Monday, October 17, 2016


Y'all know that we've bought and sold a few homes over our designing career right?  We've also been fortunate on selling them fast because we know how to stage, we try to maintain a home in the most tidy way we know, update the heck out of each home and we're great on negotiating with homeowners easily on repairs needed, etc..  Cuz let's face it, over all the homes we've owned, the majority have been older homes, even one from the 1800's.  
However, this property has been a true roller coaster ride on contracts but we're hanging on that ride!
After I wrote the last blog post, the first contract terminated.  They decided they wanted to be closer into the metropolitan area.  (we're the opposite, we keep moving further out cuz we've lived in Austin over 23 yrs and happy to get out of the congestion)  But I think anyone new to Austin doesn't understand that part until they experience it.  (and we're partial to our exemplary Lake Travis School District!)  
So, the next day after the first contract fizzled, we were excited because we had a back up offer come in.  Yay!  However, they had an Inspector do another report (cuz we had an initial one done by first buyer and it wasn't too bad).  With the new inspection, this guy pointed out everything you can imagine.  Let's just say he probably added to them backing out somewhat.  And/or it's just not meant to be.  Because of both of these contracts falling through, I thought it would be good to write a blog post about what I know from buying and selling, for what it's worth.
Here's my first point on buying a home:
1) if you have that "oh my gosh" feeling  the first moment you walk inside the prospective home, then it's probably the one.  (or for my hubby, he knew on this home the instant he was in the driveway that it was for us, seriously!)  BUT, it  can't be just for the's gotta be that "oh my gosh" feel for the hubby too.  Cuz a good marriage is when both are happy campers in the same house.  Trust me on this one.  We bought a home yrs ago that I loved but my husband wasn't thrilled about the hood from the beginning.  We finally moved and it was good for all.  Lesson learned, it's gotta be the right fit for both.
2) Don't buy a gorgeous home that you think you can afford, but haven't really put ALOT of thought into the tax bill at the end of the year, OR the HOA fees.  We custom built a "McMansion" years ago, in a posh  hood that we thought we had to have.   Well, every December when that tax bill came around it hurt, alot.  Lesson learned, live within your means.  Figure your tax bill up until the  kids need to go to college.  Then hey, figure your college bill needs.  We're sending our 3rd child to college  next year.  Luckily we've saved, but if you don't put away money now for your kids' college, then trust me, you will be in for a major wake up call when they're going to college.   (I say this, because the majority of our house lookers are young families)
3) when eyeing a property, budget your window treatments, yard guy, new furniture, etc...and if you're like us, then take into account you'll probably want to add on /remodel.  
4) when you read an inspection report, remember that not all things on that report are really that bad and if  you're buying an older home you'll have a long list of inspector's job is to point out EVERY negative thing he can cuz he's liable!  However, seller's half the time don't even know some of that stuff needed to be fixed or was hazardous.  Give your sellers time to fix them or have the give you a monetary allowance to fix them later, or use that money to buy a new sofa!
Now, a few points on selling your home:
 1)  Don't wait until Mr. Inspector makes his negative list for your buyers.  Schedule your own Inspector when you market your home.  Doing so, gives you time to address what he'll find beforehand!     If not, you might scare off new home buyers that aren't used to old homes and all the issues that just come with a home's age.  They'll race down to the next hood with the brand new homes fast, cuz  your Inspector will scare them away from an older home!
If Steven and I flew everytime we had a mile list of inspections from old homes, we wouldn't have bought so many of them.  However, we've always been like Joanna & Chip Gaines and loved taking an older home and making it more beautiful.  We all know that Chip and JoJo don't balk at the inspection report.  
Now, honestly, I've never hired an Inspector before selling.  After this last Inspector ripped our house apart on every detail though(things that truly made a few of us laugh), we decided it's best to get an Inspection first from now on.  Then someone like that guy won't have so much fun writing all that stuff.  You want to make his job tough!  We've got subs lined up this week doing all this stuff around house showings.  Do it before you market your home so you don't drive yourself and your realtor bonkers.
2) Stage it right.  So true, and if you're not savvy on how to do this, then hire a stager.  Worth every penny.
3) Don't rush to take the first contract.  If you have time  to wait, then have patience.  Other contracts will probably come and go.  Don't think it's a done deal when you have that contract and start packing!  You have to really wait until the Option Period is up.   Then you can safely pack.   Then you really have to wait until the closing happens and the ink is dry to move those boxes yall.  
As we speak, we actually have offer #3 on the table from apparently a sweet couple.  However, we have  anxious out of towners coming this week, along with an appt this afternoon.  So, we'll see how they pan out before signing on this one.   We're just a lil gun shy and want to be 100% sure it's the right one to sign.   I'm thankful the Austin market is a good one, it just gets tiring showing the house and living in perfect-ville everyday.  If you've had a home on the market , then you understand my grief!   Self-inflicted wounds, I know.    
Cheers for the new week.  Stay tuned and I'll let  you know next week what happens.  Until then I'll try to practice what I'm preachin'....oh yeah,I'm supposed to be patient I said.  
In between that time, I need to show yall  some great new stuff we'll be carrying in the studio.  Follow along on IG or FB and I'll have updates this week.
p.s. I apologize if I didn't return your call last week.  I had two inquiries on one day, both were accidentally deleted from my cell phone.  If you're one of those, please contact me through my website "contact us" page.  
Make it a great one!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


