February 12 2020

Enjoy a Beachside Life of Luxury at South Cove by Zephyr

by racheal

South Cove open floor plan with beach views in Dana Point California

South Cove is one of Dana Point’s newest communities with luxury must-have amenities and a prime location you do not want to miss out on! This high-end development made up of 168 luxury flats offers up to 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and up to 2,038 square feet of living space perfect for entertaining guests or simply spreading out. Enjoy the simple convenience of being within distance of all of what sunny Dana Point, CA has to offer. Dip your toes in the cool waters of Doheny State Beach or Dana Point Harbor. Learn and explore at the Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area where there are over 150 species of native coastal plants and animals. Westwind Sailing offers safe boating and sailing education for the general public. You’ll easily find yourself living an active lifestyle while walking, biking, and rollerblading on the many trails in the area.

 

The standard community features in each floor plan at South Cove including exterior styling with dual-glazed white vinyl, Low-E windows, the option of balconies, patios, and roof decks per plan, and Boral fire resistant flat concrete tile roofing. The interior amenities include quartz countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms, Decora rocker light switches, recessed lighting at select locations, USB ports at the kitchen and all bedrooms, and pre-wire for ceiling fans in the living room and all bedrooms. The gourmet kitchens come equipped with GE Profile Series gas stainless steel cooktops, stainless steel pyramid hood, built-in single convection wall oven, and a counter depth side by side stainless steel refrigerator. Your brand new kitchen will also come with a heavy-duty garbage disposal and a kitchen island with bar top seating.

 

South Cove’s Luxury Home Designs also offer energy-saving features that are truly beneficial to your way of life. Central forced air heating and cooling, Low Flow toilets and showerheads, and temperature-balancing shower valves will all save you energy and lower your monthly bills. You will also find fluorescent lighting in the kitchen and garage, weather stripping on all living area exterior doors, and energy-efficient gas hookup at the laundry room dryer location.

 

Zephyr is an extraordinary development company with a commitment to sustainability and a history of bringing to life some of the most innovative ideas. Zephyr was named Best Builder in Ranch & Coast Magazine. The Park, Bankers Hill, and South Cove won multiple gold and silver awards at the NAHB Nations in February of 2019. Zephyr takes a fresh approach to the environments they create and strays away from designs that fall in the box of being simple or ordinary. Look for your next new townhome in Orange County at the beautiful beachside community of South Cove by Zephyr.

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February 6 2020

February Realtor of the Month: Liana Norman

by racheal

Liana Norman Orange County Realtor of the month in Dana Point

Our February realtor of the month is Liana Norman, broker-associate for Liana Norman & Associates and our Real Estate Market Expert for Dana Point, CA.

 

Liana prides herself on going above and beyond for all of her clients in the South Orange County area. She is knowledgeable in all fields of real estate and keeps clients informed in the marketplace using the latest statistics in the local area.

 

Liana has been in the top one percent of Realtors in Orange County for years. She began her career in 1985 working in the lending industry and transitioned into working in escrow and property management in 1987. While working in San Clemente, Liana obtained her real estate license in 1989. Partnered with realtor-associate Dusty Janisch, Liana has made over $260,000,000 in sales since 2000.

 

Liana’s main objective is to work diligently to assist her clients with meeting their real estate goals whether they are buying or selling. If you are in search for the perfect new home near Orange County, be sure to contact Liana Norman with Liana Norman & Associates for all of your real estate needs.

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February 5 2020

Millennials Are Dominating the Real Estate Market in 2020

by racheal

man holding a drink on a couch

Millennials are the next generation of home buyers that are making a wave in the real estate market this decade. They are the largest U. S. generation ever and are definitely making an impact. Millennials are expected to buy more homes in the next year than both Generation X and baby boomers combined. With lessons learned from previous generations, this group of tech-savvy adults has come to make decisions with a very different perspective. 

 

Despite the popular belief that millennials are less likely to invest in purchasing homes with their overbearing student loan debt and love for Starbucks, they are taking homeownership to a new level. Millennials were the most dominant buyers in 2019 and will play a large role in the coming year as well. In 2016, adults 36 years old and younger accounted for the largest portion of homebuyers at 34 percent. Millennials make up 56 percent of first-time homebuyers according to Zillow.

