6 Commonly Missed Cleaning Spots

It’s easy to get into a routine when cleaning your home season after season, year after year. While simply going over the same spots may make your home feel cleaner, at the same time, it allows the neglected areas to become dirtier. Here are six commonly missed spots around the home that, once given the attention they deserve, will help make your home feel completely clean.

6 Commonly Missed Cleaning Spots

1. Underneath & Behind Furniture

Dirt and dust love to hide in tough-to-reach, tucked-away spots like behind your nightstand, under your bed frame, and on the underside of your tables, chairs, and couches. Cleaning these areas may require some heavy lifting and rearranging but it’s worth your while. If enough dust and grime have accumulated over the years that your vacuum can’t remove the buildup, try using a washcloth to loosen the sediment.

2. Vents and Fans

Vents and fans not only collect dust, but they also distribute it around your home. Ceiling fans are one of the hardest spots in your home to reach, so you may need to use a ladder and an extended duster to clean them. Clean your vent grates with a dusting brush or a wire brush depending on the thickness of the buildup. If your home has central air, remember to replace your air filters periodically. A clean ventilation system is key to protecting your home’s air quality.

3. Bathroom Surfaces

We all know the feeling of picking up a rarely used shampoo bottle in the shower to discover a grimy ring underneath it. Wipe off your bottles and surfaces in the shower to keep it sparkling clean. Scrub away the debris from your shower head and soak it in a mixture of water and white vinegar to cleanse the device and to prevent a buildup of mineral deposits. To reach behind the toilet, you may need knee pads and an extended cleaning tool. Use a disinfectant-water mixture to prevent the spread of germs. Tackling chores like these will help make your bathroom feel brand new in no time.

 

 

4. Switches & Handles

Light switches, door handles, drawer pulls, and knobs are all hotbeds for germs and dirt and can easily be forgotten while cleaning your home. Take a two-step approach to cleaning these high-touch surfaces: first clean, then disinfect. Cleaning will get rid of contaminants, while disinfecting targets pathogens. The combination of the two will help make your home feel cleaner while reducing the spread of germs. Other high-touch surfaces such as keyboards, phones, tablets, and other devices require regular cleaning as well.

5. Appliances

It’s easy to think of your appliances strictly as devices that help your home stay clean and organized, but they are magnets for dirt and gunk, too. After cleaning out the refrigerator and scrubbing down the shelves, find the coils and clean them of debris with a vacuum or a brush. The floor underneath your refrigerator can be a seriously grimy spot, so a quick mop of that area is worth your while. Give your dishwasher a good cleanse to prevent mold buildup and bad odors. Remember to clean out the filter occasionally with soap and water. Cleaning your appliances routinely can help avoid repairs and can even extend their life expectancy.

6. Baseboards

Baseboards are the perfect settling point for dirt and dust. The space between your walls and floors is an easy trap for buildup, and upon closer inspection, you’ll find some combination of scuffs, dust, food remnants and scratch marks. To thoroughly clean your baseboards, you may need to move your furniture away from the walls but be careful not to scratch the floor or damage the baseboards. Wipe away the dust before cleaning the surface. Use either a mix of soap and water, water and vinegar, or the proper wood cleaner for wooden baseboards.

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Summer Parties Made Simple

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Windermere Living by Amanda Zurita.

Summer, especially this summer, is meant for barbecues, outdoor movie nights, garden gatherings, and rooftop cocktail affairs. Keep the focus on reconnecting with friends and family by opting for unfussy, minimalist decor and clean color palettes. It’s about time we have something to celebrate, isn’t it?

Backyard Barbecue

Upgrade the summertime tradition of the backyard barbecue with stylish and simple tools.

A group of people sit at a table outside for a backyard barbecue.

Image Credit: Jayme Burrows / Stocksy

 

The most time-honored summertime gathering takes place in your own backyard, and a lineup of modern tabletop grills and tools means you can feed a fête without much fret. For example, BergHOFF’s sleek tabletop grill has a compact design that can easily transport to a balcony or the beach—simply add charcoal, and you’re ready to take orders. Or switch it up with one of this year’s most popular cooking contraptions, a portable pizza oven, like the one made by Ooni. With models powered by gas or by wood fire, these ovens can cook a 12-inch pizza in as little as 60 seconds and will work for meats and vegetables, too. Focus on main courses, and ask your guests to bring sides or desserts to share. Complete the ambience by piping a playlist through portable outdoor speakers like the Move by Sonos, which are equipped with voice control and Bluetooth tech, so you can play DJ with ease.

