Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Transform Your Office


Find your STAR

Follow it.

Change what's bugging you.


Sometimes you look up and find a guiding light... it will shine brighter than you knew possible.  And make a simple dream become reality.  This is true with anything... even a room!

An office is a big deal.  This, may not occur to you since most people think about kitchens and bathrooms first.   Or if you go to someone else's building and do work this will not pertain to you.  This is for the person with the home office.  Because if you have one and use one, there's a good chance you spend most of your days in it.

Therefore, an office needs to be 2 things:  functional AND cool looking.  Promise, you'll work better in here.

Let's take the 3-2-1 approach.

Like you're blasting off, into greatness.  Below was what I had to work with.  Not much.  We had already painted this room and put in new wood floors.  So at least there was that.  Everything else was... bad.  This desk was my husbands old work desk from when he first put his home office together in let's say the ripe old year of 1998.  It had to go.  We also had the chair that we rocked our kids in for like 4 -5 years, maybe more, I'm not sure.  So... we had a clean slate.

Countdown begins...
THREE - Define It.  As I always say when decorating.. first you have to Define Your Style.  See that full explanation by clicking HERE.  Basically, you just decide: What's your style?  What do you want your home to be?  Modern-Minimalist?  Rustic-Romance?  Desert-Farm-Cottage?  Beach-Casual-Chic?  You need at least 2 to 3 words to describe what you're aiming for.  Typically this is done for an entire house but sometimes... it's just one room.  As in my case.  My house is very light and white - for which I have coined the term - Desert Cottage.  But for my office I changed it up a bit.  It's the only room painted an, obviously, different color. I wanted it to be warmer, more masculine and highly functional.

Therefore, my Defined Style here became Rustic Ranch (w/ color).  Now that I've got "Defined Style" it's time to get moving!

TWO -  Gather it.  Clear out your current room and shop for your new one.  On-line, in stores, look for what will fit your above plan.  Gather all of it up, sell it, buy it, give it away... whatever means you need.

***TIP  Get especially friendly with your tape measure - bring it everywhere with you!

I bought two desks so I could wrap around the room.  I contemplated making desks (which shouldn't be that hard) but knew my husband would never get around to that...  the key here though was making another work space and opening up the room.  The way the desks hugged the wall accomplished that as opposed to the old huge desk that took up the whole space.

What else did I gather?   I found a comfy leather (leather always screams office to me) chair to watch some TV if someone needed a break!

I looked for fun accessories like in the form of this side table.  I just love the (fake) cowhide look.  It works in so many "defined styles"!!! 

I also housed all my office pens and paperclips in jars to bring some flair while adding practicality.  I'll need those things often and they'll be easy to find now!

We put up some wood shelves (found on Etsy) held up with pipes and added a lot of boxes (Ikea).
I run my household and business out of this room.  I practically live here.  So lots has to be stored.  All those Boxes allow me to do that,  But I also wanted some extra pendants to shine, well, more light on the writing spaces.  Plus, add to the look...

 ***TIP set up pendants in already existing canned light spaces to make install easier!

Now, the super fun part...
THREE -  Set it.  Sometimes this takes a day, sometimes 4 weeks.  Depending upon how efficient your planning is... this is also where some mistakes can be made.  Like... something might not fit.  Or doesn't sit well with you.  Then it goes back.

***TIP Check the return policy before you buy,  sometimes there's a re-stocking fee or no returns at all.

If you don't take it back... it gets re-purposed.  That's what happened here...

I love this rug.  But it just didn't work at all with this room.  The room needed more texture and warmth.  And the return policy on the rug stunk.  Therefore, I had to Plan B it.  In this case, I knew if I couldn't use this rug here I could use it outside or where it ended up...

in the dining room.  This is where it belongs.  And when I'm done with it... it can head to the patio!

P.S.  Note the new large light fixture over the dining table - I happen to love that new addition too.

Finally tonight,
Getting rid of that rug made me look for what became the clear STAR of the show.  You know, whether you're choreographing a dance, putting together a company or decorating a room you have to have one STAR - to shine!  This often happens when you start a project.  An old heirloom, a special piece of art, something that just makes the place.  Then, all decorating centers around that one STAR! But sometimes, like in this case, it comes later.

When I got rid of the striped rug I found the one that belonged...  it brought everything together.  It was the STAR and it made the room sing.  The new rug also gave me some colors to play off of and add to the room... which is why I brought in the flowers and candies.

It was a perfectly well priced, colorful, low pile, large piece that my chairs rolled over while my heart "swooned"...

And the STAR takes a bow... Now blast off!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Do You have "Vision" (When You're Buying A Home)?

The Headlines:

There are 2 kinds of buyers. 

Which one are you? 

In the market to buy a house this year?  To me, there's never a time you shouldn't be looking.  Why?  Yes, because I"m a Realtor but also because you never know when the right one will hit you.  The house you never expected pops up and you can't say no.

That's happened to me personally.  And when I don't move on it... (years later) the husband and I complain: "if we would have bought that..."?

So always keep an eye out.  But for what exactly?  That depends on you.  Pay attention to what matters to your lifestyle.  Yes, that can be limiting.   So here's a way to open up the possibilities.  Ask yourself one question:


If you do, sky's the limit.  It may not have the exact amount of bedrooms but you can change that.  No white cabinets?  There's paint.  No need for a dining room?  Demo it.  If you have vision, as long as the "bones" are there your options for reno work are endless.

Here's what you cannot change:  1) location and 2) size of lot (usually).  Everything else is up for grabs.

Have you seen Fixer Upper?  Then you know what I'm talking about.

If you buy a home that needs some"TLC" you are, most likely, going to get a better deal.  Because more needs to be spent after you move in.  Here's an example.

I worked with some buyers who knew exactly where they wanted to live.  It was a small neighborhood without a lot of inventory so they kept a close eye on it.  When a house came up... they pounced.  Once inside, they saw it was far from their dream home.  But they knew it had the 2 things that couldn't be changed.  The rest they could work around.  They bought it.

While going through the buying process they brought in a contractor to see if their plan had legs.  It did.  And work began as soon as the papers were signed.

After a few months their home was ready to roll!

Here are the pictures:

Above is the living room. They added one huge sliding glass door that fully opens to the patio (a trend we're seeing a lot right now) - we live in Arizona after all.   They also spruced up the living room by adding industrial shelving, a mantel and busting out a wall to make for one big "great room". 

Here's the dining room they demo'ed.  They moved more walls and small cabinetry.  However, they also enclosed one area (with french doors) so they could have a formal office space.  

But the crowning glory, as with almost any house, is the kitchen.  You know, the place where we ALL spend time.   The kitchen, before, was nothing special.  Just a galley kitchen that felt super cramped.  This busy house needed some major space.  So they turned the island around, made it way bigger and used the breakfast "nook" to make for ONE big open area.  It absolutely works.

They're not completely finished.  They want to do a few more tweaks in the bathrooms.  But, to everyone who visits it looks like a whole new house.   In fact, the former owners came by and I hear it brought them to tears... happy tears.

It is now the new owners dream home.  Because they had vision.  They bought a house that was less expensive than most in their target neighborhood and then turned it into exactly what they wanted.

THEY had VISION.  The question now is... do you?

Finally tonight, if you're in the market to buy a new home ask yourself the vision question.  It's okay of you don't have it.  There are lots of "turn key" homes out there.  It certainly will take less time and effort to purchase one of those.  But know there are also lots of people who can help you with "finding your vision".  Realtors, interior designers and contractors can all lend a hand.  The homeowners above used George Construction in Phoenix and myself as a Real Estate Agent.

Let us know if we can help you this year!

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