Brenda Cahoon - Burlington Ma Real Estate, Billerica MA Real Estate, Woburn MA Real Estate


Binge watching Fixer-Upper might leave you wondering where, in your locale, can you find you find those fantastic antiques and artwork without totally breaking the budget. Never feel, there are lots of options no matter where you live to add in some of those unique designer pieces.

Antique markets

Mastering the art of true antiquing is an expensive and time-consuming process. Training, research, practice, and pure luck stumbling on the perfect "find" might not be within your bailiwick. Wandering through local antique stores might leave you wondering how anyone affords this stuff. The antique mall, however, might be the ticket. A collection of small antique shops or stalls, you'll likely find better pricing there than a private antique store. That’s because two or more vendors may have the same or similar wares and they’re willing to haggle a bit to get your business.

Thrift stores

Bargains to be had at thrift stores are not just for lower-income households. Many thrift stores, especially those that benefit charitable causes, receive goods from upscale homes, leftovers from estate sales and the like. Are you looking for a collection of brass candlesticks? You'll probably score if you visit two or three thrift stores. It might take a little muscle to clean them up, but you'll have a look you want, and for less! 

Buy-back and overstock outlets

Not to be confused with an online retailer of the same name, a true overstock outlet or buy-back store purchases lots (as in by the pound) of out-of-season clothing and items returned to regular retailers in unsellable condition. In addition to clothing, you'll find housewares, dishes, linens and bedding, electronics, and random artwork, decorator items, and frames. It may take a little time, but a quick perusal through a local outlet every other week or so can net some significant finds for your home.

Garage sales

Who doesn't love a garage sale? Well, lots of folks, but you might find what you want. Some municipalities have city-wide garage sales, so check with your city's website to find out the dates in your town and other towns nearby. Plan for a day of it and you might find a treasure in someone else's junk.

Online Marketplaces

Upcycle, Facebook Marketplace, and Craig’s List are all places to look for those random pieces to finish out your décor. When searching, don’t limit yourself too specifically since the seller may not actually know the name of what they’re selling. Want a Hummel figurine? Try the word “statue” or even “knick-knack” when using the search function. Remember to take delivery of items in person in a safe location (or bring someone with you) and never give out a credit card number or send cash or wire transfers for items purchased from sites like these.

Your local real estate professional can be a resource for garage sale events or local thrift fairs and markets in your new community.


Buying a new home is a commitment. Not just to a mortgage but to the house itself, the neighborhood and your local community. And for many, this is part of what makes purchasing a new home so rewarding. To have a place to truly settle into and call their own. Part of that settling in includes crafting a timeless interior that will welcome you home for years to come.

But going about creating a timeless home can feel intimidating. Magazines and television shows focus on the trends and how to keep up with what’s current. Following these cues will only leave you with a home that will become quickly outdated.  

The key is to mix a variety of styles both old and new. Resist settling for one particular style for a home that seamlessly transcends the decades to come. And while you don’t want to fully jump into any one trend, adding a few accent pieces will keep your home fresh and modern. Art, throw pillows, and small details are the perfect decor pieces to take advantage of trends with. Large investment pieces, however, are best kept neutral and in a style that has already proven itself to be classic.

Styles that earn the title of classic are usually simple with just one element that reflects the era of its inspiration. Think a couch with tufting but in a warm beige or a table with ornate millwork that boasts its natural wood coloring. Whereas a tufted couch in a print or ornate millwork painted a color from a trend that has come and gone will date the look of your whole room.

Neutral colors are best used for the majority of your color palette, leaving color for your accent pieces. That doesn’t mean your home needs to lack depth, however. Choose different tones for your paint swatches and reach for a variety of textures when adding fabrics. Having a diverse range of tones and textures will add visual interest without depending on color to do the job.

Natural elements such as wood, stone, and glass also help to bring depth to your neutral color palette and maintain a timeless look. Wood flooring is well worth the cost in the long run both in terms of maintenance and style. An exposed brick wall makes a statement without becoming dated. A leather couch or armchair adds warmth and sophistication. While cotton, linen and wool textiles add natural texture to your furnishings.

Homebuyers often dream about the decades to come spent in their new home’s rooms. They want to spend time living life’s moments to the fullest and not fussing over decor every ten years. Creating a timeless look for your home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Keeping to a neutral color palette and natural elements guarantee a classic home that you will love coming home to for years to come.  


One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them. 


Ambient Lighting


Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.


Accent Lighting 


If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use. 


Task Lighting


This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.  


Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.            





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