Sandra Fouche | Frederick Real Estate


The number of American employees who work from home, at least part of the time, is increasing year after year. Some 38% of Americans say they’re currently able to work from home at least one day a week, and that number is set to continue increasing.

Working from home can pose a few problems, however. Notably, trying to find a place within your home where you can sit down in peace and get to work.

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about home office design. So, whether you’re working from home full-time, part-time, or just want a quiet place to go over the bills in the evening, so can ensure you have the best possible environment to be productive in.

The balance between focused and comfortable

Ideally, a home office is a place that is well-lit, distraction-free, and minimal in decor. However, each of us has our own process when it comes to being productive.

So, when planning your office, it’s important to choose a style that will help you work but will also make you want to spend time in the room.

Lighting conditions

Another trait of a home office that is largely dependent on your work-preferences is the lighting quality. This covers anything from the lights you use to the windows, curtains, and even the color of your walls.

If you’re the type of person who could easily fall asleep in a dimly-lit room, it’s probably a good idea to choose a bright paint color and ample lighting. This is especially true for people who find themselves spending long hours in the evening.

Decorating your office

Now that you’ve determined what type of home office you need, let’s think about how you’re going to furnish it.

The key here is to minimize distractions. A television is probably a bad idea. But, quiet music playing on your laptop or headphones could help you focus.

In terms of decorations, a good design principle to go by is that you should decorate with a few large items rather than several small items. This will help you prevent the room from feeling cluttered.

Set yourself up for organizational success

When you envision an office, you probably picture file organizers, paper clip holders, notepads, and countless other office-related tool and accessories.

However, if you tend to do most of your work on your computer, odds are those things will just get in your way.

Instead of filling up your cart at Staples, think about the type of work you’ll be doing in your home office and purchase only what you need. This will help you stay organized and help you from losing documents and losing time trying to find those documents.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start creating your home office haven of productivity. Be sure to check out my other posts for more tips and advice.




Whether you’re selling your home or just need to spruce up the front of your home because it’s lacking curb appeal, you can make a difference in a few simple steps. Below, you’ll find some great suggestions to help you bring the curb appeal of your home to a new level to make your home more inviting. 


Paint Your Door


You want your front door to grab attention. That means that you can take a risk when it comes to choosing a front door color. You’ll need to match the front door with your existing exterior home color and style, but don’t be afraid to go bold. Find the right balance for some great curb appeal. 


Light The Outdoors


If you really want to add some curb appeal to your home, you should make it visible both day and night. There are plenty of great ways to add charm to your yard all while adding practical lights to highlight your landscapes and provide safety at the same time. Solar lighting is great for any yard because it doesn’t require any type of electrical work. 


Redo The Driveway


Your driveway is an overlooked part of the outside of your home. You usually just drive in and out to get to your home. Filling in your driveway, repaving it, filling in the cracks and landscaping alongside the driveway can really make a difference. You can bring your driveway from unsightly to an asset with a little TLC. 


Keep Up With The Landscaping


You should never let your landscaping grow tired. Make sure you keep the bushes, flowers, and shrubs along the front of your home updated. Every so often add a new bush or change out your flowers. It can seem like a big project but it really can be rewarding at just how far small changes can go. You even have the option of making these changes gradually. There’s no reason they need to be drastic.     


Change Your Mailbox


This idea seems incredibly simple but it can really add a lot to your home. Your mailbox doesn’t need to be boring. It should be one of the features that gives your home some character. You can shop for a unique mailbox to suit your style or you can create one of  your own.  


   

       Take A Second Look At The Walkway


Your front walkway should be a place that’s inviting and gives an overall feel for your home. Lay cement or stone on the walkway to create a decorative pattern. Line the walkway with cedar, wood chips, or other types of mulch to bring an inviting scent as you walk into the home. 





We know that location matters when you’re trying to find the right home to buy, but why?  First, buying a home you like in a location that matches your needs is a sign of a solid, long-term investment. Finding the right home isn’t always the answer to your property search woes. Many times, finding a house that needs a little TLC in the right neighborhood can give you a better return on your investment than finding a move-in ready house in the wrong neighborhood. You want to think in terms of finding a home that will be easy to sell if you so choose to sell it. Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable in your home and in your surroundings. What are the signs of a good location? Below, you’ll find the most important things you should look for when searching for a home. 


Safe Neighborhood


Everyone wants a safe neighborhood, and you certainly know a sketchy neighborhood when you drive through it, but what denotes a neighborhood as “safe”? First, if you see people up and walking around a place, you know it’s a good start to finding a safe neighborhood. People who are outside, interacting with one another give a neighborhood a community feel. You will feel like your neighbors have your back in a neighborhood like this. 


Quality Schools


the better the school district is, the higher the property values in the area are. If you don’t have kids, this may not be much of an issue for you. However, if you’re thinking that you may want to sell your home anytime in the future, keep in mind that a less than reputable school district can really dip into property values. 


You Can Easily Access The Things You Need


If you can access the shops, restaurants, and other conveniences easily from your neighborhood, that’s the sign of a good location. No one wants to have to drive 45 minutes in order to get to the grocery store. Many people who are looking for homes like to be in or very close to the action and have easy access to the things they need. Think in terms of convenience when it comes to location. 


