Blog by Brenda Russell

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Victoria Real Estate

Victoria Real Estate - Interior Designer Forum Part 3/3 - April 2009

Ivan Meade  is the Principal Designer of MEADE DESIGN GROUP which is located in a downtown Victoria, BC studio.  Ivan contacted me earlier asking for some assistance from a REALTOR® point of view.  He invited me to participate in a forum responding to some questions that might be helpful to a home owner or possible buyer/seller. 

It was posted today on his Blog along with two other REALTORS'® points of view.  I hope that this may be helpful to you as well.

On a personal note I have recommended Ivan to help some of my clients prepare for their home to be sold or renovated.  He was extremely helpful because he is a professional with a practised eye and great taste and brings improvement whether it's in taste or style allure or comfort.  If you are looking for fresh ideas from paint colours, reorganizing a room, renovations, new dosen't matter how small or large the project or what location, Ivan will come through for you.  Some of his works include the multiple award winning 'Shoal Point' condominiums to homes in Hawaii.  He is known for his stunning interiors and unique furnishings as well as eye-catching graphics.  Ivan will  He is a genius.

I hope you enjoy his blog post and maybe you may find other helpful ideas while reading.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Is it wise to invest money in your home during these economic times? Part 1/3

As principal designer of Meade Design Group I am often asked how certain choices my clients make for their homes will affect their home’s value. I always try to stay up-to-date with changes in the real estate market and popular trends with homeowners.

I decided homeowners such as my blog followers may be interested in this information as well; and during a time of economic uncertainty it is always good to know that the money you are investing in your home will be a wise choice.

I wanted to take my questions to the experts so I asked my favourite local realtors in Victoria B.C. Canada to give me their insight on the relationship between designers and the housing market. Our panel includes:

Brenda Russell


Brenda has been a realtor since 1990, specializing in the Fairfield/Oak Bay area and is also a registered relocation specialist. The proof is in her sales: she has been the recipient of the Award of Excellence 5 out of 7 consecutive years, this award means that she is in the top percentile of sales within Vancouver Island, Royal LePage. She is not only accessible, but she is the most pleasant and warm individual one can imagine, we were so pleased to help her create her new image in 2007.

Roger Jones


Roger's career as a Real Estate Salesperson began in 2000 and has been driven almost exclusively by repeat and referral based business. Being a consistent MLS sales award winner and having grown up in Victoria, he has the local market expertise to help facilitate his clients' real estate related goals. Roger understands that every buyer or seller is unique and recognizes the importance of providing highly responsive service in building ongoing relationships with his clientele.

Tony Joe


A very active member of the Victoria Real Estate Board, Tony was born and raised in Victoria and knows his market well. A multiple award winner with RE/MAX, Tony has been practicing real estate since 1991 and has the sales and testimonials to prove his knowledge and success. Tony’s professionalism and easy-going personality makes each client’s real estate transaction a breeze. We were lucky enough to work with Tony on the interior design of his own home in 2006.


Is it wise to invest money in your home during these economic times? Part 3/3

Thank you again for your continued support. Today I am posting the final part of these series.

Iván Meade - What are a home’s major selling points?

Brenda Russell - Location. Presentation. Price.

Roger Jones - Location is most critical - you can change finishes easily enough, add on or even go so far as to tear a home down and rebuild, but you can not create the overall setting and proximity to the amenities you enjoy that the right neighbourhood provides.

Tony Joe - Location, condition, tidiness and features which set it above the direct competition. Did I mention location?



lamp williams 027

Pics Feb 07 107 Before & After Marifield – Meade Design Group

Iván Meade - Do you find homes sell better when furnished or vacant?

Brenda Russell - If the home shows well then furnished is best. If the home is very dated as well as the furnishing...then vacant.

Roger Jones - Definitely when well furnished.

Tony Joe - Seems most prospective buyers believe they can envision what a vacant house would look like furnished but in reality this is seldom the case. Oftentimes, lack of furniture or belongings can over accentuate weak points such as smaller living spaces or poorly placed structural elements.




Before & After Spring Bay – Meade Design Group

Iván Meade - Is it wise to sell your home with window treatments throughout?

Brenda Russell - Absolutely yes. Buyer's are calculating if they have to also buy blinds or drapes for all their windows. If the window treatments are very old, worn or doesn't help the room look fabulous then I would suggest removing them entirely or replace them with a modern blind.

Roger Jones - Most prospective buyers appreciate the value of quality window treatments in a home - this is an area in which help from your designer would be particularly beneficial.

Tony Joe - Window treatments can very much be a matter of personal taste. I cannot recall ever losing a deal or having a seller sell for less based solely on the inclusion/exclusion of window treatments. If you plan to keep them, just be certain to clarify this in the purchase contract as they are generally deemed to be included as part of the sale.


imageimage Before & After Spring Bay – Meade Design Group


Iván Meade - What would you tell someone who is asking about the benefits of hiring an interior designer for their home?

Brenda Russell - A designer is always an asset. They bring a trained and talented eye (assuming you hire a trained and talented designer of course) and an unbiased opinion of what a room or area or home needs or could use. To what extent their suggestions or services are used is a personal choice of course but often just hearing an opinion can be of enlightening.

Roger Jones - Enlisting the help of a professional who's expertise you feel confident in is always the best way to get a job done in the shortest amount of time and with the least complication!

Tony Joe - Do not hire a designer based on low price. Select someone with a proven track record, practical knowledge, a portfolio of recent work and a list of glowing testimonials. In other words, hire Ivan Meade!





Before & After Spring Bay – Meade Design Group


Brenda Russell

Roger Jones

Tony Joe