What not to store in your Garage!

Always striving to educate my clients with all things house related, I stumbled upon this article advising what to not store in your garage.  Having just finished garage purging for Fall 2014 I thought, great, now that my garage is spotless I should pass this test with flying colors….not exactly….I have all of the 6 items one must avoid storing in one’s garage sitting predominantly (although I must add neatly) featured in mine! So here they are:

1. Paint
Leftover color from the last time you redecorated won’t last long if subjected to high heat in summer (or falling temps in the winter). Plus, cans stored on cement floors will rust faster than those stored on a shelf. We are fortunate in this area as many of our local cities feature dates and places for paint drop offs which make disposing of paint virtually painless.

2. Propane
We barbecue year round and I hate seeing the spare propane tank sitting by the barbecue. So I make my husband store the extra canisters in the garage. Who knew this was number 2 on the list of don’t do’s. They must be stored where it’s well-ventilated or you risk igniting the fumes when you start your car. Don’t want to do that!

3. Canned Food
A stockpile of canned tomatoes, beans and more has a shorter shelf life in a room that gets hotter than 70 degrees (and when temps reach 95 degrees, the food will spoil quickly). With limited space in my kitchen, I store my extra canned goods in a wonderful set of  built in cabinets in our garage. They house everything from sets of china to pantry items. The other day my husband brought me a can of tomatoes that had no were near reached it’s expiration date but whatever was inside was eating it’s way out through the can and the label. Learned that lesson first hand!

4. Refrigerator
Yes, by definition, fridges control the temperature in your food’s environment. But as the heat rises, your fridge will need to work harder to keep your food cool—and you’ll feel the burn in your energy bill. Plus, a fridge won’t keep food cold enough when the surrounding temps drop below 60 degree, since it will run less when it gets chilly. Fortunately we use the outside fridge for ice cold liquid refreshment storage only…so it stays!

5. Open stacks of linens or paper goods
Mice and other pests love to make nests in bunches of fabric or paper (like that pile of cardboard boxes from your recent move). Store paper cups and plates in your pantry instead, place linens in plastic bins if you have to put them in the garage, and purge recyclables often. Not so hard to do around here with Recycle cans supplied by our local garbage collectors. Don’t forget to use them.

6. Electronics
DVD players, televisions and computers you’ve been meaning to donate or recycle could get damaged in extreme heat or cold. I might add I just found a box of no less than 12 old remote controls for the TV, VCR, et al! Routinely as with the paint drop off our supporting cities feature days to bring in old equipment for recycling.

So back to the job of garage purging with a new flurry of purpose! Last note…garages by definition are suppose to house cars, not what doesn’t fit in your home.

Traditional Garage And Shed by Beverly Interior Designers & Decorators Siemasko + Verbridge

Original article excerpted from Good Housekeeping.


Before & After Town Home


Remodeled this town home to make it more attractive to the buying public on a budget and in two weeks! Producing a contemporary feel to what was dated and bland.  Original cream carpet with vanilla paint was replaced with engineered hand scraped hardwood floors, new fixtures and contrasting paint colors.


Dining room went from dark and dreary to light and modern.


Family Room/Kitchen area became inviting and entertaining.

2014-07-27 14.49.18PaccKit

With the addition of Granite counter tops, new appliances, glass tile back splash and a coat of paint this outdated kitchen turned into a Cook’s Delight!


Master Bedroom


Guest Bedroom


Third Bedroom/Office

Visit the website for additional photos at www.116pachettiway.com.



Gone to the Dogs!

The latest trend in home design and construction…..dog specific rooms!

Home builder Standard Pacific now offers a dog friendly option in their communities across the United States. From Florida to California, in their 27 new home developments buyers have a pet paradise option. (Photo: Anthony Gomez/Standard Pacific Homes/A.G. Photography)

The suite is a 170-square-foot pet paradise with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead; tile walls and floors; a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer; a water station; automated feeders; a large bunk-style bed; cabinets for toys, treats and food; a stackable washer and dryer; a French door that opens to a puppy run; and a flat-screen television set. The pet option adds $35,000 to the list price. Approximately 70% of all buyers who look at Standard Pacific’s developments are pet owners.

Standard Pacific, based in Irvine, decided to offer pet suites after conducting livability studies with homeowners. Pets were a constant theme, said Jeffrey Lake, vice president and national director of architecture for Standard Pacific.

“Devotion to pets is second-to-none,” he added. “They are family.”

The American Pet Products Association reports that 68 percent of Americans own pets and contribute to an industry worth more than $55 billion annually.

Real estate officials say building homes designed to cater to pets is a new concept, but that remodels for pet owners have been available for some time. Those looking to sell their homes may find their pet additions might add to the attractiveness of their home. Providing useability much like a laundry room or mud room offers. Pet washrooms can offer multi-purpose facilities which buyers may find desirable. Who doesn’t want to have a place for dirt whether it comes in on a dog or a child!


How to Hide a TV ~ Fashionably!

Guess where the TV is in this small apartment? No it’s not behind the tiny picture above the mantel. The living area was originally one long room until the home owner designed the  cabinet to create two spaces out of one. Acting as a decorative focal point, the cabinet also provides a place to store essentials and best of all, at the touch of a button, voila, a flat-screen television rises from the base. How clever is that? For those of us who prefer that the TV not overtake the design of a room, hiding it until needed gives you the best of both worlds. Sophistication in design when closeted and entertainment, easily accessible on demand.

