Whether you’re starting a business following the 2021 Great Resignation or your established business is outgrowing the spare bedroom, a garage can offer an attractive alternative in terms of size, existing infrastructure such as wiring, and with it being a stone’s throw away from your home location. Transforming it into the ideal home office, however, can be a task beyond the experience of the average homeowner. Just as you bill yourself an expert in your profession, this may be the time to call on an experienced contractor – or at least an avid DIYer – as well as an interior designer well-versed in melding practicality and personality, like Toscano Interiors.
Setting the stage for renovation
Depending on your discipline for shrewd organization and vehicle maintenance, it’s likely you have some decluttering and deep cleaning to do. After finding a new home for every item previously housed in the garage, you’ll want to remove the telltale signs of its former functionality, such as oil stains in the concrete, and hooks and nails that held everything from bicycles to water hoses. For this early stage, you won’t need a permit, but you may need one before you move on to more extensive renovations, so be sure to check with your local permitting office before you go any further.
While you’re checking your permit requirements, talk to your business accountant or other qualified tax professional about whether your converted garage will qualify for a home office deduction on your tax return. This deduction allows you to deduct certain expenses from your business income that relate to running your business from your home and is in addition to any other legitimate business-related expenses that you claim on your tax return.
Once you have your permits and other business tasks in order, gauge your current electrical wiring in the garage to see if it’s suitable for your office layout, particularly the number and location of outlets. If your garage is separate from the house, you may want to section off some space for a small bathroom, and perhaps a small kitchen area for a refrigerator and coffee maker.
Regardless of climate, insulation is a must-have, if you don’t already have it in your garage. Your licensed contractor should add the necessary wiring and plumbing prior to putting in any additional insulation. In addition to tempering the outdoor weather effects, insulation quite literally helps to “insulate” you from outside noise. If you’ve never worked with insulation yourself and want to save some money for your more aesthetic improvements, consider taking classes at a nearby home improvement store.
Blending practicality with creativity
You’ll likely want to hire someone to replace your traditional garage door, especially if you have a need to welcome clients and vendors. Since most garages don’t have a lot of windows, consider adding a few to let in some natural light and create a more open feel to what will be your new office.
Now you’re ready to set the stage for your office décor. Start from the ground up, deep clean those concrete floors before putting down your choice of flooring; an easy route is to finish the concrete with an acid stain and will complement attractive rugs. If your space is relatively small, light colors for your walls can create a more open feel, especially if combined with mirrors. You can add pops of color with artwork, furniture, and accessories. Finally, your office furniture is important, so be sure you mix comfort and practicality with style – even the mouse and keyboard you select matter when it comes to physical comfort.
Passion and productivity
Many business owners spend a great deal of time in their offices, so it should surround you with inspiration as well as comfort. Hiring a professional isn’t just for knocking down walls and doing electrical work, so if you’re finding the design functions more challenging than you expected, reach out to Toscano Interiors for creating the workspace that fuels your passion and your productivity. Once you get the office of your dreams, you’re off to the races!
Blog written exclusively for Toscano Interiors by guest blog contributor, Tina Martin with Ideaspired. Tina Martin is an author and successful Blogger. Find more of Tina's work at https://www.ideaspired.com/blog/www.ideaspired.com/blog/
With only 42 days until Christmas I am so excited to share with all of you this guest blog post from Charlsie Niemiec | Rent.com
Now is the perfect time to dream up new ways to decorate for the most wonderful time of the year! That’s why Charlsie has highlighted some home decoration ideas based on each sign of the zodiac in her new article she curated especially for Toscano Interiors, “Holiday Apartment Decorating Ideas Based on Your Zodiac Sign.”
Whether you're a sign that has impeccable taste or a sign that lives for avant-garde decorations, read more to find out how to deck your halls based on astrology this Christmas season.
