Consumer Real Estate News

    • 6 Tips for Brightening Your Space and Your Mood

      20 April 2021

      Light, bright spaces not only appear to be larger than dark spaces, they also seem to make us feel happier. But not all of us live in light, sunny spaces. Designers and decorators recommend six sound tips for adding light, or the illusion of light, to help brighten your rooms and your mood: 

      • Start With White - Small or dark spaces are not the place to try out a dark color palette. The lighter the walls, the more light they will reflect. Start with white, a pale, neutral grey or beige walls, and if you choose a color other than white, think about painting the ceiling a shade lighter to help light bounce around the room.
      • More Ceiling Tricks - Blue skies brighten the world. Painting your ceiling the color of the sky can create the illusion of light. Or, paint the ceiling with a high-gloss paint to help reflect light. 
      • Bring in Colors of the Sun - One proven way to brighten a space is to bring in yellows, reds and oranges—the colors of the sun. You can do this with furnishings, accent pieces and pillows.
      • Use Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces - Double the amount of light in a room by allowing it to bounce off reflective surfaces. Hang a large mirror across from the largest window in the room. Hang an array of smaller mirrors in darker areas, such as hallways, and bring in shimmery gold or silver accessories to attract and reflect light. 
      • Place Bookshelves Correctly - Place bookshelves perpendicular to the window wall. Placing them parallel or across from a window is a sure way to obstruct the light.
      • Supplement Daylight - Think about where you place light fixtures. Indirect lighting aimed upward, such a torchiere at the back of the room, can make up for lack of natural light on the ceiling as daylight fades.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Spark Scientific Discovery at Home

      20 April 2021

      (Family Features) Science influences many aspects of daily life in countless ways. It also helps shape the development of life skills from an early age. As children learn to communicate, think critically, make predictions and form opinions based on their observations, they are developing science skills that will last a lifetime.

      Through its “Wonder of Science” initiative celebrating bringing innovation to kitchen tables for 100 years, Wonder Bread is helping to support ongoing scientific learning for students across America. In partnership with and Emily Calandrelli, an American science communicator, MIT engineer and co-executive producer and host of “Emily’s Wonder Lab” on Netflix, the bread manufacturer is donating $100,000 to provide U.S. middle and high schools with supplies and equipment for science education and presenting an online series of science experiments for students.

      Allowing children to put those science-based skills to the test at home can be both simple and fun. Whether you head outside to identify clouds and species of animals or work on crafts indoors, there are plenty of everyday learning scenarios that allow parents to get hands-on with their children’s education.

      Bake Together 
      Baking can be a fun (and tasty) way to introduce scientific experimentation by following a recipe to see how the ingredients react together – or with too much or too little of a certain ingredient – and testing the end product against the desired results. As recipes are mixed, heated and cooled, baking introduces a variety of chemical reactions, including water evaporation, caramelization, browning and more.

      Conduct Experiments with Everyday Supplies 
      Special tools and equipment aren’t necessary for discovering and fostering a love of science or conducting your own experiments. By using household items you may already have on hand and following a few simple instructions from Calandrelli, you can create your own homemade rockets or inflate a balloon.

      “Getting kids excited about science and interested in how it affects our lives every day is the best part of what I do,” Calandrelli said. “Joining Wonder Bread to spread that message of wonder not just through my show but directly into classrooms is a fantastic opportunity. I can’t wait to share my love of science.”

      Start a Garden 
      One of the best ways to introduce children to a variety of plant species and the process through which they grow is to grow your own garden. Start by letting the kids pick some plants or vegetables that germinate and produce a crop quickly such as carrots or petunias then choose a location to plant. Test and prepare the soil then plant your seeds and water as needed.

      Visit for more information. 

      Balloon on a Bottle
      2 tablespoons dry yeast
      1 tablespoon sugar
      2-3 tablespoons lukewarm water
      1 large mouth, glass pint bottle
      1 party balloon

      In a cup, stir yeast, sugar and water. Using funnel, pour mixture into bottle. Add more water as needed to push the mixture through the bottleneck. 

      Quickly stretch the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. 

      Observe bubbles in the yeast mixture and watch the balloon inflate. Inflation can take 10-30 minutes, depending on mixture. 

      Effervescent Tablet Rocket
      Film canister
      1/2 effervescent antacid tablet
      Watch or timer

      In the film canister, add water until it’s one-quarter full.

      Add half effervescing antacid tablet to film canister and quickly snap on lid.

