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October
25

Interior Design Trends to Try This Fall

Fall Interior Design The season of pumpkin spice, sweater weather, and apple-everything is here, and our brokers want to make sure you're ready for the fall interior design trends. Pumpkin décor is a forever favorite, but there are many other brilliant ways to dress your home for the season. Thankfully, the fall interior design trends for 2021 have something for everyone. We're talking layering, vintage décor, cozy autumnal shades, natural elements, and more. It's time to make your home feel festive and comforting. Here are the most prevalent home decor trends for you to experiment with this fall.

  • Cozy Fabrics and Natural Textures
    As the weather turns colder, ultra-soft fabrics are a must, and natural texture is a key trend for 2021. People are drawn to a sophisticated, chic, and cozy feel in their homes. Layering chunky knitted blankets and furry fabrics with velvets and other rich, textured fabrics will give your space a warm and welcoming fall vibe. 


  • Vintage Decor
    Vintage pieces and family heirlooms are definitely trending. As much as modern décor is adored, the pandemic seems to have promoted homeowners to turn to the past with their designs. They want accessories and furnishings with character and nostalgia. For some, this means dusting off old furniture, vases, candlesticks, and picture frames to bring a sense of security from the past. For others, it's all about breaking out their grandmother's 1940s colored glassware. Whatever antique pieces you have, mixing them with more contemporary pieces can go a long way to keep your space from getting too dated.


  • Nature-Inspired Colors
    Red, yellow, and orange are the conventional fall colors, but designers are increasingly gravitating towards other nature-inspired hues. These are warm, richer tones such as blues, deep greens, and browns. These colors signify renewal, hope, and freshness. You can use them to add a layer of character and sophistication to your living space without overpowering it. To make these colors feel appropriate for the season, use them in deeper shades and complement them with warm undertones. Line your dining room table with a navy blue runner and layer in a few pillows in forest green to set off the rest of your yellow and orange décor. Incorporating metal decorative accents is also a great way to provide a pop of color and add contrast to a design.


  • Emphasis on Nature and Natural Elements
    This fall presents a great opportunity to bring the outdoors inside. The pandemic has taught us how much better life is when we sit outside and connect to nature. The trend of creating fluidity between indoors and outdoors spaces is here to stay. This doesn't mean turning your home into a greenhouse, it's about incorporating natural fabrications and furnishings into your decor. You can also bring in some heard-wearing plants and maximize natural light.


  • Beyond the Open Floor Plan
    We hate to see this one go, but the open floor concept is becoming something of the past. The past year and a half have seen us use the spaces in our home much differently than before. We've realized that the open floor plan may be ideal for entertaining, but not so much for everyday life. Instead of having large open spaces where furniture floats, consider using room dividers and partitions to add versatility to your space. Create a home office, gym, or any other functional space.
  • Add Shapes
    Juxtaposition is big when it comes to the top fall interior décor trends of 2021. People are becoming more adventurous with their furnishings, where soft edges meet hard lines. This is more prominent in coffee tables, contemporary wall art, patterned rugs, and vases. Curved and shapely vessels and furniture tend to create quiet drama in neutral spaces and add a much-needed distraction from the angular lines of your other furnishings. Throw some shapes in to create contrast and draw the eye across the space.


  • Plaid and Stripes
    The two most useable patterns have united to create the perfect fall complement and add some interest into every corner of your home. You can jump onboard the plaid and stripes bandwagon by mixing the prints with your throws, bedding, cushions, and curtains. Go for black and white patterns mixed with red, coral, and brown accents. Patterned rugs are also great for layering under more neutral rugs to give them a bit of edge without it being overwhelming.

Planning to buy a new home this fall? We're here to help you find your dream home in the Pacific Northwest. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

September
27

10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Tips

Fall is here! And with it comes fall weather. So it's time to pay attention to home maintenance and repairs. If you're thinking about selling your home in the near future, our brokers can offer advice on important fall maintenance tips.

In the Pacific Northwest, the fall season is the beginning of chilly temperatures, heavy rainfall, and snow and ice. Preparing your home with necessary maintenance before cold weather sets in will protect against costly damages and keep your family warm and comfortable. Take a look at 10 fall maintenance tips that you should not ignore:

  1. Check Your Roof
    Look for damaged or missing roof shingles that may lead to water leaks in the attic and the walls. Water leaks can cause a variety of costly damages including rotten beams, ruined insulation, and dangerous black mold that is toxic.

