HOOKED ON HOUSES: An Artist’s Bold and Colorful House in Austin

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An Artist’s Bold and Colorful House in Austin

by hookedonhouses on September 22, 2011

After seeing countless gray and white rooms in magazines and around the blogosphere this year, artist Elizabeth Chapin’s colorful house in Austin really woke me up. You can tell that a bold and creative person lives here, and that she treats her rooms like an extension of her art.

She lives here with her husband Nathaniel and two children. I imagine she’s a fun mom.

You don’t see a pink and orange kitchen very often!

She describes her style to Apartment Therapy as “Ramshackle granny farmhouse goes to the beach with Kelly Wearstler.” Ha. Love that.

If the color of this bathroom didn’t wake you up in the morning, I don’t know what would:

My daughter Lily loved this house, but she really flipped when she saw this pink bedroom with the canopy bed and the big doll house in front of it:

Could you handle this much color in your house? I couldn’t, but I think Chapin’s sense of creative fun is inspiring. I could use a little more of that spirit of adventure in my decorating.

Read the interview for more details and see many more photos of her house at Apartment Therapy. Visit Elizabeth Chapin’s website for more information about her artwork. Thanks to Gayle at Vintage Farmhouse for bringing it to my attention.

Hooked on Non-Gray Rooms?

You might also like:
Purple Reigns: A Colorful House in Australia
Decorating With Your Kids’ Artwork
Before & After: A White Kitchen Gets a Colorful Makeover

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in home, Just for Fun, Photographs, Real Estate, Remodeling, Staging | Tagged , , , , , ,

ON THE LEVEL: Finding Solutions for your Storage Needs

Here is another helpful and informative article from Hibbard Construction‘s Newsletter, “On The Level”

Is the solution to your storage problem consist of adding shelves, installing cabinets, and buying wardrobes and armoires?  Well that might be a temporary fix, but the best way to address your storage issues is when you are remodeling your home.

Adequate storage in the home has become a hot topic among designers and remodelers recently.  More and more clients are finding themselves squeezed into homes with smaller square footage and lacking adequate storage space for todays active family lifestyle.

Rest assured there are ways to gain extra storage space that you didn’t even know you had, and the cost of doing it wont break the bank!

Build High Ceilings

If you can’t build out, try going up! Tall ceilings can be used to gain more storage in several rooms. In your closets, higher shelves can be placed above your normal rod for items that are seasonal. Kitchens and Great Rooms can also benefit from higher ceilings because taller cabinets can be installed. Don’t forget the open area above the wall cabinets, which can house anything from a basket of books to speakers.

Add Space in the Walls

Have a recessed cabinet installed! Recessed cabinets are designed to fit between the 16” studs found in most homes. A recessed cabinet can be installed in just a few hours and designed to match the trim already in your home.  Recessed cabinets come in an array of types and styles. Price and quality of materials vary, but the goal is the same: Utilize that space inside your wall.

Add Storage Under the Stairs

If you have stairs, putting deep drawers or cabinet style doors on the side can help you get the most use out of an otherwise waste of space.  You will be surprised at the amount of storage available when you utilize this area.

Plan for Attic Storage

If you are going to have a steep roof or have one already, take advantage of this extra storage space. When you build, make sure the ceiling joists are sized large enough to carry any extra load created from your storage items. ONE TIP – If you install “real” stairs instead of pull down stairs, getting those Christmas decorations down every year will be much easier!

Create Built-in Seating

A mudroom is the perfect place for built-in seating. If you build the seating with a hinged top or deep drawers, you get the perfect place to store your shoes. In a bedroom, you have the perfect place to read a book and hide extra blankets at the same time.

Add an Island

Islands can be great in a kitchen for extra storage, but have you tried one on wheels? If you need more room in the kitchen, you simply roll it out of the way. Have you thought about an island in your closet? If you have a large walk-in closet, why not take advantage of that extra floor space? A small island makes a perfect place for extra storage and you may be able to free up some floor space in your bedroom by not having an extra dresser.

