Creating Comfort Through Interior Design

Just because the Christmas decor is put away and the festive mood of the holidays is over doesn’t mean we have to stop creating a snug and cozy home. It’s a good time to embrace winter Hygge! If you aren’t familiar with Hygge, it’s a Danish word for feeling content and cozy.

Here are seven ways to bring Hygge style comfort to your home, even during the dreariest winter month of the year!

 

LAYERED LIGHTS

Even if you feel like you’re lacking in the cozy department, simply addressing your lighting will make a huge difference. Layers of lighting make every room feel more welcoming. In the daytime, natural light is ideal. But for evenings, it’s nice to add a cozy glow. A good rule of thumb is to try to have a least three light sources in every room. Use a mix of table lamps, floor lamps, task lamps, and overhead lighting. Consider using warmer lightbulbs for the coziest ambience.

 

COMFORTING MOMENTS

Your home will offer a sense of comfort when you incorporate some favorite photos of loved ones, treasured hand-me-downs, antiques or flea-market finds, eye-catching conversation starters, art that inspires you, special mementos, or simply things that make you smile.

 

AN INVITING AROMA

What aroma feels ‘cozy’ to you? Set the tone for your home by filling it up with winter scents that inspire you.

 

TOUCHABLE TEXTURES

The coziest homes contain a variety different textures that delight the eye. Incorporate different touch-worthy materials through pillows, drapery, throw blankets, rugs, lamps, and furniture. The fabric possibilities are endless: velvet, woven, knit, embroidered, grain sack, faux fur, tweed, etc. You can also consider creating contrast with varying materials like metal, wood, glass, rattan, mirrored, painted, and more.

 

A PLACE TO CURL UP

Make yourself a special cozy place to relax. A reading chair will be extra cozy with some good books nearby in a basket, a lamp, a footstool, a side table to set a cup of tea, and a soft blanket you can curl up in.

 

A BIT OF WARMTH

Every home can benefit from warmth. No matter what your color scheme, you can add warmth through natural tones like wood, leather, jute, warm metals, etc.

 

SOMETHING LIVING

A room comes to life when an organic element is incorporated into the decor. Every room can benefit from having at least one plant, bouquet of flowers, or even a sprig of greenery like eucalyptus to remind us that spring is on its way.

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Five Reasons You Need Renters Insurance

It might be tempting as a renter to think that you don’t need an insurance policy if you’re renting an apartment or home, but not having one could cost you more than you think. A 2016 poll by the Insurance Information Institute found that only 41 percent of renters have their own renters insurance policy. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to have your own insurance policy as a renter.

  1. To cover your belongings.

In the event that a fire, break-in or other incident occurs that results in the damage or loss of your personal belongings, your landlord’s insurance policy will not pay for their replacement. Consider how much it could cost to replace your clothes, furniture, electronics and other household items. In order to make sure you have the coverage to replace your lost items, it’s critical to have your own renters insurance policy.

  1. To cover people who come to your residence.

If someone were to visit your home and become injured, you could be held liable for their injury and any related medical bills and costs. Having renters insurance helps protect you against this liability, and can help pay for legal expenses in addition to medical bills.

  1. To cover things that might be stolen outside of your home.

Your renters insurance may actually help cover you in incidents that happen away from your home. For example, if some of your personal belongings are stolen from your vehicle, it is unlikely that your auto insurance will cover the theft. However, it’s much more likely that your renters insurance will cover it.

  1. Your landlord might require it.

Agreeing to purchase a rental policy might be a requirement of your landlord. But even if it isn’t, having renter insurance may help your rental application get accepted and it helps show your landlord that you’re a responsible renter.

  1. It won’t break the bank.

Rental policies are usually pretty inexpensive. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average rental insurance policy costs $190 per year. That amounts to less than $16 per month.

If you’re wondering whether or not you need a rental insurance policy, talk to your insurance representative or reach out to the professionals at Long & Foster Insurance. They can help guide you to the right policy for your needs so you get the right amount of coverage at the right price for your budget.

This blog was reposted with the permission of Long & Foster.

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Decorating Your Home in Ultra Violet: Pantone Color of The Year 2018

Each year, design pros eagerly await the Color of the Year announcement from the experts at Pantone®. No matter what the hue, it’s always sure to make a splash—and home goods are no exception. From appliances and décor to tile and paint, manufacturers will start rolling out options to match (and complement) the Pantone Color of the Year.

Pantone® Ultra Violet is the pick for 2018. This is no shrinking violet: It’s a deep blue-purple that isn’t for the shy. No wonder that the Pantone announcement referenced icons known for showmanship like David Bowie, Prince and Jimi Hendrix.

