Friday, August 3, 2018

On The Job: Make Home Office a Productive Space

For many of us, home isn't just where the heart is; it's where the office is, too.

It's been said that productivity can be achieved when you are relaxed, organized and want to stay in the space. I have worked from a home office for years. The first space was shared with the laundry room. I use to take calls between wash loads.

The second space was shared with the dining room; I used the dining table as a desk and the hutch for files, price lists and reference guides. Now my space is completely on its own. Nothing in this office is designated for anything else but my work, and that has kept me productive, happy and sane.

If you're not feeling good about your home-office space, here are four ways to make it -- and you -- more productive, happy and sane.

Find the order

Take an inventory of your home office. How much of the contents of your space are used frequently? How much of it has been sitting for weeks, months or maybe years? Before taking another step, declutter. Decide what office supplies you need; for everything else, carry it to the car and take it to a charity. This is a first step to a room redo, and you can't do a redo in a cluttered room.


When your environment is clean, your mind is free to be creative and productive. If you have old work, old newspapers or old magazines muddling your desk, clean them up.
This also is the time to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. A favorite color and one piece of nondistracting art on the wall will do wonders for lifting the mood of your home office.

Set priorities
When your home office is devoted to other activities, it's hard to focus on work. You inevitably will be distracted by the other activity. So, figure out what items in your office are used for work and what items aren't. If you have a television in your office that is not used for work, remove it. I'm not saying that your home office shouldn't be personalized -- it should be, of course -- but if those personal items draw your attention away from your work, they have to go elsewhere. A few pictures and mementos can be used to personalize your space, but don't overdo it.
Now that you've successfully done the first steps, it's time to organize your remaining space. Divide your room into zones. Zone 1, storage, is for items that can go in a closet. This would include office supplies and rarely used reference materials. Zone 2, desk items, is for only the bare necessities -- pens and pencils, computer, stapler and tape. Everything else needs a home inside a desk drawer to prevent a cluttered desk. Zone 3, display, is for books and magazines. Use organizers that go on a bookshelf. These organizers can be grouped together and be reached in a moment. Zone 4 addresses light in your office. If it's too dark, open up windows, remove heavy curtains and replace with sheer shades, or bring in lighting fixtures. When you can see clearly you are more likely to stay in that space. Also make sure there is good ventilation and temperature control. If you are too hot or cold, you will quickly want to leave your office. And we can't have that, you've work to do!

Call me for your home office re-style appointment now!


Monday, July 16, 2018

The E-Design Color Consultation, Save Stress, Time and Money

Have a home in need of a new fresh paint color? Short on time to find the right paint color? Don’t want to stand in front of a thousand plus color chips in the paint store? The E-Design Color Consultation is your answer to getting the right color for your home with no guesswork or costly mistakes.

The example below demonstrates how easy it was for this client to get the exterior home color right the first time! Keep reading to discover how it's done and how you can benefit!
Before and after pictures. what a transformation !
Here’s the process:
•    THE DISCOVERY CALL…This can be done by phone or by email I’ll ask “detail” questions of your color likes and dislikes, of your plans for other work you plan to do around the home’s grounds like landscaping, brick or cement work or if a new roof or secondary building is to be constructed.

BEFORE, little gray Bungalow in the sad shape!
  • A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS…You send me your home’s elevation pictures, lots of them. Close up pictures, long shot pictures from the curb, front, side and back elevation pictures are imperative to this first step. I also need pictures of the two homes flanking yours, and a picture of the home across the street from yours. Your neighbors! trimming in red to enhance the roof tiles it comes alive!
•    THE TWO CHOICES…After careful study of your home’s architecture, layout and the other outside elements surrounding your home I will create and send you 2 new color palette options via email. These are two separate color groupings that both consist of Body, Trim and Accent Colors. Via email, we have some in-depth discussion that covers placement of colors, color sheen's and how they relate to your vision and mine of your home’s new color. I will also email you images of other homes similar to yours in the color option choices so you can see how they would look on your home.
BEFORE...The garage doors were to remain white but so much more can be done to bring more color, depth and dimension  to the otherwise flat elevation.
•    SAID AND DONE…Via email and regular post mail I will send you large color sheets of the colors specified, a “color schedule” for your painting contractor (or for you) of the specified colors stating the areas where each color is to be placed including the correlating color sheens and any detail notes that are pertaining to the applications. And if you do not have a painting contractor lined up I can refer you to many top rated painting contractors in your area known to me through the professional trades I’ve established in my 30 plus year career.


Have a home in need of a new fresh paint color? Short on time to find the right paint color? Don’t want to stand in front of a thousand plus color chips in the paint store?
The E-Design Color Consultation is your answer to getting the right color for your home with no guesswork or costly mistakes.

Call 925-862-9064 or email me at for your phone appointment today!


Friday, June 8, 2018

What does "Bespoke" mean and why am I using this word?

After seeing the word “Bespoke” in the tagline of my Newsletter my sister in law questioned its meaning. She’s a wonderful sewer, has an eye for the finer details that sewing demands, and is passionate about sewing. Shortly thereafter a past client received the Newsletter and she too, along with her husband asked, “What the heck is bespoke and why are you suddenly using it”? That’s two people, both reading my newsletter and inquiring its denotation! As Lucille Ball would say "I got some splaining to do"! Ladies and gentleman here, after doing a quick google search, is its meaning… Goods, especially clothing, made to order. A bespoke suit dealing in or producing custom-made articles as a bespoke tailor.
Not by chance but intentionally created by design, and made entirely by specific measurement that fit perfectly!

I like my definition better: It means the opposite of off-the-rack or in clothing and in home fashions the opposite of mass-produced. Bespoke clothing like soft home furnishings is custom-made. It is NOT made to measure because a made-to-measure item is a standard, and simply customized at the factory in certain measurements and details. Bespoke is made from scratch by skilled craftspeople to your, or in my case my, specifications. 
The details are also created in the design, much of which require hand stitching not a sewing machine.

We designers like to make this distinction carefully because after all the price reflects the cost of goods but also the cost of labor and most importantly the cost of our creative brains when we design something absolutely fabulous for your home and YOU which NO ONE else will have exactly like yours! 
This pillow was created with purpose, it had to carry the drama in the room along side the not seen black baby grand piano.

“Bespoke Soft Home Furnishings" will always be a one of a kind product that graces your home and on one else's! 
The hem and trim detailing is impeccable.

The finely tuned pleating that is just perfect!

The over all design from a distance gracing the room and up close without a thread out of place.

And if you’d like to get more ideas, tips and the low down on what’s hot and what’s not for the home,  subscribe to  my Newsletter and Get the 5 Steps to Creating a Realistic Room Design Budget "  for your next project.

With lot's of decorating love,