 

Rent prices are continuing to rise and more times than not, a mortgage may turn out to be much more affordable for a 30 something adult. This generation is taking its time and planning accordingly when it comes to their first home purchase. We are seeing many millennials becoming more frugal by moving back home with family members in order to finish school and save for their first new home.

 

Millennials rely heavily on technology to find and purchase homes

 

This is the generation that is extremely tech-savvy dominating with the love of social media. Millennials are twice as likely to use their cell phones as aids in their home search process compared to the baby boomer generation. There is literally an app for everything these days including an app that will assist in searching for and eventually purchasing a new home. In 2017, 99% of millennials searched online prior to making their first home purchase. These same buyers tend to look for properties with a social media prescience when trying to find the right home to fit their needs. Apps like Trulia, Realtor.com, and Zillow are just a few of the tools that have helped millennials dig into the real estate market.

 

Millennials are going green

 

Millennials are very interested in minimizing their carbon footprint by going green, which means they are on the hunt for lots of green features both inside and outside of their home. This generation is very environmentally- conscious and is looking to have efficient features such as low-emittance windows, fluorescent light bulbs, sustainable lumber, and solar energy. Many millennials have a desire to help reduce their carbon footprint and will opt for more all-electric homes that come equipped with induction stoves and heat pump dryers that are energy-efficient and will reduce costs.

 

Millennials are looking for convenience

 

Along with the desire to help save the planet, millennials are opting for communities that are closer to everyday necessities like parks, shopping, dining, and even employment to lessen the load of a commute. Many are riding bikes, carpooling, taking trains, buses, and utilizing Uber or Lyft to save funds and the earth.

 

Millennials want more space

 

This generation of adults is starting families and businesses, and entertaining guests. They desire homes with open floor plans and great rooms that will accommodate their growing needs. New homes with spacious and open floor plans are more desirable and allow for more options as life changes. Potential homeowners are looking for houses with options for an in-home office, game rooms, nursery, or even an in-home gym.

 

As more and more millennials begin to dominate the real estate market and express their specific home needs, home builders are making the efforts necessary to accommodate this growing generation with smart home technology and lots of amenities that will keep them coming. Millennials are making much bigger decisions than which Snapchat filter to use. They're making investments that will last a lifetime.

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December 30 2019

End the Decade Right at a New Houston Home at Meridiana

by racheal

Meridiana Amenities Cafe Sol

One of the greatest gifts to have is a cozy home to settle into during the holiday season. Gathering around the ones you love experiencing laughter, home-cooked meals, and family traditions are the greatest ways to close out the year. The lovely new neighborhood at Meridiana offers the perfect space for all of this and so much more! 

 

Positioned just near Pearland, Texas, Meridiana is brimming with upscale features and several amenities that are sure to fit your family’s every need. This development is in a prime location near all of your favorite places to shop, dine, and find entertainment. Visit the Houston Zoo, shop at Tanger Outlets, or catch a movie at the Premiere Cinema 6.

 

Unlike gingerbread houses with their cookie-cutter designs, the homes at Meridiana are built from scratch with you in mind by Houston’s top home builders. Homebuilders like Chesmar Homes and Lennar Homes will provide you with impeccable one and two-story residences with up to 5 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms. Square footage spans up to 2,733 square feet at homes built by Chesmar Homes and floor plans by Lennar Homes are between 2,302 to 3,359 square feet. A two-car garage with a storage area, a family room, walk-in closets in the master bath, and a covered patio are just a few of the must-have features you’ll find when living at Meridiana.

 

The amenities at Meridiana are abundant including a fitness center, conservatory, splash pad, family swimming pool, learning labs, and even community games and events! You can burn off those holiday calories when you take advantage of one of the walking, hiking, and biking trails available to enjoy. Or try out a Boot Camp Class at Max Fit perfect for all fitness levels. Allow yourself to be whisked away while enjoying a smooth ride on the ambassador’s yacht which also allows for overnight accommodations. 

