How to Winterize Your Bedroom for Cozy Comfort

Get ready to cuddle up in bed with your significant other, furry friend or a good book this month. Pile on fuzzy textures and transform your bedroom into a snowy sanctuary for naps and lounging. Stock up on these essentials for the warmest season yet.

Invest in High-Quality Bedding

Your choice of sheets and blankets will really matter in the dead of winter and can dramatically improve your quality of sleep by wrapping you in a warm embrace. Look for ones made of insulating wool, cashmere or flannel to ensure warmth all night long. If your budget allows, splurge on an electric blanket for the room too.

To add even more warmth, shop for a goose down duvet or quilt. This fill provides thermal protection against the cold while also being breathable for ultimate comfort. For those with allergies, cotton and microfiber options are comfortable, budget-friendly alternatives.

Gather a bunch of pillows and throws on top of your bedscape. A stack of fluffy pillows provide back support for reading in bed, while layers of throws make heat control easier. Go for fleece or velvet for an irresistible look and use this opportunity to experiment with color and pattern.

Warm up Your Palette

Swap summer blues and autumn reds for creamy neutrals this winter. White is not only a foolproof choice that pairs well with every color on the spectrum, but it also helps reflect and spread the scarce daylight we have this season. Dip your toes into the timeless Scandinavian style trend by testing out a bright white palette in your bedroom. Spring to life in milky white and soft yellow hues or pair pale blue and gray together for a relaxing look.

Accent a neutral palette with warm wood around the room. As seen in this Montreal bedroom, the paneled ceiling and trim lend a cozy cabin vibe amidst the bleak winter landscape outside. You can replicate the look in smaller doses with a wooden nightstand, stool or headboard.

If you’re willing to venture past your color comfort zone, use a bold hue or two sparingly for a much-needed mood and energy booster. Welcome a bright yellow, pink or teal through accessories like decorative pillows, bedside lamps or overhead artwork.

Light it Up

Since the sun now sets hours earlier than it does on long summer nights, we have to substitute the lost hours of daylight all on our own. Invest in a layered lighting plan to illuminate every dark corner and visually enlarge your space. A great combination is having an overhead fixture, such as a statement chandelier or a cluster of pendants, and adding smaller lights where they’re needed, like lamps or wall sconces. Shop for LED bulbs for energy efficiency or incandescents to mimic the sun’s yellow tint. If you’re still in the holiday spirit, you can also hang string lights above the headboard or along a spare wall for an extra homey feel.

Stash the Nightstand

When you’re too comfy in bed to get up and venture to another cold room, look to your nightstand for one or two of your daily essentials. Choose from a humidifier to combat the dry season or an aromatherapy diffuser to set the mood; succulents or fresh flowers for a welcome burst of nature; a small tea or coffee maker for early mornings; and a journal or good book for inspiration. If your bedside table is looking a little worn out, upgrade it now to one with multiple shelves or drawers for year-round storage.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on January 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: decorating, mazimizing space, organization, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Closing Chaos

Source: CAR/One cool thing

Posted on January 10, 2018 at 12:05 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: closing | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What Every Real Estate Pro MUST Know about Smart Home

Real estate is constantly changing.  And if you want to stay competitive in this profession, you need to stay on top of current trends.  Everyday consumers are becoming more interested because smart home technology can save time, increase safety and be fun!

Buyers are looking for smart home features when choosing places to live.  It is becoming so popular buyers can specifically choose “Smart Home” as a search category in some markets.

