“Nancy is hands-down the best agent I’ve ever worked with —and I’ve worked with over a dozen!”
- Bonnie Gemmell, Woodside, CA.
Just the Facts: Pro-Style Ranges
A professional range is a beautiful addition to a kitchen. It creates a dramatic focal point for the kitchen and makes cooking a delight - all in addition to adding value to your house. There are styles that match just about every design aesthetic - from modern industrial to antique enameled (with some lines offering 100’s of color configurations!). If you are in the market for a new, pro-style range, here are a few facts to get you started.
1. Gas On Top - The burners are always gas, but the oven can be gas or electric. The gas version oven can be a bit more expensive, but many cooks prefer the moist heat it creates.
2. Just How Big? - The standard widths range from 30 to 60 inches, the larger widths allowing for more burners/griddles/grills and a larger or dual oven. Just make sure that if you pick the 60 inch option you can fit it through the front door!
3. Ventilation - A ventilation hood is a must due to the amount of heat, carbon monoxide, and smoke that can be produced. Most ranges have a coordinating vent option. 
4. Options On Top - Pro-style ranges come with a minimum of 4 burners with at least one with low Btus that can provide a slow simmer and at least one boiler burner with high Btus that can boil, sear, or sauté. Larger ranges can accomodate additional burners or options such as a grill over an open flame, a nonstick griddle, or a French top which is a flat cooking surface over a burner that allows multiple pots to cook side by side. 
I have seen some pretty amazing pro-style ranges in the houses I have viewed along the SF Peninsula. I’d be happy to show you some of the cook’s kitchens in houses that are on the market today!

Image courtesy of Petr KratochvilPublicDomainPictures.net.

Just the Facts: Pro-Style Ranges

A professional range is a beautiful addition to a kitchen. It creates a dramatic focal point for the kitchen and makes cooking a delight - all in addition to adding value to your house. There are styles that match just about every design aesthetic - from modern industrial to antique enameled (with some lines offering 100’s of color configurations!). If you are in the market for a new, pro-style range, here are a few facts to get you started.

1. Gas On Top - The burners are always gas, but the oven can be gas or electric. The gas version oven can be a bit more expensive, but many cooks prefer the moist heat it creates.

2. Just How Big? - The standard widths range from 30 to 60 inches, the larger widths allowing for more burners/griddles/grills and a larger or dual oven. Just make sure that if you pick the 60 inch option you can fit it through the front door!

3. Ventilation - A ventilation hood is a must due to the amount of heat, carbon monoxide, and smoke that can be produced. Most ranges have a coordinating vent option. 

4. Options On Top - Pro-style ranges come with a minimum of 4 burners with at least one with low Btus that can provide a slow simmer and at least one boiler burner with high Btus that can boil, sear, or sauté. Larger ranges can accomodate additional burners or options such as a grill over an open flame, a nonstick griddle, or a French top which is a flat cooking surface over a burner that allows multiple pots to cook side by side. 

I have seen some pretty amazing pro-style ranges in the houses I have viewed along the SF Peninsula. I’d be happy to show you some of the cook’s kitchens in houses that are on the market today!

Image courtesy of Petr KratochvilPublicDomainPictures.net.

Sneak Peek at My Newest Listing: Historic Professorville Craftsman

Originally built in 1907, this historic Craftsman home has the design integrity and handcraftsmanship that are hallmarks of the Arts and Crafts movement. Located in sought-after Professorville, the home’s architectural style blends beautifully with its natural setting. Delicate blooms, mature trees and foliage set the stage for the Craftsman design characterized by steep gabled rooflines and wood shingles. 

Mature landscaping surrounds the 7200+/- sq. ft. lot creating a tapestry of color and texture. Towering trees dapple light on the grounds creating a land of enchantment for outdoor entertaining or quiet contemplation. A detached two-car garage with extra storage completes the property.

