5 Memorable Ways to Welcome a New Neighbor to the Block

welcome neighborsIt’s finally happened – that “for sale” sign on the lawn next door or across the street has suddenly been adorned with a “sold” sign. Before too long, you will be meeting your brand-new neighbors!

Getting to know your new neighbors is something worth doing. It makes them feel more included and it can also help establish a friendship and a way for you to look after each other’s home. If you’re not sure where to even begin in helping your neighbors feel at home, read the 5 tips below to get some ideas!

Introduce Yourself – First and foremost, take the time to walk over and introduce yourself. Tell them your name and where you live, ask what brought them to the neighborhood, and try to establish common ground, whether it’s kids going to the same school, being a pet lover, or having a penchant for cookouts. You can also stop by briefly during moving day with water bottles in tow. Just tell them your name and that you live across the street or in the house with the blue door. It will help them remember where you are in relation to their new home.

Bring Over a Nice Treat – It’s always nice to receive a homemade treat as a way of welcome when you’re new. Break out your favorite recipe and make something you think would be enjoyable. If you’d rather steer clear of any possible food allergies your new neighbor may have, you can try putting together a gift basket with coupons to local stores and restaurants or bring over an easy-to-care-for houseplant (like a philodendron) for them to enjoy.

Host a Dinner Party – After your new neighbors have had a few days to settle into their new surroundings, invite them over for a dinner party. Try inviting a few other neighbors over so that your new neighbors will have an opportunity to meet more people and make new friends.

Create a Neighborhood Safety Directory – It’s likely that your new neighbor has no idea the phone numbers to call in the event of an emergency. Put together a list of all the neighbors’ addresses and phone numbers, along with the addresses and phone numbers of the police department, fire department, government offices, and possibly the schools and local doctors. Keep this information together by placing it inside a 3-ring binder.

Put Together a List of Local Services – When you’re new, you probably don’t know where to go for the best services. Help your new neighbor out by compiling a packet that has takeout menus of the best restaurants in town, library locations, information for the local gym, and the phone numbers of the local handymen and professionals. You can either put this together in a binder or glue the information on a magnet that can be placed on the fridge. Don’t forget to include what day trash pickup is and dates on any special events in the neighborhood like the block-wide yard sales!

What do you do to welcome your new neighbors? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page! If you’re looking for a new neighborhood to move to, call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! You can also check out our listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

28 Tasks All Serious Home Sellers Should Do This Spring

tasks for springSpring makes its official debut once more on Sunday, March 20, and the season has definitely arrived early this year in the St. Louis region. All around the neighborhoods in the area, blossoms are popping up on tree branches, daffodils are flourishing in yards, and green grass is making its return once more. Spring also means that more and more homebuyers will be looking for their dream home and will begin house hunting once more.

If you’re looking to sell your home this spring, you will want to make your home as attractive as possible to any potential homebuyers. The best, most cost-effective way to do this is to partake in spring cleaning to make your abode outshine the others on the market.

Here is your official checklist of chores for you to do this spring if you’re a home seller:

 

General Living Spaces (Living Room, Dining Room, Bedrooms, etc.)

*Clean all of your ceiling fans.

*Wipe down your baseboards with a damp cloth.

*Repair any nail holes or damage to the walls. Touch it up with paint.

*Wipe down all doorknobs and other hardware. Polish if needed.

*Clean every window. Make sure to clean the inside as well as the outside to really let the light in.

*Repair anything that is loose or broken.

*Dust and wipe down your light fixtures. If any bulbs have burned out, replace them.

*Take down all of your drapes and clean them. If they are heavy winter curtains, consider replacing them with lighter, more airy drapes to keep it light.

*De-clutter. Get rid of anything you don’t need, use, or want. Donate lightly used goods and trash or recycle the rest.

*Clean and organize your closet. Make sure to put away your winter clothes and shoes and donate anything that you haven’t worn in 2 years.

*Dust everything, including the lamps, picture frames, and even artificial plants and flowers.

*Vacuum after you dust. Make sure to get under the beds, behind the bookcases, and even in the corners where cobwebs could gather.

*Tidy up your attic and basement.

*Wash your throw rugs, bedding, blankets, and pillow covers. This will help your home smell and look fresh and revitalized.

*Depersonalize as much as possible by minimizing your family photos and any personal collections that might be out on display. This will help buyers imagine themselves in your space with their own things.

