Posts Tagged ‘home’

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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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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From Drab to Fab, Re-Designed to Stay

Monday, February 3, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio

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Selling homes is what I do, love to do, and have done for over 30 years, and what has transpired by default, if you will, is become pretty good at design.  Each year we bring about 20 homes to market, and in doing so I provide a complimentary service to each of our clients, I call them mini makeovers, some, not so mini, they can be fairly significant.

Renovating a home is one of the many aspects of the home selling process I love most.  I am now offering my clients and you, my newest service, Designed To Stay, rather than Designed To Sell.  Here is what my team and I can do for future clients interested in maximizing the enjoyment of their home.

Below this home had carpet, black painted wood hand railings, carpet, a granite fireplace and green walls. The BEFORE photo shows Phase 1. carpet, white railings and neutral walls, and the granite removed. AFTER: In order to create a more open loft like environment the railings were removed to open up the room, the room painted bright white and bleached white hardwood floors installed. What you can’t see is that the walls were not flat, they had that ugly sprayed on texture representative of a bad apartment. It took two crews, the first crew did not do a great job of removing the texture, so crew two had to come in and continue the sanding until the walls were truly flat. I must say it makes a huge difference.

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What I do:

Planning I begin with a walk through, assessing the property and home with a keen eye. What I scrutinize: curb appeal, gardens, walkways, light fixtures, paint, floors, carpet, appliances, hardware, rooms and bathrooms, fireplace, electrical, furnace, the basement and, finally, the foundation. I inquire about systems you cannot easily see like the roof and the sewer. I take it all in, commit to memory, and visualize a plan. Window washing, a detailed cleaning and staging are the finishing touches after we complete the mini, or not so mini, makeover.

Paint, I can’t say enough about paint.

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Removing window coverings is usually one of the first things we do. And paint, wow, paint goes a long way to beautifying an indoor space as it does the exterior.

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Choosing fabulous light fixtures is another inexpensive touch. Of course it can me expensive, depending on your pocket book.

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Preparation Whether we are working on the transformation together, or should you decide to do it on your own, obtaining bids is the next step. I have a team of amazing service providers who will meet with me at a moment’s notice, so I am able to line up everyone over a one or two-day period in order to obtain our estimates. Upon receiving the bids, I then sit down with my client and review … We discuss budget and how much, if all, of the recommendations we implement. Then we prioritize, together.

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Transformation A commitment from the homeowner and attention to detail is critical as there is much work involved. The client must be available to approve or disapprove of choices. I will project manage and offer choices. Ideally I do that up front so we can make the transition quick and seamless since most often our re design clients will be living in their homes. ( A timely vacation is always an ideal option during this time. ) I have many wonderful service provider partners who will work with me to create an environment you will want to say, “instead of going out for drinks, come over to my house.”
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I love the process and even more so the results. From “Lived In” to “Staged to Stay”, the transformation is exciting each and every time.

So, from LIVED IN to Staged To Stay, or Lived In to Staged to Sell, give me a call. I look forward to creating an environment so wonderful you’ll fall in love with your home all over again.

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XOXO Debbi

PS. So where will you vacation?

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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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Marketing A Home For Sale

Saturday, May 5, 2018
Debbi DiMaggio

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