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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.

September
13

Best Home Security Upgrades

Home Security TipsMaking your home secure is rarely a one-and-done project, but it should be a top priority. As technology advances and criminals develop new techniques, it's important to regularly upgrade your home's security features. This can prevent break-ins, protect your loved ones and property, and give you peace of mind. If you're wondering where and how to start, the following suggestions by our brokers will help you take the right steps to protect your home against intruders.

  • Video Doorbell
    Simple to use, easy to use, and immediately obvious to anyone who approaches your door, video doorbells are a popular home security option. The doorbell has a camera, speaker, and microphone, so you can see, speak to, and hear visitors through an app on your phone or tablet, no matter where you happen to be. You can receive notifications and a live feed from your front door when someone walks by or presses the bell. When buying a video doorbell, look for two-way audio, high-resolution video, infrared night vision, and motion sensing.


  • Smart Cameras
    If you're worried about the security of your backyard, side alley, or garage, smart cameras can provide peace of mind. They come in a range of sizes, capabilities, and prices, with most having speakers and mics. The cameras connect straight to the Wi-Fi and can be controlled and viewed remotely using a smartphone app. Indoor options are smaller and more discreet and a great option if you want to keep an eye on the inside of your home. Features you'll want to look for in a smart camera include a wide field of view, audio recording, motion detection, and high resolution.


  • Alarm System
    A smart alarm system is another great security upgrade to consider for your home. There are many options available, from a range of battery-powered sensors you affix to your windows and door to motion sensors for hallways, rooms, and landings. The system will send you a notification if any movement is detected while it's armed.


  • Smart Lights
    Smart lighting combines convenience and enhanced security, but it isn't an obvious intrusive device. The Wi-Fi-enabled LED lightbulbs are simple to install and can be controlled from a smartphone app. You can dim the bulbs, choose their color, and turn them on or off – manually or on a schedule. To make things a little less predictable when you're away, you can set the system to light up at a random time and make it look like someone's home. Smart lights can also be linked to smart cameras, motion sensors, and alarms for enhanced security.


  • Solid Doors
    Most burglars use the door to gain entry into a house. It's also easier to carry valuables out the door. If your doors are weak and flimsy, a well-placed kick or slam could be enough to allow someone inside in seconds. Some of the best security doors are made of metal or solid core wood. Avoid hollow-core doors or those with a lot of glass. You can also reinforce your door with a barricade or a strike plate installed with 3-inch screws for greater strength.


  • Door Locks
    While you're at it, conduct an inspection and change your locks if they're damaged or easy to pick and bump open. This is also important if you have extra keys floating around with friends or strangers. Re-key your locks or replace them with smart locks. Smart locks communicate with your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing you to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere. Traditional smart locks have a number pad or touchscreen, and then some rely on an app on your phone to handle the locking and unlocking functions. When buying a smart lock, it's important to know whether or not it can also accept keys.

  • Secure Windows
    Windows are also common entry points for intruders because they're often left open, and the latches aren't always effective. To improve the security of your windows, install key-operated levers or locks. Some other ideas to burglar-proof your windows include burglar bars, reinforced glass, shatterproof glass, sensors, and cameras. Prickly bushes can also help make your windows less desirable and harder to access.

Bonus Tip: Make sure to lock down and hide your Wi-Fi network, rename it, install anti-virus protection, create a strong password, and install a firewall. You don't want to leave your security system or smart home gadgets open to cyberattacks.

Are you in the market for a new home with smart security features? Contact us today, and we'll be happy to show you beautiful and secure properties in the Pacific Northwest. We can also provide expert advice and help you find the best value if you're looking to improve your home's security before selling.

August
16

National Honey Bee Day: Plants Bees Love on the West Coast

Honey bee gardensOne of the best reasons to buy a home is to have enough land to practice all your hobbies. Gardeners know it's crucial to have enough space for their plants to flourish. By choosing the right plants and nurturing them in the right ways, they make a positive impact that reaches far beyond their own home.

Never is this more obvious than when it comes to the humble honey bee!

Support Your Local Honey Bee Population with Bee-Friendly Gardening

National Honey Bee Day, also known as Honey Bee Awareness Day, is observed every August 21 in the United States. What better time than now to learn precisely what you can plant to attract bees and other pollinators? After all, the great majority of plants need pollinators like the bee to help them thrive!

When gardening to attract honey bees, remember that these little creatures have preferences. Flowers that consistently attract honey bees have visible pollen or nectar, making it easy for them to reach. Long, thin flowers don't appeal to bees, whose short tongues can't reach in. 

Hybrid flowers bearing big, showy blooms tend to have less nectar and attract fewer honey bees.

In addition to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies are common pollinators. Just because you see one type, it doesn't mean that the other types have been scared off. Plant a variety of flowers and you will get plenty of different pollinators. For those who are wondering, blue is widely believed to be honey bees' favorite color!

For a more bee-friendly garden, our brokers encourage you to consider these additions:

  • Bee Balm
    These colorful flowers have a unique "frilly" appearance and attract a wide range of pollinators. In addition to bees, you can expect to see more butterflies and even hummingbirds. Their distinctive dark green leaves hold a surprise: When crushed, they provide a surprisingly strong citrus-mint smell.

  • Joe Pye Weed
    Don't be put off by the name – this perennial plant is far more than a simple weed! Beloved by butterflies, in particular, Joe Pye Weed adds a pop of vivid pink, purple, and white all throughout late summer and fall. The dome-like flower growths are supported by lovely vanilla-scented leaves.

  • Yarrow
    Throughout history, Yarrow has been prized in many areas of the world as a plant associated with healing. These days, this perennial is appreciated as a drought-tolerant and colorful addition to any garden. It is highly attractive to both bees and butterflies. Beginning gardeners love yarrow because it is so easy to care for.

  • Delphinium
    This flowering plant adds texture to a garden thanks to its tall spires of colorful flowers. Those flowers come in a full spectrum of colors including blue, lavender, red, pink, purple, and white. A delphinium is sure to attract its share of admirers of all kinds – but it is particularly favored by hummingbirds.

  • Hardy Fuchsia
    With long, tubular flowers, the hardy fuchsia is another plant that calls out to pollinators of many different kinds. Bird-lovers enjoy planting it as a rest stop for hummingbirds and other feathered friends. Multicolored flowers are not uncommon with the hardy fuchsia, which usually blooms from late spring until frost.

  • Penstemon
    Bees can be attracted to the gently fragrant penstemon in surprising numbers, visiting its tubular flowers from far and wide. Butterflies often choose to alight there, too. Penstemon is well known among gardeners for its propensity to thrive in hot, sunny conditions. Beware that it does require regular watering.

  • Catmint
    A distant relative of the catnip plant, catmint won't be quite as compelling for your feline friends – bees, on the other hand, adore it. Bees are by far the most common catmint pollinator and will be visiting from late spring through the summer. Catmint's loose spikes of pink, lavender, or white can fit in many places in your garden.

Plant a few of these flowers and you're more likely to see honey bees buzzing along happily in your garden. Local, native plants often get lots of attention from bees. You can make their job easier by creating a water source in your garden. Bees use the water to cool their hives.

Looking for a new home with a yard perfect for putting your green thumb to the test? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to discover real estate opportunities throughout the area.

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.

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.  

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 Sat 08/13/2022 8:57:18 AM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:51:23 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:54:13 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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