Marni Jameson

Marni Jameson

By Design

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Declutter and depersonalize to sell home

Declutter and depersonalize to sell home

May 27, 2015

"First we need to remove all the stuff," I say. "What stuff?" DC asks. I look at him sideways and realize he's serious. Like most homeowners he doesn't see his home with fresh eyes.

  • Examine home for flaws before trying to sell

    May 19, 2015

    We start at the curb with a clear, unclouded eye. My friend DC holds a yellow legal pad, and a blue ballpoint poised to take notes about what needs to be done to get his Florida house ready for market, and, more specifically, sell fast at a great price.

  • Replace carpet before trying to sell house

    May 11, 2015

    When I arrived at the house, the vandals were still there. Every drawer and cupboard had vomited up its contents, and sweaty men with tattoos were lifting heavy things and swearing.

  • Build smaller with better quality, author says

    May 4, 2015

    Sixteen years ago this month, while covering real estate for the Los Angeles Times, I interviewed a little-known architect on the verge of becoming a household name.

  • Simplicity makes your home more humble

    April 27, 2015

    Living simply isn't simple. In fact, it's complicated.

  • You bought pricey sheets; take care of them

    April 20, 2015

    I still remember the day, and this is very sad, when my all-time favorite pair of old jeans gave out. I'd had them for years, and we'd gone everywhere together. I loved those super-faded, five-pocket, button-fly jeans, and, you know, I think they loved me, too. We were perfect together.

  • Buying the perfect sheets for your bed

    April 14, 2015

    Who knew so many people were losing sleep over their sheets? I didn't. Not until my column about creating a heavenly haven appeared two weeks ago, which tripped a feather-storm of emails from readers talking – and asking me -- about that most intimate part of their life:

  • Use mirrors as accents for good home design

    April 6, 2015

    Mirror, mirror on the wall, would you please go away, at least until I have my make-up on?

  • Don't skimp on luxurious sheets for your bed

    March 31, 2015

    I have been sleeping around. I mean that literally. In the space of seven days, I have bed-bounced from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., to San Antonio, and back to my own bed in Orlando.

  • It's time for spring-cleaning fever

    March 23, 2015

    It's spring, the time of year when raw unfettered daylight busts into your home like a SWAT team armed with floodlights catching you unaware: "You, you in the kitchen, put down the spoon and the ice cream carton and put up some rubber-gloved hands!"

  • Waiting for the repairman? Try these tips

    March 16, 2015

    As I sat waiting for the air conditioning repairman to show up last week, I began thinking about the chronic condition of late repairmen.

  • Look for connections when house shopping

    March 9, 2015

    In my current life as a nomad, where I live in houses that aren't mine and serve as their foster parent until they find permanent families, I sometimes pine for a home of my own.

  • Seniors finally downsize and are happier

    March 5, 2015

    "My husband and I have very different approaches to saving things," said Lee Switz, of Richmond, Va., speaking for – I am going to wager -- nine out of 10 couples in America.

  • Toss or keep: Answers to reader questions

    February 26, 2015

    Although I am not Ann Landers, I still get emails from folks seeking help resolving deep personal problems -- like what color to paint their kitchen or whether to put wood floors or carpet in their bedrooms -- as if I had some know-it-all Ouija board at my fingertips that would spit out the right answers.

  • Do heart math to figure out home's potential

    February 16, 2015

    The house has potential.

  • Getting rid of 'stuff' that represents the past

    February 10, 2015

    Unless you don't have a soul, and I know some people like that, you probably have what can only be called feelings. While in the feelings line, I got an extra helping, which may explain why some people lack them.

  • Managing memories and letting go of clutter

    February 3, 2015

    So here I am deep in the throes of writing my next book. I had better be because the manuscript is due to the publisher in less than a month, and I have already asked for one 30-day extension. I needed more time because I had to move in January, which tends to set a person back a few days, or centuries – even me, who has managed to turn moving into an Olympic sport.

  • Tips to figure out your 'home personality'

    January 26, 2015

    Years ago, I went to a party that had a wallet reader, like a palm reader only she read your wallet and told you about yourself.

  • Create a healing environment in your home

    January 19, 2015

    As homes go, the place was large: 245 bedrooms and 345,000 square feet. And though it looked and felt like a home in many ways, the new 10-story building I toured last week was really a hospital in disguise – a feat of decorating to be sure.

  • New trends define home decor this year

    January 14, 2015

    Whenever I get the news that the house I am living in and staging with my furniture has sold, and right after I pull the dagger out of my heart, I try to get psyched about my next home and the joys that await.

