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e m o c Wel Redesigning a home can be a fun endeavor but also one riddled with questions about the best paint colors, the best design materials and the best decorative accents to use. A novice home designer might even wonder what the best house plants are for sprucing up a space. Fear not, because Picket Fence Media has the answers. This year’s INSIDE OUTSIDE has information on both interior and exterior design for a variety of purposes and price points. It also has information on various South Orange County shops and realtors who can help you with your design objectives. Whether you want to redesign your home with the latest trends, get it ready for sale or find that perfect piece of wall art that sparks a conversation, this edition of INSIDE OUTSIDE has everything that you need.

Home Sale


BY Alex Groves


izer and open windows to air the space out. Weintraub said another trick of the trade is to bake some sort of treat such as cookies before a showing. “I’ve been through plenty of open houses where someone has just prior baked some chocolate chip cookies and you can smell them,” she said. Let in more light // Letting more light into a space can help make it more welcoming. Echelberger recommended that where possible, homeowners get rid of heavy draperies and window coverings that could possibly obstruct light from coming in. It’s also not a bad idea to have someone come in and professionally clean the windows to get the optimal amount of light in, according to Julie Merlino.

elling a home can sometimes be a daunting and overwhelming task, especially since home buyers shift their tastes with the changing times. That said, there are some rules of thumb that realtors recommend to make your home more alluring to a potential buyer and can be as simple as eliminating gaudy wall colors to changing up outdated furniture.

Don’t overlook the outdoors // In Southern California, the outdoors is frequently an entertaining space and sellers often forget to turn their lackluster backyards into a selling point, Echelberger said. He said they should trim up bushes and trees, put down top soil where needed and put out some nice outdoor furniture.

Ensure curb appeal // A buyer’s first impression is very important so making sure a home looks in good repair from the outside and has curb appeal is top priority, according to realtor Tracy Weintraub of Surterre Properties. Weintraub recommends a home seller look at the outside of their home and take stock of what needs to be done. A new coat of paint? Is anything broken? Could plants be trimmed? Distinctive Coast Properties agent Julie Merlino recommends to her clients to make sure that outdoor planter areas have a fresh coat of mulch and some flowers to add color to the landscape.

Get your house professionally staged // All the realtors agree – getting a home professionally staged can go a long way to helping a person sell their home faster than they might otherwise sell it. “If you use a home stager, you will sell it quick and you will sell it for top dollar,” Merlino said. There are different levels of staging. Echelberger said the most expensive form of staging can run anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 and involves removing the furniture from a home and replacing it with furniture and accessories that are a better fit and which give a buyer that “model home” feel. Different pricing packages exist, however, and people who would like to take a more modest approach can have a stager rearrange existing furniture and only replace a few items. People who don’t want to get their homes staged should at least have a designer consultation to get a list of things that should be replaced or moved, according to Echelberger. He said the consultation could run as much as $150 but a lot of high-end real estate companies offer it as a built-in service. “I can guarantee something will come out of that meeting that they’ll get a benefit from in the sale of their house,” he said.

Repaint the walls // Local realtor and resident Doug Echelberger, lead agent of the Echelberger Group, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty and an experienced agent of over 20 years, says it’s important to look at the colors of your walls and determine if they need to be changed. “There are a lot of colors left over from the early 2000s that just seem to turn buyers off,” Echelberger stated. “Buyers are still really into much lighter colors – shades of white, even shades of white-grey.” He also noted that lighter colors have the added benefit of making a space look larger and more open. Jennifer Katke, whose business specializes in getting homes sale-ready, shared a similar sentiment. “You can walk into a home and just the color alone can make you feel anxious,” Katke said. “What we want to do is, when you walk in, we want it to be light, bright and inviting.” Toss that stained carpeting // If you have stained carpet or worn flooring, it’s not a bad idea to replace it. Echelberger shared that for some homes, vinyl laminate flooring may not be a bad option. He noted the material doesn’t have the negative connotations it once did. “Because the product has gotten so good,” he said, “in fact, a lot of it is waterproof right now so you are able to run it into the bathrooms and really make it look like a high-end expensive wood flooring.” Get rid of messes and bad odors // Removing clutter is an essential step to help keep the space feeling open and clean, according to Doug Echelberger. Odors are another important area that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of when selling their home. Pet odors can irk potential buyers and it’s a problem that Weintraub says she comes across frequently. She recommended that people find a good deodor-

