Change the look of your bathroom with just a few changes and updates. I am in the process of remodeling my master and guest bathroom. I have found some of the tricks very useful! Making your bathrooms look fresh and new doesn’t mean you have to make extraordinary changes. Take a look at what I have found helpful during this process.
Looking to update your outdoor space? This is one area of my home that I have been looking for ideas and inspirations. Here are some things that I have found that I hope inspire your yard!
A pergola can transform any space into an intimate outdoor dining and kitchen area.
A cozy nook
Have a tight, space already with tons of privacy? Add some built-in seating with candle lighting to give the space a cozy feel.
For more privacy, height can be added to the yard’s perimeter walls with wooden lattice perfect for climbing vines.
From Home to Fun House
If one of your main priorities for your yard is practical but fun for the kiddos sometimes you have to think outside the box. With a built-in climbing wall and a wave slide, it ingeniously supplies a two-in-one solution that kids and adults will love.
Plant a wall of trees
This is on design that we have added to our home that gives privacy but brings more greenery to our yard. Planting a row of Arborvitae 'Emerald Green’ trees will give you an evergreen screen you never knew you needed.
Our home is on a main road, and trucks driving by are not my favorite sound. Water creates a calming, white noise that block out the unwanted sounds around us. If you have the same issue, adding a fountain or waterfall to your yard might just be what you need.
Did someone say s’mores?
The first thing I was excited about when we moved from and apartment to a home, having a fire-pit. Not only is it the best feeling sitting around on a cool night with your closest friends but I’ve never eaten a s’more I didn’t like!
How does the space look when it is dark outside? Add safety lighting so you are able to walk around and see where you are going. From there, highlight accents in your yard.
With the new year usually comes goals of living larger. For the past few years we’ve noticed a trend in going smaller when it comes to homes. Whether it’s a financial reason, to be energy efficient, or just to be happy with less; we are curious if this trend is going to continue through 2019.
There’s something special about a well designed home that leaves a smaller footprint. It can feel like a larger home by simply making it feel more open.
Getting creative with storage is another key. We all come with a certain amount of things that we aren’t really to let go of. Having creative storage spaces gives you more square footage.
This trend has taking over in the past few years and proved to provide more security, financial stability, and been beneficial to our economy. What do you think? Is 2019 going to continue living large in smaller homes?
The flips just keep on coming!
This flip took 5 weeks to complete and we had a full price offer after just 15 showings within 2 weeks of listing.
One of the key selling feature is the detached garage/workshop. It includes a lot of space all on a great fenced in backyard. We also used a cool roof paint that is specially designed to seal the roof, add life, and also can change the color - as we did.
Take a look at the before and after shots. The photos speak for themselves!
An empty home can give a cold and lonely vibe. It is not exactly what home buyers would describe as the “welcome home” feeling. When a buyer sees a home that has been staged it is easier for them to visualize it as being a future home.
Although staging a home is quite necessary, it does not come cheap. Staging a home can cost anywhere between $750-$2,000 per month, depending on the house size and what value you are looking for. To make sure you do not exceed your budget, you can look for small accents to incorporate into each room and bring the “homey” feel every buyer is looking for.
When you are selling your home, it is important to show the purpose of each room for the buyer. Buyers may get confused on how to utilize each space and make it their home. So it is your job to show them the potential of your home!
Start off by using area rugs to define spaces and show where furniture would theoretically go. Making sure the rugs are large enough to almost cover the whole space. As far as colors, each rug should complement the room that it is in.
One of the most simple things you can do to improve the value of a space is adding a fresh coat of neutral colored paint. Our recommended colors for any room is beige, white, or gray. When buyers see bright or bold colored rooms, it may overwhelm them, ultimately turning them off.
What kind of accent piece is warm and brings “light” to any room? A lamp of course! Without bring in a whole living room or bedroom set, lamps can bring brightness to the room while creating a warm, inviting feeling. When choosing light bulbs, think warm temperature bulbs for an intimate ambience.
