Armella International

Worldwide living space consulting

Zena's Blog

view:  full / summary

Old Houses

Posted by Zena Arnella on March 31, 2012 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Hello Everyone :)

I believe there is a new wave of thinking about old houses, and I want to share it with you all; so open your eyes to new income assests.

For the past 10 years, I have been absolutely immersed in researching homes built from 1945 through 1963 — the classic, post-World-War-II baby boom years. And over the past decade — and the past two-to-three years in particular — there is no question that I’ve seen a major transformation in how mainstream media, real estate agents and — yes, prospective home buyers — view these homes. The original, high quality features… the architecture… and the wisdom of restoring, rather than gutting — yup, folks are starting to ‘get it’. To be sure, there is still serious work to do to showcase how smart appreciating and preserving these homes can be, but, we are well on our way, I am convinced. So, that gets me to thinking: What is “the next big thing”. The answer, of course: 1970s houses. And buckle your seatbelts, peoples, because I predict that the love train for 1970s architecture and interior or design will be even bigger than for 1950s and 1960s homes.

There were more houses built in the 1970s — overall and as a percentage of population — than during any other decade in American history.

It. Always happens. About 20 years after a housing style, with its attendant interior design style — booms — we Hate it. This goes on for a while. About 50 years after, a shift starts to occur. There is a new generation — the grandkids, typically — who have fond recollections of their grandparents’ homes, and embrace they style. They also can afford these “stylistically discounted” — “dated” — houses. In addition, the larger population — including designers — has the perspective to look back and appreciate the best of a style, and let go of the rest. The 70s housing re-boom is on a trajectory to start in earnest in about eight years.

The housing boom of the 1970s was even greater — numerically and as a percentage of population — than in the now-infamous bubble of 2000-2010. There are reports and reports, with a variety of government agencies (BLS pre-1945, and Census 1945-on), and technical slicing and dicing, to puzzle through. You get the point, old house are IN or In FASHION NOW, start up by looking these treasures to revalue the new real estate market.

So long, hugs!!! 

-$ Ideas for Christmas

Posted by Zena Arnella on December 16, 2010 at 12:39 AM Comments comments (0)

The most unique Christmas decorations are ones that use your creativity, or that turn to nature for their inspiration. Cheap decorating ideas for Christmas can utilize the skills of your whole family, to result in some truly unique and stylish Christmas decorations on a budget.


*  Back to Nature:  The cheapest decorating ideas for Christmas make use of what we have around us. In wintertime there are so many gifts that nature provides, that we can use in our cheap Christmas decorating.


One of the easiest and most effective decorations you can make this Christmas is frosted fruits, for an elegant table centerpiece. Select fruits in different colors, and lightly beat one or two egg whites before brushing them over the fruit. Hold larger fruits by their stalks, and put small fruits on a skewer or cocktail stick, that you can then use to dip into caster sugar. Leave the fruits to dry on paper covered in sugar - try not to touch the fruits themselves when you are doing this, as finger marks will show.


Pine cones and teasels are often used in winter decorations, added to wreaths or centerpieces, or used around the fireplace. You could add spray snow to the tips, or spray them entirely in gold or silver. If you can find any cones from the cedar tree then pick them up - their more dense structure looks stunning on a mantelpiece or, Christmas table.


Using twigs and branches to decorate, at Christmas is another gift from nature. Put diamond vase filler into a container and stick twigs into it. You can further decorate the branches with fairy lights, or by painting them with white glue and dipping them in glitter.


*  Reuse Items or Use Found Items:  Recycled Christmas trees are becoming more popular, as well as offering a cheaper way to decorate at Christmas. Many commercially available ones also come with cardboard ornaments that are left plain for you to customize - great to keep kids busy on snow days.


Jam jar candle holders grouped together look highly effective - decorate with permanent pens, stickers or glass paints. Or get even more inventive and use found items to make a chandelier. Give it a Christmas theme with the addition of mistletoe, holly, or other evergreen items, threaded through or affixed around the bottom, making sure they don't come into contact with the candle flame.


Use jeans, gingham dresses, or any other unwanted clothes or linens to make Christmas tree decorations. Simply cut out a diamond shape using pinking shears and tie a ribbon through the top, or else add details like a simple fabric Christmas tree adding plenty of sequins and glitter.