  2. Clean Out Your Gutters
    While you have your ladder handy, clean out your gutters and downspouts. A shop vac works great for removing dirt, debris, and leaves, but if you don't have one try an old plastic spatula. It's considerably slower but it won't scratch your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause roof and siding leaks, as well as foul-smelling standing water that attracts mosquitoes and insects.

  3. Mow Your Lawn Shorter
    When temperatures start dropping, it's best to mow your lawn with a shorter cut. After you rake up dead leaves and debris, set your mower to cut the grass at 1-1/2 to 2 inches high. This will prevent tall grass and weeds from smothering new spring growth and reduce the chance of unwanted lawn pests and mold that often forms on snow.

  4. Prepare Your Lawn for Winter
    After mowing the yard, prep your lawn for winter weather with fertilizer and water. Choose a fertilizer that's labeled 4-1-2 with good nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels to help grass store nutrients. If you have sprinklers, give your lawn a good soaking, check sprinkler pipes and heads for leaks, and wrap your above-ground pipes with insulation before freezing temperatures arrive.

  5. Clean Out Your Chimney
    There's nothing like a warm roaring fire in freezing winter temperatures to keep your family cozy. Fall means it's time to call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney and test your fireplace flue for a tight seal that eliminates drafts. For added protection, invest in a chimney screen to prevent birds and squirrels from building nests because they look for safe, warm winter homes in the winter.

  6. Touch Up Your Exterior Paint
    If your house needs a paint job, take care of this task before winter. Paint doesn't handle extreme hot or cold temperatures well, even if it's outdoor paint. In freezing temperatures, paint gets very thick and doesn't spread evenly with rollers or brushes. Cold weather also prevents the paint from drying properly, so anything that blows into your house can stick to or leave ugly marks in the paint.

  7. Service Your Heating System
    If you're like most homeowners, you likely have a central heating and air conditioning system. To ensure heat during winter weather, schedule a fall appointment with a professional HVAC technician to inspect and clean your furnace unit, usually located in the garage or a hall closet. Since your heat hasn't been turned on in a year or so, it's essential to ensure that your burner isn't leaking carbon monoxide.

  8. Check Windows and Doors
    During the fall, inspect your windows and doors for unwanted drafts. Add weatherstripping to ensure tight seals, inspect and replace any damaged glass in windows and sliders, and replace or repair any damaged window or door frames. Drafts will make your home chillier during winter and your heating bills will be higher from running your furnace around the clock.

  9. Clean Heating and Dryer Vents
    Dirty vents obstruct proper airflow. Clogged interior air vents will prevent proper heating into your home and keep you feeling colder during the winter. Dirty dryer vents with lint buildup can make your dryer less efficient and even start a fire caused by static electricity that ignites.

  10. Check Your Safety Devices
    While doing fall maintenance, take time to check home safety devices. (1) Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace old batteries; (2) Check your fire extinguisher's expiration date and replace it if necessary; (3) Check your home for radon gas levels of 4 or above which is considered dangerous by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).  

If you're considering buying or selling in the Washington area, contact us for available properties. We have many available homes that may be just what you're looking for.

August
23

Rainy Day DIY Projects

Rainy Day DIYDepending on your point of view, rainy days can be either the best or the worst. It's frustrating being stuck in the house with nothing to do. But with a little creativity, there are all kinds of activities you can participate in while waiting for the weather to clear - especially for new homeowners who are working to make their new house their own. Here are a few DIY projects that can help you pass the time and feel productive on a rainy day.

  • Build a Birdhouse
    This is a simple but rewarding project that you might even be able to get your kids to help you with. All you need are a few small wooden boards and some basic tools like a saw and a drill. Build the house, decorate it, and when the rain stops, hang it in the yard to give the local birds a place to hang their proverbial hats. Be aware: if you paint your birdhouse, sometimes the paint smell can keep birds away the first year. If you do choose to paint your birdhouse, go with light, muted colors that reflect heat rather than absorbing it and won't attract predators. And be sure to use non-toxic paint.