  • Splurge on fancy soap; you won't regret it

    January 5, 2015

    As we all get a fresh, clean start on a new year, I would like to bring your attention to your body soap, that sudsy stuff you rub into your pores every day -- one hopes.

  • Post-holidays, it's time to reflect -- and relax

    December 30, 2014

    As we ring in a new year, I'm thinking of bells and how fitting a symbol they are for the season we've all just lived through.

  • Home design lessons learned in past year

    December 15, 2014

    Every year at this time I look in my rearview mirror to check what the heck just happened. I flip through my 50 columns, and extract my favorite nuggets of advice, one lesson from each month, and serve it up in a 12-lessons-for-Christmas kind of way.

  • How to use technology to deck your halls

    December 9, 2014

    In homes across America, couples and kids are wrangling over the deep issues of the season -- clear or colored, flashing or steady – while "Silent Night" plays defiantly against a noisy background.

  • Take a look at your house; are you a hoarder?

    November 24, 2014

    But I might need it. But it was expensive. But it was Mom's. But it still works. But it was a gift. But I might lose weight. But it might be worth something. But it's irreplaceable. But I don't have time to deal with it.

  • Rent vs. own: The heart wants what it wants

    November 17, 2014

    The numbers are in. And once again, real estate data crunchers conclude: It's cheaper to own than rent -- 38 percent cheaper, to be exact, according to a third-quarter report just out from Trulia, an online residential real estate site.

  • Stock up to make hostess gift-giving easy

    November 10, 2014

    I hate to break this to you, but it's almost Thanksgiving -- the kick-off for six weeks during which we must go everywhere bearing gifts.

  • A homeowner's dream: What to do with a guest house?

    November 3, 2014

    Falling under the category of home amenities I have dreamed about but have never had is a guest house. Falling under the category of never say never is the fact that I now have one.

  • Remodeling DIY? How to deal with poor customer service

    October 29, 2014

    When I arrived at my friend's house, I did not yet know the trouble I'd caused. Jean and her husband, Tony, graciously squired me to the guest room, where I set my overnight bag. Then they showed me to the bathroom down the hall.

  • Pair flashy, rustic pieces to make decor pop

    October 21, 2014

    Atlanta architect Bobby McAlpine woke up one morning and saw the light, in the most poetic sense.

  • History told through chair styles is fascinating

    October 13, 2014

    If furniture could talk, a chair might just sit you down and say, "My great great grandfather, a stool, once told me, 'Son, you don't know what it's like to have only three legs.'"

  • Mid-century modern style hot in homes

    October 7, 2014

    Back at the turn of this century, whenever I heard the phrase "mid-century modern," which was rare, I was puzzled. What's modern about a style that started before I was born and that came of age alongside "Leave it to Beaver"?

  • Clearing out a parent's house means letting go

    March 2, 2014

    Up there in the category with death and taxes is this inevitability: At some point everyone will likely have to clear out a parent's home.

  • Even DIY failures are worth celebrating

    October 11, 2013

    "I can do that!" Who hasn't lived to regret saying that?

  • Feather trend takes off on flight of fancy

    October 5, 2013

    Every year, trends seem to fall straight from the sky into our homes. I mean that literally. You'll recall, several years back, the butterfly trend, soon joined by the dragonfly trend. The highly stylized winged insects appeared on everything from wall art to water glasses, from T-shirts to tattoos.

  • Remodeling gives new purpose to empty nest

    September 27, 2013

    Reality knocked me in the knees last week as I helped my younger daughter move into her dorm at Stanford University — 2,864 miles away from home in Orlando.

  • Easy fixes for some household annoyances

    September 21, 2013

    The pine kitchen table was getting more rickety by the day. And understandably so. The six-foot workhorse had been through a lot over the years: thousands of meals, hundreds of homework assignments, numerous bill paying sessions, a million cups of coffee and six moves through three states.

  • Blending styles makes decor less boring

    September 13, 2013

    Three days of packing. Nine hours of bonding with three movers. Two days of unpacking and furniture arranging (uhh, before you put that down, could we try the armoire upstairs?). Ten broken fingernails, two band-aids, 12 Advil and one icepack.

  • Smart staging is key to selling your home

    September 6, 2013

    The best part about moving into a new home is the fresh start. You have another chance to get life right. If you're like me, you believe that somehow, if you put things just right, your whole life will fall into place.

  • Tips make packing for a move go smoothly

    August 30, 2013

    The inevitable day has come. I'm moving. Again. Next weekend, and for the third time in as many years. This is what happens when you are a live-in home stager.

