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8 Home Decorating Tips You Should Always Follow

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: August 15, 2019

No matter what style speaks to you – whether you’re a minimalist at heart or love rustic themes – some design tips always apply. Here are some timeless home decorating tips you should always follow, no matter how you choose to decorate your home.

  1. Make Your Bedroom Your Favorite Room in the House

Your bedroom should be a calming, relaxing sanctuary. It should be a room you can escape to, a place you enjoy being in. Splurging here is fine, as long as you do it carefully. Spend the extra money on high-end bedding and pillows – you can reuse them for years, and falling asleep each night will be a luxurious experience.

To elevate the room’s design, choose a solid-color duvet or comforter and pair it with matching pillowcases, adding in a decorative pillow or two. The combination of color and pattern will make for a magazine-perfect look.

  1. Expand Your Home with Mirrors

Mirrors immediately brighten and expand any room, no matter how cramped. Place mirrors on walls opposing windows or other light sources to double this effect. Windows can double the visual square footage of a room.

Artfully place mirrors on your walls in a series or on their own to amplify any room.

  1. Let There Be Light (and Lots of It!)

Lights can do wonders to a home. For instance, you can immediately set a mood with lights on dimmers. Different lights, like overhead lights or table lamps, add a lot of style and interest to the room. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to figure out what works best – and don’t be shy. Combine various light sources in a room and see what happens!

  1. Bring Style to Every Room, Even the Bathroom

It may not be as glamorous as your bedroom or living room, but a neglected bathroom is a sad sight. Elevate the humble bathroom by using beautifully folded towels, tasteful art, chunky bars of soap, and a few decorative items. Consider lighting here too – you don’t want harsh or over-bright light here.

  1. Try to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free

Here’s a truly timeless design tip. Clutter in your home can add stress to your life. Try not to clutter the surfaces in your home. Of course, we all know that dining room tables should be for eating, not for piles of paperwork or books. Apply the same idea to other surfaces of your home.

Don’t clutter your shelves with knick-knacks or misplaced items. Stick to a few statement pieces and try not to overstuff your shelves or open spaces. Keep things clean and minimal.

  1. Your Couch Doesn’t Have to be a Wallflower

Here’s a tip most people do not think about. We tend to push furniture up against the wall to create more space in a room, but that can sometimes feel strange. We want to encourage comfort and conversation, not keep everyone with their backs to a wall.

Consider instead orienting furniture around a central point in the room. For example, around a fireplace, underneath a ceiling fan, or in a particularly sunny corner. Ideally, don’t orient your entire room around an entertainment system.

You’ll find this cozy arrangement is much better for inviting people into your home and enjoying time together.

  1. Natural Lighting is the Best Design Element

There is nothing better than letting beautiful, natural light pour into your rooms. Make sure you are capturing every bit of the natural sunlight your home receives, especially if you’re facing north or south.

Swap out dark or thick window coverings for lighter ones – both in color and weight. Thinner fabric will help the room feel lighter, even when the sunshine outside is dim.

  1. Use color!

Accent walls, decorative pillows, statement pieces. Try not to design a room with one single color or pattern. Mix and match complementary colors or patterns to avoid building a dull room. This design mix keeps your room exciting and visually appealing. You can use this as an opportunity to show off a particularly unique piece of furniture in your home or even a favorite art piece.

Keep these basic tips in mind when designing your dream home, and you’ll be sure to love every space in it. Remember to maximize natural light, don’t go crazy with the statement pieces, and take advantage of design tricks to expand your home’s many areas.

The Six Best Hikes in Snoqualmie Pass

Categories: Lifestyle, Washington | Posted: August 7, 2019

If you live anywhere in east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Pass is your ticket to freedom. A short drive away and you’re free of the city to discover unbelievable mountain peaks, wildflowers, fresh air, and sweeping vistas.

The best peaks are worth working for, unmarked trailheads, potholed dirt roads, and steep jagged cliffs will make your after-hike beer the best you’ve ever had. Each hike has its rewards, and they’re always changing from season to season and from rainstorm to clear sunny day. They’ll leave you with stories to tell and fond memories. You’ll get addicted to the great outdoors and reap the physical and emotional benefits from living in one of the most incredible places in the world.

Washington’s Cascade Mountains are snow-covered and often unpassable for much of the year leaving a short hiking season peppered with stunning wildflowers.

Bandera Mountain Summit, this is a tough one, but if you’re up for the challenge, you won’t regret it. Bandera is a hiker’s favorite, and once you hike it, it may spoil you for all others. The road to the trailhead has a few miles of potholes, drive slowly and expect it to be slow going. Bandera is eight miles there and back. Throughout the hike, you’ll traverse deep green mountainsides with colorful wildflowers lining your way.