  • Make a Chalkboard Wall
    This one is much simpler than it looks. It doesn't require a large, unwieldy board or even the use of nails or screws. Rather, with a special kind of paint, you can give a wall or section of a wall in your house the look and feel of a chalkboard. Clean the wall thoroughly first, then apply a coat of chalkboard paint. Wait a couple of hours, then apply a second coat, then a third coat after another couple of hours. Let it dry for three days before marking it with chalk. Once the wall is ready, though, you can use it to make shopping lists, leave notes for family members, and more. Plus, you and the kids can use it for future rainy day activities, like playing tic-tac-toe or even just doodling. It's the rainy day gift that keeps on giving.

  • Change Knobs and Handles
    Look at your drawers and cabinets. Do you like the way the handles and knobs look? Maybe they're showing their age, or maybe they just don't fit with your aesthetic. The good news is, they're easy to remove and switch out for new ones. If you have the replacements handy, most likely, all you'll need is a screwdriver and maybe some new screws.

  • Do Some Odd Jobs
    There are probably plenty of small jobs around the house that you've meant to get to but just haven't had the time. Well, a rainy day is a perfect time. Take a screwdriver and tighten up that wobbly chair. Change the burnt-out bulb in your light fixture. Rearrange your pantry to make things easier to find. There are also several jobs that homeowners should perform periodically but most people tend to forget. A rainy day is a great opportunity to catch up. For instance, check your HVAC system's air filter and see if it's time to replace it. If the filter is white and translucent, it's still good. If it's dingy, gray, and opaque, then it's time for a new one. Another task that's relatively simple but a bit time-consuming is doing a deep clean of your dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack and do a quick clean of the drain on the bottom. Then, put a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run it through the cycle. Once it's done, sprinkle baking soda on the inside, and run it through a rinse cycle. When it's done, your dishwasher will not only be cleaner but function more efficiently.

  • Get Your Kids Involved
    Let's face it. The ones who are most likely to be bored on a rainy afternoon are your kids. You can let them sit and watch Netflix all day while you do home improvement tasks, or you can get them to help you. If they're old enough and responsible enough, take the opportunity to show them some basic DIY skills: how to use different tools safely, the importance of some of those odd jobs, etc. You can spend some time constructively and bond with your children at the same time. Then when the next rainy day rolls around, you've got a built-in helper for the next set of DIY tasks.

These are just a few things you can do on a rainy day to make your house feel more like home. Our brokers can get you set up in the perfect house to meet your needs. What you do with it after that is up to you. Contact us anytime, rain or shine, to learn more!

June
29

Gutter Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Gutter Maintenance

Knocking out a few simple tasks this summer will help ensure you don't run into any unexpected problems caused by poor gutter maintenance. This may include leaks, damage to your insulation, siding damage, and more. Don't let this happen to you! Follow these simple tips, and you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature brings. 

  1. Remove Collected Debris
    If it's been a while since you've performed any gutter maintenance, a lot of leaves, sticks, and other debris may have accumulated in there. Start by putting on a pair of thick gloves and pulling out debris by hand. This is the first step to ensuring water has a clear path to flow off of your roof and out the downspouts. This allows it to move safely away from your home, so it doesn't cause damage. 
  1. Check for Nests
    Birds often like to make their nests in gutters since it offers them a high perch that is relatively undisturbed. By summertime, the babies have usually flown away, making now a great time to remove the empty nests from your gutters. Just be sure to check carefully for any signs of life before pulling them out. If you notice babies are still living there, consider leaving them undisturbed and checking back in a few weeks. 
  1. Clean Off Your Gutters
    Now that you've removed the large items from your gutters, use a gentle abrasive cleaning product or soap and water along with a scrub brush to give the inside of your gutters a thorough cleaning. This will allow you to remove any moss, mold, or algae built up inside your gutters. If you notice areas where there's a lot of growth, pay attention. This could be a sign that you have a drainage problem. 
  1. Check for Damage
    Once your gutters are clean, you'll be able to tell if there are any damaged areas you need to address. Carefully check all of your gutters for holes that need to be filled, areas of rust, or anything that's sagging or askew. You can typically fix sagging gutters by pulling them upward using a pair of pliers. If you notice any sections of your gutter that are extremely rusty, consider replacing them. 
  1. Repair Any Leaks
    As you're checking for damage, there's a good chance you'll come across some leaks. This often happens when there are visible holes or areas that are buckling. You can also check for smaller leaks along the cracks and seams by using a hose to run water through the gutters. Watch out for any areas where water comes out before it reaches the downspout. You can effectively fix most gutter leaks with a waterproof sealant, like silicone caulking. Depending on the type of damage, you may also use some metal flashing and attach it using roofing cement. Once the repair has dried, run water through again to make sure it's sealed. If not, you'll want to call in a gutter professional to take care of the problem. 
  1. Visually Inspect Your Roof
    Since you're already up on a ladder, take a moment to visually inspect your roof. Keep an eye out for loose shingles, which can cause leaks. If your gutters haven't been maintained for a while, this may also cause water to pond on your roof, leading to additional problems. Catching issues early can help you get them fixed before they become a much bigger deal. For safety reasons, avoid getting up on the roof yourself. If you notice any potential issues, call a professional roofer to come out and take a look. 
  1. Install New Equipment
    If you've been thinking about installing new downspouts or gutters, the dry season is the perfect time to take on this project. You may also want to consider installing gutter covers. This upgrade prevents leaves and debris from falling into your gutters. While it will take some effort to install, you'll love how much it cuts down on your future gutter maintenance! 

