Save

Office: 306- 652-2882 |

Fall is the best time for lawn care, so when it comes to planning your autumn projects, add these to the list.


By the time fall comes along, and you’ve tended to your grass every single week, pleasant springtime memories of fresh-mown grass smell have long passed. Still, you must get the yard grass ready for winter, especially if you’re planning to put the house up for sale next spring. Fall is the best time for lawn care, so when it comes to planning your autumn projects, add these to the list.


1. Adjust the Lawn Mower Blade


When cutting the grass in late September or early October, set the mowing blades a bit shorter than usual. Lower the blade to the shortest recommended height for your variety of grass. That will help keep grass from matting underneath winter snow, but the turf will be high enough for the roots to stay firmly planted in the soil. Preventing thatch and matting allows snow-covered grass to remain healthy, and leads to a thick, full lawn in March, April, and May.


2. Fertilize


The leaves are changing, and that means it’s time to fertilize the grass. If you haven’t done it this year, test the soil to determine its acidic balance; this lets you know what type of fertilizer to use. The pH scale is from 0 to 14; anything less than 7.0 is acid, and anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline. Whether you choose soil amendments, organic or chemical fertilizers, they must be the proper types for the grass in your yard.  You can buy a soil testing kit at your local hardware store.


3. Aerate


Speaking of soil, it needs to breathe. Soil compaction occurs in areas where kids are playing, dogs are running, riding lawn mowers are sitting — you get the idea. Compacted soil stops air and water from reaching the roots. (Even those squirmy earthworms can’t get very far!) Fertilizer won’t soak in very well. In short, compacted soil is bad for grass.


Aerating the lawn provides air that lets grassroots thrive. You can do it yourself by hand, but really, the best way to aerate the yard, especially a large one, is to hire a landscaper with the right kind of equipment. Hundreds to thousands of small, cork-like plugs of dirt are removed from the ground, allowing the grass to spread, thicken and breathe. 


4. Reseed 


The type of grass and condition it’s in determines reseeding requirements, but in any case, this project is better for autumn than in spring.  September is ideal for overseeding cool season and warm season grasses. Because we live in an area prone to snow, you’ll want to reseed the entire lawn before the first frost.


5. Weed Control


The first thing to remember is that weeds will never completely go away, so don’t make yourself crazy over it. But you can control the first outset in spring by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall. It can give you a head start on next spring’s weed-reducing efforts. Follow directions carefully.


As if this weren’t enough, here are a couple more autumn yard projects for you.  Rake and remove fallen leaves so they won’t create a thick mat that will suffocate your lawn over the winter. Continue to water the lawn if you’re not seeing enough rainfall — if it hasn’t entered dormancy, grass should get an inch of water per week.


One thing to note: If you start a project too late in the season, your efforts are wasted. The grassroots will need time to absorb the nutrients from fertilizer. Tender plant seedlings from reseeding won’t survive the cooler temperatures. For a healthy lawn in spring, develop a fall schedule, and stick to it.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


 

Read full post

Has your garage been left abandoned and unloved for far too long? You’re not alone.


A home organization study from Moen found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes. Join us today in exploring 4 tried and tested methods you can use to show your long-forgotten garage some much-needed TLC, revamping your cluttered space into one fit for function.


Reconsider your storage 


When was the last time you saw your garage floor?


Garages far too often serve as a dumping ground – a place to keep those countless boxes full of sentimental keepsakes and, let’s be honest, junk you can’t bring yourself to throw out!


Luckily, revitalizing your garage space doesn’t mean you have to begin a clearout and start planning your next yard sale. Instead, reconsider your storage solutions to achieve a more optimized and efficient means of storage.


The best way to do this? Utilize vertical space! Purpose-built garage shelving units are your best bet here. They’ll clear up valuable floor space and enable you to implement a logical organization plan. Regardless of whether your garage is merely practical or purpose-built for a specific use, increasing your storage capability is a must – trust us, you’ll thank us later!


Get decorative


One of the biggest appeals of a garage is that the possibilities really are endless. From workshops to games rooms, the purpose of your garage is completely up to you. But of course, in order to revamp it successfully, you’re going to want to breathe a new lease of life into the space. So, it’s time to get creative!


Your options here are twofold:


Option A


Option A entails decorating based on purpose. For example, no games room is complete without arcade machines, pool tables and the likes, but don’t forget about trendy extras like beanbags, mini fridges and gadgets. Ultimately, it’s all about decorating the space with you in mind.


Option B


Alternatively, a general interior update will be equally as effective in revamping your garage space, and is often a great way of boosting your property’s value in the process.


Never underestimate the power of a new lick of paint. Opt for clean and crisp colors to make the space look polished and better organized, being sure to consider interior cohesion by matching your aesthetic with any features and appliances you may have on display. As a potentially damp space, to ensure functionality in the process, we recommend using moisture-blocking paint.


Evaluate your lighting


What use is a trendy new garage interior if it’s hidden by dingy garage lighting? Look to re-evaluate your garage lighting to bring a little extra shine, both figuratively and literally, to your garage interior.


Again, there’s a whole range of options at your disposal, and picking the right one will depend on how you intend to utilize your space. As a rule of thumb, lighting should always be bright, efficient and easily accessible – particularly if your space is functional and prone to hazards.


Think about more than simply overhead lighting. Lighting above doors, on walls and beneath storage systems can be an effective way of ensuring practicality and style.


If your space is being used for entertainment, consider bringing an extra dimension to your space through snazzy features such as voice-activated colored lighting. Not only will this do wonders for your garage’s aesthetics, it’s also sure to become the envy of any friend who comes to visit! 


Alternatively, functional garage owners should focus more on their lighting’s practical properties. For example, opt for lighting fixtures with electronic ballasts to ensure a more reliable performance than traditional fluorescent lighting, which often becomes temperamental in conditions below 50 degrees.


Strengthen your security


A slick new garage interior deserves protection – particularly if it’s housing valuable items, whether that be in monetary or sentimental value.


An automatic garage door with remote sensors is a good place to start, providing you with both convenience and peace of mind.


For added reassurance, pair with a CCTV system – there are plenty on the market right now at cost effective prices. What’s more, contemporary systems are even compatible with smartphones, allowing you to stream the feed directly to your phone through an app. Again, convenience and peace of mind guaranteed.


Revitalizing your garage interior might sound like the mammoth task you’ve been putting off for years, but with the right know-how, it’s not as tough as it sounds. We hope the above tips give you the inspiration you need to turn your garage into the space you’ve always wanted.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter



Read full post

Summer is the ideal time to invite friends and neighbors over for a get-together. Here are six tips to guarantee your summer gatherings will be a hit.


1. Break out the party games

If some of your guests don’t know each other, set up a few backyard games to help break the ice. Croquet, badminton, bocce ball, spike ball and horseshoes are all good choices. For an easy DIY project, paint a wood pallet and cut a circular hole in the middle for a fun beanbag-toss game, also called cornhole. 