 

Kitchen

*Clean out the fridge by tossing any unused or old food, even condiments that you don’t use. Wipe down the inside and the outside, dust the top of the fridge, and vacuum the coils.

*Clean out the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. Wipe down the doors and pulls to make them shine.

*Clean and organize the pantry.

*Scrub and clean the microwave and oven.

 

Bathroom

*Clean and organize the cabinets and drawers in your bathroom. Pare down what you don’t need and throw away old medicines.

*Clean the grout of your tile floors and on any other surface that is tiled.

*Clean every sink, tub, and toilet. Re-caulk them, if necessary.

 

Outside

*Pressure-wash the driveway and sidewalks. If the siding is in need of it, pressure-wash it carefully as well.

*Pull weeds from the garden and plant a few colorful annuals near the front door.

*Clean out the garage. Take everything out, sweep it, and pressure-wash the floors. Reorganize your items neatly once you’re done.

*Sweep and clean the patio or deck. Clean any neglected outdoor furniture, and maybe consider adding a few new cushions or potted plants to liven things up a bit.

*Clean the gutters.

*Spruce up the yard. Remove any fallen limbs, trim the bushes and shrubs, and keep the sidewalks and walkways clean. Rake up the yard to give your potential homebuyers a great first impression.

 

Need a reliable real estate agent to help you sell your home and find you the home of your dreams? Be sure to call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 today! You can also view our current properties on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

6 Colorful Ways to Help You Welcome Spring Into Your Home

ways to welcome springThe season of winter can seem interminable to many of us. Once we feel that hint of warmth and light enter back into the picture, we feel ourselves come alive and begin anticipating the long, sunny days of summer. The whites, grays, and blacks of winter begin to fade as the cerulean sky, emerald grass, and golden sunshine take center stage.

Why not bring these colorful seasonal changes into your home as well? Try these 6 ideas to help you welcome spring into your home!

Lighten Your Bedding – Warmer days will be upon us before we know it. Make sure that your bedding matches the light and the warmth on the horizon! Pack away the flannel sheets and choose a set of lighter, cooler sheets and a lighter comforter or quilt to adorn your bed. For those transitional times where the days are warmer and the nights are cooler, keep a warm blanket on the end of your bed to use to keep you cozy at night.

Add In Creative Bursts of Color – Let your home reflect the colorful setting of the outdoors this spring. You can replicate this feeling by placing creative pops of color throughout your home. For example, bring out brightly-colored dishtowels in your kitchen, and choose soap dispensers in a lemon or lime color. If you’re not a fan of bright colors, feminine and romantic colors and textures like pastels can work as well!

Bring in Fresh Flowers – Bring the outdoors inside by picking some of your favorite flowers! You can either purchase bouquets at a store or you can handpick some pretty wildflowers to put in your home. Try to create a consistent color scheme throughout your home or mix and match for a more rustic feeling. Potted plants, houseplants, and beautiful blooms will give your home an instant facelift!

Organize Your Mudroom – It’s time to pack away the winter boots, coats, and gloves and bring out the rain boots, jackets, and sandals. Once you wash and pack away your winter gear, give your mudroom a well-deserved scrub-down and unpack your spring and summer garb. You can also place beach towels, baskets, and picnic supplies out and ready whenever you want to enjoy some fun springtime activities!

Keep It Light and Airy – Spring is the time to give the windows in your home a good scrubbing inside and out. Spend some extra time on the windows so that the rays of sunshine aren’t filtered by dirt and dust. Don’t forget to dust the blinds and launder the curtains as well! Additionally, you can pack away your heavy drapes and curtains and bring out lightweight curtains in sheer materials to maintain that light and airy feeling in your home.

Take Inspiration From Nature – Aside from picking some beautiful flowers, you can bring a bit of nature inside your home to help you obtain that springtime feeling without breaking the bank. Try something unique like placing a bouquet of tall spring flowers into a thin vase and place the vase inside a pair of rain boots to create the perfect doorstop. You can also add small things like pebbles and shells inside colorful baskets. Find some items from nature that speak to you from your favorite trails and locations or right outside your own door!

How do you welcome spring into your home? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

8 Affordable Tips to Help You Create a Cozier Bedroom

how to make bedroom cozyLet’s face it – life can be stressful sometimes. When we’ve had a rough day at work, don’t feel well, or just have a bad day in general, it’s important that we’re able to come home and retreat to a cozy haven. Our bedrooms are those havens that help us rest, relax, and recharge every day. That’s why it’s even more essential to make this vital room as cozy and comforting as possible.

