10.17.2014

HOUSE FIND - HARMON HOUSE - NORTH CAROLINA!

Well - We did it. After our house hunting trip out to North Carolina last week, we not only found a place, but we put in an offer on a house this week, counter offers went back and forth, and today, we settled! Hearing this sounds easier said than it actually was. The actual house hunt took probably 5  days, not including the online house hunting I did prior to the actual searching within the locations. We left Phoenix on October 7 at 5am PST and by 3pm EST, (after car rental, hotel check in + settle in and eat lunch) we were off driving to some of the locations from my notebook (some of which I was also pinning here). Doing this drive-by process helped us to rule out homes and areas prior to setting up a meeting with the local Realtor (Lindsay Brandon from Tate).


 Our new home - Harmon House!


 View down the street of Harmon House.

The next day, Jeff had to attend a District meeting all day, so I headed out on my own, searching the listings I pulled together. I first drove to the north area of High Point, and when in Rome - I also took a drive to the High Point Market area. I can't attend this fall (which kicks off this weekend!) but i will most definitely be attending for Spring 2015 (Can. Not. Wait!) From downtown High Point I drove north to an area called Kernersville - which Jeff and I had visited a few addresses the day before and were ruling out. The addresses I was heading towards were further west, putting us closer to Jeff's store location in Winston Salem. On my way there, I saw some of the headquarters for furniture corporations, and the most recent headquarter addition to High Point: Heritage Home Group (recognized the building from photos I had seen online). After touring yet another neighborhood and ruling it too out, I received a call from our assigned Realtor, Lindsay. We arranged to meet at a house I was hooked on, located in Jamestown.



House we toured in Winston Salem I found online before heading to NC.


House for rent - but was off market already.
 Original last house Jeff found online, around the corner from the one we bought.

After touring the interior with Lindsay, and discussing some of the "must haves" on our wish list, Lindsay went back to her office to pull together a list of houses for us - and I headed back to Greensboro to pick up Jeff after his meeting. Jeff and I got a quick bite to eat and continued our own house hunting journey, but this time driving around the Winston Salem area. When we arrived back at the hotel, we looked over the list Lindsay sent us, and I replied with our likes - plus I sent her a list of addresses (for Winston Salem). The next two days, well into the after-sundown evenings (and even rain!), we spent touring homes, giving compliments, but also really discussing furniture layouts, storage situations and what something would cost to bring it up to what we were wanting. By the time Saturday came, and no luck in our hunt, I was not only discouraged, but my nerves got the best of me and I was getting sick to my stomach.

I repacked to head out of Greensboro airport to Charlotte, to make my way back to Phoenix solo, and Jeff was staying behind a few days to get settled in his new office and store. He dropped me off at the airport, I got checked in, got through security, and even made my way onto the plane, only to hear the pilot say we couldn't take off because of storms happening in the Charlotte area. I'm already a nervous flyer, so I contacted Jeff to let him know we were grounded for at least an hour and a half, and I asked him to contact the airline to just change my flight to Sunday (felt safer doing this). By the time we de-boarded back at the terminal, Jeff had gotten me a new flight out for Sunday, and I just needed to get my checked luggage off the plane. He came to pick me up, and we took a drive to another house Jeff happened to find online - and he drove by the area on his way into his office.




The location was great - It's Kernersville, but newer development and close to grocery stores, Lowes, gas stations and the main highway (the 40) to go west for Jeff (to get to Winston Salem) and for me to grab to head east (to work in Greensboro or High Point).  We called the listing agent to ask about the house, and she asked if we'd like to tour it, so we said yes - disclosing that we are working with another Realtor. Although the layout of this house was nearly perfect, plus it had a few perks (4 flat screens and updated lighting throughout), we really didn't like the upward slop of the driveway (too slippery for icy winters!), plus the outdoor living space needed to be invested in along with preferred floor coverings, so we said thank you and we'll keep in mind.  Driving the area, we saw an almost identical home design (just around the corner) which we looked up online when we got back to the hotel.

I was flying out uber-early Sunday (7am), but Jeff set an appointment again with Lindsay to go tour this last house, later Sunday afternoon. By the time I arrived back in Phoenix and got settled in at home, Jeff had seen the house - taking additional photos PLUS 3 video tours for me to see. Its layout was better suited for us (driveway had minor slope - down to a flat driveway, entering the 2 car garage under the house, with adjacent house bib - all needed for car washing!) plus it had one consistent floor covering downstairs (wood laminate) and taller kitchen cabs (42") for storage.