And sellers can set their homes apart by installing smart home features to turn it into a certified smart home! (check out the Smart Home Staging Kit which turns any home into a certified smart home)

Staying on top of smart home trends is a must as a real estate pro.  Here are some tips for today’s “smart” agent:

  1. Smart today may be stupid tomorrow.  It started with Thomas Edison turning on the first light bulb and has evolved to full control of our lighting, security, heating and every other in-home system from our cell phone.  Whatever the latest trend in Smart Home technology, you can be certain that it will continue to evolve, improve and/or go away. There will always be another company creating a smarter, cooler or less expensive product.  Being a smart home expert means learning about the technology and continuing to study future improvements.
  1. Get Certified.  Coldwell Banker offers a Smart Home certification.  It’s more than just a piece of paper, and it’s important to set you apart from those who claim to specialists.  Certification creates standards as to what constitutes a Smart Home, and it sets you apart from your competitors.
  2. Keep it Simple.  Televisions shouldn’t need four remotes to make them work!  You should be able to turn on your outside lights without reading a manual. Smart homes need to be user-friendly and liveable.  Home buyers can be intimidated by overly complicated systems which only a 12-year old can operate.
  3. Integration.  Consumers have found themselves owning products like Nest thermostats, Amazon Echos, Lutron lighting systems and more.  Each one has its own app (and learning curve).  I don’t know about you, but if I called my wife by the wrong name, I’d be in trouble!  If you say “Hey Siri” to your Alexa, you are certain to get the silent treatment.  Don’t even think about calling her Google!  When you pick a smart home format, you are in a long-term relationship, and you can only do that successfully with an integrated system.
  4. Source CB Blue Matter Blog
Posted on January 9, 2018 at 8:24 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: real estate, small home | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Turn Them Blue

Many companies have already incorporated smart home tech into their daily business. Some have installed smart locks, lights or thermostats in the office. Many have encouraged agents to take the Coldwell Banker Smart Home course. The first-and-only course of its kind created for real estate agents. Companies have also encouraged agents to talk about the benefits of smart home tech in listing presentations.

Have you considered how you can use the brand’s leadership in the Smart Home space as a way to set your company apart and attract new agents to your office?  

Even for agents who haven’t yet had a transaction that included smart home tech in one way or another, chances are good that they will in 2018. Most aren’t going to be prepared. And many may not even know where to go to find information on how smart home can or should fit into their business.

January is Smart Home Month here at Coldwell Banker. We are kicking the month off with our sponsorship of the Smart Home Marketplace at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas! We will have agents from around the country creating content specifically to help other agents understand how to use Smart Home in their own business. This is a great opportunity for you to reach out to the agents in your market, offer them information and demonstrate the value you can add to their business. Here are a few questions to start with:

  • Have you considered how to talk about smart home tech during a listing presentation?
  • Do you know what you would say if a client asked you about the value of smart home tech during a purchase or sale?
  • Have you thought about using smart home as a reason to get in front of your sphere and network in the new year?

Every day in January we will be adding new tips, tricks and best practices for incorporating smart home tech into a real estate business, along with new product spotlights. All of this content can be found at ces.coldwellbanker.com. That means every day there is a new reason to talk to your list of prospects.

Showing agents the power and importance of this technology in the sale of a home, is yet another way you can bring value to agents in your office and attract those not yet affiliated. Leverage the leadership of Coldwell Banker in this area to deliver a clear edge for agents by sharing insights into state-of-the-art smart home technologies and how to leverage them to dominate the marketplace.

From content to conferences, Coldwell Banker is collecting and delivering leading edge insights during Smart Home Month to help you understand how the smart home boom impacts real estate:

  • CES: Catch Coldwell Banker on the floor of CES, Jan. 9-12 as the exclusive sponsor of the Smart Home Marketplace, which has grown every year since we began our sponsorship in 2016. It’s now over 114,000 square feet.
  • Consumer Survey: Find out how consumers view smart home tech, what they expect agents to know about it and how they react to VR. Spoiler alert – they love it!
  • Inman Connect New York: Coldwell Banker sponsors ICNY, Jan. 22-26, and hosts an exclusive lunch and learn on Jan. 23 where participants get the inside track on how to use smart home to market themselves and their listings.
  • Daily Content: Get an agent’s perspective on how smart home tech can benefit your real estate business with video and blog posts straight from the CES show floor.
  • Case Studies: Two case studies – one from T3 Sixty and one from Samsung – will explore how agents can be the early adopters of smart home in their market and how VR can truly set a listing apart.

