Mark Maraglia
EXIT Premier Real Estate | 508-272-8761 | markm@exitpremier.com


Posted by Mark Maraglia on 6/13/2019

When moving into a new home, the first thing you want to do is make it your own. That means painting, upgrading fixtures, and the all-important window coverings. Instead of just looking for the most stylish option, take this chance to go with curtains, shades, blinds and screens will improve your bottom line. Most of the energy lost in your home goes through your walls, roof, and windows. You can enhance your walls and roof with well-made insulation, but unless you want to remove the windows entirely, your only option is thermal window coverings.

Now, typically, "thermal" is associated with keeping heat in, think "thermal underwear," but thermal window coverings are designed to block heat from both directions. That means they keep warm air inside in the winter and warm air outside in the summer. In this way, the blinds help control the temperature in your home year-round, reducing your heating and cooling energy costs.

The Four Top Options

While there are a wide variety of energy saving window coverings, and even energy saving windows themselves, the mostly break down into one of four categories.

  1. Thermal Drapes and Curtains: These are the easiest to install of all the options. The installation is, in fact, the same as for non-thermal drapes or curtains. Just hang the rod and slide on the curtain. While not tight to the windows, curtains do work to reduce the amount of heat that travels through your windows. A secondary feature of most thermal drapes is that they create "blackout" conditions. Blocking as much light as heat, they produce more comfortable conditions for sleep or to stop the glare on your forty-two-inch television screen. There are a wide variety of blackout or thermal drapes on the market, but you will get the best results from those with an acrylic backing layer. The more layers of acrylic, the thicker and more effective the curtain will be at blocking both light and heat. 
  2. Thermal Interior Blinds: Mini-blinds, plantation blinds, Venetian blinds, there are so many from which to choose. Each type's fabrication is from of different materials leading to various levels of thermal protection. Slatted blinds are useful because they give you greater control over the amount of light let into a room. Depending on the curve of your slats, you may also be able to create an air buffer between the blinds and the window, changing how the cooler or warmer air flows into your room.
  3. Cellular Shades: Halfway between curtains and blinds, these “honeycomb” shades trap air in hexagonal pockets between at least two layers. The more layers in the blinds, the more efficient they will be at stopping heat or cold from traveling through into your rooms. Unlike slat blinds, cellular shades create an air barrier in front of the window without needing to be adjusted for a particular angle.
  4. Thermal Exterior Blinds: Exterior blinds work similarly to interior blinds. They are mounted above your windows and lower or raise through channels mounted to either side. Made of a variety of faux and natural materials including bamboo, wood, vinyl, steel and aluminum you can find an amazing style to match your home's needs. In addition to adding thermal protection to the outside of your windows, external blinds increase the shade and privacy of your home. Make certain you check with your homeowner's association first though. Some HOAs don't allow outdoor blinds since they change the exterior appearance of your home.

Want to block even more heat and light? Or just have more control? Look for reflective window films, awnings, roof overhangs, and screens to augment your interior window coverings. Getting ready to sell? Ask your real estate agent about the best choices to improve the value of your home.





Posted by Mark Maraglia on 5/23/2019

It is common to renovate a house when there is a need to make it more beautiful and more comfortable for those in it. It is essential to consider the home renovation plans as a project that needs a budget and proper planning.

A great way to handle a home renovation is to plan it like a project and divide it into sections and sub-plans. This way, it becomes easier to manage all the different parts both concerning resources and finances. If you are actively looking to renovate your home without getting yourself stressed, here are a few tips to consider so that your home renovation project turns out both beautifully and within budget.

