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Juliette’s July Playlist: My Love For Music

I have always loved music. My entire family loves music. My father used to have a whole room of 78’s (those are very, very old records for those of you too young to know). My aunt was a singer, I was a singer, my son is a singer songwriter, my other son is a drummer, my sister played the piano and several other instruments and my niece is studying to be a jazz singer at the Royal Academy of music and plays the flute, my nephew plays guitar, bass and the drums. When I was young I was in the school choir, the church choir and finally graduated to attending stage school full time to become an actress and singer. I even studied for a short time to be an opera singer but realized that as much as I loved to listen and play music I was too embarrassed to be a performer.

But I didn’t want a real job so I decided instead to get a job at MTV and interview performers rather than actually be one. I was part of the original team to launch MTV Europe in 1987. I somehow blagged my way into a job as a studio PA despite being unable to speak a foreign language or having a degree or indeed knowing anything about television production whatsoever. But I had worked for a photographer called Katya Grenfell and using my will and moxy had helped her finish her book, titled Naked London by persuading various celebrities and other semi important people to pose naked in front of famous monuments in London (and yes there were some arrests). This impressed the Americans sent from New York to build the MTV brand in London and I got the job. There was no better job aged 22. Amoung other things, I had to watch music videos and write the VJ’s copy.  Yes I did say I was being paid to watch music videos and listen to music. I wasn’t paid much but I didn’t care. I got to meet people like Johnny Rotten (who by the way was scary) when they visited the studio. I later transferred to the film department and got a promotion working on the European movie shows eventually being transferred to New York to produce The Big Picture. But that’s another story.

My love of music started way before I worked at MTV and it continues to this day. When I was being treated for breast cancer music was one of the main things that carried me through. It is the thing that makes me happy and sometimes sad. I (slightly) judge people on their musical taste and have been known to fall passionately in love if someone has exquisite taste in music.  Each month I collect my favorite new songs and put them on a CD and so in addition to all the other things I put on this newsletter and website I’m adding my latest musical finds.

Click here to hear what I was listening to this past month.

Georgia Tapert Howe

The Juliette Interviews: Interior Designer Georgia Tapert Howe

I’m obsessed with interior design, frequently in search for the latest design trends or appreciating how art and objects can add zest to a room. In an attempt to learn more about this infatuation with domestic composition, I sat down with former New Yorker and now Los Angeles interior designer Georgia Tapert Howe in the first of a series of interviews I will be doing with some industry insiders and professionals .

Here is what she had to say:

JH: You’ve been in the interior design world for over 15 years now. How have you seen the industry evolve over those years?

GTH: Yes, so much has changed. The biggest thing is that there are so many more direct to consumer products available and there are so many resources now for people who may not want to hire a full service design firm – whether its hiring someone from a place like homepolish.com or using an in-house person at restoration hardware. It was an industry that was sort of shrouded in mystery for a long time and not particularly transparent.  In addition, technology has helped make my job so much easier, things like Pinterest have made it much simpler for clients to share ideas.

JH: How have you transformed as a designer from when you first started?

GTH: Honestly, I still like a lot of the same things, but I’ve gotten a little less precious about the process.  I’m much better at remembering I don’t have to love everything my client picks – they may not always want everything I suggest and its my job to give them the best version of what they want.  I used to be really stubborn about what I thought they should have. And lets be serious we aren’t curing cancer here, its supposed to be fun.

JH:  Who is your greatest influence?

GTH: Probably my mom. She wasn’t a designer nor did she use an interior designer but she has great taste and loves interior design. The apartment I grew up in still feels timeless today,  I’m always amazed at how good everything looked when I look at old pictures.  She did it all herself and it was so chic and pretty.

Georgia Tapert Howe Interior Design

All images © Copyright Georgia Tapert Howe


JH: 
How would you say art impacts a home?

GTH: More than anything its has the ability to transform a room.  You can walk into a room with beautiful furniture and curtains etc, but it doesn’t feel finished until there is art on the walls.

JH: Who would you say is your ideal client?

GTH: Someone that has taste and likes the process.  It’s always more fun when my client brings great ideas to the table.

JH: Any recommendations for where to purchase furniture and decor? Where can DIY-ers find deals or unique items?

GTH: Chairish and Etsy

JH: Any general advice for designing? What are a couple of your do’s and don’t's?

GTH: 
The right size and scale, if you can try and do a little floor plan its really helpful.  I hate when you walk into a room that has pretty thing and then the rug is like weirdly small.

JH: What are some of the latest interior design trends we can expect to see in 2018 and beyond?

GTH: I think color is making a come back!

Thank you Georgia for taking the time to answer these questions. If you’d like to learn more about Georgia Tapert Howe and see her full portfolio of work visit: georgiataperthowe.com

Summer Socialize

The Best Ways To Socialize Outdoors – All Summer Long

From coast to coast, summer is the best time for socializing. I personally love to spend my days off (which are few and far between), enjoying the outdoors, bike riding along the beach and gathering with friends and family to have a feast.

But a home is truly not a home unless you have some ideal outdoor spaces. When it’s time to chill some rosé and text all your closest friends to come by for an outdoor potluck – here are some of the top grills and outdoor must-haves to consider adding to your backyard:

1. The Big Green Egg – Exactly as described, it’s green and it’s egg shaped. Not the prettiest, but very efficient, and very affordable. It is a ceramic kamado-style charcoal grill which provides remarkable insulation. Perfect for searing a tuna or baking a pizza, this grill can do it all.

