Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 11/25/2020

Photo by Muffin from Pexels

When you have a luxury home with impressive architectural features and landscaping, don’t let nighttime prevent you from showing it off. Landscape lighting provides a convenient way to draw attention to certain features of your home and yard when it’s dark out. This type of lighting can improve your home’s curb appeal while also highlighting specific aspects of its design. Keep the following tips in mind for accenting your home with landscape lighting. 

Choose the Right Type of Lighting

Landscape lights can serve different purposes and be installed in more than one type of area. Use path lights along pathways and other walkways, as well as in outdoor living spaces. Wall-mounted down lights can brighten up patios, decks and stairs, while in-ground lights can highlight landscape features. You can also use in-ground lights for pathways and outdoor living spaces. Accent lights and tree lights are ideal for showcasing architectural features and your front entrance. 

Decide on Lighting Methods

Using landscape lighting to accentuate your luxury home involves more than having these lights installed in certain areas. You can set up landscape lights to create certain visual effects, such as moonlight or silhouettes. For example, you can use in-ground lights or spotlights for uplighting trees and taller bushes and shrubs in your yard with a dramatic effect. Directional accent lights can be used for cross lighting to draw attention to an architectural feature or garden feature. If your property has a pool or water features, such as a fountain, you can use directional spotlights to create a mirror effect.

Select a Lighting Style

Landscape lights come in a wide range of styles. The style you choose for landscape lighting will depend on the style of your home and the overall look you want to create. For a more naturalistic look, choose rustic lights to highlight your home exterior and landscape features. If you want a more elegant or vintage look, choose traditional or antique landscape lights. You’ll also find landscape lighting in modern and contemporary styles if you’re aiming for a more streamlined or minimalist look. 

Determine the Ideal Illumination

When you’ve chosen the type and style of lights for your home and yard, you’ll need to decide on the amount and type of illumination to use. Cool white bulbs have a whitish-blue tint that might create an unflattering, harsh effect on your house and landscape features, especially if you use a higher wattage. Warm white bulbs produce more of a natural, yellowish glow that creates a pleasant and more flattering appearance. The ideal wattage you should use will vary based on the size and type of area you're illuminating and the type of lights you're using.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/11/2019

Nothing upgrades a wall like topping it off with beautiful crown molding. Whether youíre adding elegant curves, farmhouse-style flat-boards, or craftsman millwork, adding that crowning touch turns traditional walls into luxurious architectural statements. And donít forget the walls and baseboards, they deserve the royal touch as well.

Hire a pro or go it alone?

Installing crown molding might be daunting to a novice do-it-yourself-er, so use this guide to decide when you need a professional to do the deed: Are your walls uneven? Do they have lots of niches? Are there bay windows with odd angles? Does a sloping staircase cut into the ceiling? Is there an angled wall? Mitering corners and disguising uneven walls might be beyond you if youíre new, so consider getting a professional opinion on the effort it will take to complete the job. 

If you do decide to tackle it yourself, follow this shortlist of DIY methods to get the look you love.

  • When your walls or ceiling is crooked, irregular, or misaligned, instead of a single piece of molding, consider trimming the ceiling and wall first. Using this three-piece system, you can cover up or compensate for problematic walls. To accomplish this, youíll install thin flat molding along the ceiling creating a new straight line. Then, youíll do the same on the walls, joining them up at the corners. Now, with flat, straight, and even surfaces to work with, install the decorative crown molding to finish the room.
  • Farmhouse chic is a popular trend. To change up your builder grade home to give it that countryside casual, trade out the shallow standard baseboard for taller, flat-board versions. You don't have to purchase special molding, use thin pine boards (or faux paintable polyurethane versions) to give you the flat farmhouse look. Use the same molding at the ceiling and trim out at the top with either a convex or concave quarter round. Paint your trim in satin or try a distressed chalk-paint application to age it.
  • Speaking of farmhouse-style, extend the charm with beadboard. Milled sheets of wood or faux beadboard, cut to chair-rail or taller and topped with a flat pine board turn dull walls into lively conversation pieces.
  • Another option is board and batten. To create this charming finish, simply cut flat pine boards carefully to length and affix them to your walls at even intervals. Top mid-height versions with a slightly thicker trim board and paint boards and the wall in-between a heavy glossy finish.

No matter which look you choose, adding or upgrading the molding in your home gives it that unique character that either makes it all yours or sets it apart from the rest of the neighborhood. If youíre considering selling your home, be sure to have your real estate professional highlight these upgrades in your marketing.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 2/27/2019

Beginning a new habit, job, or task could be daunting. Your debut as a designer could even be frightening. However, like any other task, some tips help starters and experienced decorators alike.

Several tools aid in creating great designs, but often the whole design process is left to the designer to decide, and that could be hard for beginners. However, the tips below will help you when starting.

