Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

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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Simple Tips for Using Feng Shui In Your Home

Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Debbi DiMaggio

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A tower of stones representing balance and harmony

If you’ve ever considered implementing a more spiritual approach to life, you’ve likely heard about feng shui. While these two words ring a bell in many people’s minds, most are unsure about their meaning. Feng shui translates to wind and water. This ancient Chinese philosophy is supposed to aid in creating harmony and inviting positive energy to flow through our living spaces. To achieve this, one must practice mindfulness and pay attention to details. However, without knowing a few basic principles and the reasoning behind them, it’s unlikely you will feel the benefits. To help you deepen your connection to the world around you, here are 6 simple tips for using feng shui in your home.

Start with your entryway

According to feng shui, your home’s entryway and front door represent a connection to the outside world. This is where new energy enters your life, so it’s easy to understand why you should pay special attention to this part of your home.

To keep the flow of good energy uninterrupted, start by decluttering the entry. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose, and make sure to keep this area clean and tidy at all times.

Your entryway should be clean, well-light and tidy.

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Don’t forget to give some TLC to your front door and doormat as well. Doors play an essential role in feng shui; therefore, make sure they are clean and squeak-free.

Lastly, to brighten up the area, consider adding more light fixtures or brighter lightbulbs.

Create balance with colors

An easy and effective way to apply feng shui principles in your home is through colors. It’s widely known that colors have the power to influence our mood and emotions. However, according to this philosophy, they are even more mighty than that. It is believed that you can invite more of what you need into your life by using different colors in your home. Whether you want to refresh your current home or are thinking about a color scheme for your future property, here’s what you need to know:

  • Yellow, orange, and brown represent Earth. Use them if you want to be more grounded and centered on a physical and spiritual level.
  • Red represents fire. It is believed to ignite passion and increase energy.
  • Green symbolizes wood. It promotes harmony, good family relationships, and growth.
  • Black signifies water. Use it if you need to improve and expand relationships with friends and gain more wisdom.
  • Gray represents metal. Include more of it to invite more exploration, creative thinking, and support into your life.

Put your furniture in the commanding position

The commanding position affects how you position yourself in life. To put your furniture in the commanding position and thus gain more control over your life, you want to place it so that you can see the door while using it. However, avoid being directly in line with it. A diagonal position is best.

According to feng shui, you should be able to see the door while in your bed.

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Even though this is a powerful feng shui method, there is no need to do this will all of your furniture. Instead, focus on your bed, desk, and stove. These pieces are essential as they represent you (bed), your career (desk), and your wealth (stove). If the structure of your house doesn’t allow you to apply this tip, don’t worry. Placing a mirror so that you can see the door in it while using these pieces of furniture will do the trick.

Create space by decluttering

One of the best tips for using feng shui in your home is to stay on top of decluttering. Clutter takes up space and thus prevents anything new and fresh from entering your life. By downsizing on your possessions and keeping only the things that serve a purpose, you will create a happier and healthier living environment.

Although not many people enjoy the process, downsizing is essential for many reasons. These reasons are even more significant if you are moving into a new home. By decluttering, you will have fewer things to transport, which is critical, especially if you are planning a long-distance move. Therefore, to ensure a relocation handled with ease, a lower bill from your long-distance movers, and plenty of good feng shui in your new home, start letting go!

Invite life energy by adding plants

In feng shui, plants represent life energy. By adding a little bit of the outdoors into your humble abode, you will ensure a better connection to nature and increase vitality and freshness. According to feng shui, the more water a plant requires, the better. Some good options include chrysanthemum, orchid, bamboo, lotus, and narcissus.

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You can almost never go wrong with plants.

If you can, consider placing the plants on top of your kitchen cabinets. If the cabinets don’t reach the ceiling, negative energy (and dust) can collect in the empty space, which you can easily avoid with a bit of greenery.

However, remember that dying plants can have the opposite effect. Before you go shopping, research which plants can thrive in the environment your home provides.

Maximize natural light

Windows, much like doors, are essential for good feng shui. They represent the residents’ eyes. If they are dirty, you won’t be able to see things clearly. Therefore, remember to keep them clean at all times.

Additionally, clean windows let in more light which is an essential source of energy. Maximize the amount of natural light in your home by adding light curtains or drapes. If you are planning to move, team up with a reliable Realtor, and tell them you’d prefer a home with plenty of big windows. Sometimes you don’t have control over how much light your house gets, so make sure to supplement it with light fixtures, lamps, and chandeliers.