Bathrooms typically give off a cold feel to begin with but adding small inexpensive items could make the space feel luxurious. Fluffy towels, a pop of color, and a shower curtain will usually do the trick!
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I look at inside a home is how many windows there are. Natural light is so inviting and really makes the space seem big, bright and full of life. Unfortunately not all homes have many or big windows. If you haven’t had time to change them out, hanging mirrors is the next best thing. When mirrors are added, it creates the feel of a bigger space.
In the kitchen, simplicity is key! It is best to keep the pieces simple on the countertops as most buyers just want to see that there is plenty of counter-space. A favorite of mine to add on the counter tops are fresh flowers. Others include fruit bowls, a piece of art work on the wall, or a tea kettle.
With all the commotion going on on the inside of your home, don’t forget to spice up your curb appeal. Fresh landscaping and a cut lawn! The outside of your home is the buyers’ first impression, you can’t afford to let that slide. Wanting to add more personalization, try adding new house numbers or painting the front door a fresh color.
All in all, adding small, personalized details to a home can be the difference between buyers loving the home or being turned off. If you still feel overwhelmed by the process of staging, I believe it is best to start with the rooms that are more of the “heart of the home” rooms.
With my boyfriend being in the United States Coast Guard moving is inevitable. Well he just got new orders and we are moving to Michigan! I have never made a big move like this before. So here we are planning our move so I figured I would give you some tips we have been learning along the way.
Change your Address
This is one task that should be at the top of your moving list. Change address requests can take weeks to take effect. Doing this as soon as you find your new address is important.
Create a Master List of all the To-Dos Before the Move
Putting change of address at the top! Keeping a master list is key to an organized and smooth move. Consider the importance of each task and put them in order accordingly.
Don’t Pay for Packing Supplies
You can get boxes from grocery stores, the post office, and local stores. Don’t be afraid to ask! It’ll save you money in the end. Keep boxes when you make online purchases.
Purge While you Pack
If you’re anything like me, I have a hard time parting with items that have any sort of memory. I wouldn’t call my self a hoarder but if I can recall even the smallest of memory from something, it’s hard for me to let it go. When we start packing this will definitely be the hardest thing for me, but completely necessary. Part with anything you can, you’ll thank yourself later.
Pack in Advance
If you think you’re stressed now, just wait until you start packing at the last minute. Do not try and pack everything up in a day or two. Give yourself some time to get everything together, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Label Each Box & Take Pictures
When placing items in boxes take account of what you’re putting inside for easy unpacking. Make a list, write on the boxes and take pictures of each box before sealing it up.
Store Items Correctly
Use bubble wrap and packing paper. When packing dishes place then upright on their sides like records to prevent breaking.
Pack Room by Room
Packing up an entire home can be a lot. Just focus on one place at a time. This prevents mixing items from different rooms in one box.
Hire Movers or Bribe Friends
We always go with bribing friends! Its free, minus the beer and pizza, but then it gives us time to hang out and in the end our house is packed.
Pack an “Unpacking” Bag or Box
Pack a box or bag with some supplies that you may need right when you get to your new location. Paper towels, trash bags, hand soap, utensils, plates, toilet paper, shower curtain, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, cleaning wipes, granola bars or snacking food. Keep these items at easy access
Stay relaxed, organized and HAPPY MOVING!
Color of the Year: Metropolitan AF-690
The Benjamin Moore color and design team describes the color of the year as calm, composed and effortlessly sophisticated.
“Metropolitan AF-690 emanates nuance, harmony and extravagant ease. Always adaptable, it softens to matte or shimmers with sheen. It's neutral. It's understated. It just is. This is color, off-duty."
—Ellen O'Neill, Benjamin Moore & Co.
With the New Year right around the corner, are you looking to sell your current home? Not sure things are up to date? Here are some quick and easy ways to increase your homes value.
Keep your home light an airy by adding new light fixtures. Each room serves a purpose, some more than one. It’s important to take that into consideration when choosing lighting. Recessed lighting is a good choice for a living room while wall sconces or a lamp are good choices for a bathroom or bedroom.