Elevate Your Grill Game Without Going Too Crazy

  • Burgers on the menu? Stuff them with gourmet cheeses, like bleu or mozzarella, before throwing them on.

  • Sitting down together? Time your steaks right by searing them first and finishing them just before serving.

  • Make it a pizza night—with or without a pizza oven. Load pies with your favorite fixings, roll them out on a pizza stone, and cook them over the open flame.

  • Don’t skimp on fruits and veggies. Grilled vegetables are summer’s side dish; peaches and pineapple make for a sweet and juicy dessert (make it á la mode!).

Garden Party

Elevate your outdoor space with basic romantic elements.

A group of people sit around a large table at a backyard party.

Image Credit: Trinnette Reed / Stocksy

 

A garden party is a glorious way to gather with friends for an elegant afternoon. Start by creating a special space in the yard by laying down some outdoor rugs or erecting a temporary canopy to provide shade. To illuminate the celebration, surround the table with candlelit lanterns, or string outdoor lights between overhead branches. Then, it’s all about the tablescape. Select durable (and unbreakable) dishware like sustainable bamboo plates and bowls from Fable New York, which come in a range of colors like soft blush, buttery yellow, and eggshell blue. The same goes for glasses, which can be as durable as they are chic in fluted acrylic designs from West Elm. To distribute your chosen refreshments, fill a cheery pineapple-shaped beverage dispenser from Nordstrom with punch or lemonade, or stock bottles of bubbly in a sleek Permasteel rolling patio cooler. Once you’ve covered the dining and decor, add extras that keep your guests comfortable, like classic paddle fans, supplied by party stores and wedding suppliers like The Knot. Keep mosquitoes at bay with a discreet Patio Shield repeller by Thermacell, which creates a 15-foot zone of protection around your gathering.

Add a touch of natural beauty by creating simple flower arrangements based on what’s in your yard—or the local farmers market. Seasonal blooms like tulips, peonies, and ranunculus come in many shades and have a textural, wild appearance. To step outside the expected, add branches from cherry or olive trees or fresh fruits from trees on your property. Take your time adding and subtracting elements until you achieve a look you love. A flower frog or stretch of lattice can help hold everything in place. For a minimalist spray, choose a monochromatic color palette, or keep it light with just a few blooms.

Sunset Soirée

Watch the sunset from your rooftop, porch, or balcony at an elegant yet restrained affair. 

A man and a woman attend an outdoor party during sunset.

Image Credit: Jovo Jovanovic / Stocksy

 

To set a classic (and classy) mood, make a portable record player the center of attention, and invite guests to bring a favorite album. Many options, like the turntables from Crosley, have Bluetooth capabilities, so you can link speakers and switch to digital music with ease. To keep the evening chill away, set up a portable fire pit (Solo offers wood-burning, smokeless options in a number of sizes). Citronella candles, like Pottery Barn’s artful candle, help maintain the romantic ambience while keeping the buzz kills away.

Cheers to You

A polished party deserves an equally upscale signature drink, but you don’t want to spend all night playing bartender. A Champagne punch you can batch in advance is easy to make but elegant enough to fit the vibe. This recipe for a berry satsuma sangria will fit the bill and please a crowd, especially when served in shatter-resistant stemware from Williams Sonoma. Prepare about an hour before your party to preserve the bubbles.

Ingredients

  • 6 satsuma oranges
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 bottle of chilled dry Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 6 oz Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 4 oz club soda
  • 2 oz cherry brandy
  • Fresh mint for garnish

Recipe

Place the segments of two oranges and all of the strawberries and raspberries into a large punch bowl or drink pitcher. Juice the remaining oranges for about . to ⅔ cup of orange juice, and add to the bowl along with the remaining liquid ingredients. Stir together and taste, adding simple syrup if it isn’t at your desired sweetness. Serve over a large ice cube and garnish with mint.

Movie Night

Everything you need to get cozy under the stars.

