Thursday, December 17, 2015

The 12 Colors of the Holidays

One of the joys of the holiday season is decorating. Whether it is traditional family ornaments or the latest trend, holiday decorations add sparkle and magic to the season. They turn family gatherings into something special!




This week we will take a look at color in holiday decorating with a few curated images of what we found to be the best of the season. Enjoy!


White is a favorite for the holidays. It is snowy and elegant and used on its own, makes a lavish statement. Trés chic!



















Red is a Christmas favorite. If you are lucky enough to have a head start with red room décor, red ornaments are a no-brainer! 

This dining room with classic architecture went bold and geometric with its decoration. The paper snowflakes are both modern in styling, but reminiscent of the paper snowflakes most of us made as children. Dramatic!













Blue is ever present for Christmas and Hanukkah. It is the magical color of star lit snow. This bold blue table setting would be a delight for either celebration!









Green is both a color and a philosophy, suggesting a more natural connection. 

Traditionally the decorations of Yule, where greenery symbolized the continuity of life, green branches of pine, holly and mistletoe lend themselves well to a simpler, more natural decorating style. 

Often used in classic decorating, often combined with red, and Victorian inspired design, these greens are visually pleasing and offer a wonderful natural aroma, too!








Purple may not be a traditional Christmas color, but it can make a visual impact! Playing off the wall color, this room with a purple theme is stunning, bold and very festive!

















Yellow, often mistakenly passed off as gold on some Christmas decorations, may not be a traditional Christmas color but in the American South, this yellow lemon wreath would certainly be a welcome sight to visitors!












Orange is another non-traditional color and quite frankly one I hadn’t considered until I saw this image. The rich warmth of the orange ornaments is certainly very welcoming!












Ivory is always a great choice for classical elegance. It has a warmth that stark white can’t offer. 

This table uses shades of ivory, off white and ecru to create a wonderful, rich and sophisticated setting.










Pink is another non-traditional Christmas color, but this fun tree inspired this post! 

With the all white interior of this space, the pink Christmas tree has a warm welcoming glow!
















Turquoise is often associated with the Southwest, summer and beaches. As a holiday color it is reminiscent of snowy shadows. 

This stylish mantel combines it with white that softly reflects and diffuses the turquoise for a variety of subtle tones.







Black is an unlikely color for Christmas, but for very modern or industrial styled spaces, it can be a powerful statement. These pretty ornaments would also work well with any color scheme to add depth and variety.


















Silver is a Christmas favorite. More than tinsel or garlands, silver is a versatile color that works for both modern and traditional settings. 

This pretty mantel decoration in all silver uses a variety of shapes and scale to create a wonderfully festive arrangement.







Gold is the grand master of holiday decorating. It can be paired with any other color to create richness and depth. 

On its own, the warmth of gold adds a magical glow to any space. 

This pretty package uses gold and texture to create a wonderfully luxurious gift presentation.











While each of these colors can help to create a memorable holiday display, a multi-colored Christmas is sure to please anyone!




We would like to wish you and your loved ones very 

Happy Holidays!


We hope to see you again in the New Year!




Friday, December 11, 2015

If You Freeze Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Winter officially arrives in just over a week. For some it arrived early and for lucky southerners, it may not come at all.




If you are selling your house in the winter, you may be tempted to procrastinate on property maintenance in the cooler weather. You may think that letting the next owner do the work is a good way to save a little money. Don't freeze now. It is never a good idea to let maintenance slip!

A house properly maintained for winter will show buyers that the house has probably been well maintained throughout your time there.

I always recommend starting from the top down, outside – and then inside.

There are two reasons for this:

1 It’s getting cold and you want the outside work complete before a winter storm hits

2 It is always better to start with the roof to avoid having any problems trickle down to the rest of the house.

Outside

 

The Structure

  • Inspect the roof. Check shingles, flashing, and eaves. Contact a roofer if needed.
  • HVAC – make an appointment to get exterior units serviced.
  • Inspect the gutters and downspouts and clean again, if needed now that all the leaves have fallen. Ensure drainage goes several feet away from your house’s foundation.
  • Inspect the caulking / weather-stripping. Seal any cracks around doors and windows that you missed in the fall.
  • Check the foundation for cracks. Repair if needed to avoid moisture penetration.
  • Inspect the siding for any cracks /bricks for loose bricks or mortar.
  • Clean the chimney; check the flue for proper functioning.
  • Inspect storm windows for any broken panes or missing glazing. Make sure they still fit well now that the weather has cooled off.

If you use a service for snow removal, confirm that everything is in order. 
Don't wait for the first storm!


The Landscaping


  • Trim trees – cut anything approaching the roof or windows. Make an appointment with a professional for any limbs near power lines.
  • Ensure all exterior lighting is functioning properly - essential for long winter nights!
  • Remove any damaged or dead plants.
  • Store garden hoses and turn off outdoor water.
  • Drain and turn off faucets and sprinkler systems. If you haven’t already done this in the fall, make sure there is no water in the pipes or irrigation system to keep lines from freezing and breaking.
  • Clean and store the mower and other garden tools.
  • Get the snow blower out and serviced, if needed.
  • Have shovels and sand, salt or gravel at the ready.


Inside


Heating Systems


  • Furnaces – make an appointment to get them serviced.
  • Replace duct filters
  • Hot water radiators: lubricate pump and motor. Bleed any air from radiators.
  • Forced Air Heaters - vacuum all grates.
  • Electric baseboards – vacuum all heat exchange surfaces.
  • Thermostats – vacuum sensors and contact points. Check that they are functioning.
  • Clean the humidifier
  • Reverse Ceiling Fans so that fan blades turn clockwise to circulate warm air that accumulates at the ceiling.