Whether you're planning to stay in your home for the long term or you're thinking about moving soon, our brokers encourage you to keep up with basic maintenance tasks. This will help ensure your home maintains its current value and its curb appeal. 

We're here to help. Your dream home is waiting for you, so don't wait. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started.

June
21

Where to go Horseback Riding Near Seattle

Horseback Riding Seattle

What could be better than a pleasant summer day spent on horseback exploring the natural beauty of the Seattle area? Whether you want to learn to ride for the first time with the help of an experienced instructor or enjoy an exciting trail ride with the whole family, our brokers know that Seattle is home to an extensive selection of equestrian facilities that offer everything you need for a fun day outdoors. Find your new favorite farm with our list of 6 great equestrian facilities located in the Seattle area.

  1. Seattle Farm – 9761 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
    Find everything you need for a great day of horseback riding near Seattle homes for sale when you visit the popular Seattle Farm. This farm has been owned by the same family for more than 100 years, and that experience shows in everything that they do. There are lessons available for riders of all experience levels, along with both indoor and outdoor riding facilities.

  2. Mercer Island Saddle Club – 8635 SE 68th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040
    With a strong community spirit and a dedication to helping riders of all experience levels fall in love with horseback riding, Mercer Island Saddle Club is the perfect place for a ride close to Mercer Island homes for sale. This farm is a non-profit organization with a focus on enriching the community through horseback riding, lessons, shows, and a cooperative, community-focused atmosphere that makes riding an accessible experience for all.

  3. Overlake Farm – 5652 132nd Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98005
    Overlake Farm 
    has been a local favorite near Bellevue homes for sale for more than 80 years, thanks to the excellent instruction and expansive riding areas that you can enjoy whenever you visit. The farm features more than 480 acres to explore, with beautifully maintained trails and modern, well-equipped arenas perfect for learning to ride.

  4. Brackenhollow Stables – 6367 208th Ave. NE, Redmond, WA 98053
    Have your kids been clamoring for horseback riding lessons? The mother-daughter instruction team at Brackenhollow Stables makes it fun and easy to learn to ride, with a location that's easy to reach from Redmond homes for sale. In addition to riding lessons, the team here is happy to teach all riders about caring for horses and spending time around the stables.

  5. Wacky Nut Farm – 10821 NE Wacky Nut Way, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
    Don't let the name fool you! Wacky Nut Farm offers a fun riding experience, but the quality of instruction here makes it easy for anyone located near Bainbridge Island homes for sale to fall in love with horseback riding. Enjoy individual lessons with guidance from experienced instructors, or sign up for a group clinic to sharpen specific riding skills.

  6. Deerfield Farm – 11432 Upper Preston Rd. SE #8748, Issaquah, WA 98027
    Whether you're interested in helping your kids learn to ride for the first time or rekindling your own love of horseback riding with fun adult lessons, the team at Deerfield Farm can assist with all of your equestrian needs in a convenient location around the corner from Issaquah homes for sale. Thinking about activities for your kids this summer? Deerfield Farm offers fun summer camps for kids of all ages that include a variety of nature-focused activities in addition to developing riding skills.

Ready to find a home that makes it easy to enjoy horseback riding and all of the great family attractions around Seattle? Our experienced, local team can help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

March
15

Helpful Tips for Arranging a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Tips

Few things personalize your house as much as the displays of artwork on the walls. As our brokers take you on tours, let your imagination soar and envision how you can make the space your own with your personal collection.