Have professional photos of your home taken // Having a professional photographer come into your for-sale home and work their magic can be a big leg-up in selling, especially in today’s social media-driven world. “The thing that’s changed so dramatically over the last five years is photos and impressions that people have,” Echelberger said. “They live off of Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest, and so for a lot of these properties to get them the correct exposure you really have to have some great shots.” Check those lightbulbs // Echelberger said he’s also seen lots of instances of homeowners with different types, shapes and sizes of lightbulbs throughout their homes that they’ve collected over the years. “You’ve got to change them all out to LED or you’ve got to change them all out to be consistent because they just look goofy,” he said. Echelberger recommends LED lights because he says they get bright right away whereas older models don’t. He stated that’s a problem during a house showing because a person can be in and out of a room before the bulb gets to full brightness.



BY Eric Heinz Plants used as decoration create a life force. They help oxygenate rooms; they can bring a pacifying element to private spaces; plants can also provide pieces that help show or decorate a home. But where to start? We spoke with some local experts and found some helpful information for designing your home with natural elements. Stylizing Your Home with ‘Natural Elements’ Marie Waisner, an owner and CFO of Melrose in the OC Lifestyle in San Clemente, has decorated her home with many different plants. As a designer, Waisner said she enjoys looking at different ways to utilize all space in her home with the natural elements. “The practicality of it is that you want to work in these spaces that are open to the backyard or to a porch, and you’re trying to blur the lines (between outdoors and indoors),” Waisner said. Layering is an important design tool in beginning to decorate as well as lighting in order to make it visually appealing, Waisner said. She said she tries to balance the space the natural elements use. “You don’t need to put a lot of things in here, it’s just to create a harmony,” Waisner said. “You want contrasting elements of brass and cement or rope, but try to keep it open.” Using metals could be the next trend coming, Waisner said, but varieties of plants will surely stay in fashion. “You can use a lot of small succulents to create an impact or use just one large item,” she said. “Succulents will be here for a while. People are creating walls and using them in so many different things, they’ll trend for a while.”

Helpful Tips and Ideas Melissa “Missy” Anderson, the owner and creative director of Roots Living Art Design in San Clemente, said there are many ways for plants other elements to culminate pleasantly. “It’s always about the client’s needs first and foremost—what they try to achieve in the space and with the current décor, and we try to match with that so we’re not over-styling,” Anderson said. “We consult with them to find their needs. It’s hard to overdo it with plants, but their shape and function add to the space rather than something that’s less attractive. The most important thing to recognize is what level of care you can provide for your plants. If it’s not much, choose plants that are easier to maintain or something like an air plant, but every plant is a living organism so it needs care.” Anderson said some of the easiest plants used to decorate the home include Sansevieria, also known as “mother-in-law tongue,” which is a high-oxygen-producing plant. “It actually cleans the air and gives the home a more modern esthetic,” Anderson said. “Dracena marginata has a little red in the leaves that highlight colors in the home. We try to make it aesthetically pleasing with color or pattern and the design. The biggest point is to balance the plant material so that it feels alive and lived in.” Anderson said giving the plant something to work with is also beneficial for design, installations with driftwood or other items add to the whole ambiance. “We do that with a lot different elements and metals and different unique pottery,”

Melrose in the OC Lifestyle

Roots Living Art Design

Roots Living Art Design

she said. “It can add a different element and something unique to the space that wasn’t there.” Anderson said when decorating Salon Blue in San Clemente, she put together a large interior living wall with plants hanging vertically. She’s chiseled into volcanic rocks to make a plant bed, with the plants growing and living within the human-made home. Living chandeliers are another interesting way to decorate. With plants hanging down in a center space, people can mount them and design them in their own way. “We wrapped one in with a copper pipe holder and a metal salt that turned it turquoise and juke rope and pulleys, and we were able to raise and lower it to make maintenance on it and then tied it back up on the wall,” Anderson said.

