Date Archives: November 2020

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November
23

How to Take Care of Indoor Plants in the Winter

Indoor Plants

There are so many benefits that come with keeping live plants in your home. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also improve your indoor air quality and make you feel good. Studies have shown that caring for plants can contribute to your overall well-being and reduce stress. 

If your plants live indoors, you might not think much about the change of season. However, even indoor plants need different care in the wintertime. We've asked a few of our brokers with green thumbs for their recommendations. Follow these tips, and you'll have happy plants all season long! 

  1. Let There Be Light
    Wintertime means shorter days, and the lack of light can impact both plants and people. Your plants are naturally going to receive less sun, and when the sun does come in, it comes at a lower angle. You'll want to make sure you put your plants in a spot where they'll get enough light to keep them happy and healthy. This may mean moving them from their current locations or even adding a grow-light. If you can, put them near a west or south-facing window where it's sunny most of the day. Make sure the windows are clean on the inside and outside so light can get through. You'll also want to carefully dust your plant's leaves, as dust can make it harder for them to absorb light. Each time you water, rotate your plants a little bit. This way, they'll grow evenly. 
  1. Keep it Humid
    Lack of humidity is a common problem plant-parents face during the winter months. Turning the heat on in your home can drop humidity levels to 10 to 20 percent, while most plants prefer levels around 50%. To combat this, start by clustering your plants together in groups. The water that they release from their leaves will create a natural humidity. If this doesn't do the trick, consider adding a humidifier or placing your plants on a tray with water and stones (make sure the pots are not sitting in the water). You can also mist your plants, but unless you do it multiple times a day, this may not be sufficient. Depending on the temperature and light conditions, you may want to consider moving your plants into the bathroom or kitchen, where they'll get extra humidity from the shower and/or from boiling water.
  1. Adjust Your Watering Schedule
    Although the air is drier in the winter, your indoor plants don't need more water! Many plants go dormant during the winter season, and over-watering can lead to deadly root rot. Be careful not to water every time the soil on the surface looks dry. Instead, poke your finger an inch or two below the surface and only water when the deeper levels feel dry. It is important, however, to make sure that you don't wait until the leaves start to droop or fall off. It's a great idea to read up on each plant's specific watering needs and adjust accordingly.
  1. Watch the Temperature
    Most indoor houseplants prefer daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees and nighttime lows above 50 degrees. To make sure your plants stay happy and healthy, you'll want to keep them far enough away from windows where they could experience cold drafts and from heat sources like ovens, fireplaces, or radiators. If you move your plants, try to do it slowly. Sudden fluctuations in temperature can be just as bad for your plants as prolonged periods of extreme cold or heat. 
  1. Put Them on a Diet
    Just like people, plants need to rest sometimes. Most types of houseplants go dormant in the winter, so fertilizing them will upset their natural cycle. When the spring comes, you'll notice your plants starting to perk up and create new growth. When this happens, you can give them a dose of fertilizer, which will give them a boost for the new growing season. 
  1. Beware of Pests
    Last but certainly not least, keep an eye out for pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats. Indoor winter conditions, including low light, turning on your heaters, and using a humidifier, all increase the chances that your plants might become home to unwelcome guests. 

Do you want to be in your dream home before winter is over? We're sure the perfect property is out there waiting for you! Contact us today to start exploring some of the best Seattle homes for sale!

November
16

National Espresso Day: Coffee Shops in Seattle

Coffee Shops Seattle

Does your day not truly begin before your first cup of coffee? When you live in the Seattle area, that's no problem! With National Espresso Day around the corner, now is a great time to find out all that your local coffee shops have to offer. Our brokers have the details on 8 of the best coffee shops around Seattle, where you can find your favorite hot drinks and so much more.

  1. Dubsea Coffee – 9910 8th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98106

    Searching for a neighborhood coffee shop close to Seattle homes for sale? Try Dubsea Coffee, where you'll find a warm, welcoming atmosphere at a shop that strives to make every visitor feel like a part of the neighborhood. Dubsea Coffee offers a delicious lineup of coffee, tea, espresso, and so much more. There's also a great selection of food available, brought in from some of your favorite local dining spots. 

