Vista Flip - Underway!

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!

Before:

Gobble Gobble: Hosting Thanksgiving? Do you have your home ready?

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!

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  • 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.

  • Empty dishwasher

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!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Home Checklist for Autumn

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!

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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.

Spice up your Home

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.

Mixed Metallics

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.

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Herringbone

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.

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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.

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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.

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Natural Materials

“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.

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Benjamin Moore's 2018 Color of the Year

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.

Five Things to do to Keep Your House Warm & Cozy in the Winter

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.

 

The Holiday Season is Here!

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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.

Entrance

    •    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.

Living Area

    •    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.

Bathrooms

    •    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)

Kitchen

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.

Guest rooms

    •    Have fresh linens on the beds.

    •    Clear some closet space or a drawer to make your guests feel more at home.

 

- Happy Holidays!

Buying a home in your 20s is easier than you think.

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.

Hello Fall

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.

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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).

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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!

Fall is right around the corner!

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.

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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!

Summer House Must Haves

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!

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Friends and family to share it with.

Last but least, a seriously comfy bed to end the day in!

Rent Rising? Roomates are a must!

Rent keeps rising, and with that comes a financial burden some can’t bear. Although buying a new home might not be on your mind, having a roommate in your newly purchased home or in your rented space is looking like a must have to get through this rise in price.

 

Shared spaces are hard to conquer, especially when you have been living on your own! Here are a few tips to help you get through the transition. Imagine cutting your belongings in half. All this storage space you have had before is now going to be shared. Be willing to split the space.

 

Be ready to mix styles. Each roommate comes with their own items and their own tastes. Each shared space should have a happy balance of each person. Be open to change and incorporating their items with yours.

 

Define personal spaces. When sharing a living space, it’s important to have your own individual space that you can escape to. Make this space feel like home to you.

 

Bathrooms can be the hardest to share! If you are sharing a bathroom make sure you have enough room. Double sinks is a major win when it comes to sharing a bathroom.

 

Go ahead and sit down with your new roommate and set up a plan. Work out a weekly/monthly cleaning schedule. Talk about what your daily routines are and find out theirs as well. The more you communicate, the better this transition will work out for both of you!

1.via bhg  2. via nousdecor  3. via bhg 4. via 100layercake 5. via sfgirlbybay

Different Lighting Provokes Different Moods

We've all heard the statement - mood lighting. But can lighting really effect you mood? We think so! Here are some examples of lighting we recommend for a welcoming home.

beautiful foyer....tile mixed with wood flooring, white washed wood plank ceiling accent, mouldings, columns, lanterns...

Light fixtures should be fit according to the size of a space. A larger room would fit better with larger lighting fixtures.

Kitchens That'll Never Go Out of Style: 7 Ingredients for a Timeless Look

The style should be cohesive with the rest of the decor as well! The black hardware and lighting above go together but the fixtures also stand out a little. That's a great balance!

From Magnolia Farms. Just bought this light fixture! Need bigger kitchen table!

Picking lighting fixtures based on a trend isn't always a great idea. Keeping a classic style keeps you on trend and can still be fun to look at!

I love this bathroom! Gorgeous finishes and brilliant ideas for space-efficient solutions at maisondepax.com

But most importantly, lighting should make you feel good about your home.

Changes that Make a Difference

If you are thinking about making some changes around the home, here are the ones that really make a difference.

An updated kitchen and appliances.

sherwin williams sea salt is one of the most popular green, blue, gray paint colour, good for a spa or beach theme bathroom or room

Changing the paint color of the room!

#inspiration  Photography: Tracey Ayton - traceyaytonphotography.com  Read More: http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2014/03/24/the-doctors-closet-home-tour/

New light fixtures and hardware around the house like door knobs and drawer pulls.

Young Home Love: Clean, White & Pretty…A Lovely & Simple Design For Your Young Home | Fab You Bliss

Updated flooring can really change the look and feel of the home and with so many new options this doesn't have to be as costly as it used to be.

I like the twist on installation of the subway tile and the wood vanity

Fresh new tile in the bathroom!

What are some other changes around the home that you have done to really make a difference?

How Built In's Help!

These days we move into a new home with more than ever before. Moving trucks are getting larger and our things are piling up! Storage is one of the most must haves in homes these days and a built in can do that for you.

I need to save this one for sure! I am always overwhelmed when decorating a bookcase. Great Decorating Ideas for Styling a Bookcase @Laura Jayson Putnam - Finding Home

Built in's are an amazing way to store all those necessities and keep the room looking fresh and clean. They also give the room some character which is another must have these days.

wood shelving. Reminds me of a spa. Would be great in a bathroom

Taking unused space and making it functional gives the home more value. It may not seem like it in square footage but it can be a deciding factor in a buyer.

