Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

WEDGWOOD, SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND MODERN FARMHOUSE TOUR

Wedgwood is rated one of the best places to live in Washington. It is a ideal place anyone who wants a quiet and cozy atmosphere that’s still close enough to the action of the city. This is especially a great place for families given its many schools that are graded leading public schools. We are also going to take peak at a modern farmhouse right in the heart of this fantastic neighborhood.

Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

MADRONA,WA- 2nd BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN SEATTLE

Madrona is a mostly residential neighborhood in east central Seattle, WA. It is an oasis of quiet and comfort, yet with little commute to most popular busy areas. It ranks 2nd best neighborhood for both Place to Live and Place to Raise a family. This city has been named “Seattle’s best kept secret!”. I created this video with the hope to provide more information about different neighborhoods in Washington. If you are interested in searching for house in this area, don’t hesitate to reach out! 🙂

Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

2020 HOME TRENDS

We are approaching reopening soon in Washington State. Certainly, it is going to be a while until life is back to the complete normal that we knew. We however still have to move on and try our best to get there. Real estate market is picking back up. If you consider listing your house soon, it is incredibly important to consider who you are selling to and what they are looking for. Fixer recently surveyed influencers in the industry to discover who’s in the market to buy and what home features are most attractive to them. Here’s what they found!

  1. Open Floor Plans: Those surveyed believe that Generation X and Millennials will make up a large majority of buyers this year. They will look for an open floor concept, allowing them to maximize on space, choose from a variety of furniture layouts and decoration, and more easily entertain guests.

Open Concept House

2. Smart Home Features: New technologies for automating your home are popping up every single day. From sprinklers to lights to door locks, smart devices are of great interest to home buyers.

3. Solar Energy: Finding ways to lower monthly bills is a big goal for many home buyers. A home equipped with solar panels not only achieves this but allows home buyers to introduce renewable energy into their home.

4. Tiny Homes: Many home buyers are looking to jump on the tiny house trend, particularly those who are minimalists or are first-time home buyers.

5. Voice Control Features: In line with the desire for home automation, those surveyed believe that the addition of voice-controlled devices in the home are a huge selling point. Although investing in improvements and additions that follow these trends may have upfront costs, the payoff will be worth it. Take them into account as you prepare to sell you home and use them to stage your home more effectively and ultimately help you make the sale.

Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

CREATE THE GALLERY WALL OF YOUR DREAMS

Creating a gallery wall in your home is an easy, do-it-yourself way to bring your personal style into any room. There is no right or wrong way to create one and no limit to the possibilities. Before you get started, check out the following tips for creating an eye-catching gallery wall that you will love.

  1. Find your wall. Creating a great gallery wall doesn’t require a huge area to work with. Select a nook or corner in your living room, a small stretch of hallway, or your entry area.

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2. Choose a focal piece. Find a favorite piece of art and use that as the center piece for your gallery wall. This could be a large canvas painting, family portrait, metal feature piece, or stylish mirror. Then choose pieces that complement and highlight it.

Photos On Stairs

3. Determine your theme. Is this gallery wall going to contain artwork and images of all the same texture, color, and materials? Or are you going to mix and match different prints, photographs, décor pieces, frames, and drawings?

4. Decide on the arrangement. Gallery walls usually lean one of two ways — linear and orderly or abstract and dimensional. Select the one that matches the look you’re going for and start hanging!

5. Tie the room together. Your gallery wall doesn’t have to end where the wall hits the flooring. Considering tying in other aspects of the room by coordinating colors and materials on pieces such as rugs, furniture, lamps, plants, bedding, decorative pillows, and more. Or, if you’ve already styled the rest of the room, use those colors to inspire the pieces in your gallery wall.

6. Don’t forget to check out photo print deals online. I usually start my search with Groupon. There are so many photo print and canvas print deals all in one place there. If you want professional quality and price is not an issue, make sure you check out Nations Photo Lab. They offer wide range of services and their quality of work has never disappointed me.

Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

FACELIFT FOR YOUR DECK

Summer is coming. If things go well, hanging out with your family or hosting friends may be an option in small groups. If you are like me, a little of in-person-socializing sounds very good right now! However, hosting on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. The good thing is refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if its more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting and upgrade furniture. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set. How far you want to go with the furniture upgrade is up to you. You still can feel like a proud owner of the deck by the replacement of just one item. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t even have to be brand new. Search for deals. Craigslist is usually a good source for this kind of upgrade.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

 

What if your deck is in very bad shape and you want to take advantage of this quarantine time to take care of it? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Budget: It may seem silly to bring this up, but most people think they know their numbers and still exceed their estimated budget. Thus, make sure to do thorough research and being prepared financially if you go over your budget.
  • Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.
  • Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but maybe worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.
Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

Feng Shui

Do you believe in superstitious things? 2020 has not been a great year! The whole world has been bombarded with negativity and bad news. In Asia cultures, people use Feng shui to balance their home to achieve benefits and advantages associated with health, finances, career, relationships, and more. Some home buyers consider Feng shui of the house one of their top priorities. By no mean, I imply Feng shui will fix the pandemic we are going through. At the same time, who would say no to some positivity energy these days especially when it is easy to achieve.

