“Nancy is hands-down the best agent I’ve ever worked with —and I’ve worked with over a dozen!”
- Bonnie Gemmell, Woodside, CA.
Take 5: Pointers for Painters
I just love how a coat of paint can completely transform a room, accessory, or piece of furniture. A fresh color brings new life and highlights design elements within a room; an old layer of paint can look dated and drab. Is it time to freshen up at your house? It can be an easy DIY weekend project! To get you started, here are 5 paint tips from the experts.
1. Avoid Drips and Puddles - Small holes punched along the channel of the rim of a can of paint can prevent pooling paint that overflows down the side of the can. For touch-ups, a Starbucks cup with a domed lid holds just the right amount and allows you to scrape excess paint off your brush with ease.
2. Pick the Perfect Color - Use paint swatches to test out different color palettes. When you are down to the finalists, most paint stores sell inexpensive sample sizes that allow you to see the color on your wall before making a final decision.
3. Re-Use Brushes - Expert painters know they can keep using the same brushes and rollers for an entire project by storing them wrapped in plastic and in the refrigerator or freezer overnight.
4. How Sheeny? Paint sheen is a personal taste, but there are a few rules of thumb. Low shine (satin and eggshell) is best for walls in high-traffic areas; matte is suited for areas that tend to need frequent washing; semi-gloss is frequently used for kitchens and bathrooms.
5. Designer Touches - Designers don’t stop at just painting the walls and some accent furniture items. A painted ceiling can bring warmth or drama to a room and patterns (dots, stripes, and diamonds) add style without the hassle of wall paper.


Image courtesy of Karen Arnold / publicdomainpictures.net.

Take 5: Pointers for Painters

I just love how a coat of paint can completely transform a room, accessory, or piece of furniture. A fresh color brings new life and highlights design elements within a room; an old layer of paint can look dated and drab. Is it time to freshen up at your house? It can be an easy DIY weekend project! To get you started, here are 5 paint tips from the experts.

1. Avoid Drips and Puddles - Small holes punched along the channel of the rim of a can of paint can prevent pooling paint that overflows down the side of the can. For touch-ups, a Starbucks cup with a domed lid holds just the right amount and allows you to scrape excess paint off your brush with ease.

2. Pick the Perfect Color - Use paint swatches to test out different color palettes. When you are down to the finalists, most paint stores sell inexpensive sample sizes that allow you to see the color on your wall before making a final decision.

3. Re-Use Brushes - Expert painters know they can keep using the same brushes and rollers for an entire project by storing them wrapped in plastic and in the refrigerator or freezer overnight.

4. How Sheeny? Paint sheen is a personal taste, but there are a few rules of thumb. Low shine (satin and eggshell) is best for walls in high-traffic areas; matte is suited for areas that tend to need frequent washing; semi-gloss is frequently used for kitchens and bathrooms.

5. Designer Touches - Designers don’t stop at just painting the walls and some accent furniture items. A painted ceiling can bring warmth or drama to a room and patterns (dots, stripes, and diamonds) add style without the hassle of wall paper.

Image courtesy of Karen Arnold / publicdomainpictures.net.

The Roof Over Your Head
Few home repairs are likely to elicit as many groans as a new roof, and yet a good roof is so important to the health of your house. And it can do so much more than just keep out the rain! Today’s trends in roofs include shaped roofs (think arches and curves) that create drama; composite shingles that are made from recycled materials and are free of harmful chemicals; and colored shingles (blue and green in particular) sprinkled in with lighter neutral tones that absorb less heat.
I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly on the houses I’ve worked with, and here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1.  Take care of your roof because it takes care of your house.  Protection from the elements is a fundamental reason why you live in a house, and your roof is what ensures that protection.
2.  Get a few bids.  There are roofing companies with sales and marketing departments looking to make the hard sale, and there is the guy who has been putting on roofs for 30 years, 20 of them with his son by his side.  Get a quote from several sources to truly inform your decision.
3.  Drive the neighborhood.  You’ll get a lot of ideas about your own roof by admiring others’ roofs.
4.  Don’t wait for the rain.  Obvious, I know, but the worst time to contract for a new roof is during the rainy months when you are desperate to dry out and roofers are busy enough to charge a premium.
Yes, it is a mess and even expensive but at least it is over quickly and will last a long time.  Like I said, I’ve seen it all and I’d be happy to share my two cents if you are contemplating a new roof.

