Consumer Real Estate News

    • 4 Home Features for Staying Active Throughout the Winter

      20 January 2021

      During the warmer months, it’s easy to stay active. Whether you’re hiking, cycling or swimming, there’s endless opportunity to exercise outside. When things cool down, however, it can be a bit more challenging to keep up with your routine. Home gyms, of course, are a great solution, but if you’re looking for an alternative to running on the hamster wheel, here are a few exciting home features that will keep you active all winter long.

      Indoor Swimming Pool
      Swimming is an excellent low-impact, full-body workout, but once the temperatures drop, you’re probably not going to be using the outdoor pool. With an indoor pool, though, you’re able to keep doing laps throughout the winter without ever having to leave the house. Furthermore, everyone can enjoy an indoor pool, from kids to grandparents, which is sure to help when everyone starts feeling cooped up inside. 

      Backyard Skating Rink
      For those intrepid souls who like to exercise outside even in sub-zero temperatures, a backyard skating rink is the perfect feature. Whether it’s a natural pond or a homemade rink, you can sharpen your skates and glide around with the whole family until it’s time for a well-deserved hot cocoa break. 

      Sports Court
      Indoor sports courts have become increasingly popular for homeowners who want a large recreational space. They can often be used for a variety of purposes, like tennis, basketball or even rollerblading, and will certainly keep the kids busy regardless of what the weather is like outside. 

      Climbing Wall
      From professional-grade to kid-sized, climbing walls are on the rise among adventurous homeowners who want to take luxury to new heights. This exciting home feature can cater to all abilities and is guaranteed to keep you fit while getting your adrenaline fix all year long. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Easy Kitchen Hacks to Help Save on Groceries

      20 January 2021

      There is little that home cooks can do about rising prices at the local market, but there are plenty of ways to make your grocery fund go further. Check out a few of these simple kitchen hacks to save pennies that add up to dollars.

      Grate your own cheese. You pay big time for the convenience of pre-grated cheese. Buy an economical chunk of cheddar, or whatever type of cheese you like, and grate it yourself. Freeze what you don’t need right away so you’ll always have some on hand.

      Chop and freeze herbs. Most recipes call for just a tablespoon or two of fresh herbs, but they come in bunches and unused portions often go to waste. Chop what you don’t use and pack it in ice cube trays with a little water. Throw the cubes into your soups or stews, or mix them with butter in your veggies.

      Stop tossing brick-hard brown sugar. Store it with a marshmallow to keep it from hardening. If it’s too late for that, put the box or jar of hardened sugar into the microwave for 20 seconds to soften.

      Roll your lemons. Don’t use two when one will do. You’ll get a lot more juice out of a lemon when you roll it on the counter before you cut it. 

      Keep homemade cookies fresh. Lay a slice of fresh bread over them in your storage container. If they’re still around after a few days, change the bread to keep them fresh a little longer.

      Skip the cooking spray. It’s more expensive and less nutritious than the tablespoon of olive oil, butter or coconut oil you need in your skillet.

      Make leftovers more appealing. People turn up their noses at microwaved leftovers because they often wind up dry and tasteless. You can save on lunch by adding a bit of moisture to make them taste like they're fresh-cooked. Wrap bread in a damp paper towel before nuking. Put a glass of water in the microwave when heating pastas, meats or stews.  

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

      20 January 2021

      Everyone can appreciate a breath of fresh air. It’s a basic life essential, yet when you’re stuck inside for extended periods, it can start to feel like a luxury. If the air in your home seems a little stale or stagnant, you may want to take a few steps to improve your indoor air quality. Here are several tips to achieve just that.

      Eliminate Pollutants
      Perhaps the most effective way to keep your air fresh is to eliminate any possible sources that are contaminating it. That could mean removing mold from the bathroom, getting rid of a dusty old rug or making sure that your home is free of any volatile organic compounds. New fabrics and furnishings, in particular, can be a common source of airborne pollutants.

      Air Purifier
      Whether you want a portable air purifier for one room, or a system for the whole house that’s integrated with your HVAC system, there are plenty of options to effectively get rid of pollutants. In fact, a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter will remove up to 99.9 percent of airborne particles. A good air purifier is especially important if you’re unable to open windows to ventilate your home due to a wildfire, for instance.

