The Worst Colors to Use in a Home – Fun Article to Share

First and foremost, when you own your own house – paint it whatever darn color you want.  After years of renting white rooms, most homeowners want to add their flare and by all means DO IT!  The first thing I did when we bought our condo – I painted a whole wall Purple and it was the happiest moment of my life.

However, preparing a home for sale – is a different plan all together.  Enjoy this article I read and let me know your thoughts!

The Worst Colors to Use in a Home

Emerald may be this year’s color of the year and hot hue, but which colors should you avoid?

Color research tells us some colors to avoid. Colors that can be considered, as some researchers note, “eye irritants” and can even cause headaches or mess with your vision.

According to color research, the worst offending color:

Yellow as a “pure bright lemon.”

“More light is reflected by bright colors, resulting in excessive stimulation of the eyes,” researchers note. “Yellow is an eye irritant. Babies cry more in yellow rooms, husbands and wives fight more in yellow kitchens, and opera singers throw more tantrums in yellow dressing rooms.”

That said, yellow is the first color the human eye tends to notice so in small doses it may be effective. It can help you draw attention to an item when used as an accent color. Also, using yellow in softer tints or in small quantities may not be such a turn-off.

A recent article at (“Paint Color Trends to Avoid”) pinpointed trendy color combos that may have once been a turn-on that are now becoming a turn-off in home interiors. San Francisco color expert Kelly Berg recently weighed in at about some trendy color combinations to avoid, such as:

▪   “Greige”: The gray and beige combo in a space to create a monochromatic effect. Instead, Berg recommends pulling in some accent colors, likegrassy greens, to make the space more warm and inviting. She also recommends mixing in reflective surfaces, such as glass and metal, to lighten up the room since gray tends to absorb more light than other hues.

▪   Chocolate brown and blue: This trendy color combo of a chocolate brown and Tiffany’s blue may be growing tiresome in home interiors. Berg recommends freshening up the look by adding a third color to the mix, such as hot pink, coral, or metallics in silver or gold.

▪   Red, Gold and Green: This go-to rustic color pattern also may be beginning to grow stale in interiors. Berg recommends avoiding using all three colors in equal portions when you have a tri-color scheme in a home. She also recommends keeping the saturation levels of the color similar, but not exactly the same to liven up the look.

▪   The all white kitchen: A kitchen all in white can look fresh and clean, but the look may be getting overdone and growing dull. Liven it up by pulling in some color from an adjacent space or pull a color from the dishes, Berg says. For example, if the home owner has blue dishes, you might try using deep indigo as an accent color.

Have you found any color combos that are big turn-offs in a space? Weigh in on what you think works–and doesn’t–with color!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

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Selling my 1st Place…. A Realtor in the Sellers Seat.

I have to say – selling my first place while being a full-time Realtor has been a fantastic experience.  My career has taught me so much and I’m grateful for that knowledge as my husband and I sit in the sellers seat.

It’s been one heck of a ride for buyers, sellers and their Realtors these past couple of years.  Today, I’ve sat in each seat – 1st time buyer, 1st time seller and full time Realtor.

It’s been great fun showing my husband “what I do”.  We spent a day filling out all the disclosures and signing everything to prepare our condo for the market.  Not to mention the hours with my Realtor Hat on – full of ‘copy, scan and PDF’ing’ bank statements, paperwork, and… did I mention paperwork?

After a couple weeks on the market, we were flooded with interest and offers started to come in.  It’s been fun reviewing the offers and negotiating.  Since I have nothing to loose, no client but myself to please – I’ve really enjoyed putting this deal together.  I know that doesn’t sound fun, but it’s what I do all day for my clients. And doing it for myself has been refreshing – even exciting!

Last week I sat down with my husband and reviewed all the multiple offers – such a blessing to have so many options.  The Realtor in me truly enjoyed making the spreadsheet and discussing the pros and cons of each offer with my hubby as we combed through over 10 offers on our home.  Such a drastic difference from last year when we tried to sell – lots of showings – no offers.