 

Having fun can sure build up quite an appetite. Take a bite out of Café Sol, Maridiana’s community café open seven days a week. Whether you stop by during happy hour or a weekend brunch, you’ll find all of your foodie favorites at Café Sol. You can keep things light with an avocado salad, grab a juicy burger, or make your own pizza. Don’t forget to wash it all down with an ice-cold craft beer or cocktail straight from the bar.

 

Voted community of the year and developer of the year, Meridiana will not disappoint. Depending on the home design that fits your needs, price points range between the $200,000’s up to the $600,000’s. Stop by the Welcome Center at the Oasis Village to learn more about how you can close out the New Year in a brand new home at Meridiana. 

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December 30 2019

Four Ways to Decorate with Leftover Wrapping Paper

by racheal

Gift wrapping paper

The Christmas holiday is finally over and you’ve probably got plenty of excess wrapping paper leftover that will most likely collect dust for another year. But it doesn’t have to! You can easily use again, just not in the most conventional ways. Rather than letting rolls of wrapping paper take up space in your garage or storage closet, there are many alternative ways to make use of it. if you're looking to revamp your home, a great and affordable way to decorate is to do it with wrapping paper! We’re sharing four ways to decorate with leftover wrapping paper.

 

Line bookshelves 

 

Turn a drab bookshelf into eye candy by lining them with fun gift wrap. This may even encourage you to pull a few more books off of the shelf this year!

 

Line your kitchen and bathroom drawers

 

You can save a few dollars by lining the drawers in your home with your leftover wrapping paper that you already have. If you’re not too fond of the traditional green and red designs, you can always grab different colors and designs at your local Walmart or Target. This adds a fun little pop to your kitchen, bathroom, and dresser drawers.

 

Fill empty photo frames

 

Decorate the blank walls in your home with a few picture frames from the dollar store with your wrapping paper. This is a very affordable and unique way to create an eye capturing piece in any room in your home.

 

Cover your lamp shades

 

Add a little pizazz to your lampshades with fun colors and designs that will add to the room’s flow.

 

Whatever you decide to do with your leftover gift wrapping paper, make sure you’re having fun while doing it. Get creative and think outside the box. The possibilities are endless!

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December 6 2019

How to Save Money for a Down Payment on Your New Home

by racheal

Piggy Bank

One of the biggest accomplishments to make is finally signing on the dotted line for the purchase of your very first home, but how exactly do you get to that point? Although it may be everyone’s dream to purchase property in some shape or form, it may not be everyone’s reality. Purchasing a home can cost more money than you can gather in between your couch. You may need to use a few more tactics in order to reach your financial goals. Here are a few helpful ways to help you to curb impulse buys and be intentional about saving up for one of the biggest purchases you’ll probably ever make in your life without having to starve yourself.

 

Figure out how much house you can actually afford

 

Before beginning the process of saving funds for your future new home, it’s best to plan out not only how much you are willing to spend on a home, but more importantly how much you can actually afford. Have a seat and tally up your monthly earned income as well as your monthly expenses to see how much room you have to groove. This way, you’ll have the ability to figure out just how much you can save and how often in order to reach your down payment goal while still living very comfortably. Ramen noodles are a great option for a college student, but not so much for a family looking for a starter home.

 

Look into down payment assistance

 

There are options out there that can save you even more money on the purchase of your new home. If you are a first time home buyer, you are more than likely to qualify for assistance with your down payment. There is also assistance for those with low to middle income and veterans as well. This might mean a little more paperwork and a lot more research, but it also means less money out of your pocket for that dream home of yours.

 

Check your credit

 

Your credit score, as well as your credit history, are pretty important factors when it comes to making a home purchase. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for a loan and the more options you will have. Keep your credit score in check while doing these things and you’ll be on your way to owning your home soon.

 

• Pay your bills on time

• Use less of your available credit

• Do not open any new credit accounts

• Maintain a mix of credit amounts

 

Open up a separate savings account

 

One huge mistake potential home buyers make is keeping their funds for their down payment in the same savings account meant for other funds, like vacations, or vehicle emergencies. Open a new account specifically for the purchase of your home so that expenses do not get mixed up. 

