the HOLLAND: Why We Love It, and Know You Will Too



Before closing on a home in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, we went through and took some photos for our gallery (side note: if you’re looking for an AMAZING photographer that will capture and enhance the beauty of your home, check out Jed with Mouve Media). This home is the HOLLAND floor plan and with its functional layout, stunning design and so many customizable options, it’s no wonder that we haven’t had this plan go past 4-way without selling yet! Here’s what we love about the HOLLAND:



The 10’ island, gas range, double ovens, and a sink in front of a window overlooking the backyard are just scratching the surface of this dream kitchen. Walking in from the garage, there’s a straight shot to the pass-through pantry. Taking one trip from the car to the house with 15 bags of groceries and a gallon of milk is what champions do, and you are a champion. We’ve just made it a little easier for you to dump all those groceries in the pantry, with an easy walk to the kitchen to put that milk away.



There are so many design elements of this home that make it beautiful, modern and unique. The exposed beam in the kitchen and great room area adds a touch of modern design and elegance. Railings accentuate the beautiful staircase. Aside from the overall architectural elements of the interior and exterior of this home, perhaps the most drastic design element is the windows. Designed to let in natural light and lot-fitted to frame the views of each specific lot, these windows make a bold statement both inside and out.




The front entry is defined, without being closed off. Unexpected guests will walk in to see your lovely fireplace and dining table, avoiding a view of the dirty dishes in the sink. Your dining table’s destiny is to remain clean, with an oversized mud room to keep everything organized.



Picture this: Your family of 5 has just returned from a camping trip. The kids discovered the joy of playing in mud and dirt all day, and you roasted marshmallows by the fire each night. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a room directly off the garage to keep the mess and the stink out of the rest of the house? the HOLLAND is designed to have a second washer and dryer in the spacious mud room for occasions just like that. Maybe you want to opt out of the washer/dryer idea to leave more room for a homework desk or a pet retreat. Either way, whether it’s coming home from school or soccer practice, the built-in hooks and cubbies create an organized space for everyone to put their things away as they walk into the house.


You’ll actually love walking up and down the stairs multiple times each day with the double-height staircase, complete with a large window and oversized chandelier to light the way.


How would you feel about having a large laundry room where you can wash, dry, hang, and fold with rods, cabinets and a countertop? Ecstatic? Thrilled? Overjoyed? We thought so.


We’ve got your must-have checklist covered:

* Large master bedroom

* Private location at the back of the house

* Freestanding tub

* Walk-in shower with Euro door

* Oversized walk-in closet off bath

* Water closet for the toilet

* His and hers sinks with a huge countertop and mirror


Each of the two large bedrooms upstairs has a walk-in closet. It’s easy to share a bathroom when the tub and shower are separated from the double sinks and mirror.



A covered rear deck off the great room allows you to fully enjoy your backyard year-round. Have a glass of ice cold lemonade in the hot summer months or sit and watch the snow fall with a mug of hot cocoa. The deck adds square footage to accommodate large groups and also allows for year-round BBQs. If you want to customize the front of the home, you can also add a private deck from the front upstairs bedroom.


With seating for five at the oversized island and room for a large dining table, you have plenty of space for a large family and to entertain guests. The great room off the kitchen offers a cozy fireplace for groups of all sizes, plus a rear deck that beautifully merges indoor and outdoor spaces. A half bath on the main is a necessity, keeping your everyone in the main entertaining spaces and leaving private quarters untouched.


This basement is planned to include a wet bar, large living room, bedroom and full bathroom. Make it your own by creating a theater room, game room, or just a fun hangout space for family and friends to gather.

We live in Utah, which means that nothing outside is year-round. You need both a lawn mower and a snow blower, patio furniture and snow toys. When the oversized garage doesn’t cut it, the ample storage areas in the basement provide plenty of space for your snowboards, skateboards, garden gnomes, decorations, food storage, and those “fat pants” and ugly Christmas sweaters you wear during the holidays.


Don’t forget about the many features that are included in every Tailor Built Home! Did you know that a cord chase is included in each of our homes in the great room and the master bedroom? This is a small finishing touch that you may not have even known that you needed. Mount your TV on the wall and the cords disappear into the wall, reemerging at the base of the wall and hiding all of those ugly cords. Some of our other features include:

* Two-toned paint

* Quartz or granite countertops

* Custom fitted cabinets

* Quality laminate and carpet in main living areas

* Tile in all baths and laundry room

* Stainless steel appliance package

* Designer lighting package


Do you want your new home to be the HOLLAND? We currently have one scheduled to be built in Millcreek, or we can plan one with you on your lot or one of ours! Call our team to get started 801.949.9865

Running Out Of Time?? HOLIDAY Stress NO MORE!

fullsizerender-11Image from Found and Favour

For whatever reason, the holidays have snuck up on me (again) and I seriously need another three weeks to get my house, gift buying & wrapping, holiday dinner menu and life handled. I see all these posts with amazing seasonal decor, beautifully decorated trees, perfectly planned holiday parties,  insanely wrapped gifts ….like many full-time working mamas out there, I just wish I had more hours in the day to accomplish these things. I am all about lists and finding ways to maximize time so I can be that awesome homemaker too.  Here are a few cheats to help tackle your holiday to-do list and to gain a few extra minutes so you can enjoy some egg nog with your loved ones.


