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A pretty kitty 3rd birthday celebration

My daughter’s 3rd birthday party started like most of my event planning – on Pinterest.  I reviewed the party ideas I had previously saved, and I was attracted to some images of a cute kitten birthday party.  Given that we have a house full of critters it seemed fitting for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party.  I latched onto the pretty kitty theme and ran with it. After some visual brainstorming and lots of late-night shopping on Amazon, I was ready.  A few weeks before the party I hand-delivered these cute cat invitations to Linden’s classmates.  I know electronic invitations are easier, but I just love the look and feel of a real paper invite. Once the invites were out, I started creating some of the decorations for the party.  I used Canva to make a few custom signs for the … Read More

How to choose a house to flip

When it comes to investing in Austin real estate, sometimes my husband and I decide to hold properties, and sometimes we opt to flip them.  Right now we are in the process of updating a Central Austin condominium for resale, so we thought we'd share some of the top things we look for when choosing a house to flip.  This video covers the basics, but I'd be happy to dive deeper into the subject with you.  You can also find other tips for Austin real estate on our real estate site. https://youtu.be/38TaLMrunp4?t=23s The main factors we consider are: Is the home in an appreciating neighborhood? Is the home an undervalued or overlooked property? Can we add genuine value to make the property attractive to future homebuyers? Will we get a return on our investment after we … Read More

The journey to find myself

Every thing I’ve ever done has led to this moment.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  . . . . It just took me awhile to get here.  After 17 years as a practicing attorney, I just up and quit.  Walked away.  Left it all behind.  The hard-earned reputation, the client relationships, the network, the leadership in law firm management.  I washed my hands of it. And I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. The signs were all there.  I was meant to do something creative with my life.  I’d come home from school and sketch fashion designs.  I dreamed of going to the Fashion Institute and spent hours pouring over W Magazine.  I loved taking photographs for the yearbook, and I even arranged elaborate photo shoots with friends where I “styled” their clothes and props for the shoot.  I … Read More

How one couple took their home from good to great

Back in 2015 my husband helped a young professional couple find their first home.  They ultimately fell in love with a cute 1950s bungalow in North Loop.  It was a charming house with good bones, but it was far from perfect.  As the bachelor pad of a guy that loved to cook, the house had lots of built-ins.  While the built-ins were functional, they chopped up the flow of the home, limited where you could place furniture, and detracted from the 1950s charm.  The couple was able to look beyond those superficial imperfections and bought the home. But how to take it from good to great? That’s where Austin interior decorator Maureen Stevens comes in.  Shortly after getting settled into their new house the couple started looking for interior designers online.  Because of her strong … Read More

10 interior design tips for families with children

I want my Austin home to look like the beautifully designed homes you see in magazines.  But alas, my walls are graced with the sticky smudges of little hands instead of wallpaper.  My coffee table is littered with toys instead of art books.  And my floors are bare after all the rugs have been stained by juice spills and pets.  Sigh.  I assumed that this was just the life of a family with 2 small children age 6 and under.  Surely those beautiful homes in magazines don’t always look like that, right? And so I deluded myself until I went on the Tribeza Interiors Tour back in January.  So many lovely homes decorated perfectly.  I was in heaven.  On the tour was interior designer Merrilee McGehee’s personal home.  As I walked in I was immediately struck by the bold colors, high design, and … Read More

2017 brings more efficient home design features

I recently had the opportunity to interview Laura Britt of Laura Britt Design.  As a home design geek, I was a little giddy about having the chance to pick this award-winning architect/interior designer’s brain.  As we sat down to chat in Laura’s conference room in an adorable house on 29th Street in Austin, Texas, I told her how eager I was to hear her thoughts on what home design trends she anticipated for 2017.  Laura paused, and said that she doesn’t pay that much attention to trends.  Hmmm.... Seeing my puzzled look, Laura explained “Our focus is creating enduring design that functions well for the space.”  As we dug deeper into what that means, Laura clarified that she studies how people use (or want to use) their homes, and then creates efficient and individualized spaces that … Read More