RSS

Category Archives: desert homes

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! 🙂

Advertisements
 

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…..

 

Sometimes the simplest things in life….Are “Old School”

It’s kinda funny as I look back on this year and the changes we have made. This time a year ago we were in the beginning stages of discussion about what we are doing? Why are we doing it? And what are we going to gain from it? My “real role” is running a staffing and consulting firm. We place people across the US in all levels and all departments. (A shameless plug, Kellen James).

As I digress, Juan and I have talked with countless Managers, Hiring Authorities and people looking to make a move and there seems to be a common goal ever since this economy took a dive…A need for a simpler life….A need for quality time with family and friends as that is what is most important.

Going back to my original thought (I know Juan says I have three or four conversations going at once), it was a huge undertaking getting ourselves situated in a much smaller space. Yet, we are so much happier now than when we were in a larger home. I am not a slave to my house/pool/yard. It is like living in a vacation home! (No not as cool as Ileana’s beach house/Previous blog article) But…it’s close.

We find ourselves enjoying our home, hanging out with friends and family here. We enjoy creating cool bar-b-que dishes and sitting at our kitchen table with a cup of coffee and just chatting. We can step outside (when it is not 114+ degrees) and get on our bikes and cruise the canal trail or walk to several neighborhood haunts and enjoy wonderful cuisine of all kinds.

We have an urban space which is very new to me and this area has 71 of these cute 900 sqft “bungalow style homes. There is a sense of great friendship and community here much more than when I was up in the “burbs” where everyone waves but drives right into their garage and shuts the door behind them never to see them until the following morning. We get together as a community for impromptu “happy hour” celebrate a birthday or hang out at the clubhouse to watch a game. It’s truly a community of friendship.

If this is the cost of downsizing and moving to the city?….I wished I did it years ago. So now I will sit with Juan, drink a nice cool “Arnold Palmer” and enjoy “Old School Style” listening to records on my 1962 Fisher Electra Stereo.

A small “taste” of what I am enjoying! Cheers!

 

The New IKEA Book Is Here!

It’s that time of year; the new IKEA book is out Whooo Hoooo! When Juan came walking in from the mailbox, I could see the tiny little BIG book tucked under his arm. So I patiently waited for him to put it down….Ok…put the book down Juan….Quit talking to me and put the DARN BOOK DOWN!

IKEA really has it down with small space living. Every nook and cranny can be utilized with “multi-purpose” furniture. Really cool! How many of you (raise your hands) LOVE heading to your nearest IKEA store to check out their “small living” spaces? Well, those of you fortunate to have an IKEA near you, it truly is an experience. It’s so fun to view outside the square footage of the space you are about to enter and be amazed at the way you can make a home out of 600 square feet or 248 square feet or dorm room living. You have every convenience.

Take page 30 for example, the basic bookcase…What a great piece to do so many options. We took a book case that was four cubes long and two cubes high (Yes, very technical terms here). We added the doors and made it into a cabinet to hold boundless amounts of Juan’s main wardrobe, T-Shirts! In living in a small space you always want the rooms to appear bigger and a great way to give that spacious look is to add legs. If at all possible, “lift your furniture”. I know that sounds strange but it truly gives a small space an “open and airy” look!


Fold up t-shirts, organize purses or tri-fold your jeans


IKEA can give you so many options at such a great price. If you truly are waiting for a vintage mid-century desk but need something in the meantime, check out IKEA. You may also find you like it just as well AND it does mix very well with different styles.

Also think outside the box…we turned the book shelves into extra space for our clothes by adding the cabinet doors, everything stays neat and hidden. They also have drawers you can add to book shelves to organize smaller objects such as scarves or jewelry.




Added simple straight legs to lift cabinet off floor



For all you smart phone users, IKEA has their catalog available on The App Store and Android Market. So when I am sitting patiently in the waiting area at the Doctor’s office… as my Mom provides details of her ailments plus her weekend activities of garage sales and great food…I sit and electronically thumb through the pages. You can miss so much on a page that you have to go back through 3-5-7 multiple times!
Speaking of waiting for perfect pieces or allowing for extra cash to funnel our way….We took our old office cabinets from our office in our old home and made them our bed side tables for the time being. Hey, it works, right? It may not be optimal for many but until I am ready to look for a better piece of IKEA or other furniture….it works!
By the way…if you recall in my blog (I Thought 900 Square Feet Was Small) I mentioned how hard it is for me to give up the accessories like purses and SHOES!!! Well check out page 280-281 in the IKEA book…great storage solutions to hold all my shoes. I need more shoes to fill in all these racks! 

 I am lucky to have an IKEA store near me so I can see, feel and touch all the great stuff! Also they have a cafe where you can enjoy great breakfast, lunch and dinner at very affordable prices.

That’s the other thing about IKEA…great prices on all products. Yes, you may have to assemble pieces of furniture but it truly is worth it. Very simple instructions….even I can figure it out! So if you ever have any challenges with space, need multi-purpose furniture or seeking a piece of furniture that will fit in an odd shaped corner of a room?….You’ve got to check out IKEA. I am sure they will have something right for your needs.

 

I thought 900 Square Feet Was Small….

Anyone here ever seen the show on HGTV, “Small Space, Big Style”? I LOVED that show! Juan and I never missed an episode. The show hasn’t been on for quite awhile however even back then, we were fascinated with what people were living in and enjoying a simpler life.

What it came down to was the essentials. Things people found most important to them in order to enjoy their space without feeling so cramped and crowded. I STILL struggle with “giving up” stuff. I can never have too many shoes, purses, accessories. But how do you store these items???

I guess if there are multiple people that are going to live in a small space you certainly BOTH have to agree to jump in with both feet. As I mentioned in prior blogs, it is very hard to “UN-condition” yourself to what you have grown to know all your life. Choosing to eliminate the extra “stuff” in your life and only keep the things you use regularly….well it is a very hard step to take and we are still learning and eliminating STILL!!! It’s a slow process however we are embracing it fully.

So, some things to consider….

  • Prepare to eliminate a lot of stuff! Only keep the things you will use regularly and don’t be afraid to use the silver, special glasses, the dishes you save for special occasions.
  • Think about multi-functional furniture (If you go really small…Office workspace becomes dining table)
  • Think about RV or Boats….If you were to live long-term on a boat or in an RV, think about the functionality of the spaces. Think about what you could possibly live with and/or without since you won’t be able to take it all and cram it in live with all that stuff.
  • If you have the opportunity to have a patio/deck/porch…any outdoor space, make sure you design an exterior room as part of your square footage. You might find you spend most of your time there. (Not always applicable if you live in extreme heat and humid climate OR extreme cold and wet) however, there will be times of the year you can and will enjoy the outdoor space.
I found this last week to give you an idea what someone will go through to have a Manhattan zip code. You thought 900 square feet is small? How about 78 square feet!!!!!
Next….Great places to find multi-function frurniture
 
 
%d bloggers like this: