The 3 Best Reasons to Buy a Home This Year

“If your resolution is to buy a home in 2019, you’ll have some challenges to contend with, but also some opportunities,” says Danielle Hale,’s chief economist.

Here are the three biggest reasons to take the plunge now.

1. There will be more available homes – or at least, not fewer
Tight home inventory has sidelined would-be buyers for several years now. Even if you could afford a home, too few of them were hitting the market to keep up with demand. Or, when they did, there was a good chance they were snapped up before you could even call your real estate agent.
House hunting felt especially bleak last winter, when nationwide inventory hit its lowest level in recorded history. By the end of 2018, though, things finally started looking up, and in 2019, experts predict more opportunities—and less frustration—for buyers.
But there’s a catch: Not everyone will be able to afford those opportunities. That’s because the markets seeing the most increases in available homes tend to be more expensive. For buyers, there is going to be more inventory. So that’s a bright spot. The downside of that bright spot is it might not be in their price range.

If you don’t have big bucks, though, all is not lost. The news is still good—just tempered. The supply of affordable homes for sale (under $300,000, which is about the median home price right now) might not be growing dramatically just yet, but it’s certainly not decreasing anymore.

2. Skyrocketing prices will slow their roll
While inventory went down, down, down over the past few years, home prices did the opposite. Will we still see staggering dollar amounts throughout 2019?

It’s another mixed bag here: Expect home prices to continue to rise, but at a slower pace than they have been. Hale predicts a 2.2% increase in home prices this year—compared with a nearly 5% increase last year.
That’s not nothing. And if you can get in the market before those moderate increases, all the better. Home prices are still anticipated to rise, particularly for below-median-priced homes, so buyers in that price range may have some incentive to buy sooner rather than later. And there’s a silver lining to those climbing home prices, too. As rising costs raise the bar to homeownership, some would-be buyers will be knocked out of the market, so that remaining buyers may have less competition to contend with than they saw in 2018.

3. Rents are rising—and won’t be falling anytime soon

Buying a home is a scary-expensive endeavor in the best of circumstances, and when prices are climbing, it can be downright soul-sucking. But bear this in mind: Rents are rising, too. In fact, they very rarely decline, Hale says. And while buying a home is generally going to cost you more in the short term than renting, you have to look at the bigger picture. Buying means you’re building equity—and not forking over your hard-earned dollars to a landlord. The challenge will be finding a home that fits needs, some wants, and still stays within the monthly budget.

If you can afford to buy now, you’ll thank yourself in the long run – and whenever your friends get their annual rent increases.








What You Should Think About When Remodeling to Sell

With home prices up in some areas, the return on remodeling investments at resale can be good. Making little changes can have big impacts when it comes to remodeling your home to sell.

Some updates will return as much as they cost in hotter markets, but unless your home is in a rapidly inflating city, you may not get enough bang for your buck.

But the lesson isn’t to avoid remodeling your home. It’s to rethink your expectations. Do you want to enjoy your updates for a few years? Or do you want to make your home more immediately appealing to homebuyers?

If you’re remodeling for your own household, updating a home has a legitimate purpose that is unquantifiable. When you add square footage, update systems and fixtures, or rearrange traffic flow, you improve the functionality of your home. Refreshing wall colors, window coverings, and flooring adds to the beauty and enjoyment of your home. Many would consider that money better spent, and if you decide to sell in a few years, you’ll be ahead of the game in terms of updates that will appeal to homebuyers.

But if you’re remodeling strictly for the next buyer, there’s some risk. Will you choose the right elements to appeal to the next buyer? What if they don’t share your taste or appreciate the areas where you allocated your remodeling budget?

Start with what absolutely has to be done, whether you plan to stay in your home or not. You may be tempted to put off replacing the roof for an average of nearly $20,000, because Remodeling Magazine says it will only return approximately 72 percent of costs. But a new roof could make the difference in whether or not an FHA or VA buyer can buy your home and pass government inspection.

Otherwise, stick to smaller updates that can yield big impacts in terms of curb appeal, safety and building integrity. The top five cost-to-value projects that netted the most return are:

  1. Replacing the front door with a 20-gauge steel door – 102 percent.
  2. Manufactured stone veneer — 92. 2 percent
  3. Fiber-cement siding — 84.3 percent.
  4. Garage door replacement — 82.5 percent
  5. Wood window replacement — 78 percent.