Like so many who bought before the unforeseeable bust – we are currently underwater.  We bought back in 2006 and were so grateful to catch the last rung of property – the one bedroom condo.  We LOVED our place.  Spent the first month tearing out the old and rebuilding our kitchen and bath.  Our home is beautiful and we did most of the work ourselves.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sadly, as the market crashed and our business slowed down – by this year, watching home prices starting to rise – I made up my mind.  Time to sell this place, even for a loss, so we are prepared to move onto the next home when the time is right.

Moved out and ready to go, I’ve just sent a terrific offer to the bank and look forward to hearing back early 2013.

So that wraps up this week.  I look forward to the next step… short sale negotiations!  And that’s what I do best… stay tuned!

UPDATE:  SOLD IT in Feburary 2013!!!!  20 OFFERS to choose from – closed in less than 30 days – the bank cooperated beautifully for a change!

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The Caton Team offers a Free Mobile Real Estate App!

Ever find yourself standing outside a home you want to buy and need more information?  Now The Caton Team offers a FREE Mobile Real Estate App that will provide you with information at your finger tips and the ability to alert me right away – visit the link below to my free app.

Thank you – Susan & Sabrina – The Caton Team

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Time and time again as a Realtor I’ve come across the question – “What do I do with my popcorn ceiling?” Courtney and CJ asked.  Followed by, ‘It has Asbestos – now what?’  When my friend, client and fellow blogger, Marie, emailed me with the same question – I thought – let’s write a blog about it.

Not only are popcorn ceilings horrendous, sometimes they contain enough Asbestos material to make them hazardous waste and require professional removal.  The standard options for popcorn ceilings after having it tested for hazardous waste are:

1)   Leave it alone – have it spray-painted by a professional and vow never to disturb it.

2)   Encapsulating it – having a licensed contractor covering it with sheetrock and creating a ‘new ceiling’ thus encapsulating the material entirely.

3)   Remove it – have a licensed hazardous material disposal company remove it using all the necessary precautions.  If it does not contain hazardous material after professional testing, a licensed contractor or painter can remove it.

When asked for my personal opinion, having experienced the situation myself in our condo – I was ready with some advice…

Take it down!

I wish I did.  At the time, when we bought our first place, like so many other first time buyers – we had a very tight budget.  We figured we could tackle it later.  So we opted to have the entire ceiling spray-painted professionally instead of taking it down, and vowed never to touch it.  Turns out I like to hang streamers for parties.  And ceiling lights sometimes have to be moved.  So to make a long story short, it’s not practical to think you’re never going to touch your ceiling.  I remember the morning our ceiling caved into our bedroom during a rainstorm… well that’s another story….

Looking back, it would have been so easy to remove the popcorn ceiling when the place was empty.  Once you move in, well, all you stuff is in the way. Anyway.  There it will stay.  But man it is ugly.  If you can – take yours down!

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I want hardwood floors… I can afford carpet…

When our new homeowner Marie emailed me with a question – I’ve heard and experienced more and more – it got me thinking – sage advice should be shared.

The Caton Team just helped Marie & Aaron get their first house and needless to say, it needed a lot of love and well $$$$.  When you’re a first time buyer – $$$$ is all but used up by the time you get the keys.  I know, my husband and I have been there.

They had a dilema – the floors were in bad shape, they tried painting over it and well that didn’t work.  Anyway – their dream was to have beautiful hardwood floors but the budget was tight.  So Marie shot me and email to ask from some advice.

Do they buy carpet???  They don’t really want carpet.

Been there, done that.  Totally know how they feel.

In the end, my advise to her was the same advice I learned myself.  Stay within your budget.  Spend your $$$$ wisely.  Buy the carpet for now, enjoy the home and sock away some $$$$ for those gleaming hardwood floors.  At least the carpet is new!!!!  And you know what’s been on there.  (Hahaha)  One day you will have them and they will be awesome.  If you’re a good little squirrel – as I’ve learned to be – you’ll have them sooner than you think.

Buying a home is a long term investment.  We don’t need to do all the updating at once, even though our hearts and elbow grease are in it – and those darn do-it-yourself shows make anything look easy in an edited down hour.  Your home is your castle – they didn’t build Rome in a day. So plan, save and measure everything TWICE!