Benefits of Interior Design with Plants More Oxygen // A few plants like orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Place these type plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night. Releasing Water // Plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity of the air around them. Place several plants together and you can increase the humidity of a room. Purifying Air // Plants remove toxins from air, such as formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags). Source:



Wallpaper: Everything You Need To Know About This Comeback Design THE HISTORY You may think of wallpaper as a “thing of the past,” but trendy wallpaper is making a serious comeback, and the modern-day wallpaper brands—Cole and Company, Magnolia Home, Brewster Wallcoverings—offer styles to spruce up any space.

Knowing Native


Tree of life nursery

BY Daniel Ritz


itting inside an old barn, soaking in the early afternoon heat at Tree of Life Nursery early one afternoon, founder Mike Evans pointed out the small brown bats returning home to rest behind an antique painting hanging on one of the walls. “Muir, I believe it was one of the transcendentalists, said that it’s less about going out into the mountains, and more about inviting the mountains into you,” Evans said with a smirk. Although Evans is quick to quote the late innovative California naturalist John Muir, he is equally as quick to point out you do not have to travel to exotic locations such as Muir’s favorite stomping grounds, Yosemite National Park, in order to experience true nature, and appreciate its inherent benefits. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks,” Muir said. Evans believes that most people in this modern world don’t know how much they need to foster their connection to a natural world. “One of the disadvantages, but most beautiful parts of our local natural environment is that it doesn’t smack you in the face,” Evans said. “There’s a lot of hot words like ‘mindfulness’ and ‘gratefulness,’ that people are turned onto at the moment, but I think we simply need to pay attention to the beauty that surrounds us and realize that it’s through its simplicity that we can learn to survive.” “I think a lot of us are suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder,’” Evans continued. He voiced that although current generations grow up with “the internet in their pockets,” that can actually be an asset. He spoke of

smart-phone applications that can identify plants simply by taking a photograph. “Commonly, with social media and the glamorization of grandiose, “wild” adventures, people overlook the available beauty beneath their feet,” Evans said. “I think connecting, and understanding the beautiful nature that surrounds us starts with simply getting outside and surrounding ourselves with it. Be still, be quiet and be calm. Be attentive.” Evans suggests one appreciates the simplicity and durability of the native chaparral, integral to its evolutionary success. Evans compares the appreciation of native plants to recent changes in the food industry. “We at Tree of Life Nursery are focused on educating the people, one by one, and starting a genuine grassroots movement because that is the only way the powers that be are going to begin to listen,” Evans said, suggesting that government agencies and homeowners associations utilize different agricultural models for financial reasons. “The only way native, local California plants are going to be returned, will be when the people ask for it. Costco doesn’t carry organic food types because they want to, they carry them because people in the last decade started demanding it.” Tree of Life Nursery hosts a variety of classes and seminar discussions on native ecology most weekends at their farm on Ortega Highway, just west of Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano. They also offer a wide variety of native plants for sale. You can learn more on

THE TRENDS Bright and bold metallics like gold and silver add an extra touch of luxury. For a current and trendy look, introduce warmer colors such as bronze, copper and rose gold. Metallics give off a sleek and stately look ideal for dining rooms and foyers. Keep in mind: less is more with this trend, so cover just one wall as a focal point. Oversized floral patterns are currently in vogue, creating a unique atmosphere in any room—and a true conversation starter! Add character to a room by adding large scale prints or soft, vintage-inspired botanicals. Keep in mind: the best home décor stores will show you wallpaper designs to suit any personality—delicate, exuberant, even subtle patterns. Organic shapes and nature designs bring the outside IN to your home. Think organic elements like geodes and crystals, and other patterns emulating natural stones. Keep in mind: don’t forget to look up! Throw a whimsical paper above your head to cover the ceiling of any room and frame the room in a chunky crown molding for a real WOW. 3-D patterns that look all-too real are popular this year, including brick patterns, shiplap, hand-carved panels, reclaimed wood, or tin ceiling tiles. Perfect for the home or a stylish office building — the texture will create a dramatic impact. Keep in mind: at Peppertree Lane, you will see wallpaper inspired by white bricks, chevron patterned reclaimed wood and more. Use in-store wallpaper displays as inspiration for your own space! THE HOW-TO: EASY AS 1-2-3 1) Peppertree Lane at Outlets at San Clemente has a few hundred wallpaper styles to select from and offer services to narrow down the search for that perfect wallpaper. Wallpaper rolls range in price from $100 up to $200 per roll. 2) Next step, we order samples and have clients tape them to the wall for a few days, making sure they are in love with the commitment they are about to make! 3) Last step, we order wallpaper and schedule our installer—all that’s left is years of enjoyment! THE FAN FAVORITE Bree Kennedy designed the VIP Lounge at Outlets at San Clemente with wallpaper to capture the essence of what it means to live near the ocean, including the rhythmic movement of sand and waves. It is one of our proudest installations to date!