Replace any old carpets. Carpets create dust if not taken care of properly. If choosing to get rid of the carpets complelty, wood floors, or wood looking tiles are trending right now.
Low Maintenance Landscaping
There are many options for low maintenance landscaping but these are my favorite. Rock gardens, never have to be watered or tended to too much like other landscaping materials. Mulch, can break down to fertilize your plants and prevents weeds. Along with the rock garden, mulch doesn’t have to be mowed or watered. Both of these are easy to maintain and create a simple and clean look to the yard.
By painting the interior, you will be surprised with what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room. Keeping the colors light to make the space feel open and bright. If light colors aren’t your thing, maybe creating an accent wall for a splash of color.
Update any kitchen appliances and cabinets as needed. This is where a good chunk of your budget is going to go. With some things, like cabinets, you can avoid the highest end items and features but don’t cheap out.
Replace or add new fixtures. Since bathrooms tend to be smaller rooms, keep the colors light for a bigger feel. Lighter colored walls with darker fixtures. Get rid of outdated tiles and wallpaper. Since bathrooms tend to be smaller rooms, keep the colors light for a bigger feel.
Bye Bye Popcorn Ceilings
They outdate the home and give away how old they really are. Removing a popcorn ceiling isn’t complicated, but it is time consuming. You want to make sure you have the right materials and knowledge to remove it properly.
Check Electrical and AC/heating
This will probably be the most expensive. A well maintained air conditioner will last about 15 years. Replacing these items by the time they are 10 years old is a good idea if they begin to require repairs. By that time, they are money suckers and need to be replaced.
Remember keep it CLEAN and SIMPLE.
This beautiful property in Fayetteville, North Carolina has some wonderful and unique features! Built in 1949, this home was given an excellent floorplan, spacious living room, true dining room, oversized kitchen, and even a basement! Such a rare find in Fayetteville.
We’re off and running on the transformation, and in a few weeks, we’ll have a beautifully renovated Magnolia home, waiting for just the right family!
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, getting your home in order is important more than ever. Hosting Thanksgiving is one of our favorite activities. Let's face it, its a complete challenge and personal accomplish when the day is over. We have come up with some tips to help your Holiday go smoothly, all while getting to enjoy it with your guests.
Let the games begin!
Clean house throughly
Before anything, clean your home from top to bottom. But the challenge is keeping it clean. Days leading up to the holiday, touch up each room one day at a time.
Make a shopping list
Stock up on non-perishable items, just in case you have to revive a dry turkey.
Confirm guest list
This is essential! You want to make sure you have the correct number of dishes, glassware, silverware, serving utensils and most importantly, enough FOOD!
Finalize the menu
Double check if you have guests bringing any supplies/food and get to the grocery store!
Write out the day
This step comes from the perfectionist in me. Writing out the day helps me picture how the day is going to go. From the moment I wake up to coffee and dessert.
Final touchups on decor
I find myself decorating for holidays way too soon, out of excitement. But if you’re not like me, you may need to look around your home and see if there is any extra space for holiday decor.
Last minute grocery run, preferably not the day of
Make sure you have everything for the day ahead. Try hard to do this a few days before so you’re not running out in your pajamas the morning of Thanksgiving.
Prep as much food as possible
Get all your dishes ready for the oven. Depending upon your menu, some dishes can be made the day before, then warmed the day of.
Having the dishwasher ready to battle the dishes of the day helps so you’re not elbows deep in the sink after dinner.
Set the table
Keep kitchen as clean as possible
Wake up early
Get yourself up and ready. No one wants to be in the shower when the doorbell rings.
Prep the turkey
Some like it stuffed and some like it clean. Either way, give that turkey a good rubdown with some spices, get breakfast going (we like to do french toast) & the Thanksgiving Day Parade on!
Set out appetizers
Get the appetizers out and the drinks chilled. Everyone shows up hungry & thirsty.
Enjoy the day
This holiday is all about being thankful for what you have, so enjoy it!
