DIY decorating: My new bathroom

Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue walls. Love the shelf space under the sink and the "ladder" towel rack.

Good morning Loves.  BF and I are moving in a mere two days.  Over the past two weeks my mind has been racing with all the logistics of this move as well as decorating ideas for our new apartment.  As it turns out I have absolutely no sense of personal style or taste.  I am the type of person who would buy everything in dark brown and assume it matched well.  So this is my plea, I need your help decorating my new apartment.

How did you pick your new home decor?

My OCD and inability to make a decision (I am a Libra after all) has kept my mind racing over the last few days which resulted in many sleepless nights.  I don’t even know where to begin.  All I know is our new apartment is more than twice as big as our old apartment and I want it to look completely different.

I want our new apartment to be cozy and welcoming.  I want it to be matchy-matchy with some dashes of color and it can’t be too girly because I want BF to be comfortable.  Oh and we need to do it on a budget.  We need to buy furniture as well as decor; I mean everything from drapes to a new sofa.  I also really want a buffet, I’ve never had one and I would love to hang a big mirror over top.

Where did you learn to decorate?

I have absolutely no idea what to do when it comes to decorating, I mean like literally no ideas.  I don’t know if my area rug should match the drapes and if my furniture has to all be the same color.  If my living room and dining room are an open space concept can one have yellow accents and the other red?

The truth is I would just love to hire a professional decorator to come in and turn my new apartment into a home, but I just can’t afford it.  I would also love to hire a Feng Shui expert to come in and set everything up so BF and I have nothing but love, prosperity and good vibes in our new apartment, but he thinks it’s a waste of money.  Besides who needs to spend money on interior decorators when you have awesome online friends?

Do you use Pinterest for home decor ideas?

So in an effort to save money and learn to make things pretty I took to Pinterest for ideas on how to decorate my new apartment.  If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed that my pins went from their usual travel destinations to home decor such as pillows, sofas and bedrooms.  Although I would like to blink my eyes and have it all done, I have come to the reality that it is probably going to take me a good six to twelve months to get my apartment looking exactly how I want it.

For my first DIY decorating project I decided to start with the smallest room in the apartment – our new bathroom.  I need to find a balance between clean, colorful and functional.  Once we decide on the color scheme we will need to buy new towels, mats and accessories and we will also need to buy a storage unit, either an armoire or a bar cart style unit.  What do you think?

Here are some DIY ideas I found on Pinterest:

Painting bathroom walls a calming blue is an easy way to add color to your bathroom. #decorating <3 this bathroom--Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue Bathroom and planked walls! i am in LOVE with the tiffany blue in this bathroom. i can see me doing this in my house some day!

Short Sales Success: Don’t Cut Out the Middleman

A lot of sellers who are looking for a way out of their mortgage consider a short sale. It’s a logical alternative to the foreclosure, and it’s also less damaging. But, in their haste, these same homeowners try to go it alone. Here’s why you shouldn’t do that.

Real Estate Agents Won’t Charge You Anything

It doesn’t cost anything to work with a real estate agent – up front anyway. They don’t charge fees. They do charge a commission on a sale, but it’s likely you’ll pay that to the buyer’s agent anyway in lost time, or even directly on the sale.

A Scotch Plains Park Short Sales Specialist is also better equipped to help you navigate the legalities of short sales. Unless you do this for a living, this is not a transaction you want to cut your teeth on.

Most DIY’ers End Up With Agents

According to P. Gilbert Mercurio, the chief executive of the Westchester County Board of Realtors, 85 percent of do-it-yourselfers end up with a real estate agent who specializes in short sales. That’s how hard it can be. It’s not like selling your house when your mortgage is paid off or you have enough to close out the sale with your own savings or equity.

Statistics Are Against You

The National Association of Realtors did some research and showed that most DIY’ers don’t come out ahead financially when they rely on the Internet to attract buyers. According to the trade group, homes that are sold using the M.L.S. and a real estate agent sold for 32 percent more, on average, than homes where the homeowner tried selling the property himself.

While the study’s findings were disputed by researchers from the department of economics at Northwestern University and the departments of economics and of real estate and urban land economics and the University of Wisconsin, it does make sense that, in some instances, a real estate agent can fetch a better price for the seller.