In conclusion

Even if you were skeptical about this Chinese philosophy, after reading this list of 6 simple tips for using feng shui in your home, you probably realize that it is much less esoteric and more logical than it seems. Feng shui is all about balance, harmony, peace, and prosperity. Therefore, even if you are still not convinced, give it a try! What’s the worst that can happen?

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Designed to Stay

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Debbi DiMaggio

For every home we bring to market there is work to be done. It might simply be painting and staging, or  it could be a number of things including painting and staging…… from replacing counter tops, refinishing hardwood floors, changing out hardware, updating lighting and landscaping the front, side and back garden. In this case I updated a home for our clients to stay with the intention that one day they would sell and wanted it to be ready for market but in the meantime they could enjoy. At the time our clients were living abroad in the Middle East, and knowing they would soon return to live in their home, I was very nervous they wouldn’t like it. But thankfully it all worked out and they loved it.

Designed to Stay

It was back in 2016 when I first started using gold fixtures. Choosing the counters and back splash was harder than it looks. My intern Max went to a number of stores all around the Bay Area to bring back samples in various sizes and color variations while I was in Mexico. Every day while I was away we had Facetime meetings. A self proclaimed control freak I had to see what was going on. When I am in town I go 3x a day to check on the workers and the progress. Thank you MAX!

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Details Make the Difference.

Long check lists and punch lists, a google share doc, costs and expenses, a timeline and options, so many options. This remodel took about 2 months, full time. We updated 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, refinished the hardwood floors, painted every room, cleaned out the basement ( painted the garage and basement ) and changed out every light fixture. In a single bathroom there are so many choices and sizing has to be just right. From choosing a single toilet… there are many to choose from.. I usually opt for TOTO. Light fixtures, mirrors, cabinet pulls, faucets, tile and flooring all have to be chosen. And what size and shape of the tile are you going to use. And is the floor tile in the bathroom going to be the same as the shower tile? Choices choices. My suggestion is to start with a very long list. Keep it in a Google Sheets, then start sourcing and saving on Pinterest. You can see my many ideas at www.pinterest.com/debbidimaggio — Happy Pinning!

Sources: Lighting Sources: West Elm, Lamps Plus, Home Depot. For other recommendations reach out DebbiDiMaggio@gmail.com 510.414.6777

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From Saint Tropez to LA

Friday, January 18, 2019
Debbi DiMaggio
Sitting inside cozy beneath my RH Home white faux fur blanket watching the storms go by, I thought I would take myself back to this past summer and sunshine, at least in my mind.  Here are a few of my favorite things.

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  1. Cuyana | San Francisco | Union Square  –  Super Soft and Luxurious Leather Goods and More ( Scarves, Select Clothing, Gifts ) I Just Love The Orange Boxes and Big Ribbon!

2. EUROPANN | Saint Tropez, South of France – Great Linen Shirts! Linen. I Love Linen! Especially in the summer in the South of France!

3. House of CB London | Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood – Love their blouses, blazers and knitwear. Take A Peak. Amazing Prices! And quality too. House of CB | London on Melrose Avenue, WEHO

Reinventing Our Lives after the Empty Nest

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Quentin Bacon

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Real Estate is obviously a passion of mine.

From helping our clients to redesigning homes, I just love it! So when it came to making our move after the children flew the coup I knew exactly what I wanted.

It started with a vision. I knew I wanted low maintenance with a loft like open floor plan. I envisioned freedom and space and lots of white.

When our son left for his Freshman year at CU Boulder following in his sister’s footsteps I began to re upholster the furniture one piece at a time. Before I knew it all our dark furniture was pink! Or some shade of pink. I researched textiles, fabrics, wallpaper, re-upholstery providers and more. I leafed through magazines and immersed myself in Pinterest. The ideas were rampant.

By the time Chase returned home for Thanksgiving break his home had evolved. Tired of the things from our Scottsdale home — all of the oversized and brown furnishings….  pink and white and gold began to take over.

