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Entries Tagged as 'home improvement'

Smart Gadget Ideas for the Home

August 9th, 2017 · No Comments

Smart Gadgets are quite fun to look at and try out but have you ever considered purchasing a few for your home?  Why not take the plunge to make your home a more interesting place to be by purchasing a few or all of the gadgets mentioned below. 

  1.  Many of you may have already seen or perhaps even tried the smart vacuum.  If you haven’t tried it you need to do so.  Just imagine pushing a few buttons and sitting down to relax while your vacuum cleaner does all the work for you.  What a revolution!  Be prepared to dish out $700 to $900, but it will likely be quite worth it in the end. 

  2. Smart trash cans have perhaps not been as heard of as the vacuum cleaners but they are just as cool none the less.  If you are the type of person that cannot stand to touch the top of the trashcan due to the fact that it is loaded with germs, this may be just the thing for you!  Not only will you not have to touch the lid but some of these gadgets even tell you when the trash is full and needs to be taken out!  How do you like that for smart?! $150 to $200 will buy you this luxury item! 

  3. Washers and dryers have had intelligent features for years but are beginning to add more and more as each year passes.  Some of them now have phone apps that let you remotely control them.  Some will sense when you are home and instantly begin using their quiet mode so as not to disturb you.  These types of machines will run you $1400-$1800 each but are well worth the money if you have it to spare. 

  4. Even air purifiers have been added to the list of smart gadgets folks are buying these days.  These items puts your homes air through different filters, then analyzes the data and sends it to your phone to tell you what types of things are prevalent in your air such as pollen, dust, pet dander, etc.  These cost from $200 to $750.   

You may have thought that your home couldn’t be this smart but it can if you have the money to make it happen.  These items are so amazing that if you don’t currently have the money to buy them, you may want to consider saving up for one at a time.   

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Fung Shui Ideas for Your New Home

July 12th, 2017 · No Comments

Decorating a new home is a fun process.  Whether or not you are an experienced decorator,  you can look and feel like a pro with the aid of some fung shui.  Below are a few ideas on how to make it work for your new home.

  1.  Many folks like to hang mirrors at their entrance way to make the space look larger and more inviting as well.  Be sure to place your mirror on a side wall as you walk in instead of directly across from the door.  This will help with the flow of things as guests enter your house.  They will be able to see themselves and feel welcomed as they arrive as opposed to feeling like they are being pushed out with their own reflection.
  2. Another way to make fung shui work for you  is to keep clutter to a minimum.  This is especially true in the bedroom because a bedroom is a place of rest.  If there is a lot of junk all around the room those who spend time there will likely feel a bit disheveled.  If you feel as if you don’t know enough about this topic to do the job right, you can always higher an expert to help get you started in the right direction.
  3. Make sure that if you want to have live plants in your home that you place them in areas where folks will be hanging out and spending quality time together.  Try not  to place live plants in areas where sleep takes place such as the bedroom because you need items that give off restfulness.
  4. Leaving the toilet lid closed is a great, easy little trick that will help to make everyone who enters your bathroom feel good about the space.
  5. Keeping the flooring all one type in the home helps the energy to flow freely.  Try not to use two different types of flooring butted up against one another if you can help it as this will weaken the energy of the home.
  6. Be sure to place your bed across from the door to the bedroom or at least at a spot where the door can be easily seen.  This will enhance the comfort level of the room as opposed to putting the bed on the same wall as the door.

Fung Shui is fun and interesting and it really does work to help the energy of the home   feel comfortable and welcoming.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership

How to Make Your Outdoor Space More Inviting and Fun

June 28th, 2017 · No Comments

This time of year folks begin to get outdoors to do more around their homes because it is nice and warm outside.   It’s also a good time to do a bit of work outside the house and make your outdoor space more inviting and fun for family and friends.   Below is a list of ways in which you can accomplish this.

  1.  If you already have landscape lighting, why not purchase a few fun colored lights to use in them for different holidays.  This will defiantly make your outdoor space a lot more fun.
  2. If you are getting tired of mowing your grass then you may want to replace your grass with a garden.  You might want to add a garden of flowers or a garden of vegetables or even put in a koi pond.  Any of these ideas will help to keep you from spending your summer evenings mowing the grass all the time, therefore making your outdoor space more fun.
  3. If your patio furniture is old and outdated, now is the time to go out to purchase some that allows you to show your style more effectively.  Outdoor furniture always makes outdoor spaces more inviting and fun.
  4. Adding a new doorbell to the outside of your home may seem like a small thing, however if you find a nice one that lights up the front door area it can do wonders towards making your home seem more inviting at night.
  5. If you don’t already have a swimming pool, summertime is a great time to add one.  Not much can make your outdoor space more fun than a swimming pool for all to enjoy.
  6. If you do add a swimming pool why not go out and make it really fun and cool by adding an outdoor shower to the mix.  This type of thing is pretty rare unless your home is at the beach, therefore your outdoor shower may quickly become the talk of the neighborhood.

