Our interview with interior designer home stager Abby Vassek.  



Ryan:

Okay, so we are live on Facebook right now and as well YouTube if you're tuning in on Facebook. We did a little test run yesterday what we found was that Facebook does not have the ability from a business page to invite guests in. So, we are simultaneously broadcasting in on YouTube live Katie will you drop that link into the Facebook. So, if you are watching this on Facebook my suggestion is to go into the chat, Katie is going to post the link and that way you can see both myself and Abbie who is our guest today. So, Abbey, a little introduction to you Abbie Vasek is a designer, a teacher, and home stager tell us a little bit about yourself


Abbey:

Certainly so, with that I've had a background in interior design going on 15 years now in that department but it was after my second show with HGTV that I was getting more speaking invitations. Just I whether to talk about reality television or design or but the one that really made the biggest impact on my life was when a broker asked for me to come and talk to their Austin real estate agents about design strategies for presentation. How to add value and present their homes and I started doing some research on real estate and design and discovered staging and for the first time in my life I felt like that was a niche within design. It wasn't a luxury service but and every man's necessity if they want to do well in the real estate transaction and I liked that part about it. I love that, I love working with other business professionals and helping them elevate their game and so it's been a really great place for me to be 


Ryan: 

And obviously we couldn't agree more you know if you're a client of spyglass or you're watching this and you're you know on our page and you followed us we include staging and the remodeling coordination is part of  our service we don't charge anything extra for it and the way that we met Abbie was our title company reached out said look we've got this great presentation on you know different architectural styles and so we've had two so far and if you're. 


Abbey 

Like we architecture and then we did building materials I like that one for us. 


Ryan

We did building materials yeah and then so with that we had been last Wednesday and there's a blog on our site Katie will you drop that into the chat both the YouTube and Facebook and you can just see kind of mark bullet notes of where you know what her presentation was. So and also, you know if you want to get in touch with Abbey there's a link on my site and we're gonna put that link into both the chats right now and you can get more in touch with that. So, let's just jump right into this (cross talk 03:14) First of all I’m Ryan Rodeback I'm the owner of Spyglass Realty and we're going to be doing these shows every couple of weeks. So, that we can basically inform people about different real estate trends things are going on in Austin. So, the first question I have 

Abbey

Can I say you’re so progressive in that way, can I just tell you how much I admire the way that you run this brokerage. I mean getting in just being really a visionary in staying ahead of the trends in education and your approach to real estate. I just think it's incredible for the exact same percent that you would pay another realtor they're getting like exponential services with spyglass 

 Ryan

And I just really appreciated that you don't yeah services is what we're all about. So, you know what I wanted to get in today the first question is it seems like there's this like there's this the last ten years there's been a trend of ultra-modern design right. And it's almost kind of remind me of the 80s you know Miami Vice modern and I kind of feel like it's a little like I'm starting to see clients say you know it's just too modern you know. If people are starting to kind of move away from that to some extent, can you tell me what are the types of design architectural designs you're seeing now? 

Abbey

Yeah! I'd love to you think. I completely agree with you on that about the pullback from the extreme modern approach and I think that's because we are new construction the home buyers are wanting things that are a little bit less style specific. It's almost though I want a touch of modern but I really want to contemporary blend that blends in both some more traditional aspects there are some beautiful things about traditional architecture that we completely threw out. Altogether when we adopted some of these more modern concepts for building and I think we're wanting a little bit we want to keep some of those in some of the sustainable elements that were being used in modern design. A few of those elements but I want to pair it with something a little bit more traditional too so, it's truly that blend that we call transitional. Where it's classical architecture, classical design with a contemporary twist in some of that contemporary twist are those modern elements.


Ryan

So, transitional is it seeming like that's going to be one of the buzzwords and like you know what speaking of of buzzwords that my next question is you know we're seeing like Dutch modern, our Dutch farmhouse and yesterday we had a conversation in our office about that. What is the proper terminology there?


Abbey

Okay, between Dutch modern and Dutch farmhouse?  here's my you might actually laugh I would actually call it “Dutch modern farmhouse”, I would put it all three together. 

