Onward & Upward . . . Back To Normal, Sort Of

Posted by Karen Sugarman Designs on


Our Soon To Be New Home

This past 1.5 years has felt a little like a roller coaster - with high points and low points. After a year and a half of self-isolation + being extremely careful of any in person contact, we now have what seems to be a solution for this horrible pandemic - the COVID-19 vaccine! Both my hubby and I had our vaccines way back in February/March because we are considered high risk . . . and over 65! Okay, that is just TMI. Hubby has been to several Dr appointments and does seem to be less reticent to join the rest of the world in getting things back to normal. However . . . I am still very careful and requiring techs to also be vaccinated to service items in our home like air conditioning/heating units, refrigerator, plumbing, window washing, etc. I recently found my anxiety level sky high when I had to go inside a convenience store for less than 5 minutes! I was wearing a mask, but no one else was wearing one! Eventually, I calmed down after I used my hand sanitizer and returned to the safety of my own car.

It will probably surprise many of you when you understand how much of a germaphobe I can be, to realize I convinced my husband we should move to the Dallas area to be closer to our son and family. I have been married for 37 years and unbeknownst to him, I thought I had figured him out . . . wrong-o. I thought it might take some serious planning and prodding to get him to move from Scottsdale east, to the Dallas area. I guess he is still full of surprises!

The Little Jewel Box Condo

We had discussed downsizing if we moved there and I have been watching the Dallas real estate market for the past 1-2 years (it kept me amused during this lockdown for so many months). Once the vaccines started rolling out and it appeared as though many would actually get this life saving shot (including children 13+ years old), I happened to find a totally renovated townhome downtown that was simply to die for. Hubby saw the photos and agreed we should call and have our agent, son and his wife take a look (they have all been vaccinated are less fearful), since we were not yet comfortable traveling to see it ourselves. Everyone declared it to be simply beautiful, but our son quickly realized the rooms felt very tiny compared to what we are used to - a jewel box! That fact plus the proximity to a tollway and the dicey neighborhood just a few blocks away, sealed the deal and we passed on placing a bid. What happened next is something I never thought might happen. Hubby got caught up in the real estate frenzy!

Behind the awful brick wall is the Breakfast Nook & adjacent Keeping Room.  Opening this brick wall should create a larger and more open space.

Nationally, there is such a low supply of houses for sale and so many potential buyers - allowing this to become a seller’s market. Much to our surprise, our own home has increased in value 18% in a four month period! The Phoenix area is one of the hottest markets in the country right now (no pun intended)! With nothing pressing to do, my husband dove head first into putting that real estate agent right to work (as if she was not already busy). The very next week, we found a gorgeous house that suited my particular sensibilities, but it did need some renovation which probably helped us in many ways since other potential buyers were put off by the closed feeling of the kitchen / breakfast nook / little den and the Master Bedroom which is upstairs. When I am looking at a home, I usually have been looking with my interior designer lens to see where it could be improved and altered for our needs. Thankfully, our agent is well-versed in flipping homes, so in addition to her vision, she has a cachet of trades she uses regularly.

The Gorgeous Floating Staircase

Anastasia Earrings - $165

We are supposed to close on the new house (which we have never actually seen in person) in early June. We will then embark on adding an elevator - even though there is a gorgeous floating staircase - knocking down a wall in the kitchen to make the rooms seem less congested and getting rid of the yellow/gold marble from the original owner, that is found everywhere in the master bath. This house should satisfy my interior design cravings for quite some time with all of these projects! Meanwhile, we will continue to live in Scottsdale for a while and I will continue to make new jewelry designs. Although, at the time of my decision to shift gears from interior design to jewelry design - I was not totally happy - I can see now that my decision to find something that is easily portable was a good decision. One of the many bedrooms in this new home can now easily become my office/studio. Keep your fingers crossed that the closing is a smooth transaction and my experience in working interior design projects from across the country is not cursed! Onward & Upward!

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  • I still wear and love your coral necklace and earrings. So beautiful.

    Myra Richman on
  • can’t say how amazing this is
    dallasshirts.com on
  • Congratulations on your future move! I know that you both will enjoy being closer to family.

    Sandra Chouinard on
  • Karen, you have captured the experience in words so well. I am so looking forward to the renovation and getting to meet you in person soon. Congratulations, I’m sure you will make this home a showcase like none other. Happy Designing!

    Sharon Auffet on

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