Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/14/2018

When people hear the term "modular" a few things come to mind. Standardized, easy to assemble, minimalist, and modern. When you hear the words "modular furniture" there's probably only one thing that comes to mind: Ikea. There are, however, a wide selection of stores (online and brick & mortar) that offer furniture to fit your minimalist lifestyle.

Reasons to go modular

Form follows function. This statement should be as true in the world of decorating as it is throughout the sciences. However, many times we buy items that are large and bulky; mistaking quantity for quality. In the world of modular furniture, form is everything. Here are some reasons you may want to start buying minimal furniture:
  • If you move often. Do you relocate for work every few years? Are you a student or young professional who does a lot of jumping around apartments? In a workforce that is increasingly freelance and online in nature, there are fewer bindings holding us back from moving.
  • If you like low-maintenance. Modular furniture is perfect the the person who likes to set something up easily out of the box. You won't have to worry about complicated maintenance or difficulty finding parts because modular furniture tends to be highly standardized.
  • If you're a space-saver. Are you the type to try to take advantage of every inch of free space in your home? Alternatively, do you like to give your home a spacious atmosphere through smart decorating? Modular furniture is intelligently designed to take advantage of space. Modular furniture pieces like sofas are often able to be reconfigured or rearranged in different pieces so you can place them in corners or sparsely around the room to open up space. Similarly, they often contain interior storage space for things like blankets and pillows.
  • If you have a refined taste for space. Modular furniture is at the cutting edge of home technology. Therefore it often boasts visually-appealing, minimalist form and modern color schemes. Like any industry, style varies between makers. But generally modular furniture companies tend to stay current with trends.

The biggest names, the best prices

Since modular furniture is an up-and-coming industry, there are a number of stores to choose from, some even with brick & mortal locations. Here are some of our favorites.
Not much needs to be said about IKEA. They started with one man in Sweden and now have locations in over 40 countries. IKEA is the standard by which all other modern furniture stores are weighed against.
Vitsoe keeps it simple with three basic modular "systems." Chairs, tables, and shelves. One of each system could easily fill a room. Their designs are minimalist and space-saving, which is evident by the "nesting" tables which fit into one another.
way basics
If you're looking for simple, lightweight and affordable storage and shelving, Way Basics is where you should start your search. They specialize in storage cubes and they take the humanitarian and environmentalist approach to doing business.
urban outfitters
They may seem like a strange addition to this list, but Urban Outfitters--the paragon of urban hipsterdom--has a surprisingly great selection of modular furniture items in their online shop. They do an excellent job of fusing vintage style with modern function.  

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/13/2016

House plants can significantly improve the dynamic of a room.  While some are purely decorative, there are others that can have a dramatic effect on air and indoor pollution levels.  If you are planning on making a few botanical additions to your home, then why not get the added benefit of choosing plants that will work for you, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit?  Here are a few to get you started. Golden Pothos - This vine-like plant is very easy to grow, requiring very little light, and can survive quite comfortably if you happen to forget to water it on a regular basis.  With regular fertilizing, this plant becomes a fast-growing vine that looks fantastic in any room.  Clippings can be taken, put in water, and will develop root structures in as little as a few days.  Because this is a submersible plant, it is also popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  In addition, this plant is a heavy oxygen producer, and can also remove benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your air. Peace Lilies - Interestingly enough, these houseplants are not true lilies. These attractive members of the Araceae family need only a little light and water in order to survive, and produce brilliant flowers. Rubber Tree - While used as houseplants in North America, these plants have an interesting use in India; the roots are guided over chasms in order to create what is commonly referred to as living bridges.  These plants prefer bright sunlight, and while they can withstand infrequent watering quite well, they will thrive if given enough moisture. Weeping Fig - This is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand.  In a study by NASA, this plant was shown to effectively remove airborne toxins from its environment.  This plant thrives in warm, sunny conditions, but can also tolerate low-light conditions fairly well.  If it is moved to a new room, it will shed a large number of its leaves, and replace them with new leaves in response to the change in light conditions.  While it is adaptive to changes in light, care should be taken not to place it in an area where it will be subjected to strong, cold drafts.  This plant is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts for its aesthetic properties. Snake Plant - Also known as "mother-in-law's tongue", this plant has been recognized in the same NASA study as one of the best plants to remove indoor air pollution.  Like other pollution-reducing plants, this one can survive quite well with low light levels and irregular watering.  Care should be taken not to over water this species, as the root structure is fairly sensitive. For further reading, you can pick up the book How To Grow Fresh Air, by B.C. Wolverton.