Don’t Skimp on the Garage

With the popularity of SUVs and mini vans, it is important you make sure your new garage will be big enough to hold the family car. For example, the GMC Yukon has a length of 198.9 inches and the Yukon XL has a length of 219.3 inches. If you plan on walking around it after you park, that garage had better be deeper than 20 feet.

An over sized garage will also allow for shelving units to be installed.  This will give you an abundance of storage for your seasonal decorations, camping equipment, and lawn and garden supplies.

All in all, there are numerous ways to gain more storage.  It just takes some creativity and a contractor who can help you identify ways to utilize the space you didn’t know you had!

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Build Your Custom Home, Buyers, Holidays, home, Home Improvement, New Construction, Real Estate, Remodeling, Save Money, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Creative Home Staging: Here’s a FUN idea from Hooked on Houses!

We all know that staging a home is a great way to showcase the house in a postive light…but here is a new take on it. Take a look at the early ’60s motif they decided to use to stage this home located in Georgia. It must have worked…the $300,000 home is now under contract.

What era would best describe your home?

Staging a Mid-Century Modern House the Don Draper Way

by hookedonhouses on June 21, 2011












Maybe the real estate agent had been watching too many episodes of “Mad Men” when she listed this cool mid-century modern house in Georgia because the staging seems to have been inspired by Don and Betty Draper. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.

Welcome to our mid-century home, built in 1960. It has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a $300,000 listing price. One of our favorite things to do is to sit on the sofa and look out our big picture window in the living room.

All that’s missing from these photos is the cigarette smoke…

Based on a photo of the Realtor, I think she may be the one playing Betty.

Is that Sterling Cooper calling? I hope pretend Don Draper doesn’t have to “work late” again (we all know what working late at that ad agency really entails!).

The pretend DD spends a lot of time on the phone…

And the pretend BD is getting a little fed up with it.

This house is really fabulous. I love the ceilings and those huge windows. Also love that she’s vacuuming that small skin rug in a dress, an apron, and heels. Ah, the good old days!

Thankfully, they chose not to stage the bathroom…

Agents have been getting pretty creative with their listings in order to grab our attention lately, and it’s working! We’ve also seen house tours given by a drunk doll, a couple of vases filled with flowers, and even a lime.

Check the listing for the rest of the photos and more information about the house.

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Curb Appeal, home, Modern, Photographs, Real Estate, Sell, Sellers, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VIRTUAL TOUR: Downtown Coeur d’Alene Bungalow

Downtown Artisan Showpiece!
Just a block to Lake Coeur d’Alene & close to eclectic resort/shopping district of Coeur d’Alene.

This OH-SO-CHIC classic bungalow features a Granite Kitchen, built-in cabinetry, & Hardwood flooring. Sunlight splatters a rainbow kaleidoscope throughout this customized cottage from Stained Glass Living, Dining, Master Bed & Master Bath windows. This property features a separate detached  Studio/Office /2nd Bedroom & Covered Patio with Spa/Hot Tub. Gas Stove & Central Air for year-round comfort. With its downtown location, luxe amenities & curb appeal (aided by a shake roof & redwood siding) you may never want to leave.

A true artisan showpiece!

Call Christy Oetken

Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty



Check it out at


or Text 11ST to 72727 for more information

Posted on June 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene Listings, Curb Appeal, Downtown, home, Idaho, Kootenai County, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Our Listings, Photographs, Real Estate, Shopping, Staging, Virtual Tour, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MODERN MARVEL: Price Reduced on Coeur d’Alene Luxury View Estate

Modern Luxury Home on 10.5 Acre View Estate

Contemporary View Estate on 10.5 Acres

Don’t let the sleek lines deceive you! This Contemporary Luxury home, by Award-Winning Architect Gordon Longwell and crafted by Ginno Construction, is anything but SIMPLE.

Smart-design and State-of-the-Art Amenities unpretentiously defer to the true show-stopper of this Modern Marvel: an astounding VIEW.