Here in Florida we don’t get much of a ‘Fall’ season, most of the time it feels like the only season we do get is Summer. But for most places the Autumn season brings change, preservation, and comfort. I don’t know about you but Fall is my absolute favorite season. For me, Fall makes me feel snug as a bug in a rug. Apple picking, hot cider, bonfires, flannels are just a few of my most loved things around this time of year. But taking care of your home during this time is extremely important. Here are a few tips to get your home ready for the cooler temperatures!
Rake leaves (into a big pile to jump in)
We are all kids at heart, right? If you are someone who is blessed with trees on your property, when the leaves start falling you might think of it as a curse. Keeping your yard clear of leaves throughout winter, with help from suppressing spring growth. Get a lightweight rake, gloves, and a held hand leaf scooper for quick bagging and the job will be done in no time.
Clear gutters and downspouts
Along with raking those leaves up from the ground, don’t forget, not all of them make it to the ground. Congested gutters will during rain or snow can cause major damage to your home. For those who may be uneasy about getting up on a ladder, hiring a helper may be a good idea.
Finish exterior repairs
Before those critters start looking for shelter, repair any roofing, siding, or foundation issues around your home. The last thing you need in the winter is an uninvited guest.
Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses
Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.
Great article(s) here from Homeland Title & Escrow, LTD! Magnolia Property Solutions has been lucky enough to partner with Homeland and has closed several deals with them over the years. Looking for a bit more information on selling homes, look no further!
Looking for some new ways to add some pizazz to your home? Here are some trends happening this year that I am sure will last.
When mixing metals, contrast is key! Allow yourself to mix gold, brass, copper, nickel, silver, and chrome. Keep in mind the textures and don’t be afraid to use them. It is important to remember to keep it subtle, don’t over do it.
Whether it be on the floor or a unique backsplash design, herringbone style is perfect for any surface. Herringbone is a classic pattern that works well with modern and vintage style homes.
A Welcoming Welcome
Nothing says “Hello” like a bright welcoming. Illuminate your home with a painted front door while also giving it some curb appeal. Keep in mind, it’s not as simple as it may seem. It is important to prep, paint, and have patience with the drying process.
Green Green Green
Add life into your home. Plants bring a bright, lively, and gorgeous feel to any space. But what is the best way to display your plants? A simple way to show off your green thumb is on a desk or as a centerpiece on a dining table. Using small geometric pots or using the same pot color scheme. Like in this photo making or purchasing a wall planter is a good way to keep plants and herbs together in one area.
“They don’t make things the way that they used to.” Using natural materials in interior home design is becoming more and more popular. Using materials that have been harvested by the earth are extremely durable, with the proper care. Whether it be for the ceiling, floor, fireplace, or decor, using renewable materials in your home will keep your home in trend while helping the environment. A favorite way of mine to use natural materials inside the home (or even on an outdoor patio) is concrete counter tops.
If you’re still looking for that perfect color to paint your front door, an accent wall in your kitchen or an entry hallway, don’t pass up on the 2018 Color of the Year by Benjamin Moore.
Benjamin Moore Color and Design Team describes Caliente AF-290 as “strong, radiant, and full of energy” and I am sure that everyone agrees!
"Caliente is the signature color of a modern architectural masterpiece; a lush carpet rolled out for a grand arrival; the assured backdrop for a book-lined library; a powerful first impression on a glossy front door. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes. Harness the vitality.”
—Ellen O'Neill, Benjamin Moore & Co.
1. Buy/Make a draught blocker to keep the cold air from coming in under your doors and windows. They can easily be crafted with foam and fabric, and they’re also available for purchase at most popular hardware stores. Both options are inexpensive!
2. Open your blinds when the sun is out. Even if it’s cold outside, letting the sun beat through your windows will help naturally insulate your home. It’s probably the most simple and overlooked solution. When the sun isn’t out, make sure to keep the blinds closed to help hold the heat inside your home. Also, consider buying thicker curtains to cover your blinds, as they will help keep any draft from your windows out.