A man and a woman watch a movie on a projector from their driveway.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Pump Up Your Popcorn

Toss plain popcorn with a variety of seasonings: try butter, salt, and truffle oil; crispy bacon, a few tablespoons bacon drippings, butter, and chopped chives; butter, sriracha, and lime—or bake popcorn on a tray with a few cups of your favorite cheeses for a crunchy-melty treat.

It’s lights, camera, action with a backyard movie night to rival any drive-in. If you’ve spent the last year watching everything Netflix has to offer from the comfort of your couch, this change of scenery is (literally) a breath of fresh air. Opening your own outdoor theater is easy with movie screens, like Pottery Barn’s streamlined option, that set up in no time and come with a portable storage bag. Upgrade from blankets or lawn chairs to specially made outdoor bean bags from Jaxx, line the aisles with IKEA’s romantic solar lanterns, and you’re ready for showtime under the stars.

Project: Projector

When choosing a projector, consider brightness levels in your yard. If you have any light pollution, you’ll likely need a projector that puts out 800 lumens for an 80-inch screen size. A short throw projector, placed three to eight feet from the screen, is ideal. Epson’s EF-100 Mini Laser Projector is a good bet, and it’s both powerful and light, weighing just under six pounds. As for audio, most projectors that do have built-in speakers won’t offer the cinematic sound quality you’re looking for, so a set of well-placed Bluetooth speakers will round out the full experience. A pair of Anker Soundcore Motion Boom speakers placed at the back corners of your viewing area can create rich surround sound. And be sure to let the neighbors know about movie night so they aren’t surprised—better yet, why not extend an invite?

The post Summer Parties Made Simple appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

Windermere Living: Board it Up

For an intimate gathering or celebration, or just to change up a weeknight dinner, charcuterie boards are impressive crowd-pleasers.

Once an innocuous appetizer, charcuterie boards are stealing the show as stunning smorgasbords studded with salami roses and a rainbow of ripe vegetables, flamboyant fruits, and sweet and savory snacks. Traditionally, charcuterie boards are composed of meats and cheeses—the name even comes from the French for “cooked flesh.” A part of French culinary art since at least the 15th century, they were considered the food of the bourgeoisie for hundreds of years before catching on with higher-end cooks. Now, they return to accessibility as people find ways to customize their boards and feature all sorts of spreads. Trays and wood blocks can be artfully piled with everything needed for a build-your-own brunch buffet, a vegan midday meal, or an elegant soirée starter. Boards tap into a host’s creative side as an easy, fun way to put out an incredible spread that pleases every type of person. “I love making them for entertaining,” says Amy Holt of Peas Thank You in Venice, California, “because it’s a centerpiece for conversation.”

 

Photography by Carly Diza – Food Styling by Anne Parker

 

At cocktail parties, casual gatherings, or before a sit-down dinner, charcuterie board–style spreads allow people to create their own bites and discuss what they paired and how they ate it—functioning as both food and icebreaker. The chameleon of catering, boards fit in as easily at a small family picnic as they do at an upscale event, while also giving people more flexibility than a set menu: hungrier guests can make almost a full meal of the offerings, while lighter eaters can sparsely snack. But the ultimate asset of an attractive board to anchor an event is the freedom to indulge artistic whims in building a creative, edible assortment. Expert charcuterie board makers from around the West talk about how they design their signature creative boards with both classic snacks and unorthodox offerings in elegant arrangements for family, friends, and gatherings large and small.

Magnificent Morning

When a client for her charcuterie board business requested a bagel spread for a bar mitzvah, Sylvie Stulic, of the Bay Area’s On the Board Gourmet, saw it as the perfect opportunity to get creative. Now it’s part of her standard offerings, and she’s gained knowledge on the best way to build a bagel board.

Functional Design

The big size and flavor of caperberries always draws wows, says Stulic, while she adds extra brightness with red sweetie drop peppers. “I love to include a floral element,” she says, which may be actual (edible) flowers or cucumbers styled into roses. One standard bagel fixing not found on the bagel boards, though, are onions. “They contaminate the other flavors,” Stulic explains.