ONLINE SHOPPING – JUST DO IT all ready!!!  Do not, I repeat, do not find yourself in a mall, waiting for help after spending 20 mins trying to find parking…and let’s be honest, the store won’t have the size or color you need anyway! The other night I went to and (while laying in bed with hot cocoa – mental mommy break) and got 2 of my 3 kids’ christmas lists completed. I would also like to note that my Amazon goods were delivered in 2 days and the Nordstrom items in 5 days!!   I was able to find the best prices by buying online.  ALL FREE SHIPPING!!  THANK YOU INTERNET!


GIFT WRAPPING – My kids are older now but when they were younger and I had sitters for them, I would have my sitter wrap gifts once the kids were in bed. This is a great way to get every penny out of your sitter and get one more “to-do” off your list.  Just set up an area with the gifts, paper, etc ahead of time and make sure you let them know what/who they are wrapping for.

fullsizerender-16Williams Sonoma (online catering)

DINNER MENU – I know we all love cooking for our family and friends but it takes up the whole day and the kitchen clean up takes another.  Luckily for us, there are a ton of options when it comes to delicious pre-made food.  Just recently I received a catalog from Williams Sonoma with incredible options for gourmet, pre-made dishes. You can also order amazing quality meals from Honeybaked Ham (more than just ham, I love the turkey breast), Neiman Marcus (yes, they have food), your local market/grocery store or Costco. You can order anything from groceries, to platters, to just a few dishes or an entire meal.


TREE DECORATING- I’ve had an artificial tree for years but this year some of the lights were acting up and I decided to change things up.   I picked up a  real tree a few days ago. After squeezing it into the backseat of my SUV and driving home with it hanging out the window,  I threw on the lights and ornaments with my kids.  While I love a fresh tree, I am starting to love the idea of a faux tree for three reasons – 1) no needles to vacuum up and 2) it comes pre-lit and is ready to go right out of the box and 3) I don’t have to stuff it into my car.  Comment if you want to see pics of the fiasco!  These types of trees usually come in 3-5 pieces that you snap together.  From there, you just plug in and you got a glowing tree. If you are running out of time, make this investment and have your tree delivered. There are so many options for great, fake trees. Both, Frontgate and Balsam Hill have beautiful, “real looking” faux trees. AND…if you worry you will miss the smell of having a tree in your home, there are incense for that – link below:

Pine Tree Incense

My Favorite Christmas Candle – Thymes Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle

fullsizerender-10Photo by Anita Heldal

INSIDE DECOR – Running out of time to decorate??? Keep it simple by swapping out your usual candles with holiday themed ones, add a wreath or cut some branches from your tree for greenery. Lastly, buy some florals at your local supermarket to complete your room.

fullsizerender-17Photo from District Design

OUTSIDE DECOR – Decorating your whole home with lights would be amazing, but costly and time consuming.  Below are some simple ways to get your home in the holiday spirit and quickly.

fullsizerender-7Image by Hakesgard

WREATHS – Buy a few, as these work great on front doors, windows and garages. I found some great boxwood wreaths today at Trader Joes for $9.99.  They are easy to hang with over-the-door wreath hooks, ribbon or wire.  I personally love using the Command hooks with adhesive backs – link below:

Large Command Hooks

Brushed Nickel Command Hook

house-litImage from Young House Love

 WINDOW CANDLES (battery operated )- This is a pretty way to add light and literally not have to hang, measure, find an outlet, or deal with messy cords. Home depot and Amazon have these – here’s the link:

Battery Powered Candles


VELVET BOWS – The best part about these inexpensive bows is that they usually have plastic, wire tie backs that make it super easy to place on fence posts, stair railings and windows. Red bows are a great way to dress up wreaths too. You can buy these at Amazon and Home Depot as well – link below:

 2 Pack Holiday Bows Under $10

DIY LANTERNS – Simply fill paper bags with sand and tealights or LED candles to give your driveway or front yard a holiday glow. Here are a few helpful guides below:


DESIGN TIP:  Trim off the bottom branches of your tree to add greenery on your fire place mantle, kitchen table or even hang from your front door in place of a wreath.  A little greenery, red ribbon and a few pinecones can make any space look and feel festive.   

Holiday Prep 101


As a busy mom and a full time realtor, I have to be super organized when it comes to the holidays.  As mothers, we already have a ton on our plates….we juggle taking kids to and from school, to their after school activities and sporting events, we have to make dinner, do laundry, dishes….the list never ends. That same list just continues to grow during the months of November and December and in order to stay sane, I have a few helpful tips to share below.


ORDER GROCERIES ONLINE – I started loading up my cart 2 weeks ago. I selected my order date and time ( believe me, available delivery spots fill up fast so reserve your slot ASAP) and have been adding items as I think of things I will need. I started with home goods; i.e.) toilet paper, water, soap….all the goods I will need for my guests and home.  Then I add groceries needed for recipes and meals.  Most online ordering allows you to add items up until the day before delivery.


The Love & Lemons Cookbook

REVISIT RECIPES – We all have some favorite recipes, either  family traditions or basic staples that we love to make.  Start reviewing and organizing those recipes and notes a few weeks out.  This allows you plenty of time to adjust your menu or look for new recipes.  Just don’t forget to look at each ingredient to make sure you have it on hand (spices and herbs often to get forgotten) and then add to your online grocery list.

fullsizerender-2Inspo from HomeGoods

CONFIRM HEADCOUNT – The holidays always throw us a last minute curve ball and more often than not, an extra guest finds their way to your table.  Do take a few hours to layout seating and table arrangments.