Fast-paced and fearless, Aries signs have one motto when it comes to holiday decorating, “go big or go home." As an Aries myself, this is our motto every day of the year, not just the holidays. Expect this sign to incorporate the color red and all its bodacious shades in nearly everything. From the vintage crimson candelabras on the dining table to the contemporary burgundy and gold-trimmed tree skirt to the pop art-inspired candy apple red Christmas tree topper — it doesn't get merrier than an Aries' festive and mismatched approach to holiday apartment decorating ideas.
In addition to decorating with red-colored glasses on, Aries love building up a robust holiday candle collection. As a fire sign, this comes as no surprise. Candles also make great housewarming gifts for any Aries that invites you over to experience their holiday-ready apartment — just make sure to tie it up in a red bow!
Ruled by Venus, Taureans experience the world through the five senses. Additionally, as one of the most grounded astrological signs, Taurus signs look to elements of the natural world for their holiday aesthetic. Expect this sign to incorporate a lot of nature into its holiday décor. Classic wreaths hanging from every door, tablescapes made out of fresh pine branches and centerpieces filled with chestnuts and pinecones are just a few ways this sign will let nature sing throughout their apartment this season.
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All in all, a Taurus won't know peace during the holidays until they put their most beloved treasures out and on display a la Julie Andrews' classic, “My Favorite Things." Whether it's using vintage glassware for a dinner party or adding golden lush throw pillows on the living room couch, Taureans live to show off their favorite things.
Although Gemini's often have a futuristic aesthetic, when it comes to holiday apartment decorating ideas, this sign loves showing off retro finds like an original copy from 1974 of the Waltons' Christmas Album on vinyl or hand-painted Santa Claus mugs from the 1940s. Unafraid to play with color, Gemini's will make their Christmas tree the centerpiece of their apartment and adorn it with a rainbow collection of quirky ornaments in all shapes and sizes.
While this sign often gets a bad rap for being too self-focused, Gemini's thrive when hosting others. Since no one does kitschy Christmas better than a Gemini, count yourself lucky if you get invited to any holiday parties hosted by this playful sign. Chances are high that they'll get you rocking around their quirky Christmas tree in no time.
Ruled by the moon, Cancers excel at curating cozy and highly personalized home sanctuaries. Don't be surprised if Cancers add their bedroom into the mix for holiday decorating. Whether they're dressing up their bed with a winter white handknit blanket or they're rolling out a faux-fur throw in front of their Christmas tree and fireplace, expect this watery sign to lean heavily into lush fabrics as part of their holiday apartment aesthetic.
While Cancers astrologically represent self-care, these crabs transcend when nurturing others. During the holidays, Cancers will gladly anchor themselves to their kitchen in order to perfect their sugar cookie recipe because, in the eyes of a Cancer, nothing is more sentimental than a handmade, carefully crafted gift.
Just like this sign's ruler, the sun, Leos relish in dazzling and shocking themselves (and others, sometimes) through their apartment décor. Expect animal prints and vibrant colors in places you least expect, like a leopard print table runner in the dining room, a dramatic black floating candle centerpiece on a coffee table or a neon pink flamingo tree topper. And since Leos will already have many on hand, don't be surprised when they opt to hang an oversized mirror dolled up with tinsel close to their Christmas tree so they can watch themselves experiencing the festivities of the season!
While this fire sign takes holiday revelry to an extreme, it's important to note that Leos radiate creativity in their merriment. This sign thrives when they can sprinkle in a little bit of their own joie de vivre into their surroundings.
Since this earth sign operates in the land of hyper-awareness to detail, most Virgo holiday apartment décor ideas center around simple details that tie everything together. Like peppering plaid bows around an entryway, lighting up a mantle or bookshelf with olive garland or adding ivory white candlesticks. Additionally, expect Virgos to use its impeccable organization skills to keep their holiday decorating orderly and uncluttered.