A good agent, especially one with experience in short sales, may have superior negotiation skills, thus besting the average homeowner who isn’t as familiar with selling a house – certainly not when the mortgage is “under water.” 

The Market Can Eat You Alive

Short sales are complicated, and there are many regulations and rules that will be imposed upon you. Forget about government regulations, banks themselves have a lot of internal rules surrounding short sales, what they will and won’t accept, and strict guidelines on paperwork.

If you hand in a short sale package with just one missing piece of information, your toast. Even if you do hand in everything, the bank is liable to lose it – ask a real estate agent. It happens more often than you would think.

And, the bank has no problems turning down a deal, especially when they’re losing money on it. No, going up against the marketplace, and the bank, all by yourself is usually foolish. Take on a team member (i.e. an agent), and your odds of making it out alive increase dramatically.

Lisa Anders is a longtime real estate professional with several years under her belt. When she gets some free time, she likes to write down some of things she’s learned in her work. You can find her articles mainly on real estate and homeowner blogs.

Friday Faves: I’m back from New Orleans


Good morning Loves and happy Friday.  Well I’m back from New Orleans.  All I can say is what a gorgeous city – check out my pics.  It was absolutely fantastic and I just want to give a big HELLO to everyone I met at FinCon down in The Big Easy.

Stay tuned for a recap of my trip and all the cool things I did down in New Orleans.

Enjoy these great posts from our friends:

Money Beagle – Are Cheeseburgers Worth As Much A Babies?

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds – I’m a collection agent.  Here’s how you get rid of me

Wise Dollar – How To Remodel on a Budget

Budget and the Bees – Limit Your Packing and Moving Stress With 5 Tips

Young Adult Money – How Recovering Spenders Can Become Frugal

The Frugal Farmer – Don’t Give Money More Power Than it Deserves

Moving is a metaphor for relationships


Good morning Loves.  As you read this I’m on my way home from New Orleans and as of last Wednesday when I left BF and I still didn’t have a place to live.  We need to move October 1 and we have yet to sign a new lease.   We have  been apartment hunting since June and now that we are in crunch time I am starting to reflect on what it means that neither one of us want to sign a new lease.

What does our inability to sign a lease say about our relationship?

The question to ask is – do we not want to sign a new lease because we haven’t found the perfect apartment or do we just not want to sign a lease with each other?  Looking back over the last few months of apartment hunting I can’t help but see the how our moving situation may be a direct reflection of what we are going through in our relationship.

We have been in our apartment (small as it may be) for six years and although it was supposed to only be temporary we grew accustom to it – downfalls and all.  We are moving because we need more space and we just want some peace and quiet.  We want to move to a neighborhood that is quiet but has essential amenities such as restaurants, a dry cleaner, a grocery store and a pharmacy.

I can’t help but wonder with less than 10 days to move and nowhere to go what does this say about my personality and my relationship with BF?

Is it really about the apartment?

I’ve come to realize that moving is really a metaphor for life and relationships.  We need to move but can’t make a decision on where to live.  Is this because we don’t really know where our relationship is going?

Keep in mind that I could be relocated or even jobless come January with the acquisition of my company by a competing firm and BF has already made it very clear that he doesn’t want to move to another city.

Why the need for change?

We are looking for a complete change.  We want to move to a new apartment in a new neighborhood.  Actually we want everything to be new; we want to live in a small building as oppose to the 21 floor apartment block we live in now.

We want a two bedroom apartment as oppose to our current one bedroom and we want it to be fully equipped including a washer and dryer in the apartment (not shared in the building) as well as a dishwasher.  What does this say about us?  Maybe we are being picky, maybe we are looking for a fresh start or maybe there’s another reason we are looking for the impossible apartment.

Afraid to make a commitment after 15 years?

Some people may say we are being extremely picking when trying to choose a new apartment, but I just think we are being careful in our choice.  Maybe our indecisiveness is a metaphor for our relationship.  Maybe we just don’t know where we are headed or maybe we are completely afraid of making a commitment – could that be?  Why can’t we just make a decision?  My initial thought is it’s because I want to be sure we are living in the perfect apartment in the perfect neighborhood because I definitely don’t want to be stuck for another six years in an apartment that we don’t like. However I can’t help but wonder if our moving criteria are a much needed change in our lives or are we just afraid to making a commitment?

What do you think – am I completely over thinking this?

Photo from Flickr