SMALL KITCHEN WITH BIG IDEAS!

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SMALL KITCHEN WITH BIG IDEAS!

 

SO you found a house that you love but because our San Diego prices can be daunting sometimes you have to “tighten” up that wish list when house hunting.  Here are a few tricks that can help a buyer achieve more space literally using “smoke and mirrors”  (neither term that I like to use for a kitchen).

This should be common sense but sometimes its easier hearing it from another source.  Think LIGHT!  Light colors just open up a space.  There are a billion colors of “white”. There use to be one “Navajo White”.  No more!  So if you are thinking of painting the cabinets a trendy “grey” just go a Dunn Edwards store (or just about any paint department) and they can recommend paint for cabinets.  Paint for walls, Paint for ceilings.  Don’t look at 100000 color swatches.  Let someone help you decide!  Dunn Edwards in Del Mar is usually not that crowded and are happy to help.  Plus they have list of painters they recommend.

Back splashes are also amazing these days.  No longer do you have to pick up ONE tile at a time and pray it all turns out.  They literally come in STRIPS that you can hold up to your wall and decide if you like the look before you glue it down.  Then grout.  And there’s a LOT of grout options!  Pick a bold design which will give the room focus point it would have had before.  You can literally buy a few strips and then decide.  If you are handy you can actually do it yourself.  I personally hire a professional handyman to be on the safe side.  I LOVE back splashes!

Shelving is wonderful!  Is there room above the stove?  Are your cabinets low enough so you can hang shelves above them?  Is there some wall space for shelving unit? Then put some of your loved possessions with bright colors to give that kitchen sparkle and shine!  Painting the shelves bright white also adds “pop” to small space.If possible remove some cabinet doors.  Paint the inside of the cabinets and leave open or go to a glass store and take cabinet doors.   See how these can be altered to fit in some glass inserts.

Pot racks are great.  Some people don’t like them but I love to cook and show off the wares!  You can even do restaurant shelving like the photo above and with large hooks use the sides and back of the shelving to hang pots and accessories.

Small kitchens can have their very own feel.  Let your imagination run wild!

 


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SAN DIEGO LIVING ROOM TRANSFORMATION IDEAS !

  With the help of a past Staging Course as well as Pottery Barn ideas I was excited to pick up some additional tips to pass on to clients thinking of relocating and selling their home.  They were going to another state so the size of the new property would be the same or maybe a tad larger so the ideas could happily travel with them on the journey.  I am fortunate to have a natural ability to “move furniture” around as well as having completed the Staging Institute Course so the following ideas were fairly easy to implement.

The living room was spacious and offered nice views of a canyon not super close but just far enough to add scenery when gazing out the windows.  It was interesting to note that they had a large sectional that faced a fire place.  Now in the winter and fall the fireplace is probably “roaring” at night- but the other two seasons you are looking at a nice mantel.  The sectional is great when you want to all spread out together, including the dogs, but for sheer entertaining and being functional a sectional takes up most of a room and usually can only be laid out in one way.  There was also a lovely imitation Person Rug that defined the layout of the sectional and the coffee table while leaving lots of empty “air space” in the room that was going to waste.

Solutions were fairly easy as the  family was not overly fond of the sectional anyway and it had seen better days.  The concern of the area rug was easy.  You can literally go to any store that sells “carpet” and give them dimensions you can pick out style you like and have it  “cut to size?.  They will even bind it for you so no frayed edges and “poof” you have the perfect size carpet.  This can be included when selling the home or taken with you. The floors were older Oak Engineered Wood so this was perfect as carpet blended in perfectly covering most of the wood yet utilizing the edges to frame the room!

We had budget for furniture spending and these days many stores that offer great pieces at reasonable prices.  Taking into account being able to see the views two separate “non matching couches were purchased as well as one arm chair.  Different sitting areas were designed to take advantage of the view as well as the fireplace.  Chairs and end tables were grouped into what was previously vacant space and instead of three lamps there were not five for better lighting. The great thing is the rug can be left for new owners or taken with sellers.  Voila room transformed.  I bet new owners will want to buy the sitting area furniture!

This is one of my favorite parts of selling real estate!  Plus you get my services for free when you list with us!  Luxury Living truly at every price point!


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SAN DIEGO HOUSING PRICES ON UPSWING!

Latest Real Estate VERY good news is that the San Diego housing market is still well positioned.  Scary as it seems we are literally outpacing national trends in sales!  The median home price in San Diego is now $475,000- obviously differs from zip code to zip code.  Its predicted we will have an increase in the next year if inventory continues to be low. However will be somewhat slower than this past year.  Great news for sellers – and good news for buyers as interest rates are never going to be this low again!  San Diego is literally the second highest market in affordability actually higher than Los Angeles.  Yes San Diego Housing prices are on an upswing!!!

