Pros and Cons of Living in a Penthouse

Penthouses take the luxury lifestyle to new heights; they boast the best views in the city, offer unparalleled exclusivity, and often include outdoor spaces not typically found in other units throughout the same building. These perks, however, come at a cost. For those considering renting or purchasing a penthouse, the following information will help to inform your discussions with your real estate agent.

What is a penthouse?

At its core, a penthouse is a luxury apartment/condominium. Located on the top floor of an apartment building, condominium complex, hotel, or tower, its luxury features differentiate it from the building’s lower-level units. The living space of a penthouse is usually set back from the building’s outer edge and the remaining square footage of the roof deck is typically used as a yard, hot tub, pool, outdoor kitchen, etc. 

Pros

  • The View: Even in a densely populated metropolitan area, living in a penthouse is your best chance at an unobstructed view of the city. Perched above the vast majority of other apartment and condominium buildings, a penthouse provides a bird’s eye view of your surroundings without being blocked by neighboring units.
  • Indoor and Outdoor Space: A penthouse is more than a luxury apartment; it’s your own private outdoor terrace. With access to the outdoors, you have more room for your favorite at-home activities, plus an array of entertaining opportunities. Penthouses are typically designed with open-concept floorplans which emphasize their extra square footage. For those looking to increase their living space while remaining in the city, a penthouse may be the perfect solution.
  • Privacy: Because penthouses only have neighbors below them, a penthouse floor sees fewer visitors than the lower floors in a building. Some penthouse floors have a separate, private entrance for added security.

Cons

  • High Price: Gaining access to this exclusive lifestyle is expensive. The high price tags reflect its unique characteristics: being far away from street noise, having more square footage and outdoor space, added privacy, etc. In some places, the costs to purchase or rent a penthouse can outpace the average monthly mortgage payment for a single-family home in the area, especially if you have Homeowners Association (HOA) fees tacked on.
  • Home Maintenance: Having more indoor and outdoor space means there’s more to maintain. Owning or renting one of these units comes with a longer to-do list than a smaller apartment or condominium. You’ll either have to carve out additional time for upkeep or consider hiring a professional to clean your home regularly.

Work closely with your real estate agent to determine whether renting or purchasing a penthouse is right for you. Learn more about other housing types and the differences between them here:

House vs. Townhouse vs. Condo

 


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7 Tips for Sustainable Living at Home

There’s always room for improvement in a household’s quest to go green. From how you use your appliances to the way you consume and dispose of food, every lifestyle choice you make at home presents an opportunity to be more eco-friendly. Adopting more sustainable practices has obvious environmental benefits and helps to improve quality of life, but it can also increase your home value and in some cases may generate extra cash.

7 Tips for Sustainable Living at Home

1. Create a Sustainable Kitchen

The kitchen is responsible for a decent portion of your home’s energy output. Choosing energy-efficient appliances can help to improve your household’s sustainability by using less energy. Reusable materials go a long way in the kitchen as well. Even seemingly small changes like switching from single use to reusable grocery bags and eliminating paper towels can make an impact. Using natural cleaning products will keep your kitchen cleaner longer while improving your home’s air quality, and being mindful about water usage can save on utility bills.

2. Plant an Herb Garden

To further improve your home’s sustainability, consider planting an herb garden. This helps to cut down on repeatedly buying spices and seasonings at the grocery store while cultivating a natural ambience in your home. (And they’re fun to cook with, too!) Do indoor plants need sunlight? Of course, so be sure to position your indoor garden in an area where your plants have direct access. Once you’ve picked out a spot, decide which herbs you’d like to grow. Some of the most common herbs are easy to grow and will pair well with whatever’s on the menu—basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, oregano, etc.

3. Tips for a More Energy Efficient Home

The first step in becoming more energy efficient at home is understanding your energy output. Once you understand your household’s habits, you can identify which cutbacks will help you chart a more sustainable path forward. Energy-efficient lightbulbs can help you save on utility bills. Because they use less energy that standard lightbulbs, they typically last longer as well. Make sure your home is properly insulated and your windows’ caulking and weatherstripping is in good condition. Air leaks and poor insulation waste energy and will cause spikes in your utility bills.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Nattakorn Maneerat

 

4. Reduce Waste at Home

Every household produces some sort of waste, but it’s how that waste is treated that makes all the difference for the environment. Clean your recycling to make it easier to process and do your best to only buy what you plan to eat. Start a compost bin for extra food scraps or consider other agricultural solutions for disposing of it. Consider buying items like shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, and the like in bulk to cut down on packaging waste. Reusable glass containers or jars will help you portion out meals and provide a useful way to store bulk items like rice and beans.