Almost every space in 4200 square feet feature huge windows to take in that Top of the World vista. Enjoy nature’s splendour from the Main Level Great Room area with Gourmet Kitchen & minimalist wood-burning Vortex Fireplace. Or from the spacious Master Suite with private Deck access & heated tile bathroom flooring.

You might decide to relocate your business to this private estate, because the lower level, which also features that panoramic vista, includes climate-controlled computer room & all the hi-tech office accommodations you may possibly need.

A very large shop is ready for all the latest of computerized equipment and vehicles, in addition to the drive-through 6 Car garage that already accompanies the house.

This estate is located on
10.5 private acres above the Spokane River,
very close to city amenities.

With meadows of lush green grass this property is great for horses, too.

NOW $779,000


Call Christy Oetken

 of Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty today:


Check it out at


Take a Virtual Tour!  Visit http://www.5267whighlanddrive.com/

Posted on June 23, 2011 at 11:47 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Acreage, Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene Listings, home, Kootenai County, Luxury, Our Listings, Photographs, Premier Property, Premier Property, Price Reduction, Pricing, Real Estate, Save Money, Staging, Virtual Tour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ON THE LEVEL: 12 Popular Kitchen Trends for 2011


Here are some popular kitchen trends for new or remodeled kitchens this year, from our friends at Hibbard Construction.

Popular Trends to Consider

Maximize food prep and dining space. Dual islands, tiered islands and island/peninsula combinations provide space for preparing meals, dining and storage. Pull-out cutting boards and tables can also help to extend food prep space.

Plan functional storage space. Kitchen storage details are important. Add pull-outs to ease organization of your dishes, pots, pans and bake wear. Pull-out pantry units organize cans and dry goods. Drawer storage is the key for keeping utensils in their place.

Use cabinets to create interest in the kitchen. A trend that we’re seeing more in homes is the use of two tone cabinetry in the kitchen. For example, white cabinetry may be installed around the perimeter of a kitchen and dark wood-stain cabinets are used for an island or peninsula. Add glass door cabinets to quickly spot items stored and for display. Open-shelving can be added to your cabinet configuration for both display and storage.

Add under-counter appliances for convenience. Microwave ovens, wine coolers, small refrigerators for beverages and additional cold storage and drawer dishwashers add function to a kitchen. Think about “universal design” when installing appliances for convenience, and place appliances where they can be accessed by all users.

Think “Green”. A simple way of helping the environment is to purchase Energy Star appliances. If you’re interested in a “green kitchen” consider using sustainable products like bamboo flooring, concrete counters, recycled glass back splash areas and recycled wood.

Add a backsplash. Glass tiles, especially those made from recycled glass, are being used more in kitchens for an easy to clean aesthetic backsplash behind sink and stove areas. Backsplashes are also made of solid surface materials, porcelain tiles, laminate and metal. Plan your backsplash to accentuate your style – modern, traditional, cottage, country, Tuscan, or eclectic.

Consider crown molding. Adding crown molding to a kitchen provides a “finished” look to cabinetry. Also, it adds architectural interest to the space.

Combine your kitchen and dining room areas. A dining room is often one of the least used rooms in a home. If your floor plan permits, tear down a wall that separates a kitchen from a dining room. This will open up the space and add function to your home. The expanded space may allow you to add more storage to the kitchen or even an office area.

Trends in Decorating Your Kitchen

Kitchen Lighting. The latest lighting trends this year will include statement lighting and hidden lighting fixtures. Your new kitchen should receive enough natural light during the daytime. You might want to consider the installation of additional windows or perhaps a skylight to make this part of your home sunnier and inviting. Artificial lighting will continue to be hot this year as recessed lights and track lighting fixtures over sinks and cabinets create that soothing glow. Statement lighting fixtures will also make it big this year. Pendant lighting items or chandeliers in wrought bronze, iron and other deco styles will make for a brighter kitchen and, at the same time, add a touch of elegance and glamour. Lampshades are also getting into the kitchen scene this year. Select lampshades with bold colors or graphic prints to make this lighting centerpiece stand out from the rest. This works best for white or neutral colored kitchens.