* Refinished floors, custom built-ins, skylights, radiant heat, recessed lighting

* Remodeled kitchen, center island, work station, cabinets with original hardware

* 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms with lovely updated details

* Living room has stone fireplace, bay window, original paneled walls and ceiling

* Formal dining room has wood paneled walls and ceiling and side yard patio access

* Light-filled family room has floor-to-ceiling windows, bookcases and window seat

* Detached 2-car garage w/storage; long driveway offers ample off-street parking

262 Kingsley Avenue, Palo Alto

Offered at $2,199,000 

Let the Light In
When sunny days are in the forecast I love to let the light shine in. My 25 plus years of selling houses along the SF Peninsula have taught me a few things about the dramatic effect bright light can have on making a room looks its best. So throw back the drapes, raise the blinds, and… clean your windows!
Here are some tips from the helpful folks at brightnest.com. A small amount of toothpaste with baking soda and some gentle rubbing can actually buff out small scratches. Coffee filters clean windows streak-free without leaving bits of lint behind. A light layer of anti-static clothing spray on drapes can keep dust from accumulating. Finally, don’t forget to clean or dust the blinds first to keep dust off your clean windows!
A bright window lets you see things clearly. Here is a crystal-clear peek at what happened with home sales last month in some of the cities where I specialize.
March Sales
*  Atherton - 12 sales, 100% to list price, 87 average DOM
*  Belmont - 15 sales, 115% to list price, 12 average DOM
*  Burlingame - 18 sales, 105% to list price, 13 average DOM
*  Foster City - 7 sales, 110% to list price, 9 average DOM
*  Hillsborough - 11 sales, 101% to list price, 36 average DOM
*  Menlo Park - 26 sales, 107% to list price, 18 average DOM
*  Palo Alto - 23 sales, 117% to list price, 10 average DOM
*  Redwood City - 43 sales, 106% to list price, 19 average DOM
*  San Carlos - 25 sales, 114% to list price, 12 average DOM
*  San Mateo - 44 sales, 112% to list price, 24 average DOM
*  Woodside - 8 sales, 99% to list price, 68 average DOM

IMHO*:   I’ve learned in the past 25 plus years of selling houses to take each bit of news as it comes.  March brought signs that sales are still strong along the SF Peninsula even though inventory remains low.  Give me a call and let me help you with a strategy that is right for you.  (*In My Humble Opinion – which I’m always happy to share.)


Image courtesy of Karen Arnold PublicDomainPictures.net.

Let the Light In

When sunny days are in the forecast I love to let the light shine in. My 25 plus years of selling houses along the SF Peninsula have taught me a few things about the dramatic effect bright light can have on making a room looks its best. So throw back the drapes, raise the blinds, and… clean your windows!

Here are some tips from the helpful folks at brightnest.com. A small amount of toothpaste with baking soda and some gentle rubbing can actually buff out small scratches. Coffee filters clean windows streak-free without leaving bits of lint behind. A light layer of anti-static clothing spray on drapes can keep dust from accumulating. Finally, don’t forget to clean or dust the blinds first to keep dust off your clean windows!

A bright window lets you see things clearly. Here is a crystal-clear peek at what happened with home sales last month in some of the cities where I specialize.

March Sales

*  Atherton - 12 sales, 100% to list price, 87 average DOM

*  Belmont - 15 sales, 115% to list price, 12 average DOM

*  Burlingame - 18 sales, 105% to list price, 13 average DOM

*  Foster City - 7 sales, 110% to list price, 9 average DOM

*  Hillsborough - 11 sales, 101% to list price, 36 average DOM

*  Menlo Park - 26 sales, 107% to list price, 18 average DOM

*  Palo Alto - 23 sales, 117% to list price, 10 average DOM

*  Redwood City - 43 sales, 106% to list price, 19 average DOM

*  San Carlos - 25 sales, 114% to list price, 12 average DOM

*  San Mateo - 44 sales, 112% to list price, 24 average DOM

*  Woodside - 8 sales, 99% to list price, 68 average DOM

IMHO*:   I’ve learned in the past 25 plus years of selling houses to take each bit of news as it comes.  March brought signs that sales are still strong along the SF Peninsula even though inventory remains low.  Give me a call and let me help you with a strategy that is right for you.  (*In My Humble Opinion – which I’m always happy to share.)

Image courtesy of Karen Arnold PublicDomainPictures.net.

Sneak Peek at My Newest Listing: Perfect Starter Home

Lovely ranch home with a welcoming porch located on a quiet street in the Green Hills Country Club area. Comfortable 1020 sq. ft. (approx) of living space with two bedrooms.  Kitchen and bathroom are ready to be transformed into your dream. Wonderful opportunity with endless possibilities! 