*  Get Crafty: If you have more time on your hands than cash in your pocket, it's time to get crafty this Christmas, to keep your decorating costs down.  Gingerbread tree decorations add a wonderful aroma to the house as well as being a cheap and easy Christmas decoration idea. Use cookie cutters and make a hole in the top before baking. Once cooled, decorate with icing and edible glitter, or just leave plain, before threading ribbon through the hole and hanging it on the tree.


A simple way to make ice decorations is to use shaped ice cube trays, dipping wire or ribbon into each mold before filling with water and freezing. Shapes like hearts and stars work well, and you could even put a cut out shape inside before freezing too. Try using plastic yogurt pots or similar and cut out stars or snowflake shapes. Melt some edges to meld shapes together and freeze again to make an ice sculpture, or hang from an outside tree.


Bark prints are an easy Christmas make. Take a close-up picture of some tree park and upload it to your computer. Print it out in grayscale, or just in one color like ice blue. You can then transfer these to cover books, cut up and laminate for tree decorations, or print onto a T-shirt transfer sheet and iron onto fabric - a perfectly seasonal Christmas tablecloth.


Cheap decorating ideas for Christmas aren't hard to find you just need a bit of time, creativity, and even get the whole family involved to make everyone feel part of the festivities.


Happy Holidays to ALL.



Decorating with ORANGE (color)

Posted by Zena Arnella on November 30, 2010 at 12:27 AM Comments comments (0)

Most clients also ask on intense colors such as orange.


Orange feels citrus-y and is associated with:

- fun

- energy

- excitement

- joy

- enthusiasm

- fall and the harvest

- stimulation


You'd think orange would be comfortable in its own skin, but is has an identity crisis. It's always in second place after red. It's also the natural color of fire, but red is the name used to symbolize it. Orange is not as aggressive as red, but is a stimulating color, said to increase oxygen supply to the brain and promote mental activity.


The Pros and Cons of Orange

Orange represents excitement and can be stimulating. It can make you feel like hurrying, which is why it's usually used in fast-food places and quick-mart-type stores. They want you in and out quickly, so the smart store designers use orange to facilitate that.


How to Use Orange in a Room

Orange is good as an accent color coupled with brown or yellow. For use in a home, rust is the better shade as it is easier on the eye. Orange also stimulates appetite, so use with caution in the dining room or kitchen!


Do no be afraid to express your personality with vibrant colors.



Decorating with RED (color)

Posted by Zena Arnella on October 31, 2010 at 12:17 AM Comments comments (0)

A client asked me to help her decor her house with red as her main dominant color.


Red feels exciting and is associated with:

- power

- passion, courtship and love

- dominance

- activity

- youthfulness

- impulse

- intensity


Red is also a grounding color and can make you feel secure. You've no doubt heard of "seeing the world through rose-colored glasses," meaning that everything seems fine when viewed through these magic lenses. One medical study has gone so far as to suggest that chickens seeing red during the day are happier. And there's even a company that markets red contact lenses for chickens! Supposedly, these rose-colored glasses make them produce more eggs.


The Pros and Cons of Red

Then there's the evil twin of red, which can bring out rage, confrontation, fierceness, aggressiveness and bloody messes. But that bloodiness isn't always bad, because red can be connected to life and living, which we automatically associate with life-blood. Red has been known to raise blood pressure. In casinos, red is widely used so that people will stay and continue to gamble, not realizing that time is flying by. And red supposedly stimulates appetites so it is often used in restaurants. It is also a color that demands attention. You see it in warning lights, fire engines and hydrants.


How to Use Red in a Room

Red will wake up a room. It should be used as an accent in accessories, part of a pattern in upholstery or one impressive chair or bench. Red is a good color to have in a nursery because it stimulates and aids the development of neural connections in an infant's brain. Be wary of painting an entire room in red because it may prove too stimulating.


Enjoy it plenty.



Advance Decorating for Holidays...

Posted by Zena Arnella on September 30, 2010 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)



If you are thinking on how to decor this year's holidays, here are some advanced ideas.


1. Stay with one theme and style for your holiday decorating. It makes shopping for decor easier and makes your space feel professionally finished.


2. Let your nose know it’s the holiday season. Place potpourri and scented candles near your entry and throughout your house. Or, better yet, bake some cookies shortly before guests arrive.


3. Choose two to three colors for your holiday palette and keep it consistent. Multiple color palettes can be too distracting. Try silver, blue and white or red, gold and brown.