 

Ryan

Got it

 

Abbey

Because modern farmhouse ist a buzzword right now and you know this could I travel all around when I talk to realtors. So, I'm talking to realtors in Houston and Dallas all over Texas and builders and they are getting such a request for this modern farmhouse look. That I mean they just calling it Barnett texture they don’t know what to call it either. 


Ryan

Yeah 


Abbie

You're what you're honing in on is that Dutch element which evokes modern; evokes farmhouse it because of that gambrel roof line. It's got a gambrel GAMBRIEL; gambrel that's the iconic Dutch roofline which to us is a colonial farmhouse vibe. I mean that's quintessential farmhouse feeling 


Ryan 

yeah 


Abbie

So, it is Dutch modern farm house. 


Ryan

Speaking of buzzwords you know we ran a Facebook ad for one of our agent listings, you know a couple weeks ago and it was a barndominium wasn't it was in there and then about was it just it went off. It was a property and Taylor with about five acres and like quite frankly we just did not think it was going to be that attracted them. Like it went crazy we had a ton of people registering liking and inquiring about it. What is barndominium does it mean anything? 


Abbie

It does it means something in it's so still undefined that I know that people with lenders and things are having a little bit of a difficulty because it is a new way of building where basically you're taking a metal of metal barn and then adding exterior elements to enhance it. So, sometimes you're adding some stone veneer and then keeping them metal sometimes they're resurfacing the whole thing and just keeping the exposed metal roof as part of the-- but it's a very affordable, it's really sustainable because these metal frames are made to last and whether those the Texas heat. It's a new way that people are building and so, I think it's hilarious as we watch the rest of the real estate industry that keeps things moving like title and lending. Going what is this? What is this? This was not traditional build so, it's a thing though it's a thing.


Ryan

By the way if you're watching on Facebook if you look in the comments Katie has put a link to our YouTube. 


Abbie

Oh! Great


Ryan

Doesn't matter if you're watching on Facebook you can get to are the YouTube live that we're doing so, you can see a B in in this post Facebook would not allow us to invite a guest because it's a business page. So, the next thing is a you know like an Barton Creek is a as a was a very popular neighborhood and they've got a lot of homes that aren't selling there and I think the problem is that they have this this data 2003 Tuscan look. Which you know a lot of people in Austin don't even lie. So, as a, you know designer what would you do to fix that?


Abbie

Oh God! I'll tell you from a lot of experience because I get called in for that exact issue. People who have bought into that early 2000s Tuscan look and want to feel more contemporary, it's a real thing that we're dealing with and I've got some wonderful suggestions for you guys. If you have a beautiful Tuscan home but it's feeling outdated the first place to start is always at the entryway because we want to change the tone that initial first impression and I would want to pair what you have the thick fisting that feels Mediterranean, old-world and beautiful don't throw it all out. That's wonderful even in new construction I want those old elements those are the organic to that they're the softening to my soft modern. All those organic old elements but what we want to pair it with are going to be some very now elements. I want to start at the front door I want it on either side of that front door remove those your typical Cypress sort of Tuscan plants and let's get in something it's a very 2017. 


Believe it or not there are trendy plants and one that has been it's in all the architectural high design magazines and I see it market is the fiddly fig tree and you put that in the shot and suddenly it feels 2017. It's amazing so, I would get some transitional pots on either side of that front door I would get an updated contemporary plants out front. I might even change look at what sort of numbers I've got what's like light fixtures, I've got because light fixtures are going to be the next very affordable, very style changing elements. They're always one of my best bang for my buck when I really want to move a style a certain way maybe I need to make it more decks or I need to make it more French country. I can do it with a light fixture and so I want to move through in key areas like above the island in the kitchen. If you've got an old-world light fixture hanging down there. This is where we need to start bringing in those more contemporary or modern elements. So, in fact I pulled up a couple pictures I might post to this later so we exemplify what I'm talking about.