As you can see, the most lucrative projects for resale were all about curb appeal. Seal the deal with a new welcome mat, new sconces to complement the new steel door, and potted plants for color. Wow your buyers on the outside and they’ll be more likely to choose your home over the competition.




© Realty Times

4 Ways to Sell Your Possessions

The time between winter and spring often brings up the urge to declutter and get rid of your “stuff”. Or maybe you are just moving and need to downsize. Either way, the hardest part of decluttering is often not the “parting with old possessions” part, but more the question on what to do with? Donate (where to?) or sell it and get some cash back? If you plan to sell your old belongings but don’t like Craigslist, then have a look at these great selling tools that were listed on

1. Trove

Best for selling: Furniture

Think of Trove as a virtual consignment shop for furniture. Sign up through your Facebook or Google account, and answer a series of questions before your item is listed: title and description, price (and if you’re willing to negotiate), type of payment accepted, where you’re located, and when you’re available for the buyer to pick up the item. You’ll also need to upload at least one photo—the more, the better. If you check the box for negotiating, you receive notifications of all offers, and then you can accept the one you like best based on price, mutual connections, and the buyer’s reviews.

Any downsides? Similar to Craigslist, an in-person meeting and inspection are required to complete the transaction. A helpful tip: Never let a buyer leave with your item until the transaction has been marked as approved in the app—that’s how you’ll get paid if the buyer has chosen a debit or credit payment. Listing is free, and although Trove takes a 10% fee from credit card transactions, it doesn’t charge for other payment methods (e.g., PayPal).

2. Decluttr

Best for selling: Tech

Want to sell your old cellphones, DVDs, CDs, and video games you have lying around without the hassle of finding a buyer yourself? Download the free Decluttr app, use your phone’s camera to scan the bar code, and you’ll get an instant selling price. The app has a Tech Price Promise, which guarantees you the first price it offers—or you get your item back for free.

Any downsides? You do have to actually pack your item(s) into a box and mail it to Decluttr. But hey, it provides a free shipping label, and once your box arrives at the warehouse, the Decluttr team checks the item(s), then sends payment through direct deposit, PayPal, or check (or donates it to charity upon your request).

3. ThredUp

Best for selling: Old clothes

Rather than hauling all your unwanted or ill-fitting clothes and accessories to a local consignment store, you can create an account at ThredUp and request a “kit.” In a nutshell: ThredUp sends you a giant, polka-dot plastic bag, which you can fill up with women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, handbags, fashion jewelry, or other accessories. (Menswear is not yet accepted, but check the site for updates on the items that are in demand.) Ship the filled bag for free by dropping it at any U.S. Postal Service or FedEx location, and once your bag is processed, you’ll earn cash or credit in your account for the items that are accepted.

Any downsides? There’s one caveat: Any items that aren’t accepted will be donated (i.e., you won’t get them back). But honestly, do you really want them back?

4. 5miles

Best for selling: Anything locally

Described as Craigslist meets Nextdoor (a private social network for neighborhoods), the 5miles app has 14 million buyers across the United States, yet it focuses on the ones in your immediate area. It’s safer to use than Craigslist, though, with features such as online payment, shipping options for people who don’t want to meet, and a tool to locate nearby police stations where you can do in-person transactions. The app also prides itself on a 24/7 “Awesome Experience” customer service team to help with issues.

Nice plus: Prefer the old-fashioned method of decluttering, aka garage or yard sales? You can list your sale in a special section of the app, where buyers can search for sales in their area and come check out your goods in person. It’s way more effective than newspaper classifieds.

Any downsides? While there’s a category on 5miles for just about anything you might want to sell before a move, keep in mind that you may not sell everything. Top sellers include furniture, household wares, electronics, and sports/outdoor items. While it’s free for both buyers and sellers, there is a fee on some automotive listings, in case that’s on your to-sell list.





A Fresh Start to Active Living Around Phoenix, AZ in 2019

Known for its open skies, breathtaking desert landscape, and blazing hot summers, Phoenix, Arizona is built for fun in the sun. Mild winters make the Valley of the Sun the perfect place for January Marathons and crisp morning hikes, while the summer heat causes quite a splash on the Salt River. Such appealing weather conditions enable the Phoenix community to offer a diverse array of fitness activities suited for every kind of body. Check out these popular choices in and around this desert oasis:


Grab your gym bag and hit the weights! Gyms offer a variety of machines, classes, and personal fitness training sessions to help you reach your fitness goals. Some gyms, like Anytime Fitness, are open 24 hours to accommodate busy schedules and diverse lifestyles. Others, such as Central Park Square Athletic Club, offer holistic wellness services, including massage, physical therapy, and self-improvement classes. Need a few extra pointers, or a boost in motivation? EOS Fitness offers a large selection of fitness classes with their membership!