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Redoing the Balcony

It’s not a backyard but it is our outdoor space.  The balcony is our tiny escape.  Most Home Owner Associations have rules regarding the balcony and what you can and cannot do to it.  Our HOA rule wouldn’t allow any type of tile or covering, but the floor was super dirty from neglete and being the type of person who never wears shoes – I wanted an inviting balcony.

Fast forward to the complex getting painted and we saw our opportunity.  Since we had to move everything from the balcony indoors – it was the perfect opportunity for an upgrade.

Hubby was away for business so I headed to the paint store for some heavy duty floor paint.  Choose a dark gray to blend in with the grime I knew would settle there no matter how often I clean.

First step was to thoroughly clean the floor so the paint would stick.  I scrubbed it good and let it dry for a day.

The next day I put down a coat of paint, another before bed and another the following morning.

By the time hubby came home – the deck was sparkling clean.  Got a rubber rug for under the BBQ and some plant stands, some string lights and volia!

It’s party ready now!

Happy to say all the plants are still alive!


PS.  To comply with CA State Law – we no longer have the BBQ 😦

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How to Choose Paint for Your Home

With my home all complete, I plan to tackle a couple of issues new homeowners face after they get the keys.

One of my favorite homeowner tasks is painting.  How to paint, what colors to choose can be fun or daunting.

It is said that paint color “is so powerful that it can influence not just our state of mind but even our physiology.”  – Debbie Zimmer, a color expert at the Paint Quality Institute in Philadelphia.  Visit for more information.

And I strongly agree.  Painting your home should be fun for you as a homeowner and when it comes time to sell – painting is the quickest and most cost-effective update a seller can do.

Let’s have fun with color.

Black – A great accent color both inside and out.  Accents of black can create elegance and sophistication.  Too much black and you’ve created a portal to depression.  Use wisely.  In Feng Shui – Black represents career and advancement – making a home office a nice place for some black accents or flooring.

White – Clean, crisp, open spaces and peace.  A great place for white are the door and window trims, fireplace surrounds and the ceiling.  It will open up a space and make it feel larger.  Personally, white walls screams a rental property so I encourage sellers to use different shades of white to break up the monotony.  In Feng Shui, White represents children and creativity – use it where you see fit.

Purple – Well you know how I feel about purple – love it!  However, color experts suggest to keep this color for a child’s bedroom.  The color purple is known to stimulate brain activity.  In Feng Shui – purple represents abundance and prosperity, I see a home office brewing in my head.

Blue – Ahh so tranquil and refreshing.  Shades of blue are known to slow pulse rate and lower body temperature.  Which is great for a master bedroom retreat.  The ancient Egyptians and Native Americans were known to use this color to heal.  I find a blue bedroom soothing, relaxing and a private oasis after a hard days work.  In Feng Shui, blue represents wisdom and knowledge.  I’m thinking library and homework areas!

Green – is gaining ground since the avocado shades of the 60’s and 70’s no longer prevail. Green is known to have a soothing effect.  It also represents renewal, youth and vigor.  Did you know that staring at a plant or the color green can actually have a positive effect on the mind to relive stress.  Paint a room green and you can escape into nature any day.  In Feng Shui, green represents purpose and expression.

Yellow – Yellow is the color of happiness, sunshine and lemonade.  Yellow evokes happiness and optimism.  Studies have shown that the brain actually releases more serotonin when the eyes takes in yellow – creating positive psychological vibes.  In Feng Shui, Yellow represents health and well-being.  I’m always happier around some yellow.

Orange – An attention getter.  Go Giants!  These warm hues of yellow and orange create energy and warmth.  Muddy shades are useful in many rooms, but vivid tones may appear raw and flamboyant.  Painting for yourself – go for it – painting for sale – let’s stay away from crazy color schemes.

Red – Creates energy, excitement and gets the heart beat going faster.  Often associated with passion and desire it’s great for dinning rooms and adult bedrooms.  In Feng Shui red represents integrity and reputation.

Gray – A soft color which relaxes the mind like a shade of blue.  Gray is a great alternative to white and in Feng Shui represents luck and good fortune.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick review on colors.  By no means am I a color expert, but I’ve been known to pick out some very complimentary color schemes for my clients – my personal reside aside.