  2. Union Coffee – 2407 E Union St. Suite B, Seattle, WA 98122

    Whether you're in the mood for a unique coffee creation or something simple and familiar, the team at Union Coffee has you covered. Enjoy a fresh lineup of new drinks for every season, along with specialty coffees that are always on the menu. There are plenty of espresso varieties available and a great selection of tea when you're in the mood for something different. You'll also find plenty of delightful homemade pastries and other treats to pair with your coffee.

  3. Seattle Sunshine Coffee – 5508 35th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105

    If you're looking for a coffee shop specializing in all things espresso, then Seattle Sunshine Coffee should be near the top of the list. The team at Seattle Sunshine Coffee is made up of espresso experts who know exactly how to create your favorite hot drinks. There's also a full lineup of tasty sandwiches, along with sweet treats from some of your favorite local bakeries.

  4. Slate Coffee Roasters – 602 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

    Interested in brewing your own espresso and coffee creations at home? Then be sure to check out the selection at Slate Coffee Roasters, which brings flavors from around the world directly to your door. Slate Coffee Roasters sells coffee beans, brewing equipment, and so much more, with subscription options available so that you'll always have something new to try.

  5. Elm Coffee Roasters – 240 2nd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98104

    With two cafes in Seattle and delivery options available anywhere in the city, you can always find fresh espresso at Elm Coffee Roasters. You can order a wide variety of coffee-related products online from Elm Coffee Roasters, including brewing equipment and coffee from around the world. Or you can stop by the shop for an expertly crafted drink from a team that truly knows and loves their coffee.

  6. Caffe Vita Roasting Co. – 1005 E Pike St., Seattle, WA 98122

    In the mood for cold brew? Caffe Vita Roasting Co. has you covered, with boxed cold brew on tap that you can enjoy anytime from the comfort of home. Caffe Vita has 8 coffee shops located throughout the Seattle area, making it easy to find an espresso anywhere in the city. Or you can order from the online shop, where you'll find professional-quality brewing equipment along with an extensive collection of coffee and tea.

  7. Third Culture Coffee – 80 102nd Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

    When you're craving coffee close to Bellevue homes for sale, make the quick trip to Third Culture Coffee. With a full lineup of ethically sourced coffees, delicious teas, and coffee-infused cocktails, Third Culture Coffee has the right drink for every occasion. Third Culture's flagship location in Bellevue is filled with locally created art and a friendly staff that loves to serve your favorite drinks.

  8. Mercurys Coffee Co. – 8506 122nd Ave. NE, Kirkland, WA 98033

    Mercurys Coffee Co. is located near Kirkland homes for sale, with convenient online ordering so that your coffee is always waiting for you when you arrive at the shop. All of the coffee sold at Mercurys is 100 percent organic, and Mercurys locations have won "Best in Western Washington" awards year after year. 

Living in the Seattle area means that you're never far from your next great cup of coffee, and our team is here to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

November
10

Alternative Thanksgiving Side Dish Options

turkey day side dishesI recently came across an article that showed the most popular turkey day side dish by state. The standard fare dominated: Mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, stuffing, cranberries, etc. The map was a clever way to show holiday food trends, and a nice change of pace from the voting maps we've obsessively stared at. (I also saw a map that showed where it's legal to have a pet kangaroo…)

As far as Thanksgiving is concerned, there's got to be more than mashed potatoes and green beans and stuffing! Yes, I am that person who likes to indulge in something different, and I know I'm not alone. So, without further ado, here are some unique and flavorful alternatives to try alongside your turkey this year (or ham or chicken or pork, if that's your thing).

Coconut Creamed Greens. Earthy and hardy, the cooling coconut milk paired with hot chile make this a surprising contrast of flavors.

Old-School Squash Casserole. Buttery and rich, this Southern staple is kicked up a notch with seldom-used yellow squash and creamy sauce.

