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7120 17th Ave South, Richfield, MN

Exceptional Move-In Ready Home in Convenient Location

Come see this fantastic rambler with many updates! The stylish kitchen is well equipped with maple cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Gleaming hardwood floors on the main level with newer carpet in the lower level. Updated upper-level full bath with tile surround. Enjoy 3 upper-level bedrooms with custom California closets. Additional bedroom, family room, and 3/4 bath in basement. Exterior improvements include a new front sidewalk, landscaping rocks, fully fenced backyard, newer stucco exterior, roof, and gutters with leaf guards. New furnace. Easy access to highways, retail, restaurants, MOA, and MSP airport. Just move in and enjoy!

Listing Price: $320,000


How To Divide a Room to Create Functional Spaces

Over the past year, we’ve heard one overwhelming message from our clients: “We need more space!!” With more people working from home, children doing distance learning, accommodating additional family members, etc., the home may start to feel more cramped as more people spend time at home and want their own individual space. It may be even more difficult for homes with an open floor plan to feel like everyone can have their own area to hang out or work. On that note, I’d like to make suggestions on how to create more functional spaces by dividing a room into different zones. 

The first thing we need to do is to assess what functional spaces we truly need. Do the kids need their own spot to play quietly and read a book? Do the adults need an office space to work? How about an exercise area? Once you have figure out what type of zones you need, then you can take a look at the current layout of your home and decide where you can fit these functional zones. 

Now that you have a room where you’d like to serve an additional purpose, it’s time to look at different ways that we can visually divide that room to create an additional functional space.

Furniture Arrangement

One easy way to create separate functional spaces in a room is through furniture arrangement. You can use different pieces of furniture that serve as anchors for different zones and arrange smaller pieces around them. Arrange furniture in such a way that creates different focal points in the room. You can also arrange larger furniture to create a physical cut off to a space. For example, you can place your couch in the center of the room and use the back of the couch as a visual cut off point for your family gathering/seating area. Then you are free to create an additional zone behind that couch that can serve a different purpose. 

Furniture in the room are arranged strategically to create separate functional spaces
Here, the open living area is divided into 3 unique zones. A family gathering area, a separate seating area, and a dining area.


Different flooring is often used to visually divide a large space. For example, in an open concept living area, you may choose to use tile in the kitchen vs carpet or hardwood in the living or dining room. You can also use rugs as anchors for separate zones. 

Wood and tile flooring in a open room is used to create separate functional spaces
Hardwood floors and tile separates the living area from dining and kitchen area in this open concept room.


Use individual lighting as focal points to create different zones. A beautiful lighting fixture can center a dining space in an open floor plan. On a smaller scale, add a free-standing lamp or even a small table and lamp next to a chair to create a reading area. In your children’s bedrooms, use some string lights in one corner of the room to create a small play/reading nook. 

Different lighting are used as focal points in different functional spaces in an open room
Each area in this open concept room has unique lighting that acts as focal points for each zone

Ceiling Treatments

Large ceiling beams separate different functional spaces in a room

Besides lighting, you can also use different ceiling treatments to visually divide a space. Add tray ceilings in your family room to designate the seating area. If you have higher ceilings, you can add beams to visually divide a room. You can also paint the ceiling with a design to designate a special zone in a room. 

In these examples, large wood beams are used to visually separate the seating from the dining area.

Large ceiling beams separate different functional spaces in a room

Paint/Wall Treatments

Painting a wall in two different colors can visually divide a space. You can also choose different wall treatments such as wall paneling, wallpaper, etc. Just make sure that the two different colors/elements work well together but have enough contrast to divide the space visually. 

Separate wall treatment used to separate different functional spaces in a room
Wall paper is used in this space to separate the sleep area from play space.

Physical dividers

You can physically and visually divide a space using flexible dividers such as curtains, opening shelving units, foldable wall dividers, etc.

In our recent listing, a “half wall” is created with an open shelf to separate living from reading space and provide storage.

For a more substantial separation, you can add built-in wall partitions, sliding panels, or sliding doors. These are more permanent but may also help insulate sound. 