There are many ways to create good feng shui in your home, starting with your bedroom. Open up the room by moving the bed so that both sides are away from the wall and the headboard is against it. Feng shui best practice also suggests placing it where you will have a clear vision of the door, but never directly in line with it. Next, introduce symmetry into the room with artwork, bedside tables, lamps, and pillows to reflect the balance you want in all areas of your life.

Keziah+Platform+Bed At All Modern Furniture.com

Apply feng shui to the entryway of your home to welcome your guests and allow positive energy to flow in. To do this, commit to keeping it clear of shoes, packages, bags, etc. and use a mirror as décor to open the space and indicate you are expanding opportunities in your life.

Additionally, consider purchasing and placing a water fountain in the foyer. Flowing water is known to represent wealth flowing in and diffuses negative ions in the air. I found some very modern and chic fountains at Wayfair website.

Decluttering is key to implementing feng shui in your home and allowing energy to flow freely. Donate clothing that is not often worn and empty drawers and shelves of things you do not need to rid yourself of the old and make mental room for new things in your life. Whether you are a fan of Feng shui or not, decluttering and organizing your house always bring good energy. You may not find a better time to do that during this quarantine time. These steps are just the starting point for bringing good energy into your home and making it evolve as you do. Happy harmonizing!

Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

Hardwood Floor DYI Fixes

Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes. Let’s take advantage of our stay home time these days and give your hardwood floors some attention.

  1. Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.

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2. Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.

3. Clever decor: It’s not a long-term solution, but sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement.

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4. Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain and seal the repaired area.

 

 

Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

Interior Design Trends 2020

Granite Countertops, Mirrored Furniture, Karate Chopped Pillows, Formal Separation of Spaces, Standard White Doors and Trim, and Accent Walls. Are you familiar with these interior trends? Guess what, in 2020 these trends are all out. I’m not an expert in Interior Designing, but at beginning of the year, I usually browse through predictions made by leading experts in the industry. Designers, decorators and architects all have different observations and takeaways about the interior design trends; however, a lot of them have agreed that these 10 following trends will be seen in the U.S. in 2020. This year is going to be all about getting back to nature, earthy tones, and incorporating human designs and organic elements by using green plants, metals, wood, and stone.

1. VELVET

Are you thinking about the old red velvet upholstery? That kind of velvet is still out fortunately. The modern velvet that the industry is diving into is mostly for couches in vibrant colors such as blues, pinks, orange and taupe. Not everyone is big fans of velvet, but execute it right, you will have the wonderful blend of luxury and comfort.

2. BLACK AND WHITE

This dynamic timeless duo has conquered not only interior design, but also fashion industry forever. If you are one of those who want minimum work and still have a stylist home, stick with black and white.

3. WABI-SABI

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabisabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. This trend is all about incorporating human design and organic materials, imperfection, and authenticity even if that means it is a little off-kilter. To achieve this look, think handcrafted pottery, pre-wrinkled linen sheets, and uneven wood grain. Imagine pieces with time worn looks, cracks, uneven finish, weathering and oxidization. Even though I love the idea behind this, I think this trend is going to be tricky because you want to achieve the imperfect look intentionally. It is easy to mess this one up and end up with a messy and sad rooms if ones don’t know what they are doing. I admire so much how designers get the Wabi-Sabi to perfection. Subjects to be used are all very worn out, very bare, very old and the results are something warm, real and very “human”. I guess that is why it is not the first year Wabi-Sabi trend is on top. This trend quickly gained its ground many years ago and is going to be one of the strongest interior design trends many more years to come.

4. EARTH TONES

Organic materials and traditional handcrafts will continue to gain momentum. Neutrals come in pretty classic and serene shades, and most importantly, they’re not super busy. Tones like grey, beige, and green are leaders for this trend.

5. GREEN ACCENTS

This trend once again emphasizes people’s desire to reconnect with nature and health-conscious lifestyle. This trend is not about a literal color trend, but rather the use of real plants in decorating. You can use both hanging plants and floor plants in your creation! Plants are affordable, pretty, and give the green look that is favored by almost all nature lovers. True green plants add the perfect pop of color to a neutral-colored room. You can bring it to the next level with leaf-patterned bedding, wallpaper, paintings, or even splashes of solid green decor throughout your home.

6. LAYERING OLD AND NEW 

The perfection of matching furniture, paint colors and accent pieces of a particular theme is out this year. Mixing and matching old and new is the practical new trend that is so easy to love and adopt. It makes people feel more comfortable and at ease with how they function in their own homes because of the casual nature of this style

7. BOLD PAINTED DOORS

The standard white doors with white trim are out in 2020 as well. Painting an interior door in a rich color adds warmth and character to the space. This is my favorite trend. Pop of color from interior or exterior doors always get my attention wherever I go.