Vegan Pumpkin Basil Pinwheels. These super-cute and quick snacks are a real crowd-pleaser, and…pumpkin.

Frisée Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. If you're looking for a lighter option, this scrumptious salad incorporates perfectly poached eggs and a sweet and savory dressing.

Sea Island Crab Fried Rice. This coastal take on holiday fare pairs sweet crabmeat with rick, bacon and sauteed vegetables.

Rosemary Quinoa Mac and Cheese. Break tradition with this alternative dish packed with protein and a cauliflower-based sauce.

Mashed Ginger Carrots. A touch of ginger paste and butter transforms boiled carrots into a fragrant and vibrant sub for mashed potatoes.

Seared Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme. A savory side that can stand alone, the magic of mushrooms is awakened with this simple recipe.

Many of us have honed our cooking skills during this crazy year, so it's time to be bold. Try something new, and bon appétit!

November
9

Staging Your Home During the Holiday Season

Holiday Season Home Staging

Staging your home is as important as ever when it comes to homes for sale. Staging has a valuable role to play in traditional showings and virtual ones.

A well-staged property has the potential to sell faster and claim a higher closing price. Our brokers use staging as part of our commitment to get our clients great results.

One of the most valuable aspects of staging is that it allows potential buyers to imagine their own future life in the home. Creating the right mood means striking a balance: As the seller, you can't be in the way, but the home must still look welcoming – that is, as if someone lives there.

Never is that balance more vital (or trickier) than during the holiday season.

The Best Ways to Stage Your Home for Selling During the Holidays

Opinions and backgrounds differ, of course, but most people have strong positive feelings around the holiday season. It's a wonderful time to come together in a spirit of giving and joy. With the right approach, you can harness that positivity within your own staged home.

But what's the best way to do it without going overboard?

These proven home staging techniques can help:

  1. Always Start with Cleaning
    No matter what, cleaning is always step one for staging a home. That should include decluttering floors, emptying closets at least halfway, and doing a deep cleaning of carpets and upholstery. That ensures better indoor air and prevents pet odors or allergens from bothering your visiting buyers.
  2. Maximize Your Curb Appeal
    Curb appeal sets expectations for the rest of the home. Make sure the lawn is cut and free of debris as you would in all seasons. Consider emphasizing the pathway up to the door using decorative shrubs, paving stones, or – yes – just a hint of simple lights outlining the way.
  3. Make Your Front Door Welcoming
    Your door is the true beginning of the buyer's journey, so make it count. This is the perfect place for a nice, fresh wreath – go with live plants over plastic – or a decorative bow. A welcome mat is also key, but choose something appropriate for all seasons.
  4. Consider the Temperature
    Think seriously about the time of day and climate as you're getting your home ready. There's nothing quite as comforting as a warm home on a cold day. If you have one, set the fireplace. Warm refreshments, such as holiday cider, can also create an enjoyable atmosphere that reflects well on your home.
  5. Create a Festive Atmosphere
    When it comes to decorations, less may be more – but that doesn't have to mean none! Subtle touches like a tasteful wreath or a bowl of pinecones are always nice to see. And now is the time for one of the most beloved staging tools of all: Fresh holiday cookies baking in the oven.
  6. Match Decorations to Current Décor
    Tinsel, icicles, and tasteful holiday balls are all fair game for decorating a home that's on the market. To maximize flair, be sure the decorations you select either closely match or gently complement your existing décor. If in doubt, always aim to create a soothing environment to "come in from the cold."
  7. Draw the Eye with Strategic Touches
    It's a wise idea to pare down the trimmings before buyers arrive. That heightens the visual impact of what's left and allows you to use elements in more creative ways. For example, a spring of mistletoe might draw the eye to a beautiful arched doorway, or a small display could accentuate the views of a bay window.
  8. Break Out the Simple String Lighting
    Light displays are an iconic part of the holidays, but they can be distracting when buyers are touring a home. Simple string lighting is a good compromise: It provides a little light and serves the same function as tinsel in outlining the things you'd like buyers to take a good look at.
  9. Show Off Your Tree
    Worried about the tree? It can make a terrific impression if it meshes with the space it's in. Be wary of broad-based trees that can take up too much floor space and make the room seem smaller. Decorate tastefully with simple glass ornaments and lights, and keep the present pile discreet.