  • What not to pack for your college dorm room

    August 25, 2013

    About this time two years ago, I was packing my first child off to college. And I mean packing. What a production!

  • Why we get attached to parents' belongings

    August 16, 2013

    When I was a girl, I loved going through my mother's pretty things. She had a mirrored tray of French perfumes, which I'd open and inhale. She had a drawer full of jewelry, with stories about how each piece came to be hers, a scarf drawer that smelled powdery and luxurious, and a shelf full of purses.

  • The design sin of too perfect and precious

    August 10, 2013

    Too precious.

  • Top 10 home trends can lighten the mood

    August 2, 2013

    Everyone over 40 needs at least one person in life who is at least 20 years younger and can help him or her dodge the dreaded dowdies.

  • How they renovate homes and stay married

    July 26, 2013

    Some married couples, Lord knows how, work together in business. Some couples, heaven help them, remodel together. Jennifer and Steve Clark, of Lafayette, Calif., somehow do both.

  • Leaves of poisonous plants cluster in threes

    July 20, 2013

    I'd had it with the tree monster taking over my driveway. It loomed larger every day and threatened to eat me and my car every time we pulled in. As my personal rainforest grew thicker and more menacing, so did my resolve to hack it back … some day.

  • Avoid mixing metaphors in decor motifs

    July 12, 2013

    Thank the universe for symbols. If it weren't for that stick figure wearing a triangle, think how many men would have barged into the wrong restroom and been arrested.

  • Tips for getting the most from precious air conditioning

    June 28, 2013

    Ahh, summer. Long days, lazy nights, the drone of a baseball game ... and a broken air conditioner.

  • Orlando area's historic Capen House illustrates plight of America's old homes

    June 14, 2013

    This week, America came frighteningly close to losing one more piece of history. A wrecking ball was set to swing on a beautiful historic house in my town. All so a brand-new mansion could take its place.

  • Betty Lou Phillips delivers new design book

    June 7, 2013

    If I could download any designer's brain into mine, I would tap the head of award-winning interior designer Betty Lou Phillips. I would like to mainline her design sense, her eye, her sensibility, her shopping acumen, heck, I'd even like her wardrobe.

  • Tiffany museum teaches lessons of nature

    May 31, 2013

    Shortly after I moved to Orlando, I learned I lived near the Tiffany museum.

  • Selling a house? Here's how to get from contract to closing

    May 24, 2013

    After "you're right," my next two favorite words to hear are "escrow closed."

  • Sellers: How to get the most for your house

    May 17, 2013

    Receiving five offers in 48 hours for my parents' former home bowled me over, especially considering the real estate market we all just barely lived through.

  • Before the mancave, Dad doled out life lessons in the garage

    May 10, 2013

    My dad was a garage kind of guy. As a girl, I remember him there more than anywhere else around the house. He'd spend hours in his workshop-slash-mancave tinkering, working on the family cars and giving quiet advice. I'd settle in next to him, because here in the garage, in his masculine domain, he talked.

  • After sorting, here's how to store family heirlooms

    May 3, 2013

    I am not done yet. I wonder if I ever will be.

  • Delight is key element of the just right home

    April 26, 2013

    When I was a young woman contemplating marriage, my mother used to say: You don't just marry the man. You marry the whole family.

  • Readers advise on emptying a parent's home

    April 18, 2013

    I am not alone. The cyber mountain of emails I have received in response to my recent columns about going through my parents' home of 50 years proves it. The response has eclipsed reaction to any topic I have tackled in the nine years I have been writing this column.

  • What not to fix when selling a home

    April 11, 2013

    It's so easy, once you're in the clutches of home improvement, to keep improving.

  • House's renovation takes decades off its age

    April 4, 2013

    Everything must go. That thought drove me as I cleared out my parents' home of 50 years. Little did I know, once everything was gone, the real work would begin.

  • Peter Walsh's tips for keeping family keepsakes

    March 31, 2013

    Contrary to what Sheryl Crow sings, the first cut is not the deepest. The last cut is.

  • What to keep when emptying parents' home

    March 22, 2013

    I'm in a weird spot, standing in the home I grew up in surrounded by presumption, superstition and more memories than the Smithsonian.

  • Fact vs. fiction matters in pricing antiques

    March 7, 2013

    "Not for sale," read the lime-green sticky notes slapped on furniture throughout the estate sale. The Post-Its blare my ambivalence.

  • More home remodeling projects underway

    February 22, 2013

    Generally speaking, I am not a numbers person. That is, I only like statistics when they support what I want to believe: Weight down, bank account up. If they don't, I pretty much stick a finger in each ear, squeeze my eyes closed and make insect noises.



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