What Are the Best ROI Exterior Home Improvement Projects?

Taking on home improvements can be a fulfilling adventure, allowing you to transform spaces and looks whether you decide to sell or determine that your new space fits you once again! But if you are going to take on projects, my 20+ years of experience in real estate tell me that you’ll enjoy the project, outcome, and long-term effect of a project more if you consider the average return on investment you can anticipate. Here are a few of the best projects to consider to get you the best ROI on your exterior upgrades. It may be that you want to sell your current space and find a new home to customize into your very own…


Posted on June 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged , ,

Sawtooth School for Visual Art: Gallery, Store and Classes

Nestled in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem is a building with a unique design. If you look at the roofline, you’ll see it almost appears as if someone has laid the hand saw of a giant on its back, with the teeth pointed towards the sky. Inside this building today, creative minds meld and learn in amazing ways. But when it was first built, the building housed creativity and ingenuity in a totally different manner…


Posted on May 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

DIY Interior Home Makeover Tips: Refresh The Look of Your Rooms

Sometimes you just need a change, but you find yourself on a tight budget. Those are the perfect times to side-step big new furniture purchases and hiring outside help to dig into a few tips that allow any homeowner to spruce up their space without breaking the bank. After you take some of these steps, then you can easily consider if a few choice purchases might be the finishing touches you need to feel like new in your existing space.

Make Two Lists

The first list should include all the major pieces of furniture that are in the room or which you wish to place in the room. It’s important to have an inventory of the major pieces so that you can make a plan. In addition to the first list, make a second list that includes what uses and feeling you’d like the room to embody. These two lists together will allow you to plan a layout that evokes the types of environment and movement you want the room to achieve.

As you create the lists, think outside the room about other pieces of furniture that are throughout your home. Is there a nightstand that could switch out with an end table for a fresh look or something similar? Sometimes just switching up the location of furniture between rooms can have a powerful effect.

To get started making a layout, look at the entrances and outlets in the room to make sure you don’t place things far from the creature comforts that are essential to everyday living. Once you have a rough idea of how you want the furniture to be placed, sketch it roughly on a sheet of paper and make sure that you think that movement and comfort are accounted for. Finally, move the furniture into the general spaces that you have decided and let it sit for a few days to ensure that you are happy before you move to additional steps.

Consider Colors

Once the layout of the room feels comfortable, take a look at the colors of fabric, walls, flooring, and accent elements. You want the colors to complement each other, so consider coverings for couches or chairs that work well with the wall colors. These kinds of changes are easier to adjust time and again than paint colors or other more intensive projects. If you have trouble matching colors and textures, consider using existing palettes that are distributed by designers as a foundation. For example, House Beautiful published some of the most anticipated color palettes for 2017.

Focus on Lighting

Lighting occurs in two environments, so you have to consider both and decide how to balance your decisions based on how you utilize the room.

Start by looking at the placement of natural light (including considering what time of day the sunlight will move through the room based on the direction the home faces) and how you can use that light during the day to showcase spaces in fresh ways. Perhaps you place a décor piece that you want to be a focal point where a sunbeam will fall in mid-afternoon or adjust the placement of a throw rug so that the light splashes across a pattern in a unique manner.

Next, consider what happens once the sun goes down. What kind of light will set the mood and environment that you need in order to utilize the space? Overhead lighting can splash a wide even light, but might be too much for some spaces. Floor lamps of different heights and wattage bulbs can offer adjustable options for bright areas and lower-light elements too. For relaxation, consider different lighting elements such as salt lamps or other diffused light options like electric candles that glow more than shine. With evening lighting, you even have the opportunity to layer lights in such a way that the room can be bright and filled with light or dim and cozy for watching movies or quieter times. If you want to invest a few dollars, consider installing dimmer light switches for an added element of lighting control! Ellen Dudley, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249

Together, these interior home makeover tips will get you started looking at your spaces and pieces in a different light, giving fresh life and feeling to your home. Use them as a foundation and start one room at a time, picking your most used room as the first space to transform, and you’ll soon be seeing your home in a new way!


Posted on May 18, 2017 at 1:15 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged , ,

Step into the Green: Greenways in Winston Salem

As Spring arrives in full force and flowers and trees begin to bloom, mild temperatures and sunny days seem to call to our souls to step outside and take in a bit of nature. The Winston-Salem community offers plenty of opportunities to get out and near nature, whether you are a cyclist, rollerblading fanatic, or just want to stroll along. This month, I’ll share a bit about just a few of the existing greenway trails in the area. But, don’t let this list stop you from exploring further…


Posted on April 26, 2017 at 9:28 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged

4 Unique Kid Activities in the Piedmont Triad You've Never Heard Of

From themed haircuts to afternoon tea parties, keep reading to discover just a few businesses that are dedicated to bringing laughter and unique experiences to your children…


Posted on March 23, 2017 at 9:24 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

4 Benefits of Professionally Staging a House to Sell

As we live in our own spaces, we become somewhat blind to the ways in which our possessions impact the feel and nature of our house. To get a fresh perspective and renew the layout and details of our home, a professional staging expert can be highly valuable in setting a feel and experience that moves your house from “For Sale” to “Sold” faster and closer to your asking price. Take a look below at just a few of the amazing benefits of having your home professionally staged…


Posted on March 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

Texas Pete is Moving to Downtown Winston-Salem

A Winston-Salem staple, T.W. Garner, the parent company of Texas Pete, is still family-owned and going strong. They announced in 2015 their plans to break ground on a new corporate headquarters in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem’s revitalized restaurant and arts districts…


Posted on February 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged

Black History Month: Visiting Civil Rights History in NC

The month of February has been designated Black History Month in order to recognize the Civil Rights struggles and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans across our nation. But you don’t have to go far to find landmarks and monuments steeped in history worth exploring. The diversity of our community is vital to the growth and sustainability of our regional culture. Take a day or two to tour, explore, and consider the role each of these had in moving our society to where it is today. It is an honor to live in an area with such a rich history. Here is an overview of a few of the sights I’d suggest exploring as you celebrate Black History Month in and around Winston-Salem, NC…


Posted on February 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

The Benefits of Smart Home Technologies

When you think about your home, the more comfort you can surround yourself with, the more relaxed you likely feel. Regardless of whether you plan to stay in your home for several years or are preparing to sell, one of the best improvements you can make involves the vast number of choices in smart home technologies. From safety, peace of mind, and convenience to saved time, comfort, and routine, smart devices can quickly upgrade a house into a home…


Posted on January 30, 2017 at 10:25 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

3 Ways to Succeed in Buying Rental Property

Venturing into the world of rental properties can be a daunting task. There is plenty to consider when buying rental property and even more to consider when it comes to managing it. Despite these challenges, investing in real estate continues to be one of the best ways to create stability for your money in the long-term. If you are thinking about entering the rental market, it’s important to work with an experienced agent who knows not only what property is available, but also the nuances of neighborhoods. With over two decades of experience in real estate, I’ve matched investors with rental properties that align with their goals time and again and can lend you the expertise that you need in order to find success in real estate investment. To get you started, here are a 3 ways to ensure success when buying rental property…


Posted on January 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged , , ,

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