      Place film canister rocket on plate on ground, lid down. Stand back and use the watch or timer to count down until launch.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 In-Demand Home Features to Have When Living in a Tech Hub

      20 April 2021

      With a high supply of desirable jobs that draws talent from around the world, it should come as no surprise that cities remain poised to thrive in the technology space for years to come. For those looking to navigate this type of real estate market, following are several home features that tech workers have established a preference for.

      Eco-friendly living is a top priority for many of today’s creators and innovators. From energy-efficient designs to sustainably sourced materials, homes that were built to reduce their impact on the environment instantly have extra appeal among this crowd. The demand for sustainable homes has steadily grown over the last few years and this trend is likely to continue in the coming years.

      Smart Home Tech
      It comes as no surprise that tech workers appreciate a living space outfitted with the latest gadgets and automation systems. Whether it’s a security system, thermostat or all-in-one system that offers complete control, smart home features have practically become the norm these days, with many young buyers in this industry expecting their homes to be designed accordingly.

      Health and Wellness
      To offset demanding jobs and long hours spent in front of a screen, this group has whole-heartedly embraced the wellness movement. They’re acutely aware of the impact that technology can have on our minds and bodies, and as a result, often seek out features that promote a healthy lifestyle. Home gyms, meditation studios and massage rooms are just a few that are sure to please.

      Access to Nature
      When it’s time to unplug, the great outdoors is the perfect antidote. Perhaps that’s why so many people who spend their days working on a computer have demonstrated a willingness to pay a little extra for a home with a lush backyard, scenic views and access to outdoor recreational areas.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Exciting Features for the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

      19 April 2021

      Outdoor kitchens are on the rise in luxury real estate. As homeowners increasingly look to create their own private oasis in the backyard, a cooking space has become just as coveted as a sparkling swimming pool and spacious terrace where the whole family can spend time together. If you want an outdoor kitchen that leaves nothing to be desired, here are few exciting features to include.

      Deluxe Grill
      The grilling station is often the centerpiece of the outdoor kitchen and essential for any warm-weather gathering in the backyard, which is why many homeowners choose to invest in a high-end option. If you want the versatility to prepare everyone’s favorite dishes, a deluxe grill that’s equipped with multiple burners, a rotisserie and a smoker box will ensure successful barbecues all season long.

      When it comes to convenience, you simply can’t beat having your outdoor cooking area equipped with a refrigerator. This allows you to keep beverages, side dishes and any perishable ingredients nearby, avoiding the need to run back inside to the kitchen every time you need something. A sleek, stainless steel design is always a popular option to endure outdoor conditions without compromising on style.

      Pizza Oven
      If you want to mix up your menu and take a break from the grill, there’s nothing like a wood-burning pizza oven. With a wide variety of materials to choose from—such as natural stone, brick and clay, to name a few—you can get just the right aesthetic and elevate your outdoor kitchen to enjoy family pizza night on the patio.

      Bar Area
      For those who like to sip a cocktail or craft beer while lounging in the backyard, a well-designed bar area is in order. In addition to a bar counter and stools, you may want to include a prep area for mixing drinks, as well as a built-in kegerator that allows you to keep your favorite beer on tap.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Let’s Bring Back the Monarch Butterfly

      19 April 2021

      With its iconic orange and black markings, the monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species in North America. But these beautiful little critters are in trouble.

      Their numbers are down 90% from just 20 years ago, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and they are on the verge of being placed on the Endangered Species list.

      Furthermore, milkweed plants—the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar—are rapidly disappearing as land development and the widespread spraying of weed killers on the fields where they live are destroying their natural habitat. 

      But it’s not too late, scientists say, especially now as gardeners nationwide are preparing for spring growth. Industry experts suggest three ways gardeners can create a welcoming habitat and do their part in preserving the monarch butterfly.

      • Grow Caterpillar Plants - Monarch caterpillars are fussy eaters. Adults lay eggs only on milkweed because that's the only plant the caterpillars will eat. No milkweed, no monarchs—and there are over 100 species of milkweed available. Check your local garden shop for advice.
      • Grow Nectar Plants - Adult monarchs get their energy by sipping nectar. Plants in the sunflower family, which includes asters, black-eyed Susans, calendula, coreopsis, purple coneflowers and zinnias, are particularly nectar-rich.
      • Complete the Habitat - Butterflies need a landing pad to drink and they love mud puddles. Create a few shallow divots in bare soil and keep them moist, so butterflies can sip water and get much-needed minerals from the soil. Be sure to have trees and shrubs in your yard where butterflies can roost at night. Also, butterflies can't fly when they're cold, so place large, flat rocks in locations that receive morning sun to give them a place to warm up.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.