Governed by Mercury, this earth sign also lives for luxury. However, luxury to Virgos means prioritizing quality over quantity. This belief makes Virgos excellent gift-givers — but only if they can get out of their own head first. Thanks to deep roots in the material world, Virgo signs thrive when scrupulously searching for meaningful gifts for those a part of their holiday plans.
Since this sign values balance and harmony (its zodiac symbol is a scale, after all), Libras know just how to show off their exquisite taste without going overboard, as a fire sign might. Expect Libras to choose a central holiday decorating theme and carry it through their entire apartment. For example, this air sign might only feature grey and ivory frosted glass ornaments on their Christmas tree and then carry that color scheme over to their dining table with a stark black table cloth, ivory silverware and grey frosted vintage drinking goblets. Also, bank on Libras tying fresh flower arrangements of paperwhites or winter peonies into their holiday apartment décor ideas.
Ultimately, no matter how they curate their home space for the holidays, it's typical for Libras to find inspiration in high art. Don't worry though — this friendly sign is anything but pretentious. Libras have an outstanding reputation for being generous and welcoming, even if their apartment resembles a chic art gallery.
Instead of committing to traditional holiday apartment decorating ideas, Scorpios find the most joy decorating for the holidays with dark colors, like deep blues and blacks, and shiny metallics. Additionally, this passionate water sign, ruled by Pluto, may completely opt-out of having a traditional Christmas tree. Alternative options like ladders or wooden tree-shaped mobiles make great alternatives to hang baubles and vintage ornaments from.
Words like sexy and sensual often float around Scorpios, so expect this water sign to adorn doorways with mistletoe as a wink and a nod to their seductive nature. Plus, since Scorpios often gravitate towards broody colors in their home space — the greenery of the mistletoe adds a subtle yet seasonal touch.
Since Sagittarius signs radiate a natural glow, decorating for the holidays with neutrals is a perfect way to compliment their personality. Cream-colored wall garland and sandy throw blankets will add a soft touch near any Christmas tree. Additionally, expect these movers and shakers to throw in shades of gold on the Christmas tree as a subtle nod to their fiery spirit.
Having space to experience life is important to Sagittarians, so expect this mutable sign to leave plenty of room in their apartment — even with added holiday décor. Without a doubt, the extroverted archer (the symbol for Sagittarius) has a plan for hosting a holiday wine tasting party, a co-worker cookie swap or an all-night Christmas dance party with that extra space.
Known for having a refined taste, Capricorns love taking inspiration from the natural world. Expect this sign to opt for lots of garlands, wreaths, light wood figurines and paper garland and ornaments galore. Also, Capricorns will bring a lot of light into their space this time of year — lanterns, star-shaped paper lights and a plethora of candles help this sign enjoy the festivities.
While some think Capricorns, ruled by Saturn, is too serious about their home décor — these signs just like to make sure everything is high quality and purposeful. Out of all the signs, it's guaranteed that Capricorns have an unparalleled sensibility — even during one of the most magical times of the year.
Co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus, this is a highly innovative sign. During the holidays, Aquarians enjoy pushing the envelope with unexpected color palettes — so it's no surprise to see this sign use aqua-toned lights on their tree. These darker tones will make white and metallic ornaments pop. Additionally, hand-crafted vases and ceramic mini Christmas trees dusted in a metallic glaze make exceptional holiday accessories for Aquarian folk.
Since this air sign values collaboration, expect a cohesive and inviting aesthetic throughout all holiday apartment decorating ideas. Although this water-bearing sign loves to stray from the norm, it knows exactly how to put an individual twist on the holiday season.
Expect this sign, the last in the zodiac, to fully commit to a Christmas tree aesthetic that closely resembles a magical fairyland. Expect fluffy feathers and glitter-encrusted ornaments alongside pearled garland, maybe even some tinsel. Pisces love playing with texture, too — so don't be surprised when macrame and pampas grass become staples for this fish.