Ryan

Yeah! That would be that would be great you know for the inside seems a little bit easier right it's not you know because you can just transform the inside from this you know kind of this Tuscan almost like you're walking into I don't know a Roman (Paso villa). Yeah! The outside is the hard part I know you're saying plants maybe change the entryway a little bit, take that big door with the steel things in the middle, yeah.


Abbie

All the heavy iron were they let's update that front door; that front door is that thing that it's your focal point. So, when I want to identify my focal point if that focal point is super stylistically old-world Tuscan. That's a wonderful opportunity let's just make those few change outs and I were just to add and I think it's got we've got to be a little bit careful about that contrast because I don't want to go just absolutely out of the gates contemporary modern front door. It's got to talk to my other finishes but there's your wonderful blend right now I think that's out there it's a transitional. A line of doors that have modern elements that still can work with what you got old-world so it's kind of that way. 


Ryan

Well, what about the colors on the outside of it because what will receives you know they have those there's a tile roofs right. There you know you can change that I mean some of those roofs are you know $150,000 right. So, you know you have to just you change the stucco, you stucco's a big element of that Tuscan right. You change that can we can change that color


Abbie

It’s a huge element we can change that color making it feel so Tuscan is the fact that it's that terracotta color (yeah). A more modern stucco color when we move it why were you stuck white, stuck of all the time in modern you know I think that it's one of those things where let's keep the the form let's just change the with refinish it.  (yeah). I love the material I just want to see it lightened up. Just in the way that we're lightening everything up so if I were on the outside to the inside of that home just a move for 2017 would make it lighter and brighter. All about so you can different paint just like it's yours different hardware to, change out the hardware when I come into a kitchen a night. If I saw some really sleek that new grass that brushed brass handles I mean and then those new light fixtures hanging over the whole vibe is gonna feel different.


Ryan

Yeah okay so, we were talking yesterday oh I was talking with the girls in the office here and you know sunny had a good question what are some of the trends that we're seeing now that you think like lack sustainability right. I mean it's like it's almost like some pants you know you got in the 90s or something you know gotta read. 


Abbie

(Inaudible 14:27)


Ryan

Exactly I wasn't gonna say that but it's exactly what I meant right yeah.


Abbie

I had big bucks for that that that you know two years later you're like oh yeah years ago. 


Ryan

So, in design what are you seeing now that you're like oh man this is gonna be you're gonna regret this right; all right. 


Abbie

Well, yeah you know I think it's it there's the backsplash is in our kitchens and it ends a lot of our walk-in showers right now. People are I'm seeing missing an over usage of certain materials and anytime something gets so saturated that's when I go on let's pull back. I'm just seeing a crazy amount of subway tile being a reemergence of subway tile. I think it was that whole chip and Joanna farmhouse thing and I think it's that in shiplap being used everywhere I think we're going to look back on that in five years from now and just be like that was so chip and Joanna five years ago.


Ryan

Yeah so, Subway's interesting let you say it's a subway you think that might be kind of a fab. 


Abbie

I think so, it's just being used so aggressively I'm seeing all the new construction and I just it makes me weary of it because I like it. It's actually um they've brought it back 


Ryan

It was a; it's to a point where you see something so much and it goes you know for so, long and everywhere you go it's kind of like alright we're just tired of seeing that right.


Abbie

Like the glass blocks in the 1980s and early 90s those glass blocks, you know right now even as cool of an idea as that was its your dates you so fast and I think the same is going to be said for all the shiplap that's being used in a lot of the subway tile that's being used. So, I just and in it and I also find it super busy that splashes that have just a ton of little pieces of hearts and stuff I just want a clean beautiful light and bright I find that's a little too busy. Wing more pair I see appeared with a busy granite and I think that you know you got to pick and choose there and I like the idea of bringing in a lot of texture in action. Which is a very transitional thing people know they need to get all these different textures in there but sticking out balance with that, choose amongst that let's  narrow it down and keep it again keep it simple as timeless with those things that are not easily changed out.