2. Fire up the grill

Nothing says summer like a casual barbeque in your backyard. Be sure to include classic fare like burgers and hot dogs, but feel free to get creative with salads, side dishes, appetizers and other fun bites. Try to prepare as many dishes as you can the night before your get-together — you want to enjoy the party too.


3. Host a luau

Treat your friends and family to a night in the tropics with a Hawaiian-themed luau. Set up some tiki torches, sport your best Hawaiian shirt and serve tropical drinks. Make a playlist of island-themed music to set the perfect mood for the evening. For an additional treat, wrap up your get-together with a blazing bonfire.


4. Hit the pool

A pool party is a great way to stay cool and comfortable when you’re entertaining in the summer. Light foods, like salads, chicken and fish are perfect choices when guests will be doing a lot of swimming. Always keep plenty of water bottles and other refreshing drinks on hand to keep guests properly hydrated. Pool floaties are always fun to have on hand when you want to relax and get some sun in the pool!


5. Show a movie

The days of drive-in movies are in the past. But, it’s still possible to enjoy an outdoor movie on a warm summer evening. Get some sturdy wire and a blackout shade and set up your own DIY screen. All you need is a standard film projector and you’re ready to screen your favorite movies in the comfort of your own backyard. If you’re feeling really creative, you can serve snacks that match the theme of the movie.


6.Set up a popcorn bar

Between food allergies, picky eaters and other dietary restrictions, it can be tough to come up with a menu that pleases a crowd. Popcorn is a low-calorie, gluten-free and budget-friendly treat that’s likely to work with most people’s diets. Set up a variety of seasonings and toppings and let your guests create their own savory combinations.


Conclusion

Summertime entertaining doesn’t require a lot of work to be successful. With these easy ideas in mind, you’ll be ready to plan fun get-togethers all summer long

Read full post

Whether on television, at an open house or on the pages of a magazine, we’ve all seen stunningly outfitted estates that deliver a true wow factor – and listing price – that properties without staging just cannot match. Buyers quickly fall in love with homes that have a strong character while wordlessly conveying the lifestyle they would enjoy if they lived there. Before listing your property, consider that proper staging is one of the most important factors in enhancing your home’s appeal and most flattering features.


First Things First


In order to entice potential buyers, you must think outside the box – but to start, examine what needs to be done to get your home in showplace shape. Check under older carpets for lovely hardwood, survey the ceiling for cracks or leaks to seal, and focus on boosting your curb appeal. Once your home is a clean slate, you are ready to begin.


Neutral Rules


When using achromatic tones on painted walls and furniture, ensure that the staging pieces do not distract from the form of the home. When staging for luxury, colour psychology can signal buyers that they’re working with a discerning seller who has elevated the home to its full, indulgent potential.


In the world of interior design, fashion and luxury vehicles, neutral colours have always made a recognizable statement of power, sophistication and confidence. Once you’re prepared to stage your home, you’ll want to highlight those qualities with the crème de la crème of design – blacks, greys and whites.


While buyers will always notice houses with splashy displays, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will find them appropriate for their tastes. Staging experts often use furniture, rugs and paint in neutral hues (also consider beige and pale, cool colours) to help buyers overlay their own creations onto the scene and more easily discover the home could be the perfect fit.


Character Is King


Often, a seamless introduction to the home involves pairing décor with architectural personality. Envision how Old-World pillars and stonework are beautifully complemented by gold-framed art and Turkish rugs, and contemporary interiors effortlessly show off leather, wool or velvet furnishings and unique accents as statement pieces. When hiring an interior designer to get the job done, seek out a professional with not only expertise, but also an imaginative mindset.


Now to address spatial issues. For smaller sitting rooms, offices or charming nooks, instead of cluttering the area to make it appear as if much can be done with the layout, ensure that each piece has room to breathe and directs attention to the space itself.


On the other hand, if you have a cavernous room, think about creative ways to section it off and separate it into more manageable areas with rugs or furniture in unique arrangements.


Attractive Accents


While a visually busy room is an easily avoided faux pas, keep in mind that going completely neutral is not the answer either. In order to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between sensible furnishings and handsome décor, decorate with stylish accents that lend a perfect finish to any lifestyle.


Any artwork should be minimal and tasteful, so buyers can picture how they will customize the space, and personal items like family pictures or sports memorabilia should be stored.


When a buyer enters your front door and explores the home room by room, they’ll be thinking about how they will personalize it with their own touches, and how much of a transformation might be needed to get it suited for them. With beautiful furnishings in place and just the right level of flair, they won’t have to work very hard to visualize their new life – and that gets them one step closer to making your house their new home.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

If you’re house shopping, there’s probably one question that’s been on your mind often: “What size home should I buy?” At a glance, the answer seems obvious: as big as you can afford! But that’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Home size matters on many levels from personal preference to resale value, future plans, your budget, and more.


How do you find the ideal home size for you and your family? Here are three things you need to consider:

The Truth About Square Footage

A foot is a foot, right? When it comes to the square footage of your future home that may not be the case. Measuring the size of a house isn’t incredibly precise. More often than not, the size will change depending on which appraiser is measuring and what mechanism they’re using to determine the square footage: measuring tape, laser measure, or eyeball. The reality is that there are no universal standards when it comes to measuring your home size.


What does this mean for you? You need to choose your home size not by the numbers but by the feel. Don’t put too much stock in the listing size on paper, but instead find out in person if each room, bathroom, and living area is large enough for your needs. It’s not about how other individuals answer the question, “What is a good sized house?” It’s about you, your family, and how big a place feels in person.

Your Budget

While your budget isn’t the only thing you should consider, it needs to be one of the critical factors in determining your ideal home size. And that may be little more complicated than you think. What matters when it comes to your budget?

  • Loan Size: The larger the house, the more expensive—most of the time. Make sure the average house size of your real estate listings fits with your pre-approved loan budget.
  • Monthly Budget: Large houses are expensive to keep up. As you increase your square footage expect to pay more in electricity, water, gas, cleaning, and more. If you have a tight allocation for monthly expenses, don’t go overboard on a large house without factoring in these other costs.
  • Your Future: Are you planning to have more kids? Do you need a new car? Are you counting on getting a raise at work? If you’re expecting your financial situation to change, make sure your home budget fits the modifications.

Your Preferences and Needs

Your particular wants and needs should have the most significant impact on the home you choose. Make sure you’re truthful and honest with yourself about your expectations and needs. For example, if you eat out regularly and hate cooking, there’s no need to spend on a gourmet kitchen! You’d be better served looking for a home with a smaller kitchen and a bigger living room.