The always sensitive and wistful Pisces loves nothing more than losing themselves in the nostalgia of Christmas past. Classic Christmas songs and cultural and family traditions deeply move these mystical fish. Pisces beware though — it's all fun and games until they get swept away by a tide of holiday sentimentalism.
Joy to the zodiac
Whether you're a believer in all things astrological or not — looking to the celestial is fun. No matter your sign or how you decorate your apartment for the holidays, make sure you leave time to celebrate and enjoy the season — after all, it's the most wonderful time of the year.
Whether it's an apartment, condo or house, buying your first home can be exciting as well as expensive. After depleting your savings account purchasing your home, you might start to feel the pinch when it comes to furnishing it.
Here are some of my top tips to get the look of luxury without the price tag:
Be Resourceful. How do you find quality furniture without paying a high price? If you're willing to put in some time, buying unfinished or used furniture to refinish can save you a lot of money and leave you with the same look for less.
Sniff Out Bargains. Hunt for fix-me-up furniture in attics, garage sales and flea markets. Some of the best pieces could be hiding in a friend's or relative's attic. Keep in mind that finding the perfect piece may not be love at first sight. Look beyond the surface to see if there is potential for refurbishing.
Transform Timeless Furniture. Before you take home any piece of furniture, check for structural flaws such as cracks, loose joints, lifted veneer, warped surfaces or uneven legs. If the integrity of the piece is still good, refinishing it can change the appearance from old and worn too beautiful and timeless.
Give Furniture a Facelift. Before you can banish the old finish, you need to find out what you're removing. Give it the cotton ball test. Dampen a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover, then choose an inconspicuous test spot and dab it with the cotton. If it sticks or the finish softens, you have a varnish, lacquer or shellac finish. Formby's recommends using their Furniture Refinisher, which will gently dissolve this type of finish. If nothing happens when you dab the cotton ball, then the finish is most likely paint or polyurethane. Try Formby's Paint & Poly Remover to lift and remove the old finish. After a light buffing with Paint & Poly Remover Wash, you're ready to add a beautiful new finish.
Rub On the Finishing Touch. Applying a finish is essential for protecting stripped, stained or bare wood from moisture and wear. Formby's Tung Oil Finish imparts a warm, hand-rubbed luster to wood, enhancing its natural charm. By hand-rubbing Tung Oil into wood, you eliminate the potential for streaks, ensuring a beautiful, smooth finish. Tung Oil penetrates wood, protecting from the inside out.
It can be tricky to get bookcase styling just right! I like to make sure my bookcases look pretty and aren’t cluttered, but I also don’t want them to feel impersonal. I think sometimes when shelves are styled too perfectly with purchased objects it can look beautiful, but also sterile. Here is how to style a bookcase in 3 easy steps to create a beautiful and functional display.
3 Simple Rules for Bookcase Styling
First, you should shop and collect things from around the house that spark joy! Find travel mementos, photographs or trophies. Even old letters look lovely in a frame! Don’t overthink it and worry about how everything will work together at first. Just collect the items you love.
Next, find books. I like to collect books about design, astrology, and self-help! If travel is your thing find beautiful travel books. If you love fashion collect those etc… And if you love fiction, or you find that the jackets of your books aren’t visually cohesive you can always cover them. I like to use linen or kraft paper. And you can always hand letter or add pretty labels so you still know which book is which!
Once you’ve created a collection of objects and books that you’d like to display it’s time to start arranging. I like to place larger pieces like framed art, oversize objects or stacks of books first and then fill in with smaller pieces around them.
3 Guiding Principles
I am mindful of 3 guiding principles when arranging my shelves:
Go through the items you’ve gathered and assess which ones work well together. Is there a colour palette or style that really stands out to you when you look at what you’ve chosen? Maybe everything is very neutral so you choose to put aside one or two colorful items. Or maybe everything is colorful and eclectic so you put aside a few more rustic items. It’s an exercise that can help you narrow down what your preferred style really is! Bonus!
