Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 7/30/2017

Home is, first and foremost, a place of rest and relaxation. It’s 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. That’s where the home office comes in.

Designing and decorating a home office is different than the rest of your home. You’ll 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, you’ll 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 children’s play rooms and spare bedrooms.

The bare necessities

There are a few things that nearly all home offices will have in common. We’re talking desks, organizers, office supplies, etc. However, it’s 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, I’m 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. There’s 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 you’re not using the desk if your office doubles as a home fitness room.





Posted by Diane Stone on 4/16/2017

There's a lot to love about a builder grade home, for example, the fact that it is newly built and doesn't come with the host of issues of an older home. However, these homes can lack in the personality department since the focus when being built was on the budget and not magazine worthy style. Keep reading to discover how you can add stylistic flair to your home without draining your bank account. Light fixtures. Changing light fixtures by either replacing them completely or painting them can make a huge difference in a room. Picking up a few cans of rubbed bronze or satin nickel spray paint will give a modern touch without breaking the bank. Doors. Replace or reface generic hollow core doors. You can reface flat doors by adding molding or get creative with a can of paint and a roll of painter’s tape and make the illusion that you have a raised panel door. Beadboard paired with molding is another great combination that adds personality to your doors without the major price tag. Stairs. Strip carpeting to expose treads and risers. Here’s where you can let your imagination go wild. Pick up some cans of paint and add a unique touch to your staircase by painting railings and  risers to add a pop of color. Avoid painting your stairs all one color to avoid a bland look. You can even paint a faux runner to really add a unique touch. Cabinets.  Replacing cabinets is always an option albeit a pricey one. If you’re happy with your cabinet layout you have a few diy options available. Variation can be the spice of life. Try removing some cabinet doors to keep things open or installing some glass paneled doors. Paint is always an option whether professionally sprayed or done by yourself. Another easy way to add some personality to builder grade cabinets is by updating hardware. Look for knobs and handles at antique shops to add a unique touch on a budget. Millwork. Molding, wainscoting, and beadboard. Oh, my. With this trio on your side, the possibilities for customization are endless. Frame a plain bathroom mirror, add chair rails or extend baseboards. With a little creativity, you can even recreate the look of coffered ceiling or paneled doors. If you are unsure of where to start, try looking through some home magazines for inspiration. Wallpaper. Wallpaper gives you endless options for adding flair to the walls of your home. Add a pop of color with bright, bold patterns or texture with paintable varieties. If you don’t want to make a commitment to wallpaper or the idea of scrapping it if you change your mind fills you with dread there are now a plethora of temporary wallpaper options. Tile. Hexagon and subway tiles are both guaranteed to add a modern feel to your home. However, your options today are endless no matter your budget. Explore the selections at your local home improvement store and don’t rule out materials fabricated to recreate a stone or wood finish. After all, there’s no need to empty your wall out just to get the look you want. Just because you’ve fallen in love with a builder grade home doesn’t mean it needs to stay quite so basic. If you want to add a touch of modern style to your home a little creativity and paint can go a long way. Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy all your hard work when you’re finished!




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Posted by Diane Stone on 8/28/2016

Try these home decoration ideas if your house is screaming for an uplift. Some of the ideas only take a few minutes to complete. Each idea works best if you allow your creativity to flow and let your unique personality and style shine. Brighten up bookcases – Top bookcases off with wooden or metal figurines or memorabilia from favorite towns or countries that you’ve visited. Intersperse books with similar items or ceramic art pieces. Beautiful kitchen canisters – Store dry food like flour, sugar and rice in decorative canisters. You have an array of options, including glass, acrylic plastic, metal and ceramic canisters that come in a rainbow of colors. For example, you can choose from brown or silver metal canisters, Navy blue, purple or red acrylic plastic canisters or glass canisters decorated with floral designs. Install new faucets – Single hole, center set, widespread and three hole faucets with handles can liven up your bathroom or kitchen. Choose from brass, bronze, antique and contemporary and modern faucets. Change room or door colors – Paint exterior or interior doors. If you’re feeling particularly bold, repaint the walls of one or more rooms. Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas – Seasonal and modern wreaths work year round. Change wreaths during major holidays or to complement seasonal changes. Pick wreaths that have inspiring messages on them to get more zing for your buck. Mirrors work wonders – Of all home decoration ideas, this one may be among the easiest to implement. Choose mirrors that have unique shapes and gorgeous frames. You could hang an antique brass framed mirror in a hallway or you could hang an oblong all-glass mirror in the living room above a mantel. Pillows add to any room – You’ve probably seen how pillows liven up a bedroom. Use them to brighten up the living room sofa, family room chairs and outdoor porch and patio furniture. Cover your bed with style – Plain sets or comforter sets with artistic designs on them give your bedroom a spark. Go for a comforter that is machine washable for easy care. Accentuate floors with colorful rugs – Yard sales, antique and department stores are great places where you can find floor rugs. Add throw rugs to doorway entrances or hard wood floors. Not only are they stylish, they can help to keep your floors clean. Flowers are always a treat – If you have a flower garden, pick fresh flowers and place them inside a glass vase. Silk floral arrangements are great as well. Place floral arrangements on tables, desks or in windows. Simple home décor additions can give your home a new look and feel. Make the additions fun and easy by implementing one to two changes a week or a month rather than trying to install each of the home decorations at once.