Ryan

Gotcha! Okay so, next question I have is you know when we sell a home we include renovation, remodeling services at no extra charge and my wife helps out with some of the design and you know usually when we sell a home. We're limited by a certain amount of budget right I mean like we go home shady hollow you know a couple months ago and you know we're going from just basic stuff to you know we have six thousand dollars budgeted towards this kitchen right. So, you know what are like the two or three things that are the most cost effective things in your mind when you remodel a kitchen to add you to that home. 


Abbie

Absolutely, okay because right there if you said starting at if I've got six thousand I know a complete Renault for my kitchen in a nice mid-range level would cost me about nearly nineteen thousand parts and labor there in Austin. And so, that's a third of the budget so there I just had a pullback and go what do I net really, really need in the things that I feel like are talking to today's buyer that are the most bang for your buck and I know it bothers a lot of people we're painting our cabinets because a lot of us have dark floors, hardwood floors or made to look like hardwood floors running through those kitchen now. I'm probably using the wood tile or using vinyl, it's too much wood and for the look that's so popular which is a light and bright airy 2017 is so bright and white so we're painting there are a lot of cabinets. And that has proven to be a really cost-effective don't replace those cabinets just paint them change out the hardware the next thing is I'm just really looking at that countertop material does it feel is it comparable in my price range for the price point I want is. Everybody else at that price point also have granite or have they moved on to ports, ports and port sites are hugely popular they're kind of the rage right now. So, anything with ports in it is going to be one of those ports composites like the quartzite but again I'm telling you buddy if all about the light fixtures in that we are super into illumination and lighting and I can update a space depending on the lighting that I bring into the kitchen particularly over the island. It’s that focal point moment so, and if you have it in your budget just copy what they always do on every episode of who are my guys and the brothers.


Ryan

The Watry brothers 


Abbie

Yeah, let me notice that almost every kitchen that they do if they can get an eat-in island in there they do it. Though not know that they'll knock down that that pony wall that's got the bar I; the bar on it just make it feel more open and use that additional little bit of square footage to instead bring in that eat-in island that's in the top six keywords for 2017 buyers they're looking for that eat-in kitchen island and it's not an expensive thing to necessarily do because it's the square. It's a small slab of either courts are granted a smaller slab and then you can you get to anchor it with amazing lighting and suddenly we look at all okay. 


Ryan

So we have just a couple of minutes here we've got you see the top six words; you know key words let's hear what are the other five?


Abbie

 Alright we got an … so, the others are we I have to have an open floor plan, I need to see a lot of natural light moving throughout. I want to know that my home has got some energy-saving capabilities. Something that is a little bit more sustainable we said they eat-in island, we said the what it was the other one I said earlier open floor plan, energy-efficient, the light, the I'm forgetting one, the eat-in island. It'll come to me here in a minute. I do this all the time


Ryan

Yeah (inaudible 20:55)


Abbie

May I 


Ryan

Yeah! Absolutely, definitely we would appreciate that you know I want to see that that Tuscan redo really because that's the so harder version from the outside you know I can envision the inside which is pretty easy in my opinion with enough money. The outside part throws me off so I'd love to see that if you could post that.


Abbie

Here something I'd love to share on that just real quick outside, those windows if we can make get those windows painted or replaced with black and edging on them that is a look that I'm seeing a lot of Mediterranean, new construction they're using that to give it a little bit more of a modern Look.


Ryan

Wow! Very good okay, I think that this this pretty much wraps up for today before we do Katie will you post the cost versus value that Abby directed us to at our last meeting and then Abby where can people find you 


Abbie

Oh! Certainly, you can always find me either go through my website AbbieBostic.com or you know me


Ryan

That’s in the comment by the way


Abbie

That’s in the comment thank you and then you know I’m super active on Facebook so Abbi Bostick design is my business Facebook page and y'all can reach me that way and I'll answer your questions as they come up, I just love, I love this stuff.


Ryan

Cool, well this has been fun we're definitely gonna have you on again thank you for being on here and I thank you for you know helping educate myself and my team because you know we're in this world. You know we're doing this stuff every day they have you know such an expert like you at you know at you know where you know accessible rather it's been a true treat and we love working against them 


Abbie

I love it Ryan