Focusing on That Fabulous French Look

From Sabrina to Amélie the French vintage-inspired interiors evoke sensual elegance and comfortable hominess at the same time. Figuring out how to pull it all off, though, takes more than purchasing the right furniture set. That je ne sais quoi (literally “I don’t know what”) that is so French isn’t so much mastered as it is effortlessly felt. Getting that feel in your home might take a more relaxed approach to design than your usual efforts.

Letting it grow

Most French homes appear complete, but typically, individual pieces enter the house over time. Each one carries a memory, event, or other unique and special attachment. Designer Annouchka Engel calls it “undecorating.” The casual collection of elements, less staged and more collected, amass over time. Designer sofas share space with flea market finds and family antiques.

Distinctives of French style

Dusky pastels grace walls and floors while mixtures of woods, patterns, and other bold objects cluster in the space. Objects appear to be “found” rather than developed. The opposite of trendiness, more a counter to modern matchy-matchy design.

Allons-y — Let’s get started

Vintage French apartments are all about the architecture. If your home does not have much in the way of architectural detail, add some. Trim out the windows, add chair-rail and crown molding, change out flat doors for raised panels, or install decorative framing on the walls. Swap out builder-grade light fixtures for small, but elegant chandeliers or pendants.

Now that you have the backdrop live in at for a while with just one or two favorite pieces. As you shop, find vintage and antique pieces that speak to you or evoke a special feeling. Bring them into the space one at a time to let each one settle before adding another.

Touches of gold here and there, and mirrors on walls or setting on mantels, and metallic frames on wall art add a warm under glow. Sheers or lace in the windows allows in soft natural light that glints off each chosen item. Adding to the warmth are glowing wood floors with thick rugs and stacks of books or clusters of stools, side tables, and plants.

To finish off your look, fill your walls with an eclectic collection of street art, vintage framed posters, and pencil drawings gathered from your forages to markets, thrift stores and charity shops, and of course, your grandmother’s attic.

To find a home with terrific bones and architectural details, let your property agent in on your style requirements.

3 Common Home Selling Problems and How to Avoid Them

Selling a house should be quick and easy. Yet issues may arise that make it tough to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Common problems that come up during the home selling journey include:

1. Lack of Curb Appeal

Dedicate time and resources to bolster your residence’s curb appeal – you’ll be glad you did. Remember, your residence only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. If your house impresses buyers when they see it for the first time, buyers may continue to pursue your home and submit requests to view your residence in-person.

To improve your house’s curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform various home exterior upgrades. Take an objective view of your home’s exterior to identify any problems that may make buyers shy away from your residence. Then, you can correct these issues.

2. Initial Asking Price Is Too High

If your home’s initial asking price fails to account for your house’s condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may struggle to sell your residence. In fact, in this scenario, it may be many weeks or months before you receive an offer to purchase your residence.

Before you list your house, you may want to conduct a property appraisal. This enables you to receive a home valuation from a property expert. With this valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your house, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick home sale.

3. Buyer’s Market in Place

In a buyer’s market, there may be an abundance of available houses and a shortage of property buyers. Thus, if a home seller is not careful, this individual may struggle to achieve the best-possible results.

Analyze the real estate market closely, and you can differentiate a buyer’s market from a seller’s one. If you find that homes linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you likely are preparing to enter a buyer’s market. As a result, you’ll need to go above and beyond the call of duty to differentiate your house from the competition.

When it comes to selling a house in a buyer’s market, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you craft a plan that ensures you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey, regardless of the current real estate market’s conditions.

A real estate agent first will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she next will develop a personalized home selling strategy and promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.

Take the guesswork out of the home selling journey – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get plenty of help as you get ready to sell your residence.

Experiencing Garage Envy?

The garage can be a haven for your vehicle or a total dumping ground for everything else under the sun. Sometimes that space can become the black hole that you just toss items at when you’re in a hurry to move on with other activities. 

Then Spring cleaning fever hits and you are determined to get the garage cleaned out and make it more useful to you and your family. Envisioning space for your car(s), sports equipment, tools and holiday decorations you dive into the weekend project of sorting through and organizing all the stuff.