While even one succulent is a step in the right direction, why not take it a step further and update the interior of your home or office to a more natural state. We asked experts at Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano and Shore Gardens in San Clemente for their best suggestions for bringing the wild inside.


Get on Your Level


Live Large


Let it all Hang Out

Don’t go crazy. If you’ve never run more than two miles, you probably wouldn’t sign yourself up for running a marathon tomorrow, would you? Same goes with welcoming the wild into your home. If you don’t have a green thumb or a lot of time on your hands, be realistic and choose plants that suit your lifestyle. There is something for everyone. Local Recommendation: Eternity Plant:

If you’re short on time and/or patience and don’t want to find yourself taking care of hundreds of little flowerpots, go for large plants. Not only will they cut down on your plant watering time, they can also play a vital part in the interior of your home or office. Placed strategically, they have the power to create more privacy and visibly divide the space into designated sections. Local Recommendation: Fiddly Fig

One simple little trick to making your space into one of those envy inducing Instagram picture perfect plant homes: layering. The key is to not only have plants of differing heights, but to also place them on different levels. Stage one large potted plant on the floor, some crawling plants hanging from the ceiling, and then some on your shelf or various tables throughout. Local Recommendation: Pothos




Bling your Bedroom

If you’re used to seeing plants exclusively on living room windowsills and kitchen counters, go out of your comfort zone and experiment with placing some greenery in your bedroom. Plants are proven to improve sleep quality, help air purification and make you feel more tranquil. Turn your bedroom into the oasis of peace and quiet you desire. Local Recommendation: Snake Plant

Don't Forget the Bathroom One of the best ways to wow a guest is having plants in the bathroom. For some reason, most bathrooms are kept quite sterile of anything living, but we say - go for it. There are a number of plants that prefer growing in dark and humid environments, so having no windows with natural sunlight should not be a problem. Local Recommendation: Calathea

Big Improvements, Small Packages Gardening is not simply a one size fits all case of “go big or go home.” If you don’t fancy anything dramatic, go for smaller plants - they might be smaller in size, but are no less effective. This will also give you the opportunity to experiment with a larger variety of different species in the same amount of space! Local Recommendation: Raphis Palm

Making the most of

Your Wall Space BY Alex Groves


very once in a while, a home could use some sprucing up and one of the easiest ways to make a visual impact is making changes to the walls. Those pondering the best way to decorate their walls can remain calm and not fret. Picket Fence Media recently spoke to Haideh Mehr, artist and cofounder of the Dana Point store Bella Bazaar. The store sells art and decorative items and the staff there can be requested for interior design projects. From paint to decorative elements, Mehr went over what’s needed in 2018 to be trendy while also making sure a home fits an owner’s individual style.

Paint & Accents

Some of the hottest color trends this year are metallic, deep onyx and ultra violet, but warm greys and neutral tones remain the most popular, according to Mehr. Mehr said it’s also fun to play with textural elements. Limewash paints give walls an aged patina look for rustic charm. Textural wallpaper or wood planks are also fairly popular and can be used on one wall as an accent.

Art by Haideh Mehr

Mehr said Bella Bazaar can turn that surfboard into something extra special. “We’ll take their old surfboard and paint a great scene on it or do a cool design on it and that looks amazing and takes up a good amount of wall space,” she said.