And by the time he was gearing up to head back to CU for his Sophomore year we were moving out of Piedmont ( where I had lived my entire life, except for a few interruptions ) to the home we visualized, discussed and successfully found. We shipped all of Chase’s favorite furniture to Boulder for him and his 5 other roommates to enjoy, while we kept ‘our’, rather, ‘my’ favorite things. Since I loved the style and design of the remaining pieces I re-purposed everything I chose to keep. I found a great re-upholstery tradesman and fabrics I fell in love with! From bench seat cushions and a sofa to ottomans and chairs, I recovered and re-purposed it all!  Reuse, re-purpose, recycle.

Beyond the furnishings, the interior renovation was next. It was nice to have so much time before actually moving in so I was able to have all the furniture re-upholstered and ready for placement when our new home was complete, rather then moving in and starting from scratch.

I had it all planned, every last detail.

I had visualized everything over and over again — had all the pieces ready, so once we completed the renovation and remodel everything was ready for placement!

The walls of the townhouse were awful — puffy, popcorn textured walls which took two weeks to sand, flatten and paint. It was a dust bowl!

Removing the wall to wall carpet was next.

Since I had everything pinned on my Pinterest Boards I knew exactly what I wanted. All I needed to do was hire the team and begin the work.

Creating Our Desired Look

Wide plank bleached white hardwood floors replaced the carpet on the first two levels which included an entry way, hallway and two bedrooms on the main level plus the main staircase, living, dining, kitchen; and powder room on the master bedroom level. The biggest impact came, as we worked to create our new look from Traditional to Modern Contemporary, was by removing all handrails and banisters. By removing the banisters and handrails the home opened up nicely and created a much more open and spacial feeling. The dramatic vaulted ceilings didn’t hurt either.

Eventually we will be adding lucite or acrylic hand-railings and a glass banister which will line and divide the stairwell from the living room.

Our son really wanted a plush carpet in the bedrooms. So I had our carpet guy, Felix, drop off sample after sample until we found the most plush, most comfortable, softest thick pile carpet. Nirvana!

The carpet was installed – last – in our master bedroom as well as in our wall-to-wall lined mirrored closet and in the third floor loft. We knew that would be where Chase would hang out while home from college.

The loft, with it’s stupendous San Francisco Bay Views and large picture window, a huge flat screen TV plus his two favorite cushy bean bags, he’s had since childhood, quickly became the perfect spot to relax and recline. We have had those furry brown bean bags for over 10 years no doubt — when he was ten and now at 20, he and his friends still play video games and watch TV immersed in those two bags of fluff today. Such wonderful memories and good times.

 Once the space was opened up, painted and new floors installed the kitchen and bathrooms were next.

For now we are going to live with the current kitchen configuration but we did replace the counters with Carrara marble and once our contractor frees up some time ( I have him pretty busy working on all of our listings for our clients ) will be back to install the shaker cabinet doors to match the newly installed shaker doors we added throughout – swapping out the original Traditional doors, baseboards and moldings to create our new, more modern look.

We remodeled two bathrooms with our master bath to follow once we gain a second wind.

Resources & Inspiration

Our tile came from Siena Tile and Stone in Danville and my ideas inspired by scrolling through multiple Pinterest Boards.

Restoration Hardware sink in the powder room, Toto toilets in all three bathrooms and Carrara marble and 9 x 36 porcelain tile from Siena Tile and Stone adorned respective bathroom floors.

First Floor Full Bath: Cabinet and Sink by Duravit, plumbing fixtures from Rubenstein Plumbing in Oakland.

Built-in lighted shelves discovered on Pinterest implemented by my trusty tradesman Jose and team.

My favorite – Z Gallerie – spherical chandelier appoints the dining room while sparkling crystal lighting from Lamps Plus complement the foyer and upper hallway.

When Your Kids Move On, Life Changes

so having a project really helped me during this transition. And it was really quite exciting to watch my vision become reality.

I just love our new home — it’s everything I’d imagined.

For those experiencing the empty nest, although life is different, you still do see your kids. And if you are anything like us you visit often, no matter where they venture.

Whether visiting Bianca in Australia or in Florence, Italy or meeting up with Chase during family weekend or on the road to catch a lacrosse game in Scottsdale, Arizona, Newport Beach or Boulder, Colorado or joining them for a ski weekend in Vail.

We are there!

Or as things go, this week…  Adam departs SFO to Tokyo to visit our daughter in Japan!!

So I guess the “Empty Nest” isn’t so bad after all.

XOXOX!

For suggestions, questions, resources or inspiration email me at debbidimaggio@gmail.com

Happy Designing!

and share your empty nest stories with us too.

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