  • Divide and conquer: The first thing a home renovation contractor or architect will ask for is the scope of the plan and the budget expected for the entire project. By knowing how far the project is going to go, it becomes easier to divide it into different phases. Each phase will then have objectives and timelines.
  • Make a budget: Since the funds available for the project are limited, it is important to know how much each stage should cost and then set the funds aside for it. Making a budget helps to get a good idea of what is achievable compared to what you desire.
  • Bathrooms are essential: Bathrooms are manageable to renovate as there are many quality, inexpensive parts that can bring a bath into the 21st century. Plan for a new toilet fixture, paint, cabinet paint, shower heads and some other materials to do a total makeover of your bathroom on a budget. The overall effect of the result will be worth more than the sum of the parts.
  • Kitchen and storage: Increasing storage space in the rooms and kitchen is usually one of the main aims of home renovation. Home renovation is a perfect opportunity to de-clutter the kitchen and improve on your cabinets. Speak to the home renovation contractor and plan on either building new kitchen cabinets or buying pre-fabricated ones from the hardware store. If the existing kitchen cabinets are sufficient for you, then a fresh coat of paint and a refresh of the locks, hinges, and handles should suffice to give it a new look.
  • Change the doors: The first thing people typically notice about a house is the door. A great way to get a beautiful result from a home renovation project is to make sure to replace the doors. If brand new doors are not in the plan, then repainting the existing ones in a color that blends better with the new house color is an excellent way to re-accentuate them and still give visitors that "new home" welcome.

The key to renovating a house beautifully without spending too much is to have a big-picture plan and take it step-by-step. Speak to a home renovation expert today for an estimate of likely renovation costs for your house.





Posted by Mark Maraglia on 10/11/2018

Buying furniture is a big investment in time and money. If you’re trying to match the style and color scheme of your home perfectly, it can be difficult to find something that’s the right fit. 

This is a task made more difficult when many large furniture stores carry largely similar items that don’t veer too far from the current trends.

If you want to buy unique furniture that meets your specific style it can seem like there are few options. However, there are many online stores where you can find just that, and so so by supporting small retailers and craftsmen.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on finding furniture that will make your home stand out. Read on for a list of how to find handmade and uncommon furniture for your home.

Buying local

One way to find unique furniture and support local craftsmen at the same time is to search for furniture makers in your area. Oftentimes a Google search will help you local nearby shops. However, you can also use websites like Craigslist to narrow your search down to your area.

If you’re having trouble finding people who make or refurbish furniture in your area, try searching for local businesses on websites like Yelp or Yellow Pages.  

Scavenge and refurbish

One way to guarantee that your furniture will be unique is to buy antique or discarded items and then pay a craftsman to refurbish and alter the item. This is particularly common with sofas and chairs.

Upholstering is an art form that requires a good idea, both for restoration and customization. Oftentimes you can find inexpensive, but well-worn, furniture at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and on Craigslist at very cheap prices.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of sanding, staining, or painting old furniture to give them a new life in your living room or kitchen. What’s more, when you take on a DIY project to refurbish a piece of furniture it will have added meaning and value to you, and you could discover a new hobby that you’re interested in along the way.

Online stores

There are a number of online retailers who sell handmade or refurbished furniture. One of the most popular web stores right now is Etsy. On Etsy, you can find craftsmen and refurbishers’ work who you appreciate and follow them to see what they have in stock.

Before Etsy, Ebay was the leading place to buy handmade and refurbished items online. To this day, Ebay still has a wide selection of items. Since many items on Ebay are auctioned, you also have the potential of winning a bid at a low price.

A third option would be to seek out the hundreds of small furniture shops online. A benefit or seeking out the manufacturer directly is that you get a chance to learn about the product and ask about customization.

Those are just some of the ways to find unique, handmade furniture for your home. Remember to be patient and to ask questions while furniture shopping to make sure you find the perfect fit for your room.





