Consumer Real Estate News

    • Convenient Decor Items That Pack a Punch

      28 January 2021

      Adding the finishing touches to your interior can feel more complicated than it should be. Stylists know how to hit the sweet spot between bare and cluttered, and it can be hard to capture that same feel in your own home. Thankfully, these stress-free and cost-effective decor items pack a punch and find that perfect decor balance.

      New Throw Pillows
      Throw pillows can be forgotten about over time. They become a welcome feature for comfort, but using the same colors and textures all year can feel stale and boring. Invest in some new throw pillows for a contrasting pop of color in your decor. Already have some throw pillows you don’t care to part with? Simply add a removable cover to change your look in a less-permanent way.

      Faux Greenery
      It’s amazing how greenery can tie a room together and add a maturity to your decor. If you want the elevated look of beautiful indoor foliage without the hassle, shop around for your favorite faux plant options. Faux plants have greatly improved in appearance and texture over the last few years, so you may find something to fool even the greenest of thumbs.

      Groups of Paired Decor
      Whether you’re interested in vases, sculptures or wall art, finding sets of two or three can add a visual cohesion within your space. Vases of varying sizes but identical or similar shapes and colors can add a sophistication and sensation of grounding within the home.

      Smartly-Placed Mirrors
      You can find mirrors that match any decor style. Not only do mirrors elevate your decor, but a well-positioned mirror can enhance the natural light in your space and make your room feel bigger.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Make Heart Health Part of Your Self-Care Routine

      28 January 2021

      (Family Features) Devoting a little time every day to care for yourself can go a long way toward protecting the health of your heart. Simple self-care, such as taking a moment to de-stress, giving yourself time to move more, preparing healthier meals and not cheating on sleep, can all benefit your heart. 

      Because heart disease is largely preventable, focusing on improving your heart health is important. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women and men in the United States, and many Americans remain at risk, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). People with poor cardiovascular health are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

      “Studies show self-care routines, such as taking a daily walk and keeping doctor’s appointments, help us keep our blood pressure in the healthy range and reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke,” said David Goff, M.D., NHLBI’s director of cardiovascular sciences.  

      It may be easier than you think to “put your heart” into your daily routine. Each Sunday, look at your week’s schedule and carve out 30 minutes for heart-healthy practices. Take an online yoga class, prepare a heart-healthy recipe, schedule your bedtime to get at least seven hours of sleep or make a medication checklist. Then seek out support from others to help you stick to your goals.

      Consider these self-care tips to try each day to make your heart a priority:

      Self-Care Sunday
      Find a moment of serenity every Sunday. Spend some quality time on yourself. 

      Mindful Monday
      Be mindful about your health and regularly monitor your blood pressure or blood sugar if needed. Keep an eye on your weight to make sure it stays within or moves toward a healthy range. 

      Tasty Tuesday
      Choose how you want to approach eating healthier. Start small by pepping your meals with a fresh herb or spice as a salt substitute. Get adventurous and prepare a simple, new, heart-healthy recipe. Or go big by trying a different way of eating, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is scientifically proven to lower blood pressure. DASH is flexible and balanced, and it includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, lean meats, beans, nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. 

      Wellness Wednesday
      Don’t waffle on your wellness. Move more, eat a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried, make a plan to quit smoking or vaping or learn the signs of a heart attack or stroke. You could be having a heart attack if you have chest and upper body pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness. You might be having a stroke if you experience numbness in the face, arm or leg; confusion; trouble talking or seeing; dizziness; or a severe headache. 

      Treat Yourself Thursday 
      Treats can be healthy. Try making a dessert with fresh fruit and yogurt. Then stretch your imagination beyond food. Host a family dance party, take a few minutes to sit and meditate, go for a long walk or watch a funny show. Whatever you do, find a way to spend some quality time on yourself. 

      Follow Friday
      Follow inspiring people and pages on social media, or text a friend to help you stick to your self-care goals. Remember to take care of your mental health, too. Two of the main hurdles to self-care are depression and a lack of confidence, according to a study published in the “Journal of the American Heart Association.” If your mental health is taking a toll, take action to show your heart some love. Reach out to family and friends for support, or talk to a qualified mental health provider. 

      Selfie Saturday
      Inspire others to take care of their hearts. Talk about your self-care routine with loved ones or share a selfie on social media. Having social support and personal networks can make it easier to get regular physical activity, eat nutritious foods, reach a healthy weight and quit smoking. 

      Learn more about heart health and heart-healthy activities in your community, and see what others are doing for their heart health, at or follow #OurHearts on social media.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for More Dramatic Lighting in Your Home

      28 January 2021

      Though often overlooked, lighting is one of the most complex elements of interior design. It can set the mood, illuminate a workspace or put the spotlight on your favorite work of art. So, if you want to add a touch of visual drama to your home, the lights are always a good place to start. Here are several ways to make your home stand out after the sun goes down.