•  Great floor plan with a living room with bright picture window and fireplace, and separate formal dining room

• Beautiful refinished hardwood floors; freshly painted inside and out

• Fantastic bonus area under the house could be storage, laundry, office 

• Pretty flagstone patio and fully-fenced back yard

• Easy walking distance to Capuchino HS and Green Hills Elementary School

522 Capuchino Drive, Millbrae

Five Fresh Ideas for April 
Last week Southern California had a few tremblers that got me thinking (again) about earthquake preparedness. I think most people would agree that it is easy to think about being prepared, even easy to plan to get prepared, but a little harder to follow through and complete preparations. As with so many things on the “to-do” list, the busy-ness of life sometimes gets in the way.
So, if you are looking for some quick things you can do this weekend at home, try these 5 fresh ideas.
1. Start Your Kit - Buying a fully stocked earthquake “kit” can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? This weekend try buying one item and designate a place in your garage or a closet to start storing your supplies. A case of water is an easy start!
2. Sticky Situation - Even a small shake can send valuables like vases and picture frames to the floor. Buy some putty and use it to make sure your most important items are stuck in place.
3. Unexpected Items - There are some items you have lying around your house that could become super helpful after a quake. If you can find these, add them to a backpack in your kit/shelf/closet: whistle (I am here!), gloves (so much broken glass!), utility knife, duct tape (so. many. uses.), and a deck of cards. 
4. Map It Out - Could not be easier: go to Google maps, print a satellite shot of your house, and start marking it up with evacuation spots, gas shut-off, water main, important document storage spot, etc. Done! 
5. Prepare Pets - Don’t forget to plan for your pets with some food, leashes, and kennels ready to go. And don’t forget the can opener!
Neighborhood teenagers are a great resource if you are looking for someone to help out with some of these tasks. And if you find yourself in need of a new neighborhood, let me be your expert resource and help you find the right house for you!


Image courtesy of Lilla Frerichs PublicDomainPictures.net.

Five Fresh Ideas for April 

Last week Southern California had a few tremblers that got me thinking (again) about earthquake preparedness. I think most people would agree that it is easy to think about being prepared, even easy to plan to get prepared, but a little harder to follow through and complete preparations. As with so many things on the “to-do” list, the busy-ness of life sometimes gets in the way.

So, if you are looking for some quick things you can do this weekend at home, try these 5 fresh ideas.

1. Start Your Kit - Buying a fully stocked earthquake “kit” can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? This weekend try buying one item and designate a place in your garage or a closet to start storing your supplies. A case of water is an easy start!

2. Sticky Situation - Even a small shake can send valuables like vases and picture frames to the floor. Buy some putty and use it to make sure your most important items are stuck in place.

3. Unexpected Items - There are some items you have lying around your house that could become super helpful after a quake. If you can find these, add them to a backpack in your kit/shelf/closet: whistle (I am here!), gloves (so much broken glass!), utility knife, duct tape (so. many. uses.), and a deck of cards. 

4. Map It Out - Could not be easier: go to Google maps, print a satellite shot of your house, and start marking it up with evacuation spots, gas shut-off, water main, important document storage spot, etc. Done! 

5. Prepare Pets - Don’t forget to plan for your pets with some food, leashes, and kennels ready to go. And don’t forget the can opener!

Neighborhood teenagers are a great resource if you are looking for someone to help out with some of these tasks. And if you find yourself in need of a new neighborhood, let me be your expert resource and help you find the right house for you!

Image courtesy of Lilla Frerichs PublicDomainPictures.net.

Take 5: Decorator Don’ts 
I really enjoy home decorating and put a lot of thought into how my own house is arranged. And using the internet, it is easy to find inspiration and designer tips to get you started. But what about designer don’ts? Here are a few provided by HGTV on their website. In the spirit of fun and creating a home you love, these are 5 things you might want to avoid:
1. Toilet Rugs - You know the ones I’m talking about. They come in bright colors and thick shag and with a matching toilet seat cover. Well, the decorators suggest just a simple rectangular rug placed away from the toilet.
2. Cables, wires, and plugs… oh my! One of the biggest bummers of cool home technology is when it comes with multiple cords, each branching off in a different direction. The decorators suggest moving to wireless technology where possible, using a staple gun to secure wires under or behind furniture, and even drilling a small hole in the wall to provide a discreet path to a power source.
3. Outdated Cabinetry - You may not be ready for a kitchen or bathroom remod, but the decorators point out that new hardware is an easy and cost-effective update that can have a big impact. Give it a try this weekend! 
4. Too. Much. Pink.  Coordinating colors creates an inviting room, but matching everything in the same pale shade of pink can actually drown out the color. If you want a pink room, use a base color like brown for walls and furniture and accent with pink pillows, window treatments, throws, chairs, etc.  
5. Furniture that Doesn’t Fit - The designers are not against over-sized furniture, but it has to fit the room it is in (no matter how comfy that couch may feel at the furniture store). Take room measurements before buying furniture, and plan for plenty of open space once it is moved in.

