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Hi all, Karen here!  Some of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook may remember seeing a few photos of this project my client and I are about to share with you!  Last year I had the joy and privilege of working on this beauty with a special family.  I will let my client share with you today, as this project has a really sweet story, and then in a follow up post, I will share more design info, tricks, and other information!

Although this was a renovation project, we only gutted one room in the house, and that was the kitchen.  All other rooms we just refinished, repainted, and redecorated!  We used a lot of  furniture the homeowner and her family already had, but dressed it up a bit! (However, Phase 2 is beginning soon, where we will remove some walls and add more space!)

So for today, let’s hear from the homeowner herself, Lauren!  Here are Lauren’s words to share — thank you Lauren, we appreciate hearing from you!

My name is Lauren Barnes and Ms. Karen has been working with me as an interior decorator for about 6 months. And as my house is getting ready to expand because we are adding onto a few areas here and there, she will continue to be our guide through the decorating and design process of my home. 


As a person with  autism, working with Westwood Avenue, I am very fortunate and blessed to be able to work and live on my own. And for the first time able to hold a job for an entire year. With the help of my amazing service dog Jules. If you have time check us out “on the Avenue with Lauren and Jules” in your local community magazine and you just might find us. 

Lauren’s work area in her new home, with the article she wrote about her service dog Jules on the front cover! You can also see a photo of the original homeowner of Lauren’s house, Ms. Helen.


Our house (Jules and I) was passed down to us by Ms. Helen, the woman who lived next to my mother (Terri) since she was 12. Terri and Ms. Helen were neighbors and the house that is next to mine is the house my Mom and her family grew up in. As Ms. Helen is now 104, she lives in a nursing home. And is proud to know that we keep her family’s home and traditions alive. 


Built somewhere in the 1930’s, if this house could talk, I am sure it would have some stories. I didn’t come along till the 1980’s, yet I do remember coming in and out of this house my entire life. And I am VERY proud to own my home and am loyal to keeping it both safe and clean. 

“New” Living Area in Lauren’s home, with refinished hardwoods, new paint, reupholstered and renewed furniture, and the fabulous original marble fireplace!

The other “more fun” living room in the back of the home (which is eventually being expanded and redone again very soon when we do “Phase 2” of this update!). We were able to use Helen’s original drapes, and we took our color scheme from them!

The more traditional Dining Room which connects the front Living Area with the Kitchen. This room also displays a mix of new pieces mixed in with existing, re-purposed pieces. The cabinet in the back showcases many art pieces Lauren’s family has made, along with some of her favorite photos.

I wouldn’t have been so proud to call this house my home without the help of Ms. Karen. When we first walked into this house, as we bought it, it still had that 100 year old woman smell, lots of weird carpeting, and odd shaped curtains that matched maybe 100 years ago but not today. Ms. Karen helped me to keep the vintage genre yet also keep the tradition of an old fashion house alive. And add a little modern for convenience only. And with a yellow kitchen who could say no? 

Seriously cute vintage-style NEW kitchen in Lauren’s house.


I look forward to the new addition of a bathroom, garage, and sunroom. And look even further forward to working with Ms. Karen on our decor!! 


Jules and I appreciate all that she has done for us to make our house a home to be proud of. And making it even more easy to work On The Avenue and be even more inspired by our home! 


Thank you Ms. Karen for loving us and turning our house into a beautiful fun loving home!! Through many hours we spent together working on the house, we will always welcome you back again and again any time. Especially as we add onto the house in the next few months! 


Love from me and Jules 

Thank you, Lauren, for your kind words!  I know you are proud of your home, as I am!  Looking forward to working with you on “Phase 2” of your new home renovation!  You guys are the best!

Readers, I would love to help you redesign, re-purpose, re-upholster, renovate, or dream of something completely new!  Email to schedule an appointment!  ~karen@homebyhattan.com

The post New Homeowner Shares Her Story appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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Hi friends, today’s blog post is from guest blogger Hazel Bridges from Aging Wellness.  She’d like to share some great advice for those who are in their “later years” and are considering moving.  This can be a tricky and uncomfortable decision, but with some homework and planning, it can be a wonderful move on your part!