COMPLETE YOUR TABLESCAPES – I reuse a lot of my plates and decor for gatherings.  My plates are neutral and I have metallic chargers for under.  My linens are white, my candle holders & votives are mercury glass and my vases are clear.  From there, I add the color of the season or holiday with smaller plates, florals, napkins, pumpkins, pinecones, pine, etc. to create the story or theme I am going for. I usually start creating my tablescape 2-3 weeks out so I have time to buy an extra table cloth or accessory if needed.


ORDER DESSERTS AND FLORALS – I love to cook but I can’t do it all and in all honesty,   my local bakery makes my favorite desserts.  Cross another item off your list by ordering these  goods and having them ready for pick up the day before your gathering. You can do the same with florals from your market.


HAVE GIFTS ON HAND – A few years ago, I had a sweet neighbor (new to the neighborhood) stop buy with a really nice gift for our home.  She came by to introduce herself and wanted to wish us a Happy New Year.  I was so sad that I didn’t have a little something for her.  Obviously the holidays aren’t about buying someone a gift just because they gave you one, but I love to give – even if it’s  just cookies or a card. Throughout the year, as I am shopping for upcoming birthday gifts or I find a great sale on one of my favorite items, I make a purchase and hold onto these extra little goodies to give out as needed.  Sometimes it is as simple as my kids needing a last minute gift for a party or for a friend having a bad week that I am meeting for lunch.  I do the same with cards, as I find some favorites, I buy and use throughout the year.


BUY HOLIDAY CARDS NOW – There are a ton of discounts on picture cards starting the end of October, beginning of November.  Plus many sites offer free shipping this early.  Don’t wait till the 2nd week of December and pay full price + expedited shipping.  This is an easy project to do while watching tv or in bed once kids are tucked away.  Some of my favorite sites:,,

Happy Holidays from my family to yours! WW

HELPFUL HINT:  To save money and time, organize a cookie swap in your neighborhood or amongst friends.  This is a great way to get a lot of cookies made for not only your home and kids but to give out as gifts.  It also allows you time to be with friends and family and try new recipes. 

Buy Cookie Exchange Boxes Here      Rectangle Cookie Exchange Boxes

Spritz Cookie Exchange Kit   3 Dozen Holiday Treat Boxes

Thanksgiving Tablescapes


It’s that time of year again…..THE HOLIDAYS!!!  There can be a tremendous amount of stress associated with preparing and prepping for dinners and parties but hopefully I can help by sharing a few of my favorite Thanksgiving table setting ideas.  Feel free to copy, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel when you have a grocery list to work on!



photo by Missy at Perch

If you have a rustic dining room table, this is a fun style to design around.  Use natural materials like jute and rope for your table linens (place mats, runners, napkins, etc).  Try to keep the overall palette neutral and use florals to add color.  While these designs can look hard to pull off, the settings are fairly simple.  Use more florals and candles to add drama or keep it simple with less down the center of your table.  Think natural, rustic and earthy when selecting your cloth napkins, runners and/or placemats.


photo from Mountain Living magazine

 HELPFUL HINT – A great way to gain more seating is to remove chairs and add benches. I love the usage of a blanket to make the bench a tiny bit more cozy and comfy.



photo by Nudge Design Inc.

photos (clockwise) Allison Kathleen, Casita Turquesa, Ceci New York, Randi Garrett Design

This design is a nice balance of old and new, and somewhat eclectic.  If you have great china and linens, feel free to mix and match.  The key to pulling off this style is to use mixed materials, linens, china and metals  while keeping within the same design aesthetic.  Anthropologie is a great resource for interesting and special plates, stem & bar ware and votives.

 Click here for my favorite 20 piece brass flatware set

Bone Handle Flatware

Images from (Glenna and Ceres collection) 


photo by Forest Grove Event Co.

HELPFUL HINT – Many grocery stores and markets have pre-made holiday floral arrangements so don’t waste your time trying to make bouquets when you can buy them already created.



photo by Bed Bath & Beyond

photo (left) by Feus Haus // photo (bottom right) Love Lock Key

photo (left) by Topshelf Mike // photo (middle) by Coco Design // photo (right) by Elegant Inspired Living 

If you love the colors of fall, then this is the table setting for you.  Keep your table rich with gold and bronze tones.  Layer plates in shades of orange and rust to give pops of color.  Play with fabrics and linens that have shades of burgundy, tan, olive and metallic.  Complete this look by adding pumpkins, gourds and squash to your tablescape.

HELPFUL HINT – when buying plate chargers, purchase a neutral option (metallics work best).  This allows you to reuse them for any holiday.  Click this link for a set of 10 silver chargers for $23.99



photo by Williams Sonoma

photo (left) by Interiors by Loredana // photo (right) Green of Greenwich

To achieve this design, stay clean with crisp linens in white or off white.  Decorate your table with mercury and clear glass votives, neutral china and lots of greenery.  Use neutral floral arrangements and white or light colored pumpkins to keep the table looking natural and elegant.


photo from Haven Studios

HELPFUL HINT – add a sprig of sage to each table setting to complete this look. Fresh herbs will cost you less than a few bucks but will leave a lasting impression.

