Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

6 rules of timeless home decor

Friday, April 8, 2022
Debbi DiMaggio

6 Rules of Timeless Home Decor

 A living room with timeless home decor

Some home decor trends come and go, whereas others have a timeless appeal. This results from some design elements following the following 6 rules of timeless home decor. Fulfilling one or more of these principles allows your decor to be both versatile and tasteful enough to fit easily into your home regardless of its formal features. So, whether you want to make a large home feel cozy or expand a small space, these rules should help you achieve your goal and still make your home exude a timeless charm.

 

1. Symmetry is key

A library with symmetrical arm chairs and built in book shelves

Symmetry is timeless.

 

One way to make your home decor stand the test of time is to keep it symmetrical. This is because we like everything to be balanced and aligned. It makes no difference whether you want your bedroom or kitchen to look affluent or minimalistic. Regardless of the particular decorative style you implement, the key is to have everything symmetrical.  Symmetry helps create the feeling of order and cleanliness that people associate with good taste. In that sense, it helps to have an even number of chairs, two pillows of the same color, identical cups or plates, etc. Having two of each or an even number of decorative items or furniture will allow you to place them symmetrically.  However, you do not have to have a pair of everything inside your home. For instance, you can have a certain focal point like a sofa with two armchairs on each side. In this way, you can complete the seating arrangement so that it is symmetrical. The same goes for arranging your mantlepiece or shelves. You can have matching vases on the ends and a central piece such as a sculpture in the middle. The idea is to create a mirror that will balance out the halves of the room or the structure. You can also apply the principles of feng shui to make your living space even more balanced.

1. Have a focal point

Speaking of middles, it makes sense to have an item focusing the viewer’s gaze toward it. So, next to keeping things symmetrical, you also need something that will leave an impression and stand out from the rest of the furniture. As we already mentioned, some furniture pieces naturally create a focal point in the room. Windows, beds, tables, and sofas are great examples.

A golden table in the center of a living room

A centerpiece helps create a focal point for arranging the rest of the decor around it.

However, timeless home decor has to have something in addition to these elements. Your primary weapon should be artwork, flowers, or technology. Hence, an attractive big-format painting such as a modernist portrait or a landscape comes to mind. Or, you can have a stereo or a record player serving as a centerpiece element of your living room.

 

1. Make use of classic patterns

If you want your living space to appear fresh and attractive in the years to come, you can rely on classic patterns. Ornamental elements are great if you are aiming for an elevated, elegant look, while botanical motifs such as subtle florals add a bit of softness. Other examples of patterns with lasting value are stripes and plaids, as they can fit into a variety of styles. You can also go for a more impactful design such as royal damasks if you want it to break the monotony.
On the other hand, you should be careful with patterns that you might get tired of quickly. For instance, chevrons, strong geometrics, and animal prints might seem like a good idea now. However, if they are too bold or occupy a lot of space, they might seem too ‘in your face’ after the initial infatuation goes away. Be sure not to use more than three distinct patterns in a single room. Also, if you decide to have patterned tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, mix them with plain ones to achieve a sense of balance.

1. Trends fade quickly

The very word trend points to the fact they are meant to have expiry dates. Many structural elements, furniture pieces, and decorative items look fresh only for a season or two. After that, they make the room look weary and dated regardless of what the rest looks like. The same applies to structures that wear pretty quickly. For instance, carpeting can completely suffocate the room after a few years. The same goes for trendy colors such as turquoise, coral blue, millennial pink.

If you are really drawn to a certain home design trend, keep it small and simple. So, instead of buying a lilac couch, buy a pillow in that color instead. In this way, you will be able to freshen up the room without committing to the color entirely. This kind of thinking will also be more financially and spatially rewarding. If you ever decide to move, having fewer things to pack will be easier if you do not have too many outdated items. You can be smart about packing and avoid packing mistakes if you think about design prudently.

A living room with armchairs, a sofa, and overhead light fixture

Classic patterns paired with monochromatic pieces do wonders for your living space.

 

1. Do not accentuate the technology

This home design rule can be tricky to follow in this day and age. Appliances and devices get larger and larger by the day, but there are ways to make them less intrusive. Electric devices also collect a lot of dust, making your living space appear shabby and outdated. For instance, some homeowners go for integrated pieces that have shelving with covers that hide the stereos, speakers, and game consoles from plain sight.