      Artistic Chandeliers
      From classic to contemporary, a chandelier can instantly become the focal point in any space. Rather than simply illuminating an area, they are also exquisite works of art that provide the perfect combination of form and function. Often seen in great rooms, foyers and dining rooms, an ornate chandelier is sure to make a statement in your home.

      Hidden LED Lights
      Because they can be installed in unexpected places, like bookshelves, under kitchen cabinets or on the steps of a staircase, it’s easy to get creative with LED lights. When they’re hidden from view, there’s an exciting visual effect that adds a thoughtful touch to your interior design. They’re also great for lining hallways with soft lighting at night.

      Antique Fixtures
      Whether you live in a new or historic home, antique light fixtures can add character to any environment. A nod to old-world craftsmanship, these salvaged pieces often have a story to tell and have proven their ability to stand the test of time. 

      Bedside Pendants
      In bedrooms, the most common lighting solution is to have recessed lights above and lamps on either side of the bed. However, by replacing the lamps with low-hanging pendant lights, you can create a unique display that feels decidedly modern. Minimalists, in particular, will be sure to love the clean lines and extra space on their bedside tables. 

      Introduce Color
      A touch of color can go a long way in your home’s lighting scheme. From tinted lampshades that warm up a room to smart lighting systems that can be programmed to a wide range of colors, you can transform any space with a tone that meets the mood.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Screen-Free Art Projects for Curious Kids

      27 January 2021

      With many kids still at home and learning remotely—or for any kid who spends too many hours glued to a computer screen—here are five fun art projects using materials found in most homes that are guaranteed to get curious children offline and engaged in gratifying activity.  

      Sidewalk Chalk Rainbows - Create a giant chalk rainbow in your driveway for walkers to enjoy and/or spell out hopeful messages on the sidewalk, such as, “We can do this,” “Love our community,” or “Stay strong,” decorated with colorful doodles.  

      Painted Rocks - Take a walk around the neighborhood, or in your own backyard, and collect a few smooth rocks that fit in the palm of your child’s hand. Decorate them with tempera paint or paint pens, then leave them on your walking route as little fun treasures for others to find—or leave one or two on your neighbors’ doorsteps. It’s a great way to build a sense of community as we spend more time apart. 

      Painting Unlimited - On cold or rainy days, lay out a sheet so the floor doesn’t get messy and break out the paint pens, markers or watercolor paints, along with a selection of supplies—paper cut into various sizes and shapes, like hearts or seasonal and holiday cutouts, and even gift boxes to be decorated as your little Picassos see fit.

      Salt Painting - Create a ‘magical’ experience for little ones. Using any poster board, card stock or art paper you have on hand, squeeze on a design with white glue. Sprinkle with salt until the glue is totally covered. Tip to let the excess salt fall away. Then, dip a paintbrush into liquid watercolor paint and touch the brush gently to the salt-covered glue lines and watch the paint magically travel in both directions.

      Paper Plate Art - Paper plates make great palettes for budding artists. Lay out a selection of colored markers, white glue, buttons, cotton balls and pasta in various shapes and let your kids’ imagination run wild.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Things Interior Designers Say It’s Time to Toss

      27 January 2021

      Times change, and in a busy world with packed schedules, most of us don’t spend much time looking at ways to modernize our living spaces. But it doesn’t take much effort to make a few upgrades that create a fresh, new look.

      Interior designers suggest these six things to switch out and update to enhance your home’s ambience.

      Matching sofa pillows - Pillows that match your sofa, including any that came with it, can dull the look of your living room. Designers suggest playing with color, texture, fabric and design, choosing pillows that add liveliness and interest.

      Harsh white light bulbs - Replacing the cool whites in your floor and table lamps with soft, warm white bulbs can instantly add the warmth of candlelight or a fireplace to your room. 

      Sun-blocking drapes - Natural light brightens a room and makes it look larger, designers note, so it’s time to get rid of window treatments that block sunlight. Replacing heavy window treatments with sheers is an option. If you need more privacy, layer different window treatments, like curtains over sheers, to help manage light and privacy.

      Stained wood accent walls - Once considered stylish, those dark wood accent walls and dining room chair rails above a paneled wall now just make a room look dark and heavy. Lighten up the space and create a decorative focal point by using pieces like art, mirrors and even plants.

      Builder-grade tile and backsplashes - Those basic white or beige tiles typically used by builders for backsplashes, showers and tubs are totally lacking in personality, designers note. Replacing them with materials in different colors or designs are a sure way to update and add interest to kitchens and baths.

      TV above the fireplace - Once a popular option, many designers today consider this a design no-no today, pointing out that a fireplace should be the focal point of a room, encouraging sociability and the enjoyment of a moment by the fire without the distraction of a screen.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.