There are so many ways in which to make your outdoor space more inviting and fun; these are just a few of them that you may want to try.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Tips for Creating a Perfect Kitchen Pantry

June 21st, 2017 · No Comments

The typical household kitchen pantry is full of items that are needed and some items that may have been in there way too long that are no longer needed or good for that matter.  Perhaps you have tried in the past to clean out your pantry to make it more efficient to no avail.  Below are a few tips for a perfect kitchen pantry that may help you clean and organize yours once and for all.

  1.  The best way to start organizing your pantry is to clean everything out of it and start from the beginning.  It may make a mess at first when you begin taking all of the items out of your pantry but sometimes you have to make a mess in order to get rid of a mess.   Be sure to look through all of your items throwing out anything that is outdated or spoiled.
  2.  Another tip for a creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to install shelving that makes it more efficient.  You can purchase shelving for your pantry at most local hardware stores or you can build them yourself out of wood, whichever works best for you.   You can make the shelves stationary or you can choose to make them where they will pull out so that you can get things out a bit easier.
  3. Putting all your staples such as flower and sugar into air tight containers then labeling them is a great way to organize your pantry and make it more user friendly.  Once you get all of your staple items into containers you can then more easily organize them.
  4. Another good tip for creating a perfect kitchen pantry is to use one shelf for each type of food.  For example you can put cereals together all on one shelf,  spices on one shelf and  items that you use daily on a shelf that is eye level.
  5. If your pantry is dull and dreary, you can always paint it a light color to brighten it up after you organize it all.

Once you get your kitchen pantry all organized exactly like you want it you will likely want to spend more time in the kitchen creating fantastic meals for your friends and family.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Selecting Plants and Flowers for Your Home Garden

June 7th, 2017 · No Comments

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Gainesville FL home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc. And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight. As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

SMELL: Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Gainesville FL home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own “memory lane’ or relaxing oasis. In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender. Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND: Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension. To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cotoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH: Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Gainesville FL home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby’s breath, asters, and grasses. In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE: The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions. Consider, too low bush blueberries or ligonberries. Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

How to Go Green This Spring

May 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

These days it seems everyone is all about going green.  Have you ever given any thought on taking part in going green?  If so you have come to the right place.  Below are a few tips on how you and your family can go green this spring!   Why not add going green to your spring cleaning list!

  1.  One way that you and your family can go green this spring is to simply take your shoes off before you enter your house!  You read that right; you can go green by simply taking off your shoes. 40% of all indoor contaminants actually come from the bottom of our shoes so do your part to keep this from happening to you and your family by taking those shoes off!
  2. Learn what ingredients are considered to be green so that when you go to the store to purchase all of your new green cleaners you can be confident that you are actually doing some good for the environment.  Some companies that claim to be green actually have some ingredients that are not green once they are mixed together.   Just read up on what ingredients are green and what ingredients are not and are typically passed off as green and you should be heading in the right direction on what to buy and what not to buy.
  3. Don’t forget the outside of your home when you are going green.  Many grasses are able to grow and thrive without the help of any type of pesticides and /or fertilizers.  The best way to start going green with the outside of your home is to replace the grass you currently have with native grasses to your particular area.  One perk of this switch is that you may find that you have a lot less upkeep of your lawn once you do this!  Who wouldn’t enjoy having more time with their family and less time doing yard work on a weekly basis!

These are just a few ways in which you can help to make your home a bit more green this spring.  Once you get started going green it is likely that you will find more and more ways in which to do so.  It can become addicting once you make the decision to go green in and around your home!

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

How to Clean Your Grill

April 26th, 2017 · No Comments

Spring is here and that means that summer is right around the corner!  Summertime brings with it many things but one of the awesome things about summer is that it means many meal prep times will move from inside of the kitchen to outside on the grill!  Yum!  You will have to do your part to get your grill ready for all the outdoor cooking that is about to begin!  Below are a few ideas on how best to clean your grill for the upcoming season!

  1.  The first place to start when beginning to clean your grill is to clean the grates.  These can get quite dirty during the outdoor cooking season.  If you were smart when the last season ended you cleaned them and wiped them down with cooking oil, however if you didn’t, there is still hope. One good and easy way to clean your dirty grill grates is to place them into your self-cleaning oven and let it do the work for you.  Another way to get your grill grates clean is to simply put them in the dishwasher.
  1. Clean the burner tubes by simply brushing them and wiping them clean.   Be sure not to use any metal brushes as these have been deemed unsafe if the metal pieces come off and get into your food.
  1. Clean the grease collection tray by scrubbing it with a clean damp cloth.
  1. If you happen to have a charcoal grill, your cleaning process will be a bit simpler than with a gas grill.  Scrub the grill with a nylon brush and then clean the grates and that is it!  If you have old charcoal simply throw it out and buy some new for the season.