 

1. Invest in quality items

It makes sense to avoid buying cheap furniture and decor. High-quality materials and fabrics will go a long way as they remain functional and less prone to wear and tear. Of course, this does not imply you need to spend your entire income on furniture. Buy within your budget, but do not settle for low quality if you do not have to. This is one of the rules of timeless home decor that will help your home shine with tasteful, high-quality vibes.

Real Estate Q & A

Friday, August 20, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

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Over the past few months I have answered real estate questions posed by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate. Here are a few of those editorial Q & A’s.

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What Role Does a Buyer’s Pet or Pets Play in the HomeBuying Process?

Of Millennials who purchase homes, 33 percent say the decision to buy was prompted by the presence of or desire to adopt a pet. That outstrips those who bought homes because of a marriage (25 percent) and those who bought to accommodate children (19 percent).*

Homebuyers really do take into consideration their canine, feline or other pets when deciding to purchase a home. Oftentimes condominiums have a pet limit and size restriction, thus a Home Buyer would not opt to purchase a condo should that be the case and be more likely to purchase a home which is not governed by an HOA.

Home-buyers consider their pets part of the family, so when it comes to making a big life decision such as purchasing a home they will give their Realtor certain criteria that fits both their needs and those of their pets. Here are a few examples of the sorts of amenities dog owners may seek: a fenced in yard is number one; they want to be sure Fido is safe from escape. Sidewalks might be a consideration so when it is time to walk the dog, there is a safe place to walk for both the canine and his/her owner. Other pluses might include being within close proximity to a park, pet stores, a pet hospital and/or groomer. All of these amenities are not so different than when a Home Buyer is purchasing a home with their family — the amenities are similar to those who have children.

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*A survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage 

 

Best Housewarming Ideas for Your Friends and Clients

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

Quentin Bacon

Your beloved friends have recently moved into their dream home. Now that they have finally settled, they’ve decided to host a housewarming party. And guess what? You’re invited! It’s customary for attendees of such an event to bring with them a present. The only problem being, you’ve got absolutely no idea what that should be! But don’t worry! I’ve made it my business to hunt down the best housewarming gift ideas for your friends. Stay here for a wee bit longer to find out what they are!

Best Housewarming Gift Ideas for Your Friends Hosting One

Before we dive deeper into housewarming party gift suggestions, let’s make it clear that no present is essentially good nor bad. They don’t say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure for nothing. What you consider useless, others may very well consider extremely useful. The following are just ideas of what you could bestow on your friends. Of course, as you know them best, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one of these they may like or need.

A Bottle of Quality Wine and a Corkscrew

There’s hardly an adult who doesn’t enjoy sipping on a glass of quality wine every now and then. Chances are your friends enjoy drinking it too, so how about gifting them a bottle of their favorite one? Pair it up with a corkscrew because they may want to give that bad boy a try straight away! Choosing the right wine can be a bit tricky, though. Especially if you aren’t sure of what kind they prefer. Try learning of their preference by asking their family members or mutual friends. If you fail to get an answer, skip the wine altogether and opt for a set of glasses instead. Better that than buying something they won’t enjoy even remotely.

Framed Artwork

Are your friends into art? If so, the housewarming party may be the perfect time to gift them a beautiful piece of wall art. If you are close, you probably know what kind of style they lean towards. Try matching that style, if possible, or wing it. Maybe you’ve also got a picture of all of you lying somewhere. Get it framed, pack it nicely, and bring that instead!

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Tool Kit

In an ideal world, homes require no upgrades and no repairs. And while your friends’ house is probably new or at least patched up, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever require work. Should that happen, they’ll definitely need a set of tools as first aid. Be a good pal and give them one! And if they haven’t dealt with fixing up the home yet, offer your assistance as well. Perhaps you’ve got more experience dealing with touch-ups than your friends do. Once you finish that project, help them make everything spotless. The importance of cleaning and disinfecting in today’s age is not to be neglected.

Potted Plants

Flowers are surely lovely, but potted plants are a much better choice when deciding on the best housewarming gift ideas for your friends. Why? Well, for starters, they don’t die as easily. Flowers have a short life span, while regular plants can last for years depending on the species! Not only that, but they’ll drastically improve the air within your friends’ home and liven the whole area up. As a bonus, a bit of greenery can serve as great decor, too, and also brings one’s feng-shui game to the next level.