Image courtesy of Alex Grichenko / publicdomainpictures.net.

The Roof Over Your Head

Few home repairs are likely to elicit as many groans as a new roof, and yet a good roof is so important to the health of your house. And it can do so much more than just keep out the rain! Today’s trends in roofs include shaped roofs (think arches and curves) that create drama; composite shingles that are made from recycled materials and are free of harmful chemicals; and colored shingles (blue and green in particular) sprinkled in with lighter neutral tones that absorb less heat.

I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly on the houses I’ve worked with, and here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

1.  Take care of your roof because it takes care of your house.  Protection from the elements is a fundamental reason why you live in a house, and your roof is what ensures that protection.

2.  Get a few bids.  There are roofing companies with sales and marketing departments looking to make the hard sale, and there is the guy who has been putting on roofs for 30 years, 20 of them with his son by his side.  Get a quote from several sources to truly inform your decision.

3.  Drive the neighborhood.  You’ll get a lot of ideas about your own roof by admiring others’ roofs.

4.  Don’t wait for the rain.  Obvious, I know, but the worst time to contract for a new roof is during the rainy months when you are desperate to dry out and roofers are busy enough to charge a premium.

Yes, it is a mess and even expensive but at least it is over quickly and will last a long time.  Like I said, I’ve seen it all and I’d be happy to share my two cents if you are contemplating a new roof.

Image courtesy of Alex Grichenko / publicdomainpictures.net.

(Living) Together Again
Multigenerational living is one trend in real estate that I personally have seen grow over the past decade along the SF Peninsula. And the research supports my observations - a record 57 million Americans live in multi-generaltional houses as of 2012.  And while the growth peaked during the recent recession, it has continued to grow at a slower rate since.
As a real estate agent, I have worked with families with young children as well as retired families moving closer to grown children. I’ve learned a few things along the way about what multi-generational families are looking for in a house.
Just what is is a multi-generational family? Typically three or more generations living together (such as the family with young children along with one set of in-laws). There are many reasons to choose this living arrangement ranging from family closeness to economizing expenses to freedom to pick up and travel. 
What makes a home ideal for multi generations?
1.  Two Master Suites, or multiple en-suite bedrooms without shared walls. In a two-story house, at least one suite should be on the ground floor.
2.  Separate locked entrances. Sometimes called a “home within a home,” a suite with separate entrance provides privacy within the extended family living arrangement.
3.  Above-garage apartments or stand-alone cottages (what we call an “in-law unit”) that connect to the main house through a courtyard.
4.  Accessibility, which could mean wide doors/halls, an attached garage, below-counter appliances such as microwaves, and large walk-in showers.
5.  Kitchenette easily accessible to one of the bedroom suites, or a morning bar located in a master suite (sink, coffee station, small refrigerator and microwave).
6. Private spaces for each generation to escape to, such as a sitting room or a private patio off the bedroom. Pocket doors are great ways to easily divide spaces when closed while providing accessibility when open.

If you are looking for some space to share with the generations in your family, I would be happy to show you some properties. I can even give you a quick analysis of the features of your home that might appeal to a multi-generation buyer!



Image courtesy of Rajeshkannan MJ / publicdomainpictures.net.

(Living) Together Again

Multigenerational living is one trend in real estate that I personally have seen grow over the past decade along the SF Peninsula. And the research supports my observations - a record 57 million Americans live in multi-generaltional houses as of 2012.  And while the growth peaked during the recent recession, it has continued to grow at a slower rate since.

As a real estate agent, I have worked with families with young children as well as retired families moving closer to grown children. I’ve learned a few things along the way about what multi-generational families are looking for in a house.

Just what is is a multi-generational family? Typically three or more generations living together (such as the family with young children along with one set of in-laws). There are many reasons to choose this living arrangement ranging from family closeness to economizing expenses to freedom to pick up and travel. 

What makes a home ideal for multi generations?

1.  Two Master Suites, or multiple en-suite bedrooms without shared walls. In a two-story house, at least one suite should be on the ground floor.