A View And Nature


A home with a view is always a sign of a great location. whether you’re near the water or near the mountains, it’s nice to have something scenic and peaceful near your home to enjoy. Property values near the water are also always a bit higher than those further inland.


Transportation    


Access to public transportation is key in many neighborhoods. You want to be able to easily get to and from where you need to go without waiting around. If the area is more suburban or rural, access to freeways and main roads is key. Adding precious time to your commutes is never pleasant. Many times location and commute times come down to a simple matter of balance and planning when searching for a property.        



A diligent homebuyer understands what it takes to shop for a residence. As such, this individual may be better equipped than others to discover a house that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent homebuyer, including:

1. You can boost your chances of acquiring a top-notch residence.

Buying a home can be a long, complex process, particularly for those who lack housing market insights. Fortunately, it is easy for any homebuyer to become a diligent homebuyer, thanks in large part to the wealth of housing market data that is available.

A diligent homebuyer can analyze the prices of recently sold houses, along with the prices of homes that are currently for sale. By doing so, a diligent homebuyer can understand whether he or she is shopping in a buyer's or seller's market. This homebuyer also may be able to narrow his or her home search.

For those who want to acquire a first-rate residence, diligence is paramount. And as a diligent homebuyer, you may be able to identify many opportunities to purchase a deluxe residence.

2. You could save money on a home purchase.

When it comes to shopping for a home, there is no need to overspend, regardless of whether you're searching for a residence in a buyer's or seller's market.

Meanwhile, a diligent homebuyer is a thrifty home shopper who understands how to save money on a house.

A diligent homebuyer, for example, may be more likely than others to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This homebuyer will meet with a variety of lenders and learn about all of his or her mortgage options. That way, a diligent homebuyer can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and avoid the temptation to overspend.

Furthermore, a diligent homebuyer knows how to stay calm, cool and collected in stressful price negotiations with a property seller. This homebuyer will possess the housing market insights to make an informed purchase decision. In addition, he or she will have the confidence to walk away from a potential home sale if price negotiations get out of hand.

3. You can accelerate the homebuying process.

Although a diligent homebuyer analyzes real estate market patterns and trends closely, he or she usually realizes that navigating the housing sector alone can be tough. Thus, a diligent homebuyer may reach out to a real estate agent for extra help.

A real estate agent can provide even a diligent homebuyer with the necessary assistance to speed up the homebuying cycle. This housing market professional can help a homebuyer understand and overcome assorted property buying hurdles. Plus, he or she can offer expert insights into the housing market that a homebuyer may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

If you plan to purchase a house in the near future, it definitely pays to become a diligent homebuyer. This property buyer will be able to browse a broad array of high-quality houses, assess these residences effectively and seamlessly move through the process of acquiring the perfect home at the lowest price.



If you’re looking to update your home with a more chic, classic style black wall paint is the untraditional but obvious choice. Stand out from the crowd and a sea of white walls with this bold move.

Of course, not just any room can be painted black and called a look. A large room with bright, natural lighting is the perfect canvas to start with. What’s great about black walls is that, as a classic color, it can work in any room.

Placement

Black walls look crisp and modern with the sharp contrast of white baseboards and even as an accent wall in an otherwise white painted room. For the bold and adventurous, a black ceiling with white walls, despite what you might think, bring height and space to a room.

Tie in your color choice with other elements. Black wallpaper with a white pattern, subway tiles with a dark grout and black and white patterned tile are great ways to do just that. In a kitchen, glossy black cabinets look seamless next to black appliances. While black beadboard and shiplap bring a welcome change to a dominating trend.

Decor

Mix textures to keep things dynamic instead of sterile. Soft white elements like a sheepskin throw, curtains paired with sleek crisp lines will have guests believing you had a professional design your home.

White pieces, whether the porcelain in your bathroom, the mantel in the living room or marble countertops in the kitchen keep your space balanced. Furniture and flooring made of wood in lighter shades look best against the dark backdrop. Take a note from the Scandinavian stylebook by adding decor made up of burlap fabric, terracotta, fur, linen, and stone.

Color to Pair

Bronze and gold hardware add glamour and, when in the form of t-bars style drawer pulls, a very chic, minimalist take on the look. Keep an eye out for utensils, decorative bowls, serving trays and sculptures in these metallic hues to add to your room. And with these colors still growing in popularity they shouldn’t be too hard to find!  

Navy helps to tone down the harshness of black while carrying the deep complexity of the darker color throughout the room. Light hues in addition to white, like creams, beiges, and grays maintain balance and brighten the room.

Bright colors add an unexpected pop against the neutral hues. Olive and forest greens add a rich, deepness while pinks, reds and yellow add a playful touch. Add in a dose of color with throw pillows or artwork. Or allow a piece to grab your visitors attention such as a sofa.

Painting a wall black is not for the faint of heart. It’s certainly a bold move but not an outlandish one. Instead, the final result is decidedly chic and even feels couture.