Make sure your shelves are balanced by grouping objects in a purposeful manner. I usually alternate shelves when stacking books and also I switch up stacking them vertically or horizontally. And I add in smaller objects with each large piece… again to create balance!
Remember to leave empty space to allow the eye to rest. You don’t want to create clutter. You want to create visual interest. Resist the urge to keep adding more items to your shelves, especially smaller pieces. You can quickly turn curated into crowded! Less is more!
Stack books both vertically and horizontally to create interesting visual contrast.
Tip: This is one time that I would say the rule of 3 or the rule of odd numbers does not apply! I actually like to add books horizontally in stacks of 2 or 4, or vertically just a couple at a time.
Even on the kitchen window ledge, I like to lean a couple of pretty cookbooks against the wall to add some interest to the space.
Pretty cookbooks double as decor propped on the kitchen window ledge.
It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task to style your shelves. Just follow the simple principles I’ve laid out and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect! You are styling your home, not a store display. Make it personal and make it something you love to see!
Toscano Interiors has served Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities now for over 10 years. Ten hard, wild, amazing years.
My dream was to give you all intimate glimpses into my own life and interior space work- to inform and inspire your own journey. To build a beautiful community – interested in creating homes and living lives with passion and purpose. To create opportunities for growth and change – individually and together. One room, one life, one family, one world…at a time.
So many friendships have been made these last 10 years, many of you have watched our children grow up- words cannot describe how thankful we are for everything. The honor to stage and design your homes, every detail that was lovingly crafted to support your experience working with my team and myself. The luxurious design process I built up to this point has included so much intention, soul-searching, and creative play. It’s an authentic expression of who I am and what I do in the world --
But now it's time for me to spread my wings and discover new breakthroughs and in turn give my life a beautiful, meaningful, functional space to land and grow someplace new. Colorado is the only home I have ever known...I have lived here all 42 years of my life, and it will always be home, but there is something magical about life shifting and upgrading you.
I have resisted this decision so many times over the years. Every time I got the idea that maybe it was time for a change, I got scared. Feared it. Tried really hard to stick my head in the sand and pretend like I was comfortable living out the rest of my adult life in the same boring place.
Worst of all, I carried all of this around like a secret. I thought I was the only one having a hard time with change — like I wasn’t there the day they passed out the “grown-up” cards.
Eventually, I realized: change isn’t going anywhere. It is inevitable in this lifetime — and I might as well learn how to deal with it.
So I became a student of transition. I studied change, and learned about its rhythms and melodies. I got more and more comfortable with the process of transformation — both within myself and in other people. And I quickly learned:
This is such a shame. Because the truth is …
Transitions – beautiful, painful, and messy – grow us into the fullness of who we are and all that we can become.
When we try to avoid transitions — or simply go through them unconsciously — we miss out on vital opportunities for growth. We stay stagnant, and continue living out the same old, unhelpful patterns. Or we disintegrate, chicken out, and go through the motions without reaping the deep gifts.
My happiness is directly related to how well and resiliently I can support myself through life transitions and integrate their lessons. And let's face it...my business made it through a global pandemic, marital problems, kids school schedules, a newborn while running a full time business, custody battles, an ex-employee who stalked me for 4-years, the floods in Manitou Springs (when my store was located there)...I can probably list dozens of other things.
Learning to navigate transitions is an essential life skill, but one we’re often not taught about. I’ve supported countless clients/friends through transitions, and many of you helped me navigate through all the transitions I listed above- and for that I will be forever grateful to you and will miss you all more than you know. Thank you.
Your life is a story of transition. You are always leaving one chapter
behind while moving on to the next.” ~ Linda Seidler
At this time, we do not have a specific timeline of events, but we’re aiming to be fully closed by September 1st.
Listed below are more details
-How and when can I shop?
We will only be open Monday through Friday for in person sales from 10 am- 2 pm. Beginning the week of July 19th. The website store is no longer available for online purchases out of State
-What’s for sale?