I would love to see your #tablescape.  Email me photos of your holiday table decor at within or share by leaving a picture in the comment section of this post! Happy table decorating!  WW

Small Space Redesign DenMy favorite designs utilize every square inch of a home.  Lets not deny it, we all want more space but we want smart space, effective space, efficient space…not necessarily more square footage, but useable space.  So for all my mamas out there that want or need more from their current home, let me share some of my favorite designs that will give you that extra storage area, reading nook or guest bed that you so desire.

Photo Above – Design by Joanna and Chipper Gaines // Photo from Country Living Magazine

Photo (top left) Hus & Hem //Photo (top right) by  Kajsa Blum // Photo (bottom) by Sarah La Rose Design

Above are some great examples of how to maximize unused space.  All of these areas were not being utilized to their full potential until a few shelves were added – we forget how much we can get out of a basic wall. By simply adding shelves, you can store books, toys, art, etc.


Photo Client’s Home

White Floating Ledge Shelf Set of 2      Gray Floating Ledge Shelf Shelving

Photo Client’s Home

Black Stripe Woven Storage Basket    Industrial Pipe Hardware for Floating Shelf

Kids Shopping Cart

Utilize baskets and bins to store magazines, video games and all your not-so-cute stuff like cords & papers.  You can buy these types of “easy install” shelves at Target, Walmart, Ikea, Home Depot or click on the links above.


By Ashley Goforth Design Orange Eames Chair

If you have a larger budget or a really handy hubby, this is the option for you!  This built-in really manages to give this room numerous uses. Often you find bookcases with drawers and cabinets, but adding a desk space for a home office or for the kids to do their school work definitely gives this room a few more end uses.



Photo (top) by Joanna Gaines//Photos (middle) Kim Vallee //Photo (bottom) by Patterson Custom Homes

One of my favorite areas of the home to be creative, yet constantly underutilized is the staircase.  We usually see dwarf-like closets that are not user friendly and end up collecting more junk than helping us stay organized.  All of these designs allow us to gain more “smart” space.  One option gives this home a mini reading nook or den, if you will.  The other two designs allow extra “usable” storage, keeping the homeowner free from digging through a tight space.


Photo by Interior Housing Biz

Another great option to gain space is to build up.  If you have high ceilings and want to add square footage for storage, a den or sleeping quarters, creating a loft is an excellent option. You will often see this design utilized on those “TINY” home shows or in city apartments.


Serena and Lily Red Star Sheet Set


Photo (top) by Jackson and Leroy // Photo (bottom) by Sarah La Rose Design

Maybe you don’t necessarily need more storage but rather, more sleeping spaces for guests, your childrens’ sleep over buddies or grandchildren.  Trundle beds and bunkbeds are great options to add an extra sleeping spot without taking up a ton of room; however, you can also turn an old walk-in closet or bay window into a little sleeping nook as well.

Photo (right) by Arcadian Homes // Photo (left) by Home Edit

Some  homes don’t have a proper dining room and can only allow enough space for a small bistro table in the kitchen area.  Some homes only have a dining room area and no space to  allow eating in the actual kitchen. If you don’t have enough seating when guests come to visit, here are a few examples of adding a shelf and some barstools to give your guests (or maybe even your family) a few mores spots to dine.

With a little research, the options are endless to help you utilize every inch of your home.    Email me at or leave a photo message in the comment section!  I would love to see your creative spaces and to share your photos with others that need a little inspo!! WW

DESIGN TIP:  Re-working your closets and drawers is a quick and easy way to gain more space.  By adding just a few simple shelves or racks, you can really maximize your current storage area and create a clutter free space. The Container Store has great storage options and customizable closet units.

Kitchen Canister Set        Spice Rack Drawer Tray

My top items used for decorating (budget friendly too)

We all wish we could have a personal chef, live-in housekeeper, stylist, nanny, decorator…..but the odds are, we don’t.  I may not be able to give you advice on some of the categories above but the one thing I can is, decorating on the cheap.  I am a realtor by trade and a lover of design, decor, architecture and all things pretty.  One of my favorite tasks as a realtor is staging homes.  I stage new homes and old, model homes and apartment lofts, big mansions and small spaces. When it all comes together, there is no better feeling, but not all jobs are easy.  With that said, I have found a few tricks along the way that seem to work for any project.  Below are my #FAVORITE items to help elevate and enhance a space.  If you use a few of these tips, you will be able create a beautiful and inviting room in no time. Oh, and did I mention that none of them will break the bank.  Your hubby can thank me later!  🙂

Item 1 – Books

Books are cheap and can fill up empty space. They add color, can be stacked vertical or horizontal and are great in numerous rooms throughout the home.  I will typically find books for my staging projects at garage and yard sales or Goodwill.  You can also use your latest hard cover novel.  Just make sure you take the paper cover off!  Again, this is a REALLY INEXPENSIVE way to accessorize your space.

Item 2 – Vases and Urns


These vases can be grouped together or alone.  They have lived in living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and dining rooms.  I especially love these white vases because they are neutral and work with any color palette and many genres – classic, contemporary, mid-century, modern, shabby chic. The vase on the far left is from Jonathan Alder and the other two are from Target.

Picture 1) West Elm  2) HomeGoods  3) Nordstrom @ Home

These pieces add color and a little drama to the room.  They work great on shelves, fireplaces and countertops to complete a color story.

