Daydreaming About a House

I've been driving the same route to work for the last two years. About a year ago, the yard next to a house became a construction site. I didn't realize that it was large enough for a home, but a foundation was poured, framing went up, and a house began to emerge from the lot. The house was finished in the spring and a "for sale" sign appeared. I didn't realize it was a spec home, but it looks like that is the case.

Being curious, I took a look at the listing on the MLS. The 6000+ square foot home has 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and was originally on the market for around $2.5 million (the price was dropped a little bit since then). Looking at the MLS photos, I started to think about how I would change the home. I'm curious about your opinions...

The Exterior

The first thing I would do is paint the garage structure to match the home. The house is beige and the garage is gray. At first, I thought the garage might belong to the house behind the one that's for sale.

I would also have the arcs above the third-story windows match the one over the front door. I like the warmth of the wood and it would look nice repeated. I might also add shutters to the first and second story windows.

The backyard is cute and could look welcoming with a simple outdoor dining set and a couple loungers. Some landscaping could draw attention away from the utility boxes.

The railings on either side of the front could be a little more substantial to hold up the planters hung there. Or, the rail planters could be removed and the flowers could be put in the urns.

The First Floor

The first floor windows are great - almost floor to ceiling! I think white paint on the ceiling might bounce the light around a little more. I might also lighten the floors and go with classic, white trim. With over 6000 square feet in the home, these rooms are obviously large, but they feel dark and closed in.

I wish the agent had moved the painting gear before taking the photos. It's a little distracting.

I'm not sure what rooms follow...they could be the dining room, an office, or a first floor bedroom. For a home with a $2.5 million price tag, I'd invest in some more purposeful staging of these spaces. 

Dear agent, please delete the fuzzy picture! 

The Basement 

This wine room is really specific...I'm sure the iron doors cost a bit, but I would switch them out for something simple so it could be a closet. The racks don't seem built into the space, so the room could be storage.

There seem to be so many different kinds of lighting in this home. Style-wise, I would switch to metal fixtures and ban the inexpensive "boob lights" from the home.

The Bathrooms

Pet peeve: beige, "Flip This House" tile. I also noticed that the shower heads aren't mounted at a consistent height in each bathroom. For a high-end listing, I'd expect marble bathrooms and high-end plumbing fixtures, towel bars, and lighting.

This bathroom is in the basement, so maybe that's why the style is a complete departure from the ones above. I'd simplify the vanity and go with a classic color scheme.

The Third Floor

The windows make me I think these next few pictures are of the third floor. Again, some staging could show off how large this floor is.

The Master Suite

Now we move to the master bedroom suite. I don't think this closet is one I'd expect to see in a $2 million home.  

The master bathroom is huge! I'd love to have this kind of space, but I would completely change the colors and finishes to be more cohesive. The wood in here is too heavy for my taste. The lighting seems oddly placed and the mirrors are just three slabs. I would have gone with a seamless mirror and mounted scones on the mirror to throw light around a bit.

The bathtub feels a little random in the corner. I'd borrow space from the massive shower and give that tub it's own space.

It seems like the far wall is painted the same gray as the trim and the rest of the room is beige. I'd go with classic, white paint. The white tub (along with the toilet and bidet) looks odd against this paint.

This picture of the shower doesn't show any fixtures, but I would expect to see a rain showerhead, handshower, and body sprays. The tile looks like floor tile to me...I'd go with large, marble tiles.
I love the idea of a beverage center in the master bedroom! If that is what the niche below is to be, I would put a coffee maker on the self instead of the microwave. I'm confused by what is going on at the top of the niche. The exposed hinges on what looks like a sideways cabinet door with the arch sunk into the niche looks strange to me.

I'm not a huge fan of tray ceilings, so this master isn't my favorite. I would add recessed lights and a chandelier instead of a ceiling fan. A little staging would help, too.

The Kitchen

I saved the kitchen for last. I think the dark colors are making this kitchen feel small. The oversized bar chairs dwarf the island, too (and why are they green with floral cushions?). If this room is large enough to warrant a main sink and a prep sink, the colors and staging are hurting it. The light fixture is also a pot rack, but it is hung so high that I don't think the average person could use it. The recessed lights seem randomly placed.

From this angle, we can see that there are two dishwashers in the kitchen. Doesn't it look like the dishwashers are wider than the farm sink? I think something funny is going on with these photos. 

I can't help but wonder if this house will sell this way. At the very least, I think some better pictures and staging are needed. Ultimately, I think changing the color scheme and some of the fixtures would help. There's a home just down the street from this about the same size and a little lower in price. A lot of the details are the same, so I wonder if the homes have the same builder.


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