 I can't believe that I haven't written a blog post since March!  I've been busy over the last few months and so I was mainly keeping readers up to date on Facebook or Instagram (cuz blogging just takes time!).  However, over the last month several people mentioned to me in various ways that they love following my blog;  really?!  I was honored to hear that really some of yall enjoy the blog even if you don't always comment.  Thank you for inspiring me to write again, because I have so much news that I want to share with yall!  I'm giving you the fast version in this blog post and then I'm onto regular scheduling each week of blog posts (and yes, hold me accountable!)

Ok, first off, we're buying a spec home built by Agave Custom Homes, pictured above, close to our existing neighborhood and selling our beloved Paleface Ranch home pictured below.

Why you ask?  Oh for many reasons, but short answer is that we're downsizing so that we can take on more endeavors and have more free time in Colorado when we like.  We have a contract on the property and just received a back up offer on it today and so we're excited!

I'll be sharing updates on how we'd like to tweek our new spec home once we close on the property,
 cuz would love to turn the red brick into this "brick smear" look that Joanna Gaines created
on one of their episodes with red brick also:

In design studio news, I'm so excited to add the talented and beautiful Andrea McLaughlin of McLaughlin Interiors to the JVW HOME team.

 Andrea brings years of gorgeous design work to the table.  You can view her biography and portfolio on our JVW HOME website also.  Here's a few of her great designs:

 Next off, JVW HOME is opening a design studio/showroom (after being in this biz for 17 years) in this commercial space.  We will mainly be an "appt. only" studio for our clients and designers.

However, we'll host occasional days that we'll be open to the public so that you can order fabrics, etc without having to drive all over Austin.

 Talk about a dream coming to fruition, finally!  God has HIS plan and just when I thought I might just go back to painting class and take more time off, HE pushes me into this endeavor , never know where life is going to take you.   Now, that I'm on this ride, it's a fast track but the journey so far has brought me together with such nice people and I'm so excited to share with yall this new chapter!   We'll be in this cute log cabin along with Direct Natural Stones (fabulous curated slabs of marbles, granites, etc.) and also Scout Goods and Design.  Together we'll have a design collaborative of offering our clients wholesale pricing on fabrics, rugs, lighting, countertops, window treatments, bedding and SO much more.  Not to mention a "shop" will be added to the jvw home site, for online ordering of decor.   Oh, and one thing we're so pumped about, are the custom porch swing/day beds we'll be adding.  Here's one I custom designed for a client a few years ago, and we'll have similar ones.

We'll have a sample hanging at the cabin in November and take custom orders at any time.
We'll also have a bunch of all weather fabrics to choose from to truly customize your swing.  Did I mention we ship all over the USA?  Yep, so stay tuned for more news on those swings!

