I’m turning my garage into an Air BnB!

 

Every house has a story.

This tiny house in Blenheim, New Zealand was built after Peter and his wife lost their daughter.

Needless to say, after her death, their home, life and family didn’t feel the same.

While grieving and healing, Peter remembered how both his daughters always dreamed of having a doll house. So he built one. He took recycled materials from the Christchurch earthquakes – the stained glass windows from the leveled buildings and the wood from the fallen houses – and gave them a new life. He used the unwanted, broken and forgotten pieces of past lives to build this tiny sanctuary in their backyard.

He named this tiny house after his living daughter, Abby.  (Today this little work of art is known as Abby’s Shabby Shack.) The tiny home is and has been used by Abby as a little retreat. Every time she is home for the holidays she stays here.

Today, when this house isn’t being used by Abby, it is being shared with people all over the world as an Airbnb Rental. Peter loves meeting new people, but he also loves to give strangers a bit of the same healing magic this tiny house gave him and his family.

I’ve thought about this story a lot recently because I too am creating a little Airbnb Retreat in my backyard.

When I moved into my 800-square foot home in 1999 it was just me and storage wasn’t an immediate concern.  Fast forward to 2007 when my twins came along and all of the sudden my space started becoming smaller and smaller  I knew I would have to get creative with storage. So I turned the garage outside into an office slash storage space.

Over the years, I’ve dreamed of all the ways I could continue to transform this space into something more.

As some of you may know one of my boys has Down syndrome and Autism. Who knows what the future holds but I want to be prepared in case when he gets older he wants a place of his own.

It’s not quite time for my son to be off on his own, but I still wanted to take some steps towards that dream. So I’ve decided to get started and share the space with others as an Airbnb Rental. My hope is that this little Airbnb can be a place for travelers to rest their weary bones or set up shop as they explore Seattle. Seattle Children’s Hospital is actually right down the street from my house as well. I hope families who have children staying at the hospital for extended periods of time will use my second tiny home as a little refuge, a place to put their head down at night as they heal.

So far, creating this Airbnb has been an incredibly exciting personal and creative adventure.

An incredible architect helped with the plans. I waited through the long permitting process and then after some time finally got an amazing contractor (yes this is no lie!) on board.  I’m working with my favorite Seattle organizing systems company, Organized Spaces, to ensure that I can still use a portion of the space for storage. And I even had one of my interior designer friends come over to be my second set of eyes, and help me pick the best layout plan for my bathroom. (I’ve forgotten just how hard it can be to design your own space…)

Today, I’d love to invite you on this adventure with me.

I’m going to be sharing this story in the blog, BUT I also will be sharing raw before and after images on Instagram and Facebook. Follow along! Send me your questions and thoughts. (If you have questions about design or where I purchased a specific item ask away!) I will be tuned in to answer questions and share my revelations along the way.

To building futures,

Happy Hour Honoring The Hutch’s Obliteride

Please join me and these eight other artists for one cause

Together We Will Cure Cancer Faster

Raffle Ticket Fundraiser

$5 tickets (cash only) 

Enter multiple times for your chance to win one (or more) of the nine prizes –

total prize value totals over $3000

 

Two great upcoming events

Please join me at one, or both, of these great upcoming events.

First one is happening at a new co-working space, The Riveter, on Capitol Hill that is all about empowering women.  Tired of living with clutter?  Looking for tips and motivation to get your home organized? Come here my Clear the Clutter talk at this beautiful space, Wednesday, July 26th at 10:00.  Click here to purchase tickets.  

Next join me and some of my favorite artists and fashionistas, Tuesday August 1st, for a fun happy hour at Gray Sky Gallery. There will be beautiful art, a fashion show, gorgeous jewelry and original home decor.  And best part is we’ll be raising money for Fred Hutch’s Obliteride which is all about CURING CANCER FASTER!  

 

Look forward to seeing you!

How to get the new home feeling without moving

Moving.

The never-ending sea of stacked boxes..
The stuff you’ve accumulated over the years..
The physical act of moving it all to a new space…

It’s stressful.
In fact, it is listed as one of the most stressful life events right up there with divorce, job loss and death.

It can make you want to hide in a cardboard box like this woman on Twitter.

But moving doesn’t have to be stressful.

It can be an opportunity for a fresh start.
Moving can help you reinvent your space, your habits and lifestyle.
It can give you a chance to make the changes you so desperately wish and maybe even need to make.

Today, I am going to take some of the stress out of your move and show you how to effortlessly set up your new home so you can have the real fresh start you desire.

(Psst… Not moving, but yearning for the feeling of a new home? Not to worry. What I am going to share will help you too. This exercise will show you how to effortlessly refresh your space, without moving, in a matter of 15-minutes.)

Okay. Now down to business.
I have a question for you.

Have you ever thought about how much time you spent in your house before you decided to rent or purchase it?

The truth: Probably 30-minutes. Isn’t that crazy?
The biggest investment of your life is made in 30-minutes.

It’s mind-blowing really.

In those 30-minutes you were probably hyper-focused on your love of the big windows, the neighborhood, the crown molding, spacious kitchen or the dining room and the furniture you could purchase to fill it.