To help you determine your preferences, here are ten questions you should ask yourself:


1. Do you like small and cozy or do you need room to spread out?

2. How many people are in your family and how much space does each person need?

3. Do you have any hobbies or jobs that require extra space? (If you work from home, you’ll need an office. If cars are a passion, you’ll want a more substantial garage)

4. How often do you have visitors over? (If you have parties every few weeks and relatives visit a few times a year, you might want more space for guests)

5. Are you planning to have more kids or have an elderly relative move in with you?

6. What size of house have you been excited about in the past?

7. How much storage do you need? (Closet space and built-ins can be a big space saver)

8. How large is your furniture, and how much do you have? (If you have a king-sized bed, you want a big master bedroom)

9. What’s your five-year plan? (Upgrading your home to a larger size can be difficult; make sure the home you choose can last for years)

10. How much outdoor space do I want?


The key to purchasing the right-sized home for you is being realistic. Make sure you really sit down with your family to discuss what you need, want, and can afford.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Hurrah it’s 2021! I don’t think anyone is sorry to say goodbye to 2020. A new year brings a new start. Normally, we have our list of resolutions; our promises to get to the gym, not to procrastinate on our projects, and spend more quality time with friends and family.  Instead of just making a list of resolutions, set up your home so you can actually keep them; even during the pandemic, no excuses.

  

Our homes continue to be our everything space – workplace, school, gym, restaurant and more. The good news: we don’t have the outside world to distract us this year. No lunch dates. No office parties. No outside interference. If we create a mindful home, it will support our resolutions.


Take a good look at your list of resolutions and compare it to how your home is actually being used in our new stay at home lives. Perhaps, your work has swallowed up the dining room table. Sit down meals with the family have turned into eating in front of our individual devices. Or, your kids are taking online classes on their bedroom floor and on the kitchen counter. Set them up for success by carving out a quiet distraction free study nook. It’s time to create a mindful solution to make your home support your vision for a successful new year. 


To lead a more organized and inspired life, the space around you must function to meet your new needs. It’s empowering: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too.


Here are some simple steps to help transform your home space into a comfortable and functional place suited to your 2021 needs:


– Set Goals: Sit down with each family member to determine what their 2021 at home needs are. What type of spaces will support their daily goals? If you’re wanting a fit and healthy life: Do you actually have a place to workout set up in your home or garage? Is your kitchen stocked with what you need for healthy meals? Have you donated the rest to the local food bank?


– Make a Plan: Based on the daily goals of each family member, determine what room or space fits with their goals and desires. You can either restructure a portion of a room, or you can actually swap rooms!


For instance, does your child need better study habits? Have them swap rooms with a sibling for a new fresh space with a new desk to inspire focus. Also, take a look at shared spaces. Is the living room unused for most of the day? Change a portion of it into an office or workout space.  Make a detailed plan of how and when you’ll use each room.


Arrange the new layout to actually function for your new goals and inspire work, study and workout habits. If a space has multiple functions, be sure you’ve arranged ways to quickly transform the space from one use to another. Think trays and baskets to whisk the old use out and the new use in.


– Measure: Save yourself major headaches by using a measuring tape. Make sure all the furniture will actually fit in the new layout. You can make drawings of each room to scale and use scale cut-outs of each piece of furniture – ala paper dolls. Move your new design layout around with your fingertips a few times before you actually do the heavy lifting.


– Design: Here comes the fun part! Each person gets to design their new space. The designs can be full room swaps, or just moving specific furniture pieces from one room to another. Or, perhaps, it’s as simple as adding functional accessories. The “game show” challenge is to design the space with the furniture and accessories that you already own. Maybe Jack’s desk is really the right size for Bella’s homeschooling now? She can make it her own by sanding it down and painting it her favorite colour. Has mom’s work taken over the dining room table? Place trays on the table for mom to keep her work stuff in, that way she can easily remove it at the end of the day. Wala! There’s actually a clear table when it’s time for dinner.


– Swap, Move & Clean: Okay, brace yourself for a little bit of chaos, but it will be so much better on the other side of the transformation. Move everything out of the chosen room. Clean each room until it sparkles.


– Decorate & Move In: Once clean, it’s time to add all of the chosen design elements, decorate and rearrange the furniture. From the full room swaps to adding functional accessories and furniture to portions of rooms. Don’t forget to hang wall art. Handle every detail down to hanging the new occupant’s name on the door. You’ll all fall in love with your home all over again. That night, your child gets to sleep in their new room that they helped design! Or, you get to read a book in your new, QUIET, office. Each new space is now clean, organized and its new design will inspire you to turn your resolutions into habits.


Your 2021 transformed & functional home will give you the gift of peace of mind. You’ll emerge satisfied that you and your family were able to stay on track and make those resolutions realities.  When your space functions as you need it, you feel more organized and supported. Bonus: you’ll get to go somewhere new without leaving your home!



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

With many gyms closed or operating at minimum capacity, a home gym has never sounded more appealing. You can even find affordable home gym equipment that gets the job done just as efficiently as a commercial gym can.

The Rise of at-Home Fitness

Some people are just simply bored and have replaced pre-Covid outings with working out safely from their home. This healthy decision does come at a cost but includes overall savings compared to a gym membership. To help with your home gym efforts, we’ve gathered some resources and low-budget products that will help you get fit without breaking the bank.

Space Saving Ideas

We all don’t have a dedicated fitness room in our home, so it can be beneficial to find compact home gym equipment and dual-purpose products. Try a door pull-up bar or punching bag that’s discreet and doesn’t need any complicated installation. You can also take advantage of mini steppers that help you meet your cardio goals while taking up limited space in your home, and resistance bands can adjust the difficulty of workouts while being applied to numerous types of equipment and exercises. 

DIY Gym Equipment

If you’re feeling handy, you can build your own workout equipment from the comfort of your own home. You can use pipes to create a pull-up bar, squat rack, gymnastics bar, weight rack, and even monkey bars if you want to turn your home into a home gym playground. If you have carpentry skills, you can make a dip station or pull blocks out of plywood.

Digital Personal Trainers

The modern digital era has made it easier than ever to receive fitness training from home, and even on a budget. We’re not all familiar with the proper workouts for our particular goals, so training sessions are a great way to receive instructions on how to safely and effectively achieve the results you’re looking for. 

Personal trainers can cost a lot each month, but now you can access free Youtube videos, affordable online training subscriptions, and technology products that keep track of your activity and health. More and more people are purchasing fitness watches such as Fitbit and the Apple Watch, and these devices are great at helping you stay on track with your fitness goals. 

Get Active From Home

Technological advances and the rising market of home gym equipment have made it easier than ever to create a home gym. You can use this time in quarantine to work on some DIY projects to create your own equipment, and also find some great deals on compact and dual-purpose products that can safely be delivered to your home. Take advantage of your time at home to improve your health and wellness, and save some money too.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Ever wonder what magic tricks interior designers have up their sleeves? There’s no secret. It’s just an understanding of what’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and why. And like so many things in life that work well, it’s all about balance. Considering where you place objects – your favorite things – is key to pulling off a professional looking interior design.


When hanging artwork, first look at the big picture. Make sure the scale of the piece doesn’t over- or underwhelm the wall where it will live. Ask yourself if the content and colour of the art complement the room as a whole. Typically, artwork should hang at eye level. But don’t discount the occasional element of surprise by positioning an eye-catching picture above a doorframe, or running an elongated series of images over a desk, serving as an exaggerated architectural element.