4. Create an inexpensive family tradition that involves the kids. Purchase a ready-made wreath of greens then gather items to decorate it. Use pine cones, ribbons, crystals, feathers, beaded garland or homemade paper snowflakes.


5. Give your space a different look and feel for this special time of year. Rearrange your furniture so the focal point is the fireplace or wherever you hang stockings. If you don’t have a fireplace, arrange the furniture to create the best layout for cozy conversations.


6. Colored lights can be costly if you change your color palette from year to year. Stick with white lights; they can be used with any color scheme.


7. Start investing in a collection - something that can continue to grow through the years and can be passed on to the next generation. Check out online auction sites for vintage decorations.


8. Use lots of candles. Nothing makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than candlelight.


9. Bring the holiday celebration into every room. Kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to put scented candles and smaller seasonal knickknacks.


10. The holiday season is definitely one time where “less is more” does NOT apply. Have fun and do it up big.


Have fun.



Inexpensive Decorating Ideas!!!

Posted by Zena Arnella on August 30, 2010 at 11:38 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi Dears,


Here are some saving ideas to inexpensive decoration. I used with my clients when the budget is tight.


1. Revisit what you already own. Refurbishing existing pieces is the best way to do some inexpensive decorating.

Sandpaper, primer and paint can transform just about any piece of furniture. Don't throw something out because you're tired of the color, and don't pass up a good deal on a piece of furniture just because you don't like the finish. You can easily change it.


2. Shop online. Peruse your local online classifieds. There are some great deals to be found. Listings in classifieds often have photos attached, so it's easy to find exactly what you're looking for. Online closeout sites are also a great way to save money. The best part is you don't have to drive all over town hunting for things.


3. Learn to sew. Check for inexpensive classes in your local area. Sewing your own drapery, bedding and pillows will save you a ton of cash in the long run. By sewing your own decorative accents, you have a vast array of fabrics to choose from. Plus, sewing can be a lot of fun.

When choosing a paint color, pick one shade darker or bolder than what you feel is safe. Go out of your comfort zone, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Painting is inexpensive and easy to apply, so experiment. 


4. Avoid the catalog look. I know it's tempting to buy an entire matching living room or bedroom set from one store because it's easy one-stop shopping. But to personalize your space, buy unique pieces from different places. For example, pair a new sofa with a really cool, vintage coffee table from your local thrift store.


5. Don't underestimate the power of draped window treatments. Hang your drapery panels wider and higher than the actual dimensions of the window. You'll create the illusion of a bigger window and make your room feel larger and more grand.


6. Keep your backdrop (walls and furniture) neutral. This is a great tip for those who like to switch up their color schemes with pillows, candles and other small accessories. You can do this as often as you like to suit the time of year or your mood. Neutrals have come a long way, although black, white, gray and beige tones are always good standards. Don't forget about the new neutrals, which are basically the lightest and most muted version of any color.


Now, get into practice this great tips.


Until next month,



Solar Greenhouse!!!

Posted by Zena Arnella on July 31, 2010 at 9:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello, August is here:


People are becoming more nature friendly, and most house owners are building greenhouses to harvest their own organic food. Do you want to build a solar greenhouse, let me tell you a bit about.


Calling a greenhouse solar is somewhat redundant, since all greenhouses are solar heated to some extent. The greenhouse itself traps the heat each day, as anyone who has been inside a greenhouse for just a few minutes on a sunny day knows. Although a traditional greenhouse acts as a natural solar collector on sunny days, it does not retain the sun's heat at night.


Consequently, 75 to 80 percent of the cost of heating a greenhouse by conventional energy sources is expended at night. To retain the sun's heat, the greenhouse requires something into which the heat can be stored. This heat sink can consist of barrels of water, rocks, concrete walls, or other thermal mass. At night the stored heat emanates back through the greenhouse. There are two types of solar energy systems: active and passive.


The system most commonly used in home greenhouses is passive. Here, a thermal mass, such as rocks or water-filled drums, captures heat during the day and radiates it back at night. The active system requires electricity or another conventional source of energy to pump heated air into a storage area, such as a basement, filled with rocks or water drums. More efficient than passive solar heating, this type of system is also more expensive and more complex. Both types of solar systems work better in areas with a high percentage of sunny days, even if they are cold, than they do in areas where overcast days are common.


So next time you are planning to build a green house try it solar and see the eco difference.