2.  Separate locked entrances. Sometimes called a “home within a home,” a suite with separate entrance provides privacy within the extended family living arrangement.

3.  Above-garage apartments or stand-alone cottages (what we call an “in-law unit”) that connect to the main house through a courtyard.

4.  Accessibility, which could mean wide doors/halls, an attached garage, below-counter appliances such as microwaves, and large walk-in showers.

5.  Kitchenette easily accessible to one of the bedroom suites, or a morning bar located in a master suite (sink, coffee station, small refrigerator and microwave).

6. Private spaces for each generation to escape to, such as a sitting room or a private patio off the bedroom. Pocket doors are great ways to easily divide spaces when closed while providing accessibility when open.

If you are looking for some space to share with the generations in your family, I would be happy to show you some properties. I can even give you a quick analysis of the features of your home that might appeal to a multi-generation buyer!

Image courtesy of Rajeshkannan MJ / publicdomainpictures.net.

Open House Etiquette
Dear Nancy: I am a seller along the SF Peninsula who recently heard of a homeowner in Beverly Hills whose jewelry went missing during an open house. What is your advice and should I even hold an open house?
Dear Seller: How horrible! I hear your concerns and feel so fortunate to be able to say that I have never experienced that with any of my sellers in 25 plus years as a real estate agent. 
My best advice is to pack up valuables - it gives you a head start on moving and less is more when staging your house for sale. You want buyers to concentrate on the features of the house and not your stuff. 
Open houses are vital to selling your property, and an ounce of prevention goes a long way. Here are a few simple rules of etiquette and safety.

For Sellers
 * Lock up or remove jewelry, medications, and portable electronics (like an iPad or laptop) either during the open house, or even better yet as soon as you list your house for sale.
 * Pack away any important but breakable items like grandma’s Tiffany lamp, vases, and picture frames.
 * Pack away delicate furniture and rugs that might be in high traffic areas during an open house or viewing.
 * Relax - open houses are very safe and you just took a few smart steps to keep it that way.

For Buyers
 * Look around and open doors, but try to refrain from sitting on beds and couches or using the facilities. 
 * For your own peace of mind, try to schedule time to view houses without bringing your children so you can focus on what the house has to offer.
 * Take pictures, but as a courtesy ask the agent first.
 * You don’t have to love anything about the house, but try to save negative comments for the car ride home. I don’t advise it, but sometimes the seller will be in the house while you view it.

Image courtesy of Larisa Koshkina / publicdomainpictures.net.

Open House Etiquette

Dear Nancy: I am a seller along the SF Peninsula who recently heard of a homeowner in Beverly Hills whose jewelry went missing during an open house. What is your advice and should I even hold an open house?

Dear Seller: How horrible! I hear your concerns and feel so fortunate to be able to say that I have never experienced that with any of my sellers in 25 plus years as a real estate agent. 

My best advice is to pack up valuables - it gives you a head start on moving and less is more when staging your house for sale. You want buyers to concentrate on the features of the house and not your stuff. 

Open houses are vital to selling your property, and an ounce of prevention goes a long way. Here are a few simple rules of etiquette and safety.

For Sellers

 * Lock up or remove jewelry, medications, and portable electronics (like an iPad or laptop) either during the open house, or even better yet as soon as you list your house for sale.

 * Pack away any important but breakable items like grandma’s Tiffany lamp, vases, and picture frames.

 * Pack away delicate furniture and rugs that might be in high traffic areas during an open house or viewing.

 * Relax - open houses are very safe and you just took a few smart steps to keep it that way.

For Buyers

 * Look around and open doors, but try to refrain from sitting on beds and couches or using the facilities. 

 * For your own peace of mind, try to schedule time to view houses without bringing your children so you can focus on what the house has to offer.

 * Take pictures, but as a courtesy ask the agent first.

 * You don’t have to love anything about the house, but try to save negative comments for the car ride home. I don’t advise it, but sometimes the seller will be in the house while you view it.

Image courtesy of Larisa Koshkina / publicdomainpictures.net.

