Saturday, August 20, 2011

Study Spaces

I can't believe that school starts on Wednesday. I also can't believe that I will have two in school...pre-k and 2nd grade. So..this weekend we are finishing up buying school supplies and school clothes. I have always loved this time of year. I can remember going to buy my school supplies at the local TG&Y and being super excited. So...since I am in the mind set of "Back To School" is only appropriate that I give you some fun ideas for study spaces for your kiddos. This week I will be dedicating all my blogs to Back To School!
Check out this fabulous article by

Bring Home the Good Grades
A top-notch education starts at home, and a dedicated homework area could help your kids complete their assignments efficiently and successfully—with the least amount of kicking and screaming. Whatever your space or budget limitations may be, any devoted space for study is better than sprawling out on the floor in front of the television. Not convinced? Build it—whether it's a nook in the kitchen or a room all its own—and the good grades will come. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you get started.

Consider your kid's age and learning style when deciding where to site a study space. The U.S. Department of Education recommends a quiet, well-lighted place that’s fully stocked with the necessary materials and supplies for your child's grade level. Younger kids who need homework help and supervision, for example, might benefit from working in the kitchen, where rolling out a supply cart can indicate the start of study time, and you can do quiet chores or prepare dinner while they work.

Keep It All Quiet on the Homework Front
Older kids might do well with a bit of privacy and isolation, so carve out space in their bedroom or the dining room, where you can hide the work area with a room divider if necessary. Above all, make sure you respect your kid's academic efforts by mandating household quiet time while schoolwork is being completed, especially if he or she is working in a common area. You may be winding down after a long day’s work, but it'd be hard for anyone to concentrate while overhearing half of a lively telephone conversation or the latest episode of Wheel of Fortune.

Do Homework in Timed Heats
A consistent study routine with about 30 minutes of downtime before getting started is widely recommended. "Use a power period of 45 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break time to promote productivity and efficiency. Create a workflow process with your kids and it will make all the difference," advises Ellen Delap of
Elizabeth Hagen, author of Organize with Confidence (and mom of five!), suggests supplying kids with a timer so they can learn to focus on their homework for an allotted period, and work toward finishing so that they can watch their favorite TV show or go play.

Lay Out a Power Desk
A spacious, flat surface (desk or table) and a comfortable chair that suits your child's height will encourage neat handwriting. For desks, opt for a lamp with a built-in holder for pencils, scissors, and other supplies. A small bookcase or wall-mounted shelves preloaded with an atlas, dictionary, and thesaurus wouldn't hurt, either.

If you have the wall space, hang a corkboard or inconspicuous magnet strips for posting those A+ exams and a calendar for keeping track of assignments, school events, and extracurricular activities. Mimicking this school feature is a fun way to put kids into student mode at home.

Jamie Snavley contemporary kids

mill valley contemporary kids

Kids Art Studio eclectic kids

Multifunctional Playroom eclectic kids

Inverness contemporary home office

A Dream Cottage traditional kids

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Thinking about selling your home? Well....let me just tell ya.....YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE from top to bottom.....I mean DEEP CLEAN it! I'm really not the one to be preaching this to you right now since at the moment my house is super messy with dust balls galore creeping around everywhere. :)

But...right now sellers have alot of competition.A seller should make DEEP CLEANING a top priority when getting their house ready to sell. I found this great article by Jane Hoback about how to make your house sparkle with a little bit of elbow grease. Check it out..and get to cleaning. Oh..and then..can you stop by my house house is not my favorite. ;)

Mar Vista 1 by Vanessa De Vargas contemporary living room

Cleaning House: Secrets of a Truly Deep Clean
By: Jane Hoback

Published: January 14, 2011

Deep clean your house and you’ll brighten rooms and help maintain your home’s value. .

Deep cleaning your house is that top-to-bottom, take-no-dust-bunny-prisoners, mother-in-law-quality cleaning that truly maintains the value of your home. Here are frequently overlooked areas that a little spit and polish wouldn’t hurt.

De-bug the light fixtures
See that bug burial ground within your overhead fixtures? Turn off the lights and carefully remove fixture covers, dump out flies and wash with hot soapy water. While you’re up there, dust bulbs. Dry everything thoroughly before replacing the cover.

Vacuum heat vents and registers
Dirt and dust build up in heat vents and along register blades. Vents also are great receptacles for coins and missing buttons. Unscrew vent covers from walls or pluck them from floors, remove foreign objects, and vacuum inside the vent. Clean grates with a damp cloth and screw back tightly.

Polish hardware
To deep clean brass door hinges, handles, and cabinet knobs, thoroughly wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, then polish with Wright’s or Weiman brass cleaner ($4). Dish soap shines up glass or stainless steel knobs. Use a Q-tip to detail the ornamental filigree on knobs and handles.

Replace grungy switch plates
Any amateur can wipe a few fingerprints off cover plates that hide light switches, electric outlets, phone jacks, and cable outlets. But only deep cleaners happily remove plates to vacuum and swipe the gunk behind. (OK, we’re a little OCD when it comes to dirt!) Make sure cover plates are straight when you replace them. And pitch plates that are beyond the help of even deep cleaning. New ones cost less than $2 each.