Jeff flew back to Phoenix the next evening - the following day, after a long discussion and reviewing the photos, comparing it to our current layout + what we had in Florida - we came to an agreement and said "this is the one!" Jeff contacted Lindsay to put in our offer, she drew up the papers, we did a docu-sign and off the offer went. A day later they counter offered, we discussed and countered, they did too and we finally came to an agreement this afternoon and now the home purchase docs are signed - the process of relocating back east continues!



Also happening today was the auto transporter coming to pick up Jeff's truck to ship to North Carolina plus the moving company came to inventory & survey this house, it's contents, and layout - because since we currently have a third floor, it will take extra manpower to move this beast! My vehicle stays here as transportation, until loading day, and we'll have it picked up at the hotel we leave from. It takes at least a week to transport the vehicle across the country, so Jeff is here for a few more days, and we'll begin tearing down, patching and tough-up painting here before he heads back out to NC - which by then his truck will arrive.

Hard to believe but it's happening - three years in the waiting - And we should be shipped and ready to move in plus close mid to late November. Truly a Thanksgiving blessing this year for sure!!! I'm so excited, I want to go chop down my own live Christmas tree when we get there!! (Just kidding - but I am THAT excited!!) And online connections and friends have been just as excited for us when we shared the good news - so many THANK YOUs to Facebook and to North Carolinian's for making us feel so welcome! Good ole Southern Hospitality!




I'll share tips I've learned for house hunting + planning + packing in an upcoming post. Moving can be very overwhelming, especially moving across the country at holiday time. Each move we've done has been a learning experience over time -- and I think having experience planning and moving entire departments (especially during construction) has helped strengthen the move thought process.


House transaction now done via DocuSign.
Yes - You still print & read contract, but now sign online!

We're SUPER excited to become homeowners once again - Like Zillow says, "You're not just looking for a house - You're looking for a place for your life to HAPPEN!" And this couldn't be more true. I felt like my life had gotten put on hold when we moved out to Arizona. Yes, I learned new things, attended a few market events and we traveled to some places we might not have if we hadn't moved here - and for that I am grateful. But in terms of working, I think there will be more opportunities for me to get back to work living in North Carolina, utilizing my talent to help the furniture industry and  their showrooms grow, than there was for me living here in AZ - and Jeff too is going to have more opportunities to grow with the company since he is now in a "walk-thru" store (high corporate visitations) + its the District store and one of largest in his new District. I think Sephora too will enjoy her new views out the windows, and seeing GREEN (and snow too!!) again! And family is already lining up to come visit!!

Considering I was to fly into Miami today to visit my mom & friends, this was a pretty remarkable turn of events that I am grateful for!!

Thanks for stopping by - and stay tuned for the adventures of moving back east!


10.06.2014

MOVING BACK EAST - RELOCATION ORGANIZATION!

Yay! When My husband called me last week to tell me the news, the first words he said were "Start Packing!" Just around this time last year (in November), a carrot was dangled in front of the hubs of getting a possible relocation for us back east, at the time, to Pineville, near Charlotte, North Carolina. Needless to say, I went overboard with delight, sharing the "possible move" on Facebook - sharing the house hunting plus saving pinned homes to a board on Pinterest... However, it wasn't our time and the relocation fell thru. Flash forward six months later, and it happened again, the possibility of Jeff getting us relocated, but this time not only back east, but to Florida (to the Gulf Coast - Ft. Myers area) -- However this time, learning from the last experience, I didn't say anything publicly, I just mentioned it to a few people -- and that too fell thru. But now, another 6 months afterwards and it must be our time because Jeff got rewarded with a larger store and we're being relocated back east - This time to Winston-Salem, North Carolina!


Sweet Sephora has no idea what she's in for again... This part of the move breaks my heart - Breaking Sephora's comfortable routine, but I'm sure she too will be thrilled when she see's her new surrounding - aka GRASS!!! :)

 In the meantime, she's been lounging on the new wool throw I had picked up for Fall at HomeGoods - which I'm sure will come in handy on the upcoming Winter evenings in North Carolina!