During the last bit, you’ll be on all fours scrambling up some very intense boulders. At the top you won’t be disappointed, the mountain peak views are to die for. Little Bandera has the best viewpoint, this is where most hikers turn around, it’s a false ending, but the best views can be found here. If you continue up past this peak is just for fun through more forest until the actual end.

Check out these fantastic hiker photos, and you’ll head for your car in ten minutes.

Kaleetan Peak is a mountain peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, expect a full day of hiking to this twelve-mile summit with 4,800 feet of elevation gain. It’ll take you ten hours or more, so plan to come early and leave late. Sweeping views of rocky ridgetops and jagged toothed mountains are there to greet you at the top. This challenging path is part hike, part scramble. At times you’ll be on all fours hoisting yourself up boulders and rubble, but views at the top are worth the work. Jagged toothed mountains rise above sweeping valleys with crystal mountain lakes and soft, green trees in the distance.

Mount Defiance is an eleven-mile hike full of steep, narrow trails with more than a 3,500-foot incline and sheer drop-offs earning this trail has a rating of difficult. Spectacular wildflowers make it unforgettable. The summit is vertical and climbing, but worth it at the top with views of a dozen peaks including Mount Rainer and several crisp mountain lakes sprinkled throughout. Don’t forget your bug spray.

Kachess Lake, you don’t have to be a hard-core hiker to appreciate the great outdoors. Kachess Lake has a quick one-mile trail that will bring you almost as much joy. It’s a popular snowshoeing spot in the winter and walking in the summer. This lovely mountain lagoon is worth a walk and a dip on a sunny day.

Annette Lake, this one has everything you need in a great hike, waterfalls, wildflowers, mountain peak views, creeks, and forests all culminating at a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by evergreens. This seven-and-a-half-mile hike has a steady incline, as you follow along a babbling brook that turns into a beautiful trailside waterfall. It’ll take several hours, and you’ll love every minute of it.

Granite Mountain you will find heaven eight and a half miles up on top of Granite Mountain. It’s not a hike for the beginner or the out of shape. The trail climbs 3,800 feet and at times can be like a boulder stair climber. The views will leave you raving. This hike is recommended for late summer, during the winter or early spring it has high avalanche warnings. The trail takes you up and up until you come across wildflower meadows and mountain top views of Mount Rainer and a dozen other peaks.

Be sure always to come prepared, bring lots of water, food, never leave the beaten path, and make sure to check for inclement weather. Rain gear and a few layers are a must even in August. Weather in the mountains can turn on a dime, and if you come prepared for anything, you’ll have the best experiences of your life.

How to Stay Cool in the Northwest Heat

Categories: Lifestyle, Renton, Sammamish Washington, Seattle | Posted: August 6, 2019

One lovely thing about Western Washington is that it rarely gets to the ’80s even in August. Moderate temperatures allow homeowners to save money on electric bills, and many homes don’t have air conditioning. The climate here allows you to make the most of your summer.

You can have picnics outside on the patio every evening with long summer days at the parks. When the thermometer does begin to climb, there are more than enough watering holes and spray parks to cool off you and your little ones.

If you have young children spray parks are wonderful. There are over a dozen spray parks throughout the Seattle bowl, and each of them is interesting and fun in its unique way. Washington State uses public spray parks and wading pools to save water by deterring backyard sprinklers and kiddie pools.

 

Spray Parks and Wading Pools

Spray parks are free for your children’s enjoyment. Stay all day in the sprinklers. They’re located in areas with play structures for kids if they tire of being wet. Or you can utilize the parks for a quick cool off and recharge before getting back on schedule.

Crossroads Water Spray Playground in Bellevue has a giant orca whale that sprays water out of his air hole splashing gleeful screaming children who climb and lay all over his great big body. The giant half whale seems to be rising out of the soft blue squishy slip-free surface. A small pod follows the mother and a smattering of water spray shoots out from all angles cooling off kids.

Sammamish Commons has a small spray park next to the YMCA allowing for plenty of parking for a quick stop in and cool down.

Wading pools are another great way to cool off for small children. Check the schedule for your local wading pool. Some are only open certain days. The Parks Department fills the pools if the temperature exceeds 70 degrees.

Wading pools are perfect for babies and toddlers, who might be intimidated by the crowds of older, rambunctious children at the spray parks. Littles can sit and splash outside in these giant, ankle-deep kiddie pools.

