Moving in together

Dear Claudia,

I need tips on how to blend two households. I am moving into my boyfriend’s house. We are both in our 50’s. His taste is very “Ikea”, Swedish style modern simplicity, and I am eclectic/eccentric with antiques and funky mix. His house is fully furnished, as is my funky eclectic apartment, which is FULL of stuff. Quite honestly even my glassware would clash with his, not to mention my furniture, art pieces, and smalls. Any ideas on how we can do this so that it looks great, fits us both, I feel like I’m at home, and he doesn’t feel like he lost his?

~Anonymous

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Fabulous Flip of a Home

The definition of a “Real Estate Flip” is as follows: Profits from flipping real estate come from either buying low and selling high, often in a rapidly rising market, or buying a house that needs repair and fixing it up before reselling it for a profit as in “fix and flip.”

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Creating an outdoor living space

It is not too late to create an outdoor living space or refresh it, while taking advantage of the after-July Fourth sales.

Christine O’Neill, a home furnishings consultant at Raymour and Flanigan (343-6800) in Middletown, shares the following suggestions:

First, evaluate your space. Will it be elevated, ground level or both? You should have a basic plan in mind. Remember the outdoor area is an extension of your indoor space. Read more

Ideas for creating a pretty summer porch

As a little girl driving around with my family in the Bronx, I would dream about living in a home with a porch. As fate would have it, my home has a wrap-around front porch. It feels more like a living room when it is all set up for the season.

Summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to create our outdoor living spaces. Here are some ideas to create a pretty porch whether your preference is modern, streamlined or classic comfort.

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When is the best time to sell?

The best time to put your home on the market is when both you AND your house are ready. Whether you are selling ASAP or have a much longer timeline, don’t rush the process if your house is not ready. Sellers can sabotage the sale of their home if they are too anxious or too attached. Homes sell all year round, but the key is to prep before making it pretty.

Redesign is an instant makeover

By simply reworking rooms with what you already own, you can have a “new” room by rearranging furniture and accessories. Shop the home, move stuff around. During a recent staging consultation, I redesigned a living room in less than 15 minutes.

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Surround yourself with your favorite things

Home is where we surround ourselves with things that we love, including our favorite colors. Your home should tell the story of who you are. The best interiors are never instant, but develop over time.

Whether it is for a redesign, which is using what you already own, or for staging purposes when time to sell, I work with clients who have items they love hiding in closets and basements. Incorporate what you love into your decorating, and display it authentically. These are the things that have special meaning to you. Or if you have too much stuff, scale back so you can see what you love.

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Happy spring clean out: De-clutter, help community

Finally, spring! Besides spring-cleaning, this is a good time to get rid of anything that is no longer serving you. Many organizations have fundraising yard sales. Or start gathering up goodies for your own. Sort your stuff into piles: trash/donate/sell.

On the flip side, watch for local yard and garages sales to purchase “new-to-your-home” items. You never know what you might find, and the price can be remarkably lower than buying new. Look for Facebook online yard, too. Just as you are looking to change the look in your home, someone else is, as well.

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Tips for a successful office makeover

Kathleen Day, chief organization officer at LifeSmith University, loves working with business owners.

“They give their heart, soul and the majority of their time to their companies. Sometimes the environment and the schedule get the short end of the stick. My intention with an office makeover is to create an immediate difference in those two areas, in a way that the clients can embrace, and most importantly, maintain,” says Day.

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