Fitness Classes

If a traditional gym isn’t for you, or if you prefer to have some extra guidance in your workouts, try out a fitness class! From Pilates to Barre, Crossfit to Zumba, there are countless class options in and around the Phoenix area. Looking to blow off some steam? Kickboxing classes at Jabz Boxing Fitness will teach you to channel your energy into MMA while giving you a great cardio workout. Want more than just cardio? Crossfit has gained considerable recognition in recent years, and for good reason–this community-oriented exercise can be adjusted for any age or ability. Beginners can sign up for a trial class for free at Sol Crossfit, where they also offer yoga classes. Yoga is a diverse form of exercise that is great for balance, flexibility, and strength. Check out a class at Empower Wellness Studio, or enjoy a rustic experience with Goat Yoga! These outdoor yoga classes include a handful of adorable, four-legged playful participants. 

Those who are just starting out–or are looking for something new–check out ClassPass, an app that allows you to find and try out different types of fitness classes before you commit to a membership! 


What better way to stay fit than in the great outdoors! If you’re looking for a great hike, the AllTrails app and website is an excellent way to find the perfect trek for you. The site will show you reviews from other hikers, the difficulty of the route, photos, and much more. The Double Loop Butte Trail at Papago Park is perfect for beginners, while the Camelback Mountain Cholla Trail is an epic challenge for seasoned hikers. Phoenix is also home to the world’s largest municipal park, South Mountain Park. Here, you can find 58 miles of trails to explore while horseback riding, cycling, or hiking. Or, if you’re willing to take a short drive outside of the city, you can blaze one of the many trails in Tonto National Forest. Rather stay close to home? Check out the beautiful landscape at the Desert Botanical Gardens, where you can take an easy stroll, embark on a hike, or ride your bicycle.

Make a Splash

Beat the heat and head out on the water! Phoenix really knows how to stay active and cool down, all at the same time. Take some swimming lessons, no matter your age, at Encanto Pool. This facility also offers water aerobics, as well as lifeguarding classes for those who want to stay active on the job. Fitness doesn’t always have to be work at Desert Oasis Aquatic Center, where patrons can swim laps, slide down the slides, or both! Already a swimmer? Find a Master’s Team for competitive adult swimmers, or get the kids in on the fun and search for your local Arizona club team.

Activities and Events

The city of Phoenix is a great place for the usual outdoor activities, such as running, walking, road cycling, mountain biking, and rock climbing. While rock climbing is available at some incredible indoor gyms like Black Rock Bouldering Gym, rappel classes are also available outdoors at Camelback Mountain. And, while kayaking may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Phoenix’s desert scape, the Salt River provides ample opportunity for kayaking and other water sports. In fact, outdoor adventurers can go canyoneering, rock climbing, or kayaking with Phoenix Wilderness Adventures

Ready to get competitive? Runners who want to take things to the next level can sign up for a January marathon with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon Series. Or, if you’re a jack-of-all-trades, try a sprint triathlon!

Keep Track

Of course, with all of this activity, you’ll want to log all of your hard work and keep track of your goals. Need to track mileage on your walks, runs, hikes, or rides? Use MapMyFitness, where you can create, log, or attempt different routes. And, don’t forget to fuel your body with nutritious meals, and track calories using apps like My Fitness Pal.



By: Jeremy Alderman, ZOG Digital


How Big of a Storage Unit Do I Need?

If you need a storage unit, there are many questions you should ask before you pick one. For example: What size unit do you need? How much does a storage unit cost?

Choosing a storage unit may seem daunting at first, but if you’ve reached that point where you’ve run out of space in your home for all of your belongings, it’s time to dive in. Here are some questions to ask to ensure you find the right storage unit for you.

What size storage unit do I need?

