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Category Archives: bungalos

How can I have an office in such a small space?

People often ask how I could possibly office out of my 900 sq ft home (along with Juan) without bumping into one another. Well…I know people that live in 400 square feet and work out of their home. It can be done with a little imagination and creativity.
First off, one can make an office space virtually anywhere in a home. Even if you do not have a dedicated room for an office, you can grab a tiny piece of real estate in your home and make it your company domain! (wink wink smiley face) Especially with technology….computers, tablets and TV’s can be placed anywhere in a room. No more need to get that “cable guy” out to add another line on a wall.



LOFTWall



“Carving” out a space is easy….keeping it clean, organized and clutter free….well that can be a challenge at times especially in small spaces.
Today, we have manufactures that are dedicated to small space living and providing furniture that is multi-function and/or narrow to accommodate apartment style living. Here are some ideas that you should think about when creating your work space at home.
Dividing out your space….
Whether you have a small house, tiny cozy apartment or high rise loft, dividing a space to dedicate as an office is a great way to start. A great company called LOFTWall offers beautifully designed dividers for your home or office. Should you not have a room or four walls to surround you when working….how  about a LOFTWall divider to create your office environment and give you the feeling of a quiet space to accomplish your activities whether you are a stay-at-home OR working professional. For me…that ability to separate home life from work is helpful every time you need to “get to work” yet enjoy the comforts of home!



Murphy Desk Beds



 So you actually have an extra room OR you have some extra space…
For someone like me…I am always concerned about the ability to have overnight guests AND have space to work. However, how can I do both? The good people at Murphy Desk Beds can offer great solutions for your work/guests overnight needs!



Murphy Desk Beds



If you are searching for a twin, queen or king bed you will have numerous options plus a variety of finishes to accomplish those needs. A beautiful yet sturdy office desk by day and comfy cozy bed at night. Again for those wonderful people that have a 450 square foot home by the beach or some cool hip metro area….you can office during the day and have a place to sleep at night! A Murphy Desk Bed is a simple and cost effective solution that will have you set up in no time and ready to accomplish your 2012 goals!
Building furniture dedicated to small space living….
As I mentioned before in past blogs, more and more people are trying to simplify their lives and downsize their space. Juan and I made a decision to “right-size” our lives and find a space that works for us where we are not a slave to our home.
With a small space like we have, it didn’t make sense to bring in the Copenhagen square table that seats 8 people or the “Monster” of an office desk that would take up a room. We found many companies out there dedicated to small space living. IKEA, Crate and Barrel and CB2 are great places to seek out furniture to utilize in your tiny abode. (wink wink smile face)
Example here is from CB2. They have great options for desks that you can create a small working space anywhere in your home. Using furniture that is narrow, simple or even acrylic can give the illusion of more space. (With the acrylic, it is like having invisible furniture lol….I know I’m sorry)



CB2
Even these cool “table options” that can store your laptop easily or set up while watching your favorite TV shows….well there is no excuse now for getting out those emails or projects.



CB2



The great thing about building an office space in your small home is that you are not limited. AND….if yu are lucky to have a gifted carpenter like my Juan….well any design he sees at stores  or online he can copy and create for a lot less $$$$!
UPDATE: Juan and I have managed to clear more “STUFF” and clutter from our second room and have found a beautiful desk at IKEA as a start for our office. I will post the update next week.
If you have created a cool office space in your small space….I would love to see and share!

 

Reason #3 Why We Love living In A Small Space…More Time For Living!

And A Little Bit OF History

This is what I love about living in a small space, simpler life and living more urban. We can get our chores done with ease…cleaning house, laundry etc and set out for some fun! With the weather being much more tolerable, (not two zip-codes past hell kind of weather we’ve been having), Juan and I can enjoy riding our bikes NOT just for exercise but our means for getting from here to there and everywhere. Case in point weekends! This is the time when Juan and I think of destinations we can head to on our bikes. We make it a goal to try and park the car Friday night and not get in until Monday morning heading in for work.

On Sunday, we headed down to the Willo District here in Phoenix AZ. This neighborhood is right in the middle of downtown Phoenix. This neighborhood reminds me a lot of where I grew up in El Paso TX.
There is such an array of homes… all different architectural styles! I believe building started in the early 1900’s and continued to build and grow up to WWII. In the 1920’s, many homes were built in the bungalow style. Then during the 1930’s, the Period Revival brought many more architectural styles such as Tudor Revival, Greek Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, American Colonial Revival, and Pueblo Revival. You also see some French Provincial and Monterey style.