Buyers need to BE READY to pull the trigger!!!  The right agent as well as the right “lender” will make the buying experience smooth in this high pace market.  If you talk to a lender that is NOT going to have the loan underwritten and funded locally RUN the other direction.  Getting pre approved by a credible lender goes miles in a market of “multiple offers”.  If you need a recommendation I have a great one!  Make this Real Estate experience one that as a buyer you have the upper hand in a highly competitive marketplace!

 

 

 

 


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BISTRO DRUNKEN CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS!

 

Sometimes at the end of the day you just need to NOT eat Italian!  This recipe though it has all the Mediterranean goodness that we love on a daily basis – has a “bit” of French in it and came out wonderful!  I’m “all about the sauce”!  And I serve it over brown rice – but obviously can be white or basmati.  Whatever makes you happy!  I can tell you the CHICKEN was happy! With that 1/4 cup of Flaming Cognac!!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 TABLESPOONS OF OLIVE OIL
  • LARGE TABLESPOON OF UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 2 LARGE CHICKEN BREASTS – CUT IN HALF – I — USED ORGANIC-  I swear I can tell the difference
  • LAWRY’S SALT AND PEPPER
  • ABOUT 10 LARGE SHALLOTS – PEELED
  • 5 GARLIC CLOVES
  • 1/4 CUP OF COGNAC-  You can buy fairly inexpensive one — it’s for cooking!  YES you can take drink!
  • 4 LARGE TOMATOES –  OF THE VINE ARE GOOD ONES.    Chop.
  • BALSAMIC DRIZZLE –  in gourmet section of store— just keep on hand- great over Burrata cheese

FIXINGS:

1.  In deep skillet heat the oil and butter over high heat.  Season with Lawry’s Salt and Pepper.  when fats

are hot but not smoking add the chicken and cook on one side till even golden brown.  About 5 minutes.

Flip to other side and again brown till golden.  Another 5 minutes.

2.     Reduce heat to medium high.  Add shallots and garlic burying them under the chicken at the bottom

of the skillet.  Saute covered, shake pan a bit until shallots are brown and chicken cooked.  About

20 minutes.

3.      Heat the Cognac in small pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds.  Ignite with LONG match and

pour oven chicken,  Shake pan till flames subside.  It will flame like crazy and Chicken is SO very

happy!

4.       Stir in tomatoes and  continue cooking until sauce is nicely blended.

5.        Drizzle a bit of the Balsamic Glaze on top.  Do not mix!

6.        Serve over rice.

YUMALICIOUS!  .  I promise – simple yet great dinner party dish!


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NORTH PARK 2 Bedroom Plus Loft Townhome For Sale

31st-living-room-heroNorth Park has become one of San Diego’s most coveted neighborhoods with its restaurants, shops, breweries and just plain city living at every turn!  Friendly people and coastal weather add to what has become one of San Diego’s favorite place to live!  This Finberg Townhome is in the “hub” of North Park.  Beautifully maintained and lightly lived in the previous owner spent over $200,000 in doing a “build out” which adds extra square footage making this property slightly over 1700 square feet.  Light wood floors frame most rooms.  The living area with its wood burning fireplace opens up to the kitchen and dining room area.    You enter the home thru a private gated patio perfect for nightly glass of wine or morning coffee and of course our Southern California BBQ’s. Upstairs is the large Master Bedroom with adjoining light Master Bath.  A HUGE walk in closet is a plus in any townhome.  Adjacent to the master is an office space that is multi purpose.  Nursery?  Work Out room?  The second bedroom offers a loft bedroom area as well as room for large regular bed.  Fabulous for guests with children.  Or a children’s special area.  Full bathroom is en suite.  GO up another flight of stairs and there is an office/library space that leads to yet another small room/office with open views of  North Park rooftops!  The kitchen features Frigidaire six burner gas stove and designer tile cabinets and flooring.  A tankless water heater and furnace are both newly installed within last few years.

Again, live in one of San Diego’s greatest neighborhoods and yet be minutes from the Freeway, Beaches and all that San Diego has to offer! North Park not a secret anymore!


