• Surviving a cross-country move with 5 dogs & a baby

    We’ve moved ten times in the course of our relationship, but this one is the most difficult move to date. Not only are we packing up an entire house, two adults, five dogs and moving halfway across the country…this time we’ve added a toddler to the mix. The countdown board says 6 days to go. Here’s what we’ve learned this time around and what hasn’t worked as well as we’d hoped:Read More

  • Tuesday Tip: Become a Stalker

    Do you see that person peering through the bushes? It’s me. I’ll admit it. When we are thinking about buying a home, we set up camp and stalk it – morning, noon and night. Shoot, you’re probably thinking this lady is way too hard core, and maybe a little creepy. OK, I’ll give you that, but here’s why you should be stalking, too.

    Read More

  • Sniff, Sniff. Your Kitchen’s Spoiled.

    You know when the milk has gone bad in the fridge. You can smell the sour before you even do the taste test. But it’s not as easy when it comes to your home. When does the kitchen start to spoil? Have the bathrooms gone moldy at the edges? Everything in your home has an expiration date. Here’s when you know it’s time for a refresh:

    Read More

  • The crucial design element missing in your space

    Jon and I showed a house last week that felt dead inside. As we toured each room, it was like dementors were sucking the joy from my life. Potterheads, are you with me? This house had been on the market for a while and I could feel why but at first I couldn’t put my finger on it. The style was mid-century modern and it was filled with gorgeous moldings and intricate woodwork. The views of the pine trees and stream running through the backyard were so serene. But something was wrong. Jon commented as we were leaving that it bothered him there weren’t any window treatments. Clearly, the sellers were trying to showcase the picturesque surroundings. Then it hit me. There was absolutely no texture in the home and it was cold. Things like drapes, pillows, rugs, the right fabrics and thoughtful wall hangings are what make a house a home. They weave together to create a sense of belonging, warmth, love. If you’ve been noticing something is missing in your home, I can almost guarantee you don’t have the right balance of textures. Check out our Pack Picks for finding fabrics that fit your space.

    Read More

  • Pack Talks Budget: Unexpected Costs of Home Ownership

    When we bought our first home, we were living paycheck to paycheck. I still remember adding up the cost of all the food in our grocery cart before we got to the checkout line to make sure we had enough to cover it. We saved and we saved but it never felt like it was enough to buy a house. It’s daunting, isn’t it? Here’s the thing. When you rent, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. If you can cut costs and take advantage of all of the first-time homebuyer incentives, you can make your dream a reality. But we don’t want you to go into this blind. Budgeting for home ownership is much more than making sure you can afford the mortgage each month. Here are some costs that come along with that white picket fence that you may not be thinking about:

    Read More

  • Pack Picks

    Can you believe it’s Valentine’s weekend already? We’ve never been big on celebrating this holiday because it should be a big ‘ole love fest year-round, amIright? Plus, this chick is not paying $7 for a card. Sorry, Jon! So today, I’m offering some fabulous finds that will help fill your home with love for your better half, your pet, or just for you. You definitely deserve better than a box of chocolates.

    Read More

  • I’ll Put A Hex On You

    Some occasions call for a nice bubbly, and some for a brewski, amIright? Same goes for your home. There are so many places you can save, I mean really save, and others where you should splurge. You’ve probably heard a thousand times that kitchens and baths sell homes – mostly true. I’d like to add living space to the list, but that’s for another day. Today, let’s focus on your kitchen. I have a good friend who is about to undertake a major kitchen renovation and she asked me for my best piece of advice as she tackles this project. Here’s what I told her:Read More

  • Dear House Virgin,

    I’ve mentioned before that I bought my first home at 21, barely able to celebrate with a glass of bubbly. I’ve learned so much ten years and six homes later. Man, there are so many things I wish I knew back then. Here’s what I would tell my younger, first time homebuyer self:Read More

  • I haven’t had a bath in YEARS

    Well that was provocative, no? I actually took a bath exactly one year and one week ago when I was trying to induce labor (it worked!). But before that, it really had been years. Who takes baths anymore? First, ain’t nobody got time for that. Second, gross. Laying in your own filth does not sound relaxing in any way. If I’m going to light candles and indulge in a nice glass of wine, I’d like to do it, you know, by a fire, or anywhere really, when I’m not cold and wet. Let this truth sink in (yes, pun!): Gone are the days where a jetted tub in the master is appealing. They are dust collectors. Yank it. I mean it. If there is a bath in your master and it’s not some gorgeous vintage clawfoot tub – we need to take a sledge hammer to it stat. That’s what we’ve done in our last two homes, what we’ve counseled our clients to do and not once have I regretted it. There is one caveat to this. If this is the only bathtub in your home, you need to keep it. Because any parent will tell you, you can’t sell your house without one tub. OK. Is it gone? How amazing did it feel getting your stress out breaking that bad boy into huge chunks? Yasss. Now we can talk about what you need to do instead:

    Read More

  • WHO? Gah!

    It took me about a year to learn how to say quinoa properly. Keen-wahh. Fancy. So what’s this new design trend that I have a hard time pronouncing but am madly in love with and have been trying to replicate in my living space, for you know, ever?! Throwback to when I was ten and would make my friends come over to “play” so I could have the manpower to rearrange my room twenty seven different ways to see what felt best. Turns out, that feeling actually has a name and it’s a pretty fancy one at that for a not-so-fancy concept. Spelled h y g g e, pronounced hoo-gahh. Say it with me, hoogahh. Not to be confused with hookah, yuk. Hygge is the Danish word for “taking pleasure from the soothing, ordinary, and inexpensive things in life”. Translated into home design, it’s cozy, intimate, warm. Tuck in with your favorite cushy blanket, light that delicious smelling candle and grab your hot, but not too hot for sipping, mug of tea and check out the latest hygge picks we’re coveting for our next #NixonPack project. Heck, who am I kidding? I’ve already placed my etsy order and the “project” is me!

    Read More