Jill Finkelstein - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Town and Country Real Estate



Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 8/13/2017

There are many benefits to living in a simple and minimal environment. Lack of clutter helps us focus and boosts our mood. Have you ever sat down at your desk at work or in your home office and felt like you just couldn't get any work done and started tidying up instead? It might be a good idea to listen to that impulse and make your work environment a more productive place. In this article we're going to give you some tips for making your home office a distraction-free, minimal sanctuary. At the same time, these tips will be low cost--minimalism and frugality go hand in hand after all.

Why minimalism?

If you're the type of person who lives in a "well-organized mess" and is able to function highly in this environment, maybe you don't need to strip things down. Or, if you feel the most comfortable in a busy room and are able to get more work done this way, maybe the busy and cozy office environment works for you. However, the majority of people don't fit that description. We tend to do our best work when we have only the necessities at had. Having a minimal home office has numerous benefits. Aside from helping you focus and adding a spacious, pleasant atmosphere to the room, minimalism can help your room look more updated and modern (increasing the value of your home), and can help you save money once you start making only the most useful purchases for your home office.

Your office as a workshop

If you work on cars in your garage and nothing else, you'll probably only want to fill your garage with the right tools for the job. This is also true for your home office. We have a tendency of putting old and extra furniture and decorations from our house into the less frequented rooms, like a home office. Look around your office. Has it become a storage room for old pillows, lamps, or furniture? If so, this is your chance to get rid of some items to clear up the room. Unlike your garage, the tools for the job needed in your home office have been extremely cut down thanks to technology. Among the items that laptops and smartphones have made obsolete:
  • filing cabinets--Google Drive and Dropbox can securely store all your documents
  • calculators--your phone and laptop have these
  • staplers
  • hole punches
  • landline telephones
  • bulletin boards
  • desktop calendars and planners
This list goes on and on. If you have the equivalent or a replacement on your laptop, there's no need to clutter your room with it.

Minimal decorating

Since simple living and minimalism are current trends there are a range of resources available to you when looking to revamp your home office. Some decorating tips to help you along the way:
  • Shop modular. Modular furniture from stores like IKEA and VITSOE are great space savers.
  • Keep your surfaces clear. Avoid the urge to cover your desk with items. That goes for tables, floors, walls, and ceilings as well.
  • Think about color. Using bright colors for your walls and ceiling will make your room feel more spacious and minimal.
  • Nature is your friend. Natural light and one or two plants will compliment any minimal space.





Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 12/4/2016

By placing a mirror on the wall in almost any room in your home, you can change a mildly decorated space into a classic masterpiece. Placement of the hung mirror is critical. Keep in mind the reflection that you see when gazing into a mirror should be soothing to the eye. For instance, the reflection may be that of a fancy lamp, piece of artwork or a glamorous chandelier. What you don’t want to do is hang a mirror so that it reflects the pile of clutter on the kitchen counter that you are trying to hide. Hanging a mirror on the wall in the dining room is the most popular decorating trick. Once the mirror is hung, you will know why. The mirror will create the illusion of space and light. This is by far, the most popular spot for a mirror to be hung or rested against the wall. Be careful hanging a mirror in a busy room. This can cause a reverse effect on your decorating plan. Placement is important and the reflection is even more so. If your room is busy with lots of furniture and artwork, you may not need the mirror. What you want the mirror to do, in essence, is make the room bigger. So the room will look as if the wall is not even there. Remember, enhancing a wall with one mirror, can change the feel of a room, open the space up and change the mood of all who enter, so get decorating.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/26/2016

Candles can make a home look inviting, cozy and warm. They can also give a glow to many people’s skin tones. Candles come in many sizes, shapes and scents. Burning of candles during a showing can make the home feel warm and inviting making the buyer feel relaxed and calm. Try to pick out colors like maroon (cinnamon) orange (pumpkin) these scents are soothing and relaxing scents and will help make the potential sellers feel like home. The placing of the candles is very important. The best places to put them are in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen table, window sills, and fireplace mantel. If you have a fireplace, lighting a fire is a sure way to give that room a warm and welcoming feeling. Everybody loves a fireplace and your buyers will too. Bake something delicious smelling. The Real Estate experts swear by the just baked smell when showing a home. It makes your potential buyers feel right at home. Things like Apple pie; chocolate chip cookies or fresh baked bread all will create that warm and inviting feeling. Family photos in the home make your home feel like a house full of love. Potential buyers who see photos of a family having fun, and enjoying life in their home will create a sense of a home that has a lot of memories and love. Bottom line, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere can help you sell your home.





Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 5/8/2016

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