When creating a collage of artwork, find a common denominator that runs through the collection such as similar framing, matting or subject matter. A connecting thread may be the collective uniqueness of the featured items – some of the most dramatic statements are made this way. A smart plan is to lay out your vision for the wall on the floor first, or have a friend hold up your artwork before nailing away. Then stand back and see what you think. If it feels right, it probably is – if not, the composition may need small tweaks here and there. Take your time to get it right. After all, this is the part of the room that expresses your personality and adds the wow factor.


Think twice about the amount of colour. Stick to one main hue in the room and a complementing accent colour or two – anything more can overly complicate the overall design. Another simple, yet ultra-sophisticated, approach is to introduce one single colour in varying shades for quiet impact.


However you decide to leave your signature stamp on your interior design, remember that properly placed artwork and an oh-so-right aesthetic is well worth your while – and one that may even turn out to be sheer bliss.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

With shorter days and more hours of darkness in autumn and winter, turn to the power of indoor lighting as a solution – never underestimate its brilliance. Clever lighting can transform the look and feel of your home with the flip of a switch. While natural sunlight streaming inside is ideal, sometimes the clouds and snow rain on our sunshine parade. When that happens, rely on a variety of lighting sources to brighten things up. You’ll notice, it’s not a one-bulb-fits-all sort of situation.


General lighting is the workhorse of illumination. For the most part, it’s utilitarian in nature but an essential and practical starting point. It brings uniformity and functionality to a room. This is a direct form of light, typically found from a ceiling pendant or chandelier and increases in versatility with the addition of a dimmer control.


Ambient lighting works alongside general lighting but is more indirect, more intriguing and fools the eye with magical illusion. It helps soften harsh shadows and brings major impact through light sources such as wall sconces, voluminous upturned torchieres and hidden coffered ceiling lights.


Mood lighting comes on soft, but its subtle effects make a bold statement. Never glaring or harsh, it brightens otherwise shadowy corners and makes unexpected appearances in ways like hanging, amber-lit Moravian stars. It lends high-style and a certain je ne sais quoi. For an exceptional interior ambience, you must include mood lighting, darling.


Task lighting puts a lot of voltage into getting the job done and doesn’t need to look like its hard at work. Whether it’s a sleek chrome arm lamp over a desk, hidden under-counter kitchen lights or spot-on overhead pendants, task lights should always be offset by companion lighting to soften the contrast of their high-intensity brightness.


Accent lighting is the drama queen of the bunch. It takes centerstage and spotlights key artwork or decorative elements and draws the eye in. It works harder to steal the show than mood lighting, so it requires brighter light at the point of interest.


Treat lighting as an art element. Let it conjure atmosphere and breathe life into an otherwise uninspired room. Try uplighting and lowlighting, spotlighting and strategic lighting. Whichever way you turn up the wattage on the illuminating possibilities in your home, enjoy basking in the power of beautiful light.

Read full post

Fall is a critical time for yard maintenance because the manner in which you care for it in the fall determines how well it bounces back in the spring. Follow these imperative yard-care tips and you’ll have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood come spring.


Tip #1: Keep Mowing


Many homeowners assume that with cooler weather comes a reduction in the growth of grass. While this is partially true, it doesn’t mean you should skip mowing your yard. The arrival of fall weather might mean that your grass takes longer to reach a height that requires trimming, but it will continue to grow until the first frost of the season. Keep mowing and watering your yard as necessary to keep it healthy in the fall. Also, be sure to lower your mower’s deck height to a low setting for the final two cuts of the season.


Cutting your grass shorter the last two times you mow for the season allows more of the sunlight to reach the soil. Just remember not to go too low and scalp your lawn.


Tip #2: Aerate the Soil


Fall is the best time of year to aerate the soil on your property. You can rent a gas-powered, walk-behind aerator from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s for roughly $70. Aeration enables more water, oxygen and fertilizer to easily reach the roots of your grass. One of the reasons it is critical at this time of year is because most northern grass varieties have their greatest level of root growth in the fall. Feeding that growth now powers a better bounce back in the spring.


Tip #3: Fill in Bald Patches


As we just mentioned, fall is the most potent time of year for root growth, which makes it a great time of year to fill in those bald patches in your lawn. Depending upon the size of those bald spots, an all-in-one lawn repair mixture is the ideal option because it combines grass seed, lawn fertilizer and organic mulch all in one bag that you spread over the bald spot. Simply water the mixture and it will germinate in the coming weeks for full coverage and a healthier yard in the spring.


Tip #4: Fertilize for Spring


Speaking of healthy grass in the spring, now’s a good time to fertilize your entire yard. There’s never a bad time of year to fertilize, but if you are only going to do it once a year, fall is the time. Again, remember that your grass roots are growing at their fastest rate in the fall. Also, the rhizomes — horizontal planes below the soil that sprout your blades above and sink roots below — are growing quickly at this time of year. The best time of year to add fertilizer is late in the fall.


Tip #5: Kill Weeds


Broadleaf weeds grow quickly because of their ability to capture water and quickly go to seed.  This makes fall the best time to apply a weed killing herbicide because the weeds will drink it in thinking it’s a nutrient.


Tip #6: Clear the Leaf Falls


Last but not least, don’t forget to clear the leaf falls from the trees on your property. It might not be fun, but it’s important to get out as frequently as you can to remove the leaf fall from your grass because the longer it sits there, the more problems it can cause. The thicker your leaf cover gets, the more moisture it holds in from rains and morning dew. The additional moisture not only suffocates your yard, but it also breeds fungal diseases. 



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


Read full post

When shopping for a new home, be aware of properties that have potential beyond their current appearance. Home buyers often overlook a great property because they are too focused on the cosmetic appeal, which can be easily altered. Keep the following tips in mind as you search for your perfect home:


1. Finding the Best Neighbourhood for You


Location is one of the most crucial factors to consider as you look for possible homes. Unlike the style and even structure, no amount of time, effort, or money can change a home’s location. To find the best neighbourhood for you, it can help to visit the area multiple times at various hours. This will help reveal the local culture and activity to be expected from neighbours.


2. Identify a Cost-Efficient Fixer-Upper Home


Look for a home with sound fundamentals and an appealing floor plan. Cosmetic improvements like new paint, lighting fixtures, and flooring are relatively cheap and easy to change, while work on plumbing, electrical systems, structural walls, or cabinets are more difficult and expensive. Typically, the most expensive change involves altering a home’s structure.


3. Hire a Contractor Before Buying a Home


You may want to hire a contractor in your search if you know you want to make changes to a home you plan to purchase. A contractor can help you better understand what kind of commitment a given home will require. Many remodelers will visit a potential purchase to give an estimate of how much the work would cost. This is valuable information when comparing different homes with one another.


4. Know What to Check Before Buying an Old Home


Examining a home can be a complex process, and looking for one with unused potential can make it more difficult. Keep in mind that homes older than 50 years are likely to have similarly aged plumbing, electrical, heating, and other systems. The home may also be worn out or too outdated to remodel.