Access Points


  • Check the attic insulation. Escaping heat and air out of the top of your home can cause dangerous ice dams to form on your roof.
  • Look for any sign of leaks and be sure they are taken care of.
  • Garage Doors – Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks. Tighten all screws and bolts. Make sure all gaps are addressed to avoid water infiltration.
  • Check doors and windows for proper caulking.
  • Check for drafts at doors or windows. Get plastic insulation kits if needed.


Cleaning


  • Clean away all fall dirt from floors and carpets.
  • Clean windows as needed. Dirt blocks warming sunlight from entering.
  • Clean and store any fall gear.
  • Prepare mats for boots.
  • Put out the coat rack, if needed.


Safety


  • Vacuum smoke detectors and replace all batteries, if you missed this during the fall. Test them to make sure they work – especially if you have a fireplace or stove.
  • Check fire extinguishers for the servicing date.
  • Check any storm lanterns, battery operated radios for proper functioning.
  • Buy some extra batteries.
  • Check the supply of emergency candles and matches/lighters.
  
If you are putting your home on the market, the holidays can be a very stressful time. Most people are not focused on buying a house at this time of year. This may extend the time it takes to sell your property.
If selling during the holidays isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. We have a team of professionals able to assist you immediately.

Contact us for details.







Next time we will look at some seasonal decorating ideas.


So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!



Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.


Linda  623-335-2662







_____________
Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Ugly Truth About Boots

Selling a house at any time of year can be challenging. In many parts of the country, winter sales can be the toughest of all.



Difficult weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow can leave sellers with some very delicate hosting choices when it comes to letting strangers into their house.

The best way to properly receive people into your house is to have an advance plan of what your expectations are and what your visitors should be aware of.

Why on earth does this matter?

I remember once when I was looking at a property in the fall. That time of year, the streets were full of leaves. I was going to see a house that was somewhat out of my normal search area. That was fine because after the visit, I was going to a party in the general area. The whole “two birds with one car trip” thing. I dressed for the evening after deciding it best to dress and not return home.


So I went to see a house for sale in some vintage booties that had taken me almost twenty minutes to put on. They had buttons and loops that required a special tool, and some acrobatics, for fastening. 

I was rocking them with style!


I arrived at the house to learn that the owner expected people to remove their footwear because she had cream colored aubusson rugs throughout the house.


Under my breath I nearly lost it! Here was a seller who cared more about her carpets than selling her house!

I knew that if I removed my boots, I would not be able to put them back on without the tool.

While secretly I admired her conviction to keep her house clean, my visit was wasted because I could not see enough of the house from the entry to make the determination if I even wanted to go back on another day. I never did.

She lost any possibility of my offer. Just. Like. That.

It made me very curious as to why she didn’t discuss this beforehand. Had I known of this condition, I would certainly have visited on a day where I was wearing something easy to remove and appropriate.

So How Does A Seller Prepare For Winter Buyers?


Do a mental walk through of what will happen when a buyer visits.

  • Will there be a possibility of rain or snow?
  • Will they have to walk over mud, wet grass or leaves, sand or ice salt to get in your door?
  • Will you ask them to remove heavy boots, all footwear, or is your house weatherproof with a little post-visit mopping?
  • What if they come in with dripping umbrellas? Do you have a handy place ready to store them?
  • What about rain coats or winter coats? Do you have a place to hang them, or are you willing to drape potentially dripping garments over your sofa?
Decide prior to accepting a visit if you will have any conditions and make sure the buyers are aware.  It is better to get it out in the open, and give them advance notice than to have an awkward situation when they are already at your house!

Actions You Can Take To Make Visits Easier

  • Have an available chair near the entry to give buyers the choice to sit when removing footwear.
  • Keep mats handy to absorb any run-off. There is nothing worse that walking through puddles in stocking feet before going back outside!
  • If you don’t happen to have an umbrella stand, keep a small, clean bin available for wet umbrellas
  • Invite your buyers to remove their coats. It is to your advantage to make the process of leaving longer to give them more time to consider your house!
  • Make sure you have enough closet space with hangers, or a coat rack with the option of hangers. If that is just not possible in your house, place a polar throw on your sofa to keep water from penetrating into your upholstery, and drape the coats over that.


Ninja Tip


My last house was a heritage Victorian that was over a hundred years old. Sounds charming, but that also meant it came with some quirks. The electric meter was in the kitchen! A few times a year, the power company came to read it – just to confirm.

Even though the person coming to read the meter would remove rubber overshoes in the winter, his (dirty) construction boots were still wet! Yuck!

I got tired of rolling up Persian runners like a crazy fool and mopping for 15 minutes after a 2 minute visit!

There had to be a better way!

I realized watching some medical show that surgeons wore covers on their shoes. 


Brilliant!!!



I bought some shower caps at the dollar store and offered them to any visiting workmen as shoe covers.


Some of them even told me they would buy some too, because their wives always complained of dirt at home!

Moral of the story?

For about twenty cents, that woman may have sold her house to me!


So that is what I learned over the years about winter visits to houses. I would love to learn any tips or tricks you have discovered!

  
If you are putting your home on the market, the holidays can be a very stressful time. Most people are not focused on buying a house at this time of year. This may extend the time it takes to sell your property.
If selling during the holidays isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. We have a team of professionals able to assist you immediately.

Contact us for details.



Next time we will look at preparing your house for the winter.


So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!



Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.


Lynda  623-335-2662







_____________
Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory