The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays


The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

It’s officially November! Cooler temperatures and the beginning of this new month mean it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season. Lucky for us, there’s a website that allows you to organize and get ready without the mess of written lists and pages of recipes torn from magazines.

 

To get a head start, check out our Pinterest pages, where we have a collection of tips and tricks for all the great times ahead. These pages are filled with fall and winter decor, DIYs, crafts for kids, seasonal recipesThanksgiving ideas, and many other wonderful ways to celebrate the holidays. Here’s a small sampling of what you can find there…

The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

The Time is Now: How to Prepare for the Holidays

Special Function Rooms Make a Comeback


Special Function Rooms Make a Comeback

According to the most recent AIA Home Design Trends Survey published by the American Institute of Architects, special function rooms are back in demand! This survey covers activity during the second quarter of 2014 and the results show a resurgence of interest and investment in these types of rooms.

 

Specifically, the survey revealed that outdoor living rooms, home offices, mud rooms, and au pair/in-law suites, all considered to be “special function rooms,” are all on the rise. Media rooms and home theaters seem to be experiencing a general decline, but still hold strong in some markets. Even if you’re not a fan of rooms like these, the upward trend shows a renewed confidence in homebuilding and the housing market.

 

“Special function rooms, which often disappeared from homes during the downturn in an effort to manage housing costs and add flexibility to how households used their homes, are now reappearing,” the article reports. “This resurgence of interest in home design has helped revive business conditions at residential architecture firms nationally.”

 

Sounds like great news to us. Don’t forget, you can search any time for the rooms you desire most using our keyword and advanced search!

 

Pictured property: 6797 Reims Court, Frisco

Room Re-Do: Updated Cottage Living Room


On this edition of Room Re-Do, we took on the gorgeous, cozy living room at 6716 Chevy Chase Ave., a new listing in Dallas. The hardwood flooring and light gray walls allow the beautiful furniture in this space to pop.

 

All of the pieces come together to provide a coherent look that we’re calling “updated cottage.” From the gold bar cart and white coffee table to the navy rug and the wingback chair, this living room is exemplifies the right way to mix feminine and masculine.

Room Re-Do: Updated Cottage Living Room1. Bar Cart 2. Abstract Art 3. Navy Rug 4. Wingback Chair 5. Tall Barstool 6. Leather Couch 7. Side Table 8. Tall Lamp 9. Swivel Chair 10. Coffee Table

 

Preparing for a Power Outage


Preparing for a Power Outage

With all the storms brewing around us recently, we thought it might be a good time to remind you how to prepare for and deal with a power outage. Power outages are a year-round concern, but taking extra caution as the winter months approach is always a good idea. Here are some tips for weathering a blackout.

 

Perishable Food: If an outage lasts for 2 hours or less, you don’t need to be concerned about your perishable food. During longer outages, grab a cooler, or buy an inexpensive styrofoam one to have on hand, and fill it with ice and the food you’re worried about losing. Cooler temperatures help preserve food longer.

-An unopened fridge will keep food cold for around 4 hours. An unopened freezer can keep food cold anywhere from 24-48 hours. The key is to keep the doors closed as much as possible.

 

Blackout Box: Create a kit- it doesn’t all actually have to fit inside one box -filled with items to help you get through the outage. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the items are. Here’s what the Blackout Box should have in it:

-Water: 1 gallon per person, per day

-Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (think granola, protein bars, dried fruit, crackers, dry cereal, nuts, and canned beans).

-Flashlights and extra batteries: Avoid using candles if you can since they can be dangerous.

-First aid kit: A prepackaged one can be bought at any local drugstore and many supermarkets.

-Medications: If you or a family member requires medication, makes sure to have a few days supply on hand.

-Multi-purpose tool: A Swiss Army knife is a very functional buy.

-Sanitation and personal hygiene items: Toilet paper, paper towels, and other necessary items should always be stocked up.

-Emergency contact information: Create a list of personal emergency contact numbers as well as numbers for local emergency centers.

-Bonus: Solar Panel Charger: If you have one of these it can really come in handy, even if it’s just powerful enough to keep a cell phone charged.