3. Make sure to keep all of your vents open so the heat can flow throughout your entire home. It’s easy to accidentally cover surface vents with furniture or other objects, but closing off your vents won’t benefit you in any season. Keep the heat flowing!
4. Close doors in unused rooms. This will keep the heat you’ve already generated circulating in the living spaces you spend the most time in.
5. Purchase an area rug, especially if you have hardwood floors. Cold air seeps through floors, but utilizing an area rug will help hold some of that air from rising up into the rest of the room.
There are many different approaches and solutions to help keep your home feeling as cozy as possible during the winter months. Making sure your home is properly insulated is extremely important, and incorporating these tips will help you maximize your comfort.
As the Autumn season comes to a close, it’s time to put away the pumpkins and bring out the mistletoe because the Holidays are here!
Whether you live in sunny Florida or the winter wonderlands of Michigan, the holidays bring one thing to both places….guests. When preparing your home for the holidays, following the checklist below will help make your guests feel relaxed and comfortable.
• Make sure walkways and porches are free of ice and snow.
• Make sure all outdoor lighting is turned on and working properly.
• Add some extra room for coats and boots so there is less clutter.
• This is the perfect time to get your carpets cleaned.
• Clean the windows so that your decorations can be seen inside and outside your home.
• Cleaning the grout can give a fresh look to a bathroom.
• Make sure the bathroom fans and windows work properly.
• Keep extra bath and/or hand towels in the bathroom. (Holiday styles never hurt)
The kitchen is the most used room durning the holidays and always a room of gathering so making sure it is free of clutter is the best thing.
• Pots and pans are put away.
• Appliances work properly and are clean.
• Have light decorations for the season to make the kitchen feel cozy.
• Have fresh linens on the beds.
• Clear some closet space or a drawer to make your guests feel more at home.
- Happy Holidays!
I never thought I’d want to buy a home before I was married, yet alone in my 20s. Nevertheless with my boyfriend being in the U.S. Coast Guard. I began to stress about if we ever would buy a home. It never made sense to me to buy a home if we would have to move four years later.
Recently, the thought of buying a home has become more realistic for myself. I was lucky enough to live with family for a few years after my college graduation and now I am renting. It is sickening to me, knowing my money is disappearing on a house that I won’t live in for more than a year.
Nowadays, many Millennials refrain from owning a home mostly because of these two reasons.
The first reason being, they wait until marriage because at that point in their life, they probably have a better idea of where they want to live (like myself), stability in the workplace, etc. The second one is they value having a low-key, low-maintenance lifestyle. Home ownership often doesn't fit this value point.
But, owning a home is still a great money move in most areas. Here are some tips on how to buy a home in your 20s.
Be sure where you want to live.
I am originally from Upstate New York and moved down to Florida for school. Having that experience of living far away from home was an amazing thing because it taught me what I did and did not want. I knew that living back home was not for me.
My current situation is a little different. With my boyfriend being in the U.S. Coast Guard, it gives us plenty of opportunity to visit many places to decide what we like best before we settle down and put our official “roots” into a house.
After you're absolutely sure on where you want to live for the the next three to five years, it's time to roll up your sleeves and figure out how much you want to spend and can afford.
Build up your credit.
Twenty-somethings may have low (or no) credit, which means you'll have a hard time getting approved for a mortgage. Something small you can do if you have no credit, is open up a credit card with a small limit. The key to this is to be sure to pay it off every month.
If you do have established credit, be sure to review your credit report. It is important to keep your balances at 30 percent or below your credit limit in order to increase your score. Also, be sure to pay all your balances on time.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a home and is easier than you might think. This Bankrate calculator plays with the numbers to see how your monthly payment would be affected, depending on your interest rate and down payment. You can get pre-qualified with any lender. Often, you can quickly do this right online. You should also be aware of the types of loan products that exist. It is important to use the loan that works best for you. Since my boyfriend is Active Duty, we will have the VA loan available to us. The VA loan is very beneficial to military families because it does not require a down payment or private mortgage insurance premium.
Having a lower down payment helps ease a lot of the financial hurdles that come with owning a home.