5. Use Solar Energy

Yes, making the switch to solar energy comes with significant upfront costs. But an investment in solar is not just an investment in the health of the planet, it can increase your home value as well. The energy savings you’ll generate in the long-term will depend on your household’s level of consumption and the power generated by your solar panels. And if you’re generating more power than you’re consuming, you may be able to sell the surplus energy back to the grid. For more information on solar-based incentives and tax breaks by state, visit DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency®).

 

A worker installs a solar panel on the rooftop of a sustainable home as the sun sets behind him.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: ArtistGNDphotography

 

6. Sustainable Gardening Best Practices

Even for the green thumbs, there’s opportunity to go greener at home. A garden is only as healthy as its soil. Mulching is vital to soil health and helps to reduce weed growth. Animal manure also has the power to enrich garden soil, both as a fertilizer and conditioner. Organic weed killers made with natural ingredients will maintain your garden’s health while keeping unwanted weeds at bay. Apply this same organic mindset to dealing with slugs as well. Certain types of slug bait may possess certain chemicals that do more harm than good, especially if you have farm animals on your property like chickens or goats.

7. Sustainable Laundry Room Tips

Before you begin your next cycle in the laundry room, consider some methods of reducing energy. Because the heating of water is responsible for a majority of the energy generated by doing laundry, using cold water can help you save on energy costs. Cold water is also gentler on clothing. Clean the dryer vent and filter regularly to keep it unclogged and running efficiently. Consider hang-drying when possible, and in warmer months, air dry your clothes to save a dryer cycle.

For more information on sustainable living, helpful advice on home upgrades, plus tips on DIY home projects and more, visit the Living section of our blog.

Windermere Blog – Living

 


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Home Security and Safety for the Holidays

The holidays bring joy and peace, but they can also bring package thieves, fire hazards, and the inevitable injury from trying to get the last decoration on top of the tree. From tried-and-true security methods to basic safety best practices, taking the appropriate precautionary measures will help keep your home and your loved ones safe this holiday season.

Home Security During the Holidays

Upgrade Your Locks

A poorly installed deadbolt can make it easy for an intruder to break in. Start by making sure that your door frames are in good condition and then look into getting a higher quality deadbolt. You’ll find everything from classic models with keys to digital options that require passcodes or a fingerprint.

It’s also a good idea to check all the locks on your windows. Older window locks can be easy to jimmy open with a little wiggling. For ground floor windows, you may want to consider installing double locks for added security.

Exterior and Interior Home Lighting

Having your exterior lights on timers or motion sensors is a good way to deter nighttime lurkers. Add sensor lights at your home’s key entry points including the front door, back door, and/or basement. If you have an unused side yard, consider lighting that area as well. Keeping your home well-lit makes unwanted visitors weary of being seen.

Traveling during the holidays is common. If you plan to be gone from your home for an extended period, consider using timed lighting options in your home to make it appear someone is around. You can select timers for bedrooms or living areas. Also, you can program a radio or smart home sound system to turn on and off.

Alarm Systems

You have many alarms to choose from, varying from motion detection kits you can install DIY to full-service home security systems.  If you choose to do-it-yourself, you’ll want to prioritize installing motion detectors on doors and windows—especially those that can be easily accessed on the ground floor. In most cases, these kits also offer a 24-hour call service for an extra fee.

Full-service security systems can include everything from an alarm system and panic buttons to an integration with your smoke detectors/fire prevention system. These services are expensive up front but usually have a reasonable monthly rate. And keep in mind: having a home security system installed can also reduce your insurance rates.

Security Cameras

Security cameras are widely available for home installation; install them in high-visibility areas to deter burglars. You can either install DIY or purchase a professional system, many of which come with support services. Nowadays, it’s common for these products to sync with your smartphone, making it easy to monitor your home while you’re away.