5. Real Estate Agents Can Help


Real estate agents are valuable resources. They can help you understand a home in the context of its neighbourhood and area, and may be able to offer advice on how to increase the value of the property after purchase.

Read full post

With many of us confined to staying at home during the current global pandemic, now could be the ideal time to embark on a DIY home design overhaul. Of course, transforming a tired living space into one that’s timelessly stylish and effortlessly practical comes with a number of cumulative costs, but there are plenty of ways to save money along the way.


1. Refresh areas with a new feature wall


Giving any area of your home a fresh coat of paint is a quick, affordable and satisfying way to make tired spaces feel brand new with minimal effort. However, you can make this transformation even simpler by focusing on just one wall and making it the stand-out feature.


Feature walls are a tried and tested interior design trick to instantly add interest and character to almost any room of the house – and by focusing your efforts on just one wall, you’ll also be keeping the costs down.


Whether you paint one wall in a bright hue, add some funky wallpaper or get creative with artwork and old picture frames to create an eye-catching gallery wall, putting your efforts into updating just one surface will save you time and dollars.


2. Upcycle fittings and furniture rather than replacing 


Upcycling has been a popular interior trend for some time now and for good reason. For one, it helps reduce the amount of discarded furniture and fittings needlessly ending up in landfill. Secondly, it also offers the chance to create truly unique home furnishings while also helping to declutter your home – a win for you and the planet!


With the right mindset and the help of some video tutorials or Pinterest, you can create new pieces from old things you were planning to throw away in no time at all. This could be as simple as fixing that wobbly table leg and repainting it, using silverware to reinvent old light fittings into quirky lampshades or spray-painting a time-worn bike and hanging it on your wall as a piece of art – the possibilities are limitless.


3. Create the illusion of space with mirrors


If you’re looking to make your home feel bigger, but don’t have the budget to extend its physical blueprint, then mirrors are a trusty accessory to have up your sleeve. When hung in the right position, mirrors have the ability to reflect light around the room, add depth, and give the illusion of space when there actually isn’t any.


With the added benefit of being readily available to buy in a vast array of designs, sizes and price points, incorporating mirrors into your interior decor is an effective and budget-friendly tactic for making even the coziest spaces feel grand.


For the best results, hang mirrors opposite or adjacent to windows or an artificial light source to maximize the light bouncing around the room – leaving you with a room that feels spacious and bright. You could even get creative and use multiple mirrors hung on the same wall in different designs and sizes to deliver a striking feature wall that serves to enlarge the area.


4. Opt for multifunctional furniture


Splashing out on new furniture for your home is a sure-fire way to give outdated interiors a much-needed new look, but this can be an expensive undertaking if you’re buying numerous furniture items that each serve a single purpose.


Instead, make your money stretch that little bit further and invest in multifunctional pieces that can double up as extra storage space or additional seating. Think ottoman beds with storage space below for stowing away extra cushions, bed linen and more, blanket boxes that double up as extra seating and storage units, nesting tables that can be split up to give extra surface space when you need it or even floor lamps with built-in shelves.


By making the most of multifunctional furniture in your home you can still achieve your desired aesthetic, while saving on space and money.


5. Get wooden floors for less


If you long for hardwood floors in your home but don’t have the capital to spend on the real deal, you don’t need to abandon that dream. Opting for alternatives like luxury vinyl tile flooring or click-and-lock laminate will give you an authentic, luxury looking wooden floor at a far lower price point.


Choosing wood-look alternatives like LVT flooring also come with a raft of practical benefits. They’re waterproof, easy to clean, durable and low maintenance, meaning they’ll stay looking pristine for years without the need to reapply varnish periodically.


Whatever grand plans you have for giving your home a makeover, we hope the above gives you plenty of ideas on how to make the right changes without breaking the bank.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need acres of counter space or dozens of drawers and cupboards to have an organized kitchen that’s a joy to cook in. If anything, a smaller kitchen can encourage you to streamline your stuff and live more simply. Who wants cabinets chock-full of unloved pasta machines and dusty bread makers anyway? Check out these easy ways to restore order to your less-than-enormous kitchen.


1. Start with a utensil rack. Not only will it give you a place to hang slotted spoons and ladles for easy access while cooking, it will also free up precious drawer space.


Even in the tiniest kitchen, you can usually find somewhere to squeeze one in — under a cupboard or shelf or above the stove. Stainless steel models work in most styles of rooms and are easy to wipe down.


2. Get a knife holder. A knife block or magnetic rack is one of those simple items that really do make a difference in how functional your kitchen is. After all, rummaging around in a drawer for a piece of kitchen gear you use frequently is time-consuming and dispiriting.


A wall-mounted rack keeps things orderly without swallowing too much space. Buy decent knives if you can afford it, as they should last a lifetime. One advantage of a magnetic rack is that you can slowly build up your collection of knives, buying one at a time, rather than having to invest in one large block complete with knives, which can be pricey. If you’re starting from scratch, a bread knife, paring knife and chef’s knife are essential.


3. Assign dedicated storage areas. Kitchen clutter can easily accrue, so it makes sense to assign different cupboards a specific purpose and stick to it. And dedicate a few minutes every couple of weeks to returning stray plastic lids or pot covers to their homes and sweeping out spilled spices and coffee grounds — it really will make a difference in how pleasurable (and easy) your kitchen is to use day to day.


4. Reduce your numbers. If your kitchen is really mini, or even if it isn’t, think about doing a good edit of your paraphernalia. Be honest: Do you really need more than a handful of plates, mugs or glasses if there are only one or two of you?


Having less stuff can be immensely freeing — and will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend washing up, which is a big bonus.


5. Gather and display. You can be organized and chic at the same time. A charming crock to hold wooden spoons, a wall-mounted crate or two to provide a home for vintage-style scales and jugs, a small wall-mounted spice rack — they all add a pretty touch as well as having a practical function.


6. Be clever with your cabinets. Use every spare inch in a small kitchen by building recessed shelves where feasible. Surround an integrated refrigerator. With this design solution, wall space that’s too skinny or awkwardly shaped for extra cabinets can still be used to hold frequently used items. In some kitchens, it also helps open up the room and leads the eye to an appealing feature.


7. Go minimal. Are you in the process of picking new cabinets for your compact kitchen? Consider this look: Ultra-plain, handleless cabinets in a nude hue are soothing to look at and give a sense of visual order. Pick a seamless backsplash such as a slab of marble, since tiles with grout can look busy.


8. Get in a tight corner. When space is tight, an ingenious trio of pullout corner drawers is a lifesaver, helping to solve the problem of lost space in those awkward-to-access base cabinets.


If you’re remodeling, think about how you’d use such drawers — for cutlery, towels, pans, dishes? You could do a slimmer top drawer complemented by two deeper ones, so all the bases are covered.


9. Put the pans away. Similarly a pullout pan rack can be a gift in a small kitchen, creating an organized home for frying pans and saucepans and keeping you from tearing your hair out as you hunt around in the backs of cupboards. Also try using racks for items such as steamers or large, unwieldy casserole dishes.