As your family grows, there is an increasing need for separate functional spaces. While finding a bigger home that is better suited to your needs is a great option (and we are happy to help you with that), you can also reconfigure your home to create some unique spaces that each member of the family can retreat to. It may surprise you how little physical space you need to create a new area that functions well.

All Properties, Sold Listings

2965 Casco Point Rd, Orono, MN

Impeccable Lakeshore Rambler with Stunning Views on Lake Minnetonka

Exceptional opportunity for lakeshore living at the highly sought-after Casco Point area! Relax and savor the spectacular southwest facing views and picturesque sunsets in your home or on the concrete patio with fire pit. This home offers sandy bottom lakeshore with private dock. Store away your toys in the generous 2++ car garage and additional concrete parking pad. 

The open living room with panoramic windows feels bright and inviting and offers breathtaking views of the lake. The lovely vaulted kitchen is well equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and eat up bar. Washer and dryer are conveniently located on the main floor. The main floor is complete with a spacious master suite with full bath and large walk-in closet. Walk out basement offers additional family room space and 2 additional bedrooms-each with its own bathroom. 

In addition to its convenient location, this welcoming home offers many updates including  a new roof, newer windows in the lower level, newer exterior doors, fresh exterior paint, ice & water shield, newly remodeled lower level bath, & more. Perfectly move in ready, enjoy as-is, or feel free to upgrade and build equity in this neighborhood surrounded by many upscale homes. Hurry and see your new home before it is gone! 


8 Sure Ways to Making Your Home More Welcoming & Inviting

Be the Hostess With the Mostest This Holiday Season With These Simple Tips!

The holidays are upon us. It’s the time of the year when we think about cozying up to a fire, enjoying your favorite beverage (cocktails, anyone?), delicious food, and spending quality time with family and friends. If you are expecting company in your home this year, here are some simple things that you can do to make your home feel more welcoming and inviting. Bonus: Some of these tips will make YOU feel more at home as well!

1. Welcome Your Guests… Before They Even Enter Your Door

A white door with a hanging sign that reads "welcome", pine branches, and bells

Make your guests feel welcome as soon as they pull up to your driveway. First, think about accessibility and visibility. If you are expecting guests in the evening, make sure there is adequate lighting so that your guests can walk to your doorstep safely. In the winter, shovel the sidewalk and throw down some salt. Once they get to your doorstep, a fun welcome mat can set the tone and give your guests a place to clear off their shoes before entering. You may also consider adding a wreath to add some seasonal cheer. Inside your entryway, dedicate a place for your guests to sit down and take off their shoes. You should also consider clearing off some space in your closet so that your guests will have room to put their shoes and hang their coats. 

2. Draw Them In

Once your guests are more comfortable, make them feel welcome by visually pulling them into the home. Consider your guests’ first view of your home and pay attention to the furthest point of view from your entryway. Draw your guests’ attention to that point by adding special decor, a pop of color, plants/flowers, or special lighting. By drawing their eye into the home, they will take in more of the space and feel more at home.

3. Clear the Clutter

A simple living room with natural wood elements, a comfortable couch, a plant, and lighting. An example of a simple, welcoming space

A cluttered home will distract your guest from enjoying the spaces and people around them. A simplified home will feel larger and more relaxed. On the same note, make sure that the space does not feel cluttered with large pieces of furniture or other things that may make the home more difficult to navigate (no one wants to step on a Lego, am I right?). 

4. Create Intimate Spaces

Arrange the seating in your home closer together to make it easier for people to relax and gather. Have other stations in the home such as a drink or snack area where people can hang out.

5. Bring in Natural Elements

A photo of a living room with natural wood furniture pieces, hardwood floors, many rugs and pillows, and plants of various sizes. An example of a welcoming space with natural elements.

You may make your home more welcoming by adding natural elements in various parts of your home. Wood or leather furnishing or other accent pieces will bring interest and soothing textures to your home. Don’t forget other natural elements such as plants of various sizes and also fresh flowers. Bringing life into the home makes it feel more comfortable, and certain plants and flowers can add a pleasant scent as well. 