Picture 1) Striped Vase – West Elm  2)  Large White Carson Jar with Lid  3) Small Blue & White Morgan Box with Lid 4) Large Blue Floral Jar – Home Goods   Picture 2) West Elm

Item 3 – Candles and Votives 

Let’s be honest, the first thing you notice when you walk into someone’s home is the smell and ambiance.  To create an inviting space, you need warmth. Candles and fireplaces give off a feeling that make you feel cozy, relaxed and at home. On the other hand, I have sold many homes because of the smell of freshly baked cookies, breads or great clean smelling candles. You can certainly create this mood for less than a few dollars. Votives are from West Elm and Z Gallerie.


One of my favorite smelling candles you can find on Amazon for less than $40. I feel the price/value on this item is incredible and you will love it like a Jo Malone but won’t have to spend as much coin. Another plus, the packaging is pretty and it comes with matches! (great holiday gift, just saying)

Great Gift – Kobo Candles

Item 4 – Trays

Trays are wonderful because they can be filled with objects or left on their own.  They fit in smaller spaces, like under an open coffee table or console shelf.  They look pretty on a bookshelf, in a glass cabinet or simply left on the counter top.  I have filled the deeper trays with lemons and limes, the plate-like trays with money, car keys, etc. and the serving trays with drinks & bottles or candles, magazines and fresh flowers.  Their uses are endless and can also help in organizing or grouping items together like remote controls. The brass tray is from Target, the white tray comes in several colors and is from West Elm, the blue is from GateHouse No.1 in Orem, Utah and the Rosanna glass tray is from and on sale now!

Gold Dot Mosaic Tray

Item 5 – Pillows and Throws

I have a ton of pillows in my storage area.  I swap them out depending on weather, time of year and design space.  Throwing a few pillows on a boring couch or one with a simple slip cover can really change the whole look of a room.  Plus, if you like to buy neutral furniture pieces, a colorful pillow will go a long way.  Target, West Elm, CB2 and HomeGoods is where I usually find my best pillows at a low price. If you would like the sources for any of the pillows shown, leave a comment and we’ll get back to you asap.


Similar to a pillow, this is an easy way to add texture, color and complete the vibe you are going for.  Sometimes I use a throw to cover a spot on a couch or give a little love to a not-so-cute chair.  Look how much better Great Grandma’s Mid-Century rocking chair looks when we add a pillow & throw! Our not-so cute chair is transformed by using items I already had around the house.

Item 6 –  Shapes and objects

Perfect for shelves, cabinets, coffee tables, book toppers…the list goes on.  I find objects that will add texture and dimension to the room.  I love abstract objects and animals as they both add novelty and interest.  Sources: Brass Cube West Elm, Agate West Elm,  Origami Star – Gatehouse No.1 Orem, Utah or Amazon see link below.

HomArt Ceramic Origami Star, Large, White

Item 7 -Plants and fresh flowers

My Favorite Jo Malone ‘Lime Basil & Mandarin’ Diffuser 

Must Read- My Journey Donna Karan

The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenberg

The easiest way to add color and bring nature indoors.  Real or fake, you can find both on the cheap.  These fake succulents (picture on the left) were all found at Target and the air plant in the gold terrarium is from West Elm; however, with cacti trending, you can find these types of potted plants just about anywhere. I find most of my fresh flowers at Whole Foods or my local farmers market for under $10. Below I used the white jar from our vases & urns section and added some high quality artificial flowers.  It’s all about reusing items you already have on hand!dscn4917

Large White Carson Jar with Lid

Item 8 – Pictures and Mirrors

You will definitely need to add art, mirrors and pictures to your design space to make it feel lived in, add interest and dress the walls up.  Both hanging pictures (in picture on the right), I framed myself.  I got the prints for less than $10 – one from Ikea and one from an art gallery in NY. I bought the frames at Michaels and my overall spend for each piece when completed -$30.

I rarely buy art that is already framed.  90% off what I hang on walls was once a poster, print or a picture from a calendar that I framed myself. Some of these were handmade but the purchased pieces came from

Mirrors reflect light and make a space look and feel larger than it really is. I just found this amazing heavy, brass wall mirror (on the far left) at HomeGoods for $130.  Also, I use the dark wood floor mirror in many of my homes….it is  a lot of mirror for under $100 from Ikea.


Find frames that will add texture and interest to your room.  Don’t go crazy buying colorful frames; let the picture add the color to your room and let the frames add the dimension and novelty. All of my picture frames come from HomeGoods, Target or wherever I see them on sale.

Item 9 – Food

This is a very, very inexpensive way to decorate unless you choose to have an entire “candy room”….. I wish!  For now, I’ll stick to filling up trays, bowls or jars with any type of fruit (my favorite – lemons and limes), candy, cookies, bottles, pretzels, dog treats, sugar….and you instantly have color and/or a “space filler”.  Obviously these types of props work best in a kitchen, butler pantry or bar.

MacKenzie Childs Cookie Jar with Courtley Check Enamel Lid

Glass Candy Jars

Item 10 – Rugs

Probably the most important item to enhance and warm up a space.  It sets the mood and helps create the color palette and design story. If you have a rug that is  small for your space, try layering it over a larger natural fiber rug.  Photo by House of Jade Interiors.


