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Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Ode On A Bay Window


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Winder Gibson ArchitectsWinder Gibson Architects

Today we have a guest blogger, Jennifer Lutz, who stages special events in homes and transforms ordinary rooms into stunning places for family gatherings and holiday celebrations. She blogs about home decor at Jennifer is sharing some fabulous ideas for bay windows today. Welcome Jennifer!

Bay windows add wonderful charm and function to a home; not only do they bring a view of the beautiful outdoors inside, they are also a great way to add loads of natural light to a room.

Choosing a Bay Window

It’s best to start with something simple and clean. A minimalist design can be easily integrated into both traditional and modern decor schemes.

Budget: Prices will vary greatly depending on your location and professionals, where you would like it placed as well as materials. For smaller spaces, like kitchens and bedrooms, a small bay can run you around $1000. For larger spaces, like foyers and living rooms, the cost will begin at about $1500.

Materials also play a role in how much you pay. Bay windows are available in wood, vinyl, aluminum, PVC and steel. Steel and wood are the most expensive among the choices, but they are also the most durable followed by fiberglass and aluminum then PVC and vinyl.

Designing a Bay Window

The versatility of a bay window is what makes it such a wonderful addition to your home. A custom-designed bay window can be a strong focal point in a room, in addition to providing storage space, cozy seating, extra workspace and great views outdoors.

As a Seating Area

Creating a seating area is one of the most traditional and well-loved uses for a bay window. A cozy nook is made comfortable with natural light, a beautiful view, thick cushions and colorful pillows. The seat of a bay window truly does double-duty, with storage underneath.

Flank either side of the window with tall bookshelves. Not only will all of your items be organized and easy to access, they’ll become a part of your decor.

As a Focal Wall

Nothing displays your belongings quite as nicely as a bay window. If seating isn’t a concern, consider creating a focal wall by using the space beneath the window to display family photos, heirlooms and you favorite potted plants.

As a Workspace

The extra area created by a bay window is perfect for a quiet workplace. To optimize the space, storage and shelving can be installed above or below the bay windows.

Rest assured that whatever you decide, the architectural beauty of a bay window will add a delight all its own to your home.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

How Not To Stage Your Home For Resale


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

I’m addicted to looking through real estate  on sites like Trulia and Zillow; I fantasize about high rise living in Chicago or a beach house on Martha’s Vineyard and cruise the ads when I need to take a break from work. Sometimes the pictures shock me. Did these people realize pictures to try and sell their homes were going to be taken that day? Could they have maybe made the bed? Here’s one that really cracked me up today. It’s a nice place, it looks fairly clean, it’s not cheap, but it’s very clear that a dude or dudes live here. Dudes that were likely in a fraternity.

Nice open living room, but the fact that a Foosball table is a focal point tips me off that Joey and Chandler may live here.

This kitchen is acceptable and clean. However, if you’re trying to sell your home, clear your counters. You may leave a teapot and a wine rack out, but I don’t want to see your dishrack (this tells a potential buyer that dishwasher may not work so great), your clutter, and I can’t smell the kitchen from the picture, so go ahead and put the Fabreeze away. By seeing it, I’m already thinking that your kitchen may very well stink.

OK, where to start? The dead plant is just bad feng shui. Make your bed. Place your occasional chair in a place that makes sense instead of the middle of the room. Put your clothing and that weird exercise contraption in the closet. Put the TV on a table or stand instead of directly on the carpet. Put the creepy poster in the recycling bin. This room belongs to Patrick Bateman’s messier brother.

Again, throwing your comforter over your rumpled sheets is not making the bed. Hang your jacket up. Put your shoes away. Clear that odd console. Don’t have wires hanging down from lamps. You literally could have put all the clutter behind where the photographer is standing for five minutes and this room could have looked clean and normal.

Finally, these guys do get points for putting the lid down, my number one bathroom shot pet-peeve. However, put your personal toiletries away. I don’t want to see a loofah hanging in the shower, the fact that the bottles are on the shower floor tells me that there is not a handy niche in there and I too will have to bend down to get my shampoo or have one of those stupid faucet hangers that never works right. I’m glad that the owner clearly has good hygiene, but the clutter is distracting.

Again, this place wasn’t exactly ready for an episode of Hoarders, it just needed a housekeeper and a home stager. What are your biggest home staging pet peeves?


Friday, February 15th, 2013

SALE! Get To Know MASH Studios Dark Collection


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Ah contrast. Dark walnut-stained teak wood combined with sleek white powder-coated aluminum accents makes for beautiful balance in the sophisticated Dark Collection from MASH Studios. Whether or not your weekend plans include shopping for a piece or two of furniture, be sure to check out the clean lines and beautiful finishes on these clever contemporary pieces. We have a number of beautiful pieces on sale at 20% off while supplies last. All of these pieces are limited editions, so there is only a limited supply. Here’s a peek at some of my personal favorites.