Luckily, making your bedroom a comforting oasis away from the stressors of life doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Here are 8 easy, affordable tips to help you make the coziest bedroom possible!

Choose a Calming Paint Color – Many people may not know this, but color plays a huge role in our mood and can have both subtle and significant effects physically and psychologically. For the bedroom, you will want to choose a color that will wind you down, relax you, and help you sleep. Stay away from bright colors and choose colors that are either dark or subdued. From navy blue to sage and lavender or even a neutral chocolate brown, these colors will help you chill out more easily.

Pile on a Few Blankets – One of the easiest ways to make a room super cozy is by adding blankets and pillows to your furniture. Choose a comforter or quilt that you love and layer a soft cotton blanket on top of it. This will not only give you that warm, cozy feeling that you’re trying to obtain, but it will also give you a few options for warmth. Add a few throw pillows for that extra touch.

Dim the Lights – Just like your color choice, the lighting in your bedroom shouldn’t be very bright. In this instance, table lamps and floor lighting are your friends. Bonus points if you add dimmers!

Evoke Comfort With Cozy Accessories – To jumpstart that comforting feeling, try keeping some of your favorite cozy accessories on hand. Hang a cozy robe on a hook, and keep your favorite soft socks and slippers in a place of honor in your bedroom. You will find that you will be able to relax a little more quickly when you do this!

Get a Soft Carpet – This is even more important to do in the wintertime. If you don’t already have one, find a rug that catches your eye and that has a great texture. Having a soft rug under your feet in the mornings won’t just keep you warm, but it will also add a bit more comfort in your life.

Achieve Color Balance – In order to keep your bedroom from looking like a bat cave, strike a balance amongst your colors. For instance, if you chose to paint your walls a striking dark blue, balance this with light or white furniture and bedding. Your accents will pop, and your room will feel inviting and warm.

Invest in Aromatherapy – According to the National Institute of Health, aromatherapy can help you relax when you’re stressed. In fact, it’s often used to help cancer patients, based on the theory that certain scents can have an impact on the brain’s emotional center, providing relaxation. Keep a few of your favorite calming scents on-hand in the bedroom like lavender. You can light the candle 15 minutes or so before you’re ready to go to sleep for the night.

Make It a Clutter-Free Zone – Having clutter in your bedroom can make it even harder for you to let your mind unwind after a hard day. Take out anything you don’t need and keep the decorations to a minimum. You may see a real difference in your sleeping if you’re used to a cluttered bedroom!

Sometimes a home’s setting can make all the difference in comfort and coziness. If you’re looking for a new retreat, check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com, or give the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties a call at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

7 Big Reasons Why We Will Always Love White Cabinets

white cabinets

Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen? If you’re ready for a major overhaul, be prepared to spend a good amount of money. According to the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors®, the average cost of a complete kitchen renovation is about $60,000. If you’d rather have a larger ROI with less work, why not try starting with white cabinets?

Fashion fads come and go, but white kitchens and cabinetry have stood the test of time. Here are 7 reasons why we love white cabinets in the kitchen!

It Will Never Go out of Style – Certain stains of wood or even types of wood in cabinetry can become dated in time. You’ll never have to worry about your cabinets going out of style based on the stain of the wood. White cabinets are timeless and have transcended a variety of trends throughout the years.

It Can Make Your Kitchen Seem Larger – Do you have a small kitchen? White cabinets could be the answer for you! Dark cabinets can make your space look and feel much smaller than it really is, but white cabinets can give the illusion of a larger, grander space.

White Is Marketable – While color is always popular in the home, white has topped the charts for years. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2013 annual survey, 67% of their respondents said that white was their first color of choice when it comes to cabinetry. It is appealing to home owners and buyers, and its universal simple beauty can make the kitchen even more attractive to potential homebuyers.

It’s Stylistically Versatile – No matter what your style is, white goes with everything. From European to modern, from traditional to contemporary, white cabinets will work with your favorite styles.

You Have a Variety of Wall Color Choices – When you have white cabinets in the kitchen, you can choose just about any color combination you wish. The best part is that you can change out these color schemes whenever you feel like it and pretty easily. Your color of backsplash will never clash with your white cabinets, and repainting your walls is much easier and cost-effective than getting all-new cabinetry.

