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Ask McEnearney: How can I refresh my home for spring on a budget?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Now that the spring flowers are blooming, I am excited about freshening up my house. Do you have any suggestions that will make a big impact, but not break the bank?

Answer: Thank you for asking! I just refreshed my own home over the past year and am thrilled with the outcome! I am happy to share my examples and to make a few more suggestions.

Time To Go

If you are like me, you probably have furniture and accessories that you acquired from relatives, or your tastes have changed over the years and your favorite coffee table just doesn’t work anymore. I loved my purple leather sectional and had a hard time saying “goodbye”, but when my movers tossed it off the deck, I was even more excited about the new streamlined mid-century style sofa that I had on order.

Walk through your house and put blue tape on pieces that you could do without. You never know if your family members or friends will consider them a treasure.

Check out options for selling, auctioning, or consigning your nicer items. Think about the various non-profits in Alexandria that could use furniture for families moving into their first home, or thrift stores that donate the proceeds of a sale to deserving organizations. Donate or toss the rest.

Fix It

Does your tub need caulking? Hate those old lighting fixtures or recessed lights? Have you always wanted hardwood floors throughout the house? Does your deck need to be refinished? Make a list and give it to your contractor, handyman, or skilled family member to get it done.

In my case… I had the carpet ripped out of my top two floors and installed hardwood. Then my “floor guy” refinished all four levels for a gorgeous new look! My electrician replaced and added new LED recessed lights, a contemporary chandelier in the dining room and pendants in the kitchen. I was tired of the builder grade mirrors in my bathrooms and the hollow doors throughout the house.

I love my new lights and doors!

A new color palette and updated lighting can make your art really pop!

Paint It

Paint is the least expensive, most impactful and difficult decision to make for your refresh. I had an interior designer help me with my colors almost 24 years ago, and as much as I still liked them, I wanted a change! I discovered an expert who worked with me to create my new palette and I couldn’t be happier. The colors flow beautifully from room to room and have set a whole new stage for my update.

Move Stuff Around

Now… it is time to have fun! Try moving things around to different places in the same room, or to other areas all together. I ended up taking all of my art off the walls (I have a lot!) and playing around with it for several weeks before I made some tentative decisions. I then had an artist help me think outside the box (or frame) for a fresh look and suggestions. Some of the final decisions really surprised me!

This long wall in my foyer is perfect to showcase the work of Torpedo Factory artist, Marsha Staiger and the ‘Three Ladies’ have a new home in my kitchen.

As a supporter of the local art scene in Alexandria, I am thrilled to feature the works of a number of Torpedo Factory artists in my house including Marsha StaigerBeverly Ryan and Laura Edwards. Plan a visit to The Factory soon!

Create Designated Spots

With so many people working from home, having a designated office in your house will make a huge difference.

When our office first closed due to COVID, I worked from my dining room table for almost a year and hated it. You see… although I am very organized when it comes to helping my clients… my desk is always a mess. Now that I have set up my top floor as an office where only I see my papers, I can enjoy my living space to its fullest.

Do you need a sewing or craft room? How about space to work on your various projects where you don’t have to put things away every time? Do it!

Get Some New Stuff

Now that you have rearranged your furniture, art and accessories… what do you need to finish your transformation? Look online, at your favorite antique shops, furniture and accessory stores and even flea markets. Love the table that your parents have in their dining room? Maybe they are ready to change their look too!

Hope that some of these suggestions helped get your creative juices flowing. Contact me if you need a fresh eye, I am happy to help!

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. As an active member of the community since 1989, Lisa specializes in Alexandria, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with her friends, neighbors, former clients and their referrals.

In addition to enjoying the Old Town lifestyle and the art related events and activities, she is a member of a number of volunteer organizations. Having had nine Golden Retrievers, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information:, 770.789.3534.

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Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School

Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on


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