Neaten weather stripping
Peeling, drooping weather stripping on doors and windows makes rooms look old. If the strip still has some life, nail or glue it back. If it’s hopeless, cut out and replace sections, or just pull the whole thing off and start new. A 10-ft. roll of foam weather stripping costs $8; 16-ft. vinyl costs about $15.

Replace stove drip pans
Some drip pans are beyond the scrub brush. Replacing them costs about $3 each and instantly freshens your stove.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New West Side Norman Listing $159,900

Happy Sunday Friends! I hope you have an awesome and relaxing day today. Check out this new property that I just listed. If you would like to take a look at it, please call me or send me an e-mail. I would love to show it to you. 

  • $159,900
  • 3 beds/2baths
  • 1639 Square feet
  • Large Open living Space
  • Beautifully landscaped
  • One Owner Home that has been very well loved and adored
  • Quiet back coverd patio

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Turn your Attic into a Bedroom!

Check out this great article by John Riha about adding an attic bedroom........

Attic Bedroom Remodel: Return on Investment

An attic bedroom remodel adds value and extra living space without increasing the size of your house

An attic bedroom can become the extra room under your roof that hosts teenagers, guests, or even the masters of the house. An attic bedroom remodel is a good way to add space without adding on, which would be a much bigger investment of time and money.

Attic bedroom investment

Attics are penny-wise candidates for remodeling projects because the basic structure—a roof and floor—already exist. Although the pitch of the roof usually dictates sloping interior walls and restricted headroom, people often find these quirky characteristics charming and desirable.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange attic bedroom remodel costs $51,400 and returns more than 72% of the investment, based on national averages. That’s down nearly 11% since 2009.

Attic bedroom requirements

An attic bedroom has special requirements:
  • Stairway from the floor below
  • Interior walls
  • Dormer windows for air, daylight, and emergency egress.
The cost of these projects, plus standard costs for installing heating and cooling systems, finishing surfaces, and adding a bathroom, is $198/sq. ft.
The return on your investment in an attic remodel varies by region. In the Pacific region of the country, the return on investment is almost 80%. In the central Midwestern states, such as Iowa and Kansas, the return on an attic remodel is 63%.

National average cost, 15x15 ft. attic remodel, with 5x7 ft. bath:

Job Cost: $51,400
Resale Value: $37,100
Cost recoup: 72.2%

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spaces for Your Kiddos!

Heeellllllo friends! has been so long since I have blogged. Life has been hectic this summer. A good hectic..though! We spent 3 weeks in the Colorado mountains....totaled my car (not so good)...and fun summer activities for the boys! Can you believe school starts in one month? Wow....summer seems to get shorter and shorter. What have you been doing this summer? I would love to hear from you!

So.....speaking of summer fun.....we have had to stay inside most of the summer because of the crazy heat. Look at these great kids spaces to spend some summer days lounging in!
I love the turquoise and brown and mustard yellow...super yummy!
Woodsy Modern Nursery modern kids
What a fun place for kiddos to hang....I think the swing and arm thingys are from IKEA.

Playroom contemporary kids
contemporary kids design by boston interior designer Kate Jackson Design

Love..Love....Love the bright green....enzos nursery eclectic kids

So simple.....and calming...
Nilas bedroom eclectic kids
I absolutely am in love with bright orange right now.How can you use this color in your child's space?Feathered Nest, LLC contemporary kids

HHmmm....why don't my boys closets look like this?ORG Reach-In Closet  kids

I can see decorating my oldest son's room like this when he gets a tad bit older...Willy aviation inspired kids bedroom by Imagine Living modern kids

Chalkboard paint.....always makes a space fun.....Playroom - Los Feliz Residence contemporary kids

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Barn Door in Your Home!

I have always loved old rustic barns. In fact..I wish I could have an old barn that was just mine. I would make it a mommy cave. I would have a little craft station....reading area...and maybe even an old horse to keep me company.  But..for now....I think the closest thing to a barn for me is a sliding barn door. Aren't these doors great?

Ski House traditional kids

Kitchen contemporary kitchen

Z-loft modern living room

Crown-Industrial Barn Door Hardware contemporary dining room

Barton Hills  family room

Northside residence kitchen eclectic kitchen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fence Etiquette: Tips to Avoid Neighbor Disputes

Recently, our fence fell down due to one of the storms. Honestly, we are still working on putting it back up. We have secured the fence posts with cement..but we still need to put up the panels. When there is damage to a fence that you share with a neighbor...this can be a challenging issue. Who pays for it? Here is another great article by Ann Cochran that provides great advice on handling this issue.


Observe boundaries: Don’t risk having to tear down that fence by going even one inch over your property line. Study your house line drawing or plat or order a new survey ($500 to $1,000) from a land surveyor to be sure of boundaries. Fence companies usually install a foot inside the line, to be on the safe side.