Kitchen Décor Gets More Natural This Year.

The use of natural materials such as granite, bamboo, or hardwood, is the materials of choice this year. More and more homeowners are shifting away from synthetic materials and stainless steel. From their lighting fixtures, cabinets, kitchen counters, and other accessories, natural materials are the preference. These natural materials not only create a warmer and more inviting space, but they are also more sustainable and durable.

Glass is also slowly making its way into many kitchens this 2011. Glass tiled backsplashes and glass cook tops are expected to dominate this year’s market. Glass tiles are easier to clean, replace and come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Moreover, glass containers, glass spice jars and glass water containers, will also remain in the trend as they more durable and airtight.

Color Trends Will Turn Up the Heat.

This year’s color trends will be bold and spicy. Think faded copper, burnt oranges, mottled reds, rich coffee, buttery yellows, warm cinnamon, punchy apricots, and other rich tones. These fiery yet subtle hues will add comfort and depth into your kitchen area. Warm colors also help stimulate appetites. If you are not that into red hues, then try to go for plumy purples, soft greens and even soft pinks.

Contrast is also a big thing for kitchen colors this year.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 6:00 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Build Your Custom Home, Buyers, home, Home Improvement, New Construction, Photographs, Real Estate, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On The Level: Clever Christmas Card Display

This idea is from our friends at Hibbard Construction:

Fun and decorative, this is a great way to display your Christmas cards.  Use two-inch wide ribbon with the wire in it.  Tie a bow at one end and use a push pin or tack to affix the bow to the top of the window frame.  Gently pull ribbon taught and using a push pin or tack secure the ribbon to the bottom of the window frame.  As your Christmas Cards arrive, use a straight pin or staple to attach the cards to your ribbon.

Posted on December 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Activities, Holidays, home, Idaho, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Most Bang for Your Buck: Replace the Front Door in 2011!

Daily Real Estate News  |  December 16, 2010  |  

Owners Recoup More with Exterior Home Projects
As part of the 2010-11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, Realtors® recently rated exterior replacement projects among the most cost-effective home improvement projects, demonstrating that curb appeal remains one of the most important aspects of a home at resale time.

“This year’s Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report highlights the importance of exterior projects, which not only provide the most value, but also are among the least expensive improvements for a home,” said National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “Since resale value can vary by region, it’s smart for home owners to work with a Realtor®through the remodeling and improvement process; they can provide insight into projects in their neighborhoods that will recoup the most when the owners are ready to sell.”

Nine of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects. The steel entry door replacement remained the project that returned the most money, with an estimated 102.1 percent of cost recouped upon resale; it is also the only project in this year’s report that is expected to return more than the cost. The midrange garage door replacement, a new addition to the report this year, is expected to recoup 83.9 percent of costs. Both projects are small investments that cost little more than $1,200 each, on average. Realtors® identified these two replacements as projects that can significantly improve a home’s curb appeal.

Curb appeal remains king – it’s the first thing potential buyers notice when looking for a home, and it also demonstrates pride of ownership,” said Phipps.

The 2010-11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compares construction costs with resale values for 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 80 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the 13th consecutive year that the report, which is produced by Remodeling magazine publisher Hanley Wood, LLC, was completed in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine.

Realtors® provided their insight into local markets and buyer home preferences within those markets. Overall, Realtors® estimated that home owners would recoup an average of 60 percent of their investment in 35 different improvement projects, down from an average of 63.8 percent last year. Remodeling projects, particularly higher cost upscale projects, have been losing resale value in recent years because of weak economic conditions.

According to the report, replacement projects usually outperform remodel and addition projects in resale value because they are among the least expensive and contribute to curb appeal. Various types of siding and window replacement projects were expected to return more than 70 percent of costs. Upscale fiber-cement siding replacement was judged by Realtors® the most cost effective among siding projects, recouping 80 percent of costs. Among the window replacement projects covered, upscale vinyl window replacements were expected to recoup the most, 72.6 percent upon resale. Another exterior project, a wood deck addition, tied with a minor kitchen remodel for the fourth most profitable project recouping an estimated 72.8 percent of costs.