These are just a few ideas on how to clean your grill to get it ready for the upcoming outdoor cooking season.  The best way to clean your grill is honestly just to clean as you go. If you do your part to clean up after yourself after each and every meal you will have a much easier time when it comes time to get the grill out again for the next season.  If you don’t do your part to clean as you go, at least now you have a few ideas on how to get rid of the grit and grime easily.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Spring Maintenance Check List for Your Home

April 5th, 2017 · No Comments

Spring cleaning has likely already become underway in your household.  What you may not have given much thought however is spring maintenance for your home.   There are several things that folks generally check around their homes before the winter months but there are also a few things you need to check in the early spring months.  Below is a spring maintenance check list for your home.

  1.  Springtime means it is time to start mowing your lawn again.  If your lawn mower has been outside all winter due to lack of storage space you may need to do a bit of maintenance on it before you get it going.  Sharpening the blade is always a good idea before a new season so that you get a nice clean cut on the grass.  It’s also a good idea to check the oil on your lawn mower before beginning to use it for the warm season.
  2. Spring is a great time to check your house for worn paint areas such as your shutters.  If you find worn or chipped paint on your house what better time to fix that than in the typically perfect weather of spring.
  3. Be sure to check your crawl space vents for any debris that may have accumulated there over the winter months.  Also you want to keep your eye out for any animals such as snakes or rodents that may have made their home in your crawl space over the last few months.  Get rid of anything that doesn’t belong and repair anything that may be broken such as the vent covers.
  4. Get your flower beds and any garden areas ready for spring by cleaning out any debris that may have accumulated and trimming back any old growth.  It is also a good time to add mulch to your flower beds and fertilizer to your garden.

The above list of spring maintenance ideas is just a start in the right direction.  There is certainly much more that you need to do in and around your house before the summer time approaches.  Once you get started with these, you will likely find and think of more things that need to be done.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Tips for Adding a Fence on Your Property

March 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

Owning a home is a wonderful thing, but you should always be really careful to make the best choices if you make changes to the outside of your home and this includes putting up a fence of any kind.  There are a few tips for adding a fence to your property that you might want to take into consideration before doing so and some of those are listed below.

  1. Before putting up a fence on your property be sure to talk with your neighbors about it. You need to keep in mind that you are not only putting up a fence in your backyard but you are also adding a fence to your neighbors land as well.  Talk with the neighbors that your fence will directly affect and discuss such things as property lines and types of fencing etc.
  2. Another thing to consider when adding a fence on your property is the color of the fence and also the style.  Will the color and style of your fence match your home?  If you need ideas of what style fence will look good with your house consider looking online at some ideas.
  3. You may want to consider planting trees to use as a fence if you decide you can’t find a style of fencing that will look good with your homes style. Cypress and pines are great for this type of privacy fencing and they never go out of style.
  4. If you decide to add a wooden fence, be sure that you know you will have to take care of it and paint or stain it every so often. If you want something that has less maintenance than that you may want to purchase a vinyl fence.
  5. You may want to consider cost as well when deciding what type of material you want your new fence made out of. Keeping within your budget is always a good idea when adding to your home.
  6. Longevity of the fence material is another thing to keep in mind when choosing fencing for your property. You don’t want to purchase a material that will need to be replaced sooner than you wish for it to.

These are just a few tips for adding a fence of any kind to your property.  Once you have gone over these tips you should be able to choose more wisely than you would have without them.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

How to Use Color to Brighten Up Your Neutral Home

March 15th, 2017 · No Comments

adding color to brighten your house

Many houses these days tend to have very neutral colors in them.  One reason for this is because painting your house neutral can sometimes make it easier to sell.  If you plan to stay in your home for more than a few years, why not use a bit of color to brighten up your neutral home.  Below is a list of a few colors you might want to try and where you might want to think about using them!

  1. You might think that magenta would be a bit bright to use as a wall color in your home, but you may want to give it a try!  You don’t have to paint the entire room this color, why not just paint one wall magenta and let the others be a neutral color.  This will help make your room a bit brighter than it otherwise might be as it adds a bit of pop and pizzazz.
  2. Another color you may not have thought about adding to your neutral home is purple. A good place to use a deep purple color in your home to brighten it up a bit is a bathroom or hallway.  Deep purples can add a touch of class to an otherwise drab area of your home.
  3. You can also use blue and shades of blue to help brighten things up a bit. A good place to use blue paint in your home would be the dining room, living room or den.  There are quite a few different shades of blue to choose from these days but don’t be afraid to choose a bright blue to make a room stand out.
  4. Green is another color that can help to brighten up your neutral home. You can choose from shades of green all the way from forest green to lime green.  It may be a good idea to use a more calming forest green for an office space and maybe a lime green for your child’s room.  Greens are also good for sunrooms as they tend to help bring a feel of the outdoors inside.

These are just a few ways to use color to brighten up your neutral home.  Hopefully it has got you thinking of how you want to bring more color into your life  and what rooms you want to add the color to.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Real Estate · Seller Info