Monday, May 21, 2018

Life Lately: Hanging Around The House

Happy Monday, friends! Hope y’all had a great weekend. We were on the go quite a bit, running around town, having family time, visiting with friends (I even got to catch up with my friend Kate from Centstational Style!), and doing some more winter clean up and spring planting in our yard. I thought today I […]

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Inspired By: Fresh Spring Decorating

Country Living – Kelley and Co. I‘ve been so happy to have practically summer weather here lately. Is is sunny where you are? The warmer weather has been inspiring me to lighten and freshen up my decor for this season (well, and to be ready for summer which is coming up so quickly!). You know […]

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New Backyard Garden Areas!

Do you love working outside in the spring as much as I do? You’ve probably heard me say this, but I have so much fun creating special little areas within our yard that I can enjoy in spring and summer. It’s more manageable for me to focus on progress in small areas, as well as […]

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Drive By: Madison Park in Seattle

Hey friends and happy day after Mother’s Day! After a long season of book writing and other things that have kept me especially busy this year, I have given myself permission to just slow down and rejuvenate a bit. It’s not the same as taking a real vacation (although I’d love to do that, too!), […]

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Rent vs. Own

Should you buy or rent? This is a question most of us will likely face in our lives, whether buying a house makes more financial sense than renting a home. There is a way to understand the financial impact of buying vs. renting.

Use this rent vs. own calculator, provided by realtor.com, to help you understand more.

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

Buying real estate means you get to take advantage of tax breaks, such as deducting the interest you pay on your mortgage loan. Homeowners receive a statement from their lenders by the end of January, Form 1098, with the amount of mortgage interest paid during the previous year, which is often deductible. Homeowners may also deduct annual real estate taxes paid based on the assessed value of their property, and certain energy-efficient home improvements (such as installing energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, certain roof replacements, windows and doors, and other improvements). These deductions may vary from year to year, so check the IRS.gov website for the most up-to-date information regarding tax breaks for homeowners.

Long-Term Homeownership Builds Equity

Homeowners pay monthly mortgage payments, gradually reducing the principal mortgage amount over time. In general, real estate increases in value over time, so homeowners build equity and increase their stake of ownership in the property with every payment. That means that when they sell the home, they will get enough money to pay off their loan, and earn a little extra that they can use to purchase their next home. In contrast, renters still make a monthly payment, but these funds do nothing to contribute to the renter’s long-term wealth.


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Monday, May 7, 2018

A Cute & Organized ‘Laundry Room’ in a Closet!

Ever since she moved in to her new place last year, my daughter Courtney and I had been talking about how cute and organized her laundry area could be with a few accessories. While her laundry “room” is actually just a small closet with louvered doors, she’s very lucky to have her own washer and […]

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

6 Innovative Ways to Create a Workspace

Need a workspace but lack the room? We have solutions! We understand that not everyone has the space – or desire for – a conventional desk-chair setup, so we’ve pulled together six ways that you can design a workspace, even in the smallest of living spaces. The main requirements are some thought and creativity.

1. SECRET FURNITURE OPTIONS

Who says you need a dedicated space to work from home? Create a workspace using small pieces of furniture that can serve double purposes. Concealed electrical outlets, built-in USB charging ports, pull-out trays and drawers are features that give you the functionality you need for top performance.

Media end table

They look like typical end tablesOpens in a new window, but they’re not. Often with sliding tops that open to reveal hidden storage compartments, you can hide a laptop or tablet—ideal if you don’t want to leave your electronic devices out in the open. File drawers make these end tables a compact, space-saving option.

Tip:

Look for pull-out trays with widths of at least 18” and depths of 11”—ideal for a regular-sized laptop.

Chairside end table

Brown wooden chair side end table with cupholder and outlet

Lower cabinets, open shelves and cubbies offer lots of storage possibilities. You can easily tuck work away when guests arrive.

Nightstand

Short gray dresser with accessories.

Traditional nightstandsOpens in a new window are limited to being repositories for lamps, glasses, and other necessities. Today’s nightstands offer lots of surprising bedside functionality, especially when you need a quick way to plug in your electronics.

Tip:

  • Create a workspace in bed using a backrest pillow and bed desk.

Small Desks

Home office desk and desk chair.

If you don’t have room for a full-sized deskOpens in a new window, use a small desk. This versatile solution can be used as a side table while also offering room to work.

2. SURPRISING WALL MOUNTING OPTIONS

Turn to the walls for mounted workspace that doesn’t take up valuable floor space. The trick is to find an area you can work with. Finding open wall space is easier than you think. Consider all nooks and crannies, like the walls under the stairs, wide hallways, roomy stairwells, laundry room alcoves and door-less closets (you may want to remove the doors to create the space).