Tips of the Tray

Unless the board is enormous, Stulic slices and cuts the bagels in half so that they don’t visually overwhelm everything else. She uses the halves to create a line down the middle and creates symmetry with the colors around it. Aim to keep the bagels surrounded by dry ingredients so they don’t get soggy on the board. For serving a crowd or an event, bagels work well because they are traditionally eaten at room temperature. But at home, she branches out, creating similar breakfast spreads for her family out of crepes, waffles, and pancakes.

 

Photography by Carly Diza – Food Styling by Anne Parker

Creative Colors

The rainbow platters made by Amy Holt of Peas Thank You in Venice, California, stand out for their bold use of patterns, whether as a fun fruit display, a vegan snack selection, or a traditional meat and cheese board.

Shop Savvy

“Start at the farmers market,” says Holt. That’s the best place to find natural-looking fruits and vegetables, like radishes with their stems and broccolini with flowers. But even if limited to a grocery store, she can look for the same effect with tomatoes on the vine and celery with nice leaves to use as a garnish. Instead of buying pre-sliced meats or trying to slice them at home—especially for small boards that only need a few slices of each type of meat—Holt uses the deli counter at the grocery store, which will cut them to order. Holt uses honeycomb on cheeses and tops a chia seed pudding with toasted coconut to add special touches.

Tips of The Tray

Bring variety in shapes as well as color by cutting and stacking the food creatively: put berries on a skewer, clip the grape bunches into manageable sizes, and fold the meat in different ways. Start with the biggest things first by plating any dips or spreads. Holt uses a coconut chia seed pudding as the anchor to her fruit boards and hummus on her vegan spread. Arrange foods in groups of three, and always use odd numbers, as they are more naturally pleasing to people. Use triangle formations to direct the eye across platters, drawing attention to the whole board, rather than a single spot or line. Finish by tossing a small, attractive garnish all over the board—berries, little tomatoes, or cilantro flowers—to add a decorative touch.

 

Photography by Carly Diza – Food Styling by Anne Parker

Edible And Upscale  

When the fashion industry slowed down during the pandemic and the events Rona Argana once planned dried up, she used her sharp eye for design to craft grazing boxes as gifts to send to her friends. That turned into For Love and Graze, her North Hollywood, California business that spins casual snack platters into eye-catching displays.

Ingredients for Elegance

Use the green color of leaves to signify freshness, says Argana. She likes mint sprigs in the spring, rosemary and sage in the winter. (Keep them well hydrated ahead of time, so they last longer.) Fancy can still be fun, and she loves to use letter-shaped cookie cutters and slices from a log of mozzarella cheese to add celebratory messages. Savory needs a balance of sweet, so even her traditional snack boards always include a sugary nibble like chocolate-covered almonds or yogurt-covered pretzels.

Tips of the Tray

Start by setting out a neutral color palette of the crackers, meats, and cheeses. Then bring in a limited range of colors, sticking to greens, oranges, and reds. Balance each color with multiple tones and items: use both olives and grapes for green and offset the reds from berries with similar shades of citrus. Most of all, Argana says, don’t forget the purpose of the creation, and consider the flavors as much as the colors: “Make sure it tastes as good as it looks.”

The post Windermere Living: Board it Up appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

Designing Your Backyard for BBQs

Summer is the season of spending long days and nights out in the backyard and making home-cooked meals on the barbecue. Whether classic BBQ dishes like ribs and hamburgers or skewered grilled vegetables are more your style, these tips will help get your backyard in prime shape for grilling season.

 

Designing Your Backyard for BBQs

Some homeowners may choose to make their barbecue the focal point of their backyard, while others view it as something to accentuate more central features like a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen. The grill alone will take up significant space, not to mention the crowd it can attract. With that in mind, avoid situating it in areas of high foot traffic, such as near the stairs of your deck or along a main walking path. You should also provide ample room between the barbecue and your backyard seating.