Five Fresh Ideas for September
Here we are on the verge of bidding a fond farewell to summer’s abundant fresh fruits and veggies and welcoming back fall’s own cornucopia. September is a great month to grab a few summer items at their glorious peak while adding squash and apples back to your recipes. So, next time you visit the farmer’s market or your grocer’s produce aisle, here are some suggestions for what’s best and fresh.
1. Apples - Yes, you can get tasty apples all year. But September is their peak tastiness. Add them to salads and pot roasts; drizzle them with honey and yogurt; crunch them with a dry artisan cheese. 
2. Pumpkins - As you see them start to make an appearance for Jack-O-Lantern duty, look to the smaller ones for cooking. A pumpkin soup or baked pumpkin served with pasta might be just what you need for a fall state-of-mind. Ditto for butternut squash!
3. Peppers - Sweet bell peppers jazz up a salad and taste delicious roasted. They don’t need much - a little olive oil before throwing on the grill and you’re ready to go.
4. Blackberries - Keep it simple and serve them on a pillow of whipped cream, or try something baked like a cobbler or pie.
5. Tomatoes - After a summer of soaking up the sun, tomatoes are at their sweet peak right about now. You can slice and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, make them the centerpiece of salads, chop them into homemade salsa, or add them to your eggs in the morning. So many uses and it’s a super food!


Image courtesy of Claudette Gallant / publicdomainpictures.net.

Five Fresh Ideas for September

Here we are on the verge of bidding a fond farewell to summer’s abundant fresh fruits and veggies and welcoming back fall’s own cornucopia. September is a great month to grab a few summer items at their glorious peak while adding squash and apples back to your recipes. So, next time you visit the farmer’s market or your grocer’s produce aisle, here are some suggestions for what’s best and fresh.

1. Apples - Yes, you can get tasty apples all year. But September is their peak tastiness. Add them to salads and pot roasts; drizzle them with honey and yogurt; crunch them with a dry artisan cheese. 

2. Pumpkins - As you see them start to make an appearance for Jack-O-Lantern duty, look to the smaller ones for cooking. A pumpkin soup or baked pumpkin served with pasta might be just what you need for a fall state-of-mind. Ditto for butternut squash!

3. Peppers - Sweet bell peppers jazz up a salad and taste delicious roasted. They don’t need much - a little olive oil before throwing on the grill and you’re ready to go.

4. Blackberries - Keep it simple and serve them on a pillow of whipped cream, or try something baked like a cobbler or pie.

5. Tomatoes - After a summer of soaking up the sun, tomatoes are at their sweet peak right about now. You can slice and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, make them the centerpiece of salads, chop them into homemade salsa, or add them to your eggs in the morning. So many uses and it’s a super food!

Image courtesy of Claudette Gallant / publicdomainpictures.net.

Tried and Approved
When renters decide to make the move to homeownership, it turns out that they usually don’t want to move too far. Most renters, in fact, prefer to find a house in the same area where they rent - an area that they already know and approve of. Sellers take note of this data too - the family who buys your house probably lives close by and already knows what a fantastic neighborhood you have!

August Sales
*  Atherton - 6 sales, 105% to list price, 49 average DOM
*  Belmont - 24 sales, 109% to list price, 18 average DOM
*  Burlingame - 20 sales, 108% to list price, 32 average DOM
*  Foster City - 7 sales, 114% to list price, 17 average DOM
*  Hillsborough - 13 sales, 99% to list price, 83 average DOM
*  Menlo Park - 34 sales, 106% to list price, 33 average DOM
*  Palo Alto - 33 sales, 112% to list price, 26 average DOM
*  Redwood City - 47 sales, 107% to list price, 31 average DOM
*  San Carlos - 18 sales, 106% to list price, 27 average DOM
*  San Mateo - 58 sales, 104% to list price, 24 average DOM
*  Woodside - 10 sales, 93% to list price, 72 average DOM
IMHO*:   I’ve learned in the past 25 plus years of selling houses to take each bit of news as it comes.  August brought signs that it is still a strong seller’s market along the SF Peninsula.  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.)

Tried and Approved

When renters decide to make the move to homeownership, it turns out that they usually don’t want to move too far. Most renters, in fact, prefer to find a house in the same area where they rent - an area that they already know and approve of. Sellers take note of this data too - the family who buys your house probably lives close by and already knows what a fantastic neighborhood you have!