Green Lake has a  large wading pool that’s packed to the gills with darling babies in sunhats on hot summer days laughing and splashing each other with baby rolls. If you don’t have a baby, but miss the days, come by to see the bare, giggling bellies, they’ll keep you smiling all day.

A complete list of spray parks and wading pools are found here.

 

Beach Parks

Chism Beach Park is located in Bellevue, this hidden gem is tucked away in a nice neighborhood. The grounds are well maintained, and there’s a swimming area in Lake Washington with a lifeguard. Chism is a peaceful oasis, it’s a great space to bring a book and a picnic, and on a clear day, you can enjoy views of Seattle on the other side of the lake.

Kennydale Beach Park is located in Renton where you can enjoy almost two acres of sandy waterfront on Lake Washington. Kennydale has a swimming area and docks to jump off with lifeguards on duty during the summer.

Newcastle Beach Park is a semi-large park with a play structure for the kids, a swimming area and a long dock for sunbathing and jumping into the cool crystal waters of Lake Washington.

 

Watersport Rentals

Issaquah Paddle Sports rents standup paddleboards and kayaks to paddle around Lake Sammamish. If you’d like to try your hand at paddle sports, but don’t want to make the financial leap into purchasing a kayak or paddleboard and roof rack, keep it easy and rent at Issaquah. You’ll most likely find that you love it, and this way you’ll have the chance to test out equipment from the friendly, knowledgeable staff before you make a purchase.

Seattle Boat Rentals in Queen Anne on Lake Union. Here you can enjoy boating a few days a year without paying high maintenance and docking fees of owning one. Just rent a boat for the day, rates hover in the $500’s not including gas. Grab a group of friends, bring food and spend a perfect day out on the lake in a speed or pontoon boat. Wakeboards, water skis, inner tubes, and other water sports equipment are available for rent with the boat.

Woodmark Waterfront Adventures in Kirkland rents everything; kayaks, speedboats, jet skis, wave runners, and standup paddleboards. Grab your craft of choice and head out on Lake Washington for a day you won’t soon forget.

 

Aquatic Centers

Henry Moses Aquatic Center in Renton is open during the summer months only. The center has 15 water features including water slides, a lazy river, lap swims, a toddler play area, and spray features. It gets pretty busy, so if you can make it during the week or early on the weekends, you’ll avoid the crowds.

Colman Pool in Seattle, Colman is the only outdoor pool operated by the Seattle Parks Department. This heated, saltwater pool is located at the tip of Lincoln Park just off the beach with views of the Puget Sound from the pool. A waterslide, diving boards, and lap swim area are fun and refreshing with a beautiful view of the Sound.

The Seattle area has dozens of options for swimming, sunbathing, beaches, and water sports. If you’d like to get away from the city, look into the surrounding State and National Parks. The Cascades have stunning mountain lakes carved by glaciers, and if you’d like warmer water, many Washingtonians head over to Eastern Washington for a dry, desert climate.

Enjoy, stay safe and have a great summer!

 

How to Keep Your Carpets Looking Like New When Life Happens.

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: July 30, 2019

Sure, your brand-new carpets look fantastic when you move into your new home! But, how do you keep them that way when you really live in your new home. Even if your carpet looks clean from across the room, think about everything that might eventually be lurking underneath. The mud your kids tracked in from the backyard this weekend. The glass of wine your aunt spilled last Thanksgiving. Not to mention whatever’s on the bottom of your pet’s feet!

If you have kids or pets or a particularly messy significant other (not pointing fingers!), learning how to clean your carpets properly is a must. You can certainly shell out the money to rent a steam cleaner or shampooer every few months, but that gets expensive not to mention unrealistic — you definitely want your carpets to look like new forever, but life happens.

Keep your carpets looking just like the day you move in by following our tips for squeaky-clean floors – no steamer required.

  1. Tackle Stains the Right Way, Right Away

We all know you can’t stop spills from happening – they’re just a fact of life. But there are things you can do to prevent stains from settling deep into the fibers of your carpets. It may seem obvious, but it’s best to tackle a stain right away. Don’t leave it until it’s dry. Take care of those stains right away – and do it the right way.

  1. Blot, don’t rub!

Blot stains with a cleaning solution or water using a clean cloth or sponge. Apply minimal pressure to soak up the stain, but not so much you rub it into the carpet. Professionals will also recommend blotting from the outside in, to prevent spreading the stain around.

  1. Take it to the Club

It’s not just a myth. Club soda really can lift out wine and beer stains, as long as you use it properly. Looking back at tip #1, add club soda to a clean cloth or paper towel and gently blot the stain. Remember to blot slowly and deliberately, taking care not to rub or press too hard.

Alternately, you can spray a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water on the stain. Let it soak in for 10-15 minutes, then press a clean towel or sponge to the area to soak it up. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone. Be sure to rinse the area with water afterward if you don’t want to smell vinegar for a few hours.

  1. Detergent – not just for dishes

Grease stains are notoriously difficult to remove. But a little trick is to turn to the substance you use to remove grease every day – dishwashing detergent! In a cup, dilute a few drops of dishwashing detergent in a cup of water. Then, put it in a spray bottle or soak a towel in it, then blot using the method from tip #1. Repeat as needed until the stain vanishes!

  1. Blood on the floor? No problem.

Anyone who has gotten a small cut or bloody nose knows the fear of ruining a light-colored carpet. Even darker carpets show blood. Luckily, there’s a pretty easy solution to this.

First, scrape up any dried blood using a mixture of water and soap. Then, apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain and wait. It’ll start foaming – don’t worry, that’s normal. After letting it sit for a moment, dab it up with a clean cloth. Be sure to test the peroxide on an inconspicuous part of your carpet, as it could bleach darker rugs. Stick with our other solutions if you have dark carpet or are worried about this.

  1. The Deep-Clean Baking Soda Method

Here’s a method that lets you deep clean a carpet without needing to rent machinery. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner, baking soda, a clean towel, and a spray bottle. Ready?

First, give your entire carpet a thorough vacuuming. You want to get up all the dirt and dust clinging to your carpet fibers. Then, lightly but completely spray your carpet with warm water. You want it to be damp, but not soaked. Next, sprinkle baking soda across the wet carpet. Be sure to have an exit strategy, so you’re not stuck in a corner for hours!

Open your windows or turn on some fans to speed up the drying process. Once the carpet is fully dry, vacuum up the baking soda.

You can supplement any of these tips with a professional deep-cleaning by renting out equipment or hiring local cleaners. Generally, you should plan to clean your carpets every six months using method #6 or with a carpet steamer. Be sure to tackle stains as they come, and enjoy a squeaky clean floor!

Summer Music Events In and Around Seattle 2019

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle, Washington | Posted: July 16, 2019

If you’re new to the Seattle you’ll quickly learn that Summers in Seattle can be enchanting with their perfect weather and long summer days. If you’re looking for things to do around Seattle there are dozens of parks in and around the city that have big and small concert series that you can check out. Or depending on your new neighborhood you can stick around and walk with a blanket and a pair of flip flops to your favorite park. The summertime is festival season and anything goes, and the best part is that most most summertime events are child-friendly.

Marymoor Concert Series from July 14, – September 8, a jam-packed musical summer is about to begin at Marymoor with 13 bands playing; Cake, Slightly Stoopid, Death Cab for Cutie and Lionel Richie are just a few of the big names gearing up for a summer in Seattle. Kids aren’t left out of this concert series line up, Nickelodeon’s Jojo Siwa will be performing for the littles on August 18.

Jam Fest July 18, from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. a full music fest with musicians peppered throughout the alleys and walkways will be playing throughout historic Chinatown Seattle. This area has a long and interesting history. Jam Fest is a great excuse to get out and experience the street scene, food and of course the variety of music. Come out for the tenth year in a row of Jam Fest and enter with only a suggested donation.

Darrington Bluegrass Festival July 19, – 21, if you love Bluegrass, it’s worth your time to take a lovely drive North to the incredibly beautiful town of Darrington. It’s a small town in the foothills with an unbelievable Cascade mountain backdrop framing every portrait for two and a half full days of bluegrass bands. This festival has been celebrated every year since the 1950s. Visitors camp out on the grounds for an around the clock weekend celebration.

Capitol Hill Block Party July 19, – 21, join thousands of others to enjoy a packed line up of over 100 local and international bands playing day and night on East Pike Street, 10th, 11th and 12th Avenue This is the block party to end all block parties.

Zoo Tunes, from country music to 80’s rock, to Feist, check the Woodland Park calendar for dates. Shows play randomly throughout the week from July 21, – August 28, you and the animals can enjoy live music at the zoo. Buy tickets now; bands are selling out quickly. Proceeds go to fund conservation, animal care, and education.

Downtown Summer Sounds runs almost daily from July through August and could possibly be the most exciting of all the concert series. You might happen upon any of the concerts at any given time. The shows are free and unassuming, and they pop up regularly throughout downtown at parks across Seattle. Check the busy schedule all over the city. Seattle gets back to its musical roots as a city of local expression, and earthy love for the arts during this phenomenal concert series that is sure to surprise locals and visitors. Make sure to check the full line up and don’t miss a minute, bring your kids, dogs, and picnics so you can sit and stay a while.

