Margo Delaney | Cambridge Real Estate, Arlington Real Estate, Belmont Real Estate


Are you shopping for art for just the right piece to complete your décor? You'll find a plethora of art at vintage stores and antique malls. Some stalls cater specifically to old paintings, maps, or empty frames, so take a peak in all the kiosks and booths. But know what you're looking at before you go.

Paintings versus prints

It's easy to mistake a print for a painting when it is in an old frame and sold as antique or vintage. Don't misunderstand, a print, especially one known as a hand lithograph, can be quite valuable, and certainly be the perfect choice for your décor, but it's best to know the difference. Paintings have discernable brushstrokes while print reproductions have very tiny dots. Take a good look, up close and personal. The value in the painted art is that it is original. The value in hand lithographs is the work and detail involved. 

Lithographs typically come numbered and not mass-produced. Prints, on the other hand, when mechanically reproduced are less valuable than a lithograph with their evenly spaced dots and uniform color. But a print is still worth purchasing if it fits your décor, just know before you overpay for it.

What if it’s cracked?

Old paint cracks. That's part of its charm and value. The fine web-like cracks have a particular name: craquelure. In no way does craquelure indicate that there is something wrong with your painting. It often denotes your pieces is likely authentic and sought after by collectors.

Should I reframe it?

Original frames and the nails used to hold the painting in the frame and hold the frame together often contain vital information that dates the piece. If the wood has aged or the metal patinaed, that indicates the frame might be older. Often, framers placed a mark, label, or stamp on their work too, so if your frame or backing has such a mark, it might reveal, with a little internet sleuthing, the frame’s age.

What if there isn’t a frame?

While it’s nice to find the perfect piece in the original frame, some art makes its way to vintage shops because of a damaged or broken frame. Don’t be afraid to put an older print in a modern frame for an eclectic look.

Is it authentic?

When shopping at an antique mall or store, try to learn as much about the art as possible. The dealer might have information on where it came from, or how old it is. It may have come as part of an estate sale and could even have accompanying documentation to prove its age and ownership.

If you have the art, but no place to hang it, your real estate professional will happily help you find just the right place to showcase your collection.


Interior design can seem like such a daunting task. It is something most homeowners would rather leave to the professionals. While this is entirely beneficial, know that there are simple interior design tips you can apply to transform your home.

These home decoration methods can save you both time and money. It also gives you the opportunity to be creative and exercise more control over the results. Here are six interior design tips to transform your home.

  1. Smaller rooms and lighter colors Smaller rooms in a home tend to feel crowded even when they hold little items or furniture. Maximize your space and make such rooms look larger by painting them with soft or light colors. Darker colors make any place seem smaller and boxed-in.
  2. Use mirrors Mirrors can do more than offer reflections in a home. Use decorative mirrors to add beauty and design to a room. They equally make smaller rooms look larger by providing depth and reflecting light.
  3. Statement rug A statement rug in any part of the home can help the room to stand out. Buy a suitable rug or reposition an old but beautiful carpet in the room. Make sure that when you place the rug in a room, it complements the furniture, sofa, and other objects.
  4. Mix things up When you are re-designing the home, it may be a relief to understand that you can avoid adding new items. You can do a lot with what you already own by mixing things up. Place that family heirloom next to a painting. Let the old curtains drape over the freshly painted walls or stay in the same room as the new pillows and sofa. There's uniqueness and beauty in mixing things up in the home. It also brings warmth to your living space.
  5. Green plants Going green is always an affordable and sure way to transform the home. Plants add an unmistakable freshness and attractiveness to the interior of the house. They also absorb pollutants and clean household air.
  6. Bold and Bright Soft or subtle isn't always the solution. Inject a pop of color that mirrors your personality into the home. Use a colorful sofa, some quirky throw pillows, and so on. 

Interior design can be simple and hassle-free with these practical tips and a touch of your creative side. Start decorating your home. If you need help, reach out to a professional designer for advice.


Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.

The effects of color

With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.

On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.

However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

How much is too much?

It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

Taking advantage of the full area of a room

So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.


Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.


When you have kids sharing a room, there will be conflict. It just happens, no matter how much they get along, at some point, there is going to be a fight about something. Fights about tidiness, noise levels, or just about anything. Now sometimes your kids can come to some sort of solution without intervention by applying a little bit of creativeness. Other times you will need to step in and mediate a solution.

Creative Borders 

One option for ongoing sibling space sharing issues includes the traditional, but none too practical, splitting the room in half. You can do this any number of ways; painters’ tape may be the least damaging to flooring and walls, a border made of blankets, or a curtain panel hung from the ceiling. These options may give the roommates some sort of illusion they have separate private rooms. More than likely they will come to the conclusion they will need to compromise on some things to really make a life together more peaceful.

Layout the Lair 

If your kids have several areas of shared interest, they can start with those items when they set up their space. A “common” area, so to speak, can create a sense of camaraderie and bonding. From there you have them could move into planning the furniture layout and traffic flow. Maybe discuss schedules and who wakes up first and how the morning routine needs to play out. Next, an agreement on a bedtime routine can help avoid any conflicts when everyone is tired and out of patience. Finally, figuring out how and when things like studying, reading, friends hanging out or other activities will take place in the shared space. You may need a third-party mediator to help shape some of the details and provide an objective perspective on issues.

Contract for Compromise

Writing out the agreements and signing you will give each person ownership over the space. This way any issues can be settled by going over the written agreement. As time goes on, the deal can have amendments, but these need to be agreed upon by all before being added. When it comes to living together in harmony, healthy boundaries and common courtesy go a long way. When you can remember to show respect to the other person you can often iron out any issues about shared room space easily with little conflict. When moving kids into a shared bedroom space have each kid list a “rule” for their area, write it down and hang it up in the room.

Need extra space for your growing family? Talk to your real estate agent about a larger home in your budget.


If you intend to sell your home in the near future, you may want to upgrade your residence's interior. In fact, there are many reasons to improve your home's interior before you list your house, and these reasons include:

1. You can differentiate your residence from the competition.

For a seller who wants to help his or her home stand out to buyers, upgrading a residence's interior is ideal. Because if your house boasts a fabulous interior, your home is sure to make a great impression on buyers.

As you consider home upgrades, you may want to consult with interior designers as well. These home interior experts are happy to offer tips and insights so you can improve your residence's interior in no time at all.

2. You can boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.

When it comes to selling your home, your ultimate goal likely is to earn as much as you can from your house sale. Thanks to a stunning home interior, you can increase your chances of enjoying a profitable house selling experience.

Remember, a dazzling home interior may make it simple for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door. If multiple buyers compete to acquire your home, you may receive several offers to purchase at or above your residence's initial asking price.

3. You can speed up the home selling journey.

There is no telling how long it will take you to sell your house. But if you improve your residence's interior, you could make your home an attractive option to dozens of buyers. And as a result, you could reap the benefits of a fast home sale.

Of course, for those who want additional assistance during the home selling journey, hiring a real estate agent may prove to be beneficial. A real estate agent takes the guesswork out of selling a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

If you want to bolster your home's interior, a real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible. He or she will walk through your home and offer suggestions so you can quickly enhance your house's interior. A real estate agent may be able to connect you with the top interior designers in your area, too.

In addition, a real estate agent offers plenty of assistance as you navigate the home selling journey. If you are unsure about how to price your house, for example, a real estate agent can help you analyze your home's strengths and weaknesses so you can price your residence appropriately. Or, if you are uncertain about whether to accept an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent can help you make the best-possible decision.

Ready to add your home to the real estate market? You may want to upgrade your house's interior first. Because if you perform home interior upgrades today, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful house selling experience.




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