They Can Make a Big Statement – White kitchen cabinets can give you the opportunity to have a certain flexibility that stained cabinetry does not. For some fun flair in the kitchen, select kitchen cabinets that have glass front doors and let your cabinets be the center of attention by repainting the inside of the cabinets a color that will make them pop.

White Gives Good Vibes – Want a happy feeling in the kitchen? You can’t go wrong with white. It gives a happy, inviting feeling and reflects light, making your kitchen a warm, positive place to make and enjoy meals in.

Are you a fan of white cabinets in the kitchen? Do you have white cabinets? Let us know all about it in the comments below! If you’re looking for a new kitchen and a home to go with it, call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298.

Got a Dry House? Here’s How You Can Bring Some Moisture Back In!

houseplantHave you noticed your skin becoming more dried out than usual this winter? Have you been experiencing more static cling and static shock than you normally would, or are your allergies a little worse than usual? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, more than likely your house is on the dry side. Low humidity is a common issue in my homes during the cold winter months. They often lead to frequent nosebleeds, dry skin, and a higher susceptibility to viruses like the cold and the flu.

Luckily, however, you don’t have to deal with low humidity issues in your house until spring comes. Here are 7 handy ways you can get the humidity back in your home!

Purchase a Humidifier – This is often the easiest fix whenever you determine that your house has low humidity. A humidifier works to bring moisture into the rooms that are the driest. The only downfall to humidifiers, however, is the up-front cost of purchasing them and any additional cost to your energy bill when you run them.

Bring Home a Houseplant – Houseplants aren’t just great for lifting spirits and acting as decorative accents – they also help bring moisture back into your home! Through the process of transpiration, which is what happens when moisture evaporates from the leaves and stems of plants, your little houseplants do all the work in breathing some life back into your home. Just make sure to keep them well-watered!

Try Putting Vases In Sunny Places – No flowers or plants required for this one! If you find that your green thumb is, well, a bit brown, grab a vase, fill it with water, and place it in front of the sunniest windows in the house. When you do this, the sun will work to evaporate the water inside the vase, which will then release moisture into the air.

Take a Shower With the Door Open – The next time you take a relaxing hot shower, make sure you leave the door open. This is an easy way to add some extra moisture into your home. Like baths instead? Just don’t drain the tub when you get out. Instead, wait for the water to coo first before draining it so that the remaining heat can add a bit of humidity to the air.

Get Cookin’ – Everyone loves baking in the winter, but stovetop cooking is where it’s at. When you use your stovetop, you won’t only be making some delicious meals but you will also be increasing the amount of moisture that is being released into the air. You can also make cups of tea to stay warm and put additional moisture out there with your trusty tea kettle!

Air Dry Your Clothes – Yes, the dryer is much more convenient to use, but in the wintertime it can take away moisture, let alone rack up the energy bill. Try using a rack to dry your clothes next time you do laundry. The moisture that is present in your clothes will evaporate into the air inside of your home, raising the humidity levels.

Place Bowls of Water on the Registers – If you have registers situated in the floor, grab a large bowl, fill it with water, and set it on top of the registers. The water inside of the bowls will heat up whenever the registers are blowing hot air, which will help push humidity into the air. Metal or ceramic bowls work the best in these situations.

How do you bring more humidity into your home? Which tricks have you found to be the most effective? Feel free to tell us in the comments below or let us know on our Facebook page!

7 Clever Ways to Use Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year in Your Home

nice interior

Each year, Pantone gives us the Color of the Year, which sets the stage to the new year’s fashion, home décor style, beauty regimes, and much more. For the very first time, Pantone has chosen two different colors as the Colors of the Year – Rose Quartz and Serenity, a soft, calming combination of two remarkable colors. Pantone chose to go with two colors as a way for consumers to seek sanctuaries of solitude in the midst of the stressors of daily living. Best of all, these two colors go with practically everything!

Life can certainly be crazy and stressful. Let Pantone’s Colors of the Year help you de-stress and find that soothing oasis you need. Here are 7 ways you can incorporate these two great colors in your home!

Linens – When you think “comfort” and “relaxation,” the room you probably think of right away is the bedroom. These two colors are absolutely perfect for the bedrooms! Incorporate them through your linens to create a relaxing space for you to sleep at night. Choose one or both colors for your bedding and mix in grays, whites, and even deep purples for a sophisticated touch.