We'll also have bedding in varying price points since our area really doesn't have alot of good bedding options:

Carry fun lines such as the colorful yet classic Dash and Albert rugs:
And also carry "on trend" lighting, furniture, etc  at designer prices, such as this light from Gabby Home:

Trust me, treat yourself and eye Gabby's site  for design candy!  You'll want to redo all your rooms :).

You've seen only a small fraction of what we'll have to show  you at the cabin, so you can see why we're excited.

Ok, yall now hold me accountable to show up , and write that blog post next week.  I'm excited to share more updates, and projects that Andrea and I are working on.  Until then, make it a great week and never stop believing in your dream.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Finally, I'm posting Part 2 of this fun project!  I know I've been MIA right?
Things are always swirling around here and had to also recuperate from some surgery.  
Feeling great again and ready to share more pics.
The first pic above is where we left off last time.  From the home office we'll go around this wing of the house, comprised of the breakfast nook (overlooks the gorgeous Lake Travis), the Powder Bath, Laundry (not in pics), Mudroom , and then onto the Master Suite.
The Powder Bath:
The vanity was purchased at Revival, and we added the beautifully shaped sink/faucet on top.
The vanity has a really nice paint finish with a blue/green glazed color.
Love the beautiful , simple grasscloth wallpaper.
And the jewelry to this room is the simplified modern version of a crystal chandy:
The mudroom for all their beachy/lake stuff.  (my clients spend their time between this lake house and also the Texas coast)
And onto the Master Suite.  We used alot of their furnishings from their previous home but added in a few new pieces:
Pretty curtain hardware from Restoration Hardware and custom linen curtains:
Into the Master Bathroom:

The freestanding tub also has a gorgeous view of the lake :

A custom vanity with a Caesarstone counter and simplified lighting:

And the jewelry  above the Master Tub:
Hope you enjoyed this part of the Lakeway/Firebird home.  In a few days, I'll have the remaining pics of the other side of the home.
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Pictures courtesy Gish Photography

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lakeway/Firebird New Custom Home

Today's reveal is a "Hill Country Modern" custom home I recently worked on.  I've helped this family remodel one home and also build two new homes.    The owner is a custom home builder, Craftsmen Custom Homes, and he also owns a framing company called Double Cut Inc.  in the Austin area. We always have a great time making all the selections and it's a true joy to help them each time.
I love the entry way with it's light fixture made of black iron and gold accents.  There's no glass on this fixture which makes it very nice for maintenance.  The table lamps were purchased separately but coordinate great together with the same finishes.
After you enter, you walk into the open space of the large Living Room/Dining Room/Kitchen area:
LOVE the chandy when dimmed, over the Dining Room table. 
We would love for the gorgeous shutters to be closer to the mirror :).  They were installed before we could change it and those screw mounts are very heavy duty and those shutters are VERY heavy.   So, moving them just wasn't worth the angst!  (these are those lil details that drive designers wonky)
Subway is just truly a classic and we used a beveled version here:
Love how the weathered wood look turned out.  We used Stephanie Fitzharris, a local faux artist, to paint the shelves , the wood vent surround and also the kitchen island.
The large walk thru pantry is located on the wall just behind the stove and this cute beverage bar is on the right side of the pantry.  On the left side (not pictured) is a coffee bar:

We utilized a space on the island for a paper towel holder, another fave detail.  We also painted the island color a soft blue green (aged with a stain),  and different from the white perimeter cabinetry.
Off from the kitchen is a planning desk and a built in banquette.   The reclaimed wood backsplash from Revival is another favorite detail with it's mixed patinas of blues , green and turquoises.   Love this cozy nook because it overlooks the gorgeous Lake Travis and their swimming pool.  The Sputnik style light fixture adds some modern bling to the space also.  (a great example of mixing the old with the new)

The mudroom is just further down the hallway also.
Next time I'll share the Powder Room and the Master Suite which is also on this "wing" of the house.
Until then, stay warm and hope you'll come back soon!
p.s. all pics shown were taken by the talented Christin of Gish Photography!
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