Image courtesy of Kangshutters / freedigitalphotos.net.

Take 5: Decorator Don’ts 

I really enjoy home decorating and put a lot of thought into how my own house is arranged. And using the internet, it is easy to find inspiration and designer tips to get you started. But what about designer don’ts? Here are a few provided by HGTV on their website. In the spirit of fun and creating a home you love, these are 5 things you might want to avoid:

1. Toilet Rugs - You know the ones I’m talking about. They come in bright colors and thick shag and with a matching toilet seat cover. Well, the decorators suggest just a simple rectangular rug placed away from the toilet.

2. Cables, wires, and plugs… oh my! One of the biggest bummers of cool home technology is when it comes with multiple cords, each branching off in a different direction. The decorators suggest moving to wireless technology where possible, using a staple gun to secure wires under or behind furniture, and even drilling a small hole in the wall to provide a discreet path to a power source.

3. Outdated Cabinetry - You may not be ready for a kitchen or bathroom remod, but the decorators point out that new hardware is an easy and cost-effective update that can have a big impact. Give it a try this weekend! 

4. Too. Much. Pink.  Coordinating colors creates an inviting room, but matching everything in the same pale shade of pink can actually drown out the color. If you want a pink room, use a base color like brown for walls and furniture and accent with pink pillows, window treatments, throws, chairs, etc.  

5. Furniture that Doesn’t Fit - The designers are not against over-sized furniture, but it has to fit the room it is in (no matter how comfy that couch may feel at the furniture store). Take room measurements before buying furniture, and plan for plenty of open space once it is moved in.

Image courtesy of Kangshutters / freedigitalphotos.net.

Tiny Houses 
Every once and awhile I write about recent efforts to maximize living in minimized spaces. In San Francisco and New York City, there is the development of micro apartments. In Los Angeles, they are building small-lot houses. And out of DC there is the mini house - a very interesting small-house concept with a clean and clever design and some very earth-friendly aspects. Small, yes, but not quite a fairy house either!
Take, for example, the Minim House, which is part of Washington DC’s tiny house showcase. Measuring a total of 210 square feet of living space, this house has earned its name. Inside, however, it earns admiration for the open and seamless integration of living in one open space. From the bright kitchen at one end, to the built-in couch and table (it stands on one central leg that fits into several floor attachments depending on how you want to use it) in the middle, to the office area and slide-out bed at the other end, this house actually has it all. 
And get this - not only is the house easily movable, but it also exists off the grid. Appliances are fueled by the solar panels on the roof, and heat by propane. The house also collects and filters rain water in a storage tank beneath the couch.
It’s not surprising that smaller living movements have come out of cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles - some of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. I enjoy seeing such creative solutions to finding everybody the right place to live - at just the right size.
Now, if you are interested enough to wet your toes without jumping into the water, you might enjoy a visit to the Tiny House Hotel in Portland, OR. Until then, I can show you some houses in all shapes and sizes currently for sale along the SF Peninsula.


Image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil PublicDomainPictures.net.

Tiny Houses 

Every once and awhile I write about recent efforts to maximize living in minimized spaces. In San Francisco and New York City, there is the development of micro apartments. In Los Angeles, they are building small-lot houses. And out of DC there is the mini house - a very interesting small-house concept with a clean and clever design and some very earth-friendly aspects. Small, yes, but not quite a fairy house either!

Take, for example, the Minim House, which is part of Washington DC’s tiny house showcase. Measuring a total of 210 square feet of living space, this house has earned its name. Inside, however, it earns admiration for the open and seamless integration of living in one open space. From the bright kitchen at one end, to the built-in couch and table (it stands on one central leg that fits into several floor attachments depending on how you want to use it) in the middle, to the office area and slide-out bed at the other end, this house actually has it all. 

And get this - not only is the house easily movable, but it also exists off the grid. Appliances are fueled by the solar panels on the roof, and heat by propane. The house also collects and filters rain water in a storage tank beneath the couch.

It’s not surprising that smaller living movements have come out of cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles - some of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. I enjoy seeing such creative solutions to finding everybody the right place to live - at just the right size.

