Michelle Gillespie - Keller Williams Realty



Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 10/25/2020

Photo by: Annie Gray via Unsplash

In many homes, the dining table is the ideal get-together spot to share a meal, hold gatherings and talk about important topics. However, it’s not only for eating, clinking glasses or having family discussions. It’s one of the focal points of your house and should be carefully considered. If you're interested in buying a dining table, you'll probably want to buy it to last, to compliment your home’s decor and only have to buy it once. Here is a guide on how to choose the best dining table material for your home.

Choosing Materials

Sturdy Wood

The ideal dining table is one that can last through years of wear and tear. A traditional dining table made from hardwood will take what you dish out. The best hardwood tables to go for are walnut, oak, mahogany or maple. Make sure that the hardwood is solid and from a reputable manufacturer to ensure its strength and durability. If hardwood isn’t your favorite option but you still want a solid table with a nice, wood finish, try composite wood. These tables are engineered from different, sturdy materials and are very economical.

Glass

Though wood remains at the top of the list, glass dining tables are also a popular choice, especially if you’re looking for a sleek or minimalist design. One of the unique advantages glass has is that it can blend seamlessly with many home decor themes. Additionally, it makes the room appear larger, lighter and brighter.

Marble or Granite

If you’re looking to impress your guests, a marble or granite dining table may be worth looking into. Natural stone has an irresistible and timeless appeal. They're also incredibly sturdy. However, they still have their downsides such as weight, cost and upkeep. If you decide to go with a natural stone table, remember marble can stain easily and granite requires annual treatment with sealants.

Choosing the shape

One of the advantages of a round table is its ability to fit into any room, be it a small nook, large dining room, or a part of the living room designated as the eating area. They offer flexible seating for conversation; an attribute many other dining tables lack. Likewise, a long, wooden, trestle table allows for guests to sit across from each other for friendly conversation and may still give you that classic, traditional rectangle. Finally, the ever-popular pub table adds ambiance to your space with a modern yet vintage appeal. 

Finding Your Color

Just because your table may be natural hardwood doesn’t mean it can’t have a splash of color. Chalk paint finishes on wooden, farmhouse tables might be just the look to tie your spaces together. You can also stain your wood in a dark finish to give it a dramatic glow. Glass tables come in colored or frosted glass, giving you the option to stick with a clear surface or add a little color to your dining area. Marble and granite range from pale off-whites to deep red or black hues. Whatever your choice may be, be sure to let the colors accentuate your interior decor.

Getting a dining table might seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, you will be able to choose one that serves the exact purpose you envision. If you don’t have space for the table of your dreams, let me know, so I can make a larger dining area one of our priorities during your home search.




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 8/30/2020

Photo by RawPixel via Pixabay

The sky's the limit for cloud-based documents and files. Remote working is on the rise. The ranks of independent entrepreneurs are growing. For many, home is a place to live and work.

Here are three elements to consider for your work-from-home space.

1. Choose Your Workspace

Pick a bright spot. Daylight inspires!

Will you be having clients drop in? Aim to choose a spot near an entrance way, apart from your intimate living spaces.

For tax purposes, this spot can be a dedicated room, or a section of a room—as long as there's a clear division between your working and living space. Other storage areas in the home, or partitioned-off space that's fully dedicated to keeping business items, is also square footage to count in the deduction.

Take pictures each year that clearly show the partitions and the business use of the space. Keep your photos with your tax documents.

2. Furnish the Space

Decorate mainly as you would if your work space were in a corporate building. Keep your desk, professional items, and office-appropriate décor in the space. Don't have a playpen (unless your business is daycare) or a dining table in your designated office space.

Bookcases, wall hangings, mirrors, and framed art all look good, and dampen noise from outside your work space. Succulents or crocus bulbs can make excellent office plants and uplift the mood of your work area.

Protect your health while working at home by using an adjustable (sit-stand) desk. Does that sound too industrial for the look you demand at home? Never fear. Gorgeous, adjustable desks that complement your existing furniture do exist on the market. With a little searching, you'll find yours.

3. Declare Your Tax Deduction

Calculate your home office percentage. If your home amounts to 2,000 square feet and your office space covers 500, declare 25% as the percentage. The deduction may not exceed your year's net business profit. 

For smaller home office spaces, the IRS has a simplified standard deduction. Take $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet.

Speak with your tax pro about deducting a home business percentage from your homeowner's insurance, mortgage interest, utilities, and property taxes. Read the instructions, so you know how to plan your tax return.

Putting It All Together

For a tax deduction, your home office must serve as the core of your business affairs, or the place you do the bulk of your work. Whether you already have a home office, or are thinking of creating one, design your space so it fits the IRS tax deduction requirements—even while it uplifts your home, delights your senses, and inspires your best work. 




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 12/29/2019

If you strive to make your home unique and have a particular style in mind, it can be difficult to find the right decorations to meet your needs. 

With a Target in every town and strip malls containing the same stores carrying the same mass-produced furniture and decorations, where can you turn to find handmade home decor? In this article, we’ll share with you five sources for just that.

Etsy

What started as a project in the founder’s New York apartment in 2005 has turned into a multi-million dollar online business. Etsy is the undisputed champion retailer of handmade goods.

From clothing to home decor, if you can think of it you’ll likely find someone who makes it and sells it on Etsy. One of the advantages of Etsy is being able to contact the seller personally and ask questions or make custom requests. This makes Etsy one of the best ways to find home decor that is made to order.