      Ventilation System
      Of course, under normal circumstances, ventilating your home with air from outside is favorable. While it’s nice to keep the windows open when the weather permits, a ventilation system will circulate fresh air so you can breathe easy year-round without running up your heating and cooling costs. 

      There are all sorts of mold, dust mites and bacteria that thrive in a humid environment. Fortunately, this problem can be solved throughout the house by installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system. Decreasing the amount of moisture in your home can also alleviate allergies, as well as improve the overall comfort of your living environment, which anyone can appreciate. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Top Home Decor Trends for 2021

      19 January 2021

      With most people spending more time at home than ever, it is not surprising that home design trends in 2021 will focus on comfort and functionality. From clean lines to homey touches that remind you of Grandma’s house,  some of these popular styles may surprise you.

      Grandmillenial Style 
      Inspired by the comforts of Grandma's home (cue the velvet sofa, needlepoint and floral curtains), millennials are decorating with a nostalgic sense of style. Expect to see vintage touches and old-school patterns mixed with bold, modern colors.

      Japandi Design 
      In a tumultuous year, the trend moves to a soothing neutral color palette. Enter Japandi style: a combination of Japanese design and Scandinavian minimalism that’s all about sleek lines and neutral color palettes. Check it out on Pinterest, which has seen the search for Japandi increase 100 percent in the past year. 

      Earth Tones 
      They’re back, replacing recent trends toward gray and bright white. Warm taupes, beiges, sands—basically any earth tone is surging in popularity, both for walls and furnishings.

      Oversized Tiles 
      Out with teeny-tiny bathroom tiles with impossible-to-clean grout lines, and in with larger scale tiles that provide less visual clutter while helping to visually expand a small space.

      Clever Room Dividers 
      Because homes are now serving multiple functions—home office, gym, schools and creative space—the need for privacy and separate zones has increased, and dividers are back. Etsy reports a 134-percent increase in searches for room dividers, while Pinterest saw the search for ‘cloffice’ ideas (as in closet converted into an office) more than double.

      Outdoor Living 
      Taken from the Danish concept of "friluftsliv," or "free air life," the age of coronavirus ushers in more options for making small outdoor gatherings comfortable. Fire pits, weatherproof upholstery, comfy patio furniture and even drink ledges for balcony railings are being sought after for backyards, patios and balconies.

      Neon Lights 
      Brighten up 2021 with fluorescent light fixtures—neon lighting is back with a modern look. Customized neon word art and neon-hued LED lights are trending. On Pinterest, searches for "neon room" and "LED light signs" have already more than tripled.    

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Budget-Friendly Furnishings to Refresh Your Space

      19 January 2021

      New home furnishings can be pricey, but adding even just one item to your space can transform the look of a room all while keeping to your budget. Whether you’re looking for a pop of color or a hint of texture, you don’t need to take on a huge, expensive project to reach your design dreams. Here are a few furnishings to inspire your next budget-friendly home refresh.

      Whether you use it to put your feet up and relax, or simply as a surface to lay out magazines, plants and other decorative items, an ottoman is a great way to add color and texture to a space. It can even be utilized for extra seating if you are planning to host friends or family. Ottomans come in many different colors, shapes and sizes to compliment any theme, color scheme or style. 

      Add comfort and style to your living room, bedroom and even your dining room by adding one or two upholstered armchairs. Buy new or upcycle an outdated piece to add a bit of DIY style. Highlight characteristics, such as patterned fabric, grommets and even the legs, as they can add a hint of personality to any space.

      Accent Table
      Adding a small table into any room of your home can not only offer style and design, but also storage space. Place an accent table in an empty corner and add decor, such as a lamp, to brighten up the room. Or, put an accent table by the window and add some houseplants to liven up the space. Like the armchair, you can upcycle a table with stain or paint to fit your taste.

      Area Rug
      If you’re looking to add contrast, patterns and texture, start from the bottom: an area rug. Because you can find rugs in nearly any color, pattern, shape, size or texture, your options are endless. A rug may also bring an entire room together, tying in color schemes or offsetting neutral colors. Get creative with smaller rugs by layering them for added texture and a bit of unique, custom styling. 

      Don’t take on a large, expensive home project just to refresh your space. Even just one simple piece can help change or update your space, saving you money and stress. Stay on budget and in style when planning your next interior design project.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.