If you’re already affiliated with Coldwell Banker and want to learn more about our Smart Home initiative, visit CB Exchange and search “Smart Home.”

If you would like to know what Coldwell Banker agents have access to, head to coldwellbanker.com/join and explore the possibilities of moving your business to Coldwell Banker.

Posted on January 8, 2018 at 9:20 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, gadgets, real estate, Smart Homes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Smart Home Month is Here

If you’re like most agents, you’re finalizing your plan for how to make the most of 2018. And if you’re like most agents, you probably haven’t considered how you are going to use smart home tech to get a leg up on the competition this year.

If you haven’t already had a transaction that included smart home tech in one way or another, chances are good that it you will in 2018. Are you prepared?

  • Have you considered how to talk about smart home tech during a listing presentation?
  • Do you know what you would say if a client asked you about the value of smart home tech during a purchase or sale?
  • Have you thought about using smart home as a reason to get in front of your sphere and network in the new year?

Lucky for you, January happens to be Smart Home Month here at Coldwell Banker. Every day in January you’ll be able to find tips, tricks and best practices for incorporating smart home tech into your real estate business. Bookmark ces.coldwellbanker.com and check back daily to find all this, plus new product spotlights and posts that you can share with your sphere and even a few exclusive product giveaways (for the Coldwell Banker network)!

Understanding the power and importance of this technology in the sale or purchase of a home, is yet another way you can bring value to your clients. From content to conferences, Coldwell Banker is collecting and delivering leading insights during Smart Home Month to help give you an edge and build your understanding of how the smart home boom impacts real estate:

  • CES (Consumer Electronic Show): Catch Coldwell Banker on the floor of CES, Jan. 9-12 as the exclusive sponsor of the Smart Home Marketplace. Which has grown every year since we began our sponsorship in 2016. It’s now over 114,000 square feet.
  • Consumer Survey: Find out how consumers view smart home tech, what they expect agents to know about it and how they react to VR. Spoiler alert – they love it!
  • Inman Connect New York: Coldwell Banker sponsors ICNY, Jan. 22-26, and hosts an exclusive lunch and learn on Jan. 23 where participants get the inside track on how to use smart home to market themselves and their listings.
  • Daily Content: Get an agent’s perspective on how smart home tech can benefit your real estate business with video and blog posts straight from the CES show floor.
  • Case Studies: Two case studies – one from T3 Sixty and one from Samsung – will explore how agents can still be the early adopter of smart home in their market and how VR can truly set your listing apart.

The leadership of Coldwell Banker in this area delivers a clear edge to agents and brokers who embrace the smart home trend. By leveraging these insights into state-of-the-art smart home technology you can further dominate your market.

If you’re already affiliated with Coldwell Banker and want to learn more about our Smart Home initiative, visit CB Exchange and search “Smart Home.”

If you would like to know what Coldwell Banker agents have access to, head to coldwellbanker.com/join and explore the possibilities of moving your business to Coldwell Banker.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, Smart Homes | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Creating the Perfect Home Gym for the New Year/New You!

The New Year is upon us and we all know what that means! New Year’s resolutions get us motivated for healthier lifestyles. Instead of rushing out to buy a gym membership, I have a proposal: Why not invest in a home gym? Your home doesn’t have to be 20,000 square feet to accommodate the equipment you’d need to see your resolutions through. I can help you find space in just about any home, even with the rise in “tiny-homes,” to accomplish your home gym goals!

Considerations

  • Do you have space available to convert into a dedicated exercise zone?
  • What type of work-out routines would you be doing? Cardio, yoga, Pilates? (The latter are better for small spaces.)
  • What type of equipment do you already have? (I once watched Kelly Ripa use canned goods to do curls on LIVE! with Regis and Kelly. Think outside the box as far as equipment!)
  • What type of equipment do you need?
  • What type of tech do you need or already have?

Next Steps

After you have answered the questions above, it’s time to start implementing the next things you need to do to build your home gym.

