the showing) clearly displayed that the back of our home did not have an upstairs patio (the requirement you mentioned after the showing), it was good to know that you felt compelled to verify that it was true from the inside of the home.  From 8-9pm.  On a school night.

Certain things seem rather obvious, but I have personally confirmed that being obvious means nothing in the world of realty.  People leave useless feedback and ask our realtor questions that are so crazy that I wonder if they realized that they were using their out loud voices when they said them.

a patio edge

“There was no pool.” – Only one sly buyer was clever enough to recognize that the grass in our backyard was not an actual aquatic feature.  This savvy shopper refused to be tricked into thinking that the large community pond located outside of our enclosed iron fence and backing up to two dozen other homes was actually a gigantic private pool we had built for our own use.  This ruse was brazen on my part, but my cunning nature could not be suppressed.  Most people who want to buy a home with a pool will be unable to comprehend the “No Pool” statement on the listing nor will they understand that the absence of a pool in all photos means that we don’t have one.

a lake

“Would they be willing to build us a pool?” – I’m not making this up folks.  One bold prospect contacted our realtor to ask her if we would be willing to build them a pool.  Naturally we said yes.  We had just been waiting for someone outside of our family and income stream to ask.  Please refer the photo (above) of the lake we told our realtor she could ask them to jump in.

And then there are comments like this…

a pink

“Whole house is green.” – Green like this pink room?

a blue 2

Or green like this blue room?

a aqua

Maybe green like this aqua room?

a rust

Or probably green like this rusty-red room?

Despite my photographic evidence to the contrary, I would have been unaffected by the color comment if that was where it had ended with those people.  The whole house isn’t green, but I will concede that a large portion of the house has grey green walls.  Most people love it and we receive tons of compliments on it, but paint preference is subject to personal taste.  The magic of these buyers was not in their feedback.  It was the way they pushed their appointment back a full hour after we were 45 minutes into their original time slot.  That meant an additional full hour of sitting in my car in a parking lot, being unable to work, being unable to go to the bathroom, and being unable to take my hungry kids home or anywhere else because we had the dogs with us since they can’t stay home either.  I could have dealt with the rescheduling request, but they upped the ante and showed up at the second half of their appointment window and stayed to the very end even though they didn’t like the house.

Well apparently they wanted to be thorough to make absolutely sure that they didn’t like it because there were multiple drawers left slightly open.  My OCD would never permit me to leave any drawer open at all ever, but this would be especially true if a possible buyer was coming.  It would look unkempt in my OCD eyes.  I arrange my Keurig cups, remember??  And on that note, they actually moved some of those cups around.  I couldn’t believe it, but I laughed when I found it, because hey – at least they noticed the effort!  I could also tell that they had tested the sofas both downstairs and upstairs because the pillows and blankets were smooshed and out of place.  That wasn’t a big deal to me because I understand that people need to sit down.  It’s when you opt to pull a Goldilocks move and SIT ON MY BED that I have to push the eject button.  At what point will this mama bear be okay with total strangers parking their happy butts on my bed?  If you responded “never ever ever ever ever,” you were correct!  At least their comments didn’t say, “Sheets not soft enough.”  But that’s silly.  Of course my sheets are soft enough.  Shout out to microfiber!

We have seen all sorts of wacky and tacky behavior over the past few months of living in a house on the market.  There was the guy who tracked muddy footprints throughout the home, messed up all of my window treatments, and broke some blinds.  He didn’t like the layout of the house, but I guess he needed to shred the house to confirm it.  And then there was the local realtor (who also happened to be a neighbor) who scheduled an appointment so she and her husband could take a private tour.  Not too long after that, she became the official realtor for another seller a few doors down.  The sad part is that if she had just asked me if she could look at my house, I would have said yes.  Instead she booked an appointment as if she was working on behalf of a potential buyer.  We were forced to turn our Sunday upside down in order to prepare our home.  While we were doing this, she was busy displaying her faithful devotion in Sunday school.  Maybe it helps to cleanse prior to casing one’s competition (us).  I guess they weren’t studying “Thou shalt not behave like a behind.” that day.

Here are a few other comments we have heard that are clear as day on the listing:

  • too expensive (maybe don’t come here if you don’t like the price?)
  • too big
  • too small
  • too many bedrooms upstairs
  • not enough bedrooms upstairs

It’s exhausting.

This post is not directed at every prospective buyer who has entered our home.  Most buyers and realtors have behaved like normal decent people in a stranger’s home.  Some have put our home on their “maybe” list, and others were looking for something that we couldn’t offer.  Maybe they disliked the layout or it just wasn’t they were looking for.  I don’t mind that, and I really do get it if this isn’t your jam.  House hunting is personal, and my prayer is that this house will be purchased by someone who feels like they are stepping into their new home, not taking a tour of someone else’s house.

a fairy highrise

“Fairy highrise is incomplete, and there are insufficient ladders.” – This is the one annoying comment I haven’t received, but the day is still young.  I’ll finish it soon, but then I’ll probably get a comment about the need for a fairy elevator instead.

We aren’t on the local historical register, we don’t make money selling entry tickets, and we aren’t offering a design tour.  This is where we live, and every showing disrupts our family immensely.  Our children are tired of being pushed out of their space by careless people whom they have never met.  We don’t allow strangers to test-drive our furniture and track mud throughout our freshly cleaned home because it’s fun for us.  We want and need to sell this house.  This is about courtesy and common sense.

It’s also about removing one’s head from sphincter prior to scheduling an appointment to enter another person’s home.  If you are a perspective home buyer, please do that and do it in that order – not the other way around.

Thanks in advance!

***MoJo***

Paragon
A Paragon of Love
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/9418777/posts/56319
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/100921263/posts/32880

 

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