Las Catrinas SJC

3D Art Pieces

Mehr said three dimensional artworks that jut out from otherwise flat walls are currently in style. Some examples include metalwork, shelving topped with decorative accents, hanging baskets and containers with cascading plants. The pieces can be items that make a statement about what a homeowner loves. A music lover might hang up a guitar and a surfer might place an old surfboard up.

Macramé, a form of ornamental knotting, was a fad in the ‘70s and was used for everything from wall decorations to tablecloths. A decade later it had fallen out of style. The textile has since had a resurgence and a search of Instagram will yield pictures of macramé planter coverings, macramé dresses, macramé bracelets and of course – macramé wall decorations. Trendy mall stores such as Urban Outfitters and smaller boutique shops alike sell these pieces in every shape, size and color. Mehr said it’s another great way to add texture to an otherwise barren wall in a space such as a bedroom, but should probably match existing décor within the home.

that as you walk into the home there’s a mirror,” she said.

Original Art Pieces & Photographs

Mehr said it’s always worth it to find that one of a kind item that makes a statement. She said South Orange County is full of places for people to find unique and individually-crafted artwork


Have a wall that you’re not sure what to do with? Try a mirror. A mirror not only fills space, but can also change the lighting of a room and make it feel larger. Mehr recommends placing a mirror in an entryway, and not just because it looks good there. “If people are into Feng Shui (a mirror) bounces off any negative energy so it’s kind of good

Plant Depot



Don’t Get Left in the Dark When Going Solar

from niche stores such as Bella Bazaar and San Juan Capistrano’s Las Catrinas, to San Clemente’s monthly Village Art Faire. One of a kind paintings, drawings, woodwork and metal work can be found at the locations and can add a truly unique flair to any space For people who want to decorate with something more personally meaningful, photos can make for a nice addition. Mehr said photos of a place a person got married, a place that resonates with them or even a great family photo can liven up a space. Keeping items that you like just because something is trendy, doesn’t mean it speaks to everyone. Mehr said she’s had to redo homes where a person decorated with what’s popular, only to want to change it again because it didn’t fit their style or their personality. She said when in doubt, people should go with their gut and pick the things they like. “Most people don’t realize that the things they’re drawn to have some kind of connection whether it’s the style, whether it’s the feel – it does have some kind of connection and it tends to always go together one way or another,” she said. “I always say don’t ever buy something that’s the trend if you don’t love it.”

for more information Contact Haideh Mehr at Bella Bazaar Bella Bazaar (located in Dana Point Harbor) 34467 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629 949.429.6200 //

Over 15,000 homeowners in San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) utility territory have gone solar this year, and the a t ma orit are li el unaware of the financial impact the will experience a a re ult of new olar rate . t pical homeowner may lose tens of thousands of dollars in saving o er the lifetime of their olar power tem if it i not de igned to con ider the new olar rule and rate . nder former olar rule it wa imple for companie to de ign a olar power tem that re ulted in a bill utilit bill. olar compan loo ed at how much energ a hou ehold u ed on an annual ba i and de igned a olar power tem to produce that ame amount of energ per ear regardle of when the tem produced energ or when the home con umed energ . ince pril olar cu tomer in territor ha e been on new olar rule which include placement on a mandator time of u e rate. n in depth anal i i now needed to de ign a olar power tem becau e with time-of-use rates, SDG&E charges more for the electricity depending on when a home u e energ in a da not u t how much the home u e in a gi en month. now charge olar home on time of u e . for electricit con umed during the da time off pea hour and . for energ con umed in the e ening on pea hour . olar doe n t wor at night when the utilitie want to charge more o a batter allow homeowner to tore their olar power and u e it when electricit i mo t expen i e. tem not e uipped with a batter will not be able to mitigate the e new charge a effecti el a tem with batterie according to outhern alifornia ba ed ulli an olar ower. t pical famil who goe olar with a batter a e roughl o er a ear period. f their neighbor goe olar without a batter at the ame time the neighbor will pa hundred of dollar per ear in additional una oidable co t . er ear u ing a ix percent rate e calation the famil without a batter will ha e mi ed out on in a ing . an local olar companie are a ing batterie are unnece ar or are onl for bac up power and that patentl fal e batterie allow olar cu tomer to maximi e their return on investment,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and pre ident of ulli an olar ower he ma orit of familie going olar in outhern alifornia ha e no idea about the huge financial impact the e new rate are going to ha e becau e their olar compan doe n t full comprehend it therefore the e companie do not teach people the importance of incorporating a batter . or more information about olar paired with energ torage the public i in ited to attend the an lemente olar ducation erie on ctober th at the an lemente ommunit enter. o learn more about thi e ent i it www. olar