For beautiful Turkish Rugs visit decorator Caitlin Creer’s site Proper – Finishing Touches For the Home

Handmade Eco Natural Fiber Rug

DESIGN TIP: Be careful of 100% Polypropylene, Polyester and Viscose rugs.  They often have a sheen that makes them look inexpensive. If at all possible, look for leather, wool, cotton or other natural fiber rugs.  

For help or additional info, leave me a comment or email me at

Happy Staging!! WW

Free Kitchen Makeover🍴

Earlier this week, I posted about the importance of neutral design.  When buying, selling or remodeling, make sure to select options that allow your home to maintain a “blank canvas”.  By doing this, you accomplish 3 things:

  1. Longevity. A timeless, ageless space that allows the trends to change while maintaining your home’s relevancy.
  2.  Save Money. You eliminate boredom and overspending long term by designing neutral spaces.  If you’re always designing your main, “stationary pieces” to be of the moment, you will get sick of the design, or you will look dated quickly and have to continuously pay to upgrade.
  3. RESALE!!  A neutral space allows you to collect top dollar.  By staying neutral, your design aesthetic won’t be offensive to potential home buyers.  BINGO – that’s what we want! $$$

However, I know what you are thinking….neutral is boring. Neutral is vanilla. Neutral is lackluster.  Well, yes, it can be if you don’t accessorize with paint and goodies from your favorite home stores. Below I have redecorated the same space 5 times to show how a plain white kitchen can be a “WOW” kitchen with just a few colored accessories. In addition, everything that I will use will be from other spots within this home. That’s right….I will be spending NO MONEY!!! I will use decor from bedrooms, bathrooms, storage areas, etc.  I will curate the pieces, find a color story and then bring it all together.  Take a look and see for yourself!


So, here we are….starting off with a blank canvas – a neutral space.  Timeless, yet relevant and updated.  This kitchen design will last a few decades. Now for the fun part….drum roll please….


Maybe it’s the holidays and you want to pop your kitchen with a little red to get in the spirit!! Or maybe red is your favorite color.  Whatever it is, we were able to give this far from basic kitchen a little extra LOVE.  Here is how we achieved this color story for zero dollars….We pulled out the red Kitchen Aid mixer and Kurig coffee maker from the cupboards.  Found a red candle and vase from two different rooms.  We realized the olive oil lid and wine bottle were both red, so decided to throw those props from the pantry into our color story and created a #redkitchen .



In this example, we created a citrus story.  Feeling inspired by the mini, planted herb garden, we decided to design around it.  We swapped out a cook book for one that had pops of lime on the cover.  Found a candle and 2 vases from a storage closet in the basement, grabbed a few more vases from a bookshelf in the study and used the limes and lemons from in the fridge to complete our #citruskitchen .


Brass is all the range right now, but I am not sure I want to swap out all my cabinet knobs and lights so quickly. Maybe I will walk before I run and do a little test drive to see how I really like brass hardware. We found quite a few brass accessories in this home without even realizing we had so many brass goodies.  We found 2 brass serving trays stored in the pantry and used one to house our limes and lemons and the other to display our spirits. In the dining room we found a candle holder with a brass base and in the master bathroom we found an amber votive and a jewelry dish, both collecting dust.  Again, all easy finds not being utilized to create our #brasskitchen .


My client’s favorite color is orange but she was nervous that orange would be too bold for her white kitchen.  I reminded her that none of it was permanent and to let me give it a try, especially with it being fall.  We grabbed a few pumpkins from the porch, swapped out a cookbook for a cocktail recipe book, added an orange tray from storage and a few candles with orange pops to give this lovely lady her dream #orangekitchen .


Last but not least, my favorite….the Kardashian Kitchen!!  HAHA, just kidding…………….. I love black and white and love to play with all types of patterns when it comes to this color combo.  This was the most fun for me as my client had a ton of black and white objects throughout her home.  Some of the items from the #redkitchen were reused as they had details of black and white. I found a Fish Eddy salt and pepper and sugar bowl in the spice cabinet and thought these were too perfect not to display on the counter. We used some cool pattern frames that were found in a guest room, a black and white box storing coloring books in a playroom and an amazing black vase hidden away in a closet.  Pulling these items together helped us achieve a #blackandwhitekitchen .

 Click Photos to add a little Brooklynese to your kitchen!I hope this guide helps you in recreating the space you want and deserve. Playing with color can be stressful but is way less scary when it’s not permanent. I would love to see pictures of how you update your space with color so please feel free to share in the comment section or email me at

Have fun experimenting!! WW

DESIGN TIP: The best way to pull a color scheme together is to gather up all your extra props and accessories from different spots throughout your home and group them together by color. From there you can take inventory of what you have to accomplish a color story.


A West Coast girl and an East Coast boy meet, marry and live happily ever after in Jersey City with two sons, a dog, and lots and lots of shoes.

Despite being based on opposite coasts, longtime shoe industry veterans, Erika and Roberto, had crossed paths a few times over the course of their careers. Erika was born in California and spent her life in the western half of the country, and Roberto is a Jersey City native who’s resided in New Jersey for all but a few years. After each had gone through a divorce, they met once more when Erika accepted a national buying role at Nordstrom in Seattle. After a cross-country courtship filled with Skype dates and frequent visits, the couple got engaged in 2012 and Erika quickly planned her eastern migration.