 

A simple charcoal grill is ideal for small spaces. It also allows you to be flexible with your barbecue setup. If you are hosting a gathering, you can simply move the grill if need be and rearrange your backyard to accommodate the occasion. Built-in barbecues provide a more robust grilling setup, while freeing up space on the deck or patio. Though built-ins are typically more expensive than a standalone grill, they are a hub for outdoor entertainment. For homeowners who enjoy grilling in the shade, or those who live in climates where it sometimes rains in the summer, covered barbecues may be the way to go. Pergolas, canopies, and awnings are all popular options for providing cover. Outdoor kitchens are the most comprehensive grilling setup. With countertop space, a sink, and the barbecue all within reach, all the prep work for your cookout can be done outside, right next to the grill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve chosen the best barbecue for your backyard, it’s time to start designing around it. The right combination of seating will add the social touch to your barbecuing setup. Bench seating is a popular option for barbecuing on the deck, while tables and chairs out in the backyard lawn create more of a picnic-style feel. Installing a fire pit will bring an added element to you outdoor entertaining, helping to make the transition from an afternoon or evening barbecue into a night spent under the stars. Experiment with different fire pit styles to match the surrounding elements of your backyard. For those with built-in barbecues and outdoor kitchens, consider matching your fire pit’s stonework to tie the backyard together.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

The post Designing Your Backyard for BBQs appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

10 Tips for Sustainable Gardening

It’s the time of the year that many homeowners start spending more time in the garden. Having a healthy garden is one of the best ways to create a sustainable home and reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Here are some eco-friendly tips that will help to make your garden even more sustainable.

 

1. Compost Your Waste

Composting, which puts your natural waste to good use, is the cornerstone of any sustainable garden. All grass clippings, dead leaves, plants, flowers, and the like are rich in nutrients. By composting, you provide your garden with a natural fertilizer, free of contaminants. Not only will this provide nourishment, but it will also help to produce healthier and tastier food.

 

2. Mulching

If having a sustainable garden is your goal, it’s important to treat your soil with care. Mulching enriches the soil and ensures it’s as healthy as can be. Mulch conserves the moisture in your soil, ensuring it won’t dry out. It also reduces weed growth and naturally moderates the temperature of the soil. Mulching can cover either bare soil or freshly planted food and flowers.

 

3. Garden Design

It’s natural to want to accentuate the beauty of your garden when designing it, but the sustainable gardener will prioritize giving plants what they need. Take into consideration which plants need direct access to sunlight, which need the most space in the garden, and any special requirements a plant may need to inhabit optimal growing conditions.

 

4. Use Natural Weed Killers

One of the pillars of organic gardening is to reduce the use of chemicals whenever and wherever possible. Homemade recipes involving vinegar and corn gluten meal are effective substitutes for harmful, chemical-based weed killers. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to weed by hand often.

 

5. Use Water Efficiently

Substantial watering is critical to keeping your garden healthy, but overwatering is a common practice and leads to an unsustainable garden. Research the amount of water your plants and flowers need to make sure you aren’t overwatering. If you live in a rainy climate, rain barrels are a useful tool as their function is to catch and conserve the water from your downspouts.

 

6. Animal Manure

For a more sustainable garden and even healthier soil, consider adding animal manure. Chicken, sheep, and cow manure are all popular choices. Rich in nutrients, it can be used both as a fertilizer and as a soil conditioner. Make sure the manure you purchase is free of pathogens and ask about the recommended window of time from application to harvest before you begin using it.

 

7. Go Local

Planting natively is a fast ticket to sustainable gardening. Native plants are innately acclimated to local climate conditions, making them easier to grow and maintain. Native plants often require less water to grow due to their familiarity with the soil and rainfall in your region, which cuts down on your garden’s total water intake.

 

8. Collect Dried Seeds

Believe it or not, you can save your seeds and sow them next year. Wait until the seed is fully ripe before you collect it. It’s important to gather seeds when the weather is dry and to store them in a dry place. To produce healthy plants in the future, the seed must be completely dry.

 

9. Control Garden Slugs

Slugs are known to wreak havoc on gardens, eating through leaves and fruit, leaving a trail of destruction. There are many ways of controlling slugs in your gardens, but some may do more harm than good. If you choose to use slug bait, go organic. Many slug baits contain chemicals that are highly toxic to other animals.

 

10. Replace Your Gas Mower

How else can you reduce your garden’s carbon footprint? Replace your gas mower with a more sustainable alternative. Electric mowers and push mowers are functional and more eco-friendly replacements. For added sustainability, consider replacing your other gas-powered equipment, such as trimmers and leaf blowers.