Respect limits: Fencing companies obtain permits and must know local zoning regulations for height, setbacks, and other restrictions. Height limits typically are 6 feet for side and back yards; 4 feet for front yards. More restrictive rules often apply to corner lots, where blind curves can limit driving visibility. To avoid disputes, review restrictions with your fence company before choosing a fence.

Follow HOA rules: Fencing companies are not responsible for knowing home owners association dos and don’ts; that’s your job. Unless you want to suffer committee wrath, and engage in a dispute, follow HOA guidelines. HOAs can dictate style, height, and maintenance. If your HOA wants all structures to match, you won’t have much wiggle room.


Share your plans: No one likes surprises. Before installing, save yourself a fence dispute and have a conversation with neighbors. If property line issues exist, resolve them before installation. No need to show neighbors the design—that’s just inviting trouble. They have to live with your choice unless it lowers property values or is dangerous.

Put the best face outward: It’s common practice to put the more finished side of your fence facing the street and your neighbor’s yard.  

Maintain and improve: It’s your responsibility to clean and maintain both sides. If an aging section starts to lean, shore it or replace it.


  • If you have a valid reason for wanting an extra high structure, to block a nasty view or noisy street, apply to your zoning board for a variance. Neighbors can comment on your request during the variance hearing.
  • If your neighbors are damaging your fence, take photos and try to work it out with them first. If they don’t agree to repair it, take your fence dispute to small claims court. Award limits vary by state: $1,500 in Kentucky to $15,000 in Tennessee.
Ann Cochran has written about home improvement and design trends for Washingtonian, Home Improvement and Bethesda Magazine

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tree Falls Over Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

Hi Friends! Have you seen all the tornado damage in Alabama? I have a really good friend who recenlty moved to Alabama from Norman. Fortunately, her house was not damaged. you have seen on the news...many families homes were severly damaged.
I recently read this great article that fits this time of year well. It's an article written by Ann Cochran. will know what to do if that big old oak tree next door falls on to your HouseLove.

House damaged by fallen tree
Image: NOAA

When a tree falls

Your neighbor is responsible when a tree falls over your shared property line only if you can prove he was aware that his tree was a hazard and refused to remedy the problem. Regardless, your insurance company restores your property first, and later decides whether or not to pursue reimbursement from the neighbor or his insurer if the neighbor was negligent in maintaining the tree.

Before a tree falls

Write a letter to your neighbor before his dead, diseased or listing tree falls through your roof or over your property line.

The letter should include:

  • Description of the problem
  • Photographs
  • Request for action
  • Attorney letterhead—not necessary but indicates you mean business.

Trim their trees

If the limbs of a tree hang over your property line, you may trim the branches up to the property line, but not cut down the entire tree. If a tree dies after your little pruning, the neighbor can pursue a claim against you in civil or small claims court. Depending on the laws of your state, your neighbor may have to prove the damage was deliberate or caused by negligence, but may also be able to recover up to three times the value of the tree.

Before you cut, tell your neighbors what you intend to do to protect your property. They may offer to trim the whole tree instead of risking your half-oaked job.

Your tree falls

It’s always a good idea to take care of your big and beautiful trees, and keep receipts for trimmings and other care.

But if your tree falls over a neighbor’s property line, do nothing until their insurance company contacts you. You may not be liable unless you knew or should have known the tree was in a dangerous condition.  If you pruned a tree or shored up trunks to prevent problems, gather your receipts to prove your diligence.

Ann Cochran has written about home improvement and design trends for Washingtonian, Home Improvement and Bethesda Magazine. 

Rugs..Rugs..and More Rugs!

Happy Saturday friends!

I hope you have been having a super amazing week. We have been pretty busy at the Landreth house....lots of end of school activities....mixed in with lots of trips to Eskimo Sno...we absolutely are addicted to those yummy sno cones! And.....a ton of new clients looking for homes. I love this time of year because I get to check out all the new homes that are on the market...and there are some cuties out there!

So....right now at my house we are trying to decide on an area rug for the family room. Why is it so freaking difficult to choose an area rug? Should I go neutral..or gold bold with a funky fun rug? This is totally stressing me out at the moment. I have been checking out rugs on line and still have not found the perfect one. Have you ever checked out this website They have super adorable things for the home. I have been eyeing a few rugs on there.

So..check out these photos of some area rugs I found on some other sites......enjoy! Oh....I will let you know what we decide on too!

NJ Residential contemporary living room

Beach House Bridgehampton modern bedroom

Modern Vintage Nursery modern kids

Hilltop Delight contemporary family room

Home Office and Bedroom modern bedroom

Bal Harbour penthouse modern entry

Ramos Design Build Corporation - Tampa traditional living room

Outdoor reading balcony eclectic porch

Abbe Fenimore - Studio Ten 25  living room

Kathleen Burke Design traditional bedroom

Jens kitchen nook modern dining room

Soho Loft eclectic bedroom

Miami Townhouse modern kids

Ranch House Bathroom Renovation contemporary bathroom

Habersham project traditional family room

Western Springs Living Room eclectic living room

The Chuda Green House - Hollywood, CA Residence contemporary closet
Ok...I just had to add this photo of this area rug..because it just made me's just so tiny!