Vault Room

With the news of terrorists going door to door to inflict their heinous acts, some may be thinking of fortifying their home – and/or adding a safe room.

If you don’t want to build a concrete underground shelter, and just want to modify an existing room, this video shows how this guy created a hidden room in his closet:

It’s one of those things that if you ever needed it, you’d be glad you built it when you did.

Avocado Green Again?

Remember “avocado green” and “harvest gold”? If you were born before the Reagan administration, chances are your early years provided an overdose. Throughout the 1970s, these ubiquitous hues covered everything from station wagons to shag carpets—which is why by the time the minimalist new millennium rolled around, they’d become design shorthand for suburban, cringy and dated.

So it was with some surprise—and a little bit of horror—that in the last few years, décor-watchers of a certain age started noticing the notorious palette making inroads in interiors again. And if the Instagram scrolls of tastemaker designers like Kelly Wearstler and Muriel Brandolini are any hint, it’s time we primed for shades of olive, amber and saffron.

Aghast? It’s understandable. For decades, stereotypical ’70s tropes—from Naugahyde loungers to plush conversation pits—have been the butt of jokes, not objects of desire. But before you say “no thanks” to another helping of pea-tinted interiors, rest assured that contemporary designers render this throwback palette in ways that feel measured and mature, not outmoded. Think less “That ’70s Show” and more Joni Mitchell in Laurel Canyon.

The tranquilizing properties of these colors may also be just what the doctor ordered. In contrast to brazen “Barbiecore” pink and chilly millennial greige, “earth tones provoke feelings of comfort and calm, something very necessary amid the madness of the outside world,” said Lauren Wager, a color designer in Columbus, Ohio, and author of the Palette Perfect book series. Indeed, according to Montaha Hidefi, a color archaeologist from Ontario, Canada, and vice president of color forecasting at Color Marketing Group, the last time these hues ruled American homes, on the heels of the Vietnam War, political assassinations and the civil-rights movement, their rise was an emotional response to a turbulent decade. Another factor: the inaugural Earth Day on April 22, 1970, which kicked environmental awareness into high gear—and a thirst for earthier interiors along with it.

Others chalk up the rebound to old-fashioned nostalgia. “I think it’s a combo of fetishizing our grandparents’ era and realizing that after 20 years of gray, we’re living in a cold, detached, technological world,” said Los Angeles textile and interior designer Peter Dunham. While he hasn’t fielded requests for a chocolate brown stove just yet, Dunham says in the last two to three years he has seen a big bump in customer response to furnishings featuring these shades.

But whether you find this palette dated or timeless may ultimately be just a matter of mind-set. After all, said New York City designer Ghislaine Viñas, despite its cultural baggage, we’re exposed to it every leaf-peeping season. “Really, these are simply autumnal hues that work beautifully together,” she said.

Don’t let names hang you up, either. Bristle at the thought of “avocado green”? Then try Guacamole, which was Glidden’s 2022 Color of Year, or Basque Green, a dead-ringer from Sherwin Williams.

Link to Free WSJ article

Real Estate Reality Shows Are Lies

Hat tip to CB Mark for sending this in!

A few years ago, some friends appeared on a house-hunting reality TV show. They had a blast, but afterward, they revealed something that surprised me:

It was all staged. They’d already purchased a house when they filmed the episode, and that house wasn’t featured on the show at all. The houses they did look at weren’t even for sale.

Like any normal person, I accept that so-called “reality” TV is scripted to a certain extent, but I’d previously assumed there had to be some truth to those real estate shows: that the information they presented was somewhat reliable, and that you might be able to pick up at least some basics about real estate and home renovation from watching them.

The actual reality is: Nope.

Whether it’s a house-hunting show, a home renovation show, or a house-flipping show, the only thing you can rely on is that you’re probably being lied to. Buying or selling a house is more complicated than looking at three homes and having a conversation over a glass of wine, buying a fixer-upper probably isn’t a bargain, and the Property Brothers are not going to spend weeks in your house personally hanging drywall and grouting tiles.

But it’s worse than mere fakery—a lot of the information these shows give out is completely wrong. If you base your life decisions on what you see in real estate shows, you’re going to be very sorry. Here’s why.

Read the full article here:

CV Listing Closed Escrow

Our Carmel Valley listing closed escrow yesterday!

It was the 3br/2.5 ba, 1,804sf home built in 1989 that we completed about $60,000 worth of upgrades in preparing for market (it had been a rental for years).  The before-and-after photos were featured here:

Previous Blog Post

The house looked great and it was vacant but this was when I did the blog post about spring break interrupting the market’s momentum. We decided to forge ahead, and I inputted the listing onto the MLS on the Thursday morning before spring break with immediate showings available that day – in hopes of catching any buyers that might be leaving for vacation the next day.

We had six showings on Thursday and Friday, and 100+ people came to open house over the weekend.

In January, I predicted that we would list for $1,750,000, and sell for $1,900,000.

On March 31st, we hit the MLS priced at $1,750,000, and closed for $1,875,000.

We received one offer.

Thankfully, the only offer included a $125,000 premium to incentivize the sellers to take the deal, instead of waiting for two in the bush. But we were already on Day 4 of open-market exposure, so I knew we were at peak market and our chances of selling for over list price would start dropping .

We contemplated whether we should counter-offer on price, or extend the two-week escrow period because we wanted the extra time for the sellers’ 1031 exchange. But given the fact that we only had one offer, the sellers signed it.

We had already completed a home inspection in advance, and thought we had fixed everything.  The buyers did their own home inspection – which we always recommend to our buyers as well, and here’s why.

Their inspector noted that the water-meter gauge was running, even with all faucets being off.  It’s the sign that a leak had developed, and the hot-water heater was operating the entire time too.  The sellers checked their history of utilities and found their costs spiked on March 31st.

We have a ‘slab leak’, and we knew it was the hot side!

Just the thought of a slab leak causes grave concern and panic for most people. But we’ve handled them before, and know that they can be fixed with money like any other home repair.

Donna’s vendors jumped on it, and we closed in 16 days, instead of fourteen.

Here’s the video:


Nearly 75% want electric appliances? I haven’t met anyone who would give up their gas stove.

There are many ways we can make a difference, like reducing our dependence on gas to power our homes. In fact, at least 48 cities in the country have outlawed natural gas in new home construction. If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your home in the new eco-friendly era, here’s where you can start.

The road to a cleaner, safer, healthier planet begins at your front door. Research shows that homeowners have a critical role to play in the race to a zero-carbon world. There are myriad ways we can make a difference, like reducing our dependence on gas to power our homes and putting more solar panels on rooftops. Here’s how to flip the switch on an all-electric house.

When it comes to cleaning up our energy habits—reducing our use of natural gas and electricity generated at coal-and-gas-powered plants—people in the West are ready to change their ways. Nearly three-quarters of Californians said that they would prefer efficient electric appliances powered by clean energy instead of fossil gas, according to a survey conducted by FM3, the California-based research organization, and released by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. And the state energy commission aims to put standards in place that would require newly constructed homes to be electric-ready. In June, on the hottest day in Oregon’s recorded history, lawmakers passed groundbreaking legislation requiring the state to convert to 100 percent clean, “responsible” energy by 2040. At press time, 48 cities in the country had outlawed natural gas in construction of new homes and commercial buildings, according to the Sierra Club’s tally.

Every piece of the technology puzzle that we need to make this dramatic shift in our power supply and our behavior at home already exists.

Click here to read full article

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