Small-Space Command Center

Small-Space Command Center

The opportunity to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens presented itself after having several other spaces in my home and clients homes photographed for BHG specialty magazines. I had been working with the incredibly talented Donna Talley, Stylist and Producer for Meredith Corporation, for a few months when she mentioned the idea of submitting a project for the I Did It section. We both thought my central command center would be the perfect project and after review, the BHG team loved it’s incredible function and ease for any homeowner to implement. They thought it was perfect for their get organized-theme January 2024 issue.
It was A-GO! Yippie!!
From that point, a date for shooting took place, which was in mid-June, and the rest was history. O wait… I failed to mention one important detail. My kids were also asked to be in the feature with me. Yikes. That news alone made the pressure (pressure I put on to myself) for perfection that much more. Not only did I have to look good, but I had to worry about how my kids would look (not too big of a deal) and how they would act (sometimes a challenge).
In the end, all the details came together to create an effortless and engaging feature!

Small-Space Command Center

So let me take you through the nitty-gritty details of my Central Command Center and share with you why this 30-inch wide wall works + functions so well…
1. The smaller the better.
Often when given more space, it becomes overwhelming, cluttered, and non-functional. When you have a smaller space to work within, you’re left with only the true necessities. The wall of my central command center is about 30-inch wide, yet it’s extremely functional filled with elements that suit our family needs – a customized calendar, small storage boxes (for keys, glasses, and other every day needs), kids charts, pen/pencil holders, and of course important inspirational words all on top of a chalkboard wall. Each element is used. Each element serves a purpose.

Small-Space Command Center

2. Location. Location. Location.
Choosing a central location in the home is important for making the most use out of a central command center. This small, but uber-functional wall in my home is located near the foyer and close to the kitchen. It’s a spot that is in the ‘hub of the home’ and can easily be seen / accessed.
3. Change it up often.
Since I created this command center 2 years ago, it’s had multiple updates. Even from the time of the photoshoot, the 30-inch sliver of wall space has changed. Why? Because our family needs have changed. We still have the calendar (that’s a must to keep us on track), but other elements of the wall have been updated. Being open to making adjustments either seasonally or yearly is important. By simply making a few needed changes, it keeps the space fresh, new, and always 24/7 functional.

Small-Space Command Center

4. Make it fun.
Anything that has a sense of whimsy, color, and/or a bit of personalization is sure to be fun and usable. The most important part of creating a CCC is to use it. And as with anything, it takes time to get used to. When creating a command center, make it a must to look at and use every day. After a few weeks / months you will see how much you depend on the space to keep your family on track so you know where you are going when!

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January a Great Month for Chicago Home Sales

January a Great Month for Chicago Home Sales

According to RE/MAX, January home sales in the seven-county Chicago metro area rose 36 percent from January of 2022. Home prices are also rising in several Chicago-area counties and homes are spending less time on the market.

“The absolute number of homes sold in January tends to be relatively modest in relationship to other months, but the 36 percent year-over-year increase suggests that the rebound in housing activity is maintaining, if not increasing, its momentum,” said Laura Ortoleva, a spokesperson for RE/MAX Northern Illinois.

While home sales increased in all seven metro counties, some fared better than others. Kendall County home sales rose 69 percent, Cook County home sales rose 39 percent and McHenry and Will County home sales rose 28 percent.

In further good news, the average time a Chicago home spent on the market decreased from 174 days in January 2022 to 142 days.

Lastly, homes in several countries are seeing an improvement in prices. Kane County home prices rose 17 percent last month, while home prices in Kendall County rose by 5 percent.

If January is any indication, it looks as if 2023 will continue to be a good year for the Chicago real estate market, especially as we head into the busier spring season.

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Small-Space Command Center
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March into a New Elgin Home at West Point Gardens

March into a New Elgin Home at West Point Gardens

The multi-award winning community of West Point Gardens is ready for you to march into your new Elgin home this month! Featuring nineteen incredible models of single family and detached townhomes, West Point Gardens is bound to have something you will fall in love with.
The beautiful Belmont Park series is priced from $154,990 and offers homebuyers two spacious bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths, plus a full basement and an attached two-car garage. Upon entry of this home, guests will be impressed with the beautiful two-story foyer and nine-foot ceilings while on the first floor. Then, the spacious living room, dining area, eat-in kitchen and covered porch will prove convenient for entertaining the whole night through. This gorgeous detached townhome is also maintenance-free!
If your family would prefer a larger single family home, the exquisite Middlebury home design may be right for you! This floor plan boasts three bedrooms, with fourth bedroom or loft available, two-and-a-half baths, a two-car garage and a partial basement. This home offers a wonderful flowing floor plan, making house traffic a non-issue. The large breakfast area in the kitchen of this home overlooks the private garden in the backyard, providing pleasant views year-round. Space upstairs can be expanded by converting the loft area into a fourth bedroom, library or home office.
Located near expressways, great shopping, dining and more, the community of West Point Gardens is convenient to so much, yet has the feeling of a peaceful country neighborhood. No matter what type of home in Chicago you need this March, West Point Gardens is sure to help you have a lucky day when you discover your dream home!

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January a Great Month for Chicago Home Sales
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Buy Chicago New Homes with HERS Index in Mind

Buy Chicago New Homes with HERS Index in Mind

When looking to buy Chicago new homes this year prospective buyers will often focus their search around cost, but what they don’t know is that they might want to take another number besides the price into consideration.

The number is the home’s Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score, which was developed by RESNET to determine a home’s energy performance. How it works is that a home rated on the HERS index receives a score based upon its energy performance; the lower the score, the more energy efficient the home is.

Currently, according to the U.S. Department of Energy a typical resale home scores a 130 on the HERS Index compared to a rating of 100 for a standard new home. This means a resale home is 30 percent less efficient than a standard new home, which could cost you about $539 in annual energy savings.

How important is it for prospective buyers to learn about a home’s HERS Index Score during their search? Well, it pays to know the HERS Index Score before they buy because they will be able to know the projected energy costs of living in the home. Having a more energy efficient home can also result in a higher resale price for any future needs. Ultimately though, knowing a home’s HERS Index Score will give buyers security and peace of mind about their home’s energy use and how they can improve it if need be.

One easy way for homeowners to improve their home’s energy efficiency is by using propane. Propane is one of the more sustainable fuels, provides a low carbon footprint and is produced domestically. Homeowners can even equip their homes with propane air-conditioning systems now.

Prospective buyers should not fret though if they are not supplied with a home’s HERS Index Score immediately. It is only a simple request away.

More to read:
Six Things To Be On The Lookout For In Property Investment
Buying An Investment Property In Australia
March into a New Elgin Home at West Point Gardens