 For this bicoastal couple, the differences are more than geographical. It takes but a moment with Roberto and Erika to appreciate how her gregarious style and breezy California girl attitude is the perfect complement to Roberto’s dry wit. But when it came to housing, however, the two were in agreement; their initial long-term rental — an apartment at Henley Place on the Weehawken waterfront — wasn’t a great fit for the long haul. With Roberto’s two sons from his first marriage — 12-year-old Ryan and 8-year-old Jack — living with the couple part-time, the space was cramped. And its waterfront location, while scenic, meant it was a bit cut off from the rest of town, making getting around by car mandatory.

The couple yearned for community and space in a walkable neighborhood that was still convenient to Roberto’s New York City, Hell’s Kitchen office. An admitted real estate junkie — “She puts herself to bed looking at,” says Roberto — Erika set out to  find the perfect family home. “I came across Dixon Leasing early and kept my eye on their properties as they would come up,” she says.Throughout her searches, it became clear that Jersey City was a likely destination for the family. “I grew up here in Jersey City. I went to school at St. Peter’s Prep. My dad had a warehouse factory on Coles Street, right down the block. My mom had a dress store right on Newark Avenue,” recalls Roberto. “I always find my way back to Jersey City. It’s like a boomerang, it always brings me back.”

Aquiesse Candle from Fig & Olive

While the couple was considering other, smaller Dixon properties, Senior Leasing Manager, Jameel Mohammed took a chance on showing Erika and Roberto a recently remodeled townhouse. At 3,700 square feet with five-bedrooms and five-bathrooms, it was decidedly larger than the three-bedroom home they had in mind. “I love the upsell. I love sellers who can upsell,” Roberto says with a smile, Jameel said, ‘It’s a little bit more expensive, but it’s so much bigger.’ And I walked in, and it was old and new. It was like a dream.”

Fashion and design consultant Erika has a particular love for brownstones, especially those that have retained architectural details like ceiling medallions, molding and fireplaces. This brownstone more than fit the bill with breathtaking, ornate details throughout.  (Follow Erika on instagram at LOVELOCKKEY)

WithinWalls.Com Grand Parlor #ZamHomeWithinWalls.Com Grand Parlor #ZamHome

On the parlor floor, the grand living and dining rooms are enclosed by elaborate acanthus leaf moldings and egg-and-dart trim. Floor-to-ceiling window frames are baroque affairs flanking an original mirror and capturing quaint neighborhood views. The massive fireplace provides a warm focal point in the living room, while a gleaming gold chandelier descends from elaborate medallions overhead. Massive original pocket doors allow the couple to create defined, intimate spaces or an open flow through the entire level.

Red Kitchenaid Mixer


For Roberto, the home’s massive white kitchen was love at first sight. Living spaces are uncharacteristically large at this townhouse thanks to a 1920s addition to the original 1880s structure, which expands the first three floors 13 feet to the rear. The roominess is most apparent in the bright and airy kitchen that boasts a long row of cabinets, full size professional grade appliances, a second large fireplace and a huge center island with breakfast bar seating. “There’s four of us, and I could just envision us all hanging out at the kitchen island,” he says. “And, you’ll think I’m crazy, but I’ve always wanted a TV in the kitchen. I’m a TV addict, and they had the wiring all ready to put a TV in the kitchen!”

With large families and lots of friends living both near and far, the home is regularly filled with visitors and festive gatherings. The hallway on the parlor floor serves as a gallery for mementos of their visits with dozens of small paintings created by both residents and guests. Artwork by Ryan and Jack is surrounded by a patriotic flag by Erika’s brother, a shoe by Roberto, the letter Z for the family’s last name and a portrait of Penne, the family’s Italian Greyhound.

The home’s ample outdoor space is prized by family and friends as well. A spacious upstairs deck is conveniently situated off the kitchen, and the large yard is also accessible from the family room on the floor below. Both access points feature NanaWall folding glass doors to fully invite bountiful light and air indoors and provide the perfect backdrop for entertaining. The yard is a beloved place for Penne to romp and for the boys, avid baseball players, to practice catching pop flies. For Erika, the outdoor space was also the antidote for the one thing she missed most from Weehawken — the breathtaking Manhattan views. “As soon as we got to use the backyard, I thought, ‘Who cares about a view?’ It’s so much better to have outdoor living space. I don’t know if I could go back to not having it,” she says.

Down on the garden level, the family room is a favorite hangout. With open access to the backyard and a fully stocked wet bar with sink, refrigerator, wine fridge and dishwasher — not to mention a full complement of candy jars and an espresso machine — there’s really no need to leave the cozy hangout.

The rest of the ground floor houses abundant storage, a full bathroom and bedroom, and a roomy home gym. About the gym, Erika remarks, “This was how I got him to get this house. We kept going back and forth about how we didn’t need this much space, and I kept saying, ‘There’s a gym! You’d have a gym!'”

Garden Level Guest Suite

Above the parlor floor, sits the enviable master suite lined with the home’s characteristic trim and archways. An oversized custom closet leads the way to a windowed master bath outfitted with a deep soaking tub and separate walk-in shower. The adjacent guest suite on this floor is worthy of master bedroom designation itself with a massive en-suite bathroom and two large closets. Not surprisingly, closets in both rooms are filled with rows and rows of shoes — from strappy heels to the latest must-have sneakers. Master Suite #ZamHome

Master Suite
Second Level Guest Suite

The boys reside in matching bedroom suites on the home’s top floor. Each room includes an en-suite bathroom, and ever the doting stepmom, Erika has converted a laundry closet on this floor into a snack station, complete with mini-fridge, to house the boys’ cereal and munchies. The plush accommodations seem to suit the kids. “Our youngest says he wants to go to NYU so he can live here and commute!” exclaims Erika.