Posted by Mark Maraglia on 1/4/2018

It's probably safe to assume that at some point in our lives we have looked at a room in a magazine and wished our own home could look just like that. Unlike magazines, however, we don’t have the luxury of having a professional design team putting in hours of their time to make each room on our house look perfectly put together. However, we still find ourselves wishing ours could look just a little bit more polished like the ones in the glossy pages lining drugstore shelves. Below are some tips you can use to add a designer’s touch to your own home without having to hire one: Three's a charm - choose three colors and/or shades you will use throughout the room. You will want one as your main color, one as an accent and another for a minor accent. If you tend to be drawn to all warm or cool shades, use the opposite tone as an accent color to restore balance to your color palette. Texture - mixing up textures will add more depth and visual interest to your room. Fur, tufting, velvet, tile and wood-grain and wainscotting are all classic ways to add texture to a room Balance - strike a balance within your room by mixing large and small or bulky and delicate furniture together. By mixing pieces with varying structures your room will feel less cookie cutter and more curated. It's all in the details - bowls, baskets, and trays throughout a room add a thoughtful touch while offering alternative storage. Added bonus: this is also a great way to add more texture to a room. Get artsy - adding unique artwork to a room adds the professional touch you are looking for. This can easily be done at home and even a project that can be done with children. All you need is some paint and a few canvases to paint abstract shapes on to. Everything in its place - avoid clutter taking over counters by giving everything a dedicated place. Homes in magazines spreads have the upper hand in that they are not actually lived in. Having a day of the week where you go through your home to ensure everything is either in its assigned place or given one will guarantee a neater, tidier home over time. The finishing touch - fresh-cut flowers add that certain something to a room. You are sure to find them in any given room found in the pages of a magazine. If your room seems to be missing something and you can't quite put your finger on it, a floral bouquet is probably the finishing touch you're looking for. While a perfect home can't be guaranteed, after all, we live in the real world and not one curated for a photo shoot, there are steps you can take to replicate those found in the glossy pages of magazines. Whether you switch up your furniture pieces to include a variety of shapes or add a DIY abstract painting you can easily add a designer touch to your own home!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Maraglia on 10/27/2016

A home with a small bathroom is a major turn-off for some potential home buyers. However, the reason they are displeased usually isn't about the size of the room itself, it's not being able to fit the features they want inside the room. Considering how many large objects are usually in bathrooms, you would think they would contain a lot of square footage. That's not the case, however, with many smaller homes. In this article we'll go over some tips for making the most of the space in your small bathroom, allowing you to fit more inside without making the room a claustrophobic nightmare.

Vertical space...

Use it. Most people forget that they're only using about half the the space around the perimeter of their bathroom. You can install shelving that extends over your toilet or along the top of one of the walls to store things like towels and extra rolls of toilet paper. Installing a large mirror with storage cabinets is another great way to take advantage of vertical space. You'll get extra storage, save floor space, and create the illusion of openness by having a large mirror in the room.

Sink space savers

The space around bathroom sinks is seldom used to its fullest potential. If you have a wall mounted sink you can install a rack underneath to hold towels, mouth wash, or other bulky items. If possible, use a rectangular shaped sink and mount it in the corner of the room. Narrower sinks open up more floor space, as does keeping it off to the corner.

Omit the tub

I've had an unopened container epsom salt sitting in my closet for years. I've been saying that I'll use the next time I take a bath, but who knows when that will be. If having a bath tub isn't necessary for you, go with a bathroom design that utilizes a stand-up shower instead of a bath tub.

Reach deep with sliding drawers

Instead of reaching behind boxes of Q-Tips and bottles of shampoo just to get your mouth wash, install sliding drawers that bring everything within reach. You can utilize a sliding drawer in any vacant corners or spaces in your room. Are there a few inches between your toilet and the wall? It might be a good place to install an extra storage unit that slides out.

Prepare your battle station

Kitchen design takes advantage of several space-saving and convenient decorating techniques that are often left out of the bathroom. Instead of stuffing your hair dryer and curling iron into a drawer or leaving them on the counter, install a holster rack designed just for those tools. Many good chefs keep their knives stuck to a magnet over the counter. You can utilize this technique in the bathroom as well. If you don't want to have your tweezers hanging on your wall for everyone to see, install the magnetic strip behind your mirror to keep them out of sight.    







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