As much a work of art as the pieces they contain, the process of creating a gallery wall may seem daunting. But by following some basic guidelines, the display you design will be a wonderful visual focal point.  

  1. Gather Inspiration 
    Before you begin, seek ideas from magazines or online platforms. As you see layouts you find aesthetically pleasing, make note of the elements you like the most. Collect photos so that you can examine them later for details. You'll find a variety of options from symmetrical to asymmetrical, small groupings of three items to ten or more, rigidly themed to eclectic. The choices are yours based on what you find attractive.  

  2. Curate your Artwork 
    As you are curating your pieces, remember that you are not restricted to paintings and photographs. Clocks, mirrors, and shadow boxes of meaningful items can breathe life into the exhibit, expanding the texture and flavor of the display. You can coordinate disparate items by putting them in matching frames if that is the style you prefer.  

  3. Determine the Location
    Did we say wall? We should probably have said walls. You are not limited to one space by any means. You can hang artwork down a stairway or behind the table in the dining room. The goal is to create a home where the colors, furniture, and architecture blend into a cohesive environment. You may find beautifully designed homes in which the artwork carries your eyes around corners and from one room to the next.  

  4. Consider Color and Scale 
    In considering the groupings within your collection, pay close attention to the overall color schemes and the sizes of each object. If you have several prints or paintings, for example, that are all from a similar color palette, grouping them in the same display will create a harmonious well-ordered feeling to the entire room. But gallery walls are meant to be a bold invitation to look deeper into the artwork, so if your taste runs more to wildly different colors and styles, that's OK. Just remember to anchor them together in some fashion, such as matching frames, to avoid a haphazard appearance. It is important to remember scale when you are matching artwork to your furniture. Neither should overshadow the other. The same holds true to the array itself. It's all about maintaining balance.  

  5. Measure Carefully 
    It's important to know the exact amount of space you have available before you map out a final arrangement. It's a good idea to place furniture and lighting before you measure. You don't want your perfect design hidden by a lamp or the sofa. Think about whether other focal points will detract from the vision you wish to create. Fireplaces, big-screen television sets, and sometimes even windows can draw the eye away from your gallery wall. Make certain that your arrangement works around these larger items.  

  6. Create a Mock-up 
    Once you have a plan in mind, it's time to test your layout. Begin with the largest item. This is your anchor piece. Work smaller pieces around it. If you have a particular look that you found in your initial research and you want to mimic it, arrange your pieces accordingly. If you prefer your own design, now is the time to try it out without risking unnecessary nail holes in the paint. If you look at one designer's ideas, you'll find very strict guidelines, such as avoiding putting the largest piece in the dead center of the display. The next article you read will have a lovely picture of a large painting encircled by smaller pieces. There are no rules other than the ones you chose to follow. When you're happy with the pattern, you may find it helpful to take a picture of your final layout to use as a reference as you hang the objects. Make a paper template of each piece and mark where the nail hole should go. Tape the templates to the wall. Nail through the marks and strip away the paper. Hang your collection, and voila! Your gallery wall is complete.  

Looking for the perfect home to decorate with your favorite artwork? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain, and we'll be happy to lead the way.  

March
1

Set up a Home Library for World Book Day

Home Library Tips

This year, don't just head to the library, consider setting up your personal home library. Whether you have a small or extensive collection, creating an at-home library can provide a wonderful way to display your favorite volumes. It can also make your home feel grander! All it takes is a little planning to create a comfortable, personal, and unique space. Here, our brokers share their best tips for setting up a home library fit for any space.

  1. Choose Your Spot
    Do you want to create a designated library room or transform an area within a room into a functional retreat? What you choose depends on how you want the room to function and the amount of square footage that's available. Also, consider the current size of your book collection and if you plan on adding more books in the future. Some good room options for your library might be a spare bedroom, home office or even consider displaying your books near the kitchen. Especially if a good portion of your library includes cookbooks! Looking for something a bit smaller? A personal book oasis can be carved out from an unused space such as a window seat, corner, or the area under a staircase. Another thing to remember when picking out your spot is you don't want to damage your books. To prevent this from happening, avoid places that are exposed to high levels of humidity and too much natural lighting.


