Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | [email protected]


Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/31/2021

Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash

It's no secret that people are living longer and maintaining more active lifestyles as they age. While the ultimate goal is to stay agile and able, we all know that at some point, we may not be able to do what we once could. 

Accessible home can help us continue to live comfortably and independently with minimal assistance. So whether you're planning on aging in place or welcoming your aging parent into your home, check out the three primary types of accessible designs along with specific features to look for.

1. Accessible Design

A home with an "accessible design" meets government requirements in your area. These may be established by HUD or the state. But they usually dictate things like:

  • Number of steps into the home
  • Whether countertops are wheelchair accessible
  • Doorway width
  • Some states may require bathtub handles and lower light switches. Pedestal style sinks would allow a person in a wheelchair to roll up under the sink to reach the water more efficiently. 

    2. Adaptable Homes

    Very able people understandably may not want to live in an accessible design. That's because, at times, it can make things less convenient for them and may look "clinical" rather than aesthetically-appealing. It all depends on your priorities. For example, often accessible homes sacrifice storage space for knee room under counters and sinks.

    Adaptable homes are built in such a way that they can adapt to changing needs. For example, under-counter cabinets may be easily removed if someone in the house starts using a wheelchair.

    These homes often have structural features that are accessible by nature, like wider doors and open floor plans. They may also have hideable accessibility features like a detachable grab bar.

    3. Universal Design

    The idea behind universal is that it meets many kinds of needs and is usable by most people. Because it's not specifically-designed around a particular type of disability, the design may not be ideal for any one person. Universal plans work well for multi-generational or multi-ability level households.

    A great example of universal design is moving several outlets two to three feet above the floor so that you don't have to bend over to plug something in. 

    A universal home may also be generally accessible but have one suite that is more accessible than the rest of the house. It may have one bathroom that has a walk-in tub, grab bars next to the toilet. You may have a ramp on one of the entrances. 

    Choosing an Accessible Home

    When selecting an accessible home, it's important to realize there may be overlap in how these terms are used. Inspect the home yourself to see if it meets your needs now and into the future. For more tips for the savvy homebuyer, follow our blog.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lauren Davis on 9/11/2019

    The commonly chic neutrals of the last couple of decades - namely mocha, bone, beige and cafť au lait - have given way to a more modern and sophisticated gray palette. While gray seems like a simple color, just a mix of black and white, in reality, there is a huge variety of gray tones, and you can use them to create different design vibes while sticking to the neutral color tones suggested by your real estate agent. 

    With over fifty shades of gray available from paint manufacturers, the choice can be overwhelming, even when sticking to just one color. The most crucial step in choosing your gray color palette is understanding how grays work together. While a gray begins with combining black and white, adding a variety of undertones gives it subtle shade variation. Just like when buying make-up, choosing the right cool or warm tones makes all the difference. Warm grays can look more brown, cool grays more blue or green and all of that changes depending on what color sits next to it. Most of you will be familiar with blue-grays, but you will also find golden-grays, green-grays, red-grays, and even purple- or brown-grays. 

    With So Many, How to Choose?

    If you have the budget, find yourself a paint colorist. They have specific training and experience in modifying colors for an exact feel, and they understand how all those tones work together. However, that's usually out of budget for most. You can find all the same colors at your local home improvement or paint store but without that designer consultation. It saves you on the fees but requires more work to ensure you get just the right colors for your space. Its especially important that your gray remains neutral and doesn't clash with your existing art or furnishings, or it could do more harm than good.

    When choosing your new paints, start by testing a variety of brands, finishes, and designers. Don't just stick with colors already available in your price range, since most of these stores will color match for free or a minor fee so you can get your custom color done by any brand. Try those different swatches out next to each other, your furniture, wall hangings, woodwork, brickwork and virtually any other color they might conflict with to determine which looks the best and creates the feel you want. Don't forget to test at multiple times of day and with both natural and artificial light, since that can change the color dramatically.

    Once you've narrowed your paint choices down to three or four, get your store to mix sample size batches for you. Most stores will do a six to eight-ounce sample for a small fee or even free. While you're at the store, remember to pick up a roll of butcher paper and some painters tape. Using a separate sheet of butcher paper for each color, paint large swaths on the butcher paper and let it dry completely. Now, tape the giant color swatches to your walls. Test them on different walls and different types of day, just like you did with the small samples. Make sure you confirm how the paint looks under your lightbulbs. Keep in mind that LED and incandescent light bulbs will make the color appear differently. Since incandescent bulbs are being phased out, now is an excellent time to consider switching all our bulbs out for LEDs.

