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Digital Meeting Backgrounds from Luxury Model Homes

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Model Home | Posted: October 13, 2020

If you’re still looking for the perfect zoom meeting background we have a new option for you, straight from our luxury model home in Seattle, Washington! Our recently staged Madison Park home sold as soon as it hit the market. It had an amazing office that we want to share with you for you to use as a digital meeting background.

The professional office background for you to download:

 

Autumn Home Maintenance Tips | 2020

Categories: Home maintenance tips, Home Owner Tips | Posted: September 22, 2020

It’s finally Autumn! Hooray! With the changing of each season we recommend a few tips to help maintain your home. But as we all know this summer in Washington state was a little different this year. The smoke from the summer forest fires have finally dissipated, but while gone, there are now additional home maintenance steps we recommend as we head into the new season.

It’s important to note that ash is made up of different sized particles and ash deposited on surfaces, indoors and outdoors, and can become airborne when cleaned up. Please use extreme caution when clean anything with ash on it. For additional indoor air quality tips and clean up safety gear recommendations, we advise that you visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website here.

Additional Home Maintenance Steps To Take Now That The Summer Forest Fire Smoke Has Cleared:

  • The EPA’s Recommended Actions To Take From To Protect Yourself From Ash When Cleaning:
    • Clothing: Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks to avoid skin contact. Goggles are also a good idea contact with wet ash can cause chemical burns or skin irritation. Change your shoes and clothing before you leave the cleanup site to avoid tracking ash offsite, into your car, or other places.
    • Protecting your lungs: Wear a tight-fitting respirator that filters ash particles from the air you breathe to help protect your lungs. Select a respirator that has been tested and approved by NIOSH and has the words “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it. These have two straps and are available online, and at many hardware stores and pharmacies. Buy respirators in a size that can be tightened over your mouth and nose with a snug seal to your face. Surgical masks and one-strap dust masks will not protect your lungs. They are not designed to seal tightly to the face. If you have heart or lung disease talk to your doctor before using a respirator or working around ash.
  • Cleanup Steps:
    • Cleanup: Avoid stirring up or sifting through ash as much as you can. Avoid actions that kick ash particles up into the air, such as dry sweeping. Beforesweepingindoor and outdoor hard surfaces, mist them with water to keep the dust down. Follow with wet mopping. Use a damp cloth or wet mop on lightly dusted areas. When you wet down ash, use as little water as you can.
    • Vacuum: Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-type vacuum to clean dusty surfaces. Don’t use a typical household vacuum or a shop vacuum. They will send the collected dust or ash out into the air. Don’t leaf blowers or do anything else that will put ash into the air.
    • Food and Water: Wash any home-grown fruits or vegetables from trees or gardens where ash has fallen. Avoid bringing food or eating at the affected site, unless you keep the food in a sealed container. Wash your hands well before eating. Check with your drinking water provider to be sure your water is safe to drink.
    • Disposal: Collected ash may be disposed of in the regular trash. Ash should be stored in plastic bags or other containers to prevent it from being stirred up. If you suspect hazardous waste, including asbestos, is present, contact your local hazardous waste authorities regarding appropriate disposal. Avoid washing ash into storm drains.
  • Extra Steps To Take For Your Home This Year:
    • Check and change out your furnace air filters asap.
    • Change any humidifier filters out.
    • Clean all outdoor furniture before putting it away for the season.
    • Have your fireplace and flues inspected and cleaned before starting a fire.
  • For a full list of recommended clean up tips from the EPA’s website please see their fact guide here.

 

Standard Recommended Home Maintenance Recommendations For Fall:

  • Purchase necessary snow shovels, salt, and sand. (We know it might not snow that often in the Seattle area, but it’s best to be prepared just in case!)
  • Turn off any exterior taps.
  • Clear window wells and eaves troughs.
  • Winterize all plants and shrubs.
  • Winterize hose-bibs.
  • Weatherproof windows and doors.
  • Inspect roof openings, woodstoves, and weatherproof as needed.
  • Have your fireplace, any woodstoves you may have, and flues inspected and cleaned before starting a fire. (Yes this to-do is on both lists on this blog because it’s very important that you have your fireplace inspected)
  • Clean/change furnace and humidifier filters.
  • Check/test fire extinguishers.
  • Check your supply of electrical fuses, breakers, emergency candles, and flashlights.
  • Fertilize your lawn and garden.
  • Prune trees and shrubs away from the house.
  • Plant your spring bulbs.
  • Put out your hummingbird and birdseed feeders.

 

How to Strike a Design Balance Between Trendy and Timeless

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: June 30, 2020

Shag carpeting. Beaded curtains. Carpeted walls. Indoor wicker furniture. Over the last 50 years, people have followed some truly horrifying design trends. And you’ll notice you (hopefully) haven’t seen a single one of them in a new build home or modern design catalog.

Striking a balance between trendy and timeless isn’t always easy. You might be swayed by the newest trends, confident they will remain relevant forever. But that’s what people thought about water beds, too.

Here’s how you can strike the right balance between classic and modern in your home.

Invest in High-Quality, Timeless Materials

There are some design mistakes you can afford to make. For instance, replacing outdated kitchen chairs or living room curtains is relatively easy. But others – not so much. You can’t remodel your kitchen or bathroom every few years when the cabinets and fixtures go out of style.

To avoid this, be sure you invest in high-quality materials for everything. This includes your flooring, cabinets, countertops, and major fixtures. 

Go for What is Always in Style

Nobody can predict the future of design trends. People can try, but it’s not a sure thing. Instead of trying to be on the cutting edge of fashion, include elements in your home that are truly timeless. To get you thinking about it, here’s a quick list of what has always been in fashion (though it is certainly not an exhaustive list!).