I love a hard-working piece of furniture, and the Limited Edition Dark Low Storage Unit certainly fits the bill. What’s great is that you can use it in your living room for books, display and media storage today, then use it as a nightstand or linen storage in your bedroom when you’re switching things up. It has two large drawers for storage and an open compartment complete with an adjustable shelf. I think it also makes a beautiful TV stand; you could simply drill a few holes for wires in the back for the cable and ROKU boxes, then stash all of your DVDs in the drawers.

The Limited Edition Dark Coffee Table has clean lines that you won’t need to clutter up. Why? Because it has a secret…

… the white aluminum panels slide out, revealing a spot for remotes, trashy magazines, pens, and other items that aren’t up to coffee table book status.

Next we have the Limited Edition Dark Entertainment Shelf. It has three divided compartments for organization, complete with a white sliding aluminum panel. You can slide the panel over to hide the unsightly electronics when they are not in use.

The Limited Edition Dark Nightstand has a minimalist look but plenty of room to stash all of your goodies and room for your bedtime reading underneath.

Finally, a beautiful Limited Edition Dark Occasional Table is an elegant perch for cocktails. The simple construction, clean lines and beautiful wood color make it the perfect piece to center your furniture around.

Shop the MASH Studios Limited Edition Dark Collection Sale


Friday, February 1st, 2013

Movie Sets 2012: Moonrise Kingdom


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

As we close in on Oscar night, I’m trying to remember all the movies I saw in 2012. It’s kind of funny how quickly some of them fly out of your head while others make a deep impression. The one with the best sets and locations that most captured my imagination was Moonrise Kingdom.

They nailed a moment in time that brings on nostalgia, a time when kids would lie on the floor around a record player or a board game together. The beach house and its nautical paintings, braided rugs, splashes of plaid and its nooks and crannies  reminds me of renting funky beach houses full of second-rate furniture for two weeks every summer. There’s also a timeless sense of New England that’s never gone away. This style includes Grey Gardens-esque hand-me-down wicker furniture and madras pants.

From the house we move over to the junior camp and discover that someone is missing from his plaid-lined tent with another the braided rug:

Next we get to climb up into the most ridiculous secret tree/clubhouse we’ve ever seen:

Speaking of perches, one of the most picturesque lighthouses provides the perfect lookout:

Running away takes the star crossed kiddos through amazing locations from vast fields to wonderful woods full of rock outcroppings and secret beaches:

The spaces tell us about the characters, whether it’s how a kid chooses to furnish a tent or the fact that the local sheriff spends most of his time in small spaces, from the tiny island police station to the small trailer he lives in.

Did any movies sets leave an indelible impression on you in 2012? Let us know in the comments section.


Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

New Years Resolutions for Your Home


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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(print this inspirational message at Detail-Oriented Diva)

How are you all doing with those New Year’s resolutions now that a week has passed? Personally, I’m still just trying to catch up on work after the holidays. Anyway, I’m sure the gyms and Weight Watchers meetings must be at full capacity but will wane soon. When it comes to resolving issues around the house, ride the resolution wave while you’re still motivated. Here are a few tasks you can easily accomplish.

1) Take that donation box to the Goodwill or thrift store to drop it off. Before you leave, add anything you’ve been saying “I can get $20 for this on eBay” about yet never gotten around to listing and those things you’ve been saving for when you magically lose 20 pounds.

2) Grab a pen and pad, or better yet, your camera phone, and make a list of all the little projects that need doing. Go room to room and make note of every single thing. Look from down to the electric outlets  all the way up to those spider webs on the ceiling.

When you’re done, sit down and organize the tasks into separate lists – a list for the plumber, a list for the electrician, organizing tasks, a list you can DIY , a list of things to buy at the hardware store. Put them in order of importance. Begin with safety issues like buying carbon monoxide detectors, and group things together logistically (what can you tackle with your feather duster with the extension on it such as ceiling corners and ceiling fans? what are all the tasks that require a stepstool?) .  Keep the list on your refrigerator or a bulletin board and check things off throughout 2013 as you accomplish them.

3) Complete one full organizing task at a time, even if you can donate just an hour to it – cleaning out your dresser and ditching the socks that have no partners, cleaning out your bathroom drawers or even just one junk drawer (by the way, you are allowed ONE junk drawer. Just one).  When you have an entire afternoon, tackle a bigger project like the attic, basement or garage.

4) While you’re at it, make a list of fun things you’ve been meaning to do like catch that museum exhibition before it leaves town, calling that friend you haven’t seen in months for lunch, catching up on Pinterest boards or finally getting started watching  Breaking Bad or Homeland. “Accomplishing” these things is a fun reward.

5) Speaking of rewards, make a list of all the things you dream of having in your home that you can’t afford right now, like a new sofa or front-loading washing machine. Open a savings account and save money toward these purchases, even if all you have to deposit right now is your loose change. Having the account and watching it grow will help you reach your goals.

What home resolutions do you have this year? Please let us know in the Comments section!


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