August Sales

*  Atherton - 6 sales, 105% to list price, 49 average DOM

*  Belmont - 24 sales, 109% to list price, 18 average DOM

*  Burlingame - 20 sales, 108% to list price, 32 average DOM

*  Foster City - 7 sales, 114% to list price, 17 average DOM

*  Hillsborough - 13 sales, 99% to list price, 83 average DOM

*  Menlo Park - 34 sales, 106% to list price, 33 average DOM

*  Palo Alto - 33 sales, 112% to list price, 26 average DOM

*  Redwood City - 47 sales, 107% to list price, 31 average DOM

*  San Carlos - 18 sales, 106% to list price, 27 average DOM

*  San Mateo - 58 sales, 104% to list price, 24 average DOM

*  Woodside - 10 sales, 93% to list price, 72 average DOM

IMHO*:   I’ve learned in the past 25 plus years of selling houses to take each bit of news as it comes.  August brought signs that it is still a strong seller’s market along the SF Peninsula.  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.)

Hug Your Bear Today!
Happy National Teddy Bear day! You may not have even known what an important day it is when you woke up this morning, but there is always time to find your favorite stuffed bear and give it a hug. And if you are looking to impress friends and co-workers today, here is some Teddy Bear miscellany that is sure to do just that!
* The Theodore Roosevelt Association will mark the day by donating 400 teddy bears to hospitalized children. Since 1986, Teddy Bears for Kids has given away more than 80,000 bears in hospitals across the United States.
* Teddy bears are, of course, named after US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. The name came about after a 1902 hunting expedition. 
* The Teddy Bears will not be going on a picnic today, though, because National Teddy Bear Picnic Day already occurred on July 10th. Picnics have been a tradition of Teddy Bears since “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” was written by John W. Bratton in 1907.
* In 2008 National Geographic set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of over 2,304 stuffed animals sent in by kids. I bet a few stuffed Snoopys and Beanie Babies snuck in with the Teddy Bears.
* In 1995, a Steiff bear named Teddy Girl was sold at auction in London for $171,600. However, the most expensive teddy bear ever is surely the Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear which sold at auction in 2000 for $2,100,000. She now lives in a museum in Korea with her monogrammed luggage.
Enjoy today, but fear ye not Matey because the count down is on for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th!

Image courtesy of Jackie Edwards / publicdomainpictures.net.

Hug Your Bear Today!

Happy National Teddy Bear day! You may not have even known what an important day it is when you woke up this morning, but there is always time to find your favorite stuffed bear and give it a hug. And if you are looking to impress friends and co-workers today, here is some Teddy Bear miscellany that is sure to do just that!

* The Theodore Roosevelt Association will mark the day by donating 400 teddy bears to hospitalized children. Since 1986, Teddy Bears for Kids has given away more than 80,000 bears in hospitals across the United States.

* Teddy bears are, of course, named after US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. The name came about after a 1902 hunting expedition. 

* The Teddy Bears will not be going on a picnic today, though, because National Teddy Bear Picnic Day already occurred on July 10th. Picnics have been a tradition of Teddy Bears since “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” was written by John W. Bratton in 1907.

* In 2008 National Geographic set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of over 2,304 stuffed animals sent in by kids. I bet a few stuffed Snoopys and Beanie Babies snuck in with the Teddy Bears.

* In 1995, a Steiff bear named Teddy Girl was sold at auction in London for $171,600. However, the most expensive teddy bear ever is surely the Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear which sold at auction in 2000 for $2,100,000. She now lives in a museum in Korea with her monogrammed luggage.

Enjoy today, but fear ye not Matey because the count down is on for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th!

Image courtesy of Jackie Edwards / publicdomainpictures.net.