We're thrilled beyond belief to be heading back east - and so too are our moms, family, and friends, who even though they are spread out along the east coast (from upstate NY to South Florida!), we'll still all be so much closer for shorter travel trips. Not to mention, all the events that happen back east from Brummfield Fea Market to NY Fashion Week, to High Point (yay! FINALLY I will make it to in the Spring!) and even the Design Bloggers Conference + Design Camp have been held in Atlanta (which is now just a short drive away plus Jeff's mom lives nearby.

Goodbye scorching hot summers, bacteria filled dust-storms and seeing brown at every glance - Hello change of seasons, crisp mountain air, American historical architecture and... THE BEACH - which now will be just 3-4 hours away vs the 5-6 hour trek we were doing once a year driving through the desert to get to the California coast.

Drinking more coffee these past few days - and I'm sure plenty more to come!

Jeff shared the news when he was told on October 1, and since then, I've been searching real-estate sites, to find us a 'new place to dwell'. Over the weekend, I shared my findings with Jeff (pinned to a secret board) and together we voted yes-no on the homes to house hunt. Sunday, I printed condensed versions of each of the homes we're interested in - a diversified mix of styles from old and new, with both options to see: to buy or possibly rent (since we will be so new to the area.

I categorized all the homes I printed into a binder, divided with tabs by area, listing the MLS rooms, square footage and price at the tops of the pages. This should help not only us, searching on our own, but if we do connect with a local Realtor, we can show them our specifics since we're short on time. When we relocated in November 2011, we had more than 30 days to move - this time we have only 30 days to move -- across the country -- and just before holiday... which is quite alright. I can't think of a better Christmas gift or blessing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving than having the opportunity to move back east.




The highlighted dates are for my already booked & planned trip back to Miami (next Friday!!) to see my mom and friends - can't wait for that trip either!!





Thank you God for answering our prayers. And thank you too Focal point readers, because I know I haven't been quite "myself" since we moved to Arizona, and trust me, it wasn't from a lack of trying. I think we made the best of our situation, from Jeff getting into golf (although that lead to him injuring his back and having spinal surgery just this past August) to this "City Girl" embracing the more relaxed rustic styling, without getting into the Tuscan trap, I could take. 

It. Is. Time. For. A. (cool) Change.


 One of the last sunsets I've seen here in AZ, looking out from the loft space upstairs (third floor).


And so it has been already - Thank you Lord!! 
I hope October is good for you too as well!


Thanks for stopping by - and please stay tuned for upcoming relocation updates... plus a few last shares of the transformations made on this, our  Arizona rental home...



10.03.2014

WELCOME OCTOBER + FALL MARKET EVENTS!

It's a new season and time for marking up those calendars with trade-shows and market events happening this Fall! From the premiere trade-show High Point Market in the historic High Point, North Carolina (the Fashion Week of the Furniture Industry!) to the Bi-Annual Thrift Studio fund raising event in Dallas and even local events here in Phoenix, here are a list of a few design & market events to save the date on for October...



High Point Market

Saturday, October 18 - Thursday, October 23

 
High Point, North Carolina

 




 Style Spotters LIVE!

Tuesday, October 21 - 9:00am -10:am

IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom A 

High Point, North Carolina






Interior Design Camp
  Saturday, October 18

Design Camp Breakfast
 Lexington Headquarters - 8am - 10am

Micro Design Camp with Keynote Speaker Mary McDonald 
Jaipur Showroom - 3pm - 6pm

High Point Market, North Carolina






Sweet Salvage - Fall French Market

Thursday, October 16 - Sunday, October 19

Sweet Salvage on 7th Avenue

Phoenix, Arizona






WestEdge Design Fair

Thursday, October 16 - Sunday, October 19

Santa Monica, CA



  
Insider's Look Into Showhouses

Thursday, October 16 

Design & Decoration Building

NY, NY






  Fall Market - D&D Building

Tuesday, October 14 - Thursday October 16 

New York City 






Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale

Friday, October 10 & Saturday, October 11

Palm Springs, CA

 







Thrift Studio by Dwell with Dignity - POP-Up Shop

Open: October 10 through November 8

Dallas Design Center

Dallas, TX







Thrift Studio by Dwell with Dignity Preview Party
 
Thursday, October 9th

Dallas Design Center

Dallas, TX 



 



Design Chicago

Tuesday, October 7 & Wednesday, October 8

 
Design Center at the Merchandise Mart

Chicago, IL






 Fall Market Day

Tuesday, October 7

Arizona Design Center

Scottsdale, AZ 




DISCOVER ADAC

Monday, October 6 - Friday, October 10


ADAC


Atlanta, GA






 Lucketts Vintage Flea Market - Design House

Friday, October 3 - Sunday, October 5

42350 Lucketts Rd. Leesburg, VA




WOW! What a packed month of design events!  
Do you have plans to attend any?
Thanks for stopping by!  