Free Summer Concerts at the Locks, music is so prominent in Seattle that even the Army gets involved. June through September free, live music concerts are held on the lock’s grounds. Big brass, orchestras, and jazz bands play free on the green. Bring some snacks and get classy.

Concerts at Seattle Center Every Friday throughout August families and singles can appreciate shows located at the mural at the Seattle Center. Each Friday three bands play starting at 5:30 p.m. with free entry on a first come, first serve basis. Bring the kids, food trucks will be onsite, but there are no queues for a picnic.

South Lake Union Block Party August 9, this is a fun, well-rounded event for all ages for a good cause. Local businesses get involved with art, food, and of course live music. All the proceeds go to job training for the homeless.

North City Jazz Walk August 13, head up North to Shoreline for eleven jazz bands playing in businesses all over town, a church, a door store, an animal hospital, tap houses, and the water district are just a few of the venues. Several are open to the public. Street food and noshes are available at most of the sites.

Bumbershoot from August 30 – September 1, on Labor Day weekend, Bumbershoot is an iconic Seattle festival and is a celebration of art, music, comedy and so much more. It’s an institution that’s been going on in Seattle for almost 50 years with dozens of artists. Check out the line-up and be sure to buy your tickets early, people come from far and wide every year to catch this festival.

No matter where you go, the common theme in Western Washington is to get outside. Bring out the family and enjoy art, culture, and the great outdoors. Happy Summer!

What’s Your Home Aesthetic? 5 Hot Design Styles to Consider

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: July 9, 2019

Let’s be real. We all watch HGTV and start judging our own homes with the beautiful styles we see on TV. Maybe we don’t always agree with their choices (carpet in a kitchen??), but we all wish our homes could look so put together.

Bringing your home to HGTV level isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s easier than you think, especially if you’re starting in a new home. The trick is figuring out your home aesthetic – what style resonates most with you and your family? From there, you can start putting together rooms with pieces that fit the style!

Here’s a list of 5 design styles to help you get started. Which one fits you best?

Rustic

Are you looking to take a bit of country out to the city? Or are you interested in playing up your home’s rural setting? Then a rustic theme may be right for you.

You can achieve a rustic aesthetic by combining natural and industrial interior design elements. This style emphasizes natural finishes and raw wood, touches of stone or metal, and leather or other natural fabrics. Stick with neutral colors and tones, with just a pop of jewel tone accents to really make your home stand out.

Minimalist

Minimalism is an extremely popular and misunderstood aesthetic. For many people, they associate this style with bare walls and cold furniture. But they’ve got it all wrong.

When done right, this style is sleek and elegant without fuss or noise. Rooms are sparsely furnished but functional, without loud colors or distracting patterns. Think of a modern art gallery, where everything is in its perfect place. If you prefer understated, carefully curated furniture pieces with muted tones (and no clutter), this may be your ideal aesthetic.

Coastal

We’re getting deeper into themes with a coastal style, which uses beach house vibes and coastal elements. If your home is particularly open and sunny, this airy and light style may be the right fit. Coastal interior design uses an ocean-inspired color palette usually featuring whites, blues, and green.

Natural lighting plays a significant role in this theme, working nicely with those soft coastal colors. Here’s another style that uses natural wood, often weathered and unfinished, and stone. Think rocky beaches and driftwood. You can even lean into this one with a few nautical accent pieces here and there – just don’t overdo it or your friends might start calling you ‘Captain’!

Bohemian

Bright fabrics, bold patterns, eclectic furniture mix of different styles and ages – that’s how we’d describe the bohemian style. If you love interest pieces, funky and memorable pieces, and are looking for a way to highlight your uniqueness, this may be the style for you.

This style boasts interesting mixes of patterns, contrasting without clashing. Low-lying furniture is another hallmark of the style with low-backed sofas, short coffee tables, and plenty of floor seating. You want bright colors and no empty surfaces! Consider this to be the opposite of minimalism – show off your funky, unique pieces on your table, mantle, bookshelves, and walls.

Mid-Century Modern

Here’s another trendy style that has lasted for decades. Mid-century modern aesthetic takes elements of the ’50s, ’60s, and 70’s, then mixes them with a simple Scandinavian approach. Function over fashion is a great way to describe this style, but that doesn’t mean boring.