Wall Mount Laptop Desk

Hang a wall mounted desk and you’ll love its flexibility. Many come with desktop drop downs that unveil compact workspaces with handy bill organizers, cubbies, corkboards and drawers. Pull up a chair and get ready to work. 

Floating shelves

Credit: Pinterest https://ift.tt/2JSmHRV

The smallest spaces can be transformed into a mini-office by using vertical space. Mount a wide shelf that will serve as your desktop, followed by as many narrow shelves as you want above it. Pull up a chair and you now have a convenient work area. Load the remaining shelves with office supplies, books and accents.

Tip:

For your safety, use wall plugs or attach desk and shelves to wall studs.

3. FEAST ON THE POSSIBILITIES

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and dining area, incorporating workspace in these areas is a natural. Make it work with functional dining options that include shelves and drawers, so you can easily stow your work when it’s time to entertain.

Drop leaf tables

Who says you need a desk to create a functional workspace? For big projects, open the leaves of a drop leaf table and presto–you’ll have more room. Drop the leaves and you’ll have more open space. In tight areas, nestle a drop leaf table next to a sofa arm and top with a lamp. Now you have a table that serves multiple purposes: end table, desk and dining table.

Counter height kitchen table

Make the most of a kitchen nook or any space by adding a counter height tableOpens in a new window. Now you can work with a bird’s eye view and have room to spread out the work. Look for tables with bottom shelves so you can set aside work when you want to use the table for other purposes. 

Tip:

Install a drop down pendant light to illuminate your work area from overhead.

Tip:

If you’re spending more time looking for things than getting the work done, line a wall with bookcases. Add stylish baskets or boxes to the shelves to keep office supplies within reach, yet hidden.

Kitchen island

If it’s large enough, a kitchen island can double as a workspace. Utilize one end as a makeshift desk and reserve the other for food preparation. The top surface of the island provides space to spread out, not to mention plenty of room for snack time. Drawers, shelves and cabinets come in handy whenever you need to stow away the work gear.

Tip:

Use adjustable height stools like this to work at a comfortable height.

4. LIVING ROOM WORKSPACE

If you’re in a pinch or tight on space, some of the most typical pieces of furniture found in living rooms can easily be used for workspace. Be open minded about how you incorporate these pieces in your living room repertoire and enjoy the comfort.

Console/sofa tables

Add a console table behind a sofa or along any wall, pull up a chair or stool, and you’ve created an easy-access workspace. Look for tables with open cubbies or drawers to hold office supplies. Put two console tablesOpens in a new window together and you’ll have twice the workspace. When not in use, this table can double as a display space or buffet.

Lift-top coffee tables

Work in the comfort of your sofa or loveseat by placing a lift-top coffee table in front of it. Simply lift the top and you’ll have a flat surface at the perfect height for working. Look for tables that sport hidden storage and open shelves to keep everything within reach when you need it, and out of sight when you don’t.

Some of the larger lift-top coffee tables have built-in file drawers, ideal for having easy access to your paperwork.

5. SMART DESKS WITH VERSATILITY

Look for innovative desks, designed for flexibility and space savings. From modular to corner desks, the possibilities are endless, so be sure to take all your needs into consideration before you make a purchase.

Modular bookcase desk

Torn between getting a bookshelf or a desk? Enjoy both with a space-saving bookshelf desk combination. If you have books, binders and supplies to house, an option like this offers the ideal combination of work surface and storage.

Drop-front desk


Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Privacy and openness are wrapped into one with a traditional drop front desk. The front panel lowers to create an instant workspace, while the flip top hides the desk and storage area. Imagine placing this next to a sofa or bed—what a convenience.

Corner desk

Don’t ignore a room’s corner space. Nestle a desk specifically built for corners and enjoy more room.

6. WORK IN AN OUTDOOR ESCAPE

On those beautiful days when you don’t want to stay inside, designate a spot outdoors where you can work on your laptop, hit the books and sit in comfort.

Multi-use table

An outdoor multi-use table used as for an outdoor working space.

A table with a lower shelf is perfect for holding work supplies. Include a table like this in a seating arrangement and you now have an outdoorOpens in a new window setting for business meetings.

Tip:

Add a large umbrella to ward off the sun. Look for umbrellas with tilt mechanisms so you can adjust the canopy throughout the day.

Conversation set

Outdoor conversation set piece with chairs surrounding a table

Not only will you be working, but you’ll enjoy the hassle-free warmth of an evening fire. Why not get a fire pit table and create a tranquil setting to wrap up a day’s work?

Outdoor bar set

Outdoor bar set with two counter height bar stools.

If you have a patio, porch or balcony, a narrow bar table set fits in beautifully. Pull up a bar stool—what a relaxed setting for getting work done, day or night.

Discover the flexibility that comes with designing an innovative workspace at home. If you have a clever idea for creating workspace, share your idea and experience. Hashtag #MyAshleyHome on Instagram.

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