10. Organize inside. It may sound like a no-brainer, but often what makes a kitchen, big or small, organized is how we arrange the insides of our cupboards. Shelf and drawer dividers, hooks, racks and other storage devices are key to keeping order. Consider what works for you and go custom if you can. Are you a Mason jar and Tupperware kind of person? Do you prefer mugs on hooks, shelves or in drawers? Storage is often about personal preference.  Slim slots for chopping boards and placemats are a brilliant idea, as is a slim pullout spice rack.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

How much time and money do you want to spend on landscaping? If it’s not a lot, steer away from water-gulping flowers and high-maintenance shrubs. Instead, look at creating a landscape with low maintenance plants that you can tend to on a biweekly or monthly basis.


Plants to Consider


Focus on adding plants that don’t require a lot of watering, pruning, trimming, and mulching. Some to consider include:

  • Thyme
  • Daylilies
  • Hydrangea
  • Lavender
  • Roses
  • Peony
  • Hawthorn

The key is to get more perennials than annuals, if possible, into your garden. Find varieties that will thrive in your local climate and the shading or sunlight conditions of the space. If you choose perennials that bloom from spring into fall, you can enjoy colorful blooms throughout most of the year.


Drought-tolerant perennials might be the best option if you live in a particularly hot climate. They’re good for keeping your water bills down and meeting any water restrictions during the summer. If you need more ideas for a low maintenance landscape, talk to a local gardener.


Additional Steps to Take


If you don’t have the budget or time to invest in a lot of new plants, focus on how you can rearrange or adapt the garden you have. Some options may be to:


1. Group plants of the same type: To cut down on watering, trimming, and mulching time, group plants that need the same kind of maintenance. This lessens the amount of time and resources you need to spread across the garden.


2. Create borders: Building brick borders around your flowers and shrubs can create an attractive separation between the shrubbery and grass. This can be done professionally, or you can buy the materials yourself and do it over a weekend.


3. Apply mulch: Laying mulch around your plants, and on top of the soil that covers their roots, keeps out weeds, helps them retain moisture and adds to the natural nutrients they receive. Mulch can also be used as a decorative border.


4. Install automatic irrigation: An automatic irrigation system will save you time watering the garden. You can program sprinklers to go off at certain times, which prevents you from having to replace dead plants down the road.


5. Consider rocks instead: Rather than spending money on high water bills and replacing plants every year, consider xeriscaping your yard. Rock gardens with a few plants spread out across them are just as beautiful, especially in drought-susceptible regions.


Conclusion


Whether you decide to rearrange your current garden or spend a little extra money replacing some annuals with perennial alternatives, there are plenty of ways to create a low maintenance landscape that will save you time and reduce your monthly water bills. Don’t let your garden suffer because you didn’t consider an alternate plan.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


Read full post

Home improvement projects (big or small), have a reputation for helping boost the value of your home and make it more attractive to a larger pool of potential home buyers. From DIY projects like changing out old hardware to updating carpeting or hardwood floors – there are several small and inexpensive improvements you can make prior to putting your home on the market.


Curb Appeal:


We all know that first impressions are key – this applies to your homes as well. If your lawn is disheveled, and the doors and fixtures look worn or damaged, it can really turn off potential buyers from seeing the rest of the property. Keeping a manicured lawn is a good step, but let’s take it a bit further.


Garage doors make up a pretty big chunk of your curb appeal, the garage is known as the smile of your home, a nice update can easily and quickly make a home more attractive. Whether it’s giving it a wash, a fresh coat of paint, or replacing it altogether, there are many options to make it “new.”  


The front door is equally as important, a newly painted front door is paramount. Couple that with updated house numbers and mailbox and you’re already starting off on the right foot.


Fresh walls and floors:


There’s no denying that a fresh coat of paint can instantly transform a room to give it a brighter, fresher look and best of all, it’s relatively inexpensive. Similarly, floors (whether hardwood or carpeted) can have a significant impact on the overall feel of the home. Often, it’s these smaller upgrades that give you the best bang for your buck. Painting the kitchen walls, putting in a new vinyl floor in the bathroom, or replacing carpeting in parts of the home will typically get you additional dollars back.


Depersonalize and Declutter:


This one is a zero-cost no-brainer. You want the potential buyers to focus on the amazing features of your home and not be fixated on the family photos, or other miscellaneous items you may have around. And if you’re already thinking of panting, this makes it that much easier.


When you go to repaint a home, naturally, you have to take things off of the walls, move furniture, etc. There’s no better time to depersonalize and declutter. You will have to pack up most of your belongings anyways, so why not start sooner than later?


Update hardware:


Changing cabinet hardware is very cheap and easy for DIY. Changing out old hardware in commonly used spaces like the kitchen, master or guest bathrooms makes a world of a difference and can only take a few hours of work to complete. New finishes can make even the most outdated cabinets look more polished and modernized. 


Staging:


Though not a “home improvement” project in a traditional sense, staging your home very much plays into giving your home an overall, elevated look which you can also do on a budget. Focus on the main rooms: living, dining, kitchen, master bed and bath. Purchasing a new comforter, adding some neutral accents and even some extra pillows, people like homes that feel carefree, fresh, like walking into a fancy hotel room. Additionally, consider rearranging your furniture; it can make the space feel new and create a much better flow throughout the house.  



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Just a few short weeks ago, “spring cleaning” meant taking advantage of the longer days to dust off your home and make it nice and shiny for the warmer months. Today, we’re living a new reality. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us all together. We are sharing the collective experience of being at home, doing our utmost to stay healthy and making sure we are doing our part to flatten the curve to keep entire communities safe. Since many of us are at home full-time, it is vital that we ensure our environment is safe and virus-free. Staying home and staying clean & disinfected is how we are going to flatten the curve and keep us all safe.


The media has been sharing daily guidelines and our inboxes have been filled with long messages about what businesses and services are doing to protect us. It is overwhelming! So, let’s throw out the complicated and keep it simple. 


Here are the 5 things you can do to help keep the coronavirus from living in your home: 


1. Supplies: Before you get started, give your cleaning supplies an overhaul. Spring cleaning in 2020 requires different equipment to keep your home virus-free:

  • Gloves: Disposable gloves are recommended, but if you don’t have any just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after you clean. And, remember not to touch your face. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. Wash your hands before gloves are applied and immediately after gloves are removed.
  • No more brushes & mops: Brushes and mops might spread the contagions. You can use a cloth or towel if you wash them in hot water and soap when you are finished.
  • Disinfecting wipes & spray (at least 70% alcohol, most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.)

2. Clean AND Disinfect: Cleaning is the act of removing contaminants from a surface. Disinfecting is the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.

  • First, clean surfaces by wiping them with soapy water or a cleaning spray and a hand towel.
  • Second, disinfect with disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray. DO NOT dry the disinfectant with a towel, let it air dry. This is important when fully disinfecting!

