Resort Style Ramp

4 TIPS to create a Resort Style Home

Casa DeckIn January, my husband and I downsized from a 3700 sqft. home on a half-acre to a low maintenance 2500 sqft home in the city with virtually no storage.  A month later after a horrific move (we thought we had downsized – apparently not enough…) we are now nestling into our new home.

Rather than bemoan the fact that we have no space, we have embraced the challenge and have called it ‘Resort Style Living‘.  When we are on holidays, we typically stay in an apartment style room with a beautifully decorated living room, bedroom(s), bathroom, and a mini kitchen with an eating area plus a laundry closet. There is internet, a TV and everything we else we need with nothing extra: 4 sets of cutlery, dishes, coffee maker, toaster oven, microwave, pots and pans, utensils as well items we need to cook with. There are also 2 sets sheets, towels; pillows, blankets… you get the idea. If we need anything, we call the management and it is taken care of.  We are there to have fun by exploring and enjoying our vacation destination.

We took that concept and are creating a ‘Resort Style Life‘.  We have thrown or given away items that no longer has a place in our home and have made room for things of enjoyment in our retirement years, such as a fun car, pool table, TV room and other areas (inside and out) to entertain family and friends. When we get back from our next holiday we won’t be sad to come home because we are living a Resort Style Life.

4 TIPS for Resort Style Living:

  1. Identify your true passions (hobbies, collections, entertainment, sports etc). Keep the items you will use and sell or give away the rest.  (I collect all things ‘Mermaid’ and of the sea.)
  2. Create a uniquely you spot in your home for each member of the family. (We have our own personalized office areas that is congruent with the theme of our home’s colours and style).
  3. Keep only items that give you the most joy and good memories. Take pictures of everything else as a digital memory.  (I took pictures of photos fading away in old albums and placed them on an expandable memory card in my digital frame continuously playing in my office.)
  4. Create a vacation themed home with furniture and accessories, colours, scents, and sounds that transitions your home (no matter its size or location) with your favourite vacation spot. (My husband and I are water babies that love the ocean; we are in the process of creating a tropical resort theme in our new home – now we can’t wait to get back from our Hawaiian vacation to our own little Mediterranean Resort.)

What type of Resort Style Living home do you want to make?  Share your thoughts below and let’s brainstorm ways to create it (uniquely and on a budget).

Written by Jan Addams (Designer, Author, Trainer) DAT Girl



For Sale

8 Tips to alleviate stress when selling your home

If you ever have had your home up for sale, you understand the stress it can cause.  Especially if you have been in your home a long time and are now downsizing.  (I speak from personal experience!)

There are so many challenges to face both physically and emotionally.  There is the uncertainty on pricing; the decluttering and depersonalizing your home to attract the right purchaser who will hopefully offer a fair price; the continued upkeep and hours of cleaning your home before ‘showings‘ that last 15 – 60min.  (I recommend that you are not home during showings as people will be looking at your house with critical eyes and not have the same happy memories that your home has provided for your family over the years.)

Here are a 8 ways to alleviate the stress:

  1. Know why you are really selling. IE: downsizing, upgrading, relocating etc.
  2. Do research online to understand the pricing of other homes both in your area and the area you want to live in.
  3. Select the style of home you want to live in and story board images of the exterior and interior on places like Pinterest and Houzz.
  4. Walk thru your home and look at it from a purchaser’s eyes.  If this is difficult, have a home stager come in and offer an unbiased 3rd party opinion.
  5. Declutter and depersonalize your home to make it appear larger and more appealing to a new owner. (It is hard to view a home as your own when you see family photos, very personalized art pieces and/or religious artifacts.)
  6. If you aren’t in a pressure situation, have a bottom dollar amount in mind so that emotions can stay out of the purchase process.
  7. Keep positive and understand that this ‘for sale‘ process will last for only a short time (relatively speaking – even if it feels like years!)
  8. When an offer comes in, deep breathe, and remember why you are selling and envision your new home as a new exciting chapter in your life.


Written by Jan Addams
(DAT Girl)  Designer, Author, Trainer

Resort Style Ramp

Costs for listing a home in BC

Time to Sell?

houses_and_dollar_signYou have read the ‘8 Key Deciding Factors‘ (if not go HERE) and have decided that your home no longer meets your family’s needs regardless of renovating.  Now what?

Most people realise that they need help to sell their home so hire a Realtor to do it for them.  This decision has many variables to consider.

Here are a few:

Many ‘full service’ Real Estate Companies  charge 5 – 7% on the 1st $100,000.00 and 1.5 – 3.5% on the balance.  This can add up really quickly and needs to be considered when you put your home up for sale.