Before you begin your search for the right unit, make a list of all the items you’ll be storing. This way you can save time by focusing only on storage facilities that meet your needs in terms of size. Storage units generally range in size from 5-by-5 to 10-by-25 feet, and some may be even larger. Wondering which size is best for you? You can find a good guide here. Prefer not to climb over mountains of tubs and boxes to track down something stashed at the far reaches of that space? Choose a unit that allows entry on either side.

How much does a storage unit cost?

Here’s a breakdown how much you can expect to pay on average:

  • A 5-by-5 unit costs about $40 to $50 a month.

  • A 10-by-20 unit costs about $95 to $155 a month.

  • A 20-by-20 unit costs about $225 a month.

Is this storage unit easily accessible?

What good is having a storage unit if it’s hard to access, both in terms of its location and its design? Make sure you are able to get your car close enough to the unit, so you don’t have to carrying your stuff feet or even yards around.  

What’s the payment policy?

Read all of the fine print of the contract to determine how long the price is guaranteed, so you don’t get surprised by raised prices once you’ve moved all your stuff in. Do they have an late fee or policy? Does the facility allow for online payments? Knowing the full extent of the policy can help narrowing down a list of facilities.

What are the storage facility’s hours?

Once you’ve unloaded your belongings, you still want to know that you can reach them in a hurry should you have the desire.It’s tough to predict when you’ll need that breadmaker you haven’t used for years. Make sure you can access your stuff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is it climate-controlled?

Depending on the items you are looking to store, you might debate whether or not you want a climate-controlled storage unit. A climate-controlled unit is better for items such as appliances or antiques that might be damaged in extreme temperatures, especially in the summer months here in the Phoenix Valley.

If you’re going to the trouble of storing your items for later use, you want to know they’ll be in the best shape possible when you want them. Finding the right facility can make all the difference.





5 Home-Buying Factors to Consider

Buying a house is a life-changing process that requires lots of upfront financial planning. When looking for a home, keep certain factors in mind, including your financial situation, types of available loans, your credit score, the price of the house and your down payment so you can navigate the process smoothly.

Your Financial Situation

Before you buy a house, make sure that your monthly budget can handle such a large expense. Unless you’re one of the few people who can pay cash for a home, you’ll likely be paying it off for 15 or 30 years, depending on the length of your loan. In addition to the mortgage payment, you’ll want to factor in expenses like property taxes, homeowners insurance and routine maintenance.

Types of Mortgages

When buying a home, you have a few options for the type of loan you want to use. Two of the most common mortgage types are fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.The interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage stays the same over the life of the loan, with payments divided up into equal amounts that you pay on a monthly basis. The longer the loan term, the less you have to pay each month; however, you’ll likely pay more in interest than you would with a shorter-term loan.

An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, has a fixed interest rate for an initial period, followed by a period when the lender may periodically adjust the interest rate. For example, a 5/1 ARM has an introductory rate of five years. After that five-year period, the interest rate can change annually. With an ARM, you need to consider how much your monthly payment could increase and your ability to pay if it does go up.

Your Credit Score

You also need to review your credit score before buying a house. Your credit score helps creditors determine your creditworthiness. Borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher generally qualify for the best mortgage deals.

It’s still possible to buy a house if you have bad credit. You likely will have to accept a higher interest rate on your mortgage, which could cost you hundreds of dollars extra per month. If your credit score drops too low, though, you might not qualify for a mortgage at all. Consider improving your credit score first before trying to buy a house.

The Price of the Home

The higher the price of the house you want to buy, the more you can expect to pay on a monthly basis. When looking at houses, consider your budget and how much you can afford to spend. Remember to consider your needs, too. Do you have a new addition to the family and need the room? Have your kids moved out and you want a smaller home? Also, take a look at the price range of the houses available in the area where you want to buy. Compare the prices you find to your budget and determine what home you can afford.

The Down Payment

A large down payment represents one way to reduce the monthly cost of your mortgage. As a matter of fact, a down payment of 20 percent gives you access to better interest rates and prevents you from having to pay private mortgage insurance. So, in addition to lowering the amount you owe initially, a down payment also can get you a lower interest rate, making a house more affordable. There are also mortgages that require no down payment or a small one.





Open House Etiquette – What Buyers Should or Shouldn’t Do

Looking for a home can be a tedious process, and if you’ve been to multiple showings and in and out of open houses, you might be starting to lose your cool. On the flip side, if you’ve ever sold a home, you’re probably well aware of the grueling process of cleaning up after folks who’ve been stomping through your home, leaving their mess and their footprints and their bad manners behind. So, don’t be like them. Check your muddy shoes at the door, but bring your etiquette inside. Need more details about the do’s and don’ts of touring homes? Read on.