California Real Estate Market Check-Up! ccording to the chief real e tate economi t at the alifornia ociation of ealtor e lie ppleton oung he reat ece ion i officiall o er due to o man factor in alifornia economicall . e added bac all . million ob plu an additional . million ob . . nemplo ment ha dipped below percent for the fir t time in more than a decade . he toc mar et i near all time high acro mo t major indices . ntere t rate remain near hi toric low for mortgages . he tate go ernment i currentl running a budget urplu e en if it re t on a er narrow ba e . alifornia remain a er popular de tination for the re t of the world with nearl million international travelers this year . ome price o erall continue to ri e not fall he factor abo e how that tabilit i bac in the real e tate mar et including in an lemente. dditionall the ban toda are er trict for all loan and ha e been li e that for almo t ear . lient we re helping toda ha e a lot of e uit now a ed up and continue to be pa ing down loan amount and adding to their e uit po ition. he following are example worth mentioning. f ou bought a hou e in the ear and ha e been pa ing that down for almo t ear ou hould be in a ituation where ou ha e at lea t percent or more e uit po ition. ou can refinance to lower our pa ment ignificantl . e al o ha e a lot of client who bought in era and e en with a low down pa ment of percent or percent tho e client are in a percent or more e uit po ition ince price ha e gone up about percent ince the bottom of the mar et. o t people are u ing thi e uit to get a bigger home or one with a better location. e al o ha e a lot of people down i ing and pa ing ca h for the next propert to be mortgage free. he e are all rea on wh the local real e tate mar et will continue to be table for the fore eeable future. f ou are intere ted in bu ing or elling plea e contact u e are a third generation famil owned bu ine and ha e been er ing the communit for more than ear rac ing up thou and of re idential and commercial ale and purcha e . mail u at info conradreale i it u online at www.conradreale or call u at . .

Picket Fence Media's

Where to buy

2018 Home Decor Picks

1. Palm leaf pillow • $50

BELLA BAZAAR (Dana Point Harbor) 34467 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629 949.429.6200 •



BY Chelsie Rex

ummer may be coming to an end; however, these design trends will make you want to un-pack your bags from that end of summer trip & plan your next ‘stay-cation’. Whether you’re looking to re-design your entire home or just add a few statement pieces- these current design trends are sure to transform your living space into a stylish retreat that you’ll want to ‘vacation’ at year-round. From Coastal to Bohemian-here are a few of our favorite things.

2. Coffee table • $1,599

PEPPERTREE LANE 101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa suite 558, San Clemente, CA 92672 949.441.7275 •


3. Fur bench • $375

MELROSE IN THE OC LIFESTYLE 150 #D Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672 949.366.0561 •

4. Blue velvet chair • $2,200


THE WAREHOUSE ON DEL MAR 112 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672 949.388.0027 • @thewarehouseondelmar

5. Chandelier • $420

SEA & SKY 24625 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point, CA 92629 949.276.7833 •


6. Mid Century Sofa • $389

SC FURNITURE & MATTRESS 109 Calle De Los Molinos, San Clemente, CA 92672 949.492.5589 •


7. Rug • $250

LAS CATRINAS SJC 31742 Los Rios St San Juan Capistrano, California 92675 949.441.7182 •


8. Hanging macrame • $229.99

PLANT DEPOT 32413 San Juan Creek rd. San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 949.240.2107 •


9. Ottoman • $460

TUVALU HOME 222 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672 949.542.8242 •

4. 7. 8.

Inside/Outside Home  

The Capistrano Dispatch

Inside/Outside Home  

The Capistrano Dispatch