Friday, September 14, 2018

Benefits of Staging a Home for Sale: Three Steps to Success



Greetings Home Owners!

A lot of thought goes into preparing a home for sale. It seems that most decisions are based on how much investment you are willing to make before the house goes on the market and what the return on that investment likely to be.

So, it may come as a surprise that little changes can make a big difference in attracting the right buyers. The interior and exterior of a house tell a story of how well the house has been kept, loved and appreciated. This story, when told right makes buyers feel good about buying your home. Together, we can make your house look and feel like a home that is really attractive to buyers.

Benefits of Staging a Home for Sale:

1.      Faster Sales: Staged homes sell 50% faster than non-staged homes - Trulia 
2.     Higher Selling Price: A staged home sells for 17% more on average than a non-staged home - Trulia 
3.     Home inspectors view staged homes as well cared for.
4.     Staged homes often get better appraisal values.
5.     Staged homes look much more attractive online and in marketing materials. Even better, a house that is staged draws buyers in and enables them to visualize your home as their new home. It’s a powerful effect.
6.     Nearly 90% of home buyers start their search on the Internet. Therefore, staging is a good way to make sure online photos pop.
7.     Staging a home ultimately benefits the seller in so many ways.
  
Excited to stage your home? Here’ s How We Work: Three Steps to Success

1.       Consultation:  I’ll come to your home to take a good look around, then discuss a simple and practical top-to-bottom interior design. After that we’ll create a plan together and I will be happy to help you throughout the process.

2.      Recommendations: Cleaning, Decluttering and Organizing. I’ll provide specific recommendations on decluttering and organizing your home and provide guidelines on how to do it. I always urge my clients to do three things: clean, declutter and organize.  


·         Why clean? Cleaning a space is the first step toward transforming it. I can recommend several area cleaning services in case you need help.

·         Why declutter? Clutter in homes is distracting and emanates stagnant energy. I’ll provide tips on how to tackle this task quickly and effectively.

·         Why organize? An organized home is attractive and welcoming. It’s that simple! 

3.      Interior Design with a focus on Feng Shui principles (the art of promoting positive energy, hence harmony in your home). This is the final step in transforming your home environment and promoting good energy throughout the house. I’ll help you to apply practical interior design enhancements for each room using your existing furniture pieces, flowers and plants in a way that complements that environment. After we’re done, you’ll feel the positive energy throughout the home. And it will attract buyers who just feel good while walking in and around your home. My expert understanding of Feng Shui principles is something that sets my services apart and will bring you tremendous value.

Consultation & Staging Home for Sale Fees:

Up to 1,000 SF: $475.00
Up to 2,000 SF: $575.00
Up to 3,000 SF: $675.00

Each of the above fees includes detailed interior and exterior plans for decluttering, organizing, applied Feng Shui expertise, and interior design enhancements. I’ll partner with you throughout the transformation process to ensure your goals are met and the house is ready for a successful sale!

Please contact me to learn more about my services and to set up a time to talk about your plans. Together we will bring your dream of a successful sale of your home into reality!


Happy Selling!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright ©2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tackle Visual and Digital Clutter!



Overwhelmed with visual and digital clutter? Do these pictures look all too familiar to you? Well, you are not alone; we all have some form of a clutter. Visual and digital clutter have a direct impact on your efficiency, productivity, the power of decision making and ultimately your success. 

Get rid of them in two practical steps:

Step 1: Assess what’s on your desk - Ask yourself when looking at an item:
·                           Do I need it or use it regularly?
·                           Does it energize or inspire me?
·                           Does it enhance my efficiency and productivity?
·                           Does it contribute to my success and prosperity?
·                           Let go of those items that don’t pass.

Step 2: Declutter your computer and communication devices:
Get rid of useless apps, programs, old emails, VMs, etc. Organize desktop icons too.

Finally, the best thing you can do to deal with digital clutter is to designate as few as five minutes each day to deal with downloads, email, apps, and whatever else crosses your digital workspace. Get rid of what you don’t need immediately, so you don’t have to spend hours sifting through it down the road.

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright ©2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.



Sunday, September 2, 2018

Saturday December 8: Holiday Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing Class in Santa Cruz Mountains!


Greetings Chocolate & Wine Lovers!

In this hands-on delicious chocolate & wine pairing class(limit 10); you'll make exquisite chocolate arts with Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate and your choice of incredible selections of organic ingredients such as herbs, flowers (culinary lavender included), dried fruits & nuts.

You'll sample your exquisite chocolate arts with a delicious French wine, the Domaine du Théron 2011 Malbec, a solid, rich, firmly tannic wine with swathes of fruit and spice, which beautifully complements chocolates!