You didn’t think about where the laundry baskets go.
You didn’t think about how you had one less closet in this house.
You didn’t think about where the pile of clothes would inevitably start to accumulate during busy weeks.

That’s what happened to my client, Jen.
Jen and her family moved into their new dream home and a year later felt overwhelmed by dysfunction and mess.

To help her start fresh again we did a house tour.
So what’s a house tour?

It’s basically when you go through your house, room by room and assess what is working for you and what isn’t.

While I took Jen through the house tour to plan her fresh start she had a few powerful epiphanies. She realized in that brief walk thru that she had set up her new home exactly how it had been staged when she purchased it.

She put all the furniture in the exact same places even if it didn’t really fit.
Jen had really just adapted to the house.
She didn’t think about how the house could adapt to her life, her family and their needs.

So what happened after the house tour?
I gave Jen a simple design and organizing ideas and tips she could use to instantly refresh her space.
Here is what she did:

  • Jen changed their dining room into a playroom for her kids. They never used the dining room so this was an easy change. They even made some money from this decision. They sold the furniture and made a couple extra hundred bucks.

  • She lined the walls of the coat closet with hooks. It took the hangers out of the equation and made putting coats away super simple. Random winter coats never ended up on furniture or in piles on the floor.

  • She bought over-the-door shoe organizers and hung them on the back of her kid’s bedroom doors for all their little “treasures”.

  • She also replaced the ugly “builder boobs” light fixtures with more stylish light fixtures which not only looked better but also gave off better light.

Jen told me the best part was that now every Saturday instead of spending the first few hours of their day trying to clean up the mess of the week, they were able to go on a fun new adventure with the entire family.

You can have this kind of fresh start too.

Here’s a 30-minute exercise which will help you go through each room and find quick and easy design and organizing ways to make it feel like home again.

Step one: Get a piece of paper for each room in your house that needs some TLC.  Go sit in each room and make a list of all the changes you want to see in that space. Pretend that time and money are not issues. (Also don’t forget the little things you’d like to fix. If there is a room that needs a new light bulb or your doorknob is loose on your guest bedroom,  write it down.)

Step two: Prioritize the list for each room.  Generally I recommend starting with what bothers you the most, or if budget is an issue, then start with the issue that is the least expensive to fix.

Step three: Prioritize the rooms. While this may feel “pie in the sky,” it’s actually very helpful. This will become your plan of where to focus your attention.

Step four: Start with your first room!  This is not a race, more like a marathon so pace yourself.  And keep in mind the three budgets that everyone has to work with – money, time and energy.

To new beginnings of every kind.

 

 

P.S. Need a one-on-one reinvention intervention? Get 10% off my design and organizing services until July 31st at midnight! Book your session HERE.

What my mother taught me about creating an organized home…

 

My mother made our house a home.

She made every inch feel comfortable and warm.  She is the one who transformed the rooms, walls and space into an ideal place to grow, learn, dream and become.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I can’t help but think about all the lesson’s my mother has taught me over the years about creating an organized home.

She truly taught me how to make any space a sanctuary.

It would be impossible for me to pick one lesson, and say this is the one that changed my life. However, today I’d love to share one lesson she taught me, that as an interior designer and organizer, I’ve used in my clients’ homes and my own home to INSTANTLY create more space without spending a dime.

For those who don’t know, I grew up in a traditional four bedroom home in Michigan. There was plenty of room for our family of six, but that didn’t stop my mom from constantly finding better ways to organize the space we had.

My mother is and was an innovative soul. Money was not abundant growing up, but instead of complaining about the lack of resources my mother got creative.

She started organizing.

She started thinking outside the box.

She started by creating a sweater closet.

There was a linen closet between our bedrooms. It was filled with towels. My mother moved all of the towels to the bathroom vanities.  Instead of folding the towels she rolled them up tightly so they would all fit. Then she filled the empty linen closet between our bedrooms with our sweaters.

I loved this sweater closet.

My mother and I were able to easily share sweaters, which was so much fun, and it also INSTANTLY created more space in our bedroom closets. I remember being surprised that this one act, the invention of the sweater closet, could change the way our home functioned.  

I have to say, my mother didn’t stop with the sweater closet. She took the doors off a closet in the laundry room so she could easily hang clothes fresh from the dryer. She made a space for me and my sister  in our bedrooms to blow dry our hair, so four kids never had to battle over the one bathroom.  When we started to move out, my mother turned one of the small bedrooms into the walk-in closet she had always dreamed of having…

In these moments, my mother didn’t just teach me to be resourceful. Really what she taught me, was to never wait for the perfect circumstancesShe taught me that nothing was perfect and that imperfection wasn’t a tragedy – it was an opportunity.

She taught me your home can be anything you make it and it doesn’t require a thousands of dollars, a complete redesign or drastic move to a bigger home.  

Sometimes, it just requires a creative eye.

In honor of Mother’s Day I am offering 10% off my 2-Hour Initial Consultation (through the end of June). If you want someone to help you create more space in your home, book a consultation here with me today.

GET STARTED.

Or if your wife or another woman in your life could use a creative eye and a little support with organizing, spread the love.

GIFT IT

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

©2017 Sara Eizen, All rights reserved.