Wipe your feet

Or, better yet, remove your shoes. Remember that the sellers have presumably gone to great links to clean and stage their home, which probably means freshly shampooed carpets. Your muddy footprints will not be received well.

Don’t leave a present behind

If you must use the restroom while touring homes for sale, make sure you do a few things first:

  • Check that the plumbing is working – If it’s a vacant or brand-new house, that might not be the case.
  • Look for toilet paper – You don’t want to be left in a drip-dry situation.
  • Flush! – Sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised.
  • Clean up after yourself – Just because you don’t lift the seat at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t here. And if you just can’t bring yourself to do it, wipe up the seat when you’re done. Come on. You know this.

No stealing

Yeah, it happens. More than you might think. If your moral compass isn’t enough to keep you from getting sticky fingers in an open house, consider this: More and more houses now have security cameras that will undoubtedly catch you in the act.

Don’t rifle through the homeowners’ things

Is it acceptable to open and look inside closets and kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers? Absolutely. But going through dresser drawers, nightstands, and other private spaces that have zero relevance when it comes to purchasing the home – not so much. Remember, you’re looking at the storage space, not casing the place. You can be curious all day. But acting on that curiosity is uncool.

Don’t disregard special requests

Is it frustrating that you can’t get into the third bedroom because the seller’s kitty is locked up in there during the showing? Sure. Do you want to be responsible for the cat escaping and getting hit by a car because you ignored the note that says, “Cat in here, please don’t enter?” Nope. If you’re really interested in the home and not seeing that room is a deal breaker, you can always set up a second visit.

Keep an eye your kids

You may be tempted to let them run off and see their potential bedrooms, but if they’re out of eyesight and earshot, they could potentially be doing damage to the house, or getting injured. You don’t want to create a situation where there’s liability involved…especially when you’re trying to buy a house!




©Realty Times

How To Rid Your Home Of Negative Energy In The New Year

It’s a new year, and what better time to change the energy in your home?! Whether you’ve just moved into a new place and want to make sure you set the energy right from the start or just want to refresh your existing space, there are tips and tools you can use to easily improve the feel – and also the look.

A fresh coat of paint

You can change the feeling of your entire house with new paint, with minimal cost, especially if you do it yourself.


Decluttering is tip No. 1 if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market. But the simple act of decluttering your home has also shown to be a great way to declutter your mind. The items you surround yourself with might be the result of years of thoughtless accumulation, but your environment can have a big impact on your health. Clutter can affect your ability to focus and overloads your visual cortex, whereas people who live in a neat space are twice as likely to make healthier food choices. Start off this new year by giving yourself some room to move and some mental clarity by getting rid of stuff you no longer use, need, or enjoy.

Apply a few Feng Shui tips

The art of Feng Shui is intended to help bring happiness, good fortune and wellness into your life. And while you don’t have to overhaul your everything and make potentially expensive and extensive changes to your home, there may be a few tips worth considering in the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment. Feng shui is about creating a space that’s not only pleasing to your eye, but also pleasing to all your senses, so that your home supports and enriches your life. When you apply feng shui principles to your home, you can attract a great new year.

Adding color to your home and decluttering are two principles of Feng Shui. Others include:

  • Making your front door “visible to receive blessings” by ensuring you have easy to ready house numbers and a clear path to your home

  • Bringing plants and a water fountain into your home to improve your health and foster nurturing

  • Positioning “furniture for safety” by making sure that the largest piece of furniture in any room is in a position where you can see the door

Smudge it

The idea of smudging, which is burning sage in your home, may sound odd and “woo woo” but, smudging with sage is a practice that dates back thousands of years to indigenous Americans, and one that is used by all kinds of people to improve the energy in a room or structure. The practice of smudging, or purifying a room with the smoke of sacred herbs, can help clear negative energy from a space. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science – when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.

Anything you do to clear space, even the simple act of opening a window, will bring more flow into your home and your life, too!




ⒸRealty Times

5 Tips to Do When Storing Your Holiday Decorations

It’s all fun when it’s time to decorate for Christmas. But after the holiday is over you’ll probably hear crickets instead of clamors to help with the twinkle lights and wreaths.