Design by Jane Taylor. Photos courtesy of Sarah Hogan.

Functional Attractive Fences

Privacy and light all in one linear design ~ clean, contemporary & efficient.
Fences have always served as a barrier to either keep people & animals in or out. With the constant and ever present focus on transparency in our private and business lives we as homeowners welcome the combination of architectural creativity in the garden with the need for privacy. Landscape designers are lending their talent to redefining fences by utilizing products that have previously not been explored in perimeter and decorative fencing. Visual fluidity, light, continuity, functional design all come together in these examples of Fencing Circa 2014.
Gateless privacy ~ allows easy access while still blocking the street view.
Protective and transparent ~ this pool fencing provides safety and a fluid visual aesthetic.

Windy city breezes vs Million $$ views ~ Everybody wins with this roof top patio fence.



Window Pane Replacement Costs

Before any Home purchase buyers review and digest the copious amount of paperwork generated by the seller to try to fully explain what is currently known about the home they are selling. When going over Home Inspections there are invariably issues that are highlighted in the reports. Regularly I am asked what the costs for repair and replacement of some of these items are. As anyone who has purchased a home knows, the costs for fixing “what’s wrong with the house” does not come in the disclosure packet, only what needs fixing! Here I have consulted an article written by Chris Deziel explaining the approximate costs for repairing double paned windows.  Either due to age or seal failure glass can become cloudy or show condensation.

“After years of exposure to rain, sun and condensation, and if you want more sunlight in the house, it may be worth the expense of replacing it. You’ll probably want to know what that expense is before you go ahead with the project, however, and that depends on several factors. They include the size of the pane, the kind of glass you want to use and the style of your window.

The base price for float glass, which is clear window glass, is about $12 per square foot in 2013, and the price increases with every feature you add. Tinting adds from $5 to $7 per square foot, tempering adds about $2. Double pane glass is priced separately. If you add the cost of the glazing compound and caulk, the cost to replace a 2-by-2-foot pane of glass would range from about $60 for a clear pane to about $100 for a tinted pane of tempered glass. Don’t forget to allow money for paint if you have to make repairs to the frame. Labor costs vary, so get several quotes before you hire a contractor. In all, you should probably expect to pay between $300 to $700 if you choose not to do the job yourself.”

Now if you would like to replace the windows yourself. He provides a step by step process in his article published in SF Gate.

Photo by Susan Gilmore.


Remodel or Move?

Faced with low housing inventory,  homeowners are choosing to remodel their existing homes in numbers that  reached over $130 billion in 2013. As reported by Kris Hudson in the Wall St Journal, this is a 3% increase over last year with a prediction to become a 5% increase in 2014 as reflected by the pending home construction permits issued. One of the facilitators for the increase in remodeling is the once again available Home Equity Loan which almost disappeared after 2007. Property values have increased in some areas of the Bay Area by over 25% in the last year which increases the equity required by lending institutions to issue this loans.  Economically speaking the increase in remodeling is welcomed by the contractors, architects, designers and suppliers by keeping their industry strong in these uncertain times. Tempered with the memory of the last housing market downturn, all parties appear to be cautiously optimistic that the return on the “re-investment” in their home is a better financial choice than facing the low inventory housing market which includes overbidding, multiple offers and asks the proverbial question, “Do we sell before we buy?”

If you are thinking of remodeling but don’t know where to begin, call me for a list of professionals that I have worked with, lenders and contractors.

Garden & Home Accents


I have a few of these Antique Urns in my garden at home and I love the pitted patinas that they develop over time.  If you leave them in a shaded area the porous nature of the urn will grow a beautiful green moss on them.  Whether you put globes in them or greenery they add a dimension to your landscaping similar to what a sculpture would elicit, a bit of artistry outside. You can also bring them inside and use them to accent your dining room table with Hurricane Lanterns like these shown below. Using a Linen runner on the table under the urns I’d place the Faux Topiary Containers on the table and then scatter  small 4 ”  Topiary rounds around the display.  Finish off with antique glass tea candle holders and you have a terrific table scape with romantic lighting ideal for dining.  If you want to add color to the muted tones of the table, small glass vases with the flower of your choice will make the table pop with color.

Boxwood Ball Artificial...



Need new furniture feet?


There is no limit to creative thought….look what two inventive Swedes designed….Jana Cagin and Mikael Söderblom created Prettypegs.    Their pretty little, colorfully crafted foot pegs are designed to fit IKEA’s furniture.  Creatively crafted to provide color, character, pop and flair these cleverly designed furniture feet lift your pieces to a heightened level of personal style.  Whether it´s your sofa, chair, bed, wardrobe or sideboard you can personalize your interior with panash…think of them as Jimmy Choo’s for your furniture!


Prettypegs offers ten different models with a number of different color and size options. With more than 60 choices and the promise that they will keep on designing you can easily give your home a “footlift” on a regular basis. Creative ways of presenting your favorite furniture. IKEA furniture on design steroids!

Pretty Pegs

Photos courtesy of Prettypegs!