Janet Laughead BHHS Commonwealth Wellesley MA


Photo by RawPixel via Pixabay

The sky's the limit for cloud-based documents and files. Remote working is on the rise. The ranks of independent entrepreneurs are growing. For many, home is a place to live and work.

Here are three elements to consider for your work-from-home space.

1. Choose Your Workspace

Pick a bright spot. Daylight inspires!

Will you be having clients drop in? Aim to choose a spot near an entrance way, apart from your intimate living spaces.

For tax purposes, this spot can be a dedicated room, or a section of a room—as long as there's a clear division between your working and living space. Other storage areas in the home, or partitioned-off space that's fully dedicated to keeping business items, is also square footage to count in the deduction.

Take pictures each year that clearly show the partitions and the business use of the space. Keep your photos with your tax documents.

2. Furnish the Space

Decorate mainly as you would if your work space were in a corporate building. Keep your desk, professional items, and office-appropriate décor in the space. Don't have a playpen (unless your business is daycare) or a dining table in your designated office space.

Bookcases, wall hangings, mirrors, and framed art all look good, and dampen noise from outside your work space. Succulents or crocus bulbs can make excellent office plants and uplift the mood of your work area.

Protect your health while working at home by using an adjustable (sit-stand) desk. Does that sound too industrial for the look you demand at home? Never fear. Gorgeous, adjustable desks that complement your existing furniture do exist on the market. With a little searching, you'll find yours.

3. Declare Your Tax Deduction

Calculate your home office percentage. If your home amounts to 2,000 square feet and your office space covers 500, declare 25% as the percentage. The deduction may not exceed your year's net business profit. 

For smaller home office spaces, the IRS has a simplified standard deduction. Take $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet.

Speak with your tax pro about deducting a home business percentage from your homeowner's insurance, mortgage interest, utilities, and property taxes. Read the instructions, so you know how to plan your tax return.

Putting It All Together

For a tax deduction, your home office must serve as the core of your business affairs, or the place you do the bulk of your work. Whether you already have a home office, or are thinking of creating one, design your space so it fits the IRS tax deduction requirements—even while it uplifts your home, delights your senses, and inspires your best work. 


Ready to transform your home's interior from bland to fabulous? Ultimately, how a seller approaches home interior improvement projects is important. If a seller does everything possible to upgrade a house's interior, this individual could reap the benefits of a successful property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you give your residence an interior makeover.

1. Analyze the Current Condition of Your Home

Although a home inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase a house, it may be helpful for a seller to complete an inspection before listing a residence. In fact, an inspection may enable a seller to analyze the current condition of his or her residence and prioritize home interior upgrades accordingly.

Many home inspectors are available in cities and towns across the United States. If you hire a top-notch home inspector, you can receive unprecedented insights into the condition of your house and map out your home interior improvement projects.

2. Remove Clutter

Let's face it – you've accumulated a vast array of personal items over the years. These items may have served you well, but they likely take up lots of space in your home. And if you're not careful, your personal items may make it difficult for you to show off the true size of your house to potential buyers.

If you have an abundance of clutter, there is no need to stress. You can always sell excess items online or at a yard sale, or you can donate these items to a local charity. Furthermore, if you have personal items you want to keep, you can rent a storage unit to hold these belongings until your residence sells.

3. Clean Each Room of Your Home

Maintaining a neat, tidy home is essential, particularly for an individual who wants to sell his or her residence as quickly as possible. If you perform regular cleaning tasks, you can keep your house looking great for the duration of the property selling journey.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks. If you stick to a regular cleaning schedule, you can ensure each room of your home will dazzle at all times.

As you look for ways to upgrade your home's interior, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home interior improvement recommendations and suggestions. Plus, he or she can put you in touch with the best local home interior improvement professionals.

In addition, a real estate agent provides extensive guidance throughout the house selling journey. He or she will help you list your home, promote it to the right groups of potential buyers and much more. And if you have home selling concerns, a real estate agent can address them right away.

Improve your home's interior – use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your house's interior before you add your residence to the real estate market.


A coffee table is a bit trickier to decorate than a dining table, but with some expert tips, your coffee table is just a few minutes from being perfect. Here are some styling tips for a coffee table to consider next time you are touching up the interior decor in your home:

Stack up your books 

Coffee tables and books go together like peanut butter and jelly. Stack up books of same sizes on your table, but be careful not to make a pile or mountain of books. Four or five books arranged together are just perfect. The key about book stacking is the color coordination - gather books in different shades of one color for a clean look. 

Add a tray 

Second only to books, trays are a designer's go-to when styling coffee tables. Trays help to corral tabletop items, but they also send a sense of organization to your guests and make mini-vignettes that beautify your home. You can fill the tray on your coffee table with a scented candle or a bouquet of flowers.