Kitchen Appliances – Who says you have to have plain white kitchen appliances? Large or small, appliances these days come in a wide variety of hues to enjoy when you’re preparing your meals. Mix and match your kitchen appliances this year for a calming kitchen. A neutral background will work perfectly for these two colors to keep your look elegant.

Flowers – Who doesn’t love fresh-cut flowers? They’re beautiful and they smell great, plus they do wonders in boosting your mood. Choose a vase in one shade – perhaps Serenity – and pick some flowers in the Rose Quartz hue to help you add color throughout the house.

Dishes – It doesn’t matter if you keep your dishes inside the cabinets or display them on exposed shelving – having a matching set can really pull your dining and kitchen space together. You can try adding in a few Rose Quartz and Serenity dishes to your set, or you can splurge and get a whole new set in those 2 colors. You can find modern ones in stores now or hit up the local thrift store for a vintage-looking set.

Painted Doors – Tired of your front door’s color? Why not paint it one of the two shades for 2016? Choose the color you like best to welcome yourself and your guests into your calming home base. Make the color pop even more by keeping the entry room a neutral color like white, cream, beige, or a shade of gray!

Accent Walls – You don’t have to paint all four walls of a room to give it a total makeover! Sometimes painting just one wall can create depth and interest. Choose your favorite color of the two for the wall, and use the other color as accents in your pillows, artwork, throws, lamp fixtures, and more. You can also incorporate one or two neutrals to tie the look all together in your accessories.

Throw Pillows – Don’t want to make a big change? No problem! Try getting a few throw pillows in Rose Quartz and/or Serenity. This is a relatively inexpensive solution that can radically change the room’s look and feel. Plus, they’re super easy to switch in and out as the seasons change!

How will you be incorporating the new colors this year? Let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from you!

 

9 Spooky Stories From Around the Metro Region

Piasa BirdHalloween is almost upon us once more! What better time to share some spooky stories than now? Here are 9 spooky stories and legends from around the area to entertain you – share them with your friends this Halloween and see how many of these spooky stories they know!

Three Mile House – Edwardsville

North of Edwardsville on Rt. 159, an old inn called the Three Mile House used to stand. According to legend, the inn might have once been a stop on the Underground Railroad. In fact, it is said that during renovations in 1970, workers discovered underground tunnels and a skeleton. Those who worked in and stayed at the inn experienced a variety of phenomena including moving furniture, lights flickering off and on, orbs of light, shadowy figures, and more. Sadly, the inn burned down in 1985; however, the gazebo still remains intact.

The Seven Gates of Hell – Lebanon Road

To those passing through between Troy and Collinsville, the road is simply a winding pathway called Lebanon Road. To locals, however, Lebanon Road is the stuff of legends. According to the legend, those who drive under all 7 bridges and go through the final bridge exactly at midnight will pass through to Hell. The area is also said to be guarded by ghostly hounds that have glowing green or red eyes.

McPike Mansion – Alton

Alton has been hailed as one of the most haunted cities in the nation. One of the most popular haunted locales is the beautiful yet spooky McPike Mansion. This 1869 mansion has been said to be the site of many strange occurrences including ghosts apparating in the hallways, disembodied children’s laughter, footsteps, and much more. If you’re curious about the mansion, you can partake in one of the scheduled monthly tours and group tours. Find out more here! http://www.mcpikemansion.com/index.html

Mineral Springs Hotel – Alton

There are several other haunted spots in Alton, but if we had to pick just one more, we’d choose the historic Mineral Springs Hotel. It is said that several spirits live in this old hotel, which is also now open for haunted tours. Some have witnessed a number of ghosts including The Jasmine Lady, who can be identified by her floral perfume, George, a man who drowned in the hotel swimming pool in the 1920s, The Drunken Ghost, a former artist who created the mural in the Crystal Room bar but unfortunately died before finishing it, and Cassandra, a little girl who drowned in the pool and has an affinity for playing marbles.

McKendree University – Lebanon

McKendree is the oldest university in Illinois and has seen a great deal of history, including the Civil War. There are several reports of spiritual activity on the main campus. In Carnegie Hall, professors and students alike report the televisions turning on and off or changing channels, eerie feelings, footsteps, and even the sound of desks moving on their own on the top floor. The alumni house across the street is the site of three deaths, including a baby who died from pneumonia – the back room, which used to be its nursery, remains permanently cold. Perhaps the eeriest tale of all is from those who spend time in Bothwell Chapel. There have been reports of the organ playing itself, footsteps, and the sound of running down the middle of the sanctuary, even though no center aisle exists!