  2. Focus on Your Display
    While your personal preference is essential, the types and quantity of your books will determine how you organize your book collection. Make sure the location you've picked has the space for them all. If you have large quantities of books, floor-to-ceiling shelving units, or rows of horizontal wall shelves will be your best options. Alternating vertical and horizontal book arrangements can add structure and visual breaks. For a smaller collection, you can use floating shelves or a free-standing bookcase that's properly secured to the wall.


  3. A Place to Sit and Read
    Proper seating is an important part of a home library. Whether your space will accommodate a single chair or an oversized chaise lounge, your seating should be comfortable because you're creating a setting for getting lost in a book. The type and size of furniture you choose will depend on how you intend to use the room. You can experiment with different seating arrangements based on the room's natural light or how well the furniture fits with lamps.


  4. Set the Mood
    The mood in your library will stem from its purpose and the ambiance you like during your reading time. This ambiance will be created by the combination of smaller design elements, including the color of your walls, the design of your textiles, the material of your furniture, as well as the plants, art, and accessories you choose to decorate with. You want to personalize your library, bring comfort to the room, and create an atmosphere that compels you to curl up with a book and escape from the stresses of everyday life.


  5. Prioritize Good Lighting
    Proper lighting can add comfort, sophistication, and utility to any room. With your library's design, you want to layer your lighting to ensure that you can comfortably see the words and also create a more inviting glow. Your lighting scheme should feature general, accent, and task lighting. Ensure you have task and ambient (general) lighting above or beside each spot in your seating.

Our team at Coldwell Banker Bain can help you find the perfect home for your book collection. Contact us today to start looking at available listings.

February
15

11 Home Organization Apps You'll Enjoy Using

Home Organization AppsWith so much going on these days, even the most organized people can become overwhelmed when it comes to maintaining a home and family. Luckily, today's technology can help make it a little bit easier. With so many productivity apps on the market, you can really leverage your smartphone to help you make it through the day. We were talking home organization tips with some of the owners of these homes for sale and we heard so many great recommendations for innovative home organization apps. 

  1. Evernote
    This award-winning app is essentially a cloud-based notebook. Use Evernote to take notes, make to-do lists, or save drawings, photographs, or other media. Best of all, you can access your content from any device or location. The app offers a free version that sets data capacity limits, or you can purchase a paid plan for more storage.

  2. Sweepy
    Staying on top of chores is one of the most tedious aspects of homeownership, but with apps like Sweepy, it's really not so bad. Sweepy allows you to enter chores into the app, prioritize them, assign them to family members, and maintain a calendar of activities. With Sweepy, every one can simply open up the app and quickly see what chores need to be done. 

  3. Todoist
    When it comes to to-do lists, few apps can compete with Todoist. This organization app helps you maintain complete control over your projects and goals. With an emphasis on mental well-being, the app was created to help you transfer your tasks from your head to your mobile phone and is great for any busy family.

  4. Cozi Family Organizer
    This useful organizer app has an incredibly simple interface and is made specifically for "crazy busy families". With Cozi, you can see the calendar for each family member, share grocery lists, and even post notes. It also has a built-in recipe planner to make dinner a breeze. Best of all, this app is completely free!

  5. 24me
    This award-winning app is more like a personal assistant that can really help make your day more productive. One of the best parts about 24me is it's incredibly easy to use. The app features a calendar, to-do list, and a notepad, so you can keep track of all your home cleaning and maintenance chores in one place. The app also automatically organizes your schedule and sends personal reminders to keep you on track.

  6. Time Timer
    If you're struggling with time management, then it might be worth checking out Time Timer. This super simple app features a visual, colorful timer that can be set with a swipe of a finger. The app allows you to set multiple timers for the various tasks throughout your day. The end result: complete transparency about how you're spending your time.

  7. Jour 
    One of the most important aspects of home organization is maintaining mental well-being. Jour is less of a notebook and more of a journal that promotes mental health. Jour helps you track your feelings on a day-to-day basis and offers therapeutic techniques to help improve your mood. With so much going on in our day to day lives, it's important to monitor your mental health.

  8. S'moresUp
    Looking for an app to help make parenting a little easier? Give S'moresUp a try. This app lets you track your kid's chore progress, assign rewards, track savings, and even schedule play dates. S'moresUp actually makes chores more fun, and really can help you to stay on top of your kid's activities.

  9. Happy Plant
    Do you frequently forget to water your plants? You won't any longer if you download the Happy Plant app. This app combines plant care with gamification in a way that will help you remember to give your plants the love they need. The app also lets you upload pictures of your plants and create cool time-lapse videos that show them grow over time.