6. Welcome Your Guests With All Their Senses

While we are on the topic of scents, think about making the home more welcoming thru all different senses. Ambient music can help your guests feel more relaxed. Welcome your guests with the smell of delicious food, fragrant flowers, lightly scented candles, or anything else that will make your home smell more inviting. Adding soft textures and textiles such as a soft rug will add coziness to your home. Layering décor elements like pillows and blankets on your sofa or chairs to create a comfortable space your guests will love. Have a few snacks ready for your guest to munch on, or a delicious cocktail for sipping. Your options here are endless! 

7. Make It Personal

A photo of a wall with various framed photos. Example on how to personalize your home with photo collages

Your home should reflect you and your family. Adding style and elements that you love in your home will give guests a better glimpse of who you are and how you live, and invite your guests to know you better when they come to your home. Don’t forget to add photographs of you and your family throughout the home. These are great conversation starters and will also add visual interest to the home. 

8. Anticipate Their Needs

Your guests don’t want to feel like they are intruding by needing to ask for things like toilet paper. Try to anticipate those needs and have these items ready ahead of time. Make sure the bathroom has plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, towels for hand drying, etc. If you are having overnight guests, have the guest bed made with pillows and towels laid out in the room so your guests don’t have to ask for them and watch you scrambling for these items. Have personal hygiene items like shampoo and soap at the ready. If you know your guests well and have extra time, you can add special welcoming touches such as having their favorite beverages or snacks available. Let them know you were thinking of them even before they arrived. 

A photo of a family gathered around a table talking and laughing

While all of the above ideas are great ways to make guests feel more welcome, the best way to welcome your guest into your home is to spend time with them and show that you are actually enjoying the time you have together! At the end of the day, they are here to spend time with you. So forget about perfection and just relax! Your time with your guests and the memories from your gatherings are what they will remember most. 

We hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays with your friends and family. The goal of our articles is to add value by giving tips on how to enjoy your home or providing other real estate advice for those thinking about finding their next dream home.

If you like what you’ve read, please share and consider subscribing to our e-mail list by contacting us below! Let us know if you have an idea for our next article!

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All Properties, Sold Listings

160 Gideons Point Rd, Tonka Bay, MN

Beautifully Updated Home with Pond Views and Private Dock on Lake Minnetonka

Welcome to 160 Gideons Point Rd! This beautifully updated home is located in the desirable Gideons Point neighborhood with your own private dock on Lake Minnetonka. As you enter the home, the expansive 2-story foyer with custom closet doors and lighting highlights the brightness and openness of the home. You will immediately be drawn to the serene pond and lake views beyond the open living space, making you feel right at home. The entire main level has been thoughtfully updated for beauty and function with refinished hardwood floors, new carpet, new paint, complete kitchen remodel, mudroom/laundry room remodel, new lighting fixtures, and other custom touches throughout the home. The dream kitchen, featured in Beautiful Kitchen and Baths Magazine, offers plenty of storage and top of the line appliances for cooking the perfect meal. You will love the double wide Thermador refrigerator/freezer. Open concept living flows easily from kitchen into the informal dining room, living room, and 4 season porch. Large windows maximizes light into the home and highlights the picturesque views of the pond and Lake Minnetonka. The large formal dining room is perfect for entertaining. The main floor is complete with a spacious and functional mud/laundry room, formal living room, and office. Retreat to your spacious master suite with bay windows, a jetted tub, dual vanities, and his/her closets. A junior ensuite, 2 additional bedrooms, and 1 additional bathroom complete the upper level. The updated walkout basement is bright and open. It offers a wet bar, wine cellar, family room with gas fireplace, game room, a guest bedroom, a bathroom, and plenty of storage. Entertain and play in the newly landscaped yard, fire pit, and heated swimming pool with automatic cover. The tress surrounding the home provides privacy.

The Gidoens Point neighborhood has a fantastic association which offers gatherings in the spring and summer. A short walk brings to the a private neighborhood beach with Adirondack chairs, fire pit, racks to store paddle boards, and your private boat slip on Lake Minnetonka. The home is close to everything Excelsior has to offer and is in the Minnetonka School district.

