Thank you for visiting my blog. I am a designer | artist in Southern California. My specialties are residential and commercial interior design. I have also ventured into graphic arts. This blog is where I share my personal experience and opinions on topics related to art and design. Please make yourself comfortable. Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. Thank you!

(update: May 18, 2021)

Blurring the Lines

Sustainability was part of my motivation to becoming a designer of the built environment. In this series, I wanted to blur the line between the land and the sea and show the beauty of our planet. My wish is for people to love and appreciate our environment and take actions to protect it.

Delicious Architecture

Some examples of delicious architecture in Southern California.

Life in Images – Occupational Hazzard

After 25 years of working in interior design and architecture, I cannot help finding design in everything I see. I think it is a kind of occupational hazard. I chose to use photographs of flowers that had been in my garden in combination with design sketches to show how nature inspires me.

[Guest Post] Key Tools, Tips, and Resources for Investing in Real Estate Property

Are you thinking about becoming a landlord? Owning a residential rental property can be a simple and lucrative way to generate some extra income. Before you can start seeing a return on your real estate investment, you need to take care of some essential prep, maintenance, and management steps. That’s why you need this all-inclusive list that contains investment property tools and resources that will save you time, money, and stress along the way.

Buying Your Perfect Investment Property 

Not every home is a good candidate for a rental property. These articles will help you make your home-buying dollars count.

How To Get A Mortgage For A Rental Property

Statement of Information California

The Top 10 Features of a Good Rental Investment 

What Are the Best Properties for Investment?

Work with Designer Michelle Chiang to Make Your Home Stand Out to Renters

Getting Your Property Ready to Rent

Whether you’re renting out for the first time or the thousandth, keep these tips in mind to keep customers happy (and coming back).

9 Tips for Cleaning Your Rental Between Tenants

Amenities That Renters Will Pay More For

11 Genius Ideas to Improve The Curb Appeal of Your Property 

Protecting Your Investment and Rental Property

Make sure your investment is well protected with these tips.

The 8 Best Landlord Insurance Policies of 2020

6 Smart Home Security Gadgets to Install in Your Rental Properties

Maintaining and Managing Your Rental Property 

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a landlord, whether you take on the role yourself or hire someone to handle the day-to-day goings-on. These articles will help you know what to expect.

Rental Property Maintenance: Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

15 Tax Deductions for Landlords During Tax Season

Should You Hire an Investment Property Management Company or Self-Manage Your Rentals?

Dealing with Potential Issues with Your Rentals 

As with any business, you’re bound to hit a few snags now and then when renting out your property, but they can almost always be easily fixed.

What to Do When a Tenant Leaves Their Stuff Behind

Landlords: 5 Secrets To Ensuring Your Tenants Pay On Time Every Month

How Much Should You Budget for Home Repairs?

Investing in real estate can be complicated. With this guide in hand, complete with helpful links and resources, you can make the process of buying and owning a profitable rental home much less of a hassle. That way, you can start earning income faster. Good luck finding your perfect investment property and good luck with your new life as a landlord! 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Guest Author: Alice Robertson

Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created tidyhome.info as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.

Design Project ‘Black List’

After two decades of working in the industry, I have learned some projects are just not meant to be. It is important to recognize those potentially problematic projects early. Taking on wrong projects results in misery for all parties involved. 

Here are some signs when a project is not right for me:

  • Unethical and/or Harmful to people, animals, or the environment. 

I became a professional designer to do good. I adhere to my set of codes of conduct.

  • Not complying with codes and regulations.

It is too much work trying to get around the codes and regulations. And it is usually not successful.

  • Order to Comply

I do not enjoy ‘reverse engineering’ and trying to make sense of a completed project based on a not thought out design. (If it was well designed, it would have gotten a permit.)

  • Post disaster with insurance involved.

These unexpected projects are complicated with many moving parts. Owners are not prepared to manage the project and also want to add on to the scope of work. It is too much for my small one-person studio to handle.

  • Unrealistic timeline and/or budget. 

This is a common situation. Most people do not have knowledge how long and how much things can take.  

  • Drafting only.

I am not interested in clients acting like designers and only wish to pay for drafting. It is a disaster when the person handling the design aspect is not qualified as a designer.

  • Demanding 3D rendering.

I am capable of communicating my ideas through sketches and drawings. If necessary, I create 3D study models. Clients should trust my abilities as a designer, not computer generated images.

  • Product-purchasing oriented.

My studio currently doesn’t have the manpower to manage product purchases. With large projects, I partner with an interior designer that is equipped and experienced in handling this task.

  • Disagreement to my business terms and conditions.

As a professional designer, I know how to conduct my business to ensure the best project outcome.

  • Wrong area of expertise.

I am not the right designer for every project. I know my limits and will recommend other experts if the project is out of my area of expertise.

  • Charity project.

The problem with giving away design ideas is people are often too grateful and don’t want to bother me to follow up when it comes to time for executing the project. 

  • It just doesn’t feel right.

Sometimes, without reason, the energy just doesn’t feel right. 

I don’t mind being seen as difficult to work with. My job is providing the best design solutions and seeing them through. It is important to do the homework before acting on any design projects. Most experienced professionals, myself included, will provide consultation services to sort out preliminary ideas. Ultimately, I want to only work on projects that ‘spark joy’.