    Most of all, be patient. Take the time to ensure you're choosing the right color, then take more time to ensure it goes on those walls correctly. Still not sure about what neutral works best for your home? Talk to your real estate professional for useful paint and staging tips.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lauren Davis on 8/7/2019

    The bathroom is so frequently brushed aside when it comes to decorating a new home. So often left to become the most outdated room in the house, it becomes a frustration to modernize. However, the bathroom is often a room used for relaxation whether to relax in a hot tub or to gain a momentís silence from the children. If youíre ready to ditch the shell shaped sink, infamous bathroom blue tub, and god help you, matching blue toilet here are some ways to create a clean modern room youíll love.

    If youíre willing to put in time and effort you can remove tub surround yourself by removing the hardware than scoring along where the surround meets the wall. Youíll then want to pull the surround from the wall very carefully as to not damage the wall behind it, cutting the adhesive away as you go. Once torn down youíll want to prep the walls with plastic sheeting and HardieBacker for tiling. 

    While a lot of work, this opens up more options for you to modernize your bathroom with elements like imitation marble or subway tiling and even install a sleek new tub. With so many options on the market now, you can have anything from a freestanding tub such as an acrylic clawfoot tub or drop in that leaves lots of deckspace for bath product and mood-setting candles.  

    Tiling the wall behind or surrounding your tub is a great way to create a chic statement wall without breaking the bank imitating floor to ceiling tiling. Use the same tiling for both floors and wall or add some depth by matching smaller floor tiles with a matching larger size for the wall. Painting the remaining walls a light color brightens up the room while maintaining an overall clean feel.

    A large mirror over the sink reflects light and makes the room feel more expansive. If your bathroom already has a builder grade mirror you can give it a quick upgrade by framing it with molding or even some simple boards for a sleek look. If you have a medicine cabinet you donít want to replace a coat of fresh paint and chic knob pull like a T-bar will bring the piece a whole new feel.

    Updating the sink with new hardware is always a surefire way to update a room though be sure to match the finish it to the existing hardware for a cohesive look. A pedestal sink adds more visual space to a small bathroom while replacing the cabinet brings an entirely new look to the room. Undermount sinks add a crisp modern look while maintaining the extra storage availability that comes with a vanity.

    Donít let an outdated bathroom continue to plague your otherwise well-designed home. The effort it takes to rip out old amenities is well worth the enjoyment youíll get out of their modern replacements. Get the most out of your renovation efforts by opting for styles that are least likely to fall out of fashion and instead remain a classic staple.





    Posted by Lauren Davis on 6/14/2017

    When looking at new homes, home buyers with high expectations can sometimes feel disappointed with their options. In a world where wood paneling, blue bathtubs, and wallpaper in every room have been popular trends it can feel like a lot of houses on the market are eyesores.

    An important factor to keep in mind, however, is what parts of the home are merely cosmetic and which are structurally important. If a home is in a neighborhood you love with all the structurally important systems in excellent shape you can still add it to the top of your list. Poor design choices, or lack thereof, can always be changed down the line. 

    If you were hoping for a home with lots of character and detail but the neighborhoods you love are filled with ranches and builder grade homes donít despair. There are plenty of style upgrades you can DIY yourself to give your home the luxe look youíre looking for. 

    Ready to make a dramatic first impression? Wow guests with just a few of these simple upgrades. 

    If your entrance opens up to a staircase you can create a drastic difference with just a small change. The newel post, that is the first main post of the stair railing, can be swapped out for something more ornate and classic. With plenty of options ranging from boxy posts with molding to something sleek topped with an ornate finial ball. Add more drama by choosing a contrasting color for the finial, newel cap, and railing from the main post and spindles.  

    A large mirror placed in an entrance or along the length of a hallway never fails to make a statement. Place a pier mirror between windows to create more light and dimension to the room. Create a built-in look by adding molding and wainscotting painted to match the trim of the room. 

    Add elegance by installing a ceiling medallion. Not just for the foyer they are also a great detail to add to your dining room, guest bedroom or home office. With a wide selection at your fingertips, you can pair one with a chandelier for a chic look or for a more modern flair coupled with a contemporary style pendant light.

    For a truly classic look wall trim instantly makes any room look more luxe. Keep it simple with box shapes or opt for an art deco touch with more geometric shapes. Paired with other vintage elements wall trim brings a sense of refinement. If youíre aiming for a more effortless yet modern theme pair with a mix of mid-century modern and minimalist pieces.

    When house shopping keeping an open mind as to what can be changed and what is imperative for a safe home makes all the difference in your shopping experience. Print out pictures for inspiration or create a board on Pinterest to keep the ideas flowing. As you look at each new house keep in mind how you can easily add these elements to create a more luxurious home with a quick weekend project.




    Categories: Uncategorized