3. High-touch Surfaces: The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces daily in your home. These surfaces include: 

  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Refrigerator and microwave doors
  • TV remote
  • Electronics (keyboards, phone etc.)
  • Counters and tabletops where you cook and eat
  • Toilet & faucet handles

4. Laundry: For clothing, towels, linens and other items that go in the laundry it is important to take these extra steps:

  • Do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
  • Use the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.
  • Clean and disinfect hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard or launder the gloves after each use.

5. Enter with Care: Now that your home is disinfected, when you return home from getting essentials: take off your shoes, hang up your coat (away from other clothing) and, immediately, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Also, consider changing your clothes into clean ones.


Follow these 5 steps religiously to drastically reduce the risk of COVID-19 living in your home. Together, we will get through this uncertain time. Cleaning and disinfecting will help you be in control. And, the good news is we have the time at home to do it. Stay clean, stay calm and stay kind!



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


Read full post

Designing a floor plan in your new home is a step that is frequently overlooked. However, it is essential to create a floor plan for your new home before you move.  Not only is it the step that saves you money on moving day, it also transforms a new house into your new home.


If you have a plan for where each piece of furniture will be placed in your new home, you will save time and money on moving day. The movers will not be rearranging your furniture for hours while on the clock. Sadly, the easy act of creating a floor plan before a move is a rarity. If you are not an interior designer it can be extremely challenging to know how to create a floor plan and envision a layout for your new home.

Here are seven steps to create a well-designed floor plan:

1. Edit

Edit your furniture. Move only pieces you love and use. Now is the time to get rid of furniture. You want your new home to look open and feel fresh. Give items that you no longer love to the Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, a family member, or sell at a consignment store.

2. Measure

Once edited, measure your key pieces. You don’t need to measure every piece of furniture, just the large items like sofas, beds and main tables.

3. Take a Field Trip 

With furniture measurements in hand, take a trip to your new home. Stand in each room and think about how you are going to use each space. Rooms will be used more often if they have multiple purposes. For instance, a living room can be both for entertaining and a family game room, and a guest room can double as a home office.

4. Don’t Rush

Walk around the new home. Experience the light in each room at different times of the day and if possible on different days. Think about how you want to use each room and what will be the focal point of each room.

5. Take Note

Once you have a purpose and a feel for each room, it’s time to make a sketch. Draw a rough sketch of the room and jot down measurements. Note locations of electrical outlets, windows, light switches, chandeliers. This information will help you place furniture and décor later. Be sure to measure the path of entry to be sure big furniture items will fit through doorways, halls, and stairs.

6. Play & Design

Another way to get ready for the move is to make templates of the large furniture pieces on butcher-block paper. Move the templates around and play with them, rearranging them in different places of the room, until you find a layout that feels right. Then adjust to these pro rules:

 - Think about where you want to look in each room. At the fireplace, the view, TV? Face the furniture to work with this focal point.

 - Figure out where you want the bigger pieces and then build around them.

 - If you can, place dressers in the bedroom closets to open up space in the bedroom.

 - Leave an open welcoming path into each room. For example, do not have the back of a sofa facing the entrance to a living room.

 - Think about seat heights. A dining chair is taller than a lounge chair. You want chairs and a sofa to be at the same level in a sitting area.

 - Leave at least 18 inches to walk around beds. If guest rooms are not large, a queen bed will make the room appear bigger.

 - Use rugs to define areas. For instance, define a reading space in the living room with a separate rug. Be sure to make note of where rugs go so the movers can lay them down first in the correct locations.

7. Sketch & Post

Now that you have figured out where you want each large piece of furniture, complete your sketches. Tape the drawings of each room layout in the rooms. The movers will know where to place the furniture.


Congrats, you have a plan and the fun part is just beginning! At the end of move day, you will be walking into a home that fits you. The furniture staples will be placed just where you want and need them and now you get to add the décor accents! Furniture is like a wardrobe, dress it up with seasonal throw pillows, side tables, and other accessories. You want to feel happy when you walk into each room. With the layout done now you can make your new home your happy place.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter



Read full post

When it comes time to sell your home, you need to keep one thing in mind: buyers don’t want to see or feel you in the house. What we mean is that buyers are looking for a blank slate that they can envision making their very own. They don’t want your family pictures, unique style, or lived-in look. Instead, they want a house that represents endless opportunities.

How do you make this happen? How do you get YOU out of the house when staging a home for sale? Think about giving your home a hotel vibe. It’s one of the most successful ideas because it’s all about making your home into anyone’s house. Staging your home so that it feels like a hotel will help you sell it faster and for more money. But what does this look like?  To ensure you have that hotel vibe, you’ll need to go through your home room-by-room and focus on a few key areas.

Make a Glamorous Entrance

The entrance of your home is your one and only chance to make a great first impression, so you’ll want to make your entrance look and feel like a hotel lobby. If you have room, consider adding an elegant table with artfully arranged flowers. You’ll also want to keep it clear of clutter to ensure that it creates a welcoming feeling.

Create Plush and Lush Bedrooms

Bedrooms are typically the most personal rooms in a home, and so, they should be depersonalized as much as possible. Remove all personal items from dressers and nightstands. It’s even a good idea to half-empty your closet so that it looks neat, clean, and larger than normal.

In addition to cleaning up, you’ll also want to transform your bedroom with plush bedding that’s reminiscent of a hotel room. Think white linens with throw pillows and crisp lines. It should feel like a hotel room from the moment they walk in the door.

Clean Up the Bathrooms

Just as with the bedrooms, the bathrooms should sparkle and shine. You don’t want potential buyers to walk into your bathroom and think anything other than, “This looks wonderful.”

When staging your home for sale, your bathrooms should look brand new. This means emptying out cabinets and drawers of any toiletries and miscellaneous items. You should also allow a small budget for repainting, changing out old fixtures, and resurfacing countertops.

As for the towels and décor, only use brand new items that are perfectly spotless and would look appropriate in a hotel. Every bathroom should feel like an oasis.

Focus on the Kitchen

All successful ideas start in the kitchen. That’s because a kitchen, if done beautifully, can get you more than your asking price while an ignored kitchen can kill a sale just as quickly.

The good news is that updating your kitchen doesn’t require a complete remodel. Small changes can make a big difference. To get started:

· Remove clutter from countertops until they’re completely clear.

· Clean all appliances and replace old, worn-out equipment.

· Clear all dishes and keep them neatly stacked out of sight.

· Organize every single drawer, removing extra items.

· Empty out the pantry and fridge until only a few food staples remain in neat rows.

Clean and de-clutter your kitchen until it wouldn’t look out of place on a food show. Only then are you ready to put your house up for sale.

Tips and Tricks for Overall Décor

What about the rest of your house? There are quite a few things you can do to create that hotel vibe everywhere.

Bring in Light: Maximize the light throughout your home by removing drapes, cleaning windows, changing lampshades, and increasing bulb wattage.

Choose the Right Colours: Don’t slather your walls and furniture with bright, bold colours. Instead, follow the examples of upscale hotels with neutral palettes of warm gray, taupe, brown, and even black.