All of our existing products, along with furniture, displays,
All sales will be final. If you have any layaway items, these items need to be paid in full NO LATER THAN AUGUST 5, 2021, and all Gift Certificates will be Null and Void August 15, 2021.
Sending you all love and gratitude,
*For vendors and artists, letters have been mailed with instructions on pick up. To review a copy of our Consignment Agreement that all Vendors/Artists sign, click here. If the 30 days has passed, your items have already been donated or disposed of. Unfortunately we are not a storage facility and many vendors/artists left items for as many as 4 years before asking for their items back. Since we are a small shop, those items were taking up real estate in our store, and we lose money by holding items for this long. We hope you can understand this business move, as we are not in the business to keep your items but we also cannot be responsible for items forgotten about by a fellow business owner.
This week's blog post is courtesy of Karl Kennedy with Projectortop.com. He has you hooked up with how to enjoy your summer nights by creating the BEST outdoor movie theatre!
Watching a movie on the big screen is always fun, whether you’re by yourself or enjoying a good film with company. But sometimes, it’s rather inconvenient traveling to the theaters and spending all of that money on a cinema experience.
What if we told you that there’s a way to avoid going to the local theaters? All you have to do is install your own personal outdoor movie theater in your backyard! It’s perfect for the summer months, it’ll save you money, and over time, the backyard cinema will have paid for itself.
Let’s not forget that having a movie theater at home gives you the utmost comfort and privacy. You also won’t have to choose from the movies that are currently being offered, like at the movie theaters. You’ll have the opportunity to put whatever it is you want to watch on the screen.
And, before you get too worried, know that the process of buying the equipment and setting it all up is a lot easier than it sounds. It’s even easy to stick to a budget if you do your research. An outdoor home movie theater can be as simple as a projector and sheet combo or it can be as boujee as a large outdoor screen, receiver, and speaker mix for the best audio and video quality.
Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get into explaining the core components you’ll need to pull your at-home, backyard movie theater together.
Buying a projector is the better movie, especially when compared to bringing your flat screen television outside every time you want to view a movie.
Purchasing a projector will absolutely “wow” your guests every time they come over. It’s bright enough to showcase any movie as soon as the sun sets, but keep in mind that it won’t do too good in the daytime.The visuals once the dark sets in are impeccable, to say the least.
Just remember that items like the projector and similar technological equipment should not be left outdoors all the time; the rain and other conditions could always temporarily or permanently ruin the technologies.
Projector screens aren’t necessarily needed, but they definitely come in handy. Many first-timers will use the side of their house, primarily because it’s a free alternative to a screen. However, we do not recommend it in the least. Movie screens are supposed to be smooth and color free, and we can guarantee you that the side of your house is anything but that.
If you’re looking for a more affordable solution, you can definitely purchase a large white sheet and hang it up; you’ll get decent viewings. But, you’ll have to try your best to keep the sheet wrinkle free and secure it to something. The wind can technically cause the “screen” to move, and that’s highly inconvenient in the middle of watching a film.
Honestly, buying a projector screen is your best option. Plus, it comes with a sturdy frame to avoid any blowing over.
Now you need to think of how you’re going to watch the movies. Sure, you can always resort to a DVD or Blu-ray player, but streaming sticks are way more magical.
Not to mention they connect directly to the projector, pick up Wi-Fi fairly quickly, and have a plethora of movie options to choose from.
Good audio is a must when it comes to a great outdoor movie theater set up. To get you started, the projectors have minimal speakers, but they don’t work very well. If you’re looking to use the built-in speakers, you should plan on only having a couple people over to view the movie. If you would like to be the host for the evening and have a big group of friends or family over, it’s best to get larger speakers. The additional support is much appreciated.
Think about it this way, a big screen deserves big noise, it’s the best scenario. And, if you don’t know what specific speakers to purchase, just head on out and ask a professional to get the best, most extraordinary experience with your at-home, backyard theater.
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."
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