Start at Home: Built In Shelf {the easy way} & tutorial Perfect for the NW corner of dining room to put nic nacs on

It can be as easy as taking a corner that seems unusable and reinventing it's purpose.

Search for "French inspired" - 14/47 - Home Bunch - An Interior Design & Luxury Homes Blog

Or providing storage space where you'd want it but most homes don't have!

Home in Tennessee by Austin Bryant Moore

There are so many great spaces to have a functional built in.

Home Staging Changes for 2016

Staging a home from selling has gone from feeling like a home, to feeling so stark and empty that it's hard to see yourself living there! I'm not sure when the home stagers decided that empty was wonderful but I predict a change.

Seaside Stripes

Home staging is going to find a unique balance between clean, styled, and still feels like home.

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The reasoning behind going to stark and empty is so that the buyer can imagine their things in the home, but that's hard for people who aren't visual. They just see an empty room!

love this bedroom  -  A Plant Designer and DJ’s Easy-Going Brownstone | Design*Sponge

A happy balance applies to all buyers. One's who can dream up what the home would look like, and one's that done and want to see how someone else made it home.

Popular kitchen cabinet colors

It's going to be interesting to see the change in home staging for 2016. I hope they realize what they are missing out on going so empty and cold.

gallery wall design

What are your predictions for home staging in 2016?

Are You Negotiating?

When most people sign lease agreements they may not realize that some things are actually negotiable! Most assume that everything is set in stone and they just have to take what they are offered. Here are a few things you might want to consider talking about during your next lease agreement:

Apartment Building CASP 74 / Bach Arquitectes

Rent!

Your rent price is set by your landlord on what they think it is worth. That doesn't always mean that it is what it is actually worth! Take a look at other options and come ready to let them know what the true value of their space is and what you are willing to pay.

Classic and Elegant Townhouse

Amenities!

Most amenities come with additional fees. Gyms, pools, parking and add more than you were hoping for in your monthly bills. You can negotiate these to be put into your monthly rent or ask for one time only payments! Don't want all these amenities? Ask to only pay for what you'll use.

Primrose Hill - dream place to live really

Pets!

Some places have a strict no pet policy and most of them choose this option because they have been burned before by previous tenants. If you have a certain size, species, or just a really well behaved quite pet - you might be able to swing getting them in with you! This might include an additional fee, but it may be well worth it in the end.

Pet Friendly Home Tour: Jess Lively & Franklin | Pretty Fluffy

Deposits!

Didn't know deposits could be negotiated? Have you been renting for a while and have a great record and some contacts to prove so? Do you have renters insurance to cover any damages? If you are able to prove those things you might be able to lower the deposit cost or have it taken away altogether.

What are you thinking about negotiating?

Traditional Wood Floors Are Gone

Traditional wood floors are now off the demand list!

Lauren Shadid Architecture - House of Turquoise

With so many options available what should you choose?

Robson Rak + Made by Cohen collaboration - Elwood House — The Little Design Corner (www.thelittledesigncorner.com)

Current trends are saying blonde, gray, and white washed are in.

Bespoke Natural Grey Engineered Oak from Reclaimed Flooring Co http://www.periodideas.com/bespoke-natural-grey-engineered-oak-reclaimed-flooring-co

Wide planks seem to be the  most desired but even herringbone is coming back in!

Large bank of floor to ceiling cabinets, beautiful windows & doors with oversized transom (so much natural light!), herringbone wood floors.

Let's just say you'll be safe to stay away from the traditional skinny wood floors for now!

Why Rental Costs Are Rising!

Rental costs are skyrocketing and you might not know why, but we do.

Family-sized: Chelsea and Marc splashed out on a $10.5million, four-bedroom apartment last... http://dailym.ai/1r39CEL#i-aa570e76

A majority of the economy is renting instead of purchasing! Why?

Have a studio, no problem. Build a stage four your bed- and build a room divider- or install a curtain around your bed, in a sense creating a room divider.

With the economy down we are learning to live with less square footage and necessities.

Streets of Monaco at Night. I want to take you there forever.  That place has something very special and with you would be magical.

We find ourselves traveling more which means we aren't willing to be tied down.

8 Sneaky Small Space Solutions | Apartment Therapy

But because of these things, more renters equal higher rent. It's the average concept of supply and demand.

old apartment building

But with higher rent it is less affordable, so you end up in a less desirable area.

Go Whimsical in Your Color Approach. Teal front door and gray grey exterior on house home. (IDEA for front porch)

And you'll soon find out that the single family home you were looking at before, is not only more affordable. But you get a return investment from it!

Which is better? Neither. It depends on your living situation. But if you are looking for something more affordable, you might just want to look at your rent cost vs a monthly mortgage!