The post 10 Tips for Sustainable Gardening appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

Future of Work

This week we had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Ed McMahon who is the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute.

 

He is a leading expert on the future of housing and development in the United States.

 

He sees that Colorado is positioned to massively benefit from the work from home shift taking place across the Country.

 

Ed cited that only 1 in 10 companies expect employees to come back to the office to work full time.  He believes the future of work is a hybrid model where most employees are mixing their work hours between the company office and their home office.

 

What does this mean for housing demand?

 

Smaller cities (like Denver), suburbs and high-amenity small towns will benefit.

 

He sees that those places with a high quality of life will benefit the most.

 

Bottom line, if people are untethered from their corporate office and can live anywhere, they will choose to live in places that are nice to live.

 

Colorado is certainly high on the list of high-amenity and high-quality places.

 

So, the new work from home dynamic is another reason to be bullish on the future of Colorado real estate.

The post Future of Work appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

Future of Work

This week we had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Ed McMahon who is the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute.

 

He is a leading expert on the future of housing and development in the United States.

 

He sees that Colorado is positioned to massively benefit from the work from home shift taking place across the Country.

 

Ed cited that only 1 in 10 companies expect employees to come back to the office to work full time.  He believes the future of work is a hybrid model where most employees are mixing their work hours between the company office and their home office.

 

What does this mean for housing demand?

 

Smaller cities (like Denver), suburbs and high-amenity small towns will benefit.

 

He sees that those places with a high quality of life will benefit the most.

 

Bottom line, if people are untethered from their corporate office and can live anywhere, they will choose to live in places that are nice to live.

 

Colorado is certainly high on the list of high-amenity and high-quality places.

 

So, the new work from home dynamic is another reason to be bullish on the future of Colorado real estate.

The post Future of Work appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

Ideas for Decorating with Plants

At the mention of interior design, the first things that often come to mind are furniture, wall art, paint colors, and other material components. However, plants are an important décor element that have the power to refresh the look and feel of any indoor space, while making your home eco-friendlier. Keep the following tips in mind when decorating your home with plants.

 

Consider Your Space

Before you make a trip to the nursery, think about which spaces in your home are best suited for plants. It’s also important to research the needs of the plant varieties you’re considering. By knowing how much shade and direct sunlight they need, you’ll be able to identify the best home for each plant type and the care they need to grow.

 

Go Vertical

Empty vertical wall spaces provide the perfect opportunity to incorporate hanging plants. Whether you use planters or install shelving, hanging plants attract the eye and bring an organic, living element to what was previously a blank canvas. Hanging herb gardens are a wonderful addition to the kitchen, allowing you to keep fresh ingredients and flavors out in the open air and within reach at all times.

 

Floor Plants

Floor plants are typically large and require plenty of space. Due to their size, they are often used to balance the proportion of rooms containing large furniture items like couches, desks, and tables. Common floor plants include the fishtail palm, olive trees, the rubber plant, fiddle leaf fig, and bird of paradise.

 

Low Maintenance Plants

For those who don’t consider themselves to be green thumbs, cacti and succulents are the way to go. Most succulents come from hot climates with little humidity and have thick tissue that stores water for long periods. Accordingly, they are lower maintenance than most other plants and require little watering.

 

Decorate with Terrariums

Another creative, relatively low-maintenance option for indoor gardeners is a terrarium. Terrariums are contained indoor gardens, usually in a glass container that can be left either sealed or open. Closed terrariums are self-nourishing, creating their own water cycle. Plants that grow in humid conditions are best suited for this environment. Open terrariums provide a good home for plants that need less water, like cacti and succulents. Terrariums make for eye-catching décor, with styles ranging from minimalistic to intricate.

 

For more information on home design and the latest trends, check out our tips on how to upgrade your bedroomhome office, and kitchen, as well as the 2021 paint color trends and principles of timeless home design.

The post Ideas for Decorating with Plants appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

Ideas for Decorating with Plants

At the mention of interior design, the first things that often come to mind are furniture, wall art, paint colors, and other material components. However, plants are an important décor element that have the power to refresh the look and feel of any indoor space, while making your home eco-friendlier. Keep the following tips in mind when decorating your home with plants.