Everything you need to feel at home is right here. Welcome home!

All Properties, Sold Listings

1205 63rd Lane, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430

Conveniently located townhome in Brooklyn Center. The open dining room flows directly into the kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Spacious living room with patio doors leading into the backyard. 2 spacious bedrooms and 1 full bathroom in the upper level. Partially finished basement with plumbing rough-in for future bathroom. New flooring throughout. Welcome home!

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How to Reimagine Your Home to Foster Independence

Many people around the world try to apply the Montessori approach at home to foster independence in their children. The desire to foster independence in our children is on our minds more recently as many of us are spending significant time at home with our children. Obviously, the ability for our children to do things on their own will come with age. However, there are a few things we can do in our home to help foster independence from early on in their development.

THINK ACCESSIBILITY: As you are desiging an environment that fosters independence, one of the most important things to consider is, “Does the space allow for children to complete tasks independently?”Consider adding child sized furniture such as a work/snack table that is not only easily accessible, but also comfortable for them to stay engaged in whatever they are doing. Have all the supplies they need to complete a task at their level so they can reach them without any help from you. Add a full length mirror in their room so they can see themselves for self care activities. Consider storage solutions such as low hanging shelves and hooks so that they can put things away independently. If you want your children to do anything independently, all the required tools need to be easily accessible to them. 

CREATE “YES” SPACES: With increased independence, parents often times worry about safety or their children getting into things that they shouldn’t be using. Make sure you child proof the home adequately to allow specific areas that are safe for the children to work freely and independently. Can you create a play space (an entire room, or a corner blocked off by a gate) that does not have high furniture or hazardous/fragile things so that your children can go and play without close supervision? This will encourage your child to explore their environment and foster their curiosity. It can also help you in the moments when you just need a little time to yourself (bathroom break, anyone?). Reserve the lower storage spaces in the kitchen, bathroom, etc for things that they need and keep other things that you don’t want them to touch out of those dedicated spaces so that a childproof lock is not required. When there are spaces that are solely dedicated to your children, it is easier to teach them to have pride in their things and spaces and help keep things tidy.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS: Decluttering will not only make your life easier (and increase the value of your home!), but it can actually help your children focus on the task at hand. Consider rotating toys, books, etc in and out of thier space based on your childrens’ interest. This will help them with making the choice of what to do a lot easier, but also help them stay engaged as there are less distractions. Having only the things that they need for any particular task will make it easier to complete. On a similar note, it is important to have a space for everything and everything in its place so things are easier to find and put away. 

There are many ways to foster independence in your children. These are just some of the ways you can reimagine your home to make this a bit easier. Whenever a child asks you for help with something, look for ways that you can set up the home for the child to do that task (or part of it) independently the next time around. Teaching your children independence requires a lot of patience, but if you are willing to give your children the time to do things on their own, you’ll be amazed at what they can accomplish.

~Maggie Soberay

This article was part of our September newsletter. To read our entire newsletter and see the latest real estate update and Soberay Family update, click below.

All Properties, Sold Listings

440 Hickory Lane N, Oakdale, MN

List Price: $235,000

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View in MLS

Live close to everything Woodbury has to offer without the expensive price tag! This highly desirable corner aunit feels open and airy with large vaulted ceilings and open 2 story staircase. Kitchen flows directly into the dining room and outdoor patio beyond. Relax at the end of the day in 2 large sized upper level bedrooms. The upper level bathroom was completely redone. New AC and furnace completed in 2019.

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2754 Edgewood Avenue S, Saint Louis Park, MN

List Price: $335,000

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View in MLS

This well cared for home is located close to many parks and trail. Main floor with recently refinished hardwood floors and fresh paint throughout. Open living/dining area with beautiful corner built-ins. Kitchen is well equipped with stainless steel appliances. Finished basement with drain tile and sump system provides comfortable additional space. Newer mechanicals including water heater, AC, RO water system. Extra large 2 car garage with insulated and epoxy floors! Hurry, this home will sell fast!