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2. Napoleon Prestige 825 Natural Gas Grill – This is a top of the line, elegant, stainless steel grill. It is designed to cook food to perfection. It features infrared ceramic burners, natural gas and a smoker tube. The side burner also turns into a wok, for healthy stir-fry made outdoors.

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3.  Bose Free Space 51 Outdoor In-Ground Speakers​​ – No social gathering is complete without music. These speakers sound great and feature an in-ground design that allows them to be hidden amongst the greenery of your outdoor garden.

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4. Original Balencia Bronze Chaise Lounges – What better way to ensure your guests are comfortable while seated poolside than some European inspired chaise lounges? Don’t forget to add the pillows and umbrella for added shade and comfort.

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5. Gloster Carver Collection Outdoor Tables – Custom made is always the way to go when it comes to outdoor furniture that is designed to last. Check out Gloster’s Carver line. They are L.A. local and create custom tables using teak, pumice and even ceramic. Also make sure to check out the ambient lighting collection for illuminating your outdoor parties in style.

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6. Outdoor living rooms – Ok, so this is one you will have to design yourself, but for inspiration, check out this link to see one of our listings with an incredible cabana outdoor living room. If you don’t want to “rough it” in the backyard, you can bring luxuries of indoors outside. Heaters and fans keep the temperature enjoyable in all seasons, while speakers and a TV create a major “Wow” moment. Add a mini fridge for drinks and you’ll never want to be inside!

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This is the Best Month To Sell Your Home

Were your social feeds getting bombarded with Justin Timberlake memes* on April 30th? Well if you’re looking to sell – pay attention next time you see the words “It’s Gonna Be May”. According to Zillow.com “Nationwide, the first half of May is the best time to list a home for sale in order to maximize sale price and minimize time on market.”

Why is this? For one, the start of the spring selling season usually sees a shortage of homes and a major number of home buyers are going to have a harder time buying their dream home. These buyers may end up spending more than they planned to, especially if they wait and get caught up in competing with other buyers or move too fast on a deal. Sellers who list in May may earn an additional premium by capitalizing on those frustrated buyers.

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The ideal time frame to list in Los Angeles is between May 16th – 31st and the best day to list is Thursday with the average sales premium at $8,100. Sellers in San Francisco can expect to earn up to a whopping $15,300 premium over listings during other months of the year.

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If you’re a homeowner in LA and thinking of waiting until the summer to sell, you may want to reconsider and get your home listed now. Also, if youre looking to sell fast, homes listed during this time frame sell, on average, around 18.5 days faster than homes that weren’t listed during May.

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*For those of you fortunate enough to have missed this dumb meme in your social feeds, here it is for your reference/”enjoyment”

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Can technology actually sabotage productivity?

Technology is a beautiful thing. Email, text, IM, apps, CRM’s are all great resources we need to utilize in today’s work environment and our personal lives. But does it really make our jobs/lives easier and make us more efficient? Let’s look at how technology can actually kill our productivity if it’s not used correctly.

Smartphones are a good start. We all have one and what was strictly used in the work environment to place business calls has now become an attention suck. While so many apps are designed to help us speed up productivity, there are many that take us away from what we are supposed to be doing. Take Instagram for example. If used right it is a wonderful marketing tool, but many of us fall into the rabbit hole of scrolling through the feed, getting caught up with what Brenda is eating for lunch or analyzing Bill’s vacation selfie to see if he is in Italy or on Catalina Island. Waste of precious time.

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How about instant messaging in the office? It sounds like a great idea on paper, the faster you can tell a colleague something without having to walk across the room the quicker the job will get done, right? But you can’t see what they are currently in the middle of. What if they are writing a contract and they are interrupted by your message? They may possibly make a crucial error. This also opens up the capability for employees to “chat” with one another about non-work related issues on the company dime, a productivity nightmare.

And speaking of interruptions, what about the various ways we are notified? We’ve all gotten used to having voicemail. 30 years ago if you were away from your desk you would come back to sticky notes all over the place outlining what calls you missed. This was replaced with voicemail. Now there is a vast array of ways you can be contacted. Voicemail, email, text, Skype or even messaging in social apps. This creates a mountain of communications that you have to listen to, read, check back on and follow up with. The more ways we can be contacted, the more we have to sift through. No wonder time flies and we seem to get nothing done.

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Here are some tips to improve your productivity around technology:

1. Have set times during the day when you check your e-mails and messages.

2. When working on your laptop, you should consider going full screen. This will help you keep all unnecessary programs out of sight, lowering your chances to be distracted.

3. Just as I advised you to turn off the notifications from your e-mail, the same goes for your apps. Any app notifications can definitely wait until the end of the work day.

4. Wherever you work, always maintain a clean work space. Unchecked clutter can be very distracting, let alone the amount of time wasted trying to find anything of value in the middle of that mess.

5. Another important time management trick is to schedule your day. Set your priorities straight and figure out what activities you’re doing just to feel busy and what activities you’re doing that actually have value. This distinction is integral if you want to make the most of your time. Ask yourself the following question at the beginning of each work day:

What’s the one thing, if you were to do it for the entire day, that would give the strongest sense of accomplishment?

DISCLAIMER: All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While, this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property information, including, but not limited to square footage, room count, number of bedrooms and the school district in property listings are deemed reliable, but should be verified by your own attorney, architect or zoning expert. If your property is currently listed with another real estate broker, please disregard this offer. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We cooperate with them fully. Equal Housing Opportunity.