Spring and summer make up the traditional "high season" for real estate. But just because the weather is cold, it doesn't mean the market can't be hot! Contact us to find out more today.

November
2

Local Art Galleries to Explore in Portland

Portland Art Galleries

Did you know that National Go to an Art Museum Day takes place every year on November 9th? Thousands of art museums around the world participate in this special day, and every year features a different, unique theme. The Portland area has long shown strong support for local artists, with a huge selection of local art galleries that showcase talented artists from Portland and beyond. Now is a great time to visit some of Portland's best art galleries and museums. Our brokers have the details on 6 amazing places to view art around Portland for National Go to an Art Museum Day this year.

  1. Pearsons Art Gallery – 20890 S Hwy. 99E, Portland, OR 97045

    Start your tour of art galleries near Portland homes for sale with a trip to Pearsons Art Gallery, which features a truly unique collection of art that you won't find anywhere else. Pearsons Art Gallery is all about wood carvings, statues, sculptures, centerpieces, and so much more to decorate your home. If you're looking for a custom-made piece of art that you'll be proud to display in your home, this is a great place to visit. There are tons of pieces available pre-made in the gallery, and the owner (and artist) can also create custom pieces to suit your needs.

  2. Village Gallery of Arts – 1060 NW Salzman Rd., Portland, OR 97229

    A Portland non-profit with a commitment to showcasing the work of local artists, the Village Gallery of Arts has been a hub of the Portland art scene for more than 50 years. This is a fun place for any art lover to visit, with fantastic local art on display and a wide variety of community classes available to help you create art of your own. The gallery here features exhibits from Portland-area artists working in various media, with work from more than 100 local artists on display.

  3. Froelick Gallery – 714 NW Davis St., Portland, OR 97209

    You never know what you might find when you visit the Froelick Gallery, and that's part of the fun! Froelick Gallery has been a popular Portland art spot for more than 25 years, with rotating exhibitions from a diverse group of artists. Much of the work you'll see here was created in the Pacific Northwest, with a sprinkling of work from artists in Tokyo, as well. The gallery is open by appointment and accepts walk-in visitors if you happen to arrive when someone is present to let you into the gallery.

  4. Caswell Sculpture – 903 E Historic Columbia River Hwy., Troutdale, OR 97060

    Owned and operated near Troutdale homes for sale by the husband-and-wife team of Rip and Alison Caswell, Caswell Sculpture is a must-see for anyone who loves bronze statues. The Caswells have traveled around the world to find inspiration for their art, and much of their work is based on nature. The gallery also features a fascinating collection of photography and bronze sculptures of people, both famous and obscure. There are even sculptures of university mascots, which you can find both in the gallery and on the grounds of some famous local universities.

  5. Portland Art Museum – 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205

    When you're in the mood for the classic Portland art experience, start your journey at the Portland Art Museum. With more than a century of experience displaying local art, the Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest. When you visit, you'll find an extensive collection of new exhibitions, long-term collections, films, and educational programs. Tour the expansive museum at your own leisure, or enjoy a guided tour from one of the friendly, knowledgeable staff members at the museum.

  6. Three Rivers Artist Guild – 613 7th St., Oregon City, OR 97045

    With a commitment to showcasing the work of Oregon City artists, the Three Rivers Artist Guild is your source for great art near Oregon City homes for sale. Three Rivers Artist Guild features exhibit rotations that vary with each month, so there's always something new to see. The strong commitment to local artists means this is an excellent place to see work from emerging artists who haven't had their work displayed in other galleries. Each month features work from 30 to 40 new artists, so be sure to check back often to see all that the Oregon City art scene has to offer.

When you call Portland home, the region's vibrant, legendary local art scene is always just a short trip from your front door. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 8:34:57 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 11:51:39 PM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 11:31:24 PM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 6:56:43 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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