  • Hardwood floors.
  • White kitchens.
  • Built-in shelving (with clean lines).
  • Classic colors (dark green, navy) to complement neutrals.
  • A clawfoot bathtub.
  • True antiques.
  • Area rugs.

It’s All in the Details!

Don’t get us wrong – trends can be a lot of fun! You don’t need to avoid them entirely. You just need to choose trends carefully. Don’t build an entire room around a trend – you will regret the decision down the road.

Instead, rely on your accessories to express them. Follow pattern and texture trends in the form of bright accent walls, pillows or throw blankets, area rugs, and artwork. You can easily swap these details out as trends fade in and out.

Design for What You Truly Want

We’re all guilty of paging through a home design magazine and pining after a beautifully arranged room. This is closely followed by envy and despair because the rooms are professionally done and challenging to achieve in real life. But why would you want to, anyway? Your home should reflect your style and needs. Your home should be comfortable and practical. It should be livable, no matter how timeless or trendy it is.

You might love the look of a midcentury modern, straight-backed leather couch, but is it what you really want to sink into after a long day at work? Always ask yourself these practical questions when considering how to design your interior.

If it still seems like a mystery on how best to strike this balance, keep one thing in mind: Major fixtures should be timeless, accessories and accents can bring trendiness. Focus on your personal style as well as overarching trends to make sure your home is actually in line with your needs. Don’t design entire rooms around a trend, or you’ll end up redoing an avocado bathroom or wasting time scraping off a popcorn ceiling. Good luck and enjoy!

Owner Suite Location -Upstairs or Main Level?

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: June 10, 2020

You’ve probably thought a lot about the details of your new home. Everything from the floor plan to the kitchen layout and the landscaping has likely crossed your mind. But when planning out your owner suite, have you considered where in the house to put it? There isn’t one right answer, but there is a right answer for you.

Considerations for Owner Suite Location

Of course, this decision might be influenced by the shape of your homesite and the overall floorplan of your home. You could end up sacrificing backyard space or a walk-out basement by building an owner suite on your first floor. If you want plenty of space outside your home for entertaining areas, a swimming pool, or other outdoor structures, a second-floor suite makes perfect sense. However, long-term thinking might nudge you toward a first-floor owner suite. You can effortlessly age into a home that allows you to avoid stairs and remain on the same level – perfect for empty nesters.

To help you make this decision, let’s look at some quick pros and cons of each.

Sleeping on the Main Floor

Pros:

  • You can maintain distance between the owner suite and the other rooms in the house (especially noisy children’s rooms!).
  • Great for aging into a house because you don’t need to deal with stairs.
  • Easy access to the other main rooms in your home.
  • It can be converted into a guest suite for long-term visitors.

Cons:

  • It can be too noisy if you frequently entertain and one person wants to go to bed early.
  • Spouses with opposite schedules will find it impossible to keep the entire level quiet.
  • Not ideal for families with young children that might need help in the middle of the night.
  • Concern about security might be higher if you don’t have windows that properly lock.

 Building Your Suite on the Second Floor

Pro:

  • You can build a spacious owner suite without sacrificing yard space.
  • Great for couples wanting to create a relaxing, private space away from common areas.
  • Sleeping is easy even when other members in your house are noisy downstairs.
  • There’s no need to worry about sleeping with windows or screen doors open.

Cons:

  • It’s not ideal for aging into a house. People with mobility issues, disabilities, or aging joints will have difficulty climbing up and down stairs.
  • Families with older children or teens will be affected by noisy video games, phone calls, watching TV, music, etc.

So, What Should You Do? 

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about. Be sure to think ahead about how you plan on aging into your home. You might desire to have a suite away from noisy teens, but newborns need constant care that will require multiple trips up and down. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s right for your family! It’s your needs that come before anything else.

Bring a Little Personality to Your Front Porch with These Accents

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: May 26, 2020

When decorating your home, you mustn’t overlook the entrance. Not the landing just inside the door – the area just outside. Your front porch is the first space your guests encounter when they visit. It’s the place you’ll greet neighbors and family members. Your front porch offers an excellent opportunity to let your style shine. So, don’t miss out on maximizing this space! Here are a few great ways to add a little personality to your front porch.

Hang Out with Hanging Plants

Does your porch see a good amount of sunlight during the day? If so, hanging plants will love soaking up those rays on your front porch. Ideally, you’ll choose hearty plants that can stand up to the sunlight (or lack thereof) and exposure to elements. These include Lantana, Marigolds, Ferns (especially Boston Ferns), and Begonias.  

Kick Back and Relax

If there’s space, we recommend adding at least two comfortable chairs or a wide bench to your front porch area. Use cushion covers or pillows to bring a splash of your flair – not to mention some added comfort. You can offer guests a place to sit and chat, or just kick back and relax during the warm months. Consider swapping out fabrics and patterns for each season, or whenever the mood strikes.

Add a Little Green

Bright, colorful flowers are a great way to welcome guests to your home! Elevate these plants by installing railing flower boxes. You can mix and match types of plants to enhance your front yard landscaping. If you love picking fresh herbs for the kitchen, you can use these railing boxes to plant basil, rosemary, dill, and anything else you can think of! Just be sure these tasty plants are getting the right amount of sunlight to thrive.

Swing or Rock in Style

Is there any porch accessory more iconic than a rocking chair or porch swing? These front-porch accessories feel so neighborly and warm, and it’s hard to pass them up. Not to mention, they’re both extremely useful. Both seating options offer an excellent way for you and your family to relax and enjoy your front yard. Plus, they’re weather-resistant, so you won’t need to worry about leaving them out year-round.

Your front porch should show off your personal style just as much as your living room, kitchen, and back yard. Don’t miss out on spending time – and showing off – this space.

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