Another benefit of Etsy is how easy it is to search and browse. If you aren’t ready to buy an item or want to wait for a second iteration, you can always follow the seller or save them item for later on when you’re ready to purchase.

Pinterest

We know what you’re thinking. Pinterest is a place where you pin photos of home decor, not a place where you buy it. And while that may be true, it’s also a great way to find handmade goods that you might not see anywhere else. Here’s how to find handmade goods on Pinterest.

  1. Search for and follow Pinterest boards that are created by or related to handmade home decor. You’ll find hundreds of boards like this already in existence.

  2. Start pinning some of your favorite items so you can research them more later.

  3. Pick the items you’d like to purchase off of your board and research the maker of those items. Oftentimes, the people who made the items are the ones who initially pin them. Other times the pins lead directly to the sellers webstore.

  4. If you can’t find a webstore to buy the item from, try contacting them directly to see if the item is for sale online

Polyvore

Polyvore is a fascinating website. It’s like if you took Pinterest, a dressing room, and a webstore and mixed them together. Polyvore is often used for clothing, however they have a growing selection of furniture and home decor available.

You create an “outfit” of furniture and home decor to see how they will look together. Then you can place an order for the items you want to buy.

Ebay

Before Pinterest, many craftsmen sold their goods on Ebay. And many still do to this day. Ebay is also a good place to find second-hand, unique home decor that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. And, if you’re lucky, you can win bids on items at a low price.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods might not have common goods, but they do run a very conventional and straightforward online store that is easy to use and contains a range of unique home decor that you won’t find anywhere else.




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 9/15/2019

The car, entryway, stairs, hallways, bedrooms, closets and cupboards—wherever you look, there it is. Clutter! You dream of life minus the piles, boxes, and bags of stuff. Onto the internet, you go to find that magic formula, the perfect system to tame that clutter chaos. Once in place, you believe your life will be one smooth ride. Four hours later, you have tons of information and pictures of neat ideas, and you are; overwhelmed. Mentally throwing in the towel, you move on with your day and wish the clutter would sort and organize itself.

Reality Bites

Well, welcome to the real world with your glorious clutter. Don’t despair. You CAN tame the piles of papers, clothing, bags and other items. You will need to break it down into smaller bits and pieces. Everyone loves a dramatic overhaul that, through time-lapse camera work, happens almost instantly. In reality, changing the clutter habits that created the chaos takes time and strategy. Start in a couple of areas that irritate you the most. 

Start small

Pick one or two places clutter accumulates to start the decluttering adventure. For example, place a basket near the entryway to catch the keys as people enter. It will eliminate the jumble of keys in other places around the house and also the frantic looking for keys as you try to leave the house. Another idea is placing a small trash bin where people come in from outside so any trash they have, such as fast food wrappers, cups or junk mail, can go straight into the garbage. No system will succeed if you don’t have the cooperation of those who contribute to the clutter. Have a brief discussion with the other household members about the desire for a more organized and tidier environment. Enlist their help in finding ideas that can reduce clutter. When you involve them, they are more likely to find changing their habits easier.

Real life rhythms

Only keep systems and routines that work over the long run. Remember to keep it simple and low or no maintenance. The goal is to create order and increase enjoyment of your space. Consider the whole household and how you all function on a daily level. Each person has individual habits, and a household its own rhythm. Each system you implement must fit your household rhythm. So, think of the big picture when putting your anti-clutter routines together. As the new systems begin to become habit make sure to celebrate your efforts to tame the clutter chaos. Make sure to check out ideas for clutter reduction when you browse through your next open house.





Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 8/25/2019

When it comes to improving the home, most people tend to focus on high-end amenities. While this may make your home look luxurious, it does not boost home value so much. As a homeowner, when improving your home, you should have an eye on increasing its worth. One of the ways to achieve that is by going "Green."

Contrary to popular belief, making your home green won't cost you an arm and a leg, and it is affordable and relatively simple to attain. Having a green home makes it more healthy to live in and also contributes to an eco-friendlier planet. Here are some easy home improvement tips to make your home green and healthy:

Insulate

Adding insulation to your home can improve energy efficiency. Even in a new home, you can cut out the energy cost by boosting up your insulation. One of the most comfortable places to add insulation in the attic; however, loose-fill insulation can be installed on the walls without going for a costly renovation.

Use low flow

Switch the kitchen and bathroom fixtures to low-flow options. Taking this simple step will save a lot on water and heating bills.

Smart flooring

Rather than using carpet, you can use bamboo, cork or recycled woods for your home flooring.

Replace your light bulbs

Switching your incandescent bulb to energy-efficient LED light bulbs will consume 75% less energy and last 25 times longer. 

Add some plants

To complete the list, add some plants to your home. Plants are not just for decoration the will help purify the air in your home.

Seal air leaks

Another easy way to make your home green and healthy is by sealing up crack windows to prevent air from escaping. Sealing can be carried outdone either with weather caulk or stripping.

Filter your tap water

If you drink tap water directly from the sink, it is best you get a water filter to make sure your water is not contaminated. Even though local water companies filter tap water, the water is still not free from contaminants. Attaching a filter to your faucet or fridge will get rid of these contaminants.

More windows

You can add more windows to bring in natural light into your home. This reasonable step will save you a significant sum of money on electrical bulbs. If you have a big budget, you can double glaze the reduce to make it sound proof. 

Making these easy changes will prevent you home efficient as well as prevent you from falling sick. If you want to know which to do first, talk to your real estate agent about the most popular “Green Home” options in your neighborhood.




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