Embracing a color this bold into your home might seem like a giant leap, but it could make a big mood difference in your home during the long, grey days of Seattle winters. We have assembled a few ways to incorporate Ultra Violet into your home – some large and some small.

Make an Entrance

Painting your front door adds instant curb appeal. Red’s a classic hue and teal is an up-and-comer, but this entry’s regal purple is a real knockout.

Set the Scene

Funny thing about purple: Though we tend to think of it as a scene-stealer, cooler shades in the blue-gray range can work almost like neutrals. Here, purple walls marry an eclectic mix of midcentury-inspired décor.

Look Around

You’ve seen the accent wall. How about the accent ceiling? A rich grape hue adds an unexpected twist to this bedroom’s gray walls and white trim. It gets extra punch from the peek of red seen through the doorway.

Consider Texture and Sheen

One secret to pulling off a jewel tone like these royal purple walls: Choose a matte finish. Shine plus color can be hard to pull off, but a flatter finish is, well, flattering.

Add Statement Furniture

If you’re planning on using UltraViolet in a bedroom or living area, consider incorporating it in a piece of statement furniture. In this case, the piece will act as the focal point of the room, since it will undoubtedly capture plenty of attention. With that in mind, bed frames, ottomans and reading chairs are excellent options to fill this role.

Opt for Accessories

For those who are a bit nervous about jumping into a design full of intense shades, keep in mind that you can always incorporate Ultra Violet into your accessories. These are a great starting point because they generally include lower-cost items that can easily be replaced when your tastes change or if you decide you’re not a big fan of the look.

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What is success?

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” –Albert Einstein

I’ve never really defined whatever we’ve accomplished at Windermere in terms of success or failure; rather, it is what we value.

For me it is something very simple: it’s about family, relationships and community.

It all starts with family. By that I mean both my loved ones and the family known as Windermere. We’ve had some success because we embrace the same values in our organization as we do in our family: integrity, decency, great communication, compassion and grace, to name a few. And, like any family, we have our share of disagreements, but ultimately we come together on the important issues because we have shared values.

Great relationships are a function of those same values. My best relationships come from working and playing together and sharing experiences. Whether solving a problem or celebrating anniversaries, the experiences we share add up to strong relationships. In business and family, you can only go forward with those you trust and value. It’s the relationship that counts.

Community is a by-product of family and relationships. A community is simply a larger group of people who share experiences. It can be as simple as meeting at the neighborhood coffee shop every Sunday morning with some favorite neighbors, or a reunion of several generations of family.

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Find your real estate agent

You have many tough choices to make as you start looking for the home of your dreams and prepare to make one of the largest financial decisions of your life. Finding the right agent to represent you shouldn’t add to your worries. I’ve met a few real estate agents over the years and here are 5 tips to help you find a great one.

  1. Ask your friends and neighbors. Most consumers find their agents through referrals from those close to them. You’ll get real world references (good and bad) from the people you trust.
  2. Search your online networks. Search for real estate agents within your professional network on LinkedIn.com. LinkedIn can show you the agents who are 2nd and 3rd degree connections within your network. LinkedIn will even show you the agent’s resume and recommendations, mutual connections and offer to introduce you.
  3. Search local listings. Spend some time looking at homes similar to the one you wish to purchase or plan to sell on your favorite real estate website. Which agents are posting the best photos and doing the best to represent homes through their marketing efforts? Which agents are the most active in the area?
  4. Search Yelp. Yelp.com started as a place where people could write reviews and rate restaurants and bars. Today, Yelp has become the one-stop site for reviews of local businesses and professionals. Take a look at the highest rated agents in your area and read what your neighbors have to say about their service.
  5. When in doubt, Google it. When you’ve narrowed your search down to a list of possible agents start typing their names into Google. Google is a quick and easy way to see how active an agent is in the online world. If your agent has a common name include location or company search terms as well. You’ll be able to see any blogging or community activities they are involved in. You will also be able to see how active they are on real estate sites like Zillow and Trulia. Working with an agent who is active online, benefits you because they are more likely to have larger networks and a greater reach with marketing efforts.

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Spacious Town Home With Good Bones

Featuring 3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms And Vaulted Ceilings!

Care free living in this spacious and central Fort Collins home. Big windows and great views of mature trees and greenbelts. High vaulted ceilings and an open floor plan make for a delightful home. The large beautiful swimming pool is about a block to the west and is part of the HOA.

For more information, please visit: http://windermerenoco.com/listing/75731946 or call Kyle Basnar at (970) 460-3033.

