So…Why Do People Move?

Dan here – this post is the latest edition of Harmonious Home Adventures – Debra’s monthly newsletter from Debra Barrett Real Estate. I decided to re-post it here. As you can see, this month the subject is “Why do people move?”

So … Why Do People Move? And What Difference Does It Make?

Moving MessThe number one consideration in any effort to sell anything is: What does the buyer want? Notice that I said “want.” Not “need.”

What buyers need may be important – it may be the reason that they’re in the market in the first place. It probably forms the mental checklist that they consult before even looking at a property.

But nine times out of ten, what they want controls what they buy.

Counter-Intuitive Reasons

The reason that most people actually pack up their stuff and move is not what you may think – it’s a little counter-intuitive. Continue reading “So…Why Do People Move?”

Springtime in Seville

Springtime in Seville

You want to go to Spain, perhaps visit several cities, and you’re wondering which cities and what time of year. Make Seville – the heart of Andalusia in southern Spain – one of the cities. And go in late March or early April. Springtime in Seville is a delight.

Southern Spain can get quite hot in the summer, with many days topping 100 degrees. In March, though, it is as pleasant as you could wish for – warm enough to be comfortable in short sleeves during the day and sometimes cool enough for a light jacket at night. But the real reason to choose that time of year for your visit is the smell.

Orange Blossoms

Orange tree and cathedral towerWhile you’re strolling the cobblestone streets during springtime in Seville, the scent of orange blossoms is everywhere, sometimes so strong that it’s almost intoxicating.

Thousands of orange trees line the streets of Seville and in the early spring, they’re all in bloom. The oranges, themselves, are not edible.  The Moors brought Seville Oranges to Spain  a thousand years ago and, unlike more modern varieties, the fruit is bitter. It makes wonderful marmalade, though, and most of it is harvested and shipped to Britain for that purpose.

 Springtime in Seville – Festivals

Continue reading “Springtime in Seville”

A Small Closet Adventure With A Big Impact at Hildring House

Debra says: Some changes improve the look of your house. And some  increase the value of your house. But some make your life better – every single day. This post is about one of the last kind: a small closet adventure with a big impact at Hildring House.


You may remember that about a year ago, I mentioned that the mother-in-law suite at Hildring House would become Debra’s Domain (you can find that post here, if you’re interested – it’s really all about demo, so it’s pretty messy). Well, Debra’s Domain is a thing now. It has two closets – one big one that we “stole” from the garage, and one smaller one that was the only original closet in the space. (You can find that process in the middle of this post.)

Since we built the larger one pretty much from scratch, it’s pretty nice: well-organized, new fixtures, etc.

The smaller one was the problem.

Closet before - oneSee what I mean? Continue reading “A Small Closet Adventure With A Big Impact at Hildring House”

Gaudi Casa Mila or “La Pedrera” Lagniappe

This lagniappe post is a visit to the rooftop of the Gaudi Casa Mila or “La Pedrera” in Barcelona.

You might remember the post that we did back in February 2017 featuring Gaudi’s Park Guell. You can find it here. Rebecca at Artsy found it and reached out to us after reading the post

Here at With the Barretts, beautiful things – architecture, furnishings, art, nature – mean a great deal to us. So, Debra and I were delighted that  Rebecca found our post and wanted to make sure that we had seen Artsy’s Gaudi page. Please go take a look at it here. This post is our way of saying “Thanks” to Rebecca and Artsy for helping make art accessible to everyone. Is that a great mission, or what?

Gaudi Casa Mila or “La Pedrera”

Casa Mila RooftopGaudi’s spectacular apartment building, Casa Mila – colloquially known as “La Pedrera” – was mostly closed for interior renovation when we visited in 2014 but the rooftop was more than worth the effort and price of admission.  As with many – even most – Gaudi sites, it feels like an alien landscape, complete with otherworldly sentinels:

"Sentinel" ventstacksThe structures are unpredictable, both as to shape and as to material.

Glass-capped towersThey invite you to indulge your whimsical side. Continue reading “Gaudi Casa Mila or “La Pedrera” Lagniappe”

A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops – Guest Post from Trade Up Kitchens

Our friend John Stuart over at Trade Up Kitchens – a UK-based kitchen supply company – has a guest post for us: “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops.” For those of us in the US, a “kitchen worktop” is a counter top. Actually, “worktop” makes more sense, doesn’t it? In any event, here it is. I hope you enjoy it!

Buying Kitchen Worktops

Your choice of kitchen worktops will dramatically affect the whole aesthetic of your kitchen. Choosing your kitchen worktop is one aspect which should never be overlooked during the design process. Similar to your flooring, your kitchen worktops sit on a horizontal plane, making it a prominent feature in your kitchen.  With so many options available, choosing your kitchen worktop can seem like an impossible task but our guide is on hand to help you find the best option for you.

Granite Worktop
Photo – Trade Up Kitchens

Before choosing your kitchen worktop, it’s important to consider two things:

Your budget

Worktops come in a variety of materials, all at differing price points. Before you decide on a material for your kitchen worktop, it’s important to assess your budget – this will dramatically influence your choice of worktop.

Your lifestyle

If you’re choosing kitchen worktops for a student house or you’ve got a house full of children, then you’ll need to consider a sturdy, low-maintenance worktop. Alternatively, if you’re likely to clean up any spills immediately and don’t mind dedicating a little time to its maintenance, then you’ve got a few more options when it comes to kitchen worktops.  

After you’ve taken these two things into consideration, you’ve got to choose from the following kitchen worktops: Continue reading “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops – Guest Post from Trade Up Kitchens”