Create More Space: Add large mirrors and use appropriately proportioned furniture to create the illusion of more space in tight quarters.

Don’t Forget the Exterior: Don’t forget the outside of your home. Transform your back deck into a cozy outdoor living area, and make sure your front yard leaves a good first impression with a spruced-up yard, fresh exterior paint, and pops of colour.

You don’t need a big budget or a brand-new home to create one that feels and looks like a hotel. All you need is a little bit of know-how and some elbow grease and anything is possible.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

 

 

How to Captivate Home Buyers by Capturing a

Hotel Vibe

 

Read full post

Advice for first-time homeowners on areas where spending a little bit more is likely to pay off in the long-run. From valuable aesthetic updates in key areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and living room to installing smart heating systems and insulation to prioritize energy efficiency, these tips will leave you inspired to make the most out of your first home update.


Replace flooring


Flooring has the power to change a room entirely, so it should go without saying that this is an essential aspect of the home where you should consider spending a little extra. Since flooring in areas such as the hallway, kitchen and bathroom is likely to undergo high footfall traffic, your material choice should always look to combine durability with that visual wow-factor where possible.


When it comes to updating your flooring, choose neutral colours to create a luxe look that goes the distance. Generally, neutral colours offer you the freedom to change your furniture or accessories without updating all the fixtures and fittings in the process, and will even allow you to keep up with trends as they change.


Whether you’re opting for some stylish, large format floor tiles which offer a contemporary touch in the kitchen or some hardwood flooring which adds warmth to your living room, quality flooring is a great way to add personality to a new space from the off – meaning showing your floors a little TLC should be high up on your list of investment priorities.


Update key areas of the home


As the hub of the home where friends and family alike come together to relax, the living room is the best place to start when it comes to fixtures and fittings. Lighting can have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic in your living room – so it’s worth spending a little bit more on lamps or downlighters to add that cozy, homely touch to the lounge.

Additionally, art is a great way to change the ambiance in your living room, so choosing pieces with comfort and calmness in mind is a great way to add a tranquil theme that makes you feel right at home from the get-go.


Naturally, ensuring your bathroom looks fresh, well maintained and hygienic is important when moving into any new home. Modern or high tech touches are an effective way to add an extra luxe appeal, so consider investing in a rain shower or waterfall taps to create a relaxing oasis that washes away the stresses of moving and unpacking.


Elsewhere in the home, high-end fittings such as granite or quartz worktops are practical choices that will go the

distance. Though these may be a high investment initially, investing in durable, hard-wearing and practical materials in areas of frequent use ensures longevity and, as such, a great return on your investment in the long-run. 


Invest in quality furniture


Nothing makes a house feel like home quite like furniture – after all, furniture is the most effective way of adding character to any space. When opting for your style, try to prioritize items that will stand the test of time, as this will ensure your first few years in your new home isn’t spent constantly renovating in-line with the latest trends.


When choosing timeless furniture, wood is often the first material which springs to mind. While solid wood is often more expensive than other types, it boasts a distinctive aesthetic and durability that will look great year after year. Whether you’re purchasing an oak cabinet for the living room or some luxury walnut bedroom cabinets, solid wood is an effective way to add a high-end, comforting appeal to your home.


Prioritize energy efficiency


Energy efficiency is now one of the highest priorities for homeowners as it can make a significant difference in the cost of utility bills. While adding energy-efficient features may be a large initial investment, the sooner you start making the changes, the greater your savings will be – so we recommend optimizing your new home right away.


Some essential areas to evaluate energy efficiency are the boiler and the loft. Poorly insulated lofts can be a major cause of energy wastage, even if all of your other appliances are in premium condition. If appliances such as your boiler aren’t in a premium condition, however, this could only add more costs to your energy bills, particularly if it breaks down during the winter months.


To keep track of your heating usage and spot issues early, a smart heating system is a great way to monitor your spending. Smart heaters allow you to add more thermostats and controls to different rooms, including hot water and heating – making this a logical investment for any first home.




Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

Read full post

On the journey to selling your home, it can be all too easy to focus solely on finding your new dream property and forget to ensure the home you leave behind is a dream property for its next inhabitants. Creating a beautiful living space that you’ll soon be leaving may seem counterproductive, but the good news is giving your home some targeted TLC before selling can increase its value at a time when that matters most.


A blank canvas color palette


Pale, muted and earthy shades are widely acknowledged as appealing to potential buyers due to being stripped-back and, as a result, boundless in potential. Without a bold, imposing color scheme limiting their imagination, prospective buyers will be able to effortlessly picture themselves living in the space.


A neutral color palette is particularly at home in the bathroom, which should be designated as a space for peaceful, uninterrupted relaxation. Calming shades such as white, cream and beige are ideal for creating that all-important atmosphere of zen – and with any luck, potential buyers will feel their worries melt away the moment they first set foot in your blank canvas bathroom.


Vertical storage space maximized


In smaller homes, storage space is at a premium – and even if your property is a reasonable size, there’s no denying the appeal of extra storage options that don’t impose on the living space itself.


In the bathroom, your best bet is to unlock the potential of your available vertical space – introducing new hanging storage baskets, wall-mounted hooks and rails, and floating shelves, all of which are as affordable as they are effective. With these simple storage additions, you can create an utterly clutter-free space where everything has its right place – guaranteed to go down a storm with prospective buyers.


A striking statement bathtub


Introducing a distinctive statement feature to your home is interior design 101 – and the bathroom is a particularly effective space for putting this idea into action. To promptly dial up your bathroom’s aesthetic from perfectly adequate to unmistakably premium, invest in a sumptuous statement bath that immediately catches the eye.


Free-standing bathtubs, in particular, add instant opulence to any bathroom, conjuring images of tranquil living in the lap of luxury. If your property can make a promise as powerful as that, finding a buyer shouldn’t be a problem.


Radiant lighting fixtures


The right lighting is the key to the right ambience, and ambience isn’t something that can be neglected in a relaxation station like the bathroom. In keeping with your understated yet elegant aesthetic, you can increase your bathroom’s appeal further still by illuminating the space with gently glowing sconces, under-cabinet or over-shelf lighting, an industrial-look pendant lamp or a combination of the lot if you’re open to something a little more eclectic.


Of course, the ultimate bathroom lighting solution is to introduce a skylight, bathing the entire space in rejuvenating natural light. This will mean a far greater financial investment on your part, but is likely to pay dividends when the time comes to sell your home.


Premium extras aplenty


With your neutral color palette, vertical storage options, statement bathtub and luxurious light fixtures firmly in place, all that’s left is to ice the cake – by which we mean put the finishing touches on your irresistible bathroom.


From elegant wall mirrors and dainty cabinets to a fashionable and functional backsplash behind the basin or in the shower, the options are practically endless when it comes to accessorizing your way to a bathroom any prospective buyer will be happy to pay more for the luxury of living in.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matters

Read full post
The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRA's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA).
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.