Mid-century modern interior design features straight silhouettes, quiet fabrics, and organic shapes. These furniture pieces are classic and straightforward, which is why this style has been around for a long time (and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere). There are vintage, retroelements along with sleek shapes that highlight their crafted simplicity. Here’s a great style if you’re looking for something timeless, charming, and unassuming.

So, okay. There are hundreds of interior design styles you could choose from – way more than the five we have listed here. However, these diverse aesthetics should get you thinking about what you value in a home. Are you looking to make a bold statement? Feel relaxed and breezy? Or maybe you’re looking for something that will last through the years.

Whatever your aesthetic, you’re sure to find a style to match. From there, start picking up pieces and focusing on the overall feel of each room. You’ll have an enviable home in no time!

The Fourth of July Seattle Style

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Renton, Seattle | Posted: July 1, 2019

The Fourth of July is one of the best American holidays. This celebration of freedom couldn’t come at a better time of the year. The beginning of July in the Pacific Northwest already feels like a frenzy of freedom, the days are long, the sun is out, and the temperatures rise to a scorching 80 degrees. Fire up the kayaks and paddle boards and hit the lakes, it’s time to celebrate!

Firework displays explode in the sky all over the Puget Sound on the Fourth, so if you don’t want to brave the crowds at Lake Union, you have loads of other options. A bonus is that almost all of them are free to enter and you can bring a picnic, don’t forget the sunscreen. Most cities in King County ban fireworks, but if you’re interested in setting them off yourself check here for individual city codes and restrictions, here for an all-encompassing list of laws and regulations.

Uncorked Canvas in West Seattle, on July 3, kick off Independence Day Eve by grabbing a few friends and heading West to Uncorked Canvas. You can create your own fireworks explosions above the Space Needle. These you’ll be able to keep forever on canvas while you feed your inner artist. Maybe you’ll decide that you love painting, and this is just the beginning. Sign up soon; spaces are limited.

Seafair Summer 4th at Gasworks Park 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. & South Lake Union Park, 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Join thousands of other firework revelers for a show that was voted one of the best in the country, starting at 10:00 p.m. It’s the largest festival in Seattle every year. Check the link for the complete schedule of events; both parks will have live music, food, and beer gardens all day. Come ready to hang out on the grass with incredible views on the lake.

Bellevue Family Fourth located at the Bellevue Connection, this event is kicking off bright and early at 9:00 a.m. with a fun, Four on the 4th 4k dog and human walk or jog. After the event stick around for a doggie costume contest. Bouncy houses, children’s activities, food and live music and fireworks starting at 10:00 p.m. the Bellevue Youth Symphony orchestra will serenade crowds throughout the show and after for a post-show set.

4th of July Seatac at Angle Lake Park, swimming is open for the fourth this year, a spray park, kids bounce houses and live music starts at 1:00 p.m. and runs all day long until the fireworks start at 10:00 p.m.

4th of July Renton located at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, events begin at 8:00 a.m. for an all-day sand volleyball tournament. Kid’s activity zones, live music, and an onstage dance performance will entertain guests for over 12 hours of fun culminating in a 10:00 p.m. fireworks show for almost a full half hour.

An Edmonds kind of Fourth, kick off the day with a 5k or 1k family-friendly fun run/ walk and chase (a pretend) George Bracket, the founder of Edmonds through the streets. He’ll be the one with the big white beard. A competition scheduled after the run will have a winner for the best 4th of July costume.

Stay for a children’s and family parade, a beard and mustache contest with natural and anything goes category for anyone to participate, even if you can’t naturally grow a beard or mustache. The fireworks show will begin at 10:00 p.m.

Fourth on the Lake in Newcastle at Lake Boren Park, a low key, Newcastle type party begins at 6:00 p.m. the park will fill up with food vendors and residents. Pyrotechnicians will be onstage to answer all of your burning questions, starting at 6:30 p.m. The question and answer session will be followed by live music at 8:00 and fireworks at 10:00 p.m.

*A caring reminder; firework explosions are scary for your sweet furry friends, and more dogs and cats go missing during the 4th of July than any other day.

Keep pets closed up in an interior room or basement. A crate is a perfect space to put your dog or cat with lots of soft padding inside, drape blankets outside to absorb the noise with space for air. Set the crate in a cool back corner or basement, a fan, and radio in the background will help to drown out the booms and keep the air circulating and your pet cool.

Add your dog or cat’s favorite toy and treats, something to keep them occupied and distracted. Kongs stuffed with peanut butter, and dog treat puzzles are great to keep their minds off the noise. Lastly, thundershirts come recommended by vets, especially for dogs and cats with anxiety; it’s like a tight, secure hug that helps animals feel safe and calm.