The homes seemed to have gotten lost in downtown Phoenix as so much commercial building has “butted” up against these beautiful treasures. I read that in the 1980s’s, the residents of Willo lobbied for status as a special conservation district, achieving historic status and assuring that this gorgeous neighborhood with its myriad styles of homes will be preserved for future generations. (For more info, (http://www.willohistoricdistrict.com/)

They have an annual Home Tour, typically around the second week of February where you have an opportunity to tour many of these homes. It is great to visit with the owners and learn what they have done to restore the beauty of these homes and how much enjoyment these little homes bring them.

So I will end this blog with a short video montage (about 2 ½ minutes) of the homes we visited via our bicycles and iphone.

 

Follow Up To “Brings New Meaning To The Murphy Bed” Blog



I wanted to follow up with you regarding my blog last week on Resource Furniture. I have to tell you….they are a true example of customer service. I have had the privilege to communicate with many members of the team including Mariel ( I am sorry I did not get your last name), Lisa Blecker who is the Director of Marketing and truly gets the small space living and last but certainly not least Ron Barth the President of the company.

Everyone at Resource Furniture wish to express that no matter where you are located in the US they are able to accommodate any and all of your furniture needs. They crate everything in wooden crates and ensure it is delivered in perfect condition. People on the West Coast can purchase with ease. All you would need to do is email or call and Resource Furniture will provide you with all the attention and service you could ever need or want. I would encourage any one that is interested in learning more to please contact them directly, Resource Furniture.

One final note I will leave you comes from Ron Barth himself. To me it speaks volumes when Owners and Executive Leaders take such pride in their organization AND take the time to reach out to people. I’ve spoken about it before in past blogs and of course in my other side of life, staffing(People “geeks” blog). Customer Service seems to have fallen away. Customer service is no longer an expectation it is a “nice to have”. Have we gotten so busy in life, self absorbed, clueless or just don’t care about the people who wish to do business with us????

Anyway, I am including a small excerpt from Ron regarding his thoughts on customer service. So when it is time to think about converting your spare bedroom to a multipurpose room? Resource Furniture should be one of the top furniture companies to consider.

“Most people think money is the way to gauge the success of their business or interaction with a client. We think that the success is gauged by the client actually receiving the product and it being used to their full satisfaction and if possible, exceeding their expectations. Then we know we’ve done our job. Customer service is really everything and always will be. –Ron Barth, President Resource Furniture.
Now go by some fun space saving furniture! 🙂

 

Brings New Meaning To The “Murphy Bed”

I know many think I am crazy but I have to admit…I La La La LOVE (as my nieces would say)our small space! However….could we go smaller???? Before I would say no way. My challenge has always been this…I want a second room that I can use as an office AND a workspace for arts & crafts AND should the occasional family member or friend comes to visit, a place to sleep. Yes, three rooms in one, but how??? How can you create such a space in a small environment yet not have the clutter of furniture? Well, I have the answer.

Meet Ron Barth (video below), President of Resource Furniture (http://www.resourcefurniture.com/), he brings new meaning to space saving furniture. As a kid, I always was amazed at the Murphy bed concept. How cool is that? A bed that I didn’t have to make and I could throw up into the wall! (wink wink smiley face) Resource Furniture has been around since 2000 and they have this great line of space saving furniture. It’s like “Transformers for adults”!

I’ve included a video that showcases this incredible furniture. I have to tell you, when I saw this I was amazed and yet fascinated on the details. The furniture itself is beautiful quality, the technical design is high end and incredible easy. Watch how they lift, turn and lower huge pieces of furniture with tips of their fingers. I went crazy, I looked up every video, went to their website, reached out to people that work there….I am crazy for this furniture!

For my East Coast readers (holler! Wink wink smiley face) you are in luck, they are located in NYC. They also have locations in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Hong Kong. I am writing at this moment to find out specifics for my West Coast readers (Yo!…sorry wink wink smiley face).

So now Juan and I are thinking, we can go smaller, we can move to the beach and live in a teeny tiny place and have this great space saving furniture for all out needs! Hmmmm gets me thinking.

Check out the video.

Now… are you amazed, like me, the beautiful craftsmanship AND how cool this furniture is? Share your thoughts?
 

Simpler Life… Bicycle Style!