See you next month,


Lots of kisses,



Government Grants

Posted by Zena Arnella on June 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello Friend :)


Since economy has changed our goals' options, we need to be open minded and get additional help to preserve our business.


Small business grants are closer than you think. In fact, the small business grant you need to start or expand your business may be available right in your own home state.


While there are still no direct small business grants available from the federal government, many state development agencies offer direct small business grants and other types of financial assistance designed to encourage and assist entrepreneurs in starting or expand a small business.


If you cannot find a grant available from the state financial resources shown below, do not give up! There are plenty of low-interest loan programs backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) you may be able to get.


Small Business Resource Web Portal

Small Business Grant Programs

Florida First Capital Financial Corporation

Florida Minority Business Development Agency


Do not give! There is help AVAILABLE.


So long!!!

Not All Green Design is $$$

Posted by Zena Arnella on May 31, 2010 at 11:07 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello Reader, :)


June is here, the time to rethink your connection to earth; so Not all green design is pricey.


"I'm so tired of the green stuff that is so expensive."  "It sends the message, 'green is for the wealthy'. That's so not right. Green is for everyone!" Consider places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. For a modern take on old accessories, I pick up shapely items at these stores and spray paints them white.


Choose home decor that's recycled, reused, will last a long time and require very little maintenance. Zem Joaquin, green blogger at, designed her 1950s home in an eco-friendly fashion with the cradle-to-cradle concept: what comes out of the earth, has to go back to the earth.


Urbanites will have more success locating eco-friendly or green stores such as VivaTerra or Branch Home, but because most eco-friendly stores are still local, call your local U.S. Green Building Council office or local building department to find them.


You can decorate green and still match your style.


No matter your style, there are ways to get greener interiors without turning your home into a forest. "A really good eco-design is a design that you never have to explain," Joaquin says. If you like Shabby Chic and you need a new dining room table, "don't just think that the only choices are going to the store and buying one," Joaquin says. Buy a table base kit and visit local wood salvage yards for reclaimed lumber to use as a top.


For any style, I have a simple way to make your home more energy efficient. Create a water wall with colorful Mason jars on a window that gets a lot of sunlight (preferably west-facing). The water absorbs the heat during the day, keeping the house cooler, and releases it at night. Clear glass jars filled with food-coloring dyed water is another way to make the water wall playfully decorative.


Last but no least, Eco-friendly decorating has incentives — like tax breaks.  If you make eco-friendly improvements to your home, reporting these on your yearly taxes can earn you a tax break. But after remodeling, what should you do with all those materials you ripped out? Rather than taking them to the landfill, contact The ReUse People ( They check over your refuse for reusable parts, which will be shipped to their warehouse for distribution to organizations like Habitat for Humanity — while you get another tax write-off.


Good Summer to All and have great outdoors activities,



Buying Farms!

Posted by Zena Arnella on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello Everyone :)


Buying a farm business for sale is an investment opportunity that you do not want to miss. Buying a farm business for sale will give you the chance to invest in a sound business that you can do the management of to keep the business making a profit.


Operation of a Farm Business:  In the past, the majority of farms were operated by a single person or even by one family. The taking care of the land; ordering supplies; planting the land and retrieving the crops were traditionally done by just one person or by the entire family. Today, this type of operation for a farm business has drastically changed. Farms are typically run by a team of people with each person on the team having their own specialty and role in the business. Farms today need a person that can be the CEO and focus on the different aspects of running the farm such as labor management, product specialty, and financial management and asset allocations.


Types of Farm Businesses for Sale:  Often when people think of a farm, they think about one specific product. This product is usually food. However, when you do a search for a farm business for sale you will find that there are indeed many different types of farms for sale. For example, there are cotton farms that specialize in cotton production for fabrics and other products. There are poultry farms that specialize in either egg production or in meat production. Even cattle farms are divided into the milk production farms and the beef farms. These farms for sale will vary in price depending on the geographical region and the type of items being produced on the farm.


Management Skills:  It is imperative that you have strong management skills when you invest in a farm business. Additionally, make certain that the farm equipment and other items on the property will be included when you buy the farm business for sale. For example, if you purchase a poultry farm then you would want to be certain that the poultry, poultry houses, poultry equipment and other items on the property are included the sale. With strong management skills, buying a farm business for sale can be an extremely lucrative business.


So when you are ready to buy one, please feel free to contact us for guidance.


So Long, Kisses,






Follow me on Twitter

Share on Facebook

Share on Facebook

Webs Counter