Thanks, Hazel!

Image via Pixabay

Don’t Let Age Keep You from Finding the Perfect Home

Whether you want to head south for the warm weather or get closer to family, moving during your golden years helps make the most of your retirement through a better quality of life. Unfortunately, the process of pulling up roots and relocating hasn’t gotten any easier since you put that down payment on your first home, but the challenges ahead shouldn’t stop you in your tracks. Here are some tips to find the perfect place to settle into.

Learn Your Finance Options

The easiest way to pay for your new house is by selling the old one and using that cash. However, that may not be possible if you haven’t paid off your mortgage, in which case there are plenty of options for financing the move. You may qualify for a mortgage if you are still working or have sufficient income in retirement. In fact, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prevents discrimination based on age, and several lenders have programs for seniors.

Enlist Expert Help

Find an agent who has experience working with seniors. This is no longer difficult, as the National Association of Realtors has created a Seniors Real Estate Specialist credential and a database of qualified professionals organized by zip code. Whoever you work with should provide a comparative market analysis for pricing your home, but that doesn’t excuse you from doing your own market research. If you’re moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where the average home price is $290,000, you’ll need to cover that plus the costs associated with moving.

Consider Downsizing

Downsizing provides an array of benefits. For one thing, you’ll likely pay less for a smaller home, which means more money in the savings account. But the economic benefits don’t stop there, says a financial expert writing for CNBC.com. Taxes, insurance, and utility bills are all likely to be lower, not to mention maintenance costs — you may not need any paid help at all for cleaning and basic repairs.

Research Medical Care

You’ll need easy access to a hospital as well as physical therapists and pharmacies. Research this information before signing on any dotted line if you want peace of mind in the years to come. Availability of such services was one of the criteria that Caring.com took into consideration when evaluating the best and worst states for the elderly to live. As reported by CBSNews.com, the study put South Dakota on top, followed by Iowa.

Calculate the Cost of Living

Your income as a retiree may be limited, and choosing the wrong locale may have you pinching pennies. Meanwhile, the right location means extra cash for eating at your favorite restaurants and spoiling the grandkids. There are a number of things to consider, including the median home price and the tax burden. Don’t forget to add in the prices of everyday items such as food and medicine, as well as an occasional evening out on the town.

Find Some Recreation

Bicycle paths might not be your first priority when looking for the perfect neighborhood, but they could add a lot to your quality of life as exercise is more important now than ever. Beaches and nature trails provide other excellent ways to stay in shape while getting a breath of fresh air and sunshine, while studios for yoga and meditation gain in popularity with seniors for the wide variety of health benefits they offer.

Consider a Senior Move Manager

Once you’ve found the perfect locale, it’s time to start packing. If it gets overwhelming, this is who you call for help. The National Association of Senior Move Managers offers accreditation to professional project managers that perform a wide variety of tasks from sorting through personal possessions to putting it all in boxes. Their main job, however, is to give you a helping a hand and relieve the stresses associated with relocating.

With a little bit of luck, you’ll be settled into your new location within the month and enjoying a cool drink while watching the sunset from your patio. That’s the good life, and you’ve earned it.


Thanks, Hazel, for your great advice!!  I’d like to add one little piece of how I can help make that transition … if you do find yourself downsizing, or if you find yourself helping an aging parent move into assisted living, it is important for the new living situation to FEEL like HOME.  I can help you walk through the current home, and decide which pieces will make the move with you to the new home … and once there, how to arrange the furniture, where to hang art and display family photos, and make it feel like YOURS.  Below are two cell phone shots of some furniture and art selections I helped my friend make for her mother-in-law who was transitioning to her new assisted living home.  We brought family photos, treasured art, and the right scale of furniture to make it all work, and make it feel less unfamiliar and more like home!

We chose a loveseat, chair, small table and lamp, as well as art pieces from the home, to make the new apartment feel more like HOME.

Favorite books and family photos displayed in the new apartment.

Let Home by Hattan help you create a space you love!! Love where you live!


The post Making a Move During the Golden Years appeared first on Home By Hattan.

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