SAVE consistently before buying.
Now that you know how much you can afford for a mortgage, it’s time to think about a down payment. That means trimming the budget and saving, saving, saving.
Some small things to do would be to steadily save a percentage of your paycheck and/or putting any extra money made right into your savings account (side jobs, bonuses, tax refunds etc.).
The most important thing is to set a goal and put aside money consistently for 6 to 12 months before you want to buy. This will help build up your down payment fund. That money could also go towards closing costs.
Get down payment assistance.
Make sure to research every down payment assistance and grant program you can find. It will provide you with a set amount of money to be qualified as a homebuyer.
Know what you’re buying.
It is not only important to worry about the finances of the home but to look into the home itself and its surroundings. Even when I am finding a house to rent, I make sure to do this.
You want to get to know the neighborhood and areas around the home so you are aware of all that comes with it. Driving past the home in the morning, afternoon, and night is one way to get an idea of the people and traffic around your future home. To dig a little deeper, you could read press releases and news articles about the activity in the area or maybe do some Google digging.
If your neighborhood has a neighborhood association group, that is one way to meet people in your community and get involved. It could really make all the difference in the home that you choose.
If you can’t afford it, DON’T buy it.
This is probably the biggest advice I could give 20-somethings who are looking to buy a house. While having a low salary, large student loan payments and other variables in your budget, it's important to buy a home you can comfortably afford.
Extra finances to keep in mind will making your budget include your mortgage, taxes, fees, insurance and maintenance costs. Here's another awesome calculator that can help you figure out how much you can afford.
Also, remember this: Just because you have been approved for an amount, doesn't mean you have to buy up to that limit.
Home ownership is smart, but it can be expensive if you don't prepare.
When the autumn months roll around and the cool air begins to blow, it’s time to get the house ready. Decorating is the fun part of the seasons, right?! Some of the very best elements can be found in the details!
When decorating the front of your house and the porch area, there is two ways you can go about it; go big or go home style or clean and simple.
Just by adding a few hay bales and assorted pumpkins can bring the season to life. Add some flowers to have a pop of color and to top it off all, a season wreath on the front door.
It is easy enough to just go to Target or Michaels and buy yourself decorations. Wooden signs that say “Fall” or “Thankful”, ceramic pumpkins and fake flower bouquet. But a favorite decoration of mine is any I create myself, a do it yourself (DIY).
A more simple idea like putting twigs around a candle and maybe adding a ribbon could be a good starting point for someone new at diy. But for those of you feeling a bit more adventurous with your decorating, the mod podge leaf bowl is something for you.
Feeling like doing some diy but not so creative? Taking big glass cylinders votives and filling them with acorns, fake leaves, and pinecones is another great idea and one I have around the house myself.
To top off all of your decorations you can NEVER go wrong with some fall scented candles.
Happy decorating ya’ll!
Keeping your house maintained in the fall may seem like a big chore, but it doesn’t take much to keep your curb appeal up and maintained.
There is any easy way to clean up this season that will make your fall check list dwindle.
Before you worry about how much work it’s going to be to get this started, it’s simple! You can purchase a compost bin for as little as $25 and it’s easy to get started.
Pick up the twigs and miscellaneous pieces in your hard and put them at the bottom of the compost.
Your beds will need to be refreshed and remulched to keep it from molding and protecting it from the harsh winter weather. Rake out that top layer of rough soil and put it on top of the branches in your compost.
Rake up the leaves and add those to the compost pile next.
Cut the grass one last time close to the ground and put the trimmings in the compost pile. All your yard work is then done and you don’t have bags sitting in your front yard that you’ll need to figure out how to dispose of and when that pile has composted, you can use it for fresh soil later.
Don’t let fall yard work keep your from maintaining your yard. It can be simple!
There aren't many requirements for a summer home, but here are a few we think you shouldn't live without:
Outdoor space to enjoy the weather on.
Fresh flowers to bring the outdoors in!
Friends and family to share it with.
Last but least, a seriously comfy bed to end the day in!