kitchen breakfast room refresh

A Home Refresh Makes Sense in a Seller’s Market

living room refresh
Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

Are you craving a new home – either due to changing needs, or a desire for something fresh – but reluctant to jump into what continues to be a red-hot real estate market that favors sellers over buyers? A home refresh may be your solution. 

First, let me tell you:  I am hearing from SO many clients just like you. They are looking for change but not wanting to go through all of the major steps that are involved with buying a new home, especially in today’s real estate climate. 

So you’re not alone! And you’re also not out of options. 

Many clients have found that a home renovation or refresh is the next best thing to buying a brand new home. Although, I’d argue in many cases, it can be an even better thing!

For one, you get to stay in a space that you know and love. No need to update your address with a gazillion different companies, or find new lawn and home care services, or go through the process of meeting neighbors all over again. No need for ANY of the hassles of moving. And boy is there a long list on that front. 

Also, as we’ve already discussed, it’s not exactly a great time to be a buyer. So staying in place with a refresh will save you from so many financial and logistical stresses.

With a home renovation, there will of course be SOME annoyances and challenges, as with any major project. Lead times and supply chain issues are still an undeniable concern. But if you have a designer like me helping you through it, we can keep aggravations to a minimum. And we will get your place looking and feeling like it is brand new. You can’t beat that!

living room refresh
Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

The other thing that makes this a smart move is if you ever do change your mind – say the market gets a little more favorable to buyers and you decide you are ready to make that location change – you will now have a beauty on your hands that will instantly fetch a lot of attention. This is especially true if you focus your refresh on big ticket areas like the kitchen or primary bathroom.

A Refresh Rocks 


I’ve had so many clients who have considered buying a new home but then realized that a renovation sounded a lot more appealing. These are people who I first met 15 or 20 years ago when they were building their homes, who are now returning for a refresh! 

That existing relationship makes the renovation process an incredibly fun time for both me and the client.

kitchen renovation
Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

Not only do we get to reminisce and discuss style changes over time, but I also get to show them the value of a face lift. I always say this – sometimes all it takes is a little change with a smart magic wand to get BIG impact! And it does NOT have to cost you a ton of money. I repeat, it does NOT have to cost you a ton of money.

I wanted to share one project of mine that illustrates this concept so beautifully. All of the gorgeous photos you’ve been scrolling through so far? Yep! They come from that project. 

Opting for a Refresh

I met the clients, Dan and Bonnie, about 20 years ago when I helped them with selections and furnishings while they were building their home.

They chose to put their home on the market in 2019, but realized after shopping it around a bit that they could not match up to what they already had. They were also cognizant of current home trends and that helped inform their decision to stay and opt for a refresh. I’m so glad they did!

We ended up waving the magic wand on a number of the rooms in their house: the kitchen, dining room, living room, hearth area, primary bedroom, and study, with longer term plans for the lower level and an outdoor living space.

living room refresh
Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

Breaking the project down by room and thinking of it in different phases helped the clients determine the scope of what they wanted to tackle. It also allowed them to keep a better eye on the budget and the impact of various selections.

On this refresh, we used a mix of new furniture selections from C. R. Laine and Hooker Furniture. We repainted the walls with Sherwin William’s Agreeable Grey and Anew Grey. And we brought in a slew of new rugs from Jaunty, Uttermost and Surya. Of course, that’s not all! I also found new lighting fixtures and hardware for these clients, we painted the hearth, and so much more!

Read on for more details and loads of fun photos!

Take a Tour


before and after
Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors

Let’s start with the kitchen — truly, the star of the show!

Kitchen renovations are always a big undertaking, and that is especially true now, with long lead times and crazy prices.

BUT — I have to impress upon you — this is the one area of your house that you will NEVER regret taking on.

First of all, the kitchen is the heart of the home — even if you are not a big cook, it is so often the place where everyone gathers and where all of the action happens. It is usually pretty visible to guests. And it can look OH SO PRETTY when it’s been freshened up.

Here, we painted the existing cabinets and reshaped the island to a more “current” style. New countertops elevated everything: Cambria Brittanica Warm for the island and Silestone Rougui/ Lena for the perimeter and wet bar.

We also added a new backsplash (cappucino crackle — doesn’t that sound good?!??), new hardware and new pendant lighting to complete the before after

This is the quality you’d find in a new build! I was so pleased with how it turned out.

Living Room Refresh

Moving on to the living room, which I can’t get enough of.

As an interior designer, I am a HUGE fan of natural light, wherever we can find it and however we can get it. When blessed with a room like this with these massive windows that allow daylight to just pour in you definitely want to take full advantage.

As part of this refresh, we reworked the fireplace with a dreamy Turkish travertine stone and custom mantel. We also painted the hearth Mega Greige ,which just melts next to the Agreeable Gray in the rest of the room.

living room before after
Design By Ellen Kurtz Interiors

The sofa and chairs are from C.R. Laine and the console table, lamps and accessories are from Uttermost.

Everything looks light and bright and pristine. I love how this space almost glows with that sunlight shining in!

More Before and Afters

You know I love a good Before and After. And I know you do, too!

So enough of me talking. Here are some more pics from this beautiful refresh, because they really do speak for themselves.

Remember, a refresh does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to consume every minute of your day. If you work with a designer like me, it can be an easy way to breathe new life into your home. And you can touch as much or as little as you want with the design wand.

If I can help you with your next project, please reach out! In the meantime, enjoy the pretty pics 🙂

before after refresh
Design by Ellen Kurtz Interiors