It’s pretty much established that most of us like a beautiful home. It’s our safe space where we let our hair down and recharge from the madness that is Life. Not all of us can rely on the acute eye of an interior designer and while some of us have a knack for colors and sprucing things up, a few of us are simply hopeless in that department. We are here to offer some guidance to help even the most design-impaired. We want to share with you a secret that cheers up any space and that will leave all your friends in awe about your decorating skills. What is this special secret you might ask? Well, it’s all in the details.
These are little things you can add to your home that will make all the difference. We’re talking about accent lighting, rugs, pillows, and a little bit of paint.
A more fleshed out list of things you can add to your home include:
- Types of lighting
- Wall decoration and art
- Pillows and rugs
- Window decoration (blinds, shades, curtains)
- Furniture details, such as nailhead trim, cushion piping, the shape of the feet, etc.
- Switchplates and plug outlet covers
- Architectural trim
- Handles and knobs
How Do I Start?
We recommend focusing on one room at a time. Take the surroundings in, make an intake of what you have in the room, what you like, and where you’d like improvements. Simply hopping online or going to a store and buying what pleases the eye could possibly leave you overwhelmed and you could lose track of the space and measurements.
A design board is very useful. You can use software, Pinterest, or simply draw your space on a piece of paper. Having a visual cue really helps our brains sort and organize and keep track of the project at hand. It will also help not to end up cluttering a room even more.
One of our stagers, Rochelle Dutsako, recommends considering what style complements your lifestyle. If your job is very stressful you may want to create a peaceful space with calming colors and minimal furniture and accessories; If you have a dull job you may want to create more excitement with color and pattern in your home. If you are not a very good housekeeper, adding tchotchkes to every surface in your house may make dusting an overwhelming chore, and perhaps embracing minimalism may work better for you.
It’s also ok to have fun with it. Mixing in some natural materials can really help balance a room that feels cold and uninviting. Even very modern rooms can benefit from a mix of natural elements.
Lights are details that must never be overlooked. Let’s see a few examples:
- Adjust the height of the light to add value to space.
- Play with different styles of lampshades, or wall-mounted lights.
- Play with Ambient lighting to draw eyes to certain spots.
- Consider smart lighting.
People tend to focus too much on the hardware of their lighting. Don’t get caught up in only the light fixture, pay some time on what type of color the lightbulb should be, i.eHalogen, compact fluorescent, and LED come in a range of warm or cool hues. The type of glow you, just like your wall color should be based on your personal preference and personality.
If your walls are painted in cooler tones, you might want to warm the room up with a warmer glow and you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.
This is the fun part. You can select a theme or even stage all your souvenirs. This can also fuel your new obsession with antique shopping. Some typical accessories include:
- throw pillows
- small artistic objects
- storage boxes
According to Rochelle, a tray can be a game-changer for your coffee table. “It can bring a few smaller items together and ground the table, a large coffee table book can do the same. Liven up your coffee table with a combination of different heights, shapes, sizes, and materials. You can also add succulents or fresh flowers to your coffee table to add an organic element and if you don’t have a green thumb, there are some really great realistic-looking faux succulents available today.”
She also advises practicing restraint. “Less is more. If you have a collection of a lot of little tchotchkes, consider rotating them, keeping some of them away in a cabinet, and bringing out different ones each season, this way your collection is not overwhelming and you’ll feel excited again about each piece as you display them.”
3. Accent Furniture
“It is better to invest in a few nice pieces that you really like than to fill your room with things just to fill spaces. Take your time in selecting things that bring you joy. Your home should be a reflection of you.”
A colorful accent chair can make a world of difference. We don’t need to follow the old norm of matching furniture sets. We can go bold and mix and match. Have fun with color, patterns, and styles. You also don’t need to buy everything new or secondhand, you can also consider reupholstering some existing furniture.
Rochelle suggests adding a statement piece to command attention. It should be the star of the show but also reflect your style. A statement piece should draw the attention first to itself then the eye should look around to secondary things and the rest of the room should flow with the statement piece and the secondary pieces. “Your fireplace, for example, tiled floor to ceiling with dramatic tile could be a statement piece, your sofa might be the secondary piece in the room that draws attention then the eye flows to the rest of the items in your room that play the supporting roles.”
Color affects our mood. A nice shade of blue can send us into a tranquil state of mind on a lazy Sunday afternoon, while yellow cheers us up and energizes us. Use color to create the mood you wish for each room in your home. Accent walls look stylish and cost less. Wallpaper is also coming back into style. Museums don’t need to be the only place with art walls, group all of your art together or make a family wall. But Rochelle warns that you should also resist the temptation to fill up all the wall space with art. “Provide space for the eye to rest, when a space is too full it can feel too busy and claustrophobic.”
A useful tip that Rochelle offers when selecting paint colors is to try samples on the wall and live with them for a couple of days. “The color might look different in the morning than it does in the evening.” Speaking of paint colors, be aware of the undertones in the colors and make sure they all work together. There are many neutral paint colors to choose from but one neutral may have a blue undertone whereas another one may have a pink undertone. If a room feels cold, consider a paint color that has a little warmth to balance it out.
“Paint is an easy thing to change and can make a big difference.”
Sunnyvale real estate is booming with home buyers trying to secure a little piece of paradise in a Sunnyvale neighborhood for their family to settle down in. Unfortunately, this popular area is made up of a patchwork of small neighborhoods that are not easily or formally defined. This causes a lot of anxiety for those looking to buy. Below is a guide of the most notable Sunnyvale neighborhoods and what each of them has to offer for a home buyer.