Build Your Community

Online community pages, Facebook groups, and programs like Neighborhood Watch can help you build close-knit relationships with your neighbors and help a community feel safe at home knowing its members are all looking out for each other.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: svetikd

 

Home Safety During the Holidays

Candle Safety Tips

Candles create the perfect ambience at home during the holidays but having more open flames in the house means you’ll want to take a few additional precautions. Test your smoke detectors and replace their batteries. Make sure you have a functioning fire extinguisher nearby, preferably in the living room or kitchen where you can access it at a moment’s notice. For more ways to prepare in case of a fire, read How to Prepare for a Fire at Home.

Lights Safety Best Practices

Before you string up your holiday lights, check all cords and outlets for signs of damage and make replacements as needed. Turn your lights off when leaving the house and before you go to bed—it’s safer and more energy efficient. You can either meter your light usage manually or with a smart home lighting device.

Safe Storage Tactics

It seems that a holiday season rarely passes without a decorating-related injury. Broken ornaments can be hazardous, especially if you have young children. Prevent accidents by securely storing your holiday decorations in easily accessible areas. Investing in high-quality containers will also extend the shelf-life of your décor.

Ladder Safety

Your holiday decorating will inevitably lead you to the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of your home, both indoors and outdoors. Ladder safety is paramount, especially if your local winters come with freezing temperatures and icy conditions. If that old rickety ladder in the garage is on its last leg, consider investing in a newer model. When decorating trim, ceilings, and the roof, it’s best to have another person stabilizing the ladder below you.

To learn more about home safety and security best practices, smart home technology, and more, read our Home Safety and Security blog post.

 


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Preparing Your Garage for an Electric Vehicle

Many have made the switch from gas-powered to electric vehicles (EVs). They help to make a household more sustainable by reducing its carbon footprint, cut down on gas costs, and present a variety of technological solutions for modern home life. With more EVs being produced by a greater number of auto manufacturers than ever before, their driving range is constantly improving; most models can travel hundreds of miles with a full charge. As a homeowner, there’s a specific to-do list you’ll want to complete before welcoming an EV into your home.

Preparing Your Garage for an Electric Vehicle

By giving your garage a simple makeover, you’ll be set up for success as an electric vehicle owner. An EV is nothing without a charged battery, so your home charging station should take precedence when reorganizing the space. As EVs continue to grow in popularity, more remote charging stations are popping up across the country. However, it is advised not to rely solely on remote charging. Having a charging station at home is simply more convenient and will ensure that your vehicle is never far from the power it needs.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: 24-K Production

 

Setting Up a Charging Station

To charge your vehicle, you’ll need the proper electrical setup. You’ll have two options: either a 120- or 240-volt amp outlet.

Though 240-volt outlets are more expensive and require a more involved installation process that includes applying for and obtaining a permit, they charge faster than 120-volt outlets. 240-volt outlets also put added strain on a property’s electrical supply, so you may need to hook up a new service line to accommodate for the added voltage.

It is common for garages to already have a 120-volt outlet installed, so no additional installation work may be needed if you decide to go that route. Electrical installation is usually outside the realm of DIY home projects, so be sure to talk to a local licensed electrician for advice.

  • Follow manufacturer instructions for installing your EV charger. In general, it’s preferable to have the charger three to four feet off the ground and no more than four feet from the outlet.
  • Cold temperatures can adversely affect charging times, so it’s important to properly insulate your garage. Insulate as necessary before purchasing your EV so everything is squared away by the time your vehicle arrives.
  • Keep the charging station easily accessible by clearing out any other items or clutter in the area.

Security Measures

An EV charger is a valuable item, which is all the more reason to make sure your garage is protected. If your home is already well equipped from a safety and security standpoint, you’ll want to extend coverage to your garage to protect your new investment. Home security cameras and alarm systems will help to ensure that, at the very least, you’ll be notified of a break-in.

For more information on sustainable living, tips on organizing your home, cleaning hacks, and more, visit the Living section of our blog:

Windermere Blog – Living

 


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The Benefits of Adding a Catio to Your Home

Cat owners are often faced with many considerations as they fill their homes with toys and cat trees to appease the kings and queens of the household. One such consideration is how to best use the space. Adding a catio to your home will help keep your cat entertained and safe and can be easily customized to fit the needs of any living space.

The Benefits of Adding a Catio to Your Home

A catio can offer a wide range of benefits for you and your cat, including daily enrichment opportunities. Catios provide easy access to the outdoors where they can stimulate their senses. By providing this connection to the outside world, cats can independently spend their days as they please with a wide variety of options to choose from.

