William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services



Posted by Deborah Schilling on 6/21/2018

Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. Itís where we come home to after a stressful day to be with our family, our pets, or our favorite books and television shows.

But sometimes, the home also has to double as a place of work. Whether you have a job that allows you to work from home, or you just need a quiet place to sit down to pay bills or do taxes, at some point your home will need to be a place where you can focus. Thatís where the home office comes in.

Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. Youíll have to create a balance between being comfortable and but also uncluttered. You want to give it your personal touch, but at the same time avoid filling it up with distractions. Finally, youíll have to think about your personal requirements for a home office. Will it be used often enough to merit a dedicated room in your house? Or can your office items fit right into your bedroom, opening up space for things like childrenís play rooms and spare bedrooms.

The bare necessities

There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. Weíre talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, itís easy to get carried away with file organizers or containers filled with 10 different sizes of multicolored paperclips. One of the benefits of cloud computing and paperless billing is that all of your important paperwork can usually now fit in one small folder.

So, before you start picking out organizers, go through your important papers and find out what you can shred and what needs to be saved. Tools like Google Drive allow you to scan documents right with your smartphone camera and store them safely and securely in the cloud. That means fewer papers and less money spent on organizers and staplers that will just clutter your desk.

What kind of worker are you?

A hard one, Iím sure--but what type of environment helps you be the most productive? Are you better off tucked away in a dark corner surrounded by pillows and blankets, or do you work best in a well-lit room sitting upright at a clear desk.

Before you start decorating and arranging furniture in your office, take into account your needs. Thereís no use spending money on a large wooden desk if you work better curled up on the couch.

If you fall asleep and lose focus in the dark, consider arranging your desk next to a window or even purchasing a UV light for rainy days or dark nights. These will help you stay refreshed and alert to tackle whatever tasks you have before you.

Use space wisely

If you have a lot of items to store, consider a desk with drawers or a cart that you can push out of the way. This will help you from letting your desk get overcrowded.

When it comes to furniture, shop modular. Space-saving furniture can make a world of difference in a home office, which tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home. Cube bookcases that let you choose a size are excellent for home offices because you can buy only as many as you need. You can always add more cubes later on.

Similarly, desks can also be modular and adjustable. One great option for home offices is a wall-mounted fold up desk. This will allow you to open up the room when youíre not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.





Posted by Deborah Schilling on 7/27/2017

Beautiful home libraries are more than storage spaces. Beautiful home libraries encourage learning, inner growth and development. Choose the right shelving and the libraries provide your home an elegant charm. Despite their size, home libraries that take up an entire long wall aren't always expensive.

Building your beautiful home library

Less expensive home libraries call for a little DIY skills. For example, you could purchase four six-foot bookcases from your local office superstore and line the bookcases up side-by-side. It takes about half an hour to build each bookcase. Keep extra shelving knobs in a bag or drawer.

Over time,knobs can bend or get lost. You'll keep your home library shelves from slipping or leaning by replacing damaged or missing knobs. As a tip, make sure that floors you build the bookcases on is flat, as these bookcases can top over if they are placed on uneven flooring. Ebony and cherry wood shelving offers an elegant feel.

White shelving works well in rooms that are painted with neutral colors. Lighter colored bookcases also work well in rooms that are topped with crown molding. Some built in shelves come in white. What you'll get with built in shelving is a casual, modern look.

So many beautiful home library options

Paint wall libraries the same color as the other walls in the room. As an example, you could paint your wall library ocean or turquoise blue, a soft yellow or a mild green. Place a matching colored sectional sofa in the room and decorate the sofa with fashionable pillows.

Tall finished and unfinished chest drawers, the kind that you pick up from secondhand stores and flea markets, bring out the personality in smaller rooms. Hang original oil paintings on both sides of the chest. Open chest drawers wide to show off a library full of large sized, hard cover books. If you're an art lover, place arts books at the center of the chest.

Here's another option. Turn one side of your home office or study into a spectacular library. Decorate your office or study with an antique wood desk and leather,high back chair. Add in an antique coffee table and cabriole sofa. Place your home library next to the sofa. Put the sofa and library so that they face the largest window in the room. You'll love taking in natural outdoor views while you read an entertaining book, work on a new novel, check the mail or finish up a project.

Remember your children. In your children's bedroom, use the space between short windows as library shelves. You could also install narrow three shelf bookcases next to the windows. Section off books with stuffed animals or hand crafted pottery pieces.

There are so many ways to add a beautiful home library to your house. Benefits include a personal history of literacy promotion. After all, print books are becoming more a rarity in today's digital age. But, that doesn't decrease the value of print books.

A way that you can celebrate books and develop a love for ongoing learning is to build your own beautiful home library. Stick to using your library as a place to spotlight your favorite books. Add in decorative knick knacks and family portraits and, before long, your home library might become the favorite place in your home.





Posted by Deborah Schilling on 6/29/2017

Rent out your basement and you could offset at least half of your monthly mortgage. The extra money could put your dream home within reach. It could also help to keep you in your home if you signed an adjustable rate mortgage and rising interest rates have increased your monthly mortgage. But, are you ready to be a landlord? Factors to consider before you rent out your basement Are you ready to share your home with strangers? This may be the most important question to ask yourself before you advertise for renters. Sure. You'll come to know tenants over time, but you're taking a chance at the start. If you're ready to rent out your basement, familiarize yourself with area renter laws. Local licensing agencies should be able to tell you whether or not your basement is up to code and meets city requirements. Things that you may need to consider include whether or not your basement is finished, has an emergency exit, a bathroom, bedroom, sufficient lighting, windows and proper insulation. A separate heating and cooling source are generally required should you rent out your basement. Again, consult local licensing agencies. Once your basement is up to code, start to think about what you'd want in an apartment that you were renting and living in. Offer an attractive living space You want your basement rental to be desirable to renters. You also want the space to successfully compete with area apartments. Decide if you'll allow tenants to park in your driveway or ask that they park on the street. If you build windows, partitions and separate rooms with doors in the basement, pay attention to the types of windows and doors that you install. Are you going to go with double hung or casement windows? Door types to consider include wood, steel and fiberglass doors. Features range from trim, sidelights and finishing to colors and transoms. Get to know potential renters Perhaps even more important than ensuring that your finished basement is up to local code, is renting to the right tenants. Definitely get a thorough background check on potential renters. Check criminal, financial and other court records. If you have children, ask yourself if you prefer to wait until they are older before you rent out your basement. Also, interview people who want to rent with you. Make sure that you communicate well and that your personalities gel. Decide if you want to rent to tenants who have pets, and, if so, what types and size of pets would you allow inside the basement? This information goes both ways. Let renters know if you have pets, as some people do not want to live near dogs, cats or other animals. Set legal boundaries. Let tenants know if you they can or cannot blast their music or television and if tenants are allowed to have visitors stay with them for days at a time. Be clear about whether you will allow tenants to have pets, and, if so, which types of pets. Determine what the monthly rent will be. Consider consulting with an attorney to draft a rental agreement. Items to include in a rental agreement are the legal names of occupants, whether trash, sewage and utilities are included in the rent and when you will walk through and check the basement. Some cities require you to give tenants no less than a 24 hour notice before you enter a rental space. Be prepared to make repairs, as needed. You don't have to make repairs yourself. However, it is advisable that you a reputable repair professional's contact information.




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Deborah Schilling
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