Holidays are perfect for decorating your house - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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Holidays are perfect for decorating your house

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Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 4:45 am

Dear Claudia: It’s my first December living in Ahwatukee. I am looking forward to decorating my house for the holidays. My question is how can I decorate the house with a limited budget for Christmas?

Welcome to Ahwatukee! The holidays are an enchanting time and decorating your house helps to create a delightful space ready for Christmas and New Year. Certainly, even with a limited budget one can create the desire décor and mood for the holidays.

Start by taking a look at all your Christmas decorations that you already have, make a list of them and sometimes at this time it helps to separate the decorations you no longer like and you can pass them down to someone you know or you can donate them. The second step will be to get some ideas of what kind of décor or theme you would like. It’s amazing how many available options there are of decor for the holidays, take a look at the Houzz website ( for inspiration, they have thousands of ideas.

Final step, after deciding what pieces of décor you need to create the holiday look you desire, shop around and look for deals. Don’t forget there are times that enhancing the look of old ornaments we can reuse them. Try to use natural Christmas tree branches and greenery. You can find it for free sometimes to decorate your mantel, stairway, the table and front door by making a Christmas wreath or centerpiece.

Lastly, I believe almost all Christmas decor themes can use candles; they create that special delightful ambience we all love during the holidays. I have been living in Ahwatukee for 10 years and love the area. Take a look at the amazing Christmas décor around Ahwatukee. I want wish you happy holidays.

Dear Claudia: I would like to remodel my kitchen as soon as possible, however, not during the holidays. What steps should I take to speed up the design process and possibly have my kitchen done by the beginning of the year 2014?

Congratulations, for your new kitchen remodel. I know that this time of year it’s usually very hectic and time seems to go faster. I suggest you start right away with the design process. Start by selecting a qualified professional that can help you. My advice is to work with a designer that can help you design and overlook the entire kitchen remodel to completion.

The kitchen design process can sometimes take several months, it depends on how fast the decision making is made by finalizing the new design drawings and the product selection. You want to take your time by researching the options with your designer and contractor. Once that first step is completed all the products have to be ordered. Cabinetry usually takes the longest; it’s about a three- to six-week delivery date for some companies.

By starting your kitchen remodeling process now most likely you will have everything ready to start the project after the holidays. Your designer and contractor can schedule the demo of your kitchen and prepare the space, if needed electrical work, pluming or whatever the kitchen remodel entails. The kitchen is the space we use the most in our homes. Enjoy your new kitchen.

• Claudia Dabdoub is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills and owner of D’amore Interior Design Studio. To ask a question for an upcoming column, reach her at (480) 751-9938 or

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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