Tips for Flawless Outdoor Entertaining


Candle and string lights outdoor dinner

 

Summer will be here before we know it, which means longer nights and warmer weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips that will help things run smoothly.

 

Prepare your yard

Tidy up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses or toys.

 

Choose the right seating

Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.

 

Keep guests comfortable

Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. Have ample shade coverage and consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab — think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans and iced spray bottles.

 

Plan a simple menu

Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and will withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.

 

Add lighting

Outdoor globe lights, lanterns and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.

 

Play relaxed tunes

Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Create a long enough playlist to avoid repeating songs too many times while guests are there.

 

Display fresh cuts

Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.

 

Offer activities

Providing lawn games like cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.

 

Keep pests away

Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.

 

Create a beverage station

Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and plenty of ice.

 

Opt for melamine

Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce waste and also keep the area clear of lingering paper cups and plates.

 

Visit ebby.com to view all of the extraordinary outdoor patios on the market that are begging to have you as a host.

10 Media Rooms for Super Bowl Sunday


It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, and the biggest game of the year calls for an incredible game-day experience.

 

Whether you’ll be watching for the athletic excellence or for the over-the-top commercials, this Sunday’s game between the Rams and the Patriots offers the ultimate excuse to include a beautiful new media room on your home-shopping wish list.

 

Here’s a few spectacular North Texas media rooms where you could soon be enjoying the next big game.

 

1 Braewood

39 Braewood PlaceGlen Abbey | $3,999,000

 

2 Granada

2021 Granda Trail | Westlake | $2,799,950

 

960

6326 Carrington Drive | North Dallas | $2,249,000

 

4 Stone Cliff

5608 Stone Cliff Court | Far North Dallas | $1,950,000

 

5 Rochester

800 Rochester Lane | Southlake | $1,899,000

 

6 Sea Side

537 Sea Side Lane | McKinney | $1,795,000

 

7 Purdue

4915 Purdue AvenueBluffview | $1,350,000

 

8 Wainsborough

18712 Wainsborough Lane | Far North Dallas | $1,280,000

 

9 Audubon

6903 Audubon Drive | Parker | $1,280,000

 

10 Vistaview

4101 Vistaview Court | Arlington | $950,000

 

To see more exceptional media rooms and view all of the North Texas homes for sale, visit ebby.com.

Love Where You Live: Colonial-Style Gem


204 N College Street - Thumbnail - 1280x720p
 
Situated in McKinney, this charming 1920s Colonial-style home offers an abundance of appealing features including hardwood flooring, shiplap ceilings, custom crown molding and an outdoor terrace overlooking a beautiful backyard perfect for entertaining. With its newly renovated bathrooms and improved features, this house is hard not to love. If we haven’t piqued your interest yet, watch the video below to fall in love and see more.
 
Need-to-know Numbers:
 
• 204 N. College Street
• $450,000
• 4 bedrooms
• 2 full baths
• 1,698 square feet

8 Media Rooms for the Ultimate Super Bowl Sunday


It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, and the biggest game of the year calls for the ultimate game-day experience. Whether you’ll be watching for the awe-inspiring athletic excellence or for the over-the-top commercials, this Sunday’s game between the Patriots and the Falcons offers the ultimate excuse to include a beautiful new media room on your home-shopping wish list. Here’s just a few of the spectacular North Texas media rooms where you could soon be enjoying the next big game.

 
Media Rooms
1708 Cliffview Drive | Plano | $2,950,000Media Rooms
1312 Fanning Street | Southlake | $2,680,000
Media Rooms
5242 Buena Vista Drive | Frisco | $2,500,000
Media Rooms
6524 Old Gate Road | Plano | $2,495,000
Media Rooms
1000 Lexington Terrace | Southlake | $1,695,000
Media Rooms
1201 Earlston Court | Southlake | $1,679,900
Media Rooms
5666 Lakeshore Drive | Frisco | $799,900
Media Rooms
304 Vatican Hill Drive | Little Elm | $469,000

Special Ways to Make Your Guests Feel at Home


Holiday Guests

 

The holiday season is just beginning, and that means there’s a good chance you might be hosting family or friends. Here are some quick tips that will make your guests feel extra special during their stay.

 

1. Cheat sheet

Create a home cheat sheet that provides your guests with the Wifi code, instructions to turn on the television, garage code, and anything else they may need. Be sure to include your address, landline number, and any emergency contact information.

 

2. Spare samples
Have tons of hotel freebies and sample products lying around the house? Put them all in a jar in the guest bathroom. Your guests will like the availability of extra products, especially if they may have forgotten something.

 

3. Flower power

Placing fresh flowers or plants in the guest room adds brightness and freshness that anyone will appreciate. Bonus points if your foliage is festive!

 

4. Cozy essentials

To create the ultimate retreat for your guests, put a basket in the corner with items that will make them extra comfortable. Think soft throw blankets, magazines, bottled water, snacks, and a reading light.

 

5. Freshen up

Make sure to leave extra towels and washcloths in the bathroom so guests can always use dry ones. An extra toothbrush is always a nice touch too.

 

6. Sense of smell

Adding a candle or diffuser to the guest suite is always a good idea. Be careful, however – not all guests love the smell of warm vanilla. It’s best to steer clear and find neutral scents – think fresh linen or the like. If you’re feeling extra fresh, a small bottle of room or linen spray is a great addition to the room.