 

9.25.2014

12 Workspace Inspirations From Runway Looks + A Giveaway!

This week is the start of a new season - And with a new season comes fresh color stories and new perspectives on wardrobes and living spaces. While reorganizing your home for Fall and the upcoming holiday season, also take a good look at your home office workspace. You'll be needing a place to write dinner invitations, holiday cards, thank you notes - maybe even a recipe or two. Your workspace could be an entire room devoted to your home office, or it could be as simple as a writing desk behind your living room sofa or at your bedroom window. Your desk can be as meaningful as a family heirloom desk passed down to you, or as noble as a thrift find dining table you scored on a Saturday afternoon. With either, your desk is supplying a surface for your computer, laptop or tablet, plus someplace to write, with a comfortable chair and good lighting.

As times have changed, so too have interiors, with the need shifting now to more flex-spaces and multi-functional rooms. To help inspire you to re-look at your home office workspace, I've pulled together a 12 runway looks to translate into workspace interiors for inspiration...



  
Follow the Curve
Having a major coat crush this Fall, and the color + lines of this coat from Kaufmanfranco's 2014 Fall Collection is at the top of the list! Love the pairing for this room: The coat line mimic the curved desk, with the boots being the Jean Louis Denoit curved desk legs - and also just overall love the warm color palette!




 Casual Equestrian
Runway: Ralph Lauren Fall 2014
Room: featured in New England Home magazine



  
Feminine & Masculine Mix
Runway: Wes Gorden NYFW Spring Summer 2015 RTW
Room:W Design - Hong Kong



 Relaxed Elegance
Runway: Jason Wu Fall / Winter 2014
Room: Monique Lhuillier Bel Air home office - decorated by Jennie Abbott



 Cityscapes - Enjoy the View
Runway: Carolina Herrera - NYFW Spring 2015 RTW
Room: Upper East-Side - Manhattan - Champeau & Wilde



Pattern Play
 Not all runway looks need to be inspiration translating so literally - for example as above, the grid pattern of plaid from Christian Dior Fall 2014 can be inspiration for a chalkboard gallery wall - complete with empty painted frames to highlight important notes or messages for you or your family.




Tommy Times Two - Sleek Americana
 How is this take on Americana style? I admire the creativity and courage of runway looks from Thom Browne (left) and I especially love the clean minimalism style of Tommy Hilfiger's Miami home office, as featured in Architectural Digest. You almost can't get anymore "Miami" than the crisp look of white, and a splash of pop-artist Romero Britto!



 :: Spotted::  
Runway: Edun NYFW Spring / Summer 2015 RTW
See more of this attainable home office on Meg Biram's interview with stylist Mandy of Waiting on Martha.

 Functional & Feminine
Runway: BCBG Max Azria NYFW Spring / Summer 2015 RTW
Room: Ruthie Sommers - Chic pink office design with chrome & glass sawhorse desk.
  
Just a Little Shimmer
Runway: Reem Acra Spring Summer 2015
Room: Leverone Design

 Fancy the Fur
Runway: Ralph Lauren Fall / Winter 2014-15
Room: Tiffany Eastman Interiors - Barbara Barry Vanity / Desk




WIN THIS DESK!
Isn't it gorgeous?!
Bernhardt Furniture has teamed up with Hadley Court making this gorgeous HAVEN  Desk available as the last prize in Leslie's Timeless Design Giveaway series, that launched on Hadley Court today. The winner will be announced on her blog, October 23, 2014.


 You can enter to win at:  
Hadley Court Interior Design Blog Timeless Design Giveaway



While at Hadley Court blog, also be sure to view my guest post, including info for the 12th inspiration above:
Runway to Room Workspaces: Pairing Pantone Fashion Colors from Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. 


Thank you for stopping by!


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