 

Consider Your Space

Before you make a trip to the nursery, think about which spaces in your home are best suited for plants. It’s also important to research the needs of the plant varieties you’re considering. By knowing how much shade and direct sunlight they need, you’ll be able to identify the best home for each plant type and the care they need to grow.

 

Go Vertical

Empty vertical wall spaces provide the perfect opportunity to incorporate hanging plants. Whether you use planters or install shelving, hanging plants attract the eye and bring an organic, living element to what was previously a blank canvas. Hanging herb gardens are a wonderful addition to the kitchen, allowing you to keep fresh ingredients and flavors out in the open air and within reach at all times.

 

Floor Plants

Floor plants are typically large and require plenty of space. Due to their size, they are often used to balance the proportion of rooms containing large furniture items like couches, desks, and tables. Common floor plants include the fishtail palm, olive trees, the rubber plant, fiddle leaf fig, and bird of paradise.

 

Low Maintenance Plants

For those who don’t consider themselves to be green thumbs, cacti and succulents are the way to go. Most succulents come from hot climates with little humidity and have thick tissue that stores water for long periods. Accordingly, they are lower maintenance than most other plants and require little watering.

 

Decorate with Terrariums

Another creative, relatively low-maintenance option for indoor gardeners is a terrarium. Terrariums are contained indoor gardens, usually in a glass container that can be left either sealed or open. Closed terrariums are self-nourishing, creating their own water cycle. Plants that grow in humid conditions are best suited for this environment. Open terrariums provide a good home for plants that need less water, like cacti and succulents. Terrariums make for eye-catching décor, with styles ranging from minimalistic to intricate.

 

For more information on home design and the latest trends, check out our tips on how to upgrade your bedroomhome office, and kitchen, as well as the 2021 paint color trends and principles of timeless home design.

The post Ideas for Decorating with Plants appeared first on Windermere Colorado REALTORS.

How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Home

Water is constantly coursing through your home, flowing in and out of drain pipes, sinks, tubs, and showers. Numerous systems in our homes are dependent upon water, but the minute it runs rampant it begins to cause damage. The consequences of water damage run the gamut, from rotted drywall and mold growth to serious structural issues. The following guide will help you understand what you can do to prevent water damage in your home.

Leaks

Leaks soften wood, which invites all sorts of unwanted activity from termites, while simultaneously creating a perfect habitat for mold and mildew growth. To prevent leaks, keep your drains healthy by frequently cleaning out your drain strainers and refraining from dumping grease down your drains. Check to make sure none of your drains are leaking and if need be, repair or replace your p-traps. Drips, dark stains around your pipes, and discoloration on your ceilings and walls are all strong indicators that a leak has sprung. If you notice an inexplicable spike in your water bill, this is also a sign of a potential leak. By identifying these signs, you can begin repairs right away and stop the water damage in its tracks.

Gutter drainage

A home with weak gutter drainage is an open invitation for water damage to occur. Cleaning your gutters routinely is the best way to prevent them from clogging, which helps to avoid damage to your siding and foundation. Make sure your downspouts expel the gutter water away from your house parallel to the ground. Take a trip to the hardware store for downspout extensions and elbows to make sure that water won’t build up around your home’s foundation, especially if you live in a rainy climate.

Sump pump

Your sump pump can be your saving grace should a water emergency occur. Sump pumps move excess groundwater away from your home, preventing it from infiltrating your basement or crawl space. They are connected to the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlet, which protects it from electrical shorts. There are two ways to test your sump pump. The first is by pouring in enough water to raise the float. If it’s working properly, the pump should activate and begin removing water from its pit. The other method is to unplug the pump’s power and plug it back in. If it does not turn on, it requires repair or replacement.

More

There are some additional steps you can take to prevent water damage to your home. Inspect your roof to identify any damaged shingles or cracks. While you’re up on the roof, take a look at your chimney. Repair any cracked or broken bricks and consider a chimney cap if you don’t already have one in place.

 

Water damage can be harmful to your home and your finances. Even the smallest leak can snowball into larger problems if neglected. By following the steps to prevent water damage, you’ll know if your home needs repairs before it’s too late. For more advice on preventing damage to your home, read our guides to wildfire and winter storm prevention.

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