Happy Fourth of July to you, your families and your furry friends!

 

The Homeowner’s Starter Guide to Creating a Perfect Owner’s Bedroom

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: June 30, 2019

Let’s talk about your master bedroom. Here’s where you can bring your comfort dreams to life: the fluffiest pillows, the softest sheets, the most soothing wall colors. But putting that room together without a list can lead to a lot of trips back to Bed, Bath & Beyond after forgetting pillowcases or light bulbs for your bedside lamps.

That’s why we’ve put together a basic checklist of what you’ll need to complete your perfect master bedroom.

Start The List Lying Down

They say you spend a third of your life sleeping, right? You better make that sleep count. That’s why our checklist starts with your bed and everything on it.

It’s Time to Upgrade That Mattress

When was the last time you bought a new mattress? It’s recommended that you replace your every 7 to 10 years, but how well have you treated your mattress over the years? Remember, you’re putting together a dream room ready for a perfect night’s sleep. Consider treating yourself to a new mattress and don’t forget the mattress protector!

  • Mattress
  • Box Spring
  • Bedframe
  • Headboard/Footboard (optional depending on your style)

Dress Up Those Linens!

Does anything feel better than falling asleep underneath brand new, clean sheets? Pick up a new set (or two) of matching sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers. Look for higher thread count, moisture-wicking fabric for the most comfortable night’s sleep imaginable.

  • Sheets
  • Fitted Sheets
  • Pillow Cases
  • Duvet Covers
  • Throws or Blankets

Decorative or Accent Pieces

Decorative accessories add a fun splash of personality to your owner’s bedroom. Match these pieces to your walls or drapes – go for bold prints or soothing colors, whatever feels right for you. Have fun with it!

  • Throw pillows
  • Patterned throws
  • Bedskirt

Brighten Up Your Day (Or Night)

Light up the room with more than just your smile! We’re talking about bedside table lamps, overhead lighting, and decorative lighting. Continue to tie the room together with lighting features that match the room’s style.

  • Bedside table lamps (you’ll want two!)
  • Overhead lighting with soft lightbulbs
  • Color-changing LED lights (strands or pucks placed around the room)

It’s Easy Being Green

Add a literal breath of fresh air to your master bedroom with some greenery! Vibrant plants are great for adding color and life to a room. It’s wonderful to wake up each morning to a sunny bedroom and a happy plant or two.

Here are some of the best plants to keep in a bedroom:

  • Peace Lily
  • Parlor Palm
  • English Ivy
  • Snake Plant
  • Corn Plant

Keep Out the Clutter – Put Your Clothes Away!

Nothing brings chaos to an otherwise orderly room than clothes scattered across the floor or draped over chairs. Keep your owner’s bedroom peaceful and calm by keeping your clothes inline:

  • Dresser
  • Armoire
  • Closet dresser organizer
  • Closet shelving

No two master bedrooms are alike. Maybe yours includes a bathroom suite or a cozy reading corner off to the side, perfect for a loveseat and side table. Once you’ve mastered the basics – putting together an ideal sleeping experience and bringing in light and life – then you can start tackling those areas. We hope this checklist has helped you start bringing your dream bedroom to life!

8 Seattle and Renton Art Street Fairs You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer

Categories: American Classic News, Events, Lifestyle, Renton, Seattle | Posted: June 19, 2019

The sun is shining, and city calendars are overflowing with activities. Farmer’s markets, festivals, parades, and beer gardens are brimming all over the Seattle area.

There is so much to celebrate, blue skies, perfect weather, a sparkling Lake Washington and a market filled with creative, talented makers from around the country. Pull on your favorite summer outfit, grab some friends, and peruse the artsy side of the city.

 

Seattle:

