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Archive for the ‘Estate properties’ Category

The Pianist, The Painter, The Singer, The Statesman

Periodically, my mother’s interior design class toured Chicago area properties.

On one, day-long tour, they visited three luxury homes that set on Evanston’s high bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan.

One home featured fine examples of classic contemporary design: simple lines, solid colors, smooth finishes, subtle textures, geometric patterns, and sleek woods, tiles, glass, and chrome.

From its trimly landscaped and broadly sweeping circle driveway, to the double set of solid red lacquer front doors, to the nine-foot main hallway that trailed through the house, to the four glass doors at the rear, that overlooked the lake.

The sprawling, one-story structure suited its owners: a concert pianist and conductor, and his wife, an artist and author.

The music room stood out. Its two most striking amenities: the magnificent black lacquer Steinway concert piano and the 12-inch square, black and white marble tiles that covered the floor.

Features also included the following:

1. dome ceiling with a huge globular skylight;
2. solid black marble fireplace;
3. two walls lined with white-enameled bookcases, stuffed with books, bound volumes of sheet music, also wood and ivory artifacts;
4. couches and easy chairs upholstered in matching white-on-white striped damask.

All of the other sixteen rooms featured equally elegant, yet comfortable appointments. It was a home that clearly represented the personalities of the owners, and met their needs perfectly.

Shortly before the design school students’ visit, the owners had decided to retire in that house. And, they’d put their South Florida home up for sale.

Nearly twenty years after touring that home, my mother was led into the luxury apartment of a former opera star, Adeline Arrigo. Interestingly, she had performed with the concert pianist on philharmonic stages throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Madame Arrigo resided on the second story of a red brick, three-story walk-up built in the early 1900s by her husband’s Sicilian family. The South Racine Avenue building, located on the southeast side of Chicago, set across the street from University of Illinois’s Chicago campus. And, the three-story building had five large apartments – all occupied by “Arrigos.”

The focal points of the two bedroom apartment were the portraits of Adeline and her husband, the late Victor Arrigo. On every wall, every shelf and every table top were representations of the owners famous lives. Adeline, the opera star. Victor, the Illinois statesman that drafted, then championed the Federal Fair Credit and Collection Act. (Note: A stronger version of the law is in effect today.)

The traditional apartment also featured:

1. 12-foot high, white-sponged stucco ceilings;
2. white plaster, also deep red painted, walls;
3. tall wood-paned windows in each of the eight rooms;
4. white marble, wood-burning fireplaces in three rooms;
5. crystal chandeliers;
6. lustrous hardwood floors; and,
7. large oriental area rugs depicting eighteenth century country scenes.

The apartment was appointed with elegant, yet comfortable seating in every room. In the living room: deep red velvet-upholstered sofas, and black leather fireside chairs. In the bedrooms: European-designed settees and chairs, covered in deeper pink or soft rose moiré. Plush velvet upholstery covered the dining room chairs. And hand-sewn satin, moiré, and crushed velvet pillows set on every piece of seating.

The two distinctive period homes – the sprawling contemporary house of the 1960s-1970s, and the large traditional apartment of the 1940s-1950s – provided a very similar peak into elegant yet understated living. In their respective spaces, the owners and residents had created environments that supported their need for creative thought, good taste, peace and contentment. All had surrounded themselves with meaningful symbols of who they were as persons. And, what they represented.

The Chicago area featured many architectural and design masterpieces. I never had the privilege to visit the residences described above. Yet, I have had the opportunity to work on many similar homes. In doing so, the greatest pleasure has been in meeting the unique persons that have lived there.

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Fine design deserves to be preserved with the hand of a fine painter-craftsperson.
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Estate Properties: Repainting and Redecorating within the Sale Prep Budget

A loved one passes away, and is laid to rest. His or her estate must be settled in a legally acceptable and timely order. The residence – eg. house, townhouse, condo – is a major part of that estate. And, it must be sold.

 

Often, each heir will have a wish list for using his or her share of the monetary proceeds. Each heir expects to get at least a certain amount.

 

The final sale price must be maximized. The property needs to undergo a facelift, before it goes on the market.

 

A Skilled Painter and Decorator’s role

 

A painter, skilled in renovation and restoration – especially of estate properties – can hold the key to realizing a lucrative sale.

 

  1. The painter will be able to accentuate the home’s attributes and advantages.
  2. The painter will be able to upgrade the home’s features to appeal to today’s real estate market.
  3. The painter will be able to camouflage or minimize its flaws – uneven walls, cracked wood.
  4. The painter will be able to suggest or advise the seller(s) about other work to have done, and by whom.

 

The painter can help the estate trustee or administrator work up a total facelift estimate.

Also, the painter/decorator can help determine an itemized budget range for each service that needs to be completed. Prior to listing the property for sale.

 

Painting/decorating tips gleaned from giving an interior facelift to a home prior to listing.

 

Keep the facelift simple. Make it suitable to the home’s architecture, style, worth, and location.

 

  1. TIP: To minimize the pale yellow cast of once white ceilings, custom tint white latex wall a very light yellow-white. This stretches facelift budget that cannot cover repainting of ceilings.

 

  1. TIP: Paint all walls throughout the home the same custom-tinted paint mentioned above. This creates flowing, uniform look.

 

  1. TIP: Repaint the bathrooms in their same original color – in this case soft yellow. This helps contain paint product costs.

 

  1. TIP: Limit repainting in kitchens, breakfast nooks, etc. that often feature tiled wall areas.

 

  1. TIP: Select high-end paint products, known (a) offer better coverage and (b) require only one coat. Especially in older homes, and in certain climates.

 

  1. TIP: Give ample attention to cleaning and prepping all surfaces to be re-finished. Examples: patching, filling, caulking, sanding. Allot enough drying time between steps and applications. Remember: The quality of a finishing job is linked directly to the quality of the surface prepping.

 

  1. TIP: Limit priming to surfaces that really need it. Hint: Areas that will likely stay the same finish color for at least the first year of new ownership.

 

  1. TIP: Apply finish coat to walls, trim, doors, etc. room-by-room. Or, whichever way that will assure ample drying time, a uniform finish throughout, and save in overall labor costs.

 

 

Before you call in a painter. . .

 

Empty the home’s interior to the walls. Here are a few tips to help you.

 

  1. Distribute and remove all personal items. (Follow the terms of the trust and/or will.) This includes all types of items such as furniture, accessories, appliances; china, silver, housewares, cookware; clothing, jewelry; linens, textiles; antiques, collectibles, books, etc.

 

  1. Remove and place remaining valuables in the hands of the best available dealers. Examples: expensive jewelry, art; antiques, collectibles, glass, books.

 

  1. If there’s time, hold a “class act” yard sale for the rest of personal property. Roll out the red carpet bargain-prices. Offer boxed/bagged/packaged group deals. Offer some quality items for free.

 

  1. GOOD NEIGHBOR TIP: If your loved one lived in the neighborhood for years: Invite close neighbors to come and select a few items to keep. No charge.

 

  1. Donate some of the nicer clothing, accessories, linens, etc. to a local church-run thrift shop.

 

  1. Donate whatever is left to the nearest Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, or similar charity store. Call in advance to make certain they offer pick-up service.

 

Giving a home its final touches of paint and finish – facelift – before its estate sale can be rewarding.

In a way, the painter gets the opportunity to help the family give their loved one’s property a proper send off. And, that may help those left behind find some sense of closure.

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When people know how much you care about them, they care about how much you know.

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Special thanks to supporters through LinkedIn.com and Google+.  See you on the IN-side.

And, thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

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