Simpler Life… Bicycle Style!
Some of you know what a complete nut I am about bicycles and bicycling. Well, I love it. I wish I had the super svelte figure to go with it but alas…this 40+ year old does not! However, I love getting on any style of bicycle and going for long rides. Juan and I have done 60 mile treks riding our single speeds (for those unfamiliar…this is a bicycle with only ONE gear!)
Since we wanted to make this big change in reducing clutter and STUFF…we also wanted to live a simpler life where we live in a more urbanized community where it is easy to walk or bicycle to a favorite destination. And where we live….we couldn’t be happier and enjoy that every chance we get. (When it isn’t 110+ degrees outside). We were so excited this weekend as it hit only a high of 99 degrees! For us this is Fall weather…almost jacket weather  (I’m kidding)….so we decided to embark on a bicycle ride through some of the mid century modern neighborhoods with great little homes.
Our destination today was Northwood off 12th Street and north of Glendale. It is an area where Juan grew up AND his elementary school, Simis Elementary, is right nearby. These are “Haver Homes” a wonderful midcentury architect. Ralph Haver was a modern architect working in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, from 1945 until the early 1980s. Haver is best known for his Mid-Century Modern Haver Homes, affordable tract housing executed in a contemporary modern style. These Haver homes are prized by designers and do-it-yourselfers alike as modest and modern spaces to renovate.
There are many of these treasured homes that couples are purchasing AND bringing back to their original beautiful style they were 50+ years ago. What I love about the Ralph Haver Homes is many of them are not huge homes… small square footage and such style.
So join me as we cruise through this neighborhood and Juan’s enjoy a trip down memory lane of where he grew up!



Very clean lines…sorry picture with my iphone



Haver home brought back to it’s original beauty



LOVE the decorative block!



Original Ad for Princess Homes Northwood courtesy of Modern Phoenix



This one has a great little front patio.



Very simple style with the slat fence to give a private area for relaxing



Closer view



Juan checking out his old elementary school…



As I mentioned, the original Ad I found comes from a wonderful person here in the Phoenix area that has dedicated herself to knowing, understanding, cataloging etc….midcentury homes. Her name is Allison King. King started the Modern Phoenix website in summer of 2003 as a quick-reference method to catalogue midcentury neighborhoods. Since then, her site has exploded with research, reporting and activism opportunities, resulting in an annual home tour and Modern Phoenix Week featuring educational and entertainment events. So whether you are a Phoenician or fan of midcentury modern homes, I encourage you to check out her website. She also has a facebook page called Modern Phoenix
I guess I should invest in a good camera for next time!

 

Admit It! You Are the Proud Owner Of A Junk Drawer, Closet, Garage Or Room!

Admit it! We all have one of these things….Junk drawer where all the coupon clippings get thrown in plus other odds and ends like thread, a broken stapler and an earring missing its mate. A closet crammed with clothes you can’t wear or don’t wear often, old cheerleading uniform (I know), a knitting project that is nowhere near completed or some strange “object de art” that was given to you by your  Mother-in law that is stored away until she visits (no, not me wink wink smiley face). The garage, a perfect place to stash stuff especially when guests are coming in to visit and you do not wish for them to see how much of a hoarder you are with all that stuff! Me…I have the ultimate…the best of them all…. A whole room dedicated to storage.

I’m cheering and screaming from the rafters… “My name is Shawn and I am STILL a holder of stuff!” Yep, that’s me. I own this title right down to the gold star. (wink wink smiley face)

I really do not wish to be honored with such a title; I really want a new one like…”My name is Shawn and I am the proud member of simplifying my life and stuff-less!” (I know there is no such word) however, that is how I would like to be remembered by.

So that is what I am doing, I am going to lay it out there and show you (via video) my second bedroom that is supposed to be an office workspace and is really a “semi” office workspace or should I say “kinda, sorta” office with a little workspace and lots of STUFF around.

My challenge is to get rid of the stuff in here and make it the room I want it to be in and enjoy. A beautiful space I utilize when working at home AND a workspace for other various projects in my life. Also, if possible a bedroom at times for future guests. So check out my video and let me know your thoughts. Do you have a challenge on your hands? Like drawers, or closets or rooms like me? If so, tell me about it and most importantly when do you plan to take that challenge on?

The story will continue…..

 

Thinking “Small Space” At a Very Early Age

At 16 years old, what were you thinking about? Seriously…what was on your mind? Was college? Having a home? Having no mortgage? Not me! I was enjoying the fruits and labor of Mom and Dad “officially” being able to drive legally. (Okay, I used to sneak the car out at night when my parents were out for dinner or out of town and yes…I had no license).

All I was thinking about was the fun I was having driving, friends and family fun…the latest fashion and cool stuff I could buy. Yes, high school was mixed in there but to me that was fun! Loved school and I made good grades but I will be honest with you, I was NOT thinking about my immediate future which was just around the corner as in college…let along buying or having a house in the future.

The other day, I came across the coolest group of people and their website *Fair Companies. *faircompanies is a free resource to help you act responsibly, an independent website with information and tools on sustainability. They have great resources and videos that really meet my passion, small spaces. Kirsten Dirksen along with Nicolas Boullas have dedicated themselves to talk about green products, ethical consumption, clean technologies, social responsibility, ethical investment, and related topics. (Taken directly from their website)

I encourage you to visit their website and see what people are doing out there to live a smaller, simpler and mindful life.

In the meantime….please check out this video created by *faircompanies about Austin Hay who is 16 years old and building his future home.

 
 
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