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The History of My Home | The Thompson’s 1907 – 1966

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The history of my home tells a unique story about a family in love with Maplewood, NJ.

Do you ever wonder who lived in your home before you? Do you wonder what changes they made and why?  What were their kids like – did they love sliding down the banister just like mine do? It took more then a few hours of research over several months to compile the history of my home and I learned about the Thompson’s,

We Nearly Sold No. 139 Maplewood Ave.

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A perk of practicing real estate is the Broker Open. This is when agents debut new listings or listings with a recent price modification or renovation of some sort or another to their colleagues.  As a lover of historic homes, it’s such a treat. My husband calls it an occupational hazard.  I sometimes fall really hard and suddenly find myself daydreaming about selling No. 139 Maplewood Ave and moving.

Successful Landscape Design is Child’s Play

When Carla approached me to write about landscape design, I was unsure of an approach. I could discuss Aesthetics, Function, Feel, Grading and Drainage, Privacy,  Lighting,  Water, Trees/shrubs/Perennials, Native Plants,  Sustainability, Play structures, Garden furniture/Ornaments, Firepits, Outdoor structures,  Vegetable Gardens, Decking/Patios, Retaining walls, Water features, etc.  I started writing down some ideas and then quickly scrapped them all.

While Landscape Design encompasses these topics, yesterdays visit with a client reinforced for me the importance of combining  children’s safety with the above. 

Torrential Rainstorm, Flooded Basement & Burned Out Sump Pump

The last week of March brought torrential rain to Maplewood, NJ, so much rain in fact, that at one point on Saturday, our one sump pump burned out.

Earlier in the morning, Gary was in basement doing laundry and by mid-afternoon,  a good 2 inches of water flooded the laundry room and the back half of the basement. It happened in a blink of an eye!

Basco Maliqi of Instant Plumbing &

Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

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GOAL: Create a large chalkboard wall to display the loads of artwork created by my three kids – all at the same time.

Admittedly, this is gonna be a difficult and somewhat time-consuming project. It will take at least an entire weekend. If you’re like us, you have pile of artwork created by your kids and no place to hang it. Well, actually I have come up with other ways to showcase their works (i.e.

How to Paint a Bistro Set in Bright Yellow and Blue

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GOAL: To paint a bistro set that is peeling and chipping and turn it into a fun and colorful addition to my kid’s outdoor play area.

My kids love playing outdoors and feeding them where they play in the great doors makes clean up 10X easier! Who cares about crumbs?!? I found a metal bistro set for eight dollars at a local estate sale.

Building a Garage in Maplewood NJ

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Buying a home doesn’t usually involve building a garage.

And building a garage is no small feat. It takes planning and hiring the right people to see that it gets done correctly. It also requires research – as is so often the case in homeownership.

You may know that we bought No. 139 on a whim.  What you may not know is that the home didn’t have a garage or fence.

Researching Your Home’s History

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Ever Wondered Who Died in Your House?
Aren’t you just a bit curious? 
Researching your home’s history can be rewarding. 

Researching Your Home's History

If you’re like me, living in a cookie cutter house in some new construction development was never an option. And now that you are the proud homeowner of a beautiful vintage home – how do you figure out it’s history? Oh if only these walls could talk,

Architectural Design | Who Designed No. 139 Maplewood Avenue?

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Robert W. Shopell's design no. 1265 from 101 Turn-of-the-Century House DesignsSomething bugged me about my Victorian. It took a few weeks of actually living in No. 139 Maplewood Avenue for it to dawn on me.

There were obvious clues that the house was altered over the years – like the footprints of two abandoned chimney hearths in the basement, indentations of “hinge prints” in door jams, a chimney in suspiciously good condition for 125 years old,

Think Different | A Dining Room in the Victorian Parlor

Through some research, I discovered that the dining room in our house wasn’t always the dining room. It was, in fact, the Victorian parlor.   At some point in its 122 years, one of the four families who lived in this home made it the dining room. In the process, they tore down the chimney and removed the fireplace and mantle piece, remnants of the hearth can still be seen in the basement.