All Decked Out!
A deck is a beautiful way to combine indoor and outdoor living. Today, there is a strong trend among designers and homeowners alike to create outdoor spaces with all the comforts of being inside. This could mean a grill with sink and mini-fridge, plush seating with deep cushions, lots of functional and sparkly lights, a fire pit, and outdoor speakers. Add up all the pieces and you have a private retreat with a relaxing ambiance. 
One of the biggest trends in decks this year is larger sizes. Decks are also becoming year-round, which in the Bay Area means a covered portion where you can enjoy a rainy night. 
One more trend in decks: make them green. There are lots of options for the materials that you use which have varying longevity and environmental impact. Options include composite materials that combine wood fiber and recycled plastics (today’s composites frankly look quite fantastic!), reclaimed wood, or sustainably sourced woods. In fact, if you go the low-maintenance composite route you can skip the winter tips below!
Winter Prep for Wood Decks
In the weeks ahead, homeowners with wood decks should consider some routine maintenance that can extend the life of their decks. Recommended annual deck care includes a visual inspection for damage and replacement of boards as needed; a thorough power wash to remove dirt and soapy cleanse to remove mildew; and a re-sealing or re-staining of wood. Wet Bay Area winters can be hard on wood, so a few preventative steps can be very impactful to the condition of your outdoor retreat.
And check out this hot tip: I recently came across a resurfacer for old wood which is available at Home Depot. Restore Deck Liquid Armor, which comes in different colors, goes on like paint but is a much sturdier coating. Might be worth a try!

Image courtesy of Peter Griffin / publicdomainpictures.net.

All Decked Out!

A deck is a beautiful way to combine indoor and outdoor living. Today, there is a strong trend among designers and homeowners alike to create outdoor spaces with all the comforts of being inside. This could mean a grill with sink and mini-fridge, plush seating with deep cushions, lots of functional and sparkly lights, a fire pit, and outdoor speakers. Add up all the pieces and you have a private retreat with a relaxing ambiance. 

One of the biggest trends in decks this year is larger sizes. Decks are also becoming year-round, which in the Bay Area means a covered portion where you can enjoy a rainy night. 

One more trend in decks: make them green. There are lots of options for the materials that you use which have varying longevity and environmental impact. Options include composite materials that combine wood fiber and recycled plastics (today’s composites frankly look quite fantastic!), reclaimed wood, or sustainably sourced woods. In fact, if you go the low-maintenance composite route you can skip the winter tips below!

Winter Prep for Wood Decks

In the weeks ahead, homeowners with wood decks should consider some routine maintenance that can extend the life of their decks. Recommended annual deck care includes a visual inspection for damage and replacement of boards as needed; a thorough power wash to remove dirt and soapy cleanse to remove mildew; and a re-sealing or re-staining of wood. Wet Bay Area winters can be hard on wood, so a few preventative steps can be very impactful to the condition of your outdoor retreat.

And check out this hot tip: I recently came across a resurfacer for old wood which is available at Home Depot. Restore Deck Liquid Armor, which comes in different colors, goes on like paint but is a much sturdier coating. Might be worth a try!

Image courtesy of Peter Griffin / publicdomainpictures.net.

I want that! Front Door Edition
The entrance to your house can speak volumes about what and who can be found inside. A front door does not have to be plain, neutral, or simple. In fact, no matter the architecture and color of your house, your front door can be its own thing and steal the show in a way that says, “Welcome, visitor! Come on in!”
Here are a few ideas to give you a sense of where you can go with the design of your front door. This can even be an easy weekend project that will give your curb appeal an instant upgrade. 
Door as Art - A front door can be a piece of art in itself. A red door with industrial hardware? A carved door with windows? A steal door with copper-framed windows? A mural? 
Unique Shapes - Oversized, arched, square, double and Dutch are all unexpected takes on the traditional, single door. Hardware can be unique too, such as decorative metal hinges, rustic barn straps, or an oversized door knob.
Mixed Media - Some of the most interesting doors used mixed media, combining wood, glass, stainless steel, tile, and stone. Windows can be large and inviting or small and abundant. Glass can be clear or frosted. Getting some ideas?
Reclaimed Material - Architectural salvage is a great source of interesting old doors or materials for a custom door. Combine that with a “smart lock” that uses blue tooth technology to unlock and you have a very interesting “past meets future” door!
To see some examples of some fantastic front doors, take a peak at 12 Seriously Cool Front Door Designs That Will Boost Your Curb Appeal.

Image courtesy of Karen Arnold / publicdomainpictures.net.

I want that! Front Door Edition

The entrance to your house can speak volumes about what and who can be found inside. A front door does not have to be plain, neutral, or simple. In fact, no matter the architecture and color of your house, your front door can be its own thing and steal the show in a way that says, “Welcome, visitor! Come on in!”