Catios also keep your feline friends safe from the dangers that lurk outside. While they’re able to enjoy the outdoors, the enclosed space keeps them nearby while keeping predators out. This prevents accidents with cars on a busy street and run-ins with potentially harmful animals found in residential areas such as raccoons, and in certain areas, coyotes. It also keeps out other cats, preventing exposure to diseases and accidental pregnancies.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: ahloch

 

In addition to the benefits catios provide for your furry friend, you will also improve the livability of your home by reducing the damage to your furniture and rugs or carpet. When your cats can enjoy that space, they are less likely to exert their pent-up energy on your carpeted and upholstered pieces.

For those cats who act on their hunting instincts, a catio is also a great way to keep local wildlife out of your home. From their perch in their enclosure, they will get to smell and watch birds, mice, and rabbits, but they won’t have the opportunity to hunt them. Saving these lives helps your neighborhood’s ecosystem and saves you from having to clean up the mess afterwards.

Providing a litter box outside can also improve your indoor air quality by reducing smells, chemicals, and bacteria associated with cat litter. Of course, it’s not wise to replace an indoor litter box with an outdoor one, but by adding another one that’s nearby, your cat will use the indoor box less.

What Can You Do with a Catio?

The simple answer: anything you want. Catios are customizable for your space and your cat’s interests. Answering these two questions will help you start the process of designing or choosing a design to build.

  1. How much space can you offer to the enclosure?
  2. How will the cat(s) enter the enclosure from the house?

You may also want to consider what kind of exposure to the elements you’re comfortable with, whether it’s open air or if you need a little more protection from the elements with a solid exterior. While in some areas wire fencing might be all that’s needed, regions with harsher climates may require a more robust setup, such as insulated windows.

Catio Options

If you have a smaller space, you may consider a catio attached to a window, which won’t take up any additional square footage. Much like a garden box, you can attach a small shelf-like enclosure just outside your window and stretch it as far out as desired. The entry point can be the window, making it easy to open and close.

 

A shot from indoors looking outdoors of a gray cat sitting in a catio lined with wire on a window ledge.

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: SvetMedvedeva

 

A brown mink cat lounging in their catio enclosure enjoying the sun from a perch above.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: ahloch

 

If you have a yard, you can give your cat a tunnel. A simple addition to the home, attach an elongated box that juts out into the yard for your cat to explore and get a 360-degree view of the elements. You can attach this to an existing cat door or add a cat door on an exterior wall.

For those with a larger space, or if you already have a patio set up, you can build out a catio like an extension on your home. Attach the large enclosure to the exterior and use either a window or cat door for entry. Use the structure to offer a multitude of options on the outermost walls, like shelves, ramps, and hammocks. Customize it with your cat’s favorite things, like scratching posts and pet-safe plants. You can even add a chair for yourself in there if you want!

For more ideas on caring for your pets, home maintenance, and more, visit the Living category of our blog: 

Windermere Blog – Living 

 


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Simple Garage Makeover Ideas

For some homeowners, the garage is the focal point of their home. For others, it is simply a storage space or a place to park their vehicle. Regardless of how you use your garage, these simple garage makeover ideas can help keep you organized, boost your curb appeal, and increase your home’s value.

Simple Garage Makeover Ideas

Garage Exterior

The garage door is a natural starting point for your garage makeover. A garage door replacement is a surefire way to increase the value of your home and is a common tactic for drumming up buyer interest when preparing to hit the market. But even if you don’t have the budget for a full-scale replacement, a DIY garage door makeover can still make a big difference.

Repaint Garage Exterior

Begin by prepping your garage door for a fresh coat of paint. Clean and scrub the surface with warm soapy water. Scrape off any loose paint with a putty knife or wire brush. If scraping manually is too taxing for you, use a wire wheel brush tool. Rinse and clean the door, letting it dry completely before you begin painting.

Once you’ve covered your driveway with a tarp or plastic sheeting to protect it from paint spills, you’re ready to begin painting. Choose a complimentary color for your trim to tie together your home’s exterior color scheme. Check out different styles of garage door hardware options that match the style of your home, choose your layout, and install the pieces.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: hikesterson

 

Garage Interior

As you turn your attention to your garage’s interior, consider refinishing the floor first. By starting with the floor, you won’t have to continually shuffle your garage items around as you continue your makeover. If you’re considering converting your garage into a home gym, factor that in as you work on the flooring.