Pet Toys & Treats

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For many of us, furry friends are considered family, and that’s the way it should be. If your friends have got one or a few pets, they are probably having a hard time adjusting. Remember, even people need time to get used to a new environment. But for pets, that adjustment period is drastically more complex. Most animals are dependent on routine, and when that routine gets disrupted, anxiety kicks in. Show that you care not only about your friends’ well-being but about the well-being of their pet(s) by purchasing some yummy treats and toys. This is sure to bring their mood up and thus, help them forget about the new living arrangement. The one they didn’t sign up for!

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Gifts Intended for Couples

Having recently moved in, your friends have undoubtedly lost plenty of nerves and energy during the process. Now that all of that is over, they deserve a break. So, how about you treat them to one? A visit to the cinema, for example, could relax them enough to get their mind off things, even for just the time being. Of course, you would be the one responsible for arranging the tickets. If they don’t like movies, there’s also an option to get them theater tickets or organize a spa day to relax them further. Truth to be told, a couple’s massage does sound like one of the best housewarming gift ideas for your friends!

Smart Home Features

Thanks to technological advances, our lives are constantly becoming easier. Let’s simplify your friends’ lives by gifting them a smart home device. There’s a vast pool of these to choose from, ranging from smart locks, thermostats, lights, surveillance systems all the way to home hubs. Whatever the choice, I bet they’ll appreciate the added convenience these remotely controlled features bring.

A Gift Basket

Perhaps a bit cliche, but a gift basket is always a good housewarming present. You can put one together by including some or all of the following items:

  • Scented candles
  • A diffuser
  • Essential oils
  • Bath salts
  • Body scrubs and lotions
  • Soap
  • Towels
  • Candy

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The sky is your limit, so feel free to incorporate anything you deem necessary into the gift basket. You can also take to the Internet for inspiration. It is precisely on it that some of the additional best housewarming gift ideas for your friends might pop up.

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5 steps to a seamless move

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

Moving can be daunting! Don’t stress. Follow these 5 steps to make your move seamless.

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So Get Organized and Prepare Yourself

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1. Contact a professional organizer. A few years ago our friend started such a business. Our Sellers in Piedmont were her first clients. She took a 4800 square foot home and coordinated the entire move from organizing to packing, purging and donating to shipping and storage coordination and finally hauling and cleaning, until the home is 100% empty. Kimberly works tirelessly with her clients, our client referrals. Somehow she is able to help reduce the stress of a move tremendously. She provides a schedule and timeline and keeps her client on target. I am not sure how she does it. During the process of this first job our client started referring to Kimberly as her “moving angel,” thus the name, Moving-Angels. If you live locally in the Bay Area, reach out to myself, or Kimberly to hire her, or to obtain a referral. Kimberly is also part of a professional organization called NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Moving Angels is an approved NAPO company. We refer Kimberly to each of our Seller clients; I am not sure how we lived without her and this amazing service!!

2. Contact your Realtor for a moving company referral if you don’t have one of your own. A good mover is crucial. You will want to work with a reputable company who feels accountable and will do a good job. There is nothing worse than having people in your home and mishandling your personal possessions carelessly.

3. Schedule your move ahead of time. People are always moving, in, out and within town. Be sure to book your movers at least two months out and schedule a consultation and walk through so there are no surprises with time it will take and the cost of the move. One of our more recent moves ended up taking much longer than expected. It happened to be on my birthday. We had dinner scheduled to be at with friends so we had to stop the move after a very long back breaking day to get to my birthday dinner in time. And the next day had to continue the move. We were lucky they were able to fit us in and complete the move for us. Poor planning is definitely something you will want to avoid. In this case it was my fault for not packing enough ahead of time. There are two ways to move, 1. the movers pack you. And if that is the case be sure to allow enough time. 2. You pack your contents, the movers come in and wrap your furniture and move your pre-packed boxes. I always say we will pack, but that has NEVER happened. I should remember this for next time! Note to self.

4. Find a place for your pets to be while you are moving. Moving is not only stressful on the you and your family but for your pets as well.

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5. A soft landing. Be sure your home on the other end is ready for you, your belongings and your family. Do you need to hire an unpacker to set up your household? Are you going to do it yourself? Where will you sleep the first night? At the house or in a hotel? These are the sorts of questions you might jot down and then review with your spouse, significant other, a friend, your moving angel or your Realtor.

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This Blog entry was inspired by my client and friend. She is making a move and had a list of questions. To her they were disconcerting. She was overwhelmed by the thought of moving and didn’t know where to begin. We went for a walk, talked it through and then sat down so I could address each question one at a time. I know our little walk, chat and plan helped ease her stress.

Moving is never easy, but with a plan in hand you can tackle anything.

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