 

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Questions to ask your home inspector

To get a quality home inspection, ask the right questions before you put your inspector to work. Here are some of the basics.

What does your inspection cover? 
Insist that you get it in writing. Then make sure that it’s in compliance with state requirements and includes the items you want inspected.

How long have you been in business? 
Ask for referrals, especially with newer inspectors.

Are you experienced in residential inspections? 
Residential inspection is a unique discipline with specific challenges.

Do you do repairs or make improvements based on the inspection? 
Some states and/ or professional associations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in an inspection. If you’re considering engaging your inspector to do repairs, be sure to get referrals.

How long will the inspection take? 
A typical single-family dwelling takes two to three hours.

How much will it cost? 
Costs can vary depending upon a variety of things, such as the square footage, age and foundation of the house.

What type of report will you provide and when will I get it? 
Ask to see samples to make sure you understand his reporting style. Also make sure the timeline works for you.

Can I be there for the inspection? 
This could be a valuable learning opportunity. If your inspector refuses, this should raise a red flag.

Are you a member of a professional home inspector association? What other credentials do you hold? 
Ask to see their membership ID; it’s some assurance.

Do you keep your skills up-to-date through continuing education? 
An inspector’s interest in continuing education shows a genuine commitment to performing at the highest level. It’s especially important with older homes or homes with unique elements.

Any other good questions to ask?  Post yours now!

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5 Deal Breakers that can blindside home buyers

dicePurchasing a home can be a complex endeavor for even the most well prepared home buyer.  You’ve diligently saved for your down payment, followed the market, researched agents and now you are ready to make an offer on your dream home.  Don’t let these 5 “Deal Breakers” come between you and your new home.

  1. Big Purchases on Credit. It is tempting to buy the furniture for your new home or a new car for the garage before the sale closes. Take care if you are making these purchases on credit. Large purchases on credit can have a major impact on your credit profile which effects your mortgage application. It’s a better plan to wait until after closing or pay cash for these transactions or you may be putting that furniture in a different living room than you originally picked them out for.
  2. Overpaying. Before your bank will approve your mortgage they will appraise the home you are purchasing.  If they feel you are overpaying they are likely to decline your mortgage application. If you find yourself in this situation consult with your agent on renegotiating your offer to be more in line with the bank’s appraised value.
  3. Purchasing too close to Foreclosure. If you are making an offer on a house which is facing foreclosure be sure to have a closing date set before the foreclosure date. Have your agent work with the lender to structure closing before the house goes back to the bank and into foreclosure.
  4. IRS liens. You’ve heard the old saying “Death and Taxes”.  Back taxes and liens can derail your attempts to get financing for a mortgage so be sure to have your books in order before filing your loan application.
  5. Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE)CLUE is a data base of insurance claims for both people and property.  Your home insurance rates are determined by the information about you and the property you plan to purchase which is contained in this report. Past claims for water damage, falling trees and even dog bites from present and past owners can multiply your insurance rates. Consult your agent about the CLUE report for your future home as soon as possible once your home purchase offer is accepted.

When purchasing a home there will be challenges which you can plan for and the unexpected hurdles.  By educating yourself as a consumer and choosing a well trained real estate agent you can avoid many of the pitfalls of 21st century home ownership.

What about you? Tell us if you have had any “deal breaker” experiences.

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Alluring Ranch With Mountain Views

Featuring 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms And A Lovely Landscaped Yard!

If move-in ready is what you are looking for, then look no further. This beautiful ranch style home shows pride of ownership throughout. Open floor plan with all of the bedrooms on the main floor. Newer appliances, new lifetime warranty Core-tec flooring and light tubes for energy efficient lighting. Beautifully landscaped yard with front/ back sprinklers and a custom deck with a sun shade to enjoy your expansive mountain views. This home won’t last long, so call for your personal showing today!

For more information, please visit: http://windermerenoco.com/listing/75684778. You may also contact either Jennifer Cuningham or Sarah Schilz at (970) 460-3033.

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Custom-Built Farmhouse With A Barn

Featuring 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms And 9 Acres!

Fabulous country living with a custom-built farm house included! From raising animals to growing your dream garden, this 9 acre property presents endless possibilities. The sprawling 5 bedroom home features an open design, vaulted ceilings and an open kitchen with walk-in pantry. The walk-out basement includes a wet bar and 2-sided fireplace. Enjoy the mountains, plains and pasture from the large deck. Acreage includes large fenced pasture, loafing shed, barn with stalls and a 40 x 60 steel building.

For more information, please visit: http://windermerenoco.com/listing/75506653 or call Jon Holsten at (970) 460-3033.

 

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