Lincoln Theatre – Belleville

The spookiest theatre in the Metro St. Louis region has to be the Lincoln Theatre, situated in downtown Belleville. It has been said that the theatre is haunted by 7 different ghosts, including a spirit that loves playing tricks on people. Witnesses have seen an apparition of a ghostly child run up and down the stairs and a woman in the balcony.

Original Springs Mineral Spa and Hotel – Okawville

Nestled in a little town off I-64, the Original Springs Hotel is a historic building that apparently houses many different specters including a man who died in an explosion in the 1880s, one of the former owners from the 1890s, and at least 7 other spirits of those who died at the hotel from various causes. Guests and workers have witnessed mists and apparitions, felt an eerie presence, and have heard unexplained noises and footsteps. The second floor of the older wing is said to be one of the spots with the most activity in the building. Be on the lookout for a spooky Lady in White wearing early 1990s clothing and a large hat; many have seen her in several spots in the building.

House of Plenty – Highland

The famous House of Plenty wasn’t just known for its excellent food; it was also a well-known restaurant haunted by ghosts. Workers have reported witnessing a mysterious apparition of a man dressed from the early 1900s in the hallways, various objects moving or simply vanishing, eerie feelings, and the sensation of being touched. Though the restaurant has recently closed its doors, the restaurant still experiences some strange goings-on within.

The Bluffs of the Piasa – Alton

Though this isn’t a haunted location, this place has a spooky legend worth mentioning for Halloween. When you travel north along the Great River Road just past Alton, you will see a large painting of a terrifying creature called the Piasa on the bluffs. The findings go back to 1673 when Father Jacques Marquette took note of the painting on his way down river with Louis Joliet. He wrote in his diary that the Piasa “was as large as a calf with horns like a deer, red eyes, a beard like a tiger’s face, a face like a man, the body covered with green, red, and black scales, and a tail so long that it passed around the body, over the head, and between the legs.” Legend says that the Piasa would swoop down and devour the inhabitants until Illini chief Ouatoga and his tribe shot the beast down with poison arrows.

If we’ve inspired you to conduct your own investigation of these spooky places, please make sure that you go on a tour and not by yourself, especially if the areas are non-trespassing zones. You won’t just be putting yourself in physical danger – you’ll also be breaking the law. Besides, we feel that tours are a much better experience!

So which story is your favorite? Let us know on our Facebook wall! And if you find that your house hunt has gotten too scary to handle, don’t call the Ghostbusters – call the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

Want a Little Home Office? Turn Your Closet Into an Office in a Snap!

how to make a closet officeThere’s nothing quite like having your own little home office to retreat to so that you can do your bills in peace, continue some work from the office in the comfort of your own home, or write or create something beautiful. Sometimes, though, space just isn’t an option. You might not have that extra room to dedicate as your own personal home office. You might not even have room for a desk in your home or apartment.

So how can you have your own little home office without having to move, renovate, or build on to your home? It’s easy! Just turn a closet of yours into your own little compact office!

When you begin making your closet office, so to speak, start by maximizing every square inch of the space with smart storage solutions so that your new space will be worth showing off! You will need to keep in mind that this new “room” is also not like any other in your home; you will need to be very wise about how you implement pieces of furniture and space-saving devices.

See below how you can start making your compact office now!

Choose a Great Wallpaper – Since this is an interior segment of your room, you will want to make it pop and stand out from the rest of the room instead of blending in with boring paint or, worse even still, leaving it that nasty white, beige, or off-white color that has been on the wall since the home was built, a wall that has been shrouded in darkness and covered with dust. We humbly suggest using wallpaper instead! Find a really gorgeous piece of wallpaper that speaks to you or makes you feel more creative or productive. A great wallpaper will take your space from closet to a destination

Try Floating Planks – Shelves are a great way to help conserve space, but clunky hardware and the visual clutter of brackets can really put a cramp on your compact office space’s style! Instead, try using floating planks! The won’t overwhelm a tiny room, but they will still have all the space you need to store all those things you need for your office! As a bonus, they will hardly obscure your gorgeous wallpaper!