  • Celebrate the First Thursday of every month except July in Occidental Square. Located just inland off of Pier 48 in where the ivy hangs thickly off of red brick buildings and the cruise ships drop thousands of passengers off flooding the streets with happy travelers. This lovely outdoor square is covered with overarching London Plane trees creating a beautiful shaded canopy overhead. Concrete ping pong tables will keep your kids happy while you shop. Every First Thursday from April through October except for in July, 55 of Seattle’s artisans set up booths here from 12-9:00 p.m., it has an atmosphere like a European market under the trees.
  • Art on the Rocks at the Bar Shoppe and Lounge is a neighboring event, and it’s also on the First Thursday of every month. Hit up the market then wander over to Art on the Rocks in Pioneer Square. They house a monthly art show with local artists who set up across three rooms inside the bar. You can enjoy craft cocktails and a DJ with no cover charge. If you haven’t yet discovered this venue you should give it a shot, it’s really cool. The bartenders are masters at their craft and are happy to customize drinks on the spot with only your preferences to go off. Take a look at their Facebook page; they’re beverage artists.
  • The Full Moon Market June 8 & 9, July 20 & 21, August 24 & 25, September 21 & 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you like modern jewelry, bohemian designs and clean, trendy looks this market is for you. Located in the Stumptown Coffee Roasters building downtown, a team of Pacific Northwest makers creates a fresh exchange of products that look like they leaped off a modern, stylish Pinterest board.
  • The SODO Flea Market located at the Epic Antique parking lot at 3701 7th Ave South takes place the second and last Saturdays of every month. Enjoy free parking at this event where you’ll find vintage and antique furniture from stylish local vendors. The SODO Flea Market was recognized as one of the best flea markets in the country. Don’t be fooled by the title; they house vendors selling more than the typical flea market finds. You’ll find products here like, handmade jewelry, dyed textiles, ceramics, vintage clothing, housewares, and even fresh cut flowers. Food and coffee trucks will keep you fueled up for the hunt.
  • Urban Craft Uprising 2019 Summer Show on June 22 & 23, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is one of Seattle’s largest craft shows, it’s held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. People line up around the block to be one of the first ones in for this event. The whole family is welcome. Hopefully, you’ll leave with ambitions and creative ideas flooding your head for potential projects.
  • Urban Craft Market and The Seattle Street Food Festival held on July 6 & 7, Fourth of July weekend, a marriage of two of the best festivals ever have combined forces to drain your pocketbook and make your home awesome. A massive celebration of makers, artists, and chefs are working together to create this fabulous downtown festival located at 217 9th Avenue in Seattle. Bring the family; there will be something here for everyone.

 

Renton:

  • Rummage Sale July 20, from 3-9:00 p.m. Located at the Renton Pavilion Event Center. Come treasure hunt to find that perfect something you’ve been looking for to complete your home décor or a rare vintage cameo necklace. You never know what to expect at this annual event. The best part is, it doesn’t start until three o’clock in the afternoon. For those of you who never make it to early morning garage sales, this one’s for you.
  • Summerfest July 20, in the Piazza Park, Renton is celebrating summer alongside the Rummage Sale. Live music, an art exhibit, and food trucks will be open for business downtown. A beer garden will keep the adults happy, and the evening will end with an open-air movie in the park.

 

Meeting so many artists and crafters might inspire you to create something wonderful. Come and visit If not for the artists, for the food trucks, culinary inspiration is great too.

Easy Glossary of Home Building Terms for New Homeowners

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: June 10, 2019

Being able to build a home from the ground up is so exciting. You’ve spent time pouring over your options and selecting the very best – from the color of the home the color of the flooring. Now it’s time to start putting those ideas into action. Here’s where all that excitement can turn to confusion if you’re not sure where you are in the process. You may be hearing terms flying around and have no idea what they are, or what comes next.

Whether you’re in the middle of buying a new home or just preparing for it, we’ve put together a quick glossary to help you understand what’s going on. Here are some terms you’ll undoubtedly come across as a new homeowner when you purchase a brand new pre-sale home.

Scraping

You’re starting to see some progress! Scraping is when your home’s future site is prepped for foundation work. The site’s protective grass layer is scraped away to reveal the dirt below. Once this happens, the crew can start building your future home’s foundation.

Pre-Construction & Selections Meeting

This one may seem self-explanatory, but this is a meeting between you, the American Classic Homes selections manager, and the construction manager to review your home plans. You’ll all make sure all the options you selected are then represented on the plans.

Once you’ve finalized everything, you’re ready to go! You can expect to start seeing your new home slowly but surely take shape after the pre-construction meeting.

Homeowner Orientation

Your new home has walls, floors, a ceiling, and you’re so close to moving in the excitement is palpable. All that’s left is your homeowner orientation. We’ll send you out to meet with the Customer Service manager to look over the almost finished house to walk the home and to learn the ins and outs of it.

Here, you’ll make sure the new home has been built following the plans, matches all of your chosen options, and that nothing is missing.

You will also go over your plumbing and additional home details and we’ll make sure you understand how to change filters, check for problems, and know where your emergency shutoffs are.

Now onto the next step…moving in! You’re finally ready to move into the house you’ve watched being built from the ground up. Or at least, you know what to expect when you finalize building plans and get to the pre-start process. Keep this glossary handy as you move through the building process, and you’ll be ready every step of the way.

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