 

Another good idea is to open an account with another financial institution so that you are not tempted to touch the money you’ve worked so hard to save. The act of borrowing from the account will be much harder to do when the funds are housed in a completely different bank.

 

Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account

 

Make the hard work of saving funds a little easier with automatic transfers through your bank. You can schedule however much you’d like and however often you need in order to meet your goal and can almost forget about it. 

 

Take advantage of your raises

 

For those of you that receive raises from your employer, it would be very beneficial to take the extra money that you receive and place it into your down payment savings account. Many people use the extra funds to buy more rather than to save for more. 

 

Remove credit card numbers from your favorite online shopping websites

 

Spending money unnecessarily can be a difficult habit to break and make it much harder to save. One great suggestion is to remove your saved credit card numbers from your favorite online shopping websites. This will make it less convenient to spend and more convenient to save.

 

Spending money online is much easier these days. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars from the comfort of your home with just a few clicks. Just thinking about having to get out of bed to grab your credit card may help deter you from making those unnecessary purchases as often, which will save you a ton in the long run.

 

Wait a little longer before making a purchase.

 

Another tip that will be helpful when saving is to wait before you make a purchase. Maybe give yourself a few days or even a full week after getting receiving your paycheck to spend money other than bills. Ask yourself the question: Do I really need this? An even better question to ask is this: Did I need this yesterday? That question can be mind-blowing when you realize there was no actual need for the item at all. You can also take the amount of money that you would have spent and place it into your savings account, whether it’s a fast-food meal or a new pair of shoes. 

 

Minimize vacation spending for a year

 

Save hundreds and even thousands of dollars by skipping out on the elaborate vacations for an entire year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun with your family. There are plenty of low-cost ways to have a mini-vacay right in your backyard. Choose more affordable options like driving instead of flying to your destinations. Select a location that is a little bit closer to home and make it a family road trip. Sign up for promotional deals to receive discounts for your experience at hotels, amusement parks, and more.

 

Pick up a side job or ask for overtime

 

To help you reach your goal a little faster, ask to work a few extra hours of overtime. If that is simply not an option for you, you can also make use of food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Postmates, or pick up and deliver groceries using Instacart. You can also use Uber or Lyft to offer rides or offer rides for the extra cash. If you have a skill that you’re great at, use it to make a few dollars. You can sell handmade jewelry, baked goods, or even offer resume editing services to go toward your savings goal and pay down your debt.

 

With a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of patience, you’ll be on your way to homeownership in no time! 

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October 30 2019

How to Get Your Home Fall-Ready on a Budget

by racheal

orange pumpkins on doorstep

The fall season is well underway and what better time to revamp your home than now? Making a few small adjustments around the house can make a big difference, but it can be costly as well. No one wants to spend all of their hard-earned money on décor that will only be up for a season. Fear not! It doesn't have to be expensive to keep up with decor trends. Some of the best pieces can be found right under your nose! Here’s how to get your home fall-ready on a budget.

 

Use edible décor

 

Throw a few apples in a decorative bowl you already own and place it somewhere in your kitchen or on your coffee table.  If you’ve recently gone apple picking in the spirit of fall, you’ve probably got plenty of fresh apples to work with. They’ll double as décor and a crisp juicy snack.

 

Pumpkins go with everything! Use pumpkins to decorate your home. Instead of carving your pumpkins this season, try painting them in colors like white, grey, or a nice shade of forest green. Place a few larger pumpkins near your doorstep and spread out some smaller ones where you see fit throughout your home. You can also opt to grab a few plastic pumpkins from your local dollar store and spray paint them in white, gold, or even bronze for the perfect fall touch.

 

Take advantage of thrift store finds

 

Your local thrift store is a goldmine for dirt cheap décor. You just have to keep an open mind when searching and sorting through all of the chaos. Dress up your fireplace with a few repurposed items such as a wicker basket, teapot, or an antique broom to give it a cozy feel. 

 

Make use of blankets and throw pillows

 

The use of blankets can add a simple touch of warmth and color without the paint job. You can grab a few throws from the thrift store or local discount store or use a few you have on hand. Bring in blankets and pillows with warm tones and plaid designs to throw over your favorite chair or ottoman or even on a back porch table.