For eg: A $600,000.00 sale price = $100,000.00 = $7000.00 + 17,500.00 equals $24,500.00 in commissions.  If your house is in Vancouver, BC the average house is over 1 Million!  So… a house that is $1,600,000.00 = $7000.00 +  2.5% =37,500.00 equals $44,500.00 to 3.5% of the balance = $52,500.00 + $7,000.00 equals $59,000.00  in Real Estate Fees!

Times have changed on how people view, sell and buy houses.  Thirty years ago, a Realtor received the daily MLS hotsheet of new listings and once a week the local MLS book.  Realtors went on weekly tours to all their office’s new listings so they would be well informed of the properties their company had to offer.  As a seller you called up a few different Realtors to give you a comparative market analysis of what your home could potentially sell for based on sold houses that were similar to your home. You listed your home with the Realtor you felt would give you the best service, pricing and fee structure.  As a prospective buyer, when you wanted to view a home you had to call the Listing Realtor and book an appointment.

Today the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is online.  Digital photos of homes as well as virtual tours make the process of purchasing a home much easier.  The services of a Realtor has changed as well.  Savvy consumers do their shopping online and are more knowledgeable about homes in general.  They are also asking the hard ‘why should I give my hard earned money‘ to a Realtor?  Some Real Estate companies have changed their fee structure to combat this.  One Percent Realty; Flat Fee Service; are a few companies that have come on the scene in recent years.

Regardless of which company and agent you choose, make sure you read ‘the fine print‘ to avoid any possible misunderstandings.  Good and honest communication is always the best policy!

PS: Also, remember that there are several other factors to also consider when you sell such as your house tax adjustment; title transfer fees; moving fees etc.  More about these in an upcoming post.

Written by Jan Addams

Resort Style Ramp

2014 – Summer Colour Trends

2014_trend-placid-blue-sandBy DAT Girl – Jan Addams

Colour is alive!

It is July 12, 2014.  The sun burns brightly while the sky turns hazy blue. We relish the longer days and love to feel soft sand under our toes and wistfully remember times of our youth.

In 2014 there are many colour palettes that come out to play:  Placid Blue & Sand; Violet, Tulip & Hemlock; Orchid & Freesia; Cayenne & Paloma. Regardless of what the media tells you are ‘the colours of the year‘, your personal preference is always more important.  We are all becoming more aware of how colour makes us look, feel and behave.

Colour is power!

By understanding and wearing your personal power colours and then surrounding yourself with them (add a touch of your complementary colours) will brighten your mood, make you look and feel younger and more vibrant!

If you would like to find out what your colours are – visit our page > Colour Harmonics to discover your POWER COLOURS.

Resort Style Ramp

Costs of buying a home in BC

Closing Costs: by Jan Addams


My husband and I are in the process of selling our home and looking forward to finding a place to call ours for the next 10-15 years.  I really do understand all the pain and frustration that my clients go through when they are renovating, or selling and building new. The excitement of looking for a new home can be diminished if your haven’t prepared yourself for the closing costs’. 


Here is a list required for the ‘BUYER’:

The following costs will be your responsibility upon closing:

  • Property Transfer Tax (PTT): For properties over $450,000 or for investment properties, the PTT is 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the balance of the purchase price.
  • Inspection fees: these fees vary based on property type; but typically run between $350 and $500.
  • Site survey: for detached properties, some lenders may require a site survey. If required, this will be ordered by the lawyer and will cost approximately $300-$350.
  • Title insurance: some lenders may require this, and if so, it will be ordered by the lawyer and will cost approximately $150-$200.
  • Appraisal fee (depending on the lender): $165-$250
  • Legal fees and Disbursements: typically these costs are between $750 and $1,000.
  • Mortgage Application fee: in some cases, the lender will require a mortgage application fee. This can be discussed with your mortgage lender.
  • Don’t forget about your moving costs which can include cable hook-up, movers, packing supplies, cleaning etc.
Resort Style Ramp

When is it time to Sell?

Deciding to sell our home is one of the toughest things we face.

Our Playa Belcarra Home 2004There are memories we will take with us wherever we go but, it is the unknown that often haunts us.

Are we making the right decision?

Is the timing right?

Will we get the money we want for our home?

Will we like our new neighbours and neighbourhood?

All those thoughts keep us up at night.  We relive the multiple fun and sad events we’ve had in our home and area.  We watched our children grow into fine adults and ultimately move on with their lives.  We wonder if we will have the same level of enjoyment if we move to a different space especially if we end up downsizing.

If anyone has tips to help others with the process – post them below.

Meanwhile, grab  the FREE REPORTThe 8 Key Deciding Factors I created to help you through this process.