 

During a Power Outage:

 -Turn off and unplug any sensitive electrical equipment. Surges and spikes can cause harm when the power comes back on.

-Leave at least one light turned on so you know when the power returns.

-Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car since traffic lights will likely be out and roads will be overcrowded.

-Be extremely careful with carbon monoxide. Never use a generator, grill or any other propane gas, natural gas, or charcoal-burning products inside your home.

 

For more information on how to deal with power outages, as well as floods, fires, and other inclement weather, click here to the American Red Cross website.

6 Methods to Makeover Your Master


A home is an ever-evolving project. As our styles change and the years go by, it’s easy to get the itch to update your home and bring it up to speed. If you’re looking for a change-up or a way to fall back in love with your master bedroom, take a look at the tips below.

6 Methods to Makeover Your MasterAdd Seating: A little extra seating can go a long way, visually and practically. Even just adding a bench or a single chair brings new style and an additional function to the room

Pictured: 10427 Lennox Lane, Dallas

6 Methods to Makeover Your MasterChange the Bedding: Some colorful pillows or a new duvet can be inexpensive ways to get a fresh new look

Pictured: 1117 Gannon Drive, Plano

6 Methods to Makeover Your MasterHeadboard: Adding or changing your headboard completely changes your bed. Plus, they come in every color, shape, and size, and style

Pictures: 1008 Colony St., Flower Mound

6 Methods to Makeover Your MasterNew Rug: Whether you have carpet or hardwood flooring, a rug really works to tie a bedroom together, especially if your master is large.  A rug adds texture and focus

Pictured: 5543 Morningside Ave., Dallas

6 Methods to Makeover Your MasterPaint: A fresh coat of paint is another relatively inexpensive way to give your room a reboot

Pictured: 1915 Cresson Drive, Southlake

6 Methods to Makeover Your MasterLighten Up: New lamps and lighting add ambiance to a master bedroom. Be bold and explore new colors and shapes, not everything has to be matchy-matchy.

Pictured: 3805 Sonya Drive, Plano

 

The Best of Halloween 2014


The countdown is officially on for Halloween! Whether you’re getting dressed up, decked out, or just waiting for adorable trick-or-treaters, there’s something for everyone to get excited about this year.

 

We’re rounding up all of the hottest trends in costumes, home decor, recipes, DIY’s, and more on our Pinterest board so that you can have the best Halloween yet! Click here to see it all.

The Best of Halloween 2014

27 At-Home Activities for Fall Fun


Whether you live alone, with family, or with friends, it’s time to celebrate the new season! Fall has many iconic traditions, but we’re willing to bet our list will bring new ones into your home.

 

Have some fun this fall with the activities below! Free free to print out this list and check off items as you go. To see more fall ideas, head to our Fall and Halloween Pinterest boards.

27 At-Home Activities for Fall Fun

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home


Whether you’re selling now, planning to sell in the future, or just want peace of mind, there are always things you can do to improve the value of your home.

 

Check out this list of 15 items that will attract buyers and make the place you call home that much more special.

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Home Office: Technology has made it possible for more and more people to work out of their homes. By updating your home office or designating a space to a new one, you show your homes full potential.

(Pictured: 9226 Hathaway St., Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Master Suite: A master bedroom with its own bathroom has become an expected amenity these days. If you don’t have one, try to find the budget and space to create a master suite. If you do, focus on amplifying storage space.

(Pictured: 3210 Carlisle St. 51H, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Family Room: Everyone’s looking for a comfortable, open space to fill with family and friends. Make sure your room looks this way by drawing attention to windows and natural light. A fireplace is almost always a plus.

(Pictured: 9029 Broken Arrow Lane, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Kitchen: This space can make or break your home. As long as you stay reasonable with materials and design, you’re going to get your money back and then some on a kitchen remodel.

(Pictured: 6601 La Cosa Drive, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Bathroom: Have you ever heard of a home having too many bathrooms? How about too few? If your home has fewer bathrooms than bedrooms or no bathroom on the main floor, think about adding another full or half-bath. Additionally, if you have an old, dingy bathroom, consider an update that is simple and clean.