Now, if you are interested enough to wet your toes without jumping into the water, you might enjoy a visit to the Tiny House Hotel in Portland, OR. Until then, I can show you some houses in all shapes and sizes currently for sale along the SF Peninsula.

Image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil PublicDomainPictures.net.

Accessibility At Home
Creating a beautiful home that is accessible is not only functional but also a growing trend in home design. Whether it is to accommodate multigenerational living, a family member in a wheelchair, or, increasingly, “aging in place,” home design is taking note. Builders are responding with wider hallways and open living spaces. Homeowners are responding by retrofitting aspects of their home to make them more accessible. 
You might have an image of grab bars in the shower and a mobility chair that moves up a flight of stairs, but there is really so much more to making a house accessible. And the great news is that the changes don’t have to be difficult and can actually fit quite nicely with the overall decor of the home.
Here are a few ideas to demonstrate what I’ve seen out there.
Wheelchair Ramp - You might picture a metal ramp draped across the steps leading up to the front door. This is a great short-term solution. For a more permanent fixture, what about a gently sloping, wrap-around ramp that blends in with the house like a porch?
Yard - A wide paved or gravel-filled walkway makes a yard easy to navigate. Add a bench or some posts to lean against for the occasional break, along with some hanging plants, and you can create an inviting and lovely environment.
Kitchen Ideas - Some easy design ideas for the kitchen are no cabinets under the sink and range, pull-out work surfaces that are below the height of the counter, dish towel bars that can double as grab bars, and built-in microwaves and appliances below counter height.
Bathroom Upgrades - A walk-in shower with only 3 walls has become quite popular in the quest to create spa-like bathroom sanctuaries, and it can also make a bathroom more accessible. The third wall can remain open in a large bathroom, or closed off with a shower curtain. 
Little Details - Levered doorknobs are easier to operate than the standard turning knobs. Sensor lights that turn on in a room without having to find/operate a switch provide accessible lighting. Pedal operated sinks and faucets are even popular with kids and grandkids who can’t reach the sink yet!  Doors that “go away” when open, such as pocket doors or folding doors, also stay out of the way.
Not-So-Dumbwaiter - The dumbwaiter is a lifesaving relic from the past… or so you may have thought! Modern-day multi-level homes can benefit tremendously from a dumbwaiter to lift laundry, groceries, firewood, and luggage (and perhaps some tea and crumpets in the morning). They can be built professionally, or even as a DIY project with a grange-door opener. Don’t forget the dumbwaiter’s best friend - the laundry chute. 
I have developed a good eye for spotting what makes a house suitable for multigenerational or age-in-place living. I’d be happy to show you some of the many great homes currently for sale along the SF Peninsula!


Image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil PublicDomainPictures.net.

Accessibility At Home

Creating a beautiful home that is accessible is not only functional but also a growing trend in home design. Whether it is to accommodate multigenerational living, a family member in a wheelchair, or, increasingly, “aging in place,” home design is taking note. Builders are responding with wider hallways and open living spaces. Homeowners are responding by retrofitting aspects of their home to make them more accessible. 

You might have an image of grab bars in the shower and a mobility chair that moves up a flight of stairs, but there is really so much more to making a house accessible. And the great news is that the changes don’t have to be difficult and can actually fit quite nicely with the overall decor of the home.

Here are a few ideas to demonstrate what I’ve seen out there.

Wheelchair Ramp - You might picture a metal ramp draped across the steps leading up to the front door. This is a great short-term solution. For a more permanent fixture, what about a gently sloping, wrap-around ramp that blends in with the house like a porch?

Yard - A wide paved or gravel-filled walkway makes a yard easy to navigate. Add a bench or some posts to lean against for the occasional break, along with some hanging plants, and you can create an inviting and lovely environment.

Kitchen Ideas - Some easy design ideas for the kitchen are no cabinets under the sink and range, pull-out work surfaces that are below the height of the counter, dish towel bars that can double as grab bars, and built-in microwaves and appliances below counter height.

Bathroom Upgrades - A walk-in shower with only 3 walls has become quite popular in the quest to create spa-like bathroom sanctuaries, and it can also make a bathroom more accessible. The third wall can remain open in a large bathroom, or closed off with a shower curtain. 

Little Details - Levered doorknobs are easier to operate than the standard turning knobs. Sensor lights that turn on in a room without having to find/operate a switch provide accessible lighting. Pedal operated sinks and faucets are even popular with kids and grandkids who can’t reach the sink yet!  Doors that “go away” when open, such as pocket doors or folding doors, also stay out of the way.