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DEL MAR TORREY POINT ESTATES REMODELED OCEAN VIEW HOME

As agents we are fortunate when we sell homes to sometimes be able to watch the transformation that happens when a home is remodeled.  The owners of this Torrey Point Estates home purchased the property because of its location walking distance to Torrey Pines State Beach and of course the sweeping white water and night views from most of the rooms.  The buyer always wanted an beautiful bathroom to soak in a bubble bath and just relax in an luxurious setting under her chandelier!  Using the services of an Interior Designer you can see from the photos the amazing transformation from 1986 to 2015!  It’s magic!  A complete demolition was done and granite and marble finishes were brought in.  Custom cabinets were built to fit the bathroom’s exact measurements!  Designer mirrors and lighting frame the exquisite chandelier that hangs in the middle of the room!  Luxury next to the beaches of Del Mar,

Above the living room was enhanced by adding Espresso Maple Flooring and enhanced fireplace.  The  hardwood was combined with the slate flooring to add warmth to the color of the sea.   The entire home was updated with again professional Designer making sure that all the surfaces and floors incorporated the feeling of coastal living with supreme elegance.

when you see the photographs above you  can really understand the value that a home commands once it has been lovingly and professionally designed with attention to every detail considered!  Quality and location are two main ingredients when looking for the perfect home in coastal Del Mar.

Call for private showing and watch the crashing waves for yourself!  Just sitting In the living room with its warmth and style while looking at the waves of the Pacific will make you never want to leave!  California living at its best!


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WHITE WATER VIEW DEL MAR FOUR BEDROOM HOME FOR SALE

torrey-point-road-open-viewOFFERED AT $2,795,000

Designed to capture ocean views from almost every room this private and gated Torrey Point Home brings you not only water vistas but magnificent sunsets and night lights of the La Jolla Peninsula.  Rarely on the market this small enclave of custom homes is located overlooking the sand of Torrey Pines Beach where a short walk takes you to the beach and the village of Del Mar.  The feeling of living at the beach exudes not only from the inside vistas of the ocean but also from the multiple view outdoor living spaces.  A perfect home for entertainment flow.  Updated with beautiful finishes that blend in with the coastal feel include Espresso Maple Floors, Granite, Travertine, Slate and custom cabinetry.  A truly special space with sophisticated edge blending coastal living.  Kitchen and bathrooms all updated with the Master Suite offering white water views and walk out patio.  Master Bath also features a European Spa Shower with Jacuzzi and steam, Toto toilet with every feature imaginable and custom designed cabinets and gorgeous chandelier!

Fireplaces in the Great Room as well as the Master suite allow views of twinkling flames offsetting the views of the Pacific.  Formal dining room as well as again ocean view kitchen nook with views of the ocean and the semi private tennis courts.  Low maintenance living at its best with rolling landscaping being taken are of by the Association.  The private Jacuzzi areas has privacy wall of trees and is steps to tennis courts.

In pristine condition this home is a Del Mar gem and truly the best value on the market with this proximity to the sand, ocean, and Village of Del Mar.


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Spring Cleaning and Declutering Ideas

From selling houses for many years I have seen my share of “clutter”!  It’s easy to work with a client to declutter their home because we are both excited to make the house look as open and fresh as possible.  However when I walk into my own house I think “well this would look differently if I was putting MY home on the market!  We have two dogs that we adore!  So much there are “duplicate” dog beds in at least three rooms of our house.  TWO beds in each room.  Well – there are two dogs after all!  So here are some ideas that will help declutter your house.  I have more – check next blog as don’t want to overwhelm anyone!

We put a chalkboard up on our kitchen wall.  It’s great when we run out of something, easy off, bananas, whatever.  We write it on the board and the next person going to the store knows exactly what we need. It works great!  If you have kids it would be very useful for school activities so everyone knows when to be on the hockey field!

A shelf in a kids room with baskets or colored plastic boxes works great for a place for hiding toys.  Plus it makes the room light up!  If you have a high couch or bed baskets are also a great storage area that can be “shoved” underneath the couch.  Take your camera equipment – lenses, filter, etc.  Stuff that you don’t every day is very stashable!

My kitchen is a mecca for organization!  I am a “home chef” meaning I own multiple sets of plates, tons of bowls, cook books galore, kitchen “Roosters”… you name it! I have a “restaurant style Stainless Steel” shelf,  See above – that works great!  I love the look it gives my kitchen.  Sortoff like its a William Sonoma store!  My favorite is the Fondue pot that I have never used and most likely never will.  Why do I keep it?  It’s cute!  If you have the room look online for “restaurant shelving”.    Its super easy to put together and again gives kitchen a great look!

If you are like me and tend to buy the same thing over and over because I don’t remember what I have.  Pasta for instance.  Get some glass containers and stick the pasta inside.  Not its airtight and will stay fresh.  I have this mysterious “tiny moth family” — the moths are tiny – the family is NOT!  I have cleaned the pantry – sprayed- hosed.  They just come back.  If they can get past the glass container the suckers can STAY here!