Start by fixing any cracks or holes with a basic patch kit. Once the surface is flat, sweep and mop from end to end. If you are removing a previous layer of paint, use a buffer to jar the old paint loose before repainting. Finishing your garage floor off with epoxy will help protect it from stains and damage. Apply two coats of epoxy twenty-four hours apart, followed by a sealing topcoat.

Organize Your Garage

In just a few steps, you can turn your garage from a cluttered oversized closet into an organized storage space. Start by taking inventory of the items in your garage. Do you have lots of tools? Is the space filled with sports equipment? Grouping like items together will keep your storage orderly. Next, decide where you would like to store your items. Overhead storage racks, rollers, and ceiling storage can significantly cut down on clutter, but these storage options are best reserved for infrequently accessed or seasonal items like holiday decorations and camping gear.

Keep frequently used items within reach. Magnetic wall panels are a great resource for your everyday tools and gardening equipment. Install shelving and drawers near your workbench to keep smaller hand tools, screws, and nails tidy and organized and add labels so you can keep track of them. If space is limited, consider a wall-mounted foldable workbench.

 

A hardboard hanging panel in a garage full of common hand tools like screwdrivers, measuring tape, scissors, duct tape, vice grips, etc.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Bluberries

 

Add Finishing Touches

Now it’s time to put the final touches on your garage makeover. Though installation may require the help of a professional, adding electrical outlets will pay dividends for the functionality of your garage. Installing bike hooks on the ceiling will help to save floor space and may provide just the clearance you need to park a vehicle inside. Lastly, consider upgrading your lighting. Newly installed lights will add value to your garage and make it safer.

For more simple design projects that can give your home a makeover, read the following:

5 Design Projects to Improve Your Backyard

 


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: JodiJacobson

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5 Pet-Friendly House Cleaning Tips

Pets make a house a home. But as much as you love your furry friends, they do add a few entries to your list of chores. Keeping your home clean requires a bit of extra work, and some methods of upkeep are more pet-friendly than others. The following tips will help you keep your house clean and your pets happy.

5 Pet-Friendly House Cleaning Tips

1. Safely Clean Up Accidents

When pet owners buy a home, they proceed knowing full well that pet accidents and messes are bound to happen. Cleaning up messes quickly is important for keeping your home clean, but it will also remove the scent, so your pets don’t come back to that same area with the same intentions. When shopping around, look for cleaning products that are safe for animals and don’t contain any toxic chemicals.

2. Deep Clean to Reduce Smells

Pets have a knack for leaving a scent behind. Every pet owner knows the feeling of going through their normal cleaning routine to extinguish the pet smell from their home, only for it to linger after they’re done. To really get your home smelling fresh again, you’ll need to target your pets’ favorite areas as well as the commonly missed cleaning spots throughout your home like underneath furniture, along the baseboards, etc. You’ll be surprised at how much dirt and fur you find in these places.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Marco VDM

 

3. Clean Pet Toys Regularly

Your pets’ toys are magnets for dirt, fur, drool, and other unwanted substances. It’s a homeowner’s nightmare to imagine spending hours cleaning your home top to bottom, only for a muddy ball your pets have been chewing on to roll across the carpet. Cleaning toys regularly is also healthier for your pets as it helps to reduce the spread of germs. If your pets’ toys are dishwasher safe, pop them in the dishwasher every once in a while to get them squeaky clean.

4. Keep the Air Clean

Even after you’ve exhausted all your cleaning efforts on the surfaces throughout your home, pet fur and dander can still travel through the air. It’s important to clean the air in your home, especially if members of your household have allergies. Consider investing in an air purifier, which will filter air particles to remove dust and odors, giving everyone in your home—pets included—cleaner air to enjoy.

5. The Importance of Well-Groomed Pets

In the context of a clean, pet-friendly home, there’s one surface that’s more important than any—your pets themselves. Every pet owner has their routine; whether that’s regularly maintaining their cat’s litter box, wiping off the dog’s paws in the mudroom before letting them inside, regular baths and brushing, or keeping nails trimmed to avoid furniture and carpet damage, these are the boxes that must be checked to keep your home clean. For all your cleaning efforts, if your pets are still messy, then the spaces in your home will follow suit.