 

Fill your home with candles

 

There are tons of warm fall scented candles available at an affordable price. You can choose to light some to fill your home or place a few in rooms for decoration purposes only. Alternate between different sizes, shapes, and colors with your candles.

 

Prepare Autumn Goodies

 

This may not seem like décor, but baking anything warm with a scent of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg is sure to fill your home with all of the fall feels. Creating memories in your kitchen with loved ones is the best way to bring in the new season.

 

Add color with wallpaper

 

If you don’t want to commit to painting your walls, consider incorporating wallpaper to add color in your home. You’ll save time and have the option to peel it away when you change your mind.

 

Arrange fresh fall florals

 

Use dahlias, ranunculus, and clippings from your yard to create an arrangement that is sure to make a statement. Here’s a tip: place your flower arrangements in the fridge at night to make them last even longer.

 

Have fun with decorating your home for the fall season on a budget. The possibilities are endless!  

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October 24 2019

6 Reasons Why a Great Room is So Great

by racheal

Great room with kitchen and living space

What is a great room? A great room is a large centrally located room that has multiple functions such as a living room, dining room, or even the kitchen. As of late, open concept living has been pretty popular. But why are so many homeowners leaning toward including a great room in their homes and why are builders including these in most floor plans? Well, here are 6 reasons why having a great room is so great!

 

The Illusion of More Space

 

The placement of walls between each room can leave you feeling closed in and closed off from everyone else in the home. Removing those walls will give off the illusion of more space. The large open spaces provide more functionality rather than having several rooms with unnecessary wall space. 

 

A Bird’s Eye View

 

With a great room or open floor plan, you have a bird’s eye view of the common areas of your home. This way you'll know what's going on in your home from many different angles all while standing in one spot.

Making sure that children play nice while you prepare a meal is another great reason for an open floor plan. You can be involved with homework help while preparing snacks after school or watch the game.

 

More Quality Time 

 

Having a great room within an open floor plan increases quality time and allows for families to gather together while each member still has space for themselves.

 

Ideal For Entertaining

 

Having a great room is the perfect addition to your home if you find that you like to entertain family and friends for small get-togethers. Guests will not feel confined to one room and you have the ability to socialize different groups of people while hosting.

 

Plenty of Natural Lighting

 

In a great room, there’s more natural light that comes in because of the lack of walls space. The use of artificial lighting is not needed as much which also cuts down on your light bill. Bountiful natural life can also boost your mood and you’ll enjoy your home even more.

 

Energy Efficient

 

You’ll find that a home with a more open floor plan provides for more energy efficiency. It’s easier to heat and cool. It is much easier to maintain the temperature of one controlled area rather than several rooms that aren’t in use. 

 

A great room offers plenty of benefits within the home, in addition, to its beautiful aesthetic. If you weren't much of a fan of open spaces before, this may help you get a better idea of why you may want to join the many homeowners that do.

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October 17 2019

There is Something For Everyone with a Riverside Home at Kadence Centennial

by racheal

Kadence Centennial owners bathroom suite

Kadence Centennial by Pardee Homes is a brand new development of master-planned homes located in lovely Menifee, CA. Enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment all a few minutes of your new home. Get some much-needed shopping done at nearby shopping centers like the Menifee Farmers Market, Menifee Town Center, and Menifee Countryside Marketplace. There you’ll find Lowe’s, Target, Home Goods and good eats like Chipolte Mexican Grill, Bushfire Kitchen, Red Robin, and In N Out Burger. 

 

Enjoy a few rounds of golf at the Menifee Lakes Golf Course or take a visit to the Mason Jar Brewing Company. Drop Zone Waterpark is the perfect place to be on those hot summer days with the family.  Kadence Centennial also offers easy access to neighboring cities via interstate 215 and Newport Rd. where you’ll discover even more for you and your family to appreciate.

 

Children who reside at Kadence Centennial receive a high level of education within the Menifee Union School District. Those who would like to continue their education have the opportunity to attend one of many surrounding colleges such as Mount San Jacinto College, the University of California, Riverside, or Azusa Pacific University. 

