PHYLLIS DIBLASI | Sarasota Real Estate, Longboat Key Real Estate, Siesta Key Real Estate


There’s a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.

 In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.

 In today’s article, we’re going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.

Low ceiling? No problem

Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.

Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.

Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.

Making small rooms feel larger

If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that don’t involve throwing out your belongings.

First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.

Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.

Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.

The size of decorations matter

There’s a rule in interior decorating called the “cantaloupe rule.” It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.

However, that doesn’t mean this rule can’t be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.  

Create a color palette

When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.

Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they aren’t too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.

If you aren’t sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.


After you add your house to the real estate market, it may be only a matter of days before you receive the first offer on your residence.

Ultimately, the initial offer on your home may prove to be the best proposal for a number of reasons, including:

1. The offer matches or exceeds your expectations.

An informed home seller understands the condition of his or her house, and as such, sets realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

For a home seller, it is paramount to conduct a home appraisal before you list your residence. With this appraisal, you can learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses and price your house accordingly.

Furthermore, a home appraisal will help you understand the true value of your home. And if you receive an initial offer that matches or surpasses your expectations, you should have no trouble accepting the proposal and moving forward with a home sale.

2. The offer corresponds to the current state of the real estate market.

Operating in a buyer's market is far different from operating in a seller's market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of high-quality houses and a shortage of property buyers. This means a buyer's market typically favors property buyers over property sellers.

On the other hand, a seller's market usually favors property sellers. This market includes many property buyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. Thus, the likelihood of receiving a terrific first offer may increase in a seller's market and decrease in a buyer's market.

As a home seller, it is essential to allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the housing market. If you understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market, you can identify a great initial offer on your house.

3. The offer is a must-accept in the eyes of your real estate agent.

When it comes to selling a house, it often is a wonderful idea to work with a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional may prove to be a difference-maker at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will help you list your residence, promote it to potential homebuyers and set up home showings and open houses. That way, he or she can make it easy for you to generate substantial interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. This housing market professional will help you differentiate between a mediocre initial offer and a stellar one and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.

Lastly, be sure to analyze the initial offer on your home closely before you accept it. By taking a diligent approach to this home proposal, you can evaluate the pros and cons of it and make the best possible decision based on your individual needs.


If you are in hot pursuit of your dream home, it is important to do everything you can to gain a leg up on the competition. That way, you can acquire your ideal residence as quickly as possible.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you gain a competitive advantage over your homebuying rivals.

1. Keep Track of the Local Housing Market

The top houses sell immediately, and as such, you may need to act fast to find and purchase your dream residence. If you keep track of the local housing market, however, you will be better equipped than other buyers to instantly acquire a house that suits you perfectly.

Monitor the housing market in cities and towns where you want to reside. Then, if you find a house you may want to buy, don't hesitate to set up a showing. And if you like what you see, you should submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Entering the housing market with pre-approval for a mortgage usually is a good idea. Because if you know how much you can spend on a residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. Find out what mortgage options are available, and learn how different types of home financing work. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to begin your house search with a budget in hand.

Of course, if you have any concerns or questions about home financing, you should address them right away. If you speak with mortgage specialists at a bank or credit union, you can get the insights you need to make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who is shopping for a residence in a fierce housing market. Typically, a real estate agent will work with a buyer to craft an in-depth property buying strategy. A real estate agent and homebuyer then will work together to put this plan into action and streamline the property buying journey.

In addition, a real estate agent offers guidance at each stage of the homebuying cycle. He or she first will help you hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns. A real estate agent next will keep you informed about houses that become available that match your homebuying criteria. If you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit an aggressive property buying proposal. And if your offer to buy a home is accepted, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to finalize your house purchase.

As you get ready to pursue your dream residence, you should devote plenty of time and resources to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prep for the homebuying journey, gain a competitive advantage over rival buyers and accelerate your house search.


Before you sell your home, you may want to invest in property upgrades. That way, you can enhance your residence both inside and out and boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider prior to investing in home improvements. These questions include:

1. Which home improvements should I prioritize?

It may be beneficial to have a professional home inspector evaluate your residence. Because if you receive a home inspection report, you can learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps most important, you can use this report to establish home improvement priorities.

There is no shortage of qualified home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. If you reach out to a home inspector today, you can take the first step to identify and address various problems throughout your house.

2. How much should I spend on home improvements?

Although you would like to improve your residence as much as possible, there is only a finite amount of money at your disposal to allocate to property improvements. If you create a home improvement budget, however, you may be better equipped than ever before to get the most out of your available funds.

Also, it is important to remember that some home improvements are quick and simple to complete. If you can perform home upgrades on your own, you may be able to save money in comparison to hiring a professional contractor to complete these tasks for you.

3. How much time should I commit to home improvements?

Think about when you want to list your home. Next, you can craft a home improvement timeline that allows you to determine which property upgrades you want to complete and when you want to finish these projects.

Generally, it is helpful to give yourself as much time as you can to perform home improvements. And if you have sufficient time to complete home upgrades, you'll ensure that these tasks are always finished correctly.

As you get ready to list your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can examine your house and offer home improvement recommendations and suggestions. Furthermore, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home improvement professionals in your area.

A real estate agent provides comprehensive assistance throughout the property selling journey as well. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to the right groups of buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this homebuying proposal and determine the best course of action.

Ready to transform your ordinary home into an attractive option for buyers? Allocate time and resources to perform home improvements – you'll be glad you did. If you upgrade your residence, you can show off the true beauty of your house and increase the likelihood of a successful property selling experience.


Buying a condo may seem like an uphill climb, particularly for those who are browsing the real estate market for the first time. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding the right condo.

What does it take to locate a high-quality condo at an affordable price? Here are three tips that every first-time condo buyer needs to know.

1. Explore a Wide Range of Condos

The real estate market is filled with many first-rate condos, and the sheer volume of properties that are available may feel overwhelming at times. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to find a condo that suits you perfectly.

Don't be afraid to check out several condos over the course of a few days or weeks. By doing so, you can better understand what you'd like to find in the ideal condo.

Of course, if you fall in love with a condo, you should be ready to submit an offer. That way, you can avoid the risk of missing out on a great condo that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Determine How You'll Pay for a Condo

Many property buyers get pre-approved for a mortgage, and for good reason. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly what you can afford as you review the real estate market.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to provide you with multiple mortgage options and respond to your financing concerns and queries.

Also, keep in mind that the price of a condo may extend beyond your monthly mortgage payments.

In many instances, condo communities have homeowners' associations (HOAs) in place that will charge monthly fees. Learn about any HOA fees in advance, and you'll know exactly what you'll need to pay each month to live in a particular condo community.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

No one should be forced to evaluate condos on their own. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to streamline the process of finding a terrific condo.

A real estate agent with condo experience understands the hurdles that may arise during a condo search. As such, he or she will do whatever it takes to ensure you can get the best results possible as you look for the perfect condo.

For instance, a real estate agent will set up condo showings and keep you up to date about open houses. This real estate professional will even negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf, which means you won't have to worry about breaking your budget to purchase a stellar condo.

Employing a real estate agent enables you to get expert advice at each stage of the condo buying process too. Thus, you can receive instant responses to your condo buying questions at any time.

Simplify the process of buying your first condo – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a superb condo at a budget-friendly price.




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