(Pictured: 5418 Deer Brook Road, Garland)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Windows: Did you know that, on average, 30% of your home’s energy is lost through its windows? If your windows are in bad shape or you’re looking to impress buyers, upgrade to energy efficient windows that will last and save the future owners money for years to come.

(Pictured: 9836 Gooding Drive, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Basement: Though it’s not the most common feature in DFW, a basement can add a major value to your home. If the ceilings aren’t too low a basement can be the ideal space for an office, playroom, media room, or spare bedroom.

(Pictured: 12541 Renoir Lane, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Deck: Outdoor space is at a premium these days. On average, the addition of a deck brings a 76% return on investment. Typically, they’re not too expensive to build and they create an entirely new living space.

(Pictured: 11120 FM 678, Whitesboro)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Landscaping: An overgrown and poorly maintained yard isn’t appealing to anyone. Liven things up with some color, height, and possibly a designated seating and/or entertaining space.

(Pictured: 3612 Villanova St., University Park)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Paint: A few coats of paint is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to update your home. If you’re selling, keep things light and neutral so that buyers can easily image their things in your space.

(Pictured: 1314 Cardinal Creek Drive, Duncanville)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Flexibility: Your house is yours to make your own, but if you think you may sell in the future try not to over-customize. Again, buyers need to be able to see themselves and their things working in your home, so try not to pigeonhole your spaces.

(Pictured: 9629 Whitehurst Drive, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Blending: When adding an addition, choose materials that blend well with the existing house. Carry over design elements from the original house in order to create a flawless transition.

(Pictured: 9610 El Patio Drive, Dallas)

14 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

^Exterior: Though we’ve been told to do otherwise, people do judge homes based on curb appeal and first impressions. Put the best foot forward by sprucing up your home’s roof, exterior paint, siding, and garage doors.

(Pictured: 5715 Wortham Lane, Dallas)

Get Your Home Ready for Fall


home-improvement-2

Cool fall breezes and cold winter months will be here before we know it! When it comes to your home, it is always best to be mindful of necessary upkeep with every changing season. Even though fall isn’t here quite yet, now is a good time to be proactive about keeping your home protected.

 

Here’s a basic checklist to get you going:

 

Exterior Items:

-Roof: Inspect your roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles. Repair the ones that need it to keep the cold and precipitation out.

-Gutters and Downspouts: Clear these of leaves and debris and check them for proper alignment. You want to make sure water can flow through and that it drains away from your home and foundation.

-Plumbing: If you have leaks or you’ve noticed plumbing issues, get them checked out and winterize the pipes that are exposed to the outdoors.

-Trees: Winter means snow, ice, and weight on your trees. Inspect your property for damaged branches and cut back limbs to at least 2 feet from your roof line.

 

Interior Items:

-Heat: Inspect your furnace, water heater, and air ducts. If you notice any issues, now is the time to have them fixed. It’s also a good time to switch out your air filters.

-Windows: Check for cracks, gaps, damaged trim, and broken glass. All of these can let the heat out and the cold in. Caulk, weather strip, and repair where needed. The same goes for doors.

-Detectors: Cooler months mean the heat is on and the fire is roaring, so you should check and replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors that keep you safe.

-Fire Extinguisher: As with detectors, this is the perfect time to test your fire extinguisher to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged.

-Fireplace: Check for soot build-up and schedule a chimney sweep if you haven’t had one in a while.

-Stock up: Ice and snow also mean power line issues. Make sure you have working flashlights in your house just in case.

-Attic: A quick look around the attic can reveal moisture or leaks that you may not have noticed from the outside. Have these fixed where necessary.

-Basement: The same tips for the attic also apply here.

Room Re-Do: Sweet, Serene Nursery


On this edition of Room Re-Do we took on the adorable nursery at 5543 Morningside Ave. in Dallas’ M Streets neighborhood. Designed in brown and white with pops of pink, the pieces in this space could easily transition into a little boy’s nursery as well.

 

Take a look at the links below to get the look of this cozy, chic room for your little one.

Room Re-do: Sweet, Serene Nursery1. Giraffe 2. Bookshelf (with optional baskets) 3. Silver frames 4. Iron crib 5. Swivel rocker 6. Ottoman 7. Pouf 8. Lamb rocker 9. Hamper 10. Rug