Ribbon, raffia, a small red box and label will be provided so that you can beautifully package your exquisite chocolates as holiday gift for yourself or for someone special.

Class fee is $150.00 and includes a bottle of Domaine du Théron 2011 Malbecsamples of your chocolate arts and a small bag of Provence organic culinary lavender.

Plus, all registered students of this class will receive a one-time 10% discount offer on holiday items and all other items available in the Toque Blanche store located in downtown Santa Cruz and on their website. Discount code will be provided in the class.

The class will be held at a private home with a beautiful kitchen in the town of Felton in the magical Santa Cruz mountains. Easily accessible with plenty of parking spaces. The location and directions will be provided to all registered students a week for the class. I will provide an apron for each student, plus Meyer lemon lavender tea, organic French roast coffee and light refreshments. Since space is limited for this very popular class, early registration is highly encouraged. Click here to register!

I look forward to seeing you in class! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor

Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine. All rights reserved.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots & Garam Masala Hummus Recipe!










Greetings Hummus Lovers!

If you love hummus as much as I do, you'll enjoy this wonderful, yummy and healthy recipe! 

Delicious roasted rainbow carrots and the heavenly garam masala spice make this hummus simply amazing. So many ways to enjoy this delicious hummus, as spread on veggie wraps, sandwiches, flatbread and even as a pasta sauce. 

Kids would love it too and it’s a great way to add veggies such as carrots in their foods. You can also, put it a jar, take it with you to work or give it to family and friends as a present: Heavenly Hummus in a Jar.  

Organic Ingredients:

1 Bunch rainbow carrots
1 Can garbanzo beans
3 Garlic cloves  
1 Tsp. garam masala
1/2 Cup olive oil (divide olive oil portion into 2 parts, 1) for roasting carrots & 2) add the rest to the mixture
1/2 Tsp. ground cumin
1/3 Tsp. Sea salt

Instructions:

1. Peal rainbow carrots, chop, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle sea salt, ground cumin and roast at 400 for 20 minutes (see pics above). Let it cool for 30 minutes.
2. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans
3. Peal garlic cloves
4. Process all ingredients with the rest of the olive oil until the mixture looks coarse
5. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of garam masala and a few Meyer lemon rinds

This lovely hummus is wonderful by itself, but even better with a glass of red wine.

Enjoy!

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Promote Abundance & Prosperity in Your Life!


In Feng Shui, the entryway to a house is considered "the mouth of Chi." When a house has plenty of good Chi coming in and the flow of energy is positive and harmonious, the people living in the house will experience heightened levels of happiness, abundance and prosperity.  

The entryway to your home creates a first impression for you, for your visitors and for unlimited opportunities to come your way. It sets the intention for the rest of your home. When you stand at your entryway, it should emanate beauty, vitality and abundance. 

The entryway is also the transition area where we come in from the outer to the inner world. Keep it clutter-free, beautiful, vibrant and welcoming.


Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine


Copyright ©2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Simple & Practical Feng Shui Tips For A Child’s Bedroom!


Enhance Education, Success and Happy Relationships!

Applying Feng Shui to a child’s bedroom creates an inspiring environment that fosters enhanced education, success, and happy relationships with parents, siblings, and others. 

However, before you apply the below Feng Shui enhancements to the bedrooms of your children, it’s important that you bring them into the process. Start by discussing the benefits of a clutter-free, organized and inspiring bedroom environment; and then get their permission and full participation. After that, work together to design short and long term plans for creating and maintaining an inspiring bedroom environment that will empower them to thrive in all aspects of life.

Here’s your action plan for this project:

1.       Remove clutter. Partner with your children to support their efforts to clear jammed closets and drawers. Encourage them to remove toys, games, books and clothes no longer suitable for their age. To make this process simple and most effective, provide them with three boxes, 1) items for donation, 2) recycling and 3) trash. Creating space and visual openness helps your child sleep better and feel much more rested, which will lead them to be happier and more productive.

2.      Teach organization skills and maintenance methods. Provide storage systems, a laundry basket and trash can so that children can easily organize and store items, without having to leave them on their beds, desk’s and floors. These simple and practical measures will inspire and motivate your children to keep their bedrooms clean, clutter-free and organized resulting in fewer chores for you!

3.      Create an inspiring bedroom environment. Make sure there is adequate lighting in the bedroom. Also, bedrooms that are painted dark colors create too much oppressive energy. Bright colors, such as yellows, light greens, soft lavender and pinks are good energy and inspiring color choices.  Add inspiring and motivational posters and art to the child’s bedroom!

4.     Bed choice and placement in the bedroom. Make sure your child can see the door from his or her bed easily, but is not in direct line of the door. Bunk beds are not optimal. Children must have room to grow and the bed overhead exerts pressure on the child below. Because there is empty space below them, children on the top bunk may feel less secure. If possible, try to have a separate bedroom for each child. If this isn’t possible, there are many decorative ways to create division and privacy within a room for each child.

5.      Establish a space for study and accomplishments. Having a dedicated space, including a desk and lamp where your child can study demonstrates to your child the importance you place on education, your child’s success and achievement. Display awards, trophies, and tests with good scores in the child’s bedroom.

6.     Praise your children often. Throughout the transformation process and afterward, praise your children often. The practice of this amplifying self-esteem gesture will make them feel good, loved and appreciated, and will also encourage and motivate them to maintain a clean, clutter-free, organized and inspiring bedroom environment for years to come.

7.     Lead by example for your children. Children are like mirrors, reflecting everything that happens in their environment. The examples you set have a significant impact on their present and future development and aspirations. Keep your home environment, clean, clutter-free, organized and inspirational. 

Have fun with your children and enjoy the process!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright ©2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.




Thursday, August 2, 2018

Recipe: Zucchini & Yellow Squash Pizza w/o a Crust!





Zucchini & yellow squash are in season, delicious & nutritious. They can be enjoyed in so many different ways, one of my favorite way is to make pizza with them w/o a crust. You can enjoy this lovely pizza hot or cold, totally divine by itself, but even better with a glass of red wine. 

Ingredients (serving size 4):

2 medium zucchinis
1 medium yellow squash
3 Tbsps. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon rinds
1 Tsp. crushed dried tarragon 
A pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese 

Instructions:

Thinly slice zucchinis & yellow squash with a knife or a mandoline slicer. Arrange them in a baking pan like the pictures below, drizzle the olive oil, sprinkle the tarragon, sea salt & bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese & Meyer lemon rinds.  

Enjoy! 

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Living Room Feng Shui Tips


Finding a sanctuary in our modern world isn't always easy. Many of us work at home, or take work home from the office. Lots of us share spaces with significant others or family members, so turning down the volume of life at home isn't always easy.

To create a place to unwind, the idea is to remove the stuck energy in your living environment, otherwise known as clutter! So your mind and body can feel at ease and fully release the stresses of the day.

Living rooms are considered a common space where we want to relax and rejuvenate. Therefore, it should be clutter-free, organized and inviting.

You can easily create your own sanctuary, a place joy, comfort, relaxation, and rejuvenation by applying these very simple and practical Feng Shui enhancements to your living room:
1.      Declutter - Clutter is stuck energy!  This might be the hardest step for some, but clearing clutter in your living room will result in increase of the flow of energy, hence feeling good.
2.     Find a good view - If you have a great view of nature or the city, leave your blinds or curtains open to bring that expansive view inside. If you don't have a view, you can create one with a great piece of art.
3.     Appeal to your senses - Explore aromatherapy such as essential oil diffusers and even pure incense to flood the air with layers of sensory goodness.
4.     Add more nature - Nature is the ultimate relaxation nirvana. Add plants, fresh flowers and bring more nature into your living room.
5.     Rearrange your furniture – Furniture are not permanent fixtures and can be easily rearranged. Move them around to increase energy flow and remove furniture that have no use or purpose in your living room. While you are at it, get rid of cracked and broken furniture, lamps, smelly rugs, etc.

Get inspired, have fun with the process and make a habit of reinventing your sanctuary at least once a year!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mediterranean Summer Salad Recipe!

Pic. 3

Pic, 2

Pic. 3

This lovely Mediterranean Summer Salad is delicious, refreshing and very easy to make. You can always substitute this recipe’s veggies with other veggies to your liking. It's wonderful by itself and beautifully complemented with a glass of red wine.

Salad Ingredients: (serving size 6).

2 Cans Italian butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 Large fennel, washed and diced (remove exterior tough layers, use the tender parts only)
2 Medium zucchinis, washed and diced
2 Small watermelon radishes, pealed, washed and diced or a cup of diced radishes of any other kinds
1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon rinds
1/2 Cup green olives

Dressing Ingredients:

1 Cup dill, washed, drained and roughly chopped
2 Garlic cloves, pealed
1 Large Meyer lemon juice
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tsp. cumin seeds
1/5 Tsp. sea salt

Instructions: Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few time until mixed, but not too mushy, so when you pour it over the salad, you can taste and see each ingredient, pic 3

Salad Assembly:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, pour salad dressing over or you can serve the dressing on the side. Lastly sprinkle Meyer lemon rinds on the salad as garnish, pics 2 and 3.

Optional: you can also add some crumbled feta cheese to make this salad even more delicious!

Enjoy!

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine


 Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.