 

Take your pick of Prairie, Cottage, or Spanish architecture when you choose your desired floor plan. At Kadence Centennial, there’s something for everyone whether you have a large family or you’re just starting out. Multiple generations can live comfortably together with Pardee Homes’ GenSmart Suites® that give the feel of a home within a home. Kadence offers three-floor plans with up to 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a 2-3 bay garage. These open floor plans span up to 2,823 square feet of living space which are perfect for entertaining guests or just spreading out in your own space. You’ll also love the extra living spaces such as lofts, patios, porches, and even extra den space.

 

The new neighborhood at Kadence Centennial includes top-notch features in every inch of each home. The gourmet kitchens are comprised of a General Electric® Profile Café™ appliance package, under and over cabinet LED lighting, rollout shelves, and kitchen sinks and faucets in a variety of finishes. The bathroom suites include a drop in tub/shower with tile, mirrored closet doors, a door between the owner’s bedroom and bathroom, and the customizable countertops. You’ll have the choice of either a top or front load GE® washer or dryer in a spacious laundry room with upper and lower cabinetry. Flush mounted heaters at the covered patio are a great feature to have during the cooler months when you want to sit out and enjoy the scenery. The exterior also includes rain gutters at the entry and exterior barbecue gas stub.

 

Pardee Homes has been in the building industry since 1921 providing great locations, quality construction, community partnerships, and industry-leading green and safe building practices. This astounding homebuilder has received several awards including the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Corporate Advocate of the Year. Pardee Homes has regional offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas, NV and is committed to building great homes and even better communities for their customers. End your search for a new home in Riverside County at Kadence Centennial. You’ll be glad you did! 

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October 10 2019

7 Tips to Brighten Up a Dark Room

by racheal

Dark living room space

The type of lighting you have in your home is essential to your day to day life. It can deeply affect your mood and productivity. Dim lighting can contribute to depression and even affect your appetite. Bright lights can heighten emotions and make you feel more energetic. Having ample natural lighting in the rooms in your home is very beneficial, but what if certain rooms don’t offer enough natural lighting in the first place? Here are 7 tips to brighten up a dark room.

 

Paint Your Walls 

 

This is probably the most common way to brighten up a room that doesn’t get much natural lighting. Get rid of any walls that may have a darker paint color to liven things up. Grab a can of white or light-colored paint and watch your room transform.

 

Make sure to purchase a matte paint rather than one that is glossy. Matt surfaces reflect light in every direction rather than glossy paint that actually creates a glare. The goal is to reflect natural light equally in order to illuminate the room properly.

 

Add More Light Fixtures

 

Just one lamp may not provide ample lighting in a darker room. Consider adding a few more light fixtures to enhance the lighting in your home. 

 

Replace Lightbulbs

 

If you find that a room or rooms in your home give off a somewhat yellow light, you may want to consider replacing your lightbulbs. This is a great way to upgrade your home on a budget. Switching to daylights is an easy and affordable way to brighten up a dim room. You can find them at Walmart or order a few on Amazon.

 

Add Lots of Mirrors

 

Adding multiple mirrors in a room will not only brighten it up but it will give the illusion of more space as well. You can create a gallery of mirrors on one wall, add one large mirror, or one on each wall. Have fun with the frames to give your space a little more personality. 

 

Hang Sheer Curtains

 

If you want to brighten up your space, you’ll have to get rid of those drab heavy curtains and replace them with something a little more sheer. Sheer curtains will allow for more natural light to pull through into the room whereas a thicker fabric will take the lighting away. 

 

Clean the Windows

 

This may seem extremely simple, but cleaning your windows can make a huge difference. If you can safely clean both the inside and outside of your windows, they’ll be free from any dirt, dust, and grime that can trap more natural light from coming in. 

 

Trim Your Trees

 

Trees bring lots of shade, but they also block natural light from coming into your home. If you have any trees that are directly in front of your windows, trim them a little. 

 

You should see a big difference in how your dark room has transformed just by using a few or all of these great tips to brighten things up. Most importantly, you'll also see a change in your productivity and the way you feel walking into your newly illuminated space.

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