Stage it With Shine: Add Some Bling to Your Spaces


By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Grays have been catching on in more interiors this year and so has the color’s “flashier cousin” – silver, which is becoming a popular accent color in 2014, according to the Paint Quality Institute’s latest color forecast. Silver is adding some sparkle to rooms, through shimmering fabrics and reflective glassware to even kitchen backsplashes and furniture.

Silver can be an attention-getting touch to liven up a space’s interior.

“Metal tiles gained popularity in the past decade or so with the explosion of stainless steel kitchen appliances, and stainless steel tiles were [and still are] great harmonizers,” writes Karen Egly Thompson, an interior design writer  and contributor for Houzz. “However, they’ve also made their way out of the kitchen – and all that glitters isn’t always stainless steel. Tiles are available in different metals, including bronze, copper, and titanium, as well as different surfaces, such as brushed, polished, and textured.”

HGTV devotes a web page for inspiration around the “heavy metal” look and how to mix the metal finishes in furniture, fabric, and lighting to add shine and texture to a space.

Metallic finishes are everywhere from metal-toned lamp shades to the detailing in fabrics and throw pillows. Brass is also making a comeback in the metal arena. But you might want to still hold off on swapping out all those light fixtures for brass and keep the trend reserved to accessories, for now. The trend is evident, though, as more accessories take on a vintage gold look, such as in mirror frames to gold curtain rods.

Some gold and silver touches may just be the modern touch to bring a room more up-to-date. For example, designer Laura Kirar describes a Corsage Vintage Brass Lamp to House Beautiful as not just a lamp accessory but  a “jewelry accent” to dress up a room.

You can also see the metallic trend popping up in more photos on Houzz. Here are a few.

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7 Tips to Stage Home


Land more listings with free info that shows sellers you know the best ways to make their home look irresistible to buyers.

Brand, print, and hand deliver to sellers a free article, 7 Tips for Staging Your Home, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the April “Set Yourself Up for a Summer Sale” article package. Share all five today.

Visit for more articles like this.


REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.

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Keep it Relevant in Content Marketing


Brandon Doyle

By Brandon Doyle

Content marketing is all about creating original content that the reader values. A lot of people go wrong by copying and pasting another person’s works, or just regurgitating what someone else has already said. It is important that what you talk about on your real estate blog or website is relevant to your reader, and to your overall goal of selling real estate. You could write about your favorite movies or recipes all day, but that will not help you sell homes.

Example of content marketing from my blog,

Here are a few ideas for reaching potential clients through content marketing:

  • Buyers want to read about different neighborhoods and what amenities certain areas have to offer. Schools are very important, so providing buyers with quick links to boundary maps and information about the different schools in the area is very helpful. You can pair this with a jump search you’ve created through your broker or IDX provider. This way, when buyers are searching for a particular elementary school, they’ll be able to find homes in that area.
  • Sellers want to know what techniques are important to selling their home in your area. If homes in a particular area are selling quickly and for more money, those home owners would be interested to read about it. Are you doing something different than your competitors to market properties? Write about it! Consumers are out there surfing the Web right now, and if you have original content to offer, they will want to read more.

Content marketing for real estate is a great way to capture the attention of both buyers and sellers before they enter the market place. Just remember to keep it relevant, local, and update your site regularly.

Brandon Doyle, ABR, e-PRO, is a second-generation real estate pro with Edina Realty in the Twin Cities. Learn more about Brandon at

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4 Hot Fireplace Trends


Photo Credit: Napoleon Fireplaces

Fireplaces often become the focal point of a room. New technological advances are allowing home owners to do a lot more with their fireplaces too, according to Napoleon Fireplaces, a manufacturer of wood and gas fireplaces and other household products.

“We’re seeing some very interesting home designs that incorporate fireplaces in many creative new ways,” says David Coulson with Napoleon Fireplaces. “While the traditional hearth will be a mainstay for many homes, modern fireplaces with crisp lines and glass frames will continue to rise in popularity with new homes and redesigned rooms. That being said we’re seeing several new trends emerge this season that are really changing the way people are thinking about fireplaces.”

Here are a few of the trends, according to Napoleon Fireplaces:

1. Modern: There’s been continued growth of sleek and modern fireplaces with clean, linear lines with less metal and more glass. Home owners want the full flame and don’t want black or chrome metal frames blocking the view or interfering with the lighting, according to the company.

2. Gas: These fireplaces continue to remain popular, offering that convenience of flicking a switch to turn on your fireplace and they’re known as being easier to clean and maintain.

3. Outdoor retreat: Some home owners are putting outdoor fireplaces in to create a backyard oasis, the company notes. “The idea of turning a backyard into another room of your house is fueling the outdoor fireplace trend,” according to Napoleon Fireplaces.


Photo credit: Napoleon Fireplaces

4. Higher up: Some consumers are putting their fireplaces higher up on the wall, just like a television. New technology is allowing home owners to insert enclosed gas fireplaces anywhere in the house. Some fireplaces are also going in more unusual places, like a kitchen or bathroom.

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Don’t Judge My Gen Y


Brooke Wolford

By Brooke Wolford

Over the last several years, real estate educators have really pushed that we, as an industry, need to do something special to deal with my generation. Most of these speakers are not part of Gen Y themselves, but they seem to think they know everything about us. And despite these teachings, I have rarely met someone who fits the stereotypical Millennial profile that they are describing.

Now, I could be completely wrong here, but I personally only know one person who lives in their parents’ basement. When I was in my early 20s, I was buying a home, getting married, and having babies – and guess what…I paid off all of my student loans within a year of graduating. What’s even funnier is every single person I knew was doing the same thing.  Even the younger Millennials I know still want the things I want. They want to purchase a home. They still want a family and all of the domestics that come along with it. But what I have found is that many of them just don’t know how to do it.

A perfect example is my little sister, who just graduated from college a little more than a year ago, and is writing her first offer on a house today. Not what you typically hear from real estate speakers, is it?

What’s true about Millennials is that they want to be heard. The problem is that nobody is listening. Here are some facts about my generation:

  • The majority of our parents were divorced. So we are cautious about who we marry because we want to create a good home for our children.
  • We are not lazy. We are exhausted. We have twice as many people to compete with for jobs, school, etc. We have to work at a pace that people like my grandmother think is insane. Our supposed entitlement stems from the fact that we really deserve something for all the things we do.
  • We crave work-life balance because we have watched our parents work themselves to death, thus ending up divorce and all us poor kids grew up in a broken home.
  • Yes, we have ADD, but we have twice as many people throwing some new thing at us. We can’t be on a social media site without someone spamming us. And because some expert marketing genius is telling everyone where to find us, it never ends.

If we haven’t purchased a home, it’s because everyone is “educating” us about how in debt we are and how unattainable home ownership is for us.

I could be completely wrong here. Maybe I am a member of some elite social circle that is different from the rest. Maybe it’s a Minnesota thing. But I look around to my fellow Millennials and I am amazed and, frankly, inspired. I’m still trying to find the entitled, lazy, and excessively in debt narcissist living in their parents’ basement playing video games. It’s just not happening.

Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn.  Follow her blog at

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