Select Fun Organizers – With this small space, think outside the box a bit! You don’t have to be tied down to boring office supplies and organizers, especially when office supplies and boxes come in so many great prints, colors, and designs these days! Choose files and boxes that spark your interest. Instead of using a boring old cup for your pencils and paper clips, opt for something more fun like a trophy or a nice vase!

Light It Up – If you’re familiar at all with design, then you probably know that the right lighting can make a space come alive and that poor lighting can negate any positive effect that any paint choice or piece of furniture could provide. To make this closet office a bright, inviting space, choose overhead lighting or even a dainty chandelier to provide the right light while giving your small space an ambiance of elegance. You may also wish to use a desk lamp for practical task lighting as well.

Make Your Own Desk – If you want to place a small desk in your closet space, that’s fine by us, but did you know that you can easily make your own custom desk! You really can! Just start with two standard file cabinets and attach a wheeled stand to the base of each cabinet (to make moving it a cinch!)! You can brighten up the boring cabinets with a bit of indoor/outdoor spray paint as well. Finally, position a ready-made melamine desktop on top of the two cabinets, and you’re ready to use your very own easily-movable desk!

Choose Your Final Furnishings – When you’re done creating your own closet office, select your final furnishings to finish the job! We suggest picking a nice, soft rug that has a big of a personality to make a soft spot for your bare feet and also a small, versatile chair that can easily move elsewhere within the room or underneath the desk if at all possible.

Want more tips? Searching for a home of your own that has enough room for a home office (or at least a big enough closet) and your other must-haves on your list? You’ve come to the right place! We can find you that perfect place just for you in no time. Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can best assist you!

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Brighten Up Your Home for Spring

spring decorating tipsIt’s springtime, which is a wonderful time to throw open the curtains and windows, put away the heavy draperies, and let the sunshine pour in! It is also a fantastic time to brighten up your home just a little bit!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go overboard or spend a ton of money in order to reinvent your home! There many things you can do to brighten up your home that takes very little time, effort, and money! In fact, we have 7 quick and easy ways for you to spruce up your home today! Check them out below!

Purchase Cheap Houseplants – Want a really easy way to perk up your home and bring some it some life? Buy some cheap but beautiful houseplants! They will not only bring a pop of color to your home, but they will also provide you with free, clean air and make your space seem more cheerful! You can easily find very cheap houseplants both big and small at your local nurseries, grocery stores, and in large stores like Lowes and The Home Depot!

Switch Out the Pillows – As the weather gets warmer outside, you know it’s time to switch out your pillows to match the nicer ones! Put away the warm winter pillows and opt for plain and patterned pillows in pastel or bold shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow. Feel free to mix and match pillows to match your rooms’ different feels and styles!

Bring Out the Candles – Instead of going to the beach and the outdoors, bring the beach and the outdoors inside to you! A scented candle can change the atmosphere of your home very easily, so choose scents that remind you of spring weather! Opt for citrus-flavored or floral scents, or you could even choose to begin pining for summer by selecting a “beach” scented candle!

Spruce Up Your Dining Table – Give your dining table a pop of spring color with a beautiful and simple tablecloth! Select a tablecloth that blends well with your dining room’s décor and curtains. Opt for shades of pastel and material that is easy to clean and maintain.

Grab Some Fresh Flowers – What’s more spring-like than fresh flowers? Add a touch of color and calmness in your kitchen, living room, hallway, or any other room by selecting colorful spring flowers! For ideas, try using yellow daffodils, purple tulips, or maybe even a bright carnation or two. Be sure to display these gorgeous flowers in attractive vases painted in bright or pastel colors! Remember, you don’t have to have a huge bouquet of flowers to make this work – even one or two fresh stems can look just as beautiful!

Switch the Bedding – That’s right, it’s time to put away those heavy, warm comforters and blankets and switch for light-weight bedding and throws! If you can, select bedding in fresh spring colors like blue, pink, green, or yellow to help make your room pop and bring life back into it!

Break Out the Paint – One of the most inexpensive ways to reinvent and revive your home is with a simple bucket of paint! Find a color that lifts your spirits and makes you think spring, and get to work! You can opt to paint just an accent wall or paint an entire room one color, or you can turn that paint on cabinets, vases, or other small decorations!

Remember, springtime is a time of renewal, so let the warm weather and sunshine energize and inspire you to help you brighten your home this spring! If you’re looking for a new home to brighten up your life, then you’ve come to the right place! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com! You’ll be glad you did!