Tysons Corner, VA

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

The majority of the original Vienna homes were built during the 1950s-1960s. The same is true for McLean.

Most of those original homes were red brick ramblers or split levels. Although some have gotten torn down in the recent years, many still remain. If you’re looking to spruce up your home, increase curb appeal and maybe even do some DIY projects, here are some ideas to update your home:

Paint! You won’t believe what a little paint can do. Obviously interior walls are the most obvious place to paint, but I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.

  • For instant curb appeal paint your front door a pop of color. Try yellow, red, or even a slick coat of black. Same with shutters if you have them.
  • If you’re tired of the red brick look, make sure all the brick is tuckpointed and paint the entire exterior. It’s an immediate way to get a brand new look. I personally love white, blue, or even gray. White houses with colorful front doors and sharp shutters — instant pop!
  • Another trick: if you still have a bathroom with the old pink, green, blue, or yellow tile — did you know you can paint that tile? Oh yes! There’s an epoxy they can do to essentially paint the tiles and make it look brand new. Mostly I’ve seen white with a reglazed white tub. It’ll last for a while, but not forever, and I wouldn’t do it on the floor of the bathroom since that’ll fade quickly and might even make it slippery. This is a DIY opportunity but if you hate the way it looks, call in a pro to finish.
  • Here’s an example of exterior paint before & after (they also added a garage but you can see the main house is the same).

Light fixtures! They make some really cheap light fixtures now that instantly make a new impression.

  • Depending on the finish you want, you can use this $30 LED ceiling light to replace those old gold dome lights throughout your house.
  • Or pick a modern dining light to make that old room look new. This one is just $34. It doesn’t have to be expensive to make a big impact. Just make sure you get one that’s big enough for the space.

Many of these ideas have come over the years from selling these homes and staging them. But truthfully if you plan on selling in the next few years, you might as well enjoy the fruits of your labor for a while. You don’t need to do it at all. Make a list of what’s most important to you and tackle it bit by bit. Over time, a little goes a long way.

Looking for more ideas? Or want an opinion on doing something for resale? Feel free to email me — I love a good before and after and don’t mind at all!

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