Decorate with plants 

You can make your living room clean and organic by decorating your coffee table with plants. Succulents and air plants are the perfect choices, but the key is to choose a plant that thrives in low light. 

Balance height 

To prevent your coffee table from looking weighted, it is best you put the tallest item in the center. If you have one short and two tall pieces, put the short in the middle and balance either side with any of the taller items.

Display different pages 

You can give you coffee table a different look every day by choosing to display different pages of a book. Consider contents of the page as well as the colors. Colorful magazines are an excellent choice as they are engaging to guests.

Simple right? Designing a coffee table is not as hard as you think. If you don't have it in your home, it is high time you think of getting one and using it to enhance your home style.

When prepping your home for sale, ask your selling agent for appropriate items to display on your coffee table.


It has been written; the kitchen is the heart of the home. So, when walking through a model or open house, the kitchen is a significant appeal or detractor. Where the kitchen is relative to the rest of the living space is essential. The layout of the workflow can make or break the impression of the house as a whole. Any upgrades and extra convenience features can turn an ordinary kitchen into your culinary dream area. Other architectural choices can affect the ascetics of the property. 

Layout and Function

When looking at kitchen layouts, the choices are almost endless. How you use the kitchen will give you direction on what will work for you and your family. The number of people that will use the space at any one time can determine how much floor space in the kitchen you need. If you entertain often or tend to gather in the kitchen, an open concept may be up your alley. An island kitchen is another great idea for people who like to congregate and spend time in and around their kitchen. A raised bar on the island can help hide any messes while still enjoying the open island kitchen concept when entertaining.

Work Triangle

Placement of what chefs call the work triangle is an essential element in any kitchen layout. The triangle is made up of the placement of the refrigerator, sink, and oven/stove. In other words, gathering ingredients, prepping, and cooking. Having an optimize work triangle can increase your enjoyment in the kitchen. When touring open or model homes, walk the space as you would use it at home. You could visualize the steps you would take in that space to get your morning cup of coffee. Does the layout make sense concerning how you work in the kitchen?

Upgrades and Add-ons

Many remodeled and new construction homes boast kitchen upgrades that look impressive. A hot water dispenser alongside the sink is convenient, as is an ice cube and water dispenser built into the fridge. Look for those upgrades that lend themselves to helping you make better use of your time. Remember, the more gadgets there are, the more items to maintain. Go ahead and enjoy the undercabinet lighting, so you don’t stub your toes when grabbing that midnight snack. In addition to functional upgrades, some are just there for the overall esthetics; such as crown molding, Italian tile work, or pendant lighting over an island bar. Those can give an otherwise ordinary kitchen a “wow” factor that makes a real impression.

Contact your realtor for more information on locating your dream kitchen.


Buying furniture is a big investment in time and money. If you’re trying to match the style and color scheme of your home perfectly, it can be difficult to find something that’s the right fit. 

This is a task made more difficult when many large furniture stores carry largely similar items that don’t veer too far from the current trends.

If you want to buy unique furniture that meets your specific style it can seem like there are few options. However, there are many online stores where you can find just that, and so so by supporting small retailers and craftsmen.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on finding furniture that will make your home stand out. Read on for a list of how to find handmade and uncommon furniture for your home.

Buying local

One way to find unique furniture and support local craftsmen at the same time is to search for furniture makers in your area. Oftentimes a Google search will help you local nearby shops. However, you can also use websites like Craigslist to narrow your search down to your area.

If you’re having trouble finding people who make or refurbish furniture in your area, try searching for local businesses on websites like Yelp or Yellow Pages.  

Scavenge and refurbish

One way to guarantee that your furniture will be unique is to buy antique or discarded items and then pay a craftsman to refurbish and alter the item. This is particularly common with sofas and chairs.

Upholstering is an art form that requires a good idea, both for restoration and customization. Oftentimes you can find inexpensive, but well-worn, furniture at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and on Craigslist at very cheap prices.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of sanding, staining, or painting old furniture to give them a new life in your living room or kitchen. What’s more, when you take on a DIY project to refurbish a piece of furniture it will have added meaning and value to you, and you could discover a new hobby that you’re interested in along the way.

Online stores

There are a number of online retailers who sell handmade or refurbished furniture. One of the most popular web stores right now is Etsy. On Etsy, you can find craftsmen and refurbishers’ work who you appreciate and follow them to see what they have in stock.

Before Etsy, Ebay was the leading place to buy handmade and refurbished items online. To this day, Ebay still has a wide selection of items. Since many items on Ebay are auctioned, you also have the potential of winning a bid at a low price.

A third option would be to seek out the hundreds of small furniture shops online. A benefit or seeking out the manufacturer directly is that you get a chance to learn about the product and ask about customization.

Those are just some of the ways to find unique, handmade furniture for your home. Remember to be patient and to ask questions while furniture shopping to make sure you find the perfect fit for your room.




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