To be able to navigate the many Sunnyvale neighborhoods, we’ve divided the town according to its 4 zip codes:
- 94085 and
There are many smaller pockets of homes and groupings of streets within these zip codes. It’s important to differentiate between these micro-neighborhoods when looking at where you want to live or buy a home.
94087 – West Valley
This is primarily a residential pocket of homes, south of Fremont Avenue and west of Hollenbeck Avenue, that extends to the other side of highway 85. Homes within this boundary are some of the most expensive Sunnyvale neighborhoods, and also the most in-demand. This is largely due to the excellent K-12 schools: West Valley Elementary, Cupertino Middle and Homestead High. All of these schools are conveniently within walking distance to most homes in this Sunnyvale neighborhood.
Please note that the elementary and middle schools are actually within the Cupertino school district but still in a Sunnyvale neighborhood.
Another nice benefit of this neighborhood is Serra Park, which features a playground, spacious grassy field and tennis courts.
94087 – Homestead
Just north of Fremont Avenue and up to El Camino Real is the 94087 Homestead neighborhood. It is also commonly known as “Cumberland South”. This is a very popular residential area in Sunnyvale real estate, offering some townhomes but mostly single-family homes. The schools are highly rated and include Cherry Chase, Cumberland Elementary, Sunnyvale Middle and Homestead High. De Anza Park and Mango Park are wonderful local parks in this area. The parks are also close to Cherry Chase Elementary and Cumberland Elementary, as well as several well-known Eichler neighborhoods.
94087 – Birdland / Raynor Park
This Sunnyvale neighborhood is known for its bird-named streets, like Quail Avenue, Swallow Drive and Oriole Way. The Birdland neighborhood surrounds Raynor Park, between Dunford Way and Homestead Road to the south. Its proximity to the Apple campus makes it ideal for employees seeking short commutes. Raynor Park is one of the most desirable neighborhoods for buyers seeking “tear downs”. These are popular for a renovation or construction project, due to the large lot sizes and small existing original homes. The largest community-based urban farm in Silicon Valley is also here, Full Circle Farms. It has 11 acres of land just south of the Bryan Osborne Nature Center and Peterson Middle School. The schools here fall within the Santa Clara School District – Laurelwood Elementary, Peterson Middle and Wilcox High School.
94087 – Fremont
This Sunnyvale neighborhood is bordered by Homestead Road to the south, El Camino Real to the north, Hollenbeck Ave to the west and S. Wolfe Road to the east. Fremont High School is located here, as well as many city resources like the Sunnyvale Community Center, Sunnyvale Theater and Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum. Most of the homes are surrounded either by Ortega Park, Panama Park, or Heritage Park, making it a desirable location for quick access to sports and leisure activities. Other nearby conveniences include a 24-Fitness on Fremont Avenue and a remodeled Safeway and Starbucks in the Homestead Square Shopping Center on Homestead Road. Also close by is Las Palmas Park which is a popular Polynesian-themed 24-acre recreation area with a play area, tennis courts and off-leash dog area.
94086 – Homestead
94086 Homestead is sandwiched between Central Expressway and El Camino Real (82). While most homes in the 94086 zip code belong to Fremont High, this small section of homes is actually within the Homestead High boundary. This makes them highly desirable for families with school-age children. In addition to single-family homes, there are a fair number of apartments and townhomes in this Sunnyvale neighborhood, as well as a couple of mobile home parks. Washington Park has basketball courts, a play structure, horseshoe pits, a swimming pool and tennis courts. Across the street is the Stratford School Sunnyvale campus, which is a popular pre-K through 5th grade private school. There is also a small pocket of homes within the highly desirable Cumberland Elementary School attendance boundary.
94086 – Fremont / Wilcox
The majority of the 94086 zip code falls within either the Fremont High School or Wilcox High School boundaries. Most of this Sunnyvale neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial use, including many business complexes. The Heritage District is the most notable area within this neighborhood, as it contains some of Sunnyvale’s oldest homes and many historical sites. This area is popular with many professionals due to the walkability to good restaurants, shops and the Sunnyvale Caltrain station. Murphy Street is where all the action is, weekly Farmer’s Market and now burgeoning commercial center with a Target, Wholefoods and other businesses.
This zip code is bound by 101 to the north and Central Expressway to the south. It features two main parks, Fair Oaks Park and Columbia Park. It also has the Sunnyvale Golf Course, where you can easily book a tee time or plan a tournament. For those looking for private school options, King’s Academy, located adjacent to Fair Oaks Park is a popular private 6-12 college prep school. Just on the other side of Highway 101 are many large local employers, such as Google, Juniper Networks, NetApp, NASA Ames Research Center and of course Lockheed Martin, just to name a few.
Located on North of Highway 101 including Lakewood Village, multiple mobile home parks, newer townhomes and condo developments are located near Fair Oaks and Tasman. Lakewood Village is a pocket of homes with lake names, like Lakeknoll, Silverlake and Lakechime that surround Lakewood Park. This Sunnyvale neighborhood features some of the most affordable single-family homes in the area and has seen significant appreciation over the last several years. Most of the portion of Sunnyvale north of Highway 237 is zoned for industrial use. However, the proximity to Mission College, Levi Stadium and the many businesses located near Great American Parkway can make this a convenient location for many.
This can all seem daunting at first, but with this guide in hand and our 4 Step Buyer Experience, you’ll be several steps closer to buying your dream property in one of the Sunnyvale neighborhoods. For more information and a no-obligation, 100% pressure-free initial consultation, reach out at www.atriare.com for guidance from our experts in Sunnyvale real estate.