Resort Style Ramp

Tis the Season…

Poinsetta Tis the Season to be…

At this time of year everyone is running around trying to prepare for the holidays.

This includes ‘Black Friday‘ shopping after Thanksgiving and then the Christmas rush. Last year I wanted a less ‘stuff’ Christmas as I really didn’t want all the hassle of putting up a tree and all the fixings.  I decided instead to decorate our spiral staircase.  In case you missed it Click HERE to view.  That actually proved to be more work than decorating a tree!

This year will be a little different again…

If you have been reading some of my ‘Downsizing by Design  Blog posts you know that we are in the ‘de-clutter not de-style‘ mode.  I have to look at everything – including Christmas Decorations – and assess what I want to use, keep or give away while still maintaining a ‘holiday not a humbug spirit‘.

I have invited my wonderful girlfriend over to help me.   I highly recommend this!  Not only does it make it more fun, you get to see your stuff with a new set of eyes.  All of us (including Interior Designers and Decorators) can sometimes get a mental block for our own homes.

Stay tuned for the ‘Ho Ho – Let it Rain or Snow’ video…

Article by Jan Addams -DAT Girl

Resort Style Ramp

When is it Time to Downsize?

Is there a way to gently downsize before it’s time?  

Glens_B_day_2011As we go through the cycle of life from renting our first apartment, to owning our first place to expanding to a home because children have come along.  Some of us continue to move around due to jobs and other factors.  Others create a ‘family home‘ that becomes the ‘go to place‘ for all birthdays, holidays and other events.

Whatever your situation there will come a time when you and your significant other will decide its time to downsize from ‘the big house‘ to more ‘compact space‘ that better matches your current lifestyle.

A few years ago, my husband and I  had to go through this very event. It wasn’t easy going through each space ‘de-personalizing‘ and ‘Staging it‘ to sell.  It made us nostalgic and grateful for all the memories created in our home. Once we got into the process it actually felt liberating to go through each room and determine what we wanted to take with us to our new place.

Here are a few quick tips we used that may help you:

Begin your downsizing a ‘Room at a Time‘ by going through your treasured items – furniture, accessories, clothes, photos etc. As you go through them, Place the item into one of 3 piles:

  1. Must Keep these items (furniture, accessories, photos)
  2. Maybe the Kids will want this (then involve them in the clean up)
  3. Time to Go to another home to enjoy (places like Value Village, Big Brothers, The Kidney Foundation and others are always looking for donations)

Once you have gone through this ‘room at a time‘ downsizing process, when the time comes to take the moving plunge it will be much easier.

PS: We didn’t end up moving – wasn’t the right time. But, when we do – we will be ready.

By Jan AddamsDAT Girl (Designer, Author, Trainer)



Resort Style Ramp

2013 Colour Trends

Interior Design Colour Trends in 2013

Emerald Green 2013 Colourby Jan Addams  CDECA™, LIIID, MIRM

Style and Design go hand in hand when it comes to colour.

In fact you will often see a colour progression from warm to cool colours flowing back and forth in intensity from one year to the next.  Pantone has been the leader when selecting a ‘yearly’ colour.

Colour is one of the most powerful elements in Interior Design.  Colour is a mood creator that can inspire or depress, heal or cause anxiety.  Colour can evoke memories that take occupants back to a time of pleasure or pain.

When you use colour with this knowledge you become more aware of how selecting the ‘right‘ colour for your own wardrobe and / or your home or office becomes as important as the food you eat and the air you breathe.

Colour is life, colour is health, colour is youth and colour demands respect.  So, when you come to choosing a colour for your room find inspiration from a favourite piece of art (painting, photo), fabric (cushions, drapery or area rug) or glass or stone  (counters, tile, flooring) and build on the theme adding each element like layering a cake which will lead you to the ‘final‘ selection your paint colour.  (See Benjamin Moore for inspiration)

Pantone’s 2013 Colour of the Year is Emerald.  That just happens to be my favourite colour!  In fact I think I need to find some toss cushions that will harmonize with my burgundy leather sofa to brighten my living room and calm my overly busy mind.

Click here to read more about how Color Harmonics influences your wardrobe, interior design and even your industry or business brand.  This is the Power of Colour!

What is your favourite colour?


Resort Style Ramp

Basic Black Designs

Liz Nandee from Basic Black Designs


Liz Nandee & Oprah
Liz Nandee & Oprah

She is seen here with Oprah in Vancouver.  She was hired to create beautiful & functional Stage Set designs for the Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver – January 2013 – Oprah Tours.Liz told me the sets were created to be simple and elegant to complement Oprah’s Dress for the Evening Event. They were also easily movable to accommodate an ‘always on the move’ Charismatic, Motivational Speaker.

Nice Job Liz!