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at or visit our website at

For the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula visit

Information in this blog provided by Realtor magazine, April/May 2011 edition

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The Outlet is on the Fritz

So the outlet under our sink is half dead.  How can an outlet be half dead?  I don’t know and I won’t ask – I’m just happy that half the outlet works so I can still use my dishwasher.  The sad part is the outlet side that works is the part connected to the light switch which used to belong solely to the garbage disposer.  So now, if you’re doing dishes and the sink fills with water – you reach for the switch only to hear the dishwasher sound on.  So, I flip the switch off, pull the trash out and switch the plugs so I can now drain the sink.  Mind you, I haven’t been able to bend over or stand on two feet since April, so this yoga position to reach the plug is very very similar to downward facing dog, or in my case, downward facing flamingo.

Oh, you want to run the dishwasher do you ?  Well here we go again, makes sure the switch is off – but first make sure you already ran the garbage disposer and now plug in the dishwasher, turn on the switch and presto – you can now wash dishes – that is if you haven’t thrown out your back or fell backwards while standing on one foot.

So I look under the sink and see the outlet is in a really really really bad place.  So bad I couldn’t take a picture with my phone to show you.  The outlet is on the border of the cabinet and dishwasher – I don’t even know if anyone can actually pull it out and fix it.  So I just needed to vent about it – it’s the joys of home-ownership!

Thankfully I have a couple of friends who are electricians – just a bit embarrassed to show them the outlet location since I was the grand planner of the kitchen – and didn’t really take into account the outlet locations while picking out my cabinets.  So my advice to my future DIY’ers – take a darn look where all your outlets are while planing your kitchen or bath.

Want to hear one more funny thing?  There is also a phone outlet in the pantry.  Part of me wants to put my red phone in there – so when it rings – Batman will know what do it.

Humor, it get’s me through the dishes and the overflowing sink.

Want to hear some real real estate advice – visit The Real Estate Beat, a Pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula Market at

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The Blog that Inspired Me

Sadly I have to report – that the blog that inspired me was hacked into and is no longer in service.  Stay tuned for Marie’s next adventure…


As a Realtor I get to watch my clients grow as homeowners.  I hear their stories and see their progress.  It wasn’t till a client sent me her blog that I felt the yearning to share my own experiances.  So I must pay tribute to the blog that started it all.  Please enjoy ….  I’ve enjoyed watching their progress and hope you’ve enjoyed my journey as well.

Talk to you soon,


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Moving In

After all the hard work, the long hours, the weekends, the nights – Five weeks later we moved in.

Though we still have a honey-do list – as any homeowner will tell you – the list never ends.  I still need to re-calk the bath, fix the baseboards, the switch, the fireplace, the faceplate, the… the…

But it’s all worth it to come home and feel at home.

Enjoy the after photos!

Our living room is a long with the dinning room at the other end – the wall is over 30 feet long!  We painted it jolly rancher purple and boy does it wake you up when you walk in.  It’s a little wild – and for our first place – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Living Room

Dining Room

We are blessed with beautiful family heirlooms.  We borrowed the side hutches from our brother and I found this lamp at Lamps Plus for a steal – I’m so taking it when we sell the place – it’s so pretty and deco!


The cool ocean hues really make the bedroom our oasis.  Add a temperpedic bed and it’s a slice of heaven!

Not bad a some hard work

It’s a galley kitchen but you can line up 10 people in there at once!  It may be small but it has a big heart.  I love love love our granite counter tops.  Not only can you place hot pots directly on it without worry – it also wipes away clean.  Just DO NOT put lemon juice or any type of acid on it – it will damage the stone.  Thankfully I learned that lesson on a granite cutting board and not our lovely counter tops.  Oil does stain the stone – so don’t forget to seal it.


Art Deco Inspired Bathroom on a Budget

Looking through our home, I am so thankful for our family and friends who helped us put this all together.  Thank you Mom & Dad, Ma & Pa, Bro & Sis, Kris, and Martin.  You made our house a home!

Thanks for taking this walk with me down memory lane.

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