Jack’s bedroom with en-suite bath
Ryan’s bedroom with en-suite bath

Time spent with the boys is precious and focused on family and sports. “Because they’re not here during the week, they really just want to be home with daddy. So really everything is centered around this house,” explains Erika. When they’re not shuttling to and from baseball and basketball games, the family enjoys visits to neighborhood spots like Kitchen Step for hamburgers, Teppan for hibachi and Milk, Sugar, Love for ice cream.

image2“We hang out here, play in the backyard, watch TV, and do art projects. The whole idea of walking outside the house and being able to go to a restaurant or go to the comic book store on Coles Street, they’re really enamored with that,” explains Erika.

“Because they live in the suburbs, everything’s in houses. Everything’s a playdate. Here in Jersey City, you just walk, so they’re fascinated,” adds Roberto. “I think the best thing is having them see two different worlds, to see city life versus living in the suburbs. Getting to know lots of different kinds of people and cultures is really good for them,” says Erika.

Erika & Roberto are thrilled with their decision to live in a renovated Brownstone by Dixon Homes. “I love it!” she replies. “I don’t ever want to move.”


Search Homes by Dixon in New York & New Jersey


Holiday Decor that will last for 60 days

My favorite time of the year….FALL!!  I love everything about fall – pumpkin spice goodies, fall candles, layering clothing, the little bit of bite in the air on my daily walk and most importantly, fall decor!!! 

However, fall is a very short time frame and for me, I want to maximize my fall decor from October 1st to November 30th, without having to swap it out.  Below are my favorite examples of fall decor that works for both Halloween and Thanksgiving so you only have to decorate once.  Here’s to saving time and money!

Photos by Love Lock Key


Photo by Rachel Parcell
Photo by At the Picket Fence
Colorful mums and different types of pumpkins help play into both holiday vibes, aiding you to only decorate at the beginning of the fall season.


Photo from Eleven Gables


Spotted at Home Stories by Beth


D.D.D. by Taryn
Many of my buyers and friends aren’t huge fans of color (they love neutrals). If you worry about your home clashing with your decor, experiment with white mums and white pumpkins that allow you to stay neutral.


Photo by T. Lane Designs Limited


Photo by Shelterness
If you have a large wrap around porch or entry, play it up with different types of squashes and pumpkins in a tiered approach to create height.


Photo from Faded Velvet


Spotted on Shelterless


Vintage Home Love
Add a little more drama by incorporating a corn husk or two.  You can do this in both a large or small space; just keep in mind that you will need more husks in a larger space.  If you only have room for one, make sure it’s not too wide.


Spotted on Shelterless


Photo by Thrifty and Chic
Use of faux leaves to create garland and wreaths definitely makes your entry festive for both trick-or-treaters, as well as your turkey day guests. 
These Halloween Porches were too cool not to share. Just make sure to put the scary stuff away November 1st. Have a fabulous Fall! 💕 the Within Walls girls!
Photos by


Photo by


Photo by

Fall closet cleaning guide in 8 easy steps


As a realtor, one of the biggest must haves on every female’s list is a “BIG closet”.  Well, we all know that this request doesn’t always get fulfilled, so then we are left with how to fit our favorite items in a small space which is why a guide to maintaining an “user friendly” closet is something I get asked about all the time.

Closet purging and organizing is not just a task to take on going into spring, but equally as important as you head into fall. In fact, getting your closet ready for the fall season is even more crucial, as winter items are bulkier and take up more space. Therefore, you must have strategy in place to create space for everything to fit. Here’s an easy guide to ensure you have room for all those scarves, gloves, jackets and boots.

1. Get mentally prepared. This project can be overwhelming.  Get in your most comfy attire, then mix your favorite mocktail, make some tea or head over to Swig, Sodalicious, FiiZ, Straws or Thirst & grab a Dirty Diet Coke!
2. Purge. Rule of thumb – if you haven’t worn it in the last few seasons, donate it or sell it; feel good knowing you are sharing. eBay is a great way to make some quick cash on your better items. Hey, then you can buy something new for the season.
3. Lose the boxes. I know it’s hard to part with those designer shoe boxes but they hog up space and aren’t the best way to store your shoes. If you need to protect your faves, use a dust bag.
4. Get creative.  When it comes to creating space, storing shoes both sideways and front facing allow you to squeeze in a few more pairs.
5. Adjustable closets. Utilize this feature by adjusting hanging bars and shelves to gain space. Don’t be afraid to play around.img_2104

6. Don’t have drawers, no problem. Dont go buy plastic storage bins when you can use old gift boxes. This is a great way to store items and keep you closet looking organized and pretty on the cheap.

7. 3 for 1’s. Find an ottoman that allows you to use it for not only seating, but storage, as well as a step stool to get to the higher spots in your closet.img_2101

This Pink Storage Ottoman comes in 22 different colors.  Click photo for details.

8.Hanger swagger. Swap out plastic hangers for skinny velvet hangers. By doing this, you can get 10% more hanging per section.img_2107

Jeronic Thin Beige Velvet Clothes Hangers – Pack of 50