  10. YNAB
    If your organizational struggles are related to finance, then a good budgeting app might be just what you need. We recommend YNAB (You Need A Budget). With a personal finance smartphone app, your budget will travel right along with you. This budget app will not only help you reach your financial goals, it even integrates with Amazon's Alexa, so you can get real-time verbal updates on your progress.

  11. Productive
    Keeping your home organized starts with building good habits, which is why we recommend Productive. This app is focused on helping you build life-changing routines through reminders and schedule planning. Not only does Productive let you enter goals, it allows you to measure your progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

Our real estate agents are experts at home organization, and they love using smartphone apps to help plan their day. Contact us today for more recommendations on how to keep your home organized!

January
25

11 Tips for Upgrading Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Upgrading Tips

At one time, kitchen appliances were considered primarily functional. They brought a new level of convenience to households, but style-wise, most designs were pretty limited.

Today's appliances have become equal parts, time savers, and decor statements. Keep your kitchen looking modern with these tips from our brokers for upgrading appliances. 

  1. What Is the Born-On Date?
    Nothing lasts forever, and that's certainly true for appliances, no matter how expensive or advanced they are. Don't hold your breath, hoping your 10-year-old dishwasher can hang on. It may still be operational but most likely running at a sub-par performance. Know the average lifespans of appliances and make plans to replace them when the time comes.

  2. Repair or Replace?
    Uncertain whether a repair is preferable to a replacement? Experts recommend the 50-50 rule of thumb. If an appliance is more than 50 percent through its expected lifespan and repairs would run more than 50 percent of buying new, then go with a replacement.

  3. The Price Is Right
    Appliances are major purchases, so even if you've included them in your budget, you want to get the best value for your dollar. According to home improvement guru Bob Vila, stores want to clear out the old inventory when new models come out. Shop for dishwashers in September and October, refrigerators in May, and ranges/ovens in January. Holidays are also good times to watch for sales.

  4. Go Green
    When it comes to appliances, green is more than just a color. As appliances continue to become more energy-efficient, newer models can help preserve the environment and save you money on your utility bills. Check an appliance's Energy Star tag, which displays its Energy Star rating along with annual estimated energy use and cost.

  5. Mix and Match
    In the past, have your kitchen appliances been replaced piecemeal? Unfortunately, not all products share the same lifespan. As a result, they often end up being replaced at different times. The clashing styles cause an imbalance that throws the look of the whole kitchen off. If possible, it's best to replace all your appliances simultaneously for a coordinated appearance.

  6. Check the Warranty
    Before you purchase a new appliance, be sure to check out the warranty. If you're choosing high-end appliances, it may be worth the investment to buy an extended warranty that will cover potentially costly repairs. 

  7. Style and Substance
    The days of basic white appliances are in the rearview mirror. Of course, vintage is always in style, so you can certainly get hip, retro-styled designs. Stainless steel is high on the popularity list, but a color is also an option. Benjamin Moore has chosen Aegean Teal as the Color of 2021, while Pantone offers two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemon yellow. Black, red, and brown are other good choices.

  8. Lifestyle Choices
    Do you love spending hours in the kitchen with Food Network how-to videos running on your iPad? Maybe you're a working parent who wants quick but healthy ways to feed your family. If your kitchen isn't compatible with your lifestyle, the net result is frustration. Consider the role you want the kitchen to play in your life and design accordingly.

  9. The Sounds of Silence
    No one wants to yell to be heard over a noisy dishwasher or clunky range hood. Even when working properly, older appliances are much louder than today's models that operate with barely a hum. Stop letting those annoying sounds drown out your latest Netflix binge.

  10. Higher Education
    Has your home become "smart?" Innovations such as voice-activated assistants like Alexa and programmable thermostats make it easier to manage your home, even when you're not there. Smart appliances let you keep an eye on what's in the oven or make extra ice when company's coming, all from an app on your phone or tablet.

  11. Lay of the Land
    A kitchen's layout and placement of appliances are intertwined. Maybe the original builder ended up putting appliances where they fit, rather than where they actually made sense. Between the current range of sizes, styles, and installation possibilities, it's much easier to create a logical flow more conducive to efficiency. 

Whether you're the owner or buyer of Portland homes for sale, we provide friendly and experienced assistance. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

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 Sat 08/13/2022 8:20:09 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:34:16 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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