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/21/2016

Dreaming of better days soaking up the sun on a tropical island? Bring that feeling into your home (or close to it) with beach themed home décor. And you don’t have to live by a beach or an ocean to incorporate the theme into your home. DIY home décor projects are fun and fairly simple, and if you are a deal getter, fairly inexpensive. All you need are some supplies: glue (craft glue, hot glue gun, and super glue), rope, beach accessories, ribbon, and whatever craft needs for each project. Below are a few simple and fun beach themed DIY projects: Burlap Wreath: Burlap wreaths are so easy to make, require a small workspace and create a very minimal mess. All you need is burlap, a wire wreath frame, wire, and decorative accessories. Make sure to choose decorative accessories that are not too heavy as they will weigh the wreath down as well as pieces that can be attached easily, either with craft glue/hot glue gun or rope. Vase: There are endless options with this one. The vase could be a stand-alone piece or house flowers. Supplies include a glass vase(s), craft glue, craft rope or net, and accessories. You can use rope wrapped around ¾ of the vase or just use small accents of it. Add on the accessories to decorate the vase to your own taste. Candleholder: Similar to the glass vase, there are endless opportunities for creating a beach themed candleholder. The same supplies would be needed but with the addition of a wax candle or flameless candle. Lights: Beach themed lighting is a great addition to any room. Lamps are perfect for bedrooms or living spaces and hanging lighting would perfect for entertainment spaces including dining rooms and outdoor spaces and hallways. Create rope or net lanterns by attaching to existing light fixtures. Add seashells and starfish to sand colored or sea colored lampshades. Hang string lights around larger seashells and starfish on the wall above your headboard. Take it a step further and DIY your switch plate cover with a little spray glue, sand and shells. It will pull the theme together. Find the accessories such as seashells, starfish, sand dollars, beach rocks, sea glass and sand at your local craft store or search around your favorite beach to make your project a little more special. These projects are so simple and perfect for adding a beach-y feel to your home. Plus, you’ll feel accomplished having created new décor for your home. All you need are a few supplies and a tutorial (search the Internet or check out Pinterest) or an imagination and you’re on your way to being a DIY expert.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/28/2015

              Painting your home for staging purposes is a little different than painting your home for personal pleasure. While your daughter may love having her walls painted Barbie pink, a potential buyer may see this as a distraction. Choosing neutral colors will enable buyers to imagine themselves in your home much easier. And while a fresh coat of paint on your walls may initially seem to be a costly endeavor to undertake, consider that painting your home can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars in some cases. Below is a basic guide to what colors you should have in mind if you plan on painting your home for show. The Kitchen - Kitchens do well with yellows, oranges, and reds. As long as the shade is neutral, these colors will serve to highlight home appliances, kitchen size, and overall comfort. Picking these food-friendly colors will definitely kick your kitchen up a notch. Bathrooms - Bathrooms, because of their size, are best served by very light colors such as tan or pale yellow. The darker you go, the smaller your bathroom will look. In addition, Light colors will also give a sense of cleanliness to a bathroom. If you happen to have a bathroom that already boasts a robust color due to architecture or tile, then pulling colors from these may be an option. For instance, if you have a tile floor in the bathroom with a blue or red in it, then drawing from these colors and choosing a paler shade for the walls could potentially work for the overall flow of the bathroom. Bedrooms - Bedrooms should always steer clear of bright colors, but other than that, you can have a bit more freedom here. Things to keep in mind include the color and style of flooring and fixtures, and whether or not your master bedroom has a master bathroom. Be sure to pick colors that compliment each other if so. Hallways and the rest - Again, you get a bit more freedom here. Salmon-hued paints have a tendency to make people look lively and energized, while beige and blue tones can convey a sense of tranquility and calm. Beige with green tones can be energizing, so it may be something to consider once you reach the living room. Bright reds should probably be avoided in hallways, as they have a tendency to keep people from fully relaxing. This may sound a little crazy, but it's true.

Tags: decorating   painting tips   paint  
Categories: Help Around the House  

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/13/2014

Is your bedroom in need of a slight makeover?  Surprisingly enough, many people don't spend too much time thinking about how their bedroom looks.  How many times have you been on a tour of a friend's new home, and the tour stops short of their sleeping area?  If you don't want to fall into the trap of feeling like your bedroom isn't a "show off" room, then take a few steps to jazz it up a bit. By paying a little attention to a few areas in your bedroom, you can leave that door open with no shame. New Bedding - Depending on your sleeping preferences, your bed may well be the biggest piece of furniture in your home.  Coincidentally, your bedding may also be one of the largest decorations in your home.  Do you like your bedding?  Does it match your home and personality well?  If it leaves you wanting, then consider outfitting your bed with a new bedding set.  With this one improvement, the entire mood of your bedroom can change.  If you can manage to find curtains or drapes that complement your bedding, it will tie your bedroom together in a big way. Floors - Bedrooms may have the least amount of floorspace visible, but that doesn't mean that they should be neglected.  Consider buying a decorative rug for your room.  Or, if you're feeling adventurous, consider installing a new carpet or flooring.  The sky is the limit here, and any change made is likely to be an improvement. Laundry - Piles of unfolded or dirty laundry can be an eyesore. Even a visible laundry hamper is enough to be a distraction.  Consider outfitting your closet door with a hanging laundry basket, or instituting a "no dirty laundry in the bedroom" rule for yourself. Lighting - If you rely solely on overhead lighting in your bedroom, then consider buying a lamp or two.  Lamps will serve to highlight your furniture, as well as create a more relaxing environment.