  • Did you decide you have an area that can convert into a gym space? If so, great! You can move on to the next step. If not, maybe you should consider the more portable side of gym equipment.
    • Examples of portable equipment: foldable treadmills, ab wheels, free weights, DVDs, yoga mat, and resistance bands. These are all great items that will help you “feel the burn,” and you can hide them away when you are finished using them.
  • Already have your home gym spot picked out? Great! You’re ahead of the curve! Need some home gym inspiration? Remember when we asked you what type of work-out routines you’d be doing? This is the time to recall that information and start putting it to use!
    • Will you be doing cardio? Do you like the idea of stationary bikes? The tech sector has really upped their game and now you can connect via WiFi on your stationary bike to a class anywhere or find a “fitness on demand” class. A quick Google search can get you going in the right direction! Are treadmills or elliptical machines more your style? Mount a large screen “Smart TV” on the wall directly in front of where your machine will be. The TV will be a helpful distraction, and you’ll have your cardio finished in no time.
    • Doing yoga? A yoga mat and a DVD can go a long way! I personally prefer the thicker mats, especially if you have hardwood floors.
    • Doing Pilates? Again, a mat and a DVD can get you going, but there are also some really great programs online that you can connect to with your Smart TV. With Daily Burn, for example, you can stream hundreds of workouts and change up your routine with the click of a button.

A Few Last Tips

Not interested in investing too much money? Or are you still not convinced that these ideas would work for your home? Remember this, your workout can come from unlikely sources. Stairs, chairs, and walls are all excellent tools to get your sweat on. So while you’re thinking about health and fitness in the new year, lack of a home gym can no longer be an excuse.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
Posted on January 3, 2018 at 8:27 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: real estate, remodeling, trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Hide Unsightly Blemishes Around Your Home

What makes a house a home? It’s a hard question to answer, but a large part of it is the years of memories you’ve made in it. Oftentimes that includes the blemishes, flaws and dents on the walls and furniture that serve as lasting impressions of cherished moments and fun times. However, whether you’re selling your home or just making it presentable for guests, there are times you’ll want to camouflage them up. Read on for 10 clever ways to disguise your home’s flaws.

Create a Gallery Wall

Put your inner art connoisseur to work to blend random light switches or bulky thermostats into your design. Strategically place similarly sized artwork around switch plates, outlet covers and wall gadgets to distract the eye. If you want to cover it entirely, mount a canvas painting over it or hang art from a swing arm so you can reach behind it when necessary.

 

Hang Long Drapes

Window treatments are generally used for, you guessed it, windows, but they certainly aren’t restricted to other uses. Drape big and breezy curtains above to disguise unsightly wall features or awkward off-center windows. Off-white and cream shades are perfect to use now and throughout winter, such as the one seen in this Swedish bedroom that cleverly conceals the radiator and window when pulled closed.

 

Paint the Wall

This is probably one of the most obvious solutions to drywall chips and paint scratches, but here are some guidelines to help you get it right. Stick to one matte color for the walls, ceiling and trim to downplay the lines between and blend them together. Remember, the glossier the paint finish is, the more it will highlight imperfections.

Consider chalkboard paint for a non-glossy texture and an ever-changing wall feature. You can create your own design and erase it as your style evolves or use it to jot down lists and reminders.

Add wallpaper. Use wallpaper to inject personality and fun into any space. Choose from subtle designs to a dramatic mural or anywhere in between. Keep optical illusions in mind when picking patterns. For example, a striped design can make a small space look taller or wider.

 

Cover it With Clothes

If you have a scratch on your bedroom wall that just won’t go away, play fashionista and move a shop-style clothing rack in front. Showcase some of your most stylish garments or everyday staples on the rack to lighten your closet’s load.

 

Lay Down a Rug

Roll out a gorgeous area rug over all the nicks and notches on your floor from moving furniture or dropping heavy items. Especially great for renters, rugs come in a variety of styles, colors and price points to fit your personal preferences without committing to a permanent change.

