Janice Walker | Marshfield Real Estate, Duxbury Real Estate, Scituate Real Estate


Wanting to add some vintage metal to your décor? An aged silver-framed mirror, glossy wall plate, or glowing trio of candlesticks might be just the thing to pull it all together. Silver tableware adds an elegant touch to a party and a beautiful silver tray on the entry table is perfect to collect your mail.

Beautiful silver pieces of all kinds show up in vintage and antique stores to catch your eye. Sometimes the distraction of the shine hides its true self, so use these suggestions to help you find the real deal.

Silverplate versus sterling silver.

Silverplate, a thin layer of silver applied as a coated or electroplated over a base metal, was popular over the past couple centuries and allowed folk to obtain silver's elegant look at a lower price Sterling, on the other hand, is 92.5 percent pure silver.

Sterling silver holds its value and stands up to the rigors of aging much better than silver plate, which can wear through to the base metal and require re-plating to bring back its original beauty. Sterling silver lasts for generations when cared for properly.

How can you tell?

When shopping in antique malls, flea markets, and vintage stores, bring a small magnet with you. Sterling silver is not magnetic, and therefore, the more silver the object contains, the less likely your magnet sticks. When a magnet adheres, the likelihood of base metal under a silver coat is high. 

Look for silver marks too. In the United States, both sterling silver and silver plate usually bear identification markings. Sterling carries the numbers 925, meaning ninety-two and a half percent silver and just seven and a half percent of some other metal. English sterling, on the other hand, frequently shows the image of a lion along with markings specific to the city of origin, the year of crafting, and the king or queen in power at the time.

What should you pay?

Silver's value fluctuates based on the current metals market, so its price rises and falls frequently. Since markets post the price of silver daily, use this to your advantage as you bargain on the amount of your piece of sterling silver.

The price for plated silver depends more on the design and quality of the underlying piece and the amount of silver remaining in its surface. If you like the piece and it fits in your décor, then, by all means, offer the dealer a price befitting your budget.


Most people enjoy surrounding themselves with bright colors. Blues, purples, reds, and greens add personality to your home and bring you joy. They may set off your furniture or your favorite art. When you decorate your own home, you tend towards colors and styles that make you happy. However, as you've probably noticed even in your own family, different colors have different means for each person. While you might love that salmon pink wall, your potential buyer might not be able to get past the cat-food reference.

In addition to simple preference, an estimated ten percent or more of the population suffers from some form of color blindness, and most of them don't even realize it. Two main kinds of color blindness exist: you've probably heard of the more common red/green color blindness, but a blue/yellow color blindness exists as well that confuses blue and yellow with violet. That means the gorgeous pale yellow you chose might look like a bright violet to them. If a buyer knows about their color blindness, they plan for it, but most sufferers have no idea, they've just always seen colors this way.

You don’t want to turn off a promising buyer because you chose colors that were too bright, or didn’t account for variations in color blindness. A lot of buyers may not actually be color blind, but instead, become blinded by your palette. If buyers can't visualize the room with their belongings and their family, they won't want to purchase the home.

The Solution: Go Neutral

In the past, real estate and staging professionals used to solve this problem by asking clients to paint their entire home white. While white will still work, you can also benefit from using one of the other modern neutral tones. These off-white and gray sophisticated palettes can compliment your existing furniture and architectural features. Paint manufacturers and interior designers are always trying new neutral tones by adding warm or cool undertones to whites and grays. Check out the latest palettes for your season and use them to keep some color, dimension, and depth to your walls without overpowering your potential buyers' ability to picture the home the way they want it.

One long-lasting trend is to use some darker neutral on the walls balanced by bright white trim. This combination has a brightening effect around window and doors and evokes a warm response in many buyers. Make sure to check the trends in your area, since some regions will prefer one set of neutrals over another. In some areas, soft blues and greens work well for neutral tones.

Talk to your local real estate professional about the best painting choices for your property before investing in ten gallons of white.


Build your dream home; in your mind. Put together the ultimate dream home. Take a journey to discover what your style is and help you when it is time to go shopping in the real world. Through researching and playing with ideas, you can narrow down those features and styles you love. Online searches, Pinterest and magazines are all great places to hunt for new things to put into your dream home. One way to start this adventure, begin with one room and design it top to bottom. You can put the ideas in a journal, up on a bulletin board, or even create a digital file on your computer. The important part is to find things you like and do not be afraid to have several options for the same space pictured. 

Kitchen the Gathering Spot of the Home

Somehow everyone ends up in the kitchen when you have a gathering. Such a popular place is a great room to start your dream building exercise. While bells and whistles are fun and you may be tempted to start with the in-wall wine rack, you will want to start with the basic floor plan first. The layout and function may not be flashy but will be essential for your long-term enjoyment of the kitchen space. Deciding how much storage space you might need and what kind of pantry you would like will help you design a workable room. Also remember the work triangle when you plan out placing the refrigerator, sink, oven, and cooktop. Kitchens in an open floor plan are part of the greater gathering and eating areas without walls to separate the spaces. Tying the design of your kitchen in with these other spaces will create a cohesive look. 

The Master’s Space

When you reach the end of your long day, a tranquil space is a bonus and necessity. This room can help you keep your mind and body from holding onto the daily stress. Planning your master bedroom and bathroom spaces will enable you to custom plan your de-stressing routine. Color palettes and lighting make this room relaxing and inviting. Choosing items like large soaking tubs or double-head steam showers will get you dreaming of a retreat oasis. Remember, there are no rules when you are designing for yourself. A dream house design has no budget so, go for it and create what makes your heart sing. 

Find an open house in your area and find two or three things you can include in your dream home design.


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 moment’s silence from the children. If you’re 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 you’ll love.

If you’re 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. You’ll 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 you’ll 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 don’t 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.

Don’t 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 you’ll 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.


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 don’t despair. There are plenty of style upgrades you can DIY yourself to give your home the luxe look you’re 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 you’re 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.




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