Read the following blog post for more information on maintaining a pet-friendly home as you look to sell:

Selling a Home with Pets

 


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Prostock-Studio

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How to Handle Asbestos in Your Home

Throughout the mid twentieth century, asbestos was commonly used throughout the homebuilding process. It was typically used as insulation, but would also pop up in vinyl flooring, cement siding, walls, pipes—you name it. After it was discovered that inhaling asbestos fibers has serious health effects, its domestic production slowed, and legislation was put forth to ban it altogether.

However, just like lead paint, homes that were built in the asbestos era still carry a dormant risk. If your home contains asbestos, you should be aware of its dangers, how to handle it, and how to go about removing it safely.

How to Handle Asbestos in Your Home

Having asbestos material in your home is not inherently hazardous if the material is left undisturbed. So, if your asbestos material is intact and in good condition, the best thing to do is to leave it be. However, the moment asbestos material becomes damaged—either from degrading over time or because of a sudden accident—it becomes dangerous. Once asbestos fibers are released, it can spell trouble for you and your household. 

Testing for Asbestos

If you find damaged asbestos material, you should cordon off the area to the best of your ability to limit exposure. If restricting the area means you could disturb the asbestos, then it’s best to refrain from interacting with it and let a professional handle it.

DIY asbestos testing is possible, but it can be highly toxic if you don’t take the proper precautions. An asbestos inspector will conduct a thorough examination of your home to determine the extent of its presence and provide their recommended course of action. It is advised to test for asbestos before making an addition or a large-scale remodel to your home.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: ricochet64

 

Removing Asbestos

You can either repair existing asbestos exposure or have it removed. Repairs can be cheaper in the short term but may simply be prolonging the inevitable. Making repairs on your own is generally not recommended, since the slightest mishandling of the exposed asbestos can create a much bigger problem.

When it comes to removing asbestos, you’ll want to enlist the help of a professional. As with any contractor, ask for quotes and make comparisons before deciding who you’ll hire. Before the job is finalized, have your home tested to ensure that all asbestos has been safely removed from the premises.

For more tips on home safety, home maintenance, and avoiding dangers caused by the systems in your home, read our blog post on How to Prevent and Deal with Mold.  

 


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Windermere Living: Closet Curation

This article originally appeared in the Summer/Fall 2022 issue of Windermere Living

By Amanda Zurita | Photography by Victoria Kovios


Closet Curation

Turn your wardrobe into your personal boutique with these professional “editing” tips.

Iris Miyasaki was born an organizer. Growing up in Hawaii in a Japanese American family, minimalism was part of her life. “In school, my binders were always very organized and color coded,” she says. “People found it amusing, but it was just how I functioned.” Today, she puts that passion for order and organization to use as a professional wardrobe curator and stylist under her Seattle-based brand Wardrobe by Saki (wardrobebysaki.com). Here are her tips for curating a captivating closet and finding ease through editing.

How does editing your closet differ from other decluttering trends?

Decluttering is the first step of purging, more of a first run-through to get rid of things you truly don’t need. Editing and curating, however, is where I bring in a styling aspect to organization and understand how my clients are using the pieces in their closets.

For example, perhaps a client has a sweatsuit that they wear all the time. In the decluttering phase, they’re not going to get rid of it. But, when it comes to editing, I ask questions like, “Does this outfit make you happy? Do you want to put this on every day?” If no, then we’ll work to find something better. Oftentimes, once you’ve relived the story of a piece, you’ll realize that the memory is in your heart and not solely attached to an item—so it’s easier to let go of.

What goes into making an “Instagram worthy” closet?

When you can see all your clothes, shoes, and accessories, you’ll want to use them more. I focus on creating a visual palette for my clients, whether that means organizing by color, silhouette, or types of items. The idea is to create a closet they’ll want to “shop” in.

Your closet is your personal store. If you don’t love it, if you wouldn’t shop in that store, you aren’t going to pull things from it. From a technical standpoint, it’s important to be consistent with your storage colors and textures. And you don’t have to fill every single space. In fact, negative space opens up breathing room for your things.

Aside from the visual aspect, what kind of emotional impact can editing a wardrobe have?

