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


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


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.


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.

Lighting is the biggest challenge in Retail Design

Host Jan Addams – ‘DAT Girl Interviews’ – Retail Specialist Heddy Bing

This is Part 2/2

Jan Addams Interviews Ms. Heddy Bing Part 2  In this segment, Heddy discusses one of the biggest challenges in Retail design – Lighting!

  1. Understand and work within the city’s by-laws for amount of lighting allowed.
  2. Know the amperage level allowed in your space.
  3. Know the Kelvin lighting temperature choices.
  4. Warm temperature lighting ie: 2800 Kelvin is best used in residential.
  5. Cooler temperature lighting ie: 3500- 5000 Kelvin is used to enhance fixtures; mannequins; diamonds etc.


For more information you can contact 


5 Tips to make your store profitable

 CLICK on the Image Below to view –  Jan Addams interview with the amazing Retail Specialist – Ms Heddy Bing from Urban Spaces.

Jan Addams Interviews Ms. Heddy Bing Part 1Heddy discusses what it takes to make a Retail Store profitable.

  1. It starts with an idea
  2. Business Plan
  3. Budget
  4. Proper Timing
  5. Attention to personal style in your Retail Boutique Store.



This is Part 1/2; CLICK HERE to watch ‘Part 2’ of the interview.


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.


Budgeting for a Renovation – DD Part 2/8

Before you begin any Interior Design Project you need to take into consideration several factors such as:

The Location; Amenities; Existing Structures; Landscape details and/or Topographical features as well as the current price point of the other properties in the area.

The Interior Space should be designed to complement the lifestyle and functional use of its occupants and plan for the future use to ensure the home design and materials will fulfill its highest and best use for years to come. This is called from ‘Cradle to Grave’ Design and can include items like wheel chair access and secondary suites for mortgage help or to be used as in-law suites.

Trends last 7-10 years so, if you aren’t sure whether you should spend the Money or TimeGrab this FREE Report:

The 8 KEY Deciding Factors – Should you Renovate or Sell?