 

Rethink the Fifth Wall

This is a bit of a heavier project to take on, but perhaps most rewarding for those left with an infamous popcorn ceiling. Upgrade overhead stucco for a beautiful new feature with paint or paneling. Try white beadboard or wood slats for irresistible rustic charm.

 

Work Around Wall Vents

Air vents are necessary for cooling, heating and any other home circulation systems, but can be quite unattractive. Conceal them with slotted laser-cut screens that add texture and visual interest. In this D.C. living room, the revamped air return works double duty as a display shelf.

 

Choose Your Switches Wisely

Light switches and power outlets are must-haves in every home and there’s often no easy way around them. Wherever possible, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, group your electrical outlets together and shop for new switch plates that complement the existing wall. You can blend them into an existing pattern, as seen here, or make them a fun feature with vibrant colors and textured materials.

Embrace imperfections. After all, they’re what makes your house so special. You can capitalize on the look and help them blend in by investing in distressed furnishings, such as rustic coffee tables or stained wood floors. You won’t have to worry too much about future drops or spills and they instantly add built-in age and character to any space.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 29, 2017 at 9:46 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: cleaning, decorating, mazimizing space, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re buying or selling, working with a real estate agent is an essential part of the process. But before choosing an agent to work with, there are a few key questions to ask to determine if their expertise & marketing tactics are right for you — and your home.

So, how do you know if when you’ve found “the one?” Consider asking these questions that cover everything from an agent’s experience to marketing plans, track records of success and staging tips. Armed with these answers, you can be confident that you’re choosing a real estate professional that fits your needs.

In this episode of NBC Open House, Tim Murray of Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber & Wendy Walker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage share their must-asks.

To find the right agent for you, visit coldwellbanker.com.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 20, 2017 at 9:24 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: first time buyers, real estate, Real Estate Agent, research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Ways to Start 2018 Right in Your Home

 

To get your home in tiptop shape for 2018, here are some important and efficient ways to get it ready.

Guest post by Andrea Davis 

2018 is almost here! While you might consider making some New Year’s resolutions, you first need to think about your end of the year list. To get your home in tiptop shape for 2018, here are some important and efficient ways to get it ready.

1. Clean, clean, CLEAN!

If you haven’t taken care of the essential house cleaning chores, now is the time. You’ll want to quickly or deeply clean many areas of your home. These include:

  • Windows
  • Linens
  • Floors
  • Cabinets/countertops
  • Appliances
  • Gutters & downspouts
  • Air vents

Not only does this give your home a refreshed look, it also keeps you financially savvy going into 2018. Without the proper cleaning, areas like the air vents and gutters can lead to expensive home repair bills.

2. Purge & Recycle

Nobody likes looking at a full closet, especially if you have holiday presents to add. So go through every bit of storage in your home – closets, attic, basement, garage, shed, etc. – and remove what you don’t need. You can either throw it away or recycle it by donating to a local secondhand shop. That way, you have tons of space for next year’s discoveries.

3. Increase Efficiency

If you’re going through bills and notice a marked increase in utility costs, now is the time to plan out an efficient home in 2018. This could be as simple as turning off the lights more often and conserving water. On the other hand, if you have some extra dollars, you might consider improvements like:

  • Double or triple-paned windows
  • Solar panel(s)
  • Upgrade your faucets and water outlets

4. HVAC TLC

One of the most important – and expensive – parts of your home is the HVAC system. It keeps the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Because it does so much work, it needs some fine-tuning and maintenance at least every six months. To make sure you avoid an expensive bill in 2018, go through the system. Replace the filter, clean out the vents and make sure it’s all working smoothly. If you aren’t an HVAC pro, you can find plenty in the neighborhood to come for a quick checkup.

5. Review the Exterior

Roofing, landscaping, doors, siding – have you given them a thorough look? All of these are important to a beautiful appearance and optimal safety. You need to check for cracks, holes, overhanging branches and the like. You can always get a home inspector for a more in-depth review, but most of it you can do yourself. Doing a quick circle around the house with some spackle or caulk works at least in the short term.

