Articles Tagged "Smart Home"

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July
18

Furniture Arranging Tips for Every Room

Furniture Tips

No matter your style, arranging your furniture in just the right way can turn a house into a home. When you use furniture arranging tricks from top designers, your rooms will look more spacious and inviting. Our brokers know a thing or two about presenting your space to look its best!

We know: Sometimes, nothing less than more space will do. Most of the time, though, you can give any room in your home a new lease on life by applying the techniques of interior decorating. It's easier than you might think – and if you have an afternoon to spend, it can be a lot of fun.

Let's take a closer look at furniture arranging insights that make a difference:

  • Choose a Focal Point
    Every room should have a single focal point. The focal point is where attention naturally flows. It helps to put the rest of the room in the right context. Sometimes, the focal point is obvious, such as a large window or fireplace. Otherwise, you can create one yourself and arrange other items around it.

  • Create Conversation Areas
    Think about how the space is intended to be used and how you can make social engagement easier. This is especially important in shared areas like the living room and dining room. Seating should be planned so everyone can participate comfortably and easily without raising one's voice or moving around.

  • Look for Balance and Harmony
    Balance is a key element that helps determine whether, when all is said and done, the pieces you put in a space will look "right." It can be hard to see balance while you're working on it, so be sure to examine each furniture item in terms of its size and placement. This way, a room won't be "lopsided."

  • Consider the Flow of Foot Traffic
    A thoughtful approach to traffic flow is essential for enabling a space to be "lived in" in an organic way. There must be enough room between items for people to pass between them, and this becomes even more critical in areas with high traffic. Leave a couple of feet between tables and chairs, too.

  • Roll Out Rugs for Emphasis
    The unspoken rule of area rugs is that when a rug is used in a space, it should be large enough so all the seating in that space fits comfortably on the rug. There's some leeway here for larger pieces, where the back legs can sit on the room's flooring if necessary to balance the load.

  • Don't Underestimate the Coffee Table
    Unlike so many other items you might want to introduce into a space, bigger really is better when it comes to a coffee table. The coffee table is both aesthetic and functional. It acts as the natural focal point of the room and also serves as a social oasis, particularly when visitors drop in.

  • Space Your Tables Appropriately
    Wherever you have coffee tables or side tables, you should have seating and vice versa. No seat should be without access to a table. Tables should be placed at approximately arm's length. With side tables, a height comparable to nearby chair arms is best; for coffee tables, a bit lower than the nearest seating.

  • Use Light to Your Advantage
    Natural lighting has a stupendous ability to make a room seem larger. Trade heavy window coverings for lighter ones, and you'll not only get more light but make the room appear warmer and more calming. Mix up overhead lighting, floor lamps, table lamps, and sconces to avoid pools of darkness in a room.

  • Introduce Art into Your Space
    Artwork, mirrors, and sculptural items can all go on your walls. Of these, the special reflective qualities of mirrors are best for enlarging a space. Every item you hang on the wall should be in proportion to the furniture item it hangs over or near, with selections of wall space chosen strategically for best effect.

  • Avoid Furniture Against the Wall
    When you desire to make the most of every inch of space in your home, it's only natural you might feel the temptation to move furniture items up against the wall. Even in a smaller room, the overall effect of furnishings is enhanced by leaving a few inches between their feet and the nearest wall or walls.

  • Bring it All Together
    As you coordinate your space, work with one small part of the room at a time. Step back frequently to assess how things are coming together, but try not to worry. You may not be totally sure about what's going well (or not) until you are done. Once you have the full picture, always feel free to change your mind. It's your space, so enjoy it your way.

Contact us to learn more about your local real estate opportunities.

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.

April
5

April Showers: Guide to Installing a Smart System for Your Garden

Smart System for Garden

For nearly twenty years, smart homes have been surging in popularity as we embrace the technology that makes our lives easier. No longer limited to inside the home, technology has moved into the garden to make it more efficient as well.

Our brokers know how important a lush lawn and curb appeal are when appealing to potential buyers. Whether you're getting your home ready to list or just want to enjoy an attractive landscape, consider installing a few of these smart devices.

  1. Smart sprinklers
    Setting a timer will certainly allow you to water whether or not you are home. But why stop there? You can control the sprinklers when you're away from home using an application on your phone or computer. If you prefer, you can use a sprinkler that gauges the amount of water your garden needs based on data from weather reports or even from sensing the moisture in the soil. Never again will your sprinklers go on while it is raining. 
     
  2. Weather stations or sensors
    These innovative devices monitor the weather conditions in your garden including temperature, wind, and humidity to deliver the information you need to care for your garden. You can receive detailed weather metrics to help keep the inside of your home comfortable as well. When integrated into a smart home ecosystem, adjustments will be made automatically. 

  3. Soil sensors
    Traditionally, while it is possible to get secondary education in agriculture, most home gardeners don't have the education required to analyze soil to determine what action is necessary to create the perfect balance of chemicals and moisture for a healthy garden. Add the questions of proper temperature and light and most of us would be lost. But we don't need to know all of that information when we have sensors to guide us. Are they necessary to grow a garden? No, but they certainly can make the process easier. Take your gardening to the next level and receive alerts on your mobile device for when you need to take action to keep the garden healthy. 

  4. Robotic lawnmowers
    Preprogrammed to operate on a schedule of your choosing, these handy tools ensure a  perfectly manicured lawn with little to no effort on your part. Powered by electricity, they run quietly and without fumes. Boundaries are defined by wires. If it should happen to rain, sensors will direct the unit back to its base. 

  5. Outdoor lighting
    One of the least expensive smart upgrades you can make to your garden, lighting options are also the most versatile. Fountains and other water features come to life with strategically placed lighting. Path lights with changing colors add magical hues to simple safety measures. Motion sensors illuminate spaces to stop would-be thieves in their tracks as spotlight cams capture their images. And who could deny the elegance of soft lighting in a seating area nestled in a flowery haven? Remote controls let you adjust the lighting according to your needs. 

  6. Wi-Fi booster
    Working from home and going to school online can be tedious and frustrating. But you can banish that cooped-up feeling by taking work and studies outside. It's possible for a Wi-Fi repeater or extender to do the trick, and add enough coverage to your garden to work or study efficiently. Unfortunately, that may not be sufficient. If not, you can dramatically expand your home network with a powerline adaptor. These exciting new options use the electric wiring of the house to transmit communication signals. They don't even require a complicated installation. 

  7. Entertainment options
    Whether you would enjoy dancing in the moonlight or watching movies under the stars, you can convert your garden to the perfect entertainment venue with waterproof Bluetooth speakers, outdoor television sets, or projectors. If you enjoy hosting dinner parties, smart grills and smokers can allow you to cook a delicious meal while socializing with your guests. They'll give you a short alert on your phone when you need to break away to attend to the food. 

When you're ready to find the perfect place for your own garden paradise, contact us. We'll be happy to show you the finest homes throughout the 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 Sat 08/13/2022 8:57:18 AM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:21:27 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:14:14 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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