Not-So-Dumbwaiter - The dumbwaiter is a lifesaving relic from the past… or so you may have thought! Modern-day multi-level homes can benefit tremendously from a dumbwaiter to lift laundry, groceries, firewood, and luggage (and perhaps some tea and crumpets in the morning). They can be built professionally, or even as a DIY project with a grange-door opener. Don’t forget the dumbwaiter’s best friend - the laundry chute. 

I have developed a good eye for spotting what makes a house suitable for multigenerational or age-in-place living. I’d be happy to show you some of the many great homes currently for sale along the SF Peninsula!

Image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil PublicDomainPictures.net.

Pro Tips: Staged to Live (In)
I’ve talked about the benefits to sellers who carefully stage their house to appeal to buyers. But what about staging your house to appeal to… you? That is, making your house its best for you everyday without an expensive designer and before you sell your house and it’s too late to enjoy it yourself. 
These are not tips for sellers alone - they are tips that any homeowner can use today to make their house its best. Accentuate the best aspects and minimize the worst! Take a peek and choose at least one tip to put in place this weekend!
Clutter - We all know that clutter is a drag but hard to get rid of. Throw out anything that has been sitting on a counter or table for more than a month and get an attractive bin or basket for collecting clutter going forward.
Group Furniture - Moving furniture away from the walls can actually make a room feel larger than when furniture is arranged against the walls. Small groupings of sofas, chairs, and tables encourage conversation while allowing traffic to flow behind and around the groupings.
Give Definition - Give each room or space a purpose to create a roadmap for how to furnish and organize the room and its contents. This is easy with bedrooms and family rooms, but “bonus” or spare rooms can sometimes become dumping grounds for clutter and furniture.  Once you define that spare room as a home office, however, you will find it easier to arrange and organize.
More Lights - Most rooms in a typical house can benefit from more light, which doesn’t just brighten the space but also makes it feel larger. Replace bulbs with higher wattage bulbs, add floor lamps, and remove dark shades from windows.
Groups of 3 - An easy rule-of-thumb that designers use when arranging accessories on a table or a bookshelf is to group similar items in groups of three instead of lined up in a row. The groupings add depth and interest without overwhelming their space.
Finish all Projects - When you don’t have a move planned, you may find it easy to put off finishing small projects (retouching some paint or patching a wall) much longer than you originally planned. Take action now and enjoy the satisfaction of checking it off your list while improving your living environment.


Image courtesy of Claudette Gallant PublicDomainPictures.net.

Pro Tips: Staged to Live (In)

I’ve talked about the benefits to sellers who carefully stage their house to appeal to buyers. But what about staging your house to appeal to… you? That is, making your house its best for you everyday without an expensive designer and before you sell your house and it’s too late to enjoy it yourself. 

These are not tips for sellers alone - they are tips that any homeowner can use today to make their house its best. Accentuate the best aspects and minimize the worst! Take a peek and choose at least one tip to put in place this weekend!

Clutter - We all know that clutter is a drag but hard to get rid of. Throw out anything that has been sitting on a counter or table for more than a month and get an attractive bin or basket for collecting clutter going forward.

Group Furniture - Moving furniture away from the walls can actually make a room feel larger than when furniture is arranged against the walls. Small groupings of sofas, chairs, and tables encourage conversation while allowing traffic to flow behind and around the groupings.

Give Definition - Give each room or space a purpose to create a roadmap for how to furnish and organize the room and its contents. This is easy with bedrooms and family rooms, but “bonus” or spare rooms can sometimes become dumping grounds for clutter and furniture.  Once you define that spare room as a home office, however, you will find it easier to arrange and organize.

More Lights - Most rooms in a typical house can benefit from more light, which doesn’t just brighten the space but also makes it feel larger. Replace bulbs with higher wattage bulbs, add floor lamps, and remove dark shades from windows.

Groups of 3 - An easy rule-of-thumb that designers use when arranging accessories on a table or a bookshelf is to group similar items in groups of three instead of lined up in a row. The groupings add depth and interest without overwhelming their space.

Finish all Projects - When you don’t have a move planned, you may find it easy to put off finishing small projects (retouching some paint or patching a wall) much longer than you originally planned. Take action now and enjoy the satisfaction of checking it off your list while improving your living environment.

Image courtesy of Claudette Gallant PublicDomainPictures.net.