More ideas to come but these can get you started.  (and me- going to buy glass containers)


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Asparagus Risotto Topped with Garlic Shrimp

This recipe is a little time consuming because of the “stirring” of the Risotto – but honestly it is totally worth while as the result is just as good as any four star restaurant (in my opinion) and this is after only a little bit of wine while I stirred!

RISOTTO- INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • About 12 thin asparagus – NOT the giant disgusting size.  If you absolutely have to use frozen.  I used fresh!
  • Use only the flowery part not the thick stems.
  • 2 Tablespoon EVOO
  • little hunk of good quality butter
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian Risotto rice
  • Container of Swensen’s Chicken Stock –  I use low sodium
  • 1/4 cup White Wine — Any kind – just NOT sweet (ugh)

FIXINGS:

Sautee the onion and asparugus in heated Olive Oil and Butter – about 5 minutes

Stir in the rice – stir until the white dot appears on the kearnel(s)   (yes you can see it)

Stir in the white wine — let cook down

Heat the stock until boiling — then keep “really” hot

Stir in about a cup of stock – stir stir stir

Keeping adding the hot broth into the mixture and stirring as you add, little by little because the rice needs to absorb the broth as it cooks.  Stir Stir Stir…. drink little wine….stir!

When the rice is cooked (it should not be neither too hard, nor too soft) take the saucepan off the heat flame.  I know it’s tricky to cook Risotto but the right texture makes ALL the difference between a good Risotto and a great Risotto.

At the end grate about four big “grates” of Parmesan cheese.  (Reggiano please)

Set aside and make shrimp

INGREDIENTS:(serving for two)

12 large shrimp-  devein- –   (mine had blue veins _ I do NOT know what those shrimp eat??)

Take lemon and give a good squeeze on top before seasoning

About 12-14 Cherry Tomatoes

1 large Shallot – chopped

5 Garlic – chopped

Magic Seasoning Salt – Prudhommes

Shake of Red Pepper

2 tablespoons EVOO

Hunk of good quality butter

FIXINGS

Heat Butter and Olive Oil

Add shallots and Garlic and sauté 5 minutes – Add Cherry Tomatoes for a couple of minutes

Season Shrimp with Seasoning Salt – Watch the “heat” –  taste with your finger as you shake

Add some seasoning pepper if you want a little more “punch”

Add shrimp and sautee

Finish with little pour of white wine and a shake of Red Pepper

YES you can taste the sauce and season to “taste”—

Serve over bed of Asparagus Risotto

AMAZINGLY GOOD !!!  Are you hungry yet???


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Ground Turkey Garlic Lettuce Wraps

HomesNCooking-Ground-Gsrlic-Turkey-in-Lettuce-LeavesGROUND TURKEY GARLIC LETTUCE LEAVES!  Easy and So Delicious!

INGREDIENTS

CHILI OIL

1 cup Peanut Oil

1/4 Cup Chili Flakes

In saucepan heat the oil until very hot but not smoking.  Add the flakes and remove from the heat.  Let stand till cool.  Pour into jar and use as desired.  Store in refrigerator up to 3 months and remember – the hotter it sits – the hotter it gets!

1 Head of Iceberg Lettuce

1 lb ground turkey- (yes you can use lamb — but not my choice of flavor!)

5 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 small onion – minced

Lawry’s Salty and Seasoned Pepper

2-4 tablespoons of Chili Oil –  Remember COOK TO TASTE –   this is NOT a restaurant – you can TASTE the food!

1/4 cup Plum Wine

About 8 blanched scallion stems

red and orange bell peppers — the taste of green ones just too strong for my taste.  cut into brunoise – teeny teeny tiny pieces.  But still with some form so they won’t be soggy.

With the Iceberg Lettuce— I cored the sucker.  Then I BLAMMED it with a good thud and it makes the leaves much easier to separate.  Sorry I left out the blaming from the video as it was a “good time” in the kitchen!

Mix the turkey, garlic, onion and salt and pepper.  Let it for about 20 minutes.  flavors marry!

Heat a Wok until really hot.  I used Paella Pan – worked great.  Add a little of the Peanut Oil around the edges and in the wok stir fry the turkey until it is cooked through.  Add chili oil, the plum wine and the brunoise of peppers and stir fry for about 45 seconds or more.  Peppers should stay crisp!

PRESENTATION

Fill the lettuce cups with the ground mixture and top with blanched green onion strip for “style”  Add extra Chili Oil if wanted.  I personally like the “heat”!

I served with Brown Rice and Mixed Vegetables — stirred both in a little peanut oil and added soy sauce.  The dinner was beautiful as well as tasty.  And so darn healthy you can actually have wine and then Ice Cream!!!!