Bonus Room Decorating Idea: Forget the ‘Man Cave’. It’s time for the ‘Lady Cave’.

We’ve all heard the term “Man Cave” before. Most of us know the phrase to represent that male sanctuary where men are free to do and decorate as they please, be alone for “man-time” or hang out with friends. Move over men, it’s the woman’s turn!

Over the years, I’ve seen a trend amongst retired women or empty nesters and moms alike, creating a husband or children-free zone in their homes (with the exception of when the grandchildren visit of course!). The reasons vary. For some women, it’s a place to work and for others, it’s a place to relax, de-stress and at best, escape from the hectic world even if it’s for an hour.

Here are a few steps to help you create that perfect ‘lady cave’ whether it’s in your single-family home, villa, or high-rise condo.

Step 1: Claim Your Territory. The obvious choice is using a guest room. That may be easier for those empty nesters who live at The Colony Golf  & Bay Club and enjoy the retirement lifestyle. For moms who still have children at home, you may not have this option. But don’t worry. You can carve out a spot in the attic, basement, garage, utility room or even in your own bedroom. If these are your options, the close quarters may seem claustrophobic, so try choosing a windowed area. This will help open up the space. If that’s not possible, hang some mirrors, which will give the illusion of more space.

Step 2: Shut the World Out. This is easy if you have a home or high-rise condo with a guest room or bonus room. You can simply close the door. If you don’t have this option, simply add a sheer curtain, divider or screen.

Step 3: Choose Your Colors. This is your room so surround yourself with inspiration and things you love, including color. Painting the walls or buying a small ream of wallpaper is an instant way to transform a space. But if that’s too labor intensive, just create a consistent color scheme with your chosen furnishings. Picking the right hues depends on the ultimate goal for your cave. If you’re looking for a meditative, relaxing space, warm blues and greens are proven calming influences. Bright, neon greens and yellows are said to spark creativity.

Step 4: Find Comfortable Seating. Whether it’s a chair, chaise lounge, recliner, sofa, or loveseat, the seating is your throne, so choose something comfortable. Add layers of comfortable pillows in patterns and colors you love.

Step 5: Determine Storage Options. Storage should be functional and decorative in a ‘lady cave’. Think bookshelves, wall shelves, a desk, cabinets, decorative boxes, fabric covered file boxes or baskets.  Make sure you have enough storage to keep everything out of sight that you don’t want to see, and only leave out those items that have meaning and purpose to you.

Step 6: Add personality. Whether you’re using your area to work, craft, study, write or simply de-stress, the key is bringing in a few items that offer a positive vibe. Add a plant or fresh flowers to give it some life. Add a relaxation fountain to drown out background noise. Combine decorative items and framed photos that inspire you. Add mirrors, painted backs or lights to bookcases to showcase your treasures.

Last but not least, when you’re done creating the space, don’t forget to hang the most important decoration of all on the outside of your cave: the “do not disturb” sign.



What you need to do before you list your home for sale.

Deciding to list your home for sale, whether it is at The Colony Golf & Bay Club or elsewhere, is a momentous time. Whatever reason you have for selling your home, it’s a big decision. It’s important to find an experienced agent to list your home with, but it’s also important to take some steps prior to even putting the home on the market. One quick tour of your happy home might sour that dream before it gets out of the planning stages.

Here are a few tips to help you out before you put your home on the market:

Sort Out Your Paperwork: The first step in the process is preparing a list of any repairs, upgrades (major selling point) and any other updates you’ve made to your home. This helps your agent prepare the MLS listing. For example, did you upgrade your kitchen and install granite countertops? Did you redo the cabinets in your bathrooms? Replace the A/C? These are great selling features because they mean less work in the future for the prospective buyer. Be sure to also include any home warranty information as these will most likely transfer with title of the home.

Get Ready to Declutter: Before you list your home, you need to go through your belongings and start getting ride of the things you don’t need. Now for those of you who hate parting ways with things, this can be an arduous task. But for others it may feel liberating getting rid of things and making way for a fresh start. Sort items to toss, keep, sell, and donate. Ideally, your rooms should look open and spacious.

Clean: You’re never going to be able to list you house successfully without cleaning it first. This is the perfect time to wash down the blinds, clean the carpets, wax your wooden floors or touch up the paint. Don’t forget the closets. One of the things I see is a fresh coat of paint everywhere but in the closets and I don’t know about other women, but that’s an important feature!

Get an Inspection: Getting an inspecting is a good way to come up with an accurate listing price. If the prospective buyers come back with issues during their inspection, it’ll affect your asking price. So take a pro-active approach and have a pre-sale inspection done.

Make Repairs and/or Get Estimates: It’s likely your inspection will leave you with a list of repairs – some major and some small. Most agents recommend you move forward with the large repairs as it’s going to come up in the buyers’ inspection report. For small repairs, obtain estimates that can be provided to the buyers. Your listing agent will likely tell you to be prepared to negotiate on the items that aren’t fixed.

Staging: This is something that can be done in conjunction with your listing agent. He or she may have suggestions on how to stage your home so it’s ready for showings. Their knowledge of the community or neighborhood will help determine how much or little you should stage. Without a doubt, staging is helpful in selling a home. So for starters, just make sure you remove the clutter and spruce up the landscape so it has that curb appeal.

Listing your home, whether it is at The Colony Golf & Bay Club, or elsewhere doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor if you take a pro-active approach. Good luck and happy selling!