  • Keep it simple. Most beginners think their designs will make sense if they include all they know about designing into a project. However, results have shown that the opposite is the case. As much as possible, ensure that your designs are simple and carry the message for which you created them. That is what makes it a design, not clustered ideas.
  • Use colors wisely. Another problem most beginner designers fall into is using too many colors. Colors are a sensitive part of any design, and you should be careful in using them. Of course, you need colors in your plans, but use ones that are complementary with the general design. For instance, in choosing a color scheme, you don't need more than one to three primary colors and an additional one to three secondary colors that complement each other.
  • Create an order with alignment. Order is critical in design. So, don't create a project without ensuring it is properly in order through alignment where each item connects to the others. Using alignment makes sure that your design elements aren't scattered but relate well with each other.
  • Be creative and original. Creativity and originality are virtues that are must-haves in designing.
  • Ask for help. In any endeavor ones take up, some people started earlier of whom you can ask questions. These people have the experience, so when you run into a problem or are not sure about a thing, don't hesitate to ask questions.
  • Take a break. Designing takes a lot of mental energy, and you can feel drained after or during designing. When you do, ensure to take a break. Leave the design for a while, and take a break. You can see a movie before going back to it. By the time you are back, you will be fully refreshed to start all over again.

If you need professional help, your realtor may be able to make a referral.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 12/5/2018

Do the walls of your home ever feel bland and uninviting? What you need for your home is to add depth to the walls. Everything from the colors of the walls to what you place on them helps to give your rooms a feeling of sophisticated complexity. 


Try Using Contrast On Your Walls


If you choose a dark color for your walls, you can use bright colors as a contrast to bring out the prominent features of the room. 


Use Texture On Your Walls


You donít have to rely on paint to color your walls. Itís a good idea for you to use some tapestry or cloth and hang it on the walls to help add texture and depth to a room.


Reflect On The Room


Using mirrors can help to make any room appear bigger. Mirrors are deceiving in a way, but when placed strategically, they can really add a lot to a room. Allowing for reflections in the room also adds depth and a larger feeling to the space, 


DonĎt Make A Space Too Busy


Avoid using a lot of colors in a room. While contrasting colors add something special to a space, bright, mismatched colors will only make you dizzy. 


Make Use Of Tile


Particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, tile can help to add some depth to the space. Your kitchen can be painted a lovely color and finding tiles to match for a backsplash can really help the room to stand out. Even the color grout that you use can help add complexity to a room. If you have brick, wood, or any kind of stone present in a room, be sure to help those features stand out. The best way to approach design sometimes is to take what you see in nature and bring it into your space. From earth tones to highlighting the natural features in your home, you can really make your home feel well-rounded from the inside out. 


Try Painting The Walls Different Colors


Thereís no rule that says you need to paint a room all one color. Often, you can add a lot to a room just by having that one accent wall. Putting the piece of furniture that will be the focal point of the room on the accent wall can really bring out the features of the room. If your color scheme is leaning towards blues and whites, for example, paint each wall white except for one. Choose an alluring shade of blue for the accent wall. Be sure that your furniture matches with whatever wall color scheme that you choose as well.                 

Whether youíre recreating a room completely, or simply re-purposing what you have, itís easy to make your design work for you and provide complexity and depth.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 4/12/2017

Minimalism is everywhere lately, and itís no wonder why. With each of us cramming our days full of more and more tasks, buying larger houses, and being bombarded with advertisements for all of the things we need to fill those homes up with, it becomes apparent why many are turning to a simpler way of living. Or, at the very least, trying to cut down on the amount of stuff we own and have to keep track of.

Since our homes are where we keep all that stuff and where we spend the majority of our time, you can see how it becomes easy for homes to get cluttered and messy.

In this article, weíre going to talk about some of the reasons you might want to incorporate minimalist ideas into your home and give you some tips on how to go about simplifying your life at home.

Less clutter, less cleaning, more time

The obvious benefit of minimalism is that the fewer things you own, the fewer things you have to spend time taking care of. This goes for cleaning, maintaining, and storing. It might be tempting to buy the latest single-cup coffee maker, but do you really need another thing to take care of and find counter space for?

When it comes to cleaning, a minimal house is much easier to take care of. Fewer things to dust and wash means you can spend more time doing things you enjoy.

To illustrate how much easier it is to clean a minimal room than a cluttered one, just image how long it takes to mop the floors of an empty room compared to having to move or clean around furniture.

The same reasoning applies to mowing a lawn--itís easier to mow in a straight line that it is to have to carefully avoid objects strewn across your yard.

Easier to live in  

By nature, we are an animal that loves to be organized. We get frustrated when things arenít where we left them or when we forget where we put something we need. A minimal home takes away some of that frustration by allowing fewer opportunities to lose our keys or whatever else gets lost in the piles of clutter.

More welcoming to guests and more relaxing for us

Each of us has our own preferences when it comes to decorating. However, one thing that can be said about humans is that we tend to feel more relaxed when weíre not crowded by things or other people.

Similarly, itís easier for us to focus in environments that have fewer distractions. A minimal home office would ideally contain mostly just the necessities for whatever work you need to accomplish.

How to get started

Now that you know the benefits, here are some ways you can get started making your home more minimal.

To avoid taking on too large of a task at once, approach your home one room at a time. Take note of what is in that room and think back to the last time you used it. Does it serve a purpose? If the object is just for decoration, is it a decoration that you feel adds to the room or does it clutter it up too much?

By asking yourself these questions, you can begin to make your home a more relaxing, more welcoming environment for you and your guests.




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