You interact with your closet every day, so when you’re able to utilize that space in the most efficient way, it just takes a weight off your shoulders. Rather than combing through clutter, you can have peace of mind knowing, “OK, all my things are right here and I love each one of them.” That kind of foundation helps you to feel at ease going through the rest of the world. A curated closet offers a sense of calm and contentment.

What’s your advice for parting with meaningful items that you may not be using frequently?

I like to ask my clients: Have you used this within the past year or year and a half? Fashion trends change, and what you like changes. Your body changes. So, if you haven’t worn something in the past year, maybe it’s time to part. When it comes to sentimental pieces, I find it helps to talk about the memories associated with them.

 

Read the full issue here: Windermere Living Summer/Fall 2022


­­­­­Windermere Living is one of the top real estate magazines on the West Coast, offering carefully curated editorial that reflects our passion for community, connection, and inspired living alongside exceptional homes on the market. Windermere Living is the exclusive listings magazine published by Windermere Real Estate in partnership with SagaCity Media.

Featured Image Credit: Victoria Kovios

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Decorating with House Plants to Match Your Décor Style

Interior design solutions come in all shapes and sizes. After all your furniture items, art, and other physical items are all in their right place, decorating with house plants can provide the perfect final touch. The best plants for your home are the ones that will thrive in your local climate while complementing your existing décor. Here are a few common house plants and their corresponding interior design styles to aid your decorating efforts.

Decorating with House Plants to Match Your Décor Style

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern interior design is ubiquitous, and for good reason. Its simple concepts, open spacing, and emphasis on natural elements make it one of the premier interior design styles for homeowners and design experts alike. A Split-Leaf Philodendron, or “Swiss cheese plant,” is ideally suited for these interior spaces, and its signature leaf holes make it a visual focal point. Swiss cheese plants will thrive in open spaces with access to natural light, climbing toward the ceiling as space allows. For the same reasons, Fiddle-Leaf Figs feel at home in a mid-century modern aesthetic.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: funebre

 

Industrial

There’s an inherent give and take with industrial interior design in that it foregoes traditional elements that we associate with comfort for stylistic choices that create a strict-yet-visually appealing environment. Decorating with house plants can add vibrance to an industrial backdrop of wood, steel, brick, stone, and copper without compromising the edginess of the style. Both Snake Plants and Cast Iron Plants will harmonize with an Industrial space. Both are low-maintenance plants that mesh well with materials that evoke toughness and durability. 

Minimalist

The combination of minimalism and house plants is a match made in heaven. Given minimalism’s focus on the reduction of waste and clutter and the importance of bringing the outdoors in, all signs point toward decorating with house plants. Being selective about which plants you include will keep everything in line with the fundamental concepts of minimalism—too many plants and things would easily feel off balance. Large-leaf plants are a perfect solution for minimalist decorators, such as Rubber Plants, Bird of Paradise, and Silver Evergreen.

 

Comfortable chic living room with Traditional interior design style features, like neutral color pallet with wood and wicker accents, is expertly designed with large houseplants next to the couch

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Liudmila Chernetska

 

Farmhouse

The Farmhouse interior style prioritizes cleanliness and an inviting spirit. Its white-washed backdrop of whites, grays, and beiges makes it a fitting canvas for the lush green additions that a selection of house plants can provide. Spider Plants work well to fill shelf space, which come in both solid green and white-striped varieties. These plants are easy to take care of and thrive in partial sun or shade. Aloe Vera plants in the kitchen can refresh the look of your shelving or counter space.

 

Modern farmhouse living room with a large grey couch, a coffee table, a fireplace, and big windows, with large wooden beams across the ceiling

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: xavierarnau

 

Traditional

Homeowners with traditionally styled interiors have a whole host of options to choose from. Any classic plant species will complement its traditional surroundings, but more specific choices can bring out the uniqueness in your home. If your decorations are rife with patterns and geometric shapes, perhaps a fern or Amazon Lily would help to balance the room. Bamboo may be a natural fit for your home depending on your existing décor. If you’re looking for a hanging display to fill empty wall space, consider Devil’s Ivy.

 

As always, research the watering and sunlight needs of a house plant before bringing it into your home. For more on decorating with house plants, be sure to read our room-by-room guide:

The Best Indoor Plants for Every Room

 


­­­­­­Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Tanya Paton

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