Don’t let your holiday finery become a hot mess! Here are 5 tips to do when taking down and storing decorations.

1. Properly protect your decorations

Don’t gloss over this step. Not taking the time to protect delicate items is a big mistake when it comes to putting away holiday decor. It’s normal to want to rush through this tedious job so you can be done with it, but moving too quickly will just result in breakage.

2. Cull (and donate) your decorations

If you didn’t put it up this year, what are the chances you’ll do it next year? Toss out anything that is in disrepair or out of favor. Before you toss your purged decorations in the trash, though, consider donating them. Shelters, public libraries, health care centers, and other nonprofits might welcome the chance to give your used decorations a second life.

3. Storage correctly

If you have garland in four different boxes, you’ll never keep track of it from year to year. Instead, store like with like. Put items to decorate the outside together, and place soft goods in their own bin, such as tablecloths, stockings, runners, and napkins.

4. Label your decorations

On a related note, once you’ve packed things together, get out that magic marker. Try to be more specific when it comes to labeling your containers. Are the lights for the mantel, mailbox, Christmas tree, or something in the yard? It can also be a good idea to label boxes as “X out of X” (e.g., “3 out of 5”). If you do this, you won’t miss out on a box or search for one that doesn’t exist.

5. Keep notes

As you put things away, make notes on what needs replacing or items you need to add your collection (e.g., broken lights, stained cocktail napkins, or a bigger turkey platter for next year). With a detailed list, you can strategically hit those half-price sales in January and fill in the holes for next year.





5 Tricks to Design a Luxurious Bedroom

If you returned from a nice vacation to a disheveled bedroom and couldn’t help but yearn for your plush hotel digs, cloud-like pillows, and fluffy robe, don’t book another getaway just yet. Achieving a luxury look at home is easier (and less expensive) than you think.

Layer Pillows

If you only make one tweak to upgrade your bedroom, it should be the way you style pillows. A considered bed is always topped with a handful of precisely layered accent pillows. Practical pillows, the ones you sleep on a night, should sit propped against the bedhead, overlaid with decorative pillows in height order. The color of the pillows are like the cherry on top of the sundae, so pull the accent color from the overall color scheme of the space to create the focal point of your room. One basic rule is also that sleeping pillows and decorative pillows shouldn’t take up more than a quarter of the total bed length.

Upgrade Lampshades

Looking for an affordable way to give existing décor a fresh look? Replacing lampshades is a simple way to give your bedroom a look luxe for less. Chances are the ready-made lamp you choose comes with a basic, uninspired shade, so upgrading it can have a big impact, since the shade can really make or break the lamp. Opt for color or a cool fabric choice and choose a shade that’s taller than expected.

Style Clutter

Keeping a bedroom mess-free can feel like an insurmountable task, so it’s lucky that “organized clutter” is the design trend of the moment. The key is knowing how to distinguish between good clutter and bad. Examples for good clutter are stacks of books and magazines, art resting up against the wall, or bedside table trays filled with objects. What you don’t want are dirty clothes on the floor, unopened mail and paperwork, and unmanaged electrical cords.

Create a Multipurpose Space

Yes, the main function of a bedroom is to be a haven for sleep, but the best rooms are multipurpose. A simple, low-cost way to tweak your space is by rearranging furniture and introducing décor from other rooms in the house. Adding a chair in some coordinating fabric dressed with a fun throw pillow is the one piece many people forget about. Even if your space isn’t very big, a small, cozy chair adds to the feeling of ampleness and getaway to your room. If your living room has a statement chair that is rarely used, experiment by moving it into your bedroom with a discreet side table to create a reading area. It’s also fine to mix and match décor. The accent chair can be vintage, modern, or anything in between. It’s basically acting like a piece of art for your room.

Dress The Bed

Luxury hotel rooms all share one feature: a perfectly made bed. Most people tend to underplay the importance of dressing their bed and rely on the same rumpled duvets they sleep with nightly, which are barely pulled up during the day. This never gives a finished look. To make a Ritz-Carlton–grade bed that’ll instantly upgrade your space, opt for two sheets and fold the edge of the top one over the duvet for a polished look.

If you’re looking to go one step further and invest in new sheets, look beyond classic white sets. Bedrooms and bedding don’t have to be all white anymore—it’s all about the mix. Shades of gray and taupe can be just as classy as all white, and it’s much easier to upkeep.