The top interior projects for resale value included an attic bedroom and a basement remodel. Both add living space without extending the footprint of the house. An attic bedroom addition costs more than $51,000 and recoups an estimated 72.2 percent nationally upon resale; a basement remodel costs more than $64,000 and recoups an estimated 70 percent. Improvement projects that are expected to return the least are a midrange home office remodel, recouping an estimated 45.8 percent; a backup power generator, recouping 48.5 percent; and a sunroom addition, recouping 48.6 percent of costs.

Although most regions followed the national trends, the regions that consistently were estimated to return a higher percentage of remodeling costs upon resale were the Pacific region of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington; the West South Central region of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas; the East South Central region of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee; and the South Atlantic region of the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The regions where Realtors® generally reported the lowest percentage of costs recouped were New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), and Middle Atlantic (New York and Pennsylvania).

“It’s important to remember that the resale value of a particular improvement project depends on several factors,” said Phipps. “Things such as the home’s overall condition, availability and condition of surrounding properties, location and the regional economic climate contribute to an estimated resale value. That’s why it is imperative to work with a Realtor®who can provide insight and guidance into local market conditions whether you’re buying, selling or improving a home.”

Results of the report are summarized in the January issue of REALTOR® Magazine. To read the full project descriptions, access national and regional project data, and download a free PDF containing data for any of the 80 cities covered by the report, visit www.costvsvalue.com.

Source: NAR


Posted on December 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Curb Appeal, home, Home Improvement, Market News, Market Value, Sell, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Crafty Ideas for Winter Curb Appeal: Home & Design: REALTOR® Magazine

We can’t help it!  It’s December 6 and Christmas is in the air!

Randy and Christy spent most of yesterday afternoon “sprucing” up some holiday pine swags (pun intended!) to deliver to clients who just purchased new homes. 

Since we’re in full Decorating Swing for the holidays, we thought we’d just pass along a few tips we learned yesterday afternoon.

It’s E-A-S-Y to make your own holiday swag, especially in our part of the world.  In fact, you may have all the materials you need in and around your home already.

Of course, this time of year, real (or “genuine imitation”) pine boughs, wreaths and swags are available almost anywhere – even in some grocery stores.  We suggest that you may save some $ by looking in your own yard.  Perhaps you have a tree or evergreen that could use a bit of trimming anyway!

Same goes for pine cones.  After you find them on your property, decorate with spray glitter or flocking material or maybe even a light dusting of white or metallic spray paint.

Next, raid your holiday wrapping center for ribbon, raffia, or bows, themed “picks” & ornaments to adorn your handiwork.  Get creative! Use your imagination and ingenuity to give your wreath or swag your personal touch.

We suggest using green florist’s wire to secure the pine boughs together into a pleasing arrangement.  Wired ribbon makes for quick and beautiful bows.  Other “mechanics” include use of glue guns and ornament hooks.

Keep in mind that decorating with evergreens is perfect any time of year.  If you’re careful with theme and colors, your handiwork could serve your outdoor decor needs well past the holiday season.

In the real estate business, we call furnishings and decor “staging”.  We all like to “stage” our homes for those ideal Christmas and New Year parties, for sure.  But have you thought about how to best stage your property to make it attractive for potential buyers?

As an Accredited Staging Professional, Christy Oetken can help you make the most of your home’s floor plan, color scheme, furnishings, and decor.  Put her to work for you today!

For other ideas on maximizing your property’s Curb Appeal during the Holidays and beyond, visit

Crafty Ideas for Winter Curb Appeal: Home & Design: REALTOR® Magazine.

Happy Decorating!
Randy, Christy & “Browser”

p.s. This picture of Christy and “Browser” was taken at our Coeur d’Alene home, above Coeur d’Alene’s Bennett Bay.

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 10:29 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Posted in Activities, Browser, Coeur d'Alene, Free, home, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,