Conclusion

Going into 2018 means letting go of 2017’s hassles. To feel free of any stress, you should take care of the essentials, including your home. Maintenance and some cheap upgrades could make all the difference personally and financially in the New Year. Don’t feel you have to go all out, or else you’ll be too tired for new tasks. Make sure there’s a nice balance of work and play so you get the best start to 2018.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: cleaning, curb appeal, maximizing space, organization, projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Homeowner’s Guide to Hosting Holiday Guests

As a new homeowner, there’s a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to host the Christmas festivities — after all, everyone will want to see your new place, so you’ll want it to look its best for the holidays.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry: Follow this simple game plan for adding decor to your new home and helping your guests settle in comfortably.

Dress Your Home in Holiday Style

Focus on decorating a few key areas in your home to create a warm, festive vibe. You don’t need — or want — to have decorations in every corner. Using too much decor will make your rooms feel smaller. Instead, make a few spots gorgeous with these tips:

  • Start at the front. Greet your guests with a beautiful wreath on the front door. Choose a pre-lit, battery-powered wreath so you don’t have to worry about extension cords — all you need to do is hang it up. Next, clean off your porch, clear your walkway, and add a holiday doormat. Finish with an easy “wow” factor, like a lawn figure of a nutcracker or snowman.
  • Trim the tree. Don’t worry about getting the tree decorated before your guests arrive. Instead, host a tree-trimming party as a fun holiday activity. Assemble your tree or place it in a stand with water the day of the party. Add lights and set out your ornaments. Then, break out the cookies and eggnog and enjoy a night of decorating with your guests.
  • Hang stockings with care. Decorate your mantel to make it a beautiful focal point. If you don’t have a fireplace, create your own focal point by using a bookcase or entertainment center. Bring the space to life by draping a pre-lit garland across it. Then, nestle a few similar items around the garland, such as a parade of nutcrackers, stuffed or wooden Santas, a Christmas village, a row of candles, or an arrangement of ornaments. Finish by hanging your stockings with stocking hooks or removable adhesive hooks.
  • Add decorations. A few places need a holiday twist: the dining table, the coffee table, and the kitchen island. While you don’t need to cover every surface, you do want to spread some holiday cheer here and there. Try something simple and quick like a glass bowl filled with ornaments, a tall jar of candy canes, or a lovely red poinsettia.

Get Ready for Guests

Treat your guests like you’d want to be treated. Once you’ve spread Christmas cheer around the house, take a few steps to get ready for company.

  • Clean the guest room. Declutter if you’ve put items in this rarely used room. Give it a good cleaning. If the bedding is clean but hasn’t been used in a while, toss the bedspread and pillow covers in the dryer on air-dry to fluff out any dust. Add a fun Christmas pillow to the bed, put out a basket of holiday goodies, and place a predecorated tabletop tree on the dresser.
  • Set up the sofa. Don’t have a guest room? If you’re pulling out the air mattress or sleeper sofa, make sure you’ve got extra bedding on hand. Vacuum underneath the sofa cushions to remove any dust or crumbs. Set aside an area for your guests to put their belongings.
  • Prep the bathroom. Arrange personal care items for your guests in a basket so that they’re easy to find. Show your guests where to locate clean towels and which towel bars they may use. Finally, add some festive elements to the bathroom with holiday-themed soap, air freshener, and hand towels.

Gathering with friends and family is the best part of the season. Once you’ve decorated the key places and made a welcoming spot for your guests, you can sit back and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

 

Lea Schneider loves to decorate for the holidays. As a professional organizer, Lea provides tips on tackling your decorating tasks in an organized way. Lea also writes for The Home Depot. To find more Christmas decor options like the ones Lea talks about in this article, visit homedepot.com.

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to our site at our request and is published for the benefit of our readers. We have not been compensated for its placement.

Posted on December 1, 2017 at 8:54 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Celebrate, decorating, holidays, interior decorating, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,