Useful and Necessary

Emptying everything out of your garage space out into the light to sort through can be half the battle, so enlist the help of the entire able-bodied household member. Put your items in categories when you take them out, this will make evaluating what to keep easier. Take your lifestyle into consideration and then rank each grouping by how often you use them. By the frequency of use, you can assign the proper location. 

Once empty, you can see the layout of your garage space and how to create areas for storage. Frequently items up front towards the garage door for easy access. Holiday storage or seasonal items stored in the back or even up high on shelves or ceiling racks. Once you understand what things will be going back into your garage and the space you have available for storage you can decide how to keep your items organized.

Containers galore

You may dream of neat and tidy boxes all in a row, clearly labeled and uniform in size. That is mostly just a dream. Your items are of all shapes and sizes and need their own individual way of storage. Try to stay away for cardboard boxes since garages can be damp. Clear boxes can help you find your items quickly without having to label. Remember that you can hang things on the wall like yard tools or sports equipment. 

Many creative storage options can be found out there to help you make the most of your garage storage possibilities. Taking a look online can help you find what may work for you. Whatever you choose make sure it has ease of use for those individuals that will be assessing those items on a regular basis.

Take a tour of your local open houses and make sure to peak into the garage space and note the storage possibilities.

Preparing Your Kids for Daylight Savings Time

That hung-over feel that you get when you haven’t had enough sleep sets a difficult tone for the day. Even worse, when children don’t sleep long enough, the resulting grogginess, caused by sleep deprivation affects their appetite, attention capacity, and overall disposition. The occasional late night is one thing, but the week or two of sleep disturbances caused by the Spring time change to Daylight Saving can wreak havoc on family life. 

Each year, between March 8 and March 14 in the U.S., most states (excepting Arizona) adjust clocks forward one hour from 2:00 AM to 3:00 AM where it remains until the Fall adjustment back to Standard Time. That means for one day each Spring, there are only 23 hours accounted for with the lost hour regained later in the year. That lost hour most often means one less hour of sleep.

Plan ahead

Since you know it’s coming, take steps to mitigate it affecting your children.

  • Shift meals. Your child’s digestive system has a lot to do with their sleep patterns. Beginning about a week ahead of the time change, start adjusting the evening meal 5 to 10 minutes earlier each day. That way, your child’s system is in the new “time” before you reach it.
  • Adjust bedtimes. Again, start your bedtime routine a few minutes earlier each day. Just 10 minutes a day gets you in the zone right on schedule. That means, bath times, story time, and pajama time begin just a little earlier than the day before. Small children may hardly notice the change. Get older children on board with rewards of special movies instead of television so that you can control the ending time.
  • In the same way, change up waking times. If you usually wake your child at 7:00 AM, aim for 6:50 AM the first day, 6:40 the second and so one. When the time changes, you’re right on schedule at 7:00 AM again.
  • Just as you did with dinner, adjust breakfast as well. If your children attend school, there’s not much you can do about lunchtime, but when they’re home, make lunch just that much earlier too.
  • Adjust the lights. The sleep hormone melatonin increases as it gets darker. When it hits its highest is when you naturally fall asleep. So, to induce earlier sleep times, adjust the lighting in your home to match.
  • Beware of blue light. The light emitted from electronics, such as computers, televisions, smartphones, and tablets, is in the spectrum of sunlight, meaning that it interrupts the production of melatonin. Use the internal light adjustment on your computer, or add a light-adjusting software such as CareUEyes or f.lux to phones, computers, or tablets, and set it to the new time so that it adjusts light based on where you want to be in a week. Then, turn off all electronics about 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Use room-darkening shades if lights from outside make the indoors to bright.

Take care of yourself too. Be sure to follow these rules for yourself also. Instead of over-air television, switch to streaming Hulu or Netflix and adjust your screen time to the new schedule. Be sure to get extended family, neighbors, and friends on board too, so that they don’t interrupt your sleep times and undo all your hard efforts.