Here are a few ideas to give you a sense of where you can go with the design of your front door. This can even be an easy weekend project that will give your curb appeal an instant upgrade. 

Door as Art - A front door can be a piece of art in itself. A red door with industrial hardware? A carved door with windows? A steal door with copper-framed windows? A mural? 

Unique Shapes - Oversized, arched, square, double and Dutch are all unexpected takes on the traditional, single door. Hardware can be unique too, such as decorative metal hinges, rustic barn straps, or an oversized door knob.

Mixed Media - Some of the most interesting doors used mixed media, combining wood, glass, stainless steel, tile, and stone. Windows can be large and inviting or small and abundant. Glass can be clear or frosted. Getting some ideas?

Reclaimed Material - Architectural salvage is a great source of interesting old doors or materials for a custom door. Combine that with a “smart lock” that uses blue tooth technology to unlock and you have a very interesting “past meets future” door!

To see some examples of some fantastic front doors, take a peak at 12 Seriously Cool Front Door Designs That Will Boost Your Curb Appeal.

Image courtesy of Karen Arnold / publicdomainpictures.net.

Before You Lose Your Phone….
A friend of mine lost her iPhone this week and is devastated. She said it feels like losing a best friend. Unfortunately, sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we lose something along the way, including a small but very important electronic device. Here are some tips she shared with me to help protect your iPhone and its contents before and (hopefully not ever) after it gets lost.
* Find My iPhone is a great feature that can locate your phone when you login using your apple ID. Once you login, you can make your phone let off a loud noise, display a banner telling a finder who to call, or erase all data. The feature has to be turned on, so check your phone’s settings now to make sure it is. Also, the phone needs to be connected to the internet, so try not to lose it in a dead zone.
* A cover with some grip and bulk can be very helpful in preventing your phone from slipping into tight places. It’s such a shame to cover such a beautiful phone, I know, but covers do come in a huge variety of fashionable designs.
* Use a passcode, use a passcode, use a passcode. You can also enable an option to erase all your data after a certain amount of unsuccessful attempts to enter the passcode. This might not work if you have a small child who likes to play with your phone, but is not as scary as it sounds if your data is backed up with iCloud.
* Be consistent about where you place your phone (I always leave it by the toaster in the kitchen…) and try to keep it in your purse or pocket when you are away from home and office. If you have to set it down, though, try a memory trick. For example, if you set it down on a counter next to a salt shaker, imagine the salt snowing down on your phone to create a memory of where you have placed it.
I hope this never happens to you! Fortunately, a few proactive steps can help protect the little device that many of us can’t imagine being separated from.



Image courtesy of Steve Linster / publicdomainpictures.net.

Before You Lose Your Phone….

A friend of mine lost her iPhone this week and is devastated. She said it feels like losing a best friend. Unfortunately, sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we lose something along the way, including a small but very important electronic device. Here are some tips she shared with me to help protect your iPhone and its contents before and (hopefully not ever) after it gets lost.

* Find My iPhone is a great feature that can locate your phone when you login using your apple ID. Once you login, you can make your phone let off a loud noise, display a banner telling a finder who to call, or erase all data. The feature has to be turned on, so check your phone’s settings now to make sure it is. Also, the phone needs to be connected to the internet, so try not to lose it in a dead zone.

* A cover with some grip and bulk can be very helpful in preventing your phone from slipping into tight places. It’s such a shame to cover such a beautiful phone, I know, but covers do come in a huge variety of fashionable designs.

* Use a passcode, use a passcode, use a passcode. You can also enable an option to erase all your data after a certain amount of unsuccessful attempts to enter the passcode. This might not work if you have a small child who likes to play with your phone, but is not as scary as it sounds if your data is backed up with iCloud.

* Be consistent about where you place your phone (I always leave it by the toaster in the kitchen…) and try to keep it in your purse or pocket when you are away from home and office. If you have to set it down, though, try a memory trick. For example, if you set it down on a counter next to a salt shaker, imagine the salt snowing down on your phone to create a memory of where you have placed it.

I hope this never happens to you! Fortunately, a few proactive steps can help protect the little device that many of us can’t imagine being separated from.

Image courtesy of Steve Linster / publicdomainpictures.net.