8. ONE PAINT COLOR ROOM

In contrast to Doors with Colors trend, the accent walls are out this year. We are going to see a lot more of Walls in a room covered in one paint color like canvas that highlight shelves, couches, plants, doors and other accent items. It makes sense for these two trends happen at the same time in order to achieve a balance in color tastefully.

9. FAUX MARBLE

All though real marble is beautiful to use in kitchens, most people would rather have a countertop that has less upkeep of a real stone. In 2020 we are going to see a big shift of people using faux marbles on their kitchen countertops. Quartz, porcelains and man-made materials are great alternative because of their durability and ease of maintenance. Getting the look at better price and less work, who would say no to this option? Definitely not me!

10. MULTI-FUNCTIONAL SPACES

If you’ve been living on Earth recently, you must notice that real estate has gone up in price every year. Its price is measured per square feet. This reality understandably brings us this last trend: multi-functional spaces. Designers and manufactures come up with more and more space saving furniture and household items. Consumers constantly look for solutions to take back wasted space in their homes. With this new trend, the traditional kitchen or dining room can also be used as a cozy living space or reading areas. We are going to see the traditional dining table and chairs are more likely to be replaced by comfortable upholstered chairs and lower tables; reading lamps added; dimmable chandeliers. While laundry room, closet and workspaces are very important spaces in the home, they can be informal and hidden behind doors when not in use. We are going to see more of this combination in home designs and staging in 2020.

Multi-functional RoomMulti-functional Room3space-saving-multipurpose-laundry-rooms_room-interior-and-decoration

This year we are heading to wiser and more practical approaches when it comes to house decorating. People’s desire to reconnect with nature reflect in most industries in 2020, including fashion, fabrics, culinary, transportation; interior design is not the exception. These 10 trends definitely respond to what we look for. Many more styles and color trends were mentioned by experts, but I find these 10 trends most talked about, the most interesting, and relatively achievable. You don’t need to get rid of your interior pieces and furniture to be on trend. Try to coordinate what you already have to achieve one of the looks or the combination of looks. Experiment and have fun! At the end, it’s your space and the most important critic is you!

Author Ivy Truong// Editor Karim Mourad, Family, Interior Design, Real Estate

Ways To Maximize Value Of Your Basement

Typically, the basement is an afterthought in homes, especially if it’s not already finished when you move in. The lack of natural light compared to the ground floor and above doesn’t make for an inviting living space. However, there are several ways to improve your basement that will both increase your home’s value and give you more space to enjoy.

  1. Home theater: Basements can be the perfect space for a home theater as they already have little lighting and offer ample space and an escape from summer heat or winter cold. A mounted TV on the wall and some simple built-in seating can be accomplished for under $2,000.
  2. Play room: Kids have a tendency to scatter their toys all over the house. Creating a playroom can help keep the mess confined to one area as basements often offer excellent storage capabilities. Just update the space to make it kid-friendly with features such as egress windows, carpet, a safe, and a finished staircase.
  3. A bar: Grownups need a play space too! Creating a bar in your basement is an easy upgrade and allows you to keep your gatherings focused in one room, making post-party clean up easier.
  4. Utility room: If you do a lot of gardening or other DIY projects around your home, consider adding a sink and hose to give yourself an area for cleanup and storage. This is especially useful if you don’t have ample room in your garage.
  5. Family room: You can keep your formal living room upstairs and add a second space that’s more focused on relaxation and watching TV as a family.

 

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Here are a few things to keep in mind during this process:

  • Budget: It may seem silly to bring this up, but most people think they know their numbers and still exceed their estimated budget. Thus, make sure to do thorough research and being prepared financially if you go over your budget.
  • Know the codes: Get any necessary permits and inspection from local building department. Many codes call for 7 to 7½ feet of clearance. If you don’t have that height, you may be able to dig out and lower the concrete floor, but that’s a complex, pricey job. Ask your contractor if moving ducts and pipes might solve the problem.
  • Keep moisture under control: Check for water issues in your basement including water drips coming through below-grade walls; cracks in foundation walls. Check outside to make sure ground is graded away from foundation.
  • Wire the basement: I strongly suggested this step to be done by professional electrician. At best, bad wiring just won’t work. At worst, it can start fires or electrocute you.
  • Insert Plumbing: I also suggest this step to be done by professional as well. Even though the consequence may not be life threatening, it can lead to unnecessary and costly repairs.
  • Utility Room is not for finishing: The area where HVAC, water heater, furnace are located has a very specific code for space requirements. You will need access to this area for inspection and repair at some point. If it is in your planned finish area, be sure of leaving proper space to avoid problems in the long run.

 

HVAC

 

Source:

https://greenlivingguy.com/2015/05/29/hvac-systems-what-consumers-should-know-about-warranties/

www.breakthroughbroker.com